Open Discussion: Week of May 18th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

Jonathan Papelbon made 4 appearances and finished 4 games this week, converting 3 save opportunities.  After 39 games, Papelbon has made 16 appearances, 15 games finished (9 saves, 6 non-saves).

Some other random stuff to light the fire –

  • Maikel Franco was called up and hit his first major league home run and triple on Sunday.
  • The Phillies held off on calling Franco up to the majors until he was ready.  It’s just a coincidence that they brought him up on the exact day that guaranteed them another year of control.  But that was not a consideration.  Nudge.  Nudge.  Wink.  Wink.  Say no more.  Say no more.  Actually, that is within the rules of the CBA, so I don’t have a problem with it.  That’s just a smart baseball decision.
  • Chase Utley .138/.214/.241/.455 (has shown some improvement, lowest in all 4 slash components of any Phillies position player, 3 SP have higher BA – Hamels .231/.231/.231/.462; Buchanan .167/.167/.333/.500; Billingsley .200/.200/.800/1.000
  • Billingsley has more HR (1) than Blanco, Hernandez, Revere, Ruiz, Rupp, and Sizemore.
  • Phillies have MLB low 22 HR, and are competing with Milwaukee for NL worst  .227/.282/.332/.614.
  • NL low 120 runs scored.
  • Their team ERA of 4.10 is back up to middle-of-the-pack.
  • had been middle-of-the-road, but has now dropped to the bottom 4 in the NL.  They still have allowed the most walks (135).
  • Their 5 game winning streak has boosted their winning percentage to .410, and has brought more teams into play for the top draft picks.  There are still 4 teams with sub .400 winning percentages.  But, there are enough teams playing poorly that continued good baseball could make the race for a protected pick more interesting than earlier anticipated.  (I’m laughing as I type that.)

64 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of May 18th

  1. Ya know, it was nice to see a weekend of decent baseball. Nobody is going to be fooled into thinking it means anything at all, but when this is the only sport we have all summer, and when we can’t help but tune in no matter how bad the team is, its nice to see some fight in the dog. Franco looks like the real deal.

  2. Great to see Franco have a good first weekend. The big club could really use a lift and they’ve needed some pop from the right side of the plate since, well, forever. He looks good so far.

  3. Billingsley strain shoulder is worrisome.
    More then anything. hoping he would stay healthy, pitch reasonably well, for a trade chip in July.

  4. the third AB by Franco was a great AB. He spat on two low pitches and got into a good hitters count and absolutely crushed the ball to dead center. I was very impressed with that AB.

      1. Nothing new worth saying. I am not interested in piling on. Obviously it was a disappointing start. I hope the kid turns it around. I am rooting for him to be successful. I just am not expecting it.

        1. Today Mike Drago had an article on Biddle, in the Reading Eagle.

          “I’ve been pretty lousy,” he said of his last few starts. “When you stink you stink, and right now I stink. . . I don’t have any excuses, I’ve gotta do my job and I’m not doing it.”Saturday’s outing left Biddle with a 4.84 ERA over seven starts, with 30 strikeouts and 17 walks over 351/3 innings.He hasn’t been terrible. In fact, to his credit, he kept his team in Saturday’s game, allowing only three runs.It just looked and felt a whole lot worse than that.Biddle’s walk rate has shrunk in each of his three seasons in Reading, but so has his strikeout rate.Just as troubling is the fact that his hit rate has increased in each of his three Double-A seasons. Hitters are batting .271 against him this season; two years ago they managed just a .207 batting average.Still, it’s not like he’s getting knocked around out there. The homer he surrendered Saturday was the first of the season. In seven starts he’s allowed only seven extra-base hits.There are good signs and there are bad signs, but the bottom line is that Jesse Biddle has made 50 Double-A starts and there’s no indication he’s on the cusp of pitching his way out of here.He’s frustrated about it and the Phillies must be, too. They needed him up in the big leagues yesterday.There’s little, though, that they can do but show patience.”The stuff is there,” said Wathan, “and you hope once it clicks, it clicks and it’s fast. That’s all you can do.”It takes something to turn that switch in their mind and hopefully we can find it here in the next couple months and he can go forward. Right now it’s not clicking.”Randy Johnson and Warren Spahn were 25 before they settled into major league rotations. They’re teammates now in Cooperstown.”You never give up on a left-hander with an arm like that,” offered one American League scout after watching Biddle. “For some reason, sometimes lefties take longer to figure it out.” – See more at: http://readingeagle.com/sports/article/baffling-biddle#sthash.znWHa6YS.dpuf

          1. That’s what we are all hoping for. I would love nothing more than for it to click for him. Would be a great story. My only point has been, I am not banking on it. He is a lottery ticket IMO. Whereas Nola and Efflin are prospects with a much higher likelihood of success.

