Monday, July 31, 2017

Here's a shocking number about the Phillies, they're playing .500 baseball since June 22

On June 22, the Phillies fell to 22-48. It seemed like the Phillies were on track for a monumentally bad season. They were amid a stretch of brutal baseball that culminated in an 11-37 mark. The fact they'd started the season 11-11 was a distant memory.

It was the game Tommy Pham homered off Hector Neris in the ninth inning, then Edubray Ramos botched a pick-off throw that led a run to score.
It seemed to be the most 2017 Phillies game of 2017. The absolute Nadir.





Yeah, it was an ugly night.

I don't know if something happened after that 7-6 loss in extra innings. I don't know if something need to happen for what happened next, but what happened next is absolutely absurd. It's so bonkers to the wall nuts that no one has seemed to notice.


The Howard, Trades & Stuff

Hey, it's been awhile. Sorry to our hordes of readers desperately checking daily for WSBGMs updates. Have no fear, I am here. Special shout out to Robert in NEPA. You know why.

First up...The Howard. Ryan Howard might be out of baseball, but his namesake stat goes on. Francisco Lindor of the Indians just collected his 3rd Howard of the season to sit upon the throne. Refresher course, a Howard is anytime a players hits a homerun, strikes out, and commits an error all within the same ball game. The leader board for the 2017 season is located on the blog's right sidebar. Unlike blog posts, I do update that daily. You're welcome.
Next on the docket, the trades. All three trades were good trades. Why? None of those players have a future in Philly in 2018. Neshek got us 3 decent Single-A prospects. Kendrick and Hellickson were taking needed developmental time away from younger players, so getting anything for them was a bonus. The lefty in the Kendrick trade might end up being worthwhile, but the Helly deal was just bleh. Klentak was able to get some international spending money in the deals too, so that helps moving forward.  Hyun Soo Kim was included in the O's package to help balance Helly's contract. He'll essentially pinch hit for the Phils, if not get cut altogether.

Now onto what remains on the Phillies roster. I would welcome a Joaquin Benoit trade, but he's disappointed this season, so it's doubtful any contender would even want him. Danial Nava would have been a nice addition for a playoff hopeful team, but he's on the DL. Hopefully he'll get healthy and an August deal can be worked out. As much as I love Andres Blanco. He needs to go. I know he's technically the Phillies utility infielder, but he's been all kinds of terrible this year with the bat. Maybe it's time to give JP Crawford that much anticipated MLB debut and move Freddy Galvis to a super utility role. Other players on the team that don't make much sense to me - Ty Kelly and Adam Morgan. Morgan was marginally okay his rookie seasons, but has posted an ERA/WHIP of 6.00+/1.50+ the past two years. Time to audition a new arm.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

About to Have a Good Problem

Aaron Nola is starting to look like the Aaron Nola we all anticipated when he was drafted a few years back. Nick Pivetta is doing alright. Mark Leiter Jr. has surprised me so far. Ben Lively isn't striking anybody out, but he's still doing his job. Jerad Eickhoff is on the mend, as are Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez.

That's 7 starting pitchers. A rotation only holds 5 and the Phillies' current one still has veteran Jeremy Hellickson in it for the time being.
One easy fix - deal Hellickson for whatever. Honestly, he should have been dealt last season.

My rotation after Hellickson is traded would be - 1) Nola, 2) Eickhoff, 3) Pivetta, 4) Lively, and 5) Eflin. Move Leiter back to the bullpen and let Velasquez get some innings there as well.

Oh, the Phils have some guys in the minors seemingly ready too. Tom Eshelman, a forgotten man in the Giles trade, has bee excellent through 11 Triple-A starts (1.96 ERA/0.94 WHIP) and Brandon Leibrandt is making a good impression as well (7-2 with a 3.23 ERA/1.35 WHIP combined between Reading and Lehigh Valley). Of course, Jake Thompson is still around, but he's been terrible this year (5.97 ERA/1.67 WHIP) and Mark Appel continues to toil (4.87 ERA/1.67 WHIP).

It's Klentak's job to figure out what he's got moving into 2018. Personally, I think they're mostly backend starters with the exception of Nola and Eickhoff.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Taking stock, halfway through the season

We're halfway through the season, so let's take stock of where the Phillies are, statistically. Yes, we know it's bad. But some things might surprise you how bad they are. Other things might surprise you with a bit of improvement. We'll start off with the record.

2016
36-45, 13 games back
2017
28-53, 20 games back

So, the Phillies are eight games back of last year's pace. That's a lot. If they win eight more games in the second half, they'll have 64 wins on the season.
Let's look at the rest of the numbers. We'll compare this year's half season to last year's full season. Then add in how much the stats differ at this point from half of last season's totals.