Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Phillies

27
Jul
11

PHILLIES: My Phillies Trade Proposal

Needed to bring the “Philly Phour” back one last time to voice my opinions on a potential Phillies deal that can’t be summed up on Twitter in 140 characters and is way too creepy to leave on facebook as a status or note.

As most of you have heard, the Phillies have been in the market for a right-handed bat, preferably an outfielder,  since the 2o11 season began. Now, as Carlos Beltran, one of the rumored targets for the Phillies, has been traded to the defending World Series champs, it’s time to stop messing around if you are Ruben Amaro.

If you are the Phillies brass, and you are very serious about acquiring a strong RH bat and an outfielder who you can plug in the middle of your order, cut the crap and DO IT NOW.

Yes, I am well aware that Astros OF Hunter Pence and White Sox OF Carlos Quentin have been said to be off the market, or if you can pry them away from their current teams, you may have to give up an arm and a leg to get them. However, if Dominic Brown (top prospect on all of baseball who is part of the future and the present) isn’t involved, there is no reason why the Phillies shouldn’t try to do this.

Here is what I propose: P Vance Worley (middle of the rotation, pro-ready pitcher) , 1B Jonathan Singleton (top offensive prospect) , OF John Mayberry Jr. (big league, 25-man roster ready outfielder)

And here is my reasoning.

Worley: I know, I know. He’s been the biggest surprise for the Phillies so far this year. Making up for the absence of Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton by going 7-2 with a sub 3.00 ERA and stabilizing the back end of the rotation in the process. Might be the future of the Phillies pitching staff. But look at it this way. The Phillies are ultimately thinking about making a deal like this to succeed in the playoffs against the likes of the Giants, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, etc and make it to another World Series. Who would you rather on your team to help do that? As much as I like Vance Worley (and I do like him), it’s not him. Even if Worley continues to pitch this well or better, AT BEST, he makes the Phillies postseason roster as no better than the teams 4th starter. That means he likely doesn’t pitch in a starting role in the NLDS, and just one game in the NLCS or WS if you want to look that far ahead. No more than 18 innings pitched at most, and if Roy Oswalt comes off the D.L and bounces back well, it will be far fewer than that. So personally, as much as I appreciate Worley’s role on the team, I still would rather have an all-star OF in Pence or Quentin that would start virtually every single game than someone who may have a limited impact in the postseason based on the talent ahead of him and if the right people decide to get healthy.

Singleton: Best pure hitting prospect that the Phillies have and a preseason top 100 prospect in baseball. He is also the Phillies most expendable top prospect based on the depth they have in the organization. Even as a 20-year-old, the Phillies organization has already seemed to give up on an outfield experiment for Singleton, meaning he is only set to play one other position. First base. Well, if I remember correctly, Philadelphia has a guy in Ryan Howard who both talent wise and financially, is slated to play at that corner infield spot for the next half a decade. Again, I understand that the Phillies like what they see in Singleton and he may be the future of the position, but with the Big Piece in his way, you cannot overvalue a player too much if he is at least 4+ years away from making an impact at the big league level with the organization.

Mayberry: Really like what Mayberry has done this year. Can play all three OF position, and shown the ability to hit a little. Very attractive quality for a rebuilding team or a team decimated by injuries. But, in a deal to obtain a player like him who is just simply better at playing the game of baseball, I’m sorry, but John Mayberry Jr. is expendable. As well as he has been playing this year and as much as he has been improving, he will NEVER be better than Hunter Pence and Carlos Quentin. His ceiling is just not that high. It’s as simple as that.

So that’s my proposal. Worley, Singleton, Mayberry. If the Phillies can get either one of Hunter Pence and Carlos Quentin, as I said, they should just do the damn thing.

For those who say that you are ruining future of the organization, here is rebuttal. Screw the future. Seriously, screw it.  I don’t know if you have paid close attention to the last three years of trades for the Philadelphia Phillies, but it has become pretty clear that the FUTURE IS NOW. When you trade 7 of your top 15 prospects over a 2 1/2 year span, and the vast majority of the nucleus of your team is over the age of 3o, the window of opportunity to reach the ultimate goal of a World Series and parade down Broad St. is closing with ever time there is mention the word future . If there is too much thought going towards future success and World Series titles, than in my opinion, especially considering the makeup of this team, the future will never become the present.

With this team, playing 162 regular season games and the hope of playing postseason baseball is done for one reason. It’s not to be just competitive year in and year out. It’s to win World Series titles. Plain and simple.

With this blow-you-out-of-the-water proposed deal, as much as the Phillies would be giving up with their future things of that nature, their chances for winning a Fall Classic will have improved.

And that’s good enough reason to do this deal.

07
Apr
11

PHILLIES: Starting Off Strong

So, it appears that the era of the 4 aces and overwhelming expectations has gotten off to a pretty solid start.

With the first week of the MLB season coming to a close, the Phillies are sitting at 4-1 in their first 5 games, with Thursday’s series-finale rubbermatch against the Mets hanging in the balance.

Yes. I am well aware that we are only 5 games, or roughly 3%, through the season.

