Posts Tagged ‘Joe Blanton’

Who Fills in For Doc?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, May 06, 2013 10:00 AM Comments: 25

With Roy Halladay likely headed to the the disabled list, the Phillies will have a vacant spot in the rotation that needs to be filled. There are really only three candidates to replace him and our selection may surprise you.

Quick notes: whoever replaces Halladay, as Matt Gelb points out, will have a hard time pitching worse than Halladay has in 2013. Our Eric Seidman pointed out last week that Halladay’s biggest comparable over the last calendar year has been Joe Blanton – unfortunately for Halladay, with his last two outings, that ship has sailed as well.

Finally, for the purposes of this article, Jesse Biddle, despite his strong start, is not included here because, frankly, myself and many others would like to see slightly more out of him in Double-A, and perhaps Triple-A, before considering him for a promotion to MLB but also because his addition would require him being added to the 40-man roster – a move that would be almost wasted should Doc’s expected DL stint last for only 15 days.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-5169fc91/turbine/mc-morgan-adam-jpg-20130413/600/480x600Adam Morgan

Pros: Dynamite secondary pitches, great location on fastball, started the year with two truly great starts (1.29 ERA, 9 Ks in 14 IP against a very good Syracuse club), most complete/polished pitcher of the three available at this time.

Cons: Just 23 years old – why rush? Has struggled in last three starts (6.75 ERA, 3 HR allowed) and has struggled keeping pitch count low. Has only gone past the sixth inning once. Is not on the 40-man roster.

Continue reading Who Fills in For Doc?


This Halladay Looks More Like Blanton

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, May 01, 2013 10:19 AM Comments: 18

After three straight promising starts Roy Halladay turned in another clunker Tuesday night. In allowing eight runs on nine hits and two walks, Halladay finished April with a 6.75 ERA, 5.73 FIP and a ghastly 2.25 HR/9. He cost the Phillies 0.3 WAR last month.

MLB Network noted this morning that Halladay’s 5.59 ERA over the last calendar year (April 30, 2012 to April 30, 2013) is the second-worst among starters with 150 innings thrown. Only Ubaldo Jimenez has prevented runs at a worse rate.

In third place on that list is Joe Blanton, the former Phillie whose struggles to prevent runs in spite of impressive strikeout, walk and groundball rates is well known in these parts.

Unfortunately, Blanton is the most comparable pitcher to Halladay over the last calendar year.

Based on the splits and filters offered at Fangraphs, Halladay and Blanton are the only two pitchers to fall into the following criteria since April 30, 2012: K/9 between 7.5 and 8.3, BB/9 between 1.8 and 2.5, GB% between 40% and 45% and FIP between 4.30 and 4.50.

Their numbers are almost identical in this span:

Halladay: 8.3 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 43.8% GB, 17.8% HR/FB, 4.35 FIP, 1.1 WAR
Blanton:  7.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 44.0% GB, 17.4% HR/FB, 4.40 FIP, 1.1 WAR

While those K, BB and GB rates are solid, they don’t often translate into success when pitches are left over the middle of the plate and knocked out of the park. Whether it’s injuries or simply a decline in pure ability, Roy Halladay has been a different pitcher for over a year now. Unfortunately, that different pitcher resembles Joe Blanton more than anyone else.


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!”


2013 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Relievers

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, February 06, 2013 05:51 PM Comments: 0

Is this Friend's year? Photo by: Jay Floyd

Yesterday, we previewed the non-roster invitees who play the infield. Before that, we looked at the outfielders and catchers. Pete Orr, for the second consecutive season, is the clubhouse favorite among the infielders, while Jermaine Mitchell is a long shot but paces the outfielders. Humberto Quintero will likely start the year as Erik Kratz‘s back-up, having the best shot among any non-rostered position player to crack the roster for Opening Day.

Today, we will take a look at a tough group to predict: relievers. The qualifications for the group we’re looking at are as follows: the non-roster invitee in question must have served primarily as a reliever during last season. The Phillies used 17 pitchers in relief last year, not including Joe Blanton‘s early Pittsburgh bullpen cameo, meaning 11 players not on the Opening Day roster pitched in relief in 2012. The Phillies have 14 relievers on their 40 man right now meaning that if the Phillies use pitchers at the same rate as last season, three of the players listed below may see some time in the Majors in 2013.

The Veterans

Juan Cruz

Cruz put together a very effective season in 2012 for the Pirates (2.78 ERA, 8.3 K/9 IP) before being abruptly released in August as the Pirates season spiraled out of control. Out of control may be the perfect phrase to describe Cruz, as, despite his low ERA, Cruz posted a 1.626 WHIP and a 4.8 BB/9 IP. Cruz has always struggled with control but has occasionally dominated righties, pitching to a career to a career .230 BAA. The question then is: can Charlie Manuel resist the temptation to pitch Cruz against only righties if on the roster? If his treatment of lefty J.C. Romero is any indication, no.

Continue reading 2013 Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Relievers


Why I Love the Phillies – Lucas

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, January 19, 2013 09:06 AM Comments: 7

Being a London-born Brit, I knew next to nothing about baseball. It just seemed like cricket’s deformed cousin with nice hats.

At college I did a year abroad at UPenn, and pretty instantly found that Philadelphia would be my new second home. I tried pretty hard, yet always in vain, to preach the good word of soccer, but ultimately exciting scores like 0-0 and 1-0 just didn’t get the east coast pulses racing.

My friends took me to hockey, football, basketball, lacrosse. All were pretty fun but not life-changing (although I enjoyed Dallas-bashing). Then in the summer I was ferried to Citizens Bank Park, and my sleeping hours have never been the same since.

