Phillies Looking for One More Outfielder

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury says the Phillies are still looking for another outfielder to round out the roster before they break camp and head north:

The fifth and final outfield job is still up in the air. Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte could end up in the role, but it’s also possible that the Phils could add an outfielder from outside the organization. Seattle’s Casper Wells and Boston’s Ryan Sweeney are two outfielders that could be available in the coming days.

“Our eyes are open in the infield and the outfield,” Amaro said.

Continue reading…

Crash Bag, Vol. 46: Radioactive Porcine Hemoglobin

Last week, Paul did the Crash Bag, to near-universal acclaim. One commenter remarked that he preferred Paul’s more level-headed tone to my “sour” and “bitter” outlook, and while I appreciate lemons as much as the next guy, that remark got me thinking: I do find myself in a default state of bitter, florid, impotent rage. It’s not that surprising, considering my hobbies:

  1. Watching/thinking about/reading about/writing about the Phillies.
  2. Watching/thinking about/reading about/writing about the Sixers.
  3. Watching/thinking about/reading about other teams I follow: Arsenal, the Flyers, the Eagles, the South Carolina Gamecocks.
  4. Consuming narrative fiction that’s heavy, dark and extremely cynical, like House of Cards and the novels of Richard Ford.
  5. Consuming music that is heavy and wallows in human weakness and suffering.
  6. Contemplating the pitiable futility and smallness of the existence of mankind in general and myself in particular.

Not a lot to get excited about there, particularly when you’re as pessimistic a person as I am anyway.

So I had a conversation with myself that would mirror the famous exchange between Powers Boothe and C. Thomas Howell in Red Dawn and decided that this week’s Crash Bag will be a positive, happy experience. If I can pull it off. We shall see.

@mdubz11: “predict ryan howard’s season.”

Ah, they test my optimism right off the bat. Very well (dons turban and places crystal ball on the table) mmmmmmm….ooogly moogly….

Continue reading…

Domonic Brown’s Spring Is Still No Guarantee

Domonic Brown is tied with Mike Morse for the spring training lead in home runs with six and we still have a week and a half of games left. The once top prospect had a questionable future with the team entering spring training, but he has played his way into an everyday job in the Phillies’ outfield. Aside from the home runs, he is hitting .397 and has drawn nearly as many walks as strikeouts (six to eight) in 63 at-bats. That makes this perhaps the most appropriate time to flash the reminder: spring training stats aren’t predictive of regular season success or failure.

Last year, 15 players hit six or more home runs in spring exhibition games in the range of 45-80 at-bats. There was no correlation whatsoever between their spring hitting and regular season hitting.

Continue reading…

The Phillies Get Nerdier

Well, this is encouraging. From David Murphy:

But yesterday a new item appeared [on the bulletin board]. It is a photocopy of a graphic from a publication — it looks like Baseball America, although I’m not positive — that breaks down the major league batting averages on balls in play on swings in certain counts. The graphic illustrates what every hitting coach preaches: get the count in your favor, and you’ve got a better chance of getting a pitch that you can turn into a pitch. The moral: work the count. 

In Eric Longenhagen’s conversation with Keith Law, posted a few weeks ago, Law talked about the Phillies’ notorious aversion to statistical analysis:

I still can’t quite fathom their pride in their refusal to use any kind of analytics in their decision-making. When your competitors are operating 12-man analytics departments, why would you brag about how you don’t have one at all?

No, posting a BABIP chart (found here, by the way) does not yank the Phillies into the 21st century, but it is refreshing. Let’s hope their next move is to hire Matt Swartz.

Adam Morgan’s Path

Responding to my post yesterday about the Phillies’ contingency plan in case Roy Halladay is unfit or unable to contribute at any point during the 2013 season, many suggested left-hander Adam Morgan as a potential substitute. Morgan was drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the June 2011 draft and has impressed in his brief time in the system. Baseball America ranked him #5 in the Phillies’ top-ten, for example.

Continue reading…

What Is the Roy Halladay Contingency Plan?

Roy Halladay had to leave yesterday afternoon’s spring training affair due to a stomach illness, continuing what has been another ugly spring for the two-time Cy Young award winner. Halladay had allowed six runs in 2.2 innings of work in his previous start, an outing which was followed up by reports of low velocity readings and concern from scouts. Naturally, Halladay’s continued spring malaise has led many to worry about the right-hander’s ability to contribute in 2013, though catcher Erik Kratz and manager Charlie Manuel both insisted Halladay is fine.

Continue reading…