Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/16/14
Although he has value for a starting pitcher, the Philadelphia Phillies most likely will not swap Domonic Brown. But is he worth more to the home team? Please, scroll down for this edition of Nitecap Insight: Houston Calling. TAL’S HANDY CAPS Welcome, Newcomers:  This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the organization’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. There will be a published storyline each week. This review is an additional posting. Check out Storyline 1: Storyline: Controversy, Before and After, on the Philadelphia Phillies            and Storyline 2: Storyline 2: The Other Dom Browns of the Philadelphia Phillies   Cosart Dials Up a Two-Seam Fastball in Seattle on September 9. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America)   NITECAP INSIGHT       Houston Calling: The amateur-draft selection is in reverse order of finish, which means the red pin stripes recently have not picked early for the most coveted talent. When the Astros entered the picture, Ruben Amaro Jr. had already dealt upper-level prospects for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. In other words, Josh Zeid spent only four months at Double-A Reading. Before the trades, Anthony Gose, Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart were at Single-A Clearwater. Jonathan Villar and Domingo Santana went from Single-A Lakewood  to the now junior-circuit club. Happ Loads Up a Four-Seam Fastball in Chicago Against the White Sox on September 23. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America) Previously, this three-part review covered the top achievable plateaus for hopefuls at Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In the other direction, southpaw Ethan Steward went 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA for 20 Clearwater starts, which followed his 2012 Lakewood numbers: 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA. Art Charles, the return for Michael Schwimer, averaged .251 with 11 homers and 72 RBI at Lakewood: a slight fourth-summer improvement. For his second low-level campaign, right-hander Mitch Gueller endured 14 starts: 3-8 with a 5.86 ERA for Single-A Williamsport. For every rookie, five youngsters realize their limits before the majors. Charles has only climbed two rungs in four years. After eight rookie-ball appearances (two relief), Gueller finished ’12 at 1-5 with a 5.27 ERA for 27 1/3 innings. But he and Steward still have pen possibilities. Minor League Progression: The Phillies draft and sign six athletes. A September call-up is not a promotion. * Or 1 of 3 rookie leagues. ** Short season. NUMBER LEVELTEAMPROMOTED 6 Players Report toLow A *Williamsport ** 5 Players Receive a Promotion toALakewood5 of 6 4 Players Receive a Promotion toHigh AClearwater4 of 5 3 Players Receive a Promotion toAAReading3 of 4 2 Players Receive a Promotion toAAALehigh Valley 2 of 3 1 Player Receives a Promotion toMLBPhillies1 of 2 Gose Slams a Sixth-Inning Homer Against the Yankees at Home on September 19. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America) Canadian Blues: Understanding the numbers included many fortunate escapes, the head honcho moved Happ quickly. He is at the bottom of the rotation because he allows too many base runners to score. With Josh Johnson’s departure, Happ will slot fourth for Toronto this season. He is on baseball’s bubble and basically makes news for taking a comebacker off his noggin. After the Blue Jays did not receive Gose in the Halladay transaction, they sent Brett Wallace to the Astros for him. That said, the fleet fourth outfielder fell short of their expectations. Toronto had hoped for a dynamic leadoff man who could turn a walk into a double, but his running game needs polishing. Villar Retires a Second-Inning Batter at Home Against the Reds on September 18. (Bob Levey/Getty Images North America) Rush Job: Houston acquired seven prospects for Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. In fact, the five players still there have a shot with the parent club. With many jobs available, the path is quite visible. Villar is the final ex-Phillie they picked up for Oswalt, but the slick defensive shortstop has never hit above .277 professionally. However, he did swipe 18 bags in 26 attempts, while Jimmy Rollins comparatively stole 22 of 28. In other words, Villar is a utility man on a strong team.   Singleton Bats During a March 2013 Game. (Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle)     According to Scott Strandberg of Fangraphs, Singleton’s risk factor has increased, but he could bounce back after a solid winter-ball showing. He opened ’13 with a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test: marijuana. Then, reporting extremely out of shape to Triple-A Oklahoma City, he dropped sharply from his 2012 statistics: .284, 21 home runs and 79 RBI for Double-A Corpus Christi. If he can replicate his 2012 production, he could handle first base for the Astros by July.     Hitting Treasures: These total stats were recorded with new organizations after the trades. * Highest minor league level. PLAYER & AGELEVELGMSABAVGHR - RBIBB - IBBSB - CS Anthony Gose, 23MLB108313.24003 - 2322 - 019 - 06 GoseAAA208813.26308 - 7086 - 156 - 25 Jonathan Villar, 22MLB058210.24301 - 0823 - 118 - 08 VillarAAA091339.27708 - 4132 - 036 - 07 Jonathan Singleton, 22AAA073245.22006 - 3146 - --01 - 00 Domingo Santana, 21AA *112416.25225 - 6446 - --12 - 05 Zeid Pops Up Raul Ibanez to End a Eighth-Inning Bases-Loaded Jam in Seattle on September 11. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America) Brad Johnson of Fangraphs opined that Cosart’s statistics are good, bad and deceiving. Because he has a limited arsenal, he only throws his excellent cutter when ahead in the count. He had a 1.95 ERA, a 94.5 mph fastball, 33 strikeouts and 35 walks. That stated, after the league catches up to him, he must improve even for a bullpen seat. Zeid had a 5.59 ERA in ’12 at Corpus Christi for 47 relief efforts, but last summer he joined Oklahoma City. However, 2012 was his first full campaign as a reliever, and he consistently hit 97 mph. With personnel shortages, Houston gave him a chance at Oklahoma City, and he took advantage of it. He continued his success for the Astros after the Jose Veras swap in late July. When the competition figures him out, his stats could balloon.   Pitching Treasures: These total stats were recorded with new organizations after the trades. PLAYER & AGELEVELW - LERAGMSINN JA Happ, 31MLB26 - 374.7783465.2 Jarred Cosart, 23MLB01 - 011.9510060.0 CosartAAA08 - 063.1324120.2 Josh Zeid, 26MLB00 - 013.9025027.2 ZeidAAA04 - 013.5043043.2 Santana Smacks a Sixth-Inning Double for the Go-Ahead Run During Game Two in Corpus Christi on July 13. The final piece is Santana, who ranks ninth in Houston’s pipeline. By comparison, the second slot belongs to Singleton. Santana’s average dropped 50 points with 33 fewer RBI after the Double-A advancement. However, he’ll probably begin 2014 at Oklahoma City because of organizational needs. The Keeper: While Amaro was acquiring Lee, Brown was learning at Reading after a promotion from Clearwater. He hit .279 during his 37-game opportunity and remained there: Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor went to Canada. When Oswalt arrived in Philly, the left fielder was getting his first taste of Triple-A ball. A year later, however, when Pence became the latest deadline fix, Brown was experiencing the show’s adversity. For ’14, mixed expectations surround Brown, would you take .285, 30 homers and 100 RBI?   RELATED ARTICLES Storyline 2: The Other Dom Browns of the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Controversy, Before and After, on the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Rumored Nemeses for the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Amaro’s Next Acquisition for the Philiadelphia Phillies Storyline Expanded: Full Circle to the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline Expanded: Plan B for the Philadelphia Phillies Expanded Storyline: Forecast for Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez’s 2014 with the Philadelphia Phillies   Phillies e-mail notification for Tal’s Storyline Message me at talvenada@hotmail.com or now you can Follow @Tals_Storyline for article notification.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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