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Happy Thanksgiving from Phillies Nation!

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, November 27, 2014 11:16 AM Comments: 4

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends here at Phillies Nation! We hope you enjoy spending time with loved ones while chatting about the Phillies and maybe even watching the Eagles. And remember, we’re just 76 days from Spring Training.

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Phillies Yankees Discuss Rollins, Price Too High

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, November 26, 2014 02:48 PM Comments: 31

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting, via Twitter, that the Phillies and Yankees had preliminary discussions about Jimmy Rollins but the Yankees balked at the high asking price. The talks never got too serious, as Rollins was never asked to waive his no-trade clause. Rollins has a full no-trade clause and has stated in the past that he has no desire to change locations.

(AP)

Yankees asked about Rollins but the price was too high (AP)

A high asking price for an aging veteran?! Well I know I am SHOCKED. This is coming off a 2014 trade deadline which saw the Phillies make no moves because, according to the GM, “teams weren’t aggressive enough”. A laughable comment considering this past years trade deadline was the busiest deadline in history. So a high asking price for Rollins should not come as a surprise considering Amaro is still in charge.

But then again a high asking price for Rollins might be justified. Rollins has a very reasonable $11 million dollar price tag for 2015. Rollins had a pretty good year in 2014 and  Fangraphs valued his 2014 season as a $19.7 million dollar player. In 2014 Rollins had a slash line 0f .243/.323/.394 while hitting 17 home runs, 55 runs batted in, scoring 78 runs and swiping 28 bags. His fielding percentage was .988 and he committed just 7 errors in 1170.2 innings. Because of his solid season at the plate and another tremendous year in the field, his WAR was 3.6.

Jimmy Rollins is a very attractive target for potential teams looking for a short stop because of his fielding ability, veteran leadership, and switch hitting ability. I do not think there is a chance that Jimmy Rollins gets traded, BUT the only team I can see Jimmy Rollins waving his no-trade clause to is the Oakland A’s. Jimmy grew up in Oakland, and has stated that he would like to finish his career in Oakland. Other than that I think you can expect James Calvin Rollins to be manning short stop come opening day 2015.

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Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 23, 2014 11:40 AM Comments: 0

It’s time once again for another weekly review of Phillies players’ performances and progress in off-season leagues around the globe.

Dominican Winter League-

MaikelFranco

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Maikel Franco has been in a slump lately, going 3-for-27 (.111 avg) over his last seven games.  One positive out of that is that two of his three hits during that time are home runs.  Overall in 22 games for the Gigantes, the 22-year-old is batting .239 with six homers and 21 RBI.  This year in 133 contests with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the righty hitting Franco posted a .257 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBI.

Right-handed reliever Hector Neris has made 11 scoreless appearances for the Toros while striking out five and walking four in 8 2/3 innings.  The 25-year-old appeared in one game with the Phils this year, earning a win in his big league debut.

Australian Baseball League-

Power hitting outfielder Dylan Cozens has a .205 average with three homers and six RBI in 11 contests with Melbourne.  This year, with Class A Lakewood, the 20-year-old sported a .248 average with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 132 games.  The six-foot-six 235-pounder was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft selection in 2012.

Catcher Chace Numata has tallied a .295 average with three doubles and four RBI in 12 games, also with Melbourne.  Numata missed much of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hamate bone prior to the season.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 14th round draft pick in 2010.

After opening his season 1-for-12, outfielder Brian Pointer has gone 11-for-34 (.324 avg).  Overall, Pointer has a .261 average with a home run and five RBI in 12 games with Perth.  In 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, Pointer posted a .246 average with 15 homers, 53 RBI and 16 steals.  The 22-year-old lefty batter was the Phils’ 28th round pick in 2010.

Third baseman Mitch Walding is batting .220 with three doubles and eight RBI in 11 contests for Canberra.  Walding sported a .237 average with seven home runs and 55 RBI in 108 games for Class A Lakewood this year.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 5th round draft choice in 2011. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

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Phils add three pitching prospects to 40-man roster

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, November 21, 2014 02:20 PM Comments: 2

JesseBiddle5

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

It was announced on Thursday that the Phillies added three young hurlers to the big league 40-man roster.  Lefties Jesse Biddle and Adam Morgan along with righty Nefi Ogando were that trio.

Biddle has been among the Phillies’ top prospects since he was selected with their 27th overall pick in 2010.  This news is a rare positive nugget about the 23-year-old, who had a terribly difficult 2014 after missing a lengthy stretch with a a concussion, sitting out his final start of the regular season with a separate ailment and being shut down with elbow soreness after making two appearance this autumn in off-season ball in Puerto Rico.

Since debuting at the Double-A level to begin last year, Biddle hasn’t looked too sharp, posting a 10-24 record along with a 4.02 ERA in 46 appearances over the last two seasons.  Additionally, his 9.52 K/9 mark is very exciting, but the 5.14 BB/9 average (evidence of control concerns) that goes along with it is far from appealing.

