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Posts Tagged ‘Major Leaguers’

A Quick Blurb About Jermaine Mitchell

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, January 01, 2013 03:41 PM Comments: 7

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/images/headshot_51066.jpg

With healthy discussion surrounding whether or not Domonic Brown and/or Darin Ruf can be everyday Major Leaguers and, in turn, whether the Phillies should seek more outfield help, many, including myself, have noted that the Phillies outfield picture is incredibly heavy in quantity but low on quality. The Phillies, assuming Brown and Ruf are on the 25-man roster, sit with six outfielders on their roster; barring John Mayberry being traded or designated for assignment, Laynce Nix being cut, Ender Inciarte being offered back to Arizona, or Ruf starting the year in Triple-A, there is very little wiggle room.

While there is a plethora of options, none of those options are particularly appealing to the Phillies. After all, Mayberry does hit lefties well, cutting Nix would be the equivalent of burning $1.35 million in a barrel, the last Rule-5 pick the Phillies tried to return was Shane Victorino and after sticking by Michael Martinez, they’ll likely keep Inciarte around, and Ruf, at age 26, is suddenly at an unexpected but pretty exciting “put up or shut up” moment. Continue reading A Quick Blurb About Jermaine Mitchell

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The 2012 Phillies and the De-Lucker X

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, December 20, 2012 06:40 PM Comments: 13

Martinez was the Majors eleventh luckiest hitter in 2012 according to FanGraphs. Really. Photo: AP

Fangraphs posted an interesting article today combined with a pretty neat sortable spreadsheet regarding “luck”. The article, entitled “De-Lucker X: The Final 2012 Numbers“, took a look at how the Majors fared when comparing fielding independent wOBA and xBABIP (click on the links for some nice explanations). When comparing the two, the resulting number attempts to measure luck, positively or negatively. How did the Phillies fare?

Most Phillies Were Slightly Luckier Their Stats Indicate – But So Was the Entire MLB

Not adjusting for plate appearances, Michael Martinez, yes that Michael Martinez of .174/.208/.252 line, was the 11th luckiest hitter in the Majors in 2012. Ryan Howard was the 32nd luckiest hitter in baseball, which translated into a line of .219/.295/.423. Placido Polanco was 54th, John Mayberry was 63rd, Domonic Brown 105st, and Juan Pierre 121st. It is worth noting that over 73% of Major League hitters were “luckier” than their wOBA indicated, so it should not be a surprise that 80% of the Phillies who spent the entire year with the team were luckier than their stats indicated. Continue reading The 2012 Phillies and the De-Lucker X

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PN Interview with Phils Prospect Domingo Santana

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, May 01, 2011 03:30 PM Comments: 1

Domingo Santana is an 18-year-old outfielder with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic at age 16 in 2009, Santana made his professional debut that year with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. In 37 games, Santana batted .288, slugged 6 homeruns and drove in 28 runs.

The following year, the right-handed hitting Santana began the season with Lakewood, but struggled. With a .182 batting average and 76 strike outs in 49 games, Santana was sent to short-season Williamsport once their season got rolling in June. With the Cutters, Santana batted .237 and mashed 5 homeruns in 54 games.

Thus far in 2011, Santana, who stands 6-feet-5-inches tall and weighs around 200 pounds, has posted a .239 average with 2 homeruns and 7 RBI through 17 games.

In the off-season, Santana, who is regarded as a five-tool talent, was ranked as the Phillies’ 14th best prospect.

I spoke with Domingo this week about why he chose to sign with the Phillies, his strengths as a player, which Major Leaguers he admired growing up and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full interview.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You check out more great content from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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Bumblers on the Corners

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, April 27, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 51

The Phillies are getting absolutely nothing from their corner outfielders. Nothing at the plate, nothing in the field, nothing on the basepaths. The left and right fielders have batted fifth and sixth in every game, making their struggles something like a package deal. “Ben, I’ll see your infield fly with a ground ball to first base,” says Raul.

Of the 186 qualifying major leaguers, Raul Ibanez has produced the lowest WAR, -1.0. You read that correct. Ibanez is 186th of 186. To those unfamiliar, WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement. It is as all-encompassing a stat as you will find; WAR takes into account offense, defense, and the difficulty of one’s position. Take Chase Utley, for example. Utley has averaged a little over 7.0 WAR per season since 2007. This theoretically tells us that if the Phillies started Michael Martinez in those four years rather than Utley, they would have won about seven fewer games per year. Get it? Good, let’s move on to Ibanez.

