Archive for November, 2011

Phillies Nation TV, Ep. 7: Wigginton, Papelbon, J-Roll

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 23, 2011 10:59 AM Comments: 16

In the latest edition of Phillies Nation TV, Pat Gallen and Corey Seidman discuss the hottest topics with the Phils. First up, Ty Wigginton. They dig deeper into what the Wigginton trade means to the Phillies moving forward.

Also, we respond to the Jonathan Papelbon signing. Too much? And what will they miss with Madson? Find out.

Check in for reader questions as well from our Facebook page. The lovely Natalie Egenolf rounds some of them up and asks them to Pat and Corey. See if your question made it into the show!


Ruben Amaro Jr. on 97.3 ESPN FM with Pat and Mike

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, November 22, 2011 06:47 PM Comments: 0

Ruben Amaro talks with 97.3 ESPN FM about the offseason. (PHOTO: AP)

Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. joined the Sports Bash with Mike Gill and Phillies beat reporter Pat Gallen on Tuesday to discuss everything going on in free agency.

Among the topics discussed were Jimmy Rollins, the Jonathan Papelbon signing, Ty Wigginton in Philly, and Cole Hamels and his contract situation. Also, we touch on how Amaro and the Phillies feel about Domonic Brown.

Listen in to Mike and Pat talk with Ruben Amaro Jr.

Phillies GM, Ruben Amaro Jr on the Sports Bash by The Sports Bash


Everyday a Halladay Again in 2011

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, November 22, 2011 12:35 PM Comments: 34

We continue on with our 2011 Player Reviews with Roy Halladay.

Unfortunately, after a another phenomenal season, Roy Halladay wasn’t the winner of back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards, as Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw brought home the hardware. Still, is there another pitcher in baseball you’d rather have that Halladay? If there is, the list ahead of him may only read Verlander.

In 2011, Roy Halladay gave it his all once again, posting similarly solid numbers just has he did in his Cy Young year of 2010.

After leading the league with 250 2/3 innings pitched last season, that numbers dropped to 233 2/3 – but no one cares. Actually, it’s probably better for Halladay to keep an eye on that high number moving forward. Now 34, Halladay doesn’t appear to be slowing down, however, it couldn’t hurt to stay monitoring his innings in the near future.

That being said, the 233 2/3 innings he tossed were the second most in the National League, behind only his good buddy, Chris Carpenter.

Continue reading Everyday a Halladay Again in 2011


Trading for Wigginton is Like Shopping at Marshalls

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, November 22, 2011 08:15 AM Comments: 28

(Photo: AP)

Stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx do great business by selling surplus designer merchandise at prices significantly lower than retail department stores. Often times, you can find merchandise that is literally identical to products found in Bloomingdales and Macy’s. I’m not sure if Ruben Amaro Jr. shops at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, but the acquisition of Ty Wigginton (below) certainly makes it seem that way. And for the short and long term future of the Phillies, that could be a very good thing.

Rumors have circulated since the beginning of free agency that the Phillies were interested in signing the Twins’ Michael Cuddyer (right). The contract, rumored to be ~ 3 years/$30 million, would have been a punch in the gut to a team who claims to be maxed out now and handcuff them further when deciding how to proceed with Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels. Cuddyer is a .272/.343/.451 hitter who filled in admirably at first for the concussed former MVP Justin Mourneau the last two seasons and also played right field.

Cuddyer is not a plus defender at any position but plays best at first. He may seem like a natural fit with Ryan Howard on the DL but would become displaced when the Big Man returns. Left field could be an option in a potential Cuddyer signing, but Cuddyer has only logged 38 career innings there and none since 2006. In his primary position in 2011, right field, Cuddyer played slightly above average, being rewarded for an above average arm. Not many teams can afford a $10 million bench bat. The Phillies, even in times of heightened prosperity, cannot either.

Continue reading Trading for Wigginton is Like Shopping at Marshalls


Sandberg Returning as Lehigh Valley Manager

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 21, 2011 02:30 PM Comments: 8

In a press release from the Phillies, they announced that Ryne Sandberg will return to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs as manager.

I’m happy they were able to bring back Sandberg, as he’s succeeded at basically every level as both a player and coach. It’s a shame for him that he was unable to secure a position as a manager in the majors after another great season in 2011, however, there will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

Former Phillies Andy Tracy and Aaron Fultz and newcomers Andy Abad and Lino Connell have been added to the Phillies’ player development staff, Joe Jordan, Director, Player Development, announced today.  The staff also includes 21 returning members.

At triple-A Lehigh Valley, the entire staff of manager Ryne Sandberg, coach Sal Rende and pitching coach Rod Nichols will return.  Sandberg, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is back for his second season after leading the IronPigs to their first playoff appearance in club history in 2011.  Rende will enter his ninth season with the Phillies and second straight at Lehigh Valley, while Nichols returns for his 13th year in the organization and eighth at triple-A.

Continue reading Sandberg Returning as Lehigh Valley Manager


Updated 2011 Phillies Payroll and Roster Projections

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 21, 2011 11:51 AM Comments: 40

The Papelbon deal takes up $11 million for the Phillies in 2012.

Note: There was a mistake on the math as far as salaries after Papelbon’s contract was announced. It’s likely the payroll is roughly $163 million, not over $165 million.

Here is a revised look at the Phillies 2012 roster and payroll projections following the  Jonathan Papelbon and Brian Schneider signings, and the Ty Wigginton trade. The numbers for the arbitration players and players lacking service time are subject to change. They are merely educated guesses.

