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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Why J.T. Realmuto’s contract extension with the Phillies might take some time

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Phillies went into this offseason prioritizing a contract extension for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Even as the Phils pursue pitching and possibly a third baseman, they are quietly trying to hammer out that extension, according to multiples sources.

But the extension might not come before the New Year. It might not even come before the opening of spring training.

Don’t panic. Realmuto solidified his status as the top catcher in baseball by winning the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2019. The Phillies very much want to prevent him from becoming a free agent after next season and Realmuto, for months, has professed his affection for the Phillies and Philadelphia as well as his desire to stick around.

Mind you, can’t we say that about a lot of contract extensions in this day and age?

 

QLE Posted: November 16, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extensions, j.t. realmuto, phillies

Friday, November 08, 2019

Ranking Gerrit Cole’s Top Five Landing Spots

There’s no question Gerrit Cole will be the most sought after free agent this winter. He should be the most handsomely paid, too.

Despite a sluggish free agency period last winter that forced many players to settle for below-market deals, the top tier of players still raked in monster deals (with humongous extensions for Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado to boot). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see things play out similarly this offseason, meaning Cole appears on track to surpass David Price’s $217 million deal en route to the most expensive pitcher contract ever.

Who are the favorites to break the bank for Cole and lock up the potential AL Cy Young Award winner? Let’s assess his suitors as free agency gets underway.

So, of these options, which do we see as most likely?

QLE Posted: November 08, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, cardinals, dodgers, free agency, padres, phillies, rangers, yankees

Friday, October 25, 2019

Philadelphia Phillies to hire Joe Girardi as new manager

The Philadelphia Phillies have made a decision on their new manager. Just weeks after dismissing Gabe Kapler following two seasons, the Phillies are hiring former New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, signing him to a three-year deal with a club option.

Girardi, 55, comes with a wealth of managerial experience—something Kapler lacked. He spent a decade guiding the Yankees, and before that a season with the then-Florida Marlins. Collectively, he’s won 55.4 percent of his regular-season games, as well as the 2009 American League pennant and, subsequently, the World Series.

When Girardi was fired by the Yankees after the 2017 season, the rumored explanation was that he had trouble relating to today’s ballplayer. The validity of that assertion is unclear. Girardi, who has since worked in a television capacity, was arguably the favorite for the Cincinnati Reds job last winter before he withdrew from the process. The Reds later hired longtime big-league third baseman David Bell instead.

Girardi had been one of three rumored finalists, alongside Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker. Clearly the Phillies were interested in hiring a veteran skipper. That predilection makes sense given the rule of thumb about teams hiring the opposite of their former manager.

Best wishes for Girardi, in what could be a rather difficult situation indeed…..

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joe girardi, managers, phillies

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Phillies hire Yankees’ Barber as amateur scouting director

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Phillies have hired Brian Barber to be director of amateur scouting.

Barber spent the last 18 seasons with the New York Yankees. He was an area scout (2002-06), East Coast crosschecker (2007-09) and national crosschecker (2010-19). Crosscheckers are scouts who provide second opinions.

The Phillies announced the hiring Tuesday. The 46-year-old Barber replaced Johnny Almaraz, who stepped down but will remain with the organization.

And, if you don’t trust the crosschecker’s opinion, who do you contact for a third opinion?

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian barber, phillies, scouting

Friday, October 18, 2019

MLB rumors: Phillies narrow manager search to Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter

Only a week has passed since the Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler after two so-so seasons, yet the organization is already closing in on naming a successor. According to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are down to three finalists: Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, and Buck Showalter. The Phillies will interview all three again in the coming days, and could make a final decision on their choice as soon as next week.

The old rule of thumb is that teams tend to hire the opposite of whomever they just fired. That appears to be the guiding principle here. Whereas Kapler was a rookie manager with iconoclastic aspirations, the trio above are all known quantities who have combined to manage 51 seasons’ worth of regular-season games. Each has their pros and cons.

Baker, 70, would be the oldest manager in baseball. He’s known as a skilled interpersonal communicator who gets the most out of his players. Baker has a preexisting relationship with Bryce Harper, which is likely a plus, and is more open minded about new ideas than he receives credit for being. The downside with Baker is that despite his regular-season success—he has more 90-plus win efforts than sub-.500 seasons—he’s never enjoyed much postseason success, having mustered only one World Series appearance.

