Thursday, July 31, 2014

Phillies incredibly stand pat at trade deadline, then thump the Nats for a win

Ruben Amaro doesn't reveal any plans for the future of the Phillies at the trade deadline. He has made some great deals for this team, but lately the play has been poor for the past two seasons and then some. Here he is on Thursday afternoon in Washington DC.

Ruben Amaro Jr. says he is not breaking this team down. Well, Rube, take a look at this team and where it is and where it has been, and it's already broken.

What type of smokescreen is Amaro trying to send up this time. The Phillies can't fight themselves out of a paper bag in the past couple of seasons for that matter.

Matt Gelb from the Philadelphia Inquirer said it best in a tweet this afternoon...

Then later he tweeted about Ruben Amaro Jr. - with this one, I don't think he's invited to Rube's Christmas party this year...

 You've almost got to feel a little sorry for Ruben Amaro, he's got a lot of talented players on this team, but the players that aren't quite ready for prime time is what is constantly putting this team in the loss column. Until this changes, the Phillies will languish in losses.

Meanwhile, the Phils go out and pound the Washington Nationals for a win on Thursday night, isn't baseball a wonderful game?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why would the Phillies want to trade Marlon Byrd?

Marlon Byrd has been kind of a blessing to this moribund Phillies offense this year. Before the season started, there was a feeling that the signing of Byrd was for too much money and that he probably would live up to the expectations that the Phillies needed.

Fast forward to this season, and surprise, Byrd hasn't been all that bad. He's one of the last Phillies players that should be on the trading block, but his name keeps coming up in trade rumors.

That's the interesting thing about Ruben Amaro's trade deals. He seems to trade the very players who are helping the team, like he did with Victorino and Pence. It's leaves the team much worse than it was before. Of course if the Phils got a nice pickup from another team that would be different. We'll see what happens as the trade deadline has only a couple more days left for non-waiver trades.

The Phils got pounded by the Mets last night 7-1, just when this team starts to look good, they get shelled and it sets them right back.

Byrd has 60 RBI for the Phillies so far this season, he does have 125 SO though, but his 20 HR leads the team:

2014 Totals104101437406531082222060
Last 7 days663029272015
Last 14 days101047454132026
Last 28 days232310296132530512
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/29/2014.

Some more of Marlon's numbers:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Will the Phillies trade anyone by Thursday's deadline for non-waiver trades?

The Phillies wore their special 75th anniversary Hall of Fame patches on yesterday's jerseys on July 27, 2014 at CBP

The Phillies have been rumored to be sellers at this year's trade deadline. The non-waiver trade deadline is Thursday so there is only a few more days to go to get to that point.

So far, no one from this Phillies team has been moved and it's looking more than likely that perhaps not too many players will be moving.

The sticking point could be salary, some teams don't want to take on the existing deals that some players are tied to. The Phillies would probably have to eat a good portion of that salary, but perhaps they are not willing to do that.

Any player traded after the July 31st deadline has to go through waivers, that is the player is offered to the worst teams in the league first and they have the opportunity to 'claim' that player if they want to. There are options that go to the team that is waiving a player after such a player is put out on the secret 'waiver wire' that is circulated among MLB offices unless news of it leaks out to the press. Just because a player is put on waivers doesn't mean that he will actually be moved.

Any player traded after the August 31st deadline, will be ineligible for postseason play unless he replaces an injured player.

The best possible trade scenarios for the Phils at this point will be the players whose contracts are up after this season. A lot of teams would take a player like that which is known as sort of a 'rental' player till the end of the season.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Howard scores, though he appeared to be out by a mile

Don't blame Ryan Howard for an awkward looking play that happened on Sunday afternoon at CBP when the Phillies took on the Arizona Diamondbacks. It started with a routine pop-up by Marlon Byrd who threw his bat in disgust and Ryan Howard started going through the motions of running the hit out as there were 2 outs and it looked as if the Phillies would be out for the inning.

