Sunday, July 23, 2017

Phillies find a refreshing winning streak and battle more in 2nd half

The team battled back last night, and has been playing a little more crisply in the 2nd half of the season

Just when you thought the Phillies season was over and everything was filled with losing, the team ventured on and finally found a nice winning streak. Even though, they lost last night in an epic game where they battled back to a 9-8 loss, the team seems to be really trying the hardest they have all season. The brief winning streak got some fans talking at least.

The Phillies will have to continue playing well to match the season high of a six-game winning streak which was set back in April.  It's great to see the teams wins total rise after what seemed to be forever anchored to the twenty something wins that the team has been mired on for some time. The Phils notched their 20th win on June 5th, and didn't get to 30 wins until July 16th.

This is just what Phillies fans needed to bring up the spirits and give us some faith that this team can indeed win ballgames. The Phil won their 3rd game in a row before a crowd of 17,550 on a humid Friday night against a team that is in first place in the NL Central.

The Brewers just got finished playing the Phillies in Milwaukee last week, with the Brew crew taking two of three there. The Phils are just 11-26 this year in 1-run games including last night where they clawed their way back in a 9-8 loss. The month of May was especially difficult for the Phillies, the Phils were 6-22 for the month. I would really like to know what went on to cause this to happen. I know the bullpen was imploding regularly, and the offense was sputtering very badly.

There has been talk where some of the players on the Phils roster may be traded, that could be good for them as players. The Phillies management have shown the fans that this rebuild is very much in a state of flux so far. Matt Klentak has answered questions about the Phillies future with a lot of mumbo jumbo talk about this team. We're smarter than that in Philly, we don't buy into talk that we know is a bunch of double speak.

Howard Eskin asks a legitimate question to Matt Klentak and Matt gets mad that this press person is a real press guy, not a team 'party line' press person like most of the guys that sit up in the Phillies press box. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Williams gets first Grand Slam, who will the Phillies bring up next?

Nick Williams was touted as being the 4th best player in the Phillies minors. Who ever thought that must be onto something as Williams hit his first Grand Slam in a Phillies uniform yesterday to give the Phillies a decisive 5-2 win vs. the Brewers to avoid a sweep.

It seems that Nick has made a pretty smooth transition to the big leagues, now the Phillies organization has to keep on going and bring more players up that can make an impact on this team. Why wait till September? Well, there are only 25 roster spots as of right now, so that is the main reason.

In years past, it seemed like the Phillies let players languish in the minors forever. There are reasons for that as well, when the team was playing greatly, there was no space for the younger players to come up, but even with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, it seemed like the team waited way too long to bring them up.

There is new upper management here now though, it's no longer the old long time established group that use to be in charge of this team. Ruben Amaro Jr. had long time Phillies ties to the organization as did his predecessor, Ed Wade. Wade is still with the Phillies to this day as a special consultant. He really gave the Phillies some gifts after going to Houston, we got Brad Lidge and Hunter Pence from Houston and we all know what impact they have had on baseball.

So who will be the next player that the Phillies bring up? Rhys Hoskins is 24 years old, and the Phils have big plans for him. What not waive Tommy Joseph or trade him and bring him up?  It seemed like Maikel Franco was going to be protected for a long time by the team, but now with the revelation that no one is untouchable as far as trade. Perhaps the Phillies can get inventive with moving and acquiring players?

This team can't keep waiting to get better, it's been bad for a long time now. Recent moves by GM Matt Klentak have been puzzling. Mostly every move that's been made so far on this team has been wrong.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What would Matt Stairs would say about Phillies hitting now

This season, Matt Stairs made the transition from the TV booth to the coaching staff of the Phillies. He's the Phillies hitting coach for 2017, but I am very curious to hear if he would critique this team the same now that he is in that role with the team.

The Phillies seem the worst that they ever have at the plate, they swing and miss by a mile, they don't look like they are up to the plate to get a hit, but they always look like they are swinging for the fences. What happened to the old fashioned theme of hits mean runs?

Unfortunately in front of our eyes this season, may be the worst Phillies team ever. They are on pace to lose well over 100 games. That is not fiction, it will be fact. Just how many games will they lose? It's a situation where the Phillies aren't the favorites very often. You can always check out the daily odds at live betting at to have an idea.

What is making this team so bad? A lack of hitting when it counts, lackadaisical base running, and just playing poorly. I don't see how people can say that Pete Mackanin is a good manager, we've seen plenty of mistakes day after day with this team. It's the kind of basics that major league players know well, but this team seems to violate this every game.

It's very difficult to watch, and very hard to believe that this team is this bad. It's going to make a very long rest of the summer for Phillies fans. My suggestion, don't let them bring you down. Don't stay glued to your televisions watching this game after game, check out the highlights (or lowlights) after it's all done. Get out there and get some fresh summer air, it's going to do much better for you and your health than watching this Phillies team play the rest of the summer.  

