Posts Tagged ‘ken giles’

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.

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Following The 40: Off-season Primer

October 12th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Off-season Primer | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies


As the Phillies off-season begins, the first order of business was to pair down the roster to 40 players including ones that would be coming off of injured status. Earlier last week, the Phillies outrighted Justin De Fratus (who recently elected free agency), Jonathan Pettibone, Adam Loewen, Ken Roberts, Erik Kratz, Jordan Danks, and Chase d’Arnaud. The roster currently stands at forty, but with a strong likelihood that Cliff Lee, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams, Brian Bogusevic, Jeff Francoeur, and Andres Blanco all head to free agency.

Francoeur and Blanco are expected to be asked to return, but will both certainly be given offers with other clubs. Domonic Brown may have seen his last inning as a Phillie as he has a very strong chance of being non-tendered a contract. Jesse Biddle and David Buchanan are both likely to be outrighted in the near future due to their respective injury statuses. That sets the Phillies at 30 players.

Whoever the next General Manager may be, while they have the resources, there probably won’t be any huge splashes for 2016. In fact, the Phillies acquisitions will most likely be role players and players coming off of injury looking to establish value. The rotation will most likely consist of Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Adam Morgan as pitchers three thru five with Alec Asher and Severino Gonzalez given opportunities.

Matt Harrison, whom the Phillies acquired at the trade deadline in the Cole Hamels deal, could also be an option if he is healthy enough to compete. The Phillies could also add from within with Zach Eflin and Ben Lively as potential candidates. My personal targets for the Phillies to add from free agency: Mat Latos or Doug Fister.


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Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works

April 28th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Source: Papelbon-Red Sox Reunion In The Works | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports

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It’s been the worst-kept secret in baseball, that the Phillies are in a rebuild mode. Through trading veterans like Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd, to making guys like Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon available, Ruben Amaro is trying to make a last-ditch effort to save his job. The season has gotten off to a rocky start both on and off the field, as the trade market for the Phillies have fallen flat. Well, the Phillies luck may be changing.

On Monday afternoon, Nick Cafardo made mention in his article on, that the Phillies were attempting to get Boston back on the hook for their former brother Jonathan Papelbon.  Cafardo was quoted as saying “Right now, and it may change, we’re not sure the Red Sox have a closer they can depend on. Koji Uehara’s velocity is down about 3 miles per hour across the board with his splitter and fastball. The Phillies are trying to hook the Red Sox on bringing back Jonathan Papelbon.”

This makes sense for both squads on many levels.  Starting with Boston, it helps makes the Red Sox a better team.  First off , Papelbon is not only better than Uehara (even if it’s by a slight margin), but he also solidifies the position better than Uehara would. Secondly, Pap had his best seasons up in “Beantown”. In six seasons as a Red Sox, Papelbon tallied 219 total saves, and averaged a 2.33 ERA over that span.  His strikeout/per-9 inning rate was 10.7 , which is over 1 point higher than his average over three seasons in Philly.

Next, we move to how it would benefit the Phillies.  For starters, they would be clearing an insane amount of money off of their payroll, by removing Papelbon’s $13 Million salary. This would give the Phils more payroll flexibility, and further establish their rebuild.  It would also help pave a clear path for young stud Ken Giles to rise to stardom. Giles has proven many times last season, that he has the stuff of a future elite closer.  Giles would’ve likely served as the Phils closer from opening day, had it not been for Papelbon blocking his path.  A trade would be hugely beneficial to the career of Giles.


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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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Deconstructing The Phillies: Relief Pitching

October 16th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Deconstructing The Phillies: Relief Pitching | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

In part two of our ongoing series on how to potentially fix the Phillies, we’ll address the bullpen. The bullpen was actually one of the bright spots in 2014. Where Papelbon lacked off the field, he did his best to make up for it on the field, converting 39 of 43 save opportunities. Only rookie Ken Giles was able to convert a save out of the remaining pieces of the bullpen. In my opinion, when people say pitching wins championships, they most likely are referring to relief pitching. Starters, elite or mediocre, have a day in and day out ability to keep teams in games thru six innings. If you have enough quality arms in your bullpen, you shorten that game. Don’t believe me? Just look back to the 2008 squad, they were as good a pen as you could hope for and we all know how that ended. So what should the Phillies do moving forward? Click past the jump for my recommendation(s).


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Minor League Mondays: Ken Giles

September 30th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Minor League Mondays: Ken Giles | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

When the Phillies announced that Ken Giles would be starting the 2014 season at AA Reading after just 25.2 innings in High A Clearwater in 2013, I thought they were rushing him and that he’d be overwhelmed. I thought the same thing when they promoted him to AAA Lehigh Valley after just 15 innings in Reading. I thought the Phillies were down right insane to promote him to the majors after just 13.2 innings in AAA. I mean how could ANY pitcher be successful with just 28.2 innings above the Florida State League? I mean how many times have we seen a thrower that can hit the high 90’s, or even triple digits on the radar gun and not be able to hit the broad side of a barn?

  • AA (Reading): 15.0 innings, 0.87 WHIP, 29:5 K:BB ratio
  • AAA (Lehigh Valley): 13.2 innings, 1.32 WHIP, 9:8 K:BB ratio
  • MLB (Philadelphia): 45.2 innings, 0.79 WHIP, 64:12 K:BB ratio

I was wrong and not even close. Giles was flat dominant this season. Giles’ strikeout rate was actually fourth in the league behind only Janssen, Kimbrel, and Chapman. Pretty good company to be associated with. Giles had a such a phenomenal year that I thought he was a shoe in for the Paul Owens award. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him be close to the top voting for National League Rookie of the Year.

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Minor League Mondays: Luis Garcia

September 24th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Minor League Mondays: Luis Garcia | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Next up in our minor league spotlight is the 2014 Paul Owens award winner for best pitching prospect, Luis Garcia. Garcia was just flat-out dominant as the closer for the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Over 39 appearances, he completed 22 of 25 save opportunities with an anorexic 0.96 ERA. He struck out 52 in 46.2 innings while only allowing 16 walks.

That success hasn’t translated to the majors however. With guys like Jonathan Papelbon and Ken Giles locking down the late innings, Garcia was thrust into middle relief. Like many other “closers”, success seems to be lost once you’re removed from those higher pressure situations. Garcia has struggled to the tune of a 7.94 ERA with 11 walks and strikeouts in as many innings. In the minors, Garcia was borderline unhittable, but since being called up, just about the only bats that are missed are the results of a walk.

No one is saying that Garcia didn’t have tremendous success for the IronPigs, but I’d think guys like Giles, Nola, or even Ranger Suarez could have, or should have, been better suited to be named the top organizational arm. Even if the Phillies open the 2015 campaign with or without Papelbon, Garcia will have to battle for a spot with Giles, Diekman, De Fratus, and Gonzalez all pretty much locks for the bullpen.

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