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Rizzotti Finally Moves
Players often talk about focusing only on what they can control. The problem for first baseman Matt Rizzotti was that no matter what he did, he had no control.
He did a lot right, struggled along the way, but never quite made it into the Phillies plans. Yesterday he was traded to the Twins for cash.
In a lot of these stories a trade is the best thing that can happen. But in this case, it isn’t just that he’s better off in another organization, he’s truly better off switching leagues. The American League won’t require him to be things he isn’t. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t or won’t keep trying to improve in that area. Rizzotti, 26, constantly voiced his desire to improve his defensive skills and in 2011, said he’d been trying to lose weight for health reasons. But there seemed to be some searching going on. He did everything he could to be of value to a team that just didn’t seem to need him.
Rizzotti, drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round (203rd overall) in 2007, spent 2011 in Double-A Reading where he hit .295 with 24 home runs and worked a career-high 79 walks.
One person in the Phillies organization spoke about Rizzotti last season. “He’s frustrated about things. At the same time…no one’s come calling on him.”
Trade interest might not have been high at that time, but it all seemed perfectly inevitable. When the right fit presented itself, Rizzotti would be moved and perhaps, finally, have a shot at something.
Rizzotti didn’t have a future with the Phillies, but with the Twins his chances to be a major league player just got a lot better.
Reading Rotation May Rock
The days of the Phillies farm system being enviable have gone for the time being, but some of those guys who’d been coveted by many teams now have World Series rings. The prospects that then-GM Ed Wade refused to trade have grown up and joined the upper ranks of Major League Baseball.
Trevor May has the potential to be one of them.
The Phillies pitching reached a fever pitch in the media and with fans last year, in spring training, before a regular season pitch had been thrown. And while the season didn’t end with world domination, there was no denying that their starting pitching was, and remains, their biggest strength. These are different times for the team and May isn’t expected to come in and reboot a fan base, as Cole Hamels was, along with his future superstar teammates Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
No, May is coming up in a winning atmosphere, in line to join a team that’s now expected to compete and win their division.
And while there’s no pressure to rush him to the big leagues, his development has gone exceptionally well. He could move quickly. The Double-A test will be a big one. He pitched a career high 151 innings last year in the Florida State League and will need to continue that pace, and his ability to keep away from the long ball. He surrendered just eight in 2011.
Also of note, longtime Reading manager Mark Parent is replaced by Dusty Wathan after Parent was hired as the White Sox bench coach. Parent was a quietly tough straight shooter, with no illusions. He was also a believer and encouraged focus in his players no matter the situation. Not every man is up to the task of managing in the minors, but he fit all requirements. With such high pitching talent as May, Julio Rodriguez, and Jonathan Pettibone, and top ranked catcher Sebastian Valle, Wathan inherits a different group of players.
Wathan previously spent two years managing Class-A Clearwater, with four years working in the Phillies system.
His task is to protect and guide some of the most highly regarded prospects now in the Phillies system, but, also, prepare them for the kind of mass media fuss that will greet them in big market Philadelphia.
Topics: Control, Desire, Ed Wade, First Baseman, Focus, Gm, Health Reasons, Home Runs, Lose Weight, Major League Baseball, Matt Rizzotti, Phillies, Prospects, Those Guys, Trade Interest, Twins, Upper Ranks, Walks, World Series, World Series Rings