Ibanez has been worth -1.0 WAR so far. That would be one win below replacement. He has cost the Phillies 5.4 runs at the plate and 5.9 runs in the field. After Tuesday’s frustrating loss, Ibanez’ slash-line sat at .171/.253/.232. His .485 OPS is lower than Placido Polanco‘s slugging percentage.

Ibanez is pretty much done as a major leaguer. Looming hot streak or no looming hot streak, the fact remains that he is at best a league-average offensive left fielder and the league’s worst defensive leftfielder. Straying away from numbers for a second, I want you to recount every throw home Ibanez has made in 2011. Think of as many instances as possible. STOP! How many of those images involved a throw bouncing before or parallel to the pitcher’s mound?

Continue reading Bumblers on the Corners

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Gameday: Marlins (7-5) at Phillies (9-3)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, April 15, 2011 03:52 PM Comments: 16

Florida Marlins (7-5) at Philadelphia Phillies (9-3)

Javier Vazquez, RHP (1-1, 8.64 ERA) vs. Roy Oswalt, RHP (2-0, 2.25 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 53
TV: CSN
Twitter: Phillies Nation

Two of the top power pitchers from the past decade come together in a battle of the only two NL East teams over .500. Unfortunately for those of you hoping to see another pitcher’s duel, their careers are going in separate directions.

What has become of Javier Vazquez? How will we remember him? As the great pitcher who filled in admirably for Pedro Martinez at the tail end of the Montreal Expos’ existence? The pitcher who, from 2000-2009, ranked 14th among major leaguers in wins, second in strikeouts, second in innings pitched, and eighth in complete games? Or the one who bombed, terribly, in two stints with the Yankees and has a career record of 153-150 and ERA+ of 105? The one who, as he plays out the string in Florida with a fastball hovering under 89 mph when it used to sit close to 92, will drift back towards almost comically average numbers.

Continue reading Gameday: Marlins (7-5) at Phillies (9-3)

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The Impact of Adam Wainwright’s Season-Ender

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, February 24, 2011 12:50 PM Comments: 4

In baseball, the only three-word combination worse than “Dr. James Andrews” is “Tommy John Surgery.” The UCL reconstruction operation has claimed yet another victim, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.

This is huge news for every other National League contender, as the road to October just got a bit easier. Wainwright is an amazing talent – a now-perennial Cy Young candidate coming off of an absolutely gaudy season.

Since 2009, Wainwright is 39-19 with a 2.53 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, 3.48 K/BB ratio, and two top-3 Cy Young finishes. His ERAs each year were top-4, his innings pitched were top-3, his wins were top-2.

Wainwright went blow-for-blow with Roy Halladay every step of the way for the 2010 NL Cy Young, and probably had the award won in mid-August, when he was 17-6 with a 1.99 ERA.

Continue reading The Impact of Adam Wainwright’s Season-Ender

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Arizona Fall League a Hot Spot for Future Talent

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, October 29, 2010 07:48 AM Comments: 2

This is the latest post from our minor league writer, Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com

The Arizona Fall League is a place for aspiring Major Leaguers to go to work on their baseball skills in the Autumn months. As the weather begins to cool elsewhere, the diamond stays hot and for many of baseball’s most promising young talents in Arizona.

Rosters in the AFL are a mixture of different organizations’ prospects, with each Major League club sending 7 players that combine to fill up the 35-man rosters of the league’s six teams.

With many of the sport’s top prospects playing in the league annually, the AFL has become a virtual launching pad to the big leagues. Several players from last year’s AFL rosters made their MLB debuts in 2010. The likes of Ike Reese, Mike Leake, Domonic Brown, Starlin Castro, Stephen Strasburg and Buster Posey all made their names known in their respective organization’s cities and around MLB this year.

Certainly not all of this year’s AFL players are gearing up to be playing on their sport’s biggest stage within the next 6-11 months, but it’s a lock that some of them are.
This year, the Phillies’ players are merged with individuals from the Mets, Angels, Pirates and Cubs to complete the Mesa Solar Sox roster.

Mark Parent, a man who has quickly become well liked throughout the Philadelphia organization is the Solar Sox hitting coach. Parent, who in his first season managing affiliated ball, led the Phillies Class A team the Lakewood BlueClaws to a second consecutive South Atlantic League championship in 2010. The former big leaguer has some people close to the organization thinking he is on the fast track upward in the Phils’ system as a coach. Early in the season, Phillies brass mentioned the coaching assignments in the AFL to Parent, who stuck by something he stated when he was hired for the Lakewood job. Upon joining the Phillies organization, Parent told general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he would do whatever the Phillies asked, and Parent excitedly took the AFL assignment.

