Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 preview: Maikel Franco

As we move toward the 2016 season, let us take a look at each player on the roster and what a reasonably successful season would look like. We started with Aaron Nola.


Name: Maikel Franco
Position: 3B
Age: Will be 24 in August
Bat/Throw: Right/Right
Number: 7
Experience: 96 games

Thursday, December 24, 2015

12 Days of Christmas - Phillies Style Volume X

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Phillies gave to me... 
12 Months of misery (Screw you Amaro!)
11 Errors committed by Chooch
10 Stolen bases from Freddy Galvis
9 Homeruns from Cameron Rupp
8 Ball Girls a milking
7 Walks in 4 innings from Phillippe Aumont
6 Losses in 7 starts by Alec Ascher
5 Wild pitches uncorked by Adam Loewen in only 19.1 innings
4 Runs scored in 104 plate appearances by Grady Sizemore
3 Scoreless appearances from Cesar Jimenez (then waived)
2 Innings pitched by outfielder Jeff Francoeur
1 More year remaining on Howard's contract 
and ZERO more seasons from Cole & Chase (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)
*2014- Volume IX (Santa Carson)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2016 preview: Aaron Nola

As we move toward the 2016 season, let us take a look at each player on the roster and what a reasonably successful season would look like. We'll start with Aaron Nola.


Name: Aaron Nola
Position: Starting pitcher
Age: Will be 23 in June
Bat/Throw: Right/Right
Number: 27
Experience: 13 starts/.076 seasons.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Whole Lotta Transactions Roundup

AJ Achter was claimed off waivers by the Angels only a few weeks after the Phillies claimed him from the Twins.  Whatever.

Dan Otero is currently on waivers as he lost his 40 man roster spot due all the player movement last week in the Phils system.  Hoping he makes it through.

Edward Mujica, Andrew Bailey, and Ernesto Frieri were all signed to minor league deals.  Each has been a closer at various points in their careers, so it's no surprise they latched on with the Phils, seeing that they are closer-less after the Giles trade.  They've all suffered through a rough couple seasons recently, but are low risk/high reward "gambles".

David Hernandez was inked to a 1 YR/$3.9M deal and hopes to take over the reigns in the 9th.  He too has suffered through some rough seasons recently, so I don't understand why he gets a nice guaranteed contract, while Mujica, Bailey, and Frieri had to settle for minor league pacts.

The Giles trade was tweaked, outfielder Derek Fisher wasn't included, but former No. 1 pick Mark Appel was, as were two guys with the last name Aruz (no relation). Harold, a pitcher, went to the Phils, and Jonathan, a shortstop, went to the Astros.

Charlie Morton was acquired for a low level prospect.  I understand adding veteran innings to the rotation, but I don't like this move.  He's been largely ineffective during his career, save for a couple okay seasons.  He'll presumably join Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nolan, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vincent Velasquez in the rotation.  That means Brett Oberholtzer and Adam Morgan are on the outside looking in as depth pieces.  An argument can be made that both of them have more upside and would be better than Morton, but I'm only a wannabe GM.  I'm giving Klentak the benefit of the doubt for now, so I won't be too critical. Not that it's a big deal if pitchers can hit or not, but it's worth noting that Morton is 3-76 over the past 2 years and only 18-249 in his career (.072). That's horrific! That's not exaggeration either. Of pitchers with a minimum of 250 career plate appearances since 1900, Morton ranks 1068th out of 1070 in terms of batting average. His OPS of .171 ranks 1069th out of 1070. But, at the very least we have a new Phucco (Bucco + Phillies = Phucco).

JP Arencibia was signed to a minor league deal.  The catcher has prodigious power, but strikes out  more than an ugly 400 pound middle aged man at a club. With that said, I'd rather have him backing up Rupp than Chooch.

Also signed to minor league deals were infielder Angelys Nina and pitchers Greg Burke and Gregory Infante. Outfielder Tyler Goeddel and and lefty Daniel Stumpf were taken in the Rule 5 draft.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Klentak Be Making Moves Yo

Busy day for Phillies and here are my quick thoughts:
*David Hernandez was signed to a 1 year deal for a yet to be reported salary.  It's not an exciting addition by any means. He missed all of 2014 (Tommy John surgery) and when he did pitch in 2013 & 2015 he had an ERA of 4.41 with a negative -1.0 WAR.  He was an effective right-handed reliever earlier in his career with the Diamondbacks, so maybe he can rebound to that status in the Phillies bullpen.

*Matt Klentak sent Ken Giles to the Houston Astros for a nice package of Vincent Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, and Derek Fisher.  Giles is an elite reliever for sure, but he's a luxury on a rebuilding squad, thus making him expendable for the right price.  The Astros met that price.  In Velasquez, the Phils get a strikeout pitcher that will likely slot directly into the rotation.  He's a consensus Top 100 prospect. Oberholtzer is a 26 year old lefty that can also slot directly in the rotation, having a 3.94 ERA over parts of 3 MLB seasons.  He's nothing flashy, but he can provide valuable innings to a team in need of them.  Fisher was the Astros' 1st round draft choice in 2014 and has hit well in 2 minor league seasons- .283/.837 with an intriguing power/speed combination while being converted to an outfielder (previously 3rd base). There is a rumored possible 4th player heading to the Phillies. That would just be the cherry on top. If I were a betting man I'd use Online Sportsbooks and I'd bet on this trade working out for both teams, a win-win.

*Reports have the Phillies selecting Tyler Goeddel with the top pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft.  The Tampa Bay Rays prospect was their 1st round pick in 2011.  He's 23 years old, bats right-handed, plays outfield, and has very good speed with some pop.  He reminds me of Odubel Herrera with a lower batting average, but more walks.

2016 Roster?
C - Cameron Rupp & Carlos Ruiz
1B - Ryan Howard & Darin Ruf
2B - Cesar Hernandez
SS - Freddy Galvis
3B - Maikel Franco
LF - Peter Bourjos
CF - Odubel Herrera
RF - Aaron Altherr
UTL - Andres Blanco & Darnell Sweeney
OF - Cody Asche & Tyler Goeddel
*That's 1 player too many.  I foresee an Asche trade or Sweeney being optioned.

SP1 - Aaron Nola
SP2 - Jeremy Helickson
SP3 - Jerad Eickhoff
SP4 - Vincent Velasquez
SP5 - Brett Oberholtzer or Adam Morgan
RP - David Hernandez
RP - Hector Neris
RP - Luis Garcia
RP - Elvis Araujo
RP - Dalier Hinojosa
RP - Jeanmar Gomez
RP - Dan Otero

In reserve: Alec Asher/SP, David Buchanan/SP, Severino Gonzalez/SP, AJ Achter/RP, Mike Mariot/RP, Colton Murray/RP, James Russell/RP, and many others.

Please, sir, I want some more

Yeah, I wanted a lot more than this.
I liked Lance McCullers a lot more than I like Vincent Velasquez. I like Kyle Tucker alot more than Derek Fisher.
Hell, I like Kyle Kendrick and Garrett Stephenson better than I like Brett Oberholtzer.
I'll probably feel better about this deal tomorrow.
Nah, that's doubtful.
I'm an optimist and I hate this deal.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Keeping tabs on the winter meetings

So the Philadelphia Inquirer has a great profile of Pete Mackanin. It's the story of a "baseball lifer."
It's definitely worth a read as we move into the Week of The Winter Meetings.

This note about Mackanin is just fantastic as we embark on a week that is guaranteed to include a flurry  blizzard of moves.
"The hundreds of players Mackanin has encountered in the three decades since occasionally has rendered it difficult for him to remember the root of all his relationships. When he runs into a former player he knows - which will happen often from Monday to Thursday at baseball's annual convention - it might take him a moment to recall whether he played with him or against him, managed him, coached him, or scouted him."

Anything can happen this week. Anything often does.
It's likely some of the players Mackanin has coached in Philly will be on the move. Or new names will arrive with new faces to learn.

