Saturday, April 30, 2016

Phillies Updates

Stat Attack:
The Phillies pitching staff leads Major League Baseball with 240 strikeouts in 207.1 innings pitched and their WHIP (1.17) is ranked 6th.

The Phillies offense has posted an OPS of .661, which ranks 28th in baseball. That needs to improve, as they've only scored 76 runs, which ranks 27th.

Odubel Herrera has now walked 23 times this season after only getting a free pass 28 times last year.

The Phillies record of 13-10 puts them in the top third of baseball in winning percentage. Enjoy it.

Position OPS Ranks:
C - .862/2nd
1B - .668/20th
2B - .634/24th
SS - .749/11th
3B - .808/14th
LF - .435/30th
CF - .881/3rd
RF - .474/30th
P - .302/13th
PH - .451/23rd

Imagine if the corner outfield positions didn't have an OPS worse that Michael Martinez. The tandem of Rupp/Ruiz is doing a great job. First base isn't all Howard's fault, Ruf is the one really slacking. Emmanuel Burriss needs to be released, because the pinch hit crew could use a bit of a boost and he's only batting .050 (1-20). Odubel Herrera is on his way to becoming a star.

Giles Trade:
Ken Giles has allowed half the amount of runs with the Astros already as he did in his entire time with the Phillies (Houston - 10 R/10 IP, Philly - 20 R/115.2 IP). Meanwhile, the trade has worked out pretty well for the Phils so far. Velasquez has a 1.78 ERA and 0.87 WHIP through his first 4 starts. Oberholtzer, while not pitching effectively, has eaten up some innings in long relief. Appel is like a new man in Lehigh Valley (1.64 ERA in 4 starts). Eshelman, the forgotten piece of the swap, has been dealing for Clearwater too (1.80 ERA in 4 starts).

Phillies Affiliates:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 11-10
Reading Fightins, 14-7
Clearwater Threshers, 15-7
Lakewood BlueClaws, 5-16

Winning is encouraging at all levels.  The BlueClaws are the only team in the organization currently with a losing record.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Series Preview: Indians at Phillies

If this isn't the highpoint of the season, this is going to be a better year than anyone anticipated. Twenty-two games into the season, the Phillies sit at 12-10 as they come off a sweep of Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals. They even touched up Jonathan Papelbon en route.
It was a glorious series that reminded you how fun baseball can be when you beat a rival.

Now the Phillies get to battle Terry Francona's 10-9 Cleveland Indians.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Let's enjoy this while it lasts

It's April 27...
The Phillies pitching staff has shut out its opponent four times this year.
It had seven shutouts all of last year, 12 in 2014.
The Phillies are over .500 with an 11-10 record.
They weren't above .500 after April 11 last year. The latest they were above .500 in 2014 was May 4.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Series Preview: Phillies at Nationals

It's primary day, so let's have some fun. Just a hypothetical situation.
You're walking down the street to get a slice of pizza. A man walks up to you and tells you he's a wizard. Somehow, he proves it to you. Maybe he floats. Maybe he makes you float. Maybe he tells you things no one knows about you.
The wizard says, I'm giving you a choice.
Either your team, the Philadelphia Phillies, can make the World Series this year and the next three years or your candidate can win the White House.
Now, that's all he tells you.
Not whether your candidate will go down in shame. Not whether your candidate will be effective in office or even win reelection.
You don't know what happens to America from Oct. of this year to Oct. 2019. (I know, this isn't the candidate's full term, which runs from January 2017 to January 2021.)
For the Phillies, you know that they would reach an almost unprecedented level of glory. A cinderella team that wins the World Series, followed by back-to-back-to-back repeats.
Which do you choose?

Which do you pick

World Series championships
my iq tested

Now, to preview the series.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A glance at the upcoming schedule

Let's get something out of the way.
None of us expect the Philadelphia Phillies to contend for a playoff berth. None of us even really expect them to play close to .500 ball.
But 11 percent of the season is in the books and the Phillies are 9-10. Sure, the offense is woeful, the relief pitching scattershot and the baserunning worse than my son's T-ball squad. But on the back of very strong returns from a young rotation, the Phils are playing above their heads.
Will it last? Probably not.
But it might last longer than you expect.
The Phillies have had an impressive start despite playing .473 percent of their schedule against winning teams (Three against the Washington Nationals, six against the New York Mets.). They went 4-5 in those games.
The Phils meet up with the Nationals again, starting Tuesday.
After that, things get interesting.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tommy Joseph is tearing it up in AAA

Remember Tommy Joseph, the centerpiece of the second Hunter Pence deal?
The good hitting catcher who was at one point the second best prospect in the San Francisco Giants system. Then he kept suffering concussions.
And you thought it was OK to say, "Dammit, Another bust."
Well, guess what?
He is tearing up Triple-A. Through 12 games, he has a .385/.415/.744 mark with three home runs and five doubles.
While it seems like forever ago that he was a prospect, Joseph is still a relatively young 24.
The Phillies don't have a hot shot first base prospect right now.
Brock Stassi, 26, is hitting .250/.348/.350 at Lehigh Valley. Kyle Martin is hitting .262/.333/.492 in Clearwater.
Sure, everyone seems to have forgotten about Joseph, thanks to the concussions. But the Phillies could do a lot worse than start grooming him for first base.
Maybe he doesn't become an everyday player, or the star he was expected to be when Ruben Amaro acquired him, but he's proven he can hit.
Joseph hasn't been playing every day; he's been splitting time with Stassi.
Both players have their benefits, but the Phillies might have found something they thought they lost with Joseph.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Series preview: Phillies at Brewers

Phillies fans are still getting bent out of shape about the Hunter Pence trade.
The Phillies got an all-star caliber player for four young minor leaguers. One - Josh Zeid - flushed out awhile ago. Another, Jonathan Singleton, got a $10 million contract from the Houston Astros. They should have just set that money on fire. He hit .171/.290/.331 in his 114 games the last two years and was struggling in the early goings until he launched two homers yesterday. He's young, but it wouldn't be shocking to see the 'Stros ditch him if he continues to struggle. Then there's Jerrad Cosart, who looked like a big miss for the Phillies in his first two seasons.  Since then, however, he's had a 4.73 ERA and walked almost 5 batters per nine innings.
Then there's Domingo Santana, who now plays with the Brewers. He might be "the one that got away" in that deal. But we won't know for sure for a couple of years.
The Phillies will get to see Santana this weekend in Milwaukee.