Posts Tagged ‘Joe Blanton’

O’s in on Blanton, Pence to Giants “Could Happen”

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, July 30, 2012 09:54 PM Comments: 12

Hunter Pence - A Giant? Not yet, but there is "juice" to the trade speculation reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is reporting that while the Orioles are currently declining to give up top infield prospect Jonathan Schoop, there is “smoke” around a Joe Blanton-to-Baltimore deal. The Phillies reportedly faxed Blanton’s medical history to Baltimore earlier toady. Schoop could be quite a catch for the Phils, as the 20 year old is currently hitting .244/.301/.391 in Double-A. Schoop’s primary position is shortstop but is believed to be effectively blocked at the in the Orioles system by mega-prospect Manny Machado and has been playing second base. Machado was a first round pick, third overall, for the O’s in 2010.

For what it’s worth, Schoop and Machado have similar stats in Double-A (.250/.337/.403) but Machado has the better pedigree. Machado was ranked 14th overall in the FanGraphs Top 100 prospect list while Schoop missed the cut. Schoop would be a coup for Blanton but that ship may have sailed according to Heyman as a major point of contention seems to be Baltimore absorbing the over $3 million left on Blanton’s contract. Jayson Stark is reporting the teams are in the “haggling” stage of the deal, with the Phillies getting a better prospect if they include more money.

Heyman reported shortly after the Blanton update that the Pence-to-Giants deal again has life. Heyman stated the Giants are determined to add a hitter. Earlier today, we explored what a possible package for Pence would look like and what it would mean for the Phillies.


Phillies Rumors: Lee, Blanton, Pierre

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, July 30, 2012 01:18 PM Comments: 43

Could Joe go south on I-95? (AP)

-The latest on Cliff Lee comes from Buster Olney of ESPN.com, who says Lee is available and the Rangers are pretty much the only team that makes any sense. I’ve seen conflicting reports about Lee going anywhere, but Joel Sherman from the New York Daily News agrees that Lee to the Rangers is a possbility.

I still think it’s a long shot that Lee gets dealt, although Olney makes a point that some of the groundwork has already been laid from the possibility of Cole Hamels being dealt earlier this month, before he signed his new contract. The parameters wouldn’t change too much, although we know the cost-issues brought on by the $87.5 million Lee is owed over the final three seasons of his contract.

And also, does it send a good message to the fans and to other players around the league if the Phillies trade Lee yet again? Not saying it wouldn’t be the correct move – it would be if the proper prospects are included from Texas and they take on enough of his salary – however, they want to keep Hamels happy and they’ve made it clear they’re building around starting pitching.

Jim Bowden of ESPN says Mike Olt, everyone’s favorite minor league third baseman, would have to be involved in any deal with Lee.

-Joe Blanton to the Orioles is an interesting scenario that has gained traction today. CBSSports.com reports that there is interest coming from Baltimore as the O’s look to give a shot of life to their rotation, which has struggled. As we know, Blanton is a free agent at the end of the year and the Orioles are looking to make a push at the wild card in the American League.

-Count the Orioles among a few other teams looking for outfield help as well. Juan Pierre’s name has popped up on their radar, and you can include the Reds attempting to get involved for Pierre, too. Cincinnati has long been a suitor for Shane Victorino, but his name has cooled off a bit today. That, as we know, can change instantly.

-Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says the Phillies also have interest in Shin Soo Choo from the Cleveland Indians, and Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Rosenthal notes that they could use prospects from other trades to pick up these players.


Gameday: Phillies (45-55) at Braves (55-44)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sat, July 28, 2012 06:25 PM Comments: 37

Philadelphia Phillies (45-55) at Atlanta Braves (55-44)

Joe Blanton (11-4, 3.23 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Time: 7:10, Turner Field
Weather: Upper 70′s, chance of rain, t-storms
Media: Twitter and  Facebook

After an ugly loss to the Braves in the series opener last night, the Phils look to bounce back tonight, weather permitting. There will be showers and possible thunderstorms rolling through Atlanta during the game, and the last thing the Phillies want is a delay that will force them to turn to the bullpen too early.