Howard took a que from the crowd, as the ball was dropped by second baseman, Didi Gregorius, Howard picked up the pace and started motoring around third base, unaware that a sharp center field player had picked up the dropped fly ball and had a perfect throw to home plate lined up to gun Howard out by a mile at home plate. The throw was perfect the old way a catcher used to put a tag on a runner, but with the new rules in place with avoiding home plate collisions, the play ended much differently than it normally would. Howard was called safe after his path to home plate was blocked by the catcher. It took New York umpires from the MLB a full 3 + minutes to come back with a verdict, but it was the only verdict they could have rendered due to the rules laid down by the MLB themselves.

Immediately there was a flurry of tweets about the play just after it had happened. Phillies beat reporter, Matt Gelb, who writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer, lambasted Ryan Howard for not running harder and essentially blamed him for the odd looking play. Howard would have never been able to score on that play even if the was running full out, the throw was perfect.

No, we can't blame this on Howard, who was in a 3/4 jog mode on a routine pop-up, the kind of play that is caught 99.8 percent of the time. This play was different though and it highlighted a change in baseball that was made specifically because of the injuries that have been caused by collisions at home plate.  

Antonio Bastardo has trade value?

Lee's second start back for the Phillies wasn't quite the old Cliff Lee but he's getting there after being off for 2 months with injury

The last couple nights have been tough to watch Antonio Bastardo as he's made his way onto the mound for the Phillies. Last night, he gave up 4 runs in the 10th and lost the game for the Phillies, it was his 4th loss of the season as a reliever.

Fast forward to this morning, and I'm scanning some national news on baseball and Antonio Bastardo and I'm surprised to see that some teams are actually scouting him to bring him on to a contending team. Maybe they are here for a different Bastardo? Obviously, they haven't followed Antonio for the past couple years, but this writer is still scratching his head trying to figure out why Bastardo is even still on the Phillies.

In 45.1 innings so far this season, Antonio Bastardo has given up 21 ER and 25 BB, yes he does have 53 SO but he is anything but rock solid on the mound for the Phillies.

It's tight games like these that slip away constantly with the Phillies. They had runners on base last night that they couldn't score many of them either, 4-17 with RISP. The Diamondbacks were about as bad in that department, they were 5-18 with RISP.

Remember, the Phillies have been losing in bunches a lot this year, they haven't even needed their bullpen for a great majority of this season and if they needed Bastardo more, he would probably disappoint more. Trade him today Ruben and even if it's for a player to be named later.

Friday, July 25, 2014

25 Million reasons why Ryan Howard should be playing every day

Two Phillies now on the Hot Stove with trade rumors. If anything happens, hopefully we get some great players in return. 

There is something strange about Ryan Howard sitting out for the past couple games. He's tied with Cliff Lee in making the most money this year from the team at $25M for the season. He should be playing as much as he can but the last two games has seen Ryan Howard benched for some unknown reason.

Is Howard on his way out of town? Does the team that wants Howard need him to sit out while they make arrangements to make a deal? Howard doesn't know and doesn't seem to care or want to talk about it in the press, so until something happens, we'll be finding out after it is announced.

The benching has ignited the internet with rumors on what team is in the hunt for Howard's services. Rumors are a dime a dozen though, and any team that takes Howard would probably be asking the Phillies to eat a nice portion of his remaining salary, which I don't think would be a wise move. Howard isn't that bad if he can get over a hundred RBI's and 30 HR's this season.

So what is going to happen? We'll just have to wait and see, Howard isn't injured so his rest is coming at an odd time. People are watching and waiting.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here comes D-backs for the weekend

 The Dbacks come to Philly after getting ruffed up in Detroit, They lost 2 of 3 games but swept the Cubs in the series before that

The Diamondbacks have the same record as the Phillies do. That isn't that great especially when the Phillies have a much higher payroll than the D-backs do. The Phillies have the 3rd highest payroll in baseball this year according to the USA Today listing of each team. The Arizona Diamondbacks also are spending money, but about 55-65 million dollars less than the Phillies have spent.

Paul Goldschmidt has all of the top catagories for batters for the Diamondbacks. He is carrying this team and he'll face the Phillies on Friday night and a 4-10 Kyle Kendrick. What happened to Kyle Kendrick? He has been awful all season long, and hasn't found a groove at all.

Cliff Lee gets his second start on Saturday night for this series, I think he'll bounce back from his first game he pitched and was probably a little rusty as he came off of the DL.

