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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Phillies Newsbeat

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Freddy Galvis has earned a starting role – Phillies Nation

He hit a little bit and his defensive numbers were pretty good. Still his bWAR ranked only 23rd at 1.3 wins, between Chris Owings and Adeiny Hechavarria.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 05, 2016 at 08:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: freddy galvis, phillies

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ryan Howard’s emotional last day: ‘It will be with me forever’ | PhillyVoice

The final day of the 2016 regular season was Howard’s moment at Citizens Bank Park.

It was his final game in a Phillies uniform. It was a recognition of his iconic 13-year stay in Philadelphia.

It was an emotional goodbye for the 36-year-old Howard, who is set to file for free agency for the first time in his professional career next month.

“Today is a day I’ll definitely remember,” he told the crowd of 36,935 inside the ballpark after the game’s final out. “Philadelphia will always be home.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard

Friday, September 16, 2016

With end nearing, Ryan Howard will play in final two weekend series in South Philly | PhillyVoice

When the month began, Mackanin said he planned to play Tommy Joseph more at first base in an effort to see more of the younger half of the first base timeshare. But he’s reversed course, knowing that this could be it for Howard.

“I just kept thinking about it, the whole year I’ve been thinking about it, that situation,” Mackanin said. “Especially as well as he’s handled the whole thing, he’s been so good about the whole thing, I want to give him something.”

Mackanin will start Howard in each of the final two home weekends, unless the team is matched up against a left-handed starter.

“Another 20-25 at-bats won’t matter for Joseph,” Mackanin said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2016 at 10:11 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

COONEY: Herrera could end up shuffling himself out of Phillies’ outfield picture | Phillies |


All of those things added together makes trading Herrera not an outrageous possibility this offseason. Matt Klentak showed last year that he was willing to part with young players with attractive potential in the Ken Giles trade. And given the inconsistency that Herrera has shown in two major-league seasons, perhaps this would be a wise time to move him.

That stroke can be unorthodox and potent. It can also deliver good results at times. But if it doesn’t become a steadier presence, then there may not be any other choice for the Phillies to do but to look elsewhere for help.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: odubel herrera, phillies

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Rumors & Rumblings: Bryant is scouts’ pick for NL MVP

Somebody is going to be very disappointed this off-season.

Right fielder Jose Bautista reportedly was seeking a five-year, $125 million contract extension from the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training.

The talks went nowhere and Bautista will become a free agent in November coming off an injury-ravaged season. He is hitting .227 with 17 home runs with a .793 OPS in 91 games following a six-year run where he hit a combined 227 homers and was selected to the All-Star Game each year.

It will be interesting to see how Bautista’s market plays out this winter. A source with knowledge of the situation says Bautista has not softened his stance on giving the Blue Jays a potential hometown discount and wants to see what offers are out there.

Executives and scouts aren’t sure what kind of deal Bautista will get.

“I know it’s not going to be five and 125,” an executive from an NL team said. “Beyond that, I really don’t know. That’s a tough one. I don’t see him going back to Toronto. I think that ship has sailed, especially since he is having leg issues now and Toronto plays on artificial turf. I say he winds up in the American League where DHing is an option.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 01:25 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, jose bautista, mets, notes, phillies

Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Appreciation: Carlos Ruiz, the most popular person of the Phillies’ golden era | PhillyVoice

Read the article for the explanation.

But Carlos Ruiz, another important homegrown stalwart from the core that helped the Phillies win a world championship, two National League pennants, and five division crowns, was arguably the most popular person during that era.

Maybe that doesn’t make any sense when you read it. Maybe it does.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2016 at 09:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos ruiz, dodgers, phillies

Friday, August 05, 2016

Now is the time for the Phillies to bring back Jimmy Rollins

Phillies should sign him this month and let him retire as a Phillie.  And not only retire as a Phillie by signing him to the usual one-day contract and letting him wave good-bye to the fans at the start of a game.  No, for Rollins and the Phillies this year, with the season in the dumps, I see no reason why the team shouldn’t sign Rollins to a one-day contract AND let him play his last game in red pinstripes. Do this in late August, before the team brings up J.P. Crawford to play shortstop in September. Give Freddy Galvis a breather for a night.  Get some extra fans in the seat in the middle of the August doldrums and let Jimmy play shortstop for one last game at Citizens Bank Park.

