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Phillies Uniforms, and the Color Blue

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, September 01, 2014 12:30 PM Comments: 12

Happy Labor Day, Nation! Here’s a little change-of-pace post on the Phillies uniforms.

I was browsing the Phillies hat selection on Lids.com and came across this. That hat was worn by the Phillies in the 2000′s as an “Interleague Hat”, as they wore it, as an alternate, for when they played teams from the American League. It got me thinking: what would the Phillies look like if they added more blue to the uniform?

In recent years, they have worn the new “Diamond Era” batting practice (BP) hat for a few games, both home and away. But it kind of looks out of place, since the rest of the uniform lacks any kind of blue, save for the blue stars that dot the i’s on the front logo.

So, my idea is to add more blue to the entire uniform. Let’s start with hat. I would change the normal red hat with a white “P” to something that resembles the current BP hat. Something like this.

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Now for the home pinstripes. I’d like to see blue outlining on the “Phillies” script on the front, and on the name and number on the back. It would look like this:

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For the gray away uniform, I would make the same changes, and add a little blue to the stripe on the pants.

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Some History

The Phillies have had blue in their uniform in the past, as well. The current “day game” home alternate uniform is based off an old Phillies uniform from 1948. (H/t Uni Watch). Also, the classic throwback jerseys that you see around Philadelphia and at Citizens Bank Park are powder blue, and were worn for road games in the 70′s and 80′s. The Phils also had an away jersey prototype that featured “Philadelphia” across the chest (the norm for away jerseys in MLB), and a blue outline on the sleeve numbers. That is taken from this, by Bill Henderson (via Dan Fuller here).

What do you think? Do you want to see more blue in the Phillies uniforms? Or should they stick with the classic red look?

  • 12 Comments
 

Ken Giles, And The Battle For Closer In 2015

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, August 29, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 7

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Szagola)

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Szagola)

Ken Giles has been good this year. Really good. The 23 year old, flamethrowing reliever was called up on June 8 after Mike Adams was placed on the disabled list with shoulder issues. Giles had a 1.88 ERA and 12 saves in the minors for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley prior to the call up.

He was only expected to fill in for Adams and provide some spark in the late innings ahead of Jonathan Papelbon.

But he’s done so much more.

In 32 appearances and 33.2 innings, Giles has given up just six runs–five earned, good for an ERA of 1.34. He doesn’t give up many home runs (0.27 per 9), and doesn’t allow much contact–battersare making contact at a rate 67.4% against him, 4th in the NL. He has a 5.33 K/BB ratio, which is 8th in the NL (relievers, min 30 IP), and largely due to his absurd amount (48) of strikeouts. Among NL relievers with at least 30 innings pitched, both his K/9 (12.83) and his K% (38.1%) are in the top five. An interesting and unrelated note–Jake Diekman is right up there with Giles in both those categories.

Giles has an average velocity of 97.1 on his fastball, second in MLB to only cyborg Aroldis Chapman of the Reds. He also throws a nasty slider, and, according to PITCHf/x data, is the 16th most valuable in the league. 32 of his 48 strikeouts (two thirds) have come via the slider, and opponents are hitting just .137/.154/.157 against it. He’s given up just one extra base hit in 208 sliders thrown (0.48%).

The fastball-slider combo reminds me of another Phillies closer–Brad Lidge. His fastball velocity hovered around 95 MPH before he began to lose it (the average fell to about 89 MPH by 2011) and his slider was valued at 4th in all of baseball from 2007-2011. About 81.8% of his strikeouts came via his slider, and opponents hit just .190/.251/.301 against it. They’d only make contact on 54.8% of swings against it, and hit just 35 extra base hits in 2202 total pitches seen (1.6%).

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

PHOTO: (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

The current closer for the Phillies–Jonathan Papelbon–has been as good as ever in 2014. He has an ERA of 1.60 (11th in NL), a K/BB ratio of 4.15 (21st in NL, and a fastball valued at 4th best in the NL. Many of his numbers this year are somewhere near his career bests, even though his fastball velocity is down. I should also mention that a few of his numbers are somewhere near his career lows as well. He gets a lot of flack for his comments to the media and his slow pace on the mound, but there’s no denying he’s been good this year.

