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Phillies Baseball



Updated: 2018-02-16T00:53:48.649-05:00

 



Season Recap: Luis Garcia

2018-02-02T23:31:23.324-05:00

Let's talk about Luis Garcia. The big right-hander pitched in 66 games for the Phillies, tossing 71 effective innings. He's had an interesting career since the Phillies signed in 2010.

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 Michael Saunders. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Garcia has pitched in 192 games for the Phillies. If he lasts another full season in Philly, he'll likely end up pitching in more games than Larry Anderson and Brad Lidge. He appeared in 72 games two years ago, but was limited to just 17 in 2016.

Garcia's numbers are pretty impressive. In 198 innings, he's given up just 14 home runs while allowing 8.8 hits per nine. The big issue is that he walks way too many batters, about 4.8 per game. That number fell to 3.3 last season. If he can repeat that success, he'll be valuable again in 2018.




Season Recap: Michael Saunders

2018-02-02T23:20:58.835-05:00

Michael Saunders was supposed to stabilize the lineup. Instead, he was one of the biggest free agent busts in recent Phillies seasons. And that says something.

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 Andrew Knapp. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Saunders was coming off of an All Star season and hit .202/.256/.344. Look at those numbers. They are awful.



Season Recap: Andrew Knapp

2018-02-02T23:15:57.847-05:00

Who will catch the most games for the Phillies in 2018? There's little doubt that Jorge Alfaro is the most talented of the three likely catchers. We also know that Cameron Rupp is the most experienced catcher. But I'd argue there's a good chance Andrew Knapp gets the most starts in 2018.Look, Alfaro drips talent, but he's still incredibly raw behind the plate. Rupp has been a solid catcher, but he's averaged 91 games caught the past three seasons and he seemed to take a slight step back in 2017. So it stands to reason that Knapp could, if an injury occurs and the Phillies are playing well, get a good stretch of playing time. So let's look at what he did in his rookie season.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 Edubray Ramos. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.Knapp played in 56 games, slashing a respectable .257/.368/.368/.735. In his previous three minor league seasons he had a .385, .375, .330 on-base percentage. That's a valuable took. He also has a solid track record with extra base hits, but didn't really drive the ball in his rookie season. He hit just eight doubles, a triple and three home runs during the year. Defensively, he gave you basically what you expect from a rookie catcher.[...]



Season Recap: Edubray Ramos

2018-02-02T12:52:14.950-05:00

Edubray Ramos was a solid bullpen piece in 2017. Oh, his 4.21 ERA wasn't fantastic. But his other numbers belied a much better season.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 first baseman Brock Stassi. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.Ramos had a 2.92 FIP, allowed just four home runs in 57 innings, struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and, despite a high walk rate per nine innings, a huge discrepancy between his strikeout rate and walk rate.Ramos struggled through a brutal stretch in July, giving up nine of the 29 runs he gave up all season in a span of just eight days. If you take away that week, he had a 3.20 ERA on the season. Expect a third straight solid season from Ramos in 2018, particularly since the Phillies should have a deeper pen that will put him in lower leverage situations. [...]



Season Recap: Brock Stassi

2018-02-05T11:51:44.239-05:00

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I first saw Brock Stassi in person at spring training two years ago. He seemed to mash everything in sight. Then he made the Phillies last season and it seemed like he was a Cinderella story.

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 Rhys Hoskins. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
Sadly Midnight arrived too early. The 27-year-old hit just .167/.278/.295 in 90 sporadic plate appearances. 



Season Recap: Rhys Hoskins

2018-02-02T12:21:16.859-05:00

Rhys Hoskins was a freak. He arrived on August 10th and destroyed everything thrown his way for two months.

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 Pat Neshak. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Hoskins played well enough that MLB Network's hosts had him as a top 10 left fielder today. In 212 plate appearances, he bashed 18 home runs, drove in 48 runs and batted .259/.396/.618. He had a .416 WOBA. That he crushed the ball is something everyone knows.

When you dig in to his minor league numbers, you see some very promising trends. Over the past three years, his walk rate went from 10.5 to 12.1 to 13.5 percent. That's a track record of knowing the strike zone. And his knowledge is improving.

Hoskins was a huge highlight of the Phillies season and fans are ready for an encore in 2018.





Season recap: Pat Neshek

2018-01-04T08:59:36.549-05:00

I don't think fans realize how much of a stud Pat Neshek was last season. In 43 games, he had a 2.1 bWAR. Because it's a cumulative stat, it's hard for a relief pitcher - particularly in the modern game - to get that high of a WAR number.
Consider these are the highest career WAR of all time for relief pitchers.

