Posts Tagged ‘st louis cardinals’

Hamels Watch: Contenders, Expectations

February 20th, 2015 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Hamels Watch: Contenders, Expectations | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

cole-hamels-getty

Every day that Cole Hamels remains a Phillie, is a game of Russian Roulette. The Phillies need to move what could potentially be the steal of the offseason. It’s garnering more and more national attention, especially after Hamels’ comments about wanting to play for a contender and Philly not being one. Yesterday, MLB.com’s Jim Duquette listed the Red Sox, Cardinals, Padres, and Cubs as the top contenders for acquiring Hamels. The Red Sox were still the favorite with the remaining interested but not seemingly holding him a priority.

To be perfectly honest, the worst thing that happened to Cole Hamels’ value was Billy Beane. Last summer, when Billy Beane sent Addison Russell to the Chicago Cubs as the center piece to a deal for Jeff Samardzija, Amaro immediately got his hopes up for acquiring a super elite prospect for Hamels. The truth is, basically any prospect that is in the top 30 of all players, should basically be forgotten. No on Swihart, Bryant, Russell, and possibly even Henry Owens, depending on your source material. It’s very rare that a top 30 prospect gets moved in any type of deal and for good reason. The risk is too high.

I’ve stated multiple times that with the state of the Phillies farm, they need to focus on a balance between quality and quantity. Instead of focusing on a top 25 ranked player, how about two top 100 ranked players with at least one being in the top 50? With the Red Sox, it’s apparent that Swihart and Betts are off limits, but why not start with Owens and Margot, add Vazquez and Cecchini, and if the Phillies don’t want subsidize any of Hamels’ contract, take back OF Allen Craig. That’s $26.5M guaranteed with an other $12M possible if the Phillies pick up his team option.

The Padres and Cubs seem to be out of the running, in my opinion. While Hedges is great defensively, he hasn’t proven he can be a starting major league caliber catcher. Renfroe hasn’t met a pitch he wouldn’t swing at. I understand why the Phillies balked at that offer. Asking for Bryant or Russell from the Cubs is laughable. Especially if the Phillies asked for the Cubs to pick up all of Hamels’ contract.  Soler is an attractive piece, but has yet to prove he can be healthy for an entire season.

So that leaves the Cardinals. Carlos Martinez definitely has the stuff to be in a major league rotation and St. Louis doesn’t seem to have a spot for him before trading for Hamels. However, Wacha and Wainwright are both coming off of injuries, so who’s to say Martinez doesn’t make that rotation out of necessity. I’d definitely look to center any deal with the Cardinals around Martinez and Piscotty. From there, if you could land a Reyes and/or Gonzales, I don’t see how you could say no.

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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.

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Why Steve Carlton Should Have Won the 1972 National League Most Valuable Player Award

January 12th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Why Steve Carlton Should Have Won the 1972 National League Most Valuable Player Award | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies
(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

Steve Carlton, arguably the Philadelphia Phillies’ best pitcher in franchise history, came into the league with St. Louis in 1965. He wasn’t drafted, but instead, out of college no less, signed with the team for $5,000 two years prior in 1963. From there he transformed over time into one of the best pitchers in baseball, and in hindsight one of the best of all-time.

His repertoire included a sweeping curveball, a powerful ‘mid-90s fastball and a late-breaking slider, which all proved to equally be his out pitches. After seven seasons with the Cardinals, he was traded in February of 1972 for fellow starting pitcher Rick Wise, who made the National League All-Star team a year prior to the trade (1971). Wise was a strong, top-of-the-order starting pitcher at the time. In 1971, he went 17-14 with an impressive ERA of 2.88 in 272.1 innings pitched. He only pitched two seasons with St. Louis before being traded again, after winning 16 games in succession; this time to Boston,

With St. Louis, Carlton had three seasons with below-3 ERAs. Although he led the league in losses (19) in 1970, the previous three seasons he compiled an ERA of 2.70, a win-loss record of 44-31 and a winning percentage of 59. In two of those three seasons he also made the All-Star team. His minor setbacks on the mound mixed with his contract demands (he wanted $65,000 from St. Louis, which they refused to pay him. They offered him $60,000 instead) the next two years led to his subsequent trade to Philly.

It was a strange, peculiar scenario for both players, as both teams were willing to pay the opposite team’s player the amount they wanted (both wanted $65,000), but yet they were unwilling to pay their own the same amount for whatever reason.

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Red Sox and Cardinals Could Provide a Real Fall Classic

October 23rd, 2013 by Jim Chesko | Comments Off on Red Sox and Cardinals Could Provide a Real Fall Classic | Filed in Baseball, General, Sports

worldseries

Remember how much fun it was in and around Philadelphia in late October in 2008 and 2009? The Phillies won their first World Series in 28 years in ’08, beating the Tampa Bay Rays, and returned to the “fall classic” the following year, coming up short in a six-game series loss to the New York Yankees.

