Archive for October, 2013

Heyman: Phils Looking at Choo, Cruz, Ellsbury, Grandy

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, October 31, 2013 05:10 PM Comments: 40

http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/KWP9V8PTlNjSf2r6SBCheA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYwMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en/person/Ysports/shin-soo-choo-baseball-headshot-photo.jpgAccording to the latest from CBS Sports Jon Heyman, the Phillies are well aware of their outfield woes and are preparing to make runs at outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Curtis Granderson. Of that group, only Cruz is right handed.

According to FanGraphs, Choo, 31, should expect a five year deal around $15-16.5 million a year, Cruz, 33, around $9-10 million a year for two to three years, Ellsbury, 30, around a five year deal for between $17-18 million per year, and Granderson, 32, a three or four year deal for $12-14 million per year. All four are expected to be offered qualifying offers but none are expected to accept.

Of note in the Heyman piece is Heyman’s source’s claim that indicates the Phillies were prepared to offer Hunter Pence a contract had he reached free agency. Heyman also says that Amaro won’t yet address specific players but instead referred to the Phillies needs as “catching, pitching, outfield.”

Analysis: To me, what is incredibly surprising are the caliber of players listed among the Phillies targets. As I found out while researching for this article, the Phillies will be at almost exactly their Opening Day salary of 2013 even after Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz come off the books. Where is the money coming from? Is the new TV deal set? Or is Amaro bluffing?



A’s Blast Blanton, Even Series, Snatch Momentum

Posted by Johnny Goodtimes, Wed, October 30, 2013 10:10 PM Comments: 15

Rube Walberg pitched a complete game 3-hitter

Rube Walberg pitched a complete game 3-hitter.

Kentucky Joe Blanton‘s last appearance in a game of this magnitude was a magical one. Not only did he pitch 6 solid innings in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series, giving up only 4 hits and 2 runs, but he also blasted a memorable home run that convinced many Phillies fans in attendance (myself included) that THIS was our year.

Game 4 of the Philly Dream Series did not turn out nearly as well. The Phillies got rocked, 10-1, as Big Joe was blasted for three runs in the first. Not long after a Mule Haas double in the 3rd, he was pulled from the mound to a chorus of boos and with the Phillies in a 3-0 hole.

That hole would get a lot bigger in the 5th when Chad Durbin got shelled for the 2nd time in two games. The heart of the A’s offense ripped the heart out of Durbin’s chest, as a leadoff walk to Mule Haas and consecutive hits by Cochrane, Simmons, and Foxx gave the A’s a touchdown lead. A single by Bing Miller brought home Foxx to add the extra point, and it was 7-0 by the time Durbin’s cold, lifeless corpse was dragged off the field. (The coroner’s report read “Death by Annihiliation”). Continue reading A’s Blast Blanton, Even Series, Snatch Momentum


Philly Dream Series – Game 4 Preview

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, October 30, 2013 04:00 PM Comments: 0

After an offensive explosion in Game 3 led by Mickey Cochrane’s cycle, the boys from North Philly are thirsty for more. Johnny Goodtimes and the guys break down where we stand in the Philly Dream Series with the Phillies up two games to one. Watch as Dr. Bruce Kuklick ranks Mickey Cochrane among baseball’s best all-time catchers and Corey Seidman discuss how Joe Blanton would fare against the A’s lineup.


Send us photos of your Phillies jack o’ lanterns

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, October 30, 2013 02:49 PM Comments: 0

Over the past two years, we’ve been collecting fan photos of Phillies jack o’lanterns, costumes and other spooky Halloween stuff. Check them out below and upload your own. This year, anyone who sends in a photo will be eligible to win a free Phillies hat! A winner will be randomly selected at midnight on Saturday, November 2nd.


Karl Gelinas Signs with the Phillies

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, October 30, 2013 01:07 PM Comments: 9

http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/photos/p394831.jpgAccording to Radio-Canada.ca, the Phillies have signed right-handed pitcher Karl Gelinas. Gelinas, 30, last played affiliated baseball in 2006 for Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels organization. Gelinas was suspended in 2006 for taking Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid that appears on both MiLB and MLB’s banned substance list, but would return later in the season.

