Blog for your Philadelphia Phillies with articles, stats, schedules, payroll, and other fun stuff.
http://www.philsbaseball.com/ - Sep 20, 2014 5:23:17 PM - Dec 5, 2004 5:03:03 AM
Ben Revere and baseball's undervaluing of speed
by Scott Butler 9/14/14
Ben Revere had a .316 batting average on September 5 and led the National League in hitting. It's hard to imagine that a player contending for the batting title would be benched, but that is exactly what happened to Ben Revere...twice. Revere did not start for five straight games from May 16-21 and only started 3 of 8 games from July 19-26.
Revere led the league in batting on Sep 5 and was also third in steals (42), but only had 21 extra-base hits. He had the lowest walk rate (2.1%) of all qualifying batters in baseball, but his .333 OBP still ranked 39th in the league at the time. He may be an extreme and unique example, but his combination of high on-base percentage, speed, and a lack of power is not atypical of many leadoff hitters.
So ends my John Mayberry, Jr. love affair
by Scott Butler 9/1/14
Six years later, John Mayberry is finally gone.
Drafted by the Rangers in 2005, Mayberry was Ruben Amaro's first acuisition as GM at the end of 2008.
I was unaware at the time of how my relationship with Mayberry would progress. It was easy to see what Ruben saw in Mayberry. As with most relationships, it began with the physical. Mayberry was 6'6'', 230 lbs, and possessed a rare combination of power and speed. He was also the type of guy to impress Mom and Dad. His father was a professional ballplayer (and a pretty good one), he graduated from Stanford, and even learned Spanish to communicate better with his teammates.
Phillies monthly review: August 2014
by Scott Butler 9/1/14
Phillies August Storyline
After a disappointing lack of action at the trading deadline and waiver deadline, the Phillies maintained essentially the same team to begin and end the month of August, with only Robert Hernandez and John Mayberry getting traded. On the bright side, the Phillies had their first winning month of the season.
Phillies August Win/Loss Totals
Home record: 11-5
Road record: 3-8
Top winning streak: 4
Top losing streak: 3
Series record: 4-4-1
Began month: 48-61
--4.5 games behind Mets for 4th place
--11.5 games behind 1st place Nationals
Finished month: 62-74
--1.5 games behind Mets for 4th place
--16 games behind 1st place Nationals
Phillies ownership change may indeed be coming
by Scott Butler 8/31/14
David Montgomery was asked prior to the 2009 trade deadline whether he endorsed going "all-in" to win a second straight World Series in favor of a more conservative approach. His response, and I'm paraphrasing since I cannot find the direct quote, was that he would prefer to contend each season and not win a title if the alternative is winning one World Series and falling off a cliff.
Since those comments, the Phillies traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence; surprised everyone by signing Cliff Lee; and handed Jonathan Papelbon the richest contract ever for a closer. They also re-signed nearly every core player, creating an historically old roster. Then, after an 89-loss season which cost the winningest manager in Phillies history his job, the Phillies refused to rebuild. Instead, they added 36-year-old Marlon Byrd and 37-year-old AJ Burnett, bringing their payroll to record levels with the same level of failure.
Ruben Amaro did not make these moves in isolation. He needed ownership approval for all deals and it is quite possible the decisions to retain Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Ruiz were in fact initiated by the owners. Amaro may have been the man pulling the trigger, but it was the ownership loading the shotgun. Such an unprecedented level of incompetence from top to bottom is almost inconceivable.
That is why it seems so clear now that the Phillies are preparing for the sale of the franchise.
Why is Jonathan Papelbon still in a Phillies uniform?
by Scott Butler 8/24/14
Jonathan Papelbon has been one of the best closers in baseball. His velocity and strikeouts are both way down, but dude continues recording outs and saves. He has a sparkling 1.49 ERA, has converted 31 of 34 saves, and has not allowed a run in 13 consecutive appearances.
Papelbon cleared waivers, allowing Ruben Amaro to trade him to any team as long as he waives his no-trade clause. Pappy made it crystal clear he will accept a trade to a contender.
So why is he still here?
MLB has a problem with length of games and the solution is simple
by Scott Butler 8/24/14
The average length of a Major League Baseball game is 3 hours and 8 minutes. Digest that one for a moment.
Baseball games are a full 20 minutes longer than the 2:48 average 10 years ago.
And if that doesn't get your attention, how about this number? It takes an average of 23.0 seconds between pitches in 2014, which is 1.6 seconds higher than it was just five years ago.
Pace of games has the attention of Rob Manfred, baseball's next commissioner, who identified it as priority number one when he assumes the office in January.
Ruben Amaro: the rest of the moves
by Scott Butler 8/23/14
A couple weeks ago, I documented Ruben Amaro's good moves and his bad moves as general manager of the Phillies. Today, let's take a look at the rest of the moves which would not be considered particularly good or bad. As with the previous lists, this includes all moves of any significance, so pretty much everything involving the big club in any way was included.
Here they are in chronological order:
Sitting Darin Ruf all part of Phillies ludicrous plan
by Scott Butler 8/17/14
As a kid, I had a friend with a paper route who followed the classic hand-to-mouth business plan. While most "paper routers" collected money on a certain day of the month, he only collected whenever he wanted money for something like baseball cards or candy, oftentimes approaching whichever house was the closest.
It is clear now that the Phillies' front office conducts business in a similar manner, that is, with decisions void of any strategic plan. Ruben Amaro has made that fact abundantly clear and here is just one sample:
"First and foremost, I am going to make sure that everybody in my organization understands that our number one goal is to win that night's game, and that we will never shortchange the present in order to build for the future. Because 71 wins is better than 70 wins, and 72 wins is better than 71 wins. I do not believe in lost causes and sunk costs."
Here is part of that quote again:
We will never shortchange the present in order to build for the future.
So, let me correct myself, the Phillies have a plan, but it is a stupendously flawed one.
Plan, no plan, paperboy plan, whatever you want to call it, this line of thinking has leaked into the managerial office. Case in point: Darin Ruf.
Phillies rumors August 10-15
by Scott Butler 8/16/14
Here are the latest Phillies rumors from August 10-15:
In our regular feature on Phils Baseball, here are the rumors from the past week from the guys at MLB Trade Rumors. They have a page devoted just to Phillies rumors (this is not a paid plug, honest) and all we do is put everything from the past week in one post.
Mindset of the Best
by Rob Harrand 8/10/14
Phils Baseball is excited to provide a guest post from Rob Harrand, former Professional pitcher with the Phillies and co-founder of Reality Pitching. You can learn more about Rob and Reality Pitching following the post.
Never have the stakes been higher for aspiring Big Leaguers than they are today. With financial
payoffs larger than they’ve ever been, injury rates higher than they’ve ever been, and
competition fiercer than it’s ever been, the importance of formulating a personal “game-plan” is
more crucial than ever. Thinking you can just squeeze by in today’s game without one is a
MINDSET OF THE BEST
In my experience with professional baseball players, the overwhelming majority of the very best
have had one thing in common....an attribute that really stood out above all others (hint: it’s not
talent). Simply put, this attribute is self-awareness; a sense of what they need to do to get the
most out of their abilities to succeed. Having great self-awareness allows you to honestly
assess your strengths and weaknesses in order to understand exactly what it is you need to
improve upon. In turn, self-awareness allows players to formulate a calculated game-plan that
lays the foundation for consistent improvement. While I was with the Phillies, there were several
players who exemplified this, and in turn, stood out from the pack.