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August 2014

The Phillies at the Two-Thirds Mark

The Phillies are 47-61 at the two-thirds mark of the season. In other words, they are on pace for a 70-92 season. Their pace has gotten worse as the season has went, both as a team and individually. Things that were true, like Ryan Howard being on pace for 30 homers, are not any longer. If anything, the situation is getting worse.

A look at the line-up's pace at the 2/3 mark:

  • Ben Revere- .301/.321/.361/.682, 13 doubles, 8 triples, 1 homer, 44 stolen bases. Revere will fall short of these numbers as he loses playing time to Sizemore, but he will nonetheless probably end up leading the team in batting average. 
  • Jimmy Rollins- .241/.322/.407/.729, 27 doubles, 3 triples, 22 homers, 29 stolen bases. Jimmy is going to put up another 20/20 season, which is impressive given his age. His option for 2015 has kicked in, and i'm not even mad about it.
  • Chase Utley- .289/.355/.436/.791, 39 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers, 79 RBIs, 7 stolen bases. Chase will once again have one of the most productive seasons in baseball at second base. Did we miss our chance to sell high?
  • Ryan Howard- .223/.306/.379/.685, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 24 homers, 95 RBIs, 185 K's. This line is abysmal. On his current pace, the Phillies will have to consider different ways to move on. I'm not even sure he'll reach his pace though, as I think he'll lose playing time to both Ruf and Franco yet this season.
  • Marlon Byrd- .270/.318/.477/.795, 33 doubles, 3 triples, 30 homers, 90 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, 189 K's. Marlon Byrd will be considered the success of the season. I would like to see him dealt by 4, but if not, these are good numbers.
  • Dom Brown- .231/.282/.340/.622, 22 doubles, 2 triples, 10 homers, 75 RBIs. Nothing else needs to be said here. Needless to say, I hope he loses some playing time down the stretch, and I hope he's gone next year.
  • Carlos Ruiz- .272/.373/.380/.753, 29 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, 24 RBIs. Chooch is an absolutely fine 7/8 hitter and catcher, still. How will his last two years work out on this deal? Your guess is as good as mine, but this is positive.
  • Cody Asche- .244/.297/.384/.681, 22 doubles, 10 homers, 51 RBIs. Much like with Chooch, a DL stint hurts his numbers, but I'm not sure Cody did enough to hold off the suddenly surging Maikel Franco even for this September. 
Other offensive lines to watch would be Darin Ruf and Grady Sizemore, neither of which have enough games in to project out for the season. What about the pitching side?
  • Cole Hamels- 9-7, 2.55, 29 GS, 200 IP, 200 K's. Cole's numbers are skewed by missing the start of the season, but he has a shot at 200 IP and 200 Ks in a short season. That's impressive.
  • Cliff Lee- 6-8, 3.78, 22 GS, 145 IP, 123 K's. This just isn't quite enough from Cliff, but it's probably what we can expect at this point.
  • A.J. Burnett- 9-15, 4.15, 33 GS, 210 IP, 163 K's. A.J. was durable, despite a hernia, if he was nothing else. He very well could be gone though, so we'll wait on that.
  • Kyle Kendrick- 7-16, 4.92, 33 GS, 203 IP, 125 K's. Ugly line, other than durability. Kendrick is the new-aged Blanton/Lidle "innings eater," and hopefully he's doing it elsewhere next year.
  • Roberto Hernandez- 7-12, 4.14, 32 GS, 162 IP, 108 K's. He does not eat innings, but I'd almost consider him for 2015 as a fifth starter again.
  • Jonathan Papelbon- 3-3, 1.83, 66 G, 37 Saves, 66 IP, 60 K's. It's hard to believe Ruben can't dump his salary with him performing as he is. What an indictment.
  • Jake Diekman- 4-4, 4.34, 70 G, 70 IP, 100 K's. He's been a mixed bag. I'd much rather watch him learn in the majors though.
  • Mario Hollands- 2-2, 4.21, 59 G, 56 IP, 42 K's. He's taken some hits lately, but I think he'll be fine.
  • Antonio Bastardo- 6-6, 4.17, 69 G, 68 IP, 79 K's. I hope he's traded today.
Buchanan, De Fratus, and Giles all are left off for lack of enough data at this point. How all three could finish would be interesting to watch.
I left some guys out, like your Cesar Hernandez's (too hard to project yet), or your John Mayberry Jr.'s (who cares, he stinks). I didn't want to put up really wild guesses. The main theme you can see here though is that these numbers aren't good. This team isn't good. As they head for a 90-95 loss season, or maybe even worse, they will do so with few individual standouts. Oh sure, you can (maybe) watch Cole finish out the season, but that's about it. Chase and Byrd have had decent years, Jimmy and Chooch are pretty impressive, and the rest of the roster is awful. The big thing is though, there is no MVP contender type on this team, nobody by Hamels you'd put in the Cy Young top five or ten, and not enough of a core to hope for anything. This team, basically, stinks at the 2/3 mark.

