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Phillies Make Front Office Changes

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, January 28, 2015 03:15 PM Comments: 12

According to the Philadelphia Phillies, David Montgomery will return to the team, but in a different role. The longtime Phillies president will now become the Chairman of the team, with Bill Giles moving to Chairman Emeritus.

Pat Gillick, who assumed the role of President when Montgomery fell ill with jaw cancer, will continue with that role.

Montgomery, who has been with the team since 1971, said:  “I am fortunate to be healthy enough now to resume some of my previous responsibilities.  I am very appreciative that Pat Gillick is willing and available to remain as the club’s President.  Pat and I have become very close since he joined us in the fall of 2005.  I look forward to returning to work as Phillies Chairman.”

Gillick has served as a Senior Advisor to the President and General Manager for the Phillies since 2009, when handed of General Manager duties to Ruben Amaro Jr.

 

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Blue Jays Join Brewers as Potential Suitors for Papelbon

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, January 28, 2015 01:09 PM Comments: 0

While trade talks involving Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and the Milwaukee Brewers have hit a snag, the Blue Jays are now emerging as another potential candidate to make a deal for the 34-year-old.

According to reporter Todd Zolecki, talks regarding Papelbon are “still alive, although the seriousness of those discussions is unclear.”

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

The Blue Jays, like the Brewers, could use an accomplished closer like Papelbon to help solidify the back-end of their bullpen. Last season, the Jays ranked 25th in MLB with a bullpen ERA of 4.09. The leader in saves for the Jays was right-hander Casey Janssen, who recorded 25 saves with a 3.94 ERA.

For this upcoming season, the Jays have reliever Brett Cecil, who has only six career saves, penciled in as their closer.

Acquiring Papelbon would be an upgrade for their bullpen, and help keep Cecil in a more familiar role. However, the Phillies would need to eat some of Papelbon’s salary in order to make a deal happen.

Papelbon is coming off a stellar year in which he converted 39 of 43 saves, and posted a 2.04 ERA. Although his velocity could be an issue, a closer as experienced as Papelbon would be a welcomed addition for a Blue Jays team trying to contend for a division title in the AL East.

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Phillies Target Moncada Waiting to Sign With a Team

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, January 27, 2015 02:21 PM Comments: 15

Yoan MoncadaPhillies target Yoan Moncada defected from Cuba in November, its now January and he is still looking to begin his professional baseball career. Its not for lack of interest, as just about every team has been linked to Moncada including the Phillies. A recent story from Baseball America’s Ben Badler states that Moncada’s problem isn’t the government allowing him to sign, but Major League Baseball.

Usually the process for Cuban defectors is a simple one. You defect, take up citizenship in another country (usually the Dominican republic or Mexico) prove residency and then you are a free to sign. But that all changed apparently after the Yasiel Puig signing and now Major League Baseball is requiring that players get a specific license from the Office of Foreign Assets and Control. The process to get this specific license could take up to six months.

Moncada is the latest Cuban “phenom” that will demand big dollars once he is allowed to sign. The switch hitting 19-year old infielder would be a very attractive signing for the Phillies who have been looking for get more involved in the Cuban market. The Phillies were linked to players like Jorge Solar, Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Yasmany Tomas, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez who they signed. The international market would be a fast, albeit risky way to turn around a depleted farm system and an old team

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Franco wraps up Dominican League in torrid fashion

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, January 26, 2015 03:35 PM Comments: 11

franco

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

Phillies prospect Maikel Franco wrapped up an excellent off-season campaign in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, helping his team, the Gigantes, lock down the Dominican Winter League championship with a 3-for-4 effort that included a grand slam, a solo homer and seven total RBI.

Through 38 regular season games, the six-foot-one 180-pounder posted a .272 average with eight doubles, seven home runs and 29 RBI. His homer total was tied for second in the league.

Franco wrapped up the postseason with four home runs and 16 RBI to go along with his .337 average in 22 games.

The 22-year-old split his time evenly between first base and third base for the Gigantes through much of his time there. Continue reading Franco wraps up Dominican League in torrid fashion

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Brewers GM Says Papelbon Trade Talks Hit Snag

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, January 25, 2015 05:31 PM Comments: 28

Maybe it’s just posturing, or maybe the Phillies and Brewers really have taken a step back in their trade talks involving Jonathan Papelbon. Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin admitted that there had been dialogue between the two teams according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The report says that the biggest hold-up is the option year, which likely means there is a discrepancy between the two sides regarding how much they’ll each pay toward the remaining $26 million on Papelbon’s deal.

There have been varying viewpoints on what to do with the Phillies closer, and you can lump me in with the group that believes the Phillies should do whatever they can to move on from him. His value likely will never be higher and there is the opportunity to at least recoup some of the money that will be due to him.

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Prospect Nation 2015: #17 LHP Adam Morgan

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, January 25, 2015 11:00 AM Comments: 0

Morgan MiLB

Image- MiLB.com

Lefty hurler Adam Morgan is fully healthy after recovery from shoulder surgery last winter and is hoping to remind fans why he was ranked among the Phillies’ top prospects just two years ago.

The six-foot-one 195-pounder was the Phillies’ 3rd round draft selection in 2011 out of the University of Alabama.  Upon making his pro debut that same year, Morgan tallied a 3-3 record along with a 2.01 ERA and a 7.27 K/9 mark in 11 starts for short-season Class A Williamsport.

