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Posts Tagged ‘Mindset’

De Fratus Proclaims Himself Papelbon’s Protege

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 31, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 1

Justin De Fratus

Justin De Fratus, image- AP

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus joined me and my co-host Tug Haines as our guest.  Among the topics of discussion was the type of impact that veteran teammates have had on him thus far in his big league career.

While sharing his thoughts on Phils closer Jonathan Papelbon, the 25-year-old De Fratus, who is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in seven games this season,  declared that he has inserted himself into the role of the five-time All-Star’s protege.

From episode 28 of the PhoulBallz Podcast, De Fratus said:

“Well, to be honest, my first encounters with Pap and Mike Adams were, you know, I kind of just stayed away from them.  I just kind of let them do their thing and tried to observe. But, really recently, in the last two weeks, or so, in my time up here, I feel at least my relationship with Pap has really taken off as far as, like, I really feel like he’s a mentor to me…teaching me about, you know, everything, like what it takes to be a closer or a successful major leaguer.  He’s a closer, so he’s gonna talk to me on what it takes to be a closer and I just really enjoy listening to what he has to say. He talks to me about being aggressive and about being prepared to throw every day…But as far as the preparation and the mindset of what it takes to be a dominant major leaguer and, you know, so we’ll sit in the bullpen and he’ll just fill me with all this knowledge…it’s awesome for me. I’m kind of just making myself…or self-proclaiming that I’m going to be his protege kind of thing. That’s what I’m looking for and that’s why I’m trying to get everything from him as much as I can.”

“Obviously, at the end of the day what’s important is pitching in the big leagues, staying in the big leagues and making sure your team is winning. Continue reading De Fratus Proclaims Himself Papelbon’s Protege

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Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 14, 2012 10:51 AM Comments: 30

Span would be a nice fit in Philly. (NBC Sports)

Yesterday, Eric Seidman unveiled his offseason plan for the Phillies, which included Nick Swisher, Peter Bourjos and others. Today, it’s my turn. Tomorrow, Corey will let us know what moves he wants the Phillies to make.

Here is my offseason plan.

Outfield: Trade for Denard Span

-I would love for the Phillies to grab this guy. He quietly contributes in Minnesota and would be a nice leadoff hitter here. Span got on base at a .342 clip last year, will steal 20 bases, and doesn’t strikeout much. Perhaps the Phillies throw some pitching prospects and one of their highly rated catchers at the Twins to get a deal done. Span is well worth it.

Span’s contract is friendly, as it pays him $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, and he has a $9 million in a club option for 2015. It’s the type of contract that doesn’t tie you to a guy on the wrong side of 30, but gives you the option to re-up him, should he be deserving.

The 28-year old centerfielder is also one of the best defensive players at his position. Among CF’s with at least 2,000 innings since 2010, Span ranks fourth in UZR according to Fangraphs, just behind Bourjos, Chris Young, and Michael Bourn. Pretty good company.

Outfield: Sign Cody Ross (3 years, $23 million)

This signing has more to do with the fact that I do not want the Phillies to spend $80 million-plus on B.J. Upton or Bourn, which is what seems to be the asking price. Instead, go for a cheaper corner outfielder in Ross, who can provide power in the middle of the order. It might take a three-year deal, but Ross is only 32, so it’s not as if he’s ready to fall apart.

Ross hits lefties very well. His numbers against southpaws over the last three years: .352 OBP, .530 slugging percentage in 401 plate appearance with a wRC+ of 135 (weighted runs created).

Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version

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Phillies Offseason Plan – Eric’s Version

Posted by Eric Seidman, Tue, November 13, 2012 12:50 PM Comments: 37

The Phillies are in an interesting spot heading into 2013, as there are legitimate holes to fill and a number of solid players they could pursue. The outfield has garnered plenty of attention, as the roster currently features five players either unproven, or who’ve proven that they are best utilized in a part-time role. Third base is a position of interest, with questionable internal options and an ugly free agent class. Bullpens are also always scrutinized and the Phils’ relief corps — which had the second worst eighth inning ERA in baseball last season — is no different

Ryan Madson would be a low-risk, high-reward signing. (PHOTO: NJ.com)

When discussing moves, however, it’s important to remember that everything is connected. Signing B.J. Upton means that another player is released, non-tendered or demoted. It would also mean that the team has less money to spend in other areas. A trade for Peter Bourjos might include one or two players currently on the major-league roster. Moves are often discussed in the abstract, without regard for the trickle-down effects on the rest of the roster.

