Phillies Announce Coaching Staff Decisions for 2016

Posted by Brian Michael, Sun, October 04, 2015 10:45 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies sent the following press release today:

The Phillies have offered contracts for the 2016 season to four of the six members of their major league coaching staff, the club announced tonight.

Larry Bowa (bench), Steve Henderson (hitting), Bob McClure (pitching) and Juan Samuel (first base) have all been asked to return for the 2016 season. John Mizerock (assistant hitting) and Rod Nichols (bullpen) will not have their contracts renewed.

Additionally, bullpen catchers Bob Stumpo and Jesus Tiamo have also been asked to return for next season.

With Pete Mackanin already on board as the Phillies’ manager for next season, there should be little surprise that the majority of his coaching staff is returning as well.


Phils Avoid 100 Losses, Beat Marlins 7-2

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, October 04, 2015 06:46 PM Comments: 2

Fourteen Philadelphia Phillies teams lost 100 games or more in their 133 year history. Today, the 2015 Phillies assured they would not be among that infamous group. In a game that saw David Buchanan strike out seven, an Erik Kratz start at first base, and Ichiro Suzuki take an MLB mound for the first time in his career, the Phillies closed the book on 2015 with a 7-2 win over Miami on Fan Appreciation Day.

Buchanan Earns Moral Victory

The 2015 Phillies had 29 pitchers, and one position player, take the hill for them with 12 players starting five games or more. Seven of those pitchers had an ERA of 5.80 or greater. One of those pitchers was David Buchanan.

Buchanan had been an asset for the 2014 Phils, a ray of light in a rotation of Cole Hamels and a handful of retreads. Buchanan’s 2015 was markedly different. While there were signs that he was pitching a bit over his head (his FIP and xFIP were a bit higher than his ERA, his BABIP a shade lower than most stops he had in the minors prior to 2014), there was nothing that indicated Buchanan was “6.99 ERA” bad. But Buchanan, for one day, turned a forgettable season around and pitched really well. Buchanan scattered six hits across six and two thirds allowing his only earned run of the day on a homer off the bat of the 2015 NL Batting King, Dee Gordon (3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R) while striking out seven. Despite Buchanan’s pitfalls in 2015, he should compete with a very youthful group for a spot in the 2016 rotation.

Rookies, Everywhere

Today’s Phillies box score should give you hope for the future. The Phillies’ season MVP (in my eyes, at least) Odubel Herrera did not start but walked and doubled in a reserve role, scoring two runs while raising his average to .297 for the season. Herrera’s double, his 30th of the season, made him the first Phillies rookie since Juan Samuel in 1984 to reach 30 or more in their freshmen campaign. Among Phillies that qualified for the batting title, and there were only three, Herrera led the team in average, OBP, OPS, hits, doubles, and fWAR. When adjusted to 250 PA or more, Herrera retains his lead in all categories minus OBP & OPS, which are then relinquished to Andres Blanco. Because of the high volume of super rookies, it is very unlikely Herrera will get any play as a NL Rookie of the Year candidate but he should receive a few down ballot votes. Depending on the performance of Matt Duffy tonight, Herrera may win the NL Rookie Batting Title.

Aaron Altherr exhausted his rookie eligibility earlier this week but continued to make the best of his Major League audition. Among Phillies with at least 100 plate appearances, Altherr was third on the Phils in SLG and wOBA, while being the second-most valuable position player according to fWAR on the Phils for 2015 in just 40 games. Altherr had a double and a triple, going 2-for-5 with four RBI.

Fellow rookie Cameron Rupp ended his season with a 1-4 game with a double while Darnell Sweeney, who struggled through September with a .125/.222/.234 line, contributed with a pinch-hit RBI double. Maikel Franco started at third and went 1-for-3 with a single, walk, and a run scored. From the pitching rubber, 29-year old rookie Dalier Hinojosa wrapped up his fantastic rookie season with a scoreless eighth, lowering his ERA to 0.73 with 23 K in 24 and 2/3rd innings pitched in the Majors.