I'm going to put brief updates on this page with my reactions to the news coming out of Nashville.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Waiver Wire Trio - Achter, Bourjos & Mariot

Sorry to inform you Frenchy lovin' sons of bitches out there, but Jeff Francoeur likely won't be back with the Phillies in 2016.  Personally, I think it's for the best.  He was a fun guy to have on the team last season, but his track record suggests he wouldn't come close to being successful for a consecutive season.  Why won't he be back - Peter Bourjos, who was just claimed off waivers from St. Louis and happens to be a veteran outfielder, thus filling the void Frenchy left.  Bourjos had a down year in 2015, but had posted positive WARs in every season other than that.  He's a career .241/.682 hitter over parts of 6 seasons with the Angels and Cardinals and is known for quality defense (despite last year's blip). He'll be 29 next season, bats from the right side, and will make $2M in his final year of arbitration. He'll compete for playing time with Cody Asche, Aaron Altherr, and Darnell Sweeney.
AJ Achter is a 27 year old right-handed relief pitcher.  He was taken from the Twins and comes with minimal MLB experience - 18 G, 24.1 IP, and a 5.18 ERA/1.44 WHIP. He's been much better in 6 minor league seasons with a 2.88 ERA/1.09 WHIP and over a strikeout per inning.  There's potential here and at the very least depth.

Michael Mariot is guessed it, a relief pitcher.  Klentak loves him some pitching. Anyway, he's also 27 years old, is right-handed, and has minimal MLB experience with poor results - 19 G, 28 IP, 6.11 ERA/1.68 WHIP.  Luckily, also like Achter, his minor league track record has been much better with a 3.34 ERA/1.22 WHIP and 8.4 K/9. Some potential and at the very least depth.  

Semi-sad news - Nefi Ogando was lost on waivers to the Marlins.  Meh.

Other news - Andres Blanco avoided arbitration and settled on a $1.45M contract.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Checking out the Black Friday bargains on the free agent market

Sure, it would be fun to see the Phillies wade into the major free agent waters this winter.
It's the deepest class in memory, afterall. I'd love to see Jason Heyward patrol right in Philly for the next ten years, and Jordan Zimmerman suit up in red and white pinstripes.
But the Phils are taking the wait and see approach. While that's the wise move - avoiding albatross contracts - I have no doubt that when the Phillies turn things around, they'll be one or two players short of contention and those players will be more expensive to get than this group at that point. So that will hurt.
So while we avoid the biggest names on the market, let's look at some of the bargain options that could help the Phillies in 2016 by taking some pressure off the young kids and being possible trade chips in July, or in 2017. After all, everyone is looking for bargains on Black Friday.
We know the Phillies are looking for pitching, but they could also use an everyday bat. It's not likely they'd look for a corner infield bat or someone to play the middle infield since they probably want to see more from Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez. It's probably more likely that they'd grab an outfield bat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ten prospects for the Phillies to look at in the Rule 5 draft

No one is guaranteed a star in the Rule 5 draft, but there are several players available this year who could make intriguing picks.

While I assume the Phillies will go after pitching - that's what Klentak has done all offseason - my list is heavy with position players because I think the team needs some guys to take on at-bats during the year, too. Plus, I'm not a fan of giving up walks and all of the available pitching prospects - save a very select few - have issues with the strike zone. Here are my top 10 candidates:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WSBGMs Rule 5 Pick - TJ Rivera

One of the perks of being the lousiest team in baseball is the privilege of picking first in the Rule 5 draft, which will take place during the Winter Meetings in December.  I was looking over some of "prospects" that were left unprotected and came across one that seems like a good gamble in the form the Mets 26th ranked prospect TJ Rivera.
Photo courtesy of David Conde from Legends On Deck scouting report - The old adage goes that if you hit, you'll find a spot in the big leagues. Rivera, a non-drafted free agent from Troy University, is certainly putting that axiom to the test. Having to prove himself every step of the way, Rivera has done just that with his bat, using his ability to hit to carry him all the way to the top of the organizational ladder in the Minor Leagues. He makes consistent contact and rarely strikes out, hitting at least .289 in each pro season heading into 2015, topping .300 in 2011, 2012 and again in 2014, when he led the organization in batting average. His ability to hit for average is really his lone offensive tool, as he doesn't possess over-the-fence power, and speed isn't a big part of his game. But along with his bat, he does offer positional flexibility, showing the ability to play second, short and third base capably. All of this points to a potential big league career as a utility guy. That may not sound like much, but for a player who wasn't even drafted back in 2011, it would be plenty.

Over 5 minor league seasons, the recently turned 27 year old Rivera has hit .318/.784 in 520 games with 305 R, 116 DBL, 24 HR, 259 RBI, and 24 SB and has seen time at every position in the infield.  He's not going to hit homeruns and he's not going to steal bases.  However, he hits and gets on base, and therefore stands the chance of scoring and knocking in runs.

With JP Crawford soon ready to take over at SS, now might be the time to trade Freddy Galvis.  Galvis himself would make a good utility infielder, and that's likely his future with the Phillies, but he will never hit for average like Rivera has the capability of.  Rivera and Andres Blanco could handle SS until Crawford is ready, and Rivera could also make some starts at 2nd base and 3rd too if necessary.  Hell, maybe Rivera could be the Phillies everyday 2nd baseman.

So, if I'm playing the role of Phillies GM Matt Klentak, I'm taking TJ Rivera with the 1st overall pick on the Rule 5 draft then seeing if Freddy Galvis and/or Cesar Hernandez can be traded to bring the organization something of use, preferably high level prospects for the bullpen.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Plenty of options available for Phillies in Rule 5 draft

The Rule 5 draft could provide the Philadelphia Phillies with an opportunity to add some talent to the system.
If history provides us any clues, it's not actually likely the team will strike gold a second consecutive season. Fans are aware the team struck gold in 2014 when it selected Odubel Herrera from the Texas Rangers. The Big O hit .297/.344/.418 with 16 stolen bases, eight home runs and 30 doubles. He also provided great, if not adventurous, defense in center field. He seems to be a solid building block for the franchise.
The Phils, of course, have had some success in the Rule 5 draft over the years. Shane Victorino and Dave Hollins earned trips to the All-Star Game and played roles on teams that went to the postseason after the Phillies selected them.
But there have also been several David Herndon's, Robert Mosebach's and Edgar Ramos. Oh, and the glorious Michael Martinez.
And having the first pick doesn't guarantee success, either. Here are the last 10 first picks of the rule five draft: Fabio Castro, Ryan Golesky, Tim Lahey, Terrell Young, Jamie Hoffman, Josh Rodriguez, Rhiner Cruz, Josh Fields, Patrick Schuster, Oscar Hernandez.
That's not a roster that brings a lot of confidence to the table. 
With all that in mind, let's look at who could be available.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What the hell, Hellickson?

Recently christened GM, Matt Klentak, hasn't wasted any time bolstering the pitching staff, which was his No. 1 objective this offseason.  He already added buy-low relief help in the form of Dan Otero and James Russell, and now he's added a veteran to the rotation to soak up innings in Jeremy Hellickson.
Hellickson, the former Rookie of the Year in 2011, will turn 29 years at the beginning of next season.  The righty is projected to earn $6.6M through arbitration and is set to hit the free agent market at the end of the season. Career: 49-48, 142 G, 135 GS, 786 IP, 584 K, 3.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP with the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks.

*He only cost a low level prospect (Sam McWilliams).
*He's a decent fielder (won Gold Glove in 2012).
*10-47 as a batter (.213 average, better than most backup catchers).
*Is a trade deadline candidate if he has a bounce back season (coming off 4.62 ERA).
*Has decent control (2.9 BB/9)
*When he isn't pitching well, it will allow me to use the tagline "What the hell, Hellickson?"

*Is prone to the longball.
*4.86 ERA since 2013.
*Has averaged only 5.7 innings per start since 2011.
*5.40 ERA/1.60 WHIP in 2 playoff starts (because you know the Phillies will need him in that capacity this season).

Friday, November 13, 2015

What did the Phillies get in Dan Otero and James Russell?

It's probably not a coincidence Matt Klentak's first two moves this offseason - and as a general manager - were to acquire bullpen depth.
The Phillies selected Dan Otero off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Nov. 3 and added James Russell on a minor league deal on Thursday.
Neither name is eye-popping of course, but both could prove valuable.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Coaching Staff Complete

Here's your 2016 Philadelphia Phillies coaching staff...

