Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phillies May Minor League Report

The Atlanta Braves dynasty of the 90's and early 00's was built upon a foundation of pitching, timely offense, and an impeccable farm system that was taught to win from the early stages. Great blueprint for success, hence the reason the Phillies are following suit.

We all know why the Phillies pitching is so good, duh! Timely offense has been enough to produce the best record in MLB and only stands to get better from here on out with Utley back and Victorino soon to follow.

The Phillies also have one of the best farm systems and it is evident by the talent churned out who are now with the Phillies (Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Ryan Madson, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, Domonic Brown, and to some extent Shane Victorino). Also, don't forget how Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge, Ben Francisco, and Roy Oswalt got here - via trade. Trades that were facilitated by the bountifulness of prospects in the Phillies system.

Lets take a look at some of the players down in the minors that might be seeing time in the future for the Phils are be that all important trade chip.


*Image courtesy of PhilaPhans.com


Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs:
Triple-A, 31-19 (1st)

The Lil' Piggies are a team to be reckoned with. They are built almost exclusively on minor league free agents that have MLB experience, but can't hack it full-time. Regardless of how the team is constructed, first year manager Ryne Sandberg must be happy with the results, as this is by far the best Iron Pigs team since becoming the Phillies AAA affiliated a few years back.

Pete Orr is hitting .346/.870 since being demoted. Jeff Larish/1B is hitting bombs, 10 homeruns. Tagg Bozied/OF/1B is sporting a tremendous OPS (1.088) since being activated a couple weeks ago. Josh Barfield/2B (.280/.723), Erik Kratz/C (.279/.923, 8 HR), Rich Thompson/OF (.258/.709, 18 SB), and Brandon Moss/OF (.243/.773, 29 RBI) are the offensive standouts.

Doing some outstanding pitching for LHV is Brian Gordon (3-0, 1.01 ERA, 0.90 WHIP), who has recently converted to a starting pitcher. The rest of the rotation is lackluster (except for Vance Worley who was just optioned back down yesterday). The relief pitchers are excellent though - Drew Carpenter (4-0, 2.23/1.08, 34 K in 32.1 IP), Michael Schwimer (2-0, 1.95/1.19, 35 K in 27.2 IP), Juan Perez (2.82/1.34, 27 K in 22.1 IP), and Mike Zagurski (1.88/1.12, 23 K in 14.1 IP, 9 SV).

Reading Phillies:
Double-A, 26-23 (4th)

Baseball Town, USA holds some of the Phillies real prospects, not minor league retreads like in Lehigh Valley. Cody Overbeck/1B/3B/OF is the main power source with 13 HR and 36 RBI, batting .282/.873. Of course, there's still Matt Rizzotti/1B (.324/.962, 8 HR, 32 RBI), who is likely trade fodder come trade deadline in July because he's blocked by Ryan Howard. Others include - Steven Susdorf/OF (.323/.916), 12 year minor league vet Mike Spidale/OF (.319/.722), and Derrick Mitchell/OF (.255/.738, 7 HR, 31 RBI).

Hurling the ball for the little Phillies is starting pitcher JC Ramirez (5-3, 2.83/1.06, but only 20 K in 54 IP). Much like the Iron Pigs, this team's pitching surplus appears in the bullpen, not the rotation. They have gotten superb relief work from - BJ Rosenberg (1.88/1.15, 34 K in 28.2 IP), Tyson Brummett (1.78/1.16), Phillippe Aumont (3.03/1.01, 32 K in 23.2 IP), and Justin De Fratus (3-0, 2.55/1.38, 26 K in 24.2 IP).

Clearwater Threshers:
Advanced-A, 32-19 (2nd)

Converted pitcher Joe Savery has cooled off some, but is still hitting .342/.834 and has been playing some outfield along with firstbase. Catcher Sebastian Valle is clobbering the ball right now to the tune of a .320 average. Super prospect Jonathan Singleton/OF has fallen on hard times and is struggling .259/.707, but others in the lineup are picking him up- Jeremy Barnes/3B (.292/.774), Darin Ruf/1B (.281/.799), and Leandro Castro/OF (.281/.791).

Whereas the starting rotation in Triple and Double-A were poor, the Threshers are storing some real talent in theirs. Clearwater's starting rotation boasts - Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 1.75/0.99), Jarred Cosart (5-3, 2.87/1.11), Julio Rodriguez (6-3, 2.28/1.07), Trevor May (3-2, 4.08/1.36, 68 K in 53 IP), and Tyler Cloyd (3-1, 2.82/0.99). Wow! Working relief are - Justin Friends (1.16/0.69, 17 SV), Derrik Loop (0.74/1.07), and Joseph Esposito (1.97/1.31).

Lakewood BlueClaws:
Single-A, 27-23 (5th)

Former high draft pick outfielders Zach Collier (.261/.718) and Anthony Hewitt (.266/.780) are finally starting to hit a bit, and are young enough to still possibly become something useful someday. Meanwhile Jim Murphy/1B has been on a tear, as he now has 13 HR and 37 RBI to go along with his .928 OPS. 19 year old Domingo Santana/OF is also doing well (.284/.835).

