Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year Marlon Byrd

Hours before 2015 officially becomes reality, Marlon Byrd was sent packing to Cincinnati.  The first time the Phillies traded Byrd (back in 2005), it netted the team Inning-Endy Chavez from the Nationals.  This time it brings Reds pitching prospect Ben Lively to Philadelphia. Amaro also sent $4M to Cincy to cover half of Byrd's salary.

Lively has a live arm...see what I did there?  Drafted in the 4th round in 2013, he's quickly mowed down the competition all the way up to Double-A.  In 39 minor league starts over the past two seasons he's compiled a 13-11 record over 192 innings with 227 strikeouts, a 2.58 ERA, and 1.07 WHIP.  He's averaged 10.6 K/9.  Added bonus, he hit .294/863 in 21 plate appearances last year.  Ben is a decent size righty (6'4"/190 lb) and is set to turn 23 in March.  Welcome aboard kid.  Here's to hoping you help anchor the rotation in the near future.

Seems like an alright return for Byrd.  Would have liked a bat instead of another arm, but beggars can't be choosy.   

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wandy Rodriguez- Phillies 5th Starter?

Finally a minor league signing of notable distinction...enter Wandy Rodriguez.  The soon to be 36 year old lefty was terrible in an injury shortened campaign last season,but was a quality starting pitcher for the Astros and Pirates from 2007-2013.

Career stat: 91-94, 248 GS, 1471 IP, 1209 K, 4.06 ERA, and a 1.33 WHIP.
Wandy gives the Phillies a much needed innings eater if healthy.  Of course, that's a big "if". However, that's why the deal is of the minor league variety.  He has to earn his spot on the club and is guaranteed nothing.  Perhaps he's over-the-hill and his days of usefulness are behind him, or maybe he still has some bullets left in his arm. It's worth the gamble. Possible added bonus- phuture Phucco?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12 Days of Christmas- Phillies Styles Volume IX

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me... 
12 Months of misery (Screw you Amaro!)
11 Hit batsmen by Kyle Kendrick (KK!)
10 RBI from Reid Brignac
9 Wins from Cole Hamels (despite a sparkling 2.46 ERA)
8 Ball Girls a milking
7 Wild pitches uncorked by Jake Diekman
6 Triples from Chase Utley
5 Intentional walks in a mere 23 innings from Jeff Manship
4 The number worn by Andres Blanco
3 Homeruns surrendered in 5.2 innings by Phillippe Aumont
2 Homeruns from Ben Revere (only 2 in 1905 career at bats)
1 Walk from Wil Nieves in 122 at bats
and ZERO more seasons from J-Roll (already miss ya!) 

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)
*2013- Volume VIII (Santa Carson)

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Minor League Signings, Hooray!

There goes Amaro with his nose to the grindstone, banging out contracts again.  Of course, the contracts are of the minor league variety and so is the talent.  Welcome aboard Kevin Slowey and Chris McGuiness. Also, a hearty welcome back to Sean O'Sullivan.

Slowey is a notable signing due to his MLB track record: 7 seasons with the Twins and Marlins while amassing a 43-36 record over 137 games, 106 starts, 662 innings pitched, with 495 strikeouts, a 4.62 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.  He struggled last season in Miami, pitching on 37.1 innings, but surely the 30 year old right-hander enters the competition for 5th starter.

McGuiness is a first baseman by trade, having only brief MLB experience with the Rangers in 2013 (.382 OPS in 34 at bats).  His minor league numbers are much stronger, having batted .259/.801 over 6 seasons.  Never one to hit for much of an average, Chris still finds his way on base at a solid clip (.369 OBP).  He's still relatively young too, 26 years old.

O'Sullivan pitched in Philadelphia last year, making 2 starts, 3 appearances in all, and racked up a 6.39 ERA.  Sean has alos pitched for the Angels, Royals, and Padres in the past and has a career 5.91 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 53 games. The 27 year old will serve as minor league depth, hopefully nothing more.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jimmy Rollins Says Good Bye

There are many reasons I'll miss Jimmy Rollins, but this definitely one of them..

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Behold the Future of the Phillies

Jimmy Rollins out, Zach Eflin and Tom Windle in.

Both Eflin (1st round in 2012) and Windle (2nd round in 2013) were high draft picks.  Neither has pitched above Single-A.  Neither has eye-popping minor league numbers.  Projections range from mid-rotation to back end starting pitcher.  I'll believe it when I see it.

