Sunday, October 12, 2014

BBA Voting Awards season from the Philadelphia chapter

Awards season is upon us again for baseball and once again the BBA, Baseball Bloggers Alliance, is taking part in the process. Here's the list from the Philadelphia Chapter.

Connie Mack
Clint Hurdle

Don Mattingly

Matt Williams

Willie Mays
Jacob DeGrom

Daivd Peralta

Ken Giles

Goose Gossage
Aroldis Chapman
Craig Kimbrel
Mark Melancom

Walter Johnson
Clayton Kershaw
Johnny Cueto
Adam Wainwright
Cole Hamels 
Jordan Zimmerman

Stan Musial

Clayton Kershaw
Giancarlo Stanton
Andrew McCutchen
Jonathan Lucroy
Yaseil Puig
Buster Posey
Anthony Rendon
Anthony Rizzo
Johnny Cueto
Carlos Gomez

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Phillies Talk Podcast - End of season talk and some playoff notes

It's time for another edition of Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich and Jim. We're talking about how the Phillies did towards the end of the year and what they can do in the off season to fix some of the problems with the team. Also, some playoff talk, with who we think may end up in the World Series. Join us for the off-season as this show goes on year round with interesting interviews and topics that will keep the time passing well until Spring Training 2015.

The 2014 Phillies: Stats, stats and more stats for the season

Chase Utley played his normally tough game all year this season, some had worried his career was over but it didn't look that way this year

The Phillies season was not anything to get excited about, they finished last in the NL East for the first time since 2000, and really never got off the ground from the start of the season.

Here’s some of the player stats that was the 2014 season by the team:

Top player in 2014 (as measured by Wins Above Replacement player stat):

Cole Hamels  6.9

In 2013, this honor went to Cliff Lee who had a 7.5 score in that measurement

Most hits in 2014:

Ben Revere had the most hits in 2014, with 184. Revere only scored 71 times during the season though. Jimmy Rollins ended up with 78 runs scored with Chase Utley right behind him at 74.

Most RBI in 2014:

Ryan Howard was the Phillies leader in RBI in 2014 with 95. Marlon Byrd finished with 85 on the season.

Best Batting Average in 2014:

Ben Revere led the best batting average for the team in 2014, he finished with .306 and in the top 10 in the NL, the Phillies team BA was .242 which was tied for 24th (with the Houston Astros) in the MLB out of 30 teams or 10th in the NL out of 15 teams.

Here's how the starting 8 looked for BA:

Rk Pos Name Age G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA ▾
1 CF Ben Revere* 26 151 601 184 13 7 2 28 49 .306
2 2B Chase Utley* 35 155 589 159 36 6 11 78 85 .270
3 RF Marlon Byrd 36 154 591 156 28 2 25 85 185 .264
4 3B Cody Asche* 24 121 397 100 25 0 10 46 102 .252
5 C Carlos Ruiz 35 110 381 96 25 1 6 31 60 .252
6 SS Jimmy Rollins# 35 138 538 131 22 4 17 55 100 .243
7 LF Domonic Brown* 26 144 473 111 22 1 10 63 91 .235
8 1B Ryan Howard* 34 153 569 127 18 1 23 95 190 .223
Team Totals 31.1 162 5603 1356 251 27 125 584 1306 .242
Rank in 15 NL teams 2 10 13 10 9 12 10
Non-Pitcher Totals 31.1 162 5303 1313 245 27 125 575 1178 .248
Pitcher Totals 31.3 162 300 43 6 0 0 9 128 .143
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/5/2014.

The Strikeout and Walk:

The Phillies ended the season with a team total of 1,306 strikeouts. This was the 8th most out of 30 MLB teams. The team with the fewest was the Kansas City Royals with 985 on the season. Two Phillies players, Ryan Howard (190) and Marlon Byrd (185) finished with a combined total of 375 SO with just two players.

Interestingly enough, the Royals also ended with the least walks (380) by any MLB team this season, the Phillies finished 18th in that category with 443.

Most wins by a pitcher for the Phils in '14:

Kyle Kendrick led the Phillies with 10 wins on the season. Cole Hamels had 9 and AJ Burnett finished with 8 on the season.

Most strikeouts for the Phils:

Cole Hamels finished with 198 SO and AJ Burnett was right behind him with 190. The Phils as a team were 14th in the MLB at 1,255 total strikeouts on the season. That total was 9th in the NL, the best in the NL were the Dodgers at 1,373.

Longest / Shortest streaks:

Wins - 5 in a row

Losses- 6 in a row

Fans in the stands:

The Phillies home attendance was 10th out of 15 NL teams this year for a total of 2,423,852

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Phillies: Howard Eskin reports erroneous information on Phils

The news from Howard Eskin, a local sports reporter, the other night on a local news broadcast apparently sounded real enough for the Phillies to dispute it.

The Eskin news article stated that the Phillies ownership was in flux and the Middleton family had tried to seek control of the team in order to change the make up of the team and shake things up. Eskin reported that David Montgomery was going to be 'pushed out' of ownership so that the Phillies could make certain trades and take the team in a different direction.

