Crash Bag, Vol. 15 – Is Ben Davis a Hot Dog?

Everyone have a great weekend, as the weather heats up and the Phillies play the Nationals and Mets every season until the end of time.

For now the best place to ask questions is on Twitter, either @ me (@Matt_Winkelman or @CrashburnAlley). But you can also reply in the comments here and I will will have some sort of better way for future mailbags.

@KeithWinder: If each CSN Phillies broadcaster was a backyard bbq food item, what would they be?

I may have a low opinion of the Phillies booth, which is one of the worst in the league. Last year they were watchable about 50% of the time (when Matt Stairs was on), and it has only gone downhill from there.

Tom McCarthy – Grilled Chicken Breast

You can marinate it, you can put sauce on it, or you could cook it perfectly, but it will always be incredibly boring. TMac isn’t really that bad, he is fringe average, and when paired with a color guy who is just bad, listeners just don’t stand a chance.

Ben Davis – Burnt Hot Dog

Ben Davis is a scourge on the Phillies broadcast. He provides maybe a point of insight per year, but usually spends the time spewing inane babble and useless information. Much like the inedible hot dog left on the grill for too long, Ben Davis stinks up the whole place and makes everything else around him look that much worse.

John Kruk – Frozen Burger

I will admit, I have not listened to much Kruk this year, but what I have found is that it really isn’t that insightful. He isn’t an idiot, but I don’t feel like much he says has relevance to the game. Occasionally he is really insightful, and it redeems it some. Frozen burgers are totally fine and acceptable, but you can improve on them with a bit of time and energy.

Mike Schmidt – The burnt grime on the grill

Mike Schmidt was a great baseball player, one of the best, but he continues to stick around in a way that causes great annoyance and unpleasantness. In the booth, he is a holder of bad opinions about players (Cody Asche All-Star?) and the game, as well as being offensively sexist. Like that grime on the grill it is the reminder of a great meal, but it also makes you resent it a little bit.

Gregg Murphy – Veggie Burger

Veggie burgers are almost always well intentioned. If the host is an omnivore, they get them to be inclusive to all of their guests, and a vegetarian may bring them to not offend their host and to fit in. Meanwhile, it is completely possible for a vegetarian to have plenty to eat without resorting to making their food look like meat. Gregg Murphy seems smart and insightful, but because they feel that someone must wander the park endlessly, we are subjected to a charade of well meaning, but completely useless, trivia and human interest stories.

@byBenHarris: If it’s not too late…which is more surprising, Phillies hitting second most 2-strike HRs or Phillies seeing second most pitches per PA

It has to be the Phillies seeing more pitches. The two strike home runs are a bit strange, but the Phillies starters pitch around the strike zone without elite stuff, and the bullpen has some really bad pitchers in the back end. So while it wasn’t likely, there was a pathway to it. As for seeing pitches, the Phillies added two hitters to their lineup in Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick. Saunders has a career P/PA of 4.08, which is a large improvement on Peter Bourjos’ 3.44 rate last season. Howie Kendrick is historically an aggressive hitter with a career P/PA rate of 3.68, but he looks great to open the year at 4.06. Those two additions will move the needle some, but the change has to be coming from the Phillies’ returning players.

Player 2016 2017
Rupp 3.78 4.41
Joseph 3.81 3.56
Hernandez 3.88 3.95
Galvis 3.78 3.76
Franco 3.56 4.13
Herrera 4 4.05

The big improvement obviously is from Maikel Franco, who has worked deeper counts. Cameron Rupp has offset some of his poor start with an increased walk rate, and if he can keep that up with his typical power, he could hold on to the job for a little bit longer. I also want to call out the two rookies when it comes to the team improvement. Andrew Knapp only has 10 plate appearances, but he has seen 5.20 pitches per plate appearance, and Brock Stassi is average 4.86 pitches over his 14 plate appearances.

@CommodoreSays: Ceiling for Daniel Brito? Thanks, Matt!