Pete Mackanin- Manager
Steve Henderson - Hitting Coach
Bob McClure - Pitching Coach
Mickey Morandini - 1st Base Coach
Juan Samuel - 3rd Base Coach
Larry Bowa - Bench Coach
Rick Kranitz - Bullpen Coach
Bob Stumpo - Bullpen Catcher
Jesus Tiamo - Bullpen Catcher
John McClaren - Catching Coach
Jorge Velandia - Assistant Coach

The newest addition is Morandini, whom some fans remember from the raucous rugrat team of 1993.  He played for the Phillies from 1990-1997 and again in 2000.  He's been coaching within the organization since 2011 and now gets the opportunity to work with high-priced "talent".  Spoiler alert - the mullet is gone.

Autum = Pumpkin Beer:
Coronado Brewing Company never ceases to impress me. They managed to make a less desirable style of beer into one that I actually enjoyed.  Unlike most Americans, I am not a fan of pumpkin beers, but I'm clearly in the minority.  Punk'in Drublic (clever name! and also a rocking NOFX album) is an outlier, I appreciate the nuances of this one compared to the masses. The honey smooths out the palate, rendering the spices not as biting or potent. Subtle pumpkin flavor along with allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg round out the flavor profile. Some caramel sweetness from the malt bill and even a bit of bittering hops for that West Coast flare.  The 8% ABV helps too, as I find most pumpkin beers entirely too thin for the amount of spices they're brewed with.

Commercial Description - Here in the land of eternal sunshine, it can be difficult to differentiate between seasons. Palm tree fronds don’t change color and fall to the sand, though the mercury does drop a few degrees, it’s still as paradisaical as Southern California lore would have you believe. So, from now on, count on this imperial pumpkin ale heralding in the fall season. Brewed with brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a heaping helping of would be jack-o-lanterns, Punk’In Drublic delivers autumn’s trademark flavors along with a hint of West Coast character, whether enjoyed in a pumpkin patch or on the beach.

But wait, there's more.  Coronado decided to pour Punk'in Drublic into bourbon barrels and allow the ale to age...genius! I like the fact that the base beer is still evident in aroma and flavor, and that barrel aging only added character to it, rather than mask its integrity. Spices, oak, bourbon/booze, and pumpkin for the win!  A rare beer treat for sure, seek it out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Howard - Final 2015 Standings

The Howard- when a player strikes out, commits an error, and hits a homerun all within the same game.  Lovingly named after the Philadelphia Phillies slugger, Ryan Howard.

Congratulations to Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros and Josh Donaldson of the Toronto  Blue Jays for leading all of baseball in The Howard for the 2015 season.  I'm sure this trumps the Rookie of the Year and MVP award that they having coming their way.

The Howard - Final 2015 Standings
C. Correa/HOU- 5
J. Donaldson/TOR- 5
P. Alvarez/PIT- 3
N. Arenado/COL- 3
C. Asche/PHI- 2
A. Beltre/TEX- 2
K. Bryant/CHC- 2
B. Crawford/SFG- 2
J. Harrison/PIT- 2
R. Howard/PHI- 2
N. Hundley/COL- 2
J. Kang/PIT- 2
M. Reynolds/STL- 2
A. Rizzo/CHC- 2
J. Smoak/TOR- 2
E. Suarez/CIN- 2
M. Teixeira/NYY- 2
D. Wright/NYM- 2
J. Abreu/CHW- 1
J. Altuve/HOU- 1
J. Baker/MIA- 1
B. Belt/SFG- 1
C. Beltran/NYY- 1
A. Blanco/PHI- 1
G. Blanco/SFG- 1
X. Bogaerts/BOS- 1
J. Bour/MIA- 1
D. Butera/KCR- 1
A. Cabrera/TBR- 1
K. Calhoun/ANA- 1
M. Canha/OAK- 1
R. Castillo/BOS- 1
S. Castro/CHC- 1
C. Colabello/TOR- 1
N. Cruz/SEA- 1
T. d'Arnaud/NYM- 1
K. Davis/MIL- 1
R. Davis/DET- 1
B. Dozier/MIN- 1
A. Eaton/CHW- 1
A. Escobar/KCR- 1
T. Featherston/LAA- 1
T. Field/TEX- 1
M. Franco/PHI- 1
N. Franklin/TBR- 1
T. Frazier/CIN- 1
F. Galvis/PHI- 1
E. Gattis/HOU- 1
P. Goldschmidt/ARI- 1
C. Gonzalez/COL- 1
B. Harper/WSH- 1
C. Herrmann/MIN- 1
A. Jackson/SEA- 1
M. Joyce/LAA- 1
M. Kemp/SDP- 1
J. Lake/CHC- 1
J. Lawrie/OAK- 1
A. Lind/MIL- 1
E. Longoria/TBR- 1
M. Machado/BAL- 1
J. Marte/DET- 1
C. Maybin/ATL- 1
M. Montero/CHC- 1
L. Morrison/SEA- 1
B. Moss/CLE- 1
R. Odor/TEX- 1
M. Olt/CHW- 1
D. Ortiz/BOS- 1
J. Peavy/SFG- 1
H. Pence/SFG- 1
J. Peralta/STL- 1
B. Phillips/CIN- 1
T. Plouffe/MIN- 1
G. Polanco/PIT- 1
A. Ramirez/PIT- 1
M. Semien/OAK- 1
T. Snider/BAL- 1
S. Souza/TBR- 1
G. Springer/HOU- 1
G. Stanton/MIA- 1
K. Suzuki/MIN- 1
M. Taylor/WSH- 1
T. Tulowitzki/COL- 1
L. Valbuena/HOU- 1
D. Valencia/OAK- 1
S. Van Slyke/LAD- 1
J. Votto/CIN- 1
T. Walker/PIT- 1
C. Yelich/MIA- 1
M. Zunino/SEA- 1

Inside the Numbers:
*116 Howards were committed in 2015, which ranks in the middle of the pack since the stat's creation prior to the 2009 season.  Year - # of Howards: 2009- 111, 2010- 112, 2011- 107, 2012- 129, 2013- 92, 2014- 118, and 2015- 116.

*Ryan Howard has committed 11 Howards since the beginning of 2009.

*The 2015 Howards standings will be archived on the right sidebar of the blog.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Phillies mixed history in the MLB Player draft

New General Manager Matt Klentak certainly has a tall order in front of him. One of the biggest opportunities for him to leave an early stamp on the organization, while also moving the rebuilding along, is having the No. 1 pick in the draft. So let's take a look at the Phillies history in the first round, with a little help from Baseball-Reference.

First, we'll take a year-by-year look at the the results of the Phillies first rounders. Then, we'll take a look at how their efforts have compared against the rest of Major League Baseball.

New GM Named, Sadly Not Me

It's official, the Phillies have named a brand spanking new GM.  He goes by the name of Matt Klentak, who is a 35 year old graduate of Dartmouth and has worked for the Orioles and Angels in the past.  I was in the running, but they wanted Ivy League, not "Baby Ivy League", and the cut-off age was 35.  I recently turned 36 and my Bucknell degree isn't as fancy-schmancy as Klentak's.  Oh well, I support him for now until he signs Carlos Ruiz to an extension that runs into his 40's.
In other Phillies related news, Ruben Amaro Jr. has become the new first base coach of the Boston Red Sox. Can you imagine how Dustin Pedroia is going to feel, having to look at his smug face every time he singles or gets a walk.  Ugh!

Friday, October 16, 2015

WSBGMs Phantasy League 9 Phinal Standings

Congratulations to Coyote Utley for reigning supreme over all the wannabe GMs out there, as he masterminded his fantasy baseball team to the prestigious championship over the vaunted Harangatangs (my team).

Phinal Standings:
1. Coyote Utley
2. Harangatangs
3. Steegles
4. Haranging Out
5. The Big Rebuild
6. Big Ron's Boss Team
7. Ball Four
8. Mayberry Mudhens
9. Birdman's Team
10. Jersey Micks
11. Killa Weedz
12. Amaro's Awesomeness
13. Life's Awesome
14. Toys of Summer
15. Jason's Team
16. Severino Starting

Thanks to all that participated, and I hope to bring the league back for a 10th season in 2016.  Stay tuned.

Friday, October 09, 2015

WSBGMs Collection of Phillies (2006-2015)

We Should Be GMs was established March 28, 2006 and I have been blogging for 10 seasons now. In that time we've witnessed the Phillies ascend the NL East and triumph over all of baseball and stake claim to being a perennial contender in the National League until steadily plummeting the bottom over the past four seasons. Many players and coaches have come and gone with some even staying for the duration. This post is intended as a means of reflection on all those men who've donned the Phillies uniform during WSBGMs time in the blogsphere. Enjoy...

