Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Howard - Final 2016 Standings

The Howard- when a player strikes out, commits an error, and hits a homerun all within the same game.  Lovingly named after the Philadelphia Phillies slugger, Ryan Howard.

Congratulations to Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners. His team might have the longest playoff drought in MLB, but they can claim this prestigious honor at the very least.

The Howard - Final 2016 Standings
K. Seager/SEA- 5
A. Duvall/CIN- 4
D. Espinosa/WSH- 4
A. Rosales/SDP- 4
M. Sano/MIN- 4
C. Davis/BAL- 3
N. Hundley/COL- 3
B. Lawrie/CHW- 3
R. Odor/TEX- 3
J. Baez/CHC- 2
B. Belt/SFG- 2
A. Bregman/HOU- 2
C. Carter/MIL- 2
Y. Escobar/LAA- 2
T. Flowers/ATL- 2
T. Frazier/CHW- 2
F. Galvis/PHI- 2
A. Garcia/ATL- 2
D. Gregorius/NYY- 2
J. Lamb/ARI- 2
A. Russell/CHC- 2
E. Suarez/CIN- 2
Y. Tomas/ARI- 2
N. Walker/NYM- 2
T. White/HOU- 2
M. Wieters/BAL- 2
M. Williamson/SFG- 2
C. Adames/COL- 1
M. Adams/STL- 1
Y. Alonso/OAK- 1
T. Anderson/CHW- 1
E. Andrus/TEX- 1
O. Arcia/MIN- 1
J. Arrieta/CHC- 1
A. Beltre/TEX- 1
X. Bogaerts/BOS- 1
J. Bradley/BOS- 1
J. Bruce/CIN- 1
B. Buxton/MIN- 1
K. Calhoun/LAA- 1
W. Castillo/ARI- 1
S. Castro/NYY- 1
C. Colon/KCR- 1
M. Conforto/NYM- 1
W. Contreras/CHC- 1
Z. Cozart/CIN- 1
C. Crisp/OAK- 1
K. Davis/OAK- 1
D. DeShields/TEX- 1
A. Diaz/STL- 1
A. Dickerson/SDP- 1
S. Drew/WSH- 1
L. Forsythe/TBR- 1
M. Franco/PHI- 1
J. Gallo/TEX- 1
S. Gennett/MIL- 1
P. Goldschmidt/ARI- 1
Y. Grandal/LAD-
C. Headley/NYY- 1
J. Heyward/CHC- 1
A. Judge/NYY- 1
H. Kendrick/LAD- 1
I. Kinsler/DET- 1
P. Kivlehan/SDP- 1
E. Longoria/TBR- 1
M. Machado/BAL- 1
K. Maeda/LAD- 1
M. Maldonado/MIL- 1
J. Marte/LAA- 1
J. Martinez/DET- 1
J. Mathis/MIA- 1
N. Mazara/TEX- 1
B. McCann/NYY- 1
J. Mercer/PIT- 1
M. Montero/CHC- 1
M. Moreland/TEX- 1
W. Myers/SDP- 1
M. Napoli/CLE- 1
D. Navarro/CHW- 1
H. Perez/MIL- 1
T. Plouffe/MIN- 1
G. Polanco/PIT- 1
H. Ramirez/BOS- 1
J. Ramirez/CLE- 1
J. Realmuto/MIA- 1
H. Renfroe/SDP- 1
J. Reyes/NYM- 1
M. Reynolds/COL- 1
R. Rua/TEX- 1
J. Salty/DET- 1
D. Santana/MIL- 1
R. Schimpf/SDP- 1
J. Schoop/BAL- 1
J. Segura/ARI- 1
T. Shaw/BOS- 1
J. Smoak/TOR- 1
M. Smith/ATL- 1
Y. Solarte/SDP- 1
S. Souza/TBR- 1
T. Story/COL- 1
A. Susac/MIL- 1
N. Syndergaard/NYM- 1
M. Teixeira/NYY- 1
M. Trumbo/BAL- 1
J. Upton/DET- 1
P. Valaika/COL- 1
B. Wallace/SDP- 1
B. Wilson/TBR- 1
C. Yelich/MIA- 1

Inside the Numbers:
*151 Howards were committed in 2016, which ranks at the top of the pack since the stat's creation prior to the 2009 season. It's no surprise either, considering more homeruns were in this year than any other year in the history of baseball, except for 2000. Year - # of Howards: 2009- 111, 2010- 112, 2011- 107, 2012- 129, 2013- 92, 2014- 118, 2015- 116, 2016- 151.

