Archive for November, 2009

Odds and Ends: Halladay Wants Out, Ticket Prices Up

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 22, 2009 04:01 PM Comments: 155

- Roy Halladay alert:  He has reportedly told the Blue Jays he will not resign with them after his contract expires this season. This will certainly speed up the trading process for Toronto as they look to get as much out of him on the market as they can.

Could the Phillies possibly steal him?  The Yankees will reportedly give up either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in any deal, plus some other prospects as well.  Would Philadelphia be willing to deal J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor in a deal for one year of Halladay?

- Edwin Jackson is on the trade block out of Detroit.  Phillies fans last saw Jackson with the Rays in the World Series a few years back.  He is not as talented as Halladay, but is much cheaper for at least the next few seasons.  Jackson made just $2.2 million last season and while he will be due a considerable raise, may come with a considerably.

Could he be had for lesser prospects?  Jackson’s numbers were very good as he earned his first all-star berth at the age of 26.  He finished with 13 wins and a 3.62 ERA in 214 innings.  The 6-foot-3 righty struggled a bit down the stretch, but is still in his formative years as a pitcher and could be the solid right hander the Phils are searching for on the cheap.

- FYI for ticket buyers – the prices are going up.  Select tickets will be $2 to $4 more expensive for the 2010 season.  Hopefully, the brass will spend a little more of it, since the tickets are already getting up there.  I know it isn’t Yankee Stadium, but lower level seats go for $40 or more, making it tough for people to afford them.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, season-ticket plans for new account holders will go on sale Tuesday. On Dec. 4, the Phils will begin selling ticket six-packs.

Group-ticket sales will begin Jan. 13, and the Phillies will sell individual tickets to spring-training games the next day.


Phillies Nation Podcast 20: Mike Gill

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, November 20, 2009 04:04 PM Comments: 15

Welcome to the Phillies Nation Podcast!

Today, Pat Gallen is joined by Mike Gill of 97.3 ESPN Radio in Atlantic City.  Mike and Pat break down all of the free agent news that pertains to the Phillies.  Third base, the bullpen, a new bench, and a fifth starter are some of the topics they touch on in the podcast today.

Mike and Pat both agree that Adrian Beltre, and possibly Mark Derosa, is a good fit for this team, and that Chone Figgins is probably a bit too expensive for the Phillies.  As for the starters, there are a ton of names out there, but Pat and Mike seem to agree on one or two that could stand out for the Phils in 2010.

Mike Gill is the host of “The Sports Bash with Mike Gill” on 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey. The station is a 50,000 watt sports station that reachess eight, NJ counties (Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean, Camden, Burlington, Salem, Cumberland and Glouchester) plus Delaware, parts of Philly and into Maryland.

The station became 97.3 ESPN on June 1st, 2009 flipping over from 1450AM. Mike is a West Virginia University graduate and grew up in South Jersey. He began his career covering the Mountineers and their 1996 run to the sweet 16, after that Mike has covered many college bowl games, NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, NFL playoffs, one Super Bowl. two NLDS,two NLCS and two World Series. He has also worked at 102.7 WJSE, 1490 The Game as morning show host and has been afternoon host on 97.3 ESPN/ESPN1450-AM for the past 4 years. You can catch Mike every year covering the Phillies in Clearwater, FL at spring training, the 2010 season with be his 7th year down in Clearwater.

Click here to listen Phillies Nation Podcast – Episode 20

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


Live Chat: Free Agent Open Season

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, November 20, 2009 09:44 AM Comments: 3

Join us for the live chat with Pat Gallen starting at 10 am. You can submit questions starting 30 minutes prior to the event.


Live Chat Friday at 10am

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, November 19, 2009 09:20 PM Comments: 25

Free agent open season starts tomorrow and Phillies Nation is hosting its first ever live chat Friday morning at 10 am. Pat Gallen will be at the keyboard providing live updates as teams race to make the first moves. He will also answer questions submitted by readers – visit the homepage starting at 9:45 am to submit questions and be prepared for some intense hot stove discussions.

