Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How are the Phillies position players doing?

Let's take a look in on the Phillies positional players ranks among their MLB counterparts.

*Minimum plate appearance - 250

Cameron Rupp/Catcher - .730 OPS (17th/26) & 1.2 WAR (17th/26)

Tommy Joseph/First Base - .726 OPS (29th/31) & -0.7 WAR (30th/31)

Cesar Hernandez/Second Base - .792 (12th/34) & 2.5 WAR (7th/34)

Freddy Galvis/Shortstop - .717 OPS (18th/30) & 1.5 WAR (15th/30)

Maikel Franco/Third Base - .668 OPS (28th/29) & -1.0 WAR (29th/29)

Odubel Herrera/Center Field - .799 OPS (12th/35) & 2.6 WAR (7th/35)

Aaron Altherr/Right Field - .894 OPS (5th/31) & 1.7 WAR (15th/31)

First and third base are positions that a team should expect big OPS from, not the piddling numbers the Phillies have received. Franco and Joseph are poor in every facet of the game - defense, offense, and running. However, both are still young and were once highly touted prospects. What to do? I am in favor to moving Freddy Galvis to 3rd base and letting JP Crawford get his feet wet. Maybe Franco losing his starting gig will force him to do something about it. I'm also in favor of trading Joseph this offseaon and giving Rhys Hoskins the first base job. Both Scott Kingery (second base) and Crawford (shortstop) seem ready for promotion. Perhaps Hernandez could handle 3rd next season and Galvis could rotate around the diamond like a supersub. We already know he can handle the infield and the outfield shouldn't be a stretch for him given his athleticism. Just trade Franco for something...relief help?
Imagine this in 2018:
1. Cesar Hernandez/3B
2. Odubel Herrera/CF
3. Aaron Altherr/RF
4. Nick Williams/LF
5. Rhys Hoskins/1B
6. Scott Kingery/2B
7. JP Crawford/SS
8. Rupp/Knapp/Alfaro/C

Then Galvis gets a start a week at 2nd, SS, 3rd, LF, and RF. That's a team with better defense, offense, and speed, not to mention more rested regulars due to Galvis' versatility. Cam Perkins could serve as outfield reserve and Brock Stassi bench bat. Honestly think that could be a team to get excited about.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Disappointment Known As Maikel Franco & Other Stuff

Maikel Franco is by far the worst everyday 3rd baseman in baseball and his WAR (-0.7) ranks 157 out 164 qualified batters in MLB. His hips fly open when he swings, leading his upper body to open up and pull everything, so much so, that it knocks the damn helmet off his head. He disgusts me. Over-hyped bust. Although still a mere 24 years old, I'd be ready to wash my hands of him, if only the Phillies had someone capable of playing third base ready in the minors. Of course, they could call-up JP Crawford and let Freddy Galvis play 3rd. Or perhaps Cesar Hernandez or Scott Kingery have the arm to handle the hot corner. All I know is that I hate watching Franco bat and the results justify my revulsion.

Austin Listi, drafted in the 17th round this June, has moved up to Single-A Lakewood already. In 24 games he's batting .310/.938 with 19 R, 6 DBL, 5 HR, 19 RBI, and 3 SB. He's manned 1st base and both left and right field thus far.

Aaron Nola looks like the ace we'd all hope he'd become when he was drafted in the 1st round back in 2014. Watching his fastball dart all over the strikezone with its late life is a thing of beauty. One of the few bright spots this season for the Phillies.

Jhailyn Ortiz, he of the tender age of 18, is mashing the ball in Williamsport. He did alright as a 17 year old outfielder in the Gulf Coast League last summer, but he's made significant strides to improve himself this season, and he's now batting .306/1.026 in 32 games with 22 R, 9 DBL, 7 HR, 25 RBI, and 3 SB.

The Phillies signed a lefty out of Russia that goes by the name of Anton Kuznetsov (extremely Russian) and he's killing it in his debut in the USA. Over 8 appearances for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, he's pitched 14.1 innings, striking out 16, allowed only 6 base runners and nary a run. Mother Russia!

