Archive for the ‘Philadelphia Phillies’ category

Analyzing the Joe Blanton trade, and Mike Hampton tweaks groin again

July 19, 2008

Oakland gets:

2B/IF Adrian Cardenas
OF Matt Spencer
RP Josh Outman

Philly gets

SP Joe Blanton

A couple days ago, Oakland traded away their 5th starter Joe Blanton away to Philadelphia prospects 2B Adrian Cardenas, RP Josh Outman, and a throw in OF Matt Spencer.

In a couple years, if Joe Blanton stinks up the place in Philadelphia, this could be one of these trades that keeps us asking “why?” like Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell, among others. And there is very real chance that this could happen, because Joe Blanton is more of a flyball, and he could get lit up in that small park they have in Philadelphia. His home/road ERA splits are 4.63/5.73, and Oakland is a pitchers park as well. This could be a very bad trade for Philadelphia. But it could also be a good one, because Oakland’s defense hasn’t exactly been spectacular this year, and defensive ERA numbers suggest that the defense behind Blanton could be the problem, and with Utley, Rollins and others behind Blanton, his ERA might actually go down slightly. So it really depends on how Blanton will do, and the numbers are so variable, because some numbers predict he will do bad, and some predict he will be decent with the Phillies, which would justify this trade. The offense behind Blanton does not suggest much, for example, Eric Milton’s 2005 Reds season where he had the great offense behind him, but was completely awful, and we all know how good the Phillies offense is this year.

Also, let’s look who the Phillies gave up for Blanton. Although there are not that many players that the Phillies could have traded for, they gave up a can’t-miss prospect in Adrian Cardenas, hitting .310/.375/.447 in High-A, which also means current Oakland 2B Mark Ellis will be gone. Cardenas was going to be blocked by Chase Utley no matter what. They also gave up a pitcher with good HR/9 rates in Josh Outman, although he got moved to the bullpen after a mediocre 2007 where his HR/9 went up while starting, and the Phillies 2007 3rd Round draft pick Matt Spencer, who has not really done much in the pro level and is hitting .249 this year in High-A ball. Cardenas is the real gem here, and although he’s only in A-Ball and is as old as we are, he has hit well in every level thus far. He was the Gatorade state High School Player of the year in Florida in 2006, and he was teammates with Chris Marrero, who is in the Washington Nationals system right now, and was the the 15th overall pick in 2006. All Cardenas has done is hit (I think Cardenas will be in the Majors in 2-3 years, not 3-4 years like some are saying), and if he turns into something great, and if Outman turns into a decent pitcher (He needed a change in scenery after the Phillies moved him to the bullpen), then we all know who got the better end of the trade. Again, this could really be one of those trades where bored sportswriters could list as “one of the worst trades in the past 20 years,” but again, if Blanton turns into something slightly useful and the Phillies make the playoffs instead of running Adam Eaton out there every 5th day, it could also be a decent trade that works out for the Phillies. Really, it can go either way. I still think the Phillies may have given up too much.

Mike Hampton injury watch: Mike Hampton injured again

Apparently Mike Hampton tweaked his groin again during a rehab start. When will this end? Certainly one of the worst contracts in history. His arm felt fine though, apparently. It just sucks for Hampton, whose body keeps taking his baseball abilities as a league-average starter away from him, and ultimately, you have to feel bad for him. It’s still funny at his expense, with the frequency of his injuries.

Pat Burrell gets snubbed twice

July 11, 2008

I know, I sound like a weird Pat Burrell fanboy, even though I’m really not. I’m not a Phillies fan, I swear. But the guy is having the best season of his career by far (he has a 155 OPS+ plus so far, only rivalling his 2002 season where he had a 146 OPS+), and much better than Corey Hart, and although I like Hart, although the fans were wrong. David Wright, a final vote guy, and replacing Alfonso Soriano, is having a down year by his standards, and also not as good as Burrell this year, and he gets put in by the clueless Clint Hurdle, who has been bad in making an All-Star roster (Aaron Cook? Brian Wilson? Cole Hamels should have gotten in)

One could argue that the roster could use a second defensive 3B, due to the roster only having 2 third basemen, including Aramis Ramirez, who can’t play defense at all, and I think that might be why Hurdle made the move. The players deserve some of that blame due to electing Miguel Tejada, who is nowhere near an all-star. Nevertheless, this year’s NL team is certainly a weak roster, due to Clint Hurdle, the fan vote, and the player vote and it makes me care for the All-Star Game a little bit less, like every year.

