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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Howard’

Revisiting Amaro over Arbuckle

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, August 14, 2013 11:44 AM Comments: 25

Completely forgot I wrote this in November 2008, but @GTown_Dave on twitter sent it to me, reminding me of that under-the-radar move. The move was choosing Ruben Amaro over Mike Arbuckle to take over for Pat Gillick as GM of the Phillies. Amaro got the job, Arbuckle moved to Kansas City, and here we are today.

I wrote this nearly five years ago for examiner.com:

On Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies announced their new General Manager, the man who would take over for the legendary Pat Gillick.  Ruben Amaro Jr., just 43, is the new GM for the World Champion Phillies, filling in for Gillick who has won three titles in that position.

It’s a feel good story for Amaro, who in 1980 was a batboy, winning a championship with the team in quite a different capacity.  He now gets to take over for the top franchise in baseball and will have a busy first off-season ahead of him as players like Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels look for big-time raises and Pat Burrell becomes a free agent.

With the promotion of Amaro, an assistant GM for 10 seasons with the Phils, Mike Arbuckle will be leaving the team.  Arbuckle, an assistant General Manager himself, was also considered for the position before the Phillies’ decision to go with Amaro.

Arbuckle has been in baseball since 1979, when he entered the game as a scout.  In 1992 he took over as the Phillies Director of Scouting and just two years later was promoted to assistant GM.  One of the main cogs behind this championship season, Arbuckle is responsible for drafting Howard, Hamels and Burrell along with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Madson, and Brett Myers.

He is from the Kansas City area, and there are rumors around the league that he may join the Royals in some capacity. His departure would be huge, and may even be the biggest loss of the season.  This guy has been with the Phillies for nearly two decades and knows the Phillies system inside and out.  Amaro himself has been with the franchise for a while too, but he is not as seasoned as Arbuckle.

Baseball America had Arbuckle ranked as the third best GM prospect in 2003.  Five years have passed since then and Arbuckle is still an assistant, so its understandable that he wants his shot at losing the assistant moniker.

While it was great to see Amaro’s promotion, it is just as alarming to see Arbuckle leave like this.  He perhaps should have been the leading candidate, but the Phils brass chose to move along with younger blood.  Keep an eye on Arbuckle’s whereabouts during the off-season.  Just a week removed from a title, the Phillies are undergoing their first bout with in-house turmoil.

So, looking back, was it the right move to choose Amaro over Arbuckle?

  • 25 Comments
 

Amaro’s Failures Were Easy to Predict

Posted by Alex Lee, Tue, August 13, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 85

Avoidable mistakes by Ruben Amaro and the Phillies front office have the future looking bleak (AP Photo).

Avoidable mistakes by Ruben Amaro and the Phillies’ front office have the team’s future looking bleak (AP Photo).

The Phillies finally designated Delmon Young for assignment on Friday, months (if not years) after most of the Delaware Valley realized that he was not only useless in the short term, but was also hurting the club’s long-term prospects by delaying the audition of players that may actually matter to the future of this team, like Darin Ruf.

Three days before that, it was Laynce Nix that was jettisoned from the roster, only 20 months after the Phillies curiously gave the journeyman outfielder a two-year contract.  Nix was a reasonable addition at the time – he was coming off three straight seasons of .700+ OPS as a lefty bat off the bench – but inking a career bench player to a two-year deal in December, regardless of the player, screamed impatience and, to a certain extent, irresponsibility.

The implication here is something David Murphy of the Daily News effectively tackled yesterday: that many of these moves have failed in an unsurprising fashion.  That is, that Young performed like Young was projected to perform and that Nix’s premature exit from Philly simply exemplified why middling bench players don’t typically get two-year deals.  It is this notion that is perhaps the most damning evidence that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s tenure as general manager of the Phillies has taken a turn towards disaster.  And it is painfully clear that Young and Nix represent only the most recent examples.

A month before Amaro inked Nix, he gave Jonathan Papelbon a four-year deal worth more than $50 million, more than anyone had ever given a closer.  With a gaping hole in left field and a struggling offense that was to be without Ryan Howard, Amaro tied up a ridiculous amount of payroll at one of baseball’s most overvalued and unpredictable positions, forfeiting a first round pick in the process.  The reactions to the signing were mixed, albeit with a negative tilt – while most agreed the money was overwhelming, advocates pointed to Papelbon’s track record as evidence that if any closer was worth it, it was Papelbon. Continue reading Amaro’s Failures Were Easy to Predict

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Rollins: “I’m not going anywhere”

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, July 28, 2013 05:52 PM Comments: 24

(MLB)

(MLB)

Jimmy Rollins made it clear to the Philadelphia media traveling with the team in Detroit: “I’m not going anywhere.” That was his response when asked if he were approached by the team with a trade to a contender.

Rollins has 5 and 10 rights, meaning five seasons with the same team, 10 in the league. Therefore, he has the ability to block all trades. Therefore, J-Roll isn’t going anywhere.

Rollins stated his quest to achieve Phillies records as his reason for staying put.

