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Posts Tagged ‘Raul Ibanez’

The Mulligan: Domonic Brown’s 2011 in Review

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, November 30, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 46

We continue on with our 2011 Player Reviews with Domonic Brown.

This is a story of unfulfilled promise. Going into the season as the No. 4 prospect in the game, according to Baseball America, and coming off a season where he posted a .980 OPS between AA and AAA, Domonic Brown seemed poised to slide seamlessly into the right field void left by Jayson Werth.  The Phillies’ best offensive prospect since Ryan Howard, Brown looked set to do in the majors what he’d done at every level of minor league baseball: take his trebuchet launch of a swing and his howitzer throwing arm and bring those weapons to bear for no purpose other than to blast the opposition into oblivion.

Then the Domonator broke the hamate bone in his right hand on March 5, and everything seemed to go downhill from there. Brown didn’t get into the major league lineup until May 21. What’s worse, the broken hamate bone saps strength in the hand, and it usually takes a hitter months to recover his full power stroke. Brown, for his part, wasn’t particularly good, dialing in at exactly replacement level according to both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, combining a .322 wOBA (not awful, but not exactly stellar for a corner outfielder) with pretty dreadful outfield defense, which, after 12 seasons of Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez in left field, has apparently started to bother Phillies fans all of a sudden.

Continue reading The Mulligan: Domonic Brown’s 2011 in Review

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Phillies Offer Arbitration to Rollins, Madson, Ibanez

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 23, 2011 04:59 PM Comments: 78

Ibanez was offereed arb. But why?

In a bit of a head scratching move, the Phillies have offered salary arbitration to Raul Ibanez, meaning if he accepts, he could actually make more than the $12 million he made in 2011.

It was a foregone conclusion the Phillies would offer it to Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Madson. With the Jonathan Papelbon signing, the Phillies lose a first-round draft pick, but when Madson signs elsewhere, they will recoup one. Same goes for Jimmy; if he moves on, the Phillies get a pick either in the first round, or a sandwich pick.

The Ibanez offering, however, comes out of left field. Perhaps they do look at him as a fallback option if they can’t come to terms with another outfielder they are squiring on the open market. And perhaps Ibanez has already told the Phillies he will decline the option anyway, even if they do offer it. In that case, he’s doing the Phils a solid, and they will receive a supplemental pick when he goes elsewhere.

Continue reading Phillies Offer Arbitration to Rollins, Madson, Ibanez

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Dr. Strangeglove: On a Plan for Domonic Brown

Posted by Michael Baumann, Fri, October 14, 2011 03:38 PM Comments: 65

I wanted to say how nice it’s been to get along with the readership over the past few weeks, a state of affairs I’d chalk up to my being neither informative nor persuasive since the first week in September or so. Anyway, I wanted to get that out there, because I’m back to my old ways. I went into this offseason with almost no expectations. This offseason, my wish was really more that the Phillies do nothing rather than do something. I was prepared to make peace with whatever the Phillies did this offseason, provided the following things happened:

  1. The Phillies don’t offer arbitration to Raul Ibanez.
  2. The Phillies don’t sign any free agent reliever (including Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson) to any contract with a total value of more than $5 million.
  3. The Phillies commit to getting Domonic Brown 400 or more major league plate appearances in 2012, preferably as the every day left fielder, but at least in some sort of platoon arrangement with John Mayberry.

Then Ruben Amaro announced that the Phillies wanted to get Brown a full season at AAA before bringing him up to the majors. I was absolutely mystified by this decision, though, judging by Ruben Amaro’s bizarre insistence on giving anyone but Brown a chance to play at the major league level in 2011, I can’t say I was surprised. Ever since he refused to include Brown in any sort of trade for Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay back in 2009, Amaro has, like Hamlet tormenting Claudius, seemed to take some sort of perverse pleasure in treating the Phillies’ top hitting prospect since Chase Utley like a yo-yo, tossing and spinning, and otherwise screwing with Brown for no reason other than he can.

Maybe there’s some sort of plan for Brown that the public is not privy to, and this is part of it. Maybe he’s being kept in the minors because there’s a flaw in his game that the Phillies are aware of but has escaped the eye of the extremely astute talent evaluators at ESPN and Baseball America. If that’s the case, maybe he’s being hidden so as not to harm his trade value. But I find that hard to believe.

I think I actually want this more than 400 plate appearances for the Domonator: to know what, exactly, that plan is.

