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Archive for November, 2011

Blanton’s 2011: A Year to Forget

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 14, 2011 03:35 PM Comments: 23

Hey, I'm still here.... (PHOTO: AP)

We continue our 2011 Player Reviews with starting pitcher Joe Blanton.

If you’re making eight figures and post a 4.85 ERA over the last two seasons, plus have spent a long stretch on the disabled list with arm trouble, people get a little ticked off. That’s where things stand with Joe Blanton after an ugly 2010 season and an even worse 2011.

It was a doomed year basically from the get-go. In his first start of the year against the New York Mets, Blanton allowed seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, and it was basically chalked up to one of those days early in a long season. His next start against the Nationals was better, although most any start would be. Blanton got through six innings, giving up five earned runs.

Not long after, the elbow troubles began. In late April, he hit the disabled list with nerve damage, taking with him a 5.92 ERA through just four starts. He’d come back on May 9, make two starts that lasted just five innings each, and then return to the DL on May 23, staying there until he would return in a bullpen role on September 5.

Continue reading Blanton’s 2011: A Year to Forget

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Papelbon Officially Signs; Worley 3rd in NL ROY

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 14, 2011 02:18 PM Comments: 10

Papelbon's deal is now official. (PHOTO: AP)

–In a press release from the Phillies:

Right-hander Jonathan Papelbon has signed a four-year, $50,000,058 million contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.  The contract includes a vesting option for 2016.

Papelbon, 30, went 4-1 with 31 saves and a 2.94 ERA in 63 appearances this past season with the Boston Red Sox.  He had a career-best 87 strikeouts in 64.1 innings (12.2 SO/9.0 IP) and held opponents to a .207 batting average.  In his final 25 games of the season, Papelbon posted a 1.35 ERA, allowing four earned runs in 26.2 innings pitched and did not allow a home run in his last 30.2 innings (29 games).

“We are really pleased to bring Jonathan to Philadelphia,” said Amaro.  “He is among the elite closers in the game and someone who clearly has a passion to win.”

During the 2011 season, Papelbon became the first player in major league history to collect at least 30 saves in each of his first six full big league seasons and the fastest to 200 career saves (359 games), besting Mariano Rivera‘s previous record (382).

Continue reading Papelbon Officially Signs; Worley 3rd in NL ROY

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Debate: Chase Utley or David Wright?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 14, 2011 09:48 AM Comments: 40

Utley or Wright? (Photo: SI.com)

We interrupt the Jonathan Papelbon talk to focus our attention elsewhere for a few minutes. This post was written by one of our finest commenters, “Publius.”

—————————

A few weeks ago, when Jayson Stark uttered the Rumor That Launched a Thousand Comments by possibly linking the Phils to David Wright, I engaged with other Phillies Nation commenters who said they would happily trade Chase Utley for the Mets third baseman.  Pat has been kind enough to let me write in more depth on the topic.  I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity to go a bit deeper and talk about player projection in general, as we move from the end of the 2011 season and into the dark, rumor-filled abyss that we call the offseason.  I, by no means, think such a trade is imminent or even likely, but it’s a fun conversation topic and allows a deeper examination of how we look at, and try to project, a player’s talent level.

First, the ground rules.  Let’s assume for this exercise that Utley and Wright get similar contracts for a similar number of years, so we are essentially comparing these players in a vacuum.  The main thing to keep in mind, both here and looking forward in general, is not “what has this player done so far,” but instead “at what level can we assume this player will play at in the next couple years?”  This distinction is incredibly important.

For example, we can compare their lines (both traditional and SABR-driven) from the last 3 years:

Continue reading Debate: Chase Utley or David Wright?

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Phillies 2012 Roster and Payroll Projection

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 13, 2011 03:01 PM Comments: 44

The Papelbon deal takes up a lot of the funds for the Phillies this offseason.

Here is a revised look at the Phillies 2012 roster and payroll projections following the signing of Jonathan Papelbon. The numbers are, of course, opinion and subject to change. They are merely educated guesses, especially the arbitration numbers.

Blue: money that the Phillies owe in 2012
Red: educated guess as to how much player will earn in 2012 (arbitration or otherwise)

Infield:

-Ryan Howard: $20MM
-Chase Utley: $15.286MM
-Placido Polanco: $6.417MM
-Carlos Ruiz: $3.7 MM
-Jim Thome: $1.25MM
-Michael Martinez: $425K

$47.078MM

Outfield:

-Shane Victorino: $9.5MM
-Hunter Pence: $11.5MM
-Ben Francisco: $2.2MM
-John Mayberry Jr.: $425K

Continue reading Phillies 2012 Roster and Payroll Projection

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Poll: Grading the Papelbon Signing

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, November 12, 2011 04:55 PM Comments: 56

Photo: Foxsports.com

It’s simple – put a grade on the Jonathan Papelbon contract with the Phillies. How do you feel about what has gone down over the past 48-72 hours. Will you welcome him in with open arms? How much will you miss Madson?

Let your voice be heard with a vote.

What grade would you give the Jonathan Papelbon deal?

View Results

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Papelbon Signing Swallows Up Important Flexibility

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, November 11, 2011 06:56 PM Comments: 74

Ruben Amaro likes to act fast. Really fast.

Ruben and the Phils inked closer Jonathan Papelbon today for a contract in the neighborhood of 4 years/$50 million pending a physical. The deal is $6 million more than the rumored deal Ryan Madson was offered.

