6:19 AM EST, Sun December 08, 2019
Dec 6, 2019
Gauging the bullpen’s readiness for the three-batter rule

Gauging the bullpen’s readiness for the three-batter rule

Photo by Rich Schultz/ In 2020, a new rule governing reliever usage will change the way pitchers are deployed. How ready are the Phils for that change? Gone are the days of the LOOGY, the Lefty One-Out GuY used so deftly by managers like Bruce Bochy to distill innings down to single batter-versus-pitcher matchups. Recent Phillies history isn’t without them, either: Mike Zagurski, Jake Diekman, Joely Rodriguez, and Aaron Loup are all certainly well-remembered by Sporcle players nationwide. Specialized appearances and the specialists that made them, though, are now endangered species....
Dec 6, 2019
2019 Phillies in review: Rhys Hoskins

2019 Phillies in review: Rhys Hoskins

Photo by Rich Schultz/ The Phils slugger had a difficult season last year. Will he bounce back? When the 2019 season began, hopes were high for Rhys Hoskins. No longer would he have to play left field, a failed experiment in 2018 that everyone assumed forced Hoskins to take some of his focus off his offensive development in order to learn a position for which he was ill-equipped. Instead, at his natural first base, the assumption was that he would be able to concentrate on being a hitter first, an exciting thought given his plate discipline and obvious power potential. For much of 2019,...
Dec 5, 2019
This trade target wouldn’t really be for 2020

This trade target wouldn’t really be for 2020

Photo by Justin Berl/ He’s injured and will miss 2020, but this could be an interesting get for the Phillies Another entry in our off-the-wall trade ideas series Let’s get the obvious out of the way: trading for Jameson Taillon will not help the Phillies in 2020. He underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season. Sure he might be able to make a few starts at the end of the season, but for the most part, he’d be a non-entity when it came to discussing helping the rotation for the upcoming season. So why make him a target? Sure it doesn’t make much sense to give up...
Dec 5, 2019
The Phillies need to go over the luxury tax if they want to be World Series contenders

The Phillies need to go over the luxury tax if they want to be World Series contenders

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via The Phillies reportedly are intent on staying under the tax, which is a questionable decision. The signing of Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million contract is no doubt a controversial one. On the one hand, you have a guy who has had two seasons where he has performed at the level of a No. 3 starter, a guy with a Tommy John surgery in his past and who is being given top-of-the-rotation money on the hopes he can turn into a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. On the other hand, you see a guy with elite stuff, a pitcher who has been worth...
Dec 4, 2019
The instant impact of Zack Wheeler

The instant impact of Zack Wheeler

Photo by Rich Schultz/ The Phillies struck a five-year deal with a former division rival, and arguably the best available pitcher not named Cole or Strasburg Did you find yourself thinking early in November, “boy, would I like the Phillies to sign a starting pitcher this winter?” Well, good news, like-minded friend! The Phillies are free agent righty Zack Wheeler — you may remember him from his time with the Mets — agreed to a five-year deal worth $118 million Wednesday. Wheeler, 29, was the third-best starting pitching option available after mega-arms Gerrit Cole and Stephen...
Dec 4, 2019
REPORT: Phillies sign Zack Wheeler

REPORT: Phillies sign Zack Wheeler

Photo by Rich Schultz/ The first major splash is a doozy The Phillies needed starting pitching, you say? It has to be something better than average, you opine? Don’t want to eat up too much money before scraping the luxury tax, you demand? Well guess what? The Phillies just signed someone that fulfills all three of these desires, signing arguably the best non-elite pitcher on the market in Zack Wheeler. Right-hander Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement on a five-year deal worth more than $100 million, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 4,...
Dec 4, 2019
Cole Hamels is dead to us now

Cole Hamels is dead to us now

Hope you like losing in the playoffs, Cole The Phillies’ former ace has betrayed the fans by signing with the Braves It turns out, FanSince09 was right all along: Cole Hamels is a bum. Coal Hammels sucks #showyahate— Wudder Herzog (@FanSince09) March 9, 2011 There had been speculation that the Phillies and their former #3 starter ace were interested in a reunion. It had the makings of a nice story: The prodigal son returns to lead the team back to postseason glory. Instead, Hamels chose to drive a dagger through the hearts of his former fans, signing an $18 million deal to pitch...
Dec 3, 2019
Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez: Icons of a forgettable era

Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez: Icons of a forgettable era

