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Yasmani Tomas May Not Land in Philadelphia

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, November 20, 2014 01:36 PM Comments: 66

This morning on 94.1 WIP-FM, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki was on and was asked about the latest on Cuban outfielder, Yosmani Tomas.

What Zolecki said did not sound promising for fans hoping that the young, premiere outfielder would land in Philadelphia this offseason.

Yasmani-Tomas-2014-abr-300x211

“He’s getting closer (to making a decision on a team), I don’ know if it’ll be the Phillies though,” said Zolecki. “I thought if the Phillies were going to get him, then they would have gotten him by now. Ruben, when he likes to go after these big fish type guys, likes to move fast, be aggressive with it, and move on with the rest of the offseason.”

Tomas, a 24-year-old, 6’1″, 240 pound corner outfielder could very well be the next great Cuban-born slugger to come to MLB, joining a list of players that includes Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Abreu.

In the 2012-2013 Serie Nacional regular season, Tomas batted .289 with 15 home runs, 34 walks and 52 strikeouts in 324 plate appearances over 81 games. He also ranked fifth in slugging, and sixth in home runs.

His breakout season came in the 2011-2012 regular season where he batted .301 with 16 homers in 240 plate appearances over 69 games.

With Marlon Byrd likely being dealt to a contender, and Dominic Brown’s disappointing play, a guy like Tomas would be welcomed into the Phillies’ outfield with open arms. Not only would he bring some excitement to a team in desperate need of some, but he could become a player that the Phillies can begin to rebuild their team around.

If in fact he does not land in Philadelphia, the team and the fan base could potentially be missing out on some exciting raw talent.

Here’s hoping he lands with the Phillies, and gives both the team and fans some hope for the future.

Check out some highlights.

 

UPDATE:

Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark tweeted that one MLB executive said to bet the mortgage on the Phillies because “they want to do something big.”

However, another report by MLB.com’s Paul Hagan suggests that the Phillies’ are “backing off” Tomas due to concerns about his defense.

A deal for Tomas could potentially be in the $100 million range, but do the questions marks about his defense lower his value? The guy surely has big-bat potential, but what about his glove?

All we can do at this point is sit back and wait. Perhaps Tomas will end up with the Phillies after the smoke clears, or maybe not. Despite the defense, I would personally love to see this kid’s bat in the lineup on an everyday basis.

 

  • 66 Comments
 

Howard Dealing with Sad Situation

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 19, 2014 06:42 PM Comments: 20

You’ve likely already read the report from David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, so there isn’t any factual additions to that story. But I will add a few thoughts…

Piggybacking what Jim Salisbury has written – and he knows Howard a lot better than I do – this is a terrible situation.

No matter how much money a person makes, or if they’re part of the public eye, it doesn’t make a story like this any easier to read, as some have stated to me on social media.

It was easy to crush Howard for his play the last two seasons. His play, and body, are in full decline. This addition to the story of Ryan Howard makes sense.  Aside from the injuries, you could tell that something was off about Howard this year, especially when he asked the media if they’d like to switch places with him. “Of course,” I thought to myself. I absolutely would change places with the Big Piece. Big house, nice-looking wife, great family, and a major league player. Upon hearing the details of the fracturing of his family, I change that stance.

It’s a tough situation that many people go through, but few as public as Howard. It’s not about how much money he’s may have lost, or the endorsements that were possibly lost because of his family’s behavior. It’s about the relationships lost here that are the worst part.

Sometimes the story extends beyond the baseball field. That’s unfortunate for Ryan Howard, coming at the worst possible time in his career, compounding all of the other issues in front of him. Can he recover from this? It’s certainly much different than a knee or achilles. Only time will tell.

 

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Phillies Scouting Red Sox System For Possible Hamels Deal

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, November 18, 2014 07:42 PM Comments: 27

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies are doing background work on several players in the Boston Red Sox system. Catcher Christian Vazquez, outfielder Mookie Betts, and pitcher Matt Barnes are mentioned by name. The Red Sox are on Hamels no-trade list that was recently updated. Rosenthal theorizes that Hamels would likely require the Red Sox to pick up his 2019 option for $20 million dollars.

Cole Hamels to the Red Sox rumors is nothing new. The two teams have scouted each others system extensively in the past few months. Rosenthal suggests that the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Betts, and catchers Vazquez and Blake Swihart. The odds that the Red Sox truly do not want to part with BOTH of their catching prospects is likely slim, as the reports of them wanting to keep all these players is likely a bargaining tactic.

A deal for Hamels will likely hinge on who winds up with free agent starter Jon Lester. The Red Sox are reportedly interested in bringing Lester back to Boston, but if he chooses to sign elsewhere you would have to think that Hamel would become the Red Sox number one target.

