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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Madson’

Jonathan Papelbon, And Why You Should Appreciate Him

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, May 14, 2015 09:45 AM Comments: 4

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Last night, Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 113th save for the Phillies, passing Jose Mesa for the franchise record. It wasn’t any ordinary save, though. After walking Francisco Cervelli to begin the inning, a throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed pinch runner Steve Lombardozzi to reach third with just one out. Two pitches later, Jordy Mercer hit a fly ball in foul territory that looked like it could be a game-tying sacrifice fly. Jeff Francoeur had other ideas, as his monster of a throw home ended the game with a double play. It was an incredible way to get the record. Papelbon even said in his post game interview “what just happened?”

Now, 113 saves with one team is a lot. Brad Lidge had 100 with the Phils. Tug McGraw had 98, Ricky Bottalico had 78. Ryan Madson had 52. As far as Phillies closers go, Lidge, Tug, and Papelbon are all at the top. But only one of those guys makes Phillies fans blood boil. Continue reading Jonathan Papelbon, And Why You Should Appreciate Him

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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?

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Happy 9th Birthday Phillies Nation!

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, July 24, 2013 08:22 PM Comments: 7

Phillies birthday cake

Cake from sweetnesscake.com

On this day nine years ago, Phillies Nation was born.

I was living in Washington, DC (then a baseball wasteland) and had no quality Phillies news readily available.  I decided to take it upon myself to start something I would enjoy reading.  Thankfully, nine years later Phillies Nation is still my go-to source for news and analysis on the Phils.

Here is our first post:

Milton Perfect though 8 1/3

What a game! Supurb pitching by Eric Milton, and Doug Glanville won’t have anything funny to say about this nailbiter. Phils funnyman nearly cost his team the win, which brings the unoffical total of 5 defensive mistakes in centerfield in the past week.

It was nice to see the Phillies’ young stars, Ryan Madson and Chase Utley, perform well today. Utley had the Phils first two RBIs including a HR. Smoltz just got the save up in New York, that means the Fightins’ are still a half game out.

Everyone, thank you for all your support over the past nine years. Phillies Nation has grown and thrived because of people like you who are dedicated not just to winning a World Series, but to enjoying the journey with fellow fans. Go Phils!

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Replacing Dubee Could Help the Phils

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, July 12, 2013 09:57 PM Comments: 0

Rich+Dubee+Philadelphia+Phillies+Photo+Day+WQYnievRTD9lThursday night, former Phillies pitcher Scott Mathieson and current Phillies writer Mandy Housenick had a very interesting exchange on Twitter. Mathieson suggested that bullpen coach Rod Nichols take over Rich Dubee’s job as pitching coach, and Housenick added that Ryan Madson and Brett Myers had similar opinions on Nichols. Earlier this season, MLB Network’s Mitch Williams also suggested that Dubee get replaced. Roy Halladay, among others, defended Dubee.

But maybe Mathieson and Williams are on to something. Dubee has been in the Phillies organization for 12 years, and nine with the major league team. It could be time to replace him, as Williams said, if only to get a new voice in the ears of the Phils’ pitchers. The starters are doing exceptionally well, and the emergence of Kyle Kendrick as a solid part of the rotation is outstanding, considering where he came from.

But the bullpen is another story. It ranks last in the NL in ERA (4.58) and walk rate. Many young arms have struggled lately–Phillippe Aumont, Michael Stutes (possibly due to injury), and Justin De Fratus come to mind. Maybe Dubee just isn’t reaching the young guys like he wants to. And if (Rod) Nichols is beloved as much as Mathieson suggested, replacing Dubee with him seems like a no-brainer. The younger arms–the ones that need coaching the most–would have a new coach and a chance at a fresh start. The benefits would be great.

What would the cons be? In my eyes–nothing. Charlie Manuel‘s contract is up at the end of the year, and I think that, barring something unexpected, he won’t be re-signed by the club. Manuel and Dubee are good friends, and it would be hard to imagine Manuel leaving without Dubee. I think it would be the right move to let go of most, if not all of Manuel’s coaching staff at the end of the year.