    1. Pardon my French, but screw Randy Wolf. He was one of the most beloved Phillies of the last 20 years – a whole rooting section and everything. And he got paid a ton of money while he was hurt and then he left. Pat Gillick tried hard to get him back here twice and twice Wolf said thanks but no thanks. He was a good pitcher, but after being embraced, he gave us all the royal finger and a result, he has no WS ring, which is as it should be.

  5. It’s hard to fathom that there are 5 teams with a lower win total than our Fightin Phillies and another 2 who are tied with us. The two that are tied are the Marlins and Rangers.

  6. Just when we thought we would have the 1st pick in the 2016 Draft, we may get a worse pick than this year! But, it is a long season and after the Hamels/Harang/Pap trades, that may change. A’s are awful even with a genius GM and a number of people picked the Indians to be really good, but they are bad also. Milwaukee will definitely trade Lohse and Garza, so they will continue to be bad.

  7. It would be funny if the phillies had a 10 winning streak. Someone forgot to tell the young players and some of the vets there supposed to be horrible , so that the Phillies can pick higher. This team with Franco and Francoeur , Herrera are better defense then last yr.tbere is so many teams at 500 that it would be easy to climb up . The teams if they stay there could be sellers too. I wish we traded for Wil Myers i knew he’d be good .

    1. When you think about it…half of the positional starters on the Phillies were cheap LA signings…..Franco, Ruiz, Herrera (Rangers) and Galvis…..total was less then $500K.
      You have to be pretty optimistic if they decide to continue to spend in that market , like they started with Tocci in 2011 and maybe right up to Ortiz in six weeks.

  8. Billingsley with lat shoulder strain….4-6 weeks.
    Poor guy…bad luck after such a long rehab back after the TJ surgery.
    Hope he can make it back…shoulder ailments for veteran pitchers are devastating to a career.

  9. This is an opportunity for Aumont to step into a SP role with the Phils. Sevy probably goes Wed., but another good outing for Aumont and I bet he gets a shot to replace Billingsley.

  10. Agree to bring Aumont up…he’s spent a looong time pitching in the minors and w the Phils…and he needs no more instructs other than to continue to use all he’s learned over those pro years. It’s not as if he’s wet behind his baseball ears.

    With the hole(s) in the staff now, bring him up before/at his next start at Lehigh Valley.Let’s see what we/he has…with no playoff prospects in any realistic view.

  11. For anyone who cares Baseball America just rated the minor league ball parks and all of the Phillies full season teams made the top 25. Reading was #10(also best in the Eastern league), Lehigh Valley was #14, Lakewood # 22(also best in the Sally League) and Clearwater came in at # 25(also best in the FS League)

  12. The Phillies strength was there bullpen, But right now, its not as strong de fratus and diekman are just not the same, Giles losing some of his velocity is okay not dominate, lucky we still have paps.

    1. Paps could be wearing a different uni in two months.
      And if Diek and JdF are not measuring up , there are Elvis, Nefi and Luis who will still be here

  13. If the Phillies are going to get some wins it is better they do against teams well above them in the standings. I like to see Hamels get his wins. Last night was a dream scenario where Harang hangs tuff and then they lose it late. Diekman is shades of Bastardo these days. His walk of Blackmon to bring Tulo to the plate was horrendous.

  14. Phillies keep winning 7 of 8 there deep in the out field. Howard hot Ultey coming around the 4th and 5th starters are doing better. Let’s bring Amonte up while he’s has his control he could be some trade bait. Giles hitting 98 today J Williams next up .

  15. I am not a betting man anymore. but larry Anderson keeps talking, I think he is going to get fired, Today he said how can you not have anyone up when Williams was in the fifth inning and getting hit, yesterday he said are we trying to win or playing the kids, Why isn’t chooch in the lineup when he is like a 500 hitter against this pitcher, he played last night, said the other announcer larry response, then sit him last night and play him against this pitcher who he hits, Really is bringing out how bad this team is being manage and run. Why only 5 inning for sev he said,, only 65 pitches going into the sixth inning are you afraid he will be hit the third time around the lineup? or we trying to see how good he can be, and get out of jams,

    1. Roccom, the Phillies bullpen has been used a lot lately so maybe Sandberg was trying not to burn out some arms. As for Ruiz, do you want him to play every day and not see what Rupp can do? Lastly, maybe S. Gonzalez’ s arm was stiffening up in the cold. We won 8 of 10 and should have been 9 out of ten if Howard caught Franco’s throw. They are playing hard so why are you complaining?

      1. Answer one to ruiz question. larry mention why not rest him the night before, he was a 500 hitter against the lefthand that pitch yesterday. to me that’s just a manger who doesn’t look again, no idea . Second larry talking about sev was he only threw 65 pitches why not let him go in the sixth when he was pitching well. its a legit question, third we are complaining because are we trying to win or develop the younger guys? larry question is what are they doing you need to do one or the other. it to me just shows they really have no direction under amaro and sandberg.

        1. The problem with the young guys route is Asche is learning a new position in AAA and Brown is not showing any hustle so he was never called up.

