Monday, December 30, 2013

Philly Pressbox- Holiday Outlook on 2014 Phillies

With all the hoopla going on about the Eagles beating the Cowboys in Dallas to win the NFC East title and make a trip to the playoffs we wanted to take a step back and take a winter look at the Fightin Phils. Spring Training is right around the corner!

Many feel that it’s time to rebuild the Phillies from the ground up, however, that doesn’t seem to be the approach being taken by General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The resigning of fan favorites Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz to three year contracts indicated one of two things, the organizations feels that it can win now with the players they have or the minor leagues are so depleted that there won’t be anyone ready at those positions for several years. We’re favoring that they think they can win now.

Lets take a look at the roster as it stands today:
The projected outfield: LF – Dom Brown, CF- Ben Revere, RF- Marlon Byrd, Reserves – Darin Ruf and John Mayberry Jr.

Dom Brown is coming off the best season of his career. The 26-year-old hit .272 with 27 HR’s and 83 RBI’s. The question about Brown is this, can you trust him to duplicate or improve on those numbers? Brown has been given the job several times over the last few years and hasn’t been able to hold it. Is he for real?

Ben Revere got off to a terrible start while adjusting to NL pitching. He got hot and stayed hot, raising his average from under .200 to .305 with 22 stolen bases before his season ending injury. The 25-year-old has a lot of upside as a hitter and base stealer from the lead off spot.

Marlon Byrd comes over from the Pittsburgh Pirates as an off-season free agent signing. The 36-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, hitting .291 with 24 HRs and 88 RBI’s, while splitting time between the Mets and Pirates. As with Brown the question is this, can Byrd duplicate or improve on last season?

Darin Ruf is an interesting story. He seems to show serious Home Run power but seems to find his way out of the line up by striking out way to much. The 27 -year- old has hit 17 HR’s in 284 At Bats witch would equate to a 35 HR season if he played every day. He has also struck out 103 times in those 284 AB’s which would equate to 206 K’s. There are a lot of questions about keeping a player like Ruf around if he’s not going to play every day so he can continue to improve.

John Mayberry Jr just celebrated his 30th birthday. Mayberry is a career .245 hitter that has averaged 13 HR’s and 45 RBI’s as a part-time player for the Phillies over the last 3 seasons. Is he good enough to be a reserve or can the Phillies upgrade that position without spending a lot of money?

The projected infield looks like this: 1B – Ryan Howard, 2B – Chase Utley, SS – Jimmy Rollins, 3B – Cody Asche. Reserves – Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis.

Will the Phillies get a healthy Ryan Howard back in 2014? That’s the question that another season hinges on. Prior to the injuries that ended the 2011 season, Howard had only hit less than 31 HR’s one time in his career and that was his rookie year in 2005 when he hit 22. Since his injury he has hit 25 in 2012 and 2013 combined. Howard is now 34 years old. Many fans are down on Howard but here’s a misconception, in spite of striking out way too much he has driven in 100+ runs every year that he’s been a full time player and was on pace to do it again in 2012 before being injured. His 2013 numbers project out to near 90. The hope is, that after nearly a year of rehab, the Phils get another chance to see the old Ryan Howard that can hit 30 HRs and drive in 100+ runs.

Chase Utley – Chase “You are the Man” looks like he will finish his career as a Phillie. Utley who’s now 35 years old, played in 131 games in 2012, his most since 2009. He hit a solid .284 with 18 HR’s and 69 RBIs without a legit clean up man hitting behind him. With Utley, what you see is what you get from here on out. His superstar days are behind him yet he’s a solid player who’s now healthy. Unless Howard comes back with a huge season that gives Utley some more fastballs to hit, .285. 20 and 70 is where he’ll be and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Jimmy Rollins – JRoll is also now 35 years old and entering the final year of his contract with the Phils. Rollins offensive skills have tapered off ever since his MVP season of 2007. He hit just .252 in 2013 and hit only 6 HR’s with 39 RBI’s while still playing in 160 games. This will likely be the swan song for the 3 time all star and 4 time gold glove winner UNLESS he buys what Ryne Sandberg is selling and changes his hitting approach at the plate.

Cody Asche – There is nothing but up side for the 23-year-old 3rd baseman. Asche showed he has a big league glove and arm in his 50 game audition in 2013. He hit just .235 but showed some pop with 5 HRs and 22 RBIs in just 160 AB’s. A full season in the big leagues should bring nothing but improvement to Asche. He’s got 20+ HR and 90+ RBI potential.

Kevin Frandsen – Due to all of the injuries in 2013 Frandsen was pushed in to a lot more duty than expected at 1B, 2B and 3rd base. He ended up playing in 119 games and batting 252 times, finishing with a .234 average well below his career .259 average. Frandsen isn’t going to hit for power but will provide depth at the infield positions.

Freddie Galvis – The 24-year-old Galvis has shown some great promise with the glove during several stints in the big leagues, his problem is that he struggles at the plate. Freddie currently has a career .230 batting average. The problem is that he’s never been a hitter in the minor leagues either. He’s presently on the depth chart as the back up at SS , 2B and 3B along with Frandsen. If Galvis gets enough work and can show he belongs he could be the front runner to replace Rollins in 2015.

The Catchers:
Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz – Chooch is a fan favorite who tested the free agent market and ended up right back with the Phillies for three more seasons. He will turn 35 prior to the start of Spring Training but has been a work horse behind the plate. He carries a .274 career batting average but his strength is working the pitching staff. With as many youngsters as the Phillies bullpen are likely to have in 2014 this phase of his game will again be critical.