Kansas City Royals Once Again In On Phillies' A.J. Burnett


The Phillies continue to be linked to the Kansas City Royals in regards to starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports Reports:

There is a Burnett - Royals connection that might be causing the interest:

Yesterday, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly noted some interest between the two.

With two major pieces off of the trade market in Jon Lester and John Lackey, the eyes of the trade market could move to the Phillies.   Justin Masterson is also off the market, as well.  There are fewer pitching options available for teams, which will work in the Phillies' favor over the next few hours.

Hours from Disaster

The Phillies got spanked around the yard yesterday by the hapless Mets franchise, losing 2 of 3 in the series. Their AAA team broke an 11 game losing streak. Their AA and higher A ball affiliates all carry embarrassingly bad records into the end of July. The Phillies, as a franchise, are an absolute disaster. In about nine hours, another window to start changing that scenario will close.

The Phillies are 47-61 at the two-thirds of the season mark, meaning they're on 92 loss pace, which is worse than last year's 89 losses. They're terrible, and expensive. There are teams interested in taking some of those high-priced, old, no-longer winning players off of their hands. The Phillies have made zero trades though. No salary dump of Jonathan Papelbon. No moving of the suddenly wanted Antonio Bastardo. No moving of A.J. Burnett. Not even a move for Marlon Byrd and his 20 homers at $8 million for the year. No, none of these easy, expected moves, let alone moves to send Hamels, Lee, Utley, or Rollins out, and actually bring back some prospects. The Phillies clearly aren't all that motivated to sell, and even have apparently told teams they would be fine with waiting until the Winter to sell.

That's an unacceptable outcome. They have an awful line-up, mediocre pitching, still very unproven bullpen, and joke of a bench. The Phillies needed an influx of players, or at least enough free money to go out and sign those players this Winter. Nine hours out, they have none of the above. Standing pat at this deadline should be unacceptable to the fans. If David Montgomery is either causing this or not clear that this is bad, he is an even bigger problem than our seemingly lost and overmatched GM. The Phillies are just hours from disaster.

Yankees Have Some Interest In Marlon Byrd


One of the Phillies' most tradeable commodities is outfielder Marlon Byrd.  Unless one of his no-trade clause teams try to acquire Byrd, the team who signs Byrd is only on the hook for $8 million, a small number compared to the production that Byrd is putting forth.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says that the Yankees and Byrd could be a match:

Byrd does not have the Yankees on his no-trade clause, but the Yankees don't seem to love the $8-million salary for next year.

There also may be some doubt as to whether his personality is a good fit for the team.

Heyman says nothing is "close" at this point.

Considering Byrd's personality an issue is pretty much the opposite of the image Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. painted of Byrd upon re-signing him.  Amaro said that Byrd was good for the clubhouse, in addition to praising Byrd's ability on the field.

One other issue is that the Yankees have little to trade.  Two pieces most mentioned, pitcher Luis Severino and outfielder Aaron Judge, may be too much for the Yankees to include in a deal for Byrd.   The Yankees may satisfy their outfield need with someone such as Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham instead.

Ken Rosenthal: Teams Having Tough Time Trading With Phillies, Who Will Eat Money


We are just minutes away from the trade deadline day.  While the deadline looms at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, the Phillies have yet to make a single trade.   The pressure of the deadline is usually enough to make something happen.  But it appears the Phillies are not close to much of anything.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted:

Since the word "acceptable" is open to intepretation, Rosenthal followed it up by trying to make the different sides' known:

Possible Translation: teams assume the Phillies are desperate when approaching them for trades.

The Phillies are indeed a team in need of an infusion of talent.   Money-wise, the team is set and can eat whatever payroll necessary.   With what many think is an overvaluing of prospects going on, teams seem more willing to pick up the tab on a player's contract than to send some players in a deal.   That puts the Phillies at a standstill for now.

The good news is, someday the Phillies will be the team looking to deal for players again, and they'll be able to take on the money.   That will happen as soon as the Phillies can build a core of young talent.  If they do well at the deadline, that could be sooner than later.

