Sunday, August 02, 2015

July Was Kind To The Phillies

Ryan Howard had more RBI (23) than hits (20). The Big Piece is a big piece of why the Phillies are winning of late.

Cody Asche had a bit of a bounce back month - .250/.711 with 10 R and 10 RBI.

Andres Blanco has been a great bench player for the Phillies over the past two seasons, and it continued - .304/.820.

Domonic Brown is attempting to salvage his career - .293/.730 and his first 2 homeruns of the season.

Jeff Francoeur is a good guy and is proving to be a good offseason pickup - .295/.962 with 4 homeruns.

Freddy Galvis rescued his batting average and OPS - .308/.803 while still playing steady defense.

Odubel Herrera has been a nice Rule 5 pickup - .362/.969.

Ken Giles is the new closer and rocked a 0.77 ERA.

*All stats are from July

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Saturday Shuffle

*Ben Revere out, more pitching "prospects" in. I like Revere and wish him well in Toronto. Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero are the two minor league pitchers that came to Philly in the trade, both of them relievers.  Tirado was a Top 100 prospect prior to 2014, but suffered through a poor season.  He's 20 years old and was in Single-A+. Over 4 seasons he has a 3.36 ERA/1.40 WHIP in 233.1 innings. Cordero is 23 and is in Double-A. In 4 seasons he's posted a 3.78 ERA/1.49 WHIP in 126.1 IP, but has shown progress this year. Overall, not a really exciting package for Revere.
*Ben Revere out, Odubel Herrera in.  Herrera is having a decent season, especially considering he's a Rule 5 draft pick and made the jump from Double-A. He gets the rest of the season to prove he's an integral piece of the puzzle heading forward with the Phillies.

*Ben Revere out, Jordan Danks in. Danks doesn't deserve a MLB roster spot (.245/.640 in Triple-A), but he was already on the 40-man roster and the Phillies want to see how an outfield of Cody Asche/LF, Odubel Herrera/CF, and Domonic Brown/RF produces before bring Aaron Altherr up.  Altherr wouldn't get regular at bats with the Phillies current outfield situation.

*Jake Diekman out, Dalier Hinojosa in. The 29 yeard old Cuban was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in July. It'll be interesting to see how he does, because he could be part of the bullpen for years to come if he's able to prove he belongs.

*Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Aaron Harang, and Jeff Francoeur are August trade candidates in my opinion.

*The Phillies have the best record in baseball since the All-Star break (11-2).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Cole Hamels Trade

By now you've already read about the Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers trade at face value. So rather than rehash it, I'm simply going to breakdown the pros and cons of it all.

1. Jake Diekman is no longer in the Phillies bullpen.
2. The Phillies just stocked their farm system with 3 of the top 100 prospects in MLB (Jorge Alfaro/C, Jake Thompson/SP, and Nick Williams/OF).
3. Two of the pitchers received in the deal are currently in Triple-A (Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher).

1. Cole Hamels is a bonafide ace and would have looked really nice atop of the Phillies rotation for 4 more years.
2. All 3 pitching prospects the Phillies got in the deal are sporting 4.00+ ERA this season.
3. Matt Harrison was thrown in to help offset the money Texas was taking on.  He's guaranteed $28.4M over the next two seasons (includes $2M option buyout for 2018).
4. Jorge Alfaro suffered a serious ankle injury in June, and that's bad news for a catcher.

The rebuild is in full fervor. Ace traded. Elite closer traded. Minor league system stocked with prospects. It's all happening. Now it's a waiting game to see which prospects pan out. Youth movement is upon us.

Just think, in the very near future (2016/2017) we could have a team composed of some combination of the following:
SP - Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, Jesse Biddle, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, Severio Gonzalez, Mark Leiter, Nick Pivetta, and/or Jake Thompson
RP - Hector Neris, Elvis Araujo, Jeanmar Gomez, Ken Giles, Luis Garcia, Nefi Ogando, Dalier Hinojosa, Edubray Ramos, Colton Murray, Tom Windle, Stephen Shackleford, and/or Ryan O'Sullivan
C - Cameron Rupp, Gabriel Lino, Andrew Knapp, and/or Jorge Alfaro
1B - Brock Stassi
2B - Cesar Hernandez
SS - Freddy Galvis, JP Crawford
3B - Maikel Franco
OF - Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Kelly Dugan, Destin Hood, Cameron Perkins, and/or Brian Pointer
*All players listed above are either currently in the Majors or, Triple/Double-A.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Papelbon Out

One of the best closers of all-time switched teams yesterday, from the basement dwelling Phillies to the top rung of the ladder Nationals.  Jonathan Papelbon was as much of a Grade-A douchebag as he was a save machine.  Constantly running his mouth to the media, asking to be traded, grabbing his crotch towards the fan base, and what have you.  He leaves behind the franchise saves record of 123 saves in his tenure with the Phils. He did the job he was signed to do and did it well.  He now goes to a contender, will be handed the ball in the 9th, and still gets his millions guaranteed next season ($11M instead of $13M though).  Amaro agreed to gift Washington with $4.5M of his remaining salary for the 2015 season.
Jonathan Papelbon Career: 37-30, 630 G, 667 IP, 761 K, 342 SV, 2.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 23.7 WAR.

Jonathan Papelbon Phillies: 14-11, 234 G, 237.2 IP, 252 K, 123 SV, 2.31 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 4.5 WAR.