*The 2015 Howards standings will be archived on the right sidebar of the blog.

Monday, October 03, 2016

2017 Player Review: Cedric Hunter

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of looks at the men who suited up for the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies

Cedric Hunter was easy to pull for.
A former top prospect - a third rounder who reached No. 97 on Baseball Prospectus' top 100 list - he arrived in Spring Training and tore the cover off the ball. I remember seeing him jerk balls into the seats at Bright House Field and thinking, "Maybe he's the next Greg Dobbs."
He made the team out of Spring Training and got his first taste of the Big Leagues in five years. This was going to be a beautiful narrative.
Then the season started and he looked, well, lost.

The numbers are brutal.
He went 3-for-34 with one solo homer.
He left 2016 with a .088/.139/.176 slash line.
If you add those numbers, you get .403.
That's not even a great slugging percentage.
Of course, the baseball gods being the evil monsters that they are, he went back down to Triple-A and hit .294/.324/.433 with 10 homers.
Let's talk about the baseball gods.
They really and truly are malicious beings.
Poor Cedric. Since 2014, he's basically hit .290/.333/.438 in the minors. The guy is so close to being a Big League player. But he's probably never going to be. Can you imagine what that must be like?
Growing up, I remember going to Red Barons games and watching Jon Zuber play.
You probably don't remember him.
Zuber arrived in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre two years after I became a baseball fan and quickly became one of my favorite players. He was a left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder.
His first year, he hit .287/.360/.378 in 470 plate appearances. His second year, he hit .311/.394/.417. His problem was that he had no power or speed.
But the guy could hit. And he could get on base.
There's a part of me that always wondered if he'd played for Oakland, would he have ended up in the Big Leagues.
He got a brief appearance in 1996, hitting .253/.296./330 in 30 games for the 96 Phils.
In 1997, Zuber tore the International League to shreds. He hit .315/.421/.451 with 37 doubles and six homers. In 126 games, he scored 85 runs.
Here's the reason I think Zuber and Hunter are different.
Both played for franchises with bad teams. But Hunter was clearly outplayed by the likes of Peter Borjous (Yeah, that's how bad the outfield was this year) and Tyler Goeddel.
Meanwhile, the 1997 Phillies saw Greg Jefferies play 130 games, Midre Cummings play 63 games and Darren Daulton play 84 games.
Ruben Amaro was actually second in games played in the outfield, playing in 117, despite getting just 175 at-bats.
Zuber probably would have provided better value in the outfield than some of the guys who took up at-bats in 1997.
He returned to the Red Barons in 1998 and looked good again, hitting .325/.414/.479.
He got a call up that season and hit .244/.346/.489.
The point in looking at these two guys is that they were clearly extremely good baseball players. But they never stuck in the big leagues for one reason or another.

Season Grade
Will we see him back in 2017?

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Yet Another Loss

Screw this offense.
Screw this bullpen.
Screw the manager.
Please upgrade for 2017.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I Hate This Bullpen

After starter Jake Thompson was chased from the game today, the Phillies ran out a quintet of relievers that were nothing short of disastrous. The score ended 17-0 in favor of the Mets and the Phils are left wondering just how bad can this bullpen be.

Today's 5 Relievers:
Phil Klein - 11.81/2.44
Colton Murray - 6.43/1.43
Frank Hermann - 8.78/1.65
Patrick Schuster - 48.60/5.40
Luis Garcia - 5.93/1.83

If that doesn't paint the picture of pathetically putrid poop for ya, check out these other relievers that have pitched for the Phillies this season too.

Other Shitty Relievers:
Severino Gonzalez - 5.35/1.31
Elvis Araujo - 5.60/1.90
Michael Mariot - 5.68/1.42
Adrew Bailey - 6.40/1.45
Daniel Stumpf - 10.80/2.20
James Russell - 18.69/3.23

Special Notes:
*Frank Hermann has allowed 7 HR in 13.1 IP. I'm honestly not sure if I were pitching that I could give up quite that many homeruns in such a short time. Of course, my ERA would be more along the lines of Schuster's than Hermann's.

