Archive for January, 2012

Phillies Sign Reliever Qualls

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, January 31, 2012 11:15 AM Comments: 19

Chad Qualls (AP)

The Phillies have made what would seem like one final move to try and solidify the bullpen by signing veteran Chad Qualls.

From the Phillies:

Right-hander Chad Qualls signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Phillies, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.  The contract includes performance and awards bonuses.

Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in a team-high 77 games for the San Diego Padres last season.  In his final 19 appearances, he posted a 1.96 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .219 batting average.  Qualls made the eighth-most relief appearances among all major league pitchers last year.

Over the past seven seasons (2005-11), Qualls has made more appearances (512) than any other major league pitcher and ranks second in relief wins (34), trailing only Jesse Crain (38).

Originally a second-round selection by the Houston Astros, Qualls has a career record of 38-34 with 51 saves and a 3.78 ERA in 537 games for the Astros (2004-07), Arizona Diamondbacks (2008-10), Tampa Bay Rays (2010) and Padres (2011).

Qualls will wear #50.

I think you’re all well aware of my stance on guys of this ilk. Is he going to be a big difference maker over cheaper, younger, less proven relief pitchers like Michael Schwimer or Justin De Fratus, among others? Not that it’s a waste of over $1 million, but it just seems like an unnecessary investment. Perhaps Ed Wade has his paws on this one, as Qualls is a former Houston Astro. That being said, Qualls has been a decent pitcher in this league for a long time.


Top Moment #3: Lee’s Flawless Month of June

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, January 31, 2012 08:50 AM Comments: 0

AP Photo | Matt Slocum

Cliff Lee had a fabulous month of August, going 5-0 with a 0.45 earned run average. He had a 0.78 WHIP and opponents batted .173 against him. Pretty impressive numbers, right? But guess what is even more scary? That wasn’t even his best month of the 2011 season. While Lee had an unbelievable August, his month of June was even more incredible.

Continue reading Top Moment #3: Lee’s Flawless Month of June


Ruben, Charlie, and HP3 Highlight PSWA Awards

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, January 31, 2012 12:31 AM Comments: 3

Hunter Pence accepting the PSWA 2011 Good Guy Award. Photo by: Ian Riccaboni

On a night where Charlie Manuel claimed he felt like a “mosquito in a nudist colony”, myself and colleague Pat Gallen enjoyed a fine spread, a tribute to Smokin’ Joe, and a celebration of Philadelphia athletics at the 108st Annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA) Awards .

The Phillies earned three awards, with Ruben Amaro Jr. accepting the award for Best Team on behalf of the Fightins, Manuel winning Coach of the Year (Men’s), and Hunter Pence winning the Good Guy award. Former Lehigh Valley Iron Pig Ryan Vogelsong won the Native Son award.

Vogelsong was one of the first guests honored and the Chester-area native confessed he’s still a Philadelphia sports fan. “I really consider myself a huge Philadelphia fan. I’m an Eagles fan, a Flyers fan, a Sixers fan, and don’t tell anyone but I still love the Phillies,” confined Vogelsong to a crowd composed of nearly entirely Philadelphia sports writers. Sorry Ryan, the secret is out. Vogelsong continued, “I wasn’t going to bring this up, but since Ruben, Charlie, Hunter, and I were talking about it, I’ll go ahead and throw them under the bus. I wouldn’t be up here right now if it wasn’t for Ruben. He released me in 2010.” Burn.

Continue reading Ruben, Charlie, and HP3 Highlight PSWA Awards


Pat Burrell to Retire

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, January 30, 2012 01:29 PM Comments: 34

Pat the Bat retires after 12 productive seasons with 2 World Series rings. Photo: AP

Pat Burrell is set to announce his retirement today according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. Burrell, also known as Pat the Bat and the Machine, was a beacon of hope for a floundering franchise scorned by JD Drew’s famous refusal to sign. Burrell was the number one pick out of the University of Miami in 1998 and provided solid production over nine years in Philadelphia. Drafted as a third baseman, Burrell was selected with high expectations and for his ability to reach the Majors quickly. Burrell joined the club in 2000.

Burrell’s last game as a Phil was Game 5 of the 2008 World Series saw him reach base three times, including a lead-off double that helped the Phils clinch the title. Burrell’s double cemented him forever in Phillies’ lure and reflected his often-clutch performances. Burrell finished his career with a year-and-a-half each with both Tampa and San Francisco. Burrell finished 2010 with 18 second-half home runs and led the charging Giants past Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Texas to capture the 2010 World Series.

For many, Burrell never reached the unrealistic expectations set forth by many as the number 1 pick, but to me, Burrell’s double was the perfect exclamation mark to a terrific career. Playing mostly left field for the Phils, Pat the Bat appeared in 1306 games for the Phillies hitting 251 HRs with a triple-slash of .257/.367/.485.  Burrell finishes his career just shy of 300 (292) HRs, with a career triple slash of .253/.361/.472.  With so many moments to choose from, including many Shea Stadium bombs and his Game 5 double, what is your favorite Pat Burrell moment?