I’m not saying that the Phillies should do a mid-season coaching move like they did with Milt Thompson. There is no need for a “shock” move to light a fire under the players with a playoff berth unlikely. But a change could be what benefits the Phillies most in the coming years, and the end of this season is the perfect time to do it.

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Prospect Nation 2013: #17 RHP Shane Watson

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 04, 2013 08:30 AM Comments: 3

Last year’s top Phillies draft choice righty pitcher Shane Watson did not see much action during his initial pro stint.  Many in the organization and around baseball are extremely high on the 6-foot-4-inch 195-pounder, as he possesses skills that earned him considerable regard and made him the 40th overall pick.

Pitching for Lakewood High School, located in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA, last year, Watson posted a 4-3 record with a 1.19 ERA in 11 games. In 53 innings of work, he allowed just 36 hits while striking out 79 batters.

Watson wasn’t the first player who attended Lakewood High School taken by the Phillies in the opening round of the MLB amateur draft.  Travis d’Arnaud, who played with Shane’s older brother, Scott, was the Phillies’ 1st round selection (37th overall) in 2007 out of Lakewood as well.

Although he was committed to pitch for USC, Watson signed his first pro contract, reportedly worth $1.3 Million, and later debuted with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in August.  Continue reading Prospect Nation 2013: #17 RHP Shane Watson

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Snapshot: Ten Years of BA’s Phillies Top Ten

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, December 17, 2012 03:42 PM Comments: 21

With the launch of Baseball America’s Top 10 Phillies prospects today, a few folks have Tweeted me and asked me questions to the effect of “How accurate has this list been as a tool of identifying Major League players?” It has been very accurate for that one particular and very specific purpose. The graph below is mostly for fun but shows you that the Phillies generally get their highest-rated prospects to the Majors or traded to a team that can get them there. After you check out the graph below, please follow us after the jump for some cautious words.

Continue reading Snapshot: Ten Years of BA’s Phillies Top Ten

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Phillies Nation Mailbag: Third Edition

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, December 02, 2012 10:34 AM Comments: 9

This mailbag, among other things, contains references to Sid Vicious, 32nd-place MVP finishes, when Charles Rocket really wanted to know who shot him, and the time Joe Carter was traded in a salary dump in 1998.

A lot of Phillies news and rumors this week as we head into the Winter Meetings in Nashville. This week, the Phillies nearly acquired Astros’ closer Wilton Lopez for starter Tyler Cloyd and top position prospect Sebastian Valle, Chooch was suspended 25-games for unapproved adderall use, Ryan Madson signed with the Angels on an incentive-heavy deal, B.J. Upton signed with the Braves for $75.25 million, the Nats got even better with the acquisition of Denard Span, the Phils brought back Pete Orr and found a replacement-level catcher, Nate Schierholtz was not tendered a contract for 2013, the Phillies are in on Angel Pagan, and a couple of IronPigs signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. Phew, that was a mouthful.

Since our last Hot Stove update yesterday, things have gotten even more exciting: the Phillies appear to be a good match with the Cubs regarding Alfonso Soriano per Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and Buster Olney of ESPN reported that the Phillies appear to have offered the bigger contract in regards to annual value to Pagan. Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, let’s check the mail!

Continue reading Phillies Nation Mailbag: Third Edition

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Hot Stove Update – Upton, Madson, Victorino

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, November 27, 2012 08:15 AM Comments: 39

Is Upton heading to Atlanta?

Upton’s Interest in Atlanta “Soaring”

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported early this morning that B.J. Upton‘s interest in Atlanta “seemed to soar” after meeting with GM Frank Wren, manager Freddi Gonzalez, and former manager Bobby Cox. Bowman is referencing a meeting that took place over a week ago, however it is widely believed Upton may be the first of the center fielders to sign.

