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Posts Tagged ‘Espn’

Phillies Uniforms, and the Color Blue

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, September 01, 2014 12:30 PM Comments: 11

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:

cliff lee

JonathanPapelbonCarlosRuiz

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?

  • 11 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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Just Who Is Jerome Williams?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 25, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 13

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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Byrd On Pace For (Slightly) Historic Season

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Mon, August 18, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 17

Marlon+Byrd+Philadelphia+Phillies+v+Texas+Gey0d7AmFRKlIn this forgettable string of baseball games that we are calling the 2014 Phillies season, there is not a single thing we could look at and say “yeah, I’m going to remember this for years and years”. However, things aren’t all bad. The bullpen has been surprisingly strong, and a few hitters have been swinging the bat well–particularly the gentlemen that patrols right field for the Phils.

Marlon Byrd has been one of the most consistent offensive players on the Phillies in 2014, and he’s 36 years old.

Let’s go back to last November. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. signed Byrd to a 2-year contract, and, at the time received a load of criticism. The Phillies needed outfield help, and there were guys like Nelson Cruz still available.

He leads the team in home runs and slugging, and is 2nd on the team in OPS, doubles, and RBI.

He has missed just two(!) of 124 games this season. He’s slashing–at the time of writing this post–.270/.320/.473, has hit 22 home runs, and has 70 RBIs. By the end of the year, he’ll likely have somewhere around 28 home runs and 90 RBI.  A season with those numbers, at his age, would be among the best seasons all time for the Phillies.

The last time we saw something like this was in 2009 when Raul Ibanez had a monster season offensively. He hit 34 home runs and collected 93 RBI that year, when he was 37. Prior to that, we haven’t seen anything like this since Hall-Of-Famer Mike Schmidt had back-to-back years of 35+ home runs and 113+ RBI in 1986 and 1987. Beyond Ibanez and Schmidt, the only other player in Phils history to reach 28 home runs and 90 RBI at age 36 or older was Cy Williams in 1927.

That’s three players, one of which is an all-time great. If Byrd can manage to tally 6 more home runs and 20 more RBI in the final month and a half of the season, which should be easily attainable at his current pace, he’ll join them.  And if he does (or even if he doesn’t), it’ll go down as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful season for the Phillies.

 

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Why The Phillies Failed At The Trade Deadline

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, August 01, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 34

Mo Money Mo Problems

Yesterday, the 4 PM MLB trade deadline came and went without a single move by the Phillies. Marlon Byrdthe player thought to be the most likely to be dealt, and the one who should have been dealt for at least something, didn’t go anywhere. A.J. Burnett wasn’t traded, and neither were Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, or Cole Hamels.

Around the league, Jon Lester was traded along with Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes. David Price was traded to the Tigers in a three team deal. John Lackey was sent to the Cardinals, and Martin Prado to the Yankees. The Phillies? Nada.

Continue reading Why The Phillies Failed At The Trade Deadline

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Rollins: “I can’t be traded”

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 19, 2014 05:40 PM Comments: 36

Jimmy Rollins reiterated today that he will not be going anywhere, responding to an earlier report from Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Olney said that members of the organization would like to move on from Rollins, as he has not taken on a leadership role in the way they’ve wanted.

Rollins spoke at length about the issue today in Clearwater and told the Inquirer this:

Rollins, who has a full no-trade clause, was relaxed when discussing the matter and didn’t seem irritated for one simple reason.

“Because they can’t trade me,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care which way it has tried to be twisted or said, if it is exactly how it was said or if it was said, I can’t be traded.”

Sounds like a man who knows what he wants. And Since Rollins owns the 10/5 rights, he can decline any deal, and it appears he will.

Ruben Amaro seemed disgusted when asked about this:

“It’s absolutely silly, It’s absolute silliness. Jimmy Rollins is our shortstop,” Amaro said. “One of the ways we’re going to be able to win is with Jimmy being Jimmy. In fact, those are the kinds of articles that get thrown out there, not only are they a distraction, they’re dangerous and they’re untrue.”

So which is it? Do high ranking members of the Phillies want Rollins out? Or do you believe Amaro, that these are dangerous accusations?

This seems to be a topic that will not go away for the foreseeable future, and Rollins seems to care not.

  • 36 Comments
 

ESPN Report: Rollins Needs to Lead or Leave

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 18, 2014 08:24 AM Comments: 71

(AP)

(AP)

Sources tell ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Phillies organization is fed up with Jimmy Rollins and would like to go in a new direction at shortstop. A source also tells Olney it about the work ethic:

“…sources indicate that some in influential positions in the Phillies’ organization want Rollins to lead, by investing himself more thoroughly in daily work and setting a strong example for others. If Rollins isn’t going to do that, the sentiment of some is that the team would be better off moving him as soon as possible.”

Basically from the time Rollins signed a new contract with the Phillies, he’s had to field questions about lifting his no-trade clause, something he will not do. J-Roll has been quoted as wanting to break Mike Schmidt’s franchise record for hits, and topping other categories as well. If/when broken, the records seem to hold little value within the hearts of the fans as the team has recently been called “terrible” by scouts around baseball.

At the beginning of last season, I asked him if he would speak up more because so many of the other veteran voices were either injured or gone and flat out, he said no. Rollins said that he’s always been this way, so why change now.

