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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Front office needs to fix Ryan Howard situation for Mackanin | PhillyVoice

It might be time to move Ryan Howard.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cameron: Let’s Talk About the Phillies’ Playoff Odds (!)

According to Dave, Martin O’Malley might have a better chance of being the Democrat nominee.

See that flat line across the bottom? That’s the Phillies. Their 24-17 start hasn’t moved the needle, at all, on our forecasts expectations for their chances of reaching the postseason. Okay, that’s not exactly true; they’ve gone from a 0.1% chance of winning one of the two Wild Card spots in our preseason forecast all the way up to a 0.3% chance of getting to the play-in game now. But their odds of hanging on to the NL East? Still close enough zero to round down when displaying one decimal point.

This is, to some, puzzling. A question in my chat yesterday brought up the point that our system is far more bearish on the Phillies hot start leading to postseason success than others; Baseball Prospectus gives them a 2.3% chance of winning the division and a 7.6% chance of getting a Wild Card spot, for 10% overall odds of reaching the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight is even more bullish than that, putting them at 4% to win the NL East and 13% to reach the postseason. So why is our system so stubborn relative to others attempting to look into the same crystal ball in order to see what the final standings will look like in October?

Well, it’s worth noting that there are dramatic methodological differences between the way that we (and BP) do our forecasts and the way FiveThirtyEight is doing theirs. Our forecasts are essentially an amalgamation of individual player projections, summed up at the team level; BP does this same thing too, using their PECOTA projections where we use a mix of ZIPS of Steamer. FiveThirtyEight, on the other hand, is using Elo Ratings, which adjust up or down based on whether you win or lose a game, and how much of an upset that win (or loss) was relative to their pre-game expectations. While they used individual player projections to come up with their preseason Elo ratings, their in-season adjustments are based on responding to a team’s win-loss record.

Our system doesn’t care at all about a team’s actual record at any point in the season; it only looks at the individual player performances to try and ascertain whether there have been significant changes in expected playing time or production level to adjust the team’s expected record up or down. So far, ZIPS and Steamer look at what the Phillies players are doing and think “yeah, that’s basically what we expected.” Our preseason expected win% for the Phillies was .395; 41 games into the season, our rest-of-season expected win% for the Phillies is .396. And because they were starting from such a low baseline of expected wins, even their extra banked wins through the first six weeks don’t really change how often they make the postseason in our simulations; the strong start has taken them from 64 to 72 projected wins, but nobody’s making the playoffs at 72 wins, or anything close to it.


Phillies GM Matt Klentak would consider acquiring bat, but not at cost of rebuild | CSN Philly

The 2015 Twins in Phillies uniforms.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Minor-league Phillies put on the healthy feedbag

Within walking distance of the Sleep Inn and Suites in Hagerstown, Md., is a Waffle House, Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, Burger King, McDonald’s and a 7-Eleven tucked behind a gas station. This is where the single-A Lakewood BlueClaws stay three times a season, when they pile into a bus for a South Atlantic League road trip.

Shane Watson, a former first-round pick back at Lakewood after shoulder surgery, prefers the Cracker Barrel. A few weeks ago, when Lakewood visited Hagerstown, Watson planned to dine there for lunch - until a caterer carried salmon and some steamed vegetables into the hotel lobby.

This season, the Phillies will spend close to $1 million to feed their minor-league players and staffers healthy meals.

“It’s definitely a plus this year,” Watson said. “For sure. A lot of guys really like it.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2016 at 02:43 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, nutrition, phillies

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Meet Bob McClure, the Phillies’ ‘mad scientist’ | FOX Sports

Pitching coach du jour.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 04, 2016 at 07:54 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Friday, April 15, 2016

Phillies’ Velasquez strikes out 16 in shutout | MLB.com

Does it get an asterisk because it was against the Padres AAA lineup?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 15, 2016 at 05:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, phillies

Saturday, April 09, 2016

MLB.com: Botched infield fly costs Phils potential rally

Phillies Phorget Inphield Phly Rule

Too bad Ruben Amaro Jr. isn’t coaching phirst base for the Phillies.

The Phillies had Hernandez on first and Freddy Galvis on second with one out when Odubel Herrera hit a popup in the infield, just to the left of the pitcher’s mound. Mets third baseman David Wright moved underneath the ball, but the wind blew it behind him.

No matter, the infield fly rule had been called.

But Hernandez ran to second the moment the ball hit the ground. Wright threw to Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who threw to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who tagged Hernandez for the inning-ending double play.

