Friday, October 13, 2017

Season Recap: J.P. Crawford

J.P. Crawford
What a bizarre season it was for J.P. Crawford! Coming into the year, he was one of the most heralded prospects in the game. Then he had two horrid months at Triple-A. The naysayers came out of the woodwork. "He's regressed defensively." "He doesn't impact the ball." Then he found his stroke and knocked the hell out of the ball for two months. Finally, he got the call and played his first big league game on Sept. 5, against the New York Mets.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at reliever Jeremy Hellickson. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Playing in just 23 games, he was able to put up a .9 WAR, thanks in large part to a nifty .356 on-base percentage, sparkling defense, and plus base-running.

Interestingly, the Phillies went 13-10 in games he played in. 

But he wasn't without faults. In his short stint, he hit just five extra-base hits. He also struck out 22 times. 

Overall, much of the Phillies' future success is pinned to Crawford's development. He gave the Phillies a lot to hope for in his brief debut.

Season recap: Jeremy Hellickson

Jeremy Hellickson truly had a bizarre career in Philadelphia. Heading into last year's trade season, it looked like the Phillies were going to trade him for a decent prospect. Then it appeared Matt Klentak overplayed his hand. Hellickson stuck around after the July and August trade deadlines. Then, after the Phillies offered him arbitration, hoping they would get a nice draft pick for him when he signed elsewhere, he returned.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at reliever Jeanmar Gomez.. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

The club had to be hoping he would continue to pitch well in 2017 and get them a nice trade package. Instead, he had an ERA near 5.00. Klentak shipped him off to Baltimore for Garrett Clevenger and Hyun Soo Kim.

Clevenger had an ERA north of 5 with the Reading Phillies, but he struck out 10 batters per inning. Kim somehow got into 40 games with the Phillies, producing a -.9 WAR.

Hellickson's Phillies career is a strange one. While he was a two-time Opening Day starter and accumulated 4.0 WAR, he could have brought more to the franchise if he'd been traded at the right time.

Season Recap: Jeanmar Gomez

Jeanmar Gomez was named the closer in Spring Training. He didn't have the job before the calendar turned to May. He didn't pitch in the major leagues after the All Star break.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at starter Vincent Velasquez. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Jeanmar Gomez was awful. There's just no two ways about it. Only one time this year was he able to go back-to-back games without giving up a run. In only 2 of his 18 appearances did he not allow a baserunner.

Season Recap: Vince Velasquez

Vincent Velasquez made 16 starts for the Phillies this year. He was very inconsistent.
In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at infielder Pedro Florimon. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
Let's break down Vincent Velasquez career in Philadelphia by how his starts worked out.

Excellent starts (At least seven innings and 2 or fewer earned runs)
10 percent of his starts

April 14, 2016: 9 innings, no earned runs
July 19, 2016: 7 innings, one earned run
Sept. 3, 2016: 7 innings, 2 earned runs
July 30, 2017: 7 innings, no earned runs

Quality starts (At least six innings and 3 or fewer earned runs)
23 percent of his starts

April 9, 2016: 6 innings, no earned runs
April 26, 2016: 6 innings, 3 earned runs
May 1, 2016: 6 innings, 0 earned runs
July 3, 2016: 6 innings, 2 earned runs
July 8, 2016: 6 innings, 2 earned runs
July 29, 2016: 6 innings, 2 earned runs
April 19, 2017: 6 innings, 3 earned runs
April 26, 2017: 6 1/3 innings, 3 earned runs
July 18, 2017: 6 1/3 innings, 1 earned run

Short strong starts (5 innings pitched, 2 or fewer runs)
18 percent of his starts

May 17, 2016: 5 innings, 0 earned runs
June 27, 2016: 5 innings, no earned runs
Aug 4, 2016: 5 innings, 2 earned runs
Aug 28, 2016: 5 innings, 1 earned run
May 1, 2016: 5 innings, 1 earned run
May 14, 2017: 5 innings, 2 earned runs
May 25, 2017: 5 innings, 1 earned run
Aug. 4, 2017: 5 innings, 2 earned runs

Mediocre starts (At least five innings and 4 or fewer earned runs)
8 percent of starts

May 6, 2016: 6 innings, 4 earned runs
May 12, 2016: 6 innings, 4 earned runs
July 24, 2016: 6 innings, 4 earned runs

Bad starts (5 innings or fewer and 4 or more earned runs)
13 percent of starts

April 19, 2016: 4 1/3 innings, 5 earned runs
May 23, 2016: 4 innings, 3 earned runs
April 7, 2017: 4 innings, 4 runs
July 24, 2017: 3 innings, 4 runs
10 percent of his starts

