:: Phillies

Current and archived banter about the Phillies.

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Jul 21, 2017
 

Here we are at what could be the most exciting part of our Phillies season - the last days before the trade deadline. Guys will be moved, that is for certain. But who? In a recent meeting, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told his players, "The next couple of weeks, anything could happen. You think you are getting traded, you might not. You might. Don't worry about it. Just keep playing. Play hard. See what happens."

I am not a player in that clubhouse, and honestly, what happens at the deadline will likely be of more interest than most of the baseball we have seen from this club thus far. In a recent article, I named a few guys that I wanted "axed." To be honest, I wrote it in the middle of a 1,300 mile trip to Florida, so excuse me if I was a bit cranky. And no, I wasn't driving at the time. That said, those ...  


Jul 7, 2017
 

From the University of Arizona to the farm system of the Philadelphia Phillies Scott Kingery has been starting to truly shine in the minor leagues. Scott Kingery is a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies triple-A affiliate the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Kingery was invited to Spring training before this season and seemed to really stand out among the prospects that were there. Although Kingery stood out in Spring Training, the Phils did not think that Kingery was ready for the big leagues.

In 2017, Kingery started with the Phils’ Double-A affiliate the Reading Fightin Phils. With Reading, Kingery played in 69 games, and in 278 at-bats, had 87 hits, 18 homeruns, 44 RBI’s and an average of .313. On June 26, 2017, The Phils decided to promote Kingery to the triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronP...  


Jul 1, 2017
 

So, here we are, the end of June, and the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. They are 5-17 in their last 22. Many games aren't even competitive. Guys have been axed; more should. Below are some guys I wouldn't be sad to see gone by the trade deadline.

Odubel Herrera is the first one on my list. Mike Schmidt got a lot of flack for saying Herrera couldn't be the guy to build the team around because of the language barrier between him and his teammates. Schmidt gave an honest opinion to a simple question, and I think he got way more negative press than necessary. In reality, Herrera can't be the guy to build around because 1) he's not good enough and 2) he is simply not a smart ballplayer and 3) he is lazy. He is not the guy you want, "setting the tone" for your team. Honestly, I hope there's a language ba...  


Jun 21, 2017
 

For those of you who have read some of my articles, you know I was as optimistic as anyone (and more than most) about this year's Phillies. After a promising April where they were 11-12, they managed to win only 5 games in May. June hasn't been much better (5-12) so far. They are the worst team in baseball. Why? There are several reasons, and not all of them will affect this team long term. Below are some of those reasons, and some reasons to not feel like not all is lost. 

 
THE NEW GUYS
 
Several of the off season pick ups have been big disappointments. Buchholtz gave up 16 hits in 7.1 innings before ...  
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May 11, 2017
 

Sometimes your best players come from the unlikeliest of places. The Phillies gained Victorino and Herrera through the Rule 5 draft. Werth was picked up as a free agent after the Dodgers gave up on him due to an injury plagued and ineffective 2005 season and him spending the entire 2006 season on the DL. Now Aaron Altherr, a 9th round pick in 2009, whose early injury-filled career has somewhat mimicked Werth's, is red hot and making the fans in Philly wonder if he's going to be a long term answer in the outfield and middle of the order.

Even as I'm typing this article, questioning my own sanity getting excited about a player who hit just .202 last year with an abysmal .293 slugging percentage, I see his highlights being played between innings of the Phillies game due to him being named the most recent, "Phillie of the Week." It's hard not t...  


Apr 25, 2017
 

In December of 2014 the Phillies acquired Zach Eflin and Tom Windle for a declining Jimmy Rollins. At the time many people, including myself, felt the Phillies wait too long to move J-Roll, as his stock had clearly dropped considerably. Few people regarded Zack Eflin to be a huge pick up at the time, but he is proving his worth right now having made two impressive starts so far in place of injured Clay Buchholtz. In his first two starts Eflin has a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings and has surrendered just 6 hits. He has walked 3, all of which came in the first inning of his first start, and has struck out 7. Basically, he has been efficient and dominant, attacking the strike zone and letting batters get themselves out.

Eflin, who only turned 23 years old earlier this month, has faced some serious adversity in his life. His first start last year went ...  


Apr 7, 2017
 

Occasionally on Philly sports airwaves you will hear the hosts conducting various polls on what will be the next team to win a championship or which GM is doing a better job in player procurement, etc. I don’t recall hearing any such poll on the head coaches of our beloved Philly sports teams. So I’d like to switch it up a bit and do a comparison of the coaches. I’m not looking to ask and answer that age old question of who’s next to win a chip but to compare job performance thus far and offer an opinion as to who should stick around for the foreseeable future.