Wrap Up

The Phillies will not the field again officially until Spring Training but we appreciate you keeping up with your favorite team here at Phillies Nation throughout the 2015 season. The offseason should be one of the most interesting in quite some time after a season of great change. We look forward to bringing you the latest updates, rumors, exclusive interviews, and so on as the offseason starts.

From all of us at Phillies Nation, we thank you for staying with us throughout this season.


Gameday: Miami Marlins (71-90) at Philadelphia Phillies (62-99)

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Sun, October 04, 2015 02:50 PM Comments: 0

Miami Marlins (71-90) at Philadelphia Phillies (62-99)


Starting Pitchers:
PHI: David Buchanan, RHP (2-9, 7.54)
MIA: Adam Conley, LHP (4-1, 3.84)

Time: 3:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 60 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

After the Phillies clinched the last place in the league for the first pick of the draft next year, the Phillies will look to avoid 100 loses in their last chance.

In a season that has been full of ups and downs, the Phillies will close the last game of the season with a grim reminder of the 2015 season in the record that sticks in the history books.

David Buchanan will get the start to show the Phillies one last chance what he’s got, and whether he has any kind of outlook for the following year.

The lineup looks a bit obscured with Darin Ruf in the outfield and Erik Kratz at first base, as if there is no attempt to avoid the 100 losses that looms over this season. Perhaps next year will have a new face (or faces) for the Phillies, a younger, eager team that is chomping at the bits to show the Majors what they can do.  But for now, we can revel in the history that sits before us, and the season that sits behind us, as the Phillies take the field for the final game of the season.

First pitch at 3:05.


Galvis SS, Altherr LF, Franco 3B, Ruf LF, Francouer RF, Blanco 2B, Kratz 1B, Rupp C, Buchanan RHP


LHP Prospect Biddle to have Tommy John surgery

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, October 04, 2015 01:40 PM Comments: 1

J Biddle 2

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

The Phillies announced on Sunday that lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle will require Tommy John surgery after suffering damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm.

The 23-year-old has been plagued with injuries in recent seasons after missing considerable time with a concussion last year with Double-A Reading, he was shut down with elbow soreness during the off-season while playing in Puerto Rico and was shelved with what was said to be a shoulder strain this year while with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

In split time with Reading and Lehigh Valley this season, Biddle tallied a 9-6 record with a 4.95 ERA and a 6.4 K/9 mark over 24 starts.

The Philadelphia native was the Phillies’ top draft selection (27th overall) in 2010.  He’ll turn 24 years old later this month.

Another Phillies left-hander underwent UCL reconstruction this year.  Reliever Mario Hollands is progressing well after going under the knife in April.  Rehabbing in Clearwater, Hollands is currently on a throwing programs in which he plays catch every other day and has been doing so for a month thus far.  Throwing off a pitching mound is something that is on the horizon for Hollands, although he’s not sure how soon that change to his workload will pop up.

In 50 games as a big league rookie in 2014, Hollands posted a 2-2 record along with a 4.40 ERA.  Hollands was the Phils’ 10th round draft choice in 2010.

Hollands, a close friend of Biddle, has offered guidance to the younger hurler.

“I’ve been talking to him since his first doctors visit about the process and what he should expect,” Hollands said on Sunday.

The feedback is something that Hollands is pleased to share with Biddle, who is facing a troubling time.

“I’m happy to do it, but surgery and recovery aren’t too fun to talk about,” Hollands, who didn’t have anyone to offer similar insight, stated.

The UC-Santa Barbara product, Hollands, expects to remain in Florida throughout the off-season in order to aggressively complete his rehab program and make a return early in 2016, barring any setbacks.


Phils clinch worst record in MLB, lock down top draft pick

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, October 04, 2015 07:00 AM Comments: 5

phils logoGetting swept in a double header at home has likely never had such a positive spin as it did for the Phillies on Saturday as they lost a pair of contests against the division rival Marlins.

In the opening game of the twin bill, the Phils would lose for the first time this season when leading after eight innings as flame throwing closer Kenny Giles blew just his second save opportunity since taking over the duties at the back end of the bullpen after the trade of Jonathan Papelbon.

