Sunday, September 25, 2016

I Hate This Bullpen

After starter Jake Thompson was chased from the game today, the Phillies ran out a quintet of relievers that were nothing short of disastrous. The score ended 17-0 in favor of the Mets and the Phils are left wondering just how bad can this bullpen be.

Today's 5 Relievers:
Phil Klein - 11.81/2.44
Colton Murray - 6.43/1.43
Frank Hermann - 8.78/1.65
Patrick Schuster - 48.60/5.40
Luis Garcia - 5.93/1.83

If that doesn't paint the picture of pathetically putrid poop for ya, check out these other relievers that have pitched for the Phillies this season too.

Other Shitty Relievers:
Severino Gonzalez - 5.35/1.31
Elvis Araujo - 5.60/1.90
Michael Mariot - 5.68/1.42
Adrew Bailey - 6.40/1.45
Daniel Stumpf - 10.80/2.20
James Russell - 18.69/3.23

Special Notes:
*Frank Hermann has allowed 7 HR in 13.1 IP. I'm honestly not sure if I were pitching that I could give up quite that many homeruns in such a short time. Of course, my ERA would be more along the lines of Schuster's than Hermann's.

*Patrick Schuster was bad with the A's earlier this season when he made his debut (10.80/2.25), but now he is downright terrible. The worst.

*Collectively the bullpen has 4.90 ERA and 1.44 WHIP with 79 homeruns surrendered. The ERA ranks 27th, WHIP 26th, and HR allowed 29th.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reflections on a bad loss.

My god, that was brutal. Thursday night's loss to the New York Mets occurred during the final month of a season in which the Phillies never had any legitimate hope for a postseason berth. That didn't stop that 9-8 fiasco from stinging a lot. The Phillies have shown a marked improvement over last season. With nine games to play, they've already won six more games than last season. And we've seen the growth of several players. We now know Jerad Eickhoff can be part of the starting rotation for the next few years. Odubel Herrera has an All Star game on his resume. Cameron Rupp has developed. So has - to plenty of people's surprise - Cesar Hernandez. Tommy Joseph looks like a Big League bat. Vincent Velasquez looks like a Big League arm. And the Phillies were about to win their 70th game of the season, their third in a row. Then they coughed up the lead and the likely post-season-playing Mets had momentum. But no, the Phillies took the lead in the tenth. This was going to be one of those wins you looked back on in 2017 saying, "That's when I knew we had finally turned a corner." Instead, they coughed up another lead. Just brutal. I know I haven't been around the past month or so as much as I'd like to be. We're having a baby and my laptop is on the fritz. (The C button isn't working.) So it wasn't that this season beat me down and I stopped posting. Anyway, it's easy to get caught up in the negative. But we can't forget this season has been, by almost all accounts, a success. The franchise has turned a corner. The young kids are arriving in droves. And, with few exceptions, they're proving to be capable big leaguers. So that loss stung. But I think the Phillies might do even better than my preseason prediction of 72 wins. I'll definitely take that. In the coming weeks, I plan on doing a break down of each player who was on the team this year. It will be fun, but informed. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, September 19, 2016

2 More Weeks, 12 More Games

The 2016 Philadelphia Phillies season in winding down. Two weeks and twelve games remain. At 67-83 a winning record or even .500 is unattainable. However, there is still reason to care about the waning moments...

Saying farewell to one of the best sluggers in Phillies history, Ryan Howard.

Getting a further look at Alec Asher and Jake Thompson in the rotation.

Seeing more out of Michael Mariot and Joely Rodriguez in relief.

Playing Aaron Altherr, Odubel Herrera, and Roman Quinn in the outfield together in preparation for that trio moving forward in 2017.

Getting some more at bats for Jorge Alfaro.

Seeing who wins the Phillies homerun crown for the year: Ryan Howard and Maikel Franco at 22 apiece and Tommy Joseph and Freddy Galvis each with 20.

Jerad Eickhoff gets 3 more starts and possibly racks up 200 innings (currently with 180.1).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bad Jeanmar, Good Otero & Rivera

1. Jeanmar Gomez was thrust into the closer's role out of necessity in April and has stuck there ever since. His first half of the season was fantastic, but the second half has been disastrous.

Pre All-Star Break: 39 G, 24 SV, 2.59 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
Post All-Star Break: 26 G, 12 SV, 5.63 ERA, 1.71 WHIP

It's time to hand over the reigns to Hector Neris in save situations to close out the year and move Jeanmar back into a setup role.
2. Dan Otero was on the Phillies 40-man roster for a minute during the offseason after a waiver claim. However, he was designated for assignment and ended up with the Indians. Cleveland is thankful for the Phils mistake, as Otero has pitched brilliantly over 56 G and 62.1 IP. He sports a sparkling 1.58 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The Phillies need that type of guy in their bullpen, but instead we suffer through the likes of Luis Garcia, Michael Mariot, Daniel Stumpf, James Russell, Brett Oberholtzer, Elvis Araujo, Adrew Bailey, Patrick Schuster, and Frank Herrmann. Good job Klentak.

