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Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Pence’

Rapid Reaction: “Blow Up the Phillies!”

Posted by Alex Lee, Wed, March 13, 2013 08:16 AM Comments: 0

Doc was crushed on Tuesday. He could be part of the "blow up" eventually. (AP)

Doc was crushed on Tuesday. He could be part of the “blow up” eventually. (AP)

From an injury standpoint, this spring has gone about as well as the Phillies could have hoped (except for Roy Halladay getting crushed on Tuesday by the Tigers).  After a disastrous 2012, optimism has begun to regenerate throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond, with a handful of national baseball pundits adjusting their previously underwhelming expectations for this team accordingly.  The key word there is some.

Perhaps by now you’ve read Jonah Keri’s scathing take on the Phillies from Grantland.com – titled “Blow Up the Phillies!” – which from a timing standpoint, almost seems like an intentional attempt at pouring cold water over the collective hopes of Phillies faithful.  Keri takes a big-picture look at the Phillies, but his question basically boils down to the following:

“Four months from now, if Philly appears on its way to another mediocre season, should the team cash in their biggest trade chips for younger players who could help build a winning team for 2014 and beyond?”

Keri’s answer to that question is an emphatic yes – so much so that he implies that, in Ruben Amaro Jr.’s shoes, he would even consider moving the non-expiring contracts of Jimmy Rollins and Cliff Lee in addition to Halladay and Chase Utley, who will be free agents after this season.

Essentially, should the Phillies disappoint, Keri is advocating a July fire sale – not a retool, but a rebuild, citing the age of the team’s core and a dearth of near-ready prospects as the reasons why.  Using historical examples, he says any other decision could be catastrophic for the competitive future of the team.  In doing so, Keri is undoubtedly a little harsh on the Phils.  But is he wrong?  The answer, as usual, is a little complicated.

Continue reading Rapid Reaction: “Blow Up the Phillies!”

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Prospect Nation 2013: #7 Catcher Tommy Joseph

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 25, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 1

Tommy Joseph, photo- Jay Floyd

Tommy Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade last July, quickly landed among the Phillies’ top positional prospects upon joining the organization.  Joseph now rounds out a collection of young talent that has the Phils extremely deep at the catcher position in the minors.

The 6-foot-1 215-pounder, was the Giants’ second round draft selection (55th overall) in 2009.  Upon making his professional debut the following year, Joseph played with Class A Augusta of the South Atlantic League.  That year, with the GreenJackets, Joseph posted a .236 average with 16 homers and 68 RBI in 117 games.

In 2011, Joseph batted .270, smashed 22 home runs and drove in 95 runs in 127 games for Class A Advanced San Jose. Over the off-season that followed, he was ranked as San Francisco’s 5th best prospect by MLB.com.

An All-Star in the Double-A Eastern League in 2012, the righty hitting Joseph tallied a .257 average with 11 home runs and 48 RBI in 108 games between Richmond and Reading.  Joseph spent a month this past off-season playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he sported a .204 average with one double, five RBI in 14 games played. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2013: #7 Catcher Tommy Joseph

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2013 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Outfielders

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, February 03, 2013 02:02 PM Comments: 5

Mitchell has a shot, albeit a very small one, to make the Phillies out of camp in 2013. Photo: MLB.com

Unlike 2012, the Phillies enter Spring Training in 2013 with a surplus of depth in the outfield. Yet, what 2012 lacked in depth, it made up for it with talent at the top, including the now-departed Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino. The Phillies enter Spring Training with nine outfielders on their 40-man roster and two non-roster invitees competing for five spots. When the dust settles, the outfield run-off won’t be quite as exciting as last year’s battle between Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik, which was very clearly for the 25th roster spot, but of the two names invited, one may have a chance help the Phillies out.

Jermaine Mitchell

We talked briefly about Mitchell when his December signing went under the radar. Mitchell, now 28, was ranked eighth by Baseball America among A’s prospects headed into 2012, one ahead of former Phillies prospect Michael Taylor. He earned the superlatives of Fastest Baserunner and Best Defensive Outfielder but could not impress enough in his first extended shot in Triple-A Sacramento (.252/.345/.386) to earn a stint with the A’s in 2012. A bit old for the prospect side,  Mitchell latched on with the Phillies after the A’s let him go.

Continue reading 2013 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Outfielders

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Mather, Prosects Among Non-Roster Spring Invitees

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, January 23, 2013 03:33 PM Comments: 3

The Phillies announced today that six additional non-roster players have been invited to big league spring training.  The list of new names extended the invitations includes former big leaguer Joe Mather, third baseman Cody Asche, lefty hurler Adam Morgan, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-handed pitchers Justin Friend and Kyle Simon.