But what about next year? The Phillies have been openly trying to trade Papelbon, or “Cinco Ocho”, as he likes to call himself–no no avail. In that article, Ken Rosenthal ponders that the lack of interest in Papelbon might be due to his falling velocity and his personality, but that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. doesn’t think so.

Regardless, the Phillies will have to make a decision on Papelbon for next year, because Giles seems ready to take over at closer and I don’t think it’s likely that Papelbon can continue to pitch at this level. If they want to go with Giles, they will have to get rid of Papelbon in some capacity, whether it be via trade or release, because Papelbon will not want to be a setup man, even though he’s really helped groom Giles this year.

I think Giles deserves it, and I think Papelbon will regress next year, and has rubbed Phillies fans the wrong way too often for the Phillies to sell him as the closer over Giles in 2015.

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September Phillies and Eagles Tickets Most Expensive Since 2012

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, August 28, 2014 07:33 PM Comments: 1

A prolonged intersection of professional football and baseball in October has been rather scarce in Philadelphia over the past two years. While the Phillies will again miss postseason play this year, the Eagles have made the playoffs twice since 2010, though have failed to move beyond the Wild Card Game in both 2010 and 2013. The Phillies’ lackluster play in recent seasons has barred them from the playoffs and a winning record since 2011, where they lost in the divisional series. Though postseason success has been virtually nonexistent in the city of Brotherly Love since the Phillies played in the championship series in 2010, the average secondary ticket price for both teams this year in September and October has been its highest since 2012, when the Phillies had an average price of $48 and Eagles tickets had a $226.85 average at home.

According to TiqIQ, 2010 was the most financially successful year for both teams on the secondary ticket market. Both the Phillies and Eagles recorded their highest average secondary price at home and that year served as the last time both teams entered the playoffs in the same season. In 2010, the September average secondary for Phillies at Citizens Bank Park was $124.73 and postseason average rose to $407.79 in October. The Eagles, who posted a 10-6 record that year, saw an average secondary price of $263.76 in September and October for home games at Lincoln Financial Field. The Phillies would ultimately lose to the San Francisco Giants in six games in the NLCS while the Eagles suffered a Wild Card Game loss to the Packers.

2011 saw average secondary price decrease for both Eagles and Phillies tickets following postseason entrances from both teams. Continue reading September Phillies and Eagles Tickets Most Expensive Since 2012

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Phillies Nation: Episode 21 – The Phillies Future, Hamels Foundation Event, Victorino’s Injury

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, August 28, 2014 05:26 PM Comments: 0

This week on Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey discuss the future of the Phillies this year and next, including some options in the international market. Ian joins us for the final installment of his exclusive interview with Phillies legendary pitcher Curt Simmons.

Also, Natalie works the red carpet at the Hamels Foundation Diamonds & Denim event. She gets the scoop from players like Chase Ultey, Ben Revere and Mario Hollands as well as Cole and Heidi Hamels.

Dr. Lenny Roberts of Summit Spine and Wellness makes an appearance to explain the injuries plaguing former-Phillie Shane Victorino. And of course, Tommy Greene has your pitching tips and Ryann Williams brings you reader comments and questions.

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Papelbon’s Legacy in Philly

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Wed, August 27, 2014 12:56 PM Comments: 40

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Love him, or hate him, Jonathan Papelbon is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career, and is climbing the ranks on the Phillies’ all-time closers list.

Last night, Papelbon converted his 33rd save on the season, and his 100th save overall in a Phillies’ uniform, which ties him with Brad Lidge for 4th all-time in Phillies’ history. Since signing a 4-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies back in November of 2011, Papelbon has been great despite a “down” year last year when he only recorded 29 saves in 36 opportunities while posting a 2.92 ERA and a 1.135 WHIP.