“It’s cool. It’s certainly a job I haven’t had. The more jobs you have, and building a resume of some sort, it’s a good thing,” Parent said in an exclusive interview recently.

So, not only is the AFL a place for players to sharpen and develop their skills, it also works as a platform for coaching personnel to do the same.

Catcher Tim Kennelly, first baseman Matt Rizzotti and outfielder John Mayberry Jr. are the offensive Philadelphia properties that Parent is working with closely out in Mesa.

Also on the team are pitchers BJ Rosenberg, Tyson Brummett, Justin De Fratus and Chris Kissock.

Mayberry Jr. saw some action at the Major League level in each of the past two season with the Phillies, but which of the other six Fightins hopefuls would be likely to make a splash with the big club sooner than later? With Matt Rizzotti’s .500 OBP through 7 AFL games, his .343 avg. and .985 OPS in 125 minor league games during the 2010 regular season and a roadblock at his position named Ryan Howard making Rizzotti resemble a delicious trading chip, the best candidate to make his debut in red pin stripes next year is righty reliever Justin De Fratus.

De Fratus, who turned 23-years-old last week, posted a 3-0 record, 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA with 71 strike outs and 16 walks in 65 innings combined at High-A Cleawater and Double A Reading in 2010. De Fratus, who sports a fastball that registers around the 93 MPH mark, was assigned the honor of having best control in the Phillies’ system last off-season by Baseball America. De Fratus, a California native, was an 11th round draft selection in 2007 and is primed to be the hurler that makes big moves in 2011.

Check back for updates and exclusive interviews from the Arizona Fall League in the coming weeks.

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Oswalt Teams With Lidge Again to Get 1st Win as Phillie

Posted by Jonathan Fogg, Thu, August 12, 2010 08:23 AM Comments: 64

In a couple of ways, it was just like old times Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Brad Lidge saved a game for Roy Oswalt–something he used to do regularly. But after a turn of events no one, no matter how crazy, would have foreseen the last time it had happened– July 28, 2007–both were wearing Phillies uniforms this time.

And the other familiar sight Wednesday was reminiscent not of the 2007 season but of the next one, when Ryan Madson teamed with Lidge as the most dominant setup-closer combo in baseball.

Oswalt held the Dodgers to five hits in seven innings, and Madson and Lidge combined to retire the last six L.A. batters – four by strikeout – to lead the Phillies to a 2-0 victory.

Sure, the win was important because it kept the Phillies 2 ½ games behind the Braves, who have pulled out two late-inning wins the past two days in Houston. But maybe even more importantly, the win made a statement a night after the Dodgers bombed Kyle Kendrick, and seemingly half the bullpen, for 15 runs.

If you want to get picky, the Phillies did leave a couple of runs on the bases, and their failure to score Wilson Valdez after his leadoff triple in the fifth inning was glaring. But the pitching took care of that. Oswalt wasn’t dominant, but he displayed steely focus when he encountered jams and got outs when he needed them most.

Raul Ibanez, meanwhile, stayed red-hot, driving in an insurance run with a sixth-inning double that extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Domonic Brown got the Phils on the board in the fourth with his legs, beating out a ground ball that would be a double play with most other major leaguers running. But with Dom gliding to first? Forget it.

As with a lot of Phillies games this season, however, there is a “but.” While hustling to second on a double that led to the Phillies’ second run, Ross Gload pulled up lame halfway between first base and second base, and he immediately left the game. Don’t be shocked tomorrow if he becomes the latest to pass through the DL turnstile, likely with a groin strain.

On the plus side, Shane Victorino homered, tripled and had three RBIs in a rehab game tonight with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was expected to rejoin the Phillies on Friday, but it sure looks like he’s ready now.

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The Bittersweet Blockbusters

Posted by Corey Seidman, Tue, December 15, 2009 07:21 PM Comments: 191

It’s all about perception.

You can view the trades made by Ruben Amaro in a positive or negative manner, just don’t combine them when you do so. They are two completely different deals that will, unfortunately, be linked together forever. And it’s all because of prospects, not money. Don’t believe anyone who says this was just about money.

The deal Amaro put together in order to acquire Halladay was nothing short of brilliant. He sent Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D’Arnaud to the Blue Jays in exchange for Halladay and $6 million (40% of his 2010 salary.)

Immediately after acquiring Halladay, Amaro locked him up to a three-year contract worth approximately $60M. The contract, which runs through 2013, also contains a vesting option for 2014 that will automatically trigger if Halladay pitches a certain amount of innings throughout the course of the pact.

If you have the chance to acquire, and subsequently lock up one of the top-three pitchers in baseball for a price below market value, you do it.