Awful starts (5 or more earned runs)
18 percent of his starts

May 29, 2016: 4 1/3 innings, 7earned runs
Aug. 9, 2016: 4 2/3 innings, 9 earned runs
Aug. 16, 2016: 5 2/3 innings, 5 earned runs
Aug. 24, 2016: 6 innings, 5 earned runs
April 12, 2017: 5 innings, 5 earned runs
May 6, 2017: 7 innings, 6 earned runs
May 20, 2017: 5 2/3 innings, 5 earned runs

Miscellaneous starts
10 percent of starts

June 3, 2016: 4 2/3 innings, 2 earned runs
June 8, 2016: 1/3 innings, no earned runs
May 30, 2017: 1 1/3 innings, 1 earned run
Aug. 10, 2017: 1 inning, 3 earned runs

The one question I have about current Phillies going into next year is what they can expect from Velasquez after two years.
We have yet to see him pitch a full healthy year. But if you consider the top three categories the outcomes you want, he reached them in 51 percent of his starts. That's not quite good enough. You want that to be above 55 percent. In fact, a big issue is that 31 percent of his starts were bad or terrible.

I'm not sold Velasquez is a Major League starter. In many ways, he reminds me of Joe Kelly, who has electric stuff, but just doesn't translate that into getting guys out.

However, the kid seems like an A-plus guy and it's hard not to root for him.
If he ends up starting for the Phillies next year, they can't rely on him to make more than 25 starts and they can't rely on him to regularly pitch past the sixth inning.

Season Recap: Pedro Florimon

No one had a worse 2017 Phillies season than Pedro Florimon. And it's not because he played poorly. In fact, he played very well.
In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at starting pitcher Ben Lively. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
The Phillies signed Florimon, who had played more than 200 Major League games, to a minor league deal heading into the season. All he did was play exceptionally well at Triple-A and earn a promotion to the big leagues.
Then, in 15 games, Florimon hit a robust .348/.388/.478. The problem was the last of those games. Florimon gruesomely broke his ankle and ended his season midway through September.
Florimon might not repeat what he did in 2017, but the Phillies would likely be wise to stock him in Triple-A this year if he's willing to return.

Season Recap: Ben Lively

Ben Lively arrived in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve when the Phillies traded Marlon Byrd. It looks like the move is working out quite well.
In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at starting pitcher Jesen Therrien. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
Lively arrived in the big leagues on June 3 and pitched mostly effective baseball the rest of the season. He ended the season with a 1.2 Pitcher WAR, according to baseball-reference. He also launched two home runs.
Lively isn't like most of today's pitchers in that he doesn't miss many bats. His 5.3 strikeouts per nine innings is taboo to many. He also gives up a fair share of home runs, 13 in 88 innings.
One of his big issues was opponents hitting .364 on the first pitch and .409 on 0-1 counts.  The first batter in an inning had a .400 on-base percentage. If he can trim those numbers a bit, he'll be in great shape in 2018.
It's not hard imagining him turning into a Randy Wolf-like pitcher.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Season Recap: Jesen Therrien

Jesen Therrien has pitched well out of the bullpen for three straight seasons. It's a span of 176 innings, so that's no small sample size.
In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at starting pitcher Yacksel Rios. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
In those minor league games over the past three years, Therrien has a pristine 1.79 ERA. Interestingly, he's given up just .46 home runs per nine innings. That's ridiculously impressive. He's also struck out a hair under 10 batters per nine innings. And he's allowed just 2.4 walks per nine.
So I'll live with the way he was beaten around this year. In his 15 major league games, he had an 8.35 ERA.
The Phillies would be wise to keep the kid around next year.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Season Recap: Yacksel Rios

Yacksel Rios pitched in 13 games for the Phillies, 11 of them effectively.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at starting pitcher Zach Eflin. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

In 10 years, some kid is going to be looking at a scribble on his baseball and wonder who the heck that signature belongs to.
 Rios, 24, might not stick in the big leagues. He wasn't high on anyone's prospect list. But he seems to limit walks and home runs, so maybe he'll get another shot. 

Season Recap: Zach Eflin

Can Zach Eflin be the next Aaron Altherr?

Remember, Altherr dazzled in 2015, was injured for much of 2016 and basically written off at the beginning of 2017. Now he's considered a bright spot in the organization's future. Eflin dazzled at points in 2016 and was battered and injured in 2017. He's not getting that much hype for 2018.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Victor Arano. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Eflin will enter next season with a 5.85 career ERA in 22 starts. That's rough. But the former first rounder is stingy with the walks (2.0 per nine in his major league career) and home runs allowed in the minors (.6 per nine in the minors but 2.0 per nine in the majors). 

