Sunday, November 23, 2014

100 Days until first Spring Training Game, there is still time



100 Days until the Phillies Spring Training schedule starts, is Ryne Sandberg mangerial style fitting in with the Phillies team?




The Phillies have exactly 100 days until their first Spring Training game in Florida. That's a good thing, because now pretty well into the off-season, not much has changed in the composition of this team. No changes to the coaching staff was made public knowledge, and incredibly so since the Phillies really played poorly most of the season.

A week ago, during the GM meetings in Arizona, there was great speculation that just about everyone was on the trading block from A to Z. Cole Hamels name was prominent as was a few others, but now after the hoopla of the meetings have settled, only a few mentions of trades are still making their way to the internet and publications.

Maybe the words of Pat Gillick is correct, 'this team won't contend for a couple more years.' So as Phillies fans, there may be a serious slip back (as there already has been) to the days when the Phillies were not good at all, and a last place finish last year sort of foretells that there may be more pain heading towards Phillies fans as they watch this team degrade further.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Major League Baseball 2015 Picks



The new Major League Baseball season will get under way in April of next year, and bookmaker Betfair already have prices on which teams will make it to the World Series. Current joint favourites for the 2015 World Series crown are the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have had great success in years gone by, but their last World Series win came way back in 1898. Since the end of the last decade, this side have shown steady improvement, and have now won the West Division in four of the last seven years, including the last two years consecutively. Farhan Zaidi has done an excellent job since arriving as General Manager, and the Los Angeles Dodgers certainly have a good platform on which to build now. With a decent off season, they can certainly be one of the leading contenders for MLB glory come 2015. The odds compilers at Betfair make the Dodgers 7/1 chances to win the next World Series and that is a price that will definitely appeal to a number of baseball punters.

Joining the Los Angeles Dodgers at the head of the Betfair World Series market are the Washington Nationals, who can also be supported at odds of 7/1. The Nationals are a part of the East division, and have only been known by their current name since 2005. Previously, the Washington Nationals were called the Montreal Expos, but a move for the franchise to Washington, D.C. Meant a change of name was very much in order. While their trophy cabinet is pretty bare thus far, the Washington Nationals have made encouraging strides over the last couple of season, having won the East Division title in both 2012 and 2014. Manager Matt Williams has got his side playing some decent stuff and following some good draft picks, the Nationals now have a chance of some major honours in the world of baseball.


As far as the Philadelphia Phillies are concerned, the bookies give the side little hope of challenging for Major League Baseball's biggest prize come 2015. The Phillies are ranked at 100/1 outsiders along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and the Minnesota Twins. Having had a great spell from 2007 to 2011 winning five consecutive division titles, the Philadelphia Phillies have dropped off again over the last few seasons. Long time manager Charlie Manuel was sacked in 2013 and that would end up being the sides first losing season since back in 2002. This is now very much a rebuilding phase for the Phillies, and a lot will depend on what happens during the off season for this great franchise. The Phillies are rumoured to be looking at some Red Sox players and if the right men come through the door, then things can change very quickly as we see season after season. Those odds of 100/1 could look very big come next April if that were to be the case. Stayed up to date on all the latest market movers in the 2015 World Series at betfair.com.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Howard's family tries to gnaw at his fortunes



Did off-field stress contribute to Howard's poor batting average in 2014? One could argue yes, and he still managed to hit almost 100 RBI on the season





I read this story yesterday at Philly.com, you have to feel sorry for Ryan Howard after you read the whole story, which you can do here.

You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. That's the old saying when things go wrong in a family, and that's exactly what happened with Ryan Howard. He started employing his family and paying them fantastically high wages for doing next to nothing and one day he woke up from that fact and decided to close the gravy store for them and now they've come back at him and sued him.

Howard is paid very well, some would argue too much, for the Phillies. That wasn't his fault though, there was a contract offer made after Howard had several great seasons in a row. He looked as if he would continue to tear the cover off the ball for years, but in the last couple years, Howard has appeared more human than the super-human feats he put up when he was in his late 20's.

This is just a bad story all the way around. Now it's public. Apparently, it's already settled out of court after it made it to court. The damage is still there though. It's what happens sometimes when a person comes into money like Howard did.