Phils hitting in 2017:

Team Batting
1CCameron Rupp52176213996151.222.313
21BTommy Joseph8430234741615431.245.307
32BCesar Hernandez# (10-day dl)582384066105146.277.336
4SSFreddy Galvis#8932633811710376.248.301
53BMaikel Franco8532732731613470.223.278
6LFAaron Altherr7927140782014445.288.359
7CFOdubel Herrera*863353487268325.260.297
8RFMichael Saunders*61200254196200.205.257
9LFDaniel Nava#61141174163151.291.386
10CAndrew Knapp#40124203153111.250.356
11UTHowie Kendrick (10-day dl)33126154482148.349.403
12IFAndres Blanco#51964142151.146.226
131BBrock Stassi*48735132270.178.286
14UTTy Kelly#40634116190.175.214
15OFNick Williams*12394102120.256.302
16OFCameron Perkins1637362020.162.200
17PJeremy Hellickson1831131020.097.176
18PAaron Nola1424210000.042.148
19PNick Pivetta1221220000.095.095
20PJerad Eickhoff1517110000.059.059
21PVince Velasquez (10-day dl)1118160010.333.333
22PZach Eflin (40-man)814120010.143.143
23PBen Lively (40-man)711120120.182.182
24PMark Leiter157010000.143.143
25PAdam Morgan*112010000.500.667
26PClay Buchholz* (60-day dl)22000000.000.000
27PRicardo Pinto61000000.000.000
28PPat Neshek#390000000
29PJeanmar Gomez180000000
30PLuis Garcia310000000
31PHoby Milner*50000000
32PHector Neris390000000
33PJake Thompson (40-man)30000000
34PJoely Rodriguez*270000000
35PEdubray Ramos (40-man)350000000
36PJoaquin Benoit390000000
37PCasey Fien (60-day dl)40000000
Team Totals8930223407281579132335.241.304
Rank in 15 NL teams131414912121413
Non-Pitcher Totals8928743317091569031735.247.310
Pitcher Totals891489191160.128.168
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2017.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Phils to start up 2nd half tonight

The Brewers have the NL Central by 5.5 Games at the All-Star Break

The Phillies start up the unofficial 2nd half of the season tonight. The All-Star game is in the books, and now the Phillies have 75 games left in this season to tweak a lineup that hasn't produced well at all as a team.

At the All-Star Break, the Phils were a full 22.5 games back behind the Washington Nationals. They are 13-33 on away games, and reopen the season in Milwaukee against a better Brewers team that stands at 50-41 so far.

The offense doesn't really have a team leader in a majority of the categories. The leader in HR is Tommy Joseph with 15, while BA belongs to Aaron Altherr at .284 and Maikel Franco leads in RBI with 45 on the year so far.

One of the most important roles the Phillies need to fill is a better bullpen, the pen has been horrible all year, no lead is safe and the closer's role has been equally as bad. Maybe Ryne Sandberg knew something when he resigned from the ballclub a year and a half ago, it's been a downhill slide ever since.

The Brewers have been hanging tough in the NL Central, they are in first place with a 5.5 game lead on the Chicago Cubs. Some suspect the Brewers may be buyers at the trade deadline now, with the nice lead they have in the NL Central.

Where does this leave the Phillies? More hope for the future is about all we can look forward to. This season hasn't been good, at times this team shows another side. A really better side that they could go out there and win every night. But, that side of the team doesn't show itself very often.

We can look forward to when the rosters expand to bring up another player or two from the minors and see what direction GM Matt Klentak takes this team on next. He's probably very disappointed so far with what he sees, and will start to make it seem like it's his fault in the not too distant future. This is his team that he's been at the helm for and it seems like we're out at sea and have lost the mainsail a long time ago.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Podcast: Phillies at the All Star Break 2017

Wow, the All-Star break got here quick. The Phillies haven't been much to watch this year, and on this show I talk with blogger/writer Matt Veasey on the state of the Phillies now.
What changes will this team make? No one on the team is untouchable so says Matt Klentak, should he be included in that too? Hear all about it on this edition of Phillies Talk Podcast with Rich Baxter and my special guest, Matt Veasey.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Looking at the rebuild: examining the Phillies payroll this season

Daniel Nava has been a pleasant surprise on this Phillies team, the Phils may want to keep a few guys around like him even after the trade deadline

The Phillies payroll looked like a bargain basement team this year until upper management added a few free agents to round out this team and beef up the payroll to an Opening Day sum of $100M for 2017.

Last year the Opening Day payroll was $88M as the Phillies didn't elect to go out and add a few free agents to join the mix of that team,

If management didn't add the likes of Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders just prior to the start of Spring Training, you could have been right near the point of last year's payroll, the combination of those players cost the Phils of $18M this season for both.

 The bulk of the Phillies salary though rests in Jeremy Hellickson's hands, he accepted the $17.2M offer from the Phillies due to the lack of him getting a multi-year deal somewhere else. So, he is responsible for 17 percent of the Phillies total salary.

Now, at almost the All-Star Break, Saunders has been released from the team, as he didn't do as well as expected, the Phils still paying for his $8M salary this year and a $1M salary for next year. Kendrick has done well, he's been mentioned as a possible trade candidate, but he's been injured a couple of times too so far this season.

