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ESPN Now Reports Andy MacPhail Will Accept Prominent Role With Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Thu, June 25, 2015 01:07 AM Comments: 8

In what could come as no better timing, ESPN Now is reporting that Andy MacPhail will be accepting a position amongst the Phillies organization.

John Heyman of CBSSports.com has also tweeted the following:

With Cole Hamels on the trading block, and the future of the Phillies franchise on the line, the timing could not have come any sooner as the trade deadline lingers closer, and trade talks are heating up.

The position that MacPhail will be accepting has not been released just yet, but most speculate he will be assuming the role of President, in place of Pat Gillick. This leaves an uncertainty for the GM position Ruben Amaro, Jr. currently holds, and the likes of Ryne Sandberg, but Pat Gillick has recently come out with support for his GM and Manager, perhaps in light of new information on the table?

It will only be a matter of time until official release from the Phillies organization on his position and future, and we will keep you up to date here at Phillies Nation.

 

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C’est la vie, Phillippe! Aumont Elects for Free Agency

Posted by R.C. Cowie, Wed, June 24, 2015 05:34 PM Comments: 7

Todd Zolecki tweeted following the Phillies loss to the Yankees this afternoon that pitcher Phillippe Aumont has declined assignment and elected to become a free agent. As our Jon Nisula pointed out prior to his disastrous outing against the Cardinals, Aumont was out of options, and a poor start last week could potentially force the club’s hand on Aumont. Nisula highlighted Aumont’s struggles with command and walks in the minors – despite his 2.35 ERA in Lehigh Valley:

One of his biggest issues he had as a reliever was his WHIP. No Phillies reliever with at least 30 innings pitched from 2012-2014 had a higher WHIP than Aumont’s 1.89. In his ten starts for the IronPigs this year, he posted a 1.42 WHIP. Phillies starters this year have posted a 1.39 WHIP, so if Aumont can pitch they way he’s been pitching in those last ten starts, he’ll be okay.

Aumont was the opposite of okay. He was tagged for six earned runs on five hits, walking seven Cardinals in his four inning appearance.

As the cornerstone piece of the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, the Phillies now have no players remaining from that deal in their developmental system or major league club.

 

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Gameday 74: Phillies at Yankees

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 24, 2015 01:05 PM Comments: 7

Philadelphia Phillies (26-47) at New York Yankees (38-33)

Starting Pitchers:

PHI: Cole Hamels, LHP (5-5, 2.96)
vs.
STL: Ivan Nova, RHP (0-0, 0.00)

Time: 1:05 EST, Yankee Stadium
TV: NBC 10
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today:

Time to get out the brooms? The Phillies look for four in a row with a chance to sweep the Yankees on the road in the House that Jeter Built.

Cole Hamels enters the game tied with Lance Lynn for lowest run support in the National League, getting zero runs in three out of his last four starts. Hamels toes the rubber against Ivan Nova who is making his 2015 debut and may be auditioning for potential trade partners. The speculative group of suitors for Hamels includes the Bronx Bombers.

First pitch at 1:05 EST.

Lineup:

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

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Being 22, a Phillies Rookie, and Awesome

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, June 24, 2015 11:05 AM Comments: 3

Maikel Franco had another outstanding night at the plate last night against the Yankees, going 2 for 3 with a double and a three-run homer. With that performance, Franco became the only Phillies rookie and the first Phillie since RBIs became official in 1920 to record back-to-back five RBI games. In the month of June, Franco is now hitting .415/.461/.805 with eight doubles and eight homers, leading the Majors in batting average while ranking fifth in on-base percentage, third in slugging, second in OPS (first in NL), second in wOBA (first in NL), and first in fWAR.

June has been a historic month for Franco and he now finds himself in the June leaderboards surrounded by talent with the names of Harper, Votto, Cabrera, Stanton, and Pujols. Franco now leads all NL Rookies with at least 150 PA in batting average, is tied for second in homers, and is rocketing up the fun-to-count RBI list in fifth with nearly just 2/3rds the amount of games played as leader Kris Bryant.