Pitching for the BlueClaws are standouts - David Buchanan (7-2, 1.97/1.06), Garrett Claypool (2.00/0.91, 66 K in 54 IP), Lisalberto Bonilla (1.27/0.56), and Eric Pettis, who has now combined for 18 games with a 0.65 ERA between Lakewood and Clearwater.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Series Preview - Nationals (Part 3)

Philadelphia Phillies (33-20) @ Washington Nationals (22-30)

Season Series - Phillies 5 wins, Nationals 1 win

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 1:05, Roy Halladay vs. Livan Hernandez
Tuesday, 7:05, Cliff Lee vs. Jason Marquis
Wednesday, 1:05, Roy Oswalt vs. John Lannan

Gnats Bats:
AVG - .229 (29th)
OBP - .299 (28th)
SLG - .360 (25th)
R - 198 (23rd)

Simply put- this teams sucks offensively. Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL for the eleventith time in his career. Jayson Werth is underwhelming (apparently $126M buys you a .790 OPS). Danny Espinosa is barely clearing the Mendoza Line (.203). Ian Desmond still has a ton of talent, but still has a ton of problems consistently hitting the ball (.223). Pudge Rodriguez is a shell of his former self (.211). The two boons for this squad are in the unexpected form of Laynce Nix (.307/.897) and Michael Morse (.288). When will Bryce Harper be ready?

Gnats Pitching:
ERA - 3.88 (17th)
WHIP - 1.32 (19th)
BAA - .257 (23rd)

We've firmly established that Livan Hernandez is the heftier, tanner, right-handed Cuban version of Jamie Moyer. Marquis is a sinkerball pitcher. Lannan hits Phillies and the Phillies hit him back. This trio isn't anything to be frightened of.

In the bullpen are workhorses Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Doug Slaten, and Todd Coffey; all with ERA's 2.25 and under. Fireballer Henry Rodriguez is quickly acclimating himself to the league too, striking out 17 in 11.2 IP with a 2.31 ERA. Relief pitching is this team's strength. Hit the starting pitcher early and often and hope you have enough runs before these guys come in.
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Facebook Comment of the Week:
"I think the Phillies need to keep Michael Martinez when Victorino comes back. I do not wanna ship him back to the Nationals, he is a good player off the bench. I also do not wanna have to see John Mayberry Jr. have to get sent down to Lehigh Valley. I think Ross Gload should be sent down to Lehigh Valley in the corresponding move when Victorino comes back and keep Martinez and Mayberry Jr. with the Major League team."
~David Cole

I'm not even sure how to attack this statement. First, Ross Gload is one of the best pinch hitters in baseball. For his career he is batting .280/.734 in that capacity (274 plate appearances). Second, Michale Martinez is awful. He plays a multitude of positions, but his bat is weak and he lacks on base skills. He is 28 years old and has never performed above average in the minors, so it's not like he's a young prospect still learning that game with potential upside. He does not belong on a MLB roster, especially that of a playoff bound contender. His presence on this team angers me more and more with every passing day. The Phillies already have their everywhere man in the form of Wilson Valdez. Martinez is redundant trash. His Rule 5 status is what is protecting him from demotion, because he'd have to be offered back to the Nationals before being sent to the Phillies minors. Thing is, he wouldn't be missed if the Nats claimed him back...which they might not anyway. It's time Amaro admit his mistake of keeping Martinez when camp broke in late March. Mayberry and Gload are obviously better bench options, so correct the error and rid this team of Michael Martinez. Third, I agree Mayberry needs to stay, because when he's not exposed to playing regularly he performs well in limited action. See David, I didn't totally tear everything you said apart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things Are Falling Into Place

Chase Utley is back. Domonic Brown is up and hitting. Jose Contreras is back. Shane Victorino just started his rehab assignment. Brad Lidge just pitched in an extended spring training game. Joe Blanton is resting, but Vance Worley is a very adequate fill-in. Things are falling into place.

The Phillies did a tremendous job treading water during this time of inclement health. The offense was the only thing holding this team back from running the table on the National League. Things are a bit different now with Utley atop the lineup and a Dom Brown that poses an offensive threat. It only stands to get better once Victorino returns. He adds speed and pop to the order. I still don't think they're an elite offensive team, but they certainly don't seem to be a bottom third one either any more. Now, if we could only rid ourselves of Michael Martinez...

*NL Ranks out of 16 teams

Record:
33-19 (1st)

Offense:
AVG - .250 (7th)
OBP - .316 (8th)
SLG - .376 (10th)
OPS - .693 (10th)
R - 215 (7th)
DBL - 79 (12th)
TRPL - 10 (tied for 5th)
HR - 42 (8th)
SB - 35 (8th)

Pitching:
ERA - 3.02 (1st)
WHIP - 1.20 (2nd)
BAA - 2.43 (4th)
OPS - .647 (3rd)
BB:K - 138:421 (1st)
QS - 37 (1st)
CG - 6 (1st)
SHO - 7 (tied for 1st)
SV% - 94% (1st)

Fielding:

E - 22 (1st)
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Happy Anniversary:
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Roy Halladay's perfect game.
Here's my post following his performance-

Thank you Roy Halladay. Thank you for winning your 7th game of the season. Thank you for being a true ace. Thank you for knocking Kevin Millwood off the title of "last Phillie to pitch a no hitter". Halladay's perfect performance over the Marlins tonight was pure awesomeness. The Phils didn't give him much wiggle room, as a Cameron Maybin error led to the lone run, but Doc scoffed it off and put 27 Florida batters down in a row. 9 innings, 11 strike outs, no hits, no walks, no errors, no hit batsmen. That my friends is perfect. I am in awe.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Madson or Lidge- The Debate & Other Stuff


If you polled Phillies fans prior to the start of the 2011 season who the closer should be, Ryan Madson might have ranked below Mike Zagurski. Seriously though, when given opportunities in past seasons he blew them, but this year the story is different. Ryan Madson looks different. I know quantifying a player's demeanor/swagger/confidence is impossible, but it's hard to argue that Madson has stepped it up a notch in the crucial high-pressure save situations. No more deer-in-headlights look, now he has the look of determination.

