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Phillies Trade Rizzotti to Minnesota for Cash

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, March 30, 2012 10:29 AM | Comments: 37
Analysis, Minor Leagues, News, Posts

For several years, you hoped to see Matt Rizzotti finally take the field in pinstripes. It never happened and now Rizzotti is on his way out of the organization.

Jeff Schuler from the Morning Call in Allentown was the first to tweet that Rizzotti was dealt to the Minnesota Twins. Todd Zolecki tweets the Phillies will receive Cash Considerations in return for the 26-year-old first baseman.

In 5 seasons with the Phillies organization, Rizzotti smacked 66 home runs and knocked in 300 runs while hitting a very respectable .292 and posting an .870 OPS. But he could not crack the top level due to Ryan Howard at first base and his defense liabilities. Last year at Reading, Rizzotti hit 24 home runs and knocked in 84 in 139 games.

Hopefully he’ll get an opportunity to see some action with the Twins soon, either as a 1B or DH. Unfortunately, he just did not fit in the plans in Philly.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Rizzotti for Cash?

    Dave Cash is 63 years old, but he’s probably still better than Martinez.

    Agree though, I hope it works out for him.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    It sucks that we never got to see him display all of his potential. It’s always more enjoyable to watch one of your better minor leaguers get the call and succeed.

    That being said, I hope it’s a lot of cash. He’s good.

     
  • Posts: 0 Joe S.

    With Howard’s recent bad luck and seeing as Jim Thome is a liablility playing first base already, why not give Rizzotti a shot? It would seem a lot easier to do that then hunt for the load of older major leaguers they found to play first this season.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    No silly – Its Norm Cash. A much better player. I’m not sure he’s alive, though.

    The Dipsy

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Not alive (since 1986).

       
  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    when howard went down my first impression in hearing it was his achilles was that they’d give rizzoti a shot at first. at least in ST! he’s cost effective and probably no worse defensively than thome would be plus he gives you a guy with a high ob rate with some power. he could give you what nix would only at first and that would leave the best defensive fielder (mayberry ) in left all the time. i wish rizzoti luck in min.

     
    • Posts: 1190 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      You’re right… And we totally forgot about him! It’s very weird that they didn’t even give him a shot. Maybe his defense is atrocious…? (But at the same time they’re giving Thome a shot!!!) So I’m confused. You’re probably right that he could do a better job than Wigginton or Nix.. maybe even come close to matching Mayberry.

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Rizz was never going to get a chance here… they’re doing him a favor.

    As Joe S pointed out, there seems to be a puzzling dichotomy here – the Phillies are willing to bring on defensive liabilities (I’d classify Wigginton and Thome as defensive liabilities) but a guy like Rizz can’t get a shot because, well, he’s a defensive liability. Same can be said for… drum roll… Dom Brown. Let me say this one more time… Ty Wigginton is useless. I hate looking at his stupid face on his Phillies profile page. I hate looking at his .200 ST average. I hate thinking about the fact that he couldn’t break .250 at Coors field. I would rather have Rizz and Mayberry than Wigginton and Mayberry. I would rather have Brown and Mayberry than Mayberry and Wigginton. I would rather have Norm Cash’s dead corpse…

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Generally agreed. Good rant.

       
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      Rizz was a bigger defensive liability then any of the guys you mentioned. He also would have had to double jump into the majors. He was going to have repeat AA at the age of 26. So lamenting his departure is puzzling although I guess you’re entitled to do so.

       
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        I’m honestly not lamenting over Rizz’ departure… you’re right in saying that he was a bigger liability than the other guys mentioned (except maybe Thome – you really have no clue what he has left defensively)… I’m lamenting over the decision to go with Ty Wigginton (1B) and John Mayberry (LF) over John Mayberry (1B) and Dom Brown (LF). If Rizz is going to make the big leagues long-term, it would have to be as a DH. He can hit a little bit… defensively, he’s a liability but at least he can hit (something you can’t say about Ty Wigginton).

         
      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        Totally agree w/ OCP

         
      • Posts: 0 Chris

        Ah then I agree that Dom in Left is probably the right move especially since Utley is out now.

         
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I was always surprised that Rizz wasn’t lumped into one of the deals of the past few years…. a guy who has proven he can hit (with plus power) … I wonder how much “Cash Considerations are” .. $1-2 M ?? or like $100,000 ?

     
    • Posts: 24 TradeDomBrown

      Avatar of TradeDomBrown

      Prob between $100,000-$200,000. I doubt anymore

       
  • Posts: 0 sandy durso

    If a player hangs around in the minors for that long without being brought up or traded or rule 5′d …..then there must be a reason. But I certainly wish Matt the best of luck with the Twins!

     
  • Posts: 2989 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    OCP….. Tell us how you REALLY feel about Ty Wigginton.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce H

    Cody Overbeck is a year younger, bats right handed, plays both 1st and 3rd base, has a better OBP and is a far better defensive player. You can not split time between Matt R and Cody O at Lehigh Valley.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    So OCP…….not that high on Wiggington?

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 5143 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Johnny Cash! Can he hit a ball with his guitar? Oh wait, he’s dead too.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    How can you be high on Ty Wigginton? What has he done that gets you excited? Hey, he was an all-star in 2010, right? He hit .252/.334/434 over the fist half… the only reason he made the all-star team is because the Orioles were terrible (they went through THREE managers that season) and SOMEONE had to represent them. He actually hit worse over the second half of the season – .244/.286/.394. How about 2011… at Coors, he was .269/.353/.435. On the road – .216/.278/.399. And the best part… he’s pretty much a butcher in the field. Looking at the numbers, it’s clear that he’s worse than Ryan Howard… certainly below league average… so if you can tell my why I should be excited, I’ll gladly listen but I’m just not seeing it.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    As with the Eric Pettis release, stats don’t always tell the whole picture. There’s age, potential (or lack thereof), attitude, coachability, and finally, there is that insidious “bottom line” in the budget.

