Previous month:
December 2011
Next month:
February 2012

Phillies Sign RHP Chad Qualls; What Does This Mean for the Prospects?

Chad_Qualls

The Phillies signed RHP Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, according to the official Phillies Twitter page.

Wait a minute, don't the Phillies have a full bullpen already?

The Phillies are stocked with young bullpen arms: Mike Stutes, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer, and Phillipe Aumont from the right side.  So what are the Phillies doing signing another right-handed reliever?   I think there are many implications here:

1. Forget Jose Contreras

The Jose Contreras signing may have been one of Ruben Amaro's worst signings, which in the grand scheme of things is not that awful.  Contreras has been battling injury, and the signing of Chad Qualls is probably a sign that the Phillies do not count on Contreras contributing much.

2. Joe Blanton is questionable

I still believe that Kyle Kendrick will start more than Joe Blanton.   The trouble with nerve damage in your pitching arm is that you cannot feel when your arm is hurt, overextended, or tired.  Injuries come all too easily with such an injury.

3. The young arms are great...just not 8th inning-worthy.

In due time, someone from Justin DeFratus, Phillipe Aumont, Michael Schwimer, or Mike Stutes will be a capable 8th inning arm.   However, for a team to contend for a World Series Championship, they should be better-armed for the tough 8th inning role.   They will get plenty of chances to prove themselves this year, and will get their day.

The Phillies sven-man bullpen will be made up of some combination of the following:

  1. Jonathan Papelbon
  2. Jose Contreras
  3. Antonio Bastardo
  4. Mike Stutes
  5. Dontrelle Willis
  6. David Herndon
  7. Kyle Kendrick
  8. Chad Qualls
  9. Philippe Aumont
  10. Justin DeFratus
  11. Michael Schwimer

That is four too many relievers.  However, removing Contreras for injury, Kyle Kendrick to the rotation, they are only two extra deep.    I would rather the Phillies be better-equipped than underequipped; injuries happen, and some may simply not make the cut.   It's a long season and many of these players will factor into the team's plans, particularly under new rules that allow for an extra player during double-headers.  

So, why not sign Chad Qualls?


Phillies Sign RHP Chad Qualls; What Does This Mean for the Prospects?

Chad_Qualls

The Phillies signed RHP Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, according to the official Phillies Twitter page.

Wait a minute, don't the Phillies have a full bullpen already?

The Phillies are stocked with young bullpen arms: Mike Stutes, Justin DeFratus, Michael Schwimer, and Phillipe Aumont from the right side.  So what are the Phillies doing signing another right-handed reliever?   I think there are many implications here:

1. Forget Jose Contreras

The Jose Contreras signing may have been one of Ruben Amaro's worst signings, which in the grand scheme of things is not that awful.  Contreras has been battling injury, and the signing of Chad Qualls is probably a sign that the Phillies do not count on Contreras contributing much.

2. Joe Blanton is questionable

I still believe that Kyle Kendrick will start more than Joe Blanton.   The trouble with nerve damage in your pitching arm is that you cannot feel when your arm is hurt, overextended, or tired.  Injuries come all too easily with such an injury.

3. The young arms are great...just not 8th inning-worthy.

In due time, someone from Justin DeFratus, Phillipe Aumont, Michael Schwimer, or Mike Stutes will be a capable 8th inning arm.   However, for a team to contend for a World Series Championship, they should be better-armed for the tough 8th inning role.   They will get plenty of chances to prove themselves this year, and will get their day.

The Phillies sven-man bullpen will be made up of some combination of the following:

  1. Jonathan Papelbon
  2. Jose Contreras
  3. Antonio Bastardo
  4. Mike Stutes
  5. Dontrelle Willis
  6. David Herndon
  7. Kyle Kendrick
  8. Chad Qualls
  9. Philippe Aumont
  10. Justin DeFratus
  11. Michael Schwimer

That is four too many relievers.  However, removing Contreras for injury, Kyle Kendrick to the rotation, they are only two extra deep.    I would rather the Phillies be better-equipped than underequipped; injuries happen, and some may simply not make the cut.   It's a long season and many of these players will factor into the team's plans, particularly under new rules that allow for an extra player during double-headers.  

So, why not sign Chad Qualls?

Note: I did not include Joe Savery in the mix because I mostly focused on right-handers; another solid year at AAA and he may most certainly factor into the team's plans.


Interview with Phillies Pitching Prospect Eric Pettis

Posted by Christina Angelos

  (Courtesy of MiLB.com )

Phillies pitching prospect, Eric Pettis was drafted in the 35th round of the 2010 draft out of UC-Irvine. Pettis signed quickly soon after. He began his career in Williamsport as starter, however, was moved into the bullpen. Last season, he split time between Lakewood and Clearwater. He threw in 47 games, compiling a 2.84 ERA in 69.2 innings. He was nice enough to spare some of his busy offseason schedule for an interview. 