Who would you hire if you ran the Phillies?

QLE Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, dusty baker, joe girardi, managerial search, phillies

Monday, October 14, 2019

Report: Phillies to interview Dusty Baker for managerial position

Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that former MLB skipper and current Giants advisor Dusty Baker is slated to interview for the Phillies’ managerial opening.

The Phillies parted ways with manager Gabe Kapler last week after the team finished the 2019 season with an 81-81 record, good for second-to-last place in the NL East division. Unsurprisingly, the organization is seeking a skipper that can help shepherd the team through a winning season and a playoff run; as GM Matt Klentak told reporters on Friday, “We’re looking for someone who’s going to appreciate the staff we have and the things that we do, and come in and take us over the finish line because that’s what this is really about. This is about wins and losses and getting us where we want to be — and that’s playing in October, competing for a championship.”

 

 

QLE Posted: October 14, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, managerial search, phillies

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Several errors led Phillies to this point, and one excuse Friday doesn’t hold up

One of the key points made by John Middleton, Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak at Friday’s press conference was that most of the Phillies’ additions performed but many of the players who were on the 2018 team either did not improve or were worse in 2019.

That’s not news to any Phillies fan. They saw the product. They watched a team they thought last winter was on the brink of contention add a superstar in Bryce Harper, a star-level catcher in J.T. Realmuto and a very good, multi-dimensional vet in Andrew McCutchen and win just one more game.

It really is staggering to look at how few players on the 2019 team sustained or increased their 2018 production. Rhys Hoskins was worse. Odubel Herrera was worse before his season-ending suspension. Maikel Franco was worse. Roman Quinn was worse (and dealt with a slew of injuries again). Nick Williams was substantially worse.

Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Seranthony Dominguez, Edubray Ramos, all worse.

A postmortem on a season that didn’t go as the management was expecting….

 

 

QLE Posted: October 13, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, phillies

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Phils’ Middleton overruled MacPhail, Klentak to fire Kapler

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Middleton runs the show in Philadelphia.

The Phillies managing partner made that clear Friday, a day after manager Gabe Kapler was fired despite resistance from Team President Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak.

“A CEO’s responsibility is to ensure an organization achieves its strategic objectives, and everything I do every day is working toward that end,” Middleton said.

Philadelphia’s front office spent weeks deliberating Kapler’s fate before Middleton decided to remove him. Kapler went 161-163 in two seasons.

Type-A owner, Type-A most prominent player, Type-A fan base- this could get rather entertaining…..

 

QLE Posted: October 12, 2019 at 12:15 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: andy macphail, john middleton, matt klentak, phillies

Which managerial opening is the most desirable?

As we wait for tonight’s NLCS to kick off — a preview on that will be up later this morning — let’s talk about all the managerial openings, shall we?

With the Dodgers giving Dave Roberts their vote of confidence last night — and none of the remaining playoff teams being even close to likely to can their current skipper — we seem to be locked in at eight openings: Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Royals, and Angels.

Which one is the most desirable? My take on the pros and cons of each gig

So, which of these jobs would you take if you had the choice?

 

QLE Posted: October 12, 2019 at 12:09 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cubs, giants, mets, padres, phillies, pirates, royals

MLB Rumors: Curt Schilling Interested in Phillies Manager, Red Sox Coaching Job

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling is reportedly interested in interviewing to become the Philadelphia Phillies manager or Boston Red Sox pitching coach.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the three-time World Series champion would “love” to get involved in the game again, according to friends close to Schilling.

 

QLE Posted: October 12, 2019 at 12:04 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, managerial search, phillies, red sox

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Gabe Kapler dismissed as Phillies manager | MLB.com

I’m not a fan of the way the Phillies do things.

The Phillies have parted ways with manager Gabe Kapler, a source tells MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. The team has not commented.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, phillies

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

MLB rumors: Ex-Yankees manager Buck Showalter, Phillies have ‘mutual interest’ ...

It’s been nine days since the MLB regular season ended and the Philadelphia Phillies still haven’t decided what they are doing with manager Gabe Kapler. Owner John Middleton is taking his time deciding if Kapler should return for a third season. But that isn’t stopping the rumor mill from guessing who could replace Kapler in the dugout if the Phillies decide to make a move.

