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Posts Tagged ‘Regulars’

Gameday: Phillies (18-21) vs. Indians (21-16)

Posted by Alex Lee, Tue, May 14, 2013 04:00 PM Comments: 0

Indians_LogoPhiladelphia Phillies (18-21) vs. Cleveland Indians (21-16)

RHP Jonathan Pettibone (2-0, 3.63 ERA) v. LHP Scott Kazmir (2-1, 4.87 ERA)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV: 
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 50, few clouds
Media: Twitter and Facebook

On April 30, the struggling Phillies arrived in Cleveland expecting to play a team that was also suffering from early-season inconsistency.  What a difference two weeks can make.  The Tribe embarrassed the Phillies, completing a two-game sweep by a combined score of 20-2.  They’ve gone 9-3 since against some stiff competition (Twins, A’s, Tigers and Yankees) and now sit only a half-game out of the AL Central lead.

It was those two losses that triggered Cliff Lee to proclaim that the Phillies needed to play with more pride.  With the Indians in Philly on Tuesday and Wednesday for another two-game series, now is their chance.  The Phils are coming off a successful West Coast swing, taking four of seven from the Giants and D’Backs.  Their starting pitching was great on the road trip, but will be put to the test against an Indians offense that has scored the sixth most runs in baseball.

Jonathan Pettibone takes the ball on Tuesday night for the Phils.  He was a model of consistency through his first three major league starts (all Phillies wins), throwing strikes and making opposing hitters put the ball in play.  While the 22-year-old regressed a bit last week in San Fran – he allowed seven hits and four walks – he still kept his team in the game.  But issuing four free passes won’t fly against a potent Cleveland lineup.  The Tribe has four regulars with OPS’ over .800, and five if you count Ryan Raburn.  For comparison, the Phillies have one; Chase Utley.   Pettibone’s outing tonight should be a telling barometer for Phils fans wondering if his performance thus far is sustainable.

The Phillies offense will face Scott Kazmir for the first time since beating him twice in the 2008 World Series with the Tampa Bay Rays.  Kazmir’s career has been a disaster since then, culminating in a stint with an independent league team last season.  The Indians took a chance on the former All-Star and it has paid off over his last two starts, in which he has gone 2-0 and racked up 17 strikeouts in only 12 innings.  The Phils are always susceptible to good left-handers (see Patrick Corbin last Thursday), but were able to get to a previously unhittable Madison Bumgarner a week ago.

While scoring 25 runs in seven games as they did last week out West is no large feat, the Phillies did seem to come up with more clutch hits than they had over any stretch this season.  Nearly a quarter of the way into the season, it is clear this lineup is far from special… and will therefore need all the clutch hitting it can get.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Frandsen 2B, M. Young 3B, Howard 1B, D. Young RF, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Mayberry CF, Pettibone P

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID21038/images/100104033126DortmunderBottle.jpgGAMEDAY BEER: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Dartmunder Gold

Cleveland has been named one of America’s best cities for beer by GQ and one of the highlights of the local beer comes from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

 

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Brown and Howard Power Phils Over Yanks

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, March 19, 2013 07:46 PM Comments: 25

Richie Ashburn Award: Kyle Kendrick

Kyle Kendrick gave up one unearned run and struck out three over six behind homers by Dom Brown and Ryan Howard as the Phils won 4-1 at Bright House Field over the Yankees.

The Good

Phillies pitching was superb today, with Kendrick, Mike Adams, Jonathan Papelbon, and Chad Durbin combining for a two-hitter against most of the Yankee regulars.

Brown went 1-3 with a HR, bringing his triple-slash to .397/.465/.714. Brown’s .714 SLG in 63 AB leads all MLB players in Spring Training with 50 or more ABs and he leads all MLB players in Spring Training in ABs, hits, runs, and homers.

Areas Of Opportunity

Michael Young committed a throwing error. This was a good win, though.

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What To Do With Betancourt

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, March 12, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 9

http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/headshots/mlb/players/full/6218.png&w=350&h=254In our non-roster infield invitee preview, I wrote the following of Yuniesky Betancourt:

Yikes.