    While no one thinks much of Wigginton, he really didn’t cost much, and he does have ML experience. Because Rizzotti hits AA pitching doesn’t mean he’ll hit even the back-of-the-rotation guys in the majors. Scouts must have seen this or he would have been asked for in trade before now, and brought a better return than all of those Cash corpses being mentioned. At least he’s bringing back something; maybe a little lux tax relief, whereas Pettis didn’t.

    I hope he does well as a DH, because apparently he can’t even play a decent first base. He likely belongs in the American League, not on the Phils.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/ty-wigginton-traded-to-philadelphia/

    $2 million for a player that has been worth -.3 WAR/600 PA over the past three seasons. Sounds like a terrible decision.

    And Juan Pierre makes the team over Posednik… not a shocker but not the best move for the team, either. Pods had the better tryout but the Phillies can keep Pierre around for a few months for further evaluation and send Pods to the minors. They didn’t have the option to send Pierre down; they would have been forced to release him.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Why all the hate on Wigginton? He’s not a bad player #24 IMO. Do we really expect player #24 to be an All star?

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    psujoe – contract aside, he wouldn’t be a bad “last man” off the bench.. but he’s your starting first basemen for the foreseeable future. He’s also making more than Carlos Ruiz in 2012 (the Phillies are paying half of his $4 million salary this year). He’s not worth what the Phillies are paying him. He is in no way, shape or form a starting first baseman and I don’t think he’s a good first man off the bench option. I think our bench is deeper this year but losing Martinez hurts and when you have to start a guy like Wigginton, it just stings the whole way down.

     
  • Posts: 2989 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Watch Ty Wigginton have a career year. Wellllll….. probably not.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    if used in a platoon, against opposite-throwing pitchers … in the case, LHP …

    Wigginton hits .275 …/ .353 OnBase% …/ and .461 Slug%

    I think Wigginton can be successful, if used in the right way (same with Mayberry, Brown, Bastardo, etc..)

     
  • Posts: 0 upandaway

    This is a ridiculous move for the Phillies. Great for the Twins, since Morneau’s cavalcade of injuries. But what will that $2 mm really mean for the team?
    The salary cap is the issue–not lack of cash. I’m flummoxed by this.
    Whatever.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      upandaway, I think you’re confusing the two trades being discussed. The Phils will pay $2 mil of Wigginton’s salary this year.

      What the Phillies will get for Rizzotti hasn’t been disclosed (or maybe even decided) yet, but it’s likely to be much much less than $2 million.

       
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    At this point I’d like to see the Phils just start Pierre in LF and Mayberry at 1st base with no platooning. Pierre hit .329 with an OBP of .430 against lefties last year. I’d sport start Thome and Wiggington for rest purposes, but I’d like to see:

    Pierre
    Polanco
    Rollins
    Pence
    Mayberry
    Victorino
    Galvis
    Ruiz

    You could flop Mayberry and Vic and or Galvis/Ruiz.

     
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      Interesting idea and I wouldn’t be against it. But the lineup is where you lose me. Victorino is way too low in that lineup. He has to be in the top 3 spots IMO unless you’re batting him at number 5. Galvis needs to be the 8 hitter period. He’s by far the weakest hitter in the lineup. I don’t really like J-Roll at the 3 spot. If you’re not going to bury him in like spot 6 on down he should have one of the two top spots. Even with the existence of Pierre in the lineup he’s still probably the best base stealer they have. Maybe J-Roll leading off and Pierre in the 2 hole.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Pierre
    Polanco
    Rollins
    Pence
    Vic
    Mayberry
    Ruiz
    Galvis

    Galvis in front of Ruiz doesn’t make a lot of sense to me and I like surrounding Pence with the switch hitters. I can’t wait to watch Pierre lay a few down.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Ruiz has just been clutch at rolling the order over which is no small thing, but I did say you could flip them.

    Indians are looking for an outfielder, any utility guys the Phils could swap for Nix and then bring up Pods? Just thinking outload.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris

    I guess I don’t really get why Pierre is our leadoff hitter. He had a worse OBP than Rollins last year. Pierre was at .330 whereas Rollins was at .340. Not to mention Rollins stole more bases and had a better rate. Jimmy provides a lot more in the leadoff spot than Pierre.

     
    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      It should probably change based on RHP or LHP. Believe it or not I’d go with pierre leading off against lefties (430 OBP) despite he being a lefty vs Rollins pathetic .280 OBP last years as a RHB vs LHP.I agree though Rollins would be a better leadoff against Righties.

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I would love to keep Pods over Nix. I think Nix might have a little value. He is pretty cheap.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Although I have been reading the articles this past month, I have been to busy to make comments; however, I cannot see Cholly’s choice of Nix and Wigginton over someone like Pods. Granted, it is still only spring training, but overall I think he is better than either of the two, and would be less money. Sometimes Cholly has to see beyond his weird affections and loyalties to players that would otherwise not make the grade. I’m curious to see how many line-up changes he goes through due to injuries and personnel, as compared to his usual unfluctuating line-ups of the past. Despite this, I know we will contend in the end; however, it will be the playoffs that scare me – will our bats be even more anemic than before?

     
 
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