Madson to Angels

Jon Heyman is reporting that Ryan Madson will sign with the Angels today on a one-year pact and be their closer. Heyman reported that both of Madson’s former clubs, the Phillies and Reds, had interest in bringing him back. Madson turned down his half of a $11 million mutual option and took a $2.5 million buyout instead to become a free agent.

Seven Teams Interested in Victorino, Phils Reportedly Not One of Them

The Indians, Rangers, Giants, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, and Reds have all reportedly shown interest in The Flyin’ Hawaiian per Jon Heyman. While the Rangers, Giants, and Rays all have presumed holes in center field to fill, the other teams of interest presumably don’t. With Shane Victorino drawing this much interest, it no longer seems like he will be any type of bargain.

Analysis: Of note, the Yankees inquired about Victorino at the trade deadline but already have a center fielder in Curtis Granderson, who is in the last year of his contract. If Victorino signs with the Yankees, and Ichiro re-signs to play right, Granderson may be the odd man out as Brett Gardner will be handling left. Granderson may be available for a song should the Yankees choose to move in a different direction.

Continue reading Hot Stove Update – Upton, Madson, Victorino

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Hot Stove: Sunday Brunch

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, November 25, 2012 01:00 PM Comments: 49

It would take an unprecedented haul to acquire Stanton. The Phillies are asking but are not likely to be a good match.

In on Stanton? Probably just “tire kicking”

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote today that the Phillies are among a pool of teams, including the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Orioles, who have called the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton. I’m not sure there has ever been such a remarkably talented player at Stanton’s age to possibly be on the block ever. With that said, it would take such an unprecedented haul to acquire Stanton right now that I’m not sure any of the teams listed have the pieces to provide market value to the Fish. I definitely see this as a “due diligence” move, particularly when the Cubs, who have one of the least-deep systems in baseball, have started kicking the tires. Cafardo also wrote that the Red Sox are getting deeper in negotiations with Nick Swisher, a potential Phillies target.

A Madson Return to Philly Unlikely

Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet tweeted today that “it doesn’t look like” Ryan Madson will rejoin the Phils but that things are “getting hot” with Madson and the Angels. Madson has been looking for an opportunity to close but may have to settle for a set-up man role to rebuild his value.

Upton to decide this week

Mark Tompkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that B.J. Upton will make a decision this week, noting that Upton is now also at the top of the Braves’ free-agent wishlist. Hang on tight for this one – this one will set the dominoes falling.

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Phillies Player Review: Antonio Bastardo

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, November 14, 2012 08:47 AM Comments: 2

Bastardo had his ups and downs in 2012.

Antonio Bastardo–equipped with a new jersey number–assumed the role of set-up man for the Phillies in 2012. He had the second most innings (behind Jonathan Papelbon) among Phils relievers, but never quite reached the Ryan Madson level that the Phillies have been looking for in a set-up man.

He posted a 4.33 ERA and had a pretty high walk rate at 11.6% (and 4.5 BB/9). Even though his overall numbers were ‘OK’, he did not fare well when the pressure was on.

In high leverage situations, 17 runs, compared to a combined nine in medium and low leverage situations. In other words, he crumbled under pressure a decent amount of the time.

And when you are the team’s set-up man, you must perform under pressure, because the 8th inning is the more difficult inning a lot of the time in a close game. Which is why a good closer needs a good set-up man. Kind of like a sidekick—but not.

One thing that he really excelled at was strikeouts. He had a K rate of 36.2% and a K/9 of 14.02–both bests among Phils relievers and near the top in the NL as well. Both were good for top-5 among qualified NL relievers.

Going further, 13.6% of his pitches ended up with a whiff, which again was near the top in the league.

Grade: C … Overall, Bastardo was a decent part of the bullpen. He struck guys out, but also walked a lot of batters. He had a high ERA, but his FIP wasn’t nearly as bad. He cost the Phillies a handful of games and wasn’t a good enough set-up man for them. He’s going to have to do better if he wants to keep the set-up job.

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