Will Nieves – The 36-year-old Nieves has played parts of 7 seasons on a major league roster but has never had more than 224 At Bats in any of those years. He carries a career .242 average, although he hit .297 in 2013 for Arizona in 195 ABs, and has hit only 8 career HRs. Nieves will be expected to play in 40-50 games to provide rest for Ruiz. We will need to see if Nieves has the ability to work with the pitching staff.

Cameron Rupp – The 25-year-old Rupp is currently on the Phillies 40 man roster. He got his first sniff of big league life in 2013 appearing in 4 games and hitting .308 in just 13 ABs. Rupp appears to have climbed to the top of the Phils minor league system ahead of a couple catchers that were more highly touted entering 2013. It remains to be seen if Rupp will spend 2014 with the Phillies or spend another season in Lehigh Valley. Since he’s only had a half season at AAA the smart money says he spends a good part of the season there.

Starting Pitchers: Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick and ???????
Cole Hamels is now a 30-year-old pitcher for the Phils. He pitched poorly at times in 2013 but mostly pitched through lack of run support. He is clearly the “ace” of the staff although he finished 8-14 last season. Hamels has now won 99 big league games as a Phillie while sporting a career 3.38 ERA. From 2007 – 2013 Hamels has pitched between 183 and 227 innings every season. Barring injury there’s no reason that another 220 innings won’t come his away again in 2014.

Cliff Lee – The 35-year-old Lee is coming off an outstanding 2013 where he won 14 lost 8 and had a 2.87 ERA while logging 222.2 innings and striking out 222 batters. Lee is a solid starter that would the #1 on many clubs and could be on the Phils as well. Lee is a workhorse that has thrown over 200 innings 8 times in his career. Expect him to be a solid winner again in 2014.

Roberto Hernandez – The 33-year-old Hernandez was signed as a free agent from Tampa Bay where he was 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 2013. In 2009 Hernandez won 19 games for the Cleveland Indians, however, has only won more than 10 one other time. His career numbers are 59-82 with an ERA of 4.67. The hope is that Hernandez can win 12-15 games as the #3 starter.

Kyle Kendrick – Kendrick started out strong but finished the season with 10-13, 4.70 ERA in 30 starts. Over the last four seasons, almost all as a starter, Kendrick has won 40 games and lost 41. The 29-year-old Kendrick is what he is a .500 pitcher. To expect any more than 10 -12 wins from him is expecting too much.

The 5th starter – This could be Jonathan Petibone, Ethan Martin, Miguel Gonzalez or someone who isn’t with the team yet. If Spring Training started today it would be the 23-year-old Petibone. Petibone was 5-4 in his first visit to the majors in 2013 before being shutdown with an arm injury.

The Bullpen: What we think we know right now.
The closer will be Jonathan Papelbon. There is a lot of speculation that Papelbon will be moved this off season but at this time it hasn’t happened. The Phils need to decide whether to eat his contract or keep him in the closer role. In his 2 seasons with the Phils he has a 10-7 record with a below 3.00 ERA while saving 67 of 78 opportunities.

Possible closer: Jake Deikman, Deikman has a live left arm that reaches close to 100 mph. The 6’4″ Deikman will turn 26 prior to the start of Spring Training. If Papelbon is moved, Deikman will have the first shot at the closer spot.

Set Up Men – Antonio Bastardo and Mike Adams are those guys. 

Bastardo has been a bit inconsistent at times, however the 28-year-old lefty has gotten the job done. He finished 2013 with 3-2. 2.32 ERA with 5 saves in 48 games.

Adams, the 35-year-old righthander, will be expected to fill the right side of the set up role. Adams was pitching fairly well before an injury shut him down in June. Adams can be a workhorse having appeared in over 60 games in a season 3 times.

Possible Set Up Man – Brad Lincoln. The 28-year old righthander was brought to the Phillies in an offseason trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. His role is undefined at this time. He’s been a reliever in the big leagues but a starter in the minor leagues. His career record is 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 97 games.

The remaining few spots, depending on the catching decision, is anybodys guess. We can be fairly sure that the spots will be filled by young players that we got a glimpse of in 2013. That list includes BJ Rosenberg, Ethan Martin, Justin DeFratus, Jeremy Horst, Michael Stutts, Joe Savery and Phillippe Aumont. All are young and all have potential to be big league pitchers.

All of the players above are on the present 40 man roster.

The most glaring questions are these:
Is this the roster that will come out of Spring Training?
Can Ryan Howard come back from his injuries and be the 30 HR and 100 RBI player he’s been in the past?
Will this be the end for Jimmy Rollins as a Phillie?
Nearly everyone on the roster is in their 30′s, can they stay injury free so the Phils aren’t running a AAA lineup out all summer?
Is this the year that Hamels and Lee can both avoid hard luck seasons and post 18+ wins each?
Most importantly, can this roster compete for a pennant under first year manager Ryan Sandberg and a partially new staff?

*Written for WSBGMs by Bill Furman of Talk Sports Philly.

Monday, December 23, 2013

12 Days of Christmas- Phillies Style Volume VIII

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me... 
12 Months of misery (Screw you Amaro!)
11 Homeruns from $25M slugger Ryan Howard (what a waste!)
10 Ground into double play by Kevin Frandsen
9 RBI from Humberto Quintero
8 Games finished by Phillippe Aumont
7 Losses in 13 games from Tyler Cloyd
6 Homeruns from J-Roll (career low)
5 Times 10 equals 50 game suspension for Antonio Bastardo
4 Wins from Roy Halladay (enjoy retirement)
3 Hit by pitch by Roger Bernadina
2 Sacrifice flies from Erik Kratz (enjoy Canada)
1 Hit from Casper Wells in 24 at bats
and ZERO homeruns from Ben Revere (none in 1304 career at bats)

Previous Installments:
*2006- Volume I (Scrooge McCorey)
*2007- Volume II (Santa Carson)
*2008- Volume III (Santa Carson)
*2009- Volume IV (Santa Carson)
*2010- Volume V (Santa Carson)
*2011- Volume VI (Santa Carson)
*2012- Volume VII (Santa Carson)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Smart Minor League Signings

Amaro has acknowledged that his resources might be tapped out and any improvements will likely come in the form of the minor league contract variety.  The thought makes me sick to my stomach looking at the current projected roster, but at least he made some smart minor league signings today.