Quincy Nieporte, a 26th round pick this June, is impressing in the Gulf Coast as well. The first baseman has hit .343/1.092 with 14 R, 9 DBL, 4 HR, and 14 RBI over 18 games. He also likes to celebrate by shotgunning a beer after hits.



He could also challenge Odubel Herrera in a bat flipping contest.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Here's a shocking number about the Phillies, they're playing .500 baseball since June 22

On June 22, the Phillies fell to 22-48. It seemed like the Phillies were on track for a monumentally bad season. They were amid a stretch of brutal baseball that culminated in an 11-37 mark. The fact they'd started the season 11-11 was a distant memory.

It was the game Tommy Pham homered off Hector Neris in the ninth inning, then Edubray Ramos botched a pick-off throw that led a run to score.
It seemed to be the most 2017 Phillies game of 2017. The absolute Nadir.





Yeah, it was an ugly night.

I don't know if something happened after that 7-6 loss in extra innings. I don't know if something need to happen for what happened next, but what happened next is absolutely absurd. It's so bonkers to the wall nuts that no one has seemed to notice.


The Howard, Trades & Stuff

Hey, it's been awhile. Sorry to our hordes of readers desperately checking daily for WSBGMs updates. Have no fear, I am here. Special shout out to Robert in NEPA. You know why.

First up...The Howard. Ryan Howard might be out of baseball, but his namesake stat goes on. Francisco Lindor of the Indians just collected his 3rd Howard of the season to sit upon the throne. Refresher course, a Howard is anytime a players hits a homerun, strikes out, and commits an error all within the same ball game. The leader board for the 2017 season is located on the blog's right sidebar. Unlike blog posts, I do update that daily. You're welcome.
Next on the docket, the trades. All three trades were good trades. Why? None of those players have a future in Philly in 2018. Neshek got us 3 decent Single-A prospects. Kendrick and Hellickson were taking needed developmental time away from younger players, so getting anything for them was a bonus. The lefty in the Kendrick trade might end up being worthwhile, but the Helly deal was just bleh. Klentak was able to get some international spending money in the deals too, so that helps moving forward.  Hyun Soo Kim was included in the O's package to help balance Helly's contract. He'll essentially pinch hit for the Phils, if not get cut altogether.

Now onto what remains on the Phillies roster. I would welcome a Joaquin Benoit trade, but he's disappointed this season, so it's doubtful any contender would even want him. Danial Nava would have been a nice addition for a playoff hopeful team, but he's on the DL. Hopefully he'll get healthy and an August deal can be worked out. As much as I love Andres Blanco. He needs to go. I know he's technically the Phillies utility infielder, but he's been all kinds of terrible this year with the bat. Maybe it's time to give JP Crawford that much anticipated MLB debut and move Freddy Galvis to a super utility role. Other players on the team that don't make much sense to me - Ty Kelly and Adam Morgan. Morgan was marginally okay his rookie seasons, but has posted an ERA/WHIP of 6.00+/1.50+ the past two years. Time to audition a new arm.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

About to Have a Good Problem

Aaron Nola is starting to look like the Aaron Nola we all anticipated when he was drafted a few years back. Nick Pivetta is doing alright. Mark Leiter Jr. has surprised me so far. Ben Lively isn't striking anybody out, but he's still doing his job. Jerad Eickhoff is on the mend, as are Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez.

That's 7 starting pitchers. A rotation only holds 5 and the Phillies' current one still has veteran Jeremy Hellickson in it for the time being.
One easy fix - deal Hellickson for whatever. Honestly, he should have been dealt last season.

My rotation after Hellickson is traded would be - 1) Nola, 2) Eickhoff, 3) Pivetta, 4) Lively, and 5) Eflin. Move Leiter back to the bullpen and let Velasquez get some innings there as well.

Oh, the Phils have some guys in the minors seemingly ready too. Tom Eshelman, a forgotten man in the Giles trade, has bee excellent through 11 Triple-A starts (1.96 ERA/0.94 WHIP) and Brandon Leibrandt is making a good impression as well (7-2 with a 3.23 ERA/1.35 WHIP combined between Reading and Lehigh Valley). Of course, Jake Thompson is still around, but he's been terrible this year (5.97 ERA/1.67 WHIP) and Mark Appel continues to toil (4.87 ERA/1.67 WHIP).

