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Archive for April, 2013

Tribe Smash Seven HRs, Thump Phils 14-2

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, April 30, 2013 09:47 PM Comments: 25

Move along, not much to see here: the Indians hit seven HRs, most high and deep into the stands on a warm Cleveland night to beat the Phils 14-2.

DOC CRUSHED

As quickly as the optimism developed that Roy Halladay had turned the corner (1.71 ERA in his previous three starts), it evaporated three times as quickly. The Tribe got to Doc quickly – Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds each hit a two-run homer in the first.

Halladay seemingly regained his composure with a smooth second and third innings. Lonnie Chisenhall took Doc deep and Asdrubal Cabrera chased him with a two-run single in the fourth to end his night. Doc’s final line? 3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R (all earned), 2 BB, 3 K, 3 HR. Ouch.

BULLPEN DISAPPEARS, TOO

One of the highlights of the weekend sweep of the Mets was the bullpen’s standout job. Tonight? Not so much. With the game already out of hand, 8-1, Chad Durbin gave up 4 ER in 1.1 IP and Raul Valdes gave up 2 ER in 2 IP. Aumont pitched a scoreless 8th but narrowly avoided self-inflicted trouble.

BUT HEY! DELMON YOUNG, THOUGH!

In one of the most anticipated, for both good and bad reasons, debuts of the season, Delmon Young delivered. Young went 2-3 with a second inning HR, a single, and a walk. That was a positive. The rest of the offense? The rest of the offense only mustered five more hits, including a Chase Utley solo homer and a Ryan Howard double. John Mayberry Jr. had the only other hit – a single.

Listen, this game was probably the worst game of the season and has the potential to be the game that leaves you with the sickest feeling in your stomach. The Phils seemed to have all the momentum in the world – three wins, Doc righting the ship headed into a pair in Cleveland with Chooch back. This seemed like their’s to take. But it wasn’t.

The Phils will play the Indians again tomorrow, sending Cliff Lee to the hill against Trevor Bauer. At least it couldn’t possibly be worse than today.

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Gameday: Phillies (12-14) vs. Indians (10-13)

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, April 30, 2013 05:30 PM Comments: 51

Philadelphia Phillies (12-14) vs Cleveland Indians (10-13)

http://www.tsmbaseball.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Indians_Logo.jpgRHP Roy Halladay (2-2, 5.08 ERA) v. RHP Zach McAllister (1-3, 3.52 ERA)

TIME: 7:05, Progressive Field
TV:
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 64, partly cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phils look to make it four-in-a-row tonight as they match up with the Cleveland Indians. The Phils will send out Roy Halladay (1.71 ERA in his last three starts) against 25-year old Zack McAllister. Both teams come into the game hitting the ball well: the Phillies scored 18 in three games against the Mets while the Indians put up 21 total in four against the Indians.

The biggest storyline today, however, may be Delmon Young‘s 2013 Phillies debut. Young will start tonight at DH and hit fifth behind Ryan Howard.

The current Indians line-up has not seen much of Doc but the folks in the Tribe that have have had much success: Jason Giambi is 22/72 (.306/.375/.486) lifetime against Halladay, making up most of the .282/.354/.453 line-against. Only two Phillies have ever faced McAllister: Michael Young and Ben Revere combine for a .556/.600/.556 line against the righty.

Lineup: Rollins SS, M. Young 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, D. Young DH, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Mayberry RF, Revere CF

 http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID21038/images/100104033126DortmunderBottle.jpgGAMEDAY BEER: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Dartmunder Gold

Cleveland has been named one of America’s best cities for beer by GQ and one of the highlights of the local beer comes from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

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PN Celebrity Series Preview: Jack Moore

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, April 30, 2013 03:55 PM Comments: 0

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/189541_10101325420338819_235826687_n.jpgJack Moore is likely the funniest person you haven’t heard of – yet, you’ve probably read his work.

Jack is the Senior Sports Editor at BuzzFeed – a fast-paced, humor-driven, best-in-class conglomeration of content matched by few sites right now. He is also one of the two persons behind Modern Seinfeld, the Twitter account that puts the Gang of Four in modern scenarios in 160 characters or less. Modern Seinfeld has garnered 570K followers in just under five months, making it one of the fastest growing accounts in Twitter history.

Jack and I were classmates at NYU together, where, in the Spring of 2008, we bonded in our fandoms of good-but-not-great MLB teams: I being a Phillies fan and Jack a fan of the Tribe, both who had made the playoffs in 2007 after absences. He took time out of his schedule to answer some questions for our Celebrity Series Preview.

Continue reading PN Celebrity Series Preview: Jack Moore

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Delmon Young activated, Carrera DFA’d

Posted by Alex Lee, Tue, April 30, 2013 01:49 PM Comments: 3

As was reported first by CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury on Twitter, Delmon Young has been activated by the Phillies and will join them for their series opener tonight in Cleveland.  With the Phillies able to utilize the designated hitter in the American League ballpark, expect to see Young in the lineup tonight.  In a corresponding move, Ezequiel Carrera – he of the .077 average – has been designated for assignment.