Dennis Eckersley - 63.0
Mariano Rivera - 57.1
Hoyt Wilhelm - 47.3
Rich Gossage - 42.0
Tom Gordon - 35.3

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 outfielder Cam Perkins. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

So, who was the last Phillies relief pitcher to accumulate 2.1 WAR in a season. 
Was it Hector Neris, who pitched in 80 games in 2016?
Was it fireballer Ken Giles in 2015?
No and no. It was Jonathan Papelbon, who had 2.8 WAR in 2014. But he was a closer. What about a non-closing relief pitcher.
Ryan Madsen had to have pulled it off in 2008, right? J.C. Romero? No and no. You have to go all the way back to Geoff Geary's efficient 2007 campaign. Did you forget about that? When he tossed 91 innings, allowing just 6 home runs and 20 walks.

Yeah, Neshek was pretty special.
The good news is he's back. And he wasn't just good last season. In the past six seasons, he has a 2.50 ERA, a 3.23 FIP, a .971 WHIP and a 4.68 strikeout to walk ratio.




Season recap: Cam Perkins

2018-01-03T23:55:38.748-05:00

Cam Perkins hit .182/.237/.273/.510 with some moderate success defensively. He will not return.
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 outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.
Perkins had been a fringy Phillies Prospect for several seasons. His tools will give him a chance as a fourth outfielder in the big leagues for some time. But don't expect to regret him being let go.






May the Force be with Matt Klentak

2017-12-15T15:46:01.995-05:00

It's Star Wars weekend and the Phillies traded Freddy Galvis for a low-minors pitcher. J.P. Crawford is the everyday shortstop, baby.

The rebuild is on the fast track.


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That's not all, though.

They also just signed former Cleveland Indians slugger Carlos Santana for $60 million over three years. WHAT?

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To play first base. You know who plays first base? Rhys Hoskins. And Santana has never slugged .500 in his career. He's hit 30 homers once. He turns 32 in April. src="https://giphy.com/embed/s3fBXbAfta5Z6" width="480" height="455" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen>

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But he's a switch hitter, a solid defender, walks about 100 times a season and he has seen more pitches than any other batter since 2011. src="https://giphy.com/embed/QynHhYJiwfoJO" width="480" height="313" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen>

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Now the Phillies could package Cesar Hernandez, a prospect and an outfielder for a starting pitcher. src="https://giphy.com/embed/kJD5887ojQimk" width="480" height="323" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen>

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Season recap: Hyun Soo Kim

2017-12-14T12:42:37.390-05:00

In three years, you're going to look back at the 2017 Phillies and say, who the hell was Hyun Soo Kim.

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 starter Howie Kendrick. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

For the record Kim was part of the package for Jeremy Hellickson. He was in his second season in Baltimore, having played well in his first and putridly in his second.

He continued to play poorly in Philly. Let the forgetting commence.



Season Recap: Howie Kendrick

2017-12-14T12:36:27.640-05:00

Let's talk about assets. When morning broke on Nov. 11, 2016, the Phillies had Darnell Sweeney and Darin Ruf. The former is a young, toolsy outfielder. The latter is a power hitter who never developed fully in Philly. They weren't that valuable as assets.

General manager Matt Klentak shipped those two players off to Los Angeles for former All Star Howie Kendrick, a professional hitter. He could stabilize the lineup. In other words, he was a valuable asset.

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 starter Nick Pivetta. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Kendrick spent half a season in Philadelphia. Much of that time was spent on the disabled list. However, Kendrick was a marvel when he played, mashing .340/.397/.454 in 156 plate appearances. Kendrick wasn't as valuable thanks to his injuries, but he was more valuable than Ruf and Sweeney. The former is now in Japan, having not spent a day in the Major Leagues in 2017. The latter spent the season in Triple-A and was traded to Cincinnati.

Klentak shipped Kendrick to the Nationals for McKenzie Mills. The left-hander is now the Phillies 21st ranked prospect. Mills is a 22-year-old left-hander who went 12-3 with a 3.22 ERA in A-ball last season.

That's a decent asset. When you figure the Phillies got 146 at-bats from Kendrick and a prospect for Ruf and Sweeney, that's a pretty good swap of assets.



Season Recap: Nick Pivetta

2017-12-14T12:43:40.159-05:00

Nick Pivetta was the most intriguing Phillie in 2017. Not many people expected him to make it to the big leagues, let alone win eight games while pitching to a 6.02 ERA.

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 Adam Morgan. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Pivetta started 26 games. In five of those starts, he went at least six innings while allowing one or no runs. Let that sink in.