3. Remember when I wanted the Phillies to take TJ Rivera in the Rule 5 draft? Well, they took the shitty hitting Tyler Goeddel with their 1st pick instead.  Rivera tore through Triple-A pitching this season (.353/.909 in 105 G) and has continued that trend since his promotion to the Mets (.333/.764 in 17 G). Goeddel, on the other hand, is clearly over-matched (.184/.533 over 90 G). Also, Rivera can play 2nd, 3rd and SS while Goeddel can basically only man corner OF. Good job Klentak. Noticing a pattern yet?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Peter Bourjos' Defense is Entirely Overrated

I'm tired of hearing about Peter Bourjos' defensive wizardry. He has been worth a collective -0.7 dWAR over the past 2 seasons, progressively getting worse each season. He's a free agent and should not be back with the Phillies next year, so why the hell does the almighty leader, Mackanin, continue to plug him into the lineup? The Phillies are the owners of the worst offense in MLB, so scoring more runs is essential to their improvement. Bourjos' scathing .686 OPS ain't doing it. I understand there may not be better options currently on the roster, but since this season is all about rebuilding, it's prudent that younger players that are likely to remain with the organization past this season be given opportunities (Goeddel, Paredes, Asche, Quinn, Ruf). Bourjos is quite possibly better defensively and offensively than that group, but he's not sticking around beyond 2016, so it doesn't make sense to keep playing him over players that could be part of the solution moving forward. It would have been nice if he was traded in August for anything, so that Mackanin didn't have him as an option.
"At this point it's flip a coin. I don't want to sound down about it, but we've got so many guys, and who do I play? I don't know. It's a guessing game. But when it comes to something like that, I'm going to play the best defense. Peter Bourjos is hard to take out of the lineup because he provides that defense."
~Mackanin in regards to finding playing time for everyone
The Howard Update:
Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners has pulled away from the pack with 2 Howards this week, upping his season total to 5. There's still time for others to catch him, but the better start mashing and hacking.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Some Sorta Terrible

This season was supposed to be a glimpse into the future of the Phillies. Well, I've gotten an eyeful and the future is bleak.  Regression, underperforming, stagnation, dismal.
Maikel Franco has 22 homeruns. Big f'n deal. Everyone is hitting homeruns this year. Steve Jeltz came out of retirement yesterday and went deep twice. His .732 OPS ranks 123rd out of 153 qualified batters and 23rd out of 24 qualified third basemen. That's shitty from the guy who was supposed to be THE GUY in the middle of the lineup.

Odubel Herrera has fallen apart, both defensively and offensively.

Aaron Altherr is proving all his doubters to be spot-on prognosticators.

Cody Asche...hahaha.

Darin Ruf...hardy-har-har.

Tyler Goeddel hits like he hasn't even hit puberty yet.

Freddy Galvis apparently goes into anaphylactic shock if he takes a walk.

Ryan Howard, well, he's Ryan Howard, enough said.

Aaron Nola took two steps forward early in the season to be bounced backward by the world's hardest hitting bumper car.

Zach Eflin showed up and put up numbers like he never should have.

Jake Thompson also showed up and has also put up numbers like he never should have.

Adam Morgan added 2 mph to his fast ball and 2 runs to his ERA.

The bullpen has been a rotating door of crap, poop, shit, and other fecal matter.

Taylor Featherston, Emmanuel Burriss, and Cedric Hunter are a combined 11-102. Pluck any Single-A player from whatever Podunk town and they would fair better.

Top prospects JP Crawford and Nick Williams puttered about in Triple-A for the majority of the season. Not sure why they weren't promoted, they'd have fit in perfectly with all the other underperforming players on the Phillies.

Cesar Hernandez, Cameron Rupp, Tommy Joseph, Jerad Eickhoff, Jeremy Hellickson, Hector Neris, Vincent Velasquez, and Jeanmar Gomez were the only positives, but none of them lit the world on fire.

The Phillies have the worst offense in MLB and have been outscored by the next lowest team (Braves) by 23 runs. They have the 2nd lowest batting average, lowest on base percentage, second lowest slugging percentage, and lowest OPS. Great job fellas! Their pitching hasn't been much better either, ranking 25th in ERA. So, despite their record, I am officially giving the Phillies the deSTINKtion as the worst team in baseball.

It's difficult to blog about, sorry.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Series Preview: Braves at Phillies III

The Phillies need to turn things around, having gone 4-10 since pulling within six games of a .500 record. They stand at 60-73 after being swept by the Nationals and losing two of three to the New York Mets. The baseball gods must be smiling on the Phillies, because they tossed the Braves on their plate. As bad as the Phillies are, they have to be looking to win or sweep this series.

The games
Friday, Sept. 2: 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 3: 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4: 1:35 p.m.

The matchups
Joel De La Cruz (0-7, 4.66) vs Jeremy Hellickson (10-8, 3.80)
Gant (1-3, 4.59) vs Vincent Velasquez (8-6, 4.21)
Julio Teheran (4-9, 3.12) vs Jake Thompson (1-4, 7.86)

What we know about the Braves
The Braves are the worst team in the National League, a full nine games behind the Phillies in the NL East. So far, the Phillies have an 8-5 record against Atlanta and they should improve on that this weekend.

Matchup we can't wait to see Since he's still on the roster, every one of Jeremy Hellickson's starts is a must follow. If he can pull off a handful of quality starts as the season comes to a close, he'll clearly get an offer that will make him spurn the Phillies' qualifying offer. That means an extra draft pick in 2017.

What we're looking forward to
Odubel Herrera has been in freefall for quite awhile now. Since May 28, he's hitting .257/.311/.381. That's just not cutting it. I think there's a big reason that the Phillies have gone 34-51 since that day. Herrera has mediocre numbers against the Braves. In 32 games, he's got four homers and a .266/319/.414 line. His most recent series against the Braves saw him go 3-for-18 with one walk and no extra base hits. If he can turn it around against the Braves, the Phillies will have a chance to bounce back.