In the night cap, rookie hurler Alec Asher, acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels deal, surrendered three earned runs in two innings of work to fall to 0-6 on the season in the big leagues.  The Marlins were victors by scores of 7-6 and 5-2.

The Phillies solidified their worst record since 1969 with their 99th loss of the season. With one game remaining this season, the century mark isn’t out of the question in the loss column. They’ve not lost 100 or more games since 1961 when the club dropped 107.

It wasn’t all bad news for the home club at Citizens Bank Park, however, as the Phillies locked in the top spot in next year’s MLB amateur draft.

In their history, the Phillies have had the first overall draft pick only once. They selected Miami third baseman Pat Burrell with the top selection in 1998.

The top name rumored to be drawing the most interest as the first overall pick come next June is local standout, Jason Groome, a lefty hurler out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey. Groome, a senior, was clocked at 96 MPH in a late-summer showcase game at Petco Park prior to his 17th birthday. He is said to throw heat effortlessly and features outstanding secondary pitches as well.


Nation Notes: Marlins vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Sat, October 03, 2015 05:59 PM Comments: 3

Miami Marlins (69-90) at Philadelphia Phillies (62-97)


Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Aaron Harang, RHP (6-15, 4.86) ; Alec Asher, RHP (0-5, 9.00)
MIA: Tom Koehler, RHP (11-14, 4.00) ; Justin Nicolino, LHP (4-4, 4.16)

Time: 4:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 56 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

The Phillies are playing a traditional double header today against the Marlins after last night was postponed due to rain.

Aaron Harang will get the start for the first game, which could be his last game in a Phillies uniform.  Harang has pitched 28 games this year for the Phillies, collecting a 6-15 record for the year with a 4.86 ERA.

The lineup has been solidified as of late, and shows some glimmers of light playing well in the final week of the season.

Newcomers Aaron Altherr and Darnell Sweeney have fit nicely into the playing field, and have shown promise at the plate and in the field.  Altherr has hit .250 in 36 games for the Phillies since joining the team in August, which includes 18 extra base hits and 15 walks.  Darnell Sweeney has spent just about the same time with the Phillies since being traded to the team through the Chase Utley trade, and although he started out hot at the plate hitting 2 home runs in his first 10 days with the Phillies, he has cooled off going yard only once in September.

The Phillies are still on the verge of clinching the first pick of the Draft for the 2016 year, and able to avoid 100 losses in one season.

Keep your eyes on the prize.


Galvis SS, Altherr LF, Herrera CF, Ruf 1B, Asche 3B, Sweeney 2B, Ruiz C, Bogusevic RF, Harang RHP


Retiring Giants pitcher: I won’t miss Philadelphia

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Thu, October 01, 2015 05:37 PM Comments: 21

cbpLeft-handed relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, who had a solid career over 14 seasons with the Royals, Rockies, Reds and Giants, is retiring at age 36. Upon announcing his retirement, he wrote a piece for Sports Illustrated listing the five things he won’t miss about baseball.

Among those: Philadelphia.

He wrote:

“Philly is a great sports town, with passionate fans and a palpable energy. The problem, though, is that the city, more than any other I’ve played in, seems to condone and almost revel in its fans crossing the line. Nowhere else in this country—again, based on my experience as a 14-year major leaguer and the conversations I’ve had with other players—is the opposition treated in such a repeatedly vile and borderline threatening manner.”

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, leaving at age 17. I’ve since exclusively lived in the Boston and New York metropolitan areas. My first, very Philadelphian, inclination is to get angry. Who the F do you think you are, Jeremy Affeldt? Just another outsider throwing snowballs at us, hurting our reputation, setting us back even more. What a dope. You were a Giant. God we hate the Giants. Those sniveling jackasses. By the way, Giants and Dodgers fans don’t get along too well. Other cities have had attempted assaults and fan deaths. Why bash Philly?

But that’s the first inclination, the emotional response coming from years growing up in Philadelphia. It’s a defensive place. Borders are very strict and tight. Words fly pretty curiously.

I’ve taken a step back in recent years. And while I definitely have a history of writing things that jab at other teams and fans, we strive to present a balanced report and argument here. So I have to say this: He has a very strong and accurate point.

