02 June 2012

Signs of Life

With the Phillies showing some signs of life this season, they have pulled to within 2.5 games of the division leading Nationals. Amazingly, this is only good for last place in the division, but considering the injuries to Utley, Howard, Halladay and others, it's pretty amazing that they are in the thick of the race at this point.

This season looks like it will come down to the wire in the NL East and if the current trends keep up, this division might be sending 3 teams to the post-season, let's hope that the Phillies are one of them, heck, let's hope they can pull off their 6th straight division title.  If you are in the mood to place a bet on the outcome of the season, we recommend finding a trusted sportsbook on playersjet.com

17 July 2008

Phils Go to the "B List" and get Blanton

The Phillies have finally found a starter to add to the rotation, trading Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer to Oakland for starter Joe Blanton. The good news is the Phillies didn't give up much. Cardenas is a second baseman who is clearly blocked by Chase Utley for quite some time. Lefty pitcher Outman had been converted to a reliever in the minors as potential insurance for the big club. Apparently he hasn't done well enough to make the big league roster, or rather the relief staff has done so well to date, he really hasn't been needed.

The bad news, contrary to popular belief, Blanton hasn't been all that great a starter with a career ERA of 4.25 / BAA .273 and for the Fantasy Baseball crowd, a 1.33 WHIP. None of those stats are very exciting, but he is an innings eater and should take some pressure off of the bullpen which is likely to be important down the stretch. Blanton is also under team control through 2010, so he should be with the team for awhile.

This brings up the next logical question. With Brett Myers apparently returning in a week, who is out of the rotation? Probably Adam Eaton, unless there is another deal in the works to move Myers. Personally, I would rather have Myers given his track record than Eaton. My guess, Eaton moves to the bullpen, the Phillies try to move him to anyone who has a bit of interest and may end up dropping him altogether and eating his salary for the rest of '08 and all of '09.

01 July 2008

"Ace" sent to the Minors

In somewhat of a surprise move, the Phillies have optioned Brett Myers to triple-A to work out his mechanical issues. For the team "Ace", this is another odd turn in his past 2 years of going from opening day starter to closer to opening day starter to triple A starter. Hopefully the minor league assignments gets him straightened out and ready for the second half, the Phillies sure could use him with his Ace game.

The next question is who gets his next 3 or so starts in the rotation. Pat Gillick says this will be decided in the next 24-48 hours. Does this mean that a trade is in the works, perhaps the return of Randy Wolf? Could be, or it could just mean that they really haven't decided who to bring up from the minors yet. Kris Benson has been working back into shape, but doesn't sound ready to go yet, so it could be a youngster such as Carlos Carrasco. It would be interesting to see this guy's stuff at the major league level, so barring a trade, I vote for Carrasco. Maybe this can be the start of "Carrasco's Corral" in the outfield stands.

28 June 2008

Get the 4-11 on the Phillies

The Phillies have been fond of starting out the season 4-11 as they have done in each of the past two years. This year, the team got off to a solid start, hit their usual hot streak in May and took over the division. That was the good news.

The past couple of weeks however have been the bad news, with the team going 4-11 in their last 15 games. Is there something to the 4-11 record? Maybe it's a sign that they should dial 4-11 to find out what the problem is.

While the team has certainly hit a lull in the hitting department (we're all looking at you Howard -- Mr. 10 Million Dollar Man), one of the big concerns is the starting pitching. With Brett Myers' melt down last night against the Rangers, the team is left scratching their head with what to do with the starting staff. It's no secret that the Phillies are actively searching for a top-line starter to go with Hamels, and the following names are widely speculated to be on the market.

CC Sabathia
Erik Bedard
Rich Harden

It's pretty clear that any of those guys would greatly improve the staff. My favorite is Rich Harden since he should cost less due to his injury history and is a clear ace whenever he takes the mound. Bedard may be dealing with an injury and Sabathia will probably cost more in talent than what the Phillies have to offer, or would be willing to part with.

Of course, the next question is who would loose their spot in the rotation. After Hamels, here's the line on the other 4 starters:

2-6 Record, 4.86 ERA, 49K
7-3 Record, 4.59 ERA, 39K
7-5 Record, 4.09 ERA, 59K
3-9 Record, 5.84 ERA, 88K

If you were going strictly by the numbers that wouldn't be good news for Brett Myers.