Manager Ryne Sandberg benched Rollins for a few games last week, perhaps sending a message to the former MVP. But Sandberg said that wasn’t so, that he’s just monitoring his veterans playing days.

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Ruf Lost Among Historic Rookie Class?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, September 25, 2013 06:00 AM Comments: 13

Headed into last night’s game against the Marlins, Phillies outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf was ranked sixth among all rookies in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging, was third in drawing walks, fifth in home runs, third in OPS, or on-base percentage plus slugging, third in wOBA, fourth in wRC+, and second in ISO, or isolated power. In a normal year, Ruf would receive consideration for the Rookie of the Year award and perhaps receive down ballot support. But this is no normal year.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tackled assigning the winner of the Rookie of the Year race. In addition to naming Jose Fernandez his pick for runaway Rookie of the Year, Crasnick named 14 other players who are having great seasons. Some, including power-hitting Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko and power-hitting Braves utility player Evan Gattis, fall behind Ruf in all three triple-slash categories. Yet, there has been no mention of Ruf. What gives? Continue reading Ruf Lost Among Historic Rookie Class?

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Braves Get to Martin Early, Hold On to Win

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, August 13, 2013 09:41 PM Comments: 3

Rookie righty Ethan Martin got his second crack at the Braves Tuesday night and improved upon his first showing against his favorite team from his childhood. Martin threw five innings, giving up three runs, all earned, while striking out six and walking just two. Yet, the three runs Martin gave up early, one from a second inning Kris Medlen double and two more via a NL batting leader Chris Johnson homer were all the Braves needed to put away the Phils 3-1.

Medlen Crafty

Medlen went seven strong for the Braves, giving up just one run, earned, while scattering five hits and one walk. David Carpenter pitched a perfect eighth as a bridge to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Kimbrel earned his 37th save of the year.

Utley Earning Keep

Chase Utley had another three-hit game, his 24th multi-hit game of the season, to raise his average to .286, just one point off his career average. As Pat pointed out when Utley signed his extension, Utley is still a very good player. Utley now only trails Cardinals late-bloomer Matt Carpenter among NL second baseman in FanGraph’s calculation of the advanced stat WAR and currently ranks as the 37th best hitter in all of baseball by the same measure.

Small-Sample Silver Linings

Darin Ruf reached base twice with a single and a hit by pitch. In 125 PA, Ruf is hitting a respectable .274 with a slugging percentage of .515, which is second on the team, behind Domonic Brown. Bill Baer of ESPN’s Sweet Spot blog recently cautioned that Ruf likely isn’t a .300 hitter and that some of his success has been do to random chance and small sample. While I tend to agree with those sentiments, Ruf continues to be one of the lone bright spots on the Phillies offense and, despite never playing there, looks comfortable in right field. At least to the standards that Delmon Young set.

Phillies relievers Luis Garcia and Jake Diekman pitched the sixth and seventh and appear to be two of the salvageable pieces from the 2013 bullpen in small samples as well. Garcia continues to flirt with 95 and 96 MPH pitches, enough gas to let him challenge hitters. Garcia pitched a perfect sixth before getting into trouble in the seventh. Diekman bailed out Garcia with a double play. Both have struggled with keeping runners off base, particularly Garcia who, in 14.1 innings pitched, has a 1.40 WHIP, which would put him around 79th out of 103 if he had enough innings to qualify. Meanwhile, Diekman’s WHIP sits at 1.76, which would put him about 103rd. If either can control their walks, but have effective enough stuff to be contributing arms in the 2014 bullpen.

The Phils look to win the series tomorrow as John Lannan squares off against Brandon Beachy.

  • 3 Comments
 

Glanville Gives Thoughts on Dutch, Schilling, Trade Deadline

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, August 07, 2013 11:01 AM Comments: 4

Glanville was one of the few reasons to watch the Phillies during the late-90s. (AP)

Over the weekend, I got the opportunity to speak with former Phillies outfielder – and current ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst – Doug Glanville. A Phillie from 1998-2002 and again in 2004, Glanville is one of the smartest, freshest minds at ESPN. We discussed several topics from the trade deadline to Riley Cooper.

Glanville told me he was surprised the Phillies did not make any moves at the deadline, saying it seemed like the perfect time to unload some veteran players. However, Glanville did say it probably came down to other teams not wanting to part with much, especially for larger commodities like Cliff Lee or Chase Utley.

In regards to the deadline itself, Glanville said players can’t help but notice what is going on around them. We tend to think of players as pieces of a puzzle, but for them, there is so much uncertainty around July 31 date and beyond, that it is noticeable. Glanville reminds us to think of everything going on outside of the rumors; family being involved, kids being uprooted, etc.

We also discussed alumni weekend. Glanville called Curt Schilling one of the fiercest competitors he ever had the privilege of playing with. The former centerfielder also gets to work with Schilling and John Kruk at ESPN, and said it’s just like hanging out in the locker room at the Vet.

His memories of Philadelphia were recalled fondly. Glanville spoke glowingly of the city, saying he loved his time here, mentioning Harry Kalas as a a man that certainly stood out. Continue reading Glanville Gives Thoughts on Dutch, Schilling, Trade Deadline

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