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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amid maddening inconsistency, Herrera’s flashes for Phillies can’t be ignored | David Murphy

From the last part of 2015 through the first part of 2016, Herrera put together the near-equivalent of an entire season in which he drew 62 walks in 667 plate appearances, or 9.3 percent. During that stretch, he tallied 45 extra-base hits. He then put together a nearly yearlong stretch in which his walk rate plummeted (to 6.2 percent), but his extra-base-hit rate remained steady (7.0 percent). Over the last 37 games, his walk rate has undergone another proportionate drop (to 3.9 percent), but his extra-base rate has more than doubled, to 15 percent.

Somewhere in all that is an enchanting hypothetical. Herrera has shown he can go an extended period of time drawing walks at a rate commensurate with the most consistent of players. His most recent sample at least raises the potential that he can do the same with his power. He would hardly be the first player to go three full seasons before putting it all together.

Maybe it never happens, but his career to this date has hardly served such a referendum.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 18, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: odubel herrera, phillies

Thursday, July 13, 2017

One night with Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and his 100-mph fastball

Hopefully he can stay healthy.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, sixto sanchez

Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Phillies’ Aaron Nola dominant in victory | MLB.com

Something positive in Philly.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Phillies Nation: When do the Phils pull the plug on Mackanin?

Soon please, for Pete’s sake!

We can go on and on about how the skipper has nothing to work with, but in reality, Mackanin hasn’t done his part either. Let alone the questionable on-field moves, it’s the lack of communication and discipline on this team that’s causing the demise of the third year manager.

eddieot Posted: June 27, 2017 at 10:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pete mackanin, phillies, worst team in baseball

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Phillies Designate Jeanmar Gomez, Michael Saunders

The Phillies made a rather dramatic roster move today, announcing that righty Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Michael Saunders have been designated for assignment. Lefty Hoby Milner and outfielder Cameron Perkins have had their contracts purchased.

While there were never realistic hopes of contention in 2017, the Phillies’ worst-in-baseball 22-and-46 record nevertheless represents a considerable disappointment. These two veterans are hardly the only poor performers, but their pronounced struggles were increasingly hard to ignore.

Still, it’s a bit of a stunner to see the move take place. Gomez was the Phils’ closer for the bulk of 2016 and is earning a cool $4.2MM with one more year of arb control remaining. And Saunders landed in Philadelphia over the winter on a $9MM guarantee. The Phils were hoping they had scored a bargain when his market failed to develop, but will instead punt on the rest of that deal — including the rights to an $11MM option for 2018.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2017 at 03:08 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: michael saunders, phillies

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

KEVIN COONEY: Matt Klentak has to walk fine line between honesty and complete truth | Phillies Talk | buckscountycouriertimes.com

Every time I read “carrying 13 pitchers” I want to scream, “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

“We have alternatives if we need to go get somebody at Triple-A,” Klentak said. “That too may come at some point. But right now, with how the roster’s going, with us carrying 13 pitchers and with Daniel Nava playing well, this is a perfectly fine setup for right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2017 at 10:34 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Phillies’ Aaron Nola answers call to step up | MLB.com

Like a lot of the Phillies, Aaron Nola has been disappointing this season. Not last night, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2017 at 09:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Ryan Howard’s Career Is Dead. The Shift Killed It. | FiveThirtyEight

But although Howard succumbed to the shift, his demise also tells us about the future of the tactic — and why its effectiveness might eventually tail off. When modern teams first started realigning the infield, there were plenty of obvious candidates who would be vulnerable to its effects. But as players like Howard get pushed out of the league by the shift, there will be fewer and fewer hitters on whom it can be used so effectively. Eventually, the rewards of slick defensive positioning will shrink; like most tactics in baseball, the shift will have diminishing returns.

Had Howard’s career started a decade later, he might have had to cope with the shift in the minors and found a way to adapt. As it was, he came up as the shift was rising, and it probably cost him a long career and a chance at the Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2017 at 07:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard, shifts

Mike Schmidt wouldn’t build team around Odubel Herrera or Spanish-speaking players

It started when Angelo Cataldi brought up Odubel Herrera, and mentioned that Herrera isn’t the kind of player Schmidt was. Schmidt’s response?

