Friday, November 30, 2018

Avilan, Bour Join the Ranks of Former Phillies

On Friday night, the Phillies did not offer contracts to pitcher Luis Avilan and first baseman Justin Bour, making them free agents.  The Phillies now have 36 players on their 40-man roster.

The Phillies acquired Avilan on August 22nd from the White Sox for minor league pitcher Felix Paulino.  The lefty reliever appeared in 12 games for the Phillies, posting a 3.18 ERA in just 5 2/3 innings pitched.  I guess the Phillies will either now look outside the organization for a lefty reliever, or just stick with either Adam Morgan or Austin Davis.  Avilan's sole Phillies baseball card can be found in the late season, team-issued photo card update set.

Bour also appears in that update set and he has a few other newer Phillies cards in the Topps Walmart Holiday set and the Topps On Demand 3D set.  Bour came over from the Marlins on August 10th in exchange for McKenzie Mills.  He hit .224 (11 for 49) with one home run and 5 RBIs over the course of 29 games with the Phillies.

Moving On - 2018-2019 Offseason
  • Trevor Plouffe - inf (10/4/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Jose Bautista - of (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera - inf (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Loup - lhp (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Wilson Ramos - c (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Pedro Beato - rhp (11/2/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Jesmuel Valentin - inf (11/2/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Pedro Florimon - inf/of (11/3/18) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Luis Avilan - lhp (11/30/18) - Non-tendered, becoming a free agent.
  • Justin Bour - 1b (11/30/18) - Non-tendered, becoming a free agent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

3 Prospects Added to 40-Man Roster

2015 Bowman Chrome
Prospect Autographs #BCAP-AG
2016 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #7
2017 Bowman Chrome
Prospect Autographs #CPA-AME
On Tuesday, the Phillies added three prospects to their 40-man roster, protecting them from the upcoming Rule 5 draft.  Right-handed pitchers Edgar Garcia (22) and Adonis Medina (21), along with shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa (21) joined the roster, bringing the current count to 38.

Todd Zolecki gave a nice overview of the three players here, but I wanted to summarize their baseball card appearances to date.

Of the three, Medina is the most represented in my Phillies collection as I've somehow managed to already accumulate 16 of his cards.  He first appeared in the 2016 Williamsport Crosscutters set and he was all over the 2017 Bowman releases.  Most recently, I have card of his from the 2018 Bowman Prospects insert set.  Medina represented the Phillies at the All-Star Futures Game in July, and he's only pitched as high as High-A Clearwater.

Garcia shows up in my Phillies collection five times, all within 2016, 2017 and 2018 Phillies minor league team sets.  Garcia appeared in 47 games for Double-A Reading and 5 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2018.  He was one of the BlueClaws players who signed for Doug back in the summer of 2016, so he already has his first Chachi card.

Gamboa was a teammate of Medina's in Clearwater last season.  He showed up in the 2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs team set as well as four minor league team sets between 2016 and 2018.

Listed below are the prospects added to the 40-man roster in advance of each Rule 5 draft dating back to 2009, and most of these guys would eventually play in the Majors.

Memory Lane
2009 Additions - Quintin Berry, Yohan Flande and Jesus Sanchez
2010 Additions - Cesar Hernandez, Matt Rizzotti, Harold Garcia, Freddy Galvis and Justin De Fratus
2011 Additions - Phillippe Aumont, Jake Diekman, Tyson Gillies and Sebastian Valle
2012 Additions - Zach Collier, Ethan Martin, Trevor May and Jonathan Pettibone
2013 Additions - Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan, Tommy Joseph and Rob Rasmussen
2014 Additions - Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan and Nefi Ogando
2015 Additions - Jimmy Cordero, Roman Quinn and Edubray Ramos
2016 Additions - 11 prospects
2017 Additions - Seranthony Dominguez, Franklyn Kilome, Ranger Suarez, Jose Taveras, Engelb Vielma
2018 Additions - Arquimedes Gamboa, Edgar Garcia and Adonis Medina

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Lundquist Joins Coaching Staff

2017 Choice Lehigh
Valley IronPigs #29
On Friday, the Phillies filled out their 2019 coaching staff with the appointment of David Lundquist to the role of assistant pitching coach.  There was a job opening at that position given the recent promotion of Chris Young to full-time pitching coach.

Lundquist has spent the past 11 seasons within the Phillies organization, most recently serving as the pitching coach for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs between 2016 and 2018.  He appeared in 37 games for the White Sox and Padres between 1999 and 2002, earning a few mainstream baseball card appearances in the process.  Lundquist has cards in the 1999 SkyBox Premium and the 2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars sets.  I have a dozen cards of his in my collection, all from Phillies minor league team sets issued between 2008 and 2017.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Beato, Valentin Depart - Hot Stove Excitement!

