Archive for November, 2009

Coste Joins the Mets

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 30, 2009 06:48 PM Comments: 22

Our old friend Chris Coste is joining the rivals to the north.  Coste has reportedly signed a one-year deal according to Jeff Kolpak of the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota.

The report says that the Mets have given him a spot on the 40-man roster, but have made no guarantees about being on the opening day 25-man list.

Have to say, this one stings a bit.  Coste was one of those guys you’ll always admire as a Phillies fan, but going to the Mets is a tough pill to swallow.  Anyway, best of luck to Coste next season.


The Debate: Beltre vs. Feliz

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 29, 2009 04:14 PM Comments: 95

You’ve digested the turkey, the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes.  You’ve reflected on what it means to be thankful over this long weekend.  Now, its time to get back to what’s important; and that’s the free agent market the Phillies have in front of them.

Last week, Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News talked about how wonderful it would be to have Chone Figgins at the top of the order.  A few things make that relatively unlikely.

First, he is hoping to secure a deal in the $10-12 million per year range, which takes the Phils out of it from a financial standpoint.  Figgins will be 32-years old at the start of the 2010 season, meaning a four-or-five-year contract will take him into an age bracket that normally means a downhill slide in production.  On top of that, whether or not you believe that Jimmy Rollins is a leadoff man means very little. Because Charlie Manuel does, it’s unlikely he would take J-Roll out of that position for Figgins.  That makes a slap-hitting, seventh hitter pretty expensive at those figures.

All of those variables put Figgins deep on the backburner, unless for some unknown reason he changes his price tag.

The hotly debated name out there besides Figgins continues to be Adrian Beltre.  If we are tossing Figgins to the side, Beltre’s name, to me, stands out more than Placido Polanco (not a third baseman by trade), Mark Derosa (super-utility man, but can he play 3B everyday?), or Miguel Tejada (aging, not a 3B, but would switch positions here).

Many are wondering if he is an upgrade at all over Pedro Feliz – and I say yes.  Defensively, Feliz was one of the top third basemen at his position, until you delve deeper into the numbers.  Using John Dewan’s Fielding Bible, you’ll notice that Feliz was a plus-5 this season.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Plus/Minus stat, it represents the number of plays the player made above/below the number that an average fielder would make, according to the video scouts at Baseball Info Solutions.

Feliz’s plus-5 puts him just above average, however, two of the top three defenders at the hot corner are Figgins, with a ridiculous plus-40 – best in the majors – and Beltre, with a plus-27, ranking him third in baseball.  Feliz saved just five runs at his position, while 30 were saved by Figgins, and 21 by Beltre.  With the glove, it turns out Feliz is not nearly on par with the others.  There’s no denying his defense is solid, but he’s getting up there in age and was clearly aided by having Jimmy Rollins to his left.  But again, lets take Figgins out of the equation since he seems to be a long shot.

Offensively, many point to Pedro Feliz and his 82 RBI, his .336 average with runners in scoring position and his clutch hits throughout the season.  Beltre, on the other hand, was serviceable in those statistics as well.  The Mariners third baseman hit .284 with RISP, and did knock in 44 runs in just 111 games as he dealt with injuries.

Feliz’s stats must be looked at in the context of the lineup he was a part of.  The Phillies managed 820 runs in the regular season in 2009, while the Mariners plated just 640, the worst in the American League.  Feliz was the benefactor of hitting behind Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez in the most feared lineup in the NL.  Beltre was surrounded by the likes of  an elderly Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Branyan, Jose Lopez, and Yuniesky Betancourt.  Not exactly murderers row.

Because Beltre was the focal point of the Seattle offense, he very rarely was given anything good to hit with those names around him.  Plug him into the Phillies offense in the seven spot, and you have yourself a very solid piece at the bottom of the order.

Looking at Beltre’s peripheral stats, he does strikeout a bit too much compared to Feliz, fanning 74 times in 449 at-bats.  Pedro whiffed 68 times in 131 more AB’s.

Contractually, there might be some reason for the Phillies to pause. The infamous Scott Boras represents Beltre and will undoubtedly attempt to suck the most cash he can out of any team willing to dole it out.  The free agent market has yet to play out in the early going, so there is no gauge as to what Beltre will seek. If it’s a three-year deal in the $6 million range per season, it seems worth the chance on an excellent defensive corner infielder that is only 31.  Ruben Amaro appears to be calmly sitting back, allowing the market to breathe in it’s early stages.

The debate will continue throughout the winter with so many people having differing opinions on who should be the new starting third baseman in Philadelphia.  Adrian Beltre is my favorite to be the man, but who are you hoping for to take over for Pedro Feliz?

Pat Gallen can be reached via email at Pat@Philliesnation.com


Moyer Hospitalized

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, November 28, 2009 01:00 PM Comments: 18

UPDATE (11/28/09):  Jamie Moyer is doing well after minor surgery.  Moyer had surgery to wash out a small collection of blood cells that could have been infected.

“The surgery is not likely to impact his rehab schedule and is likely to have minimal impact on his spring training schedule,” said Ciccotti.  Moyer will remain hospitalized until Monday.