Gelinas spent the last seven seasons as a starter for the independent Les Capitales de Quebec of the Can-Am Association, posting a 41-24 record with a 3.13 ERA in what is generally considered the equivalent of a High-A or Double-A league. Gelinas also appears to be very active as a CrossFit athlete.

Gelinas received an invitation to Spring Training and will train with 2003 Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne to prepare for Spring Training with the Phillies.

(h/t @babsell_champ)


Free Agent Pass or Play: Dioner Navarro

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, October 30, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 8

http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/0jsVpqgMo9Fb0RGeaISwDA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYwMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en/person/Ysports/dioner-navarro-baseball-headshot-photo.jpgEach day until free agency begins, we at Phillies Nation will take a look at a player who will become a free agent five days from the conclusion of the World Series. We will explore potential performance, fit, cost, and feasibility. We continue today with switch-hitting catcher Dioner Navarro. And a reminder: you can check out all the “Pass or Play” posts by clicking on the category hyperlink.


Navarro, 29, was an All-Star in 2008 at age 24 with the Rays, his second full season in the Majors after being involved as a piece in separate trades for Randy Johnson, Shawn Green, and Toby Hall. After such a promising start to his career, Navarro battled injuries and was a well-below average hitting catcher from 2009-2012, posting a triple-slash line of .215/.270/.323 in stints with the Rays, the Dodgers, and Reds. Navarro spent 2013 with the Cubs and had unpredictable and unprecedented success, posting career highs in all triple-slash categories (.300/.365/.492 with 13 HR in 266 PA).


Navarro’s switch-hitting ability makes him a nice fit with the Phillies. Navarro’s splits skew better hitting as a righty against lefties, getting on base by 30 points more from the right side and slugging at about 100 points higher. While Navarro likely has some upside at age 29, there are questions about his durability and ability to start for a full season, last attaining 400 or more plate appearances in a season in 2009 with the Rays. Continue reading Free Agent Pass or Play: Dioner Navarro


Phillies Nation Player Reviews: The Under 100 PA Club

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, October 30, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 7

Martinez is in rare company: the bottom 1.6% of all-time in on-base plus slugging among the 5238 players with at least 300 plate appearances.

The Phillies had four players accrue between 26 and 100 PA in 2013. In most years, these players are usually young, up-and-coming players who are getting a brief look at the Major League level. This was not necessarily the case with this crop for the Phillies.

For our reviews of the seven players who had 25 or less plate appearances, click here.

Michael Martinez

Martinez hit .175/.175/.175 in 2013 in 40 PA, worth negative 0.5 win, placing him among the least valuable per plate appearance in the Majors. Martinez’s .495 career OPS ranks 5135th out of 5238 Major Leaguers with at least 300 career PA, placing him in the bottom 1.6% of non-pitchers, all-time. Of course, the Phillies designated Martinez for assignment after another below-average season. And of course, the Phillies re-signed Martinez after he elected free agencyGrade: F-

Casper Wells

Wells was one of two players the Phillies had that was, at some point, on five Major League rosters in 2013. Wells hit just .042/.115/.083 in just 26 PA with the Phillies and was inactive for most of September after having Lasik surgery to correct his vision. Wells’ most memorable moment as a Phillie came on August 24 when he got two outs as a pitcher before surrendering five earned runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks, before being relieved by the other Major Leaguer to play on five teams in 2013, John McDonald. Wells declined an outright assignment to Triple-A and became a free agent. Wells will be 29 in 2014 .230/.299/.395 career hitter and risks becoming a career Quad-A player without a monster Spring Training. Grade: F

Humberto Quintero

Quintero was brought into the Phillies catching fold, quite coincidentally, a day before Carlos Ruiz was suspended for violating the league’s substance policy. In 68 PA, Quintero hit a modest .250/.294/.406 with two homers, serving as a back up to Erik Kratz and then Ruiz when Kratz was injured. Quintero filled in nicely as a back-up and latched on with the Mariners after electing free agency when he was designated for assignment. Grade: B-