“I did not see the umpire call the infield fly,” Hernandez said through the Phillies’ translator. “I was trying to listen to my first-base coach, but couldn’t hear a thing because it was so loud. When the ball hit the ground, I reacted to it. However, there are no excuses. I am an infielder. I know the rules. I take full responsibility for it. It won’t happen again.”

bobm Posted: April 09, 2016 at 02:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: infield fly, mets, phillies

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ruben Amaro Jr. reflects on time with Phillies | phillies.com

Members of the new Phillies’ regime have said the analytics system was way more advanced than they had anticipated, based on nothing more than the world’s outside perception of it.

If that is true, then why did the Phillies try to seem so unanalytical at times?

“We didn’t think it was all that important for us to have to advertise what we were doing,” Amaro said. “Why do we have to advertise what we do? Am I doing it to save my job or what? We were a little behind I think with some of the analytics. The reality of it is we won without the analytics. We had the best team in baseball without the analytics … a full analytics core. Could we have been better? Maybe. There’s always ways to improve, but that’s probably why I’m in a uniform now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies, ruben amaro jr.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Ruben Amaro, Jr. says Phillies’ anti-analytics image was a ruse to gain a “competitive advantage”

David Laurila of FanGraphs caught up with Amaro and asked about the whole analytics thing in Philadelphia.

“You can’t ever deny the numbers. That’s true for every GM and every baseball person, regardless of whether you’re ‘old school’ or ‘new school.’ When a scout walks in, the first thing he does is pick up a stat sheet and look at what the player does and what he’s been doing. The numbers don’t lie.

“I’ve always believed in analytics. I just didn’t make it all public (in Philadelphia). I thought it was more of a competitive advantage for me to keep our thought-process about analytics closer to the vest. We didn’t boast about what we were doing — we didn’t discuss it openly — because I didn’t think it was anybody’s business but our own as to how we evaluated.

“We got a little more aggressive, as far as building our analytics department, probably three-or-so years ago. It did maybe become a little more public then. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t utilizing analytics to some degree earlier than that.”

In an article by Doug Miller for MLB.com back in January 2010, special assistant Charley Kerfeld said, “And since I’ve been here, we don’t have an in-house stats guy and I kind of feel we never will. We’re not a statistics-driven organization by any means.” He added, “I’m not against statistics. Everybody has their own way of doing things. But the Phillies believe in what our scouts see and what our eyes tell us and what our people tell us.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:56 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, phillies, ruben amaro jr.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Philly.com:Tough road back for injured Hollands

A quick story on the rarely discussed mental portion of recovery from Tommmy John Surgery. 

The Original SJ Posted: March 01, 2016 at 10:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, tommy john surgery

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Brookover: Klentak had a head start on Phils rebuild

He has the sucking up to ownership thing down.

Klentak, 35, agrees that he stepped into a nice situation.

“That’s right,” he said Friday inside his spring-training office. “I studied that a lot prior to my arrival . . . and many of the advantages we have are real. First and foremost is the commitment of our ownership. The ownership has shown over the years that they will spend. The ability to carry a big payroll to support a winning club, that is going to be there.”

Edit: Link fixed. Sorry. Jim

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2016 at 07:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: matt klentak, phillies

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Andy Galdi excited to run Phillies analytics | phillies.com

Anyone know what PHIL stands for?

Like, are there even computers around?” Galdi said. “That’s really not the case at all. They had already built PHIL [the organization’s computer system]. They had already done a lot of this work toward making the situation there more technologically advanced, which is where I wanted to go anyway. It’s not like I’m starting at zero. What I want to do is push it even further.

“To be honest, I’m still learning a lot about what’s already been done there and it’s quite a bit.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2016 at 10:42 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, sabermetrics

Monday, February 22, 2016

White Sox sign Jimmy Rollins to minor-league deal

e White Sox have signed shortstop Jimmy Rollins to a minor-league deal, according to a report from Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training, and includes a $2 million base salary if Rollins makes the team’s major-league roster.

Rollins, 37, will likely have a good shot to make Chicago’s Opening Day roster as a veteran complement to Tyler Saladino at shortstop. Alexei Ramirez had manned the spot for the ChiSox for years, but the team declined his option at the beginning of the offseason and he signed with the Padres last month….

Rollins spent last season with the Dodgers, posting a .224/.285/.358 line while hitting 13 home runs in 144 games as the Dodgers’ primary shortstop. He has never appeared in the American League, spending his entire career with the Phillies (2000-14) before being traded to the Dodgers last winter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jimmy rollins, white sox

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mark Appel hopes to break out with Phillies | MLB.com

He’s too nice? He lets batters hit to improve their averages?