“Almost exact opposite.”
Cataldi then asked if a player like Odubel is a guy you can build a team around. And here’s where things get bad.

“My honest answer to that would be no because of a couple of things,.” Schmidt said. “First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game. Or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game. Or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ Just can’t be — because of the language barrier — that kind of a player.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2017 at 12:04 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: mike schmidt, odubel herrera, phillies

FSL notes: Phils’ Kilome raising his profile | MiLB.com News

More hope for Phillies fans.

Kilome—ranked as the Phillies’ No. 5 prospect—hasn’t been quite as dominant so far this season after the move up to the Clearwater Threshers in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, but he has definitely stamped himself as a pitcher to watch. Signed for $40,000 by the Phillies as a rail-thin 17-year-old in 2013, Kilome’s profile has risen along with his physical development.

“I’ve grown at least an inch and gained about 60 pounds,” said Kilome, who is now nearly 6-foot-7 and weighs around 230 pounds.

The extra size has helped produce a fastball that regularly hits 98 mph. It was a revamping of his breaking ball that turned things around for Kilome early last season, though.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2017 at 10:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: franklyn kilome, phillies, prospects

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Phillie Phanatic’s best running gags, ranked – Phillies Nation

Finger extensions are not on the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2017 at 11:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mascots, phillies, philly phanatic

Friday, June 02, 2017

Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak is only 19, but he’s already shown a power swing

“He has shown true gap power to right-center and left-center, and at 19 years old he is still getting there,” Malloy said. “I don’t see why he can’t be a 15-20 home-run guy at the next level.”

One scout who has seen Moniak with Lakewood agreed.

“The ball jumps off his bat, and I think he is going to be a very good hitter, and the power will come,” the scout said. “When you look at it, he is such a young kid, and it’s hard to play in that league, playing against some 23-, 24-year-olds.”

“I feel I have held my own, and I feel comfortable,” Moniak said. “I am enjoying playing with my teammates. We have a good team, and it’s been fun.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey moniak, phillies, prospects

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Phillies have discussed sending Maikel Franco to Triple A

Maikel Franco, who opened the season hitting fourth in the Phillies’ lineup, could be sent to Triple A if he doesn’t break out of his slump.

“We’ve talked about it,” manager Pete Mackanin said before Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins. “That’s about all I’ll say. It’s been discussed.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why do Philly sports fans trust the Sixers’ process but have little faith in Phillies’ rebuild?

But are they selling jeans?

The acceptance of losing and trust in a rebuilding process hasn’t quite made its way across Pattison Avenue.

The Phillies, like the Sixers, haven’t finished a season with a winning record in a half decade. They entered play on Saturday with a 223-309 record (.419 winning percentage) since the start of the 2014 season.

The Phillies’ management and ownership, like that of the Sixers, officially embarked on a rebuilding project (in October of 2014) that saw the gradual dismantling of its team with the hopes of building from the ground up, forming a sustainable winner in the long-term while they’d take their lumps in the short term.

The feeling here – and I’m not alone on this, it’s been discussed in sports circles among other media types recently – is that there’s a pretty big disparity between Philadelphia sports fans who have put trust in the Sixers’ process but aren’t at all thrilled with the Phils’ rebuild.

Why is one team permitted to lose while the other must do everything possible to field a winning product right now?

Of course, baseball and basketball are different sports with different rules and restrictions in building franchises. But there are some obvious ones that could help to explain this interesting gap between the faith behind one team’s rebuild and the other’s in the last two-plus seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 30, 2017 at 06:13 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Phillies need to sell Jeremy Hellickson this time around – Phillies Nation

Doesn’t Kirsten Swanson know other teams have access to his full-season performance as well?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jeremy hellickson, phillies

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Former Senator, baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning has died

Former Republican Senator Jim Bunning has died.

He served as a United States senator from 1999 to 2011.

Bunning pitched in the MLB for 17 years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

His career was spent mostly with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies.

Bunning had suffered a stroke at his Southgate home in October.