Continue reading Dr. Strangeglove: On a Plan for Domonic Brown

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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.

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How I Came to Know Incredulity

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, October 12, 2011 11:32 AM Comments: 41

It took me five days to write this post, so I want to take you back to Friday night.

I feel like I ought to explain how I came to be sitting alone in my bedroom, tears welling up in my eyes, listening to “Nearer My God to Thee” over and over on Spotify. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely done whatever approximates, for you, sitting in your pajamas, mourning the passing of the most remarkable regular season Philadelphia has seen in a generation, all while listening to the song the band played while the Titanic went down.

If anyone has a better idea, I’m open to suggestions. The pain has hardly dulled in the interim.

What hurts is not so much that it’s over–that was likely to happen at some point, no matter the means. It’s not the possibility of not seeing Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, or Raul Ibanez put on red pinstripes ever again. Neither is it watching your franchise first baseman and cleanup hitter end this season with a weak groundout, then possibly end next season (for him at least) with a torn Achilles tendon, all on the same play. Or the pain of seeing your team lose, though as a 24-year-old, I really shouldn’t be moved to tears by a baseball tea m losing. But I am. I’m not counting down the days to next season. I’m not getting more amped up for Flyers hockey, or the Eagles, or Arsenal, or South Carolina, or any of the other teams I follow rabidly–that is to say, with about 2/3 the tenacity and emotion with which I follow the Phillies–or even looking forward to the rest of the MLB postseason.

Friday’s loss was a gut shot for two reasons: first, because this season represented a bread-and-circuses-type distraction that we all need from time to time. When your world is not a pleasant place to live in, sometimes you latch on to whatever is going right and give it undue importance–in this case, the Phillies. Now it’s over, three weeks early and without even a moment’s notice. Second, because as much as I’ve tried to be hyper-rational and prepare for the worst, it never actually occurred to me that the Phillies wouldn’t win the World SeriesContinue reading How I Came to Know Incredulity

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NLDS Game 3: Phillies (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, October 04, 2011 04:00 PM Comments: 101

Philadelphia Phillies (1-1) at St. Louis Cardinals (1-1)

Jaime Garcia, LHP vs. Cole Hamels, LHP

Time: 5:07 p.m., Busch Stadium
TV: TBS
Weather: Cloudy, 50
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Not that we’re recommending letting the Cardinals out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but both the Phillies (in Game 1) and Cards (in Game 2) spotted their opponents a 3-0 first-inning lead and came back to win. Just because something has happened a couple times in the past doesn’t make it likely to happen in the future.

That’s the message tonight for the Phillies, who face 25-year-old lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia, in case you haven’t heard, is 2-1 with a career 1.20 ERA in six appearances and 30 innings pitched against the Phillies. Don’t get me wrong–Garcia is an excellent pitcher whose 143 ERA+ in 163 innings last year would have gotten him some serious Rookie of the Year love in any season that didn’t involve Jason Heyward and Buster Posey. But for all the fear that Garcia’s induced over recent days, it’s not time to shut down the carnival and unpack your Flyers gear just yet: remember, it’s still only 30 innings.

Besides, Cole Hamels is on the mound tonight.

Continue reading NLDS Game 3: Phillies (1-1) at Cardinals (1-1)

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Cardinals Rally to Take Game 2, 5-4

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 03, 2011 12:06 AM Comments: 48

—Citizens Bank Park

PHOTO AP

It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Just ask the St. Louis Cardinals. A night after the Phillies climbed from an early hole, the Cardinals decided to do the same.

Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa went with starter Chris Carpenter on three days rest and it didn’t work out as planned, but the offense ate away at a four-run deficit to win Game 2 of the National League Division Series 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The series is now tied 1-1 heading back to St. Louis.

Carpenter would last just three innings on short rest – the first time he ever started a game on three days rest – throwing 64 pitches, only 34 for strikes.

Phillies starter Cliff Lee did strike out nine over six innings, but gave up five runs on 12 hits; the runs all coming between the fourth and seventh innings.

Jimmy Rollins would get the Phillies off to a fast start by ripping the first pitch from Carpenter off the top of the wall in right field that narrowly missed being a home run. Rollins would settle for a double. Carpenter then walked Chase Utley and Hunter Pence before Ryan Howard hit a two-run single to center field that glanced off the foot of the St. Louis starter. Two batters later, Raul Ibanez slapped a single to right to plate Pence for a quick 3-0 lead.

