Archive for July, 2013

Gameday: Phillies (50-56) vs Giants (46-59)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, July 31, 2013 06:00 PM Comments: 27

Philadelphia Phillies (50-56) vs San Francisco Giants (46-59)giants Kyle Kendrick  (9-7, 3.96 ERA) vs Chad Gaudin (4-2, 2.77 ERA) TIME: 7:05 Citizens Bank Park TV: Comcast SportsNet Weather: 86, sunny Media: Twitter and Facebook The Phillies ended their eight game losing streak on Tuesday with a 7-3 win over the Giants, and tonight they will have a crack at winning their first series since before the All-Star break. They will do so with Kyle Kendrick on the hill. Kendrick has been one of the Phillies most consistent starters this season, and despite earning a loss, he pitched well his last time out against St. Louis. The righty tossed six innings and allowed just three runs on five hits, marking his 15th quality start this year. Kendrick did face the Giants back on May 7, and earned a win after holding them to two runs over seven innings. The Phillies will be facing Chad Gaudin, who they have faced several times but have never seen as a starter. In nine relief appearances against the Phillies he has held them to three runs over 13 1/3 innings (2.03 ERA), and all three runs came in the same outing. He worked two scoreless frames against the Phillies earlier this year. Michael Young is the only Phillies player with any success against Gaudin, and he has done it over a large sample size. Young has seen Gaudin 22 times, and is hitting .455 with three doubles, three home runs and seven RBI against him. No other Phillie with more than three at bats against him has ever gotten more than one hit. Lineup: Rollins SS, M. Young 1B, Utley 2B, D. Young RF, Ruf LF, Asche 3B, Mayberry CF, Ruiz C, Kendrick P ShockTop-Belgian-White-155x300Gameday Beer: Shocktop Belgian White With summer in full swing, it’s a great time to crack open a true summer brew with a Shocktop Belgian White. This wheat ale is brewed with lemon, lime and orange peels to give it a refreshing taste and subtly sour finish. It’s the perfect beer for relaxing and watching the ballgame whether you are at the bar, relaxing at home or hanging out down the shore.


An Argument for Trading Cliff Lee

Posted by Alex Lee, Wed, July 31, 2013 12:15 PM Comments: 39

Should it take an earth-shattering package for the Phils to move Lee? (PHOTO: AP)

Should it take an earth-shattering package for the Phils to move Lee? (PHOTO: AP)

As the clock creeps towards today’s 4pm trade deadline, die-hard Phillies fans are sure to be glued to their rumors source of choice.  Last night’s report that Jake Peavy is headed to Boston put a sizable dent in the Phillies chances of moving Cliff Lee, leaving only the Tigers, Cardinals and Dodgers as plausible suitors for the prized left hander.

At this point, there is little doubt that Lee is available, and the reports that say so also indicate that the Phillies’ asking price for him is steep, as it should be.  Many saw Boston as the frontrunner to pry Lee from the Phils, but in the end it sounds like the asking price (Xander Bogaerts perhaps?) was too high, so the Sox moved on to Plan B and the Phillies were left with little hope of a monster return for their most valuable trade asset.

Bogaerts wasn’t going anywhere for many of the same reasons that Domonic Brown was never available when the Phillies were hunting for aces of their own over the past five years.  Prospects of that ilk are rarely moved, regardless of the stakes, and especially when surrendering them also requires picking up a $70 million tab in the process.  Assuming Bogaerts, or even Jackie Bradley Jr., were the sticking points in negotiations with the Sox, it is safe to say that any team hoping to acquire Lee’s services today will have to submit an offer that blows Amaro away.  Which leads to the question, has Amaro set the bar for Lee too high?

Trading established stars for prospects is risky business.  No one knows that better than Amaro, who has acquired Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt in recent years for packages that have yet to yield much at the major league level.  He also traded Lee before the 2010 season for a haul bad enough that he’s since admitted it was a mistake.  But in the Phillies current situation, that shouldn’t be an argument not to move Lee.  Quite simply, that is because one could argue the risk of not trading him is greater than the risk of again moving him for a flawed return.