Mather, an outfielder who was signed recently as a free agent on a minor league deal, batted .209, with five homers and 19 RBI in 103 games with the Cubs last season. A third round draft pick in 2001, Mather also has Major League experience with the Braves and the Cardinals.

Asche, the Phils’ 4th round pick in 2011, posted great numbers in his first full pro season in 2012. The 22-year-old University of Nebraska product tallied a combined .324 average with 12 home runs and 72 RBI in 130 combined games at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading last season.

Morgan, who was selected in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft, progressed to the Double-A level as well last year, posting an 8-11 record along with a 3.35 ERA and a 9.59 K/9 mark in 27 combined outings for Clearwater and Reading in 2012. Morgan will turn 23-years-old next month. Continue reading Mather, Prosects Among Non-Roster Spring Invitees

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Former Top Phils’ Prospect Suspended for Marijuana

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, January 09, 2013 05:27 PM Comments: 35

Singleton, seen here as a Blue Claw in 2010, will face a 50-game suspension from Minor League Baseball. Photo by: Jay Floyd

Jonathan Singleton, 21, was suspended today for 50-games for violating minor league baseball’s banned substance policy after testing positive for marijuana. Singleton will miss the first 50-games of what likely would have been with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Singleton was sent to Houston in July 2011′s trade for Hunter Pence and was ranked the 34th best prospect in the game by Baseball America entering the 2012 season. He was ranked second in the Astros organization behind shortstop Carlos Correa in Baseball America’s Astros’ Top 10 after hitting .284/.396/.497 with 21 HR and 7 SB for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012.

Singleton issued a statement through his agency:

I was informed today that I have tested positive for marijuana. As a result, I am being suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 season. I accept the penalty and take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my parents, the Houston Astros and (general manager) Jeff Luhnow.

The Astros have been nothing but supportive of me and good to me in my short time with the organization. My hope is to use this as a learning experience and spend the rest of my career proving to myself and the baseball community that this was a lapse in judgment, and is not in any way indicative of my character or my dedication to baseball or to my team.’

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Baseball America Names Phils Top 10

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 17, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 7

Germantown's Biddle is Baseball America's best Phillies' Prospect. Photo: Jay Floyd

Matt Forman of Baseball America posted their list of Top 10 Phillies Prospects this morning. With last year’s number one, Trevor May, traded, there was a guaranteed to be a new number one. And with the Phillies trading Joe Blanton, Hunter Pence, Jim Thome, and Shane Victorino midseason, there was bound to be new faces that filled out the top 10. The theme of this year’s Phillies list was turnover. Not the kind the Eagles routinely commit but rather just three players from the year before stayed on the list while seven changed, either because of trade, call-up, or decreased prospect expectations.

The New Number One

Left-handed starter Jesse Biddle continued his ascension through the Phillies ranks last season. The Phillies 2010 first round pick pitched a career-high 142.2 innings, notched over a strikeout per inning while walking just under 3.4/9 IP with a 3.22 ERA in 26 starts for High-A Clearwater.  Biddle jumps from 2011′s number two to number one, something that likely would have happened whether or not May was traded. The Philadelphia-native is miles ahead of the rest of the Philadelphia prospect landscape.

The Risers

There were only two players that moved up on the list from 2011 to 2012: Biddle moved from one to two and third baseman Maikel Franco jumped from eight to ten. Of note, Freddy Galvis, Phillippe Aumont, and Justin De Fratus were all omitted presumably because of their advancement and their ability to stay in the Major Leagues. Jonathan Pettibone, who is the most Major League-ready pitcher on the list, stayed pat at fourth. Pettibone, 4-1, 2.55 ERA in seven late-season starts for Lehigh Valley, has an outside chance at winning the fifth starter slot in the rotation, although that chance has decreased with the signing of John Lannan.

Darin Ruf, once considered “an organizational player” by Forman, makes his debut on a Baseball America list at number nine. He is listed by Baseball America as the Phillies Best Power Hitter and the player with the Best Strike Zone Discipline. Continue reading Baseball America Names Phils Top 10

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2012 Top Moment #4: Drama-Filled Sweep of Brewers

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, December 15, 2012 02:46 PM Comments: 4

In late July, the Phillies found themselves significantly under the .500 mark.  Fans were starting to become uninterested as the team performed well under their expectations.  In general, it wasn’t a pleasant time for Phillies fans, as the Phillies eventually decided to become sellers at the trade deadline.