Seaon O'Sullivan adds depth to the pitching staff as he could start or relieve.  The 26 year old right-hander has pitched with the Angels, Royals, and Padres over parts of 4 MLB seasons to not so great results (10-16, 5.89 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 218.2 IP).

Tony Gwynn Jr. is a fantastic defensive outfielder and could possibly serve as an upgrade over Mayberry.  The 31 year old is obviously the son of former Hall of Fame Padre Tony Gwynn.  Unlike his father, he can't hit.  Over 7 seasons with the Brewers, Padres, and Dodgers he's hit .244/.630 with 77 stolen bases.

Dave Sappelt, another outfielder, is 26 years old and has seen action over the past 3 seasons with the Reds and Cubs.  In 95 games he's hit .251/.644 and .293/.774 in the minors.

Old buddy Lou Marson is back in the fold.  He was sent to Cleveland as part of the package to land Cliff Lee, but has returned to serve as a security catcher in the minors. Lou is now 27 years old and has been in the Majors for 6 seasons, but has only hit .219/.609 and has turned into a capable defensive backstop.

There you have it...the hope for the 2014 Phillies.

*To make room for Roberto Fausto Hernandez Carmona on the 40-man roster, the Phils designated catcher Sebastian Valle for assignment.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

GTFO Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez, Mini-Mart, M&M, Worthless Heap of Shit; no matter the name, we are thankful you will no longer be Amaro's go to guy to summon from Triple-A.  Alas, the Pirates signed him to a minor league deal, not sure why, prying him loose from Amaro's grip.  The 31 year old versatile moldy turd hit .187/.495 over the past 3 seasons with the Phillies appearing in 162 painful games. Adios douche-nozzle!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WTF Amaro!

Ruin Tomorrow Jr. is a waste of brain cells.  The man is a terrible GM.  Reading baseball analysts' opinion/outlook on the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies proves that nobody has respect for him, nor should they.  He's assembled a cast of over-the-hills and crap.  There is barely any serious talent on the Phillies.  Sure, Hamels and Lee are awesome, but other than that, what sure thing do they have?  Nothing!

Amaro inked his back-end of the rotation starting pitcher today, the artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona (aka- Roberto Hernandez).  He is 33 years old, right-handed, owns a losing record of 59-82 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with the Indians and Rays.  He's coming off a season in which his ERA was 4.89 over 151 innings, yet Amaro graciously forked over a 1 YR/$4.5M contract.  Other than 2007 and 2010, he's been terrible (Check out these ERAs- 5.42, 5.44, 6.32, 5.25, 7.53, 4.89).  That inspires confidence, doesn't it?  Hell no!

This move does not make the team better.  Does this mean Pettibone, a young inexpensive arm with upside, is bumped from the rotation?  I hate what Amaro has done to this team.  Hate!

It's an Epidemic!
Seems like even the bad players are making big money nowadays though.  Clint Barmes, who's OPS hasn't cracked .600 the past 2 seasons, just re-upped with Pittsburgh for 1 YR/$2M.  Michael Morse, a man who can't field and is coming off a .215/.651 campaign got 1 YR/$6M from the Giants.  Juan Oviedo, who didn't even pitch last season got 1 YR/$1.5M from Tampa Bay.  Rafael Furcal, who also didn't play last year, got 1 YR/$3M from the Marlins.  Corey Hart, yet another that did not participate in 2013, got 1 YR/$6M from the Mariners.  Oh, the madness doesn't stop there, as Felipe Paulino who didn't pitch in 2013 either, got 1 YR/$1.75M from White Sox. Phil Hughes, who's ERA has been 5.19 or higher in 2 out of the past 3 seasons, got 3 YR/$24M from Minnesota.  Brendan Ryan, and his consistently plummeting OPS, got 2 YR/$5M from the Yankees.  Edinson Volquez, coming off a year where he pitched in 2 of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball to the tune of a 5.71 ERA, landed a 1 YR/$5M deal with the cash strapped Pirates. And last, but not least, Derek Jeter got 1 YR/$12M from the Yankees, even though he'll be 40 next year and only played in 17 games last season.

*Late addition- Joba Chamberlain got 1 YR/$2.5M from the Tigers despite ERA/WHiPs of 4.35/1.55 and 4.93/1.74 the past two seasons.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So Long and Farewell Good Sir

Roy "Doc" Halladay is one of the best pitchers of his generation and is personally my favorite pitcher of all-time.  He was always a class act and gave it his all on and off the field.  Someday, he's likely to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but for now I just want to say thanks.

*Just realized that originally this post said "God" instead of "Good" Sir...still appropriate, right?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

I Still Believe

Here is a look at the 2014 Phillies that puts the team in a different perspective.

