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Phillies: Addressing 2021’s Plans

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

On June 30, the Philadelphia Phillies finished their first three months, and --now-- Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, must evaluate the results. Seriously, no MLB front office can plug every hole. They can only concentrate on their most glaring flaws. 

 

Transactions to Date:

While the Phillies faithful entered April with eternal hope, the newly installed exec was probably more realistic with a fifty-fifty expectation for the newly acquired pieces. So, did Dombrowski do better than or worse than .500 with his offseason deals? And how ‘bout the fans?  

IN OTHER WORDS:

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” - Douglas Everett

Some locals had given up on the Fightins before June’s end, but they don’t realize ‘21 isn’t a normal 162. Translation: Many factors can change the outcome from one week to the next. So, hopelessness on Monday can become its opposite by the weekend.    

To illustrate, the Washington Nationals had produced a 14-3 run, but Trea Turner jammed a finger on his cycle-completing triple on July 1 of the Los Angeles Dodgers series during game one. The next day, homer-happy Kyle Schwarber suffered a severe hamstring injury in the second defeat: two days, two injuries.                

Although top teams are on the schedule, the Phils could play them at the wrong time due to their injuries or a buzz-saw opponent. For instance, the red pinstripes have four contests against the Boston Red Sox (53-32) at Fenway Park before the All-Star break.               

Other variables are stars with career years, good or bad. Agewise, a veteran can reach the end of his major league run because Father Time has caught up to him. And a general manager rolls the dice sometimes on mostly older free agents because franchises lock-up their young talent.

Evaluations:

Realistically, Joe Girardi can only win with enough offense, four good starters, and a bullpen rotation to preserve victories. But while some believe Girardi doesn’t push starters for more, he made that career-ruining mistake with Josh Johnson on the 2006 Miami Marlins: two injury-riddled years and health issues thereafter.                

With Girardi and Dombrowski, the Phillies have two experienced baseball men: dugout and  front office. Ergo, don’t expect firings after three months of an anticipated .500 mark by many. They were 37-41 on June 30, and the decision-maker’s record for each move is a plus, incomplete or a minus.

Phillies Relievers through June 30:

(Management expects 75-80 percent)

PITCHER

GOOD

ACCEPT

BAD

BLOWUP

TOTAL 

PCT.

Alvarado

15

8

9

0

23 - 9

71.9%

Bradley

11

1

9

0

12 - 9

57.1%

Coonrod

15

4

8

0

19 - 8

70.4%

Kintzler

10

1

6

3

11 - 9

55%

Moore

4

0

2

0

4 - 2

66.7%

Anderson

0

1

2

0

1 - 2

33.3%

 

Phillies Starters through June 30:

(Management expects 75-80 percent)

PITCHER

GOOD

ACCEPT

BAD

TOTAL 

PCT.

Moore

1

0

3

1 - 3

25%

Anderson

3

3

2

6 - 2

75%

Acquired on Dec. 28 in a three-club trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, Jose Alvarado was thriving in the eighth-inning setup role with only one walk in four frames during three consecutive outings. And he needed three more performances to build up his confidence for closing instead of shaky Hector Neris. Result: a double!  

With a three-month outcome of a single, Ronald Torreyes --signed on Jan. 4-- has provided near flawless defense and offensive production with 16 RBIs. Again, Dombrowski has another plus because Torreyes has filled in admirably for Didi Gregorius. Note: The players are in the order they joined the organization.                 

With a full count (incomplete result), Sam Coonrod arrived from the San Francisco Giants in a Jan. 9 swap. Unfortunately, he has allowed too many inherited runners to score but has had many solid appearances as well. Translation: He could shine after his reactivation.         

Archie Bradley opened 2021 as the right-handed setup man for Neris, but many wanted him to be his immediate replacement. However, he hasn’t been effective or worth his $6 million pact of Jan. 18, but he has also missed time due to an oblique injury. For now, he’s a swing and a miss for management.          

Home run! JT Realmuto re-upped on Jan. 29 because the execs had known he would be a late signing. Realistically, catching is a premium position because the receiver can guide the five-man staff through difficulties, and the Fightins have four quality arms. 

New Phillies and One Angel:

  • Alvarado, 26: 32 Gms., 30 ⅓ Inn., a 3.26 ERA, 3 Saves, 9 Holds and a -0.1 fWAR.
  • Bradley, almost 29: 21 Gms., 18 Inn., a 4.00 ERA, 1 Save, 1 Hold and a -0.3 fWAR.
  • Coonrod, 28.5: 27 Gms., 28 Inn., a 4.18 ERA, 2 Saves, 7 Holds and a 0.0 fWAR.
  • Kintzler, almost 37: 20 Gms., 18 Inn., an 8.50 ERA, 2 Holds and a -0.3 fWAR.
  • Watson, 36: 29 LAA Gms., 25 ⅓ Inn., a 4.97 ERA, 8 Holds and a 0.0 fWAR.