Chances of Making Phils out of Spring Training: If there is a higher power and they have mercy, please let this be none.

Chances of Seeing Time with Phils in 2013: See above.

I didn’t write that because I had about 20 players to write about and I was tired as sometimes is the case with concise notes. Instead, I wrote what I felt was all that was warranted at the time. Betancourt was never particularly skilled in any areas (hits for OK average and power, struggles defensively and to get on base), but always managed to find his way on to a Major League roster. In fact, if we’re comfortable no longer pulling punches, Betancourt has been worse than “never particularly skilled”; he’s been particularly “stealth” bad throughout his career, especially recently.

Betancourt’s career triple-slash is .266/.290/.392, which is actually pretty OK for a shortstop. That line is better than Pete Orr‘s .259/.289/.332 and the recently released Andres Blanco‘s .255/.301/.333 MLB lines, and also better than J.J. Hardy, Zack Cozart, Jhonny Peralta, Yunel Escobar, and Mike Aviles‘s 2012 triple-slash lines. All of those MLB regulars, and Orr and Blanco, play at or above league-average defense, however, while Betancourt hasn’t had a positive season according to UZR since 2005.

Betancourt isn’t an offensive standout but he’s not entirely horrible as evident by his career triple-slash numbers and his impressive start to Spring Training (.360/.379/.400 against 8.9 opposing pitching quality in Spring Training). Betancourt is starting again today for the Phils and suddenly has a puncher’s chance  to make the team. If you were Charlie Manuel, do you keep him on your Opening Day roster?
Continue reading What To Do With Betancourt

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Phils Put up 10 Hits but Lose to Rays

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, March 08, 2013 04:59 PM Comments: 4

Over at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida, the Phillies fell to the Rays, 3-2.

Kyle Kendrick’s final line was somewhat shaky, giving up three runs in four innings, while striking out three. All three runs came in the third inning. The bullpen behind him, consisting today of Mike Stutes, Mike Adams, and Aaron Cook, allowed just three hits over the final four frames.

Adams has been absolutely brilliant early in the spring. In three appearances, he’s given up just three hits and no walks. Stutes has struggled, but calmed himself down for a quick 1-2-3 frame, and Cook pitched well in two innings as he is vying for an outside shot at a bullpen job. It’s likely he sees an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Kevin Frandsen and Michael Young each recorded two hits and both knocked in a run for the Phillies. Darin Ruf singled in three at-bats and Domonic Brown continued his tear with two hard hit singles in three trips to the plate. Most of the regulars (Rollins, Utley, Howard, Ruiz, Revere) were given a day of rest.

Howard has been hitting well and hasn’t seen much time off this early in Spring Training. Good thing or bad thing? And how excited are you to see Brown ripping the cover off the ball?

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Minor League Ball Releases Phillies Top 20

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 31, 2012 02:12 PM Comments: 4

Biddle is number one but Sickels says Ruf is the real deal. Photo by: Ian Riccaboni

Minor League Ball released their list of the Top 20 Phillies’ Prospects. For those unfamiliar with Minor League Ball, it is run by John Sickels, who was Bill James‘ research assistant from 1993 to 1996 and was ESPN’s Minor League Baseball Analyst from 1996-2005. Sickels was among the first national pundits to give Darin Ruf the seal of approval as a Major League-quality hitter (on August 16, 2012) and has a pretty strong familiarity with the Phillies organization. His list of Phillies’ prospects differs a bit from the Baseball America Top 10, with Sickels seemingly favoring potential slightly more than Minor League body of work.

Sickels list is interesting for not who is on it but for whom is omitted. In Sickels’ opinion, the Phillies have a very deep body of players who will become Major League regulars in their ranks, with Biddle the only true standout. Considering that, some of the omissions are quite surprising, as quite a few players who were once thought to have high ceilings seem to have come back to earth. Luckily for the Phillies, Sickels likes a lot of the players acquired at this year’s trade deadline.