Unfortunately, the Phillies have fallen further and further from returning to the Series over the past four seasons, but this year’s Red Sox-Cardinals matchup – pitting a couple of storied franchises that have met three times previously in October – could be a dandy.

And that would be a welcome event for true sports fans locally, considering the current state of the city’s four major teams. The Phillies are coming off their worst season since 2000, the Flyers can’t seem to score goals (and are a good bet to miss the playoffs for a second-straight year if things don’t change quickly), the rebuilding 76ers may be the NBA’s worst team, and the Eagles are trying to resolve a major quarterback quandary.

How they got here: The St. Louis Cardinals finished a National League-best 97-65, earning another Central Division title, then held off the Pittsburgh cardinalslogoPirates in the Division Series and took care of the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-games-to-2 in the National League Championship Series.

The Boston Red Sox, after finishing 69-93 in 2012, hired John Farrell as manager to replace the fired Bobby Valentine, and the BoSox started the season strong and never relented. Like the Cards, the Red Sox had a league-best record of 97-65, then disposed of Tampa Bay in the ALDS and the Detroit Tigers in the Championship Series, sending Jim Leyland into retirement. Of course, the deciding blow in Boston’s Game Six victory was a grand slam by former Phillie Shane Victorino, who now gets to play in his third World Series in six years.

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Cards Pull It Out Late

May 4th, 2010 by Christian | 2 Comments | Filed in General

Blanton Sharp in Return

The Bad: With the game tied 1-1 , the Cardinals score five runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach. The death blow was a bases loaded double by David Freese. The top four Phillies hitters (Victorino, Polanco, Utley and Howard) were a combined 2-14 with 6 strikeouts.

The Good: Joe Blanton is back. He looked sharp, keeping the ball down and going 6 1/3 innings. Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two. Jayson Werth (4) and Chase Utley (8) homered.

Commentary: With Blanton’s return to the rotation, and Lidge back in the bullpen, things should stailize for the Phillies, and I expect and big boost when Jimmy Rollins comes back.

Next Game: Tonight vs. Cardinals at The Bank
Game Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Pitching Matchup: Cole Hamels (2-2, 5.28) vs. Adam Wainright (4-1, 2.13)

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Mcgwire Comes Clean

January 14th, 2010 by Johnny G | 8 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

Juiced

As we all know, Mark Mcgwire came clean several days ago about his steroid and PED use throughout the 90’s, including his record-breaking 1998 season. Some have applauded him for “voluntarily” coming forward with this information and others are left feeling a little suspicious. Here’s my take:

First thing is first, this was not by any means voluntary. Mcgwire was recently hired to be the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and going into this season every person in the Cardinals organization knew this situation was going to have to be addressed before the season started, or this would be a severe distraction to the team during the season. It just so happens, they decided to get this out of the way in January and clear the air.

Secondly, Mcgwire claimed that “steroids didn’t help his statistics” because he was only using the drugs for health purposes. The fact that for most of his career without steroids, he could rarely stay on the field, it is pretty evident that by taking steroids, it enabled him to remain healthy and stay on the field to accumulate more homeruns, RBIs, and hits. This would unfairly aide his case for the Hall of Fame and would unfairly give him advantages for more lucrative contracts than his fellow “clean” MLB players.

Another popular question asked by several media outlets is “If you were only using steroids for health purposes, why did you continue using them even while you were healthy?” If you were an athlete who struggled to stay healthy for the majority of his career and you suddenly began taking a drug that made your body feel stronger and healthier, would you ever stop taking the drug just because you weren’t injured anymore? I know I certainly wouldn’t. Why take the risk that coming off the drug will negatively affect your health again? Why fix it if it ain’t broken? These hypothetical questions are all assuming you made the decisions to use steroids in the first place, which I am not an advocate of.

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World Series Fever

October 21st, 2009 by Christian | 4 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

Jimmy Rollins double wins Game 4

Was that a great, clutch hit by Rollins on Monday night, or what?

Before that missile, Rollins was hitting .167 (3-for-18) in the NLCS. Despite an off year, Rollins is a big-game player, who shines brightest on the biggest stage.

Game 4 will be a tough loss for the Dodgers to rebound from. Only two teams have recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the NLCS: the 1996 Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the 2003 Florida Marlins against the Chicago Cubs.

Tonight the Phillies try to become the first NL team to make two consecutive World Series appearances since the 1996 Braves.

If they win tonight, they’ll try to become the first NL team in 33 years to repeat as champs, duplicating a feat by a team they remind me a lot of: the 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Cole Hamels goes for the series clincher. In his career, Hamels has started 7 games against the Dodgers. He’s 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA.

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