It’s best to discuss an offseason plan holistically to ensure that all bases are covered, that funds aren’t over- or under-allocated to certain areas, and on a more basic level, to make sure that the roster doesn’t have more than 25 players.

To that end, Pat, Corey and I decided to put together our own offseason plans, playing Fantasy GM and building a 2013 roster based on our opinions on the specific needs of the team and which players are the best investments for those needs.

We tried to build our teams irrespective of current rumors or players to which the Phils have been connected (i.e. Josh Hamilton on Monday). The goal isn’t to predict what the Phillies will do, but rather to suggest what moves we would pursue if, to borrow a phrase from Amaro himself, we had our druthers.

Payroll was a major consideration. We were cognizant of the luxury tax calculable payroll, which is the average annual value of long-term contracts and not the specific salary for the 2013 season.

With the introductions and disclaimers out of the way, here is my offseason plan.

Bullpen: Sign Ryan Madson for 1 yr/$5 mil
I speculated earlier in the year that Madson could likely be had on a one-year, $2-$3 million contract. He injured his elbow, underwent reconstructive surgery, is set to return sometime towards the end of April or beginning of May 2013 and will probably have trouble finding a closing gig, regardless of his desires.

Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan – Eric’s Version

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PN Interview: Colby Shreve, Fall League Edition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, October 26, 2012 05:00 PM Comments: 0

Through six relief appearances in the Arizona Fall League righty hurler Colby Shreve has posted a 1..35 ERA while holding opponents to a .167 average.

At three levels during the 2012 regular season, the 24-year-old College of Southern Nevada product tallied a 6-3 record with a 3.69 ERA and a 7.38 K/9 mark.  A slight adjustment to his arm angle this year helped the 6-foot-5 210-pounder to upgrade his velocity, which was steadily clocked at 95 MPH in 2012.

The Phillies’ 6th round draft selection in 2008, Shreve had Tommy John surgery and missed his first full season following signing a professional contract, as he recovered.

Recently, Colby took some time to offer his thoughts on the AFL and what he’s working on while there.  Read ahead for that interview.

-How did you find out you’d be competing in the Arizona Fall Lg and what was your reaction?

I found out I was coming to the fall league about 10 days before our regular season ended. I was excited to come to the fall league, just as I was last year. It is a great opportunity to compete against the best competition in the minor leagues and showcase yourself in front of every MLB team. Continue reading PN Interview: Colby Shreve, Fall League Edition

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Offense Sputters As Padres Even Series With Phils

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, May 12, 2012 10:02 PM Comments: 9

Shane Victorino had three hits and a stolen base tonight, but the Phils offense could only muster one run. (AP)

In tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Padres, the Phillies found themselves in a situation that’s become all too familiar this season: They watched their starting pitcher throw a gem, only to have the offense fail to capitalize on the opportunity to win the ballgame.

DOC PULLS HIS WEIGHT, OFFENSE DOESN’T

- Roy Halladay did everything in his power to get the Phils the win tonight, but the bats once again weren’t there to back him up. He allowed just two runs over seven innings, and recorded a season-high ten strikeouts (his first double-digit strikeout performance of the season). He allowed runs in the third and the seventh, but was more than good enough to deserve a win.

- Say what you want about Halladay’s velocity/control/stamina/performance, the guy has still pitched like a bona fide ace this season. If you take away his one disastrous start in Atlanta, his ERA would stand at 1.76. The peripheral stats (BABIP, LOB%) that suggested Doc’s decline earlier this season have started to level out, and the guy just keeps getting it done. The Phillies may have lost his last five starts–a streak so rare, it’s the first time a team has lost five straight Halladay starts since 1999–but four of those losses are not on the pitcher, including tonight’s game.

PENCE’S NEW APPROACH

- As David Hale wrote earlier today, Hunter Pence has decided to take a new, less-anxious approach to hitting after slumping for the last week or so. Early on, it seemed like the new mindset was working, as Pence worked two walks in three plate appearances. But when Pence came up with the bases loaded, one out, and a chance to tie the game or give the Phillies the lead in the seventh, he reverted back to his old form, hacking away at the first pitch and popping out weakly to second base.

