Reports: Nats discussing trade for Papelbon, three teams interested in Utley

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Sat, July 25, 2015 01:49 PM Comments: 11

The Nationals and Phillies are reportedly engaging in discussions for a deal that would send Jonathan Papelbon to Washington D.C., according to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.

The main obstacle, which has been the case for almost every potential Papelbon deal, is his salary. The Nationals are hopeful that the Phillies would be willing to eat the majority of the $13 million he’ll make this season.

According to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, Papelbon will not sign off on a deal unless he’s in a position to earn his vesting option ($13 million in 2016), which vests if the 34-year-old completes 14 more games.

The Nationals already have an excellent closer in Drew Storen, who has recorded 29 saves in 31 opportunities and a 1.73 ERA. If Papelbon were to go there, he would likely not be the closer.  There is a chance, however, that the Phillies include the vesting option as a guaranteed condition of the deal, which the club would have to pay the majority of. Papelbon converted his 17th save of the season yesterday, and lowered his ERA to a minuscule 1.59 in the process.

Chase Utley trade still on the table: 

Remember this guy? Well, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, there are “three teams interested” in Chase Utley, including the Amgels, who are reportedly “monitoring” the 36-year-old’s progress.

The Angels believe they can get Utley as a cheap rental bat, especially since he is unlikely going to reach the 500 plate appearances needed for his $15 million option to vest. He has only 249 plate appearances this season.

Utley, who has been on the DL since late June with an ankle injury, is nearing a rehab assignment in the Phillies’ minor league system. Because of the injury, any deal would have to take place after the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Due to his no-trade clause, any potential deal would need Utley’s approval. The chance to play for a playoff contender, and Ruben Amaro Jr.’s comments regarding him and Cesar Hernandez, could push the veteran to seriously consider a change of scenery.


A Sellers Guide To Cole Hamels

Posted by Pat Egan, Fri, July 24, 2015 06:56 PM Comments: 23

What team will Cole Hamels be on come July 31st at 4:01? Will it be the Dodgers? The Red Sox? The Cubs? The Rangers? The Phillies? It has been a question that has been on the minds of Phillies fans for well over a year now. The Phillies reportedly have been waiting for the “perfect” offer for Hamels, which leads to the question “what exactly would that offer entail, and who is making the demands?” There is a strong likelihood that Hamels will be in Phillies pinstripes come August 1, with the Phillies once again waiting to move Hamels in the offseason….. or maybe next years trade deadline….. or maybe never. Either way, talk should start to really heat up in the coming days so lets look at some teams top prospects and who the Phillies should target.

Red Sox: The interest that the Red Sox have for Cole Hamels is just annoying at this point. They are the guy who goes to a car dealership every week, looks at the car he clearly wants, and never buys it. They have heavily scouted Hamels for over a year now, and yet they will not make a move. The Phillies have reportedly coveted catcher Blake Swihart, and outfielder Mookie Betts, both are currently with the Red Sox Major League club. The Red Sox have long balked at that price and with both having reached the big leagues it is unlikely that the Red Sox would trade either as it would leave two holes in their lineup. The Phillies could of course offer up Carlos Ruiz and Ben Revere along with Hamels but I do not know if that would get it done. So lets take a look at a few other Red Sox prospects that could intrigue that Phillies.

Continue reading A Sellers Guide To Cole Hamels


Report: Cubs and Phillies discussing Hamels deal

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, July 23, 2015 11:03 PM Comments: 36

The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies are engaging in trade discussions involving left-hander Cole Hamelsaccording to CSN Chicago reporter, David Kaplan.

“MLB sources confirmed to me this afternoon that the Cubs have been in discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies on a deal for Cole Hamels who has three years left on his current contract plus an option year. While he is an expensive piece he fits the needs of the team to upgrade their rotation while adding a player who would be a part of the team beyond the rest of this season. The Cubs will probably add an additional starter for depth perhaps as a rental type but that is not expected to be a significant acquisition.”

The appeal of Hamels for the Cubs is his contract, which runs through 2018. While the dollar amount is expensive, the 31-year-old represents not just a rental arm for a playoff run, but a bonafide ace that the club can build their rotation around beyond this season.

The asking price for rental arms such as Johnny Cueto, David Price, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija has also been unrealistically high, according to Kaplan.

The Cubs have even reportedly offered a deal, which the Phillies are unimpressed by. According to CBS Sports, the Cubs have offered top prospect Javier Baez and current young shortstop, Stalin Castro. Baez was the Cubs’ ninth overall pick in 2011 draft. In five minor league seasons, the 22-year-old has batted .282 with 84 home runs and 267 RBIs. In 92 games for the Cubs this season, the 25-year-old Castro has hit .239 with five home runs and 40 RBIs.

Although the Phillies are uninterested in the offer, the Cubs remain determined to land the former World Series MVP.


BlueClaws Quotables: Shawn Williams talks Casimiro & team’s success

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, July 23, 2015 01:56 PM Comments: 1


Shawn Williams, image- Jay Floyd

The Class A BlueClaws are 10-3 in their last 13 games and have won 13 of their last 18 contests.  Currently, Lakewood sits in 2nd place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division, two games behind the first place West Virginia Power (Pirates affiliate) for a playoff spot.

