Thoughts on the Phillies’ 14-10 Opening Day Victory

After an off-season that lasted for what seemed like an eternity, baseball returned to us this afternoon as the Phillies battled the Rangers in Texas. Cliff Lee opposed Tanner Scheppers, filling in for the injured Yu Darvish. The two teams combined for 24 runs, 31 hits, and 10 walks. With 14 of those runs, the Phillies set a franchise record in the live ball era for runs scored on Opening Day. While it was nice to see the Phillies’ offense come alive after ending the spring with three consecutive shut-outs, there weren’t many moments of comfort during the game.


Source: FanGraphs

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Phillies Top 10 Prospects

I’m not a huge fan of prospect lists, which provide a momentary snapshot of a system that is in constant flux and evolution. But the internet loves lists of all kinds and I can’t deprive you of that, can I? As always, I see just about everyone in person and get info from scouting and front office sources to supplement my own evaluations. If you want long form, detailed scouting reports on most of these guys, you can find them here. Enjoy 4000 words of Phillies prospect realism. Continue reading…

ESPN Expert Predictions

ESPN Expert Predictions

ESPN asked me to participate in their expert panel to attempt to predict the upcoming season, not unlike the ones you saw earlier involving the Crashburn Staff.

The link above (or this) will take you to the panel’s picks for the standings and playoffs.

This link will take you to the panel’s picks for award-winners.

I tried to stay consistent with my picks for ESPN and here, but I didn’t have one while filling out the other, so let me know if you notice any discrepancies.

Phillies Opening Day Roster Announced

The Phillies 25-man roster has been finalized:

Starting Lineup
C – Carlos Ruiz
1B – Ryan Howard
2B – Chase Utley
SS – Jimmy Rollins
3B – Cody Asche
LF – Domonic Brown
CF – Ben Revere
RF – Marlon Byrd

Rotation
Cliff Lee
A.J. Burnett
Kyle Kendrick
Roberto Hernandez

Bullpen
Antonio Bastardo
Justin De Fratus
Jake Diekman
Mario Hollands
Brad Lincoln
Jeff Manship
Jonathan Papelbon
B.J. Rosenberg

Bench
Tony Gwynn, Jr.
Cesar Hernandez
John Mayberry, Jr.
Wil Nieves
Jayson Nix

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Phillies Alter Fate with New Clubhouse Signs

MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki just tweeted this:

Beats optimizing roster construction through the development of a healthy Minor League system, the prudent use of team resources, and taking advantage of the latest and greatest advances in technology and data collection. Because, really, what good is a 95-win team with a new World Series trophy if each player can’t look himself in the mirror and say, “I respected the game, was the ultimate teammate, and played the game the right way”?

Crash Bag, Vol. 99: Baby’s First Democratic System

Gregg Easterbrook once wrote (and I’m paraphrasing, because if I have to sift through a billion TMQ columns to find the exact wording, I will end my life, so help me God): “Writing a book is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop.”

I’m writing a book, set to come out in November, ranking the 20 greatest athletes in Philadelphia sports history, and for the next month or so, I’ll be concentrating on finishing that, to the peril of any sort of writing I do for fun, including Crashburn. After 99 weeks of uninterrupted service, I toyed with the idea of just lining up five or six guest columns to fill the space, but what comes back in May will be more purposeful than what you’re reading now, which has largely been the product of inertia. So for the last time, at least for a while, I’ll take your questions.

@Hegelbon: “if the Phillies had to be run like a social political system, which would you choose? I’d pick oligarchy.”

That’s kind of how they’re run right now, isn’t it? One person, or group of people, has all the power and delegates it to a bureaucracy that includes the baseball ops people, the PR people, event planners…it’s not a terrible way to run an organization, and a big reason I’m such a fan of career civil service in actual government: we elect the politicians, who (in theory) reflect our goals as an electorate and translate those goals (national security, economic prosperity, and so on) into achievable policy objectives, then turn to the army of wonks they employ to actually carry out those objectives. Because politicians don’t know dick about how things actually work–wonks do, because they do this for a living.

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Phillies Starting Pitching Depth Receives A Much Needed Boost

There were two decidedly positive developments in Clearwater today. Of the eight starting pitchers atop of the Phillies depth chart to begin camp, four have succumbed to injuries over the past six weeks: Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, and Ethan Martin. Today, two of those pitchers exhibited signs that they may be returning sooner rather than later.

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Win Some Cash with DraftStreet.com on Opening Day

The regular season is upon us and that means it’s time to win some more cash with DraftStreet.com. On March 31, you can enter into their Opening Day contest with a $20,000 prize pool with an $11 buy-in. It’s a salary cap-style draft with the top 300 places earning cash, and with first place walking away with $3,000. Use this link to enter.

Have fun and let us know how you do!