NL East Notes: Pelfrey, Parra, Nats, Valdez, Phillies

On this date last year the Mets released Oliver Perez with one year and $12MM remaining on his contract. Perez, now a member of the Mariners organization, hasn't appeared in the Major Leagues since. Here are some links from his former division…

  • After talking to a Mets official, "it doesn't seem" like the team has talked about cutting Mike Pelfrey, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link).  However, the Mets are "well aware of the fact" that Pelfrey's contract is non-guaranteed and, if the right-hander is cut, the Mets will only have to pay a portion of his $5.68MM salary.  Pelfrey has had a very rough Spring Training, posting a 14.90 ERA in 9 2/3 innings of work.
  • The Diamondbacks aren't going to trade Gerardo Parra to the Nationals, a D'Backs source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
  • The Phillies are looking for infield help but it's "doubtful" they would try to re-acquire Wilson Valdez, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The Phils dealt Valdez to the Reds in January since the Phillies felt they were already set for utility infield options — somewhat ironic given their current position.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News argues that the Phillies need to add a veteran infielder give the questionable health of their projected starters. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco and Michael Martinez are all currently dealing with injuries.
  •’s Buster Olney gets the sense that the Braves’ on-field personnel prefer Andrelton Simmons for the starting shortstop job, while the front office favors Tyler Pastornicky. Such divergences of opinion are common and not necessarily problematic, as Olney notes.
  • Olney hears from talent evaluators who say Jair Jurrjens has struggled to command his fastball and that Jason Heyward is "still thinking about his mechanics" at the plate.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

35 Responses to NL East Notes: Pelfrey, Parra, Nats, Valdez, Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. Kevin Swords 3 years ago

    In regards to Heyward, Yogi said it best, “Baseball is ninety percent mental.  The other half is physical.”

    Trusting your talent is sometimes easier said than done. He’s young and will figure it out.

  2. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    Wow, trying to harness your fastball command? Thinking about what mechanics you’re using every at bat? There’s no way they should be doing that kindof silly preparation during Spring Training…see that’s what bugs me about some people and even our trusted sports analysts are guilty of it. They put way too much stock into spring training performances!!! This isn’t the regular season and it doesn’t mean anything. Guys are simply trying things out and experimenting and it doesn’t always go well. They take it slow sometimes, they don’t put full effort forward.

    • Lastings 3 years ago

      They aren’t putting too much stock into their struggles, just simply giving explanations for their dismal spring performances…

      • I’m going off of pure memory here, but I recall back in the glory days of regular TBS schedulings this time of year driving me absolutely nuts because of struggles in Spring Training and early regular season. I’ll risk jinxing us, but I seem to recall those same struggling early months turning into penants come post-season.

    • CT 3 years ago

      Completely agree.  The whole purpose of spring training is to get ready for the actual season.  It’s a time to work on different things, to make sure they’re ready come Opening Day.

    • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

       I am sure the same thing could be said about Hanson as well. Just give it time these guys will turn it around.

      • rundmc1981 3 years ago

        Fortunately, Hanson had a great day vs. WSH today. And of course, John Lannan looked like Walter Johnson against us. Please WSH, get rid of him.

  3. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    The Braves on field personnel prefer a player who has yet to play above A+ ball? Seems pretty smart

    • jwick18 3 years ago

      furcal did it. they prefer him to pastornicky. doesnt mean he is ready though. niether are ready for the big leagues but thats the choices

    • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

       With how Simmons has outperformed Pastornicky in almost every facet in ST(given it has been a small sample size) it makes sense. At SS you want defense anyways and whatever comes extra(offensive output) is a bonus. Simmons is superior defensively in every aspect of defense. More range, better arm, more fluid, etc.

      • I still think Sutton would be a better starting SS – let both Pastornicky/Simmons mature a bit more.

        • Michael Gardiner 3 years ago

           Sutton is even worse defensively than Pastor. The INF range is already pretty bad why make it worse?

