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Category Archives: Jason Knapp

Singleton, d’Arnaud, Gose Among Amaro’s Mistakes

Former Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton (Astros AA) is tagged out at second by Jean Segura (Angels AA) during the Futures Game on July 8. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Hindsight is and always will be 20/20 for the viewer.

A look back at four of the biggest trades Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has made will raise two opinions: 1) Amaro pulled some seriously big names from Cleveland, Toronto and Houston; 2) Amaro also depleted the Phillies farm system so much that it ranks near the bottom of baseball currently.

Let’s cut to the point: Jonathan Singleton (23), Travis d’Arnaud (19) and Anthony Gose (38) rank in the top 50 in Baseball America’s prospect list. The Phillies have none on that list.

For a while it’s bothered me that those three names are very close to being every day Major Leaguers with the potential to be very good mainstays in the bigs. It wasn’t until Matt Gelb went to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to watch the Phillies past and future prospects play and wrote a fantastic piece this morning that I had to at least say something about it beyond an occasional tweet.

Let’s break down Gelb’s report.

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Phils Land Lee in Trade

Well the Phillies had their eyes set on Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays would not budge so the Phillies went straight to plan B. They nabbed another former Cy Young award winner in Cliff Lee from the Indians for a package of prospects. In the trade, the Phillies got the 2008 Cy Young winner and outfielder Ben Francisco for four prospects: Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Knapp.

Cliff Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and a 6.34 K/9 this year. He has come back to form in his last five starts, pitching at least six innings and allowing no more than three runs. He also has thrown two complete games in that span. In four games versus the NL this year, he went 1-0 and didn’t allow more than three runs and went at least six innings, nothing four quality starts. He also had a complete game shut out versus St. Louis.

The Phillies were likely frustrated with the Blue Jays’ demands and gave up on Halladay so they went with the next best guy. Not only is Lee a great pitcher but he will add to the Phillies already solid rotation. The Phillies also succeeded in getting a great pitcher without coughing up Kyle Drabek and JA Happ.

I love this move for the above reasons. The Phillies now have a rock solid rotation along with Pedro Martinez and Rodrigo Lopez as back up plans. Also Brett Myers could be back but a bull pen spot is more likely than the rotation. With the addition of Lee, the rotation now probably looks like this going by when each respective pitcher has thrown:

Hamels
Happ
(Lopez is scheduled for tomorrow)
Lee
Blanton
Moyer

Overall this is a great trade and the Phillies are now instantly the best team in the National League in my opinion.

Trapped Between A Doc and a Hard Place

For the past few weeks, Phillies fans’ heads have been ready to explode with determining whether or not Roy Halladay would be worth the sacrifice of JA Happ. Halladay made himself more expensive, going a complete game versus Boston yesterday and improving to 11-3. Happ is making it harder to give up as he went at least seven innings for the fifth consecutive time yesterday to improve to 7-0. Here is a list of options the Phillies have:

1) Over pay a boat load of good prospects for Halladay.
2) In the over paying, include Happ or Kyle Drabek.
2) Pass on the chance for a Cy Young pitcher to keep the prospects and settle with Pedro Martinez.

In this post, I will go into detail of all three scenarios and where it will leave the Phillies. In conclusion, I will chose the best option.

The Phillies traded Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Dominic Brown, and Jason Knapp for Roy Halladay: This is the dream scenario for the Phillies. They get to keep a hold of Happ and Drabek along with top OF prospect Michael Taylor and catcher Lou Marson. The Jays get two good pitching prospects (but not the Phillies’ best), the short stop prospect they so eagerly wanted in Donald, and a great outfielder in Brown.

The Phillies get the former Cy Young winner and dominant Halladay for the fee of four cheap prospects. There is only one problem with this: it’s not realistic and most likely won’t happen. I would welcome this trade with an open heart but I already know not to get my hopes up as the Jays WANT Happ to be included in the deal.

Also the Phillies have been playing tremendous ball for the past two weeks and don’t want to mess with the team’s chemistry. With their current 6.5 game lead in the division, the Phillies might not need Halladay to help in a race that may not even be close. Also Halladay will need time to adjust playing the NL every start.

I will pass on this scenario.

The Phillies trade Happ/Drabek/both along with other prospects for Halladay: This already sounds like a terrible idea as it is the worst-case scenario. Drabek has some seriously nasty stuff in the minors. He is also only 21 and has the stock to be much better than Cole Hamels. He throws hard and has a filthy breaking ball. He was touted as the best pitcher in this year’s Future Stars Game last week.

Happ is major league ready and proven. He’s 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and a 6.2 K/9. In his last five starts, he’s gone at least seven innings and has thrown two scoreless outings including one complete game. These two players alone are not worth giving up for Halladay.

I will pass on this scenario as well.

The deadline has past and the Phils do not make a move for Halladay: after the 2010 season (Halladay would be a FA), the Phillies will need to worry about signing Joe Blanton. They will also have to give a new contract to Happ and see Jamie Moyer possibly retire. Pedro Martinez will be gone after 2009 and Hamels will still be in for another year. If the Phillies don’t have Happ, Carrasco, or Drabek to fall back on and also keep Blanton, you will be looking at a very depleted rotation. It is hard to find good pitching in the free agent market unless you’re the Yankees.

Also in the field, Raul Ibanez is 37 and Jayson Werth is 30. Who knows how much longer they will be Phillies. In that case, holding onto Brown, Taylor, and John Mayberry Jr. seem to be smart decisions. Shane Victorino will also be available in the market but he is a player the Phillies will need to hold onto. Catcher can also be a concern so holding onto Marson will be important as well.

Not trading for Halladay is the way to go.

News 7/17/09

Howard belts 200th: article

Ryan Howard became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 200 home runs last night as he took Chris Volstad deep in the sixth to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead in which they won. It was his 658th career game, 48 fewer than Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner (706 games).

“That’s pretty cool,” said Howard, who was able to retrieve the historic ball. “It’ll hit me later on. I’ll kind of come down a bit later. It’ll be something I can look back on and just kind of cherish a little bit.”

Taylor called up to AAA: article

One of the Phillies top prospects, Michael Taylor, was called up to AAA Lehigh yesterday. In AA Reading, he was batting .333 with 15 homers and 65 RBI’s,

“It was the right time,” said Steve Noworyt, Philadelphia’s director of minor league operations, in regards to the Taylor promotion. “If you look at the numbers he put up last year at Clearwater and then he came here and never looked back. Let’s let it go now and see what happens.”

If you look at what he’s done over the last two years, he deserves it. He’s never really slumped and right now there is no rush. He’ll be a step away. If he does well, great. If he has to be a repeater next year, so be it. But it will be a nice chance to see what he can do for a month and a half.”

Knapp placed on DL: article

Phillies prospect Jason Knapp was placed on the 7-day DL with shoulder fatigue. For Class A Lakewood, he is 2-7 with a 4.01 ERA but has struck out 111 and walked just 39 in 85 1/3 innings. He gives up a lot of runs but he does shut down hitters too.

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