 

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in West Hills, CA. It's about twenty miles west of Los Angeles.  Eric Pettis

Who was your favorite MLB team/player growing up or present? Why? 

I never really had a favorite team when I was a kid. But, more recently I started rooting for my home team, the LA Dodgers. I really like their young group of players, especially Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Oh, but now the Phillies are my favorite team, of course.

When did you realize that you had the talent to become a professional baseball player? 

I'm not sure when I realized I had the talent to become a pro, but I know it has always been my goal since I could remember. Ever since I was little it was my focus and I have just tried to do everything that I can to be my best, and hopefully that's good enough.

Do you have anyone to look up to the most in the Phillies organization?

I really look up to everyone that has made it to the show. I try to take in everything I can from those guys and hopefully be able to translate it to my game. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to be around so many great players and I try to take full advantage of it. There is no detail too small, and anything I can learn from those guys is a positive.

What aspects of your game are you most focused on improving upon this year? 

I know this might sound cliche, but I'm working on everything. There is always something to improve in every aspect of the game. So, I think if you focus on one thing and really devote a lot of time to it, you'll just be neglecting something else. So, every time I train, I try my best to concentrate on improving everything everyday. 

What kinds of things do you do off the field to prepare you to succeed on it? 

Especially for a pitcher, I think the off the field stuff is just as important as the on the field stuff. Because, we can only throw so much. We only have so many bullets before we break down. Everything else becomes that much more critical. So, I really try to keep my body in good shape. I get in the weight room as much as I can to keep my body strong. And I focus on eating the right things to give my body the best nutrition possible.

What is the best moment so far? 

My favorite moment in professional baseball so far has to be participating in the Major League spring training games last year. I was fortunate enough to sit in the bullpen as an extra arm during four of the Phillies spring games. And, while I didn't actually get to throw in any of them, it was a great experience. Just being able to interact with the guys that are where I want to be was special. And, I think it prepared me for when I do get there. It allowed me to get some of the first-time jitters out of the way. So, hopefully when I do have to perform at that level, it will feel a bit more normal than it would have otherwise.

If you were to debut in Major League today, which batter you do or do not want to face? 

I'd love to face anyone, really. Everyone at that level is there for a reason and it would be awesome to have that challenge. But, if I had to answer, I'd say Mike Moustakas of the Royals. We had many battles in high school and it would be fun to rekindle the rivalry a bit.

Who's your favorite teammate in the minor leagues right now? 

Oh man, you're putting me on the spot. I really enjoyed being a part of the bullpen in Clearwater this year. It was a great group to be around. Friend, Esposito, Loop, Whatcott, you could pick any of those guys and you wouldn't go wrong.  

What's one thing that that no fan knows about you?

I'd say one thing that no fan knows is that I'm a foodie. Probably 90% of the time at home when I watch TV, it's the Food Network, or Top Chef, or Bizarre Foods, really anything that has to do with food. I love to go to all the best chef's restaurants and I'm down to eat anything. Food is such a big part of our lives and I'm always interested in learning more about it.

One last question, What have you been doing during offseason? Anything special? 

This offseason I've been working on a really big project. I'm really excited about it and if you stay tuned to my twitter (@eric_pettis) and my blog (ericpettis.com), I'll be revealing more info about it closer to spring training. 

 Now, a quick favorite game:

Food: It changes, but right now it's Pork Tocino Burrito from the White Rabbit Cafe, a Philippino fusion place 20 min from my house

Movie: Anything with Will Smith

Sports to watch: Clippers Basketball

Artist: If Michael Jackson and Kanye had a baby, he or she would be my favorite

Song: Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Thank you again to Eric Pettis for giving us his time in answering our questions. Don’t forget to check out his blog and tweet him once in a while.


People Really Paid Money For These: Most Ridiculous Phillies Jerseys

Posted by Frank Klose and @PatEgan

Every once in a while I'll snap a picture of a jersey I see at a Phillies game that just seems too ridiculous to ever wear, and a friend introduced me to Pat Egan, who does the same.  

WMMS - What would Mike Missanelli say: a violation or no?

These are some baseball jerseys seen in and around Citizens Bank Park.

Here's our first installment:

High5

This guy was in the Sports Bar in the Holiday Inn before the Phillies playoff game.  He could afford the ticket but not a real jersey?   I assume this guy was being cute, but maybe he's named High?  I don't know; maybe he was high when he ordered this.

Rockstar

Now this one is really cool: not only did he pick the best number ever, but he's a rockstar too.