But there was a series that brought hope: July 24-26 against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Phillies were able to sweep the Brew Crew, but it was more than a sweep.  Every game was full of excitement, leading fans to wonder if the Phillies would be a second-half team once again.

The drama began in the ninth inning on July 23.  The Phillies were down 6-3 with Francisco Rodriguez on the mound.   Ryan Howard started the rally with a two-run single.  Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a single of his own, and Ty Wigginton’s sacrifice fly brought home the winning run.  Just when all thought the Phillies were dead, they came alive with a four-run ninth inning.  The late-inning madness would not stop there.

Continue reading 2012 Top Moment #4: Drama-Filled Sweep of Brewers

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Phillies Non-Tender Schierholtz

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, November 30, 2012 05:44 PM Comments: 12

Schierhotlz will not return to the Phillies in 2013.

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Phillies have non-tendered outfielder Nate Schierholtz and let him become a free agent. Schierholtz hit .273/.319/.379 in just 73 plate appearances last year after being acquired in the Hunter Pence trade. Schierholtz, 28, is a career .270/.319/.409 hitter with a plus arm in right field and has been worth about a Win Above Replacement level per year according to FanGraphs. Schierholtz made $1.3 million last year and likely would have seen a raise had the Phillies tendered an offer.

The move leaves the Phillies with 37 players on their 40 man roster which includes four outfielders who have played in the Majors (Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, and Darin Ruf) and two that have not (Zach Collier and Tyson Gillies).

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Phillies Player Review: Nate Schierholtz

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Thu, November 22, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 7

Nate Schierholtz was the one player the Phillies got in return for Hunter Pence who was not only big league-ready, but had already accrued a fair amount of major league service time. A kind of enigma in San Francisco, Schierholtz came to Philly with the promise of consistent playing time and an opportunity to prove himself to his new manager as an everyday player. It was a new start for Schierholtz, who had seemingly fallen out of favor with his former manager, Bruce Bochy. When the trade was made, Schierholtz claimed to relish the opportunity, feeling excitement over the possibility of starting anew.

The excitement and energy Schierholtz was feeling shown through in his Phillies debut on August 1. After singling in his first at-bat, Schierholtz gave the Phillies the lead over Washington when he hit a solo shot to make it 3-2 in the fifth. That would be the final score. Suddenly–and very briefly–Philadelphia was enamored with Schierholtz, whose home run made him the game’s hero.

It’d be all downhill from there.

Over his next ten games (eight starts), Schierholtz would hit just .185 with a paltry .480 OPS. He’d have just one extra base hit–a double–in that time. He seemed to be struggling to adjust to his new surroundings and his play exhibited as much. Still, Manuel was playing him regularly and seemed intent on giving him every opportunity to succeed. That opportunity would vanish when Schierholtz, in typical 2012 Phillies fashion, landed on the DL with a broken toe just twelve days after making his debut with the team.

He’d end up missing about three weeks of time before returning to action. His toe was still broken, but he opted to play through the pain. However, the injury hindered Manuel’s ability to play him regularly, and, while he appeared in 26 games, he’d make just six starts the rest of the way.

Schierholtz’s final line with the Phillies:  in 73 plate appearances, he hit .273 with a .698 OPS, one home run, five RBI and five runs scored. He struck out ten times and walked five times. His OPS+ was a lowly 88.

Final Grade: Incomplete It seems unfair to me to grade a player on less than 75 plate appearances. While he didn’t perform particularly well, he also wasn’t given the fullest opportunity to succeed. Part of that was, no doubt, due to his injury. It does bear mentioning that Schierholtz had a .303 BABIP during his time with the Phillies, so his results don’t appear to be the product of poor luck. In the end, it seems it could be a short stay in Philly for Schierholtz, as he could potentially be a non-tender candidate, depending on how the Phillies offseason plays out.

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Why I Love the Phillies – Vanessa

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, November 17, 2012 12:03 PM Comments: 0

I love the Phillies because they are so down to earth and just very warm-hearted guys and I think Charlie Manuel is a great coach. I dont really hear anything negative about the players and when I went to the Ryan Howard Celebrities Servers event, all the players that were there treated me and my family so nice. Ryan Howard even let my son say a few words at his event, which I thought was really cool and John Mayberry gave me a hug like we were family. Also, Hunter Pence, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were so nice to my son that he still talks about his experience with meeting them all.

The Phillies are just genuinely nice guys and they contribute a lot to the community and that’s what I love about the Philles.

- Vanessa

Read more “Why I Love the Phillies” stories from Phillies Nation readers here.

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