That hasn’t stopped the armchair psychologists from offering their conclusions. Appel has a ready smile and is bright and well-spoken. That has led some to conclude that he’s simply too nice, that he lacks the requisite mean streak. It’s a charge the 24-year-old is well aware of.

“I take it as a compliment. I am a nice guy,” Appel said on the final day of the Phillies’ annual Prospect Education Program at Citizens Bank Park. “I don’t think being nice is a sign of weakness. If anything, it can be seen as a sign of strength. Knowing that you don’t have to come off as this fake tough guy to try to gain respect from your teammates or the opponent. What matters to me is what happens in between the lines.

“Long story short, being on the mound, I don’t show emotion. But I have a fire deep inside of me that is a competitor. That is basically somebody who looks at the guy in the box and says, ‘I’m better than you and I want to show it.’ I have that competitive edge, absolutely. I think the ‘nice’ persona can be a misconception because I don’t show emotion. I don’t throw my glove. I’ve had a couple times when I have shown emotion, but I try to contain it and keep it to myself. Or show emotion when nobody’s around.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Stark:  The odd and troubling state of the National League

The Reds—“They’re in Houston mode, 100 percent. They tried it the other way. Now they’re the biggest example of doing it this way. They’re willing to do pretty much whatever has to be done.”...

Over and over, we heard executives of clubs on both sides of this divide say they think this approach was inspired by the success of the Astros. And why the heck not? They stripped down their payroll. They averaged 108 losses a year for three years. They became the first club in history to hold the first pick in the draft three years in a row. And then ... (ta-daaaa) ... they used all that mega-losing to catapult themselves from 111 losses to a playoff spot in just two years.

Oh, there were other reasons the Astros won, of course. But does anyone dispute that they analyzed this system, then did all they could to make it work? So have they plotted a course that has led the NL to this place, as other teams look for exactly the same edge?

TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 14, 2016 at 02:19 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brewers, phillies, reds, tanking

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Attorneys for Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard send letters to Al Jazeera America demanding retraction - The Washington Post

I didn’t watch the full video. Is this report based entirely on the guy/intern who retracted his claims?

The version of the report on Al Jazeera’s website now contains a correction at the top, dated Monday, that says an earlier version of the written version of the story – not the film – contained references to Zimmerman and Howard using human growth hormone.

“The substance alleged was Delta 2, not HGH,” the correction reads.

The film version of the report contains a conversation between an undercover Al Jazeera reporter and Charles Sly, who Al Jazeera identifies as a pharmacist who once worked at the Guyer Institute of Molecular Medicine in Indianapolis, an anti-aging clinic. Sly said in the conversation that Zimmerman used Delta 2. He does not mention HGH.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, phillies, ryan howard, ryan zimmerman

Monday, December 21, 2015

Frank’s Place: A Christmas Eve meeting that made an impression

How could I not not link to a story about Phillies’ Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 21, 2015 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel saddened to be leaving Astros organization - Ultimate Astros

Mark Appel doesn’t pay off for the Astros.

“The only emotions and the only feelings toward the Astros is gratitude,” he said. “There’s so much thankfulness for what they’ve done for me, how they’ve supported me and how they handled everything and just supported me through my difficult season through my learning curve of acclimating to pro ball and really working through some difficulties and struggling.

“I’m not going to shy away from the difficulties that I’ve had, but the Astros have just been very gracious to me. I’m just so thankful to be part of the organization.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mark appel, phillies

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Phillies acquire Charlie Morton from Pirates | phillies.com

The Pirates give up on Morton.

The Phillies acquired right-hander Charlie Morton from the Pirates in exchange for Minor League right-hander David Whitehead. Morton’s current contract runs through the 2016 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, phillies, pirates, trade

Friday, December 11, 2015

Where is the outrage over Ken Giles trade?

There is a lot of discussion on Twitter about this article.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Phillies Expected To Take Goeddel First In Rule 5 Draft

Your Rule 5 draft thread!

Multiple teams told Baseball America that they expect the Phillies to take Rays outfielder Tyler Goeddel No. 1 overall in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. It it happens as expected Goeddel will become the second consecutive Rays’ prospect to be picked first in the Rule 5 draft.

Catcher Oscar Hernandez was taken by the Diamondbacks No. 1 in last year’s Rule 5 draft.

Goeddel, a supplemental first-round pick in 2011, has ranked among the Rays’ Top 20 prospects in three of the past four seasons. A move from third base to the outfield helped him this year as he proved to be a much better fit out of the dirt. He played all three outfield positions this past season. While he’s not a center fielder in the majors, Goeddel runs well and is athletic to go with one of the better approaches available in the Rule 5 draft.