Papelbon has been an exceptional closer for six seasons with the hated Red Sox, posting a 2.33 ERA, averaging over a strikeout an inning, keeping a HR/9IP rate under 0.7, and converting 219 out of 248 save opportunities. Papelbon comes to the Phils with a 1.00 playoff ERA, allowing less than a base-runner per inning in the postseason but comes with the baggage of a horrific collapse against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

The signing of Papelbon gives a lot of reasons for Phillies fans to be angry. For one, if the reported offer was true, a deal with Madson would have given the Phillies more payroll flexibility to lure back fellow fan-favorite Jimmy Rollins and add a bat to the bench. Secondly, Papelbon’s four year deal breaks the old Phillies’ rule about signing any pitcher for more than three years; do you think Roy Halladay, who took a below market contract for only three years and an option to stay a Phil, enjoys this?

This rule, put in place by Pat Gillick, has saved the Phils time and money in the past: Adam Eaton, Joe Blanton, and Brad Lidge could have been bigger financial disasters without it in place. But to break it for a more expensive version of the guy the team already had?

Continue reading Papelbon Signing Swallows Up Important Flexibility

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Phillies Sign Jonathan Papelbon to 4-Year Deal

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, November 11, 2011 02:29 PM Comments: 92

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies have signed Jonathan Papelbon to a deal to become the new closer of the Philadelphia Phillies. The deal is done, pending a physical. Salisbury says it’s a four-year deal worth close to $50 million.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says there is also a vesting option that could push the contract to $60 million.

This ends the Ryan Madson era in Philadelphia, the place he has been since 2004.

OPINION: Can’t say I’m a huge fan of this deal. Would I be a huge fan of the Madson deal at 4/$44m? Probably not, but more than the Papelbon contract. I’m just not a fan of giving guys who throw three outs at a time double-digit millions per season. As you see all around baseball, new closers pop up everywhere. Ryan Madson did that this past year.

I would lean toward keeping Madson at four-years, $44 million because he’s homegrown talent and I think you can deal with that a little bit more. You could see keeping your own guy for a hefty deal. But to go outside of the organization and spend this kind of money and throw that many years at a guy on the other side of 30, to me, is not the best allocation of funds.

I think the Phillies have to now shy away from Cuddyer, bring back Rollins, and fill out the rest of the roster with cheap pieces. Papelbon is a hell of a closer – I don’t want to take anything away from him because I do think the fans will enjoy what he brings to the table, just as much as they did Madson – but this is awfully hefty for a guy who sees little time on the field.

Phillies Nation will have a breakdown of Madson vs. Papelbon to come…

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Free Agency: Papelbon, Madson, Pujols

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, November 11, 2011 01:21 PM Comments: 14

Papelbon is in play for the Phillies. (Photo: Eagletribune.com)

–As far as closer is concerned, things have taken a 180 since earlier in the week. Ryan Madson and the Phillies were reportedly close to a four-year contract, but those rumors were deemed false by Ruben Amaro Jr. Now it appears Jonathan Papelbon is at the top of the Phillies wishlist for closer.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com is reporting that the Phillies have “serious interest” in the Red Sox free agent ninth-inning man, seemingly moving ahead of Madson, which seemed impossible just about 48 hours ago. All we were waiting for was for the documents to be signed, sealed, delivered, and Madson would be back in the fold. Not the case, say many involved, including the tight-lipped Amaro.

Papelbon posted a 2.94 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 64 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2011, saving 31 games. Madson, on the other hand, saved 32 games with a 2.34 ERA with solid peripherals: 9.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings in 2011.

Continue reading Free Agency: Papelbon, Madson, Pujols

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Honor Phillies Fans in the Military this Veterans Day

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, November 11, 2011 11:11 AM Comments: 0

Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all the brave men and women who serve to protect our country and world.

Send a carepackage to Phillies fans in the military

For the past year, we’ve been sending carepackages to Phillies fans in the armed forces and they’ve been delivered to Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, even the North Pole. Each carepackage costs $40 to send and includes a DVD, a hat, stickers, a keychain and Phanatic figurines and notes from fans who have donated to pay for the packages. If you would like to sponsor a single package, several, or even just contribute a few dollars towards one, please consider making a donation today. 100% of your money will go towards sending the carepackages.

Here’s what some recipients wrote back:

Your care package was great, and knowing we have your support makes it worth the fight. thanks again.

Got the shirts and stickers! Thanks a lot. I’m going around the FOB and tagging CHU’s with the stickers you sent to pimp out the phils!

Please consider making a donation today in support of the troops.





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Dr. Strangeglove: On Not Characterizing One’s Negotiations

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, November 11, 2011 06:43 AM Comments: 20

Apparently the rules of the world now include a moratorium on all sports discussion on the internet that doesn’t involve some sort of anger at Joe Paterno and Penn State. I apologize for violating that moratorium.

The good folks over at The Good Phight have a device called the Ruben Amaro, Jr. Smug Advisory System, a machine that does exactly what the name would suggest. I bring this up because on Monday Rube produced possibly the most smug, self-satisfied utterance ever attributed to a major league general manager. Asked about his pursuit of a closer, Amaro said the following:

“I do not characterize my negotiations.”

Oh, snap.

I imagine Amaro sitting around a long table with reporters and other Phillies brass while making this statement. In fact, I’ve illustrated my mental image of the scene for you:

But when that statement was followed by rumors of a four-year, $44 million contract extension for Ryan Madson, I had an idea. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with RAJ refusing to characterize his negotiations. He’s doing his level best to construct a winning team and it really shouldn’t matter to him what we think. I actually kinda like the arrogance. I’m actually looking forward to the day when this happens at a press conference. In fact, I am so inspired by his refusal to characterize his negotiations that I’m thinking about doing the same.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: On Not Characterizing One’s Negotiations

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