In his 22 starts, five have been marvelous. 

On June 24, 2016, he held the Giants to 1 unearned run in six innings, scattering five hits and no walks.
On July 5, 2016, he gave up a solo home run in a complete game in which he scattered six hits and struck out six against the Braves.
On July 22, 2016, he pitched a complete game shutout against the Pirates.
On April 23, 2017, he gave up just three hits and no walks in seven innings of 1-run ball against the Braves.
On April 29, 2017, he gave up just four hits, two of which were solo home runs, in seven innings of 2-run ball against the Dodgers.

Eflin's numbers are done in by seven starts in which he gave up 8, 7, 6, 7, 8, 7, and 8 runs. The problem is that's almost a third of his starts. If he returns in 2018 and limits the games he gets knocked around in to 20 percent of his starts, the Phillies will have a nice fourth or fifth starter.

Season Recap: Victor Arano

You know who was an exciting surprise in 2017? Well, other than Rhys Hoskins. Let's talk about Victor Arano.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Arano was lights out in his ten September appearances. Kid put up a 1.69 ERA. And if you think that was just based on some luck, he had a 1.85 FIP and a .938 WHIP. He struck out 11 and walked 3.4 per nine. He didn't give up a home run in his 10.2 innings.
The 22-year-old wasn't unheralded. John Sickles had him as a C+ prospect, the Phils 21st overall before the season started. Arano was the player to be named later in the Roberto Hernandez trade Ruben Amaro made in 2014. Kid hits in the mid-90s with his fastball and seems to have decent control.

Look at his walks per nine in the minor leagues the past four years.
2014 - 2.09
2015 - 1.89
2016 - 2.15
2017 - 2.56

Look at his strikeout rates over the same span.
2014 - 22.9
2015 - 13.4
2016 - 29.7
2017 - 23.0

The kid has some ability to miss bats and not miss the zone. 
That could look really good for the Phillies in 2018.

Season Recap: Kevin Siegrist

Kevin Siegrist led the league in games pitched. In 81 appearances, he tossed 74 innings of 2.17 ERA just three years ago. Two years ago, he had a 2.77 ERA in 64 games. He hasn't been that good since.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Casey Fien. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

He did pitch in seven games for the Phillies this year. He didn't pitch too poorly either, tossing five innings of 3.60 ERA ball. He allowed one home run, two walks and four hits against seven strikeouts. I thought there was a chance the left-hander would stick with the Phils.
He didn't. They cut him loose today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Season Recap: Casey Fien

Casey Fien was purchased from the Seattle Mariners on May 9. He'd spent parts of eight years in the big leagues. He had a good four-year run in Minnesota. That was a long time ago.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Henderson Alvarez. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Fien pitched four games between June 9 and 20 for the Phillies. They released him on Sept. 1.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Season Recap: Henderson Alvarez

Henderson Alvarez is the first really intriguing player on our list. If you remember the Phillies of the late 1990s, the Phillies routinely picked up veteran pitchers off the scrap heap. Several of them - Sid Fernandez, in particular - pitched very well. The Phillies have a chance to repeat that success with Alvarez.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Zac Curtis. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

From 2014-2015, Alvarez was a very good pitcher for the Florida Marlins. Over 289 frames, he pitched to a 2.98 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.201 WHIP, struck out 2.8 batters per walk and allowed just 15 homers. He was an All Star in 2015. It looked like he had a bright future.
Then he got hurt. 
He didn't pitch for almost two years. 
The Phillies picked him up and he had three September starts.

Start 1: Five innings pitched, 4 earned runs, four strikeouts, two walks, two home runs. Not great.
Start 2: Five innings pitched, no earned runs, two strikeouts, three walks, no home runs. Not bad.
Start 3: Four and two thirds innings, three earned runs, no home runs, no strikeouts and six walks. Oof.

If you were to tell me Alverez would compete with Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta and Jake Thompson for the final spot in the rotation next year, I'd be fine with that. 

It's doubtful the Phils would use a 40-man spot on him all winter. That said, the team could offer him a contract that would make him interested in sticking around if another team comes calling.
With his track record, it's hard to think Alvarez has pitched his last effective innings in the Major Leagues.

Season Recap: Zac Curtis

Zac Curtis? Who the hell is Zac Curtis? That was my initial reaction. Maybe it's having three kids. Maybe it's not having 6 hours of sleep last night. Either way, it took quite a memory jog to recall Zac Curtis.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Drew Anderson. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

The Phillies plucked Curtis off the waiver wire from the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 11. They got three decent innings from him as the month came to a close. The 24-year-old left-hander could stick with the organization over the winter. Or he could be a roster casualty around the Rule 5 draft.
The Phillies could do - and have done - a lot worse by sticking him in AAA next year.

