Friday, May 27, 2016

Series Preview: Phillies at Cubs

  I've debated this in my mind all week, but I've come to the conclusion that Ryan Howard should not be released. That doesn't mean I want him to start. I'd rather see The Big Piece on the bench, but I still want him on the roster. It's not for sentimental reasons, either.

I've got three reasons.
1. He's not the least valuable player on the roster. That's Emannuel Burris. Howard's potential for a long-ball is more valuable than Burris ability to play five positions poorly and hit .200.
2. There's no other back-up for Joseph. Look. If you're going to release him, you're eating the contract anyway. So keep him on the bench, where he probably provides more value than Darin Ruf does at this point. Let's not forget Ruf had worse numbers than Howard. Who else are you going to bring up? Brock Stassi? Kid was impressive in spring training, but he's hitting .218/.344/.327 at Lehigh Valley. You need a back-up first baseman. Keep Howard in that role so you have more freedom with Andres Blanco.
3. Did you notice Howard pulling Herrera aside the other day? That's no small thing. He's the elder statesman on this team. He's the only guy with an NLCS MVP on his mantel, let alone a regular season MVP. Of the core players on the roster Ruiz was undoubtedly a leader on the pitching staff and Rollins was the public persona of the team. Chase Utley was a dynamic player who showed a ton of fire. Everyone says that he is the guy you want your kid to live up to and they're right about that. But, for whatever reason, Howard was never treated by the fans and the media like he was a leader of this team. But you'd hear comments from teammates and Charlie Manuel. And you'd notice little things, if you played close enough attention. You'd see him chatting with younger players. I think he's got some value on a young team being the guy who talks to the media and who can help Pete Mackanin as a voice in the clubhouse. Who else can take that role? Peter Bourjos. Freddy Galvis. Maybe Chooch, but he and Rupp spend most of their time on the bench chatting with the coaches or the pitchers, not policing everyone else.

I have no delusions that Howard will have any trade value. You're not going to get a prospect for him. Not a Nick Pivetta level prospect. Not a Kyle Martin level prospect. But you don't even have that level of prospect ready to take over for him as a back up. I was a big Darin Ruf fan, but he's barely cutting it at Triple-A.


The games
Friday May 27: 2:20
Saturday May 28: 2:20
Sunday May 29: 2:20

The match ups
Adam Morgan (1-2, 5.61) vs John Lester (4-3, 2.60)
Jerad Eickhoff (2-6, 3.86) vs Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 3.30)
Vincent Velazquez (5-1, 2.75) vs John Lackey (4-2, 3.38)

What we know about the Cubs
They're really good. Chicago is a damn near perfect team, having burst out of the gate to a 31-14 record.  The offense is second in runs scored, second in on-base percentage, sixth in homers and eighth in stolen bases. The pitching is even deeper. It leads the league with a 2.74 ERA, has allowed just 35 homers and is fourth in strikeouts. The Phillies can be thankful they're gonna miss 9-0 Jake Arrieta or Jason Hammel's 2.17 ERA. But they still have to face three good starters.

Key match up
Eickhoff vs Hendricks is going to be an interesting game. Both pitchers have pitched well this season, but don't have good records to show for it. Chances are, someone is going to take another tough luck loss. The Phillies and Cubs have had some memorable games over the years, so I wouldn't be shocked if this gives us another one.

What we can't wait to see
Tommy Joseph has a chance to really prove himself against a tough lefty today.
Any offensive production he provides, particularly if he has to face a righty later in the game, could have an impact later this season.
It's hard to imagine the 48th game of the season being crucial, especially for a team that was expected to finish with fewer than 70 wins, but this could be it.

17 comments:

GM-Carson said...

I agree that Emmanuel Burriss is terrible and shouldn't be on the roster. I'd like to see Howard released, but you're right in that there really isn't someone to take his roster spot.

GM-Carson said...

Okay, enough of Adam Morgan. Who's next in line, Zach Eflin?

ripjgarcia said...

Unfortunately, this series should demonstrate that the Phillies aren't a good team. Just an average team with some decent parts. On a side not I read today that Bryce Harper cuts his batting gloves up so people won't take them out of the trash and sell them on eBay.. douche..

rslitman said...

If they were to release Howard now, there's a division rival whose 1st baseman just went on the DL indefinitely. Perhaps they'd jump at the chance to get him on the cheap. Another good reason to keep Howard for the moment.

GM-Carson said...

