What Actually Came Back in Trades: Revere/Papelbon Edition

Much like the draft, the first evaluation point for a trade, is a shortly after everyone has played games and it is just double check that you got what was advertised.  With the Hamels trade dominating the news around the deadline, the other trade returns got overshadowed.  The goal is loop back around to the trade returns, but for now we are going to start on the three players that were overlooked since joining the Phillies.

Nick Pivetta, RHP, Reading

Stats Since Joining Org: 3 GS 15.2 IP 13 H 9 ER (5.17 ERA) 10 BB 17 K

Here is what I wrote about Nick when he came over Jonathan Papelbon.  The reports were 92-94 can get to 96, curveball will flash plus, and the changeup is behind the other two pitches.  There was some acknowledgement that he was a bit raw and unrefined for the AA level.  The raw and unrefined showed up in his first 5.1 innings when he racked up 9 walks 3 strikeouts and 8 earned runs.  Over the next 11.1 innings he has allowed 7 hits and 0 walks, while striking out 14 and allowing only 1 run.  He has been up to 97 with the Phillies and was in the whole 91-96 mph range with his fastball in last start, but mostly 93-96.  His curveball has looked like a real out pitch with the ability to bury it and throw it in the zone to freeze batters for strikes.  The changeup and the fastball command still need to come, but if they do he could be a nice mid-rotation arm.  But he has already shown the fall back is a really nice looking reliever.  Overall I have been more impressed with Pivetta than I expected based on the reports.

Jimmy Cordero, RHP, Reading

Stats Since Joining Org: 6 G 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K

When the Revere trade went down I wrote up Cordero has a pure velocity arm with a fastball pushing 100+ (has been to 101 with Reading), but even with that kind of velocity he was really undersold.  The velocity is special, he has been sitting in the 97-99 range touching 100 and 101 in some appearances.  The slider is way more advanced than I was lead to believe and will flash at least plus in some appearances.  In many ways he is similar to Ken Giles at the beginning of the 2014 season in Reading.  Cordero actually throws harder than Giles and there is some movement to his fastball (Giles’ fastball is arrow straight) and the slider might be more advanced then Giles at the same time.  The big growth point for Cordero will be finding consistent fastball command.  He has looked really good in some outing and wild in others, and that jump is not a small one and it is why Ken Giles is so special.  But Cordero has already passed Edubray Ramos for me (and I like Ramos a lot), and you can see a scenario where he joins the Phillies soon and helps jumpstart the stagnated bullpen rebuild.

Alberto Tirado, RHP, Clearwater

Stats Since Joining Org: 4 G 6.0 IP 6 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K

The first two guys on this list have been more than advertised, Tirado has been as advertised.  His control is a mess, but he has run the fastball up to 96.  But his stuff is just nasty, as seen in this video by Baseball Betsy of him abusing and opposing batter with an unfair slider.

The most interesting thing with Tirado though is that the Phillies have given every indication they are going to stretch him out as a start next season.  It is a risky strategy (the safe route here is to continue to clean him up as a pure reliever), but given their pitching depth it is one they can pursue.  When Tirado was working out of the rotation he flashed a 70 fastball, 70 slider, and 60 changeup (to go with non-existent command), which means the payoff here could be a front line starting pitcher.  Now that is a high risk proposition, but we could check back in a year and the Phillies could have an incredible steal here.

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. Just a thought I had while reading: Age of players may impact how the Phillies develop them:

    Pivetta is 22 and has a little time to start again in Reading in 2016 if needed.

    Cordero will be 24 this fall and needs to clean things up and keep moving.

    Tirado won’t be 21 until December which allows a little time for the starter experiment, and subsequent return to the pen–if it comes to that.

  2. phillysf

    That Tirado slider is nasty , and who ever says bye bye at the end of the video has it right, that was pretty nasty, Also how much will I love to see the Gnats not make the playoffs after all there smuggery , cant believe im somewhat rooting for the mets but hey there better than the Gnats in my book

  3. Handzus

    Good stuff Matt. Pivetta and Cordero seem to be better than originally advertised. Especially Cordero since there were some reports that had him as a 1-pitch pitcher.

    I have a question about Edubray Ramos: Does he still use his changeup or is he strictly fastball/slider? And if so, is it a good pitch?

    • Matt Winkelman

      He is pretty much fastball/slider right now, the slider is a plus pitch for him, good bit and two directional movement (vertical and horizontal)

      • Handzus

        Thanks, Matt. I was hoping he still worked the changeup in, since I’d read before (I think from Mitch Rupert) that it was a good pitch. There aren’t many relievers that can throw three above average pitches, but if it’s on the backburner I’m more inclined to agree with having Cordero and Tirado ahead of him.

  4. USSWasteland

    Would you consider Tirado pretty similar to Philippe Aumont?

    • Matt Winkelman

      On the most base level of guys with electric stuff and poor control, yes. But beyond that there aren’t a ton of similarities, a lot of players fit under that umbrella

  5. Romus

    Jimmy Cordero’s H/9 of almost 9, is not consistent with his velo.
    Something is amiss.
    And unless he gets his C&C under control, he may face a difficult task at reaching and then staying in the MLB.

  6. B-dog

    Tirado’s short vid was surprisingly convincing in support of stretching him out. I was not expecting that change-up. His breaking pitch had depth. Although he does somewhat telegraph his pitches and clearly has no clue where they’re headed, he’s young enough to improve in those areas. Very few pitchers his age can throw three above-average to plus pitches, so that alone vindicates this decision. He does need a lot of coaching to guide his development and hopefully gets that within this organization. They can afford to be extremely patient with this worthwile, ambitious project.

    Cordero and Pivetta have been pleasant surprises. I wasn’t expecting much from either but they’ve stood out with several strong showings since coming over. There will be quite a strong competition in the upper minors for every spot that opens in the Phillies rotation and bullpen for the forseeable future, that will be interesting to watch. Guys like Pivetta and Cordero might look relatively promising in a mediocre organization, but are barely on the radar here, just more evidence of the depth.

    When you initially made that comment about the Phillies system being the deepest in the minors, I wasn’t quite sure…but after looking over other systems post-trade deadline, (Utley related) I’m inclined to agree. There’s even a case for #1 system overall, depending on how that depth is weighed. Most other systems appear shockingly thin next to ours, with top 10s littered with low ceilings, recent draft picks and international signings…and lesser systems don’t even have those to claim.

    • Romus

      Sox have a good system…and their first three prospects are all international signings…..Moncada, Devers and Margot….of course the $$$$ was outlaid for the top two, Margot was a 2011 reasonable signee for $800,000.
      Signing international guys at good money can bolster a system..