The crazy part is, even if Franco continues at this pace, it wouldn’t be the best season by a Phillies’ 22-year old rookie hitter but it would place him in some pretty impressive company. Continue reading Being 22, a Phillies Rookie, and Awesome

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Phillies Nation TV Episode 13: Nola, Hoskins, Wilson & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, June 24, 2015 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On the latest edition of Phillies Nation, Pat and Corey discuss Cole Hamels, Aaron Harang and the starting rotation’s recent historically poor stretch.  The episode also features profiles on top pitching prospect Aaron Nola and slugging Class A Lakewood All-Star Rhys Hoskins plus there’s plenty more in store including our By The Numbers segment with hitting consultant Kevin Wilson.  Check out the media player below for this week’s episode and look for new episodes premiering each Tuesday at 6PM on The Comcast Network.

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Utley To DL, Ruf Called Up

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, June 24, 2015 12:40 AM Comments: 11

imageAfter Tuesday night’s 11-6 victory over the Yankees, the Phillies announced that Chase Utley would be heading to the DL with right ankle inflammation. Darin Ruf will be called up to fill the roster spot. Utley sprained his ankle back in January, and it took him a long time to resume baseball activities following the injury. Maybe some time off will be good for Utley–both physically and mentally. He has been struggling immensely in 2015. The return of Ruf means the Phillies will again have a legitimate backup first baseman. Maikel Franco played first in Tuesday’s game.

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Report: Phillies and Rangers having trade talks regarding Hamels

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, June 23, 2015 12:45 PM Comments: 21

According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Phillies are having ongoing trade talks regarding ace left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels.

According to Morosi, Hamels is willing to waive his no-trade clause in order to join the Texas staff.

The 31-year-old Hamels sports a 5-5 record along with a 2.96 ERA in 14 starts for the Phillies this season.

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Franco Playing Catch Up in ROY Race

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, June 23, 2015 12:04 PM Comments: 0

Following a four-hit, two-homer game last night against the Yankees, Maikel Franco is now hitting .312/.353/.574 with nine homers in just 36 games. Franco’s scorching start has him second among NL rookies in batting average, seventh in OBP, third in slugging, and third in OPS. Among the lone bright spots on a team in win-loss turmoil, Franco is quickly catching up to his rookie peers in counting stats, as well: despite having nearly half the plate appearances of stand-out NL rookies Joc Pederson, Jace Peterson, and Kris Bryant, Franco ranks fourth in homers, just one behind Bryant and LA’s Alex Guerrero for second place, sixth in runs’ scored, and eighth in RBI.

Franco’s slash lines and counting stats are at a rate right now that compare favorably to those he put up in Reading in 2013 (.339/.363/.563) and in Lehigh Valley in 2015 (.355/.384/.539) while his strike out and walk rates are also nearly identical to his stops in AA and AAA (5.3% BB and 14.7% K). While some were worried that Franco’s down 2014 with the IronPigs would be indicative of a slowdown as Franco progressed, Franco has burst through the gates in his first full-time stint in the Majors, posting numbers in line with each professional season previous with 2014 being the exception that proves the rule.

If Franco is able to continue his early successes, he will be able to wedge himself into the NL Rookie of the Year race. But is it be too late? Pederson of the Dodgers has already blasted 19 homers and has a near .400 (.393) on-base percentage. And behind Pederson, Chicago’s Bryant has swatted 10 big flies and also has a near .400 (.384) on-base percentage. And behind them, there is a gaggle of players who would be front-runners in most NL Rookie of the Year races of years past, such as Atlanta’s Peterson (.284/.363/.389, 2 HR, 8 SB), San Fran’s Matt Duffy (.290/.340/.435, 6 HR, 2 SB), and St. Louis’ Randal Grichuk (.285/.305/.577, 6 HR, 2 SB).