The following season, at the age of 22, Morgan skipped Class A Lakewood and had a solid campaign with Class A Advanced Clearwater.  In 21 games (20 starts) the Georgia native posted a 4-10 record with a 3.29 ERA and a 10.24 K/9 mark.  He was promoted to Double-A Reading in August, for their playoff push.  In six starts to wrap up that season, Morgan notched an impressive 4-1 record with a 3.53 ERA while striking out 29 and walking 11 in 35 2/3 innings.

In 2013 Morgan began his second full season in the minors with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  After eight outings there, Morgan had a 1-4 record along with a 4.97 ERA and a .283 batting average against when he experienced shoulder discomfort and was sidelined.  Following some time on the shelf and a pair of rehab appearances with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Morgan posted an outstanding 1.59 ERA through his first seven starts after returning to the Lehigh Valley rotation, before he wrapped up his season with a troubling outing in which he allowed four earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2015: #17 LHP Adam Morgan

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Prospect Nation 2015: #18 IF/OF Odubel Herrera

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, January 24, 2015 08:30 AM Comments: 20

Odubel MILBcom

Odubel Herrera, image- MiLB.com

Selected by the Phillies last month in the big league portion of the annual MLB Rule 5 draft, muti-positional prospect Odubel Herrera is primed to make the team’s opening day big league roster.

The 23-year-old Venezuelan spent this off-season proving the Phils were right when they plucked him from the Rangers’ system.  With a league-leading .372 average, six homers, 27 RBI and eight stolen bases in 58 games for La Guaira, Herrera was named the Venezuelan Winter League Most Valuable Player as well as the league’s Rookie of the Year.

In the summer of 2008, Herrera signed for a reported bonus of $160,00 at the age of 16.  He would begin his pro career the follow year in the Dominican Summer League.  Herrera moved at a steady pace in the Texas developmental ranks, but was behind some of the Rangers’ other top young infielders (Hanser Alberto, Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar) on their depth chart, making him expendable to that club. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2015: #18 IF/OF Odubel Herrera

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We Predict The Outcome to A Phillies Royal Rumble Match

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Fri, January 23, 2015 02:55 PM Comments: 5

This Sunday Night, World Wrestling Entertainment presents its 28th annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view right here in Philadelphia. The main attraction on the card is the always hotly contested Royal Rumble match.

According to the match description “entry numbers, usually via a lottery… … usually staged right before the event begins. The match begins with the two wrestlers who have drawn entry numbers one and two, with the remaining 28 wrestlers entering the ring at regular timed intervals, either 90 seconds or two minutes, according to their entry number.”

The Royal Rumble match is one of the most highly regarded, star making, and historically significant matches in WWE history. For me personally, this will be my second straight Royal Rumble that I will be live in attendance for. My affinity for the Royal Rumble started as a child when imagining who would emerge victorious after all 29 eliminations. Trying to figure out if friend and foe alike would forge alliances or backstab one another for a chance to win the match. Afterall, the winner of the Royal Rumble match is guaranteed a title shot at Wrestlemania, the Super Bowl of American wrestling.

So, I thought I would combine my two favorite distractive hobbies, wrestling and Phillies baseball, and attempt to find the answer to an outrageous scenario: What if the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies were booked to compete in a Royal Rumble match?.

Continue reading We Predict The Outcome to A Phillies Royal Rumble Match

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Prospect Nation 2015: #19 RHP Nefi Ogando

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, January 23, 2015 11:30 AM Comments: 5

NefiOgando-TugHaines

Nefi Ogando, image- Tug Haines

Acquired from Boston in a late season deal in 2013 for infielder John McDonald, righty hurler Nefi Ogando has shown loads of potential since joining the Phillies organization.

The Dominican Republic native was signed by Boston as an amateur free agent in 2010, debuting as a pro that same year with the organization’s Dominican Summer League club.  In 11 DSL games (four starts), Ogando tallied a 3-1 record with a 2.91 ERA and a .248 BAA.

The following season, the six-foot-two 185-pounder posted a 1-5 record along with a 2.83 ERA in 15 games (two starts) for short-season Class A Lowell.  In 2012, Ogando pitched exclusively as a reliever and notched a 4-4 record with two saves and a 3.70 ERA in 38 outings.

With Class A Advanced Salem in 2013, Ogando posted a 2-3 record with three saves, a .238 batting average against and a 4.09 ERA mark in 33 appearances.  Last year, in his first campaign with the Phillies, the youngster had a 5-1 record with a 6.27 ERA, seven saves and a 9.16 K/9 in 48 games for Double-A Reading.

Armed with a top notch fastball that normally registers in the 98-99 MPH range and has been clocked in triple digits, a slider with nice movement that sits in the 89-92 MPH range as well as a change up that features a solid drop in velocity from the fastball, but is still comparable to other hurlers’ best offerings at around 87 MPH. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2015: #19 RHP Nefi Ogando

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Report: Brewers interested in Papelbon

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, January 23, 2015 02:21 AM Comments: 31

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Brewers are in serious discussions with the Phillies to acquire right-handed relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon.

The 34-year-old is owed $13 million for the coming season with a vesting option for the same amount in the following year, if he finishes 48 games in 2015.  Papelbon, who was acquired by the Phillies as a free agent following the 2011 season, has a limited no-trade clause.

Last season, Papelbon tallied a 2-3 record with 39 saves and a 2.04 ERA in 66 appearances.

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