Posts Tagged ‘A.J. Burnett’

Phillies Sign Williams

October 22nd, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Phillies Sign Williams | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

According to multiple outlets, the Phillies and Jerome Williams have agreed to a deal for 2015. Williams, 33 in December, is guaranteed $2.5M with incentives that would max the deal out at $4M. While it has yet to be verified, the incentives are most likely based on innings pitched. Could it be a sign that A.J. Burnett will decline his option for 2015? Or is Williams just competition for guys like David Buchanan, Jon Pettibone, Adam Morgan, or even possibly Aaron Nola or Jesse Biddle?

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Deconstructing The Phillies: Starting Pitching

October 7th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Deconstructing The Phillies: Starting Pitching | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

After yet another horrendously obvious season, the Phillies finally know that something needs to change. Whether they act on that knowledge is a different story. As we wait to see how the winter unfolds for the Phillies, I thought I’d post some of my own ideas of how to “fix” this team. Along the way, other contributors will throw in their two cents as well. In the first week we’ll address the starting pitching. So for some drastic ideas, read past the jump. (more…)

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Phils Off to Rough Start on West Coast

August 14th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Phils Off to Rough Start on West Coast | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies
A.J. Burnett looks to split the series in Anaheim tonight.

A.J. Burnett looks to split the series in Anaheim tonight.

Jerome Williams, a right-handed pitcher claimed off of waivers from Texas, made his debut for Philadelphia last night in Anaheim.  The 32-year-old starter, whose pink glove is in honor of his late mother and her battle with breast cancer, tossed 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits.  His pitch count was only 72; however, it makes sense that Williams would appear tired after not having pitched for ten days.  (Sean O’Sullivan was designated for assignment in order to make room on the roster for Williams.)

With a 2-1 lead, one out, and a runner on first, Antonio Bastardo took the mound.  Surely, by now, we’ve all included “take a shot every time Bastardo walks his first batter” into our Phillies drinking games … and he delivered.  Bastardo walked Josh Hamilton on four pitches (not a typo), which prompted the downward spiral of the sixth.  After having pitched 0.1 inning and allowing five runs (again … not a typo), Ryne Sandberg called in Jake Diekman to stop the bleeding.  Mario Hollands pitched the seventh inning, and Cesar Jiminez handled the eighth without incident.  The damage, however, was already done: Bastardo earned the loss after a 7-2 final score.

What does this mean for Philadelphia’s pitching? For starters, Bastardo might need a one-way bus ticket to a little town called Out of My Sight Already.  As non-contenders, though, the Phillies could have certainly done far worse than Jerome Williams.  If he’s able to pitch a decently solid six or seven innings, with roughly 2/3 his pitches as strikes, I’ll be happy.  He’s not Cliff Lee, and you shouldn’t expect stellar performances.  At this rate, though, we’ll take what we can get.

Offensively speaking, there’s not much to say about last night.  Darin Ruf outhit DH Ryan Howard, and the Phils still have just three players (Byrd, Utley, and Revere) batting above .240.  You needn’t be good at math to realize that that’s a depressing statistic, and you needn’t know me personally to know that I hated typing it.  Philadelphia is bringing up the rear in a lackluster division – only Atlanta and Washington have records above .500 – and their record going into tonight’s game is a pitiful 53-67.  Q: What’s more depressing than being in the basement of the NL East? A: Being a full four games behind the Mets.  The Mets, folks.

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2014 Phillies Need Good Health, Good Luck (and a Fountain of Youth?) to Succeed

March 30th, 2014 by Jim Chesko | Comments Off on 2014 Phillies Need Good Health, Good Luck (and a Fountain of Youth?) to Succeed | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

For baseball fans, it’s one of the best days of the year. Opening Day is Monday for the Phillies – the first of the games that count is an interleague matchup against the Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas – but there isn’t a whole lot of optimism about the 2014 Phils. And that’s understandable: There is very little margin of error for this club if it’s going to compete.

phillies1It seems like an eternity now, but it was just three years ago that the Phillies set a franchise record with 102 regular-season wins. However that 2011 postseason ended with slugger Ryan Howard crawling to first base in a disappointing first-round loss to the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, having ruptured an Achilles tendon in that final at-bat. And neither Howard nor the Phils have been the same since: They won just 81 games in 2012 and 73 last year, costing the franchise’s winningest manager, Charlie Manuel, his job last August.

Well, Howard is 34 now, and – over the past two injury-shortened seasons – knee and calf issues followed that Achilles tear, along with a drop in his power numbers. Middle infielders Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins and catcher Carlos Ruiz are all 35, while newly reacquired outfielder Marlon Byrd is 36. And pitchers Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon are no kids, either.

So, for the Phillies to compete in 2014, they’ll definitely need some good fortune. Heck, if this aging group of core players can stay healthy, it’ll be something of a minor miracle. And those key veterans may also need to somehow shave a few years off their biological clocks if fans are to party like it’s 2008 again. Here are some “musts” if the Phillies are to make a return to the postseason this fall.

Ryan Howard needs to rediscover his power. The “Big Piece” seems to be healthy again for the first time since 2011, and he’ll have to again be a 30 home-run guy for the Phillies to have any hope of contending. A healthy Howard is probably the biggest key to the Phils’ prospects for success in 2014. Nearly as important will be the health of Chase Utley. The second baseman’s knees held up better than expected in 2013, and his offensive numbers weren’t bad; he’ll need to be at least as good this season.

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An Early Look at Phillies Pitching

February 19th, 2014 by AmyMac | Comments Off on An Early Look at Phillies Pitching | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

 By Amy McGinnis

You’d never guess it by stepping outside here in Philadelphia, but spring is right around the corner.  Spring Training is officially underway in Clearwater, and manager Ryne Sandberg held his first team workout today.  Pitchers and catchers reported last week, and there’s a familiar guest instructor at training: Roy Halladay.  It seems like a lifetime ago that Philadelphia’s pitching rotation boasted the likes of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and Blanton, doesn’t it?

We’re still graced stuck with Jonathan Papelbon as closer, and Mike Adams (once he’s fully recovered from shoulder surgery) will be 8th inning setup man.  We’ll also most  likely see lefties Antonio Bastardo and Jake Diekman in the bullpen.  Joe Savery was claimed on waivers by the A’s; Philadelphia needed his spot on the roster for newly-acquired A.J. Burnett.  (If you’re wondering, Burnett signed a one-year, $16 million deal.)

Lefty Cole Hamels, who announced that he has had shoulder “discomfort,” is currently scheduled for his first bullpen session at Carpenter Complex next Tuesday.  Also experiencing shoulder issues is RHP Jonathan Pettibone, who is behind schedule with bullpen sessions (yes, it’s the same shoulder that landed him on the disabled list last season).

On the bright side, non-roster invitee Jesse Biddle has been working out in Clearwater.  You may remember the 22-year-old lefty’s name from the first round of the 2010 draft.  The 6’4″ lefty is a Germantown Friends School alum, and he’ll be pitching in Lehigh Valley this season.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he made an appearance or two in Philadelphia.

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