Madson has already passed the first test- the return of Jose Contreras from the DL. Contreras was perfect in save situations, but then got hurt. That's when Madson stepped in, and now has earned the trust of Manuel and remains the closer for the time being. Next test- the return of Brad Lidge, the incumbent closer. Lidge is scheduled to pitch 1 inning in extended spring training today. He's not close to being ready, but in 3 weeks or so, he might be. Does Madson remain the closer at that time? If he continues shutting the door on opponents in the 9th then the answer should be a resounding YES.
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Valdez in the Hall:
Cooperstown has come calling, and they're calling for Wilson Valdez. The Hall-of-Fame wants Valdez's cap from his pitching appearance in the 19th inning where he was credited for the win. He now joins such illustrious Phils in the Hall such as Michael Jack Schmidt, Whitey Ashburn, Harry Kalas, Steve Carlton, and don't forget Eric Bruntlett.
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I've Got this Under Control:
JC Romero has control problems. After his 3 walk outing the other day I posted these scary stats- since the beginning of 2009, JC Romero has walked more batters than he has struck out in each season, totaling 50 walks to only 47 K's in 65.1 IP.

When asked about his control issues, JC responded- "Control problems? That was one time. One time I had a bad day at the office. I was a little hyper or something like that. There's nothing to it. Before that, everything was fine. It was just one of those days where you go there and it's not there."

What?!?!?! Are you f'n kidding me?!?!?! JC, you suck. Get a clue.

Luckily, Charlie Manuel sees things differently- "I can't explain it," he said of Romero's control issues. "Probably two or three years. He can get two strikes on a hitter and end up walking or gets into a lot of deep counts."
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Magic # Watch:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Series Preview- Mets (Part 3)

Philadelphia Phillies (31-19) @ New York Mets (23-26)

Season Series - Phils 4 wins, Mets 2 wins

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:10, Roy Oswalt vs. Chris Capuano
Saturday, 7:10, Cole Hamels vs. Mike Pelfrey
Sunday, 1:10, Vance Worley vs. Jonathan Niese


Mets Bats:
AVG - .246 (19th)
OBP - .325 (8th)
SLG - .383 (19th)
R - 197 (22nd)

Aside from Jose Reyes (.319/.831, 30 R, 17 SB) and Carlos Beltran (.278/.903, 8 HR, 27 RBI), there aren't any bats to fear. Jason Bay is still struggling. David Wright is on the DL with a broken back (slight exaggeration there, sue me!). Ike Davis is on the DL. Angel Pagan is on the DL. Of course there is famous Phillie-killer Ronny Paulino handling catching duties (.308/.766 lifetime against Phils).

Mets Pitching:
ERA - 4.18 (23rd)
WHIP - 1.39 (26th)
BAA - .263 (26th)

This pitching staff isn't very good. Niese is their best starting pitcher with a 4.33 ERA. Pelfrey (5.37 ERA) continues to live up to my Kyle Kendrick comparison from a couple preseasons ago. Tonight's start, Capuano, has a 5.36 ERA. The bullpen is slightly more bearable thanks to K-Rod (0.74 ERA, 15 SV), Lazareth act Jason Isringhausen (2.35 ERA, 11 HLD), and Taylor Buchholz (2.19 ERA).

Prediction:
The Mets owner is badmouthing the team's best players (Reyes, Wright, and Beltran), so they must really suck. Legion of Broom, Phils sweep!

Pelfrey vs. Kendrick:
Pelfrey ERA - 4.39
Kendrick ERA - 4.61

Pelfrey WHIP - 1.46
Kendrick WHIP - 1.42

Pelfrey K/BB - 1.55
Kendrick K/BB - 1.48

Pelfrey BAA - .283
Kendrick BAA - .286

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wilson Valdez- I Am Legend


Wilson Valdez just cemented his place in Philadelphia Phillies lore by becoming the first position player to start the game in the field then pitch in relief and win the game since Babe Ruth did it back in 1921 (90 friggin' years ago!). He also went 3-6 with a walk, to go along with his scoreless 19th inning he worked. Just like Matt Stairs and the Moon Shot and Roy Oswalt manning LF, he now becomes a legend.

Fun Facts and Thoughts:
*Wilson Valdez now has more wins this season than John Danks, Jo-Jo Reyes, Tim Stauffer, and Ubaldo Jiminez, who all have 8 or more starts. Of course Zack Grienke has out-homered him, but whatever.

*Carlos Ruiz played 3rd base for the 2nd time in his career (also did it for an inning back in '08).

*Danys Baez pitched 5 innings of scoreless baseball. Yep, he's earned his given name back with that yeoman's effort.