It's Klentak's job to figure out what he's got moving into 2018. Personally, I think they're mostly backend starters with the exception of Nola and Eickhoff.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Taking stock, halfway through the season

We're halfway through the season, so let's take stock of where the Phillies are, statistically. Yes, we know it's bad. But some things might surprise you how bad they are. Other things might surprise you with a bit of improvement. We'll start off with the record.

2016
36-45, 13 games back
2017
28-53, 20 games back

So, the Phillies are eight games back of last year's pace. That's a lot. If they win eight more games in the second half, they'll have 64 wins on the season.
Let's look at the rest of the numbers. We'll compare this year's half season to last year's full season. Then add in how much the stats differ at this point from half of last season's totals.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NO! NO! NO! The Phillies should not trade Odubel Herrera


Yes, Odubel Herrera had a listless month of May. He hit .183/.196/.257. Yes, he has stumbled on the bases in frustrating and repeated fashion recently.
But the argument that Herrera isn't a valuable building block moving forward is patently absurd. Anyone who argues the Phillies should trade Herrera is a mouthbreather who couldn't beat a stalk of celery in a game of tic-tac-toe if you spotted that person two X's.
Look, if some team comes calling and offers two top 100 prospects as part of a package, you probably pull the trigger.
But Odubel Herrera will not make more than $12.5 million during his contract with the Phillies. With options, it can run through the 2023 season.
Meanwhile, Herrera enters today's game, despite his worst month in the big leagues, with a .698 OPS, with 5 home runs and 5 stolen bases. He has a .922 OPS this month. It's not hard to imagine Herrera ending the year with a third straight season of an OPS above .760. It's not hard to imagine him having a second straight season with more than 10 homers and 10 stolen bases. He's probably going to eclipse his career high of 30 doubles. He's on track to soar past his career high of 42 extra-base hits in a season.
Trading Herrera at this point, just to trade him, would be a horrifying mistake.

Just how bad is it?

The Philadelphia Phillies are on pace to lose 110 games this season. They're currently sitting on a record of 24-51, worst in baseball. They've been outscored by 102 runs by their opponents. Their offense and pitching are nearly the worst in baseball. They're getting below average production from every position except shortstop and left field (thanks Galvis, Kendrick, and Altherr!). This team is terrible. No hyperbole in that statement.
Offense:
R - 285 (29th)
AVG - .242 (27th)
OBP - .305 (27th)
SLG - .391 (28th)
OPS - .695 (28th)
DBL - 135 (12th tied)
TRPL - 14 (10th tied)
HR - 73 (29th)
SB - 29 (22nd tied)
BB - 220 (25th)
K - 639 (19th)

Pitching:
ERA - 4.90 (27th)
WHIP - 1.44 (26th)
QS - 29 (25th tied)
K - 552 (26th)
BB - 252 (17 tied)
HR - 107 (24th)
OPS - .802 (28th)
K:BB - 2.19 (23rd)

Offense Positional Ranks:
P - .142/.376 (7th)
C - .215/.667 (23rd)
1B - .241/.734 (25th)
2B - .282/.723 (19th)
SS - .246/.720 (14th)
3B - .216/.619 (29th)
LF - .272/.807 (9th)
CF - .252/.692 (24th)
RF - .236/.698 (27th)
DH - .333/.965 (3rd)
PH - .258/.735 (9th)

Pitching Splits:
SP ERA - 4.97 (27th)
SP WHIP - 1.42 (25th)
RP ERA - 4.81 (25th)
RP WHIP - 1.47 (29th)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Who's been the biggest disappointment this year?

Part of the thing that amazes me about how bad this year has been is that so many players, individually, have been awful. If you told me the team was going to finish with 90-plus losses, I'd have been as shocked as if you'd told me it would have won 90-plus games. But with the losses, I'd still expect to see some growth among several players.

Which players have been most disappointing?