Ryan Howard was benched for the afternoon game on Thursday afternoon, he also had a closed door meeting with Ryne Sandberg and had nothing to say about it afterwards.

Who will stay, and who will go is a distracting factor that will dog this team the next two weeks until something happens.

Baseball trivia: What team has the lowest payroll in baseball so far this year?

Answer: The Miami Marlins at just over $41M 

Deja blew

Our old friend Hunter Pence does what he always did. Last night he won the game for the Giants, hitting a bloop hit that sealed the game for the Giants and gave Jonathan Papelbon his second straight night where the Giants have beaten the Phillies at his expense.

Pap still sports a 1.96 ERA though, he just had a couple of tough nights, he still ranks pretty well with 23 saves and an .090 WHIP

Maybe Pence dedicated that hit to Ruben Amaro who traded him to SF for next to nothing. 
This series wraps up today at 1:05 PM for a businessperson's special. This season is getting more difficult to watch for Phillies fans. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Marlon Anderson returns to Phillies

I know what you're thinking... The old Phillies all are returning to the roost. Well, this headline was a little misleading. Marlon Anderson will be returning to talk about the Phillies. He'll be added to the roster of big league players that comment on the CSN Philly SportsNet on the pregame and postgame shows on the broadcasts starting tomorrow night.

Anderson was with the Phillies for 5 seasons and he joins Ricky Bottalico and Ben Davis for the commentary about the Phillies in their daily schedule of games.

Anderson is 40 years old now, and was a Major League baseball player for 12 years. He was on the Phillies for a period in which the Phillies weren't too good, from the 1998 to the 2002 seasons.

Tune into the broadcasts on Monday night as the Phillies return home to welcome Cliff Lee to the mound and Marlon Anderson talking baseball on the pre-game and post-game shows.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Phils down 6-4 to Braves on return

The Phillies returned to the baseball diamond on Friday night in a rainy humid Atlanta. The first game back from the All Star Break ended in a loss for the Phils.

Something was noticed that needs to be corrected, and it's Jimmy Rollins. A bloop fly ball was hit by Ryan Howard and Rollins barely scored from third base while a charging Chase Utley nearly passed him and he scored from second base. This has been happening a lot this season, Utley is charging so fast, he is nearly catching Jimmy most of the time.

Jimmy needs to play somewhere else where he won't have to run too fast, because especially this season, he just doesn't seem like he has that hustle in him.

Enough is enough, we've seen this for too long from him and if the Phils can't trade him, bench him until he gets the message.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Phillies at the All-Star Break

The Phillies haven't had a very good run so far to the All-Star Break in 2014. The team is 42-53 after 95 games played, there are 67 games left to be played.

 Here's how they have done up to this point as a team statistically for runs scored:

Runs Games Wins Loss W-L%
0 11 0 11 .000
1 10 2 8 .200
2 14 2 12 .143
3 14 4 10 .286
4 10 3 7 .300
5 11 8 3 .727
6 9 7 2 .778
7 7 7 0 1.000
8 2 2 0 1.000
9 3 3 0 1.000
10 2 2 0 1.000
12 1 1 0 1.000
14 1 1 0 1.000
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2014.

This stat list kind of tells it all about this team, they have piled up an incredible 30 losses combined when they have only been able to scored from 0-2 runs in a game. They have been shut-out an amazing 11 times already this season.

The Phillies need to put it together and start scoring runs, get players on base and start to move runners and score them. They have been woefully ineffective at this so far this year.

We'll see if the Phils can start getting this simple fact that they need to start scoring more runs.

We've seen some poorly played baseball this year so far as well, you would think with Ryne Sandberg at the helm, this would not be happening.

Moves by this team by the GM, Ruben Amaro, also stand to be looked at, Amaro has been guiding this team into very poor finishes now for several seasons.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Looking at the Phillies and the trade deadline

Grady Sizemore is a player that the Phillies sought out after he was released by the Red Sox, a few years ago, this would have been excellent news

What will the Phillies do after this year's All-Star break. They've been rumored to be sellers, but that was before the team embarked on a 5 game win streak as the All-Star Break is happening.

Is this enough to try to remain optimistic with this year's Phillies team?

Looking at the players that the Phillies could move, and you suddenly have a whole bunch, the Phils could move players and dump salary and start to rebuild this older team with some younger players.

