Sorry for the delay, weekend travel pushed this back. So quick recap this time.
Pitcher Spotlight #1: Joely Rodriguez 5.2 IP 9 H 3 ER 0 BB 5 K
It continues to be a bit of a struggle for the Dominican left handed pitcher as he makes his first attempt at AAA. He currently has a 6.05 ERA and 20 walks to 22 strikeouts over his first 8 games started. However, there may be a light at the end for Joely. Over his last two starts he has walked none while striking out 8 (over 12.2 innings). Joely has the pitches in his arsenal to miss bats, but it hasn’t really worked so far as a starter. However, he does have the arsenal to generate weak contact if he stays in the zone with his pitches. On the year has a 50.7% GB% and has severely limited line drives (and fly balls to a lesser extent). If he can bump the strikeouts up to the 6 per 9 range while limiting the walks, he can be a very effective pitcher. For Joely the fall back is the bullpen where his stuff has played up in the past (93-95) and he has shown the ability to miss bats. For now the Phillies will look to develop him as a starter.
Pitcher Spotlight #2: Ranfi Casimiro 8 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 6 K
To some extent I had written off Casimiro after his rough year last year, where reports questioned his ability to repeat his delivery. However, it was probably a bit harsh as the 6’8″ RHP (along with Tyler Viza) was forced to gut it out in Lakewood despite their struggles due to the lack of organizational starting pitching depth. This year the Phillies have dialed back the stuff from touching 93 to sitting around 90 in an effort to focus on control, and the results have been great. Ranfi allowed 9 runs and 4 walks while striking out 3 over his first two starts (9.2 IP), but since he has allows 4 total runs while walking 3 (all in one start) over the course of 26 innings. He is starting to miss some bats, and he reportedly has the curveball to get guys swinging. It might not work out for Casimiro long term, but he is worth watching as he makes a second attempt on the South Atlantic League.
Hitter Spotlight: Dylan Cozens 2-11 4 K
I have tried to keep the spotlights about positive things going on, but with the poor weekend Cozens now is sporting a .223/.261/.297 line through 37 games with 7 walks and 38 strikeouts. He has 7 extra base hits with only 2 home runs. Part of his problem has been struggles against LHPs with a .182/.250/.250 line with 3 walks and 15 strikeouts in 44 at bats, but he hasn’t been lighting up RHPs either. The power just isn’t there for Cozens, and with the power he just is not a prospect because his defense is suspect and he doesn’t have the approach to add a lot in OBP right now. He does have 4 stolen bases, but has been caught 3 times as catchers can handle his below average speed. A bad month and a half does not end a career, but there were warning signs before and they are only getting worse. It is time to see some adjustments.
Reading Rotation Watch:
Jesse Biddle and Tom Windle continue to struggle, but Nola, Eflin, and Lively turn in good starts this week.
194.1 IP 176 H (8.2/9) 64 ER (2.96 ERA) 13 HR (0.6/9) 62 BB (2.9/9) 138 K (6.4/9)
The walks are up, the strikeouts are down, but hits stay constant and the ERA drops half a run. Not quite the dominating force they flashed, especially with Aaron Nola and his 1.77 ERA really pulling his weight in multiple categories.
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