Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Trying To See The Future

In the aftermath of yesterday’s draft we ask the inevitable questions.  Is help on the way?  Can we hang in there that long?

Let us fantasize for a moment.

An infield of Howard, Utley, Rollins and either Mike Costanzo or a third baseman acquired through a trade.  Jason Jaramillo catching.  Shane Victorino, Aaron Rowand and who knows who else in the outfield.  Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Randy Wolf, Giao Gonzalez, Scott Mathieson and/or Kyle Drabek in the starting rotation, providing a nice balance of left and right-handers.  Ryan Madson, Geoff Geary and a few as-yet unknowns in the pen.

That might be a pretty fair team depending on who the set-up guy and closer are.  A few of the names above are at least two or three years away, by which time three of the four infielders will all be approaching 30 years of age, the prime of their careers.  That third outfielder will be critical, too.  The Phils will need more power production from at least one outfield spot.

Conspicuously absent from this list is Gavin Floyd.  He pitched a complete-game win last night in his first start at AAA since being sent down, a good sign given the possibility he might have withdrawn further into himself after his demotion.  Still, Floyd’s future seems tenuous at best…at least in Philadelphia.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.


J. Weitzel said...

Like Myers, it should take Drabek four years, or until age 22, to reach the majors, barring any setback.

Steve Noworyta was on the Phillies pregame radio show yesterday and indicated they could be close to moving Scott Mathieson up to Triple-A. Mathieson has 92 strikeouts already and a 3.01 ERA. I see him in the mix for a possible spot in the 2007 rotation, at which point he will turn 23.

Gio Gonzalez is still 20, and though the numbers look good, he's just a kid learning how to pitch long innings. I don't see him in the mix until late 2007 at the earliest.

Lieber or FA

is the way to view next season's pitching staff.

Tom Goodman said...

You don't think Randy Wolf can make it back or is it more likely much too early to tell?

J. Weitzel said...

Coming back from Tommy John takes a good while. Too early to tell. If he makes 8 starts with the Phils this season, they will be lucky.

He could be resigned as a FA. The Phillies know more about his status than anyone and I would believe there is some loyalty there, on both sides. The only problem with that is we haven't seen much on how a healthy Wolf can pitch in CBP. He's more of a flyball pitcher, which isn't great for a LHP in that place.

Nat said...

I always think of age 30 as a little bit past prime. At least I think most players have had their best season by the time they turn 30. Still, that's a pretty young team you have outlined there and the only one of the group that I would expect to have significant tread wear by the time those younger players are big-league ready is Rowand, who turns 30 next year. So maybe add another outfielder to the mix.

J. Weitzel said...

That said on Wolf, I expect he will make a nice recovery, the only question is when. He's not a hard thrower, and being a lefty, sould have another 10 years in him after Tommy John. As said by Baseball Prospectus, Tommy John is just another stage in a pitcher's development.

Tom Goodman said...

The way Rowand and Utley play I just hope they'll be in one piece by the time each reaches 30.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Utley will be in one piece because there's no fence to crash into at second base. If there were, I'd be more worried about him.

Tom Goodman said...

Yes, but those catchers....

Nat said...

Ah, well, second base does tend to be a high contact position. No fences, but plenty of cleats. Four words that must not appear in the same sentence: "Chase Utley" and "Disabled List." (oops, I'm sorry. I just put them in the same sentence. Never again.)

And those catchers... it's funny to think that Chris Coste is a very old rookie but still the youngest catcher on the Phillies' roster.

What's Lieberthal's status, anyway? When he grabbed his side and limped off the field he looked just like Albert Pujols doing the same thing a couple of days earlier. I gather whatever it was that happened to him wasn't as serious. Probably the only time I'll ever see Lieberthal do something that reminds me of Pujols.

Tom Goodman said...

Nat: You cracked me up with the Lieberthal line. He is now day-to-day according to the Phillies site. Frankly, we could use him. I am still very surprised the Phils gave up so fast on Carlos Ruiz. Ryan Howard didn't do any better in his first 25 AB's (to pick a somewhat but not completely arbitary number) than did Ruiz.

I just cannot see Fasano as the starting catcher.