However, they may need to do that anyway, as Joe Blanton will take the mound, and he isn’t exactly having a good year, even for a 5th starter. He is 8-8 with a 4.70 ERA but get this: his 4.10 FIP is near the bottom among all qualified pitchers in the NL. On top of that, Phillie Killer Brian McCann is 10-24 off Blanton in his career with three home runs.

On the mound for the Braves will be Mike Minor, and he is even worse than Blanton this year. Minor is 5-7 with a 5.49 ERA and his 5.25 FIP is dead last in the NL among qualified pitchers. With these two guys on the mound tonight, there are sure to be a lot of runs scored.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Victorino CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Wigginton 3B, Mayberry LF, Kratz C, Blanton P.

Your Gameday Beer – Kentucky Bourbon Barrell Ale

This one is in honor of Big Joe. Kentucky Bourbon Barrell Ale has subtle flavors of vanilla and oak, aged 6 weeks in bourbon barrells. Support the Cornfed Colossus by sipping on Lexington’s best export since 1794 during the game today.  -By Ian



Cherish This Weekend

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 27, 2012 01:00 PM Comments: 11

9 games out of the playoffs with 3 games to play before the trade deadline. A sweep this weekend pulls the Phillies within 6 and in legitimate playoff contention. 2-1 puts them at 8 out, 1-2 at 10 out, and getting swept puts them 11 games out at the trade deadline and firmly in sell mode.

Cherish this weekend – it may be the last time you see the Phillies as you know them.

A sweep of the Braves is the only way to reasonably expect to see the team, as it is constructed today, and as we have known them for the last few years end the season in tact. A sweep all but guarantees Cliff Lee, linked to the Rangers and Dodgers, and Jimmy Rollins, linked to the Dodgers and A’s, stay, and increases the likelihood Phillies fans see at least two more months of Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton. Anything but a sweep of Atlanta begins to collapse the last vestiges of the 2008 World Series championship team.

Whether right or wrong, retool or not retool, 2008 is increasingly disappearing from the rear-view mirror. As a journalist and an analyst, my mind is telling them to move on, to trade anything that isn’t nailed down and retool for 2013. The fan in me? I don’t want to leave 2008. The four straight walk of victories have the mark of the 2007 and 2008 Phillies. My hopes are high and I’m thinking of 7 back with 17 to play in 2007 or the Cardinals being 9.5 out late last year. But I know that bubble, and pipe dream, could be popped with as little as two, or possibly even one, loss this weekend.

This may be the closest the Phillies get to playoff baseball this year and as for tonight? I can’t wait to see Chase Utley go one-on-one with Ben Sheets, Ryan Howard take him deep to right, Rollins steal some bases, Victorino rob hits on defense, Chooch defend the plate, and Cole Hamels pitch the game of his life. They’re 9 out and it’s 2012, but I’m feeling nostalgic for 2008. With a roll of the dice the weekend, 2008 could be all but a memory. Then again, an improbable sweep could make it last two months longer. Phillies fans – make sure to cherish this weekend.


Pettibone Promoted to IronPigs

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 25, 2012 10:21 PM Comments: 8

Pettibone will head to Triple-A after dominating the Eastern League. Is this a sign of further Phils moves? Photo by: Jay Floyd

Jonathan Pettibone, a former 3rd round pick out of Esperanza HS in Anaheim, CA, will reportedly join the IronPigs after a 7 IP, 3 hit, 6 K performance. The news was first reported by Reading Phillies beat writer Anthony Burkhart who covers the team for the Republican-Herald. Pettibone has been fantastic for Reading, entering the night with a 3.43 ERA and 1.260 WHIP after just turning 22 on July 19. Pettibone is part of the faction of young arms known collectively to Phillies fans as the “Baby Aces” and is the first of the group to reach Triple-A. He was ranked 9th by our Jay Floyd in the 2012 Prospect Nation and as the 5th best Phils prospect by FanGraphs.

