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Save Your April Fooling for Tomorrow: Phillies Sign Infielder Ronnie Belliard

 

Posted by Stephen Gallo

Medium_ronniebelliard
Courtesy deadspin.com

In what may seem as an early April fools joke, Todd Zolecki has confirmed via Twitter that the Phillies have signed infielder Ronnie Belliard to a minor league deal.  Belliard will report to Triple- A Lehigh Valley.

The journeyman 2nd baseman has spent time with the Dodgers, Nationals, Padres, Cardinals and Indians.

Don't get too carried away with this signing folks. This is just another insurance policy incase the Michael Martinez/Pete Orr experiment doesn't work while we wait for Chase Utley's knee to heal.

Please heal, Chase. Quickly.


For Phillies Fans, The Symptoms Get Worse Every Opening Day and October. It Must Be...

Posted by Stephen Gallo

Phillies fever! This song is a fan favorite over here at Philliedelphia.

This song originated in 1976 and was actually performed by players; Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Dave Cash, Gary Maddox, and Greg "The Bull" Luzinksi.

Could you imagine players these days getting together to sing such a cheesy, yet catchy, song? I vote for a remix of the song... performed by our four aces. Who's with me?


Your Philliedelphia Opening Day Forecast: Play Ball!

Posted by Adam Gonsiewski

Adam is the lead forecaster for Millersville University

Openingday2011

Phillies first pitch is only a day away, and it looks like the weather will not interfere.

As a low pressure system tracks north along the Mid-Atlantic coast, rain will begin to fall late this evening. A cold rain will continue overnight, with about a half inch of precipitation expected. Depending on the exact track and strength of the system, there could be brief periods of heavy rain possible overnight.

While precipitation could end as wet snow, this is much more likely to occur in the higher elevations North and West of the city. Any steady precipitation will clear out during the morning hours, allowing for Phillies baseball to be played in the afternoon. However, conditions will be cloudy, chilly, and breezy if you're heading down to the game, so be prepared!

While there wasn't much (if any) change in my forecast from yesterday, I lowered the odds based on increasing likelihood that the system will clear by gametime.

Chance of Phillies Delay on Friday: 30% (down from 50% yesterday)

Chance of Phillies Postponement on Friday: 15% (down from 40% yesterday)


Day Four of 2011 Philliedelphia's MLB Predictions: Danielle Wilson

Posted by Danielle Wilson

Delawareonline.com

American League predictions

AL East division winner – Boston Red Sox

AL Central division winner – Minnesota Twins

AL West division winner – Texas Rangers

AL Wild Card team – Oakland Athletics

AL MVP – Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

AL Cy Young – C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers

AL Rookie of the Year – Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

AL Manager of the year – Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox

AL Playoff prediction

Divisional Round – Twins over Athletics, Red Sox over Rangers

Championship round – Red Sox over Twins

National League predictions

NL East division winner – Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central division winner – St. Louis Cardinals

NL West division winner – Colorado Rockies

NL Wild Card team – Atlanta Braves

NL MVP – Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

NL Cy Young – Roy Oswalt, Philadelphia Phillies

NL Rookie of the Year – Mike Stanton, Florida Marlins

NL Manager of the Year – Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies

NL Playoff prediction

Divisional Round – Cardinals over Braves, Phillies over Rockies

Championship round – Phillies over Cardinals

World Series Prediction

Phillies over Red Sox in 7 games.

Comments

If you were surprised by my choice for National League Cy Young, you shouldn’t be. Roy Oswalt is one of the greatest pitchers in the Majors, and has yet to lose a game at Citizens Bank Park (knock on wood). His delivery, pitch selection, love of the game, toughness, and overall athleticism is superb enough to get him to at least 18 wins this season.

I also decided that the Phillies are going to win it all. They have the pitching, they will soon have a star-studded lineup once again, and they have the bullpen and bench to back it all up in what should be one of the best seasons in Philadelphia Phillies history. This is all being led by skipper Charlie Manuel, who will win the Manager of the Year award for bringing his boys to a 5th consecutive National League East Championship title, and another World Series victory. Their past experiences in the postseason and against the Red Sox (2 inter-league series’ in 2010 and 1 in 2011) will blow them away in 7 games. Problem, Phillies fans?

 


An Open Letter to Ruben Amaro, Jr.

Posted by Mike Frohwirth

(The following email was sent to Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. after the Opening Day roster was announced.)