- These high pressure RBI situations are exactly where Pence needs to be more patient. With the bases loaded and a tight ball game, taking a few pitches increases the odds of working a walk or even of a ball getting by the catcher to allowing the tying run to come home. Pence is hitting .316 this year with RISP, but I’d be willing to bet that number would be even higher if he’d wait for a pitch to hit from time to time instead of hacking away.

- Pence did take some pitches in the final at-bat of the game. But he struck out on a fastball up and out of the zone to end the game. Swinging at the first pitch and chasing high heat are Pence’s two weaknesses, and both were on display in his final two at-bats.

VICTORINO WITH THREE HITS

- The 2012 campaign has not been pretty thus far for Shane Victorino. Coming off a year in which he was probably the Phillies best hitter from start to finish, Victorino has struggled to get on base regularly this season. Tonight was a bright spot, however, as he collected three hits and was on base four times. It marked just his second three-hit game of the season. To put that in perspective: Victorino had nine three-hit games last season (though, much like this season, he only had two through May 12th). When discussing why the Phillies offense has the potential to perform better than it has, Vic’s name comes up a lot as a guy who has underperformed. Tonight aside, the offense has been better in the month of May, and Victorino has had something to do with that. He’s now hitting .326 with six extra-base hits since May 1st. He would miss out on the opportunity for his first four-hit game of the season when he was intentionally walked in the seventh and when he struck out with Rollins on second in the ninth.

- It was unfortunate to see Vic strike out in the ninth because that could overshadow the rest of his game, but when you get a base four times, you can hardly be blamed for your team’s one-run output.

GAME NOTES

-The Phils will look for the series victory tomorrow when Cole Hamels returns from his suspension to take the mound against Jeff Suppan.

- The Phillies have won just one series at home this season, and that came back in the opening series against Miami. Beating a team like San Diego two out of three is imperative if the Phils want to gain ground in the standings.

- Mike Fontenot was added to the 25-man roster before tonight’s game and Erik Kratz was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 15 games with Lehigh, Fontenot had a slash line of .300/.364./.400. He can play several infield positions and is expected to provide Manuel another bat to insert in the lineup. He is a career .263 hitter, and has been known for his patience at the plate–something the Phils could sorely use.

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R-Phils’ Ruf Focused on Performance, Not Obstacles

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 04, 2012 07:30 AM Comments: 3

The term prospect is typically reserved for younger players who display considerable talent in the minor leagues and tends to skip those players that might be of a more advanced age.  The omission associated with the way older players can be overlooked doesn’t bother 25-year-old Reading Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf, who has developed into an impact player and has proven to be his team’s standout offensive star.

Through 26 games for the R-Phils in the Double-A Eastern League, Ruf has posted impressive numbers, tallying a .362 batting average with 2 homeruns, 11 RBI and 15 runs scored.

A 20th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2009, Ruf has steadily progressed upward in the developmental system during his time as a pro, having made stops in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, Class A Lakewood, Class A Advanced Clearwater and now with Reading.

A solid performer at the plate last year with a .308 average, 17 HR and 82 RBI with Clearwater in the Florida State League, Ruf credits his time playing as a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions last autumn with benefiting his offensive development.

“I think a lot of my success can be attributed to my time in the Arizona Fall League.  I got a lot of good learning in, out there.  I got to pick the brains of some different coaches and some of the players…guys that have had success at the big league level and everything like that,” Ruf stated. Continue reading R-Phils’ Ruf Focused on Performance, Not Obstacles

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Can the Phillies Offense Change?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 13, 2011 09:05 AM Comments: 44

PHOTO AP

When I was a kid, I fell in love with the long ball. Like everyone else, I was enamored with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa back in 1998; the Summer of Baseball Love.

Well, the game ain’t the same, friends. More teams are manufacturing runs the old fashioned way. The Phillies are slow to change with the times.

It’s not really any fault of theirs, truthfully. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and others were all used to winning by playing a certain way. Swinging for a three-run homer was the plan four or five years ago. It’s how they made their coin. Just ask Shane Victorino; he might tell you that paydays are a little bigger when that HR number is larger. A guy who hits .280 with 17 homers might get paid more than a guy who hits .300 with 9 homers. A little pop goes a long way.