Which brings us to this report by Matt Gelb of The Athletic:

“This all makes Buck Showalter an intriguing figure. While a search for a potential replacement for Kapler would not be limited to Showalter, the two sides have a mutual interest, according to multiple sources. There are no indications Showalter, 63, would be the leading candidate. .. Showalter is familiar with the Phillies front office. Team president Andy MacPhail hired Showalter in Baltimore. Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and his trusted assistant general manager, Ned Rice, both worked with Showalter in Baltimore as lower-level baseball operations employees. Those connections are important, but not an assured precursor to another marriage. Both sides know what worked before and what did not; the Orioles, during Showalter’s time, were not a team that embraced data as the Phillies now do.”

That’s right. The report says the Phillies are interested in Showalter, even though they haven’t fired Kapler, who went 161-163 in his two seasons as skipper.

Certain aspects of Showalter’s management style and the Phillies fan base- this could get rather entertaining for the rest of us indeed…..

 

 

QLE Posted: October 09, 2019 at 12:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, phillies, rumors

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Phillies owner John Middleton’s inquisition almost complete

John Middleton continues to walk the fine line between due diligence and indecision.

The Phillies’ season has been over for more than a week now and still the team’s managing partner has not rendered his verdict on whether Gabe Kapler will return for a third season as manager or be let go.

Seven other clubs have made decisions to move on from their managers and others have decided to keep the status quo.

That’s a lot of decision making.

The Middleton Inquisition, IIRC, was one of the lesser Troy McClure films….

 

QLE Posted: October 08, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, john middleton, phillies

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

After flopping in Bryce Harper’s first year, what’s next for the Phillies?

WASHINGTON — For $455 million, the Philadelphia Phillies bought themselves nothing more than one more day, one more game of playoff contention.

Now, manager Gabe Kapler and the rest of the organization can only wait to see if such middling progress after the mass expenditure will bring significant consequences.

The Phillies were eliminated from postseason contention Tuesday afternoon when they were beaten, 4-1, by the Washington Nationals in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

The Nationals went on to clinch a postseason spot with a win the nightcap, while the Phillies are left playing out the string, even though Philly lured Bryce Harper away from Washington with a $330 million contract as part of the “stupid” money principal owner John Middleton laid out last winter.

It turns out that spending all that money on someone less than two wins above the average player (and he’s had three years worse than that out of the previous five) won’t make your team dominant- who knew?

 

QLE Posted: September 25, 2019 at 12:11 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, phillies

Friday, September 20, 2019

Gabe Kapler wasn’t people’s choice to lead Phillies, so owner John Middleton must not allow public opinion to decide manager’s future | Scott Lauber

Forget Kapler. Will Matt Klentak be the first of the new wave GMs to get canned?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dallas Keuchel calls out Phillies management after handcuffing Phillies hitters

Skipping ahead to the pertinent section:

The Phillies had starting pitching needs, not to mention a need for a left-hander, and were mentioned throughout the winter and spring as a potential landing spot for Keuchel. In actuality, however, the Phils showed little interest in Keuchel and he signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves, who have won 91 games and are days away from wrapping up their second straight NL East title.

After the game, Keuchel called out Phillies management when he was asked if the Phils’ lack of interest in him fueled any extra motivation leading up to the start.

“I mean, if you don’t come calling what is there for me to be mad about?” he said. “I think a lot of those guys over there in the front office are second-guessing themselves, and, I mean, I would too.”

Keuchel, 31, won the American League Cy Young Award with Houston in 2015 and was an All-Star in 2017. Despite his resume, he lingered on the free-agent market last winter as teams were leery of his declining strikeout numbers and rising hits totals.

So, what do we make of these comments?

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dallas keuchel, phillies

Monday, September 09, 2019

Rosenthal: Reasons the Phillies are floundering? Don’t overlook the front office’s ambivalence ($)

Klentak, the Phillies’ GM, was not necessarily exaggerating last February when, even before the addition of Harper, he described his team’s 2018-19 offseason as “objectively excellent.”