If I were to rank the Phillies pitchers under 26 who have started in the past two years on their chances of becoming successful reliable pitchers, it would go like this:

1. Aaron Nola
2. Jerad Eickhoff
3. Zach Eflin
4. Vincent Velasquez
5. Ben Lively
6. Nick Pivetta
7. Jake Thompson

However, if I were to rank the young pitchers based on their chances to become stars - say at least two all star trips and two seasons with a top 10 Cy Young vote, it would go like this:

1. Aaron Nola
2. Nick Pivetta
3. Vincent Velasquez
4. Jerad Eickhoff
5. Zach Eflin
6. Jake Thompson
7. Ben Lively

Pivetta has interesting stuff. If he can develop a third pitch that compliments his curveball and masters his control, he could be a devastating starter.



Season Recap: Adam Morgan

2017-12-04T13:06:06.487-05:00

How about Adam Morgan? Kid bounced back in a big way in the second half.

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 Hoby Milner. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

This is one of the best looks at how Adam Morgan developed this season. 

My only critique is that it doesn't put enough into the idea that he's comfortable with his shoulder. Pitching is an incredibly psychological game. It's why so many pitchers are wierdos. This is purely speculation on my part. Morgan might have been pitching physically healthy for about 18 months. But he might not have been comfortable with it. Fear of feeling his body betray him probably had some effect on him for awhile now. 

His performance in the last half of the season should breed tons of confidence. He's never going to be a starter again. While righties have creamed him, I could see that confidence making him even more valuable than just as a LOOGY out of the 'pen.





Season Recap: Hoby Milner

2017-12-05T12:09:59.605-05:00

Hoby Milner was easy to scoff at when the Phillies called him up. He was 27. He wasn't on anyone's prospect lists. Never really was. He'd been selected and returned by the Cleveland Indians in the Rule 5 draft. But guess what? Once he got here, he produced.

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 catcher Jorge Alfaro. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Milner had a 2.01 ERA. But some of his peripherals said that was a bit of a fluke. He had a 4.50 FIP and a 1.468 WHIP. But he did prove some important traits. He gave up .6 home runs per nine innings. It's hard to do better than that. But he walked 4.6 per nine. That's rough. But in 500-plus minor league innings, he was a 2.7 walks per nine innings. If he can keep his walks down and his home run numbers steady, he could be a valuable Phillie moving forward.

It's hard to count on that. But it's not an idea we're just going to laugh off.




Season Recap: Jorge Alfaro

2017-12-04T12:40:52.437-05:00

Jorge Alfaro's 11-1 strikeout-to-walk rate terrifies the beJesus out of me. There's no doubt the kid has the tools to be a star. But can he capitalize on that talent?

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 Aaron Nola. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

After the briefest cup of coffee in 2016, Alfaro had a nice 29-game showing in 2017. He hit .313/.360/.514 with five home runs and six doubles in 114 plate appearances. He's still very raw behind the plate, too. The Phillies could use a veteran to tutor Alfaro and Andrew Knapp in 2018. I'm just not sure Cameron Rupp is the guy to do it.

It's tempting to hope Alfaro is a .280/.330/.550 who hits 25 doubles and 25 homers in a few season. But he has to establish better command of the strike zone. The 24-year-old had a paltry 2.6 percent walk rate and likely boosted his stats with a .420 batting average on balls in play. He made contact on just 62 percent of his swings, compared to 76 percent for the league. Part of the problem was that he swung at, according to fan graphs, 46.2 percent of the pitches he saw that were outside the strike zone. Compare that to Daniel Nava, Andrew Knapp, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins. Each of those position players swung at less than 25 percent of the pitches they saw that were outside the strike zone.




Player recap: Aaron Nola

2017-11-16T22:26:30.257-05:00

Aaron Nola was the team's biggest question mark heading into 2017. Could he rebound from his injury plagued 2016 campaign? Was he the pitcher we saw in his first dozen starts that year or was he the guy who got knocked around? Nola answered those questions with authority. Simply put, he was the best player to don a red hat with a white "P" on it.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 Mark Leiter Jr. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.Let's look at his hard numbers.Standard Pitching Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W Awards 201724PHINL1211.5223.5427270000168.01546766184921842016931193.271.2088.31.02.69.93.76 Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 11/16/2017.Those are impressive enough. What he did from May 21 through Aug. 12 is what makes us excited for the right-hander who will be entering his age 25 season. In 103 frames, he had a 2.79 ERA, giving up just 82 hits and 10 home runs while walking 29 and striking out 110.We constantly read about Nola being a great No. 2 or No. 3. But he's got ace stuff. He was fifth in FIP. He was seventh in the NL among WAR for pitchers and strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He was eighth in strikeouts per walks. He was ninth in WHIP and home runs per nine. Here is the list of the other pitchers who made the top ten on each of those lists: Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.The Phillies can expect more out of Nola in 2018. They should hope for 200 innings. They should hope for a sub 1.200 WHIP and 3.50 ERA. If he does that and keeps his other numbers steady, the Phillies will have an ace on their hands.[...]



