Archive for December, 2012

2012 Phillies Nation Year in Review

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, December 31, 2012 08:00 PM Comments: 3

Although it was a disappointing season for the Phillies, I hope you will agree it was a great year for Phillies Nation. We welcomed Ryan and Eric to the writing team, officially registered our charity, debuted Phillies Nation TV on air in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, passed 250,000 Likes on Facebook and served up over 5 million pageviews on PhilliesNation.com.

We have plenty more in store for 2013 including our Wiffadelphia charity wiffleball tournament, a Spring Training road trip, Philly Sports quizzo at bars around the region and Phillies Nation TV will be back for Season 3 with new features and distribution.

As we anticipate the new year, take a moment to review the top 10 most viewed posts on PhilliesNation.com in 2012. As you can tell, the Phillies front-office generated more interest than the players on the diamond. Have a Happy New Year!

  1. What Trading Pence to the Giants Would Mean by Ian on July 30
  2. Lee Claimed Off Waivers by Pat on August 3
  3. Report: Phillies Talked with Cleveland About Cabrera by Pat on December 11
  4. July 16 Trade Rumor Round-Up: Victorino, Hamels, Rollins by Ian on July 16
  5. Revere the First Step to a Successful Offseason? by Corey on December 6
  6. Updated 2012 Phillies Roster and Payroll Projections by Pat on several occasions prior to the season
  7. Rosenthal: D’backs Attempting Blockbuster for SP by Corey on July 31
  8. Phillies Rumors: Lee, Blanton, Pierre by Pat on July 30
  9. Report: Phillies Close to Acquiring Michael Young? by Corey on December 6
  10. Phils Have Enough Money, Space to Land Ross by Ian on December 15

Top Moment #1: Hamels Here To Stay

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, December 31, 2012 04:15 PM Comments: 2

Before the 2012 season even began, Phillies fans were worried about the 2012-2013 offseason.  Cole Hamels was due to enter free agency, which raised a lot of questions about the season.  Would be traded mid-season?  Would he be locked up?  Would he become a free agent and sign with our rivals?  Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed this issue in late-July.

On July 25, the Phillies and Cole Hamels agreed to a six-year, $144 million contract extension.

The deal probably looks better with the moves that have occurred around baseball this offseason.  Hamels  may have set the market early, but it can be easily argued that the negotiations would be pretty intense if he waited for free agency.  His price value would have definitely increased.  The Phillies signed him at the right time.

It will be great to have Hamels in red pinstripes for the next six years, at least.  He has been excellent thus far, and hopefully he can continue that for years to come.


Minor League Ball Releases Phillies Top 20

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 31, 2012 02:12 PM Comments: 4

Biddle is number one but Sickels says Ruf is the real deal. Photo by: Ian Riccaboni

Minor League Ball released their list of the Top 20 Phillies’ Prospects. For those unfamiliar with Minor League Ball, it is run by John Sickels, who was Bill James‘ research assistant from 1993 to 1996 and was ESPN’s Minor League Baseball Analyst from 1996-2005. Sickels was among the first national pundits to give Darin Ruf the seal of approval as a Major League-quality hitter (on August 16, 2012) and has a pretty strong familiarity with the Phillies organization. His list of Phillies’ prospects differs a bit from the Baseball America Top 10, with Sickels seemingly favoring potential slightly more than Minor League body of work.

Sickels list is interesting for not who is on it but for whom is omitted. In Sickels’ opinion, the Phillies have a very deep body of players who will become Major League regulars in their ranks, with Biddle the only true standout. Considering that, some of the omissions are quite surprising, as quite a few players who were once thought to have high ceilings seem to have come back to earth. Luckily for the Phillies, Sickels likes a lot of the players acquired at this year’s trade deadline.

Biddle Takes the Top Spot, Quinn Third

Germantown Friends’ Jesse Biddle was Sickels’ number one, just as he was in Baseball America’s list. Sickels’ lists Biddle as a B+ prospect, which on his scale, means you can essentially pen him in to see Major League work and expect to see something more than a regular out of him. Sickels’ says of Biddle: “Good bet to be a mid-rotation starter, if not more.”