*600 total pitches were thrown last night by the Reds and Phillies pitchers.

*Kyle Kendrick struck out both batters he faced last night. He only had 8 K's in 24.2 IP coming into the game.

*Perhaps Amaro was right, in that Domonic Brown isn't ready. Albeit in a small sample size, but he looks completely outmatched (1 hit in 14 AB).

*The Phillies have to play a game today at 1:05. It's time for one of those Cliff Lee complete game shutout gems.

*Jose Contreras is ready to be activated from the DL. Demoting Herndon would make sense, plus they get a fresh arm in the bullpen.

*The Phillies have the best BB:K ratio in the Majors (135:409), but have 3 pitchers on the staff with more walks than strikeouts (JC Romero, David Herndon, and Kyle Kendrick).

*Since the beginning of 2009, JC Romero has walked more batters than he has struck out in each season, totaling 50 walks to only 47 K's in 65.1 IP. That's bad.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Hits

- The Phillies didn't do themselves or Vance Worley any favors by putting him in the bullpen after his last start on May 4th. Prior to last night he had made one start in 19 days. He admitted after the game that he tired after the third inning and by the fifth, well, we all saw what happened. The Phillies had two options earlier this month 1) hold Blanton until he was fully healed while keeping Worely in the rotation or 2) send Worley down to AAA when Blanton is activated to keep him "stretched out." They chose the less successful third option and it may have cost them last night.

- Despite Worley's fatigue and lack of command, you have to love how the guy battles. He worked out of some jams he put himself into and some jams that were caused by jam-shot bloopers. All I could think last night was that if a young Gavin Floyd was on the hill, the game would have been 10-3 Reds after a few innings. I realized that commenting on a players mentality is completely subjective and arbitrary and rarely accurate or useful, but this guy's seems like a "bulldog."

- The most disappointing thing about last night was that the Phillies had a great chance to win a Cueto-Worley matchup. It feels like the Phils gave one away.

- Thumbs down to Jimmy Rollins for getting thrown out at home by a country mile on Utley's first hit of the season. Of course the television cameras pan directly to Jaun Samuel after the play, but I'm not putting this one on him. Sammy has been pretty conservative sending runners this year, often holding the slower runners, but he had to think J-Roll could score on a clean single to the right of centerfielder Drew Stubbs. However, J-Roll got a bad jump and Stubbs hosed him down.

- Thumbs up for Cooch Ruiz in the 6-hole. He's 5-6 in the last two games.

- Ross Gload couldn't pinch-hit in the ninth because he has an injured hip. Fine. But choosing Michael Martinez to hit over Wilson Valdez... or Cole Hamels. With Utley back it's time to eliminate redundancy. Either Valdez or Martinez must go. You all know where this blog stands on the subject...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hallelujah!


Chase Utley has returned. Hallelujah!

Phillies collected 14 hits. Amen my brotha!

Phillies scored 10 runs. Rejoice!

Phillies won. Let the heavens hear our praise.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Series Preview - Reds

Cincinnati Reds (25-22) @ Philadelphia Phillies (28-18)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 7:05, Bronson Arroyo vs. Cole Hamels
Tuesday, 7:05, Johnny Cueto vs. Vance Worley
Wednesday, 7:05, Travis Wood vs. Roy Halladay
Thursday, 1:05, Homer Bailey vs. Cliff Lee

Reds Bats:
AVG - .263 (5th)
OBP - .336 (3rd)
SLG - .417 (4th)
R - 237 (2nd)

In 2010 the Reds had the best offense in the NL and they're nearly duplicating that again this season. Their leader...have you heard of this Joey Votto fellow? Last year's MVP is on his way to another one batting .335/1.007 with 34 R and 28 RBI. He has plenty of help too- Brandon Phillips (.317/.835, 29 R, 27 RBI), Jay Bruce (.271/.853, 30 R, 27 RBI, 11 HR), Drew Stubbs (.268/.784, 33 R, 20 RBI, 14 SB), Ramon Hernandez (.333/.961), and even the elderly statesman Scott Rolen (.263/.747). They've also got a great collection of bench players- Chris Heisey, Ryan Hannigan, and Miguel Cairo. Just imagine what the Phillies record would be with an offense like this.

Reds Pitching:
ERA - 4.32 (25th)
WHIP - 1.33 (18th)
BAA - .250 (15th)

Cincinnati's pitching is hamstringing them from running away with the NL Central. Cueto and Bailey have only made 7 starts combined, Edinson Volquez (6.35 ERA) and Wood (5.17 ERA) have been horrible, and bullpen stalwart Aroldis Chapman is currently DL'd.

However, they've still got plenty of weapons. Cueto and Baily have pitched extremely well since being activated, Arroyo is doing his typical thing, and their bullpen is still loaded with guys that will get you out even with the absence of fireballer Chapman. Bill Bray boast a 1.69 ERA/0.88 WHIP, while closer Francisco Cordero comes into the series with a 1.77/0.98 combo. Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arrendondo, and Sam LeCure have all done well too.

Prediction:
Great Offense vs. Great Pitching. Crappy Offense vs. Crappy Pitching. I say split.
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Roster Stuff:
*Chase Utley has been activated for today's game and will be batting 3rd. Pete Orr was demoted to AAA. I'm not sad to see him go (.230/.577), but I would have much rather seen the no-hitting ass clown Michael Martinez shipped out instead (.194/.431).