Regular Season (2006-2015) 848 W/772 L (.523%)
Postseason (2007-2011) 27 W/19 L (.587%)

1. Cole Hamels/SP (2006-2015)
2. Jon Lieber/SP (2006-2007)
3. Cory Lidle/SP (2006)
4. Randy Wolf/SP (2006)
5. Gavin Floyd/SP (2006)
6. Jamie Moyer/SP (2006-2010)
7. Adam Bernero/SP (2006)
8. Adam Eaton/SP (2007-2008)
9. Kyle Kendrick/SP (2007-2014)
10. Kyle Lohse/SP (2007)
11. Freddy Garcia/SP (2007)
12. Zack Segovia/SP (2007)
13. JA Happ/SP (2007-2010)
14. Joe Blanton/SP (2008-2012)
15. Cliff Lee/SP (2009 & '11-14)
16. Rodrigo Lopez/SP (2009)
17. Pedro Martinez/SP (2009)
18. Vance Worley/SP (2010-2012)
19. Roy Halladay/SP (2010-2013)
20. Roy Oswalt/SP (2010-2011)
21. Tyler Cloyd/SP (2012-2013)
22. Jonathan Pettibone/SP (2013-2014)
23. John Lannan/SP (2013)
24. AJ Burnett (2014)
25. David Buchanan (2014-2015)
26. Sean O'Sullivan (2014-2015)
27. Aaron Harang (2015)
28. Severino Gonzalez (2015)
29. Alec Asher (2015)
30. Jerad Eickhoff (2015)
31. Aaron Nola (2015)
32. Kevin Correia (2015)
33. Adam Morgan (2015)
34. Chad Billingsley (2015)
35. Jerome Williams (2014-2015)
36. Roberto Hernandez (2014)
37. Ethan Martin/SP/RP (2013-2014)
38. Zach Miner/SP/RP (2013)
39. JD Durbin/SP/RP (2007)
40. Brett Myers/SP/RP (2006-2009)
41. Scott Mathieson/SP/RP ('06 & '10-11)
42. Eude Brito/SP/RP (2006)
43. Chan Ho Park/SP/RP (2009)
44. Ryan Madson/SP/RP (2006-2011)
45. John Ennis/SP/RP (2007)
46. Andrew Carpenter/SP/RP (2008-2011)
47. Antonio Bastardo/SP/RP (2009-2014)
48. Aaron Fultz/RP (2006)
49. Ryan Franklin/RP (2006)
50. Fabio Castro/RP (2006-2007)
51. Geoff Geary/RP (2006-2007)
52. Julio Santana/RP (2006)
53. Clay Condrey/RP (2006-2009)
54. Rheal Cormier/RP (2006)
55. Matt Smith/RP (2006-2007)
56. Rick White/RP (2006)
57. Arthur Rhodes/RP (2006)
58. Brian Sanches/RP (2006-2007 & '12)
59. Tom Gordon/RP (2006-2008)
60. Francisco Rosario/RP (2007)
61. JC Romero/RP (2007-2011)
62. Kane Davis/RP (2007)
63. Joe Bisensius/RP (2007)
64. Jose Mesa/RP (2007)
65. Yoel Hernandez/RP (2007)
66. Anderson Garcia/RP (2007)
67. Mike Zagurski/RP ('07 & '10-11)
68. Chad Durbin/RP (2008-2010 & '13)
69. Antonio Alfonseca/RP (2007)
70. RJ Swindle/RP (2008)
71. Les Walrond/RP (2008)
72. Rudy Seanez/RP (2008)
73. Brad Lidge/RP (2008-2011)
74. Scott Eyre/RP (2008-2009)
75. Jack Taschner/RP (2009)
76. Tyler Walker/RP (2009)
77. Steven Register/RP (2009)
78. Sergio Escalona/RP (2009)
79. Nelson Figueroa/RP (2010)
80. David Herndon/RP (2010-2012)
81. Danys Baez/RP (2010-2011)
82. Nate Robertson/RP (2010)
83. Jose Contreras/RP (2010-2012)
84. Joe Savery/RP (2011-2013)
85. Justin De Fratus/RP (2011-2015)
86. Michael Stutes/RP (2011-2013)
87. Juan Perez/RP (2011)
88. Michael Schwimer/RP (2011-2012)
89. BJ Rosenberg/RP (2012-2014)
90. Jacob Diekman/RP (2012-2015)
91. Jeremy Horst/RP (2012-2013)
92. Raul Valdes/RP (2012-2013)
93. Jonathan Papelbon/RP (2012-2015)
94. Tyson Brummett/RP (2012)
95. Phillippe Aumont/RP (2012-2015)
96. Chad Qualls/RP (2012)
97. Jeff Lindblom/RP (2012)
98. Luis Garcia/RP (2013-2015)
99. Mike Adams/RP (2013-2014)
100. Cesar Jimenez/RP (2013-2015)
101. Mauricio Robles/RP (2013)
102. Hector Neris (2014-2015)
103. Mario Hollands (2014)
104. Shawn Camp (2014)
105. Jeff Manship (2014)
106. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (2014)
107. Brad Lincoln (2014)
108. Ken Giles (2014-2015)
109. Jeanmar Gomez (2015)
110. Dustin McGowan (2015)
111. Nefi Ogando (2015)
112. Colton Murray (2015)
113. Seth Rosin (2015)
114. Adam Loewen (2015)
115. Elvis Araujo (2015)
116. Kenny Roberts (2015)
117. Dalier Hinojosa (2015)

101. Mike Lieberthal/C (2006)
102. Chris Coste/C (2006-2009)
103. Sal Fasano/C (2006)
104. Carlos Ruiz/C (2006-2015)
105. Rod Barajas/C (2007)
106. Lou Marson/C (2008-2009)
107. Paul Bako/C (2009)
108. Paul Hoover/C (2009-2010)
109. Brian Schneider/C (2010-2012)
110. Dane Sardinha/C (2010-2011)
111. Erik Kratz/C (2011-2013 & 2015)
112. Steven Lerud/C (2012-2013)
113. Cameron Rupp/C (2013-2015)
114. Humberto Quintero/C (2013)
115. Wil Nieves/C (2014)
116. Koyie Hill/C (2014)
117. Ryan Howard/1B (2006-2015)
118. Mike Sweeney/1B (2010)
119. Ty Wigginton/1B/3B/LF (2012)
120. Chase Utley/2B (2006-2015)
121. Tadahito Iguchi/2B (2007-2008)
122. Brad Harman/2B (2008)
123. Jimmy Rollins/SS (2006-2014)
124. Brian Bocock/SS (2010)
125. David Bell/3B (2006)
126. Wes Helms/3B (2007)
127. Pedro Feliz/3B (2008-2009)
128. Mike Cervenak/3B (2008)
129. Placido Polanco/3B (2010-2012)
130. Greg Dobbs/3B/OF/1B (2007-2010)
131. Kevin Frandsen/3B/1B (2012-2013)
132. Cody Asche/3B/LF (2013-2015)
133. Maikel Franco/3B/1B (2014-2015)
134. Ross Gload/1B/OF (2010-2011)
135. Danny Sandoval/UTL (2006)
136. Abraham Nunez/UTL (2006-2007)
137. Alex Gonzalez/UTL (2006)
138. Jose Hernandez/UTL (2006)
139. Joe Thurston/UTL (2006)
140. Russell Branyan/UTL (2007)
141. Eric Bruntlett/UTL (2008-2009)
142. Miguel Cairo/UTL (2009)
143. Wilson Valdez/UTL (2010-2011)
144. Juan Castro/UTL (2010)
145. Cody Ransom/UTL (2010)
146. Pete Orr/UTL (2011-2013)
147. Michael Martinez/UTL (2011-2013)
148. Mike Fontenot/UTL (2012)
149. Hector Luna/UTL (2012)
150. Freddy Galvis/UTL (2012-2015)
151. John McDonald/UTL (2013)
152. Andres Blanco/UTL (2014-2015)
153. Ronny Cedeno/UTL (2014)
154. Reid Brignac/UTL (2014)
155. Jayson Nix/UTL (2014)
156. Cesar Hernandez/UTL (2013-2015)
157. Chase d'Arnaud/UTL (2015)
158. Darnell Sweeney/UTL (2015)
159. Randall Simon/PH (2006)
160. Pete LaForest/PH (2007)
161. Andy Tracy/PH (2008-2009)
162. Chris Snelling/PH (2008)
163. John Bowker/PH (2011)
164. Brandon Moss/PH (2011)
165. Jim Thome/PH (2012)
166. Jason Pridie/PH (2012)
167. Jordan Danks (2015)