I’ll begin with the Eagles head guy, Doug Pederson. He was brought on board after a questionable interview and hiring process by newly reinstated GM Howie Roseman. After Howie’s “Scouts honor, pinkie promise&rd...  


Apr 5, 2017
 

Opening day is now behind us for our 2017 Philadelphia Phillies, and it was a nice example of what we already knew about this team.  There are improvements, deficiencies, and hope. This Phillies team is the first that doesn’t have any roster spots filled with players who were on the 2008 World Series Championship team. Last year’s squad managed 71 wins, but run differential (the number of runs scored vs. number of runs surrendered over the course of the entire year) suggests they should have won fewer. So what about this year’s team? Below are my predictions for what should be an interesting year.

THE OFFENSE

The offense almost has to improve. Last year’s team scored 39 fewer runs than any other team in baseball (and the n...  


Apr 4, 2017
 

John - The Phillies are off to a huge 1-0 start and now on their way right?? Let's pump the brakes a bit. There are a lot of unknowns on this team for anyone to predict great things. Their starting pitching staff is very shaky right now and none have shown any real promise that would excite you. The bullpen is probably the strongest part of the squad and that's with a closer who's already being questioned as to whether he's the right player to handle that role. The lineup has some interesting pieces that I believe can have break out years, and that may be the reason the team hangs around a bit, but with the questions on the mound, will eventually be the Phils downfall. With that being said I will give the team 75 wins. Their pointing in the right direction but just won't have enough firepower to compete this season.

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Mar 22, 2017
 

On December 12th, 2015, Matt Klentak traded a fan favorite and a low level minor leaguer to the Astros for 5 young pitchers. It was a move that was controversial at the time,  but could have a very positive impact on the Phillies going forward.
 

"100 Miles Giles" was an exciting relief pitcher who could make the stadium roar with every fastball, as fans watched the pitch speed screen at Citizens Bank Park. Giles fastball was electric, regularly reaching 98, 99, 100 MPH, and sometimes higher. He had an amazing 2015 season, registering a 1.80 ERA and 15 saves (...  


Mar 15, 2017
 

Brock Stassi may not make the team out of camp, but he sure is doing everything he can to earn it. Stassi hit his 5th homer the other day after he had already hit a triple off the top of the wall in a previous at-bat. He leads the team in RBI this spring, is hitting over .400, and basically looks like he is playing slow-pitch softball the way he is squaring up on the ball time after time. As a left-handed hitting first baseman on a team with a young right-handed starting first baseman in Joseph, you would think the Phillies are strongly considering keeping him on the team. Unfortunately, there are some other factors the Phillies are likely taking into account.

First, Stassi, if he were to make the team, would be a back up at a position that other players already locked into roster spots can play. K...  


Mar 8, 2017
 

The Phillies have a little over a half dozen spring games in at this point, and several players are really making a case to join the team when it travels north. The way I see it, the Phillies will carry either 12 or 13 position players, and 9 of them might as well already be written in stone (barring injury). That basically leaves 3 or 4 spots. Below I’ll discuss who, in my mind, is leading that race at this early point in spring.

First, it’s important to see what spots need to be filled and which spots aren’t really up for grabs. As stated earlier, I think there are 9 players who are locks to make the team. That group includes the projected starting lineup (and they really are locks) plus Andres Blanco, who is being paid 3 million in 2017 to be in the majors and get a decent amount of playi...  


Feb 28, 2017
 

The Phillies have only played a handful of games so far this spring, and it’s premature to make any predictions about how the team will perform once they return north. There have been, however, a few things that caught my eye already. Below are four of these observations.

  1. I’m impressed with the young sluggers who tore up AA ball last year. Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins, who combined for 78 homeruns for Reading in 2016, look like they could land in the middle of the Phillies lineup in the next couple years. The path is more clear for Cozens since he projects as a corner outfielder, and the Phillies have what are likely temporary solutions there in Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders (both on short term deals). If Tommy Joseph builds on last year and reaches the offensive potential the Phill...  
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Feb 23, 2017
 

It’s finally here. After months and months without baseball (and another month without Phillies), the wait to see our boys of summer is over. Sure, it may just be an exhibition game against college players, but the jerseys say, “Phillies,” and I’ll take what I can get. The players in this lineup today may not tell us much about the 2017 Phillies (there isn’t really even a slim chance that these guys are on the roster in April), but it might show us what we can look forward to in 2019 or 2020.