*Joe Blanton has officially hit the DL and Vance Worley is taking his place on the roster and in the rotation.

*Outfielder Scott Podsednik was signed to a minor league contract after asking for his release from the Toronto Blue Jays organization. The 35 year old, 10 season MLB veteran has hit .279/.721 with 544 R, 300 RBI, and 301 SB over his career. He was batting .254/.717 in 17 games in the minors this year. If healthy, he could actually be an improvement over the current dreck we have in the outfield.

Without Me- Utley's Back Remix

Without Me- Utley's Back Remix
Orr and Martinez go round the outside,
Round the outside, round the outside.

Orr and Martinez go round the outside,
Round the outside, round the outside.

Guess who's back, back again?
Utley's back, tell a friend!
Guess who's back, Utley's back,
Utley's back, Utley's back...

I've created a monster,
Cuz nobody wants to see Valdez no more,
They want Utley,
Orr's chopped liver.
Well, if you want Utley,
Then this is what RA'll give ya,
A little bit of Orr mixed with some Mar-tin-ez.

Some Valdez to try to jump-start the lineup,
Don't be shocked - where you shocked - at the hospital,
That they suck cuz it's not cooperating,
When Utley's rocking the table while he's swinging "Hey".
You waited this long for him to come back,
Well he's back, off the DL and awaiting.

I know you got a job Mr. Manuel,
But your job is complicated,
So his knees won't let Utley be,
Or let the lineup be, so let me see.
They tried to shut us down on and off TV,
But it feels so empty without Utley.

So come on dip, bum on your lips,
F*** that snuff on your lips and some on your kicks.
And get ready, cuz this shit's about to get heavy,
Utley just settled the roster, "batting 3rd baby!"

Now this looks like a job for Utley,
So everybody just follow me,
Cuz we've had enough controversy,
Cuz it feels so empty without Utley.

I said this looks like a job for Utley,
So everybody just follow me,
Cuz we're done with all the controversy,
Cuz it feels so empty without Utley.

*Lyrics courtesy of loyal reader Preserve John


One Headlight - Chase Utley Remix

So long ago, I don't remember when
That's when we lost our great second baseman
Well they say he can’t run freely due to some wacko disease
As the doctors look at both his ailing knees

I seen the sun comin' up on the Brighthouse Network Field
The long rehab to get fully healed
A-league at bats seem such a waste
The ladies like his pretty face
When will he come on back to take his place

Hey, come on try a little!
No one’s hit forever
There's got to be someone better to play up the middle
But Chuck and Rube Amaro
Can wait ‘til tomorrow
Cuz they can fix it all
With one Utley


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wins & Name That Phillie


Roy Halladay vs. Texas Rangers = WIN!
Cliff Lee vs. Texas Rangers = WIN!
Roy Oswalt vs. Texas Rangers = WIN?

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Name That Phillie:
Do you know this dude? You should. I do, but then again I'm the one who is posing the question aren't I. Go ahead, name that Phillie...
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For good luck...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Good, The Bad & The Possibilities

The Good:
*Roy Halladay collected his 6th win of the season last night and his 175th of his career. NL ranks- 2.21 ERA (5th), 0.98 WHIP (3rd), 77.1 IP (1st), 80 K (1st), 6 W (1st), 9 QS (1st), and 4 CG (1st). Yeah, he's on his way to repeating as NL Cy Young.

*The Phillies hit 2 homeruns in the same game for the first time since the 19th century, well actually since May 5th, but it seemed like ancient times.

*The Phillies record is 27-17, best in baseball.

*The Phillies pitching has come as advertised, which is awesome. NL ranks: 3.10 ERA (2nd), 1.21 WHIP (2nd), BAA (5th), .653 OPS (3rd), 31 QS (1st), 119:366 B:KK (1st), 6 SHO (1st), and 93 SV% (1st).

*Ryan Madson has become Roy Halladay's counterpart in the bullpen- they're both beasts. Mad Dog's #'s- 18 G, 18 IP, 0.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2 W, 8 SV, 2 HLD, and 23 K.

*Phillies pinch hitters are batting .275 (19-69), which is 2nd best in the NL.

The Bad:
*The offense eked out only 4 hits last night, marking the 7th straight game they've collected 6 or fewer hits. A dubious franchise record.

*Ryan Howard has gone hitless in his last 23 at bats. He joins Ibanez, Chooch, and Fransico as players with streaks of 20 or more consecutive at bats without a hit this season. That disgusts me.

*For as great as the pitching as been, the offense has not. As predicted (by me) they are sitting in the bottom third in the NL in almost all categories. NL ranks- 174 R (11th), .245 AVG (8th), .312 OBP (12th), .367 SLG (11th), .679 OPS (11th), 34 HR (11th), 60 DBL (tied for last), 30 SB (8th), 132 BB (13th), and 103 XBH (13th). I never expected the Phillies to have one of the weakest offenses in power categories while playing in Citizens Bank Park. I rue the day.

*David Herndon was summoned from Lehigh Valley as a "fresh arm". Simply put- he sucks. His arm is fresh for hits, runs, and a loss. Not much else.

