Is Wes Helms going to be the answer at 3B for the Phillies?

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 February 2007 at 12:19 am

30 year old Wes Helms was signed by the Phillies to take over at 3B for them.  Helms had an awesome season for the Florida Marlins last year.  Helms played in 140 games (240 at bats) and he hit .329 with 10 homers, 47 RBIs and a .965 OPS!  I don’t think Helms’ numbers were a fluke because he hit .323 vs. Righties and .336 against Lefties.  Helms showed pretty good range for the Marlins in 24 games at third base and made only 2 errors.  Helms has the look of a late bloomer and he should love his new home ballpark after playing in the gigantic Dolphins’ Stadium last year.

31 year old Abraham O. Nunez will be Helms’ back up at third base this season.  He played in 74 games at third last season for the Phillies and he made 8 errors and showed slightly below average range.  Look for him to play better defense this season.

28 year old lefty swinging Greg Dobbs has been brought in by the Phillies to compete for a bench job.  Dobbs played in 99 games in AAA ball for the Mariners and he hit .314 with 9 homers, 55 RBIs and a .826 OPS last season.  He also came up for a cup of coffee with the Mariners and hit .370 with a .948 OPS in 23 games.  Dobbs only played in 2 games at 3B in the majors last season and he didn’t make an error.  Dobbs has a solid chance to stick with the Phillies this season as he looks like a decent pinch hitter.

Jimmy Rollins just coming into his prime for the Phillies

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 February 2007 at 12:04 am

28 year old switch hitting Jimmy Rollins had perhaps his best season ever in the majors last year.  Rollins played in 158 games and hit .277 with 127 runs scored, 45 doubles, 9 triples, 25 homers, 83 RBIs, 36 steals and a .811 OPS!  Those are awesome numbers for a shortstop!  Rollins only made 11 errors in 157 games at shortstop, but his range was below average.  If Rollins can just get to more balls in the field he would be a good defender.  Look for Rollins to have another dominant season hitting in front of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.  Rollins pretty much has called out the Mets, saying that their pitching is old and that the Phillies will win the division.  Only time will tell if Rollins is right or wrong, but I tend to agree with him.

31 year old switch hitting Abraham O. Nunez will be the back up shortstop after blowing his big chance to be a starting player last season.  Nunez played in 123 games last season for the Phillies and he only hit .211 with 2 homers, 32 RBIs and a .577 OPS.  Nunez only played 3 games at shortstop last season and he didn’t make an error.  Look for Nunez to have a better season than he did last year….but that won’t take much.

Danny Sandoval is a switch hitter that will be 28 soon after the season begins.  He is a long shot to make the Phillies out of Spring Training this year.  He played 28 games for the Phillies and hit only .211 with a .516 OPS.  Sandoval played in 99 games in AA+AAA ball for the Phils and he hit .259 with 2 homers and 41 RBIs.  He will likely begin the season in AAA and be the first infielder called up if the Phillies need one.

Chase Utley is a dominator for the Phillies at 2B

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Thursday 15 February 2007 at 9:45 pm

28 year old lefty swinging Chase Utley had a fantastic season.  He played in 160 games last season and he scored 131 runs, had 203 hits, cracked 32 homers, and drove in 102 runs!  Utley had a .309 average and a unbelievable .906 OPS and great benefitted from batting in front of Ryan Howard.  Look for the domination to continue this season for Utley.  He made 18 errors in the field, but he has great range which made up for that. 

29 year old Brent Abernathy will compete to be a reserve infielder for the Phillies.  He hit .287 with 5 homers, 42 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in AAA last season.  He has a career batting average of .244 with a .602 OPS in 232 games in the majors.  He hasn’t played a full season in the majors since 2002.  He has a lot of things stacked against him and he’ll probably start in AAA unless their’s an injury in Spring Training.

Look for Abraham Nunez and young Danny Sandoval to also maybe get some time at 2B this season if anything happens to Utley.

The sky is the limit for Ryan Howard this season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Saturday 10 February 2007 at 11:32 am

27 year old lefty swinging Ryan Howard really exploded on the scene last year and there’s no telling what he will do for an encore.  Opposing managers were very scared of him in the second half as they intentionally walked Howard 31 times.  Howard was amazing last season as he hit .313, scored 104 runs, smacked 58 homers, drove in 149 runs and had a 1.084 OPS.  It’s amazing that Howard hit .313 because he whiffed 181 times last season.  That means that when Howard made contact he hit an amazing .455 last season!  I don’t think he’ll repeat the high batting average, but I think his power numbers could even get better in that baby stadium in Philly.  Also, Howard has power to all fields so he has no problem whacking homers on the road.  He does need to improve on defense as he made 14 errors which is way too many for a first baseman.

