The Phillies release Karim Garcia

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by chinmusic on Saturday 31 March 2007 at 9:47 pm

Karim Garcia played well this Spring and probably deserved to make the Phillies final roster.  But the Phillies decided to go with younger players as reserve outfielders so Garcia will be looking for a new job.

Is Charlie Manuel the right man to take the Philadelphia Phillies to the playoffs?

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 29 March 2007 at 1:49 am

The Phillies have finished 2nd two seasons in a row and it’s getting a little old.  Manuel has a record of 173-151 (.534) for the Phillies.  He has a career record as a manager of 393-341 (.535) over five seasons with the Cleveland Indians and Phillies.  He has a career post season record of 2-3 (.400) and he has won 1 Division Title in his career.

The Phillies need help for the bullpen before the 2007 season starts

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 28 March 2007 at 12:39 pm

The Phillies better make some trades to bolster the bullpen in front of closer Tom Gordon or that could have problems in 2007.  39 year old righty Tom Gordon had a solid first season in Philly.  He was 3-4 with 34 saves, a 3.34 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in 59 games in 2006.  Batters only hit .233 against him (an amazing .185 against lefties) and he whiffed 68 batters in only 59.1 innings so that shows he still has great stuff.  Still, he allowed a startling 9 homers and that’s way too many for a closer.  Look for him to save 30+ games this season as long as he stays healthy.

Soon to be 35 year old righty Antonio Alfonseca looks to be the top set-up man for the Phillies in 2007 and that’s a scary thought.  He was 0-0 with 8 holds, a 5.63 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in 19 games last season for the Texas Rangers.  Batters hit .348 against him (lefties .452) and he walked 7 batters in 16 innings and that’s the reason the Rangers cut him loose last June.  Not sure how much he has left in the tank.

26 year old righty Ryan Madson looks like he’ll be one of the top set-up men for the Phillies in 2007 and they need him to rebound from a terrible 2006 season.  He was 11-9 with 6 holds, 2 saves, a 5.69 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP in 50 games (17 starts) for the Phillies in 2006.  Batters hit an incredible .321 against him last season with 50 walks and 20 homers in 134.1 innings last season.  The Phillies have their fingers crossed that Madson can revert back to his 2005 form when he had 32 holds for them.  Don’t hold your breath.

30 year old righty Geoff Geary had a good season for the Phillies last season.  He was 7-1 with 15 holds, 1 save, a 2.96 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 81 games for the Phillies in 2006.  Batters hit .287 (lefties .348) against Geary last season but he limited the damage by only walking 20 batters in 91.1 innings.  Don’t look for Geary to have an ERA under 3.00 this season unless he can start missing more bats.  He should be decent in 2007 though.

28 year old lefty Matt Smith will be a bigger part of the bullpen for the Phillies this season if he proves that last year wasn’t a mirage.  He was 0-1 with 6 holds, a 0.87 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 26 games for the New York Yankees and Phillies in 2006.  Batters only hit .108 against him last season but he walked 12 batters in only 20.2 innings.  Look for Smith to be a decent pitcher for the Phillies but he won’t be as good as he was last season.

22 year old lefty Fabio Castro will also see his role probably expand this season.  He was 0-1 with 1 save, a 2.27 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 20 games for the Texas Rangers and Phillies in 2006.  Batters only hit .170 against him (lefties .074) but he’ll need to cut down on his walks (13 in 31.2 innings) to keep pitching well in the majors.

The Phillies will be without Jon Lieber for a little while

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Injuries by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 March 2007 at 1:28 am

The Phillies will be without Jon Lieber for at least the next 10 days because of an oblique muscle injury.  This comes at a bad time for the Phillies as they are already without Freddy Garcia for a little while.

The Phillies release pitcher Justin Germano

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by chinmusic on Friday 23 March 2007 at 11:28 pm

The Phillies did Justin Germano a favor after they determined he wasn’t going to make their team out of Spring Training.  He was quickly claimed by the San Diego Padres.