The Possibilities:
*Chase Utley played in his third straight game in Clearwater yesterday. His return is imminent. This means less Pete Orr and Wilson Valdez, and hopefully more runs and wins.

*Domonic Brown, despite "not being ready", was called-up from AAA to take Victorino's spot on the roster. He'll likely see time in CF and RF, which means less of Michael Martinez and Ben Francisco, and hopefully more runs and wins.

*Joe Blanton will be returning to the DL and Vance Worley will be called up to take his spot in the rotation. This means less 5 inning outings with lots of runners on base, and hopefully more quality starts and wins.

*Jose Contreras will be making his 2nd rehab appearance today and if all goes well could be activated as early as Sunday. This means Herndon is likely demoted, and hopefully Contreras slips comfortably back into the setup role.

*Prospect Michael Schwimer continues to mow down batters in Triple-A (31 G, 43.2 IP, 1.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 51 K). This means the end may be near for Baez Sucks, and hopefully Schwimer is promoted and follows in the path of success that Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo have.

The Golden Girls:
This collection of elderly vixens brings the Phillies luck for some odd reason. Those that don't know, now know. Go Phils!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Halladay Wins #175


Roy Halladay won his 175th game of this illustrious career. Best pitcher in baseball. Congrats.

Series Preview- Rangers

Texas Rangers (23-21) @ Philadelphia Phillies (26-17)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Friday, 7:05, CJ Wilson vs. Roy Halladay
Saturday, 7:10, Colby Lewis vs. Cliff Lee
Sunday, 1:35, Matt Harrison vs. Roy Oswalt


Rangers Bats:
AVG - .257 (9th)
OBP - .327 (8th)
SLG - .416 (5th)
R - 201 (5th)

Lucky us, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are both on the DL. Unlucky us, Michael Young is proving all his naysayers wrong, while going off to the tune of .339/.878 with 16 doubles and 31 RBI. He and Mitch Moreland (.285/.866) are keeping this offense afloat until the 2 big guns return from the DL and Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler remember how to hit again, although Beltre has belted 10 HR and collected 37 RBI. Through the first quarter of the season, C/1B/DH Mike Napoli and CF Julio Borbon have also been disappointments. This lineup can be pitched too, especially without the use of a DH this series.

Rangers Pitching:
ERA - 3.77 (14th)
WHIP - 1.32 (18th)
BAA - .246 (12th)

Just like the Phillies previous opponent (Rockies) the Rangers are a team that has gotten a bad reputation for bad pitching over the past two decades. Well, just like the Rockies, the Rangers have also begun to turn the tide in that aspect of their game. Tonight's starter, CJ Wilson, is a converted closer that has been successful in this transition (combined 19 wins with a 3.36 ERA and 220 K in 265.1 IP over the past 2 years). Tomorrow's starter, Colby Lewis, is a Japanese League salvage project gone right (combined 16 wins with a 3.74 ERA and 234 K in 255.1 IP over the past 2 years). Even Sunday's starter, Matt Harrison, is finally living up to some of the hype of his prospect days.

Relief is not a problem for Texas either. They have 2010 Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz locking down games in the 9th. Old heads Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes are even doing decent.

Prediction:
With the holy trinity of pitching going for the Phils this weekend, it might end up being a low scoring event between what is typically thought of as offensive powerhouses. The Phillies offense just got worse with the prolonged absence of Shane Victorino, so scoring any runs this weekend might be a miracle. Texas takes 2 out of 3.

Roster Update:
*Victorino to DL, Dom Brown called up. Amaro is a liar.

*Scott Mathieson optioned to minors, David Herndon called up. Amaro is an idiot.

*Joe Blanton is hurt, but not yet on the DL. They're waiting until next week. Amaro is still an idiot.

Mad at Amaro

According to the omnipotent Ruben Amaro Jr., Domonic Brown is "not ready to do it". Shut the front door!

Yes, Domonic Brown, one of the top rated prospects in all of baseball over the last few years is not ready. Domonic Brown who is currently batting .341/.968 in Triple-A right now is not ready. Domonic Brown who has dominated AA and AAA over the past two seasons is not ready. Yeah, okay.

Yet, Michael Martinez, who has never showed up on any prospect list is ready. The Rule 5 pick that is 28 years old and is currently batting .194/.431 deserves a chance to show his worth because he is ready. The same Michael Martinez that the lowly Nationals didn't even care to protect is ready. Yeah, sure.

This makes no sense!


What kinda of f'd up world are we living in? This site's name- We Should Be GMs, was created because of profound stupidity like this. Center fielder, Shane Victorino, just went to the DL with something between a Grade 1 and 2 strain of the right hamstring. Brown seems like the logical call-up, yet Amaro refuses to do so. This means more of Mini-Mart playing CF and batting 2nd, which consequently equals less scoring and more losing. Not sure who the call-up will be, but I am sure they'll suck.

On a more positive note, Joe Blanton went back on the DL with right elbow pain. Vance Worley is likely to replace him on the roster and in the rotation. Yippie!

Now for some good luck...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cole Hamels is The Man


Cole Hamels is the man. Anyone that ever suggested differently is a total tool. To begin the season he was cast as the 4th best starter in a glamorous rotation. He's proving to be worthy of a higher seed, like directly behind Halladay. I'm man enough to say it- I love you man!