He was 85 years old.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2017 at 01:52 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: jim bunning, obituary, phillies, tigers

Phillies’ Bowa, Hernandez form bond that crosses generational and cultural lines

“We just had a meeting and I told these guys, ‘Even if all you go 0-for-4, you should still be dead tired at the end of the game from backing up bases, moving on pitches and going out for relays,’” Bowa said. “These are things that come into play. You’re in a position on the field where you’re always in the middle of the action. Double plays are huge. It’s the pitcher’s best friend. So you have to stay alert.

“In the end, they know I’m trying to help them, and if I see them trying to take shortcuts, I’ll let them know. It’s a grind playing this game every day. And if you think you have it licked, it will bite you real quick.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 10:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cesar hernandez, phillies

Thursday, May 25, 2017

KEVIN COONEY: Long before you can laugh, the Phillies are a crying shame | Phillies Talk | buckscountycouriertimes.com

This can’t be true. Don’t the Phillies have more outfielders than they know what to do with?

It can’t get worse than this. Can it?

The Phillies have gone from a team that was representative for a month to something that can’t legitimately be called “major league baseball” at this time. They have gone from close losses to nightly poundings.

There are times over the course of 162 games when one part of a team disintegrates—when the offense goes south or the pitching implodes. It is especially true for young teams that are trying to find their way in this world.

What is happening right now is a full team meltdown on just about every level—from the field to the clubhouse and all the way up to the front office.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Charlie Morton’s Electric Stuff Has Never Been More Electric

With the Phillies, though, Morton made a transformation. Matt Gelb reported on Morton’s velocity jump back in the spring of 2016 for Philly.com:

“For some reason,” Morton said. “I just went out there and tried to throw the ball hard one game. I wound up throwing it harder.

“I feel like my arm is working really well … My timing is really good. I feel like my arm is quicker. I’m maintaining my pitch speed throughout the game, which is really promising. It’s not just I go out there, throw hard, and it fades away.”

Last spring, the analytically inclined Morton appeared to do less thinking. Perhaps concerned that he was running out of answers, he made a very uncomplicated decision: he was going to try and light up the radar gun.

And he did.

His two-seam fastball velocity jumped from 91.8 mph to a then-career-best 93.3 over four April starts last season. His swinging-strike rate jumped to a career-best 12%, his ground-ball rate remained elite (63%), and his K rate jumped to 26.8%. He had never reached 20% in any single season for his career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, phillies

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Do the Phillies have too many young outfielders? – Phillies Nation

The Red Sox aren’t trading Devers (who plays a problem position in their org) for Hellickson and an outfield prospect (a position where they are quite comfortable).

For instance, the Red Sox could feel that this is their year but they need to add one more solid starter at the deadline. They’d want Hellickson but they don’t want to give up their top ranked prospect, third basemen Rafael Devers. The Phillies could counter with a deal that includes several prospects, including Quinn, Cozens or Williams. The Red Sox get their help and a few pieces for their future. The Phillies get that highly rated prospect who just so happens to play a position where they’re lacking some depth. This deal doesn’t hurt as much for the Phillies because of their depth.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The mechanical flaw Stairs found that could get Maikel Franco on track | PhillyVoice

I’ve read other articles about his change in approach. At some point, though, it needs to show up in his regular batting line.

“I just have one month here, less than 50 games,” Franco said Saturday. “We’ve got a long way to go, 4 1/2 months. Everything is going to change. I don’t have to worry about where my average is right now and what I have to do, the only thing I have to do is get my rhythm back, get my confidence back, and if I do all of that, everything is going to be alright.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 14, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Braves Release Ryan Howard

Will Big Piece find peace in retirement?

DanG Posted: May 09, 2017 at 12:13 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Clay Buchholz Will Undergo Surgery

Buchholz was diagnosed with the partial tear of the right flexor pronator mass in his right arm last week. He was set to see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on Monday. It was, apparently, a bad opinion. He’s expected to miss around 3-5 months, which practically speaking, could be the entire season if it’s anything but the speediest recovery.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 18, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, phillies

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