The Phillies issued a statement following the report that this information was false and not credible.

It's just another weird twist in the career of Howard Eskin when it comes to covering the Phillies. If you remember some years ago, Eskin and former Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel got into a verbal argument about what was wrong with the team back then.

For the recor though, Eskin released a comment that he stands by his story. We'll see.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Phillies ownership shocker: Asking all the coaches to stay after '14 disaster

The first announcement of the Phillies willingness to keep the coaching staff has Ruben's name written all over it

It was supposed to be a time of change. The Phillies put in a clunker of a season. Things had to change, it was a last place finish and the Phils looked bad a whole lot on the field this year.

One of the first announcements from Phillies ownership just a couple days after the season of misery came to an end was they asked all of the coaches to return.


When something isn't working, the first spotlight is shown on the coaching staff. They didn't get something right. It's commonplace for a team to get some new coaching in so that things might change. That didn't happen just days after the Phillies turned in a really bad season.

An offense that ranked near the bottom of the NL, and pitching that was 20th in the MLB of 30 teams for the top few catagories and this is the first announcement in the off season?

If anything, Ryne Sandberg and the coaching staff didn't get enough blame for this season. Charlie Manuel used to get ragged in the press and from the fans for less but little has been said or written about with the style of Sandberg, and his coaching staff which includes Larry Bowa.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Revere finished with .306 but not much else

Howard finished with 95 RBI on the season, in contrast with just 28 all season from Revere

Ben Revere finished in the top 10 in Batting Average for the 2014 season and he was great in the outfield on defense. Is there much more a player can do for a team?

Well, Ben's offense stopped at the BA stat, if it wasn't for this nice top 10 finish, there would be much to say about his season.

In a stat measured called Isolated Power, Revere was not very good at .055 and rated the lowest of any top 10 batting average finisher - his 28 RBI was lowest total of any center fielder in the National League as was his HR production.

Revere's total on the season of 22 extra base hits is also the lowest among all NL center fielders.

You gotta like the way Revere approaches the game, he has a great attitude and has fun out there, but the Phillies need more production and this is one area in which they lacked good offensive numbers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Phils season comes to an end for 2014

Utley climbs up the ladder for a ball yesterday afternoon in the final game of 2014 at CBP yesterday

There were more than 38,000 in the stands yesterday for the final home game of the Phillies 2014 season but despite there being so many fans there, not much cheering took place.

The Phils lost 2-1 to a Atlanta Braves team that folded down the stretch and also finished out of the money for the playoffs.

As in a lot of the games that the Phillies played this year, they had chances. In fact the Phils were 0-7 when it came to RISP (runners in scoring position) and that's usually not a good sign.

Before the game an award was given to ex-Phils broadcaster Chris Wheeler, he won the Richie Ashburn award for Phillies employees. Wheeler who is a Phillies employee for over 40 years and a broadcaster for many of those years, looked like he had found the fountain of youth. His time away from the TV broadcasting duties has been good for him as now he doesn't have the tremendous travel schedule to deal with all year long.

Jimmy Rollins made a short speech to the fans before the game. He thanked them for coming, and acknowledged the team had a rough year. There were some bright spots though, and he noted a few of them namely Ken Giles and his success with the bullpen this year.

We've seen a Phillies team that should be pretty well changed up by the Spring of 2015, a lot of the players on the field probably won't be in a Phillies uniform after this game.

Much more about the season, and stats for the year in future posts, so please stop by often in the offseason because the blog continues year round!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Phils putter into last series of the season for 2014

Longtime Phillie, Jimmy Rollins waites for the game to start at CBP tonight for the start of the final series of the season

Usually the last season series is a sad occasion for most fans when it comes to their baseball fix is coming to an end soon, especially if their team isn't going to make it to the playoffs.

For the Phillies though, it's a good thing the season is coming to an end, because this has been one long frustrating season for both players and fans alike.

 The players though are pulling down millions and will go on vacation soon while their fans try to stay loyal in a time when it's hard to stay positive about all of the things that went wrong with this team in 2014.

This past season has seen this team about as bad as it's been for the last several years. The team looked sloppy and not prepared most of the time in 2014, despite being managed by the Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg.

There was so many different lineups used this year, it's hard to call the Phillies a 'team' because there were so many adjustments to the daily lineups, it seemed like a team that was constantly changing.

Here's the Phillies offense by the numbers:

Runs:  23rd place of 30

BA: 25th of 30

OBP: 25th of 30

SLG: 27th of 30

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gillick backs Amaro to succeed

Phillies interim president Pat Gillick has given his backing to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr to turn things around at Citizens Bank Park, with the team having endured one of their worst seasons in living memory in 2014. Despite Gillick’s confidence there seems, on the face of it, to be little cause for optimism in 2015 but surely there must be one or two positives that Phillies fans can take through the winter months?

