Posts Tagged ‘Phillies News’

Phillies sign Bryce, That’s Nice

March 1st, 2019 by Leo | No Comments | 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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Roy Halladay elected to the Hall of Fame

January 23rd, 2019 by Leo | Comments Off on Roy Halladay elected to the Hall of Fame | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

Here in Philly we are all familiar with the tragic loss of Roy Halladay after a plane crash in 2017.  We were all saddened after a long and fantastic career in the MLB, 12 years with the Toronto Blue Jays and 4 years with the Phillies including a Perfect game in 2010.

The Baseball Writers Association of America officially released its 2019 Hall of Fame voting results. there were four players who will be inducted into Cooperstown this July: pitchers Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina, as well as designated hitter Edgar Martinez.

Of course we here in Philly and Toronto were happy to see Roy made the HOF on the first ballot.   During his 16-year career, he won two Cy Young Awards and played in eight All-Star Games. He also won 203 games and figures to be remembered as one of the old school hard working pitcher thanks in part to his 250-inning season in 2010.

Here is an image of his stats over his career that can be referenced at the Baseball Reference website.

Although it has a bittersweet taste, Roy Halladay’s surviving widow and 2 children released a statement after his induction into the HOF that his son Braden wrote.

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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

philliesredjerseys

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: Starting Rotation

November 8th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Following The 40: Starting Rotation | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

phillies40In recent years, Hollywood has been all about the reboot. In 2015 alone, we saw both ends of the spectrum of how rebooting can go. Jurassic World acknowledged the original Jurassic Park, but basically disavowed all information that happened in the increasing lesser sequels. Then there was Fantastic Four, a desperate attempt to retain a franchise that needed to move on that just came off as … well, desperate. As you’re reading this, I can see a good majority of people saying, “How in the hell does this relate to the Phillies?” It has everything to do with them, and as the Phillies start to reboot the franchise, I’m gonna go step-by-step through the roster and give my thoughts on how they can end up the summer blockbuster we’re all lining up to see.

Speaking of the Fantastic Four, that was the previous regime in a nut shell. After 2008, it was just one grasp at a straw after another. Failed attempts to keep a window open instead of finding a way to open a new one. That first step in finding a new window came with a slamming of a door, the one that closed when Ruben “Mr. Fantastic” Amaro was finally given his pink slip. New GM Matt Klentak still believes in building around pitching and while the Phillies have acquired some potential, they don’t have much in the way of certainty. As of right now, the only thing close to certainties in the Phillies rotation are 2014 1st round draft pick Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff, who was acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade (sorry for the sore spot, Amy).

So what are the Phillies options? Well, Adam Morgan is working his way back and probably has one of the better shots to make the rotation. Alec Asher, David Buchanan, Severino Gonzalez, and Matt Harrison all will have shots at a spot as well. Asher, Buchanan, and Gonzalez appear to more likely start the season in AAA Lehigh Valley, but are definitely options. Harrison on the other hand, seems more likely to spend more time on the disabled list than on the active roster. Harrison is still trying to make the seemingly impossible comeback from spinal fusion surgery. A surgery that was given the prognosis of a 20% chance that he would ever pitch competitively again.

Recently, an article stated that the Phillies would definitely consider calling up top pitching prospect Jake Thompson, who was also acquired in the Texas deal. The article stated that the team would bring him up if they felt he deserved. Now while a lot of fans may see a great second half in AA Reading, there is no reason to rush him. Let him start the year in AAA and if he is just as successful, he’ll probably be up before the All-Star Break. Why any team would risk losing a year of team control on a potentially gifted player is ridiculous.

The Phillies also have the top pick in the Rule V draft at the end of the annual Winter Meetings, which is just over a month a way. The Phillies really lucked out last year with CF Odubel Herrera. Can the team repeat that success? Only time will tell and we here at TSP will be keeping track of all the possibilities as we get closer and other rumors and transactions that occur during the busiest week of the baseball offseason. While some of the key free agents that set the market come off the board that week, don’t expect to see the Phillies dive into the free agent deep end. I suspect more Jerome Williams and Aaron Harang-esque types of signings with the hopes of being able to flip them mid-season with guys like Thompson, Asher, Buchanan, and Gonzalez ready to step in.

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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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