Monday, March 31, 2014

Let's Get It On- Rangers Series Preview

Philadelphia Phillies (0-0) @ Texas Rangers (0-0)

Pitching Match-Ups:
Monday, 2:05 - Cliff Lee vs. Tanner Scheppers
Tuesday, 8:05 - AJ Burnett vs. Martin Perez
Wednesday, 8:00 - Kyle Kendrick vs. Robbie Ross

Chuck Norris' Offense:
They like 'em big in Texas, must be the reason for acquiring Prince Fielder.  Expect 420+ feet bombs from him all season long.  Future Hall-of-Famer, Adrian Beltre, is a Gold Glove worthy defender and still has a potent bat.  Shin-Soo Choo and Alex Rios are a nice power/speed duo in the outfield corners.  Hot prospect Jurickson Profar will begin the season on the DL.

Chuck Norris' Pitching:
Scheppers isn't just making his first Opening Day start, he's making his first MLB start (115 relief apperances).  Perez is a young lefty, but doesn't have shutdown, strike 'em out sorta stuff.  Ross will also be making his first MLB start, after previously appearing in relief for 123 games.  In the bullpen there is Rule 5 pick Seth Rosin, who was taken out of the Phillies organization this past winter.  More prominent members include Joakim Soria, Neal Cotts, and Jason Frasor.

What I'm Drinking:
Bell's- Hopslam. Boozy, hoppy, sweet, love it.  The addition of honey helps to add balance to the malt base, because this beer is all about the hops, and there are plenty of them. I love IPAs and this just further cements my devotion to the style. Remarkable hop profile leaves you wishing that you had more bottles of it.  10% ABV, 70 IBU, 100/100 on

Usually when a guy is making his first MLB start that is good news for the opposing team, but the Phillies seem to be continually perplexed by these types of situations.  However, I'm going to begin the 2014 season with some optimism and say the Phils take 2 outta 3.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Other Nix

Remember Laynce Nix?  Of course you do.  Well, the Phillies have now acquired his brother, Jayson Nix, from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations.

The younger of the Brothers Nix, Jayson is a utility infielder of 6 years MLB experience with the Rockies, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays, and Yankees.  His defense is well regarded and his bat is typical of a utility infielder (Career- .218/.647, 141 R, 126 RBI, 37 HR, 35 SB, 425 G).  He's got a little speed and can 2nd, 3rd, SS and outfield in a pinch.  Phillies needed someone capable of manning shortstop with Freddy Galvis recuperating from MRSA and Jimmy Rollins being old.  If he hits enough, he could stick around with Cesar Hernandez being demoted upon Galvis' return. 

Other Moves:
*Jeff Manship, Mario Hollands, and Tony Gwynn Jr. have all made the Opening Day roster.

*Reid Brignac and Shawn Camp have bee assigned to the Iron Pigs.

*Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been placed on the 60-day DL.  I'm predicting a complete loss of the $12M invested in him over the next few years.

Side note- WSBGMs turned 8 years old yesterday and we're about to embark on our 9th season.  Go Phils!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Roster Shuffle: Phillies Old & New

*Bobby Abreu will not make the squad to begin the season.  He's currently "weighing his options".  I would think his only options are to accept a minor league assignment, retire, or play in an unaffiliated league.  He hit .263/.823 this spring while playing horrendous defense.

*Michael Stutes, already removed from the 40-man roster, has now been released.  A few years back, I thought he was a future setup man.  Now, he's just a mess.  He ends his time with the Phillies after 3 seasons, 79 games, and a 4.01 ERA in 85.1 innings.

*Kevin Frandsen elected free agency and promptly signed with the Nationals.  I'm predicting a game winner against Papelbon this season.

*Vance Worley has been traded to the Pirates.  Phuture Phucco?

*Joe Blanton was released by the Angels.

*Seth Rosin, a Rule 5 pick by the Dodgers from the Phillies, has now been claimed by the Rangers.

*The Mariners released Endy Chavez and Humerto Quintero, just to turn around and re-sign them to minor league deals.  This helped the M's avoid giving them roster bonuses.

