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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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Muñoz’s path to the Phillies doesn’t often happen

Durso had welcomed Muñoz on to the Homers for Hope baseball team, and into his home. He and his wife, Katie, had taught Muñoz some rudimentary English. He had done all of this under the tyranny of the calendar. Whatever hope Muñoz had of remaining in the United States, restarting his pitching career, and extricating his family from the pull of the Dominican Republic’s poverty would run out come Dec.31, when his visa expired, unless a major-league organization threw him a lifeline.


If one did, he had to be ready to catch it. So as the Philadelphia Fall Baseball League’s season wound down, Durso and two of his friends from Homers for Hope, David Olmo and Nick Massaro, volunteered themselves as Muñoz’s personal pitching coaches and catchers. During afternoons, Muñoz often called Olmo to ask if they could play catch for an hour or two, just so Muñoz could get some work in. When Muñoz needed to long-toss to keep his arm limber, Durso took him to the football field at Bonner-Prendergast High School. Muñoz stood in one end zone and heaved the ball to Durso in the opposite end zone, and the field’s artificial turf allowed Durso to skip his return throws, since he didn’t have the arm strength to reach Muñoz on the fly. That exercise was easy enough. There was another that proved more challenging, and dangerous….

November became December. Muñoz had less than a month before he would have to return to his home country, and return a failure. He would step off that plane and try to look his wife in the eye without shame, and his daughter… coming up on 6 months old… having spent not a second in her father’s arms… when she was old enough to understand, to ask her daddy about why he had gone to America and what he had done there, what would he tell her?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2015 at 04:35 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jairo munoz, phillies

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Phillies acquire Jeremy Hellickson from Diamondbacks

The rebuilding Phillies acquired righthander Jeremy Hellickson from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for pitching prospect Sam McWilliams.

ReggieThomasLives Posted: November 15, 2015 at 03:04 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, phillies, phils

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Sullivan: The Worst Division in a Decade

The NL East vexes me … I’m terribly vexed.

If you look at winning percentage outside of the same division, then the NL East slides into fourth-worst. At .428, it’s no match for the 2002 AL Central’s .412, but it does dip past the 1999 AL Central’s .439. I feel like I don’t need to keep hammering this. The division was bad. It was probably the worst in 10 years. In the season ahead, it’s likely the Phillies and Braves will once again struggle. The Nationals will lose some personnel, and the Mets could lose both Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes. It’s way too soon to try to forecast how the division will play in 2016, but the probability is that the best team in it will benefit from a relatively soft schedule.

In case you’re curious about the other side, the NL Central was strong, but it ranks tied for 11th in the interleague era. It was the strongest division in two years, since the 2013 AL East. The No. 1 strongest division was the 2002 AL West, with a very slim lead over the previous season’s AL West. (In third place: a different season’s AL West.) In fact, the top nine divisions all come from the American League, but that’s not a total surprise, given the AL’s run of league superiority. This is of little consolation to the Reds and the Brewers, who are looking up at their rivals and wondering what hope they have. If there are two teams in baseball that could stand to try to start over, it would be those. The Brewers have arguably already begun.

Just for the sake of a few closing thoughts: Over the 19 years, the AL Central has never once been baseball’s strongest division. This past year was the first time in the window that the NL Central ranked No. 1. And this was the first time that the NL East ranked No. 6. A year ago, we saw more parity between divisions than we had since at least 1996. There was very little spread in divisional quality. This year was a bounce-back in that regard. Or an anti-bounce-back, depending on your perspective on parity. There was less parity, basically. That’s all.

So, we’re coming off a recent first for the NL Central. And we’re coming off a recent first for the NL East, which was just the worst overall division baseball has seen in a decade. This has all been a reflection, but in the process of writing this, I saw that the Mariners and Rays completed a six-player trade, so now it’s officially time to look ahead. Contained within is information about the 2015 baseball season. That season won’t be bothering you anymore.