Season recap: Mark Leiter Jr.

2017-11-15T11:05:32.735-05:00

Welcome to the Big Leagues, Mark Lieter. I think you'll be here for awhile. The 26-year-old made his Major League debut this year, pitching in 27 games, 11 of them starts. Aside from a penchant for giving up the long ball, he didn't do bad for a 22-rounder.

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 Joely Rodriguez. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Let's breakdown Leiter's 11 starts.
He made his first start on June 23 against the postseason-bound Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out five. He threw 81 pitches. We'll give him an A for that.
Five days later, he gave up four earned runs on nine hits in five innings against Seattle. That's a D.
On the fourth of July, he pitched just 5.1 innings, but he gave up only two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. We'll give him a B-.
His next start didn't come until Aug. 16. He got rocked. Eight runs, four earned, on seven hits and two walks in five innings. We'll give him a bit of credit since four runs were unearned and he went five frames. D-
The next game, he sparkled, going 7 innings of one hit ball. A.
He followed that up by scattering nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Braves. He struck out six while giving up three runs. B.
The Mets knocked his doors off the next start. He left the game in the fourth, having given up nine runs. F
He bounced back a bit the next game, giving up four runs in six innings isn't good, but he only gave up six hits and a walk while striking out eight against the playoff-bound Nationals. C.
He did basically the same thing his next start, against the Athletics. C.
Against the playoff-bound Dodgers, he gave up just one earned run in 6 innings on five hits. B+In his final start of the year, he gave up five runs while getting knocked out in the fifth. C-

If you gave his starts a GPA, he'd have a 2.21, which is between a C and a C+.

I can certainly live with Leiter being a swing man for the Phillies next season.




Season Recap: Joely Rodriguez

2017-11-15T10:40:06.697-05:00

After a brief cameo in 2016, Joely Rodriguez seemed like he could be a guy the Phillies could count on in 2017. Let's treat those feelings like we do the time we walked in on our parents. Push them way down into the pit of our deepest despairs. Joely Rodriguez was awful.

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 Ricardo Pinto. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Batters lit up Rodriguez like a Christmas tree. In 27 innings, he gave up four home runs and 15 walks while striking out 18. His batting average on balls in play was infinity, if you rounded down.

In three years, he'll be a fond memory of the dark days.






Season Recap: Ricardo Pinto

2017-11-13T18:02:17.908-05:00

I'm probably wrong about Ricardo Pinto. Every time I see him, he looks good. I'm higher on him than most of the other people who watch the organization. His arrival in Philadelphia wasn't that impressive, I'll admit.

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 Jerad Eickhoff. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Pinto has a nice arm. He's also, during his minor league career, demonstrated nice control (2.7 walks per nine innings) and home runs allowed (.8 per nine). In fact, in 156 innings in the launching pad at Reading, he gave up just 20 home runs.

Pinto had been a starter for much of his career, but saw some bullpen action in 2017. Maybe this isn't the mistake I think it is. Maybe the Phillies can get good use out of him in the back of the rotation. But I think the 23-year-old could develop into a middle of the rotation starter.






Season Recap: Jerad Eickhoff

2017-11-13T17:49:58.869-05:00


Jerad Eickhoff looked like a reliable starter after his first season and a half in Philadelphia. Then the wheels fell off in 2016.

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 shortstop J.P Crawford. We even have a landing post with a link to each player's season.

Let's look at how some of the right-hander's stats compared in his first three years.

Now for that other area. GO back to that batting average on balls in play. That .331 mark is way above his previous numbers. It stands to reason those numbers could come down. I'm still a fan of Eickhoff. The Phillies are looking to make a jump in the standings next year. If Eickhoff can return to form with his walks allowed and the batting average on balls in play, the Phillies would gladly welcome the results.



I'm not dead yet. I promise.

2017-11-11T22:31:17.517-05:00

Sorry. So very sorry. It's been awhile since I worked on my Player Reviews. I'm going back to school and got caught up in three projects for class.
I also got caught up in a project for my other blog that you might be interested in. I listed the 100 greatest Major League Baseball Players.
Anyway, I'll get back on my horse with the Player Reviews on Monday.



Season Recap: J.P. Crawford

2017-10-13T20:56:11.147-04:00

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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

2017-10-13T20:41:46.025-04:00

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

2017-10-13T18:51:50.324-04:00

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.