*Randy Wolf was going to make the Opening Day roster for Seattle, but they wanted him to agree to  a special contract that allowed them to release him within 45 days only be on the hook for a prorated portion of his salary.  He elected free agency. Good luck finding a job.

*Delmon Young has made the Orioles roster.  Boo!

*John McDonald has been named the Angels utility infielder.  Seriously, how does he have a job?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Cleaining

Released- Lou Marson/C and Ronny Cedeno/INF.

Designated for Assignment- Kevin Frandsen, has to decide whether to accept trip to Triple-A or free agency.

Given Back- Kevin Muson/P, returned to the Diamondbacks.

DL Bound- Cole Hamels, Darin Ruff, Freddy Galvis.

Vying for Bench Spot- Reid Brignac/UTL, Cesar Hernandez/UTL, Bobby Abreu/OF, and Tony Gwynn Jr./OF.

Vying for Pitching Staff- Mario Hollands, BJ Rosenberg, Jeff Manship, Dave Buchanan, Shawn Camp, and Brad Lincoln.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Updates

The 2014 season has officially begun, over in Australia with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.  Meanwhile, stateside the other 28 teams remain in Spring Training.  Here's a quick update on the Phillies.

Team Ranks:
AVG - .223 (30th)
OPS - .632 (30th)
R - 82 (tied 28th)
HR - 14 (26th)
SB - 9 (tied 25th)
ERA - 4.75 (20th)
WHIP - 1.42 (tied 19th)
W - 6 (tied 29th)

In the bullpen, Mario Hollands, Antonio Bastardo, Shawn Camp, and Justin DeFratus have all looked good, with ERA of 2.08 or below having tossed 5+ IP.  Jeff Manship is looking to grab a spot on the staff, either as 5th starter or longman (2.25/1.13 in 16 IP).  Rotation locks, KK and AJ, have been bad so far, each rocking ERA of 7+ and WHIP of 1.5+.  Don't forget, Cole Hamels has yet to pitch in a game.

On the offensive side of things, Tony Gwynn Jr is making a positive impression (.333/1.021) and Bobby Abreu is proving his on base ability is still there (.442 OBP).  Darin Ruf is hurt and DL bound, meaning both of them could potentially make the club.  Freddy Galvis has been hospitalized with MRSA.  Dom Brown, Utley, and J-Roll have had miserable springs (each with AVG below .200 and OPS below .555).  At least Howard seems healthy (18 K in 47 AB).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WSBGMs 2014 Phantasy Baseball

WSBGMs is back for an 8th season for fantasy phantasy baseball. It is a competitive 16 team, head-to-head league. No money involved, just pride. It is run through Yahoo! Email us us for invite, or leave you email address in the comments section.

Also, if interested, click on the link about to sign up for a public league or create your own custom league for you and your friends.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Koyie Hill Acquired for No Reason

Carlos Ruiz- starting catcher.  Wil Nieves- MLB backup.  Cameron Rupp- waiting in Triple A.  Lou Marson- released.  Naturally, acquire a 35 year old catcher that can't hit, at all. 

Ruben Amaro, the mad genius that he is, got Koyie Hill from the Nationals for a player to be named later or cash considerations (basically, not too damn much).  Over 10 MLB seasons with the Cubs, Dodgers, Marlins, and Diamondbacks, he's hit .206/.553 in 331 games.  He's alright defensively, but has a negative WAR for his career (-2.5).  Yikes!  On the plus side, he's currently hitting .385/.928 in Spring Training, so maybe he's a late bloomer.  Ha, I kid, I kid.

Drink This:
Great Lakes came to the mid-state last summer, and they have a solid arsenal of brews.  My favorite to date is their Chillwave Double IPA.  Coming from an IPA aficionado, I must say this ranks up there with the likes of Heady Topper and Hopslam.  Yeah, it's that damn tasty.  Array of hops in this beast of a 2XIPA. Pine, grapefruit, floral. Tantalizing nose that comes through with the flavor. Slick mouth feel. Rating of 99 on Ratebeer. Go grab a case!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Over/Under- the Bullpen

Last of the 2014 preseason previews is the Phillies bullpen. Look for it to include 6th starter types like Jonathan Pettibone, Jeff Manship, Ethan Martin, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. As well as, Jonathan Papelbon, Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman, BJ Rosenberg, Shawn Camp, Brad Lincoln, Mike Adams, Justin DeFratus, among others.