Continue reading An Argument for Trading Cliff Lee


Deadline Day Open Thread

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, July 31, 2013 11:36 AM Comments: 71

amaro-phoneThis is your open thread for all things having to do with the trade deadline. 4 PM is the cutoff. There’s lots of rumors and conflicting reports. Post will be updated periodically as news and rumors come in.

- The Yankees want M. Young, but it doesn’t sound like he’d approve a trade there. UPDATE: A source tells a NY Daily News reporter that Young WILL accept a trade to the Yankees. Big, if true. Confirmed by Ken Rosenthal. There are no reports of any talks between the teams at this time, though. Rosenthal says it is certainly plausible that this is simply a posturing move. UPDATE: Rosenthal now says that Young is indeed interested in going to the Yankees.

- There may be no trade today at all.

- 4 PM is here and M Young is still a Phillie.

- A Red Sox reporter says it is doubtful that the Red Sox will trade for Young. UPDATE: Another is reporting that there are NO talks between Philadelphia and Boston regarding Young. UPDATE #2: According to Joel Sherman, league executives believe that there are talks.

- Young to the Rangers is dead. It’s Yankees or bust.

Continue reading Deadline Day Open Thread


Phillies Win, Team Still Intact

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 30, 2013 10:35 PM Comments: 67

michael-youngAs the rumors fly on Twitter, the Phillies remain whole…for now. They snapped an 8-game losing streak, defeating the San Francisco Giants, 7-3. The game was secondary to everything else surrounding the club.

Michael Young, who homered in what could be his final game in a short stint with the Phillies, said he has no idea if anything will happen as the trade deadline strikes at 4 pm. tomorrow.

As of this writing it appears Cliff Lee is staying put. There has been little traction on several other Phillies, at least publicly. That doesn’t mean they’ll stand pat.

Regardless, they played much better baseball in front of a pretty decent crowd at CBP. Over 36,000 packed the stands and there was actually some juice from the crowd even though the Phillies had just come off a season-defining road trip that went south in a hurry and never recovered.


Gameday: Phillies (49-56) vs Giants (46-58)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, July 30, 2013 06:00 PM Comments: 21

Philadelphia Phillies (49-56) vs San Francisco Giants (46-58)giants

John Lannan (2-4, 4.13 ERA) vs Barry Zito (4-7, 4.92 ERA)

TIME: 7:05 Citizens Bank Park

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Weather: 86, sunny

Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies return home Tuesday after a 1-8 road trip to start a nine game homestand beginning with three against the defending world champion San Francisco Giants.

The Giants, much like the Phillies, have struggled of late. They are just 3-7 in their last ten games and are in last place in the N.L. West.

Tuesday’s opener will feature a pair of left-handers on the mound. John Lannan will get the baseball for the Phillies, coming off a poor start against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he lasted just four innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. Lannan had pitched well in his two starts prior to that game, however, having given up just one run in 16 innings before his poor outing last week.

He has fared well against San Francisco in his career, holding the Giants to just four runs in 20 2/3 innings (three career starts).

He will be opposed by veteran southpaw Barry Zito, who continues to have a Jekyll and Hyde season with the Giants. In the confines of AT&T Park, Zito has been lights out, pitching to 4-1 record and 2.45 ERA in 11 starts. On the road, he is a whole different story. Zito has started nine road games this year and is yet to win one. He is 0-6 and has allowed 40 earned runs in 38 1/3 innings (9.39 ERA) away from home this season.

Over the course of Zito’s career, several Phillies players have had success against him, most notably John Mayberry Jr., who is 3-for-8 with three homers, and Chase Utley, who is 7-for-20 with four extra base hits and three RBI.

Lineup: Rollins SS, M. Young 3B, Utley 2B, Ruf LF, D. Young, Frandsen 1B, Mayberry CF, Ruiz C, Lannan P

lat48_2_largeGameday Beer: Sam Adams Latitude 48

This IPA from Sam Adams is a nice, reddish colored ale with a smooth finish and earthy, somewhat bitter taste. The hops are strong but not overpowering, making this subtle IPA a top choice for both the avid and the casual beer drinker.





Report: Asche to be Called Up, Possible Young Trade? Deadline Madness!

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, July 30, 2013 12:27 PM Comments: 28

It looks like it will be only half a season in a Phillies uniform for M. Young.

It looks like it will be only half a season in a Phillies uniform for M. Young.

