The Phillies made their first cuts of the spring after Saturday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Most…
Phils' Joe Jordan talks about the minors
PBI: "Let's talk first about the state of the system. You've dealt away a number of key prospects, but there is still pretty much talent left, isn't there? Jordan: "I think so. I was really happy last year; coming into it from outside the organization and listening to the publications, it sounded pretty thin. I think what happened last year, number one, we had a few better players than people realized, and two, we have traded away a lot of people and I think we have a lot of players who seized the opportunity and really hadn't established themselves and now, they're in some of these discussions, so I give credit to our players and our coaches, because we're a lot healthier than people realize." PBI: "We'll start with Jesse Biddle. How do you see his progress and will he be back at Clearwater or start the year in Reading?" Jordan: "Our expectations going into the year are for him to be at Reading. He had a phenomenal year; there probably wasn't anybody in our system who had a better year if you put everything together. He was on a staff with older starting pitchers, some guys that I think he learned a lot from, he's a terrific worker. I'm sure stepping on the mound at Citizens Bank Ballpark keeps him up at night, because it's that important to him. He had a great year and Reading is the next stop; he's ready for that. Double-A will be a good challenge and he's earned that." PBI: "How far away is Cody Asche? Will he be at Triple-A or back at Double-A?" Jordan: "That hasn't been decided. It wouldn't hurt him to be back at Double-A. He had 250-something at-bats at both Clearwater and Reading and split the year between the two stops, which is great; listen, we love the kid, we love the way he plays the game and obviously, we love his bat and he's made a lot of progress defensively. For his first full season, I don't think we could have drawn it up as anymore of a success than what he did. It's not really that important to me whether it's Double-A or Triple-A. I just want him to keep getting his at-bats and at either place, he'll be in a very good league, so he's going to develop in either one." PBI: "A lot of people look back at the Cliff Lee deal and still think that you didn't really get anything, but [J.C.] Ramirez is coming along, [Tyson] Gillies is coming along, so there could still be a couple of quality players coming out of that deal." Jordan: "Aumont was in that deal too, and he's pretty good. It's one of those things where sometimes, it's just not a straight upward climb; you have injuries, you have bad years. I really like the development staff - the one that I inherited, mainly - they're really good, they're patient and their interest is for the players and I think that for some of the hard times that some of these guys have had, our staff has played a big part in helping them get through it, because it's a hard game, especially when you get to the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Gillies for me, has a chance to be an everyday player, I still believe that, if we can keep him on the field and keep him healthy, that's the big key. He's a tremendous center fielder, as good as we have in our organization, anywhere." PBI: "There were some concerns with him [Gillies] last year. There was an altercation where he was suspended for violating team rules and there was an arrest a few years ago. Is his attitude a concern or is he just a young kid making stupid mistakes?" Jordan: "Well, he's had some things happen and we all know that. He's had some things that he's had to deal with, but you know what? He's not a young kid. He's a grown man and he's got a lot of support, starting with me in the organization and I think he's got a fantastic chance to have a wonderful career, but he's not a young man and he's got to take care of his business, just like all of these guys, and he will. He made a lot of progress with that last year." PBI: "You have a bit of a glut with young catchers in the organization, with [Sebastian] Valle and [Tommy] Joseph. How do you see that shaking out?" Jordan: "I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch in spring training, because we've got some really good options at Double-A and Triple-A this year. I don't know how it will end up; we all have our opinions and we've all given our rosters, pre-season, as far as how we think it will go, but the thing for me is that counting Steven Lerud and counting Cameron Rupp, we've got four catchers at Double-A and Triple-A right now that I'm comfortable with wherever they go and it's going to be a very competitive camp and may the best man win."
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