This season, Papelbon has truly been “lights out.” His 33 saves ranks 9th in MLB, while his ERA (1.60) ranks 2nd among closers with 20+ saves, and his 2.9 WAR is tied for first among all closers.

Since giving up three ERs against the Giants back on July 23rd, Pap has been almost untouchable, giving up just one ER, while recording 10 saves and 17 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched over that stretch.

Papelbon’s best season in terms of ERA came back in 2006 with the Red Sox. That season, Papelbon finished with a .92 ERA while converting 35 of 41 save opportunities. His career high in saves came back in 2008, when he saved 41 games in 46 opportunities with the Red Sox while posting a 2.34 ERA

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This year, Papelbon is having a hybrid of his 2006 and 2008 seasons, and it is resulting in one of the best seasons of his career. With 29 games left to play, Papelbon could set a new career high in saves if he is able to record nine more.

At age 33, Papelbon’s fastball velocity is not what it used to be, but he has been able to consistently hit 92-93 with his fastball, and has utilized his breaking pitches effectively. He has learned to become more of a pitcher this season instead of relying on a 95+ fastball to blow by hitters. This is proven by his strikeouts. With only 54 SO in 56.1 innings pitched this season, Pap is on pace to finish with his 2nd lowest number of SO in a full season.

It seems like he has finally adjusted. Pretty nicely I might add.

So where does this leave Papelbon on the all-time Phillies’ closers list? Pretty high.

With his 100th save in a Phillies’ uniform last night, Papelbon is now only 12 behind Jose Mesa’s franchise high 112 saves. With one year still left on his 4-year contract, Papelbon will be the Phillies’ all-time leader in saves when it is all said and done. However, what will his legacy be in the minds of Philadelphia fans? His attitude, and some of the things that have come out of his mouth have rubbed some fans the wrong way during his time in Philadelphia. Love him, or hate him, Papelbon is having one whale of a season, and could very well be the best closer in Phillies’ history when his time in Philadelphia comes to an end.

 

  • 40 Comments
 

Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, and RBIs

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, August 26, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 76

It’s a been argued over and over again, especially in Philadelphia, where Ryan Howard–one of the best RBI men in MLB over the years (2nd overall to only Miguel Cabrera since 2006) calls home.

And no, I’m not talking about whether to refer to multiple runs batted in as “RBI”, or “RBIs” (I’ll be using the latter in this post). I’m talking about the meaning of the stat.

“RBIs don’t matter!”, say many believers in advanced metrics and Sabermetrics.

Those that disagree tend to favor, from what I’ve seen, all the more traditional statistics, like batting average, pitcher wins, and things of that sort.

Continue reading Ryan Howard, Ben Revere, and RBIs

  • 76 Comments
 

Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 25, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 14

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

PHOTO: (AP/Chris Carlson)

Jerome Williams is not a household name. Many Phillies fans are still wondering just who he is. And I don’t blame them. In the scorebook, he’s the guy who’s thrown three straight gems for the Phillies.

August 12: 5.1 innings and 2 earned runs against a tough Angels team.

August 18: 7 innings, one earned run against the Mariners.

August 24: 8 innings, one earned run against the Cardinals.

All together, that’s just four earned runs given up in 20.1 innings–a 1.77 ERA.

But who is he? The 32 year old grew up in Hawaii, and prior to coming to the Phillies, he’s played for (starting with most recent) the Rangers, Astros, Angels, Nationals, Cubs, and Giants.

Continue reading Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

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Jerome Williams Making Case for a Spot in 2015 Rotation

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Sun, August 24, 2014 09:12 PM Comments: 4

Journey-man right-hander Jerome Williams delivered another great game in his third game in a Phillies uniform Sunday afternoon, and is definitely starting to get some attention from the Phillies and their fans.

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The 32-year-old has been a different pitcher since coming to Philly. When he was with Houston and Texas earlier this season, Williams struggled mightily, going 2-5 with an ERA of 6.71 between the two ball clubs. However, in three starts with the Phillies, Williams is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA.