But, considering Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, and top prospect Domonic Brown have been out action since the first pitch was thrown at Citizens Bank Park last Thursday, the opportunity to win five out of their first six games would go a long way to silencing any critics who said that the Phillies season was doomed from when Cliff Lee signed that dotted line in December.

Speaking of Lee ( 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER. 11 K’s in a 9-4 win over the Houston Astros), he was just one of quite a few Phillies that have stood out so far.

(Statistics accurate as of 4/7)

Ryan Howard: For all those who were worried that the Big Piece’s production would suffer with the absence of Utley in the lineup, let’s just hope the first week was not just an admiration. Howard is what baseball scouts would like to call “locked in” at the plate right now. So far, the Phillies 1B and cleanup hitter is 11-for-21 (.524) with 2 HR, and is already leading the National League in RBI’s with 8. The only blemish for Howard is that, like usual, the strikeouts are not hard to come by (6 in 5 games).

Placido Polanco: Was a little worried about Polly going into the season. Getting up there in age, had off-season elbow surgery, production diminished greatly at the back end of the 2010 season. However, like last season, Polanco has gotten off to a scorching hot start. However, in contrast to 2010, where a power was the story for Polanco, a .450 BA with 4 RBI’s and a .522 OBP has made him quite the catalyst in the early going for the Phillies.

Ben Francisco: Talk about making the most of an opportunity. In the absence of Domonic Brown, who is scheduled to return later this month after undergoing surgery for a broken hambone, Francisco has absolutely been tearing the cover off the ball so far during this 2011 campaign. While his .333 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI’s says a lot, it is impossible for a simple statline to include 2-3 balls hit that were knocked down by the wind at Citizens Bank Park that would have been as good as gone if they were hit in June or July.

Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Rollins (.368 BA hitting out of the 3-hole), Raul Ibanez (.300 BA, 4 RBI’s), Wilson Valdez ( .294 BA, 2 RBI’s), Roy Oswalt (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 K’s in first start), Antonio Bastardo ( 1-0, 1 Hold, 2.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 K’s)

01
Apr
11

PHILLIES: Opening Day Drama

Phillies fans..

Opening day has come and gone, and fortunately for this quick write-up, the game can be summed up in one word.

WALKOFF!

In dramatic fashion, the Phillies capped off a come-from-behind victory against the Houston Astros with a 3 runs in the 9th inning, the last one being on a John Mayberry Jr. pinch-hit RBI single that would end the game.

If you watched the game, you would know that it wasn’t what you would call a “pretty” victory. The Phillies were basically shut down by their former teammate Brett Myers through 6 innings, and if it wasn’t for a Brandon Lyon meltdown, they would probably be sitting in the clubhouse with a losing record right now.

Nonetheless, the Phillies came away with the victory with a combination of a solid start from ace Roy Halladay, a strong bullpen showing from Ryan Madson and Danys Baez that helped keep the Astros lead in reach, and 6 singles in the final frame which manufactured the 3 runs that would win the game.

Impressive stuff.

For more on the Phillies comeback victory, check out Philly.com San Donnellon’s take on the season opener.

08
Mar
11

PHILLIES: Domonic Brown Has Hand Surgery

Let the rocky stretch for Phillies top prospect Domonic Brown continue.

After an off-season plagued with struggles in the Dominican Winter League that continued into Spring Training, Brown fractured his “hambone” on his first hit of the young Grapefruit League season late last week, sending him to the operating table less than month before opening day.

Fortunately for Brown, the prognosis in terms of his long-term health looks good.

The surgery was, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, a success, and the timetable for his return is around 4-6 weeks. Furthermore, Brown will be able resume baseball activities such as swinging a bat in about 2-3 weeks, or after the removal of his splint.

"Hambone" surgery will likely sideline Domonic Brown for at least a month.

With that said, the question is not whether Domonic Brown WILL get healthy.

The question is WHEN he is healthy, where will the 4th ranked prospect in all of baseball begin playing his regular season games?

Before the injury, Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel was attempting to give Brown every single opportunity imaginable to win the starting RF job over Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry Jr., and anyone else has been partaking in this friendly competition among potential teammates.

However, all that did was make matters even more difficult. Brown responded by going 0-15 at the plate with 9 K’s before his first hit (a single up the middle) was inevitably the final swing he’ll take in any Spring Training game.

At this point, it seems that Domonic Brown has borderline failed every single set of criteria the Phillies organization has set for him to be an everyday player at the big league level. Whether that it all his fault or not, the void left by outgoing RF Jayson Werth has not been filled, and the person slated to be responsible for such a task will be six months removed from playing his last productive innings of baseball.

To answer my own previous question, the evidence that was just stated clearly supports a certain notion.

Much to the dismay of Phillies fans everywhere and even members within the organization, it seems plausible and expected to some extent that Domonic Brown will start the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Before you readers make a jump from one of the local bridges or simply throw a hissy fit, let me try to rationalize to you the thought process of the Phillies front office contingent if they do decide to go down this particular road with Brown.

This is not a demotion.