Why the hell not? And bring Chollie down from the exec. suite to manage it.

eddieot Posted: August 05, 2016 at 01:40 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Phillies Nearly Employed An Optimal Lineup Last Night – Phillies Nation

Since they are playing Phillies hitters, this can’t even remotely be true.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2016 at 10:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Morning Call: L.V. IronPigs: Chris Truby continues down unconventional path

Catching up with an unconventional Primer legend who is now the Phillies’ roving minor league infield coordinator.

Whether he’s working with prospects in Reading, Lehigh Valley or Clearwater, or back home in Indiana at a baseball facility, all Truby wants to do is be around the game.

“I love the game,” Truby said. “I knew whenever I was done playing, I wanted to stay in it somehow. Jobs are not easy to come by. I was lucky enough to have a couple of connections.

“I love what I do now. I like having an area to concentrate on. We’re all baseball guys, so I’d like to open it up and get another opportunity in the dugout.”


Greg Franklin Posted: July 31, 2016 at 01:03 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, phillies

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Source: Phillies, Rangers in ‘pretty deep’ trade talks about Vince Velasquez | CSN Philly

I can’t imagine how much the Phillies would want for him right now. The only plausible scenario is the Phillies don’t think he’ll physically hold up.

It would take top talent to get Velasquez, a 24-year-old right-hander with a power arm. The Phillies acquired him over the winter from Houston as the centerpiece in the deal that sent Ken Giles to the Astros.

The Rangers had several scouts at the game, including Scott Littlefield, one of their top talent evaluators.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, vince velasquez

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Phillies prospect Matt Imhof suffers serious eye injury, has surgery

Awful news.

A Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher suffered a potentially career-threatening eye injury in a freak training accident in the Class A Florida State League late last week, his agent confirmed to Monday.

Clearwater Threshers pitcher Matt Imhof, the Phillies’ second-round pick in the 2014 MLB first-year player draft, suffered a “significant injury to his right eye’’ during postgame arm care band work, agent Adam Karon said.

Imhof, 22, was taking part in a routine stretching regimen after a game at Brevard County when a piece of equipment malfunctioned and he was struck in the right eye, a baseball source told Imhof has undergone surgery and is likely to need further procedures, the source said.

Imhof, a 6-foot, 5-inch left-hander out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, received a signing bonus of $1,187,900 from the Phillies as the 47th overall pick in 2014.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Phillies prospect Mark Appel has season-ending elbow surgery

The news just keeps getting worse on Mark Appel.

Mark Appel, a Phillies prospect and former first overall pick, underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

Appel, who turns 25 next month, was on the minor-league disabled list with a shoulder injury. He injured his elbow, the Phillies said, when he restarted a throwing program as part of his rehab. The team does not believe Appel has an additional shoulder problem.

But Appel will lose crucial development time. The team said his expected recovery time is four to six months. He should be ready for spring training in 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 29, 2016 at 04:22 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Confessions of a Steroid Pioneer

This is a must read.

Dykstra earned roughly $36.5 million during his major league career, according to

But it never was enough. Ask him to pinpoint a moment or two (or three) when things began to spin out of control on him, and he says it wasn’t really one moment.

Then, he pauses. Long. Several seconds pass.

“Money became, like, the driving force of my life, you know?” he says slowly. “Even though I had a ton of it, I wanted more. Money’s important; we all need money to live. But when you do things for the love of money, it’s like the baseball gods…when you do things for the love of money, you get f—king brought back to reality real f—king quick.

“Next thing you know, you’re sitting in front of your locker wondering how you’re 0-for-15. It happens that quick. So it’s kind of like, you know, so, I’m not looking for the big kill anymore. I don’t need it.

“Prison, being locked up in a cage, changed a lot about how I think. But I don’t recommend people take that path. Not really, know what I mean? I’m just saying, when you get put in a situation, you either deal with it, though, or you f—king quit. I’m not a quitter. I fought through that s—t. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I did it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: lenny dykstra, mets, peds, phillies

Monday, June 27, 2016

Odubel Herrera staying in center field |

“Go out there and take some fly balls to change your perspective a little bit,” Mackanin said about his motivation to have Herrera work in right field. “That’s it. There’s no plans to move him. If he reads something into it, good. Maybe he’ll think that he needs to do better. There’s nothing imminent. There’s no plans for me to move him out of there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: odubel herrera, phillies

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Velasquez “back to normal,” but will he rejoin Phillies next week? | PhillyVoice

“I feel good, everything is fine,” Velasquez said in the Double-A Reading’s clubhouse on Wednesday night. “Talking to the guys behind home plate with the radar gun, everything seems like it’s back to normal. I kind of took a peek at their speedometer and it was 97. That kind of shows I’m back to normal.”