There is a lot being said about the age of the Phillies, and they can’t win because of that. However, if we take a look back 31 years to 1983, we have the ‘Wheeze Kids’ as the National League Champions. Prior to the 1983 season, the Phillies acquired Joe Morgan, age 39 and Tony PĂ©rez, age 40, to compliment Pete Rose, 41, Ron Reed, 40, Bill Robinson, 39, Steve Carlton, 38, and Tug McGraw, 38. Add in Bo Diaz, 30, Mike Schmidt, 34, Gary Maddox, 34, Ivan DeJesus, 30, John Denny, 31, Al Holland, 30, and numerous other role players and pitchers. This 1983 team was older than the projected 2014 team.

During the 2013 season, Ruben Amaro put the Phils on a path to continue with the current team when he gave Chase Utley his extension. Whether or not he should have done so doesn’t really matter at this point. The team has Howard, 34, for the next couple of years, Rollins, 35, next year and 2015 if he plays most of the year, and now Utley, 35, Carlos Ruiz, 35, and Marlon Byrd, 36, for the next 2+ years. Add in other starters Ben Revere, 25, Dom Brown, 26, and Cody Asche, 23, to that line up. If they have ultimate failure and need to rebuild most of these players and contracts would be hard to move prior to the trade deadline of 2015. Plus the farm system does not have many prospects that have a great upside to replace them at this point.

In two years you will see basically the same names listed here but the ages will show as 38, 37, 37, 37, 36, 27, 28, & 25. At that point they will be much closer to be compared age of the ‘Wheeze Kids’ of 1983. The Wheeze Kids won by timely hitting and strong pitching. They were also smart and avoided the costly mistakes and errors that usually were associated by youth. Now we are also talking about a number of Hall of Famers and others who played very well in their careers to just miss the hall. The 2014 Phillies at this point do lack in the defense aspect when compared to 1983, but they are capable of putting up enough production that they could contend for the division and the playoffs.

2013 showed us that Utley is still capable of being a top second baseman especially on offense. His defense does leave room for improvement, but he is by no means a liability on the field. We saw down years from Ruiz C, Howard 1B, and Rollins SS. All three are very capable, when healthy and not suspended; to do much better. I would say at this point that the laws of averages say they will do better in 2014 vs 2013. At age 35, good players are usually several years from retirement, in which they all are. I would even venture to say that Ryan Howard, if healthy all year, stands a really good chance of being an early favorite for Come Back Player of the Year. Now, will they improve? We don’t know, but if they come into next spring in shape, healthy, and ready for the season, I do not see any reason why they could not have a much improved year. Yet, the Phils should be aware with a team of mid-thirty year olds that chances are someone will break down. That is where it comes into play to have a strong bench and reserves ready to step in.

In 2013 we saw Michael Martinez, Casper Wells, John McDonald, Roger Bernadina, and others all step in to play some or a lot and they had their share of troubles. What if it were players like Ben Revere coming off the bench or Nate Scheirholtz instead? In 2014 Ruben Amaro has to take a chance to improve the bench as much as possible as he takes a roll of the dice one more time with the same core of players from 2007 here. We all know that new players will be needed down the road in 2-4 years as this core will retire or move on, so trading the future away, such as Biddle, Brown, or Franco should be avoided unless it’s a deal one cannot refuse. Most of these players (the core) will have little trade value at this time and they are not really blocking anyone at this time except maybe Ruf if you think he can play full time. As for Howard he could become valuable if he has two really good years in 2014 & 2015 and an AL team needs a DH who only has a short time left on his contract. Then again the Phillies may be better off having a 40 home run hitter in the lineup.

Ok, so Ruben is ‘stuck’ with this group at least for now so he needs to make the most of the situation. In the Marlon Byrd signing he may have made the best decision with a more economical signing despite his contract possibly being too pricey for someone with only a breakout year. Byrd, when I looked at his splits, does really well against left handed pitching and is not a liability in the field. This helps in two of the teams weaknesses from 2013. The resigning of Carlos Ruiz was probably the best catcher that was available. McCann may be better than him on offense, but Ruiz is a better catcher and does not have a huge drop off in offense that would merit such a huge contract. Both of these signings do improve the team despite increasing age.

What can be done? With the offense, defense, and bench I would propose to add some quality players and ones that may cost a bit, but won’t break the bank. I would add an outfielder (preferably a righty) such as Rajai Davis, Franklin Gutierrez, or Andres Torres (switch hitter who bats better from right side). They could even add Grady Sizemore, a lefty who hasn’t played in a couple of years, but offers great upside and may come on the cheap for a one year deal. Also, with the non-tender players just added to the mix a few more options are there to consider. Any of these players would likely offer an upgrade over Mayberry who has shown a steady decline over the last 3 years when he had a chance to claim a spot. This would bring in competition for Frandsen’s spot as utility infielder which would be healthy for the team. As for third base, I expect Asche will get a rather long and patient look as an everyday starter (especially if he fields exceptionally well) before they consider replacing him. Also, I imagine Mikael Franco is the backup plan, but they may want to consider bringing in a player who can play third that provides extra offense from the right side of the plate. Ruben could help Sandberg greatly if he gives him a 25 man roster with good players from top to bottom.

Briefly on pitching they have Lee, Hamels, Gonzalez, KK, and Pettibone for their starters as of now. If they add 1 good quality starter, such as Tanaka having the biggest upside, or Garza being a quality arm (but expensive) without losing a draft pick. Then they should look for another starter such as Halladay, who would be coming off injury, but won’t be guaranteed a spot unless he proves his worth. This would bring 7 starters into spring to battle it out. Then beyond them they have Biddle and Morgan along with the likely non roster signings that usually occur each year.

For relievers, if Ruben can add a top setup reliever and possibly another quality arm to the mix they should be set. This year there are a lot of options and they do have depth in the system already. But it should be noted that we all thought that coming into 2013.