Who the Reds will pick at No. 2 is much less certain. The names being bounced around the most are Cardinals righthander Luis Perdomo, a hard-throwing Class A starter who has three present pitches and solid control, and Twins righthander Zack Jones, a hard-throwing reliever who can sit in the high 90s. The Braves pick No. 3 but their target was Goeddel. With him gone (and Daniel Winkler from the 2014 Rule 5 draft still needing further big league time) they would be happy now to trade out of the spot. The Rockies, picking fourth, have also seemed willing to trade out of the spot.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 09:28 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, rule 5 draft

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Astros acquire Ken Giles from Phillies | MLB.com

The Astros will send pitcher Vincent Velasquez, left-handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer and one Minor Leaguer to the Phillies in exchange for Giles, who will be a key piece to the back end of their bullpen.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2015 at 08:59 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, phillies, trades, winter meetings

Friday, December 04, 2015

Padres, Angels, Dodgers Showing Most Interest In Utley

The Padres, Angels and Dodgers are showing the most interest in second baseman Chase Utley, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Utley has told friends that his preference is to play in his native California, Stark hears, adding that the Los Angeles area native now resides in northern California but still has family in the southern portion of the state.

Some believe that the Padres’ interest could be a precursor to a trade of some kind, Stark writes, as the team has internal second base options in the form of Jedd Gyorko and Jose Pirela. (Additionally, I’d list Cory Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte and recently acquired Carlos Asuaje in that mix.) Given the depth of options the Padres have at second, the Utley connection is perhaps a bit surprising, but Stark nonetheless characterizes the team’s interest as “strong.”

The Angels, he notes, could look to use Utley both at second base and designated hitter next season depending on matchups. Johnny Giavotella manned second for most of the 2015 season in Anaheim while batting .272/.318/.375 and delivering suspect defense. Of course, Utley himself is coming off a mere .212/.286/.343 batting line between the Phillies and Dodgers. And, at 37 (later this month), it might not be wise to count on plus defense from the veteran, though metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved pegged him as only slightly below average and much preferred his work to that of the younger Giavotella.

Stark writes that the Dodgers could use Utley as a short-term stopgap to prospect Jose Peraza — a former Top 100 prospect with the Braves that debuted with the Dodgers in 2015 but received just 25 plate appearances in the Majors. Peraza has considerable speed, but his combined .293/.316/.378 line between the Triple-A affiliates for L.A. and Atlanta wasn’t as impressive as his work at the lower levels in the minors. Then again, he’s also still just 21 years of age, making him significantly younger than the bulk of his competition in Triple-A.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Dodgers have more interest in Utley than they do in Ben Zobrist, which would seem to mesh with the notion that a short-term bridge to Peraza is the preferred route for the team. An outside addition isn’t necessarily needed at all, thanks to the presence of Enrique Hernandez, although adding Utley in a stopgap capacity would allow the Dodgers to continue leveraging Hernandez’s versatility in somewhat of a super-utility capacity.

EvilBoWeevil Posted: December 04, 2015 at 10:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, braves, dodgers, padres, phillies, rumors

Jason Heyward would look good in a Phillies uniform

The Phillies signing the 26-year old Heyward isn’t the worst idea. How much money would they have to overpay to get him to play there, though?

Another benefit of being the worst in baseball is that you don’t lose your first-round draft pick when you sign an elite free agent. It would be silly for the Phillies to go after a 30-something player when they are in the midst of a rebuilding plan, but Jason Heyward, who was Bourjos’ teammate in St. Louis, is only 26.

Klentak and MacPhail, like most baseball men, are focused on pitching depth and improved defense. Putting Heyward in right field, Bourjos in center, and Odubel Herrera in left would not only give the Phillies one of the best defensive outfields in baseball, it also would provide a much brighter outlook for the offense.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jason heyward, phillies

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rox sign Jaime Moyer to Minor League deal

Fun fact: When the Rockies came into existence, Jaime Moyer was in his eighth Major League season.

The Rockies’ search for a veteran for the starting rotation could take them to the ultimate veteran, 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer.

Colorado and Moyer have agreed to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training, the club announced on Wednesday. The agreement is pending a physical.

Moyer underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2010 and didn’t pitch last season. The lefty worked as an analyst for ESPN in 2011 but stated that he intended to try to pitch again in ‘12.

Moyer went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Phillies in 2010.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, phillies, rockies

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