Archive for March, 2009

PN 2009 Season Preview: Myers Must Deliver

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, March 30, 2009 11:00 AM Comments: 13

To say 2009 is a defining season for Brett Myers is quite the understatement. The right-hander, drafted by the Phillies and seasoned to be an ace, has fallen somewhat short of those expectations, defined more by his personality and off-the-field moments than his pitching prowess.

For a time, that prowess was completely gone. Than it almost magically returned — all it took was a month and a couple minor-league starts. Seriously, that was it?

Why is Myers so mysterious?

“I knew it would come down to who would make the first mistake and unfortunately I made it.”

“You can write I stink if you want. I feel like that was my best pitch to get Cliff (Floyd) out right there. He didn’t swing at it and it got past Carlos (Ruiz). … Nine times out of 10 Carlos blocks that ball.”

“I can’t put together back-to-back good starts and I don’t know what the problem is. That’s frustrating. I don’t know. I made some good pitches they hit, I made some bad pitches they crushed. I don’t know.”

“I got no excuses. I flat-out stunk. It’s frustrating. I feel I’m not myself. I feel I lost that Rottweiler aggression. I’m pitching like a scared dog. I’m sorry the fans had to watch that. It was terrible.”

The weird thing? Most of those quotes are from before 2008.

Brett Myers has always played head games with himself. He’ll question his pitches, shake off his pitches, think about his pitches, then get frustrated, then rear back and fire. When he reared back and fired in 2008, he got crushed. Crushed hard.

Before his demotion, Myers barely threw his best pitch: the curveball. According to the Hardball Times, he threw the curve 13.3 percent of the time to right-handed hitters and 21.2 percent of the time to lefties. After his demotion? 23.3 percent of the time against righties and 32.5 percent of the time against lefties.

What did he stop throwing? His slider, which is barely a slider and moves more like a horizontally-tailed fastball. Clocking it at under 90 miles per hour, it’s a hittable meatball. When Myers was most successful he was primarily tossing the fastball and curveball, throwing in sporatic sliders, sinkers, changeups and cutters to mess with hitters.

Most of all, Myers positioned his fastball to the outside corner against right-handed hitters, while keeping the curve to the outisde zone against lefties. As we know, hitters’ timing is affected greatly when battling against outside pitches.

Interestingly, reports from spring training indicate Myers is throwing his cutter a lot. That pitch is practically his slider.

If Myers wants to be successful in 2009, he’ll figure out the effectiveness of his slider and cutter quickly. If they don’t work, he must banish them and stick to a fastball-curveball-changeup repertoire. If they are working, however, look the heck out.

Basically, Myers is capable of two possible lines (completely guessing) in 2009:

Best: 20-7 / 3.04 ERA / 232 K / 61 BB
Worst: 8-13 / 5.32 ERA / 119 K / 92 BB

The difference between those lines is his critical thinking. Ironically, that’s what gets him in a mess. Bottom line? How Myers pitches in 2009 will determine the remainder of his baseball career.


DWIPP: 2- Paul Abbott, 2004

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, March 30, 2009 10:50 AM Comments: 4

2. Paul Abbott in 2004

In June of 2004, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays released Abbott after he pitched 10 games with an ERA that apporoached seven.  Four days later, the Phillies immediately jumped on the opportunity to sign Abbott, as if he had many great seasons in the past (his career ERA was close to 5).

Abbott only spent 10 games with the Phillies in 2004.

In the 49 innings he pitched, Abbott  was 1-6 with an ERA of 6.24 and WHIP of 1.80.  He allowed 37 runs on 57 hits and 31 walks, including 14 home runs.

Opponents batted .290 and slugged .551, and had a .940 OPS against him.

The Phillies released Abbott in September, and has not pitched since.  He is currently a pitching coach for the Orange Country Flyers.


PN 2009 Season Preview: Tweet Me

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, March 30, 2009 09:45 AM Comments: 0

Want to get some answers about the 2009 Phillies?

Check out our Twitter page and ask me a question. I’ll be on all day answering as part of our 2009 Season Preview.