RubenA
Courtesy prorumors.com

Ruben,

I just wanted to drop you a note to congratulate you on a strong offseason. You did a really great job this year. Signing Cliff Lee? Amazing. I don't know exactly how much of that credit goes to you, and how much goes to Scott Proefrock and the ownership group, but great job all around. I know it may have been a little difficult for you to bring back Lee, a year after trading him, as I know you don't like to admit mistakes. But I don't consider that a mistake. When you traded Lee, you made the best decision under the circumstances at that time. When you re-signed him this past offseason, you didn't worry about the past, you just did what was best for the organization. That showed strong character, a trait that we will all benefit from, as we watch Aces take the mound every day.

You faced a strong challenge in reconstructing the bullpen, but I can't argue much with your decision making there, either. Jose Contreras had a strong season in the pen last season, and the veteran gained Charlie Manuel's confidence. While a one-year deal may have been preferable, considering Contreras' age, and the year-to-year erraticness of most relievers, retaining him at two years is defensible. Bringing J.C. Romero back, at $1.35MM, is a good move, provided you can convince Manuel to keep Romero away from right-handed batters. Kyle Kendrick? At $2.45MM, he is a pricey long reliever. While many underestimate the value of a league average inning-eating fifth starter, you may still have been better off setting Kyle Kendrick free. Of course, if you weren't forced to make that decision before the Lee signing even seemed possible, you may have chosen differently.

Besides the Lee signing, my favorite parts of the offseason may have been some of your quotes. There was that quote about Ibanez, "When you look at his numbers, they're not all that different than Jayson (Werth's)." Then you said, "Jayson's on-base percentage and stuff was better, (but) the difference in their production was not all that great." Classic Amaro. And earlier this month, when you said you had "no payroll space, and trade rumors are B.S", some people actually believed that one! The best quote was this Wilson Valdez quote, "Wilson knows what to do in the field. He knows where to position himself. He's got a sense of what's going on in the game." Wilson Valdez knows where on the field to stand! He knows how many outs are in baseball! Beautiful. Like you really don't realize how un-valuable Valdez really is, and you haven't spent the past offseason trying to replace him. Too funny.

Looking at the Opening Day roster, there are some weak links. Entering Spring Training, few expected David Herndon and Pete Orr to start the season as Phillies, or for Wilson Valdez to be the starting 2B. But no one expected Brad Lidge and Chase Utley to begin the season on the DL, either. You've assembled the best squad possible from the players currently available, and I'm confident that you and your staff are constantly on the lookout for upgrades. In previous seasons, you dumped sunk costs Geoff Jenkins and Adam Eaton, and I have no doubt that you will remove Danys Baez and/or Kyle Kendrick from the active roster, if/when appropriate. With you at the helm, I confidently (and eagerly) await another successful season. Play ball!

Sincerely,

Mike Frohwirth


Thrashers @ Flyers Preview

Game 77: Atlanta Thrashers @ Philadelphia Flyers, 7:00 pm, CSN.

Thrashers' Records
Overall Record: 32-32-12
Away Record: 15-17-5
Record vs. Flyers: 2-1-0
Away Record vs. Flyers: 1-0-0

Flyers' Records
Overall Record: 46-20-10
Home Record: 21-11-6
Record vs. Thrashers: 1-0-2
Home Record vs. Thrashers: 0-0-1

The Numbers
Flyers' Winning % vs. Thrashers: .333, 1/3 games (20th)
Flyers' Point % vs. Thrashers: .667, 4/6 pts (17th)
Flyers' Losing % vs. Thrashers: .667, 2/3 games (10th)
Flyers' Goals/Game vs. Thrashers: 4.00, 12 goals/3 games (3rd)
Thrashers' Goals/Game vs. Flyers: 3.33, 10 goals/3 games (5th)
Flyers' Shots/Game vs. Thrashers: 28, 84 shots/3 games (24th)
Thrashers' Shots/Game vs. Flyers: 31.67, 95 shots/3 games (8th)
Flyers' Power Play % vs. Thrashers: 28.6%, 2/7 (4th)
Thrashers' Power Play % vs. Flyers: 22.2%, 2/9 (11th)
Flyers' Penalty Kill % vs. Thrashers: 77.8%, 7/9 (17th)
Thrashers' Penalty Kill % vs. Flyers: 71.4%, 5/7 (26th)

Thrashers' Team Leaders
Points- Andrew Ladd, 55
Goals- Andrew Ladd, 27
Assists- Tobias Enstrom, 41
+/- - Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, +9
PIM- Dustin Byfuglien, 75

Flyers' Team Leaders
Points- Claude Giroux, 71
Goals- Jeff Carter, 35
Assists- Claude Giroux, 46
+/- - Andrej Meszaros, +30
PIM- Scott Hartnell, 134

Former Flyers Currently On The Thrashers
#24 Freddy Meyer (Currently on Injured Reserve)
Current Season Against The Flyers: 0 games, 0 goals, and 0 assists.
Current Season With The Thrashers: 15 games, 1 goal, and 1 assist.
Career With The Flyers: 3 seasons (2003-2004 to 2006-2007), 89 games, 8 goals, and 25 assists.