Pros: High K's per 9, young with upside, not much else.

Cons: Too many unknowns, includes one prick (Papelbon), one PED abuser (Bastardo), and one highly priced brittle setup man (Adams).

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Phillies Bullpen:
20-31, 504 IP, 473 K, 35 SV, 3.78/1.32, 13 GS

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Phillies Pitching Staff:
76-86, 1440 IP, 1262 K, 35 SV, 3.84/1.26

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Phillies are in Trouble

Please allow me to be blunt.  To hell with all this "it's only Spring Training" talk in dismissal of the Phillies failures.  This team is in trouble.  Pitching is bad and the bats are the worst.  Seriously, they're averaging only 3.3 runs per game.  Get ready to hit a new low.

Record: 2-10-2

Average - .186 (30th)
On Base % - .278 (30th)
Slugging % - .290 (30th)
OPS - .567 (30th)
Runs - 46 (tied 29th)
Hits - 81 (30th)
Doubles - 12 (30th)
Triples - 0 (30th)
Homeruns - 11 (11th)
Walks - 46 (tied 11th)
Strikeouts - 91 (18th)
Stolen Bases - 3 (28th)

ERA - 5.07 (tied 23rd)
WHIP - 1.54 (tied 26th)
Walks - 53 (25th)
Strikeouts - 99 (11th)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Over/Under- Roberto Hernandez

We wrap up the 2014 Philadelphia Phillies preview of the starting rotation today with the guy in the 5th slot, Roberto Hernandez.

Pros: He was signed to only a 1 year deal, hasn't balked since 2011 (really, there aren't many positives with him, so I'm reaching). 

Cons: Hasn't been decent since he was named Fausto Carmona back in 2010, low strikeout rate, gives up lots a hits.  He's basically the Dominican version of KK, but slightly worse.

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Roberto Hernandez:
7-13, 25 GS, 147 IP, 109 K, 4.93/1.38

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Over/Under- Kyle Kendrick

While the Phillies continue to be the worst team in Spring Training, WSBGMs forges onward in our quest to preview the players that will likely be on the 25-man roster.  Today's subject is everyone's favorite whipping boy, KK.

Pros: In a walk year and motivated to perform to the top of his capabilities, good control, possible trade fodder come July.

Cons: In a walk year and motivated to perform to the top of his capabilities (which might not be very good), low strikeout rate, gives up lots of hits.

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Kyle Kendrick:
10-14, 32 GS,191 IP, 116 K, 4.48/1.36

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Over/Under- AJ Burnett

Today's feature on the ol' preview carousel is the staff's newest addition, AJ Burnett.

Pros: Fiesty, big strikeout numbers, durable.

Cons: Can be a bit of a malcontent, contemplated retirement this offseason, old, can't hit a lick, wild at times.

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for AJ Burnett:
12-10, 31 GS, 192 IP, 184 K, 3.59/1.25

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Over/Under- Cole Hamels

The 2014 season preview continues today with the Phillies brilliant lefty, Hollywood Hamels.

Pros: Great walks to strikeout ratio, cocky, wants to be in Philly, 1 win away from 100 for his career. 

Cons: Receives horrible run support (not his fault), has a tendency to pout on the mound when things don't go his way, currently not 100% healthy.

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Cole Hamels:
12-9, 28 GS, 183 IP, 171 K, 3.38/1.14

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Over/Under- Cliff Lee

WSBGMs 2014 season preview continues with the Phillies ace, Cliff Lee.

Pros: Great control, durable, competitor, a proven winner than wants to keep winning.

Cons: Lots of miles on that arm, could be ready to move on from Philly if winning doesn't return.

WSBGMs 2014 Projections for Cliff Lee: 
15-9, 33 GS, 223 IP, 209 K, 2.97/1.03