The Philadelphia Phillies rotation looks solid as a rock for the 2007 season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 20 March 2007 at 4:24 pm

The Phillies are six deep and all of the pitchers are above average major leaguers.  The Phillies traded for 30 year old righty Freddy Garcia to take over the role as ace of the staff.  Garcia was 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 33 starts for the White Sox last season.  Garcia did give up 228 hits and 32 homers in 216.1 innings last season, but he should be helped by moving to the National League.  Garcia minimizes the damage by throwing strikes as he only walked 48 batters in 2006.  Look for Garcia to win 14-17 games with an ERA from 3.50-4.15 in 2007 for the Phillies.

23 year old lefty Cole Hamels has the best stuff of any of the starters on the Phillies staff.  The problem with him is keeping him healthy.  In his first three seasons in the minors he only started 28 games, but last season he started 31 games in the majors and minors.  Hamels was 9-8 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 23 starts for the Phillies and he whiffed an amazing 145 batters in 132.1 innings in 2006.  Major league batters only hit .237 against him last season and lefties only could muster a .207 batting average.  If he stays healthy look for him to win 15-17 games with a 3.75-4.25 ERA in 2007.  He also could lead the league in K’s if he pitches over 200 innings this year.

29 year old Adam Eaton was 7-4 last season with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 13 starts for the Rangers last season.  Batters worked Eaton for a .299 batting average last season but he was pitching in a severe hitters’ park in the American League.  While it’s true that the Phillies’ home park is a hitters’ paradise it still is in the National League so look for his numbers to improve.  If Eaton makes 30+ starts he will win 12-14 of them with a 4.25-4.50 ERA in 2007.

26 year old Brett Myers has immense talent but he never has been an elite pitcher.  He was 12-7 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP for the Phillies last season.  Myers whiffed 189 batters in only 198 innings so he has more than enough arm strength but he often challenges hitters and that’s why he gave up 29 homers last season (91 in the last three).  This could be the season that Myers excels because the spotlight is off of him right now.  Look for Myers to win 15-17 games with an ERA in the high 3’s this season.

44 year old lefty Jamie Moyer just keeps rolling along.  He was 11-14 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP for the Mariners and Phillies last season.  He pitched very well down the stretch for the Phillies as he was 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 8 starts for them.  Moyer is very dependable as he’s thrown over 200 innings in each of the last six seasons and 8 of the last 9.  He also is an amazing 98-65 in this decade.  Look for Moyer to win 12-15 games with an ERA of 4.00-4.35 in 2007.

36 year old righty Jon Lieber could be the odd man out in the rotation.  He was 9-11 with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 27 starts last year.  He did allow a .291 batting average and 27 homers in 168 innings last season but he almost never walks a batter as only 1.29 per 9 innings trotted to first base against him.  The Phillies would be smart to stash Lieber in the bullpen to provide insurance in case Adam Eaton or Cole Hamels goes down to injury.


Shane Victorino could get his big shot in RF for the Phillies

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 9 March 2007 at 2:23 pm

26 year old switch hitter Shane Victorino is in line to be the Phillies starting RF this season.  He played in 153 games last season and he hit .287 with 70 runs scored, 6 homers, 46 RBIs and a .760 OPS.  He played in 21 games in RF and he didn’t make an error while showing outstanding range.  Look for Victorino to have a good season, but he will not hit for the power that most teams like from their corner outfielders.  Still, if he hits .280-.290 and plays good defense that will be enough for the Phillies.

27 year old Jayson Werth will compete for a reserve job on the Phillies.  He missed all of last season due to injury but he’s looking like he’s in pretty good shape in Spring Training.  He last played in the majors in 2005 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In 2005 he played in 102 games and he hit .234 with 7 homers, 43 RBIs and a .712 OPS.  Over his career, Werth has played in 232 major league games and he has a .245 batting average with 25 homers, 106 RBIs and a .753 OPS.  Werth is an average defender.  He has his work cut out for him to make the Phillies, but, if Rowand gets traded for pitching he could wind up in a platoon with Karim Garcia in RF with Victorino moving to CF.