Michael Young has been the topic of a plethora of trade rumors, and today, it seems as though at least one of the rumors may come true. Jeff Passan is reporting on Twitter that Cody Asche is to be called up today, and hints that this could be the first domino to fall in a Michael Young Trade.

From his Tweet:

@JeffPassan: Source: Phillies plan on calling up 3B Cody Asche. Points to Michael Young being traded today.

UPDATE: According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are NOT the ones in on Young.

UPDATE #2: Ken Rosenthal says that Young would only accept a trade to the Rangers.

UPDATE #3: Jayson Stark says there is no deal imminent. And he doesn’t classify it as “likely”, either.

UPDATE #4: Steve Susdorf was designated for assignment. The Asche promotion could still mean Young is dealt, according to Jim Salisbury, with Matt Gelb providing an explanation.

UPDATE #5: Michael Young is in the Phillies lineup tonight. Phils fans should be on #HugWatch tonight.

Continue reading Report: Asche to be Called Up, Possible Young Trade? Deadline Madness!


Minors Rundown: Asche, Biddle, Hanson, Charles, GCL

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, July 30, 2013 10:00 AM Comments: 4

Cody Asche, photo- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Cody Asche has been on a torrid pace of late. Asche, a University of Nebraska product, is showing more and more that he’s ready for a bigger challenge. The 23-year-old lefty batter has gone 14-for-33 (.424 avg) along with three doubles, five homers and 12 RBI in his last eight contests with the IronPigs.

Overall this season, Asche, who represented Lehigh Valley in the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier this month, is batting .295 with 15 home runs and 68 RBI in 104 games.

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Podcast, Asche was featured as a call-in guest. When asked when he’ll feel ready for the bigger challenge of the major leagues, he said the following:

“Whenever (the Phillies) tell me. That’s when I feel like I’m ready. There’s a lot of guys in this organization that are really smart and they know what they’re doing and they’ve been through this before with many players, so, you know, I 100-percent trust what they have in store for me and what they have planned for me. So, until they call me and say, ‘Hey, you’re ready! Let’s go do it.’, then I’m gonna keep working hard to be the best player I can be.” Continue reading Minors Rundown: Asche, Biddle, Hanson, Charles, GCL


What About Lee for Outfield Help?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 30, 2013 07:07 AM Comments: 42


Cliff Lee-for-Matt Kemp. Crazy? Really crazy? Perhaps I’m too immersed in sports, because last night I had a dream that a deal like this went down. I need a hobby.

It’s assumed the Phillies are now in selling mode, and rightfully so. Lee, previously unavailable, now has his name in lights as the deadline hits tomorrow. Where will he go? Nobody knows.

Boston and Los Angeles are two common destinations, although it has been noted by several media outlets that the Red Sox are loathe to part with top prospect Xander Bogaerts. If he’s not included, forget about it. There are likely other teams talking with the Phillies, but Lee holds the keys with a limited, yet still lengthy, no-trade clause.

Searching outside the box for a dance partner leads us west. The Dodgers have been red hot lately and they can attribute much of their new success to Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzalez. One notable name missing is Matt Kemp. The oft-injured outfielder has struggled mightily this year around the ailments and remains on the 15-day DL.

Could Kemp-for-Lee work? Not sure Matt Kemp alone would be enough to entice the Phillies, and it’s probably just as unlikely the Dodgers would want to move a 28-year-old borderline superstar for a 34-year-old pitcher. But why not?

The Dodgers are stacked offensively right now – not to mention in the outfield – and getting zero from Kemp. They’re paying him over $20 million this season and through 2019. That’s a ton of coin. However, it would give the Phillies a dual-threat player in the middle of the order, something they clearly lack.

By acquiring Lee, the Dodgers would have an almost unbeatable rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Grienke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Cliff Lee.

Continue reading What About Lee for Outfield Help?


Worst Trades in Phillies History

Posted by Johnny Goodtimes, Mon, July 29, 2013 09:52 AM Comments: 33

This article was written by our friend Johnny Goodtimes, author of Philly Sports History.

Ryne Sandberg

In the Hall of Fame with a Cubs hat.

