Friday, May 22, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Nationals

Philadelphia Phillies (18-25, 4th) @ Washington Nationals (24-17, 1st)
Game Times:
Friday, 7:05
Saturday, 4:05
Sunday, 1:35

Batting/Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Wilson Ramos
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Ryan Zimmerman
2B - Chase Utley vs. Danny Espinosa
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Ian Desmond
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Yunel Escobar
LF - Ben Revere vs. Michael Taylor
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. Denard Span
RF - Jeff Francoeur vs. Bryce Harper
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Cesar Hernandez, Darin Ruf, Grady Sizemore & Andres Blanco vs. Jose Lobaton, Dan Uggla, Clint Robinson, Wilmer Difo & Tyler Moore
R - Phillies 136 (30th) vs. Nationals 205 (2nd)
AVG - Phillies .241 (22nd) vs. Nationals .261 (8th)
OPS - Phillies .652 (29th) vs. Nationals .751 (5th)
HR - Phillies 24 (30th) vs. Nationals 47 (5th tied)
SB - Phillies 23 (15th tied) vs. Nationals 11 (28th)

Pitching:
SP1 - Sean O'Sullivan vs. Max Scherzer
SP2 - Cole Hames vs. Stephen Strasburg
SP3 - Aaron Harang vs. Gio Gonzalez
CL - Jonathan Papelbon vs. Drew Storen
RP - Ken Giles, Justin DeFratus, Jake Diekman, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia & Elvis Araujo vs. Aaron Barrett, Matt Thornton, Blake Treinen, Tanner Roark, Sammy Solis & Matt Grace ERA - Phillies 4.09 (19th) vs. Nationals 3.75 (12th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.43 (29th) vs. Nationals 1.32 (20th)
K - Phillies 294 (18th) vs. Nationals 321 (13th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-56) vs. Nationals (+28)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Six Going On Seven?

Six Game Winnings Streak!!!
*Chad Billingsley is on the DL with a right shoulder strain.  He's out for at least a month.  In his absence, Severino Gonzalez gets another chance to impress.

*Proof that Amaro is a liar- “Ruben called me about a week after the season and said we’re going to go in a different direction, we’re going to go younger. And then he signs Aaron Harang and Jerome Williams. So I was like, huh. That’s the way it is. Honestly I think it’s just part of the game and wanted some different faces. That’s the way it goes," said Kyle Kendrick.  In Amaro's defense, both Harang and Williams have pitched better than KK to this point in 2015 and are signed cheaper.

*Minor Moves- 1) 31 year old, right-handed reliever, Chris Leroux was acquired from the Brewers.  He's seen action in 6 MLB season, posting a 6.03 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 71.2 innings.  He's been even worse in Triple-A this year, with a 8.15 ERA and 1.93 WHIP spanning 17.2 innings.  I know this is only a depth move, but it's a shitty one.  2) 25 year old catcher, Blake Forsythe also became part of the Phillies minor leagues this past week via Oakland.  He's currently stationed in Reading, having only appeared in 1 game thus far.  In 6 minor league seasons, he's a .226/.691 hitter.  Once again, a depth addition.

*It's that time of year again, when Ben Revere becomes a singles hitting machine and boosts his batting average up over .300 within a couple weeks.

*I'd like to give Ryan Howard a shout-out. Instead of sulking, he's attempting to have a bounce back season, and is currently hitting .252/.795 with 7 HR and 19 RBI.  Not earth shattering by any means, but perhaps good enough that a team will bite come Trade Deadline.  Of course the Phillies will still have to eat a large portion of his remaining contract, but also might get something semi-useful in return.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Series Shakedown: Phillies versus Rockies

Philadelphia Phillies (16-23) @ Colorado Rockies (13-21)
Game Times:
Monday, 8:40
Tuesday, 8:40
Wednesday, 8:40
Thursday, 3:10