 Thursday night’s 7-3 loss to the San Diego Padres left the Phillies bottom of the National League East with a win percentage of .458 and a 70-83 record for the season. With just nine games of the regular season remaining, the Phillies’ push to qualify for the postseason play-offs ended quite some time ago but their dwindling support would still have wanted the team to go down fighting. On the road to the Padres the Phillies lost three of their four matches and any fighting spirit seems hard to come by.

Recent months have seen attendances at Citizens Bank Park drop dramatically. Indeed, reports suggest that through 78 home games in 2014 the Phillies are down over half a million attendances on this time last season. Over the course of the 2013 season the Phillies averaged over 37,000 fans per home game, but this season they are averaging fewer than 30,000. Having recorded the eighth highest average attendance in the whole of the Major League last season, they are down at 16th for 2014. The only team that comes close to such a drop in support is the Texas Rangers but their aggregate attendance has dropped by less than 400,000.

With the Rangers having dropped down four places this season after finishing second in the American League West in 2013, and the Phillies having dropped down one, there is certainly a pattern emerging: baseball fans aren’t willing to pay to watch a team performing badly and Pat Gillick knows this: "In Philly, if you don't win, they (the fans) don't come out. They come out to see winners. It's the way it is in Philadelphia. We have very knowledgeable and sophisticated fans, but that's the way it is," the former General Manager said.

Having won the World Series in 2008 and reached the final again in 2009 the Phillies looked to create stability and signed a number of their star names up to long contracts. In many respects this was a sensible move… if a team is winning then why break it up? Unfortunately there was no plan B for when the stars of the 2008 and 2009 teams went past their peak and now, with the likes of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz reaching their mid-30s and failing to perform week in-week out the Phillies are stuck with few options to improve their results.

First baseman Howard is of particular concern to the Phillies fans as his batting slump seems to have been going for the last three seasons now, with his hit percentage since 2012 down at .233. This season he has fallen further down to .222, with a .311 on base percentage. Like many of the other aging stars, Howard is under contract until 2016 and, like it or not, he looks likely to be on the roster for next season.

Many fans hold general manager Ruben Amaro Jr responsible for the team’s current position after he allowed the July 31st non-waiver deadline to pass without making any substantial moves, and only moved out Roberto Hernandez and John Mayberry during the August waiver period. Having been general manager since 2009, Amaro should have seen the rising tide ofaging players within his squad sooner and acted faster to ensure that the team would not be so susceptible to a mass dip in form. Despite this being the view held by many fans, Gillick seems to have confidence in the 49-year-old and believes in his vision for the future: "Ruben has got a pretty good idea of what he wants to do," the Hall of Famer said. "Sometimes you can't do everything people expect you to do right away. It's got to be the right deal, the right move."

So, with little prospect of Gillick acting to move Amaro on, what do the Phillies fans have to look forward to in 2015? The first positive to come out of this season was the form of center fielder Ben Revere, who for much of the season was challenging to win the National League batting title. After a poor couple of weeks, he now looks to be out of contention but he can still boast a batting average of .309 for the season, with a record of two home runs, the only two of his career. Another star has been relief pitcher Ken Giles who, after being called up in June, has allowed just six runs in the 41.2 innings that he has pitched as well as striking out 60.

With the controversy surrounding closer Jonathan Papelbon’s recent crowd gestures, there have been calls for Giles to step up into his role next season and the 23-year-old certainly looks capable.

Another cause for optimism, in more ways than one, is the form of pitcher Cole Hamels. Hamels has enjoyed an exceptional season, pitching a 2.47 ERA including a run of 21 straight starts (and counting) where he has been charged with three runs or less. Hamels is contracted to the Phillies until 2018 so, if they opt to keep him, fans can look forward to more improvement from the 30-year-old, who has notched 187 strikeouts so far in 2014, in coming years. Alternatively, given Hamels’ form, the Phillies may look to trade him in the winter, freeing up funds to bring in a number of new players and really freshen up the roster. Either way, Hamels looks to be central to any prospects that the Phillies may have for next season.

Pat Gillick clearly has faith in Ruben Amaro Jr’s ability to make the changes necessary to improve the Phillies’ fortunes in 2015. Whilst many Phillies’ fans may not share Gillick’s optimism, they must respect the opinion of the man who led their team to the World Series as GM in 2008. With the right trades and a return to form and fitness of some of the legendary players still on their books, the Phillies may just spring a surprise and rise up the National League East in 2015. Fans of baseball betting can follow their odds with Betfair.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Phillies go with Cole to open series

Cole Hamels pitches tonight for the Phillies. He's looking for his 10th win of the year tonight against the Marlins. This is the 29th start of the year for the lefty that is still only 30 years old as of this season, Cole turns 31 on December 27th.

The start tonight puts Cole into position to also get the last start of the year at home on Sunday afternoon against the Braves coming up this weekend.

Hamels has lowered his ERA to 2.47 this season, even with a Phillies team that hasn't been able to get it together batting this year.

Let's see if the Phillies offense can find themselves for this series. Somehow I don't think you can blame all of this on the players, there are far too many lineup changes with this ballclub. The lineup needs to stay steady for the most part with a team, but with the Phillies there are different players being fielded every game, so it's hard for them to get a common rhythm.