With the trade deadline approaching, and as we all wait to see what Ruben is going to do, I thought we’d take a look back through the years at some trades that didn’t work out so well for the Phillies. Incredibly, this team has such a knack for terrible trades that 5-for-1 (Von Hayes was much better than Phillie fans give him credit for) and the Scott Rolen debacle (they got a young Placido Polanco and a solid Mike Timlin in return) don’t even crack the top 5.

#5. Freddy Garcia for Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd. The Phils were looking for a front end of the rotation guy, and Pat Gillick apparently looked at Garcia’s 17 wins in 2006 more closely than he did his 4.53 ERA. He also must not have looked too closely at his right shoulder…after a 1-5 start, Garcia was finished. He made $10 million to earn one more win than I did in 2007.

#4. Grover Cleveland Alexander and Bill Killifer for Pickles Dillhoefer and Mike Prendegrast. Phillies ownership was, as usual, experiencing cash flow problems after the 1917 season. And so they let arguably the greatest pitcher in team history go for a catcher who batted .091 for his new squad and a pitcher who would be done in a year. Grover Cleveland would win another 183 games after leaving the Phillies.

#3. Curt Schilling for Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla, Omar Daal, and Nelson Figueroa. Listen, we all agree with Ed Wade that Schilling was a horse’s ass. Nonetheless, you would have thought a pitcher of his caliber would have brought more in return than the four mediocre journeymen they got. Not Ed Wade’s finest moment.

#2. Ferguson Jenkins for Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl. The Phillies were trying to recapture the magic that took them to the brink of the Series in 1964, and decided to trade a young reliever named Ferguson Jenkins for two wily old veterans. The key word was old. Jackson was actually serviceable as a starter, while Buhl was out of the league in a year. Jenkins went on to a Hall of Fame career, winning 284 career games. Sadly, only two of those wins came for the Phillies before they gave him away.

#1. Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus and Bill Caudill. It’s worth noting that Sandberg was the throw-in on this deal. The Phils tried to give the Cubs Bowa and Luis Aguayo. The Cubs said no, but they’d take Bowa and Sandberg. The Phils caved. The Cubs got a superstar Hall of Famer. The Phils were stuck with Aguayo, who turned out to be serviceable at best, and DeJesus, who was a good glove, played shortstop for the team for 3 years.

Those are the worst 5 trades the Phillies have ever made, but what about the worst trade the Phillies DIDN’T make? Hard to say, and there are probably plenty of them that never saw the light of day. But we do know about one, thanks to Krukker. He told Sam Donnellon a couple of years ago that the Phils were talking to the Mariners in ’93 about trading for Randy Johnson. But the Phils didn’t want to part with Mike Lieberthal, so the trade never happened.

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Rosenthal: Phils Talking Lee With Other Teams

Posted by Alex Lee, Mon, July 29, 2013 09:32 AM Comments: 26

It sounds like the Phillies are talking to other teams about Cliff Lee.  (PHOTO: AP)

It sounds like the Phillies are talking to other teams about Cliff Lee. (PHOTO: AP)

While we heard yesterday from ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Phillies have finally informed teams a certain number of their veteran players are on the trading block, Cliff Lee was apparently not on that list. But in his Fox Sports column today, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies have discussed their All-Star lefty with other clubs. Rosenthal acknowledges that the Phils are unlikely to trade Lee, in large part due to their insistence on receiving a huge haul in return for the former Cy Young winner:

“One rival executive on Sunday night acknowledged the Phillies’ willingness to trade Lee but said the team would do it only “for a lot!!!” — meaning, a steep package of talent.”

The Phils have every right to start the bidding for Lee sky high. He is an elite pitcher and has a track record of dominance come October. He is likely the most coveted player that has any chance of changing teams before Wednesday’s 4pm trade deadline. But Rosenthal outlines several other things that may preclude a Lee trade, as paraphrased below:

- Lee’s contract includes a 20-team no-trade clause and has about $70MM left on it ($9MM left in 2013 and a $12.5MM buyout for 2016). Lee’s $120MM contract has essentially worked out for the Phils, especially when compared to some of the other nine-figure deals given to free agents in recent years. Lee is still a stud, but the no-trade clause and the money narrows down the list of teams that’d be willing to take on the money and fork over premium talent in return.

Continue reading Rosenthal: Phils Talking Lee With Other Teams

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