          They are playing the young guys in Franco and Galvis.

          What else can they do?

  16. Normally I would agree with you. But, I think LA is very popular, and Comcast makes the announcer call, I think. He is right about how the team is being run. The decisions just boggle the mind. Williams has been awful in the 5th inning, how can you not be ready for it to happen again? If and when this team is in contention, Ryno will be a distant memory.

  17. I question letting Utley hit in the 3 spot for so long. When he moved down to six the offense seemed to click but after a few games was right back in the three spot.

    There were also games where he had 3 sub-.200 hitters in the middle of the lineup which made no sense.

    Galvis hitting eighth for so long into the season.

    1. That’s because Ultey started hitting again I don’t think Sandberg has a chioce with the 200 hitters at the time that’s all there were.now that Howard and sizemore have been hitting + Franco it’s has been better.

  18. The Phillies were on winning streak so I guess Sandberg wanted last night to be a win . The pitching coach has to go the Phillies lead the league in walks . Joey Rodriguez is having a great night he’s throwing a shout out . Bring up Rodriguez and send down Williams. I guess lakewood and Reading are off today. I think last because of the cold and the it was coolers field they pulled S Gonzalez. The announcers were saying that , there going to have to start winning with the kids they have no chioce. I wonder if there is a market for Dom Brown , Biddle and Amonte they all need a change of scenery.

    1. Rodriguez has had literally one good start and has had probably the worst command of any starter in the organization thus far

  19. Ultey still gives a good abat looks at a lot of pitches. He has more rbi then anyone on the team except Howard . Nobody else on the team right now has the has the power.

  20. David the way I read this. is this kid getting suspend was that are not in love with him, he got twenty five million for basically playing defense, and it was the previous guys who ran the team who signed him. What puzzled me is giving 62 million to a 30 year old Cuban who is hurt. they are just driving the salaries out of control. LA is getting worse then the yanks ever were imo.

    1. I agree and after reading a couple of articles last night have to question the sanity of the Dodgers when they signed these guys.

      They are blindly spending money and have no idea what to do with the players.

      Maybe we can pick one of them up on the cheap if the Dodgers have soured on them.

  21. Giants just swept Dodgers, and I think both of those teams will be in on Hamels. Add to the Red Sox, Yanks and Blue Jays and we may get that return after all that would really help going forward. Harang signing was a very good move, and pap will be worth something. With Howard heating up and Phils willing to eat a lot of $, isn’t he better than a lot of DHs currently playing? I have a feeling that, this year, trades start happening well before July 31.

    1. The Nats, starting tonight, may put a hurting on the Phils this weekend and bring the Philly faithful back down to reality.
      The trade wind talks could kick up.

  22. Phillies knock the crap out of Strasberg and AJ Cole , Howard and Franco went long .Franco hit a 95 mph fb off of Strasberg nats had 3 errors not a good game for nats. Cole Hamels now 5 3 he was very good today his ch was outstanding.Harvey from the mets was hit hard today they lost. Austin Hedges now on San Diego his hitting well . Makes you think would you take a Austin , Renfro, Wil Myers package for Hamels.

  23. LMAO. so far all we were offered for hamels is victorino. workman and a low a outfielder from boston. according to guys on here all the players you mention are untouchable. The more hamels pitches the higher the price or we keep him and go spend some money on Cuban players like tomas who can help us now .,

    1. rocco….you are going to again aggravate David Urban now…he was against signing any of those over-priced Cubans, like Tomas, and then incurring the penalty enforced by MLB when a team signed them.

  24. Say what you want about ‘analyticals and projections’….but the current thought is that after Tommy John surgery starting pitchers have another 600 IPs before they begin their slide and may have to re-invent and change their pitching repertoire and approach.
    Yesterday, Strasburg had just pitched his 601st inning since his TJ surgery.
    Perhaps coincidence, perhaps aging, but the numbers could say something.

    1. That may generally be true, but I thought Strasburg was throwing as hard yesterday as he had at any time before the surgery. His issues seemed to have nothing to do with his physical capabilities.

      1. Have to see if his velo is the same now as it was prior to 2012. Not sure.
        Something is missing with him however, not sure he would be consider an ‘ace’ of their staff anymore.
        Will be also interesting to see how Jordan Zimmerman fares as well, but he already 750plus IPs since his surgery, so he already has gone well and above the average post-TJ shelf-life..

        1. It isn’t. I clarified that I meant to say AFTER the surgery. Before the surgery his FB was sitting 97-99, touching 100 I believe. Last year when I saw him pitch he was sitting like 93-95 – he was throwing harder this year.

          1. Ok…got it.
            Read report from the late Dr frank Jobe that upwards of 30% of the pitchers have had TJ surgery.
            And believe it or not….remember Jose Rijo from the 80s? He set the record with 5 TJ surgeries. He was also out of baseball for awhile then tried a comeback.

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