“There are still a couple things I would like to be number one on the lists of in this organization,” Rollins said, “so until those things are done, I’m not going anywhere.”

That statement could mean the end of the road for one, Chase Utley. It’s tough to imagine the Phillies keeping Utley around for several more seasons next to an aging Rollins and a rapidly-aging Ryan Howard. Assuming you resign Utley at $12 million per season, which is likely undervaluing him, that would account $48 million for three players, all in their mid-30′s. That would not be wise.

 

  • 24 Comments
 

Howard’s Contract Isn’t Going Anywhere

Posted by Eric Seidman, Fri, July 19, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 26

A sunk cost generally refers to money that has already been committed that should not factor into the decision-making process moving forward. The monetary commitment can’t be undone and therefore should not represent any type of deterrent to other decisions that could positively impact the organization. In certain terms, however, a sunk cost can refer to an unmovable commitment, even if future cash outflows are required, if there is virtually no way of recovering the costs.

Ryan Howard’s five-year, $125 million contract is a sunk cost.

Regardless of his health or performance issues, the Phillies simply won’t be able to remove the contract from the books in a manner that actually benefits them. It’s unlikely that the severity of his injury could result in an insurance settlement down the road and it’s hard to fathom any team taking him in a trade unless the Phillies covered 95%-100% of the cost. Even at that point, Howard’s relative struggles and injury risk will prevent the Phillies from acquiring a worthwhile player or prospect in a trade. The contract is signed, the money is guaranteed, and the player isn’t going anywhere.

One idea that has been floated around recently is a restructuring of the deal that defers a chunk of the contract beyond its current expiration date. Some fans have suggested this as a mutually beneficial outcome that helps the Phillies in the short-term while honoring their commitment to a franchise face. But I’m struggling to grasp why Howard would agree to such a buyout and why the Phillies would want to commit to a relatively astronomical interest rate on deferral to make it worth Howard’s while.

The Mets famously did something similar with Bobby Bonilla over a decade ago. Bonilla had one year and $5.9 million left on his contract in 2001 and, in knowing the Mets financial difficulties, agreed to a restructuring that that resulted in a 25-yr, $29.8 million deferral. There was supposedly another part of the deal that brings the total deferred amount Bonilla will receive to $42 million long after the days that even current Mets players have retired. These cases are rare, and assuming the Phillies would have to use a high interest rate to entice Howard into this type of buyout, it would mean committing even more money on a bad contract when the team isn’t really in a bind.

Ryan Howard isn’t going anywhere. The time has come to accept this as fact and discuss ways to make the best of the situation instead of conjuring up hypothetical means of jettisoning an albatross.

Continue reading Howard’s Contract Isn’t Going Anywhere

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Phils Need Epic Second Half to Make Playoffs

Posted by Alex Lee, Tue, July 16, 2013 02:46 PM Comments: 26

After the All-Star festivities end tonight, Cliff Lee, Domonic Brown and the rest of the Phils have plenty of work to do. (AP Photo)

After the All-Star festivities end tonight, Cliff Lee, Domonic Brown and the rest of the Phils have plenty of work to do.  (AP Photo)

As I opined last week, gauging where you stand on the Phillies can hinge on what day you check in on this ambivalent bunch.  Nowhere is it more visible than within the Philadelphia media, where readers are bombarded with recurring “buy” and “sell” advocacy within the same publication, sometimes on the very same day.

For Phillies fans, it really is a recipe for whiplash.

Today is one of the good days.  Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown will represent the city in tonight’s All-Star Game at CitiField.  The Phils are riding high, winners of nine of 13 and four straight series, three of which came against teams in contention.  They are at the .500 mark for the first time since June 7 – six-and-a-half games behind Atlanta in the NL East and five-and-a-half behind Cincinnati for the second wild card spot.

There is nothing wrong with fans craving the excitement of a playoff run.  That remains true even if they don’t truly believe this team has the talent to make one (count me in with that cautiously hopeful bunch).  But while this group’s recent penchant for second half improvement has me conceding that a playoff spot is a remote possibility, it still seems pretty implausible when you crunch the numbers.

Continue reading Phils Need Epic Second Half to Make Playoffs

  • 26 Comments
 

This One Hurts: Revere Breaks Foot

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 14, 2013 12:20 PM Comments: 13

Ben Revere - Philadelphia PhilliesIn the last at bat of yesterday’s first game, Ben Revere fouled a ball off of his right foot. Revere finished the at-bat, the result: a game-ending double play. Revere was not in the line-up for game two – it turns out, Revere was trying to beat out the game-ending double play with a broken right foot. Ouch.