HallLEEday

Best way to get the most out of your $17 bootleg jersey from China when Cliff Lee gets traded and Roy Halladay takes his number?   Take a patch of a different color gray, and get the letters to spell the name of the next player with that number.   This is a great idea; I am going to make sure I make my Greg Dobbs jersey into a Michael Martinez jersey.

Lofton

These block-lettering jerseys really bother me.  The color does not match the Phillies red, and the font is nowhere near what the Phillies use.  

I have fond memories of 2005, especially when Kenny Lofton said,  "I'm not going to run into that wall. I'm not stupid. I'm not going to kill myself. It's tough when you go after a ball at full speed. You want to go, but you tell yourself, I have to stop."  

I feel bad for this guy; six whole years have passed and he could not afford a respectable jersey.

Iguchi

I see this guy at the park regularly, including this playoff game.  I did enjoy 2007 as well, but I think he has had time and probably the money to buy a new jersey.

Superman

Here's a great way to spend $200. Buy a Phillies jersey, put the number 99 on the back, and then put a fictional superhero that you don't resemble at all on the back.

Alomar

Rule of thumb never sharpie on a jersey and try and go to a pro game with it. Screams, "trailer park."

Pat_who

Well this is looking like a great investment. #29 "Pat Who" jersey.  He probably could have made his point more respectably by buying an actual Raul Ibañez jersey.

Jowers

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you Jowers Jr. The man, the myth, the moron who gets this jersey with Roy Halladay's number.

Section137
I hope this guy has to change his season tickets.

Werthless

OK - I get the whole "Werthless" thing, but why the turqoise blue?

Castro

Finally, Juan Castro will forever be in Phillies lore, thanks to making the final out of Roy Halladay's perfect game.  However - a Castro shirsey? A bootleg one at that?


Phillies Trade SS/Relief Pitcher Wilson Valdez to the Cincinnati Reds Team He Beat

Posted by Frank Klose

Valdez

Well, despite delivering the most memorable pitching performance of the 2011 season, the Phillies have traded backup infielder Wilson Valdez Cincinnati Reds, reported Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio's "Inside Pitch".

Now the question becomes: who becomes the backup shortstop?

I would surmise that Michael Martinez would be the initial backup infielder, but if he were to fail or the Phillies would need someone long-term Freddy Galvis might get a shot.  I felt Wilson was a much superior fielder to Martinez, but the Phillies control Martinez long-term and he will save them about half a million bucks.

Or, as Jeff Rickard suggested on "Inside Pitch", the backup shortstop could be on another roster right now.

Stay tuned.

The Phillies receive LHP Jeremy Horst in return.   Horst has appeared in 12 games in his short major league career to the tune of a 2.93 ERA, and could start the year in AAA or potentially beat out Dontrelle Willis for a bullpen spot, who does not have a guaranteed contract.


3-on-3 Weekly Update:1.24.2012

Welcome to this week’s 3-on-3, a weekly look back at the Orange and Black. The Flyers went 2-1-1 in four games last week, getting five out of a possible eight points, good enough to keep themselves in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Let’s get to this week’s 3 “Hot” and 3 ”Not” players of the week. 

3 “Hot”:


  1. Scott Hartnell: “Harts” continues his recent torrid pace with six goals in four games including a hat trick against the Bruins on Sunday. His 25 goals puts him at sixth place in the NHL and only five goals away from tying his career best of 30 in a season, set three years ago. Scott’s 44 points is second on the team and his plus-18 leads the team as well. Hartnell is also fourth on the team with a relative Corsi of 7.4, showing his improving all around play and how good he has been at even strength this season.

  2. Matt Read: The rookie from Bemidji State has continued to have a very strong freshman campaign for the Flyers. Matt had two goals and two assists in four games and was a plus-2, putting him at plus-12 for the season, tied for third-best on the team and among all rookies. Read also leads all NHL rookies in goals with 15 and is third overall in rookie scoring with 31 points, four points behind Edmonton’s dynamic but injured Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

  3. Claude Giroux: Although his goal scoring has slowed down,Giroux continues to dish the puck and pile up assists. His six helpers in the last four games have raised his point total to 55, three behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for the scoring lead. “G” continues to have an MVP type season and it is only a matter of time before he lights the lamp again for the Flyers.


3 “Not”:

  1. Braydon Coburn: Coburn had a sub-par week, posting a minus 3 in four games for the Flyers. Coburn needs to be a steadying force in the absence of captain Chris Pronger, especially with two rookies in the lineup on defense. His minus-1 for the season is unacceptable for a top-four defenseman on a presumed Stanley Cup contender.

  2. Everyone but Sergei Bobrovsky against the Islanders: The team’s complete lack of “jam”, as coach Peter Laviolette likes to say, was disturbing and lead directly to the defeat, their first against the Islanders in eight games overall. It also snapped a 13-game home win streak against their rivals.

