Posts Tagged ‘MLB News’

Phillies sign Bryce, That’s Nice

March 1st, 2019 by Leo | Comments Off on Phillies sign Bryce, That’s Nice | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

After months and months of talk here in the Philly area about signing Bryce Harper, finally the Phillies and Bryce signed a contract! The contract is for 13 years and $330 million dollars and Harper, 26, will be 39 when this contract runs out.  But the $25 million AAV of the deal means Harper could possibly be traded at some point in his career. After the announcement of the signing the Phillies sold over 100,000 tickets already for the upcoming season.

Harper has dominated the NL East throughout his career. He’s hit 96 home runs in his career vs. NL East opponents, with an OPS of .909.  In Harper’s 50 career games at Citizen’s Bank Park, he has a .930 OPS with 14 home runs.  With the most home runs being hit in Citizen’s Bank Park, that should mean the Phillies and the fans will have a lot to cheer about in the upcoming years. One thing that seems odd is a no opt-out in the contract, the Boras deal doesn’t have any opt-outs for the player or the Phillies.  Considering Boras typically adds that into the deals, you begin to wonder what actually happened behind closed doors while negotiating the contract.

Why did it take so long? Not really sure other than he was holding out for a better deal even though a lot of people felt deals of this magnitude as “stupid money”.  There are some concerns with Harper’s career so far, he has missed time with injuries, he’s amounted to fewer than 2.0 bWAR in three of his seven big-league seasons. Harper has had inconsistent defense and he struck out a career-high 169 times in 2018.

It should be interesting to see how Harper is received in Washington this year and what other moves the Phillies will make in their bid to win the NL East.  If you would like to check out Harper’s stats you can see them on the Baseball Reference site.  By signing the biggest contract ever you know he made some kind of history, Harper surpasses Giancarlo Stanton for total contract value.  Stanton signed a $325 million extension with the Miami Marlins but Harper will probably hold this title for quite some time.

Some other notable links to brush up on your Harper stats and information, here is a list:

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Cubs Win World Series 2016

November 2nd, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Cubs Win World Series 2016 | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Sports

It was a 108-year wait. That any American was alive the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series is extremely unlikely. Any person with a living memory of it would have to be older than 110. Still, there are plenty of long-time Cubs fans who have waited their entire lives for this moment, and with an 8–7 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series, they finally get to celebrate.

For Indians fans, they now have the dubious distinction of being devotees of the team with the longest World Series drought, 68 years. Baseball fans were treated to one of the best World Series of all time and a Game 7 classic that proved once again that baseball, of all the major sports, including football, basketball, and hockey, is the purest among them. The reason is that it has no clock.

As a result, baseball is often the sport defined by particular moments. It is not a slight against other sports. The Miracle on Ice hockey game between the United States and the USSR in the 1980 winter Olympics is one of the most celebrated moments in sports history. The Cleveland Cavaliers coming back from a 1–3 deficit against the Golden State Warriors to deliver the city of Cleveland a professional-sports championship for the first time since 1964 was amazing. The New York Giants beating the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII is one of the great upsets in football history. All of those games, however, relied on a clock. The other teams lost because they simply ran out of time. In baseball, the game is not over until the last man is out.

Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Going into Game 6, the Texas Rangers led the series 3–2 and were on the verge of winning the first World Series. On two occasions, the Rangers were not just one inning or one out but one strike away from winning it all. Both times, in the ninth and and then the tenth inning, the Cardinals found a way to come back and tie the game. The Cardinals ultimately won, in the eleventh inning, thanks to a walk-off home run by David Freese. The Cardinals won Game 7 to complete the comeback. SLIDESHOW: Cubs Win World Series One strike away. Baseball will forever be defined by these moments. Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, lifting the New York Giants past the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. Joe Carter’s walk-off home run, against the Phillies’ Mitch Williams, in the 1993 World Series. Carlton Fisk, waving his arms to will his fly ball to to left field to stay fair for a walk-off home run against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Derek Jeter’s walk-off home run in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series, three minutes after the clock struck midnight, marking the first time in history a World Series game was played in November. The list could go on for quite some time.

