Posts Tagged ‘Cliff Lee’

Silver Linings For The 2015 Philadelphia Phillies

April 4th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Silver Linings For The 2015 Philadelphia Phillies | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


The Phillies are just days away from the beginning of a potentially life altering nightmarish season. Cliff Lee, and the hope of trading him for anything of value at the deadline, is lost. Ryan Howard is still Ryan Howard. Is Chase Utley still the man? Maybe 4-5 days a week if he’s expected to be productive the entire season. I’m not trying to be all doom and gloom or a pre-2008 typical Negadelphian, but let’s be realistic, the Phillies have the potential to be a 100-loss team this year and will battle for the top pick in the 2016 First Year Player Draft. That being said, there is still plenty of reason to head to the ballpark this summer, whether it be in South Philly or various points around the Delaware Valley and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

At the major league level, first and foremost, just about every fan should be ready to sing in unison, “Nah, nah, nah, nah. Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey. Hey. Goodbye.” Yes friends, everyone’s favorite General Manager Ruben Amaro Junior is FINALLY a lame duck. Amaro’s contract runs out at year’s end and I cannot imagine ANY reason to bring the man who systematically ruined the franchise from to top to bottom to be allowed back. Amaro has been the poster boy for trying to dig yourself out of a bad situation since taking over in 2009.

As far as on the field goes, I think that the Phillies have could potentially have a player similar to Shane Victorino in Odubel Herrera. Doobs, a rule five draft pick from the Rangers last winter, has not only made the team, but supplanted Ben Revere as the starting center fielder. For the last 12 months, Herrera has done nothing but provide offense:

  • 2014 MiLB (A+/AA): .315/.383/.388 with 21 Stolen Bases (67.7%) and 26 Extra Base Hits
  • 2014 Winter League: .372/.432/.556 with 9 Stolen Bases (100%) and 23 Extra Base Hits
  • 2015 Spring Training: .355/.379/.468 with 6 Stolen Bases (100%) and 3 Extra Base Hits

No one is saying that Herrera is going to be a 20/20 guy in the middle of the lineup, but if you can get 15 doubles, 5 triples, and 20 stolen bases at the top of the lineup, that leads to a lot of run scoring opportunities.


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Cliff Lee may require elbow surgery, if so, would miss entire season/6-8 months, possibly end career

March 11th, 2015 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Cliff Lee may require elbow surgery, if so, would miss entire season/6-8 months, possibly end career | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Unfortunately, the Phillies didn’t get any good news on starting pitcher Cliff Lee today. Dr. James Andrews determined that Lee has a tear in the common flexor tendon in his left elbow. This is not-surprising, but it’s unfortunate news in the long list of Phillies’ off-season problems.

The common flexor tendon, left-elbow tear is the same injury from last year and matches the initial diagnosis from last weekend. Lee will try to throw through it, to see if his condition improves, but surgery would sideline him for 6-8 months, if that option is explored- which seems like the most-likely case now, after Andrews’ opinion.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. isn’t optimistic about Lee’s chances of avoiding surgery, so it’s starting to look like Lee won’t pitch at all this season, which many fans, analysts and writers anticipated, considering the previous problems with his elbow. Although Amaro, Jr. isn’t optimistic, he noted today, succeeding the news, that there’s still a chance that Lee plays this year.

Lee is owed $25 million this season and has a $12.5 million buyout on his 2016 club option. All of this is according to Phillies’ Comcast Sportsnet insider Jim Salisbury, who is following the team first hand in Spring Training, especially the Lee injury updates and Cole Hamels’ continuous trade news. We’ll see what happens ultimately, but we hope for the best, for both Lee and the Phillies.

With this news bit, it looks as if, at least for now, the Phillies will lose a huge chunk of their remaining investment in Lee, who, as mentioned, is owed over $20 million in 2015. This afternoon, prior to the injury update, Lee played catch, with Phillies’ pitching coach Bob McClure noting that he saw Lee increase his distance throughout the (throwing) session.


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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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Crucial Off-season Arrives For Amaro, Phils; Expect Some Major Changes for 2015

September 30th, 2014 by Jim Chesko | Comments Off on Crucial Off-season Arrives For Amaro, Phils; Expect Some Major Changes for 2015 | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

After a second-straight 73-89 season and the franchise’s first last-place finish since 2000, the Phillies now embark on a crucial off-season – for the future of the team as well as for Ruben Amaro Jr. The general manager, who has one year remaining on his contract, will need to make some drastic moves – and have those moves pay dividends – if he’s to hold onto that job beyond next year.

The good news is that Amaro finally seems to realize that it’s not 2010 or 2011 anymore and that the team’s aging core of veterans isn’t suddenly going to discover the fountain of youth. He admitted the other day that some “significant” changes are warranted, saying “I think we need it. What we have on our roster right now isn’t working.”

Who stays, and who goes? While a lot of fans would probably love to see Amaro channel his inner Sam Hinkie, blow up the roster and start over, that’s unlikely to happen. The guess is that Chase Utley will be the Opening Day second baseman in 2015 and Jimmy Rollins will once again man the fort at shortstop. Both of them will soon turn 36 years old. Utley’s production trailed off significantly in the second half of the 2014 season, but he stayed healthy the entire year and still finished with a .270 batting average. Although Rollins hit just .243, he put up some decent power numbers with 17 home runs and 55 runs batted in, and even managed 28 stolen bases. He’s still one of the top-fielding shortstops in the game. But the rest of starting eight could look quite a bit different next April.