With Pettibone’s promotion, it is assumed that a corresponding roster move will be made to accommodate him in the starting rotation at Lehigh Valley. While I don’t want to speculate, this may be a sign of a move with the Big Club to make room for Tyler Cloyd, who is 9-1 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.007 WHIP. Calling up Pettibone, combined with re-signing Hamels, may be the initial move in a series of moves that leads Cloyd to the ‘Bigs and possibly Joe Blanton or Cliff Lee to a new team to free up newly needed cash for the Phils. Of course, it may just be a case of Pettibone having an outstanding year and simply being ready for the next level.

Our minor-league expert Jay Floyd has covered Pettibone extensively throughout his time in the Phillies organization. To read more about Pettibone check out Jay’s ProspectNation piece on Pettibone here and his interview he did with the righty here.


Phillies Salvage a 12-Inning Win Over Giants

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, July 22, 2012 05:49 PM Comments: 57

Something to smile about for Jimmy and the Phils. (AP)

So, they won one. Cue the fireworks!

I kid, I kid. Jimmy Rollins singled in the winning run in the 12th inning to give the Phillies a 4-3 win over the Giants to avoid being swept. John Mayberry Jr. homered twice, giving him eight for the season. Chase Utley hit his first triple of the season.

Joe Blanton gave them eight pretty good innings, striking out seven, but couldn’t hold the lead in the top half of the eighth as he gave up a second home run to Nate Schierholtz to tie it at three. That sent the game, unnecessarily, to extras.

A major positive was the job done by the bullpen. Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst, and Kyle Kendrick combined to throw four shutout innings, which allowed for Rollins to knock in Carlos Ruiz to win it in the 12th.

Finally, something to cheer about.


Gameday: Giants (53-41) at Phillies (41-54)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, July 22, 2012 12:04 PM Comments: 45

San Francisco Giants (53-41) at Philadelphia Phillies (41-54)

Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75) vs Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79)

Time: 1:35, Citizens Bank Park
TV: PHL 17
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Another game, another blown opportunity for the Phillies’ bullpen.  The Phillies must rebound and avoid the sweep today.  They’ll rely on Joe Blanton, who is facing his former Oakland teammate, Barry Zito.

Continue reading Gameday: Giants (53-41) at Phillies (41-54)


Third Base Picture Cloudy Next Year (And Beyond) for Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, July 21, 2012 10:11 AM Comments: 27

Polly is looking for some sort of offense. Will he return in 2013? (AP)

It’s understandable if you haven’t given much thought as to who will be the Phillies third baseman in 2013. At the current moment, there are other pressing issues to be taken care of; like what will happen with Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Juan Pierre, Joe Blanton, and whoever else you can think of that has been at the center of trade rumors since the calendar turned to July. But it’s time to start wondering who might man the hot corner for the Phillies next season.

It’s clear Placido Polanco’s everyday playing days are nearing an end, if they haven’t already. While he’s been relatively healthy this season, it hasn’t always been pretty. Through 285 at-bats, Polly’s batting average currently represents the lowest figure of his 14-plus seasons in the big leagues.

Comparing him to the rest of the league does him no favors, either; even at a position as thin as third base. His .256 average ranks 21st in baseball, while his .629 OPS rates 33rd among players with 125 plate appearances.

What little power Polanco had has been almost entirely sapped from his bat. During the month of July, Polanco has just five hits – one of them for extra-bases. Overall, he’s got just 17 hits that have gone for more than one base (15 doubles, 2 homers) and his ISO – or isolated power, which measures raw power – is a league-worst .071 (David Wright is .233, Pedro Alvarez leads all third basemen at .259).