Offense:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Nick Hundley
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Wilin Rosario
2B - Chase Utley vs. DJ LaMahieu
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Troy Tulowitzski
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Nolan Arenado
LF - Ben Revere vs. Chris Dickerson
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. Charlie Blackmon
RF - Grady Sizemore vs. Carlos Gonzalez
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez & Jeff Francoeur vs. Mike McKenry, Drew Stubbs, Daniel Descalso & Rafael Ynoa
R - Phillies 120 (30th) vs. Rockies 132 (28th tied)
AVG - Phillies .238 (25th) vs. Rockies .262 (8th)
OPS - Phillies .643 (29th) vs. Rockies .725 (12th)
HR - Phillies 22 (30th) vs. Rockies 34 (15th tied)
SB - Phillies 19 (16th tied) vs. Rockies 12 (25th tied)

Pitching:
SP1 - Cole Hamels vs. Jordan Lyles
SP2 - Aaron Harang vs. Chad Bettis
SP3 - Undecided vs. Eddie Butler
SP4 - Jerome Williams vs. Jorge DeLaRosa
CL - Jonathan Papelbon vs. John Axford
RP - Ken Giles, Justin DeFratus, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia, Jake Diekman, Hector Neris & Elvis Araujo vs. Rafael Betancourt, Christian Bergman, Yohan Flande, Christian Friedrich, Boone Logan, Scott Orberg & Ken Roberts
*Chad Billingsley was placed on the DL, Neris was recalled.  A starter is needed for Wednesday's game, likely Severino Gonzalez.
ERA - Phillies 4.10 (17th) vs. Rockies 5.05 (30th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.43 (29th) vs. Rockies 1.53 (30th)
K - Phillies 269 (18th) vs. Rockies 227 (29th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-54) vs. Rockies (-47)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

We're Going Streaking!

The Philadelphia Phillies are winners of 4 straight games.  It's quite the accomplishment and should be celebrated.  We're going streaking!

Sunday Share:
*Andres Blanco should be recognized for being a decent bench player for the Phillies over the past two season.  In 45 games, he's hit .284/.766, providing 0.5 WAR, while playing quality defense at 2nd, 3rd, and SS.

*Joe Blanton is back in the Majors!  He basically took 2014 off after a disastrous 2013 with the Angels (6.04 ERA/1.61 WHIP, -2.0 WAR in 28 games/20 starts).  He signed a minor league pact with the Royals this season and worked his way back up the ranks, tossing 4 innings in yesterday's game for KC.

*Jayson Nix is back in the Phillies organization.  Having recently promoted Maikel Franco and converting Cody Asche to an outfielder, the upper minors were thin in the infield.  Nix began 2014 with the Phils, before being released mid-May.  The 32 year old utility infielder was only hitting .167/.388 before being purchased from the Orioles organization.

*Nix will join Domonic Brown at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Brown is attempting to make it back to the Phils, but is hitting a paltry .241/.587 in 26 games.  That's pathetic.  Brown was a flash-in-the-pan.  He has two great months back in 2013, but hasn't come anywhere close to that otherwise.  Considering he's making $2.6M, I'd like to see him flipped in a "change of scenery" move, where the Phils take on a similar contract of another struggling player.

*The Howard now has two official leaders (glance to the right-hand sidebar to view the entire list). The Joshes are keeping it real, with Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays and Josh Harrison of the Pirates with 2 apiece.

*Phillies 2014 1st round pick, Aaron Nola, is killing it for Double-A Reading.  Through 7 starts, he's pitched 45.2 innings, struck out 32 batters and walked only 5, has won 5 games, and has a sparkling 1.77 ERA/0.83 WHIP.  Looking good kid!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks (15-18) @ Philadelphia Phillies (13-23)

Game Times:
Friday, 7:05
Saturday, 7:05
Sunday, 1:35

Offense:
C - Tuffy Gosewisch vs. Carlos Ruiz
1B - Paul Goldschmidt vs. Ryan Howard
2B - Chris Owings vs. Chase Utley
SS - Nick Ahmed vs. Freddy Galvis
3B -  Yasmany Tomas vs. Maikel Franco
LF - Ender Inciarte vs. Ben Revere
CF - AJ Pollock vs. Odubel Herrera
RF - Mark Trumbo vs. Grady Sizemore
Bench - Aaron Hill, David Peralta, Cliff Pennington, Danny Dorn & Jordan Pacheco vs. Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Cesar Hernandez, Jeff Francoeur & Darin Ruf
R - Diamondbacks 161 (8th) vs. Phillies 103 (30th)
AVG - Diamondbacks .269 (3rd) vs. Phillies .232 (26th)
OPS - Diamondbacks .741 (6th) vs. Phillies .621 (30th)
HR - Diamondbacks 31 (15th tied) vs. Phillies 19 (30th)
SB - Diamondbacks 27 (6th tied) vs. Phillies 16 (19th)