As of right now, the Phillies only have Odubel Herrera signed beyond this season, having given him a guaranteed $30.5M over 5 years and an incentive to earn $24M beyond that. Of course he has had plenty of troubles this season, his play on the field has been lackadaisical and at times, just plain bad. So, it will be interesting to see what happens with him beyond this season.

There is a ton of talent in the AAA level right now for the Phillies, if you listen to the talk about them, the future for the Major League club sounds great if all these players were to get promotions to the Phils like the team's number 4 prospect did already, Nick Williams. Williams has shown a lot of humbleness being called up, and has made a small impact on this team already. He's currently batting .273 in 22 AB so far.

Where do the Phillies go from here? Rumor had it that the team is looking to add a major free agent in the near future. Pitching and batting have been very bad though lately, the Phils are 29th in the MLB in runs scored, and 28th in OBP. Pitching is ranked 23rd in ERA out of all 30 teams, and Batting Average Against is .269 which is 25th in the league.

Who makes what on the Phillies for 2017-

(thanks to baseball-reference for this)

Team Future Payrolls
Name Age Yrs Acquired SrvTm Agent Contract Status 2017
Jeremy Hellickson308Traded6.045Boras Corporation1 yr/$17.2M (17)$17.2MFA
Clay Buchholz3211Traded8.059ISE Baseball7 yrs/$56.75M (11-17)$13.5MFA
Howie Kendrick3312Traded10.091Larry Reynolds2 yrs/$20M (16-17)$10MFA
Joaquin Benoit3916Free Agency14.040Levinsons1 yr/$7.5M (17)$7.5MFA
Pat Neshek3611Traded8.159Meister Sports Ma...3 yrs/$18.5M (15-17)$6.5MFA
Freddy Galvis276Amateur Free Agent4.021The Legacy Agency1 yr/$4.35M (17)$4.35MArb
Andres Blanco3310Free Agency6.007ISE Baseball1 yr/$3M (17)$3MFA
Cesar Hernandez275Amateur Free Agent2.154Octagon1 yr/$2.55M (17)$2.55MArb
Odubel Herrera253Rule 5 Draft2.000Victor Tranquillo...5 yrs/$30.5M (17-21) & 22-23 team option$1.6M$3.35M
Daniel Nava347Free Agency5.024ISE Baseball1 yr/$1.35M (17)$1.35MFA
Casey Fien338Purchased4.118Wasserman Media G...1 yr/$1.1M (17)$1.1MArb
Cameron Rupp285Amateur Draft2.089Octagon1 yr/$565k (17)$565kArb
Maikel Franco244Amateur Free Agent1.170BTI Sports1 yr/$560k (17)$560kArb
Hector Neris284Amateur Free Agent1.1041 yr/$558k (17)$557.5kPre-Arb
Jerad Eickhoff263Traded1.045The Legacy Agency1 yr/$552k (17),1 yr/$552k (17)$552kPre-Arb
Vince Velasquez253Traded1.086Paragon Sports In...1 yr/$547k (17),1 yr/$547k (17)$547kPre-Arb
Aaron Nola243Amateur Draft1.076Paragon Sports In...1 yr/$544k (17)$544kPre-Arb
Tommy Joseph252Traded0.1431 yr/$543k (17)$543kPre-Arb
Edubray Ramos242Free Agency0.1011 yr/$540k (17),1 yr/$540k (17)$540kPre-Arb
Adam Morgan273Amateur Draft1.054CAA Sports1 yr/$539k (17)$539kPre-Arb
Aaron Altherr264Amateur Draft1.054All Bases Covered...1 yr/$539k (17)$538.5kPre-Arb
Ty Kelly282Purchased0.0761 yr/$537k (17)$537.21kPre-Arb
Cesar Ramos3385.095Wasserman Media G...Arb
Pedro Florimon3062.080Martin Arburua
Luis Garcia305Free Agency2.017Topline Sports an...
Pedro Beato3041.169Excel Sports Mana...
Hector Gomez2931.079
Michael Mariot283Waivers1.057Arland Sports
Pat Venditte3221.017Marc Kligman
Zach Eflin232Traded0.111
Jake Thompson232Traded0.058
Colton Murray272Amateur Draft0.113
Jorge Alfaro241stTraded0.024
Roman Quinn241stAmateur Draft0.022
Dollars CommittedValuValuValuValuValuValu*$98.9M$6.35M
Contract OptionsPlayPlayPlayPlayPlayPlay
Option ValuesMaxiMaxiMaxiMaxiMaxiMaxi
Arb EligibleNumbNumbNumbNumbNumbNumb0-0-5-0
Arb CostsRougRougRougRougRougRoug$20.18M
Other PlayersAddiAddiAddiAddiAddiAddi19
Other CostsEstiEstiEstiEstiEstiEsti$15.06M
Payroll (no options)Est.Est.Est.Est.Est.Est.$41.6M
Payroll (options)Est.Est.Est.Est.Est.Est.$41.6M
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/6/2017.