Biddle Takes the Top Spot, Quinn Third

Germantown Friends’ Jesse Biddle was Sickels’ number one, just as he was in Baseball America’s list. Sickels’ lists Biddle as a B+ prospect, which on his scale, means you can essentially pen him in to see Major League work and expect to see something more than a regular out of him. Sickels’ says of Biddle: “Good bet to be a mid-rotation starter, if not more.”

Baseball America’s choice for number two, shortstop Roman Quinn, debuts on Sickels’ list at number three, stating “Blazing speed and knows how to use it well, needs more defensive polish and a better grasp of the strike zone to be a full-scale leadoff hitter, but the 80-speed covers a lot of problems and ensures the Phils will give him plenty of time.”

Ruf Gets More Strong Praise

Continue reading Minor League Ball Releases Phillies Top 20

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Backman To Remain with Mets

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, October 25, 2012 08:56 PM Comments: 1

Photo: MiLB.com

Former Phillies second baseman Wally Backman will return to the Mets’ Triple-A coaching staff as manager and follow the team from Buffalo to Las Vegas. Why is this newsworthy on a Phillies blog, you ask? In addition to being a former Phil, Backman was among the candidates to replace Ryne Sandberg at Triple-A Lehigh Valley with Sandberg’s promotion to the Big Leagues for 2013. Andy Martino reported today that Backman had re-upped with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate but confirmed the Phils’ interest.

My take: Slow news day? No way. Backman would have been a nice pick-up for the ‘Pigs based on a strong record of Minor League successes, including winning the Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year in 2004 with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ High-A squad and leading the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones to a 51-24 record and a division title.

Watch this story – Sandberg will undoubtedly be hard to replace at Lehigh Valley. It goes without saying Sandberg’s squads have competed with little more than Triple-A regulars but have posted a very nice 155-132 mark and guys who are ready to step in at any time at the Major League level, including Erik Kratz, Kevin Frandsen, and a stable of young bullpen arms.

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AS Break Grades – The Outfield

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 13, 2012 01:28 PM Comments: 10

A few years ago, the Phils outfield looked like it would be some combination of Michael Taylor, Shane Victorino, and Dom Brown for 2012. Now, Victorino may be traded before July 31, Brown is struggling with injuries, and Taylor, as we found out from my colleague Jay Floyd yesterday, continues to stroke Triple-A pitching but has struggled in his brief tastes of the Bigs. The 2012 Phillies’ outfield has, of course, looked and felt much different than that trio.

Juan Pierre

Juan Pierre has been a pleasant surpirse

Surprising Off Season Pick-Ups

Juan Pierre – Pierre does not have enough PA to qualify for the batting title but his .307 BA in 262 PA is good enough for second in the team. Pierre is 20 for 23 (87%) in stolen base attempts, which at age 34 bests his 75% career success rate, and has been worth 0.8 WAR for the Phillies. Pierre also predictably is tough to strike out (5.0% this year v. career average of 5.6%). Pierre’s .378 SLG% is a product of his high batting average but immediately identifies a problem within the Phils line-up: the light-hitting Pierre’s SLG % is higher than regulars Victorino, Mayberry, and Polanco. Yet, the struggles of others aren’t the result of Pierre’s successes and shouldn’t be penalized. Pierre is having perhaps the “Best Case Scenario” season you could have envisioned for a former speedster who looked to be all but done last year with the White Sox and deserves a high mark. Grade: B+

Laynce Nix – In 51 PA, Nix was hitting .326/.392/.587, playing primarily against righties and allowing Ty Wigginton to play primarily against lefties at first but also fill in in left field. Nix is battling a serious Grade 2 left calf strain and began a rehab assignment yesterday. Once Nix returns, he should be a valuable bench member. Grade: Incomplete leaning toward B+.

Continue reading AS Break Grades – The Outfield

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A Tale of Two Octuplets

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, April 20, 2011 06:00 AM Comments: 7

I’m going to preface this by saying that the following is an objective post based on reality, supported by stats. Try to remove any biases or homerism from your view of the Phillies offense.