The lineup Pete Mackanin has penciled in for today is as follows:

  1. Roman Quinn CF
  2. J.P. Crawford SS
  3. Dylan Cozens RF
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Feb 20, 2017
 

Spring Training has begun in Clearwater, Florida for the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils stayed busy over the off season by signing two key free agent outfielders in Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders. With Spring Training underway there are many questions as to what the lineup will look like and how will Maikel Franco’s role in the lineup will change with the addition of Kendrick and Saunders. Last season Maikel Franco hit .255 with 25 homeruns and 88 RBI’s. Last year Franco hit in the cleanup spot behind Odubel Herrera and ahead of Ryan Howard. Franco was the solidified power hitter of the team and was counted on for a number of crucial at bats. In the 2016 season Howie Kendrick hit .255 with 8 homeruns and 40 RBI’s. Kendrick has been a singles and doubles kind of hitter his entire career. I think he would fit well at the number...  


Feb 14, 2017
 

Non-roster invitees are players not on the 40 man roster, and are often long shots to make the club. They range from young guys getting their first taste of being with the big leaguers, to veteran guys trying to hang around for another shot at glory. Below are 6 non-roster players in the Phillies camp this year that I will be keeping an eye on.

JP Crawford - The Phillies top prospect is invited for a second spring in a row. Last spring he struggled, and he also struggled with his promotion to AAA last year. With the signing of Galvis, and Crawford only being 22, there is little pressure to move him up. Despite that, the Phillies next core almost certainly includes Crawford, and all eyes will be on what many hope will be the next Jimmy Rollins.

Rhys Hoskins - The slugging first basemen clobbered 38 homers, drove in 116 runs, and managed a .281/.377/.566 slash in AA ...  


Feb 13, 2017
 

Twenty-four years ago I was just an 8th grade kid of 13. In my lifetime, the Phillies had appeared in two World Series, won one of them, and spent the majority of the rest of those years entirely irrelevant on the sports scene. Sure, I had the privilege of cheering on the best 3rd baseman in history and watching him win the MVP award in 1986, but, besides Schmidt, the cast of characters was often lacking. Steve Bedrosian won a CY Young Award closing games for a team that finished below .500 and 15 games out of first in 1987, and that was the bright spot for the next five years. Bruce Ruffin. Don Carmen. Rich Schu. Pat Combs. I’d beg my parents to buy the hotdogs with the slimy plastic ticket voucher in the package so I could spend a day at the Vet with my dad watching those guys. The one thing the Phillies of the late 80s and early 90s could do, if ...  


Feb 5, 2017
 

For those of us holding onto hope that six time All Star, four time Silver Slugger, and  member of the, “2008 World Champions of Baseball,” Chase Utley might return in 2017 - it just got a lot harder. The signing of 2009 Rookie of the Year, now utility player, Chris Coghlan, has probably marked the end of the dream some of us have had of an Utley return. Utley remains a free agent, yet his fit on the Phillies took a hit with the Coglan signing

.Coghlan, a member of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (did that really happen?), can play both corner outfield positions as well as some infield. He could prove useful as a veteran on a team made of up plenty of young players who will need days off here and there as they adjust to the 162 game schedule in the majors. Although his slash numbers la...  


Jan 26, 2017
 

Now that we endured possibly the least entertaining NFL Championship Sunday of all time, and have a little less than weeks to see yet another Super Bowl featuring Tom Brady, I'm starting to really look forward to pitchers and catchers reporting in 20 or so days. With that reality, I've started to give some thought as to just how excited I am for the 2017 Phillies.  The more I think about it, the more I believe this team will be far more interesting than the Phillies teams of the past 5 years. Below I detail the top 5 reasons (in no particular order) why I think the Phillies have an actual shot at hanging around and being in contention late in the season this year. Granted, this involves the type of hope only a true fan can have, but isn't that the point?

1. The starting rotation. The Phillies retained their m...  


Jan 23, 2017
 

As you well know by now, the Phillies avoided arbitration with their 27 year old shortstop last week, signing him to a 1 year, $4.35 million dollar salary, more than doubling his salary of just one year ago. This signing, at least in the fan’s opinion, was a smart move by the ballclub.

I know what many of you are thinking. You are wondering, “Why the heck would the Phillies spend over 4 million on the worst hitter in baseball?” Now, that is probably overstated, but, according to at least one metric (on base percentage), he was the worst among qualified batters. Basically, that means he was the easiest regular player for pitchers to get out in all of major league baseball. Despite that fact, he still managed to hit 20 home runs, a feat not reached by many shortstops. He also seemed to hit the...  




 

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