Now the Phillies apparently look to shop Ryan Howard to a team where he can play out the remainder of his career. Yes, the Phillies still owe him millions, and Howard will be OK where ever he ends up, I still wouldn't be surprised if we see him in Phillies pinstripes come opening day though.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Stanton's $325M wouldn't have fit in with Phillies




Stanton may be bordering on great, but he's not a Hall of Fame type player yet




The Phillies reportedly wanted Giancarlo 'Mike' Stanton for the last year or two.

What no one saw coming though was this contract that was given to him by Marlins owner, Jeff Loria. A massive 13 year, $325M contract for a player who has hit the long ball very well, but is he one of the best in the game?

Let's look at Giancarlo's numbers:

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 20 FLA 100 359 45 93 21 1 22 59 .259 .326 .507 .833
2011 21 FLA 150 516 79 135 30 5 34 87 .262 .356 .537 .893
2012 ★ 22 MIA 123 449 75 130 30 1 37 86 .290 .361 .608 .969
2013 23 MIA 116 425 62 106 26 0 24 62 .249 .365 .480 .845
2014 ★ 24 MIA 145 539 89 155 31 1 37 105 .288 .395 .555 .950
5 Yrs 634 2288 350 619 138 8 154 399 .271 .364 .540 .903
162 Game Avg. 162 585 89 158 35 2 39 102 .271 .364 .540 .903
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/19/2014.


He's been in the league for 5 years now, and has never put in a full season. Stanton's BA is at .271 for his career and he doesn't really have monster numbers like RBI, or a great amount of doubles per year.

All in all, I don't think Stanton is anywhere near a ballplayer who should have gotten a $325M contract. The numbers just aren't there, he hasn't been on pace to be a Hall of Famer by any stretch either.

This contract plainly makes no sense, now the Phillies have the dubious honor of no longer holding the worst contract in baseball.

Friday, November 14, 2014

How the Phillies could have had 88-90 wins in 2014



Burnett just signed on with the Pirates, 18 losses last year for the Phils explain a few games that should have been wins but nothing was done about it by management



The Phillies weren't quite as bad a team as most people penned them as last year. Yes, they lost 89 games on the year, but they could have improved their standings with a little more focus and attention to areas that after the season became very apparent.

The Phils ended with 73 wins in 2014, of those games, here are ways they could have possibly finished better on the year.

The season started off with 10 losses in the first 20 games for the team. Right out of the gate, things weren't working for this team. Fast forward to the first 30 games of the season and things were still not going right, they had 15 losses in 30 games.In the first 40 games of the season, the team was 22 losses deep, but consider this. The Phillies got swept by Milwaukee for 3 games, Toronto for 4 games. and the Angels in a short 2-game series.

Take just a few of those swept games and if the Phils were able to break that up a little and add them up.

The Phillies went 1-6 on the season series with Pittsburgh, they couldn't beat that team. Had they been able to pull something together against them, you can add a few of those games into your total of games that they really should have done better with.

From May 29th to June 8th 2014, the Phillies played 10 games, they won only 2 of them. This team was really hurting then. The team was a full 10-games under .500 on the 8th of June. No big changes were being made. During the entire month of June, Ben Revere only had 1 RBI.

In fact, the Phillies didn't even make a roster move at the trade deadline. Another serious error, and a puzzling one for a team that was hurting so bad.

AJ Burnett was tagged with an incredible 18 losses on the season, he just kept going out and piling up losses, he started the most games of any Phillies pitcher which was 34 games. Should have he been benched for his poor performance and someone else started in his place? Not at the amount of money that the team decided to pay him apparently.

Add up all the miscues by management that went unchecked this past season, and you can easily get at least 10-15 games that should have been won by this Phillies team.







Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amaro signs Frenchy ... again a headscratcher






A couple years ago, the Phillies wanted to sign Jeff Francoeur, for some reason they didn't get the deal done. They are probably lucky they didn't, as Francoeur  hasn't really blossomed like some would have expected he would after he left the Atlanta Braves back in 2009.


Jeff still is a capable bench player, but are the Phillies about filling this team up with bench players? Or if the impending blow up that rumored to be happening behind the scenes make Frenchy's signing more meaningful than just being a minor league contract.


It's good that the Phillies don't have to face him anymore with this signing, as Francoeur has hit 7 homeruns against the Phillies and always seemed pesky against the Phils.