The Phillies trading of Cole Hamels seems imminent. The front office is looking to rebuild this team, and Hamels would help do that with the package of prospects that he would command. If/when the Phillies decide to deal the 2008 World Series MVP they need to make sure they get a decent return. The Phillies haven’t had much luck in recent memory trading proven talent for prospects. Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence are a few names that come to mind. The trading of Cole Hamels could help shape the franchise for years to come, or keep the Phillies right were they are now; Dead last.

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On A.J. Burnett Going To The Pirates

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, November 18, 2014 03:15 PM Comments: 5

A.J. Burnett didn’t have the best time in his one-year stint with the Phillies. After a start on April 11 against the Marlins, he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia–or, in other words, a part of his abdomen was bulging or protruding where it should not have been. The injury is not the type to fix itself with rest, and Burnett elected to pitch through the pain, rather than have surgery.

The result, at least in my opinion, was a decidedly sub-par A.J. Burnett pitching for the Phillies. His ERA was more than a full run above what he posted in 2013. His K% was down, BB% was up, and his velocity was nearly a full MPH lower on average than in 2013. He relied on his slider much more than he has in the past, and neglected his fastball.

Still, made 34 starts, which was tied for most in the NL and tied for a career high. He tossed 213.2 innings, which was good for 7th in the NL, and the 2nd most of his career. He threw 3472 pitches–2nd in the NL and also 2nd most of his career.

My point here is that he fought through his hernia injury and gave the Phillies all he could. What did he get in return? A whole lotta criticism from fans and media alike. Now, I understand that it’s fair to criticize his performance. He didn’t have a good year. But that criticism should also come with praise for what he gave the Phils. Had he elected to do the surgery, the Phils would’ve had a really tough time filling his spot in the rotation. The entire dynamic of the season would’ve been different. We may not have seen Jerome Williams. We might have been stuck with Sean O’Sullivan and another minor leaguer in the rotation.

During the season Burnett hinted at not wanting to pitch in 2015. When that decision had to be made, however, he decided that he did want to pitch. Just not for the Phillies. He declined his player option–which was a cool $12.75 million. He then signed a contract with the Pirates for $8.5 million–more than $4 million left on the table. He lost out on 1/3 of what he would’ve made with the Phillies to get the heck out of Philadelphia. He clearly did not enjoy his time here, and the outlook of another bad season in 2015 could not have been too appealing to him. With the Pirates, he has a shot to compete for a playoff spot next year, and I think he will be happier than he was here. And I can’t blame him.

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Royals Interested In Howard

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, November 11, 2014 03:44 PM Comments: 18

Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote Monday night that the Kansas City Royals have had internal discussions about possibly acquiring Phillies first basemen Ryan Howard. The Royals would see Howard as a fit to replace Billy Butler as the teams designated hitter. Howard is owed $60 million dollars and the Phillies will likely have to eat most of that money.

While the report that the Phillies may have found a taker for Howard is exciting to some, Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net says its not even close. Salisbury cites a source that says the Royals interest in Howard is way overblown and that “teams discuss every player this time of year.”

Its no secret that the Phillies are actively looking to move the 2006 NL MVP who has likely played his last game ever in Phillies pinstripes. A Howard trade is not a matter of “if” but “when” at this point.

  • 18 Comments
 

Phillies Meet With Tomas’ Agent; Hamels Updates No-Trade List

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, November 10, 2014 04:55 PM Comments: 17

NLCS Dodgers Phillies BaseballComcast Sports Net’s Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Phillies have met with Yasmany Tomas’ agent Jay Alou. Salisbury reports that while the Phillies and Alou have just entered into discussions no offers have been exchanged.

The Phillies are widely considered the favorite to land the 23-year old slugging Cuban outfielder. Tomas is expected to be a $100 million dollar signing, breaking Rusney Castillo’s deal with the Red Sox (seven years for $72.5 million) last August. Many do not believe Tomas is looking for a seven or eight year deal, but more of a four to five year deal. The Phillies have been actively trying to tap into the Cuban market in recent years. They were in on the Cubs Jorge Solar, the Dodgers Yasiel Puig, the Red Sox’ Rusney Castillo, and they landed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. There is no expected timetable for Tomas to sign.

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is reporting that starting pitcher Cole Hamels has updated his 20 team no trade list and the Boston Red Sox are on it. Rosenthal goes on to say that this does not necessarily mean Hamels would reject a deal to Boston, but more likely he would like any team that is interested in acquiring him to pick up his $20 million dollar option for 2019.