Baseball America’s choice for number two, shortstop Roman Quinn, debuts on Sickels’ list at number three, stating “Blazing speed and knows how to use it well, needs more defensive polish and a better grasp of the strike zone to be a full-scale leadoff hitter, but the 80-speed covers a lot of problems and ensures the Phils will give him plenty of time.”

Ruf Gets More Strong Praise

Continue reading Minor League Ball Releases Phillies Top 20


Off-season Q&A: Dugan Readying For 2013

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, December 31, 2012 07:30 AM Comments: 2

Last season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Kelly Dugan put together a solid season in which he batted .300 while slugging 12 homers and driving in 60 runs in 117 games as a 21-year-old in the South Atlantic League.  Primarily an outfielder, Dugan spent time at first base to assist with recovery from leg and ankle issues during the early portion of the season.

Overall, in his minor league career, Dugan has posted a .292 batting average in 237 games.  He was the Phillies’ top draft selection back in 2009 (2nd round) out of Notre Dame High School in California.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Kelly about his off-season workout routine, what his film director dad Dennis has in store for the movie-going public and plenty more.  Read ahead to check out that full interview.

- What is your workout routine like lately and how much time off from hitting do you take during the off-season?

I took about a month and a half off.  I pretty much follow the program that the Phillies have set in place.  I have a trainer and I follow the program.  And I have a (batting) cage at my house and I’ve been working with an ex-Dodger, Reggie Smith.  We’ve been hitting together here in the off-season.  I regularly have some other minor league players over, Cody Decker and Jeremy Rodriguez, they come over here at the house and we take some hacks.

- So, you’re working with players from others organizations.  Are those guys you’ve played with in high school or against in the pro’s?

Well, Jeremy played at my rival high school, Crespi High School, out here in California.  Jeff Suppan used to play there. And we’re all hitting with Reggie and getting things going right now. Continue reading Off-season Q&A: Dugan Readying For 2013


Weekly Off-season League Updates: 12/30/12

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, December 30, 2012 04:00 PM Comments: 17

It’s another edition of our weekly off-season league review. Read ahead, as we take a tour around the globe for a look at Phillies talents including Antonio Bastardo, Raul Valdes and plenty of others, who are participating in various winter league action.

Venezuelan League-

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez (pictured, left) ended his VWL regular season batting .226 with a home run, 16 RBI and 14 steals in 44 games for Margarita, as his team did not advance to the semi-final round.  The 22-year-old switch-hitter batted a combined .291 with two homers and 57 RBI in 133 games for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley during the 2012 regular season.

Shortstop Edgar Duran, also with Margarita, batted .240 with a home run and nine RBI in 36 games.  In 121 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2012, Duran, 21, sported a .253/.310/.357 line.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis wrapped up his regular season with a 10-game hitting streak, during which he posted .349 batting average with three doubles and seven RBI.  Galvis batted .300 in 58 games for Zulia and has missed the early games of the semi-final round robin for undisclosed reasons, but has stated on his Twitter account that he expects to return to the team in January.

Catcher Humberto Quintero has posted a .333 average along with five doubles, a homer and 10 RBI in 26 games for Zulia.  The 33-year-old was signed by the Phillies last month after playing in 43 games with the Royals in 2012. Continue reading Weekly Off-season League Updates: 12/30/12


PN Mailbag #6: End of the Year Edition

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, December 30, 2012 11:10 AM Comments: 23

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' Here was my favorite album this year.

Welcome to the sixth Phillies Nation mailbag! Because nobody asked for it, and everybody else is doing it, here are some of my picks of my favorite things that happened this year. Just hit “Page Down” a few times to get to the baseball stuff. Or just click on “Read More” – it’s after that jump. I promise I answer Phillies’ related questions eventually.