168. Pat Burrell/LF (2006-2008)
169. Raul Ibanez/LF (2009-2011)
170. Juan Pierre/LF (2012)
171. Aaron Roward/CF (2006-2007)
172. Shane Victorino/CF (2006-2012)
173. Ben Revere/CF (2013-2015)
174. Odubel Herrera/CF (2015)
175. Bobby Abreu/RF (2006)
176. Jayson Werth/RF (2007-2010)
177. Geoff Jenkins/RF (2008)
178. Hunter Pence/RF (2011-2012)
179. Delmon Young/RF (2013)
180. Marlon Byrd/RF (2014)
181. David Dellucci/OF (2006)
182. Jeff Conine/OF (2006)
183. Chris Roberson/OF (2006-2007)
184. Michael Bourn/OF (2006-2007)
185. So Taguchi/OF (2008)
186. Matt Stairs/OF (2008-2009)
187. Greg Golson/OF (2008)
188. TJ Bohn/OF (2008)
189. Ben Francisco/OF (2009-2011)
190. John Mayberry Jr./OF/1B (2009-2014)
191. Domonic Brown/OF (2010-2015)
192. Darin Ruf/OF/1B (2012-2015)
193. Nate Schierholtz/OF (2012)
194. Laynce Nix/OF (2012-2013)
195. Roger Bernadina/OF (2013)
196. Steve Susdorf/OF (2013)
197. Ezequiel Carrera/OF (2013)
198. Casper Wells/OF (2013)
199. Tony Gwynn Jr./OF (2014)
200. Aaron Altherr/OF (2014-2015)
201. Grady Sizemore/OF (2014-2015)
202. Jeff Francoeur/OF (2015)
203. Brian Bogusevic/OF (2015)

Coaching Staff:
Charlie Manuel/Manager (2006-2013)
Ryne Sandberg/Manager/3rd Base (2013-2015)
Gary Varsho/Bench (2006)
Jimy Williams/Bench (2007-2008)
Pete Mackanin/Bench/3rd Base/Manager (2009-2012 & 2014-2015)
Larry Bowa/Bench (2014-2015)
Jorge Valendia/ASST (2015)
Rich Dubee/Pitching (2006-2013)
Bob McClure/Pitching (2014-2015)
Milt Thompson/Hitting (2006-2010)
Greg Gross/Hitting (2010-2012)
Wally Joyner/Hitting/1st Base (2013)
Steve Henderson/Hitting (2013-2015)
John Mizerock/Ast. Hitting/3rd Base (2014-2015)
Marc Bombard/1st Base (2006)
Davey Lopes/1st Base (2007-2010)
Bill Dancy/3rd Base (2006)
Steve Smith/3rd Base (2007-2008)
Sam Perlozzo/3rd Base/1st Base (2009-2012)
Juan Samuel/3rd Base/1st Base (2011-2015)
Ramon Henderson/BP (2006-2008)
Mick Bellmeyer/BP/Catching (2009-2013)
Rod Nichols/BP (2013-2015)
Jesus Tiamo/BPC (2015)
Bob Stump/BPC (2015)

*Pat Gillick/GM (2006-2008)
*Ruben Amaro Jr./GM (2009-2015)
*Scott Proefrock/Interim GM (2015)

Sunday, October 04, 2015

99 Problems, But 100 Losses Ain't 1

The Phillies have 99 problems, but 100 losses ain't 1.  With a 7-2 win today over the Miami Marlins, the 2015 season has come to a close and the Phils ended with a 63-99 record, 1 loss shy of triple digits.
Looking ahead to 2016, this is what I foresee as the roster is currently constructed...
C - Cameron Rupp/Carlos Ruiz
1B - Ryan Howard/Darin Ruf
2B - Cesar Hernandez
SS - Freddy Galvis
3B - Maikel Franco
LF - ?
CF - Odubel Herrera
RF - Aaron Altherr
Bench - Cody Asche/LF/3B & Andres Blanco/UTL

SP - Aaron Nola
SP - Jerad Eickhoff
SP - Adam Morgan
SP - ?
SP - ?
CL - Ken Giles
RP - Dalier Hinojosa, Luis Garcia, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Jeanmar Gomez, ?.

Two spots in the rotation are open and one spot in the bullpen. Left field is up for grabs, plus a bench spot. Internal options for SP - David Buchanan, Alec Asher, Severino Gonzalez, Jake Thompson and Matt Harrison. RP - Kenny Roberts, Justin DeFratus, Colton Murray and Nefi Ogando. Bench spot - Darnell Sweeney/UTL.

I could see at least 1 veteran stopgap starting pitcher brought in to eat innings. I would love a bounce back candidate like Mat Latos. Wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of minor league contracts handed out to relief pitchers and some outfield/infield guys.

It would be nice to see Chooch traded, but it's not necessary, because neither Andrew Knapp or Jorge Alfaro are MLB ready. DeFratus might not be tendered a contract, and I expect the same fate for Domonic Brown. I know Francoeur has been a great clubhouse presence, but I don't know if he comes back, nor do I really think he should. It was a nice year with him, but my guess is if retained next season, he wouldn't be nearly as good (his track record suggests I'm right).

It's going to be an interesting offseason.  One of continued rebuilding/transition.  Bring it on!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Howard & Veteran Stopgap Starting Pitchers

The Howard Update:
Lookie, lookie, it's the likely American League MVP and Rookie of the Year atop of The Howard standings.  Both Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros have collected 5 Howards apiece.  With only two games remaining in the 2015 regular season, it very well might end in a tie for this prestigious award. Full list of The Howard 2015 is located on the upper right sidebar of the blog.

Veteran Stopgap Starting Pitchers:
Heading into 2016 the Phillies have 3 young starting pitchers that should be given the ball every 5th day (Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Adam Morgan). That leaves two gaping holes in the rotation.  There is a possibility Alec Asher, Jake Thompson, David Buchanan, or Matt Harrison could grab one of those spots.  However, a veteran starting pitcher looking for a 1 year deal to keep his career going is going to be required. 

Looking over the free agents to be this offeseason, here is a quick rundown of possible targets.  Warning - it is not pretty.

(#) - age they'll be/turn during the 2016 season
Kyle Kendrick (32) - 27 GS, 142.1 IP, 80 K, 7-13, 6.32/1.53
Kyle Lohse (37) - 37 G, 22 GS, 152.1 IP, 108 K, 5-13, 5.85/1.46
Aarong Harang (38) - 28 GS, 166.2 IP, 106 K, 6-15, 4.86/1.39
Bud Norris (31) - 37 G, 11 GS, 81 IP, 68 K, 3-11, 6.89/1.59
Mat Latos (28) - 23 G, 21 GS, 114.2 IP, 99 K, 4-10, 4.87/1.30
Mike Pelfrey (32) - 30 GS, 164.2 IP, 86 K, 6-11, 4.26/1.48
Alfredo Simon (35) - 31 GS, 187 IP, 117 K, 13-12, 5.05/1.44
Ryan Vogelsong (38) - 33 G, 22 GS, 135 IP, 108 K, 9-11, 4.67/1.47
Jerome Williams (34) - 33 G, 21 GS, 121 IP, 74 K, 4-12, 5.80/1.61
Chris Young (37) - 34 G, 18 GS, 123.1 IP, 83 K, 11-6, 3.06/1.09
Jeremy Guthrie (37) - 30 G, 24 GS, 148.1 IP, 84 K, 8-8, 5.95/1.55
Bartolo Colon (43) - 32 G, 31 GS, 193.2 IP, 135 K, 14-13, 4.18/1.24

Sunday, September 27, 2015

One Week Remains

The 2015 season for the Philadelphia Phillies concludes next Sunday, one week from today.  7 games remain.  The pain is almost over.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Old Phriends- Blanton & Madson

Everyone remembers the World F'n Champions of 2008.  Those days are long gone, as the Phillies have been 7-22 since August 24th and are on the verge of 100 losses.  Maybe they could use a little magic from some old friends...or should I say "Phriends"?
Joe Blanton pitched so horrendously with the Angels in 2013, that he didn't have a job last season.  Ryan Madson hadn't pitched since he was with the Phillies back in 2011, having suffered through a rash of arms problems since then.  However, the Kansas City Royals were gracious enough to give each a minor league contract and have reaped the rewards every since.