This maybe an older team in the league, but they are not as old as the Wheeze Kids. There are a lot of ‘ifs’ for 2014 such as "if Howard hits 40 homers", "if Lee and Hamels remain healthy", "if Rollins can hit better", "if the defense can improve", and so on. A lot has to go right, but in Rollins, Utley, Howard, Bryd, Ruiz, Brown, and Revere they all have produced in the past so we know they are capable of winning. Can Ruben add enough to the team and bench to give them another shot in 2014 and possibly into 2015? We will see. And we all will likely continue to be critical and cautious, but always hopeful.

Go Phillies!

*Written by loyal WSBGMs follower Bob D.

*Contact if you would like to guest post.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Amaro's Latest Answer- Jeff Manship

Who the hell is Jeff Manship? You probably don't know him, because he sucks. The only reason I knew of him is because I read every MLB boxscore every day during the season (it's an obsession...unhealthy).

Anywho, Manship is a 28 year old right-handed relief pitcher that owns a 6.42 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 4 seasons with the Twins and Rockies.

To be fair to Amaro, it is only a minor league deal and "Jeff Manship" totally sounds like a porn star name.

However, I'm pissed because Edward Mujica has signed with the Red Sox for 2 YR/$9.5M, which is a bargain nowadays.  Since 2009, he has been a very solid reliever, and last year did a  fine job closing for the Cardinals.  Guess Amaro is banking on Brad Lincoln turning it around and Mike Adams being healthy.  Idiot.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Goodbye Kratz, Hello Lincoln

With the addition of new backup catcher Wil Nieves, Amaro wasted no time in swapping the unneeded Erik Kratz for relief help.  That "help" comes in the form of ex-Pirate, Brad Lincoln.

Lincoln was with the Toronto Blue Jays, but now becomes the newest Phucco (Phillies + Bucco = Phucco, for those of you not in the know).  He is a 28 year old righty that owns a 4.66 ERA/1.39 WHIP over 4 seasons.  The former 1st round pick has developed control issues (6.3 BB/9 IP last season), but still has upside.  He's also 9-38 as a batter, so that makes him a better pinch hitting option than Michael Martinez.

Going to Canada is a package of Kratz and minor league pitcher Rob Rasmussen (acquired in the Michael Young trade with the Dodgers).  Kratz , also a Phucco, spent the past 3 seasons with the Phillies and leaves with a .230/.727 AVG/OPS and 18 HR.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Phillies Add Another Catcher- Wil Nieves

Heading into the offseason, catching was a priority. Hence, Carlos Ruiz was re-upped for 3 years. Leaving Erik Kratz and Cameron Rupp in a battle for backup backstop. Nope, not so. Enter Wil Nieves, Amaro's lastest over-the-hill addition to the team.

The 36 year old, right-handed hitting catcher has played for 10 seasons with the Padres, Yankess, Nationals, Brewers, Rockies, and most recently Diamondbacks. A career .242/.597 batter in 385 games with a whopping 8 homeruns. His career WAR is -2.6 and he is regarded as a below average defended behind the dish. Nieves was a horrible hitter until the past two seasons (2012- .301/.739 in 32 G, 2013- .297/.690 in 71 G). Crossing my fingers that it's a minor league deal to add depth to the organization, but afraid it might be a guaranteed 2 year contract worth millions.

Thought from a Facebook Friend:
Since 1976, the Phillies have won the NL East 11 times, making it to the World Series 5 times, winning 2 of them. The Braves have won the NL East 12 times, making it to the World Series 2 times, winning 1 of them. No one else in the NL East even comes close. You want to keep living in the 60s and earlier have at it.

Monday, December 02, 2013

2013 WSBGMs HoF Inductee- Jamie Moyer

Hip, hip, hooray for Grand Pappy Moyer, We Should Be GMs 2013 Hall of Fame inductee. There was no need for a vote this year, as the Veterans Committee felt Jamie was the only deserving candidate (sorry John Bowker).

Moyer's career spanned 25 seasons, starting in 1986 and ending in 2012 (after coming back from Tommy John surgery at the ripe age of 49). Jamie spent 5 seasons in Philadelphia, and pitched in some very important games for the Phillies during that time. He also pitched for the Mariners, Cubs, Orioles, Rockies, Rangers, Cardinals, and Red Sox.

Career stats:
Wins - 269
ERA - 4.25
WHIP - 1.32
Innings - 4074
Games - 698
WAR - 50.2

Phils Stats:
Wins - 56
ERA - 4.55
WHIP - 1.32
Innings - 720.2
Games - 123
WAR - 4.7

Jamie was lovingly called Grand Pappy around these parts due to his elderly age.  He was facing batters in the heart of the Steroids Era tossing "fastballs" in the low 80's.  He loved the game and wanted to pitch until he was 50 years old, but alas fell one year short.  He was a mentor to younger pitchers (I should just say pitchers, since everyone pitcher was indeed younger).

Other notes:
*Oldest pitcher to ever win a game.
*Oldest pitcher to ever get a hit.
*Record 522 homeruns allowed.
*Began his career in the Cubs organization in Geneva of the Rookie League in 1984.  Meaning, Moyer almost pitched for 30 year professionally.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Remember When?