JEe (Jason) Posted: November 07, 2015 at 09:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: barves, marlins, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chase Utley is coming back — if he can find a team | New York Post

Who are his best options?

Now, Utley’s case could impact if he misses two games next regular season. The Dodgers will decline his $15 million 2016 option, making Utley a free agent. However, he turns 37 in December and is coming off his worst season in which he hit .212 for the Phillies and Dodgers with just a .629 OPS.

The Dodgers could conceivably want him back at decreased pay, but as opposed to what would have been in his prime, Utley will not have a robust market.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2015 at 06:10 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, dodgers, phillies

Monday, October 26, 2015

Phils’ new GM comes highly recommended

Meet the Phillies new Assistant General Manager. Matt Klentak

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2015 at 11:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, matt klentak, phillies

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Phillies to introduce Matt Klentak on Monday

The Phillies and new club president Andy MacPhail will introduce Matt Klentak as their new general manager on Monday in an 11 a.m. press conference.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This year, youth is served in baseball postseason - The Boston Globe

I didn’t remember Brown being so high on a prospect list so I looked it up. Yep, Baseball America had him as the 4th best prospect in baseball in 2011. He was also 15th in 2010. Shocking.

On Monday, the Phillies announced that they’ve outrighted outfielder Domonic Brown off their 40-man roster. The move wasn’t shocking – in his age 27 season, Brown hit .228/.284/.349 with just five homers in 63 games. Yet in another context, the decision to give Brown the right to declare free agency represented a shock, given that Brown – as Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia remembers – once possessed “untouchable” prospect status as a consensus top-five prospect in all of baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2015 at 09:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, phillies, red sox, youth

Phillies outright Domonic Brown off 40-man roster

Its a Brown-out.

Three summers ago, Domonic Brown represented the Phillies and the National League in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.

On Monday, after none of baseball’s other 29 teams deemed him worthy of a waiver claim, the Phillies removed Brown outright from their 40-man roster.

Brown, one of the biggest prospect busts in recent years, can elect free agency immediately and is expected to do so in the coming days. The oft-maligned 28-year-old outfielder was set to be arbitration eligible for a second time this winter. He made $2.6 million this season.

Brown will be remembered most for the vast potential he never reached, save for a torrid six-week stretch in the first half of 2013. He failed to adjust to pitchers’ adjustments after his all-star campaign that season and regressed in 2014 into one of baseball’s worst everyday players. The Phillies’ attempts to trade him were unsuccessful.

A 189-at-bat sample size this season (.228, five homers) didn’t lend any more reason for optimism. The Phillies were not expected to tender Brown a contract in December. Monday’s decision expedited that process, giving Brown more time to attempt to catch on with another organization. The Phillies also removed Tommy Joseph, Kelly Dugan, and Brian Bogusevic outright from their roster.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2015 at 12:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: domonic brown, phillies

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Marlins express interest in Bowa as Phils make coaching changes

Break out the Bushmills!

Bench coach Larry Bowa, hitting coach Steve Henderson, first base coach Juan Samuel and pitching coach Bob McClure were all offered contracts for 2016. Henderson and McClure are expected to accept the offers, but Bowa and Samuel could move on for other opportunities.

According to sources, the Phillies have granted the Miami Marlins permission to speak with Bowa about their manager’s job. The Marlins have already interviewed Bo Porter and Manny Acta for that job.

Bowa managed the Phillies and Padres earlier in his career.

Samuel interviewed for the Phillies’ manager job when Pete Mackanin was hired full-time last month. Samuel has managerial aspirations and hopes to interview with other clubs this fall (see story).