Blanton began the season in KC, but is now with Pittsburgh.  He's been a nice multi-inning reliever, having pitched in 33 games, 4 of them starts, and has racked up 74 strikeouts over 71.1 innings with a 7-2 record, a 3.03 ERA, and a 1.15 WHIP. Also, it's pretty cool that he's now a Phucco (Phillies + Bucco = Phucco).  He'll turn 35 years old in December, but he's probably lined himself up for a 1 year pact in the neighborhood of $2M.

Madson, who just turned 35 in August, is back to being as dominant as ever.  He's appeared in 64 games and pitched 59.1 innings with 54 strikeouts, a 2.28 ERA, and 0.98 WHIP.  Due to his age and history of injuries, a 2 year deal is unlikely.  However, a team like Detroit, in desperate need of bullpen help, would be wise to give him 1 YR/$4M with an option year and plug him into the closer role.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cody Asche with The Howard, Phillies with the Win

The Howard- when a player strikes out, commits an error, and hits a homerun all within the same game.  Lovingly named after the Philadelphia Phillies slugger, Ryan Howard.

Cody Asche, third baseman turned left fielder, turned third baseman again hit a pair of homeruns in last night's victory over the Marlins.  As loyal readers of WSBGMs know, nearly every time a Phillies player performs The Howard, the game will be won by the good guys.

The full list of The Howard standings can be found on the right sidebar, with Toronto Blue Jays Josh Donaldson leading the way with 5.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Phillies are an Offensive Juggernaut

The world has taken notice and I hope you have too, the Phillies are an offensive juggernaut. Seriously, it's nearly impossible to get them out, they're lacing the baseball all over the diamond and over the fence.  Laser here, bomb there.  Oh my!
Over the past 5 games the Phillies have scored a grand total of 5 runs and reached base via hit 22 times.  For you math geniuses out there, that's an average of 1 run per game and 4.4 hits per game.  The game of baseball hasn't seen numbers that inflated since the heyday of PEDs.  It's a shame the 2015 season is coming to an end, because I for one, would love to see the fireworks continue.  Sad face emoji :(

Monday, September 14, 2015

Phillies Refill Chase Quota, Call Up d'Arnaud

If you watched the Phillies game yesterday, you knew Cesar Hernandez's season was over after seeing his effed up thumb from the collision with Anthony Rizzo.  He's been placed on the 60-day DL.  See ya in 2016.

This opened up a spot on the 40-man roster and the Phils have gifted that to Chase d'Arnaud.  He is the older brother of Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who was once a top prospect in the Phillies system.  The Phillies have a long record of having the wrong brother, so this just continues that trend.  Travis is batting .296/.920 this season and is on his way to stardom.  Chase has played for Pittsburgh in parts of the 2011, 2012, and 2014 seasons.  He's a career .208/.507 hitter in 64 MLB games.  He's been better in the minors, having hit .268/.671 for the IronPigs this year, playing mostly SS, but is quite capably of playing almost any position on the diamond.  Possibly the only positive coming out of all this...he'll be a Phucco (Phillies + Bucco = Phucco).  This also fills their "Chase" quota, which has been lacking since Utley departed.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Cubs

Chicago Cubs (80-58) @ Philadelphia Phillies (54-86)
Game Times:
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday - 7:05
Sunday - 1:35

Batting & Fielding:
C - Miguel Montero vs. Cameron Rupp
1B - Anthony Rizzo vs. Ryan Howard
2B - Tommy La Stella vs. Cesar Hernandez
SS - Addison Russell vs. Freddy Galvis
3B - Kris Bryant vs. Cody Asche
LF - Kyle Schwarber vs. Darnell Sweeney
CF - Dexter Fowler vs. Odubel Herrera
RF - Chris Coghlan vs. Aaron Altherr
Bench - Starlin Castro, David Ross, Austin Jackson, Matt Szczur, Jonathan Herrera, Javier Baez, Chris Denorfia & Quintin Berry vs. Jeff Francoeur, Carlos Ruiz, Darin Ruf, Andres Blanco, Brian Bogusevic & Erik Kratz
R - Cubs 584 (17th) vs. Phillies 537 (27th)
AVG - Cubs .243 (30th) vs. Phillies .252 (18th)
OPS - Cubs .718 (17th) vs. Phillies .687 (28th)
HR - Cubs 152 (8th tied) vs. Phillies 108 (28th)
SB - Cubs 80 (9th) vs. Phillies 76 (11th tied)

SP1 - Jake Arrieta vs. Adam Morgan
SP2 - Kyle Hendricks vs. Alec Asher
SP3 - Dan Harren vs. Jerad Eickhoff
SP4 - Jason Hammel vs. Aaron Harang
CL - Hector Rondon vs. Ken Giles
RP - Pedro Strop, CJ Edwards, Trevor Cahill, Justin Grimm, Tommy Hunter, Yoervis Medina, Neil Ramirez, Fernando Rodney, Clayton Richards, Zac Rosscup, Travis Wood, & Tsuyoshi Wada vs. Justin DeFratus, Luis Garcia, Colton Murray, Adam Loewen, Jeanmar Gomez, Dalier Hinojosa, Nefi Ogando, Hector Neris, Ken Roberts & Jerome Williams
ERA - Cubs 3.56 (6th) vs. Phillies 4.86 (29th)
WHIP - Cubs 1.20 (5th) vs. Phillies 1.47 (29th)
K - Cubs 1197 (3rd) vs. Phillies 980 (24th)
Run Differential - Cubs (+44) vs. Phillies (-183)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Expanded Roster & 6-Man Rotation

With September upon us and the minor league seasons coming to a close, the rosters have expanded.  Erik Kratz/C, Colton Murray/RP, Dalier Hinojosa/RP, Nefi Ogando/RP, David Buchanan/SP, Ken Roberts/RP and Brian Bogusevic/OF are the lucky group to be summoned to the active MLB roster.

Buchanan will step into the rotation and take the ball every sixth day.  Yep, the Phillies are going to a 6-man rotation in order to protect their young arms.  Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Aaron Harang, Adam Morgan, and David Buchanan will be toeing the slab for the remainder of the 2015 season in the starting rotation.

Domonic Brown's Phils career may be over.  He suffered a concussion on an errant attempt at a catch last week and is likely done for the season.  He's making $2.6M this season and is due for a raise next year, but he's unproductive and probably won't be tendered a contract.

Maikel Franco recently tested out his ailing wrist and it didn't respond the way he had hoped.  His rookie season is likely over, with Asche and Blanco manning 3rd base to close out the year.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Red Sox

Philadelphia Phillies (53-81) @ Boston Red Sox (61-72)
Game Times:
Friday - 7:10
Saturday - 4:05
Sunday - 1:35

Batting & Fielding:
C - Cameron Rupp vs. Blake Swihart
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Travis Shaw
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Brock Holt
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Xander Bogaerts
3B - Andres Blanco vs. Pablo Sandoval
LF - Cody Asche vs. Jackie Bradley Jr.
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. Mookie Betts
RF - Jeff Francoeur vs. Rusney Castillo
DH - Somebody vs. David Ortiz
Bench - Darin Ruf, Aaron Altherr, Darnell Sweeney, Carlos Ruiz & Erik Kratz vs. Randy Hanigan, Sandy Leon, Allen Craig, Josh Rutledge & Hanley Ramirez
R - Phillies 520 (26th) vs. Red Sox 602 (5th)
AVG - Phillies .2j53 (15th) vs. Red Sox .265 (7th)
OPS - Phillies .690 (26th) vs. Red Sox .737 (7th)
HR - Phillies 105 (28th) vs. Red Sox 129 (15th tied)
SB - Phillies 74 (11th tied) vs. Red Sox 59 (22nd)