Favorite Album of 2012: Here – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Favorite Pop Single of 2012: “Some Nights” – fun.

Hardest Pop Song to Get Out of My Head in 2012: Three-way tie – “Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, and “Domino” by Jessie J.

Most Disappointing Album of 2012: Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen

and finally, the coveted:

Album from 2012 That I Am Most Likely To Confuse for Something by T. Rex (and that’s a good thing) Award: Be the Void – Dr. Dog

Was it me or was this a weak year for pop and rock music or what? If not for Bruno Mars, this might have been the weakest year for music since 2006. That year, Rihanna hit the scene with “S.O.S.” and the Raconteurs put out their album but the well was pretty dry then like it is now. The big singles were easy to digest but nothing memorable musically like the subtle key change in 2007′s “Umbrella”


Movie with the Most Bootleg Looking Commercial: Life of Pi

Movie with Commercials That Set Impossibly High Expectations: The Dark Knight Rises

Worst Sequel: With apologies to The Expendables 2, Madagascar 3, Twilight Breaking Dawn 2, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Journey 2, The Bourne Legacy, Taken 2, Resident Evil: Retribution, and Paranormal Activity 4, all of which I have not, and likely will not, see, this award goes to the mailed-in Men in Black 3. It wasn’t particularly bad, it wasn’t particularly good – it was there. Sadly, it had very few funny moments and the nostalgia just wasn’t there to keep me interested the whole time.

Was this the year for sequels, though, or what?

Best Movie Where the Parents Suddenly Realize They Have a Half-Boy, Half-Plant hybrid for a Child: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Worst Execution of Digging Something Wayyyyyy Out of the Archives and Trying to Sell It To 18-49 Year Olds: The Three Stooges


The “We Can Finally Stop Talking About This” Award 2012: LeBron Wins a Championship

The “I’d Like Everyone To Talk About This More” Award 2012: The NHL Stoppage

The “Everyone Here Would Have Gotten Kicked Out of High School, College, or Both if We Did This”, Non-Steroids Award 2012: ESPN repeatedly plagiarizes

The “Everyone Here Would Have Gotten Kicked Out of High School, College, or Both if We Did This”, Steroids Award 2012: Tie: Took steroids and broke our back or Took steroids and were still super out of shape

Continue reading PN Mailbag #6: End of the Year Edition


Why I Love the Phillies – Janet

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, December 29, 2012 09:03 AM Comments: 5

Not only have I, a young-at-heart 56-year old Pennsylvania native who has lived in California for the last 33 years of my life, grown up listening to, watching, reading about and talking about the Phillies, but so did my mother and her mother before her – all Philadelphia natives (go Richie Ashburn!). I truly look forward to watching the Phillies game every day (I must do that with MLB.com now, since for some reason California TV stations don’t show the daily Phillies games!), but at least I have that — there was a long period of time when I first moved out here in 1979 where I could only read the scores in the daily paper, as that thing called the “internet” had not yet taken hold.

My bad timing, of course, is that I moved out here the year BEFORE the Phillies had that wonderful World Series victory (go Tug McGraw!!). Larry Bowa was my favorite – I still love him! I am surrounded by Angels and Dodgers fans, but once a Phillies fan, always a Phillies fan – there’s no way I could (or would ever want) to change my allegiance. My fellow employees know it – I have my “Go Phillies” rock man on my desk and the Phllies page featuring Mike Schmidt from last year’s MLB wall calendar on my wall (so graciously given to me by a Dodger’s fan!). There are no fans like Philllies fans – we enjoy the great times and have faith through the rougher times, but we always know the joy is more in the journey than the end result (mostly!). Go Phillies!!! P.S. And thank you for Phillies Nation – it keeps us “out-of-staters” so close to the action!

- Janet

Read more “Why I Love the Phillies” stories from Phillies Nation readers here.


Replaced by a Franchise Hero: Desi Relaford

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, December 28, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 19


Relaford was a top prospect with the Mariners. He was replaced by an even higher regarded prospect in Rollins.