Affeldt notes he and other opposing players have been privy to vulgar and personal attacks, including epithets. He notes extreme negativity lingers at times when visiting the city, and it had given him pause about ever considering the city as a future home. Other players, he writes, have felt the same way.

“The irony is, while Phillies fans succeed in making many players dread traveling there, they also (not surprisingly) impact the decision-making process of those same players in free agency.”

That’s a serious allegation. It’s one thing to say that Philadelphians are negative, which gets annoying or tiring. It’s an entirely different thing to say it truly affects how the Phillies can improve their franchise on a player acquisition basis. And considering this comes from a man who has been in clubhouses for numerous teams over 14 years, you have to take this with more than a grain of salt. How fans act, and the mood that lingers from that, probably isn’t the lead cause for most players weighing whether to play in Philadelphia. It certainly didn’t highly affect the Phillies from making key free-agent signings in recent years (Jim Thome, Raul Ibanez, Cliff Lee), but again, one should take Affeldt’s allegation more seriously, as he has played with and knows hundreds of ballplayers.

Where I agree with Affeldt is that I’ve also been privy to the aggressive negativity that lingers in Philadelphia. I love Philadelphia and most everyone I’ve ever met or known there, and I’ve met or known tons of people. But there is a vile and loud negativity that surrounds more often than it should. It comes if I write about Domonic Brown. It comes if I mention that the Phillies were bad this season. I will note, however, that Phillies Nation commenters have always been generally thoughtful and reasonable. But that negativity even comes from me, especially when I watch the Eagles. Of all teams, they bring out in me the born-and-raised Philadelphian who isn’t afraid to spontaneously insult a player with vulgarity. It’s wrong. Sports can be serious. But it can’t be everything.

Of course, we Philadelphians take sports seriously, and maybe more seriously than in any other major city in America. Boston is at that level, and its fans can absolutely be wrongfully hateful (see most anything anti-Yankees). New York, while you’d like to think is terrible, is actually pretty measured for a large city. We’ve heard about Dodger fans, and even Giants fans. But the negativity that can emerge in Philadelphia isn’t merely about sports. It’s deep-seated, sometimes racially charged, sometimes economically charged, and sometimes class charged.

My first inclination is to be angry at Affeldt, to show negativity, to show hatred. But what does that do? It only increases the negativity, and it only proves his point. I’m proud to be from Philadelphia because it is an intensely passionate city, in my mind the true Paris of America. The passion shows when the city converges for major events, or in the city’s unbelievable dining scene, or – just to hammer the point home – how many celebrities that came from Philadelphia still represent the city’s sports franchises in public. That’s the positive Philadelphia I love, one of civic pride. It’s the Philadelphia I saw the day the Phillies marched down Broad Street nearly seven years ago. It’s the Philadelphia I still see, even though I’m away, like at a Nets vs. Sixers game at Barclays Center last season. The assorted Sixers fans and I who were at the game were overjoyed at a win. We stomped and sang and smiled even though the Sixers were playing maybe .300 basketball. That’s the Philly I love.

The Philly I love is me wanting to wear my decaying Phillies hat everywhere and anywhere. And when someone says to me “Oh you’re a Phillies fan?” with a touch of ridicule, I answer back with glee, “Yes I am!” I did that for two weeks back in 2011, driving the country to watch baseball game after baseball game. People shot me dirty looks. At once I felt sad because – yes, everyone in this country thinks I’m some deranged lunatic who throws batteries at people and screams obscenities to people – but then I felt proud because, you know what, that Phillies hat triggers a reaction. We are passionate. We care so much that people actually emit a response to us, even when we’re out in Missouri.

So let’s flip the script. Let’s stop the vulgarity, the quick negativity, the festering hatred. Please try to stop it. As I said, sports can be serious, but it can’t be everything. And above all, it should be fun, a nice release, a chance to be entertained by women and men who can do amazing things every day. It shouldn’t be the place to air your frustration with the world. It should be a place to enjoy the moment with the people who love you the most.