All of these moments were possible because nobody ever had to look at a clock and think, “We’re running out of time.” How different would Game 7 between the Cubs and Indians have been had the Cubs taken a 6–3 lead with only two minutes left to play? There would be no comeback. Indians fans would have started filing out of Progressive Field. The Cubs would do what they could to run out the clock and win the World Series. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the Indians came back to tie the game. The Cubs scored two more runs. The Indians closed within one, but, alas, it was not enough. Baseball fans were treated to a smiling Kris Bryant (I do suspect Cleveland Indians fans were hoping he fell down), fielding what would be the final out of the World Series. There was no clock. It was just Bryant, grinning from ear to ear as he threw to first base, erasing 108 years of frustration for Cubs fans — and preserving 68 years of the same for the Indians. It was one of those baseball moments that will not be forgotten.

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My MLB Postseason and World Series Predictions

October 4th, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on My MLB Postseason and World Series Predictions | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB

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Now that the season’s ended, the postseason begins, and less than a month from now, the Fall Classic will resume; since it ended last November 1st. Unfortunately for the defending World Series champion Royals, they won’t be returning to the postseason, after finishing at .500 this season. With the best record in baseball, the Cubs won 103 games, the fifth most in franchise history, and they’ll be making their second-consecutive appearance in the postseason. With all of that being said, here are my postseason predictions.

Postseason Predictions (the winning teams are on the far right)

October 4th- AL Wild Card- Baltimore @ Toronto– Toronto 

Like the other Wild Card game this week, this match-up tonight will be a hard-fought one. Both teams finished with 89 wins, Toronto has some of the best power hitters in the game, one of the best third baseman in the league, in Josh Donaldson (.284 average, 37 home runs, 99 RBIs), while Baltimore has a fellow AL MVP candidate, in fellow third baseman Manny Machado (.294 average, 37 home runs, 96 RBIs). Among American League teams, Baltimore ranked first in home runs (253), although they only had a team average of .256. Although it’s only one game, the problem this year for Baltimore was their pitching staff- or lack thereof.

Baltimore’s ace Kevin Gausman will most likely get the nod, although he only won nine games and had a 3.61 ERA. For Toronto, they’ll most likely hand the ball off to former Phillie J.A. Happ, who surprisingly won 20 games this year; with a 3.18 ERA to boot. I’m going with Toronto, based off Happ’s success this season, as well as the strong one-two punch of Donaldson and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion; who had 42 home runs this year.

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The “All In” Mentality

May 24th, 2016 by Mike H. | Comments Off on The “All In” Mentality | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

allin

After Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers, the Phillies sit at 25-20, good for third in the division, but just 2.5 games out of first place. As each day passes and hope gets brighter, I keep getting reminded of how impatient this town and its fan can get. More and more I hear that the Phillies should acquire a bat in order to “go all in”, “make a run”, or the ever clichéd “catch lightning in a bottle”. I don’t want to seem like a Debbie Downer, but Christ, can we be more naive? Everybody wants to believe that this team is a move or two away from the World Series. I couldn’t disagree more. If the Phillies want to be a perennial power house, GM Matt Klentak needs to stay the course and let the team evolve naturally.

The Phillies success is not sustainable. The young pitching has been outstanding, or has it? The Phillies pitching staff is tied for seventh best Batting Average on Ball In Play (BABIP). For those who aren’t familiar, that means opposing teams have been “unlucky” facing Phillies pitching. Basically, opposing teams are hitting balls, for the most part, right at the Phillies defensively. There is a lot promising talent on the team right now, but not sustainable enough to be a playoff contender…..yet. The offense on the other hand, while better as of late, has been fairly horrible. The Phillies have the 7th worst run differential in MLB. Only two other MLB teams have a winning record and a negative run differential: The Miami Marlins (23-21, -10) and the Kansas City Royals (22-21, -13)  The Phillies, on the other hand, have a run differential of -32. Almost three times worse than teams fighting to stay above .500.

Enter the “Get a bat” conversation. This, in my humble opinion, is one of the worst ideas you could conceive. Let’s start with who are you going to acquire. Is there a player that can significantly increase the Phillies offense without strip mining the farm? For a while, there were rumors wondering if the Angels should considering trading Mike Trout. Sure he’d be an instant favorite, and not even because he’s the local product, but that would require more long-term talent than what its worth considering salary you’d have to commit as well.

A better idea is to let the farm produce a bat. I mean there are some legitimate prospects that could be long-term solutions. At AAA Lehigh Valley alone, Cameron Perkins is hitting a solid .304 albeit with an unimpressive .327 on-base percentage. Nick Williams has struggled recently, but has the tools to succeed. The Phillies top position prospect, J.P. Crawford, was just recently promoted, but most likely isn’t anything more than a September call up short of a series of catastrophic injuries. At AA Reading, Jorge Alfaro is looking like the real deal hitting .355 with a .371 on-base percentage. Alfaro could definitely be helpful to the offense, but a promotion to AAA should be first. It would be no surprise to see him get promoted after the Eastern League All Star Game. Outfielder Dylan Cozens is showing promise. While hitting a rather pedestrian .276, he does have a .348 on-base percentage and .558 slugging percentage with 11 home runs.