The uniforms; the snacks; the stats; the double plays; the insane catches; the “how did he hit it do far with such a thin stick?!”; the social aspect, the stats; the way they pitch; the managerial arguments with the umpires… This was sports as the deity of professional competition had ordained it. My first game was a 3-2 victory over the Nationals, some hard guy named Aaron Rowand hit a ball somewhere near a restaurant. Also, I love that there are so many restaurants IN ONE SPORTS PLACE [(Ashburn Alley)].

Since then I have made 5 annual pilgrimages to see the Phillies, including saving up enough money in 2011 to see all 4 aces, and Joe Blanton for kicks. I even got on the big screen carrying a sign saying “Kate Middleton only married William because Chooch was unavailable”. I now sleep in two-shift patterns so I can watch every game.

I love the Phillies because they remind me of my second home: colourful, passionate and full of characters.

- Lucas

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


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


Phillies Sign Lannan to One-Year Deal

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, December 15, 2012 11:08 AM Comments: 25


Shortly after signing reliever Mike Adams the Phillies struck quickly on the free agent starting pitching market, inking former Washington National John Lannan to a one-year deal, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

Lannan, 28, will get $2.5 million guaranteed with performance bonuses that could push the total figure to $5 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

On Phillies Nation TV, Lannan made our list as one of the most hated rivals of the Phillies for all the times he plunked Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Now, he joins them on a cheap contract. Just a few days ago, Ruben Amaro said he wanted a low-risk, high-reward type of starting pitcher after losing Vance Worley to the Twins in the Ben Revere trade. This certainly constitutes as such a move.

Lannan is by no means a great pitcher, but has the ability to adequately fill out a rotation. Throughout his career, he’s had a penchant for walks and doesn’t strike many guys out. His 1.39 K/BB ratio is pretty bad, however, as our own Ryan Dinger pointed out on twitter, his ERA+ (103) is better than both Joe Blanton (96) and Kyle Kendrick (97). They’ll look for Lannan to be an innings eater as a fifth-starter.


Phillies Player Review: Tyler Cloyd

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, November 17, 2012 02:51 PM Comments: 1

Cloyd had a run for the ages in 2012 that saw him crack the super-competitive Phillies rotation. Photo: AP

Heading into 2012, the Phillies seemed to be full of starting pitching options. Doc Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, Kyle Kendrick, and Joe Blanton were all but guaranteed to be on the Phils’ Opening Day roster barring injury while Joel Pineiro, Dave Bush, Scott Elarton, and Pat Misch were among the starting pitching veterans invited to Spring Training. And aside from that group, there was the possibility, outlined here from February, that Austin Hyatt could catch lightning in a bottle and reach the Majors in 2012. The thought wasn’t so crazy: Hyatt started the Spring Opener for the Phils, after all.

Plans can and do change. Sometimes they change in sports because of opportunities presented due to injury. Other times, they present themselves because a player’s performance in the lower levels is too strong to ignore. For Tyler Cloyd, a little bit of both was needed to break the logjam. Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Tyler Cloyd


Phillies Player Review: Joe Blanton

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 19, 2012 07:50 AM Comments: 4

Big Joe was the same old (AP)

Back in June, I asked if Joe Blanton was throwing too many strikes. It seemed that he was afraid to walk anyone.

During his time with the Phillies this season, Blanton’s K/BB ratio was 6.39, eclipsing his previous career high of 3.50 set in 2007 with Oakland. Big Joe was absolutely pounding the strike zone this season, almost to a fault. By throwing it over the plate with such regularity, he allowed 22 home runs in 133 1/3 innings with the Phillies, and 29 overall, serving up seven more following his deadline trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As an aside, I was standing on the field at the moment Joe Blanton had been traded. I noticed Blanton was not on the field prior to one of the games while the rest of his teammates stretched at roughly 4 pm. Minutes later, he was gone, one of the remaining pieces of the 2008 title team headed west.

Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Joe Blanton


Gameday: Phillies (81-79) at Nationals (96-64)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, October 02, 2012 06:46 PM Comments: 21

Philadelphia Phillies (81-79) at Washington Nationals (96-64)

BJ Rosenberg (1-2, 6.86) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (4-2, 2.90)

Time: 7:05 PM, Nationals Park
Weather: Rain, 68
Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Washington Nationals clinched the National League East in an interesting fashion.  The Phillies did all they could by beating the Nationals, but the Braves lost, giving the Nationals the division.  With last night’s win, the Phillies are guaranteed a .500 record, but it would be nice to win the next 2 games and finish over the .500 mark.

Tonight is going to be a bullpen game, as the Phillies will start B.J Rosenberg.  Expect to see a lot of minor league call-ups, on both sides.

It’s basically a meaningless game, but there is only two games left for the Phillies.  Enjoy Phillies October baseball while you can take it.

Victory Lager

Your gameday beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest
Not only is it now October, but today, as it happens, is the 34th anniversary of the Bucky Dent home run. So in honor of a time when we felt bad for Red Sox fans, let’s throw back a seasonal Sam Adams offering. A couple interesting notes about that game: Dent only hit 40 regular-season home runs in his 12-year career, including the three-run jack off Mike Torrez in that one-game playoff. Torrez, for his part, is most famous for 1) giving up Dent’s homer, and 2) beaning Dickie Thon in 1984. However, he was the first of only four starting pitchers in the division play era to be traded and win a World Series game in the same season. The last two men to do it? Joe Blanton in 2008 and Cliff Lee in 2009. -by Michael


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