Moore, 32:

  • Total: 10 Gms., 23 ⅓ Inn., 0-1, a 5.79 ERA, 1 Hold and a -0.2 fWAR.
  • Starter: 4 Gms., 16 Inn., 0-1 and a 6.75 ERA.
  • Reliever: 6 Gms., 7 ⅓ Inn. and a 3.68 ERA.

Anderson, 33.5:

  • Total: 11 Gms., 38 Inn., 2-4, a 7.34 ERA and a -0.2 fWAR.
  • Starter: 8 Gms., 32 ⅓ Inn., 2-4 and a 6.96 ERA.
  • Reliever: 3 Gms., 5 ⅔ Inn. and a 9.53 ERA.

New and Re-upped Phillies:

  • Realmuto, 30: 61 Gms., 236 PA, a .264 Avg., 7 HR, 29 RBI and a 1.9 fWAR.
  • Gregorius, 31: 32 Gms., 128 PA, a .229 Avg., 4 HR, 22 RBI and a 0.0 fWAR.
  • Miller, 31.5: 62 Gms., 159 PA, a .236 Avg., 6 HR, 19 RBI and a 0.2 fWAR.
  • Torreyes, almost 29: 35 Gms., 117 PA, a .261 Avg., 2 HR, 16 RBI and a 0.6 fWAR.
  • Joyce, almost 37: 36 Gms., 62 PA, a .100 Avg., 2 HR, 6 RBI and a -0.5 fWAR.

Despite his five scoreless frames recently, Matt Moore --inked on Feb. 3-- is a swing and a miss overall. But he may be a five-inning hurler with a 4.50 ERA if he has the talent and drive to take advantage of his second chance. Presently, Spencer Howard is building up his arm strength to 100 pitches at Triple-A.           

Signed on Feb. 8, Chase Anderson is also a swing and a miss, and his final start was a debacle: 1 ⅓ innings and seven runs (all earned). Up to that point, the now long man was a serviceable rotation piece: He mostly kept the Phils in the game for five complete frames or four if a pinch hitter replaced him.            

Like Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson, Matt Joyce had to produce in March for a roster spot. And the veteran corner outfielder, who signed on Feb. 10, did; but he’s a swing and a miss! Basically, he’s contributed little.   

Prior to July, Gregorius was a full count due to his injury issues before he could overcome his drop-off in May. But he had re-upped on Feb. 10 with the kind of performance he’s shown since rejoining the squad. In fact, he’s already making a difference.  

Kintzler is a swing and a miss, but is it due to age? Realistically, he’ll be 37 on Aug. 1 and may be at his career’s end. But the red pinstripes inked him with the hope he still had some bullets left.    

Since his return on Feb. 17, Brad Miller has been an excellent bat off the bench and a versatile infielder and corner outfielder. So, he’s a solid two-bagger, who needs a right-handed complement in the dugout. Granted, the fan favorite is only an adequate fielder.        

Dombrowski gets a free pass for not keeping Tony Watson, 36, when many locals “howled” the higher-up would regret it! Well, he has eight holds but a 4.97 ERA despite a solid April: He’s allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in his last 17 innings. But while the Phillies earn-it offer had been $3 million, he ended up with a $1 million deal.    

In New York, Yankees supporters are angry because the team wants to reset the penalty by being under the $210 million CBT (competitive-balance threshold) for one summer. Yes, the club has paid $500-600 million in taxes over many seasons, but the fan base demands their annual playoff baseball regardless of the situation.          

With big-market franchises, the current trend is to exceed the CBT by up to $20 million for a realistic shot, so they are also not in the bind experienced recently by the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Ergo, the regulars must now play .600 ball to earn the one-or-two campaigns of buying the best talent for their needs.   

For the decision-makers to be all-in, the active 26 will need a 14-9 mark (5 games over .500) from July 1 through July 28. That stated, the San Diego Padres have left Philly with only one win, so what record remains for the Fightins to earn maximum help after July 28? A 12-8 mark!       

 

NEXT:

Plugging 2021's Holes in Progress

 

Rsz_realmuto_

 

Comments

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MP Watts

I frequently post to critique Girardi as the personification of Capt Hook as he consistently yanks starters too early. If Nola or Wheeler or Eflin has 80 pitches or more, AND has been solid for 5 or more innings, they are gone. I realize the days of 120+ starts are gone, but , given our pen, what is wrong with a little more pitch-stretch from the starters?

Tal Venada

Firstly, thanks for reading.

Pitch count and innings pitched are also determined by the scoreboard, the game situation, and the former catcher seeing a hurler headed in the wrong direction regarding his control.

Velasquez was and Moore is removed early due mostly to trust. Recently, Velasquez has more leeway because he earned it with a seven-inning effort and a six-frame affair where he corrected his lack of command of the first two innings.

In fact, Wheeler reportedly has thrown more innings than any other MLB pitcher. Yes, he was removed when he didn't have it. And the same is true of Nola and Eflin too. Plus Eflin almost always pitches six or more frames.

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