Posts Tagged ‘marlon byrd’

Blowing It

February 9th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Blowing It | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

blowingit

We finally got to the point where the Phillies saw what everyone else had known for years: it’s over. A rebuild was the only course of action. They finally realized they couldn’t buy their way out of the mess GM Ruben Amaro Jr had created. Long time Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd, and Antonio Bastardo were shipped off for the best returns imaginable (obviously team president Pat Gillick was heavily involved, if not solely responsible for these moves), but the Phillies best trade chip was staff ace Cole Hamels. The Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers, and Rangers were all publicly known to be interested in Hamels, but the Phillies asking price was reportedly astronomical. The Cardinals and Dodgers were looking for a luxury not a necessity and have apparently moved on. The Red Sox, Cubs, and Rangers all acquired pitching and now the Padres and James Shields have reportedly agreed to terms. While the Red Sox have kept in contact, they continue to shoot down all offers that include catching prospect Blake Swihart.

So where does that leave the Phillies? In the same place the Minnesota Twins were when they were in the process of moving staff ace Johan Santana. With suitors dropping left and right, the Phillies return gets worse and worse. Pitchers and catchers report in ten days and if the Phillies think they can just hold out until the trade deadline to move him, they’re setting themselves up for an even bigger let down. Other ace caliber pitchers David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Jordan Zimmermann could all be available at the deadline and will most likely be free agents next winter. God forbid Hamels gets bit by the injury bug in 2015, as that would completely derail the team rebuild. With each passing day, Amaro is risking not only his future, but the team’s as well. At some point Gillick needs to blow out Amaro before Amaro blows his opportunity to cash in his only chip.

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

Minor League Mondays: Offseason Acquisition Edition

January 6th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Minor League Mondays: Offseason Acquisition Edition | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

It’s been a couple of weeks since MLM, but I’d like to to take some time to take a look at the guys the Phillies have added to their organization so far. Obviously, if Cole Hamels is traded between now and February 19th, there will be some new blood to talk about. Before I go any further, I must give thanks to the players departing for their services provided: Antonio Bastardo, Marlon Byrd (again), and Jimmy Rollins. Instead of long summary of anything and everything they’ve done, I’ll just say Thanks and Good Luck going forward. I mean it from the heart.

So let’s look at the acquisitions in the order they were received. (more…)

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

The Phillies’ Rebuilding Continues

January 2nd, 2015 by AmyMac | Comments Off on The Phillies’ Rebuilding Continues | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

byrd

The rebuilding continues.

Veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd – whose signing last offseason, I will admit, I wouldn’t have made at the time – proved me very wrong with his 2014 season. Despite his having been part of an underachieving team, Byrd led the Phils with 25 homeruns. Additionally, his .264 average was responsible for 85 RBIs and 71 runs scored. Not too shabby for a man who’s older than I am, especially considering he increased his trade value and was able to provide the Phils with exactly what they really need: young talent.

Byrd, along with cash considerations, have been traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for 22-year-old RHP prospect Ben Lively. He was recently named the Reds’ minor league Player of the Year, and will likely work toward a starting position at the back of Philadelphia’s rotation.

As for the Phils’ outfield for 2015, there are options (although none seems very appealing to me). Grady Sizemore, Dominic Brown, Darin Ruf, and Rule 5 Draft selection Odubel Herrara are all available, but I wouldn’t mind trying Cody Asche in left field – if Maikel Franco and Not Jimmy Rollins can hold up their end of the infield.

While it’s nice to see that Ruben Amaro, Jr. has finally read the memo that the Phils need to rebuild, I have to say that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s not necessarily fun watching players leave Philadelphia, but for the sake of the team, I know it’s the right thing to happen. Does Amaro, though? History shows that he makes deals the way an old Italian grandmother might make a pot of linguini, and I’m a little tired of sitting and waiting to see what sticks to the wall. He’s made some prudent moves this offseason, for which I give him credit, but do not be mistaken: I wouldn’t trust that man to feed my cat. Let’s just hope that sensible trades continue so that the Phillies are able to actually rebuild and become contenders again.

(more…)

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deconstructing The Phillies: Middle Infield

November 20th, 2014 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Deconstructing The Phillies: Middle Infield | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

Ah, the Hot Stove is in full swing. Hot Stove is back on MLB Network. MLB rumors are blowing up on Twitter. Record/stupid contracts are being tossed at players like they are Cracker Jacks. You gotta love the MLB offseason. Not even just as a Phillies fan, but as a fan of the game. Some moves have WOW-ed, while others make you go, “What?”. It’s been a bit, but let’s push forward with wheels and deals. I am including the catcher position in the middle infield category as it is in the infield, and considered “up the middle”. Plus, I didn’t think it warranted its own post. Plus, I’m going to be updating my thoughts on a previous trade in the summary section. (more…)

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

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.

(more…)

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

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.

(more…)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,