Archive for January, 2012

Phillies Sign Chad Qualls

January 31st, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Phillies Sign Chad Qualls | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

MLBTR is reporting that the Phillies and reliever Chad Qualls have agreed to a one-year, 1.15 million dollar deal that includes performance bonuses. Qualls posted a 3.51 ERA with a 5.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 56.6% ground ball rate over 74.1 innings pitched in 2011. I would have preferred to see this be a minor league signing as I believe Qualls pedestrian numbers were helped by the pitcher friendly parks of the NL West. Let’s break down the stats a little more. (more…)


Positional Rankings: First Base

January 31st, 2012 by Johnny G | 23 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General


Mike H. and I will be combining to bring you a top 10 positional ranking for each position in baseball. We thought it would be fun to put the rankings together but also to mix up the criteria that the players are judged on. The criteria for each writer will be listed below and then we will reveal our picks. Keep in mind, these lists are based off of not only who is the best player right now, but who provides the most value for now and the future.

Mike H Criteria:

  • wRC
  • OPS
  • ISO
  • DRS
  • UZR/150
  • wRC/Total team Runs
  • Players % of Payroll


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Hilarious Phillies Phantasy Camp Commercial

January 30th, 2012 by Johnny G | Comments Off on Hilarious Phillies Phantasy Camp Commercial | Filed in General

Current Condition of CBP’s Playing Surface

January 30th, 2012 by Johnny G | Comments Off on Current Condition of CBP’s Playing Surface | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Here is a peek into Citizen’s Bank Park as the grounds crew rips up the playing surface after the Winter Classic and replaces it with a hybrid Riviera Bermudagrass. This re-surfacing was financed by the NHL because of he effects the Winter Classic had on the field.

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All Star Lame?

January 29th, 2012 by Mike H. | 1 Comment | Filed in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey

Have All Star exhibitions worn out their welcome?

Today marked a pointless day in sports. Today both the NHL All Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl were played. Years ago, when the concept was developed, it was in a time where each sport didn’t have a dedicated cable network. It was a time, where exposure to players of distant teams were just box scores in the news paper. There were no Top 10s on ESPN. If you were lucky, there’d be a national game on every once in a while. They’d be consider a treat. That has all changed. The shine has worn off and so has the exculisivity of seeing each team. As Ricky Waters once asked, “For who, for what?” Both leagues will say that the game is for the fans, but the real answer is the “what”. It is purely a money maker for the league and the host city. (more…)


Johnny G Breaks Down Juan Pierre Signing

January 28th, 2012 by Johnny G | 4 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

The Phillies signed Juan Pierre to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training on Friday. This move seems to have elicited two different responses from fans. One camp believes this move makes no sense due to the current construction of this roster; and the other camp believes Pierre is the lead-off hitter the Phillies have been missing for years. They think he is a great fielder, great base runner, and great lead-off man.

I’m here to tell you he’s not any of the above. Juan Pierre is a speedy slap hitter who bases most of his value on the ground he covers in the outfield and the bases he steals when he gets on. He doesn’t hit for power (23 extra base hits last year), has legitimately the worst throwing arm in the game, and he doesn’t walk (6%). These were always the flaws in Juan Pierre’s game, even in his prime. The problem is that other issues have emerged. Last year Pierre was caught stealing 17 times in 44 attempts, equaling a pitiful 62% success rate. At a success rate that low, stealing bases actually becomes a negative impact on an offense and their run expectancy. The other issue that has reared its ugly head is Pierre’s fielding. Last year he cost the White Sox three runs according to DRS (defensive runs saved) and his UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating)/150 was rated at -10.7: both unacceptable for a guy who relies on his “speed”.

Overall last season, Pierre was terrible. According to WAR (Wins Above Replacement), Pierre was worth -0.4 wins compared to a replacement player and his OBP (On Base Percentage) was the second lowest of his career. Looking at these numbers and realizing that Pierre is now 34 years old raises major red flags.

Don’t get me wrong, in the correct context this deal is fine. There is very little risk in giving a minor league deal to a veteran player who can run a little bit. My problem is with the people who think Pierre is the solution to our lead-off hitter problem, and with Charlie Manuel. Pierre is the type of player who, if he makes the roster, will see more playing time than he should. Manuel has a loyalty to veterans and has a soft spot in his heart for outdated evaluations of players. My concerns for all of the acquisitions this off-season have the same thought behind them. Laynce Nix, Ty Wigginton, and Juan Pierre are the types of players that are right up Manuel’s alley even though they are not particularly valuable. Let’s hope they are all given the proper amount of at-bats so they are not exposed.

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Phillies Notes: Past, Present, & Future

January 27th, 2012 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Phillies Notes: Past, Present, & Future | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

It’s been a busy week for the Phillies that started off on a sad note when news broke Monday about the passing of former announcer Andy Musser. Musser’s career with the Phillies spanned three decades. Musser retired in 2001 and is survived by his wife and daughter.

The Phillies were in the news two additional times on Monday. First came the news of a Cuban defector not named Yoenis Cespedes being declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. The 18 year old left-hander, Gerardo Concepcion, had established residency in Mexico and is now available to sign with any team. At least nine teams, including the Phillies, have expressed interest and Concepcion’s agent, Jaime Torres, has stated there are offers on the table and that he expects his client to sign before pitchers and catchers report.

The second tidbit from Monday that came across the wire was that the Phillies had expressed interest in reliever Francisco Cordero. He was being sought after as a setup man to new closer Jonathan Papelbon. Cordero eventually signed with the Blue Jays later in the week for roughly $4.5 M dollars.

In a real head scratcher, the Phillies announced Wednesday that they had traded utility infielder and emergency relief pitcher Wilson Valdez to the Cincinatti Reds in exchange for 26 year old left hander Jeremy Horst. Horst is the “bend, don’t break” pitcher. He allows his share of hitters to the tune of a 1.565 WHIP (1.240 in the minors). The transaction brought the total number of players on the 40 man roster down to 38.

Personally, I believe, as do others, that this move is a precursor, or “companion deal” as Ruben Amaro likes to refer to them as, to a bigger move. I believed that it possibly meant the acquisition of a player in the Ryan Theriot ilk, only to see him sign with the Giants later in the week. The Phillies will continue to search for a viable back up to Jimmy Rollins, while only having Freddy Galvis and Michael Martinez as in-house options.


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