Posts for phillies

Ruben Amaro Jr. As The Next Phillies Manager?

Tyler Trumbauer - October 9, 2017

When everything seems to be going right in Philly, the return of Ruben Amaro Jr. would quickly bring the city back down to Earth.

According to Nick Carfado of The Boston Globe, the Phillies are eyeing several candidates to be the next manager, one of which being former Phillies GM and current Boston Red Sox first base coach, RAJ:

Other candidates believed to be in consideration for the Phillies include Dusty Wathan, manager of the franchise’s Triple A Lehigh Valley team; Larry Bowa, Philadelphia’s bench coach and the conscience of the organization; Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr., the former Phillies GM who acquired some of the team’s top young players; Eric Wedge, who was MacPhail’s choice for the Orioles job ahead of Showalter; and Charlie Montoyo, who was recently promoted by the Rays to bench coach.

Overall not a bad list, which also reportedly includes Buck Showalter, the current manager of the Baltimore Orioles, but Carfado points out he still has a year left on his deal with the AL club.

Still, the mention of Amaro Jr. sticks out like a sore thumb among the short list. Some are skeptical of the full bore analytics route the Phillies are taking with Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak, but hiring Amaro Jr. to replace him would be a way to ensure that they are never put to use, and that the MacPhail and Klentak never win over the fans completely.

Can Any of the Phillies’ Young Arms Stick?

BWanksCB - October 6, 2017

The Phillies will be quick to tell you all about the young starting pitching depth they’ve assembled over the past few seasons.

Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, and Mark Leiter Jr. all debuted in 2017, joining other young arms like Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vincent Velasquez, and Zach Eflin. Throw in 22-year-old Tom Eshelman, who was tremendous at Reading and Lehigh Valley this past season, and it’s true the team has optionality in constructing the 2018 rotation.

For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume Nola is a lock and the Phillies will afford Velasquez and Eickhoff one more look in the rotation. But what comes after? Can any of these guys actually pitch? Let’s take a look at the team’s collection of young arms heading into the offseason.

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Are We There Yet? Andy MacPhail Doesn’t Seem To Think So

BWanksCB - October 4, 2017

Hey, sports fans. I have a little quiz for you here. It’ll be fun. Ready? Let’s go.

Complete the following statement:

Over the past five years, the Phillies have: A) Averaged 69 wins B) Not finished higher than fourth place in the NL East C) Not been closer than 23 games out of first place in the NL East by season’s end D) All of the above

Have your answers locked in? Great. If you answered “D,” then congratulations! Your prize? A depressing reminder that your favorite baseball team has been a civic embarrassment for the past half decade. But fear not, friends, because the highly anticipated prospects have arrived, they played exciting baseball over the second half of the season, and a team that has a shit ton of money at its disposal is about to grab this offseason by the fucking horns and spend, spend, spend! October baseball is coming back to Philly, baby!

Enter Andy MacPhail this afternoon to piss all over that idea and extinguish those hopes.

Here he is on not spending the aforementioned shit ton of money: Continue Reading

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Now What? Assessing The Phillies’ Rookie Position Players

BWanksCB - October 3, 2017

For the Phillies, a successful 2017 season was never contingent upon winning. The sole objective for the organization was to determine the growth and potential of their prospects, while assessing how each will or won’t fit into the bigger picture moving forward.

The initial prognosis is encouraging, as those prospects helped lift the Phillies from a 29-58 first half disaster to a respectable 37-38 second half. While the pitching performance remained static throughout the season (4.87 runs per game in the first half dropped slightly to 4.77 after the break), most of the positives came on offense. The Phillies scored 26 more runs after the All-Star break (4.77 runs per game) than they did prior to it (3.82 runs per game). What’s more, they accomplished this feat in 12 fewer games.

But what about that bigger picture? Six Phillies position players made their Major League debuts in 2017. A seventh player, Jorge Alfaro, played in six games as a September call up in 2016. Where do each of these players stand as the team heads into the next stage of its rebuild? Let’s have a look. Continue Reading

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Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Tyler Trumbauer - October 3, 2017

Only Andy Reid could cover a seven point spread in a tie game with 10 seconds remaining.

The Roundup:

The Redskins fell to the Chiefs last night on a late field goal, which keeps the Eagles alone atop the NFC East at 3-1. BUT, are they legit contenders? Kyle asks that question.

The Skins also lost Josh Norman, who reportedly will be out several weeks. The Birds host Washington on October 23.

Your first-place Eagles opened as 6.5 point favorites at home against the reeling Arizona Cardinals.

Birds fans traveled cross-country and pissed off Chargers fans by invading their place. It not only made it enjoyable for the road team, but also may have added fuel to the fire for the crowd that wants to move the Chargers back to San Diego already, as Sports Illustrated writes:

Chargers owner Dean Spanos couldn’t wait to high-tail it out of San Diego and this is what he gets. And, of course, Roger Goodell and the league were there to support the move. Now they all have a full-fledged problem on their hands, because the scene at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., yesterday was embarrassing and sad.