Franco, even at a slight fraction of his current pace, should be to blow by Peterson, Duffy, and Grichuk in counting stats but may find some competition in Yasmany Tomas. And, while it once seemed crazy, Bryant might be able to be catchable in some if not most counting stats, as well. But, it will take an out-of-this-world remainder of the season to catch Pederson, who is on pace for an eight-plus win season per FanGraphs which not only would make Pederson the NL Rookie of the Year but a very likely NL MVP candidate, as well. But as with anything involving players that are 22 and 23 years old, respectively, nothing is certain for Franco or Pederson.

Can Franco put himself firmly in the race for Rookie of the Year? Yes. Will he put his name alongside Jack Sanford, Dick Allen, Scott Rolen, and Ryan Howard as the only Phillies to win Rookie of the Year? Probably not. Pederson is having a pretty historic rookie season and it would take an even more historic season from Franco to catch him. I chose to never say never but Franco picked himself a year to burn his rookie eligibility that has one of the strongest rookie classes in quite some time.

 

 

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OF Altherr promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, June 23, 2015 12:00 PM Comments: 1

Aaron Altherr

Altherr, image- Jay Floyd

On Tuesday, outfielder Aaron Altherr was promoted from Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  The news was initially broken on Twitter by Altherr’s father Frank late Monday night.

In 60 games this year for the Fightins, the 24-year-old righty batter posted a .293/.371/.480 slash line with eight stolen bases.

Last season, the six-foot-five 215-pounder appeared in two games with the big league Phillies.  Altherr, who was a 9th round draft selection in 2009, was ranked as the Phillies’ 12th best prospect this year by PhilliesNation.

In May, Altherr spoke about his approach this year compared the last season, describing himself as feeling more comfortable with his swing.

To make room on the IronPigs roster, the Phillies released Jayson Nix.

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Gillick: Phillies’ Rebuilding “Might Take a Little Longer”

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Mon, June 22, 2015 12:54 PM Comments: 20

After yesterday’s 9-2 win over the Cardinals, Phillies president Pat Gillick retracted his statement that the club would contend as early as 2017 or 2018, according to Phillies beat-writer Todd Zolecki.

“It might take a little longer,” Gillick said in regards to the Phillies’ rebuilding process.

The Phillies are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in their franchise’s history, and currently have the worst record in MLB at 24-47. They are near-the-bottom in a number of key categories such as runs scored, home runs, OBP, and ERA.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Gillick, who will likely step down from his current position in the front office before next season, did not share any news regarding the Andy MacPhail rumors that surfaced earlier last week.

“I can’t confirm anything in regards to Andy MacPhail,” said Gillick.

Ruben Amaro Jr.’s future with the club was another topic Gillick touched on by saying that “there will be no change” with the team’s general manager.

In regard’s the job Ryne Sandberg has done as the team’s manager, Gillick had this to say:

“We knew what a challenge we would have on wins and losses. If you want to judge a guy on wins and losses then no, he hasn’t done a good job. If you want to judge the way he’s conducted the club, the way he’s kept them battling in games, that indicates to me that he’s keeping these guys in a positive frame of mind and that’s the most important thing.”

Sandberg cannot take the blame for the state of the team right now, especially with certain players not performing at their expected levels. However, his in-game management has been questioned along with his decision making.

The Phillies have not shown a lot of reason to be optimistic for the future, besides the solid play of 22-year-old Maikel Franco. The farm system has shown some promise, with pitcher Aaron Nola quickly moving through the team’s organization, and the  performances of outfielder Roman Quinn and shortstop J.P. Crawford.

With the July 31 Trade Deadline approaching, the club’s future will become a little clearer. The Phillies have pieces that they would like to part ways with, such as Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. The key for the Phillies is Hamels. If the Phills get the right return for the 31-year-old left-hander, then there can be reason for some optimism. If they don’t, Gillick’s deadline of 2017 or 2018 will become more of a stretch.

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