Former Thrashers Currently On The Flyers
#5 Braydon Coburn
Current Season Against The Thrashers: 3 games, 0 goals, and 0 assists.
Current Season With Flyers: 76 games, 2 goals, and 14 assists.
Career With The Thrashers: 2 seasons (2005-2006 and 2006-2007), 38 games, 0 goals, and 5 assists.

The Games
The Flyers' 5-2 win in Atlanta on January 14th

The Thrashers' 5-4 overtime win in Philly on March 12th

The Thrashers' 4-3 shootout win in Atlanta on March 17th


Phillies Finalize Roster; Orr Makes Squad

Posted by Mike Frohwirth

  Peteorr
Courtesy floridatoday.com

After a meaningless loss in their final Spring Training game, the Phillies set their Opening Day roster. This biggest surprise may have occurred earlier in the day, when 2B Luis Castillo was released. Many, including this blogger, expected the veteran to not only make the team, but to be the club's starting second basemen. While Castillo's range in the field has been severely diminished, his defensive ability probably isn't exceeded considerably by nominal 2B starter Wilson Valdez. The strong-armed Valdez is far inferior to Castillo at the plate, particularly in the art of OBP, making this move a rather questionable one. It's possible that the Phillies know something about Castillo that is not currently apparent, such as an injury or personality concern. Otherwise, this decision is somewhat puzzling.

INF/OF Pete Orr makes the roster, as INF/OF Delwyn Young is sent to minor league camp.

Tuesday's removal of minor league 1B Matt Rizzotti from the 40-Man Roster created an opening on the 25-Man Active roster for Orr. While Young has a bit more power, Orr has greater speed and defensive versatility. With Rule 5 INF Michael Martinez as the only other infield reserve, the Phillies valued Orr's fielding ability highly. Manager Charlie Manuel also indicated that he had concerns about the health of starting 3B Placido Polanco, who has experienced some elbow discomfort. As a result, Orr could see time at 3B, both as a starter, and as a late-inning defensive replacement.

David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo were added to the MLB bullpen, with Mike Stutes returned to minor league camp.

No surprises here. Bastardo was needed as the second lefty, and Herndon is a bit more advanced than Stutes, at this point.

Brad Lidge, Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Brian Bocock, and Brian Schlitter will begin the season on the DL.

No surprises here, either. No indications today as to whether any of the above will be placed on the 60-Day DL. (Though Amaro said earlier this week that he did not expect to place Lidge, Utley, or Brown on the 60-Day list.) With today's addition of Orr, the 40-Man Roster is now full, and the Active Roster is set (at least for the time being.)

The projected starting lineup:

Victorino CF

Polanco 3B

Rollins SS

Howard 1B

Ibanez LF

Francisco RF

Ruiz C

Valdez 2B

The Bench:

C Brian Schneider

1B/OF Ross Gload

OF John Mayberry, Jr.

INF/CF Michael Martinez

INF/OF Pete Orr

The Pitching Staff:

Roy Halladay

Cliff Lee

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Kyle Kendrick

Danys Baez

David Herndon

J.C. Romero

Antonio Bastardo

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras


Your Philliedelphia Opening Day Forecast

Posted by Adam Gonsiewski

When he is not blogging Phillies for Philliedelphia and Flyers for another site, Adam is the lead forecaster at Millersville University.   Finally, our resident weatherman can use the two together!

Roy
Courtesy www.nj.com

With Opening Day only 48 hours away, many question marks still remain as to whether the Phillies will even get the game in on Friday.

Intermittent light rain will begin late this evening as a low pressure system moves off the coast of the Carolinas. Unfortunately, a second, stronger storm will move up the coast in its wake. This second Nor'easter-type system is what could disrupt Phillies' first pitch.

Heavy rain will begin to fall in the Philadelphia region Thursday evening, and continue overnight into Friday morning. While rain may change over to flurries or light snow showers as the system moves Northward and pulls cold air in behind it, odds are against Philadelphia getting an accumulating snowfall. Areas to the North and West of Philly in the higher elevations could pick up a slushy coating to an inch.

At this point, it appears that most of the steady precipitation will be out of Philadelphia by first pitch. Showers will linger into the afternoon hours, but precipitation would not be as heavy as it was overnight.

I'll update the forecast tomorrow morning, and again on Friday morning. As of now, the timing of the system is what's most important to track. Right now, I am buying into the "earlier arrival/earlier out" timing.

Chance of Phillies Delay on Friday: 50%

Chance of Phillies Postponement on Friday: 40% (60% the Phillies get the game in!)