With two outs in the second inning, Rollins nearly had himself a home run again, hitting the top of the wall, this time in right-center field. Rollins again would stop at second base, but would make it home following a walk by Utley and an RBI single to right field by Hunter Pence to give Philadelphia a 4-0 lead. That ended the scoring for the Phillies.

Continue reading Cardinals Rally to Take Game 2, 5-4

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Halladay, Howard Beat Up on Cardinals in Game 1 Victory

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, October 01, 2011 09:25 PM Comments: 46

Richie Ashburn Award: Ryan Howard

Howard's 3-run shot put the Phillies on top for good. PHOTO AP

—From Citizens Bank Park

When Ryan Howard is at his best and Roy Halladay is on top of his game, the Phillies normally succeed.

That trend continued in Game 1 of the National League Division Series as Howard’s three-run homer, and Halladay’s eight strong innings led the Philadelphia Phillies to an 11-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

For five-plus innings, Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse gave the Phillies fits, retiring 10 in a row to start the game that stepped to the plate. Lohse made the Phillies look silly on numerous occasions. But the wheels fell off in a five-run sixth inning.

With the Phillies trailing 3-1, Howard teed off with one on and two outs, delivering a homer to right field on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. After a Shane Victorino single, Raul Ibanez would follow suit, launching a two-run home run to right field, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead.

Howard’s home run was the eighth of his career in the playoffs. It was also his 31st RBI in postseason play, moving him into first place in franchise history.

“Lohse came out and he was throwing very well, mixing it up,” said Howard. “We just knew it was just a matter of time.”

At this time last year, Roy Halladay was completely unhittable. In the opener of the 2010 NLDS, Halladay tossed the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history against the visiting Cincinnati Reds. This year, the results were different, but only for one inning.

During the final month of the regular season, the Cardinals were the hottest team in the National League. That hot streak carried over into the first inning. Rafael Furcal, who played despite injuring his hamstring on Monday, led off the game with  single and was joined on the bases by Albert Pujols after a walk. One batter later, Berkman, who rejuvenated his career with 31 home runs during the regular season, hit the first pitch from Halladay off the facing of the second deck in right field to give the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.

Continue reading Halladay, Howard Beat Up on Cardinals in Game 1 Victory

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Phillies Chop Braves From Playoffs with 102nd Win

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, September 28, 2011 11:51 PM Comments: 38

Richie Ashburn Award: Chase Utley

This might be, without exaggeration, the single most dramatic day of regular-season baseball I’ve ever seen. I’d just like to put that out there and express how glad I was that the Phillies took part in the drama.

The Phillies get a franchise-record 102nd win. Charlie Manuel becomes the Phillies’ all-time winningest manager. Justin De Fratus gets his first major league win, and David Herndon grabs his first major league save. But most importantly, Atlanta completes a collapse so improbable it could propel the spaceship Heart of Gold. The Phillies sent the Braves to a 4-3 loss in 13 innings that, combined with the Cardinals’ win in Houston, will end the season for a certain collection of foam rubber tomahawk enthusiasts from Georgia. Continue reading Phillies Chop Braves From Playoffs with 102nd Win

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Phillies Hit 100 Wins and Hurt Braves Playoff Chances

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, September 26, 2011 10:49 PM Comments: 24

PHOTO AP

As Charlie Manuel said last week (and I’m paraphrasing, but if you read it in Charlie’s voice it makes it funnier) “It’s only one more win, but 100 wins looks a lot better than 99.” Charlie was right.

The Phillies got to triple digits on Monday night with a 4-2 victory over the Braves in the opener of the final three game series. It’s just the third time in franchise history they’ve reached the 100 win plateau, joining the 1976 and 1977 teams. Those teams were extremely talented, but failed in the postseason. This club will not settle for anything less than a title.

For Atlanta, it was a wasted opportunity to stave off the Cardinals who continue to make a late move in the NL Wild Card standings.

Cliff Lee started and went six innings, just as Roy Halladay had done on Sunday. It’s a way to keep both aces on track for Games 1 and 2 on an extra day of rest while not overusing them. Lee tossed 92 pitches, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six. The runs came on a solo homer by Chipper Jones in the first inning, his 18th of the year, and on an RBI double by Alex Gonzalez in the second inning. Overall, a fine final tuneup for the Game 2 starter in the NLDS.

Continue reading Phillies Hit 100 Wins and Hurt Braves Playoff Chances

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