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.