Posts Tagged ‘atlanta braves’

Following The 40: Bullpen

November 13th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Bullpen | Filed in Baseball, Phillies
Ken Giles: Will He Be In Red Pinstripes On Opening Day?

Ken Giles: Will He Be In Red Pinstripes On Opening Day?

In our previous entry, we looked at the starting rotation. So naturally, its sequel would follow the story of the bullpen. Every story has a theme. Whether it be the importance of family like in the Fast & Furious franchise or how every person has a face they show in public and a separate one shown in private like in just about every Batman film. The theme for the 2015 Phillies bullpen: Addition By Subtraction. I still don’t know how the Phillies completely bamboozled the Nationals front office into taking Papelbon.

So where does the Phillies bullpen go in 2016? One would think that the game will end with fireballer Ken Giles, but will he even make the Opening Day roster? Could the Phillies try to cash in on Giles’ ability and remaining team control? The Braves were able to turn Craig Kimbrel into a top 100 prospect in Matt Wisler and a competitive balance draft pick in addition dumping $80.35M while taking back just $24M. So could the Phillies turn a cost-effective closer into a substantial gain? It would definitely be worth considering. Ultimately, why would a team that would be fighting for a .500 record be planning on holding onto a potentially elite closer?

As addressed in the Off-season Primer, while there are a lot of candidates from the 2015 iteration, there are no real locks to return. All of the members of the bullpen on the final day of the season all have options remaining. So while there were some stand outs the final few weeks of the season, come Spring Training, it will be an all out competition for those final 6-7 roster spots on the pitching staff. With all the potential youth heading to the starting rotation, do the Phillies consider adding a starter to the bullpen as a swingman? The team currently lists Matt Harrison as the setup man on the team’s official depth chart (at time of writing).

The bullpen could easily be the biggest area of turnover heading into 2016. The Phillies have a lot of internal options, but will probably consider a couple of external ones too. Who should the Phillies considering targeting? Stay tuned to TSP for a free agent update on potential targets for the bullpen shortly.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Phillies in Search of SS & C Depth

February 11th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Phillies in Search of SS & C Depth | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly

download (1) download (2) download Ruben+Amaro+Jr+San+Francisco+Giants+v+Philadelphia+nFUa2n7IUyAl

Spring Training starts-up in just over a week, and Ruben Amaro Jr is still looking to make moves. The Phillies GM took large steps toward a rebuild this offseason, by dealing the long-time face of the franchise, in Jimmy Rollins, and veteran Marlon Byrd. It seems that Amaro’s not afraid to make moves, but is very cautious of ensuring that it is the correct move to make. Getting back to the present, ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that Amaro is searching for “veteran” depth a shortstop and catcher. Stark goes on to say that while Ruben doesn’t expect to add anything before the start of camp, he will remain vigilant, and “keep an eye out” as the spring advances on. While pulling moves like this makes sense for a team on the cusp of a total rebuild, I have to question the timing of the move.

There are few, if any veteran catchers on the market, that could make an immediate impact on this squad. Obviously, Carlos Ruiz will remain the man behind the plate. But, what about insurance policies? At this point, the depth chart behind “Chooch” consists of Cameron Rupp, John Hester, and Koyie Hill. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all solid players. However, I don’t believe that they are players that can maintain the level of play in the absence of Ruiz. As previously stated, the pickings on the open market are slim.

The top two names available include former Brave Ryan Doumit, and former Ray Jose Molina. Doumit is the most interesting name to me, because of the impact that he can make. I like to refer to him as a “poor man’s Ruiz”. His career stat line of (.264/.324/.432) is similar to that of Ruiz’s (.271/.357/.406). Doumit has the edge over Carlos in the homer department, as he has racked up 41 homers more than “Chooch”. Doumit figures to fetch a deal in the $2-5 million dollar range. The only question would be the length of his deal. At the age of 33, do the Phils commit for longer than one season, or is he just a stopgap, awaiting the development of Cameron Rupp?

Moving over to the shortstop side of things, the Phillies are also quite thin here. Freddy Galvis is atop the depth chart, but that’s about it. The heir apparent to J-Roll’s throne is J.P. Crawford, who is still developing his way through the minors. Unlike the catching market, the shortstop market has quite a few names out there, some could even top Galvis on the depth chart. Names like Marco Scutaro, Rafael Furcal, and Evereth Cabrera top the list of available players. Scutaro (39) and Furcal (35) are curious, but unlikely options as a result of their ages, and injury history.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Deconstructing The Phillies: Outfield

November 30th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Deconstructing The Phillies: Outfield | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Finally, we make our way to the outfield. Where hopes and dreams have gone to die. Ben Revere must be Juan Pierre’s illegitimate child, without the bunting skills. Marlon Byrd had one of the best offensive seasons at a discounted rate, but has very little value due to his age. Then there is Domonic Brown. I had a lot of hope for Brown. Five years ago, Brown was hitting .320 with 20+ home run power. His defense was a little suspect, but the offense more than made up for it. Heck we had dealt with Pat the Bat and Rauuuuuuuuul, so why not one more. Yeah, so his defense didn’t get any better and his offense has gotten significantly worse. If you look at the numbers, 25% of Brown’s CAREER home run total came in May of 2013. 12.5% of his CAREER runs batted in total are also from the same month. Yes, they are glimpses of what could be/have been, but I doubt anyone expects that to happen again in red pinstripes. Let’s put this baby to bed, so that we can have one last look at how this team would be different if I was calling the shots. (more…)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Peaking Too Early?