For those of you interested in how the free agency process works, tomorrow is the day teams must file their Reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels.

Major league clubs can reserve 40 players, only 25 of whom can be on the active roster between Opening Day and midnight August 31. AAA clubs can reserve 38 and AA clubs can reserve 37, with roster limits of 24 from Opening Day through the 30th day of the season and from August 10 until the end of the season, 23 between these dates. Teams in A, short-season A and Rookie leagues can reserve 35. Class A clubs play with 25-man rosters, while short-season A clubs have 30-man rosters, only 25 of whom are eligible to play in any given game, and Rookie league clubs have 30-man rosters.

Those lists comprise the entire roster of players for a major league franchise. If you are not on any of these lists (and not eligible for the Rule 5 draft), you are a free agent. General Managers like to act fast so they can pick up the cream of the discarded crop at a reasonable price. Expect some hot news in the morning.


Phillies Nation Trivia – Off-season Edition

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, November 19, 2009 01:48 PM Comments: 3

It’s time for another installment of Phillies trivia – brought to you by Wholesale Keychains and Lou Orlando’s The Ultimate Phillies Trivia Quiz.

Phillies Keychain

The answer to the last question is George Vukovich. His pinch-hit solo shot in the bottom of the 10th won game four of the 1981 NLDS versus Montreal. Congratulations to Dan whose correct answer was chosen as the winner. He will receive a free Phillies keychain and so will a random fan who can answer this week’s question correctly.

Which Phillie drove in the run that ended Don Drysdale’s string of 58 2/3 scoreless innings?


Year In Review: Chad Durbin

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, November 19, 2009 09:19 AM Comments: 18

Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale. The players will be chosen in no particular order.

Coming off a year in which he posted a 2.87 earned run average, Chad Durbin’s expectations were high coming into 2009.  During arbitration, Durbin was given a well deserved $735,000 raise.  Durbin wasn’t expected to duplicate his 2008 season, however he would serve as a reliable long man or right handed specialist.

Unfortunately, injuries played a part in Durbin’s season.  In July, Durbin was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right latissimus strain.

Overall, Durbin had a solid season.  He went 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA.  He saved 2 games in 3 opportunities, and had 8 holds.  He held opponents to a .234 batting average with runners on base.  He had a decent strikeout ratio: 8.01 per nine innings.  When he started to walk batters, he got into trouble.  Durbin did not allow many hits; his WHIP was high because he walked 6.07 batters per nine.

The bullpen was such an important factor, especially Durbin.  When Durbin did well, the team usually did well.  In both the division and championship series, Durbin did not allow a base runner.  However, when Durbin struggled, so did the Phillies, as shown in the World Series.  During the regular season, Durbin gave up at least one earned run in 20 games.  The Phillies lost 14 of those games.

2009 numbers: 59 games, 2-2, 69.2 IP, 4.39 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 62 K/47 BB, .220 BAA

GRADE: 5 — Durbin was pretty average.  There were times he came up big.  But there were also times where he was unable to.


Odds & Ends: Park, Pedro, and DeRosa

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, November 18, 2009 03:24 PM Comments: 87

There are only 137 days until opening day, but there is still plenty of Phillies news during the off season.

  • The Phillies added Quintin Berry (OF), Yohan Flande (LHP) and Jesus Sanchez (RHP) to the 40-man roster.
  • Charlie Manuel finished sixth in the National League Manager of the Year voting.

Manuel finished in second place in 2007 and 2008.  Colorado manager Jim Tracy won this year’s award.  Tracy took over for Clint Hurdle in May.

Chan Ho Park had his eyes on starting entering 2009.  It didn’t work out for him, as he lost his starting job to J.A Happ.  Park, a free agent, posted a 2.52 ERA out of the bullpen in 2009.  The Phillies could use him back — as a reliever.

