Sad News From The Crashburn Alley Family

Just a quick note here for any of you that were not already aware – Matt’s mother passed away this week. Matt has been with family a lot the last few weeks and wanted to let everyone know that this is part of the reason for the lack of activity on the site recently. Of course, the rest of us extend our heartfelt condolences during this trying time. For anyone wishing to add some light to the world in memory of our friend’s departed loved one:

We come to this place as a refuge.
We each enter here and our other safe places knowing that our troubles do no cease to be.
But we take comfort in knowing that those inside are also here with sometimes-heavy hearts.
And that many inside will stand with us, shoulder to shoulder, no matter our ailment.
Willing to provide whatever we may be lacking in a time of need.
Let us all be that person today, in whatever capacity we can.
For our friend and his kin.
For our own families, blood or not.
For our neighbors.
Our companions and acquaintances.
And let us all honor the recently departed as they wished, with compassion for those still here and still burdened, and if practical, with material support for the stranger who needs little more than a meal and a bed to get through to tomorrow.

Phillies Remake Roster Quickly Day After Winter Meetings

The winter meetings ended yesterday and then today the Phillies decided to upend everything.

Last things first, the Phillies officially signed Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek, with both taking the empty spots on the 40 man roster. Both deals have large signing bonuses and small annual salaries. This won’t affect luxury tax money, but it does move money around enough that the Phillies could offset a low payroll by front loading their money for when they spend next year.

The first deal of the night was the Phillies shipping shortstop Freddy Galvis to San Diego Padres for RHP Enyel De Los Santos. The Phillies trading Galvis was not surprising, it is no secret that the Phillies were strongly shopping Galvis and listening on his double play partner Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez still could be dealt, but unlike Galvis the Phillies don’t need to move Hernandez. De Los Santos will join a Phillies farm system heavy in pitching. Like many of the arms already in the system, De Los Santos has his flaws. In his case it is a poor breaking ball. Otherwise he has a potentially plus changeup and a mid 90s fastball with life. He profiles as a #4 starter, but there might be some more upside if he can improve his third pitch. It is a good return for an expiring contract on a flawed player.

Then the Phillies decide to get weird. Continue reading…

Crash Bag Vol. 45 – Poetry And Prospects And Punters (Wait…Quarterbacks, Not Punters)

I greet you with this query from Poet Laureate of The Phils Blogosphere:

My response to this reference to an interesting quote from our new field manager, is a verse for that February day when spring returns to Clearwater, Florida, while the rest of us still slowly move out of winter.


As frost wanes
As snow turns to rain
We push through the pains of stagnation
From a long winter spent in shelter
In stillness
Perhaps apathy

In the north
Still-chattering teeth
Remains of a wreath dying on a door
Remains of the season of mirth and cheer
From the midst of the season of death and despair

But in the south
The glorious south
The soil is prepared
The whitest chalk in the straightest lines
The maple and the ash
The leather
The rosin
The reddest of thread
Stitched twice all around the orb

Rejuvenation lurks!

But from now
Until that day
When givers and takers return to their fields
We have hope
For a man both strong and agile
Prince of the Chesapeake
But for just one spin ‘round the sun
The young flame coveted
Shall not depart
Maybe for like Franklyn Kilome or something, IDK

Do you all think the end needs work? Maybe a little.

Continue reading…

Tommy Hunter and the 8 Man Bullpen

Another day, another reliever contract for the Phillies. Yesterday the Phillies reportedly agreed to a 2 year $18M deal with free agent right hander Tommy Hunter.  The 31 year old Hunter has been an effective reliever for many year, but last year went to a new level with the Tampa Bay Rays as his strikeout rate shot up. Hunter started throwing his fastball less and harder while at the same time throwing more of his cutter which was around 94 instead of it’s previous 90. With his K% up over 10% on 2016, Hunter was able to post a 2.61 ERA on the season.

Hunter on his own is a solid addition. He isn’t a closer, and he probably isn’t a set up guy for the Phillies, but he should give Gabe Kapler another mid innings arm. This brings us to something that Matt Gelb mentioned yesterday. The Phillies are strongly thinking about going with an 8 man bullpen. In general I am opposed to 8 man bullpens because they leave a team’s bench a bit thin, but in this case the Phillies’ personnel was already leaning heavy towards this strategy. Continue reading…

Phillies Bring Back Pat Neshek and Other Winter Meeting Rumblings

The big news in the baseball world over the past few days is the Phillies bringing back right handed reliever Pat Neshek on what is reportedly a 2 year $16M deal with a team option for a 3rd year. Neshek was the Phillies lone All-Star last year before being traded to Colorado for Jose Gomez, J.D. Hammer, and Alejandro Requena at the deadline. Between the two teams Neshek pitched 62.1 innings with a 1.59 ERA. This deal covers Neshek’s age 37 and 38 seasons, but he has also been very good into his 30s which alleviates some of the concerns. The Phillies won’t be counting on Neshek to repeat his 2017 season, nor are they getting him to be their closer, but the move helps stabilize a Phillies bullpen on the rise. Neshek will rejoin the bullpen core of Hector Neris and Edubray Ramos as well as 2017 breakouts Adam Morgan and Luis Garcia. As of right now it looks like Hoby Milner will join them with the last spot either being filled with another FA acquisition or an internal option like Victor Arano, Yacksel Rios, Ricardo Pinto, or any other starter moving to the bullpen. It isn’t an elite level bullpen, but if Garcia and Morgan can repeat their 2017 seasons, it has the upside to be very good. This might end up a bit of a monetary overpay, but Neshek was very good last year and liked his time with the Phillies, and even if it goes south the Phillies have solidified up the late innings. Continue reading…

MLB Non-Tender Deadline

By 8pm ET today teams must choose whether to tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players (and pre-arbitration eligible players). For some teams today is about what they can afford to keep on their roster, but the Phillies only have Odubel Herrera on their roster with a guaranteed contract. This means today is about the 40 man roster and what players the Phillies want to make some level of commitment to. Here are the players affected by today’s decisions as well as MLBTradeRumor’s estimated arbitration salary.

  • Freddy Galvis – $7.4M (Arb 3)
  • Cesar Hernandez – $4.7M (Arb 2, Super 2)
  • Cameron Rupp – $2.1M (Arb 1)
  • Luis Garcia – $1.4M (Arb 1)
  • Maikel Franco – $3.6M (Arb 1, Super 2)

Continue reading…