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Posts Tagged ‘Espn’

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.

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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.

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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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Free-Falling Phils Swept by Braves

Posted by Alex Lee, Sun, August 04, 2013 11:29 PM Comments: 21

Returning from injury, Cliff Lee had his fourth consecutive shaky start on Sunday.  (PHOTO: AP)

Returning from injury, Cliff Lee had his fourth consecutive shaky start on Sunday. (PHOTO: AP)

Behind rookie lefthander Alex Wood, the Braves completed a sweep of the Phillies on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, winning 4-1 and dropping the Phils to a season low 11 games under .500.  They now trail Atlanta by 16.5 games in the NL East.

Cliff Lee was not himself in his first start in two weeks, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered considering the lackluster state of the Phillies offense right now.  They managed only four hits, three walks and a run against the Braves, who have the second best team ERA in baseball.  John Kruk summed it up best in the ninth inning when he commented that despite only being a three-run game, it had the feel of a blowout.

The Phillies have lost 13 of their last 14 games, and have been swept in three of the five series after the All-Star break.  They are the owners of a minus-88 run differential, which is the worst in the National League and only better than the anemic Houston Astros in all of baseball.  The sweep dropped the Phils to 3-6 on the year against the first place Braves.  Atlanta has now won 10 in a row.

CLIFF LEE SHAKY IN RETURN

- In his first start since July 21, Lee lasted only five innings, surrendering four runs (three earned), eight hits and two walks.  He looked off from the start, uncharacteristically walking the first batter of the game and later that inning crossing up Carlos Ruiz on a curveball that ultimately cost him a run.

- The lefty was visibly frustrated in the fourth inning when his outing was delayed about five minutes while the umpires tried to determine via replay if a B.J. Upton home run should stand.  Upton was sent back to second with a double, but Lee gave up drives to Jason Heyward and Justin Upton that put the game out of reach at 4-1. Continue reading Free-Falling Phils Swept by Braves

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Gameday: Phillies (50-59) vs Braves (65-45)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Sun, August 04, 2013 07:00 PM Comments: 11

Philadelphia Phillies (50-59) vs Atlanta Braves (65-45) 

braves2

Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.05 ERA) vs Alex Wood (1-2, 3.52 ERA)

Time: 8:05, Citizens Bank Park

TV: ESPN

Weather: 80, partly cloudy

Media: Twitter and Facebook

After losing 5-3 on Friday, the Phillies will look to salvage a game in their three game series against the Braves on Sunday night. With last night’s loss, the Phillies have now lost five straight series since the All-Star Break.

Left-hander Cliff Lee, who has missed a few starts with neck stiffness, will start for the Phillies in the finale. Lee has struggled a bit lately allowing at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts. In his las outing against the Mets, he allowed five runs in seven innings of work. The longball has been a problem for Lee of late, as he has surrendered seven homers in his last two starts. In his career against Atlanta, Lee is 6-4 with a 2.97 ERA

Lee will be opposed by lefty Alex Wood, who has pitched well in his rookie campaign for the Braves. Wood churned out a quality start his last time out against Colorado, allowing just three runs in seven innings. The seven innings was by far his longest outing of the year (previously 4 1/3 innings), and it came in only his third start of the year, as he was pitching out of the bullpen for the most part before Tim Hudson’s injury.

Only Jimmy Rollins, Darin Ruf, Kevin Frandsen and Carlos Ruiz have had an at bat against Wood (Rollins is the only one with two at bats), and Ruf owns the only base hit against the lefty.

Lineup: M. Young 3B, Utley 2B, Rollins SS, Ruf LF, D. Young RF, Frandsen 1B, Mayberry CF, Ruiz C, Lee P

Gameday Beer: Smithwicks Irish Red Ale3498868847_cdfdc0e2ed

Smithwicks has been around forever yet it never gets old. This red ale is one of the most common Irish brews and is perfect if you are in that Irish mood and want something lighter than a Guinness and a bit more than a Harp lager. It might not jump out at you, but you know that you are going to get a consistently solid beer, and a lot of times, that is enough.

 

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Rosenthal: Phils Talking Lee With Other Teams

Posted by Alex Lee, Mon, July 29, 2013 09:32 AM Comments: 26

It sounds like the Phillies are talking to other teams about Cliff Lee.  (PHOTO: AP)

It sounds like the Phillies are talking to other teams about Cliff Lee. (PHOTO: AP)

While we heard yesterday from ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Phillies have finally informed teams a certain number of their veteran players are on the trading block, Cliff Lee was apparently not on that list. But in his Fox Sports column today, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies have discussed their All-Star lefty with other clubs. Rosenthal acknowledges that the Phils are unlikely to trade Lee, in large part due to their insistence on receiving a huge haul in return for the former Cy Young winner:

“One rival executive on Sunday night acknowledged the Phillies’ willingness to trade Lee but said the team would do it only “for a lot!!!” — meaning, a steep package of talent.”

The Phils have every right to start the bidding for Lee sky high. He is an elite pitcher and has a track record of dominance come October. He is likely the most coveted player that has any chance of changing teams before Wednesday’s 4pm trade deadline. But Rosenthal outlines several other things that may preclude a Lee trade, as paraphrased below:

- Lee’s contract includes a 20-team no-trade clause and has about $70MM left on it ($9MM left in 2013 and a $12.5MM buyout for 2016). Lee’s $120MM contract has essentially worked out for the Phils, especially when compared to some of the other nine-figure deals given to free agents in recent years. Lee is still a stud, but the no-trade clause and the money narrows down the list of teams that’d be willing to take on the money and fork over premium talent in return.

Continue reading Rosenthal: Phils Talking Lee With Other Teams

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