*Patrick Schuster was bad with the A's earlier this season when he made his debut (10.80/2.25), but now he is downright terrible. The worst.

*Collectively the bullpen has 4.90 ERA and 1.44 WHIP with 79 homeruns surrendered. The ERA ranks 27th, WHIP 26th, and HR allowed 29th.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reflections on a bad loss.

My god, that was brutal. Thursday night's loss to the New York Mets occurred during the final month of a season in which the Phillies never had any legitimate hope for a postseason berth. That didn't stop that 9-8 fiasco from stinging a lot. The Phillies have shown a marked improvement over last season. With nine games to play, they've already won six more games than last season. And we've seen the growth of several players. We now know Jerad Eickhoff can be part of the starting rotation for the next few years. Odubel Herrera has an All Star game on his resume. Cameron Rupp has developed. So has - to plenty of people's surprise - Cesar Hernandez. Tommy Joseph looks like a Big League bat. Vincent Velasquez looks like a Big League arm. And the Phillies were about to win their 70th game of the season, their third in a row. Then they coughed up the lead and the likely post-season-playing Mets had momentum. But no, the Phillies took the lead in the tenth. This was going to be one of those wins you looked back on in 2017 saying, "That's when I knew we had finally turned a corner." Instead, they coughed up another lead. Just brutal. I know I haven't been around the past month or so as much as I'd like to be. We're having a baby and my laptop is on the fritz. (The C button isn't working.) So it wasn't that this season beat me down and I stopped posting. Anyway, it's easy to get caught up in the negative. But we can't forget this season has been, by almost all accounts, a success. The franchise has turned a corner. The young kids are arriving in droves. And, with few exceptions, they're proving to be capable big leaguers. So that loss stung. But I think the Phillies might do even better than my preseason prediction of 72 wins. I'll definitely take that. In the coming weeks, I plan on doing a break down of each player who was on the team this year. It will be fun, but informed. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, September 19, 2016

2 More Weeks, 12 More Games

The 2016 Philadelphia Phillies season in winding down. Two weeks and twelve games remain. At 67-83 a winning record or even .500 is unattainable. However, there is still reason to care about the waning moments...

Saying farewell to one of the best sluggers in Phillies history, Ryan Howard.

Getting a further look at Alec Asher and Jake Thompson in the rotation.

Seeing more out of Michael Mariot and Joely Rodriguez in relief.

Playing Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, and Roman Quinn in the outfield together in preparation for that trio moving forward in 2017.

Getting some more at bats for Jorge Alfaro.

Seeing who wins the Phillies homerun crown for the year: Ryan Howard and Maikel Franco at 22 apiece and Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis each with 20.

Jerad Eickhoff gets 3 more starts and possibly racks up 200 innings (currently with 180.1).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bad Jeanmar, Good Otero & Rivera

1. Jeanmar Gomez was thrust into the closer's role out of necessity in April and has stuck there ever since. His first half of the season was fantastic, but the second half has been disastrous.

Pre All-Star Break: 39 G, 24 SV, 2.59 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
Post All-Star Break: 26 G, 12 SV, 5.63 ERA, 1.71 WHIP

It's time to hand over the reigns to Hector Neris in save situations to close out the year and move Jeanmar back into a setup role.
2. Dan Otero was on the Phillies 40-man roster for a minute during the offseason after a waiver claim. However, he was designated for assignment and ended up with the Indians. Cleveland is thankful for the Phils mistake, as Otero has pitched brilliantly over 56 G and 62.1 IP. He sports a sparkling 1.58 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The Phillies need that type of guy in their bullpen, but instead we suffer through the likes of Luis Garcia, Michael Mariot, Daniel Stumpf, James Russell, Brett Oberholtzer, Elvis Araujo, Adrew Bailey, Patrick Schuster, and Frank Herrmann. Good job Klentak.

3. Remember when I wanted the Phillies to take TJ Rivera in the Rule 5 draft? Well, they took the shitty hitting Tyler Goeddel with their 1st pick instead.  Rivera tore through Triple-A pitching this season (.353/.909 in 105 G) and has continued that trend since his promotion to the Mets (.333/.764 in 17 G). Goeddel, on the other hand, is clearly over-matched (.184/.533 over 90 G). Also, Rivera can play 2nd, 3rd and SS while Goeddel can basically only man corner OF. Good job Klentak. Noticing a pattern yet?