Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Nearing Opening Days Thoughts

1. Jake Arrieta on a 3 year deal is just what this staff needed. Unlike most of the pundits, I am not convinced of Arrieta's demise. He was largely mediocre for the first half of the 2017 season (4.35 ERA/1.30 WHIP), but returned to his ace-like ways to close things out (2.28/1.09). I think he settles somewhere in the in-between (3.30ish ERA/1.20ish WHIP). That's a solid starting pitcher right there. One that will certainly help the Phillies win. Also, he's a tremendous competitor, and his fiery spirit is welcomed in the clubhouse and around such a young staff.
2. Kapler's bench is going to be one of versatility. Andrew Knapp is likely to be the backup catcher, but he can also man 1st base and is a switch hitter. Knapp's likely bench mates will be Jesmuel Valentin and Pedro Florimon, also switch hitters and can play all over the diamond. Rounding out the bench is 5th outfielder and speedster Roman Quinn, who has been playing shortstop in Spring Training like he did when he first joined the minor leagues.

3. Who should be in the rotation beyond Arrieta and Nola? I'm all for giving Nick Pivetta the ball every 5th day, because he has shown the ability to miss bats and could turn into a solid 3rd starter. I'm not so inclined with Vince Velasquez. He struggles to go 5 innings due to high pitch counts and seems to be better suited for the bullpen. However, he gets one more chance to make it as a starting pitcher, much like this is a make or break season for Franco at 3rd base. That leaves one hole to fill, due to Jerad Eickhoff's injury that likely doesn't have him returning until late May/early June. I'm in favor of Ben Lively. He auditioned well last season and has been bulldogging his way through Spring Training now too. Zach Eflin might have upside, but I just don't see the results, Jake Thompson is probably becoming a relief pitcher, Drew Hutchison should serve as Triple-A depth, and Tom Eshleman needs a bit more time in the minors.

4. Cameron Rupp looks like the odd man out in the Phillies catching duo. He's set to earn $2M+ this season and really doesn't deserve minor league banishment. He'd make a fine backup on most teams, so trading him makes sense. I see the Brewers and Nationals as fits. Make it happen Klentak.

5. Good bye Tommy Joseph. He's a feel good story of a prospect fallen on hard times due to injuries (concussions) and then forgotten, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and make something of himself. But then the Phils went and signed Carlos Santana and had no room for him. Now ToJo takes his bat to Texas to slug with the Rangers. The American League is a good fit for the defensively deficient Joseph. Farewell.

6. As long as everyone is hitting in the outfield, Kapler has the chance to keep everyone fresh and happy with playing time. Hoskins and Herrera will start nearly every game, but even they need days off. Williams and Altherr will split right field. Assuming there's roughly 2000 plate appearances for all 3 outfield positions combined, that equals 500 per player if split evenly. I foresee Hoskins and Herra getting about 550 apiece, Altherr 425, Williams 375, and Quinn 100. If matchups are played to the Phillies advantage, this could lead to a very productive outcome.

7. Get your bobbleheads. I have a bobblehead collection and continue to add to it slowly. I recently added some from Phillies and Eagles lore. Check out National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.

8. Do you love the Phillies? Do you like trivia? Of course you do. So, check out So You Think You're a Philadelphia Phillis Fan. It's written by fellow blogger and good guy Scott Butler.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Philadelphia Beer and Baseball

Enjoying baseball in Philadelphia is one of the best ways to experience the city with friends. After all, the Phillies are the oldest franchise team in American sports. We're here with a couple of suggestions to elevate your baseball experience with something that pairs perfectly: craft beer. Be sure to consider checking out some of these spots before or after a Phillies game.

Tria Taproom
2005 Walnut Street There are nearly thirty different craft beers on tap at this local hot spot, and their iPad ordering system makes everything that much more efficient. You can read more about the alcohol content and background of each brew as you peruse through the selections. They're also known for their food, some notable choices are their Duck and Burrata flatbread options.

Crime & Punishment Brewing
2711 W Girard Avenue This craft brewery has a playful Russian literature theme. The brewers here pride themselves on brewing classic recipes with state of the art equipment and techniques. Some of the favorite brews here include the Ghost Station made with raspberries, House Arrest, and the Grod Inquisitor. The rustic atmosphere is very charming.

Monk's Cafe
264 S 16th Street The folks at Monk's are beer experts! This spot takes care to ensure their equipment is up to date, clean, and beer stored under optimum conditions. With 25 beers on tap and over 200 bottles available, the only thing difficult about the experience here is choosing a beer. Their Beer Bible will help you find one that fits your specific tastes.

Anybody who has driven to a Phillies game knows that it can be challenging navigating traffic and finding a good parking spot. When you reserve with a Philadelphia Party Bus and Limo service, you'll bypass all of this and the issue of finding a designated driver. It's easy to safely hop from one craft beer destination to the next with professional transportation. The electric energy you feel inside of Citizens Bank Park is sure to carry on into the rest of your evening. The price is similar to that of a ride share when it is split among everybody in the group, too. Everyone can enjoy a convenient night with local sports and beer!

Philly Limo Service
2546 East Indiana Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 607-7222