We continue our series of exploring the careers of the guys who were replaced by our favorites by taking a look at Desi Relaford, who was replaced by Jimmy Rollins.

The Hero

Sitting fourth all-time in franchise history in hits (only 210 behind first place Mike Schmidt), third in runs, second in doubles (just 21 behind Ed Delahanty), fourth in triples, third in steals, and 11th in HRs, Rollins is perhaps the most underrated player in Phillies history. He has compiled offensive stats at a rate that is good enough to quietly sneak him in the conversation of Best Shortstop of His Era, but not win: from 2000 to 2012, Rollins has accumulated more fWAR than any player to play shortstop not named Derek Jeter.

While his offense has been very good, .270/.328/.432, his defense and his base-running truly put him in the elite class of all-times Phillies players. His 403 steals from 2000-2012 rank second among shortstops and the 79.2 runs he created on the base paths are tops among shortstops in that time period. And while Gold Glove awards have turned into awards based on reputation, Rollins has four of them, and has saved the Phillies 40.8 runs with his glove in his time here.

What I, and many others, remember Rollins for, however, was 2007. Rollins famously declared preseason that the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East and not the New York Mets, who were a ninth inning Yadier Molina homer and a run of their own away from reaching the World Series just the year before. The Phillies finished just three games behind the Dodgers for the Wild Card after a late charge led by 2006 MVP Ryan Howard. Rollins’ moxy, or swag as the kids call it now, seemed a little shortsighted at the time. The Mets had pitching, hitting, a bullpen, and defense. The Phillies were banking on Rollins, Howard, Chase Utley, who was just coming into his own, a few promising arms, and not much else. Continue reading Replaced by a Franchise Hero: Desi Relaford


Off-season Q&A: LHP Wright Challenges the Nation

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, December 27, 2012 03:05 PM Comments: 1

Left-handed pitcher Austin Wright has been a fast rising performer since he was selected by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2011 draft, out of the University of Mississippi. In his first season of pro ball that year, the 6-foot-4 235-pounder tallied a 4-3 record with a 3.03 ERA and an 11.2 K/9 mark combined with short-season A level Williamsport and Class A Lakewood.

In 2012, Wright, 23, became an all-star and was honored as the Florida State League pitcher of the year, as he posted an 11-5 record, a 3.47 ERA and an 8.11 K/9 mark with Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Recently, I spoke with Austin about his off-season routine and how he uses his time during the colder months, during which the Illinois native issued a challenge to any gamers that might see this material. Read ahead for that full interview.

- How much time off from throwing do you take during the off-season? When do you begin a throwing program to prepare for spring training?

I took off October and November and started throwing December 1st.

- I know you’re a Chicago area guy. Do you have a hard time finding a venue to keep your arm in shape during the colder months?

No, I’ve got it down. I have a pitching mound in my basement, where I do dry drills, and then in mid-December my dad sets up a warehouse to be used as a baseball practice facility for local teams. It allows me to air it out a little, and I workout there with my dad until I leave for spring training. Continue reading Off-season Q&A: LHP Wright Challenges the Nation


Brown’s Insignificant Samples

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, December 27, 2012 02:46 PM Comments: 69

Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley wrote today of the Phillies optimum use of Domonic Brown: either give him 600 PA or trade him before he either loses his trade value or he becomes too expensive through the arbitration process. Brown, who has only 492 MLB PA, less than a full year’s worth, is entering his age 25 season with what appears to be the inside track on the starting right field job but is now suddenly surrounded by whispers of a double-platoon.

In Baer’s piece, he illustrates that Brown’s small Major League samples are about as statistically insignificant is you can get. For fun, and because his PA sample didn’t require me to do too much crazy math to find players with similar PAs, I looked at other players who were not initially shown a vote of confidence by Phillies management and Kevin Stocker, a pseudo-emergency call-up in 1993.

Continue reading Brown’s Insignificant Samples

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