31 year old lefty swinging Karim Garcia is also in camp trying to win a bench spot.  He played the last two seasons for the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese League.  In 191 games in the two seasons there, Garcia hit .281 with 34 homers, 97 RBIs and a .804 OPS.  He was last seen in the majors in 2004 when he split time with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.  He played in 85 games in 2004 and hit .229 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs.  Garcia will only go as far as his left handed power stick can take him because he’s a below average defender.

Aaron Rowand to handle CF for the Phillies

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 9 March 2007 at 12:01 pm

29 year old Aaron Rowand is a flashback to the old days as he likes to get dirty and always plays all-out.  Sometimes that leads to injury and it did twice last season.  Aaron Rowand played in 109 games last season and he hit .262 with 59 runs scored, 12 homers, 47 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .745 OPS.  He played 107 games in CF last season and he made 5 errors while showing average range.  A lot of teams are looking to acquire Rowand from the Phillies for some much needed relief pitching so it will be interesting to see if Rowand is starting for the Phils this season.  Look for Rowand to approach a 20/20 season this year if he’s a Phillie all season long.

24 year old lefty swinging Michael Bourn could be the starting CF if Rowand is traded.  He played in 118 games last season between AA+AAA ball and he hit .277 with 96 runs scored, 5 homers, 41 RBIs and 45 stolen bases.  He also played in 17 games for the Phillies but he only went 1 for 8 (.125 avg.).  He’s a decent defensive CF who will probably start the season in AAA ball unless Rowand is traded.

26 year old Shane Victorino will likely be the starting RF for the Phillies in 2007 but he can also handle CF defensively.  He played 67 error-less games for the Phillies in CF last season and showed above average range.

Par Burrell is the main power source in Phils outfield

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 3 March 2007 at 11:53 pm

30 year old Pat Burrell will be the starting LF for the Phillies again this season.  Last season he played in 144 games and he hit .258 with 80 runs scored, 29 homers, 95 RBIs and a .890 OPS.  Burrell is not a good defensive LF as he made 3 errors in 126 games there last season and he didn’t show much range.  He will often be pulled for a defensive replacement in 2007.  Look for Burrell to have another average year for him this season which would be a .250-.260 batting average, 72 runs scored, 27 homers and 92 RBIs.  That’s what he’s averaged in his 7 major league seasons.  He will never hit for a high batting average because he whiffs too much, but, he’s still a good overall baseball player.

28 year old Chris Roberson will try to win a back up job in the Phillies outfield this season.  He often was used as a defensive replacement for Burrell last season as he played 30 games in LF and didn’t make an error.  He didn’t show a lot of range out there though.  Roberson played in 74 games in AAA ball last season and he hit .292 with 44 runs scored, 1 homer, 17 RBIs, 25 stolen bases and a .716 OPS.  In 57 games for the Phillies he hit .195 with 9 runs scored, 3 stolen bases and a .458 OPS.

It’s also possible that Karim Garcia or Jason Werth could get some PT in LF this season.  Both are better hitters than Roberson, but, neither is a good defender.

Scott Mathieson to likely miss season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Injuries by chinmusic on Friday 2 March 2007 at 6:28 pm

23 year old right handed starting pitcher Scott Mathieson will likely miss the entire 2007 season as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent last September 29th.  That’s a shame as he really showed good potential in the minor leagues last year.  He started 19 games between AA+AAA ball as he was 10-3 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.  He also whiffed 135 batters in only 127 innings in the minors.  He didn’t pitch too well for the Phillies last season though.  He pitched in 9 games for the Phillies (8 starts) and he was 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.

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