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Mackanin Was Good At Keeping A Seat Warm, But Now What?

BWanksCB - September 29, 2017

You know how you learn a piece of information, process it, and then you let it rattle around for a few minutes before forming an opinion? Well, today, when the Phillies announced Pete Mackanin wouldn’t return as manager next season, I began that process. I read it on Twitter. I said, “Oh. Wow.” And then I waited for the synapses in my brain to fire so I could feel some kind of way about it. Here’s the weird thing, I let it sit there for a bit, and I…I just don’t feel any way about it.

When the Phillies fired Charlie Manuel, I felt sorry for him and a little bit pissed because he took the fall for Ruben Amaro’s complete ineptitude. When the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, I belted out a hearty “FUCK YEAH!” With Mackanin, I don’t know, it’s just somewhat hard to get worked up one way or the other over the move because he did an average job with well below average players. There’s something to be said for the fact that most players seemed to play hard for him, but there’s also nothing that jumped out about him that made anyone say, “This is the guy.” That’s really the knock on Mackanin—he was just a guy who did a respectable job while keeping a seat warm. He was never going to be at the helm when the Phillies were ready to contend, but I was nonetheless a bit caught off guard by the move, primarily because the Phillies still seem at least another year away from contending. I figured this move would happen, just a year from now, particularly given their recent improved play.

The Phillies’ win percentage rose from .333 before the All-Star break to .486 after it. They won six more games in the second half of the season than they did in the first, despite playing 15 fewer games. In the event they sweep a shitty Mets team this weekend, they will actually finish the second half over .500 with a 38-37 record.

The players, for their part, didn’t seem particularly fazed by the move. J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, and Rhys Hoskins each gave stock replies about being surprised by the move (while seeming completely unsurprised) in the clubhouse prior to Friday night’s game. In fact, the most interesting thing said came via Williams, who told CSN’s Marshall Harris that he learned of Mackanin’s firing from his fiancé who told him while he was in the clubhouse hot tub. Guess there wasn’t an emotional team meeting to break the news.

The real story, however, is where the Phillies go from here. One name that has emerged early is that of Lehigh Valley manager Dusty Wathan. Crawford, Williams, and Hoskins spoke glowingly of the 44-year-old, who Hoskins characterized Friday as a manager he “felt comfortable going to with baseball stuff and non-baseball stuff.”

The move would make some sense given his familiarity with the team’s core group of young players, but I’m not so sure that is the direction the Phillies will go. Klentak told reporters that they will look at internal and external options, but with a team that finally appears poised to spend a shit ton of money and an increasingly impatient ownership that would like a return to relevance, I wouldn’t be surprised if he and President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail look outside the organization. “Hey, Manny Machado, you will have the chance to play for DUSTY WATHAN!” doesn’t sound like a great sales pitch. At the very least, if Wathan does get the job, it has not yet been decided. If it had been, Klentak would have emerged from his meetings in Clearwater this week, fired Mackanin, while simultaneously announcing Wathan’s promotion. It sounds like a fluid situation far from completion.

While their ultimate direction remains unclear, one thing clearly came into focus with today’s move and it is that the Phillies are about to become players at the offseason table once again.

Phillies to Participate in Little League Classic

Chris Jastrzembski - September 29, 2017

The Phillies will play 80 of their 81 home games at Citizens Bank Park in 2018. The other home game will be a little less than four hours away from the usual home field in Williamsport.

Their August 19 game against the New York Mets will now be part of MLB’s second annual Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. That’s also the home of the team’s Class A affiliate Williamsport Crosscutters. The Pirates and Cardinals participated in this year’s inaugural edition.

The game is scheduled for 7pm and will be on ESPN. A temporary break from Tom McCarthy.

Players from both teams will interact with Little Leaguers throughout the day and attend Little League World Series games to grow baseball at the youth level. It might be tough to get tickets to the game as well. Participating players, coaches, and families at the LLWS, including Williamsport youth baseball and softball organizations, will be at the game.

This would be a great game to go to, especially if you’ve never been to Williamsport, but it doesn’t seem like many Philadelphia fans will be able to. The stadium seats 2,366. And dimension-wise, it’s a little smaller than CBP, which could mean a greater chance of homers from Rhys:

Pete Mackanin Is OUT

Kyle Scott - September 29, 2017

Not particularly surprising.

Mackanin was, at best, a stabilizing force after Ryne Sandberg flaked off to a golf course in the middle of the 2015 season. Since then, he’s led(?) a strange mix of youngsters and veterans who came together to form something barely resembling a baseball team. Had people been paying closer attention, they probably would’ve seen that, though a good guy, Mackanin lacked the disciplining consistency and was a poor tactician. Unlike Brett Brown, who for the most part routinely impressed overseeing a horrible basketball team, Mackanin at times seemed to exacerbate problems with his club. He also at times butted heads with stubborn younger players (ODUBEL HERRERA) and, inexplicably, allowed Bob McLure to oversee a Major League pitching staff.

We’ll have more soon.