There were some good times for both Franco and Hernandez along the way | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Farewell to a couple of guys who played a lot of innings for some bad teams Next year at this time, when we’re assuredly celebrating the first of many consecutive playoff seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies, we may take a look back at the sad years between 2012 and 2019 to remind ourselves how good we have it. When scanning those rosters, we may come across the names Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez and remember that those were the types of players that routinely saw a lot of...
Dec 2, 2019
Phillies non-tender deadline aftermath and analysis

Phillies non-tender deadline aftermath and analysis

Photo by Rich Schultz/ The team has passed the offseason’s latest checkpoint. Here’s where things stand now. The winter’s annual moment of reckoning has come and gone, and the Phillies have made some decisions about what they want their 2020 club to look like. Monday at 8 p.m. E.T. was the deadline for clubs to tender contracts to all players still on their 40-man roster who do not currently have one: Pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players without a long-term Major League deal already signed, sealed, and delivered were the ones with their fates hanging in the balance...
Dec 2, 2019
Phillies Decade in Review: Position Players Snake Draft

Phillies Decade in Review: Position Players Snake Draft

It was a lackluster decade for position players over the last 10 years. The Phillies had a lot of players play for them in the last decade. Lots. In all, 126 different players suited up and played a position that wasn’t pitcher for the Phils from 2010-19, most of them largely forgettable. These players range from the guy who played more games than any other Phillie in the 2010s, Ryan Howard (840) to Steve Susdforf, who logged three games in 2013 and had one hit in seven at-bats. In between there was some good, some not-so-good, and some downright awful. On Episode 340 of Hittin’ Season,...
Dec 2, 2019
Non-tender day discussion thread

Non-tender day discussion thread

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports We’ll keep you updated throughout the day as news breaks, Phillies or otherwise Today is the non-tender day deadline. Teams across the league have to decide whether or not they will offer contracts to their arbitration eligible players for the 2020 season by 8 p.m. tonight. I already wrote a preview post about what the Phillies might do, but here, we’ll keep you up to date on any moves the Phillies make as well as any moves that are otherwise notable. Phillies news Andrew Knapp, hello. Source says #Phillies avoided arbitration with Andrew Knapp,...
Dec 2, 2019
There’s an argument to be made that Corey Dickerson was the best trade by any team at this year’s deadline

There’s an argument to be made that Corey Dickerson was the best trade by any team at this year’s deadline

Photo by Mitchell Leff/ A really useful player may rank as Matt Klentak’s second best trade The numbers (w/ Phillies) .293/.307/.573. 137 PA, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 24.1 K%, 2.2 BB%, 0.4 fWAR The good Dickerson was a shining light in the offensive blackness that was the Phillies’ offense in the summer. When Dickerson was acquired, it was seen as something of a desperation, yet needed, move. Andrew McCutchen was hurt, Odubel Herrera was suspended and no one outside of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto could be counted on for consistent offensive production. Especially in the outfield, where the...
Nov 29, 2019
The Phillies have some decisions to make as the nontender deadline approaches

The Phillies have some decisions to make as the nontender deadline approaches

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Predictions on who might or might not still be here after the deadline on Monday One of the bigger deadlines in the offseason calendar arrives this Tuesday when teams need to decide whether or not they will tender a contract to arbitration eligible players. Courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors, we can refresh our memories as to who the Phillies need to make decisions on and their estimated salary for 2020. Cesar Hernandez – $11.8MMJ.T. Realmuto – $10.3MMBlake Parker – $4.7MMJose Alvarez – $3.0MMMaikel Franco – $6.7MMVince Velasquez – $3.9MMHector Neris...
Nov 28, 2019
What we’re thankful for with the Phillies

What we’re thankful for with the Phillies

Photo by Rich Schultz/ There has to be something, right? Ethan Witte I, for one, am thankful for two things. First and foremost, I am thankful for J.T. Realmuto. When the trade happened, I was quite critical of it, thinking that trading their top prospect along with a catcher with offensive upside who had shown marked improvement with his glove was a foolish move. It was totally fine to trade Sixto Sanchez, but I thought they would move him for quite a bit more than just Realmuto. However, after getting the chance to watch him, day in and day out, it was obviously the correct decision....
Nov 27, 2019
Phillies Decade in Review: The best moment from every year

Phillies Decade in Review: The best moment from every year

Photo by Chris Trotman/ My favorite moment from every year, 2010-19 There’s just more month left in the 2010s, a decade that started off with the Philadelphia Phillies as perennial postseason participant and ended with them trying to make their way back there. There were two division titles, one postseason no-no, a perfect game, four no-hitters in all, a tear-down, a rebuild, talk of “tanking,” a waiving of the white flag, the death of a beloved star, the tenure of Gabe Kapler, a last hurrah for a cavalcade of stars and lots of “stupid money” spent. Certainly there were more...