The Phils ended up not only with Harper, Realmuto and McCutchen, but also shortstop Jean Segura and relievers David Robertson and Juan Nicasio. They enabled Rhys Hoskins to return from left field to first base by parting with Carlos Santana in the Segura deal. And while they did not address their starting pitching, they figured they had compensated for any potential vulnerability by upgrading their bullpen, offense and defense.

The bullpen might have even been among the best in the NL if it had stayed healthy. The offense is improved – from 11th in the NL runs per game last season to sixth this season – though perhaps not by as much as the Phillies anticipated. The defense, too, is better, rising from 30th to ninth in defensive runs saved and 27th to 20th in park-adjusted defensive efficiency.

And yet, the starting pitching still proved to be a major flaw.

The Phillies overestimated the ability of their younger starting pitchers to take a step forward. And the development of those pitchers has not been helped by the change in pitching coaches from Kranitz to Young, who became a major-league coach for the first time in 2018. Young previously had worked as a scout for the Padres and Astros from 2010 to ’17.

Young players – pitchers especially – do not always follow a linear progression, forcing teams even with the best-laid plans to shift course. But with the exception of Ranger Suárez, a reliever, it’s difficult to find a Phillies pitcher who has improved from last season to this one.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2019 at 12:38 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sean Rodríguez calls Phillies fans ‘entitled’

Phillies utilityman Sean Rodríguez wasn’t performing so well for the Phillies entering Monday night’s series opener at home against the Pirates. He had a meager .659 OPS for the season and was 1-for-19 in August. However, he played the hero, belting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.

While it was a feel-good moment for Rodríguez, he couldn’t let go of the criticism he and slumping first baseman Rhys Hoskins in particular were hearing from Phillies fans. Many wondered why the team was letting him occupy a roster spot. Hoskins, batting just .164 with a .336 slugging percentage since the All-Star break, was regularly getting booed, especially after popping up with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

For his own struggles, Rodríguez explained that players like him tend to face the opposing team’s best relievers, and said it’s tough to stay sharp with limited at-bats. He said, via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, “I’m just defending that position, not me as a player, per se. I think that’s the misconception a lot of people make. ‘Well, you can’t struggle. You can’t go that bad.’ Every hitter does it. The only difference is when someone is playing every day, there’s a chance that they’re going to sneak a hit here and there.”

Regarding the fans, Rodríguez said, “Who’s looking bad and feeling entitled when you hear stuff like that? I’m not the one booing. I’m not the one screaming. I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times. That seems pretty entitled. You’re just making yourself look pretty bad as an individual, as a person, as a fan. That’s tough.” He added, “There’s still a lot of good fans, though. Those are the ones I hear and pay attention to. The few that might be behind home plate and say, ‘Hey Sean, keep doing your thing. Don’t worry about it. Things will come around.’”

“Entitled” isn’t the word to use involving Philadelphia sports fans- “Psychotic”, on the other hand….

QLE Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, phillies, sean rodriguez

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Jake Arrieta doesn’t expect to pitch again this season

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to bone spurs in his right elbow. It’s an issue he has been dealing with for most of the season and was diagnosed with last month. Arrieta will undergo an arthrogram on Thursday, per Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, which will help the Phillies determine the next step which could involve surgery. For what it’s worth, Arrieta said he doesn’t expect to pitch again this season, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.

Arrieta, 33, posted an ugly 4.64 ERA with 110 strikeouts and 51 walks in 135 2/3 innings of work this season for the Phillies. He was inconsistent for much of the first half of the season, then couldn’t pitch deep into games once he was diagnosed with the elbow issue. In seven starts between the beginning of July and his most recent start on Sunday, Arrieta pitched into the sixth inning just once.

At this point, one suspects that Phillies management is cursing the new earlier trade deadline….

 

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elbow, jake arrieta, phillies

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Manuel, 75, back in Phils’ dugout as hitting coach

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired former manager Charlie Manuel as the team’s new hitting coach after relieving John Mallee of his duties, the team announced Tuesday.

Manuel, 75, last managed the Phillies in 2013. He is the franchise’s winningest manager with a 780-636 mark, leading the team to a 2008 World Series championship and five straight division titles.

“The reason we did this today is because we have 44 more game remaining and we’re two games out of the playoffs,” general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday. “I know a lot of people are burying us, saying we have no chance and we haven’t played well.