With a WAR of 0.3, he’s the quintessential average baseball player at a position that needs to be above-average.
Continue reading Third Base Picture Cloudy Next Year (And Beyond) for Phillies


July 20 Trade Rumor Round-Up: Hamels, Pence, Happ

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 20, 2012 02:55 PM Comments: 9

Earlier today, Mike Sherman of the NY Post reported unnamed executives believe Cole Hamels will have a hard time declining a contract extension offer of 6 years, $130 million, citing the only roadblocks as MLBPA union pressure to test the open market and any currently-not-visible desire of Hamels’ to play for the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Jayson Stark is reporting the chances of the Phils trading Hamels are diminishing but still exist. Stark estimates there is a 90% chance Hamels is traded before the deadline should an extension not be hammered out in a timely manner, but also cites an unnamed executive who says the chances of a trade “are dropping, but are not zero”.

Stark noted in his piece that the Phillies are downplaying any interest in trading their most asked about trade chip, Hunter Pence, and instead reportedly have Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco, and Kyle Kendrick available for the highest bidder.

On a side note, a few former Phillies were traded for each other today: former Phil J.A. Happ was dealt with Brandon Lyon and Brandon Carpenter to the Blue Jays in a 10-player deal with the Astros for a package that included former Phil Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, and minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez, and a player to be named later. Best of luck to the former Phils in their new spots.


Deal or No Deal: Joe Blanton

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, July 19, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 6

As the trade deadline approaches, Ian and Corey will provide their opinions to “Deal” or “Not Deal” various members of the Phillies roster, where best fits may lie, and who they should seek in return.

Today’s subject? The venerable Kentucky northpaw Joe Blanton.

No DealIan Riccaboni

Joe Blanton is quietly putting together a very nice year for the Phillies – his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP and xFIP) stats say that Blanton has performed considerably better (4.02 and 3.36, respectively) than his 4.79 ERA indicates.

In fact, his 2012 — 4.79 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 1.5 HR/9 –  is looking more and more like his very good 2009 (4.05 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 1.4 HR/9) as the season progresses. It is no secret to readers of Phillies Nation that Blanton has been doing many little things right throughout the season and, over halfway through the year, Blanton still maintains his NL lead in BB/9. Unfortunately, Phillies Nation readers and Phillies fans alike may have noticed that Blanton is second in the NL in home runs allowed, behind only Mike Minor.

These are not necessarily stats that may be sellable to an opposing GM. My case for not trading Blanton revolves around the fact that the Phils A) May not get appropriate value for an above-average pitcher having a very good season and B) he may have more value to them this year than the prospects they receive in return.

If I’m Ruben Amaro, Blanton may need the most over-the-top offer for me to deal. According to FanGraphs, Blanton has been worth $6.3 million this year to the Phillies; Blanton only has about $3.61 million left on his deal through the rest of the year – his salary no longer effects luxury tax considerations for this year and is affordable. More importantly, he has pitched and performed better than Kyle Kendrick in the rotation and, despite consciously realizing that the Phillies need to win, on average, 7 out of every 10 they play to reach the playoffs, Blanton gives the Phillies a solid starter regardless if the Phillies go into full fire sale mode or not.

Deal, Corey Seidman:

It’s not that I think Blanton will bring back anything significant in a trade, it’s just that there is no real reason to keep him. You’re probably going nowhere and you’re already paying Kyle Kendrick $4 million this season, why not just pick up whatever you can get for Blanton and roll with KK?

Under the new draft pick compensation system, the only way the Phils would pick up a pick for losing Blanton to another team in free agency would be if they offered him a salary that is the average of the top 125 salaries in the game. Right now, that’d mean offering Blanton between $12-13 million. The Phillies will not be doing that, so they won’t get a pick.

Just look at the Jim Thome trade. Thome is a 41-year-old DH on a one-year contract and he brought back the Orioles’ 12th- and 20th-ranked prospects (Baseball America) in Gabriel Lino and Kyle Simon.

Ian has a good point that Blanton’s value is lower than it should be because of his ERA, but I don’t necessarily think that means he should be kept for the sake of being kept. If you can bring back a lefthanded reliever with a high strikeout rate who might contribute in 2014 or 2015, why not do it?

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