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)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Phillies - Saving the Best for the 2nd Half

The following stats are all from the 2nd half of the season (aka - post All-Star break). If you remember the Phillies teams of yesteryear, before they went on their run of NL East dominance, you'll recall that they played much better in the 2nd half.  Is this foreshadowing or just luck?

AVG - .289
OBP - .340
SLG - .449
OPS - .789
R - 86 (5.4 per game)
DBL - 35
TRPL - 5
HR - 14
SB -8
BB - 38

ERA - 3.10
WHIP - 1.26
K - 110
BB - 36

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Series Showdown: Phillies versus Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers (60-45, 1st) @ Philadelphia Phillies (41-65, 5th)
Game Times:
Monday & Tuesday - 7:05
Thursday - 1:05

Batting & Fielding:
C - Yasmani Grandal vs. Carlos Ruiz
1B - Adrian Gonzalez vs. Ryan Howard
2B - Howie Kendrick vs. Cesar Hernandez
SS - Jimmy Rollins vs. Freddy Galvis
3B - Alex Guerrero vs. Maikel Franco
LF - Andre Ethier vs. Cody Asche
CF - Joc Pederson vs. Odubel Herrera
RF - Yasiel Puig vs. Domonic Brown
Bench - Alberto Callaspo, Scott Van Slyke, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes & Carl Crawford vs. Cameron Rupp, Andres Blanco, Darin Ruf, Jeff Francoeur & Jordan Danks
R - Dodgers 436 (15th) vs. Phillies 388 (26th tied)
AVG - Dodgers .253 (14th) vs. Phillies .252 (15th)
OPS - Dodgers .753 (5th) vs. Phillies .679 (26th)
HR - Dodgers 131 (5th) vs. Phillies 72 (29th)
SB - Dodgers 22 (30th) vs. Phillies 61 (12th tied)

SP1 - Alex Wood vs. Jerome Williams
SP2 - Brett Anderson vs. Aaron Harang
SP3 - Zack Greinke vs. David Buchanan
CL - Kenley Jansen vs. Ken Giles
RP - Juan Niasco, JP Howel, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez & Joel Peralta vs. Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Elvis Araujo, Hector Neris, Justin DeFratus & Dalier Hinojosa
ERA - Dodgers 3.32 (4th) vs. Phillies 4,59 (29th)
WHIP - Dodgers 1,18 (3rd) vs. Phillies 1,45 (29th)
K - Dodgers 904 (2nd) vs. Phillies 754 (22nd)
Run Differential - Dodgers (+67) vs. Phillies (-129)

Sunday, August 02, 2015

July Was Kind To The Phillies

Ryan Howard had more RBI (23) than hits (20). The Big Piece is a big piece of why the Phillies are winning of late.

Cody Asche had a bit of a bounce back month - .250/.711 with 10 R and 10 RBI.

Andres Blanco has been a great bench player for the Phillies over the past two seasons, and it continued - .304/.820.

Domonic Brown is attempting to salvage his career - .293/.730 and his first 2 homeruns of the season.

Jeff Francoeur is a good guy and is proving to be a good offseason pickup - .295/.962 with 4 homeruns.

Freddy Galvis rescued his batting average and OPS - .308/.803 while still playing steady defense.

Odubel Herrera has been a nice Rule 5 pickup - .362/.969.

Ken Giles is the new closer and rocked a 0.77 ERA.

*All stats are from July

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Saturday Shuffle

*Ben Revere out, more pitching "prospects" in. I like Revere and wish him well in Toronto. Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero are the two minor league pitchers that came to Philly in the trade, both of them relievers.  Tirado was a Top 100 prospect prior to 2014, but suffered through a poor season.  He's 20 years old and was in Single-A+. Over 4 seasons he has a 3.36 ERA/1.40 WHIP in 233.1 innings. Cordero is 23 and is in Double-A. In 4 seasons he's posted a 3.78 ERA/1.49 WHIP in 126.1 IP, but has shown progress this year. Overall, not a really exciting package for Revere.
*Ben Revere out, Odubel Herrera in.  Herrera is having a decent season, especially considering he's a Rule 5 draft pick and made the jump from Double-A. He gets the rest of the season to prove he's an integral piece of the puzzle heading forward with the Phillies.

*Ben Revere out, Jordan Danks in. Danks doesn't deserve a MLB roster spot (.245/.640 in Triple-A), but he was already on the 40-man roster and the Phillies want to see how an outfield of Cody Asche/LF, Odubel Herrera/CF, and Domonic Brown/RF produces before bring Aaron Altherr up.  Altherr wouldn't get regular at bats with the Phillies current outfield situation.

*Jake Diekman out, Dalier Hinojosa in. The 29 yeard old Cuban was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox in July. It'll be interesting to see how he does, because he could be part of the bullpen for years to come if he's able to prove he belongs.

*Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Aaron Harang, and Jeff Francoeur are August trade candidates in my opinion.

*The Phillies have the best record in baseball since the All-Star break (11-2).