UPDATE: Forget Vance Worley: now it’s being widely reported the second prospect in the day is one Jonathan VIllar. Villar is a 19 year-old shortstop prospect currently hitting .272/.332/.358 in the Sally League. Unless there’s a misprint on his Baseball-Reference.com page, he has [gulp] 42 errors this season. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice. All of the analysis below holds with Villar, especially if his glove is as bad as his numbers suggest.
2:19 P.M.: It now appears as though the two prospects in the Roy Oswalt deal are Anthony Gose and Vance Worley. Jonathan Singleton is in the starting lineup for the Phillies’ A-ball team. If he were in the trade, he wouldn’t be playing.
As I mentioned this morning, Worley is a 22 year-old starter who is 9-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 starts,
all but one of which have come at AA. His strikeout numbers don’t suggest he’s an
overpowering pitcher — he has a 6.6 K/9 in his minor league career —
but he’s decent enough. My guess is that he projects as a
Gose turns 20 on August 10th. He’s currently hitting .263/.325/.385 in
high-A ball. Which is basically what he did over the last two years in Rookie and low-A. He’s apparently fast — he stole over 70 bases last season — but this year he’s been caught 27 times against 36 steals. Not what you want to see.
Worley is potentially useful. Gose is no blue chipper. While we’ll await official word to pass final judgment, this looks like a big, big win for the Phillies and a mid-level starter (Happ) away from being a straight salary dump for Houston.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.