Remember when the Phillies had the best rotation in all the land?
Remember when the Phillies were World Series favorites?
Remember when the Roys were relevant?
Remember when Amaro was praised, not belittled?
Remember when the fourth starter was Roy Oswalt not some KK?
Remember when...dammit, do you remember?!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

WSBGMs Looking for a Little Help

We Should Be GMs is looking for a helping hand (or hands, hard to type with only one) this offseason.  If you're interested in writing a post about the Phillies, then simply email us at  The article could be about a favorite player, your version of an offseason blueprint, hatred of Amaro, love of Eric Bruntlett, worst Phils trade ever, etc.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bob McClure- Pitching Coach

The Phillies answer to their pitching woes, enter Bob McClure. He pitched for 19 seasons in the Majors (1975-1993) with the Royals, Angels, Brewers, Expos, Cardinals, Mets, and Marlins. Primarily a reliever through his career, making 698 appearances to the tune of a 3.81 ERA/1.40 WHIP, McClure has also been the pitching coach for the Red Sox and Royals, with poor results. Pitching guru, Leo Mazzone, offered his services via Twitter, but the Phils passed. Hmm...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reid Brignac Hits Rock Bottom, Signs with the Phillies

Holy poop on a popsicle, Amaro has landed a former top prospect in the form of Reid Brignac.  The 27 year old might have unsightly stats spanning 6 MLB seasons with the Rays, Rockies, and Yankees, but he sure is versatile.  He can play 2nd, SS, 3rd, and some outfield.  For his career he's a .221/.573 hitter in 302 games.

Reid was a 2nd round pick by Tampa Bay back in 2004 and was ranked as one the game's Top 100 prospects 4 years straight (2007- #17, 2008- #39, 2009- #78, and 2010- #54).  However, his minor league stats surely don't suggest greatest  (.272/.764 spanning parts of 9 seasons).

Who knows, perhaps Brignac is a late bloomer and will be the steal of the offseason.  More likely that struggles to produce for the Iron Pigs and is released mid-season.

Preparing For Your Fantasy Draft In 2014

The 2014 baseball season is still months away, but people are already taking a look at how fantasy baseball drafts will play out. Heading into 2013, the talk surrounding three players going #1 overall: Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Ryan Braun. The first two lived up to expectations, but Braun struggled with a suspension that ultimately left his career with a permanent asterisk. So a year later, will Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout be the consensus choice for fantasy baseball owners?

For the second straight season, voters gave Cabrera the nod as the American League’s Most Valuable Player, as he received a total of 23 first-place votes from voters. Trout received just five first-place votes, and once again lack of team success could have played a role. In his young career, Trout has yet to taste postseason success while Cabrera has two division titles in that span.

While winning MVPs are nice, Trout actually had the better statistical season from a fantasy baseball perspective in 2012, while coming up just short in 2013. He played 18 more games this season, but his home run totals and batting average went down just a bit. Meanwhile, Cabrera was basically a clone from a season ago, but he improved his batting average by 18 points.

The 2013 season was not all fun and games for Cabrera, especially towards the end of the year. With a groin injury that limited his mobility, he was not as effective down the stretch and in the playoffs. He isn’t getting any younger or more agile, so it is a minor concern for fantasy baseball owners going forward.

Meanwhile, Trout theoretically has his best years still ahead of him. He turned 22 at the end of the regular season, and the Los Angeles Angels are doing whatever possible to surround him with some talent as well. One has to figure at some time the Angels will all click and make a playoff run, but so far things have not worked out as planned. 

While Cabrera is perhaps the best hitter of this generation, Trout has too much all-around game to ignore at this point. He is probably the safer option at this point, especially if Cabrera never fully heals from the nagging injuries he dealt with this year. They should go #1 and #2 in most formats, with Andrew McCutchen possibly sneaking in. After two seasons of production, now is the time to fully invest in Mike Trout as the best fantasy baseball option out there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Phillies- Hoarders of Old Players

Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz has been re-signed to a 3 YR/$26M deal with an option for $4.5 in 2017 when he'll be 38 years old.  Signing a soon-to-be 35 year old catcher to a 3 year pact seems foolish.  Of course, so was allocating $25M per season to Ryan Howard, but this is Ruben Amaro Jr. we're talking about here.  Don't get me wrong, Chooch is still a decent starting catcher, but that's a hefty price for diminishing goods.

The Phillies are the only organization that Ruiz has ever known, and it appears it will remain that way until he retires at the conclusion of his new deal.  Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both fit into this category, being Phillies lifers that are likely only to don the red pinstripes during their careers.  

The Phillies are freakin' old: Marlon Byrd 36, Cliff Lee 35, Mike Adams 35, Carlos Ruiz 34, Chase Utley 34, Ryan Howard 33, Jimmy Rollins 34, and Jonathan Papelbon 32.  Put Dr. Feelgood on alert, because the injuries are sure to happen with this elderly bunch.

Ruiz- The Stats:
8 seasons
825 games
169 doubles
57 homeruns
304 runs
336 RBI
17.8 WAR

It seems to get their man, the Phils had to go 3 years, or Amaro is just that stupid.  I don't hate the deal, but I don't like it either.  I suppose this can be considered a necessary evil.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Amaro Busy Building a Contender

Look out Major League Baseball, because Ruben Amaro Jr. is tearing through the free agent market, leaving the cupboards bare for those that snooze.  Updated World Series odds are going to have the Phils pegged at the top after this bevy of transactions, right?!  View here for more MLB World Series odds.  The week started off with a bang with news of Marlon Byrd being signed.  He easily adds 10 wins himself.  Then the minor league deal given to Shawn Camp.  Hello, Mr. 8th Inning!  Now, Rube doles out a trio of minor league contracts to some major league studs.  Yep, Clete Thomas, Cesar Jimenez, and Leandro Castro are going to put the Phillies over the top and assuredly secure a playoff berth in 2014.  