Following Lakewood’s 4-0 victory over the Power on Wednesday, team manager Shawn Williams spoke with Phillies Nation about a pair of the game’s winning pitcher, some of the standout offensive contributors as well as the team’s recent success following some roster turnover.

I asked Williams about right-handed hurler Ranfi Casimiro, who notched the win with 7 2/3 scoreless innings on three hits, while striking out six and walking two…

He was awesome.  He threw the ball really well.  He’s been throwing like that all year, but he put together 7 2/3 (innings) and I’m really impressed with his outing.  The slider was really good.  His change up is always good, but his slider was what really impressed me and over all, stuff wise and challenging the zone, he was outstanding.

Williams spoke on if the wall Casimiro hit at the end of his outing, where he allowed the last three batters he faced to reach base with a hit batter and the two base on balls he issued, could be discouraging and possibly ruin the good outing overall…

I don’t think so at all.  I just think he ran out of gas a little bit.  It just happens.  He’s pitched late into the game a lot this year, but I don’t think, just overall, we’ll look at the whole outings and I know he is and overall it was awesome and I thought he threw the ball very well. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Shawn Williams talks Casimiro & team’s success


Report: Dodgers, Cubs, Jays no longer pursuing Papelbon

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, July 23, 2015 11:47 AM Comments: 17

The three teams previously believed to be likely landing spots for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon have reportedly backed off the 34-year-old, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Anonymous sources have told ESPN that the Dodgers, Cubs, and Blue Jays are all no longer pursuing the outspoken closer. With this news, there is a strong possibility that the Phillies will be unable to move Papelbon before the July 31 trade deadline.

Papelbon has expressed a desire to be traded to a contender. His most recent comments came during the All-Star Break, where a candid Papelbon addressed the media in regards to the trade deadline.

“That’s not what I signed up for,” Papelbon said. “I signed up with a team that won 102 games, and I expected certain things. It didn’t happen, and I’ve tried to ride that ship and keep my mouth shut as much as I can. But it’s time for the Phillies to you-know-what or get off the pot.

“I feel like three years is plenty enough time to ride it out, so to speak. If the fans don’t understand that, I can’t really side with them.”

Recent moves by the formerly interested clubs seem to indicate a disinterest in Papelbon. The Cubs have called up veteran reliever Rafael Soriano, who has career ERA of 2.85 to go along with 207 career saves. The Blue Jays are moving 23-year-old starter Aaron Sanchez (5-4 3.55 ERA) to the bullpen following his rehab assignment, and the Dodgers have listed starting pitching as their top priority as the deadline approaches.

For the Phillies, Papelbon’s $13 million vesting option, which vests if he finishes just 15 more games, is proving to be a major obstacle.  His contract, age, and perhaps his abrasive personality are potentially major deterrents in the eyes of other GMs. The right-hander has proven his worth on the mound this season though, converting each of his 16 save opportunities while posting a 1.63 ERA. He earned the win in yesterday’s game, pitching two innings of relief for the second time this season.

There’s a strong possibility that the trade deadline comes and goes and Papelbon is still on the club. With eight days left, before the deadline, the front office will need to get creative if they hope to move their all-time saves leader.


Nation Notes: Rays vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Wed, July 22, 2015 12:26 PM Comments: 7

Tampa Bay Rays (48-48) at Philadelphia Phillies (33-63)


Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Adam Morgan, LHP (1-2, 3.91)
TB: Jake Odorizzi, RHP (5-6, 2.80)

Time: 1:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

After a tough loss yesterday on #NolaNight, giving up one solo home run to the opposing pitcher, Aaron Nola completed his first Major League start in historic fashion.  Although the Phillies lost the game in historic fashion as well, giving up the only run to a pitcher on a home run, this was a night to remember as Nola went on to strike out 6 batters over 6.0 innings, and allowed only 5 hits and 1 walk on the night, ending with a 1.50 ERA in his first start in the big leagues.

Today the Phillies prospect, Adam Morgan, will get another look on the mound where he has been anything but impressive.  Coming off his worst game on July 8th, Morgan got back on the saddle and pitched 6.1 innings in his last start, giving up only 4 hits and 2 earned runs.

Kind of an odd lineup today, Cody Asche gets bumped down to the 8-hole.  Phillies look to win their first back-to-back series’ today for the first time this year.  First pitch at 1:05 EST.


Revere CF, Galvis SS, Hernandez 2B, Howard 1B, Blanco 3B, Brown RF, Ruiz C, Asche LF, Morgan LHP


Nola’s Start Stands Out Among Phils Debuts

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, July 22, 2015 11:30 AM Comments: 2

Nola had a solid debut last night for the Phillies. He stacks up well against debuts in Phils history. Photo: Philly.com

Nola had a solid debut last night for the Phillies. He stacks up well against debuts in Phils history. Photo: Philly.com

Aaron Nola went six innings last night, striking out six while giving up just five hits and just one run, a solo homer to pitcher Nathan Karns. While Nola ended up on the wrong side of the ledger of a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the recently-22  Nola showed promise in locating pitches and wasn’t phased by base runners or by a tight early strike zone.