Sure, Drabek may turn out to be a stud and D’Arnaud could be the future for the Blue Jays behind the plate. Taylor, a rapidly emerging outfield prospect, may be ready to contribute in April of next year. But it won’t be for Toronto – Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos quickly shipped him off to Oakland for Brett Wallace, the top prospect in the Athletics’ organization. All of these men may turn out to be very good major leaguers, or they might not.

Halladay, on the other hand, is a proven ace. He has been the best pitcher in the superior league for years, despite playing in the toughest division in baseball. This was a brilliant move.

But if Amaro received an A+ on the Halladay trade, he gets an F- on the Cliff Lee deal.Yes, an F-. If a score of 50 nets you an F on an exam, this was a 12.

Lee was sent to Seattle in exchange for Phillippe Aumont (the Mariners top pitching prospect,) Tyson Gillies (an impressive, toolsy outfielder,) and Juan Ramirez (a “high-ceiling” pitcher with mediocre minor-league numbers.)

I spent most of Monday night believing the Lee deal wouldn’t go through, if for no other reason than it was a ridiculous trade from the Phillies standpoint. Dave Cameron of USS Mariner also spent most of Monday in disbelief, claiming that the “package is just so light as to not be realistic.”

It is too light. Even if the Phillies felt that Lee was looking for CC Sabathia-type numbers and that he wouldn’t be back after 2010, this was not enough of a return for a dominant lefty coming off of a Cy Young award in 2008, a brilliant 2009 season, and, arguably, the best postseason any pitcher has ever had in the history of a 130 year-old sport. Yes, Lee will probably leave Seattle next Fall, but this wasn’t enough for a year of his services.

Amaro stole Lee from the Indians in July, and got robbed with his eyes open in December.

Greed is Good

“Experts” are telling you that having Halladay and Lee in the same rotation was never realistic. They are saying that it never could have worked and that anyone who is asking “what if?” is being greedy. They’re wrong. If you’re sitting in your home or your office or your car and imagining a Phillies rotation headed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, you have every right to feel upset, confused, and incomplete about what transpired.

The idea of Halladay and Lee together was, by no means, unrealistic. Prior to these trades, Amaro spent a week trying to move Joe Blanton and his soon-to-be $7M salary. He couldn’t find a deal that made sense, so he didn’t pull the trigger. No team was offering the prospect(s) that Amaro was looking for.

Why would they? Blanton is, at best, a number three starter, and he’ll be a free agent after the 2010 season. If you were running a team, would you give up one of your top-five prospects for a pitcher who is going to go 13-10 with a 4.15 ERA? How about your seventh best prospect? How about your twelfth best prospect?

This wasn’t unrealistic because this wasn’t about money. If it were about money, Blanton would have (and definitely SHOULD have) been traded for whatever the Phillies could get. If they traded Blanton for a Double-A infielder who hit .213 last year, so be it. The salaries of Blanton and Lee will be so similar in 2010 that it doesn’t matter who the Phillies received for Kentucky Joe. If it meant the difference between having Blanton or Cliff Lee, the prospect who Blanton would be traded for is arbitrary.

This was about prospects.

Amaro wanted to replenish his farm system by making up for the losses of Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud. Did he do that with Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez? That won’t be clear for another five years, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say probably not. Minor-leaguers are fickle in that they can underperform one year and overperform the next, but I’m sitting here looking at the numbers compiled by Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez over the course of their short careers, and I don’t see it.

So, if this all about prospects, my question is, why not trade for BETTER PROSPECTS?! Amaro didn’t have to trade Lee at all, but if he felt that he had to, he certainly could have called every other GM not named Jack Zduriencik. Maybe he did make those calls, maybe he didn’t. But wouldn’t the Angels, desperate after losing John Lackey that same day, and Chone Figgins weeks earlier to their biggest competitor, be willing to make a deal for Lee? Honestly, who wouldn’t be interested in Cliff Lee? I absolutely, positively refuse to believe that Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez were the best that Amaro could have gotten for Lee. This defies logic.

The real question now becomes, do you care about 2010, or do you care about 2015? It’s a complicated question, because in 2015, Ryan Howard might not be here. Chase Utley will be 37 years old. Jimmy Rollins will be sitting next to Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight. The Phillies are going to need guys like Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez, and others to live up to their potential in order for this organization to remain competitive.

But don’t you worry about 2015 in 2012 or 2013, when it’s closer than five years away? Don’t you “go-for-broke” in 2010, when this nucleus is still intact, in its prime, and somewhat affordable?

This is why it’s all about perception. And this is why we are justified in feeling like the team we love just squandered an opportunity it might never again see.

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