Changes Coming To Phillies Organization

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, August 21, 2014 01:15 PM Comments: 30

According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Phillies will be making many changes throughout the entire organization. He was on 97.5 The Fanatic yesterday with Mike Missanelli, and talked about the state of the Phils organization. He mentioned that, in addition to the changes, he believes that GM Ruben Amaro Jr is unsafe, despite David Montgomery saying that Amaro was not on the hot seat. Listen to the full interview here.

I think the Phillies need to change a lot of things (obviously), and the rumors that Stark is hearing could definitely be a step in the right direction. What do you think?


Spring Training Notes: Abreu, Pettibone

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, February 23, 2014 10:59 AM Comments: 0

Manager Sandberg says Abreu is in “real good baseball shape” for 2014.

The latest from Spring Training as we check in with some of the beat writers:

- According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, Ryne Sandberg says Bobby Abreu is in “real good baseball shape“. Abreu appears to be a lock to make the Phillies as a left-handed bench bat and as their fourth or fifth outfielder. In Salisbury’s piece, Sandberg says that he’s looking to see how Abreu reacts to fastballs in particular to ensure Abreu’s bat speed is still there. Matt Gelb reports that Abreu is going to “…enjoy this like . . . you don’t have any idea,” stating that Abreu is excited to rejoin the Phillies franchise.

- Additionally, Salisbury is reporting that Jonathan Pettibone is throwing off of flat ground five days after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. Salisbury is reporting that new pitching coach Bob McClure video taped Pettibone’s mechanics in recent days. The goal is to focus on Pettibone’s lower half and put more emphasis on his legs and less impact on Pettibone’s arm and shoulder.

- And finally, according to Chris Branch, Roy Halladay feels right at home at Phillies camp as an instructor and both Sandberg and the players alike enjoy having him there. Branch quotes Halladay as stating coaching may be in his future but that his top priority right now are his two children: “Once I see how things work, yeah, I’d love to continue to do it and if I have more time, do more. I’ll always continue doing it. It’s just a matter of starting to figure out how much I can do. Once the kids are gone, maybe it’s something to do full time.”


UPDATE: Phillies Turn in Unsigned Draft Picks to NCAA

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, February 22, 2014 12:18 PM Comments: 70

UPDATE, 2/22/2014, 12:18 PM:

And according to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, that’s all the Phillies will be saying about Ben Wetzler:




UPDATE, 2/22/2014, 12:07 PM:

According to multiple sources, the Phillies have released the following statement regarding the situation:

“The Phillies did participate in the NCAA investigation and a ruling has been issued. We believe it is inappropriate to comment further on either the negotiation with the player or the action taken by the NCAA.” 

(H/t Chris Branch, Matt Gelb)

Continue reading UPDATE: Phillies Turn in Unsigned Draft Picks to NCAA


Could Mayberry’s Days as a Phillie Be Numbered?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, February 18, 2014 09:02 PM Comments: 13

The big news from Spring Training today came from comments made by manager Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg’s comments were in reference to where he sees a number of players on the 2014 roster. There were some surprises, Darin Ruf will see equal time at first base and left field, some news was not as surprising, Jesse Biddle will likely start the year in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and then there was Sandberg’s comments that Marlon Byrd, Domonic Brown, and Cesar Hernandez would be options to back up Ben Revere in center fielder. Conspicuous by his absence in these discussions? John Mayberry Jr.

Mayberry, 30, hit a career-worst .227/.286/.391 with 11 HR in 384 PA and saw his generally previously-positive platoon splits (.306/.358/.595 in 120 PA in 2011 against lefties) drop precipitously (.240/.296/.460 in 108 PA in 2013 against lefties). With Sandberg mentioning seemingly everyone but Mayberry, was this just an accidental omission or could Mayberry’s days as a Phillie be numbered?

There is one particular factor working against this theory: Mayberry signed a guaranteed contract, which is somewhat odd for an arbitration-eligible player. Out of options, Matt Gelb speculates that the guarantee could have helped keep Mayberry’s arbitration number down. If Mayberry, like countless other arbitration-eligible players, had a non-guaranteed deal, he could have been released during Spring Training for somewhere between 1/6 and 1/4 the value of his contract. The Phillies would now be on the hook for his entire contract should they waive him during Spring Training.

Other notes from today:

- RHP Mike Adams plans to be back in early-to-mid April but not in time for Opening Day. LHP Cole Hamels plans to be back in mid-April. Both will throw bullpen sessions next week, Adams on February 27, Hamels on February 25.

- RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez showed “rust” according to Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure but also reported that Gonzalez was able to keep the ball down in the zone and use his change-up effectively

- Gonzalez and Biddle threw to live hitters today

(Sources: Chris Branch, News JournalTodd Zolecki, MLB.com)


Papelbon Positive, Healthy Headed Into 2014

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, February 17, 2014 09:45 PM Comments: 14

There was a lot of buzz this afternoon and early evening surrounding a somewhat odd press conference held today by Jonathan Papelbon. Chris Branch of the News Journal has all of the full quotes here, where, among other things Papelbon said he was feeling positive and healthy. Here is the Cliff’s Notes version thanks entirely to Branch:

Papelbon will try to be more positive: “This year, I’m definitely trying to be a lot more of a positive influence and be more upbeat. It starts from Ryno.”

Ryne Sandberg is a positive influence as a manger: “It’s that simple.Yeah, buying in, man. Like every morning we have a meeting with Ryno and we talk about things. If you can’t buy into your manager you’re not going to buy into anything.”

He wasn’t bothered by trade rumors: ”That goes on every year, man. I understand this game is a business. I get that, man. I don’t pay attention to it, man. I’m at home, man. I’ve got kids to watch and Dora The Explorer to watch and all that other mess.”