The lines above belong to:

Adam Eaton
Kyle Kendrick
Jamie Moyer
Brett Myers

Can the Phillies really afford to jettison their opening day starter and "ace"? That probably isn't the wisest move given his history of success. Jamie Moyer has been pitching too well to be out of the rotation, Kendrick has the best record and Eaton has too high a salary to stick into the bullpen. Not to mention that the bullpen doesn't need another right hander anyway. So who would go? Probably Kendrick since he still has minor league options, though Eaton should really be the odd man out.

One thing is for certain, it's not clear who would loose their spot in the rotation IF the Phillies were to pull off a move, but it sure would be a nice thought to have a rotation anchored by Hamels and Harden (or Sabathia or Bedard) with a straightened out Myers as the number 3.

11 April 2008

Phillies sign Steve Kline

Looks like the Phillies finally decided to bite on released lefty Steve Kline, signing him to a minor league contract. Kline had a pretty rough year with the Giants in 2007 posting a 4.70 ERA and 1.65 WHIP with a .301 BAA. However, he is "only" 35 so he could still have some gas left in the tank. He does appear to be in decline since 2004, posting the following:

STL 2004 / 1.79ERA / 1.05WHIP / .209BAA
BAL 2005 / 4.28ERA / 1.46WHIP / .257BAA
SFG 2006 / 3.66ERA / 1.53WHIP / .275BAA
SFG 2007 / 4.70ERA / 1.65WHIP / .301BAA

It doesn't help that he went to a pitchers ballpark in 2006-2007 either. However, if he can pitch like his 2006 season, which is close to his career average, he will be a very serviceable reliever. If he pitches like he did in 2004, the Phillies will have one of the best bullpens in the game. Imagine that.

01 April 2008

Seanez Signs

After a forgettable start to the 2008 season, the Phillies have signed veteran relief pitcher Rudy Seanez to the staff. The Dodgers cut Seanez at the end of Spring Training and the word was that he was ready to retire.

The 39 year old righty has had a pretty solid career, posting a 4.15 ERA and 544 Ks in just 522 2/3 innings. Last year, Rudy posted a solid 3.78 ERA with nearly a K per inning, so he may have some gas left in the tank, and the Phillies can use all the help they can get out of the bullpen.

Bottom line, this is a solid and necessary signing, and it's a low-risk / medium-reward sort of deal. If it works out, the Phillies get a workhorse who can chew up the middle innings. If things don't work out, Seanez can retire and the Phillies likely won't have any future money committed (financial details haven't been release yet).

The word is that the Phillies are still looking for a left-handed option out of the bullpen. Curious that they weren't in on Aaron Fultz who was released by the Indians and signed by the Tigers last week, he seems to be on a good year/bad year/good year/bad year kick and this is his good year. Steve Kline was released by the Giants and is available, another guy who has had a solid career and may have some gas left in the tank.

13 February 2008

Phils Add Ben-surance

The Phillies completed a deal to add Kris Benson to the team just in time for pitchers and catchers to report to the Carpenter Complex.

Benson represents a nice low risk, high reward option for the Phillies and will provide real competition for the 5th spot in the rotation (whether that be Eaton or Kendrick). Benson had shoulder surgery 10 1/2 months ago, so he should be ready to go sometime between the start of the season and June 1. In either case, there's a good chance that he will need to regain his form in the minors before pitching at Citizen's Bank, so the competition for the 5th spot in the rotation could last into the start of the season.

For the Phillies, it's a win-win situation, if Kendrick builds on last years success and Eaton returns to form, then the rotation is set and Benson can work his way back starting in the minors and take the inevitable step to the majors when the first injury hits (anyone want to lay odds on who will be the first starter to hit the DL?) Now, if Kendrick or Eaton falter in Spring training then Benson could be ready to contribute right away.

The history of shoulder surgery recoveries shows a trend where a pitcher comes back with middling success right away, then regains their old form after 2-3 months of regular duty. This could net out to the Benson of old by the second half of the season, and the Phillies always seem to need reliable arms the second half.

Over his career, Benson has had pretty consistent stats. His career numbers are:
4.34 ERA
1.38 WHIP
.267 BAA

About what was expected out of Adam Eaton when he signed.