Talk radio hosts and national pundits have advised that Ryan Howard‘s injury was the red flag for the Phillies to sell. And yet, Darin Ruf, in 29 PA, has been more valuable to the Phillies (0.5 fWAR v. 0.4 fWAR) than the Big Piece has been all season. On the radio this morning, our Pat Gallen was on 97.5 FM talking to Matt Martucci about should the Phillies buy or sell. Gallen and Martucci agreed that Revere’s injury was big but both came very close but just short of saying Revere’s injury would be the reason to sell. I’m here to tell you that it may be just that.
Continue reading This One Hurts: Revere Breaks Foot

  • 13 Comments
 

Howard Out 6-8 Weeks with Torn Meniscus; Halladay Progressing

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, July 08, 2013 05:08 PM Comments: 42

RyanHowardRuben Amaro said today that Ryan Howard will miss 6-8 week as the result of an MRI showed a torn left meniscus for the first baseman. There is no word yet on when the surgery will occur, although it will happen soon. Darin Ruf will get the majority of the reps in Howard’s spot.

Howard had hit well since June 1, putting up a .885 OPS over his last 30 games. However, the pain in his left knee became too much to bear. The Big Piece also complained of pain in his right foot, which he said was not related to his achillies tendon tear or the knee. Amaro could not confirm if any of the injuries were anymore than normal wear and tear to a baseball player at 33 years old.

Amaro was confident Howard would be back on the field at some point this season. Should Ruf prove he belongs, how would that change the future?

Howard is due $85 million over the next three seasons with a buyout included in that total.

Amaro also said that Roy Halladay is progressing, there have been no setbacks during his rehabilitation process. Doc is throwing from 75 feet on flat ground, which will eventually become 120 feet should everything go well. Following that, Doc will begin to throw off a mound.

  • 42 Comments
 

Howard to DL, Ruf Recalled

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 06, 2013 06:50 PM Comments: 1

Not long before Saturday evening’s contest against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies announced that ailing first baseman Ryan Howard would be placed on the disabled list, as he has been battling left knee issues for several weeks.

The lefty hitting slugger was scratched from Saturday night’s lineup following batting practice that afternoon.  In 80 games this year, Howard has a .266 batting average along with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. 

To occupy the void on the roster, the Phillies announced the return of first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, who made his major league debut with the Phils last September, hitting .333 with three home runs and 10 RBI in a dozen game with the big club.

This season, the Creighton University product who turns 27-years-old later this month, has posted a .266 average with seven homers and 46 RBI in 82 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  Continue reading Howard to DL, Ruf Recalled

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Gameday: Phillies (42-45) vs. Braves (49-37)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, July 06, 2013 05:30 PM Comments: 0

bmgndhhvp8d9dllfh3vnf8g5uPhiladelphia Phillies (42-45) vs. Atlanta Braves (49-37)

Kyle Kendrick (7-5, 3.59) vs Tim Hudson (4-7, 4.22)

TIME: 7:05 ET, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 91, clear
Media: Twitter and Facebook

You know what’s more fun than beating the Braves once? Beating the Braves twice and taking the series. That’s precisely what the Phillies will try to do tonight after hanging on to take the opener last night. And they’ve got just the man on the mound to do it.

For his career, Kyle Kendrick has posted a sparkling 2.86 ERA against the Braves while going 7-1. It’s the best numbers he has against an NL East opponent. Even in earlier days, when Kendrick struggled a lot more as a pitcher, he’d pitch well against the Bravos. Just one of those things.

The Braves counter with Tim Hudson, who is still pitching relatively well, despite beginning to show signs of age. Hudson did struggle in his first start against the Phils, way back in the first series of the season, surrendering three runs in just 4.1 innings of work. For his career, he’s got a 3.81 ERA when facing the Phillies.

Charlie keeps the lineup the same, aside from getting Chooch back in there. Keep an eye of Ryan Howard, who sees the ball very well off Hudson. For his career, he’s taken him deep seven times and posted a .328 average.

UPDATE: The Phillies have scratched Ryan Howard from tonight’s lineup, moving him to the DL. Darin Ruf has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Howard’s place on the roster. Laynce Nix is starting in place of Howard at 1B for tonight’s game. The updated lineup is below.

Lineup: Revere CF, Utley 2B, Rollins SS,  Brown LF, M Young 3B,D Young RF, Nix 1B, Ruiz C, Kendrick P.

YOUR GAMEDAY BEER Abita Purple Haze

Brewed in Braves country, Abita’s Purple Haze is a perfect accompaniment to watching the Phillies play in the heart of Dixie. A fruity beer with a hint of wheat in the aftertaste, it’ll pair well with some Memphis-style barbecue and a side of coleslaw. -RD

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Phils Hold On to Beat Braves, 5-4

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, July 05, 2013 09:58 PM Comments: 0

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Cliff Lee, who had thrown six innings of shutout baseball, exited Friday after giving up a three run home run that put the Braves within two runs. They would get one more in the inning but the Phillies held on to beat the Braves 5-4. J.C. Ramirez cleaned up the mess that Lee made in the seventh.

The offense was able to put up five runs on Braves starter Paul Maholm, and Ryan Howard–yes that Ryan Howard–hit the first home run by a lefty off of Maholm this year. He has also been holding lefties to a .188 average prior to tonight’s game. Continue reading Phils Hold On to Beat Braves, 5-4

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