Eagles Camp 2014, Day 5: Secondary has banner day

In the first few days of Eagles camp, there was one noticeable missing part to secondary drills: no interceptions. On Wednesday, there were plenty of them.

The secondary picked up four interceptions in Wednesday’s practice, two by new safety Malcolm Jenkins.

"That was great to see," DeMeco Ryans said. "It was great to see people picking up the tempo, picking up the energy, on the defensive side of the ball. We made some big plays."

Continue reading "Eagles Camp 2014, Day 5: Secondary has banner day" »

Report: Phillies Have Discussed Miguel Gonzalez With Orioles


Imagine 2015 with not one, but two Miguel Gonzalezses in the Phillies starting rotation.  It could indeed happen, if a report is true.  A report links the Phillies with starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez as part of a potential trade.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports:

Gonzalez is not Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Cuban defector-turned Phillies prospect, but Miguel Angel Gonzalez, current rotation piece for the Baltimore Orioles.

Gonzalez coming to the Phillies only makes sense if a bigger piece goes from Philadelphia to Baltimore.  Could it be Cliff Lee?  Could it be Jonathan Papelbon?  Some reports have the Orioles going after big name starting pitchers.  It would make sense that a team dealing one would need a starter of decent quality coming back to fill a rotation spot.  That could be Gonzalez.

There is a third Miguel Gonzalez in professional baseball.  His middle initial is also A.  Miguel Antonio Gonzalez is a catcher currently playing for AAA Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox system.  Miguel Antonio Gonzalez spent time with the White Sox in September of last season.  No word if the Phillies are interested in him, too.

Cardinals, Royals Interested In Phillies Starters Lee, Burnett


We are officially within the last 24 hours of the non-waiver trade deadline in major league baseball and the rumors are flying.   All eyes are on the Phillies, who are desperate to acquire some young talent to begin a turnaround of their major league roster.  Two teams are reportedly interested in some of the Phillies' big pieces.

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly pegged the Cardinals for Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, though Salisbury had to amend his report after the Cardinals acquired Cleveland Indians starter Justin Masterson on Wednesday afternoon:

The St. Louis Cardinals were in the market for a starting pitcher and had interest in Cliff Lee before reportedly trading for Cleveland's Justin Masterson on Wednesday.

Lee remains on the market. He is scheduled to pitch Thursday night in Washington -- three hours after the 4 p.m. deadline. As of game time Wednesday afternoon, Lee was still scheduled to make that start.

However, is that it for the Cardinals?  Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports explained that the Cardinals were long-interested in Lee and may continue to be:

This trade may come in August, rather than right now, notes Rosenthal.  Masterson is currently on the disabled list and has an ERA well over five right now.  If Masterson doesn't help the club, then maybe the Phillies still have a trade partner.

Salisbury also says that the Kansas City Royals may be a landing spot for pitcher A.J. Burnett:

According to multiple sources, the Phillies have had recent communication with the Royals regarding pitcher A.J. Burnett. The Royals have also kept tabs on lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo.

Salisbury notes that Burnett did not pitch very well on Monday night and may not have excited potential teams about his availability.

Much more before tomorrow's 4:00 p.m. deadline, I'm sure.  One thing is for sure, the Phillies have played their last game before the trade deadline.   And now: we wait.

Ryan Howard's Philadelphia-Area House Is Sold


We know that Ryan Howard is building (and has for a good while) a huge mansion/fortress/city on Belleair Shore near the Phillies' Clearwater Spring Training site.  Howard has plenty of money, of course, and has a Philadelphia-area site.   Today a report says that Howard's Blue Bell home is in the process of being sold.'s sports Twitter account would like us to read into it.'s Lauren Mennen notes that Howard's Philly-area house is pending to be sold:

Howard’s home in Montgomery County is now listed as a pending sale. According to reps from Bristol Real Estate, the listing agent, Howard’s home will close around mid-August.

County records show that Howard purchased the 8,900-square-foot home on Deerfield Court in March 2009 for $2.3 million. It’s listed now for $2.95 million. The sold price won’t be made public until it is officially closed.

That is quite the commute to South Philly.  What is unclear is whether or not Howard is purchasing another area house.

With Howard's recent marriage to Krystle Campbell, perhaps his new family will simply move down to the mega-house in Florida, creating the need for something less-permanent in the Philadelphia area.  I would wager that the mansion on the Gulf Coast of Florida isn't there to be just a Spring Training home and the family will spend most of their time there.

Check out the listing here on