Monday, August 08, 2016

Series Preview: Phillies at Dodgers

Who is Cesar Hernandez? Kid has been around for four years. People have dug in. A lot of the online community loathes the fact he gets regular at-bats. But some fans still like him. I'll admit I'm somewhere in between.
Hernandez looked like he'd had a career year last season when he put up a .272/.339/.348 with 19 stolen bases and 25 extra-base hits.
But, after struggling in May, he has rebounded and is sporting a .290/.349/.374 mark this year. Despite his abundance of speed, he's just 11 for 19 in stolen base attempts. He's got a 1.1 WAR so far.
Because of his flaws - a lack of home run power and a slightly above average glove for a primary position - it's hard to imagine Hernandez as being one of the building blocks for the franchise.
If his base-running were better and he could get his on-base percentage up a tick, that might change.
Say he sported a .290/.360/.375 mark next year. That's not anything to sneeze at if he added in 25 stolen bases and 25 extra-base hits.
But here's the thing, which player would you rather have around next year to play second base: Hernandez or Freddy Galvis?
Those are the likely options next year, if the team doesn't go outside the organization. Galvis has more home run power and his a superior defender, but I'm not sold he helps the lineup in 2017. His low on-base percentage is brutal. His on-base percentage is lower than Hernandez' career batting average.
So who is Cesar Hernandez? Is he the 2017 Phillies' second baseman? Is he the backup infielder? Is he a future Atlantic Leaguer?

The games
Monday, Aug. 8: 10:10 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 9: 10:10 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 10: 3:10 p.m.

The matchups
Zach Eflin (3-4, 4.77) vs Julio Urias (1-2, 4.98)
Vincent Velasquez (8-3, 3.33) vs Kente Maeda (10-7, 3.22)
Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.72) vs Scott Kazmir (11-5, 4.51)

What we know about the Dodgers
Los Angeles has the highest payroll in baseball. The money isn't being spent badly, on whole; but it could be better. They sit in a Wild Card position and are sniffing the Giants' tails in the West. They have the fourth best pitching staff, ERA wise.The offense is a bit scattershot. It's in the bottom half of the league as far as runs and on-base percentage go.
Their big problem: Clayton Kershaw sits on the DL.

Best matchup
Velasquez versus Maeda should be a good game. They both can dominate a lineup. The Dodgers are a playoff team and their likely No. 1 postseason starter is Maeda.

What we can't wait to see
Julio Urias has been one of the most talked about prospects in baseball for more than a year now. Kid is just 19. He'll likely be around for awhile, so enjoy your first look at him.


GM-Carson said...

I have never liked Freddy Galvis. His on base skills are atrocious, detrimental to a lineup. His glove is nice, but does not make up for his offensive woes.

Hernandez is the superior player. His base running has been poor, but that can be fixed (hopefully). I want Cesar at 2nd base next season until Scott Kingery is ready (currently in AA). Cesar fields adequately and is decent at the plate, and the Phils need offense.

Now onto a more pressing issue...the Phillies young pitchers.

Eickhoff and Velasquez have been good for the most part. Don't really worry me. Eflin and Nola on the other hand have been hit hard for stretches of time. Eflin doesn't miss bats, despite standing tall on the mound and firing 95 mph. He's currently getting lit up by the Dodgers (6 runs i 1.1 IP so far). Nola's health is a bit scary and he was also getting hit extremely hard before going on the DL. Who knows with Thompson, it was his debut, so hopefully he can settle in going forward.

This is why I wanted Hellickson traded. The Phillies need to get a look at their future over these next 2 months. Ben Lively should be next in line from Triple-A. I saw him pitch in Lehigh Valley on Sunday and he looked pretty good. Seeing what Eflin, Thompson, and Lively have is a big deal.

Honestly - the Phillies rotation for 2017 could be pretty good. Eickhoff, Velasquez, Nola, Eflin, Thompson, Lively are 6 decent young options. Then there's Nick Peveta, Mark Appel, Adam Morgan, David Buchanan, and Alec Asher also as possibilities/depth.

GM-Carson said...

2017 Roster?

C - Cameron Rupp
1B - Tommy Joseph
2B - Cesar Hernandez
SS - JP Crawford
3B - Maikel Franco
LF - Nick Williams
CF - Odubel Herrera
RF - Aaron Altherr
Bench - Andrew Knapp/C, Freddy Galvis/UTL, ?, ?, ?
*Phillies have options for the bench, but none are really that good. Cody Asche, Taylor Featherstone, Roman Quinn, Tyler Goeddel, and Darnell Sweeney are on the 40-man roster currently and fit the mold.

1. Vincent Velasquez
2. Jerad Eickhoff
3. Aaron Nola
4. Zach Eflin
5. Jake Thompson

1. Jeanmar Gomez
2. Hector Neris
3. Edubray Ramos
*Phillies relief pitching aside from the above 3 have been terrible. Nobody, other than them, is currently making a case to be part of the future. This is an area that may need to be solidified via free agency. 1 more trust worthy reliever would be nice.

Bob D said...

Hernandez is ok as he does well with hitting for average and walking a lot, but he has never had the base running instincts we saw in JRoll or Utley. I foresee a battle between Galvis and Hernandez with Jesmuel Valentine(22) {273/344/397, 4 of 8 SB, fairly good eye and can play SS} and Darnell Sweeney (25) {low average and walk rate, high K rate, but some power and play around the field} also in play for the position.

However, the Phils could actually around 500 and an outside playoff contender. To replace Howard's spot on roster I would entertain a reunion with Utley as he could be at the least a part time 2B and a left handed option at 1B to compliment Joseph along with being a veteran influence/mentor. The team could also keep Andres Blanco around and in my opinion he is better than Galvis and Hernandez.

GM-Carson said...

I like the Utley idea, but I just don't see it happening and not sure it would be good for Utley or the Phillies. Joseph should be the full-time 1B and Cesar full-time 2B with a Jesmuel Valentine or Galvis getting some starts too.

By the way, saw Valentine play on Sunday and he showed some good instincts at 2nd. I was impressed overall.

Players I've seen enough of that need to go: Luis Garcia, Taylor Featherstone, and Jimmy Paredes.

ripjgarcia said...

interesting that the Joseph/Howard combo has 31 HRs.. which would be tied for the lead league it you consider them as one.

Beer-a-Thon said...

Howard has actually been hitting some recently. It's nice to see. I keep hoping an AL contender trades for him with the Phillies covering the entire contract, so he can get another shot at the playoffs. The Astros could possibly use him.

Bob D said...

I agree Joseph should be fulltime 1B, but Utley or another LH option would be helpful on the bench. (Asche falls into that category). But Utley is better in my opinion. Valentine is an unknown who is decent prospect flying under the radar in my opinion. Likely to be a utility player if he sticks.

GM-Carson said...

Aaron Altherr is an exciting ball player. Speed and power. Future 20 HR/20 SB.

Beer-a-Thon said...

Mickey Moniak - 30 G, 26 RBI. That's a welcomed sign.

GM-Carson said...

Jeremy Hellickson might end up being the top free agent starting pitcher this upcoming offseason.

Bob D said...

I would not be surprised for Hellickson to be resigned this winter. They will need another SP besides those they have.

Beer-a-Thon said...

Dan Otero - 42 G, 47 IP, 40 K, 1.53 ERA, 1.00 WHIP with #Indians. He was #Phillies property this offseason. Shouldn't have let him go!