Sunday, August 31, 2014

Phillies Ace- Jerome Williams

When Ruben Amaro shoveled Jerome Williams out of the garbage heap of released players without employment, it was out of necessity, not genius.  Well, Amaro is rocking a smug smirk now that Williams has pitched brilliantly through his first 4 starts with the Phillies.  Let's jut hope Amaro doesn't extend him for 3 YR/$30M, because 4 starts is an extremely small sample size.  Adam Eaton even looked good over some 4 start stretches.  However, I applaud Jerome for the work he's done (3-0, 26.2 IP, 2.03 ERA, 1.01 WHIP).  His season ERA still stands at 5.23 thanks to 28 piss poor appearances with the Rangers and Astros earlier this year.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Amaro Did Well?

It pains me to admit this, but Ruin Tomorrow Jr. Ruben Amaro Jr. did well in the Roberto Hernandez deal to the Dodgers.  He landed two of their Top 20 prospects, completing the trade yesterday with the acquisition of Victor Arano and earlier snagging second baseman Jesmuel Valentin (a 1st round draft pick in 2012).

Arano is a 19 year old starting pitcher, currently in Single-A.  He's been in the minors leagues two seasons and has put together a 7-9 record, in 35 games (23 starts), with a 4.12 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 132 strikeouts in 135.1 innings pitched.  Those might not be eye-popping numbers, but he's 3 years younger than the average player at his level, so there's upside here.

There you have it, two young players that seemingly have a MLB future, which is quite a haul for a pitcher that wasn't in the Phillies plans going forward anyway.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Phillies Winning Series

Let's be honest, the Phillies have been the laughingstock of baseball all season.  They hadn't won consecutive series since late April, before they finished up the Cardinals this weekend after taking 2 outta 3 from the Mariners last week.  Then last night they beat the Nationals to secure their 3rd straight series win.  Don't get too giddy, the Phils record is still a bad one (60-72) and are nowhere close to Wild Card contention.  However, watching/following winning baseball is fun, so I'll take it.

*Tyler Viza, Lakewood BlueClaws pitcher, has an unsightly 3-17 record this season to go along with ghastly ERA/WHIP combo of 5.29/1.56.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Will Kyle Kedrick Win 100 Games?

Serious question- Will Kyle Kendrick win 100+ MLB games during his career.  KK is set to turn 30 years old next week and notched his 70th victory tonight against the Cardinals.  His career record is 70-66, which leaves him 30 short of 100.  KK takes a lot a shit from haters (me included, he's an easy target), but the bottom line is he's stuck around long enough to deserve respect (to some degree).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Phils Get Prospect, Williams Twirls Magic, Blanco Hits

Phils Get Prospect:
Last week the Phillies sent Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for the infamous Player To Be Name Later, two of them at that.  The first player now has a name, and that name is Jesmuel Valentin, who is the son of former big leaguer Jose Valentin.  Jesmuel was a 1st round pick in 2012 and is currently playing at Single-A as a 20 year old.  In 3 minor league seasons, he's hit .262/.742 in 246 games, playing shortstop and second base.  Scouting reports are mixed on him, as I've read MLB regular or future utility infielder.

Williams Twirls Magic:
As I type, Jerome Williams is pitching a shutout into the 7th inning.  He allowed 2 runs in 5.1 IP in his first start with the Phils, and now no runs through 7 IP tonight.  That equates to a 1.46 ERA.  Obviously, this is unsustainable, as evident from his 6.71 ERA in 28 American League appearances this season and his career 4.50 ERA.  However, gotta love it while it lasts.

Blanco Hits:
Andres Blanco has played in 19 games and is batting .323/.860 in 31 at bats.  Extremely small sample size, but, hey, we need to recognize and celebrate the small things in this otherwise dismal season.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Phillies Bullpen Bad 3 Years Running

The Phillies bullpen's ERA of 3.95 is currently ranked 24th out of 30 MLB teams.  I'm not blaming the team's losing ways solely on the relievers, as it's clearly a team effort with equally crappy offensive production and efforts from the starting rotation.  I argue that in today's game it's easier to build a decent bullpen through a mixture of talent evaluation and dumb luck.  However, it seems Amaro simply sucks over the past few seasons at putting relief corps together (27/30 in 2013 with 4.19 ERA, 21/30 in 2012 with 3.94 ERA).  Minor league arms with "upside" haven't panned out, free agents have been a bust, and trades haven't worked out too well.