Morgan, the Phillies’ 3rd round draft choice in 2011, missed the 2014 regular season after undergoing shoulder surgery last winter.  The 24-year-old has tallied a 12-22 record along with a 3.25 ERA in 56 minor league games (55 starts).  After making a few appearances at the Florida Instructional League in September, Morgan posted a 1-2 record along with a 6.61 ERA in six games in the Arizona Fall League this off-season.

Ogando, who was acquired from Boston for John McDonald last year, was also among the Phils’ representatives in the AFL and had a 1-0 record with three saves and a 3.07 ERA in 12 outings for Scottsdale.  The 25-year-old posted a 5-1 record with seven saves, a 6.27 ERA and a 9.16 K/9 mark in 48 relief appearances for Double-A Reading this year.

The additions were made to protect the players from next month’s Rule 5 draft.

The Phillies’ 40-man roster stands at 38 players.

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Yasmani Tomas May Not Land in Philadelphia

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, November 20, 2014 01:36 PM Comments: 69

This morning on 94.1 WIP-FM, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki was on and was asked about the latest on Cuban outfielder, Yosmani Tomas.

What Zolecki said did not sound promising for fans hoping that the young, premiere outfielder would land in Philadelphia this offseason.

Yasmani-Tomas-2014-abr-300x211

“He’s getting closer (to making a decision on a team), I don’ know if it’ll be the Phillies though,” said Zolecki. “I thought if the Phillies were going to get him, then they would have gotten him by now. Ruben, when he likes to go after these big fish type guys, likes to move fast, be aggressive with it, and move on with the rest of the offseason.”

Tomas, a 24-year-old, 6’1″, 240 pound corner outfielder could very well be the next great Cuban-born slugger to come to MLB, joining a list of players that includes Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Abreu.

In the 2012-2013 Serie Nacional regular season, Tomas batted .289 with 15 home runs, 34 walks and 52 strikeouts in 324 plate appearances over 81 games. He also ranked fifth in slugging, and sixth in home runs.

His breakout season came in the 2011-2012 regular season where he batted .301 with 16 homers in 240 plate appearances over 69 games.

With Marlon Byrd likely being dealt to a contender, and Dominic Brown’s disappointing play, a guy like Tomas would be welcomed into the Phillies’ outfield with open arms. Not only would he bring some excitement to a team in desperate need of some, but he could become a player that the Phillies can begin to rebuild their team around.

If in fact he does not land in Philadelphia, the team and the fan base could potentially be missing out on some exciting raw talent.

Here’s hoping he lands with the Phillies, and gives both the team and fans some hope for the future.

Check out some highlights.

 

UPDATE:

Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark tweeted that one MLB executive said to bet the mortgage on the Phillies because “they want to do something big.”

However, another report by MLB.com’s Paul Hagan suggests that the Phillies’ are “backing off” Tomas due to concerns about his defense.

A deal for Tomas could potentially be in the $100 million range, but do the questions marks about his defense lower his value? The guy surely has big-bat potential, but what about his glove?

All we can do at this point is sit back and wait. Perhaps Tomas will end up with the Phillies after the smoke clears, or maybe not. Despite the defense, I would personally love to see this kid’s bat in the lineup on an everyday basis.

 

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Howard Dealing with Sad Situation

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 19, 2014 06:42 PM Comments: 20

You’ve likely already read the report from David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, so there isn’t any factual additions to that story. But I will add a few thoughts…

Piggybacking what Jim Salisbury has written – and he knows Howard a lot better than I do – this is a terrible situation.

No matter how much money a person makes, or if they’re part of the public eye, it doesn’t make a story like this any easier to read, as some have stated to me on social media.

It was easy to crush Howard for his play the last two seasons. His play, and body, are in full decline. This addition to the story of Ryan Howard makes sense.  Aside from the injuries, you could tell that something was off about Howard this year, especially when he asked the media if they’d like to switch places with him. “Of course,” I thought to myself. I absolutely would change places with the Big Piece. Big house, nice-looking wife, great family, and a major league player. Upon hearing the details of the fracturing of his family, I change that stance.

It’s a tough situation that many people go through, but few as public as Howard. It’s not about how much money he’s may have lost, or the endorsements that were possibly lost because of his family’s behavior. It’s about the relationships lost here that are the worst part.

Sometimes the story extends beyond the baseball field. That’s unfortunate for Ryan Howard, coming at the worst possible time in his career, compounding all of the other issues in front of him. Can he recover from this? It’s certainly much different than a knee or achilles. Only time will tell.

 

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Meet Jayson Stark at Shibe Vintage Sports next Tuesday

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, November 19, 2014 02:15 PM Comments: 0

The best baseball writer in America, Jayson Stark, will be at Shibe Vintage Sports in Center City Philly on Tuesday, November 25th to sign his latest book, Wild Pitches, and answer your questions about the book, the Phillies, and the upcoming winter meetings. The event is free, and Jayson’s new book will be on sale.

Jayson is going to start signing books at 5:30 p.m. and if you want to hear him talk Phillies and chat about the book, the Q&A portion will start at 6 p.m. It’s gonna be a great event, and a terrific opportunity for you to get some early holiday shopping done for the baseball fan in your life!