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*The Howard standings have been consolidated and moved lower on the left sidebar. Mark Reynolds and Matt Kemp each have multiple Howards and sit alone in the leaders section in the upper left sidebar.

*Kyle Kendrick's stolen 2008 World Series ring was found in the bottom of a swamp near his Mount Vernon home inside a Mentos container. WTF? Do you think his wifey got pissed at him and tried to teach him a lesson, or was it insurance fraud?

*Jose Contreras got lit up in 2/3 of an inning yesterday pitching for the Single-A Clearwater Threshers. Wonder how Baez Sucks would have faired?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Series Preview - Rockies

Colorado Rockies (22-18) @ Philadelphia Phillies (25-16)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Wednesday, 7:00, Jorge De La Rosa vs. Cole Hamels
Thursday, 7:05, Jhoulys Chacin vs. Joe Blanton

Rockies Bats:
AVG - .239 (25th)
OBP - .320 (15th)
SLG - .387 (18th)
R - 182 (10th)

Todd Helton is back to being Todd Helton (.322/.917) and he is a notorious Phillie killer (.371/1.118 in 81 G). Troy Tulowitzki might not have the average (.255), but he still has the power (11 homeruns). Role players Jonathan Herrera (.282/.757) and Seth Smith (.280/.832) are doing well for an otherwise lackluster Colorado offense. Major disappointment- CarGo (aka Carlos Gonzalez) who is only batting .234/.704, after nearly winning the MVP last year.

Rockies Pitching:
ERA - 3.99 (19th)
WHIP - 1.30 (12th)
BAA - .244 (11th)

Over the years the Rox haven't been known for their pitching, but they've made major improvements in recent years. Tonight's starter, De La Rosa, leads the team with 5 wins and has a respectable 3.70 ERA. Which means he's pitching a shutout tonight against the Phils. Tomorrow it doesn't get any easier, as Chacin takes the mound with a 2.89 ERA. Believe it or not, these are Colorado's two best starters (better than Ubaldo Jimenenz), and the unlucky Phils get them both.

In the bullpen closer Huston Street has racked up 14 saves and setup man Rafael Bentancourt has 12 holds. Matt Lindstrom has been fantastic, sporting a 1.56 ERA. Overall, everyone on the Rockies staff is pitching well outside of reliever Felipe Paulino. Pray we see him in the 6th inning.

Prediction:
Considering the Phillies offense sucks and they will be facing 2 lefties, I'm predicting a sweep for the Rockies. Tonight's score will be something like 3-2 and tomorrow's 6-1. Pathetic.

Baez Sucks


Please release Danys Baez Sucks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WSBGMs Confidence Meters


I made this graphic on Saturday. But after the last two days, I think my confidence is down well into the "David Bell Zone." I was just too busy or lazy to change it last night.

Last night the combined average of the 2 and 3-hole hitters (Valdez and Ibanez) was in the .220s. Not a single player in the lineup last night ended the game batting over .280. The everyday right and left fielders are a combined ~.226. The Cardinals unintentionally intentionally walked Howard the first three times up because they know nobody else was likely to hit a ball out of the infield. During the road trip the team is hitting less than .220. And stats aside, they look pathetic and completely impotent.

No Utley. No Victorino. Four at-bats a night for Pete Orr. And basically nothing from Ibanez, Francisco, and Ruiz. It's pretty bad right now.

Offense Stock - Free. Free fallin'.


Joe Blanton is just back from the DL and is apparently still pitching with elbow discomfort. Roy Oswalt is just off of the DL yesterday, so who knows what he's going to be like in his next start. Cliff Lee walked everything that held a bat yesterday.

But we got Doc and Cole, who are pitching great. And to be fair, Lee is throwing well enough to win more games.

Starting Stock - Stable.


While I gave the offense the benefit of the doubt, I must have been in a bad move when I created the bullpen graphic. Either that or I just watched Danys Baez pitch, which is more likely.

Lidge on the DL. Contreras on the DL. But credit to the Phils for holding it together relatively well. Honestly, I think my confidence is down because 1) I still remember David Herndon 2) Romero and Baez really do look like garbage and 3) there is no depth. Props to Madson and Bastardo (and Worley, so far) but they need some help down there.

Bullpen Stock - Rising slowly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Series Preview - Cardinals

Philadelphia Phillies (25-14) @ St. Louis Cardinals (23-17)

Monday, 7:10 Cliff Lee v. Jake Westbrook
Tuesday, 8:15, Roy Oswalt v. Jaime Garcia

Cardinals Pitching:
ERA - 3.75 (11th)
WHIP - 1.35 (24th)
BAA - .260 (25th)

How long can Jaime Garcia keep this up? In the last two seasons, Garcia is 18-8 with a 2.50 ERA, including a 5-0 record so far in 2011. At some point Garcia might falter but it won't likely be against the Phillies. For his career Garcia is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Phils.

On the other end of the pitching spectrum is the game one starter Jake Westbrook. Westbrook is struggling along with a 6.92 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. He's only faced the Phils once and did not have much success. The Phils touched him up for seven hits and four runs over 5 innings during a Phillies win last June.

As for the bullpen, our old friend Ryan Franklin is just a few more bad innings from being released. The one-time Phillies gas gan has an ERA approaching double digits. Unfortunately for the Phils, he's long since been removed from the end of the game and hard-throwing youngsters Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas have combined for ten saves.