Don’t buy into this too much.  Weren’t the Phillies the “favorites” to land Roy Halladay?  There are still other options: Chone Figgins, Placido Polanco, Adrian Betlre, etc.  Pedro Feliz isn’t out of the picture either.

Pedro spent half of the season in the Dominican Republic, and he wasn’t happy about that.  As of now, the Phillies fifth starter is Jamie Moyer (by the way, happy 47th birthday, Jamie!), but the Phillies could bring him back for 2010.


Phillies Shave Off The Beard

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, November 17, 2009 01:13 PM Comments: 108

Today the Phillies removed Eric Bruntlett from their 40-man roster to make room for some minor leaguers to be added to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.  This essentially means that Eric Bruntlett will not return to the Phillies in 2010.  Tyler Walker, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy and John Ennis were also taken off the roster, though there is a chance Hoover, Tracy and Ennis could return next season.

In two seasons with the Phillies since coming over from Houston in the Brad Lidge deal, Eric hit .202 with a .550 OPS on top of two homers, 22 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  Looking at those numbers, especially on the heels of a dismal 2009 campaign,  it’s surprising he even lasted this long.  However his contributions during the 2008 season – filling in for an injured Chase Utley – combined with his efforts in the post-season will remain his best memories in red pinstripes.


Year In Review: Jayson Werth

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, November 17, 2009 09:22 AM Comments: 27

Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale. The players will be chosen in no particular order.

Jayson Werth steals homeWithout question, Jayson Werth had a career year in 2009 with many memorable moments. He was selected to his first All-Star game and reached career highs in home runs (36), RBIs (99), doubles (26), walks (91), hits (153) and extra-base hits (63). In terms of great games, many fans will most remember his improbable steal of home (after also swiping second and third) versus the Dodgers on May 13th; a close second would have to be his three run walk off home run in the 13th inning on July 21 to extend the Phillies winning streak to ten. Just four days earlier, his RBI single in the 12th helped to put away the Marlins.

Still, Werth’s biggest contribution to the 2009 season had to be his consistent overachievement at the plate. With more playing time than he’s ever seen, he finished seventh in the league in home runs, 10th in walks, and worked pitchers at a rate of 4.51 pitches per plate appearance (no doubt a page taken from Pat Burrell’s book).

In the field, Jayson Werth played a solid right field. His 11 outfield assists were tied for fifth in the National League; while his arm continues to instill fear into baserunners and third base coaches alike.

In the post season, Werth will certainly be remembered for his two home runs off Andy Pettitte in the Phillies Game 3 loss. Earlier in Colorado during Game 4 of the NLDS, he knocked in the game-winning run to cap off the Phillies three-run ninth inning.

Within the grand scheme of Charlie Manuel’s lineup card, Werth provides a highly productive right-handed bat to complement the Phillies’ lefty-heavy heart of the order. In 2009 he also provided value for front office’s bottom line, making $2.5 million coming off a $1 million signing bonus. Next year he is on the books for a hefty raise – to the tune of $7 million.  His current contract with the Phillies will expire after that.  He’ll be 31 years old and likely worth resigning. Considering this was a career year, how will he top it in a contract year?

2009 numbers: 159 at-bats, .268 average, .373 on-base percentage, .879 OPS, 36 HR, 99 RBI, 20 SB, 156 K

GRADE: 8.5/10 — Johnny Wacko played out of his mind this year – a career year across the board. Like a fine wine, Jayson Werth gets better with age.


Happ Finishes in Second for ROY

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, November 16, 2009 03:12 PM Comments: 25

J.A Happ finished second in the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year voting.  Chris Coghlan of the Florida Marlins won the award, receiving 105 points (17 first place votes).  Happ finished with a total of 94 points (10 first place votes).

In 128 games, Coghlan batted .321 with nine home runs and 47 RBI.  In 35 games, Happ went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA.

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