This is not Domonic Brown NOT living up to his hype.

This is a primary example of a 23-year-old kid who is learning what it takes to be a MLB ballplayer.

And this is our way of giving Domonic Brown the best opportunity to succeed in doing so.

But is that the correct thought process?

Ironically, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload, John Mayberry Jr. and company will be able to answer that in the coming weeks far better than Domonic Brown will.

24
Feb
11

PHILLIES: Spring Training Opener

IT’S HERE!

Well, sorta.

As the Phillies take part in their traditional spring training opener with their bitter rival that is the Florida State Seminoles, here is their first official lineup of the 2011 season.

LINEUP

Victorino CF, Polanco 2B, Ibanez DH, Howard 1B, Francisco LF, D. Brown RF, Ruiz C, Orr 2B, Valdez SS

Notable Absences: SS Rollins, 2B Utley

PITCHING

Starting Pitcher: D. Naylor

Bullpen: E. Bonine, J. Perez, J. De Fratus, M. Stutes, M. Schwimer, S. Mathieson

14
Feb
11

PHILLIES: Top Ten Starting Pitchers Debate

In the wake of the R2C2 + Big Joe press conference today at Brighthouse Field, I just want to touch on something that Phillies MLB.COM Beat Writer Todd Zolecki wrote about during his initial coverage down in Clearwater.

With the start of Spring Training action looming, the MLB Network recently released their list of the “Top Ten Starting Pitchers” for the 2011 season.

While it was with no real surprise that two particular Phillies were able to land spots on the lists, the order of which they appeared was a bit perplexing.

Halladay is the cream of the crop of Starting Pitchers in baseball.

Well, one of them at least.

Take a look for yourself.

(From MLB Network)

10. Josh Johnson
9. Justin Verlander
8. Adam Wainwright.
7. Cliff Lee
6. David Price
5. Jon Lester
4. CC Sabathia
3. Tim Lincecum
2. Felix Hernandez
1. Roy Halladay

First off, the case against Halladay is almost unarguable. Being the proud owner of a perfect-game, another no-hitter in his first ever playoff appearance, and an NL Cy Award in 2010 provides way too much evidence to the contrary.

However, where Lee sits can certainly be argued.

To give MLB Network the benefit of the doubt, on paper, Lee hasn’t been able to match up statistically with the others on the list, especially over the past two season.

Since his 2008 AL Cy Young Award winning season with the Indians, he has a 26-22 overall regular season record while spending his time in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Texas. To put that into perspective, those with just as many wins or more over that time span include Ricky Romero, Jon Danks, and even ex-Phillie Vicente Padilla.

Obviously not bad company, but not elite by any stretch of the imagination.

With that said, taking into account hype generated about Lee with his production in the playoffs and the way he decided to go back to Philadelphia, ranking him behind both Jon Lester and David Price is a little difficult to comprehend. Do not get me wrong, Price and Lester are TREMENDOUS pitchers. They are the clear aces of their respective rotations, and are more than worthy of a spot on this list. All I am saying is Lester’s lack of postseason success (2-3 record, 4.00+ E.R.A) combined with the fact that Price only has one full season of being a MLB starting pitcher under his belt should be put under a much greater microscope in my opinion.

Well, at least more than Lee’s subpar regular season win total over the last 24 months while he was a part of two struggling franchises for a large majority of that time.

Besides the Lee ranking, the utter disrespect of Josh Johnson (should be considered a top 5 pitcher) and the notable absence of Ubaldo Jimenez (read the names three times to make sure I didn’t just miss him) on the list could also make for great discussions and further blog posts.

For another time.

14
Feb
11

PHILLIES: A Preview Before the Preview

As pitchers and catchers have made their way down to Clearwater and the friendly confines of Brighthouse Field, most who care about such a movement would also take that as a sign that the 2011 baseball season is finally starting to take form.

From the perspective of a certain baseball enthusiast/blogger, there isn’t much in the way of news that could be considered more of a breath of fresh air.

In fact, that could probably the best news in, give or take, three months and 13 days.

For those who are wondering and are too lazy to do some simple math or a google search, that was when the 2010 Baseball campaign officially ended as the San Francisco Giants were crowned as World Series champs.

With that said, a Spring Training preview will be up shortly, breaking down everything from..

Beautiful sight, isn't it?

1. Is Joe Blanton going to remain in the fold as the Phillies 5th starter behind R2C2?

2. Will Dominic Brown be able to beat out Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. for the everyday RF job?

3. How will the bullpen shape up without Chad Durbin?

4. Expectations, expectations, and more expectations..

5. Everything else.

Such a breakdown, however, will all come over the span of some six odd weeks before the Phillies take the field against the Houston Astros on April 1st.

In the mean time, if you want to take a look at a couple blogs that will have Spring Training coverage to a capacity much larger than this particular college senior who is roughly 700 miles from any Grapefruit League action whatsoever, a combination of Todd Zolecki’s “ZoZone“, David Murphy’s “High Cheese“, and Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover’s “Phillies Zone” should do the trick.

With that, enjoy the arrival of baseball season.




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