          • In all fairness, Pastornicky’s range is about the same as Sutton’s.  His bat could make up for his range.  It just doesn’t look like Pastornicky or Simmons is ready for the Bigs.

          •  Braves are rushing Jack Wilson back into action, and Sutton will make the 25-man team. They aren’t just backups, they are the back-up plan.  Really seems like they want either young guy to take the job, but they just aren’t performing.  I think whoever wins the job will be on a really short leash.  Just put in Wilson and at least get some basehits every once in a while.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      An inexperienced Simmons is better than an experienced Pastornicky & over-experienced Alex Gonzalez. All we need is someone with a high fielding PCT and get on base more than one-quarter of the time and he’d be better than A-Gonz over the last 2 years.

    • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

      Well, he did win a batting title last season. He was old for the league, but they don’t really need a SS who’s going to give them a lot of offensive production. He is a monster on defense.

      Signing Jayson Werth for $126M and batting Ian Desmond leadoff also seems pretty smart.

      • 14 Rocks 3 years ago

        The Braves absolutely DO need a shortstop who can give them some offensive production. It’s not like they have some sort of dynamic offense who can cover up a weak hitting shortstop.  On top of that the Braves pitchers are the worst hitting pitchers on the same team I have ever seen.  No team can overcome two complete dead spots in the lineup. 

        The Braves made a huge error in not trying to get a GOOD veteran shortstop over the winter.  It could very well cost them their season.

        Pastornicky should get the starting job while Simmons gets more experience in AA or AAA.  There is no need to start his MLB clock.

        • Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

          Meh, after Reyes what was on the market? Scuturo would’ve been nice, but there’s no point debating that.

          In any case, I think Pastornicky can provide more than a 0.2 oWAR. His defense won’t be as good as Gonzalez, but I can certainly see him posting an OBP above .270 with a solid amount of steals added. They didn’t have a SS who gave them offensive production last year or the year before and they won 89 or more games in both years. They’re confident in Pastornicky, a handful of ST AB’s don’t really say much….

          I don’t think the pitchers offense is going to doom them……

    • Jeff 3 years ago

      Simmons, at worst, is the next Rafael Belliard.  This means he’ll provide something, and would be especially important if Hudson is pitching- since the rest of the Braves infield how about as much range as a bunch of garden gnomes.

  4. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

     Why would the Phillies go after Wilson Valdez? They have plenty of defense first guys in camp… they need some type of decent offensive player that’s an upgrade over Michael Martinez.

    • Beyond_Max_Power 3 years ago

      Tell that to all the yahoos who think he was the second coming!  LOL  

      Maybe they can land a third baseman with some pop and move Polly to second.  I doubt they will find a second baseman cheap who can do the same.  And I doubt Polly will be healthy most of the year anyway.  

    • Phillibuster 3 years ago

      Hallelujah!  Someone else who realizes Valdez wasn’t the love child of Ryne Sandberg and Cal Ripken!

  5. Clayton Wilson 3 years ago

    I know it’s ST, but Jair Jurrjens really does look like garbage. The good news is that I more or less expect nothing out of him this year. He’s a smart pitcher, he mixes his pitches extremely well but his ‘stuff’ is just mediocre and that knee worries me.

    Heyward, on the other hand, is looking better than he did last spring. The results aren’t there and the K’s are piling up, but his swing is a bit shorter and he’s not standing 55ft from home plate. He’s 22, he’ll get it together. Why wouldn’t he be thinking about mechanics right now, considering he had to change his swing and approach because of his shoulder injury last season? He’s probably pressing a bit because of his season last year, still plenty of time to get it going. 55 plate appearances…..

    If anybody’s going by ST numbers, then Mike Minor is going to be the Braves best starting pitcher this season and Luis Durango is going to be their MVP.