Here are how some other notable Phillies’ home-grown starters fared in their first starts.

Curt Simmons: September 28, 1947 – 9.0 IP, 5 H, 9 SO, 6 BB, 1 ER, W. The Gold Standards of Phillies’ debuts, Simmons’ contract forced the Phillies to keep the 18-year old on their roster through 1947 after signing him. Simmons, just a few weeks removed from pitching a gem in Egypt, PA against the Phillies in an exhibition, held the power-heavy New York Giants, with catcher Walker Cooper (35 HR), first baseman Johnny Mize (51),  and outfielders Willard Marshall (36) and Bobby Thompson (29) patrolling the middle of the line-up, to one earned while striking out nine.

Robin Roberts: June 18, 1948 - 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 SO, 2 BB, 2 ER, L. Roberts would join Simmons on the Phillies the following season and have a pretty nice debut of his own, losing a 2-0 game thanks in part to a Wally Westlake homer. Continue reading Nola’s Start Stands Out Among Phils Debuts


Nation Notes: #NolaNight – Rays vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Tue, July 21, 2015 06:13 PM Comments: 7

Tampa Bay Rays (47-48) at Philadelphia Phillies (33-62)


Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Aaron Nola, RHP (0-0, 0.00)
TB: Nathan Karns, RHP (4-5, 3.63)

Time: 7:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Cloudy, 86 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

The day hath come, as thy great leader hath spoketh, Aaron Nola will get the start for the Philadelphia Phillies.

After working his way through the farm system, the LSU Tiger will make his Major League debut against the Tampa Bay Rays while the Phillies sport a 4-game winning streak.

Odubel Herrera will get the look at the top of the order, starting in center, while Cody Asche starts in right.  Andres Blanco will get the start at third while Maikel Franco sits out with elbow soreness.

What are general predictions for Nola’s first start tonight?


Herrera CF, Galvis SS, Hernandez 2B, Howard 1B, Asche LF, Brown RF, Blanco 3B, Rupp C, Nola RHP


A Not-So-Brief History of Phillies First Round Pitching Prospects

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 21, 2015 05:10 PM Comments: 0

Nola will become the 19th Phillies first round pitching pick to play in the Majors tonight. Photo: Philly.com

Nola will become the 19th Phillies first round pitching pick to play in the Majors tonight. Photo: Philly.com

Aaron Nola is set to make his Major League debut tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, looking to extend the Phillies’ four-game winning streak to five. Nola was the 26th pitcher selected by the Phillies in either the first round or the supplemental first round of the June MLB draft.

Of those 26 pitchers selected, only seven did not reach the Major Leagues (1966′s Michael Biko, 1967′s Phil Meyer, 1970′s Mike Martin, 1975′s Sammye Welborn, 2010′s Jesse Biddle, and 2012′s Shane Watson and Mitch Gueller). With Biddle on track to reach the Majors and Watson and Gueller just 21 years old, that number could shrink further.

With a high level of success drafting pitchers and getting them to the Majors, the Phillies pitchers have had varying levels of impact once in the Majors. Here’s a brief grouping of the 18 pitchers (Nola will become the 19th) to reach the Majors and a brief breakdown of their cumulative stats. Continue reading A Not-So-Brief History of Phillies First Round Pitching Prospects


Race to the Bottom: #2 1928 Phillies

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 21, 2015 03:15 PM Comments: 0

Klein had a great start to his Hall of Fame career in 1928 but it barely made a dent.

Klein had a great start to his Hall of Fame career in 1928 but it barely made a dent in the team’s fortunes. Photo: Baseball Hall of Fame

This is the fourth entry in the countdown of the five worst teams in Phillies history. For the introduction and criteria used for this series, please check out the first entry here.

Team: 1928 Phillies

Record: 43-109 (T-4th least wins in any season, T-2nd least wins in seasons with 140 games played or more)

Winning Percentage: 30.1% (4th worst winning percentage in any season, 3rd worst winning percentage in seasons with 140 games played or more)

Run Differential: Minus 297

Burt Shotton managed the Brooklyn Dodgers to 326-215 record across parts of four seasons, good for a 60.3% winning percentage and two pennants. Shotton’s big moment came just three games into the 1947 season: Shotton was appointed manager, taking over for Clyde Sukoforth who was the interim replacement for Hall of Famer Leo Durocher, and successfully navigated the Dodgers to the pennant following the addition of Jackie Robinson and the outpouring of racism that followed Robinson and the team.

But it wasn’t always so easy for Shotton. Shotton’s first managerial gig came in 1928 with the Philadelphia Phillies, beginning a six-year run as the team’s skipper. Shotton’s Phils squads went 370-549, good for a 40.26% winning percentage. It all started with one of the worst Phillies’ teams of all time, the 1928 edition. Continue reading Race to the Bottom: #2 1928 Phillies

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