At the very least, the Phillies will have two openings on their staff. It’s possible that Dusty Wathan could move up from his post as Double A manager and serve as bullpen/catching coach. Wathan was the Eastern League manager of the year in 2015 and is a former catcher.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2015 at 10:01 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: bushmills, larry bowa, managerial openings, marlins, phillies

Phillies secure top pick in draft after losing doubleheader sweep

The Phillies are number one!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2015 at 07:40 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, draft picks, phillies

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2015

Topeka State Journal, September 30, 1915:

PHILADELPHIANS REJOICE

Wild Demonstrations Followed News of Winning of N. L. Pennant
...
Old and middle aged men who have been faithful rooters for the local club for thirty-two years, hugged each other and even total strangers on city hall plaza did so when the electric lights on the score board, which had told the story of the game to multitudes of spectators, flashed “Compton’s final fruitless swing.”
...
The news spread rapidly throughout the city, and although baseball followers had felt confident of victory ever since the Philadelphia team left on its last road trip, word that the game needed to clinch the pennant had been won was joyfully received.

Philadelphians were…friendly? Man, that is wild.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 30, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, phillies

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Once Phillies get a GM, new prez expects to be active in free agency

“I’m going to give you a Dwight Eisenhower quote,” MacPhail said. “He found when he went to battle that plans were useless, but planning was indispensable. So we do plan. We have our planning, and our planning at this point is recognizing where we are. There is some talent that we have we think is viable talent, but it needs to come percolate and demonstrate that it’s real. And after that period, you might go forward.

“But do you really want to commit after you’ve just been in that pool and suffered from it? Do you really want to commit at this stage? The only caveat I give you is that if there’s a unique opportunity out there, I wouldn’t want to preclude it from happening . . . particularly when you consider that once we get to ‘17, we are really pretty foot loose and fancy free.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy macphail, general managers, phillies

Pete Mackanin extended, will be Phillies manager in 2016

Looks like 2016 will be a Re-Pete for Phillies fans.

When Ryne Sandberg stepped down from his post as Phillies manager earlier this season, Pete Mackanin was named as the interim manager. Tuesday, the Phillies announced that he will be the manager for the 2016 season.

“The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season,” said Andy MacPhail, new club president, in a statement. “We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions.”

Taking over a 26-48 team in the midst of a rebuild, Mackanin has gone 30-46.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, pete mackanin, phillies

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Salisbury: Jonathan Papelbon has harsh words about ex-Phillies teammates

Proven dumbass.

“I don’t know if I got a bad rap here or whatever, but I can promise you I was far [from] the bad guy on this team,” Papelbon said before Monday night’s game. “I was one of the few that wanted to actually win, and I was one of the few that competed and posted up every day.”

That’s pretty harsh criticism, accusing former teammates of not wanting to win and of not competing.

Papelbon would not name the teammates that he believed did not “post up” every day. When pressed, he essentially generalized his comments and pointed to the team’s rebuild and the coming and going of young players.

“I say it as a team,” Papelbon said. “If you don’t have a team atmosphere that’s put together that coincides with winning, you know?

“You’ve got one guy going down to Triple A, one guy’s coming back from Triple A next week. You’ve got different positions every week. That to me wasn’t a formula for winning, you know? We just had too many non-regular guys in there, and granted, we did get hurt, but we didn’t have the personnel, the leadership, the A to Z to win. It was felt all throughout the clubhouse and it was felt all throughout the stadium, I believe.”

Who gets the blame for that?

“I think the blame goes all the way from the front office all the way down to the bat boy,” Papelbon said. “When you don’t have an organization that wants to win, it’s pretty evident and they go out and publicly say, ‘We’re not going to win.’ So what more, you know what I mean?”

Papelbon was asked why he did not try to lead more during his time with the Phillies.

“I did. I did. I tried to do certain things,” he said. “I tried to bring certain things to attention that would make us better and it just seemed like everything I brought to attention whether it would be with another veteran or pitcher or infielder or outfielder or another veteran guy, it was like, to me, I was never accepted in that, ‘Hey look, this guy wants to help our team and make us be better,’ way. They just kind of all let it fly by the wayside and never really paid attention to what I had to say.”

JEe (Jason) Posted: September 15, 2015 at 12:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dumbass, jonathan papelbon, nats, phillies, proven closers

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