SP1 - Adam Morgan vs. Joe Kelly
SP2 - Alec Asher vs. Wade Miley
SP3 - Jerad Eickhoff vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
CL - Ken Giles vs. Jean Machi
RP - Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia, Dalier Hinojosa, Adam Loewen, Colton Murray, JeromeWilliams, Justin DeFratus, & Hector Neris vs.  Craig Breslow, Ryan Cook, Heath Hembree, Tommy Layne, Alexi Ogando, Noe Ramirez, Robbie Ross Jr. & Junichi Tazawa
ERA - Phillies 4.80 (29th) vs. Red Sox 4.52 (26th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.46 (29th) vs. Red Sox 1.38 (25th)
K - Phillies 943 (24th) vs. Red Sox 982 (18th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-163) vs. Red Sox (-44)

What To Imbibe On:
Stegmaier Brewing Company - Cellar Series: Grand Hoppa. The Lion Brewery (aka - Stegmaier) is stepping up their game and out of their previously conceived comfort zone with the release of this Double IPA.  Registers in at 8.9% ABV and 110 IBU, so it's big and hoppy to say the least. Deep gold pour with semi-sticky head. Ripe citrus zest, hop spice notes, herbal, and pine round out the hop profile, while the malt bill comes in with just the right amount of sweetness.
Commercial Description - Grand Hoppa Double IPA is a hop lover’s delight. Our Master Brewer artfully balanced this masterpiece by combining the finest barley and specialty malts to form an impeccable malty backbone strong enough to support a massive amount of domestic and imported hops. Dry hopped with MOSAIC, CITRA, and GALAXY hops, this Double IPA bursts with a distinctive aroma that perfectly intermingles with the spicy and tropical fruit characteristics of SUMMER and COLUMBUS hops to create a truly ONE OF A KIND BEER! ABV 8.9% and IBU’s 110.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Howard + Ruf = Good First Baseman

Ryan Howard vs. RHP 2015: .273/.839, 111 G, 41 R, 25 DBL, 18 HR, 62 RBI
Ryan Howard vs. RHP Career: .285./.944, 1320 G, 202 DBL, 14 TRPL, 265 HR, 813 RBI

Darin Ruf vs. LHP 2015: .365/1.011, 36 G, 11 R, 4 DBL, 4 HR, 12 RBI
Darin Ruf vs. LHP Career: .291/.897, 112 G, 32 R, 12 DBL, 12 HR, 32 RBI
Ruf's OPS against LHP is .222 better than against RHP in his career.  Howard's OPS against RHP is .227 better than against LHP.  A straight platoon seems like the obvious answer, and interim manager Pete Mackanin has been doing that for the most part over the past month of so.  If this plan is carried through with fidelity next season, I would be surprised to see excellent overall production from 1st base in 2016.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Love 4 Blanco & 2016 Roster

Let's celebrate Andres Blanco.  Over the past two years he's played all over the infield and hit extremely well for a utility guy.  In 96 games he's hit .295/.875 with a 1.8 WAR.  That's great production from someone signed to a minor league contract in each season. He remains under team control through 2016, so expect him to be back in the same capacity next year.
Speaking of next year, it's good to see some more players getting a chance to showcase their talents before 2015 is over (Altherr, Eickhoff, and Sweeney recently).

Looking at the current roster gives some insight into 2016's.

C - Cameron Rupp & Carlos Ruiz 
1B - Ryan Howard
2B - Cesar Hernandez
SS - Freddy Galvis
3B - Maikel Franco
UTL - Andres Blanco, Darnell Sweeney & Darin Ruf/OF/1B
OF - Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Cody Asche & Domonic Brown 
SP - Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan & Jerad Eickhoff
RP - Ken Giles, Hector Neris, Elvis Araujo, Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez & Dalier Hinojosa

I wouldn't be surprised to see Alec Asher get a handful of starts in September.  Domonic Brown is a non-tender candidate. Kelly Dugan is knocking on the door in Triple-A, but the Phillies outfield is already filled with youth that need consistent at bats.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Quickies

The rebuild and youth movement is almost in full effect.  Would like to see Jerome Williams released and give another minor leaguer a chance - Alec Asher, Jesse Biddle or Severino Gonzalez (again).  It's not that they're deserving of it due to minor league success, but we know Jerome ain't the answer.
Jerad Eickhoff makes his MLB debut tonight.  He was part of the package deal for Hamels.  Go get 'em kid!

Dalier Hinojosa and Cesar Jimenez should be pissed at the Phillies.  Each performed exceptionally well in the Phillies bullpen, albeit a small sample size, but were demoted to Triple-A nonetheless.  All the while Justin DeFratus holds down a permanent gig.  Justice?  I think not.

Darnell Sweeney went straight from Dodgers system to Phillies 25-man roster after being dealt for Utley.  He does a bit of everything, has quality speed, some extra base pop, and is versatile (2B, CF, SS & 3B).  Hopefully he get some starts to finish out the season.

The Phillies need to figure out what to do with Cody Asche.  He's been one of the worst defensive players in MLB this season with a -1.5 dWAR.  However, he's been hitting quite nicely in the 2nd half of the season (.280/.817).  With Aaron Altherr supplanting him in LF, is it time to try 1st base?

Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are the only remaining players from the 2008 WFC.

Every minor league team in the Phillies system based in the USA has a winning record, minus the IronPigs.  Breeding a winning environment from the get-go is important.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays (65-54) @ Philadelphia Phillies (46-72)
Game Times:
Tuesday & Wednesday - 7:05

Batting & Fielding:
C - Russell Martin vs. Carlos Ruiz
1B - Edwin Encarnacion vs. Ryan Howard
2B - Ryan Goins vs. Cesar Hernandez
SS - Troy Tulowitzki vs. Freddy Galvis
3B - Josh Donaldson vs. Maikel Franco
LF - Ben Revere vs. Cody Asche
CF - Kevin Pillar vs. Odubel Herrera
RF - Jose Bautista vs. Domonic Brown
Bench - Chris Colabello, Justin Smoak, Dioner Navarro, Cliff Pennington & Matt Hague vs. Cameron Rupp, Chase Utley, Darin Ruf, Jeff Francoeur & Andres Blanco
*Blue Jays have an open roster spot that has yet to be filled as of publication of this post
R - Blue Jays 622 (1st) vs. Phillies 433 (30th)
AVG - Blue Jays .261 (7th) vs. Phillies ,252 (17th)
OPS - Blue Jays .769 (1st) vs. Phillies .680 (26th)
HR - Blue Jays 158 (2nd tied) vs. Phillies 85 (28th tied)
SB - Blue Jays 59 (16th tied) vs. Phillies 69 (10th tied)

SP1 - RA Dickey vs. Aaron Nola
SP2 - Mark Buehrle vs. Adam Morgan
CL - Roberto Osuna vs. Ken Giles
RP -  Brett Cecil, LaTroy Hawkins, Liam Hendriks, Mark Lowe, Bo Schultz & Aaron Sanchez vs. Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Justin DeFratus, Adam Loewen & Cesar Jimenez
ERA - Blue Jays 3,76 (13th) vs. Phillies 4.70 (29th)
WHIP - Blue Jays 1.22 (10th) vs. Phillies 1,46 (29th)
K - Blue Jays 822 (25th) vs. Phillies 838 (23rd)
Run Differential - Blue Jays (+138) vs. Phillies (-153)

What To Imbibe On:
Founders Brewing Co. - ReDANKulous Imperial Red India Pale Ale. This massively hopped brew is from their Backstage Series and was just released in August. Do yourself a favor and seek it out, it's worth it. It pours a reddish-amber with a thick semi-creamy lasting froth.  Tropical fruits and pine billow from the bottle upon pouring into the glass.  The best way to describe the aroma and flavor is "dank", which they fittingly placed in its name.  It's tremendously floral scents have notes of berry, grapefruit, citrus, pine, and a bit earthiness. Really digging it, glad it came in a 750 ml bottle, so it was like drinking two.  As Ludacris said, "Sticky, icky, icky."
Commercial Description - reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA is a no frills, bold 9.5% ABV India Pale Ale. It pours a pleasing burnt amber with some sweetness due to the Caramalt and roasted barley used in the malt bill. But hops are the true headliner in this elaborate sensory experience. The spicy, piney, tropical complexities of Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops hit you right away with their dank aroma—and they stick around. Take a sip to have your palate simultaneously walloped and caressed in all the right places. Combined, the hops take the beer to 90 IBUs. It’s not just ridiculous. It’s reDANKulous.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Brewers