Expect to see Delmon Young in the lineup tonight in Cleveland (AP Photo).

Expect to see Delmon Young in the lineup tonight in Cleveland (AP Photo).

The Inquirer’s Matt Gelb tweeted that Young’s activation awards him a $250,000 roster bonus.  In addition to the $750,000 he signed for, Young’s contract is heavily incentivized with roster, performance and award bonuses.  According to Cot’s Contracts, Young can earn up to an additional $400,000 in roster bonuses if he sticks on the active roster for 160 days.  He can earn up to $1.5MM in performance bonuses depending on the number of at-bats he gets and up to $600,000 depending on how he fares over the course of six weigh-ins.  All told, Young’s final price tag could rise to $3.5MM if everything goes perfectly.  He made $6.75MM with the Tigers last year.

Young won the ALCS MVP last season with Detroit, hitting .353 with two home runs and six RBIs in a sweep over the Yankees.  He is a former No. 1 overall pick.  These seem like alluring reasons to give him an every day job and slot him behind Ryan Howard, but as our Eric Seidman touched on this morning, Young comes with no guarantee.  He is at best, shaky in the field and with zero patience, an out machine at the plate.  The Phillies futility in the walk department is breaking records in 2013.  Young won’t help.

Continue reading Delmon Young activated, Carrera DFA’d

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PN Interview: Reading Manager Dusty Wathan Talks 2013 Fightins

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, April 30, 2013 11:30 AM Comments: 1

Reading manager Dusty Wathan

In his second year with the team, former pro catcher Dusty Wathan has led the Double-A Reading Fightin Phillies to a 12-10 record thus far in the early going.

After his 14-year playing career, Wathan began the next leg of his career, managing, with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in the Phillies organization in 2008. Since then, the son of former Royals manager John Wathan has climbed up the Philadelphia developmental ranks, making stops with Class A Lakewood, Class A Advanced Clearwater and, of course, Reading.

As a player, Wathan was signed by Seattle in 1994 and went on to compete in the Florida, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia organizations. With the Royals, Wathan appeared in three big league games in 2002.

This week, I sat down with Dusty to discuss the collection of well-regarded talent on his roster including top prospect Jesse Biddle, catcher Sebastian Valle, outfielders Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier, plus plenty more. Read ahead for that full interview.

- Jesse Biddle is a guy that drives great interest from the fans at this point. Clearly, he’s always been very well touted, but the dominance he has shown with the strike outs and the batting average against, is that surprising at all to you?

Well, I don’t know about batting average against, but I know what his batting average is…he can swing the bat too! He’s been outstanding. He works as hard, if not harder, than any other starting pitcher I’ve ever seen. I mean, I tell these guys, you reap what you sow. And I’ll tell you what, he’s getting the rewards for it right now. He goes after it as hard as anybody and everything he gets is well deserved. He’s got the ability to go with the hard work. A lot of guys don’t have the ability that he has and he’s got the ability to throw four pitches and be a good major leaguer. Continue reading PN Interview: Reading Manager Dusty Wathan Talks 2013 Fightins

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Delmon Young and Relative Upgrades

Posted by Eric Seidman, Tue, April 30, 2013 07:00 AM Comments: 25

The Phillies’ signing of Delmon Young this offseason drew mixed reviews. Some believed his right-handed power was exactly what this lineup lacked and the modest one-year commitment carried little risk. Others felt that his poor baserunning, terrible fielding and lack of patience at the plate would hurt the Phillies far more than his potential power helped.

Player valuations are tricky because in addition to analyzing the player himself, the context in which he plays merits strong consideration. Young’s value to the Phillies is partially determined by his own productivity, but also based on the alternative outfield solutions and their performance.

The Phillies’ outfield has largely struggled this season. Even if Young’s numbers were mediocre or worse, that mediocrity could represent an improvement.  Phillies outfielders have hit a putrid .226/.290/.360 this season, with a below average fielding rating and -0.2 WAR. Only the Marlins’ outfield has produced less overall, and with Giancarlo Stanton heating up, they might not be far away from besting the Phils as well. [Of course Stanton had to get hurt and ruin my fantasy team this point].

Young is a better hitter than that slash line but it’s also unlikely that Phillies outfielders continue to struggle at that rate.

What we’re really interested in when looking at what Young can provide is whether or not he represents an improvement over what we expect Phillies right fielders to produce from this point forward. Under that guise it becomes more difficult to justify giving him the lion’s share of playing time.

Continue reading Delmon Young and Relative Upgrades

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Minor League Notebook: 4/29/13

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, April 29, 2013 12:40 AM Comments: 0

Tops on the Phillies’ developmental hot list is Double-A Reading Ace Jesse Biddle, who, in his last two outings, has thrown 13 scoreless innings, while allowing just two total hits and striking out 26 batters.  Overall this season, Biddle, who was the Phils’ 1st round draft selection in 2010, has a 2-1 record with a 1.74 ERA and a .114 batting average against.