Giles Released; Mayberry, Carrasco Optioned

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, March 30, 2009 09:36 AM Comments: 29

Big update this morning, as Todd Zolecki reports Marcus Giles has been released and John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Carrasco were optioned to minor-league camp. Meanwhile, Jason Ellison, Pablo Ozuna and Mike Koplove have been told they won’t make the 25-man roster, but will accompany the Phillies for the on-deck series at Citizens Bank Park.

The only hitter, then, remaining is Miguel Cairo. Pitchers not completely penciled onto the 25-man roster include JA Happ, Chan Ho Park, Bobby Mosebach, Jack Taschner and Gary Majewski.


PN 2009 Season Preview: Introduction

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, March 30, 2009 06:00 AM Comments: 3

Welcome to the Phillies Nation 2009 Season Preview.

Today we open the preview, but first, an introduction as to what’s coming:


Follow us all day at Twitter and e-mail me at tim@philliesnation.com.


Phillies Leave too Many on Base in Loss

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, March 29, 2009 06:29 PM Comments: 11

The Phillies left 12 men on base, including 6 in scoring position, in their 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Joe Blanton pitched 6.1 solid innings allowing just two earned runs on four hits and one walk.  He struck out four.  Chad Durbin gave up the only other run, a solo home run by Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Phillies scored their only run when Ryan Howard drew a two out walk with the bases loaded.

Cole Hamels was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game, but due to the rain, he will pitch in tomorrow’s minor league game instead.


Blanton on Mound Vs. BoSox

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, March 29, 2009 11:58 AM Comments: 5

The Phillies will face the Boston Red Sox at Bright House Field.  Game time is 1:05 p.m. and it will be televised on MyPHL 17.

Joe Blanton will get the start against Jon Lester.  Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and Scott Eyre are also scheduled to pitch.

The lineup: Rollins (SS)/ Victorino (CF)/ Utley (2B)/ Howard (1B)/ Werth (RF)/ Ibanez (LF)/ Feliz (3B)/ Mayberry (DH)/ Coste (C).

Cole Hamels will be pitching in a minor league game this afternoon.


DWIPP: 3- Gavin Floyd, 2005

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, March 29, 2009 10:00 AM Comments: 10

3. Gavin Floyd in 2005

Drafted fourth overall in the 2001 draft, Floyd was the Phillies highest ranked prospect, but never lived up to his expectations. In 2005, he had a 10.04 ERA and 1.77 WHIP and in 2006 a 7.29 ERA and 1.88 WHIP.

In the 26 innings he pitched in 2005, he was 1-2, allowed 29 earned runs on 30 hits and 16 walks, including five home runs.  Opponents batted .283 and had a .924 OPS against him.  His strike out per walk ratio was 1.06.

He spent the majority of the season as a starter, where he had a 6.75 ERA.  In 4.2 innings out of the bullpen, he allowed 15 runs, 13 earned.  At Citizen’s Bank Park, his ERA was close to 16.

In his 3 year career with the Phillies, Floyd had a 6.96 ERA with the Phillies.

He will forever be remembered as the pitcher who threw the pitch to Xavier Nady in which Aaron Rowand made a “great, great, perhaps game saving catch!” in 2006.

Floyd was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2006, and had a successful 2008 season.  He set career highs in practically every pitching category.  His ERA was 3.84 and struck out 145 batters in 206.1 innings.


Photos from Spring Training

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, March 28, 2009 05:38 PM Comments: 7

Here is a sample of the fun that can be had in Clearwater during Spring Training. Check out the photos at the end.


Moyer, Lidge, Struggle in 10-4 Loss

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, March 28, 2009 04:13 PM Comments: 7

The Phillies pitching could not hold up in their 10-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 5.2 innings, Jamie Moyer struck out seven batters, but allowed seven earned runs on eleven hits, including Andrew McCutchen’s solo home run.  In the eighth inning, Brad Lidge gave up a three run homer to Garrett Jones.

Ian Snell and the rest of the Pirates pitching limited the Phillies offense to just four hits.  Ryan Howard hit his eighth home run of the season, a monster solo shot over the batter’s eye in center field.  Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run home run off Denny Bautista.

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