Philadelphia Phillies (46-69) @ Milwaukee Brewers (48-68)
Game Times:
Friday - 8:10
Saturday - 7:10
Sunday - 2:10

Batting & Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Jonathan Lucroy
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Adam Lind
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Scooter Gennett
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Jean Segura
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Hernan Perez
LF - Cody Asche vs. Khris Davis
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. Logan Shafer
RF - Domonic Brown vs. Ryan Braun
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Darin Ruf, Chase Utley & Jeff Francoeur vs. Martin Maldonado, Shane Peterson & Elian Herrera
R - Phillies 429 (26th) vs. Brewers 450 (21st tied)
AVG - Phillies .253 (16th) vs. Brewers .249 (21st)
OPS - Phillies .681 (26th) vs. Brewers .692 (23rd)
HR - Phillies 83 (28th tied) vs. Brewers 101 (19th)
SB - Phillies 66 (10th tied) vs. Brewers 58 (16th tied)

SP1 - Adam Morgan vs. Wily Peralta
SP2 - Jerome Williams vs. Jimmy Nelson
SP3 - Aaron Harang vs. Taylor Jungmann
CL - Ken Giles vs. Francisco Rodriguez
RP - Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Cesar Jimenez, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Justin DeFratus & Adam Loewen vs. Will Smith, Jeremy Jeffress, Neal Cotts, Kyle Lohse, Tyler Thornburg, Michael Blazek & Corey Knebel
ERA - Phillies 4.70 (29th) vs. Brewers 4.16 (24th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.47 (29th) vs. Brewers 1.32 (22nd)
K - Phillies 822 (21st) vs. Brewers 906 (12th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-144) vs. Brewers (-67)

Phillies: A Horror Movie

2 Point Lead: Phillies Horror Movie Trailer
The Philadelphia Phillies' awful season has been turned into a horror movie trailer.
Posted by The Huffington Post on Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pitching Staff Woes and Whatnot

David Buchanan did a serviceable job as rookie last season, but has been dreadful in 2015. His ERA (9.00) and WHIP (1.96) are by far the worst in MLB for pitchers with 40+ innings pitched.  It's time to try another warm body in the rotation. I don't think Buchanan is nearly as bad as his stats make him out to be, and perhaps with some success at Triple-A he can surface again as a candidate for the rotation. For what it's worth, I'd like to Jerad Eickhoff summoned for trial - he's won both games that he's started for the IronPigs since being acquired in the the Hamels trade.
Speaking of pitchers that need to be demoted...Justin DeFratus.  He's struggled all season long. His confidence is shot. He offers no water to douse the fire upon his entrance, rather more like a gas can.  A 5.51 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 63.2 IP is evidence enough for me that he doesn't belong.  To replace him, I offer Dalier Hinojosa, who impressed in his brief time in the bullpen and was unjustly bumped from the bullpen in favor of the Adam Loewen experiment (which has gone terribly wrong thus far, he's just too wild).

I'd love to see the Phillies work on establishing their relief corps for the remainder of the season.  Ken Giles, Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, and Elvis Araujo have all had varying degrees of success this year and will likely be counted on in 2016.  Dalier Hinojosa, Nefi Ogando, Colton Murray, Ryan O'Sullivan, Edubray Ramos, Reinier Roibal, and Stephen Shackleford have all had good campaigns at Double and Triple-A.  Time to infuse youth and new blood into the fold. Still need a lefty though.

Chase Utley has hit .412/.977 in his return from the DL.  Very encouraging, albeit a small sample size.  I expect him to be traded soon.

Andrew Knapp is going to hit his way onto a Top 100 prospects list at the rate he's going.  He has been ridiculous since being promoted to Reading. The 23 year old catcher has hit .406/1.139 with 27 R, 17 DBL, 2 TRPL, 6 HR, and 41 RBI in just 35 games.  Wow.

Aaron Altherr continues to tear up the International League and has hit .295/.862 overall this season between Double and Triple-A.  His power/speed combo is very enticing. It's time to regulate Asche to bench duties and allow Altherr to man one of the outfield spots in Philly for the remainder of the season.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Diamondbacks

Philadelphia Phillies (45-67) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (54-56)
Game Times:
Monday & Tuesday - 9:40
Wednesday - 3:40

Batting & Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Welington Castillo
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Paul Goldschmidt
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Chris Owings
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Nick Ahmed
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Jake Lamb
LF - Cody Asche vs. David Peralta
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. AJ Pollock
RF - Domonic Brown vs. Ender Inciarte
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Chase Utley, Jeff Francoeur, Andres Blanco & Darin Ruf vs. Oscar Hernandez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Aaron Hill, Jaime Romak & Yasmany Tomas
R - Phillies 418 (26th) vs. Diamondbacks 482 (9th)
AVG - Phillies .252 (16th) vs. Diamondbacks .262 (6th)
OPS - Phillies .680 (26th) vs. Diamondbacks .725 (10th)
HR - Phillies 80 (29th) vs. Diamondbacks 97 (19th tied)
SB - Phillies 66 (10th tied) vs. Diamondbacks 97 (2nd)

SP1 - Aaron Harang vs. Ruby De La Rosa
SP2 - David Buchanan vs. Jeremy Hellickson
SP3 - Aaron Nola vs. Chase Anderson
CL - Ken Giles vs. Brad Ziegler
RP - Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Justin DeFratus & Adam Loewen vs. Andrew Chafin, Josh Collmenter, David Hernandez, Keith Hessler, Daniel Hudson & Addison Reed
ERA - Phillies 4.53 (29th) vs. Diamondbacks 4.07 (21st)
WHIP - Phillies 1.45 (29th) vs. Diamondbacks 1.30 (21st)
K - Phillies 805 (20th) vs. Diamondbacks 806 (19th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-123) vs. Diamondbacks (+6)

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Phillies Win (a Poem)

Another day,
Another win,
No longer dwellers of the cellar,
Or the basement are they in.

They've swept the East,
The Central and the West,
In the second half,
Is when they play best.

Call it luck,
Call it skill,
Rooting for the Phillies,
I forever will.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Padres

Philadelphia Phillies (42-67) @ San Diego Padres (52-57)
Game Times:
Friday - 10:10
Saturday - 8:40
Sunday - 4:10

Batting & Fielding:
C - Carlos Ruiz vs. Derek Norris
1B - Ryan Howard vs. Yonder Alonso
2B - Cesar Hernandez vs. Jedd Gyorko
SS - Freddy Galvis vs. Alexi Amarista
3B - Maikel Franco vs. Yangervis Solarte
LF - Cody Asche vs. Justin Upton
CF - Odubel Herrera vs. Melvin Upton Jr.
RF - Domonic Brown vs. Matt Kemp
Bench - Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Darin Ruf, Jeff Francoeur & Chase Utley vs. Austin Hedges, Clint Barmes, Brett Wallace & Alex Dickerson
*I'm assuming Utley takes Jordan Danks roster spot upon activation from the DL.
*Will Venable in on paternity leave.
R - Phillies 405 (26th) vs. Padres 428 (19th)
AVG - Phillies .253 (15th) vs. Padres 239 (28th)
OPS - Phillies .680 (26th) vs. Padres .668 (30th)
HR - Phillies 75 (29th) vs. Padres 95 (19th tied)
SB - Phillies 63 (13th) vs. Padres 64 (12th)

SP1 - Aaron Nola vs. James Shields
SP2 - Adam Morgan vs. Tyson Ross
SP3 - Jerome Williams vs. Andrew Cashner
CL - Ken Giles vs. Craig Kimbrel
RP - Dalier Hinojosa, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia & Justin DeFraturs vs. Joaquin Benoit, Shawn Kelley, Marcos Mateo, Brandon Mauer, Kevin Quakenbush, Dale Thayer & Mark Rzepczynski
ERA - Phillies 4.61 (29th) vs. Padres 3.99 (19th)
WHIP - Phillies 1.47 (29th) vs. Padres 1.28 (19th)
K - Phillies 780 (21st) vs. Padres 886 (7th)
Run Differential - Phillies (-128) vs. Padres (-56)