2008 NL All-Star Snubs

July 6, 2008

Of course, even with the All-Star rosters being expanded even more in 2008, there were quite a few players snubbed from the competition this year. Here is who I think should have made the team.

Ken Griffey Jr.

I know, he’s not been great this year, hitting only .242/.350/.406 but what happened? I think he should have been a pick out of respect for all of baseball, especially with him being “clean” (although we do not know for sure) and joining the 600 home run club. Cal Ripken was pretty bad in his last few seasons, and there is also the case of Barry Larkin in 2004, so why not put Griffey in there? Is this a making of Bud Selig and his minions helping the NL team, and his very good friends, the Milwaukee Brewers, as Griffey was leading by 200,000 votes over Ryan Braun last night? How would Braun get 200,000 votes in 24 hours? I know, Braun is having a great season, and he’s an exciting player to watch, but what the hell Selig? And also, Jason Varitek is on the AL team, and he’s hitting .219/.301/.360, and he was voted by the players. Yeah, starting and being on the bench are two different things, but putting Griffey in, or even in the bench would not be half retarded. UUIB demands an explanation, and Rory Fitzpatrick says hi.

Johan Santana

He’s had a good season, 2.96 ERA and a 7-7 record with the inconsistent Mets, but I still think he should have made it, rather than Brian Wilson, who leads the league in saves, but has not really been good, and the Giants already having a representitive in Lincecum. Cole Hamels would also be someone I would rather have, or Kyle freaking Lohse. Or Chad Billingsley. Or Adam Wainwright.

Pat Burrell

He gets all the opportunities in the world by batting behing Utley, Howard, and Rollins (who should also be on the team) and he’s having a great year with an OPS+ of 155 which is 5th in the NL, 21 homers, 4th in the NL in OPS, 5th in OBP, etc etc. It’s probably because Nate McLouth is a Pirate, and Matt Holliday and Ryan Ludwick were also very deserving. But Burrell’s never been to an All-Star Game, and that’s just ridiculous, especially with someone like Miguel Tejada going in, who has an OPS+ of 99 this year. Ridiculous, stupid selection with Miguel Tejada. Burrell would be the next guy I put in if one of the pitchers, or one of the other players gets injured. He also deserves to be voted last player in, since David Wright might get in anyways, because there is the possibility that Jones could opt out of the game due to injury, having been sidelined the past few days. I don’t think it’s Burrell’s fault (or for that matter Jason Bay’s fault, as he also got snubbed), that the “fad” Cubs fans voted in a weak player like Alfonso Soriano, who is having a good but not spectacular season. Vote Pat Burrell in, that’s a sack of crap that he isn’t in.

Those are my choices for All-Star snubs.

Oh, I forgot Xavier Nady. I rag on the guy a lot, especially when he kills the Reds, but he is deserving of a spot this year.

NL Pennant Race: Five Players Who Will Make a Difference

March 21, 2008

The 2008 season looks to be quite exciting with what appear to be three competitive races for the division crowns. These close races will come down to the performance of a few players who need to perform to get their teams to the postseason.

Mike and Phil compiled this list. (more…)

Division Preview: NL East

March 12, 2008

After the Johan Santana trade, the New York Mets became the top of the heap in the NL East, and possibly all of the National League. The NL East has some very good teams in the Mets and the Phillies, an average-to-good team in the Braves, then it drops off to some slightly mediocre teams in the Nationals and the Marlins. Other than Cameron Maybin and othters of the Marlins, Fernando Martinez of the Mets, and several Braves prospects, this division is not really loaded with as many prospects as the other divisions.

1. New York Mets (2007: 88-74, 2nd)

alg_santana.jpg
Johan Santana

The Mets are easy choice for the NL East as they got obviously the best pitcher in baseball in Santana, and they also traded for a few other cogs like C Brian Schneider and OF Ryan Church from the Nationals. Church is a player who has always deserved a chance in the Nationals organization but never really got one for whatever dumb reason. He really could be the Mets’ breakout player. Their pitching, other than Santana, also has El Duque, Pedro Martinez, the average John Maine, and Oliver Perez. The bullpen is decent has Billy Wagner as closer and Joe Smith, with Matt Wise added. The offense, other than Schneider and Church, does not have many notable additions, but they should be quite good, with 3B David Wright, SS Jose Reyes, OF Carlos Beltran, 2B Luis Castillo, etc. The Mets look great.

Read more for the rest of the predictions.

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