And Papelbon revealed that he was a bit hurt last season: “I didn’t feel like I was at my healthiest (last season)… I’m feeling great [now].”

So there you have it, folks. Papelbon was a little dinged up in 2013, spent presumably the days leading up to July 31, 2013 watching Dora the Explorer, and Ryne Sandberg has him buying into the Phillies being a success in 2014. Whether or not that helps Papelbon improve his K/9 IP (down 3.51 from 2012 to 2013) or his velocity (down 2.8 MPH comparing 2011 to 2013), remains to be seen.


A’s Claim Savery

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, February 17, 2014 04:00 PM Comments: 3

The Oakland A’s announced on Twitter that they have claimed LHP Joe Savery from the Phillies. Savery, 28, was placed on waivers when the Phillies signed RHP A.J. Burnett. Savery was the Phillies first round pick in 2007 and posted an ERA of 3.15 in 20 IP in 2013.


Phils Designate Savery, Burnett Contract Details Revealed

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, February 16, 2014 11:20 AM Comments: 4


The Phillies have designated Joe Savery for assignment to create room for the newly-signed A.J. Burnett. Savery has a career 4.15 ERA in 41 career MLB appearances and was solid in 2013, posting a 3.15 ERA in 20 IP.

Additionally, the details of Burnett’s contract have emerged. Burnett has signed for $15 million for 2014 with a $1 million buyout after the season, hence the original $16 million that was quoted by many. According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the team has a $15 million option for 2015 and, if the team declines, Burnett can trigger a $7.5 million option of his own. Burnett can earn up to $1.75 million in 2014 and 2015 each if he hits performance targets according to Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark notes that should Burnett exercise his $7.5 million option for 2015, that year could be worth a max of $12.75 million.


Phillies Release Chad Gaudin

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, February 13, 2014 08:49 AM Comments: 11

Like Juan Cruz last year, the Phillies have released a non-roster invitee just as pitchers and catchers began reporting. Chad Gaudin, 30, has reportedly failed his physical and was released by the team this morning according to Matt Gelb of the Inquirer. Gaudin was predicted to compete for a spot in the bullpen and/or the final spot in the rotation.


Phillies 2014 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Starters

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, February 12, 2014 10:23 PM Comments: 3

With pitchers and catchers starting tomorrow, what better time than now to preview the starting pitchers that are non-roster invitees to Phillies camp?

Ian thinks Biddle will be a Phillie some time in 2014. Photo by: Jay Floyd

The Mega Prospect

Jesse Biddle

Ranked 40th by Marc Hulet of FanGraphs, 77th by Keith Law, and 53rd by MLB.com, Germantown Friends’ left-hander Jesse Biddle will be a name on everyone’s horizon in 2014. The 2010 first round pick turns just 23 in October 2014 and is in big league camp for the very first time. In his first nine games at Double-A Reading in 2013, Biddle posted a 2.50 ERA with a .140 BAA, dominating hitters with 10.72 K/9 IP. From the tenth start on, Biddle battled injury and ineffectiveness to post a 4.20 ERA over the remaining stretch of the season. Biddle’s final line (3.59 ERA, .210 BAA) was solid but some dings and nicks had some folks worried about the end of Biddle’s 2013 season.

In 2014, Biddle, last year’s Prospect Nation’s number one prospect, will get a shot to go deep into camp, with a relatively open #5 spot open in the rotation. Biddle is a relative long shot to make the Phillies out of training camp but considering his competition, Roberto Hernandez, Jonathan Pettibone, and Miguel Gonzalez, he may be able to make a surprisingly strong case to see big league time.

Chances of Making Phils out of Spring Training: C-. At 22, Biddle is very, very young. But Biddle showed some success in Double-A Reading even through minor injuries and finished with a career-high in starts and a solid stat line. There are a few scenarios where Biddle could make the team out of Spring Training, particularly involving injuries. It’s a small shot but Biddle has a chance.

Chances of Seeing Time with Phils in 2014: B+. I think Biddle will see time with the Phillies in September if not sooner. The talent is real and the ceiling is greater than Hernandez and Pettibone. The Phillies used ten starters in 2013. Biddle right now sits at about seven or eighth on the Phillies starter depth chart. I think he will get the call in 2014, even for a cameo.

Continue reading Phillies 2014 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Starters


2014 is Year to Play Young Talent

Posted by Martin Shnayder, Wed, February 12, 2014 08:25 AM Comments: 33


Martin says it is time to play the young talent. Including 21-year old Maikel Franco (pictured). Photo by: Jay Floyd

When Ruben Amaro Jr. became the Phillies general manager in November of 2008, the confetti on Broad Street was still fresh on the ground from the World Championship parade. Phillies fans were still celebrating the team’s first World Series in 28 years.

Fast forward 5 years later and those same fans have grown restless. With an aging roster filling up the starting positions and coming off the second consecutive season without a playoff appearance the moral of Phillies fans is as low as it has been in nearly 10 years.

It is clearly time to rebuild. Cody Asche should without question be the everyday third baseman this season. Maikel Franco should see major league time this season splitting first base with Ryan Howard. Darin Ruf finally deserves a full season starting in the major leagues in the outfield. Unfortunately, 35-year-old Jimmy Rollins is blocking a position that Freddy Galvis should be starting at for the majority of the 162 game season.

It is time to see what these young prospects have to offer for the future of this team. The Phillies are stuck playing in a tough division that includes last year’s division champions the Atlanta Braves, a young and hungry Washington Nationals team, and an up and coming New York Mets team filled with young talent. All those teams have previously taken their lumps and have rebuilt with young talent across the board to become contenders according to the oddsmakers at MyTopSportsbooks.com Continue reading 2014 is Year to Play Young Talent

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