Absolute ceiling? All-Star level second baseman. But you can play the ceiling game with a lot of players, so what is more realistic? Brito is a plus hitter, maybe even more. Despite 2 home runs in 7 games, his power is probably more fringe average. He is quick, but not a burner, so maybe 15-20 steals a year in the majors. His defense at second base is really good, as he has a shortstop’s glove but not the arm. So that leaves the ceiling for Brito as a good glove second baseman that hits .280ish with 10-15 home runs and 15-20 stolen bases. That is a really solid player.

@DashTreyhorn: Why is Clay Buchholz?

This is the Philadelphia Phillies we are talking about, happiness is a foreign concept. This team had too many positive things coming along, so Matt Klentak was required to acquire a player that would provide pain and disappointment. Buchholz is the perfect candidate for the job. He had just enough upside to be intriguing and get your hopes up. Even if Buchholz had been healthy all year, or even good at pitching, each of his starts would be an unpleasant affair. The Phillies even traded something for him that fans can regret letting go of (Josh Tobias), and a player they didn’t sign that they #shouldofkept (Charlie Morton).

Clay Buchholz exists to provide fanbases pain.

Leave a Reply



  1. Romus

    April 15, 2017 12:57 PM

    For some strange reason, at every Schmidtty broadcast there seems to be some fascination with Freddy Galvis and his approach at the plate.
    He must be one of his personal favorites.

  2. Mike Fassano

    April 16, 2017 02:07 AM

    The first three batters have been the only offense the Phils have had so far. Even though the rest of the order has struggled, Matt Stairs influence has been noticeable. Franco impressed me today with an RBI groundout to second base. Altherr will start on Sunday against a lefty, and if he has a big game, he better be in the lineup for the next game.

  3. Edwin

    April 16, 2017 07:43 AM

    Still can’t figure out why they don’t just hand all the announcing over to LA and Franzke. So much better to just turn the sound down and tune into Scott and Larry

    • Mike Fassano

      April 16, 2017 08:41 AM

      I get a kick out of people, who have nothing else to complain about with the Phillies, than the announcers. Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn set such a high standard, that it will never be reached again. I live in Las Vegas and the D’backs, Dodgers, and Giants announcers are a lot worse.

      • Lew

        April 16, 2017 09:51 PM

        Bring back wheels minus sarge

  4. Scuffy McGee

    April 17, 2017 02:18 AM

    I just saw a pro-Wheels comment. Ugh.

    And I have to say I disagree with you on Ben Davis. He’s not that bad. Kruk is folksy and has potential, but his biggest downside is that he sometimes mails it in. I like the image of T-Mac as grilled chicken. Maybe a fancy grilled chicken: it tries so hard to be something that doesn’t taste like chicken.

    • Romus

      April 17, 2017 08:43 AM

      Scott Graham for me ilo of TMac…but after the Phillies did not renew his contract about 10 years ago now…he resurrected himself and is all over the tubes these days.

      • Scuffy McGee

        April 18, 2017 03:55 AM

        You mean, Scott “put another one in the win column for the Phightin’ Phils!” Graham? No thanks.

        Whatever marginal improvement there is from T-Mac to Graham is more than offset by his annoying smarm. With T-Mac, you just cope with the mediocrity because he’s likable enough. With Graham, you feel dirty knowing your fan support puts money in his phony pockets.

  5. Michael C Lorah

    April 17, 2017 10:02 AM

    I watch a lot of Phillies on, and I used to always tune in to the home broadcast of each game, just to hear different teams. Honestly, I mostly just stick with the Phillies booth these days. The NL East has some good announcing teams, but I’d still rank the Phillies team as adequate (a bit bland, sure, but all around reliable) and at least middle of the pack among all of MLB. The Pirates broadcast has put me to sleep several times. The Yankees and White Sox make me throw things through the TV.

    I agree with the consensus that Franzke and LA are a pure delight though. They’re definitely among the best teams working today.

    • Romus

      April 17, 2017 01:34 PM

      Pirates Root TV is World War zzzzzz time.

  6. Major Malfunction

    April 17, 2017 01:44 PM

    The link to Daniel Brito is a to a 25 year old pitcher for the Piratas de Campeche. Cool! He can pitch and play 2B!

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