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Phillies off-season moves left to rumors







The Phillies got to be in last place by a combination of certain players on the team that didn't produce properly, and the inability of management to interject players who can get the job done on the field in the last few seasons.

Lately in the press, there have been rumors swirling around players like Cole Hamels and Marlon Byrd as players that will possibly be traded. Those two players have been getting the job done for the team, so when you trade them, you stand the risk of making the team worse for it.

Players that have been in beta like John Mayberry, who the team finally let loose after the season and Domonic Brown are the players that the Phillies should have parted company with long ago. Brown got an extension with the team after his brief appearance that he would blossom into a star after the 2013 season in which he found his swing and hit 27 HR. Whatever he found in '13, he lost in '14 as Brown slipped back into sleeper mode with only 10 HR in 473 AB.

Ruben Amaro has been reluctant to let some of these type of players go, and he's always wanting to add 3 or more aces to a pitching staff seemingly all the time. It's been a style that has left this team flat.

What will the Phillies do next? It's sort of like every move they make, it's the wrong one anymore.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Phillies Talk Podcast: World Series Wrap-up and Phillies talk for the off-season





It's Phillies Talk Podcast, with Rich and Jim again talking baseball with an emphasis on the World Series of 2014 with the San Francisco Giants winning it all.

We're talking all about this and of course about our opinions on the Phillies in the off-season and into the 2015 season.

Listen here at the FightinPhillies.com site on or on the road with iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and great websites like BaseballTalkRadio.com

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Awards season right around the corner




The Players Choice Awards take place on Monday night, November 3rd 2014 at 8 PM Eastern - that kicks off the MLB awards time now that we have a new World Champion of baseball in the San Francisco Giants.

The Players Choice Awards will be on the MLB Network exclusively when the following awards will be given out as voted on by the MLBPA:

Majestic Athletic is a proud sponsor of the 2014 Players Choice Awards on MLB Network.
Below please find the complete list of 2014 Players Choice Awards finalists.
2014 Players Choice Awards Finalists:
American League:
Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve (Houston), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Mike Trout (LA Angels)
Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), Corey Kluber (Cleveland), Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox)
Outstanding Rookie: Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox), Danny Santana (Minnesota), Matt Shoemaker (LA Angels)
Comeback Player: J.D. Martinez (Detroit), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Chris Young (Seattle)
National League:
Outstanding Player: Josh Harrison (Pittsburgh), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami)
Outstanding Pitcher: Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)
Outstanding Rookie: Jacob deGrom (NY Mets), Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati), David Peralta (Arizona)
Comeback Player: Tim Hudson (San Francisco), Casey McGehee (Miami), Edinson Volquez (Pittsburgh)
Either League:
Player of the Year: Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Mike Trout (LA Angels)
Man of the Year: Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Adam LaRoche (Washington), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)
For a complete list of prevous winners, please click here.

After this awards show, there will be the major awards as voted on by the BWOAA:
Monday, Nov. 10: Rookies of the Year
Tuesday, Nov. 11: Managers of the Year
Wednesday, Nov. 12: Cy Young Awards
Thursday, Nov. 13: Most Valuable Players




Monday, October 27, 2014

Could Hamels be on his way to Boston? Would Red Sox deal Cespedes?







There was a report a couple days ago that Cole Hamels was fine tuning a list of teams that he'd be willing to be traded to. Hamels has a limited no-trade clause that he has updated to include a list of teams he didn't want to be traded to according to reports.

The Boston Red Sox seem to be a team in need of a star pitcher, and claimed Hamels last season in a waiver that was revoked by the Phillies, so the interest is there.

What could the Red Sox offer the Phillies?

Would the Red Sox offer up Yoenis Cespedes in a trade for the top caliber pitching offered by Cole Hamels? That would be about the only player on the Red Sox that would be of value to the Phillies, you could even package up Domonic Brown along with this deal and possibly get someone in the minors that has some value from the Red Sox as well.

Time will tell if Hamels will be dealt in an offseason that is very important to this team, but so far they've only signed a couple of players without making any major moves.

The idea is not to give away players like Phillies GM, Ruben Amaro, did with Hunter Pence. He practically gave an All-Star to the Giants for next to nothing. This trade mentality haunts Amaro and it shouldn't be repeated.