# of relievers on each team with 20+ IP & sub 3.50 ERA:
Arizona Diamondbacks: 4
Atlanta Braves: 5
Baltimore Orioles: 5
Boston Red Sox: 3
Chicago Cubs: 5
Chicago White Sox: 4
Cincinnati Reds: 3
Cleveland Indians: 6
Colorado Rockies: 1
Detroit Tigers: 3
Houston Astros: 2
Kansas City Royals: 5
Los Angeles Angels: 6
Los Angeles Dodgers: 5
Miami Marlins: 5
Milwaukee Brewers: 3
Minnesota Twins: 4
New York Mets: 4
New York Yankees: 4
Oakland Athletics: 5
Philadelphia Phillies: 3
Pittsburgh Pirates: 3
San Diego Padres: 5
San Francisco Giants: 6
Seattle Mariners: 6
St. Louis Cardinals: 4
Tampa Bay Rays: 3
Texas Rangers: 2
Toronto Blue Jays: 4
Washington Nationals: 5

*Jonathan Papelbon, Justin DeFratus, and Ken Giles fit the criteria for the Phillies.

Michael Martinez Update:

Mini-Mart's career batting average is down to .182, which ranks 4,440 out of  4,449 since 1900 for non-pitchers with 400+ plate appearances.  His disastrous OPS is at a  low of .484, that ranks him 4,446 out of 4,449.  Historically horrible.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jerome Williams- Phillies Newest Starting Pitcher

With Roberto Hernandez dealt last week to the Dodgers, Cliff Lee and Jonathan Pettibone both out for the season on the disable list, and Sean O'Sullivan doing horribly in 2 starts, the Phillies went dumpster diving for a starting pitcher and caught some trash in the form of Jerome Williams.

Jerome joins his 3rd team in 6 weeks.  He began the year with Houston, then pitched briefly for Texas, and now comes to Philadelphia.  He's 2-5 with a 6.71 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 57.2 innings.  During his 9 years in MLB he's pitched for the Giants, Cubs, Nationals, Angels, Astros, and Rangers, compiling a 44-52 record in 183 appearances (119 starts) over 834 IP with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.

Just when I think the Phillies have hit rock bottom, they sink to a new depth.  How soon will 2014 1st round pick Aaron Nola be ready?

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Adios Hernandez!

The artist formerly known as Fausto Carmona was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers today for two players to be named later or cash considerations.  I've heard on good authority the anonymous players are none other than Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig.  Woohoo!

Alright, enough wet dreams.  Roberto Hernandez was sadly the Phillies second most effective starting pitcher this season.  He was signed to a 1 YR/$4.5M deal this offseason and posted a 3.87 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP over 121 innings pitched with a 6-8 record.  Not sure who takes his spot in the rotation now and not sure if it matters.  Dismal times my friends.  Dismal.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Even Todd Zolecki Knows Ryan Howard Sucks beat writer, Todd Zolecki, is simply stating it like it is...
"Howard is tied for seventh in the National League with 63 RBIs, but it is telling that the Phillies would need to eat almost every dollar on his contract to trade him. His .663 OPS is 136th out of 153 qualifying hitters in baseball. He is on pace for 91 RBIs, but consider for a moment that hitters with 575 or more plate appearances in the cleanup spot almost get 90 RBIs by default because of the number of RBI opportunities they have. 
There have been 400 hitters with 575 or more plate appearances hitting fourth since 1914 (Howard is on pace for 594): 322 have had 90 or more RBIs. But Howard's .663 OPS in the cleanup spot would rank last in that group, which is troubling. Washington's Chick Gandil had a .678 OPS in 593 plate appearances hitting cleanup in 1914."
Not opinion. Fact. Of course, WSBGMs has been pounding this drum for years, but people continue to bring up his homeruns and RBI as evidence that Ryan Howard is still productive.  He's not!  RBI are a product of placement in the batting order.  I always point to Rico Brogna's back-to-back 100+ RBI seasons for the Phillies back in 1998-1999, despite being well below average as a first baseman (0.1 combined WAR for those 2 seasons).  So, we're looking at possibly the worst cleanup hitter over the past 100 years, who just so happens to be one of the top 5 salaried players in baseball.  Screw you Amaro!