Cardinals Hitting:
AVG - .284 (1st)
OBP - .357 (1st)
SLG - .432 (2nd)
R - 217 (1st)

Albert Pujols is having a relatively down year, hitting in the .260's with seven homers and 24 RBIs. But opposed to the Phillies who have only one threat in their lineup, the Cardinals are still leading the league in numerous offensive categories because Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman are absolutely raking. Holliday is over .370 and Berkman has 11 homers and 34 RBI. Add to that solid contributions from the role players - Colby Rasmus (.305), John Jay (.298), Allen Craig (.289), Ryan Theriot (.285) and Yadier Molina (.289) - and you have one the strongest offense in baseball.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Howard King


The Howard co-winner in both 2009 and 2010 just took the MLB lead in the exclusive category with his 2nd of the season. Congratulations Mark Reynolds. The young slugging, strikeout prone, erratic fielder has 11 Howards to his name since the creation of the stat prior to the 2009 season. 9 Howards were committed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2 most recent with the Baltimore Orioles. Mark Reynolds is truly The Howard King.


Since 2009 Mark Reynolds has hit 80 homeruns, struck out 473 times, and committed 48 errors. Impressive.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Couldn't Think of a Title

Are you a fan of marquee pitching match-ups? If so, today's Joe Blanton vs. Jair Jurrjens game is not for you. Heavy B has pitched below his already low expectations this year and owns a 1-3 record with a 5.67 ERA against Atlanta lifetime. Jurrjens on the other hand is a perfect 4-0 on the season with a 1.50 ERA.

Today's game is worth watching though, as it is the Civil Rights Weekend Series and the Phillies and Braves will be donning old school Negro League uniforms. Pretty cool, pretty classy.

Props to Manuel for using Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, and Vance Worley in high pressure situations last night and not defaulting to the veteran Baez Sucks.

Fresh off the DL, Chooch continued his impressive hitless streak, which is now up to 26 at bats. The black hole continues!

Although Roy Oswalt's fastball velocity was down in his rehab start, he's healthy and likely to be activated for the St. Louis series on Tuesday and reclaim his spot in the rotation.

Shane Victorino is putting together an excellent all-around 2011 campaign statistically. In 37 games he's batting .289/.863 with 25 R, 19 RBI, 6 DBL, 5 TRPL, 6 HR, and 8 RBI. Keeping that pace up will be difficult for the Flying Hawaiian, but he's a major reason for the Phils MLB best 25-12 record.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Phillies MLB Ranks


Record:
24-12 (best in baseball)

Bats:
AVG - .259 (9th)
OBP - .327 (11th)
SLG - .390 (17th)
OPS - .716 (15th)
R - 156 (15th)
HR - 30 (19th)
DBL - 53 (24th tied)
TRPL - 9 (2nd tied)
SB - 25 (13th tied)
BB - 115 (18th)
K - 239 (24th)

Arms:
ERA - 3.04 (3rd)
WHIP - 1.15 (2nd)
BAA - .234 (6th)
CG - 5 (1st)
SHO - 6 (1st tied)
BB:K - 93:303 (1st)
SV - 11 (7th tied)
QS - 27 (1st)

Only 1 blown save, fewest in the Majors.
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Google Blogger has been experiencing problems and is still attempting to fix some of them. For example, all posts after Tuesday have mysteriously vanished. Commenting and creation of new posts is now viable though. Sorry for the inconvenience, I know how most of you can't function without your daily dose of WSBGMs. Hopefully they get their shit together soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Missing Oswalt, Chooch & Utley

Are you missing the likes of Roy Oswalt, Carlos Ruiz, and Chase Utley? Sure you are. If not, go read a Mets blog. Anyway, Comcast is kind enough to air the Clearwater Threshers game tonight at 7 PM with Oswalt expecting to start and Chooch and Utley being in the lineup. This is the biggest news of a rehab since Demi Lovato. I kid, I kid. Hopefully converted pitcher Joe Savery will start at DH or 1st, and prospects Jonathan Singleton in LF and Eric Pettis work an inning or so in relief.

Thanks to Maureen Quilter of Comcast Sports Net and CSNPhilly.com for the heads up.

Frandsen a Druggie

The Michael Martinez for Kevin Frandsen swap I suggested a few days ago is a no-go. Why? Frandsen is on the juice Ritalin. Unless you have ADHD, ain't no reason to be taking that stuff. He is now suspended for 50 games and likely released from the Phillies farm system. Dumbass!

Meanwhile, the Phils were able to limp out of Miami with a series win. Brian Schneider blew a tire and will likely be DL'd when Carlos Ruiz is activated on Friday. With an old club comes injuries and injuries the Phillies have sustained. Utley, Brown, Oswalt, and Chooch all look to be ready soon though, so watch out.

Enjoy the off day. Watch some Grey's Anatomy in place of baseball tonight instead.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Do Me Like That


1 run. 1 fricken run. Bases loaded in consecutive innings without scoring, with one of those times being with no outs. Bullshit. Roy Halladay deserves better.

An error leads to the winning run. Aided by a "wild pitch" that went off Dane Sardinha's mitt at eye level. Thought those were called passed balls, but what do I know, I'm no official scorer. Bullshit. Roy Halladay deserves better.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011