Last week, Biddle locked down a win against Harrisburg, when he struck out 16 and allowed only one hit and no runs over seven innings.

On Sunday, in Reading’s 2-1 win over New Hampshire, the left-handed 21-year-old fanned 10 New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto affiliate).  The video clip below features Biddle striking out the side in the 5th inning and speaking to the media following his second consecutive tremendous effort.


Continue reading Minor League Notebook: 4/29/13

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Phenomenal – Biddle Strikes Out 10 Again

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, April 28, 2013 07:39 PM Comments: 16

How about this Jesse Biddle? 10 more strikeouts in 6 IP, giving up only one hit. He’s got a 1.74 ERA with a .114 BAA and just 12 BB in 31 IP.

Ryan Kelly of Service Electric passed along this video of his Ks. We will have much more on Biddle, including some more video, exclusive post-game audio, and notes from Jay Floyd, who lasted all 12 innings at the game today, scouting the six pitched by the curve-balling lefty.

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Galvis, Howard Power Hamels to First Win, Sweep of Mets

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, April 28, 2013 04:41 PM Comments: 32

Phillies Mets Baseball

Howard came up big in the clutch in a 5-1 Phils win to cap the sweep. Photo: Seth Wenig, AP

On a day where Cole Hamels struggled with control, issuing six free passes, Hamels kept his composure to pick up his first win of 2013 in a 5-1 Phillies win. Hamels allowed only two hits to limit the damage of his free passes on a day where the Mets struck early on a David Wright RBI single in the first.

THE BATS, THEY ARE AWAKE

A day after the Phils posted a season-high nine runs, the Phillies scored five runs on nine hits and fell victim to the strike out only three times. Freddy Galvis had his first hit as a righty this year, knotting the game at one-all with a homer to lead off the fifth. The Phils did not ground into a double play and were a respectable 2-7 with RISP, including Ryan Howard‘s huge seventh inning, pinch-hit, two-out double that netted a pair of RBI and Chase Utley‘s RBI single immediately following Howard’s opposite field triumph. This, from a fundamental point of view, was easily the Phillies best team game as hitters, doing the little things at every bend.

The Phillies outscored the Mets 18-5 in the series in what is a very positive development. While Howard did not start today, the Big Piece is heating up: in his last 10 games, including today’s pinch-hit double, Howard is hitting .363/.342 (not a typo)/.722. If Howard starts to roll with a hot Michael Young (1-3 again today) and Chase Utley being Chase Utley, this team will be dangerous. The Big Piece is now hitting .286 overall and the big Spring Training is looking more and more like what we’ll see from him this year.

CHOOCH IS BACK

Carlos Ruiz returned today and hit a sixth inning ground-rule double for his only hit in 3 ABs. He paired with Hamels on eight Ks. Chooch is a clear upgrade over Kratz offensively and defensively – what a bat to add to the line-up!

THIS IS THE BULLPEN YOU WANT TO SEE

This game was a blast to watch and one of the reasons was because the bullpen acted like they had been here before. Antonio Bastardo threw a scoreless seventh to lower his ERA to 0.96 while Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon followed with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively to cap off a 5-1 win.

The Phillies travel to Cleveland tonight and have tomorrow off. The Fightins kick off a two game getaway series against the Indians on Tuesday with Roy Halladay on the hill.

 

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PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, April 28, 2013 09:00 AM Comments: 0

Chace Numata, image- Jay Floyd

One of the more consistent bats in the Class A Lakewood lineup in the early going this season has been that of catcher Chace Numata.  The 20-year-old sported a .280 batting average entering the weekend through 14 games for the BlueClaws.

A 14th round draft pick in 2010 out of Pearl City High School in Hawaii, Numata sported a .224 batting average with two home runs and 30 RBI through 84 professional games entering the 2013 season.  Now, the 6-foot 175-pounder is leading a pitching staff that includes last year’s top Phils draft pick Shane Watson and trying to help solidify an offense that is tied for the least amount of runs scored in the South Atlantic League.

Last week, I spoke with Chace about his transition from playing infield and pitching in high school, the hamate fracture that forced him to miss a great majority of the 2011 season, his progress in the minor leagues and plenty more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- Chace, you seem to be producing pretty steadily on offense this year.  What is your comfort level like at the dish?

It’s not bad.  I feel like, I think a lot, so this entire season I’ve been trying to not think so much and let the game come to me and slow things down.

- On the defensive side, you’re not as consistent.  People would notice passed balls (seven this year) and things like that.  I know you’ve changed positions.  What can you tell me about how you’re adjusting there?

You know, I’m still kind of learning, going from, in high school, just playing shortstop and pitching, to my first year in 2010 playing catcher.  I’m still learning.  There’s still a lot of errors and things, passed balls, and I just feel like, when the coaches come in, my catching coach, he always knows how to fix it.  And I just need to kind of just stay with it. Continue reading PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

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