Eflin is a 20 year old righty and has compiled a 17-14 record with a 3.41 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 183 strikeouts in 253.2 innings.  Maybe he'll become a MLB stud. Maybe he'll become a reliable starting pitcher in the form of a Mike Leake.  Or maybe he'll flame out and never really amount to anything of value.  Only time will tell, and unfortunately the timetable is likely 3 years from now.

Windle is a 22 year old lefty and has a 17-9 record over 193 innings to go along with 162 strikeouts, a 3.82 ERA, and a 1.35 WHIP.  Same holds true for him as a stated about Eflin above.

Honestly, I wish for the best from these young men.  I hope both of them blossom into effective MLB starting pitchers that help guide the Phillies back to contention in the years to come.  However, I'm not going to hold my breath.

I'm bitter over J-Roll's departure. I wanted near-ready MLB talent, but instead got low level "prospects".  The fact that Freddy Galvis is currently #1 on the depth chart at shortstop also pisses me off.  Oh, to make things better, Amaro is looking into signing Rafael Furcal for the SS vacancy.  No, Ugueth Urbina didn't slay him with a machete as urban legend has it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Phillies New Rule 5 Gems

Say hello to Andy Oliver and Odubel Herrera.  And as quickly as you greet them, you might just say adios shortly there after, because neither may last past Spring Training.  The life of a Rule 5 pick is glib. They spend time rotting away in the minor leagues, to then get a small glimmer of hope from a savior for a franchise, to probably being sent right back to the same organization they were rotting away in.  All in a matter of months.  Then again, maybe these two guys will stick.

Andy Oliver is an erratic lefty that recently switched to relief.  Originally drafted in the 2nd round in 2009 by the Tigers and even made 7 starts for them over two seasons (2010 & 2011).  The Phillies selected him from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft yesterday.  In Triple-A last year, he made 48 appearances, amassing 64 innings and 85 strikeouts with a  2.53 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 13 saves.  Those numbers seem promising for the 27 year old.  However, he's averaged 5.8 walks per 9 innings over his minor league career, and that number has actually gotten worse over the past 3 seasons (247 BB in 306.1 IP, 7.3 BB/9).  Amaro is hoping he'll magically fix his control issues and turn into a reliable bullpen piece. 

Odubel Herrera will soon turn 23 and hasn't played above Double-A.  Over 6 minor league seasons in the Rangers organization, he's hit .294/.730 with little extra base power, but decent on base skills.  He has played second base primarily, along with subpar shortstop, and a little outfield.  It seems he has some speed, racking up 128 stolen bases, but he's also been caught stealing 50 times.  Not sure how this guy will actually help the Phillies in 2015 or beyond.  Seems like a waste of a $50,000 drafting fee.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Just Don't Know...

Jimmy Rollins, a Top 20 shortstop in Major League Baseball history, a possible Hall of Famer, and a Philadelphia Phillies franchise stalwart has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. For what? I just don't know. It's likely Amaro took his typical fleecing and whatever returns to Philly is a package of crap that are about as useful as a fart in a bathtub. I'm sad. I'm mad. I'm disgusted. I hate Ruben Amaro Jr. A tribute to J-Roll is forthcoming, but I need time to marinate on this before posting.

In other news, Antonio Bastard is set to become a Phucco (Phillies + Bucco = Phucco), as he was sent to Pittsburgh for a minor league pitcher named Joely Rodriguez.  He's a lefty that pitches to contact (only 5.3 K/9 in 441.1 IP) and hasn't done anything noteworthy aside from a nice 2013 (2.70 ERA over 26 starts).  Doubt he ever makes an impart and quite possibly never a MLB debut.  Yeah Amaro!  Idiot.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Amaro: Dumber, Stupid, Brain Cramp?

Who here thinks Amaro is dumb, stupid, etc.?  All of you; that's what I thought.  Pat Gillick doesn't think so...
"Because I've got confidence in him. He didn't all of a sudden get dumber. People don't want to hear this, but there were five years from 2007-11 [with success], and the last year in 2011, we won 102 games. He didn't all of a sudden get stupid the last three years. There were just a lot of factors to factor in there. And it isn't what you've done in the past, it's what are you doing for us now. And we haven't done anything the last three years. But as far as him getting a brain cramp or something, it hasn't happened. I have confidence in him. I've got his back." ~Pat Gillick

Friday, December 05, 2014

Nothing to Blog About

As loyal reader Bob D put it - "This team has stopped doing anything. No moves at trade deadline (except Mayberry), only 2 re-signed (Jerome Williams and Grady Sizemore), and several minor league signings. But no trades or bigger free agents. Next week is the Winter Meetings, which I do expect for something to be done, but so far any change hasn't really happened."
Hence, Thus, Therefore, nothing to blog about.