April 17th, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Peaking Too Early? | Filed in Baseball

With their 6-3 win over the Royals, the Braves have won ten consecutive games. The offense is red-hot averaging more than a home run per game and 5.2 runs per game. In addition, for as good as the offense has been, the pitching has been even better. The Braves pitching staff has allowed two runs or less in seven of ten during this streak.

The Braves, right now, are the best team in baseball, but how long will it last? Is it a sign the team is destined for failure? The Braves are one of five teams in the past thirty years to start the season 12-1. The only team that actually won the World Series that season was the 1984 Detroit Tigers. Take it as a prediction now, that the Braves will end up in slump, and with B.J. Upton in the clubhouse, we may see a disagreement that it’s reminiscent of the one in Major League II.

Tags: ,

Countdown To Opening Day 2013: 4 Days

March 28th, 2013 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Countdown To Opening Day 2013: 4 Days | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Til opening day

Instead of focusing on the Phillies today, I’d like to focus on the rest of the division.  While the Phillies made changes that will have long-term ramifications, the rest of the division did too. Some for the better. Some potentially for the worse. So let’s make our way around the NL East.


The Marlins may have secured themselves a guaranteed spot in the cellar of the NL East in 2013. After going “all in” for 2012, Mr. Loria went “all out” for 2013, and not in a good way. Basically, the only players most fans will probably recognize are Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison. The Marlins may have made moves that will help them contend in the future, but they appear to be contending for the first pick in the 2014 draft for now.



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Does Atlanta’s Pitching Come Close to Philadelphia’s?

February 26th, 2012 by AmyMac | Comments Off on Does Atlanta’s Pitching Come Close to Philadelphia’s? | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis


My short, biased answer is, of course, “No.”

Even with the back end of our starting rotation leaving small question marks, there is simply no other team in MLB with three aces.  That being said, I think Atlanta comes closer than New York, Washington and Miami in the NL East’s quest to match Philadelphia’s pitching. There really isn’t room for argument when your team has Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Although I do see a few teams in baseball with great pitching staffs – Angels, Rays and Giants to name a few – I think that the Braves fall just short. Long gone are the days of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz; however, it seems that the Braves are doing their best to compete with Philadelphia’s pitching in 2012.

The #1 and #2 spots in Atlanta’s rotation should be Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens.  RHP Tommy Hanson is built like Roy Halladay, but he pales in comparison. In 2011, Hanson went 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.169 WHIP. The then-24-year-old pitched no complete games last season. It’s actually sort of unfair to compare Hanson to Halladay; Doc is superhuman, anyway.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Jurrjens is Jair’s interview during the July 9th game at Citizens Bank Park when Cliff Lee went yard. “Oh no, no, no … are you kidding me?” Classic. Last season, Jurrjens went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.224 WHIP. All three of these statistics are better than his five-year career averages. The RHP is only 26, but has had knee problems that could prove to be an issue in the future.

Tim Hudson (16-10 in 2011 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.140 WHIP) is expected to be out until the end of April or beginning of May due to a back operation. The RHP played the entire 2011 season while injured. An injured pitcher in his mid thirties doesn’t pitch that well as a fluke. If he is able to make a full recovery, I expect Hudson to post good numbers. In his absence, Brandon Beachy will most likely pitch in the #3 spot. Beachy had a 7-3 season in 2011 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.207 WHIP. Not bad for his first full season in the bigs, but not exactly on par with Hudson, either.


Tags: , , ,

World Series Fever

October 21st, 2009 by Christian | 4 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Jimmy Rollins double wins Game 4

Was that a great, clutch hit by Rollins on Monday night, or what?

Before that missile, Rollins was hitting .167 (3-for-18) in the NLCS. Despite an off year, Rollins is a big-game player, who shines brightest on the biggest stage.

Game 4 will be a tough loss for the Dodgers to rebound from. Only two teams have recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the NLCS: the 1996 Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the 2003 Florida Marlins against the Chicago Cubs.

Tonight the Phillies try to become the first NL team to make two consecutive World Series appearances since the 1996 Braves.

If they win tonight, they’ll try to become the first NL team in 33 years to repeat as champs, duplicating a feat by a team they remind me a lot of: the 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Cole Hamels goes for the series clincher. In his career, Hamels has started 7 games against the Dodgers. He’s 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,