Roger Bernadina

The Shark joined the Phils on August 21, two days after being released by the division rival Washington Nationals. Bernadina hit just .187/.256/.347, in what was a slight improvement over his time earlier in the season with the Nationals, in a full-time roll in the Phillies outfield. Bernadina was worth the small investment for the rest of the year to see if he could duplicate his 2012 season (.291/.372/.405, 5 HR, 15 SB in 261 PA) but it was not to be. Bernadina was worth the roll of the dice but it ultimately just didn’t pay off. Grade: F+


1929 A’s Fan Talks About Growing Up Next Door to Shibe

Posted by Johnny Goodtimes, Tue, October 29, 2013 06:02 PM Comments: 10

rooney-400x392With us in the midst of our Philly Dream Series, I thought it’d be a great time to share an interview I did recently with Philadelphia A’s fan Jack Rooney, part of which originally appeared on Philly Mag‘s blog. Jack was 6 when the A’s won the 1929 World Series, and lived directly behind the right field fence. Those great old photos of fans sitting on the rooftops watching World Series games? One of those rooftops was Jack’s! Last year he wrote a book about the experience called Bleachers in the Bedroom. Here he talks to me about that 1929 team, what it was like having bleachers on his roof, and about his brother’s friendship with Al Simmons. 

Where exactly did you live?
I lived on 2739 20th street. Behind the right field fence. And they had a low right field fence, about 12 feet high, so you had a great view from there. I was interviewed at Citizens Bank Park a few years ago, and I sat in a section there they called rooftop bleachers, and it’s supposed to duplicate the view we had from our rooftop bleachers on 20th Street. So the reporter asked me, “Is it the same?” And of course I could look out and sort of visualize what it was like back then, and I said, “We were a lot closer.”

Some of the A’s players lived right in your neighborhood, right?
The one we really had a relationship with was Al Simmons. He was probably the biggest star on the team. He rented a room from a family that was three doors away from us on 20th Street. We saw him often. My kid brother had the job of waking him up sometimes, because Mrs. Conwell didn’t want to go into his bedroom, so she’d say, “Hey Jerry, would you go in and wake up Al?” And he’d go in, wake him and talk to him. My brother would say, “Come on Al, you’ve got to get up. You’ve got to get your batting practice.”

Continue reading 1929 A’s Fan Talks About Growing Up Next Door to Shibe


Free Agent Pass or Play: Corey Hart

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, October 29, 2013 03:00 PM Comments: 2


The only thing offensive here is Ian’s joke.

Each day until free agency begins, we at Phillies Nation will take a look at a player who will become a free agent five days from the conclusion of the World Series. We will explore potential performance, fit, cost, and feasibility. We continue today with right-handed outfielder Corey Hart. And a reminder: you can check out all the “Pass or Play” posts by clicking on the category hyperlink.


Corey Hart played exactly zero innings with zero plate appearances in 2013. Hart was rehabbing his right knee after surgery when he injured his left knee so much that that knee required surgery. It is rumored that he was injured while wearing his sunglasses at night – but don’t worry folks, he will never surrender.

Ok, I’ll stop.

(On a side note, my mom at one point believed she was the inspiration for the song “Sunglasses at Night” after seeing Corey Hart, the singer, perform in Allentown before the tune came out.)

Since becoming a full-time player in 2007, Hart has averaged 23+ homers and 15+ steals a year, playing primarily right field for the Brewers. From 2007 through 2012, Hart was worth 15 WAR according to FanGraphs, making him the 28th most valuable outfielder in the Majors.  Entering 2014, Hart has a career triple-slash line of .276/.334/.491 but was worth -55.9 runs on defense, or about negative three and a half wins, from 2007 through 2012, putting himself in defensive company with Manny Ramirez and Pat Burrell in that stretch. Continue reading Free Agent Pass or Play: Corey Hart


Five Years Ago: Phillies World Series Memories

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, October 29, 2013 09:28 AM Comments: 5

Five years ago, following two rain soaked days, the Phillies finished off the Tampa Bay Rays for their first title in 28 years. October 29, 2008 will live in the hearts of Phillies fans forever. Seems like a million years ago.

So many memories come rushing back from that game, that series, that postseason. From the Victorino grand slam off Sabathia to the Stairs moon shot off Broxton, some of the greatest sports moments in our town’s history were made that year.

So we ask, what was your favorite memory from the 2008 World Series run?





What is your favorite moment from the 2008 postseason

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