I wish this team had someone with some on base skills so Odubel could bat 3rd and bump Franco down to 4th. Cesar Hernandez makes enough contact that he could bat 2nd. JP Crawford is an on base machine in the minors...just saying.

Bob D said...

Phillies could end up around the 500 mark or even below over next 2 weeks facing the Cub and Nats in two series each and the Blue Jays in one series. Throw in 4 games against Brew Crew.

Asche will likely return soon, he should replace Burris but Lough is the likely candidate to go.

On the team Goeddell if he keeps hitting could be moved to top of order somewhere (1st or 2nd).

Ideally if Quinn makes it up he would be the best leadoff hitter available, hit Crawford and Herrera 2nd and 3rd (both have crazy OB%), then Franco, Alfaro, and Joseph. Then there is still another OF (Williams or Cozens?) and a 2nd baseman yet to hit.
All 8 players above could possibly appear by September if they keep playing well. For some (Alfaro, Quinn, Cozens) they would need to jump 2 levels, with only Cozens not on the 40 man roster already. Its a matter of how quickly they push them up.

Lough and Burris (& possibly Borjous) should be replaced prior to cutting ties with Howard. That's my 2 cents there

Bob D said...

Ruben Tejada was designated for assignment, 26 yo and he has beter average and on base skills than Galvis with less power though. But if he replaced Burris that would be good

GM-Carson said...

I'd take Ruben Tejada for practically free.

Phils getting asses handed to them in this series.

Bob D said...

Velasquez should hit 2nd, he's better than the rest of em

ripjgarcia said...

Bob D.. right.. and he hustles on the basepaths.. Getting tired of seeing Franco trot to 1st base.

GM-Carson said...

Franco is really struggling. He'll be fine eventually, but damn.

Joseph and Goeddel doing alright.

Team looking terrible overall though.

Bob D said...

If I was manager I would be tempted to bat Herrera, Goeddel, Franco, Joseph in that order for a time

GM-Carson said...

Jimmy Paredes DFA'd by Blue Jays. He has posted a .720+ OPS in parts of each of the last 3 seasons. Phillies tried to claim him a couple weeks ago when the Orioles let him go and now might get another chance. He can play 3rd, 2nd, and corner outfield. The Phils are starved for offense, would like to see him added to the bench...goodbye Burriss.

ninest123 said...

replica watches, longchamp, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, burberry, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike roshe run, louis vuitton, nike air max, michael kors, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, louboutin, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, tiffany and co, nike outlet, tory burch outlet, air max, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, louboutin shoes, louboutin outlet, prada outlet, gucci outlet, louboutin pas cher, sac longchamp, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, nike air max, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, oakley sunglasses, air jordan pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, longchamp pas cher

ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, nike air max, michael kors outlet, vans pas cher, true religion jeans, ugg boots, nike blazer, michael kors, michael kors, michael kors, hogan, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, nike air max, converse pas cher, nike air max, ray ban pas cher, new balance pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, air force, timberland, sac guess, true religion jeans, hermes, lacoste pas cher, hollister, hollister pas cher, north face, oakley pas cher, mulberry, kate spade handbags, burberry, replica handbags, nike roshe, vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, lululemon, north face, true religion jeans, ralph lauren uk, burberry outlet online, tn pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, coach outlet, coach purses, ray ban uk, ugg boots, michael kors outlet

ninest123 said...

converse, nike air max, mont blanc, insanity workout, wedding dresses, iphone cases, bottega veneta, celine handbags, nike air max, louboutin, birkin bag, instyler, new balance, oakley, babyliss, hollister, nike trainers, ray ban, north face outlet, timberland boots, nike huarache, baseball bats, jimmy choo shoes, longchamp, mac cosmetics, abercrombie and fitch, lululemon, vans shoes, vans, soccer shoes, herve leger, asics running shoes, ralph lauren, hollister, valentino shoes, reebok shoes, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, nike roshe, soccer jerseys, lancel, beats by dre, gucci, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, ghd, converse outlet, p90x workout, ferragamo shoes, hollister

ninest123 said...

canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, replica watches, wedding dresses, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose, marc jacobs, moncler, moncler, pandora charms, sac louis vuitton pas cher, toms shoes, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, hollister, moncler, pandora jewelry, swarovski crystal, montre pas cher, moncler, canada goose, canada goose, links of london, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, swarovski, karen millen, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, bottes ugg, coach outlet, canada goose, supra shoes, ugg pas cher, ugg boots uk, doudoune canada goose, moncler, moncler, louis vuitton