Velasquez hopes to rejoin the Phillies rotation in five days, when the team takes their current nine-game road trip to Arizona.

But the Phils could opt for a more cautious route for the pitcher with an electric arm and with durability issues throughout his minor league career. Velasquez has pitched more than 100 innings just once (in 2013 in A-Ball) since he was drafted by the Houston Astros six years ago this month.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2016 at 09:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, vince velasquez

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the Nick of time: Could a Williams promotion boost Phillies bats? | PhillyVoice

It doesn’t sound like he’s ready to me.

Would it send the right message to promote a guy within a two-week window that he was benched at Triple-A for disciplinary reasons? Probably not. Williams, who turns 23 in September, has failed to run out fly balls and helped start a beanball war within the last two weeks. General manager Matt Klentak was asked about Williams’ behavior four days ago.

“Nick is 22-years-old in Triple-A,” Klentak said. “He and J.P. (Crawford) both are among the youngest in that entire league. It’s part of development. Part of development is learning how to hit breaking pitches and work counts and play defense—there’s a lot of factors in it. But one of them is learning how to play professionally. … I don’t think there’s going to be an issue there at all. (Lehigh Valley manager Dave) Brundage is handling it very well and Nick is handling it very well. I think it’s going to be water under the bridge.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Aaron Nola and Phillies battered by Twins

So they have moved on from pies and chocolate sauce and are battering players now? Better keep the deep fryers out of the dugouts.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2016 at 09:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron nola, phillies

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Phillies agree to terms with No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak

The Phillies signed No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak on Monday and were able to cut a deal that allows them to spend more money on their other top picks.

The contract, according to Baseball America, has a $6.1 million signing bonus, which is $3 million less than the bonus pool allotment for the No. 1 pick. The Phillies will use that money on other players who require a larger signing bonuses. They have yet to sign second-round pick Kevin Gowdy, a righthanded pitcher, but infielder Cole Stobbe, the third-round pick, is signed.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey moniak, phillies

Friday, June 10, 2016

Murphy: Phillies need a dose of good luck with Moniak

This year was the second kind of year, so adjust your expectations for Mickey Moniak accordingly. The Phillies made the San Diego-area high school star the first overall selection in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday evening, and while they were thrilled to do so, they also realized that they were picking a kid who had not yet received his high school diploma (that will occur Friday). Moniak has a swing that enamored everybody from the organization who saw it, not the least of them Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel, both of whom bird-dogged Moniak during the recently completed high school season. He can run, he can play defense (he’s expected to stick in centerfield), and he can fill out his 6-2, 180-pound frame. But he is still just a kid. He looks like one, sounds like one, and texts like one (as he finished up his media rounds after his selection, he had 235 unread messages from well-wishers). Bryant was three years removed from high school when the Cubs drafted him. He was in the majors two years. That just won’t be the case here.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, mickey moniak, phillies

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Phillies’ Velasquez suffers biceps injury |

The Phillies always loved Vince Velasquez’s talent and potential, but they also had concerns about his durability.

Those concerns popped up Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, as Velasquez left the game after throwing just two pitches in an 8-1 loss to the Cubs. Velasquez’s fastball registered only 86 and 87 mph on the radar gun, which were bigger red flags than the red World Series championship banners that fly in center field, considering his fastball averaged 95 mph this season.

“‘Something’s wrong,’” Velasquez said he thought to himself after he peeked at the scoreboard.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 09, 2016 at 06:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, vince velasquez

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Ryan Howard is benched: “I know where I’m at right now ... I understand.” | PhillyVoice

Howard: He talked to me today. We had a conversation. I told him, I get it. I know where I am right now. You know, I understand. By no means am I trying to relinquish my job or anything but you know, I’ve played the game long enough to know and understand. Hey, I want to win. And I’m going to get my stuff figured out. Going got continue to focus on getting my stuff figured out. Take this time and recoup and keep working. I went over—after I talked to Pete—I went over and told Tommy. Because the mental game of preparing, you know, is different when you know you’re going to be in there. I said hey, you’re in there the next 3-4 days, whatever it may be. Do what you’ve got to do to go out and kick some butt.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ryan howard

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

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