(There has been no talk about bringing back guys like Francisco or Martinez at this time, but there is obviously a chance they stay with the team given their price or given the Phillies ability to find someone to replace them. They could look for an alternative to Ben Fran and could also place Martinez in the minors for 2012.)

According to the Associated Press, it appears the MLB Luxury Tax will not be going up as it had the previous five seasons. It will remain the same as it was in 2011; $178 million. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Phillies won’t go over it, but in the past they’ve seemingly been reluctant to do it. It had gone up $8 million per season over the last five years of the old CBA. That’s no longer the case.

Included in the new CBA is a provision that will raise the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000. That could change some things for the Phillies with guys like Mayberry and Martinez, et al. In the projections below, I’ve made those changes.

Continue reading Updated 2011 Phillies Payroll and Roster Projections


Phillies Trade for Ty Wigginton

Posted by Corey Seidman, Sun, November 20, 2011 07:26 PM Comments: 62

Ty Wigginton provides the versatility and bench power of Michael Cuddyer for a fraction of the cost.

The Phillies have acquired Ty Wigginton from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later or cash, according to the Rockies’ official Twitter account.

In Wigginton, the Phils get much of what they wanted from Michael Cuddyer for a fraction of the cost. Wigginton, like Cuddyer, can play first base, third base and both corner outfield positions, and even though Charlie Manuel would never use either player at second base, Wigginton has also played there in the past.

Wigginton is under contract for $4 million in 2012, then has a $4 million club option in 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.

Here is how the deal works: the Phillies and Rockies will split Wigginton’s 2012 salary, each paying $2 million. If the Phillies exercise Wigginton’s 2013 option, they will be forced to send Colorado a second player to be named later (who wouldn’t be a big-time prospect) or $100,000.

This was a good job by Amaro of feeling out the market and playing to others’ weaknesses. The Rockies were looking to shed salary and Dan O’Dowd wasn’t looking for nearly as much as he was in July. To acquire a poor man’s Cuddyer for 1/18th the cost, that’s a nice move.

Continue reading Phillies Trade for Ty Wigginton


Hamels 2011 Takes Him to Elite Status

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 20, 2011 10:35 AM Comments: 13

Photo: AP

We continue our 2011 Player Review series with Cole Hamels.

It’s almost as easy as talking about Santa Claus throwing snow balls at an Eagles game 40-some-odd years ago. There’s always that point to go back to that allows writers a point of entry for a particular story. It used to be the 2009 season with Cole Hamels. But two years later we can honestly say that season was a deviation from the norm.

With yet another excellent showing in 2011, Cole Hamels has established himself as not only an elite left-handed pitcher (perhaps the best of the best), but one of the best overall. Last week, he finished fifth in the National League Cy Young Award voting behind Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Ian Kennedy.

A quick glance at his numbers show you consistency throughout. Only twice did Hamels allow more than four earned runs in game, one of them coming in his first start of the season against the New York Mets. Eleven times he went at least seven innings without giving up more than one run.

Hamels’ fine first half sent him to Phoenix for the 2011 All-Star Game, where he joined Halladay, Lee, Placido Polanco, and Shane Victorino.

Continue reading Hamels 2011 Takes Him to Elite Status


New CBA Penalizes Phillies for Signing Papelbon

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, November 19, 2011 06:50 PM Comments: 28

(PHOTO: NJ.com)

Under the new terms of MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams that make future moves for Type-A free agent relief pitchers will not be forced to part with a first-round pick in the draft, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

This means teams can sign Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and other top relievers this offseason without penalty.  The measure is not retroactive, however, meaning that the Phillies will still surrender their first-round pick for signing Jonathan Papelbon.

That being said, the Phillies will still receive a compensatory pick of some sort if/when Ryan Madson signs elsewhere, just not the team’s first-round pick that he signs with. Under the new system, the top free agents will be subject to compensation if teams make them qualifying offers north of $12MM. They will no longer go by the Elias free agent rankings using Type-A or Type-B status.

This is kind of a tough pill for the Phillies to swallow as they’re being penalized for moving quickly in free agency. Not only are they giving Papelbon $50 million or more – which really wasn’t the best move in the world, in my opinion – but now they are kind of getting screwed by the system.

Also under the terms of the new CBA, two teams from the same division will be able to play each other in the Divisional Round.


2011 Phillies AFL Wrap Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, November 19, 2011 01:35 PM Comments: 1

The Arizona Fall League season wraps up today as the Salt River Rafters take on the Surprise Saguaros in the championship game in Scottsdale. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and on MLB.com at 3 PM Eastern.

No Phillies prospects will be represented in the title contest, as their club, the Scottsdale Scorpions finished 14-22, placing last in the East division.

Salt River features minor leaguers from the Astros, D-Backs, Dodgers, Rockies and Tigers, while Surprise includes players from the Braves, Marlins, Rays, Rangers and Royals.

Despite Philadelphia farmhands missing out on the final game of the AFL season, let’s take a look at their fall league performances, with some players shining and others just getting by.

Lefty hurler Jake Diekman, who was added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster on Friday, performed exceptionally for the Scorpions. The 6-foot-4-inch 190-pound reliever allowed just 1 earned run in 11 appearances (11 1/3 innings) while striking out 14 batters and walking 6. AFL opponents posted a lowly .079 batting average against Diekman, who also recorded 2 saves. The Nebraska native was originally a 30th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2007. Continue reading 2011 Phillies AFL Wrap Up

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