Clete Thomas is a 30 year old outfielder, who has sported amaze-balls OPS of .458 and .597 the past two seasons with the Twins and Tigers.  I can't believe 29 other GMs passed on him. Clearly he's an MVP candidate, or an All-Star at least.  He's a career .233/.664 hitter over 4 seasons, but hasn't been productive since 2009.  His minor league numbers aren't that promising either- .263/.748 over 9 seasons.  Basically, don't expect to see Clete in a Phillies uniform any other time than during spring training.

Then there's the Phils 2013 bullpen stalwart Cesar Jimenez.  The 29 year old lefty veteran of 4 MLB seasons, turned in a 3.71 ERA/1.41 WHIP over 19 appearances last season.  Don't be surprised if Cesar is one of the first relievers recalled from Triple-A in the event of injury, because he's capable of being mediocre for short stints.  While mediocre isn't a ringing endorsement, it's better than other alternatives (Chad Durbin anyone?).

Lest not forget the gem of this group, minor league lifer Leandro Castro.  The 24 year old outfielder spent last season with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs batting .256/.647, and has been in the Phillies organization his entire career (7 minor league seasons).

Attaboy Rube!  

As loyal reader Bob D said, "If Ryan Howard hits 40 homeruns, if Jimmy Rollins bats .300, if Domonic Brown hits 30 homeruns, if Kyle Kendricks wins 15, if Jonathan Papelbon saves 40, if Miguel Gonzalez wins 15, if Ben Revere steals 70 bases, if Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels remain healthy, if the defense can improve dramatically, if they can hit left handed pitching, and if they can win more than anyone else in the division - then they will be a playoff team."

In other words, the Phillies need everything to go their way next season if they want to be a contender.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amaro is Ready for a Camping Trip

Holy balls!  That heading is corny.  Oh, well, I'm rolling with it, because Amaro just signed reliever Shawn Camp to a minor league deal.  This is exactly the sort of signing Amaro needs to do in order to create organizational depth.  Camp lead the NL in appearances in 2012 (80 G) and was a reliable reliever in 3 out of the last 5 seasons.  Though, last year with the Cubs he was a mess (7.04 ERA/1.87 WHIP in 26 appearances).

Camp will turn 38 years old next week and is right-handed.  His career spans 10 seasons with the Royals, Rays, Blue Jays, and Cubs.  Stats- 538 G, 4.40 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 589 IP, 402 K.  Nothing special, but certainly someone that can be called upon for a 15 day stretch when the inevitable DL stint arises in the Phillies bullpen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Phillies New Outfield Right-Handed Hitting Power Bat: Marlon Byrd?

Marlon Byrd is back in Phillies pinstripes.  Amaro landed his supposed right-handed hitting outfielder with power on a 2 year/$16M pact.  Byrd had a renaissance season last year after signing a minor league contract with the Mets and later being traded to the Pirates.

The Facts:
*Suspended for PEDS in 2012
*Had a career year in 2013, the season following his PED suspension (24 HR)
*36 years old
*Career .280/.761 hitter with 106 homeruns over 12 seasons.  An average of less than 10 HR a year does not equate to "power" in my mind.
*Career splits- .273/.743 vs. RHP and .291/.804 vs. LHP

Marlon began his career in Philadelphia and manned center field from 2002-2005.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Veterans of MLB

As America recognizes the men and women that have served or who are currently serving in this wonderful country's Armed Forces, WSBGMs wants to stick with the theme and give a shout-out to each MLB teams' longest tenured player.

* = free agent

AL East:
Baltimore Orioles - Jim Johnson/2006 *Brian Roberts/2001

Boston Red Sox - David Ortiz/2003

New York Yankees - Derek Jeter/1995

Tampa Bay Rays - Ben Zobrist/2006

Toronto Blue Jays - Adam Lind/2006

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox - John Danks/2007 *Paul Konerko/1999

Cleveland Indians - Asdrubal Cabrera/2007

Detroit Tigers - Justin Verlander/2005

Kansas City Royals - Billy Butler & Alex Gordon/2007

Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer/2004

AL West:
Houston Astros - Jason Castro/2010

Los Angeles Angels - Jered Weaver & Erick Aybar/2006

Oakland Athletics - Daric Barton & Jerry Blevins/2007

Seattle Mariners - Felix Hernandez/2005

Texas Rangers - Ian Kinsler/2006 *Nelson Cruz/2006

NL East:
Atlanta Braves - Kris Medlen/2009 *Tim Hudson & Brian McCann/2005

Miami Marlins - Chris Coghlan/2009

New York Mets - David Wright/2004

Philadelphia Phillies - Jimmy Rollins/2000

Washington Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman/2005

NL Central:
Chicago Cubs - Jeff Samardzija/2008

Cincinnati Reds - Brandon Phillips/2006 *Bronson Arroyo/2006

Milwaukee Brewers - Rickie Weeks/2003

Pittsburgh Pirates - Neil Walker & Andrew McCutchen/2009 *Jeff Karstens/2008

St. Louis Cardinals - Yadier Molina/2004 *Chris Carpenter/2004

NL West:
Arizona Diamondbacks - Miguel Montero/2006

Colorado Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki/2006

Los Angeles Dodgers - Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier & Chad Billingsley/2006

San Diego Padres - Chase Headley/2007

San Francisco Giants - Matt Cain/2005

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

One Helluva Offseason Awaits

Ruin Tomorrow Jr. Ruben Amaro Jr. has stated that the bullpen, outfield, and catcher are the areas of focus this offseaon and that he'll likely have to be "creative" in addressing them. Below you will find the Phillies roster broken down into groups (Guaranteed Contracts, Arbitration Eligible, and Renewable Contracts). Also, I have proposed a set of free agents to sign with accompanying contract details.