2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #9
For the sake of completion, I wanted to update the list below to reflect the departures of minor league free agents Pedro Beato and Jemuel Valentin.  Both appear on the comprehensive list of minor league free agents recently published by Baseball America.

Pedro Beato tallied just 2/3 of an inning with the Phillies back in 2017 before landing on the disabled list.  He didn't receive a call-up in 2018, but he's the Lehigh Valley IronPigs all-time saves leader, having converted 68 of 73 save opportunities.  He'll join the Missing Links club, having no Phillies baseball card appearances to his name.  His IronPigs cards can be found in the 2017 and 2018 team sets, and he's also on a league leaders card within the 2018 Topps Heritage Minor League set.

Jesmuel Valentin appeared in 46 games for the Phillies in 2018, hitting .177 (14 for 79) in limited action in the infield and outfield.  Valentin has appeared in three of the team's photo card sets and he's also in the 2018 Topps Update set, sharing a card with Mitch Walding.

Moving On - 2018-2019 Offseason
  • Trevor Plouffe - inf (10/4/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Jose Bautista - of (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera - inf (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Loup - lhp (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Wilson Ramos - c (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Pedro Beato - rhp (11/2/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Jesmuel Valentin - inf (11/2/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Pedro Florimon - inf/of (11/3/18) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.

Young In, Kranitz Out as Pitching Coach

2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #45
In a somewhat surprising move, last season's assistant pitching coach, Chris Young, was promoted to the full-time gig and the former pitching coach, Rick Kranitz was let go.  It had been reported on Wednesday that a few other teams were inquiring as to the availability of Young and rather than lose him, the Phillies opted to promote him.  Kranitz spent only the 2018 season in the role of pitching coach, having previously served as bullpen coach in 2016 and assistant pitching coach in 2017.

Kranitz appeared in each team issued photo card set since 2016, and I'll fondly remember him for always being willing to sign an autograph for my son Doug.  After each pre-game autograph hunt, Doug would report back with the list of signatures he'd received and finish with, "And oh yeah, another Rick Kranitz."  He probably has a dozen things signed by Kranitz in his bedroom.

Speaking of coaches, the nebulous roles of the field staff continue to evolve for the Phillies as Paco Figueroa was recently named the team's baserunning/outfield coach.  I'm not sure if he'll be in uniform during games in 2019 or not, but he's currently listed on the team's website along with nine (!) other field coaches.  Figueroa played in parts of seven seasons in the minors, mostly within the Orioles organization, although he did play in 68 games with the 2011 Reading Phillies.

To refresh your memories, the Phillies now have the following "traditional" coaches:
  • Rob Thomson - bench coach
  • John Mallee - hitting coach
  • Chris Young - pitching coach
  • Jose David Flores - 1st base coach
  • Dusty Wathan - 3rd base coach
  • Jim Gott - bullpen coach
And the following "non-traditional" coaches:
2011 Multi-Ad
Reading Phillies #11
  • Pedro Guerrero - assistant hitting coach
  • Paco Figueroa - baserunning/outfield coach
  • Craig Driver - bullpen catcher/receiving coach
  • Bob Stumpo - bullen catcher/catching coach
I have no idea what differentiates Driver's job as receiving coach from Stumpo's job as catching coach.

Below, I've updated my running list of pitching coaches since 1970 to reflect this change, and no word yet on whether or not a new assistant pitching coach will be needed or named.
  • Ray Rippelmeyer 1970-1978
  • Herm Starrette 1979-1981
  • Claude Osteen 1982-1988
  • Darold Knowles 1989-1990
  • Johnny Podres 1991-1996
  • Jim Wright 1996
  • Galen Cisco 1997-2000
  • Vern Ruhle 2001-2002
  • Joe Kerrigan 2003-2004
  • Rich Dubee 2005-2013
  • Bob McClure 2014-2017
  • Rick Kranitz 2018
  • Chris Young 2019-

Sunday, November 4, 2018

First Phillies Roster Moves of the Offseason

2018 Topps Now #499
Phillies-related news has been limited so far this offseason, but there have been a few roster moves since the end of the World Series and the 40-man roster now stands at 35 players.

In a move that probably slipped by most people, infielder Trevor Plouffe became a minor league free agent a few days after the regular season ended.  I only became aware of the news after reviewing the Minor League Transactions noted at the Baseball America website.

And as is now standard operating procedure - four more Phillies automatically became free agents at the conclusion of the World Series.  Gone are the days of players "declaring" free agency.  Finally, on Friday, the Phillies sent Pedro Florimon outright to the IronPigs after he was removed from the 40-man roster and cleared waivers.  A day later, Florimon opted to become a minor league free agent.  

None of these six players are expected to return in 2019.

Moving On - 2018-2019 Offseason
  • Trevor Plouffe - inf (10/4/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Jose Bautista - of (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera - inf (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Loup - lhp (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Wilson Ramos - c (10/29/18) - Elected free agency.
  • Pedro Florimon - inf/of (11/3/18) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.