The difference between how the Phillies hit through the first eight games of the season and the last eight is that this makes sense.

Through the first eight games, the Phillies had an insane, unsustainable .411 batting average on balls in play (BABIP.) Everything they made contact with fell in for a hit. Naturally, this led baseball, and the next closest team was 60 points behind. As expected, the team BABIP has since plummeted 96 points to .315. Two-thirds of teams end the season between .290 and .305.

The Phils are 4-4 since winning 10-2 in Atlanta on April 9, averaging a mere 2.9 runs per game. Every player’s numbers have dropped, but the corner outfield has been the most concerning. The Phillies corner outfielders (batting fifth and sixth in every game) have hit .145/.210/.145 during the last eight. They have gone 9-for-62 with no extra-base hits and only five RBI.

Contrast that to the fifth and sixth hitters of the Phillies’ opponents in that span, who have driven in 12 runs and hit .293/.379/.414.

Nobody on the Phillies is walking. Only Baltimore, Minnesota, and Houston have walked less, and those are currently the three worst offenses in baseball.

Nobody on the Phillies is hitting home runs. They are 22nd in the bigs, and only one of the eight teams with fewer homers has a winning record.

What the hell is going on?

Continue reading A Tale of Two Octuplets

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Ben Fran and the Backup Boys Clean House, 7-1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 29, 2010 11:09 PM Comments: 0

It’s turned into a waiting game, basically. Everyone is looking ahead to the postseason, which starts next week. The reserves stepped in once again on Hangover: Day 2, pushing the Phillies to a series win over the Nationals with a 7-1 victory. Ben Francisco jacked two home runs, John Mayberry and Mike Sweeney each added one and even though the game was rather meaningless (again) it gave the bench guys some good swings heading into the playoffs.

Francisco and Mayberry each knocked in three runs and Joe Blanton pitched seven solid innings. Blanton ends his year on a high note, one that started fairly ugly. He struck out six and allowed just three hits while tossing 107 pitches. He likely won’t pitch in the NLDS, so Charlie Manuel allowed him to go deeper than Roy Oswalt went last night.

As for the few regulars who saw time, Shane Victorino went 0-for-4 as did Jimmy Rollins who has scuffled at the plate the last two games. Wilson Valdez, if you want to call him a regular, played second base and finished 0-for-3 with a walk.

In his quest for a spot on the NLDS roster, Greg Dobbs went 2-for-4 with a couple of singles. Out in the pen, Romero, Madson, Lidge tossed two scoreless frames to end it.

Just one week. But before the playoffs, enjoy the final moments of what has been an awesome regular season. Let it last.

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Moyer Takes the Lead, Werth Supports in 7-0 Rout of Braves

Posted by Paul Boye, Fri, May 07, 2010 10:22 PM Comments: 67

Sometimes, every once and again, the Phillies play a game of baseball so well that all you can stand to do is smile, laugh and applaud, wherever you may be.

If tonight wasn’t one such game, one would be hard-pressed to find a better example.

Jamie Moyer, still in the prime of his life and career, pitched his first shutout since 2006 – a two-hitter with no walks, at that – and Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer as the Phillies trounced Derek Lowe and the Braves, 7-0.

Playing without three regulars, the Braves’ lineup looked quite feeble against Moyer. First baseman Troy Glaus provided the only hits of the night for Atlanta, which fell to 12-17 with the loss. Starter Derek Lowe allowed seven runs on 11 hits in just five innings, by far his worst start in Citizens Bank Park. It took Lowe 95 pitches to finish those five innings, just seven fewer hurls than it took Moyer to go the distance.

Werth kept his bat alight, hitting a three-run homer in the third and added a double later, his league-leading sixteenth. Five starters had multiple hits, and only Moyer and Shane Victorino failed to reach base on the offensive end. A crowd of 45,349 saw the show, yet another sell-out for the Phils.

All-in-all, it was a pretty good Friday night in South Philadelphia.

Saturday, Joe Blanton will make his second start of the season against Kris Medlen, who will make a spot start for the injured Jair Jurrjens.

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