Season Recap: Drew Anderson

Drew Anderson has a 23.14 career Major League ERA. That's OK. Anderson is 24 and a fringy prospect, but he's got some skills.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Clay Buchholz. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

The right-hander saw action in two blowout losses. He was hit hard, but that's an incredibly small sample size for a guy who has pitched well in the minor leagues. Might the Phillies lose him as they work on their 40-man roster? Sure. But I doubt it. I imagine we'll see him around again next year. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Season Recap: Clay Buchholz



Remember Clay Buchholz, whose name is impossible to spell?
Remember Clay Buchholz, who was the highest paid player on the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies?
Remember Clay Buchholz, who twice was an All Star in Boston?
Remember Clay Buchholz, who pitched all of 4.2 innings in two starts during his Phillies career?

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Juan Nicasio. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.


You remember him, right? Of course you do. Did you remember him enough to know that the picture on the right there isn't him. It's BJ Rosenberg!

Season Recap: Juan Nicasio

When Phillies general manager Matt Klentak selected Juan Nicasio off waivers from the Pittsburgh, Pirates, I figured the Phillies would try to keep him around for next year. After all, he was a stable arm. After all, he was on his third solid season in a row. Instead, the Phillies shipped him off to St. Louis just a few days later.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The previous post looked at relief pitcher Pedro Beato. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Nicasio did look good for the Phillies, tossing 1.1 shutout innings. The Phillies turned him into Eliezer Alvarez, a 22-year-old middle infielder from the Cardinals. In six minor league seasons, he's hit .285/.360/.431. 

It will be interesting to see what the Phillies do with Alvarez, who has never played above AA. Will he be part of the 40-man roster or will he be someone they let dangle in the Rule 5 draft?

In essence, the Phillies got a lottery ticket prospect and 1.1 innings of relief for nothing, so you can't complain about the moves. 

Season recap: Pedro Beato

No player's year is a better analogy for 2017 Philadelphia Phillies season than Pedro Beato. It included patience, an eye-opening performance, injury and despair.

In the coming days, we're going to recap every player who spent a part of  2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. We're starting with relief pitcher Pedro Beato. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Pedro Beato was on the rise. The Baltimore Orioles selected Beato with the 32nd pick in the 2006 draft. He was sandwiched between Preston Mattingly and Phillies Legend Emmanuel Burris. The New York Mets picked him in the 2010 Rule 5 draft and he spent the next four years bouncing between the Mets and their farm system and the Red Sox and their farm system. Then he spent the next three years toiling in minor league towns.

The Phillies signed him in December and he pitched strongly for Lehigh Valley before getting the call to the big leagues. 

Beato took the hill on July 29 against the Atlanta Braves. He threw ten effective pitches, getting two outs, including a strikeout of Sean Rodriguez. Then an injury hit and you end up on the disabled list with a bad hamstring.



We're going to recap each player's 2017 season in Philadelphia.

In 2017, 51 players suited up in Phillies pinstripes. One, Freddy Galvis, saw action in every game. Another played in just one. Each of the 51 players has their own unique story.
In the coming days, we'll look at each player. This page will be a handy link salad to each of those stories. Enjoy reading.

1. The sad case of Pedro Beato
2. Juan Nicasio's short stay
3. Remembering Clay Buchholz
4. Drew Anderson's two no good, very bad days
5. The mysterious case of Zac Curtis
6. Henderson Alvarez International Man of Intrigue
7. Casey Fien was far from fine
8. Kevin Siegrist didn't stick
9. Let's drool over Victor Arano
10. Zach Eflin could be the next Aaron Altherr
11. Yacksel Rios pitched in 13 games
12. Jesen Therrien has had quite a minor league run
13. Ben Lively was a solid return for Marlon Byrd
14. Pedro Florimon had a horrible break
15. Vincent Velasquez remains a mystery
16. Jeanmar Gomez' dumpster fire of a season
17. Jeremy Hellickson's strange Phillies career
18. The J.P. Crawford Era arrives
19. Can Jerad Eickhoff put the wheels back on?
20. What does the future hold for Ricardo Pinto?
21. Let's forget Joely Rodriguez
22. Let's look at Mark Leiter's GPA
23. Aaron Nola answered some big questions
24. Jorge Alfaro is full of talent
25. No one is laughing at Hoby Milner now
26. Adam Morgan's reinvention
27. Nick Pivetta has intriguing potential
28. Howie Kendrick was an asset
29. Hyun Soo Kim can be forgotten
30. Cam Perkins' cup of coffee
31. Pat Neshak was special