The player the Phillies received in return was the 10th or 12th (depending on who ranks) ranked prospect in the Nationals system.  Nick Pivetta is a 22 year old Canadian 6'5" right-handed starting pitcher.  Since being drafted in the 4th round in 2013, he's compiled a 21-15 record over 53 G, 50 GS, and 267.2 IP, to go along with 201 K, a 3.60 ERA, and 1.31 WHIP.  His fastball sits in the mid 90's and he was recently promoted to Double-A.  He seems like an okay kid, but I would have thought kicking in that much money towards Pap's contract, coupled with the fact the Pap is still an elite closer, would have brought back a better return. I'm only a wannabe GM though...
So who goes next? Jeff Francoeur, Cole Hamels, Ben Revere, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Blue Jays

Philadelphia Phillies (37-63, 5th) @ Toronto Blue Jays (50-50, 2nd)
Game Times:
Monday & Tuesday - 7:07

Batting & Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Russell Martin
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Edwin Encarnacion
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Devon Travis
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Troy Tulowitzski
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Josh Donaldson
LF - Cody Asche vs. Chris Colabello
CF - Ben Revere vs. Kevin Pillar
RF - Domonic Brown vs. Jose Bautista
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Jeff Francoeur, Darin Ruf, Andres Blanco & Odubel Herrera vs. Dioner Navarro, Ryan Goins, Justin Smoak, Danny Valencia & Ezequiel Carrera
*Playing in AL park, so DH is in effect for this series.
R - Phillies 356 (27th tied) vs. Blue Jays 528 (1st)
AVG - Phillies .250 (22nd) vs. Blue Jays .262 (5th)
OPS - Phillies .673 (27th) vs. Blue Jays .772 (1st)
HR - Phillies 67 (29th) vs. Blue Jays 130 (3rd)
SB - Phillies 59 (11th tied) vs. Blue Jays 56 (13th tied)

SP1 - Adam Morgan vs. Felix Doubront
SP2 - Jerome Williams vs. RA Dickey
CL - Jonathan Papelbon vs. Roberto Osuna
RP - Ken Giles, Justin DeFratus, Jake Diekman, Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Elvis Araujo & Hector Neris vs. LaTroy Hawkins, Liam Hendriks, Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil, Aaron Sanchez, Ryan Tepera & Bo Schultz
*Blue Jays just acquired Tulowitzski and Hawkins for Jose Reyes and prospects.  Someone from the bullpen will need to be demoted in order to make room on the 25-man roster.
ERA - Phillies 4.64 (29th) vs. Blue Jays 4.07 (23rd)
WHIP - Phillies 1.46 (29th) vs. Blue Jays 1.28 (18th)
K - Phillies 727 (18th) vs. Blue Jays 694 (26th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-139) vs. Blue Jays (+95)

What To Imbibe On:
Founders Brewing Company - Double Trouble IPA. Thank goodness I finally had this beer. Amazing Imperial IPA. Beautiful floral bouquet aroma with hints of pine and citrus.  Nice lasting finish.  Some sweet syrup-esque flavors from the malts that leave a sticky mouthfeel.  Well balanced and easy drinking for a 9.4% ABV. Golden straw color with solid head retention and lacing. Added bonus- very cool bottle art, flipping the image upside down gives you a different perspective.  Availability: July - September. - 99

Commercial Description - An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops have got you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front paired with a malt balanced backbone and a smooth bitter finish. 86 IBUs.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Cubs

Philadelphia Phillies (34-63) @ Chicago Cubs (51-43)
Game Times:
Friday & Saturday - 4:05
Sunday - 2:20

Batting & Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Kyle Schwarber
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Anthony Rizzo
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Addison Russell
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Starlin Castro
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Kris Bryant
LF - Cody Asche vs. Chris Coghlan
CF - Ben Revere vs. Dexter Fowler
RF - Domonic Brown vs. Jorge Soler
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Jeff Francoeur, Andres Blanco, Darin Ruf & Odubel Herrera vs. David Ross, Taylor Teagarden, Jonathan Herrera & Chris Denorfia
R - Phillies 335 (28th) vs. Cubs 361 (24th)
AVG - Phillies .246 (23rd) vs. Cubs .239 (26th)
OPS - Phillies .662 (27th) vs. Cubs .688 (22nd)
HR - Phillies 63 (29th) vs. Cubs 81 (17th tied)
SB - Phillies 55 (13th tied) vs. Cubs 65 (6th)

SP1 - Jerome Williams vs. Jon Lester
SP2 - Cole Hamels vs. Jake Arrieta
SP3 - Aaron Nola vs. Jason Hammel
CL - Jonathan Papelbon vs. Jason Motte
RP - Ken Giles, Jeanmar Gomez, Jake Diekman, Justin DeFratus, Luis Garcia, Elvis Araujo & Hector Neris vs. Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon, James Russell, Rafael Soriano & Yoervis Medina
ERA - Phillies 4.71 (29th) vs. Cubs 3.32 (5th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.48 (30th) vs. Cubs 1.17 (1st)
K - Phillies 699 (17th) vs. Cubs 814 (3rd)
Run Differential - Phillies (-152) vs. Cubs (+14)

What To Imbibe On:
Coronado Brewing Company - Nineteenth Anniversary. Coronado celebrating its 19th year of brewing tasty treats for the masses, and the sure knocked it out the park on this one. This beer is a must have for hop-heads.  It is the quintessential West Coast IPA.  Dank, big tropical fruit flavors and aromas, juicy, semi-sweet malt backdrop, It pours a brilliant golden orange with frothy head that entices you from first waft of the hops.  Truly a great beer, best I've had from Coronado yet.  This Imperial IPA registers in at 9% ABV with 80 IBU. It's brand new on the craft beer scene, but it has gotten rave review thus fa, 4.02 out of 5 stars on Untappd.

Commercial Description - We are always looking for opportunities to get creative around the brewhouse, and the celebration of another year of passionate brewing is the best opportunity we can think of. As such, we revel in the challenge of coming up with a new and interesting brew each year under our "Anniversary" label worthy of both paying homage to our past and the new year of brewing that lays ahead