  3. Shootouts: Ilya Bryzgalov has yet to make a save this season in the shootout (0-for-5) and the Flyers are tied with Carolina with zero shootout wins this season. Since its institution for the 2005-06 season, the Flyers are a brutal 19-37 in the post-regulation skills competition.


That’s all for this week’s 3-on-3, join me next week when we review Tuesday’s game against Florida and look back at the first half of the season at the All Star break.(The column will now be published on Tuesdays.)

 

Retired Phillies Broadcaster and Brewery Employee Andy Musser Passes Away; Some Links to Remember Him

Posted by Frank Klose

Broadcasters

A few neat links to remember Phillies broadcaster Andy Musser:

"Still Crazy After All These Beers" interviews Andy Musser, a craft beer devotee and Anchor Brewing Company employee.

 

Andy Musser named to Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia

Broadcast Pioneers video about Andy Musser's Career:

 

Andy Musser was on TV and called Mike Schmidt's 500th home run.  Most tend to dub Harry Kalas' voice over the video, but check out Andy's:

 


Phillies Issue Antonio Bastardo a New Number; Oswalt's, Madson's, Werth's, and Moyer's Issued to New Players

Posted by Frank Klose

Bastardo_Jersey

Citizens Bank Park will look odd this season with many familiar numbers going to new players.   Some Phillies fans, such as @socuttered, spent the whole time since the Papelbon signing trying to figure out what number beloved Antonio Bastardo would wear.    

Further, many beloved Phillies' numbers have been reissued.  In the past, the Phillies tended to hold out of circulation a number belonging to a favorite player, but with all the player movement this year,  it appears it was unavoidable.

Also, there is some bad news, as some of your favorite bench players switched numbers, making your jersey obsolete.

  • Antonio Bastardo will wear #37, most recently belonging to Justin DeFratus.   DeFratus will report back to camp wearing the #78 jersey he wore last spring.
  • Dontrelle Willis, a fan of the unavailable #35, will take #53.
  • Ty Wigginton will wear #24 (unproductive since 1993 when Juan Bell first put it on).
  • Laynce Nix will wear #7.
  • Pete Orr takes his preferred #4.
  • Pete Mackanin takes #5.
  • Michael Schwimer takes Roy Oswalt's #44.
  • Raul Valdez slips into Ryan Madson's #46. No word if he will also get a mustache tattoo on his finger.
  • Joel Piñeiro, slightly younger than Jamie Moyer, will wear #50.
  • Phillippe Aumont will wear #43.  Is this an indication he is being strongly considered for a bullpen spot?

Some interestingly low numbers for non-roster invitees:

  • Hector Luna will wear #10.
  • Scott Podsednik takes Mackanin's previous #22.  He may have a legitimate shot to make the opening day roster.
  • Lou Montanez comes to camp in #16 (though it should have been retired for John Bowker)
  • Kevin Frandsen will do his best Jayson Werth impression wearing #28.
  • David Purcey appears to have bumped Michael Schwimer out of #39.

With a shot to make the club:

  • Dave Bush will wear #47.
  • Former and current-Phillie Brian Sanches gets his old #48 back.  If you were at the Phillies holiday sale, you could have bought a $30 jersey of a current player.  Damn.

 


Phillies and Cole Hamels Agree to Final Arbitration Year; I Say Give Him $20 Million a Year

Posted by Frank Klose

Cole_Hamels

Some lunchtime thoughts as I read that the Phillies and Cole Hamels avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one year, $15 million deal.  (Wilson Valdez, agreed to $930k as well).

Pay Cole Hamels.   Period.  $20 million a year, get it done.

Why?  The drop off is so significant.   Look at the following deals signed this offseason by pitchers:

Do any of these players compare to Cole Hamels?  No.

The Phillies really have two options:  Sign Cole Hamels to $20 million a year, or, sign a second-tier (though decent) starter of the Mark Buehrle/C.J. Wilson ilk.    When you consider what Hamels brings to the Phillies and that the Phillies have more money than other teams, it is not worth the dropoff.   Even if the Phillies "overpay" Hamels (as many people like to criticize the Phillies for), the bottom line is that they will have the best possible staff.

Give him $20 million a year and be done with it.


Colorado Rockies Offer Former Phillies Pitcher Jamie Moyer a Contract

Posted by Frank Klose

Jamie_Moyer

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Colorado Rockies have offered former Phillie Jamie Moyer a minor league contract with invitation to Spring Training:

Moyer would be brought in to compete for a rotation spot and help tutor the young pitchers on staff. He is known for possessing one of baseball's best changeups.

Moyer is 49 years old and recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Lifetime, Moyer is 267–204 with a 4.25 ERA.

Renck says the team is "finishing up" the deal, which seems to indicate it will get done.