    • Good to hear.  God knows I’m no hitting coach, but it always killed me inside to see Heyward standing so far away from home plate that it looked as if he could barely make contact with anything on the outside corner (not to mention any lefty sliders or other pitches breaking away from him out there).

  6. Colin Christopher 3 years ago

    The Phillies also have the oldest starting IF in the NL, almost all of whom have been injury prone over the last couple of years. (The one who hasn’t been “injury-prone” is coming off a serious injury.) This is a team built to win NOW. Any setbacks hurt their future, because their farm system isn’t nearly as deep as it used to be.

  7. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    They need to go out and get a back up infield. If Rollins pulls his calf early in the season, we’re looking at an infield of:

    1st. Mayberry
    2nd. Wiggington
    Short. Galvis
    3rd. Polanco

    I personally just want them to go out and get a versitile bat to replace Martinez on the roster. I don’t see them keeping Galvis on the roster once (if) Chase comes back.

    I’m not really worried. I don’t see any NL East team running away with the division. I don’t see any way this team doesn’t make the playoffs…. I mean with the 2nd Wild Card, all they need to do is win 88-89 games.

    Personally, I’m hoping this Utley injury leads to Domonic Brown making the team. He’s not Chase Utley but he’s patient and has some power this line up’s going to lack.

  8. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    I don’t think acquiring Soria would have meant a better chance at signing Cliff Lee.

  9. rundmc1981 3 years ago

    Wait, wait, wait…you just mentioned Soria – passed his prime – who just blew out his arm and how KC held onto him too long and a healthy Heyward in the same argument? Have you been watching Heyward’s ABs? Why trade a 22-year old who already has had Griffey Jr. numbers (OBP in ’10) for top prospects probably no where near the kind of ceiling he has? I am getting tired of hearing “wait until he [Heyward] puts it together”, but as a Braves fan, I’ve seen WAY TOO MANY guys underperform for us and overperform somewhere else (i.e. Melky Cabrera, Francoueur last year, Farnsworth, Dotel, Jason Schmidt, Adam Wainwright (never pitched in MLB for us, but I’m adding him to the list out of disgust), etc.).

    I’d rather sit on him and let him be our everyday OF and risk him tanking – which he won’t “tank” – than let him go elsewhere and give us the “I told you so” from across dugouts. He’s a hometown boy who is just as good on the field as he is off, so until we have a few top prospects pounding on the OF door, I wouldn’t even consider trading him.

  10. philliesfan136 3 years ago

    I don’t know why you assume the Yankees will give up Banuelos, Betances, and others for anybody.

  11. JPH_GSG 3 years ago

    Now way Dom makes the roster. Even with all of the openings popping up because of injury, they’re set in the OF with Pence, Vic, JMJ, Nix, and Pods/Pierre. Dom hasn’t played enough this spring – because of injuries, no less – to earn a spot over any of those guys. He may be a better bat, but you have to field every position, too.

  12. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    John Mayberry Jr. would slot over at first base primarily in my situation while Nix would be a bat off the bench. I think the offensive potential Domonic Brown has outweighs anything Pods and Pierre are going to be able to give.

    While yes, he does butcher every flyball, it’s something he can work on at the MLB level. I think his bat’s ready (and have though that).

  13. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    he also suggested that for alex gordon…so yeah best not to really think too much about his trade proposals

  14. philliesfan136 3 years ago

    yep I don’t but I figured I’d say it anyway.

  15. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    I doubt it. Miami is going to be too busy being a reality tv show pretending to be a baseball team and their stars are just as injury prone as the Phillies.

    The Phillies “creeky line up” was worse to start the season last year because it was sans Chase Utley and sans Hunter Pence.

    The Phillies have won 97 and 102 games with line ups WITHOUT Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, line ups without Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, and Jimmy Rollins, and line ups without Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Ryan Howard. I don’t see any way they’re not a 92-93 win team at least baring an injury ot a starting pitcher.

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