This is a smart move by Hamels who gives himself some leverage with this move. It was not announced if the Cubs were also one of the 20 teams that was on the list, but you would have to think they are. The Cubs claimed Hamels off waivers in August but were unable to come to a deal for the 30-year old left hander. The Red Sox and Phillies were both very active this season scouting each others farm systems, and were/are seen as the favorite to land Hamels if he is indeed dealt this offseason. Both the Cubs and the Red Sox have very deep farm systems.

  • 17 Comments
 

2014 Player Reviews: Jerome Williams

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, November 03, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 11

PHOTO: AP/Chris Carlson

PHOTO: AP/Chris Carlson

The Phillies claimed pitcher Jerome Williams off waivers from the Rangers back on August 10. They needed starting pitching help, and likely didn’t want to go with Sean O’Sullivan for the 5th spot in the rotation.

Williams, however, didn’t appear to be all that good of an option at the time. He posted a 6.71 ERA for the Astros and Rangers up to that point in 2014. Many Phillies fans didn’t even know who he was, had never even heard his name before. We cleared that up, though.

But then something great happened. He was good. Not good-for-a-fifth-starter good, either. He posted a 2.83(!!!) ERA for the Phils in nine starts. The 32 year old averaged just over 6.1 innings and about 2.2 runs (including unearned) per start. For comparison, Cole Hamels averaged between 6.2 and 7.0 innings and exactly two runs per start, and A.J. Burnett averaged just under 6.1 innings and 3.58 runs per start.

Williams, who generally used his fastball and sinker the most, never really pitched that well, despite his outstanding ERA. His K% was just 16.5% and his BB% was 7.4%. League averages for NL starters were 19.5% and 7.1%. His K-BB% was 9.1%, with the league average being 12.4%. Many of his other stats were at or close to league average.

One thing that sticks out, however, was his BABIP. While he was surrendering around the league average in line drives, ground balls, and fly balls, the ones that were in play were turned into outs at a higher rate than average–his BABIP was .257, and the league average was .294. .257 was the 8th-lowest among NL starters with at least 50 innings pitched. Combine that with his solid (8.5%) HR/FB rate, and we’ve got a pretty good explanation for his great ERA, despite his average peripherals.

GRADE: A+

I don’t see how Jerome Williams can receive any other grade. He came to the desperate-for-starting-pitching-help Phillies and gave them all that they could ask for and way more. I would feel pretty comfortable saying that Williams’ performance-to-expectations ratio was the highest on the Phils. He was outstanding, and pitched himself into a new contract in Philadelphia.

  • 11 Comments
 

Phillies Bring Back Jerome Williams With One-Year Deal

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, October 22, 2014 12:14 AM Comments: 17

081214-williams-jerome-600Jerome Williams will be returning to The Phillies after agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million. This past season, Williams went 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts with the Phillies.

Before coming to Philadelphia, Williams spent some time with both the Astros and Rangers and went 2-5 with a 6.71 ERA in 28 appearances. He seemed to find a groove once he landed in Philadelphia, with his best start coming against the NL Central-champion Cardinals. In that start, Williams went eight innings while giving up just one run on five hits.

With the health of Cliff Lee and the uncertain return of A.J. Burnett, the rotation is a huge question mark going into 2015. The Phillies are hoping that Williams can help by duplicating the success he had last season.

  • 17 Comments
 

Phillies Nation: Episode 24 Season Wrap-Up

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, October 08, 2014 01:22 PM Comments: 3

On the season finale of Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey wrap up the Phillies’ 2014 season. They pinpoint what went wrong in 2014 and offer opinions on who will stay, who will return, and what the Phillies need to do to return to relevance. The guys also draft their 2015 Phillies starting rotation and everyday lineup.

Tommy Greene returns for a final major league pitching tip with his On the Mound segment and Ryann crowns this season’s Batter Inbox champion – it comes down to the wire!

A big thank you goes out to Phillies Nation presenting sponsor BQ Basement Systems, location sponsor Field House Sports & Beer Hall and all this year’s sponsors. Also, a hat tip goes out to the Phillies Nation team and crew at 20/20 Visual Media for their excellent production of the show.
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Phillies Nation: Episode 23 – Priorities for 2015

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, September 25, 2014 11:46 AM Comments: 0

As we near the end of the season, Pat and Corey discuss the Phillies priorities for the 2015 season. In particular, they breakdown the need for better production from the 3-4-5 positions in the lineup. With the free agent market featuring Yasmani Tomas, see who else is out there for the Phils to pursue.

We also talk with Len Epstein, the illustrator of the popular Phillie Phanatic giveaway books and former Sesame Street employee. Dr. Lenny of Summit Spine and Wellness returns to explains oblique injuries that players face, including Andrew McCutchen.

Plus we have hitting tips from Kevin Wilson and Matt Stairs and Tommy Greene explains what the legendary Harry Kalas meant to himself and the Phillies as a team.

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