Howard & Co. Look Mystified at the Plate

Howard & Co. Look Mystified at the Plate

The big question for many Phils’ fans: Will Ryan Howard be back at first base? The funny thing is, a lot of fans said last spring they’d be quite happy if Howard could stay healthy and hit about 25 homers with 100 RBIs. Well, he got into 153 games and he belted 23 homers and knocked in 95. Not bad, right? Well, it’s not so good when you also realize he hit just .223, he led the majors in strikeouts with 190, and his .690 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging average) ranked near the bottom among major-league first basemen. Amaro will try hard to trade Howard, probably to an American League team, but the Phils will have to pay a significant chunk of cash to get a deal done; Howard, who soon turns 35, is owed $50 million in salary over the next two years, along with a $10 buyout clause for 2017. Ouch.

The Phillies will also look to upgrade the outfield. Any or all of the mainstays from 2014 – Domonic Brown, Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd – could end up elsewhere next season. A 2013 All-Star, Brown was the Phils’ biggest disappointment in the just-concluded season. He hit just .235 with 10 home runs and frequently looked lost or unsure of himself in left field. Center fielder Revere hit .306 – good for fifth in the National League – and finished tied for the lead in hits with 184, and he swiped 49 bases. But his defense was average at best, and his throwing arm is among the worst in the majors. In right, Byrd was pretty solid, and he put up better numbers than almost anyone could have expected – 25 homers, 85 RBIs and a .264 average. He could be attractive for a team looking for some pop from a corner outfielder or designated hitter.


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Phillies Trade News and Updates

July 29th, 2014 by Sam Shipley | Comments Off on Phillies Trade News and Updates | Filed in General, Phillies, Sports


Will Jonathon Papelbon be a member of the Phillies after Thursday’s trade deadline?

With the MLB Trade Deadline on Thursday, many around the league are anxious to see the moves that will be made and/or not made. Around Philadelphia there has been endless buzz since arguably the season started about what the Phillies roster would look like in August. Names such as Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jonathon Papelbon have been thrown around in rumors since at least March.

Now it is time to see who will be in Philadelphia come August 1st. Here is the latest surrounding the Phillies as we approach the trade deadline.

*Note: This page will be updated as news comes in. Stay tuned right here”



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How I would fix the Phillies if I were GM

July 3rd, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on How I would fix the Phillies if I were GM | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


As the losing commences, let the fire sale begin.

The Phillies are in a logjam this season, to say the least. They own baseball’s third-highest payroll at $180 million, behind the Dodgers’ $235 million and the Yankees’ $203, and yet they’re on pace at the halfway mark for just 72 victories. The only reason they were even close to being a contender in the NL East in June was due to the pitiful nature of the division this year. Prior to sweeping Philadelphia in a four-game series from June 27th-29th, division-leading Atlanta had a win-loss record of only 40-38. Now Atlanta’s pulled away from the last-place Phillies, who are 38-51 and 11 games back of first-place Atlanta (49-40). The Phillies have now lost nine out of their last 11 games, dating back to June 27th.

Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. has run the team down the sewage pipe. Pat Gillick constructed a championship-caliber team a half-decade ago as Amaro’s predecessor, and yet Gillick’s successor — who took over for him in 2009 — tore the team’s inner talent apart. Amaro did this by keeping around over the hill players, players past their peak/prime, overpaying for talent, and much more; mainly the first part. Amaro’s line of thinking= I’ll keep around the lovable, talented five-years ago type of players, even if they’re 30+ and/or with serious physical ailments.

E.g. Ryan Howard, first off, by paying him $125 million over five years. Howard in his prime perhaps was worth that amount of cash, but not when he was on the downside of his career and over 30-years old, at 32, to boot. Yes, you can make the point that, for the most part, it all evens out, as Howard was only making $355k in ’06 when he hit 58 home runs and won league MVP, but he’s way overpaid now. Since that MVP season, Howard’s broken (later broken again by multiple players) the single-season record for strikeouts too at 199 in 2007.

In his career, per 162 games, he’s averaged 193 strikeouts. He’s also averaged 42 home runs and 131 RBIs/year as well. But regardless of Howard’s past accomplishments, facts are facts. The Phillies’ management, in order to have a lower payroll and acquire free-agency talent, should have taken advantage of Howard; sports are a business, for both sides.


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The 2014 Philadelphia Phillies Season: Analysis, Roster, Predictions, and more!

April 1st, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on The 2014 Philadelphia Phillies Season: Analysis, Roster, Predictions, and more! | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies


Ah, Spring Training baseball has concluded, and now the real season begins.

Today commences the official start of baseball in Philadelphia for the season. For the Phillies, what does that mean? Well, here’s the roundup heading into the season:

Seven position players over the age of 30
-A team payroll of over $180-million (ranked third best in baseball behind the Dodgers and Yankees)
Cole Hamels out (most likely) until sometime in May with shoulder fatigue
-Ryne Sandberg in his first full year of coaching (the team not only removed the interim tag, but honored him with a three-year deal to boot)
-Starting the season in inter-league play at Texas (at Globe Life Park)

-Lee returns to Texas

Today in the opener, squaring off against 27-year old Tanner Scheppers (who’ll start in place of Yu Darvish, due to a neck injury), Cliff Lee will take the mound against his former team, the Texas Rangers. Lee was a member of a successful Rangers’ team that went on to represent the AL in the 2010 World Series against San Francisco, after Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels acquired the lefty from Seattle months prior in July. Cliff also debuted in 2009 against Texas, back then as a member of Cleveland. He got rocked around in that start, being accounted for seven earned runs in a 9-1 loss.


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