Looking Ahead into 2015 and Wrapping up 2014

Vacation is over, so it makes it time to jump into a brand new year of baseball.  The only big news over the past two weeks was the Marlon Byrd trade (which I coveredBen Lively from Reds for Marlon Byrd” href=”http://philliesminorthoughts.com/phillies-ben-lively-from-reds-for-marlon-byrd/”> here), so there is not a lot to recap.  But lets recap the minor transactions that did happen over the past few weeks.  Meanwhile, around the world, winter league continues and some Phillies prospects continue to put up good numbers.  Lastly, what to expect from this site in 2015.



  • Tyler Henson, Stephen Shackleford, Sean O’Sullivan, and Chris McGuiness to minor league deals.  Shackleford throws hard, and has missed bats, but lacks control, but should be another interesting arm in the AA/AAA bullpen.  The other three should go to AAA as depth.  McGuiness could see some time in the majors in 1B platoon if Ryan Howard is moved.  O’Sullivan is less needed than he was a year ago, but pitching depth is not bad.
  • Kevin Slowey and Wandy Rodriguez reportedly signed to minor league deals.  Neither transaction has been announced officially by the Phillies, and neither is on the roster.  Both would be in competition for the back of the Phillies rotation.  Best case scenario is that they bounce back and can be flipped for something later, the next best is that they eat some innings and help fill rotation spots until the Phillies’ pitching prospects begin to arrive in the majors.


  • The Phillies released Chris Serritella, Emanuel Serra, Josh Warner, Richard Bielski, Angelo Almonte, and Rivar Angulo.  The only name here is Serritella, who just wasn’t very good after the Phillies drafted him.  Warner had some promise, but he never filled out to his potential.  Rounding out the cuts are some bullpen arms who just don’t have the stuff to hold down a spot.

Winter League:

  • Hector Neris – Has not allowed a run in 22 appearances in the DWL with a full line of 19.2 IP 14 H 5 BB 16 K.  It is unlikely Neris goes north with the team, but he should not be forgotten in the RP shuffle.
  • Nefi Ogando – Ogando has now added 7.2 scoreless innings to his AFL time.  His DWL line so far is 7.2 IP 7 H 1 BB 6 K.  Much like Neris, Ogando could use more time in AaA, but could impact the Phillies bullpen soon.
  • Odubel Herrera – The Rule 5 pick just keeps hitting and now stands with a .370/..427/.560 6 HR 8 SB line in 56 games, as the VWL season comes to an end.  The Marlon Byrd trade should make it more likely that Herrera stick on the roster.
  • Elvis Araujo – The Phillies gave the big lefty a major league deal and it looks good so far as he ends the VWL season with a 17 G 21.1 IP 1.27 ERA 14 H 8 BB 20 K line.  Now that Andy Oliver is on the roster as a possible LOOGY, it is unlikely they give a 25 man spot to Araujo.  He should go to AAA as the first lefty call up.
  • Maikel Franco – Franco got cool for a while, but ended strong with a final DWL line of .272/.335/.469 with 7 HRs.  He finishes tied for 2nd in the league in HRs and 6th in OPS (though OPS qualifying batters is a small group).  The Phillies are talking like Franco will have to beat out Cody Asche for a major league job, but some AAA time won’t be bad for Franco.
  • Willians Astudillo – Astudillo just keeps hitting, as evidenced by his .359/.390/.538 line through 10 games.  He only has 2 strikeouts and has yet to walk.  More interestingly is that he is now played 1B-3B-LF-CF defensively, his future comes down to whether he can maintain that position utility.

The Site in Early 2015:

  • The Top 50 starts next Wednesday, with a primer on Monday.  It has been a really interesting exercise, and I am excited to share the results with you.
  • I continue to add more player profile to the site.  You can find them at the top or by searching.  A lot are still blank, but the goal is to have the Top 50 ones all done when they come out, the rest should be done by opening day.
  • You can also find a repository of the 2015 Phillies prospect rankings from around the internet up at the top of the site.  Also as we start to move towards spring, I will be populating the 2015 draft page with links to the best content around the internet.
  • I will be experimenting with some ads on the site.  After talking with some people, I would like the opportunity to provide some amount of compensation to those that write here because they put in a lot of time and effort for little to no return.  All money generated will go either into paying for the site domain/hosting and to the others who write here.  I will try to keep any ads low key and out of the way and will not continue with them if they detract from the usability or appearance of the site.

I look forward to the new year of writing and am ready to hit the ground running.

EDIT:  Also this happened over vacation.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. Romus

    Joely Rodriguez (Dec 10, 2014 for Antonio Bastardo)…not yet on the 40?
    Does he need to be or can the team wait until later?

    • Matt Winkelman

      It looks like a clerical error in whatever puts up the list on mlb.com. Transaction is official and he is on all other lists. I wouldn’t be worried

  2. Sysyphus

    Thanks for the work, looking forward to your top 50!
    Definitely an exciting time to follow Phillies’ prospects.

  3. Charlie Tiny Turds

    Elvis makes the Opening Day squad. Mark it down, yo!

  4. Adam S

    Looking forward to the Top 50 and all the other enhancements. Happy New Year!

  5. Marc H

    You’ve done a great job with this, Matt. The top 50 breakdown will be a very interesting read. Don’t sweat the ads; it’s the pop ups and things that interfere with reading the article that are the most bothersome . The ones off to the side really don’t affect my enjoyment of a site.