Here's the roster list of Phillies players and a look at a few that could move:

Name Age Contract Status 2014 2015 2016
Cole Hamels 30 7 yrs/$153M (12-18) & 19 team option $22.5M $22.5M $22.5M
Ryan Howard 34 5 yrs/$125M (12-16) & 17 team option $25M $25M $25M
Cliff Lee 35 5 yrs/$120M (11-15) & 16 vesting option $25M $25M $12.5M [FA-*]
Jonathan Papelbon 33 4 yrs/$50M (12-15) & 16 vesting option $13M $13M $0 [FA-*]
Jimmy Rollins 35 3 yrs/$33M (12-14) & 15 vesting option $11M $0 [FA-*] FA
Carlos Ruiz 35 3 yrs/$26M (14-16) & 17 team option $8.5M $8.5M $8.5M
Chase Utley 35 2 yrs/$25M (14-15) & 16-18 vesting option $15M $10M $0 [FA-*]
A.J. Burnett 37 1 yr/$16M (14) & 15 mutual option $15M $1M [FA-*] FA
Marlon Byrd 36 2 yrs/$16M (14-15) & 16 vesting option $8M $8M $0 [FA-*]
Mike Adams 35 2 yrs/$12M (13-14) & 15 team option $7M $0 [FA-*] FA
Kyle Kendrick 29 1 yr/$7.68M (14) $7.67M FA
Roberto Hernandez 33 1 yr/$4.5M (14) $4.5M FA
Antonio Bastardo 28 1 yr/$2M (14) $2M Arb-3 FA
Ben Revere 26 1 yr/$1.95M (14) $1.95M Arb-2 Arb-3
John Mayberry 30 1 yr/$1.59M (14) $1.59M Arb-2 Arb-3
Wil Nieves 36 1 yr/$1.13M (14) $1.12M FA
Tony Gwynn 31 1 yr/$900k (14) $900k Arb-3 FA
Grady Sizemore 31 1 yr/$750k (14) $750k FA
Domonic Brown 26 1 yr/$550k (14) $550k Arb-1 Arb-2
Jake Diekman 27 1 yr/$516k (14) $515.5k Pre-Arb-3 Arb-1
Justin De Fratus 26 1 yr/$513k (14) $513k Pre-Arb-3 Arb-1
Freddy Galvis 24 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-3 Arb-1
Jonathan Pettibone 23 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Arb-1
B.J. Rosenberg 28 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Phillippe Aumont 25 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Darin Ruf 27 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Cody Asche 24 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Ethan Martin 25 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Cesar Hernandez 24 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Cameron Rupp 25 1 yr/$500k (14) $500k Pre-Arb-2 Pre-Arb-3
Koyie Hill 35 Arb
Reid Brignac 28 Arb Arb
Jeff Manship 29 Arb
Luis Garcia 27
Aaron Altherr 23
David Buchanan 25
Ken Giles 23
Mario Hollands 25
Chad Durbin buyout $250k
Payroll (no options) Est. Total Payroll w/o Options (Guaranteed + Arb + Other) $134.4M $100.1M
Payroll (options) Est. Total Payroll w/ Options (Guaranteed + Options + Arb + Other) $164.9M $161.6M
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/13/2014.

Just a glance at the top 12 players, gives you plenty of ideas on who could be moved. Is anyone sacred on this list? Meaning that is anyone on this team a keeper, and not to be moved regardless?

Hamels is signed through 2018 at a hefty $22.5M per year, I am not so sure he would have a lot of takers at that salary and the Phillies don't need to subsidize a move by Hamels by paying any of his salary to another team.

Two Phillies starters this season will probably not be back next year, Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez. The Phillies kind of need to think about pitching for next season.

Ryan Howard would be a player that the Phillies would probably like to deal. Not so sure many teams would be picking him up with his salary with what he is offering right now. Could an injury pop up with a contending team that needs a first baseman, that could change things.

Papelbon probably leads the parade for first Phillies to get moved. He's been really vocal about wanting to leave, but does any team want Papelbon and this alter-ego Ocho Cinco?

We'll see if any of the Phillies better players are moved, will the Phillies get anyone in return for them? That's an important part of trying to rebuild a team as well to get a decent player in return.