22-year old lefty swinging outfielder Nick Williams comes into this season as the Philadelphia Phillies‘ #2 prospect according to Baseball America. He was a key part of the return the Phillies got when they traded Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers. Williams played in 119 games in AA-ball last year and he was 144 of 475 (.303 avg, .845 OPS) with 77 runs scored, 17 homers, 55 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Williams has now played in 374 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 445 of 1,504 (.296 avg, .835 OPS) with 249 runs scored, 49 homers, 216 RBIs and 42 stolen bases. Williams will likely be in Philadelphia in either late 2016 or early 2017.
36-year old lefty swinging Ryan Howard and 29-year old righty swinging Darin Ruf are going to make a great platoon at 1B for the Phillies in 2016. Howard played in 129 games for the Phillies last year and he was 107 of 467 (.229 avg, .720 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 23 homers and 77 RBIs. But, he was only 13 of 100 (.130 avg, .418 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 3 homers and 10 RBIs against lefty pitchers. He won’t have to worry about dealing with lefties too much in 2016. That is where Darin Ruf comes in. Ruf played in 106 games for the Phillies last year and he was 63 of 268 (.235 avg, .714 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 12 homers, 39 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Those numbers aren’t ones that blow you away, but, he rakes against lefty pitchers. Ruf was 36 of 97 (.371 avg, 1.107 OPS) against lefties last year with 17 runs scored, 8 homers and 22 RBIs. I look for the Philadelphia Phillies to get outstanding production out of Howard and Ruf in 2016!
The Phillies have lost 35-year old lefty reliever Raul Valdes on waivers to the Houston Astros. Valdes pitched in 17 games (1 start) for the Phillies this year and he was 1-1 with a 7.46 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Valdes pitched in 44 games (2 starts) in his two years with the Phillies and he was 4-3 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. The Phillies were likely going to get rid of Valdes this winter anyway, so they won’t miss him in 2014 or beyond.
The Phillies have lost 26-year old righty starter/reliever Tyler Cloyd on waivers to the Cleveland Indians. Cloyd pitched in 13 games (11 starts) for the Phillies in 2013 and he was 2-7 with a 6.56 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP. Cloyd pitched in 19 games (17 starts) in his two years with the Phillies and he was 4-9 with a 5.98 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. He came into this season as the Phillies’ #21 prospect according to Baseball America, so I’m a little surprised that they gave up on him so quickly.
34-year old switch-hitting SS Jimmy Rollins is starting to slide in production for the Phillies. Rollins has played in 157 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 149 of 588 (.253 avg, .671 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 6 homers, 39 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. He has now played in 1,949 games in his first 14 years with the Phillies and he is 2,173 of 8,078 (.269 avg, .753 OPS) with 1,245 runs scored, 199 homers, 832 RBIs and 425 stolen bases. Rollins is already the Phillies’ all-time leader in doubles with 456 of them. He is also #2 in games played (1,949), #4 in hits (2,173), #3 in runs scored (1,245), tied for #3 in triples (107), #10 in homers (199), #8 in RBIs (832), #2 in stolen bases (425) and #7 in walks (689) in Phillies’ history. Rollins’ place in Phillies’ history is secure, but they need him to start hitting better in 2014.
The only thing good about having a lousy year like the Phillies are in 2013, is that you get to look at some younger players later in the season. 23-year old switch-hitting 2B/OF Cesar Hernandez came into this season as the Phillies’ #15 prospect according to Baseball America. Hernandez has played in 26 games for the Phillies so far this year and he is 27 of 86 (.314 avg, .751 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 0 homers and 8 RBIs. He has also played in 107 games in AA+AAA-ball for the Phillies in 2013 and he was 126 of 401 (.314 avg, .785 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 2 homers, 37 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. Hernandez is going to get a shot to make the Phillies’ 2014 roster next spring and his versatility in the field will do him well.
The Phillies have shut down 29-year old righty starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick for the rest of the 2013 season due to right shoulder tendinitis. Kendrick pitched in 30 games (all starts) for the Phillies in 2013 and he was 10-13 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He has now pitched in 194 games (153 starts) in his first seven years with the Phillies and he is 64-55 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. The Phillies were smart to shut down Kendrick and protect his shoulder, as they aren’t playing for anything but pride right now.
36-year old righty starting pitcher Roy Halladay was awesome in 2010, his first year with the Phillies. He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Phillies in 2010 and he was 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He gave up 231 hits and 30 walks while whiffing 219 batters in his 250 2/3 innings pitched for the Phillies in 201o, which were impressive numbers. He won the N.L. Cy Young Award for the Phillies in 2010. Halladay then signed a 3-year, $60 million dollar deal in the winter of 2011, which hasn’t worked out too well for the Phillies. He has pitched in 11 games (all starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 3-4 with a 7.28 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. He has given up 51 hits (12 homers) and 31 walks while whiffing 49 batters in his first 55 2/3 innings this year, so he is getting hit really hard. He has now pitched in 101 games (all starts) in his first four years with the Phillies and he is 54-28 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. These are very likely Roy Halladay’s last two weeks with the Phillies.
The Phillies have only won 66 games this year, but it isn’t 32-year old righty closer Jonathan Papelbon’s fault. Papelbon has pitched in 55 games (0 starts) for the Phillies so far this year and he is 5-1 with 25 saves, a 2.59 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Papelbon has given up 49 hits and 9 walks while whiffing 50 batters in his first 55 2/3 innings this year, which are impressive numbers. Papelbon has now pitched in 125 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the Phillies and he is 10-7 with 63 saves, a 2.51 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The Phillies were smart to keep him.
23-year old lefty swinging 3B Cody Asche is trying to stake a claim to be the Phillies’ starting 3B in 2014. In his last seven games, Asche is 12 of 28 (.429 avg) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer and 7 RBIs. He has now played in 29 games overall this year for the Phillies and he is 27 of 98 (.276 avg, .773 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 3 homers, 17 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Asche came into this season as the Phillies’ #7 prospect according to Baseball America, so they have high hopes for him moving forward.