Pitching:
SP1 - Chase Anderson vs. Chad Billingsley
SP2 - Archie Bradley vs. Jerome Williams
SP3 - Josh Collmenter vs. Sean O'Sullivan
CL - Addison Reed vs. Jonathan Papelbon
RP - Oliver Perez, Randal Delgado, Brad Ziegler, Daniel Hudson, Vidal Nuno, JC Ramirez & Enrique Burgos vs. Justin DeFratus, Ken Giles, Jake Diekman, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia, Dustin McGowan & Elvis Araujo
ERA - Diamondbacks 4.29 (23rd) vs. Phillies 4.26 (22nd)
WHIP - Diamondbacks 1.34 (20th) vs. Phillies 1.45 (29th)
K - Diamondbacks 236 (23rd) vs. Phillies 249 (18th tied)
Run Differential - Diamondbacks (+13) vs. Phillies (-63)
*Roster moves will need to be made for each club when Arizona activates Archie Bradley and Philly does the same for Maikel Franco.
 
What To Imbibe On:
North Country Brewing - Stinky Hippie. Hailing from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania this brewery is bringing their tasty treats to the masses in the vessel of an aluminum can.  Stinky Hippie is a 6% pale ale that is an amber pour with a big fluffy head, with a nice balance of semi-sweet malts, moderate hop profile of citrus fruits, pithy, and slick mouthfeel. 
Commercial Description - Do I smell patchouli or is it hops? Bob thought this was a good name for a pale ale, so Sean created this beer with different, very pungent hops. Peace and love.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chase Utley "Chasing" Batting Title

Chase Utley is riding high on a 4-game hitting streak.  After seeing his average dip to a MLB-low .099, he quickly turned things around.  With an amazing 4 hits in 4 games, Utley is now batting a lofty .127, I shit you not.  Dee Gordon better watch out, because Chase Utley is now chasing the NL batting title.  I forsee NL starting second baseman, Silver Slugger, and MVP of the 2015 season in his future.  He's on fire!  The King has returned.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inside the Numbers & Roster Changes

Inside the Numbers:
*The Phillies current record of 11-22 translates into a 54-108 full season record.

*The Phillies have scored 94 runs in 33 games, for an average of 2.85 runs per game.  That translates into 461 runs scored over the course of an entire season.  Historically horrible.

*OPS Ranks by Position - Catcher .523 (26th), First Base .749 (20th), Second Base .473 (30th), Shortstop .728 (11th), Third Base .687 (19th), Leftfield .548 (27th), Centerfield .678 (22nd), Rightfield .641 (26th), Pinch Hitter .600 (17th).

*Pitching Staff ERA/WHIP Rankings - Starting Pitchers 5.14 ERA (25th) & 1.43 WHIP (25th).  Relief pitchers 2.82 ERA (7th) & 1.60 WHIP (30th).
 
Roster Changes:
*Cody Asche has been optioned to AAA so that he can learn to play leftfield.  This means Maikel Franco will likely be promoted to man the hot corner for the foreseeable future.  3rd base is now Franco's, all he has to do is play passable defense and hit a bit.

*Sean O'Sullivan has been activated from the DL to resume his spot in the rotation every 5th day.  This is a horrible plan, because he is a horrible pitcher.  Remember when the Phillies signed Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league contract to only back out of it due to his physical?  Well, Wandy is proving Amaro to be an idiot- 4 GS, 23.1 IP, 22 K, 2.70 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. 

*When Franco is called-up a member of the bullpen will need to be sent out/down.  My vote is for Dustin McGowan, but it will likely be Elvis Arauju.

*When Asche is deemed worth of regular playing time and is summoned from Lehigh Valley a bench player will get the axe.  With Cesar Hernandez being the only reserve playing well, it could literally be anyone other than backup catcher, Cameron Rupp.