32 year old Randall Simon will be Howard’s back up.  He had an amazing season in the minors as he hit .338 with 19 homers and 79 RBIs in only 314 at bats.  He had a cup of coffee with the Phillies in September and went 5 for 21 (.238).  He’s not a good defender, but he has a .283 career major league average in 1,609 at bats so he should have a good chance of making the Phils as a pinch hitter this season.

28 year old lefty swinging Greg Dobbs also has a good chance to stick with the Phillies, but he will have to beat out Simon.  Dobbs hit .314 with a .826 OPS and 9 homers and 55 RBIs in AAA in 379 at bats.  Dobbs did get 10 hits in 27 at bats (.370 avg) last season for the Mariners.  It also helps Dobbs’ chances that he also can play third base.

Phillies Catchers

Blogged under Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Monday 5 February 2007 at 9:35 pm

The Phillies signed 31 year old Rod Barajas to be their starter because they weren’t sold on their catchers that finished up the season.  Barajas should like the National League and his new small ballpark.  Barajas has decent power as he averaged 15.7 homers per season over his last three years.  He should hit at least that many if he gets 400 or more at bats.  He hit .256 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs last season, but his power was sapped the last month or so as he had a bad back.  Barajas threw out 28% of potential base stealers, but he also had 10 errors and 5 passed balls so he needs to improve on his work behind the plate.

Chances are that 28 year old Carlos Ruiz will be the backup for the Phillies.  He hit .261 with 3 homers and 10 RBIs in only 69 at bats for the Phillies.  He had a solid season in AAA for the Phillies last year as he hit .307 with 16 homers, 69 RBIs and a .894 OPS.  He should have no problem hitting the ball for the Phillies this season.  He has to work on his defense though as he only nailed 15% of the base stealers that challenged him.  He also made 3 errors and had a passed ball in only 176.1 innings behind the plate and that needs to improve.

The Phillies might actually keep three catchers because Chris Coste is very versatile and can play all over the field.  Coste hit very well for the Phillies last season as he hit .328 with an .881 OPS.  He also showed power that the Phillies didn’t think he had as he thumped 7 homers and knocked in 32 runs in only 198 at bats!  Coste had some problems on defense last season as he threw out 19% of would be base stealers and he made 4 errors and had 4 passed balls.  He should make the team as either the #2 catcher or #3 catcher and utility man.

The Phillies used a Rule 5 Pick on 27 year old Ryan Budde.  Budde probably saw his chance of making the team end with the signing of Barajas.  He had an off year in AAA last season as he only hit .233 with 8 homers and 33 RBIs.

33 year old veteran Dusty Wathan is a trooper that every organization likes to have in their system.  He’s a solid veteran minor-leaguer that keeps playing because he loves the game and it plugging away until he gets another shot at the bigs.  He was in AAA last season and hit .239 with 5 homers and 27 RBIs.  He has played in 3 games in the majors and is 3 for 5 (.600).

New Faces in 2007

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Front Page by High Heat on Friday 2 February 2007 at 10:13 pm

The Phillies made one major move in the off-season as they traded for Freddy Garcia and they made a few minor moves.  Rod Barajas was brought in to start the majority of the games at catcher this season for the Phillies.  Barajas has averaged 15.7 homers per season over the last three but he won’t have a high average.  Wes Helms was signed to be the Phillies new starting third baseman.  Over the last three season Helms has batted 682 times and has scored 72 runs, had 201 hits, hit 18 homers and knocked in 99 runs.  The Phillies would be thrilled if Helms could put up numbers like that this season for them.  Outfielders Jason Werth and Karim Garcia were brought in to battle for back-up jobs in the outfield.  Werth missed all of last season due to injury and Garcia played in Japan the last two years, but both of these guys have power and could help the Phillies off the bench.  Greg Dobbs also will have a chance to make the Phillies as he has a decent left-handed stick and can play first or third base.  The Phillies also selected Ryan Budde in the Rule 5 Draft but he doesn’t have much of a chance to stick with the Phillies this season.

Freddy Garcia was added in a trade with the White Sox and he should pitch great in the National League.  He was 17-9 last season with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.  Adam Eaton was also brought in as a free agent by the Phillies and he will join the rotation.  He has had injury problems the last two seasons as he’s only made 35 starts but was 18-9 in those games.  The Phillies signed Antonio Alfonseca to a minor league contract as he was pitching well in Winter Ball.  He will be given a chance to earn a set-up role in the bullpen.  The Phillies also selected two pitchers in the Rule 5 Draft that they will give a chance to make the bullpen.  They are Alfredo Simon and Jim Warden.


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