Posts Tagged ‘ruben amaro jr’

2015 Phillies Offseason Preview: Free Agent Pitchers

November 9th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on 2015 Phillies Offseason Preview: Free Agent Pitchers | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies, Sports

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An interesting off-season lies ahead…..

After one of the worst seasons in Phillies history, there has been a major overhaul in the front office. Andy McPhail has taken over as team president, Ruben Amaro is out as General Manager, and Matt Klentak is in. It’s a new era in Phillies baseball and there is a sudden buzz of excitement swarming over the Philadelphia baseball community.

Arguably the biggest buzz is surrounding the roster overhaul. This season saw the departures of two of the biggest stars that the Phillies have ever had, in Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. Both deals brought back a fair amount of talent, but that’s only part of the battle. There’s also the development of that talent, in addition to other youngsters, and any possible free agent additions that are brought in.

As demonstrated in other sports, not all free agent “splashes” turn out to be good ones. Hell, that’s even been prominent in baseball as of late (Hello, Pablo Sandoval!). So, while many fans are eager for the team to win sooner rather than later….they also need to understand that the Phils have to spend their money wisely. One wrong investment can set an organization back upwards of five years.

This off-season is arguably one of the more pivotal ones in this team’s history. Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins are gone and off of the payroll. Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are the two lone Phillies originals from the ’08 World Series team left. The key to this off-season, is for the team to spend their money wisely, while focusing on the development of their prospects.


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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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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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Good Offers?

February 12th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Good Offers? | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

One of my greatest pet peeves regarding Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has always been about timing. When there is time to wait and process as much information as possible, Amaro almost always seems to jump the gun. Remember the first Cliff Lee deal when we got Doc? Or how about the complete debacle of the Hunter Pence experiment? Not to be out done by himself, which is another problem he suffers from, when time is of the essence, Amaro comes off as ambivalent and nonchalant.

Amaro recently spoke with Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly and revealed that eight teams have contacted the Phillies in regards to the best possible trade chip, Cole Hamels. Of those eight, four teams have made “good offers”. What a “good offer” entails is subject to debate, but if you’ve received a good offer, why are you sitting on it? What is the difference between a good offer and a great offer? Is it simply that he’s fixated on Red Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart? Is the amount of subsidy he’s willing to offer keeping him from that great offer?

Look at it this way, if the Phillies are content to hold on to Hamels to the trade deadline, they are willing to pay roughly two-thirds of Hamels’ 2015 salary. That is roughly fifteen million dollars. If the Phillies are content with paying fifteen million dollars to Hamels, why aren’t they comfortable paying that amount, or slightly more, to a team now to increase the quality of the return AND spread that dollar amount of the remaining life of the contract. It just makes way too much sense to subsidize fifteen to twenty million dollars to help improve that return. It also makes way too much sense to allow Hamels to throw even one warm up toss in camp as any kind of injury is the difference between setting the franchise back further than it already has been.

Amaro has been on record saying that he needs a “win” in this situation. In my opinion, no matter how good the “win” is, it simply just does not outweigh the all the losses both on the field and off it.

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Phillies in Search of SS & C Depth

February 11th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Phillies in Search of SS & C Depth | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly

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Spring Training starts-up in just over a week, and Ruben Amaro Jr is still looking to make moves. The Phillies GM took large steps toward a rebuild this offseason, by dealing the long-time face of the franchise, in Jimmy Rollins, and veteran Marlon Byrd. It seems that Amaro’s not afraid to make moves, but is very cautious of ensuring that it is the correct move to make. Getting back to the present, ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that Amaro is searching for “veteran” depth a shortstop and catcher. Stark goes on to say that while Ruben doesn’t expect to add anything before the start of camp, he will remain vigilant, and “keep an eye out” as the spring advances on. While pulling moves like this makes sense for a team on the cusp of a total rebuild, I have to question the timing of the move.

There are few, if any veteran catchers on the market, that could make an immediate impact on this squad. Obviously, Carlos Ruiz will remain the man behind the plate. But, what about insurance policies? At this point, the depth chart behind “Chooch” consists of Cameron Rupp, John Hester, and Koyie Hill. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all solid players. However, I don’t believe that they are players that can maintain the level of play in the absence of Ruiz. As previously stated, the pickings on the open market are slim.

The top two names available include former Brave Ryan Doumit, and former Ray Jose Molina. Doumit is the most interesting name to me, because of the impact that he can make. I like to refer to him as a “poor man’s Ruiz”. His career stat line of (.264/.324/.432) is similar to that of Ruiz’s (.271/.357/.406). Doumit has the edge over Carlos in the homer department, as he has racked up 41 homers more than “Chooch”. Doumit figures to fetch a deal in the $2-5 million dollar range. The only question would be the length of his deal. At the age of 33, do the Phils commit for longer than one season, or is he just a stopgap, awaiting the development of Cameron Rupp?

Moving over to the shortstop side of things, the Phillies are also quite thin here. Freddy Galvis is atop the depth chart, but that’s about it. The heir apparent to J-Roll’s throne is J.P. Crawford, who is still developing his way through the minors. Unlike the catching market, the shortstop market has quite a few names out there, some could even top Galvis on the depth chart. Names like Marco Scutaro, Rafael Furcal, and Evereth Cabrera top the list of available players. Scutaro (39) and Furcal (35) are curious, but unlikely options as a result of their ages, and injury history.


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Blowing It

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


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.

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The Phillies’ Rebuilding Continues

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


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.


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