Guaranteed Contracts:
1. Ryan Howard - $25M
2. Cliff Lee - $25M
3. Cole Hamels - $22.5M
4. Chase Utley - $15M
5. Jonathan Papelbon - $13M
6. Jimmy Rollins - $11M
7. Mike Adams - $7M
8. Miguel Gonzalez - $4M
Total - $122.5M

Arbitration Eligible:
*Estimated arbitrations earnings
9. Kyle Kendrick - $6.6M
10. Antonio Bastardo - $2M
11. Ben Revere - $1.5M
12. Kevin Frandsen - $1.3M
Total - $11.4M

Renewable Contracts:
13. Domonic Brown
14. Darin Ruf
15. Jake Diekman
16. Cesar Hernandez
17. Freddy Galvis
18. Justin DeFratus
19. Cody Asche
20. Jonathan Pettibone
21. Erik Kratz/Cameron Rupp
Total - $5M (each player averaging roughly $550K)

Total for Players Currently on 40-man Roster - $138.9M (round it to $139M)

Luxury Tax Threshold - $189M

Remaining Cap Room - $50M

This does not account for players such as BJ Rosenberg, Joe Savery, Michael Stutes, and/or Ethan Martin that will likely be called upon during some point in the 2014 season.

Suggested Contracts:
($) = Cap Hit
22. Carlos Ruiz - 2 YR/$14M ($7M)
23. Nelson Cruz - 2 YR/$30 M ($15M)
24. Ricky Nolasco - 4 YR/$52M ($13M)
25. Edward Mujica - 3 YR/$18M ($6M)
26. Matt Albers - 1 YR/$2M
27. Franklin Guitirrez - $1 YR/$3M
Total - $40M

Grand Total - $179M

1. Revere/CF
2. Utley/2B
3. Brown/LF
4. Cruz/RF
5. Howard/1B
6. Rollins/SS
7. Ruiz/C
8. Asche/3B

Ruf/1B/OF, Frandsen/UTL, Galvis/UTL, Rupp/Kratz/C, Guitirrez/OF

1. Lee
2. Hamels
3. Nolasco
4. Gonzalez
5. Pettibone/Kendrick

1. Papelbon
2. Mujica
3. Adams
4. Albers
5. Bastardo
6. Diekman
7. DeFratus

Minor League Free Agent Targets:
*These guys are coming off injuries or down season where they've been released/traded.
David Aardsma/RP
Peter Moylan/RP
Matt Guerrier/RP
Michael Bowden/RP
Kyle Farnsworth/RP
Carlos Marmol/RP
James McDonald/SP/RP
Aaron Harang/SP
Colby Lewis/SP
Cody Ransom/UTL
Brennan Boesch/OF

I know I didn't account for the entire 40 man roster and benefits, which would assuredly push the team over the $189M luxury tax threshold.  However, I don't think it would be much over and the front office might be willing to do this (or should be willing to in order to field a competitive team, especially with the money they'll be getting from the new tv deal).

Free Agent database and estimated arbitration salaries provide by MLBTradeRumors.

Salaries for players currently under contract provided by Cots Baseball Contracts.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the above team making the 2014 playoffs.  If you're a betting man, or woman, I'd suggest laying down some cash at Sports Odds.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Phillies Jumbotron Art

Our Facebook buddy, Brian Green, sent us this awesome image from artist Peter Chen of Jumbrotron Art. Freakin' sweet!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Phillies in Active Career Top 10 MLB Leaders

WAR - Chase Utley - 58.2 (9th)

SLG % - Ryan Howard - .545 (7th)

AB - Jimmy Rollins - 8090 (8th)

R - Jimmy Rollins - 1247 (8th)

DBL - Jimmy Rollins - 457 (10th)

TRPL - Jimmy Rollins- 107 (3rd)

SB - Jimmy Rollins - 425 (4th)

HBP - Chase Utley - 156 (4th)

WAR - Roy Halladay - 65.6 (1st) & Cliff Lee - 42.4 (10th)

ERA - Cole Hamels - 3.38 (9th) & Roy Halladay - 3.39 (10th)

W - Roy Halladay - 203 (3rd)

W% - Roy Halladay - .659 (1st)

WHIP - Cole Hamels - 1.14 (4th) & Roy Halladay - 1.18 (8th)

SV - Jonathan Papelbon - 286 (4th)

IP - Roy Halladay - 2749.1 (5th)

K - Roy Halladay - 2117 (4th)

GS - Roy Halladay - 390 (7th)

CG - Roy Halladay - 67 (1st) & Cliff Lee - 28 (6th)

SHO - Roy Halladay - 20 (1st) & Cliff Lee - 12 (4th)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Phillies Players in the NL Top 10

Games - Jimmy Rollins - 160 (5th)

Triples - Chase Utley - 6 (9th)

Homeruns - Domonic Brown - 27 (4th)

Stolen Bases - Jimmy Rollins & Ben Revere - 22 (9th)

Slugging % - Domonic Brown - .494 (9th)

Hit By Pitch - Kevin Frandsen - 11 (6th)

Games Started - Cole Hamels - 33 (2nd)

Quality Starts- Cole Hamels - 25 (3rd) / Cliff Lee - 24 (4th)

Innings - Cliff Lee - 222.2 (3rd) / Cole Hamels - 220 (4th)

Strikeouts - Cliff Lee - 222 (2nd) / Cole Hamels - 202 (6th)

Saves - Jonathan Papelbon - 29 (10th)

WAR - Cliff Lee - 7.3 (2nd) / Cole Hamels - 4.6 (7th)

WHIP - Cliff Lee - 1.01 (4th)

ERA - Cliff Lee - 2.87 (6th)

Complete Games - Cliff Lee & Kyle Kendrick - 2 (5th)