RSVP via Facebook here!

stark-email

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Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, November 19, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On Tuesday, the Phillies released their planned 2015 coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates.

The Triple-A level will maintain the same group with Dave Brundage staying on as manager, Ray Burris and Sal Rende returning as pitching coach and hitting coach respectively along with Mickey Morandini coming back as bench coach.

Dusty Nerris

Dusty Wathan, image- Jay Floyd

Reading skipper Dusty Wathan will return for his fourth year with the team. Pitching coach Dave Lundquist will also be back at the Double-A level, while hitting coach Frank Cacciatore, who previously worked with the Reading team from 2008-2013 and with Clearwater in 2014, will make his return to Reading.

Class A Advanced Clearwater will have a new manager, as Greg Legg has been promoted after holding the same position with Class A Lakewood last season. 2014 Reading hitting coach Rob Ducey will work with the Threshers next year, while Steve Schrenk, who previously coached in Clearwater in 2007-2008, will be back as pitching coach after working in the Gulf Coast League last year.

Lakewood’s skipper will be Shawn Williams, who has one season as a pro manager under his belt after being hired for that gig with short-season A level Williamsport last season. Williams is the son of former big league skipper Jimy Williams. Former Phillies hurler Aaron Fultz will return to Lakewood as pitching coach after previously holding that position in 2013 and working in Williamsport last season. Nelson Prada, who managed Clearwater last season, will fill the spot of hitting coach with the BlueClaws next year. Continue reading Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

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Phillies Scouting Red Sox System For Possible Hamels Deal

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, November 18, 2014 07:42 PM Comments: 27

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies are doing background work on several players in the Boston Red Sox system. Catcher Christian Vazquez, outfielder Mookie Betts, and pitcher Matt Barnes are mentioned by name. The Red Sox are on Hamels no-trade list that was recently updated. Rosenthal theorizes that Hamels would likely require the Red Sox to pick up his 2019 option for $20 million dollars.

Cole Hamels to the Red Sox rumors is nothing new. The two teams have scouted each others system extensively in the past few months. Rosenthal suggests that the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Betts, and catchers Vazquez and Blake Swihart. The odds that the Red Sox truly do not want to part with BOTH of their catching prospects is likely slim, as the reports of them wanting to keep all these players is likely a bargaining tactic.

A deal for Hamels will likely hinge on who winds up with free agent starter Jon Lester. The Red Sox are reportedly interested in bringing Lester back to Boston, but if he chooses to sign elsewhere you would have to think that Hamel would become the Red Sox number one target.

The Phillies trading of Cole Hamels seems imminent. The front office is looking to rebuild this team, and Hamels would help do that with the package of prospects that he would command. If/when the Phillies decide to deal the 2008 World Series MVP they need to make sure they get a decent return. The Phillies haven’t had much luck in recent memory trading proven talent for prospects. Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence are a few names that come to mind. The trading of Cole Hamels could help shape the franchise for years to come, or keep the Phillies right were they are now; Dead last.

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Phillies Arizona Fall League Rundown

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, November 18, 2014 05:30 PM Comments: 0

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up play last week, with the team that Phillies’ players were assigned to, the Scottsdale Scorpions, finishing with a league-worst 12-20 record. The team was also made up of representatives from the Yankees, Pirates, Mets and Giants.

Seven Phillies players took part and spent time battling against other organizations’ best young prospects. Below is a rundown of each of those Phils competitors’ AFL efforts with details on what to expect from each individual going forward.

Centerfielder Roman Quinn posted a .250 batting average with two triples, two home runs, nine RBI and a league leading 14 stolen bases in 24 games. His .720 OPS was just a bit higher than the .713 mark he posted in 88 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater this year. The 21-year-old was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft choice in 2011. He underwent surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon last off-season but returned to action this year without any negative impact to his highly regarded speed. Expect Quinn to continue to rise through the developmental ranks at a steady pace. Already proving that he can compete with AFL competition, which includes loads of Double-A level (and beyond) talent, the five-foot-ten 170-pounder should see action with Reading next season.

AdamMorgan

Adam Morgan with Reading in 2012, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Adam Morgan posted a 1-2 record along with a 6.61 ERA in six games (five starts). In 16 1/3 innings with the Scorpions, the 24-year-old struck out 11 and walked three. Morgan spent the 2014 regular season recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent last winter. He was rising quickly through the minors before he was sidelined, posting a 4.04 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2013 just two years after being the Phils’ 3rd round draft pick. The six-foot-one 195-pounder should return to the IronPigs’ rotation to start next season.

Righty reliever Nefi Ogando had a 1-0 record with three saves and a 3.07 ERA in 12 AFL appearances. Ogando, who was acquired from Boston in a trade for John McDonald last year, struck out 15 and walked four in 14 2/3 innings with the Scorpions. The 25-year-old put together a 5-1 record with seven saves, a 6.27 ERA and a 9.16 K/9 mark in 48 games with Reading this year. Ogando has the potential to see some big league time next year, as his fastball can reach triple-digits and misses plenty of bats. His coaches like the flashes of dominance he was able to show in the Eastern League last year. Continue reading Phillies Arizona Fall League Rundown

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