So the Phillies do have options to bring up and potentially be long-term solutions, but none of which are currently ready to make the impact that the team would need to be “All In”. At least not in 2016. The Phillies are returning from baseball obscurity and moving any pieces right now would just be foolish. With all the money the Phillies will be gaining with the new TV contract, the top draft picks, and top international signing bonus pool, the future of the franchise is about to become the present.

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The Phils will have you seeing Red this year

February 2nd, 2016 by Leo | Comments Off on The Phils will have you seeing Red this year | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

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That’s right, the Phillies will make you see red this year.  No, not out of anger, well maybe, but this will actually be from their uniforms.  For the first time in eight years the team is gonna throw a curve ball out to the fans and bring the red jersey out of the closet.

The new red jersey will be combined with the white pinstipped pants for 6 games this year.  The Phillies have philliesred1been known to throw in the oddball jersey every once in a while.  The last time they had the red jerseys was back in 1999 for a promotion, and then again back in 1979 when they had the all burgundy jerseys.

Whatever they wear, lets hope it brings home a few wins this year.

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Following The 40: Phillies Acquire Hellickson

November 15th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Phillies Acquire Hellickson | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies
Jeremy Hellickson: Opening Day Starter?

Jeremy Hellickson: Opening Day Starter?

The Phillies made their first meaningful acquisition of the offseason. The Phillies have traded 8th round 2014 draft pick Sam McWilliams to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson is entering his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent. Estimates have been around $6.6M in salary for 2016, a very reasonable number for an innings eater that the Phillies need with all the young arms that could potentially use. The hope is that Hellickson can put up good enough numbers to get to through July and the Phillies can flip him mid-season to a contender for some much-needed quality prospects. The Phillies gave up little as far as the return to Arizona goes. McWilliams is basically the definition of a lottery pick prospect having spent the last two seasons in the Gulf Coast League.

The deal is a no-brainer for the Phillies as they gave up something inconsequential in return in their eyes for a potentially tradeable innings eater in Hellickson. Looking at it in November, things can go one of a couple of different ways. Hellickson pitches exceptionally well and is traded for a long-term piece (or pieces) at the end of July. Hellickson pitches as he basically has over the last couple of seasons and gives the Phillies 150-175 innings to save some of the younger arms. One thing that is sure, the Phillies most likely have zero chance at signing a short-term deal with Hellickson due to him being a Scott Boras client. 2016 is looking to be just a pit stop for Hellickson, but depending on how well he pitches will determine how short the stay is.

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Following The 40: Prime Directives

November 6th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Prime Directives | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

Team President Andy MacPhail, General Manager Matt Klentak, and John Middleton

As expected, the Phillies selected the successor to Ruben Amaro Jr.’s throne. It really seemed like a formality that Team President Andy MacPhail would choose Matt Klentak based off of previous work experience in Baltimore where he served as Director of Baseball Operations. During his introductory statement, Klentak laid forth a set of prime directives that the Phillies would abide by under his watch.

  • Discipline
  • Connectivity
  • Information
  • Culture
  • Winning

Just reading his quotes as to how he will lead this team going forward gives me a sense of hope. Granted a potentially strong base of prospects relatively close to the majors backed by an ownership group with rather deep pockets doesn’t hurt, but talking about discipline, which wasn’t one of his predecessor’s finest qualities, should also let the fans know not to expect the huge splash….yet. What Amaro never learned in his time as General Manager was a lesson he could have learned from Taylor Swift (yes that Taylor Swift). That band aids don’t fix bullet holes. Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence were both reactionary moves that set the franchise back. Both were meant to cover mistakes in getting rid of Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth, but the cost was detrimental in long-term decisions.

Connectivity and Information will work hand in hand as the team re-evaluates how the team is built going forward. The concept of synergy was not a point of strength since Pat Gillick rode off into the sunset, World Series trophy in hand. In fact, it really seemed like one hand didn’t know what the other hand was doing the majority of the time. I’m excited to see what this franchise can become with an analytic weaponry and the payroll to back it up.

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