Poll: Manager You Would Replace Charlie Manuel With

Posted by Don M, Mon, January 30, 2012 09:28 AM Comments: 29

Who would be the best manager for the Phillies if Charlie left? (AP)

We will always be grateful for Charlie Manuel leading the Phillies to the 2008 World Series crown. “This is for Philadelphia!  This is for our fans,” screamed Charlie after the Game 5-Part 2 clincher against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Charlie will likely never have to pay for a beer again in the City of Brotherly Love, but we all know that he can’t manage this team forever.

Just for the heck of it we asked the fans on our Phillies Nation Facebook page which current MLB manager they would choose right now if they had to replace Charlie Manuel?

We took the ten most frequent responses (with some career achievements via Baseball Reference) and now we want your vote.

Which current MLB manager would you choose if you had to replace Charlie Manuel:

Continue reading Poll: Manager You Would Replace Charlie Manuel With


Week In Review – Valdez, Pierre, Lidge

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, January 29, 2012 06:02 PM Comments: 3

It has been somewhat of a slow week in Philliesville with some minor transactions involving some once major players.  Brad Lidge finally inked a deal this offseason agreeing to a one year contract with the Washington Nationals.  The closer spot in Washington already belongs to Drew Storen and he has proven to be a big time finisher.

Lidge’s main role for this coming season will be to secure the later innings before Storen closes it out.  Also, he will be a veteran guy in a clubhouse full of young players.  I think Lidge will help on and off the field for the Nationals.  Pat gave a little Fare Thee Well for Lidge.  We will all remember that 2008 season.

Continue reading Week In Review – Valdez, Pierre, Lidge


Top Moment #4: Win 102

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, January 29, 2012 01:00 PM Comments: 1

Charlie Manuel is a big reason the Phillies won 102 games

In the last couple of years, the last day of the season was somewhat meaningless. By that time, the Phillies already clinched the division and September callups saw much of the action.

2011 was a tad different. The division was already clinched, but the Phillies were playing for something else: history. And as it turned out, Game 162 was pretty intense too.

Looking back, the 4-3 win may not have been the best thing. The Phillies finished off the collapse of the Atlanta Braves by eliminating them from the postseason. This changed the playoff schedule as the Phillies were forced to play the St. Louis Cardinals, a red-hot team, in the first round of the playoffs. As we all know, this did not benefit the Phillies, but there is still reason why the 102nd win is a great moment.

Continue reading Top Moment #4: Win 102


Manuel Has Plans For Thome

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, January 29, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 20

This off-season the Phillies improved their offense quite a bit by adding multiple free agent reserve types. One of those acquisitions, Jim Thome, is a familiar face that made the man who is in charge of the team each game day extremely pleased.

Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel knows what Jim Thome can do and looks forward to the type of contributions Thome will make on and off the field. Manuel coached and managed Thome during the 1990′s and early-2000′s in Cleveland, and then managed Thome again in Philadelphia in 2005.

Thome, who ranks 8th among MLB sluggers all-time in homeruns with 604, solidifies a Phillies bench that lacked power last year, especially from the left side.

Manuel, the most winning manager in team history, knew from Thome’s days as an emerging power hitter, that the now 41-year-old would become an elite slugger in the sport.

Continue reading Manuel Has Plans For Thome


Prospect Nation 2012: #19 3B Maikel Franco

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, January 28, 2012 02:03 PM Comments: 10

Maikel Franco has quickly caught plenty of attention around minor league baseball. The Dominican Republic native, whose name is pronounced similarly to Miquel, was signed by the Phillies in 2010 as an amateur free agent.

The 6-foot-1-inch 180-pounder began his pro career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2010. As that club’s everyday third baseman, Franco posted respectable numbers for a 17-year-old making his professional debut (.222/.292/.330). It was Franco’s defense, however, that immediately began to get him noticed. With excellent reflexes and a top notch arm at the hot corner, Franco impressed many in his U.S. debut.

A year later, Franco began the season in extended spring training and later competed with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. The righty hitting Franco looked great against NY-Penn League competition, posting 2 homers, 28 RBI and a .274/.339/.389 line in 42 games before earning a promotion to Class A Lakewood.

Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #19 3B Maikel Franco


Top Moment #5: Ben Francisco’s Moment of Clutch

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, January 28, 2012 08:45 AM Comments: 2

Photo: Jeff Roberson, AP

One moment can define a career for a player, especially if it happens in October. Ben Francisco had one of those career defining moments in the third game of the National League Division Series.

Continue reading Top Moment #5: Ben Francisco’s Moment of Clutch

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