Jamie Moyer has been hospitalized at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with recurring symptoms from his September groin surgery.  Dr. Michael Ciccotti, the team doctor, said that Moyer is not seriously ill, however the pain in the area where he had surgery has increased since the weekend. 

Moyer, 47, is being evaluated.  “He’s completely comfortable and fine.  We’re just taking appropriate precautions and also wanting to do what we can to make sure he’s on track for spring training,” Ciccotti said.


Video: Phillies TV Commercials 1986

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, November 27, 2009 02:53 PM Comments: 9

Here is an extended cut of Phillies commercials aired throughout the 1986 season.


Happy Thanksgiving from Phillies Nation

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, November 26, 2009 01:06 PM Comments: 6

Happy Thanksgiving Phillies Fans

Besides health, family and friends, I am thankful for being alive during the best stretch of Phillies baseball in franchise history. Witnessing a World Championship along with the team’s continued success no doubt fills the hearts of Phillies fans with appreciation. What else are you thankful for?


Phillies Sign Wise and Valdez to Minor League Deals

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, November 25, 2009 05:33 PM Comments: 7

The Phillies signed DeWayne Wise and Wilson Valdez to minor league contracts.  Both had a significant amount of major league playing time in 2009, but they will most likely spend most of 2010 in Triple-A.

Wise, an outfielder, is known for saving Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in July. The 32-year old spent most of the season as a defensive replacement.  He batted .225 in 142 at-bats with the White Sox in 2009.

Valdez, a utility infielder, batted .256 in 86 at-bats for the New York Mets in 2009.


Phillies Targeting Beltre?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, November 25, 2009 03:48 PM Comments: 50

The Phillies are targeting free agent Adrian Beltre, according to Randy Miller of the Bucks County Courier Times.  Money could be an issue; Beltre, 30, could be seeking a four-year deal. Additionally, Beltre is represented by Scott Boras.

Mark DeRosa, a personal favorite of Charlie Manuel, is still an option as well as Placido Polanco and Pedro Feliz.  A friend of Feliz says that he would like to sign elsewhere, possibly Seattle.

Chone Figgins is still an option, and Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News believes he is a great fit.


Ryan Howard Finishes 3rd in MVP voting

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, November 24, 2009 03:56 PM Comments: 9

MLB announced today that Albert Pujols won the 2009 National League Most Valuable Player Award, garnering a unanimous 32 first-place votes. Overall, he accumulated a total of 448 ballot points. Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins shortstop, received 233 points and Ryan Howard finished a close third with 217 points.

Other Phillies receiving votes include Chase Utley who finished eighth, Jayson Werth who finished 17th, and Shane Victorino rounded out the list in 18th. This is Pujols’ third MVP, which ties him with Mike Schmidt and seven others for second most all-time.


Phillies, Castro Agree to Terms

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, November 24, 2009 03:25 PM Comments: 88

The Phillies reportedly agreed to a deal with utility infielder Juan Castro, pending a physical.  The deal is for one year with a club option for 2011.  The deal might not be officially announced until next week. 

Castro will fill Eric Bruntlett’s spot on the roster.  The 37-year old batted .277 in 112 at-bats with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.  Castro was given a minor league contract worth $700,000 in 2009.  If the deal is official, it is unlikely to exceed that price.


Year in Review: J.C. Romero

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, November 24, 2009 02:40 PM Comments: 5

It didn’t start well, and surely didn’t end well for J.C. Romero in 2009.

Romero began the season by sitting out the first 50 games after Major League Baseball suspended him due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.  By the time the Phillies regular season ended, Romero had again been shelved, this time for a season ending elbow ailment.

When he was able to contribute, Romero did fairly well, although he was not the same lights-out pitcher that took over as the lefty specialist in 2007.  In 21 appearances, “Romeo” tossed just 16 2/3 innings in between layoffs, which basically gives him an incomplete grade for the year.  He struggled with his command (13 walks, 12 strikeouts), and his WHIP was sky high (1.56).  For someone who had been one of the lynchpins of the Philadelphia bullpen, his absence was a major factor in why that crew struggled all season.

Looking ahead to 2010, Romero will once again be counted on to be the thurd guy behind Lidge and Madson.  You’d better believe he will play an important role following a season full of rest.  That job becomes even more crucial should the Phillies decide against bringing back Scott Eyre.  Eyre took over as that specialty left hander and did well, but is currently considering retirement if the Phils don’t re-sign him.

It’s been a downhill trend since Romero was picked up in 2007, an amazing waiver-wire find by Pat Gillick at the time.  After 81 games in ’08, perhaps Romero’s arm was blown out, which was a precursor to the flameout in ’09.

Whatever the case may be, expect to see a lot of J.C. in 2010, provided his health is no longer an issue.  The Phillies certainly need to bolster their bullpen on the free-agent market as the off-season progresses, but adding Romero back to the roster is a decent pickup itself.

2009 numbers: 21 games, 16.2 inn., 0-0, 2.70 ERA, 12 K, 13 BB, 1.56 WHIP

GRADE: INCOMPLETE – Romero never did get settled in following his suspension and lost pretty much all of the season due to the injury following the 50-game setback. Better luck next year, J.C.

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