Sunday’s effort was his best yet, as he went 8 innings while giving up just one run on 5 hits to a very good Cardinals lineup.

So, could Williams’ performance make him a candidate for the Phillies’ 2015 rotation?

“He could be. We’ll have time to continue to watch. He’s had three outstanding games for us.” Ruben Amaro said after today’s game.

With A.J. Burnett possibly retiring after this season, and Kyle Kendrick’s future up in the air, the Phillies could use some help in the rotation next year.

Will Williams be a guy the Phillies can rely on? We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • 4 Comments
 

Free Dom Brown (Again)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sun, August 24, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 14

After last night’s 12-inning loss to the Cardinals, Domonic Brown made note of the fact that he hasn’t been playing every day. And he’s right–he’s had just 41 plate appearances and seven starts since July 30. He is dead last on the team with a -1.7 WAR (prior to last night’s game). He has a .613 OPS, and is hitting line drives at a lower rate than even Ben Revere.

It’s no question that he has struggled immensely this year. He’s looked horrid in the field at a new position and just as bad at the plate. The Phillies even brought in Grady Sizemore to help make up for Brown’s lack of production. Recently, we’ve been seeing Darin Ruf in left.

But that was a mistake.

Sizemore is 32, Ruf is 28, and they have no real future (Ruf might) with the ballclub. They are just stealing at-bats from Brown. Dom isn’t going to get out of this slump by sitting on the bench. He isn’t going to find his groove by pinch-hitting more often than he starts. He needs the at-bats, needs to see more playing time if the Phillies want to see any progression.

I’m not saying that his hitting and fielding slump is 100% on how he’s being managed, either. The blame goes all around. From Ruben Amaro Jr. to Ryne Sandberg, to Brown.

But unless the Phillies are ready to give up on him (and that is certainly plausible), he needs to be freed.

  • 14 Comments
 

Can Ben Revere Win The Batting Title?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, August 23, 2014 11:10 AM Comments: 12

All Placido Polanco Ben Revere does is hit. He’s been a hit machine recently, and has pushed himself up to 2nd in the NL in batting average, only behind Justin Morneau of the Rockies.

But can he pass Morneau? Revere has been on an outstanding hot streak since June, leading MLB in average over that span. He also hasn’t struck out or walked much, either.

Why he will win it

Revere has finally settled into his groove. He’s seeing the ball extremely well, and his lack of patience is made up for with his stellar ability to make contact. Only Denard Span of the Nationals makes contact at a higher rate than Revere.

He’s on a hot streak right now, and his confidence at the plate is at a season high. He’s making it look easy.

Morneau, on the other hand, hasn’t been as good lately. If (a big ‘if’) Revere doesn’t cool off, he’ll win the batting title easily.

Why he won’t

While Revere undoubtedly can make contact with the ball at an extremely high rate, the contact he makes isn’t necessarily good. He leads MLB in contact %, but also ground ball %, and obviously ground ball/fly ball %. He doesn’t hit many solid line drives, as most of his hits are ground ball singles.

He doesn’t walk, and doesn’t hit for any kind of power, which means his plate appearances usually end in either a single or an out. Out of 477 plate appearances so far, only 29 have not ended in either a single or an out.

He can easily be dealt with by having pitcher sort of “pitch around” him, knowing he will still swing. Although he doesn’t chase balls out of the zone too much, he hardly ever sees pitches out of the zone. He’s seeing the most in-the-zone pitches in all of baseball according to Fangraphs. However, he’s 6th in MLB in the rate at which he makes contact with pitches outside the zone. If pitchers pitch around him more, I think Revere will struggle a ton.

There’s also the injury factor to consider. He is often limping around the field after his PAs.

Verdict

I don’t think he’ll do it. I would love to see it, but I just don’t think he will stay this hot through September. I think he’ll cool off and finish in the top 3 in the NL in average. He just doesn’t make enough solid contact to sustain such a high average, in my opinion. However, he’s been fun to watch these last few months, a rarity with this current Phillies team.

  • 12 Comments
 
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