Jeremy Affeldt shouldn’t be derided for his comments. I commend him. Maybe his comments on Philadelphia will trigger a true discussion on negativity and vulgarity in Philadelphia sports fandom. It would be worth the time.


Eickoff On, Dazzles in Shutout to Seal Sweep of Mets

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, October 01, 2015 03:35 PM Comments: 9

Jerad Eickoff exhausted both his rookie eligibility and the Mets today, striking out ten while scattering four hits and one walk across seven innings, en route to a 3-0 Phillies win and a series sweep of the first place Mets.

Eickhoff? More like Eick-”on”, har har har

Eickhoff allowed a double to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the second for the first hit of the game but seemed to be in cruise control after that. Kelly Johnson would get a pair of singles off of Eickhoff and Nieuwenhuis would double again in the seventh, but it never felt like the Mets were a threat to score in today’s game.

According to FanGraphs, Eickhoff’s performance today was worth 0.4 WAR, making Eickhoff as or more valuable in one game than 23 other players that took the mound for the Phillies. Eickhoff’s record improved to 3-3 on the season while his ERA dropped to 2.65. Jerome Williams pitched a scoreless eighth to earn a hold while Luis Garcia picked up save number two with a scoreless ninth.

Bats Quiet But Deliver

The Phillies were out-hit six to five by the Mets but made the most of their opportunities. First baseman Darin Ruf took lefty starter Sean Gilmartin deep in the fourth with a two-run shot while Andres Blanco, in the midst of a career year at age 31, went deep as part of an eventual double switch off of lefty reliever Dario Alvarez. The three other hits came off the bats of Odubel Herrera and Jeff Francoeur, who each doubled, while Chooch contributed a single.

With the sweep of the Mets, the Phillies could drop the Mets into a tie with the Dodgers for home field in that NLDS series with a Dodgers’ win tonight. The Phillies are now one and a half games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League and that margin ahead of them for the 2016 number one draft pick. They resume play tomorrow in the final series of the season against the Miami Marlins.



Nation Notes: Mets vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Wed, September 30, 2015 06:46 PM Comments: 2

New York Mets (89-68) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-97)


Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Alec Asher, RHP (0-5, 7.52)
NYM: Logan Verrett, RHP (1-2, 3.40)

Time: 7:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, Chance of Rain, 79 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

After having his best start in a Phillies uniform, Alec Asher will be on the mound tonight in what may be his final look of the 2015 whirlwind season.

Asher went 7.0 innings, giving up only 3 hits and 1 run with 4 strikeouts.  After not making it out of the fifth inning in any of his prior starts, it took the Miami Marlins to give him his best showing, in Miami, where they gathered a 1-0 loss.

Last night the Phillies took down Bartolo Colon and the Mets with a 4-3 win.  The Phillies will look to avoid 100 losses in the season by winning 2 of 3 in the last two series here in Philadelphia.

Just about the same lineup as last night, Brian Bogusevic moves up a spot to the 7 hole.  The Phillies look to continue their quest to avoid 100 losses for the year.

Tomorrow’s game has been rescheduled to a 12:00 pm start due to rain moving into the area.

First pitch is at 7:05 EST.


Galvis SS, Herrera CF, Altherr LF, Ruf 1B, Asche 3B, Blanco 2B,  Bogusevic RF, Rupp C, Asher RHP


Tomorrow’s Phillies game to start at 12 p.m. due to threat of rain

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, September 30, 2015 04:15 PM Comments: 0

The Phillies announced Wednesday that Thursday’s game against the New York Mets will be moved up from  a 7 p.m. start, to a 12 p.m. start due to the threat of rain being brought by Hurricane Joaquin.

Here’s the official announcement by the team via their Twitter profile:

This should come as good news for any fans who were worried about rain keeping Thursday’s game from being played. The Phillies are allowing fans who have tickets for the game to exchange them for any of the team’s remaining home games, or even a home game next season (excluding Opening Day).

So if you can’t make the game, or would rather not watch budding starter Jerad Eikhoff take the mound, you can head to another game this weekend and watch Maikel Franco return from the disabled list, or get a some free stuff during Sunday’s Fan Appreciation Day.

Good on ya, Phillies.

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