37.9. Two More Bite the Dust

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37.9. Two More Bite the Dust

Post by agrudez » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:33 pm

As predicted earlier, the dealing of Phantom ace Heinrich Peithner as a depressingly sluggish start for Huntsville had now led to even more jettisoning of players. This time, the pieces heading out are the team's long time (in a relative sense) DP combo: Sullivan and Guzman. While the pair, like Peithner, were struggling on their own merits - and, thus, a solid part of why the team overall was struggling (though, to be fair, not too many Phantoms at the end of May could claim they were playing up to their ratings) - it doesn't appear to be why they were singled out. Instead, we look to the fact that Sullivan was an expiring contract and Guzman has a player option for next year - which he may or may not take. That put both players in the dread "about to lose them for nothing" category that is easier to stomach for a team competing, but considerably less so for one that has shifted their outlook to the future. And while the team certainly could have kept both in tow under the cap (they currently project for ~77M next season sans 60% of Guzman's salary with no one important to extend), the question of whether or not they wanted to was a real one. They are good players, sure, but sometimes when things go as bad as they have in 2037 for the Phantoms, the team wants to turn a page. But that's enough about the old... let's get on to 'in with the new'.

In return for Sullivan, we received 3B Victor Bedolla and SP Carl Ischade. Bedolla is a player that we've kept an eye on for awhile - since the Yelainen trade with LBC. And, ironically, with Yelainen's underachievement seeming chronic at this point, it isn't a stretch to imagine us not offering him his final arb year and replacing him with Bedolla at the hot corner. It shouldn't take long to guess why we like Bedolla, as a LHB with good defense and some power. He'll never be a heart of the order bat, though, with his terrible eye, but we'll take a .700-.750 OPS from him if he can give it. With Ischade we got a pretty intriguing Southpaw SP prospect that is showing a strong +LHB split with an even RHB split. His current projections of 7/7/7 and 7/6/6 could see him succeeding in a back of the rotation spot as-is, but he has shown signs of his movement potential fluctuating between a '6' and a '7' before so he might manage better than that if he can consistently keep it at the latter.

For Guzman (and retaining 40% of his salary this year and next, should he accept his player option) we picked up two youngsters and a familiar old face in Chris Workman (whom will promptly be unceremoniously dumped in the offseason as we buyout his team option). The two youngsters - the parts that matter - are OF Craig Barber and SS Hakim Ngwoa. Right off the bat, you might notice something both of these youngsters have in common - recent potential bumps (Barber is +1 CON/POW/EYE since 1/1/37 and Ngowa is +1 EYE since 1/1/37 and +1 CON, +2 POW and +3 EYE since 1/1/36). Needless to say, the real hope here is that they continue on that trajectory and continue to bump. That said; however, they are still solid looking players as-is. Ngowa is an 'edge case' defensively as a SS at 8 range, but has the profile for an elite 2B defender and good 3B defender as well. As a RHB he isn't too exciting offensively, but the fact that he relies heavily on his '8' EYE for production helps mitigate that concern some. In Barber, the team sees a current LF (though potentially can hang in CF with a small range bump) defensively and a combination of OBP (8 CON, 6 EYE vs. RHP) and speed (10 speed, 7 SB ability) that could see him potentially carve out a role as a strong side platoon option in the outfield.

The acquisition of these 4 prospects comes on the heel of picking up 4 more in the Peithner trade and then drafting 4 players in the first 2 rounds of the current draft (plus feeling good about the team's picks well beyond the 2nd round, too). Clearly there has been a mandate from up high to start filling in the lower levels of the Huntsville organization with talent - and thus far management feels they are on the right track in that regard.
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Re: 37.9. Two More Bite the Dust

Post by RonCo » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:30 pm

Ischade is one of my custom ammies... sorry to see the loss of movement. Maybe he can get it back.
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Re: 37.9. Two More Bite the Dust

Post by Lane » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:43 pm

RonCo wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:30 pm
Ischade is one of my custom ammies... sorry to see the loss of movement. Maybe he can get it back.
Yeah I was pretty excited about him when I drafted him, but he's just not the same without the better movement.
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