Monday, July 6, 2015

PhoulBallz Interview: Phillies Director of Player Development Joe Jordan

On Sunday, Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan took time to answer questions about many topics throughout the minors, including injured players Jonathan Pettibone, Roman Quinn, Zach Green and Aaron Brown. He also provided feedback on the rise of pitching prospects Aaron Nola and Franklyn Kilome, the return of 2012 top draft pick Shane Watson and the release of lefty pitcher Yoel Mecias.

Read ahead for the full interview with Joe...

R Quinn
Quinn, image- Jay Floyd
-Outfielder Roman Quinn was having a great season in Double-A prior to missing time to due a hip tear. He's been named an Eastern League All-Star. Will he have to stay in Florida and continue rehabbing during the All-Star festivities?

He's staying in Florida to continue his rehab. Very disappointing that it happened, 'cause he, I mean everything was coming together for Roman. He was starting to figure himself out as a player. But, you know, he's getting better. It's going to take a few more weeks. He's gonna need some time and we will not put him out there, obviously, before we know he's ready.

-Corner infielder Zach Green has been out of action with a broken wrist for Clearwater. Do you have any updates on his progress?

He's still a ways away. The point of his injury and they had to do a little bone graft and it's a part of the wrist and hand where there's not a lot of circulation and it takes longer (to heal) than if it was another part of the body, so he's a ways away.

-Clearwater outfielder Aaron Brown left a recent game with an undisclosed ailment. What's his situation?

Browny's got a little tightness, got lower back tightness. We don't think it's a big deal, but it's gonna be a few days, just trying to give him some time. Hopefully, he just misses three or four games.

-What's standing out about the Threshers club lately?

I think the whole club is really- it's- they're all doing well. Hoskins has settled right in. You know, Moore was an All-Star, he's doing a good job for them. Canelo is playing well. You know, Tocci has swung the bat good the past few nights and, hopefully, he gets going. But, it's a good club right now. They put a pretty good lineup on the field every night.

-Back to injury there any chance we see Jon Pettibone (shoulder surgery) pitch this year?

There is. I saw Jon pitch a bullpen two days ago when I was in Florida and he is pain free. He's trying to work through the mental block of, you know, "I feel good. I'm healthy. I've got to let the ball go." He will at times, but he's got to get comfortable enough to say that it's not going to break anymore and let the ball go. But, he looked good.

S Watson 1
Watson, image- Jay Floyd
-Another guy that underwent shoulder surgery, righty Shane Watson, is making his return to Lakewood. Thoughts on him?

Well, no one's more excited than I am. Well, maybe Shane. But, I've seen him twice down in Florida since spring training ended. The last outing was rain shortened, but he finished up underneath. He's healthy. His velocity is fine. I saw a good breaking ball- one that reminded me of what he had a couple years ago. He just needs innings. It's good to get him out of Florida, under the lights. Shane just needs to get out there and compete. He's healthy. His arm strength is good. I don't now that he is totally comfortable with everything- delivery and execution. You know, he needs to get out there and compete outside the complex where there's people in the seats. He's been a great worker, rehab wise. He's has a lot of people down there helping him. He's ready to go!

-With Shane's return comes the exit of another pitcher, lefty Yoel Mecias, who was looked at as a very promising prospect. What was the deciding factor in that decision?

Well, it's unfortunate because two years ago we was someone we were very excited about. We just felt like he didn't come back and execute and perform, post-injury and post-surgery, the way that we had hoped. And our talent level has gotten better. It was a tough decision to make, but he was the one that we took off the roster for Shane.

It's easy to forget what you once thought of guys, but that's- as our talent gets better and our rosters become stronger, we have to make more of these types of decisions. It's sad, but it's also a positive in the sense that I do think that we're headed in that direction.

-A guy that has become a favorite of prospect fans is right-hander Franklyn Kilome. With great success at Williamsport, he's a guy that could pitch for Lakewood sooner than later. What are your thoughts on him?

I mean Franklyn is one of our young very, very exciting pitching prospects. He is making great progress. His body is filling out and getting stronger. He's just arms and legs and he's got a terrific arm. I don't know that we have one with as much top side if all the stars align. So, he's where he needs to be right now and hopefully he can stack a few more good starts and it's not out of the question that he gets some time (in Lakewood this year). It would be a good experience. It's not necessary. But, it could happen.

-That short-season Williamsport team has had a lot of success in the early going. Is there a lot of excitement about that club?

They're pumped up and I'm gonna be up there in about three nights and I'm looking forward to seeing them. They've gotten off to a great start, everyone knows that. They're pitching well, they're playing the game. They had a couple night where they ran into a good pitcher maybe and didn't swing the bats, but they're finding a lot of different ways to win. Good club!

-Lots of attention surrounding top pitching prospect Aaron Nola, who dominated the Eastern League and is now having similar success in the International League. Talk about him a bit...

I pretty much have said the same things every time I've been asked about Aaron. He's been pretty much every five nights since we got him. I really like what he's doing. The Triple-A competition is better, just more experienced. Strike three is harder to come by than it is in Double-A. He's had a couple of five, six inning outings where he pitched fine, just maybe didn't finish guys as well as he did at Double-A. He's fine. I just think it's a great experience for him. I've never been around one that, really- he's the same guy, very focused. Knows what he is, knows what he wants to do and trusts it. All the stuff you want.

Additionally, for those looking for an update on injured Clearwater outfielder Dylan Cozens, here you go...
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