But now, the philosophy is clearly changing within the Phillies; or at least that’s what Ruben Amaro hopes will be the case. In what became a mission statement of sorts, Amaro challenged everyone in the organization to a revolution. Well, you know.

Easier said, Rube. Easier said. The question isn’t whether the Phillies need this philosophical restructuring when it comes to their offense; it’s quite apparent they do. The question is can the players be something they aren’t?

Amaro thinks that change can occur.

Continue reading Can the Phillies Offense Change?

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Oswalt Unpoised in Phillies Debut

Posted by Corey Seidman, Sat, July 31, 2010 03:31 AM Comments: 69

Don’t misinterpret this headline – no judgment is being passed on Roy Oswalt’s ability after one late July start. I mean, it’s not as if Roy Number Two a) pitched well in his debut Friday, b) hit his spots, or c) threw effective breaking pitches, but the mediocre first impression he left is not indicative of the The Real Roy Oswalt.

THAT is not the Oswalt you’re gonna get. So there’s no need for overreaction and even less of a need for worries.

There’s your “good” news. The bad news is that Oswalt looked completely unpoised in his six innings of work – letting his emotions show almost on-cue following every hanging breaking ball.

Now, emotions can be refreshing at times. Bill Simmons wrote a bunch of words last night about how boring players create an air of apathy (he didn’t write those exact words, but mentioned how it’s hard to identify with J.D. Drew because he carries a pokerface wherever he goes.)

Very, very rarely, however, are profanity and frustrated body language beneficial on the mound.

Once upon a time, Cole Hamels got flustered easily. The best way to describe Hamels’ prior tendencies after a poor play in the field would be “visibly upset.” This is how Oswalt appeared after Roger Bernadina’s double, Adam Dunn’s hit by pitch, and Josh Willingham’s two-run double.

On Bernadina’s double, Oswalt blatantly said “f–k, motherf—er,” almost immediately after Comcast SportsNet’s director called for a close-up on him. He made sure to add a “f–k, son of a b—h” before delivering his next pitch.

There are many reasons a pitcher can struggle on a given night, but poise, a solid mindset, and the ability to execute each play a massive role in subsequent outcomes. It is ironic that Oswalt’s blood pressure increased so much Friday night, because the pitcher he was traded for, J.A. Happ, is an absolute corpse on the mound. Nothing phases him.

(But, uh…yeah, I’ll still take Oswalt’s talent.)

Rarely is a pitcher effective once the floodgates of frustration open. Carlos Zambrano has showed us time and time and time again. The Hamels of old showed us, too, and Brett Myers before him. Friday was an off-night for Oswalt, but there was no-coming-back-for-him once he let his irritation build and surface.

An adjective like “fiery” is not something we can read about on paper from references in Houston. Oswalt may be an extremely fiery guy. That is something we’ll see for ourselves and be able to better determine after a few more starts. Maybe he is just so high strung that emotions and expletives fly no matter what the situation.

Or, hey, maybe he just can’t execute against the Nationals. On May 31, Oswalt pitched only 2.2 innings versus the Nats before his repeated arguing with home plate umpire Bill Hohn led to an ejection. Oswalt couldn’t hit his spots that day against Washington, nor could he on Friday.

The good news is: you don’t have to worry about his performance. This was merely an ill-timed off-night for Oswalt.

The bad news is, New Roy needs work on his pokerface.

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What’s Wrong With Brad Lidge?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, May 25, 2009 11:00 AM Comments: 21

The word “struggling” is an understatement for closer Brad Lidge. He has blown four saves in twelve opportunities, including two in a row. He is 0-2 and his earned run average soared over nine.

He has allowed 2.08 walks and hits per innings pitched and opponents are batting .337 against the right hander. Runners have already stole five bases off him. Last year they stole a total of eight.

His fastball velocity reaches 94-95 mph. He says he is healthy. He is not tipping his pitches. So, what is wrong with Brad Lidge?

His location hasn’t been off by much, but he isn’t throwing as many pitches for strikes,  indicated in his walk totals. Batters are taking pitches.  When he is behind in the count and throws a slider, a chase pitch, batters  lay off since he isn’t throwing it for strikes.

Or, is it a confidence factor? After blowing one save, “perfection” is gone. Maybe all he needs is one 1-2-3 save to get back to a confident mindset.

Despite his hard-to-watch struggles, after last season, he deserves fan support.

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