“Part of that is correct. We have not played well. We have not hit well, especially since the All-Star break. But we are not buried and we are not out. It makes sense to try something different rather than continuing to do the same thing.”

I see several ways in which this could backfire- which one do you suppose will be most likely to become an issue?

 

QLE Posted: August 14, 2019 at 04:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie manuel, hitting coaches, phillies

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Who’s Going to Win the Chaotic NL Wild-Card Race?

The National League wild-card race is a big stupid mess. With Sunday’s games in the books, six teams are within five games of the second spot, with Washington and St. Louis hanging onto postseason positions for dear life. How long they can dig their fingernails into the cliff for the next six-plus weeks depends on whether the group behind them can put together a run. The Mets are the latest of those clubs to get red-hot, but even that blazing stretch has only put them in the thick of the race instead of at the top of the heap.

Is there a favorite, though, in that stew of squads? To find out, let’s dive into each of the eight teams still vying for the two wild-card spots and decide which pair are the better bets to play on into October. The playoff odds below originate from FanGraphs’ projection.

Son, at the rate it’s going, there will be no winners of the NL Wild Card race- only survivors.

 

QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:21 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, diamondbacks, giants, mets, nationals, phillies, reds

Monday, August 05, 2019

Pedro Martinez: Members of Phillies Had Swine Flu During 2009 World Series

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez said members of the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies World Series champions were dealing with the swine flu.

“It wasn’t told, but most of us were sick,” Martinez said, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Some of the guys had swine flu and had to be kept away. I caught some of the virus. We would just never say it. When I got home, I realized that I was really sick.”

Martinez said he was able to pitch Game 2 without problems but struggled in his second appearance in the series, which saw him last only four innings in Game 6:

“I had a little bit of an asthma attack in the middle of the game and I was having a hard time breathing. I was really sick. In any other situation, I wouldn’t be out there. But the team needed me. I held on as long as I could and I did that. I was really proud to have my last game with the Phillies at Yankee Stadium.”

I assume listening to Joe Buck wouldn’t have helped their stomachs any….

 

QLE Posted: August 05, 2019 at 03:07 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, swine flu, world series

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Pitcher erases run—from the outfield!

Don’t run on Vince Velasquez! Wait, what??

Velasquez wasn’t done, though. In the 15th, he nearly repeated his feat on a sharp single to left by Abreu with two outs and runners on first and second. Leury Garcia broke for home, and Velasquez’s throw reached catcher J.T. Realmuto just a moment late—confirmed by an umpire review—allowing Chicago to take a lead it would keep. This throw, according to Statcast, was even harder at 95.0 mph.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2019 at 07:04 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, vince velasquez

Sunday, July 21, 2019

SI: Stephanie Apstein: What Made Roy Fly

Roy Jr. taught Roy III to master two things. Many baseball fans know how the father searched for a house with a basement at least 60 feet, six inches long; charted the son’s velocity; honed his focus. They do not know that the father also passed on another, greater love: for flying.

Those moments in the air brought Roy III such pleasure, but knowing how it all ended, his mother, Linda, wishes he had never had them. She is angry with her son for whatever happened that day, for whatever he did that took him away from her. His sisters, Merinda and Heather, agree. “I’d rather he be here and miserable,” Heather says. Roy Jr. does not traffic in counterfactuals.

“I wish that he had been more careful,” he says, “But I’m not sorry for what he was doing, and never sorry that he was enjoying his life.”

I found this to be an article worth reading.  It was difficult to pick a quotable section as it’s not really that type of article.

It’s still sad to think of Halladay going too soon.

puck Posted: July 21, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, hall of fame, phillies, roy halladay

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

CBSSports: Dodgers’ Justin Turner defends Phillies pitcher who plunked him, telling umpire he shouldn’t be ejected

After Verdugo homered to make the score 12-1, Yacksel Rios hit Turner in the leg with an 84 mph breaking ball and was immediately ejected by legendary blowhard Doug Eddings. Turner started taking off his gloves and shinguard, then turned around and was confused to find Rios had been ejected. The batter (and at least one other Dodger in the dugout) joined Gabe Kapler, Realmuto et al in arguing with the umpire on the pitcher’s behalf!

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 17, 2019 at 01:48 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, umpiring

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