Mackanin Was Right To Leave Giles In The Game

Earlier this morning, Bill Baer wrote about his concerns that Ken Giles‘ 38-pitch outing last night was a sign the Phillies will continue to abuse the arms of their high leverage relievers despite the departure of manager Ryne Sandberg. I agree whole-heartedly that the management of Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman this season has been alarming at best and gross negligence at worst. That said, I’m not willing to lump last night into this trend of abuse. In fact, leaving Giles in may very well have been the right decision by interim manager Pete Mackanin.

Entering last night’s game, De Fratus had five relief outings this season of 40+ pitches and Diekman had two such appearances. If these heavy workloads were the result of marathon extra innings games, they might be excusable, but all of these outings occurred before the 9th inning. The outcry regarding this usage is that Sandberg took two arms that have the potential to be high leverage bullpen arms and forced them into long reliever roles that ought to be reserved for middle relievers who once carried starter workloads, namely Dustin McGowan and Jeanmar Gomez. This is irresponsible bullpen management that could very conceivably have negative short-term and/or long-term on the careers of Diekman and De Fratus. But this is not what happened last night.

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The Spirit of Ryne Sandberg Lives On

If there was one hope that came with Ryne Sandberg‘s resignation, it was that the Phillies would finally stop unnecessarily taxing the arms of their best, young relievers. It’s been a constant topic of consternation here, but because it’s an easily-preventable mistake that left unnoticed could chip into the progress the organization has made in its rebuilding effort.

Ken Giles was the latest victim of the Phillies’ taxation scheme, tossing 38 pitches in a miserable eighth inning, resulting in a 4-3 loss to the Brewers. The loss, of course, is immaterial.

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Phillies Announce Hiring of Andy MacPhail, Hope Abounds

Earlier this afternoon, the Phillies invited the media to another press conference. This time, everyone was well-informed and the subject was one of positivity rather than one of loss and disappointment. With part-owner John Middleton to his right and current team president Pat Gillick to his left, Andy MacPhail faced the Philadelphia media as he was introduced as Gillick’s successor.

As expected, MacPhail will take over for the retiring Gillick as team president at the end of the season. He’ll use the remaining three months of the season to get his feet wet within the organization, “to learn” — his phrasing, in opposition to “to evaluate” — about the players and the front office personnel. MacPhail was asked specifically about the fate of GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., but he neglected to address that particular subject.

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Baumann: Sweating Off the Hangover in Philly

Baumann: Sweating Off the Hangover in Philly

Crashburn alum Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) has been on the college baseball circuit lately along with his usual duties at ESPN’s Grantland, where he covers major league baseball at large. It is our privilege that he got to cover the Phillies for his latest column, a must-read titled “Sweating Off the Hangover in Philly.” Use the link above to read it. It’s some of the best writing you’ll read all year.

Ben Revere Quietly on His Way to a Career Year

Pretend you didn’t read the title. Who, among hitters to have come to the plate at least 170 times entering Sunday’s action, leads the Phillies in weighted on-base average? Who is the only Phillie to reach double-digits in stolen bases (and is doing so with an 82 percent success rate)? Who leads Phillies position players in Wins Above Replacement, according to both Baseball Reference and FanGraphs? Who is tied for the major league lead in triples with six?

All right, cheaters, you win. It’s Ben Revere.

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Ben Revere’s Quote about Ryne Sandberg Is Damning

Ryne Sandberg‘s resignation as manager of the Phillies yesterday took everyone by surprise, including his players. In fact, new interim manager Pete Mackanin suggested not even Sandberg’s wife knew he was considering stepping down. Needless to say, the Phillies were still processing the news when they had to speak to the media about the situation yesterday.

No one had anything particularly new to add except for outfielder Ben Revere. And what he had to say is pretty damning about Sandberg’s tenure with the Phillies. Via CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury:

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Things Get Worse for Domonic Brown

Things haven’t been going well for Domonic Brown since he was brought up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 14. In 11 games, he’s batting .179/.304/.256 in 46 plate appearances. He did drive in a run with a double in the seventh inning last night to break up Max Scherzer‘s shutout and end the Nationals’ collective streak of 48 scoreless innings compiled by starting pitching. But that’s been about the only bright spot for him thus far.

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Ryne Sandberg Has Resigned as Phillies’ Manager

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg announced, sitting beside team president Pat Gillick and GM Ruben Amaro in the press room at Citizens Bank Park, announced that he is resigning as the Phillies’ manager. The Phillies hastily called a press conference at 3:30 PM EST with about a half hour of lead time.

Pete Mackanin will serve as the club’s interim manager.

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Jon Lester Would Like to See Jonathan Papelbon Join the Cubs

CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports that Cubs starter Jon Lester has kept in touch with former teammate Jonathan Papelbon and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to having the closer join his team. Lester and Papelbon were teammates on the Boston Red Sox from 2006-11, winning one championship together.

“I know he would be excited to come here, and be excited to help,” Lester said. The Cubs are 39-32, 8.5 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. The club has been less-than-thrilled with Hector Rondon in the closer’s role despite his 2.35 ERA and 12-for-15 success rate converting saves. In the month of June, Rondon has gotten three saves while Jason Motte has two and Pedro Strop one, in what has been — more or less — a bullpen-by-committee. Needless to say, Papelbon would solve their closing issue quickly.

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No, the Phillies Aren’t Gaming Chase Utley’s Vesting Option

Second baseman Chase Utley hit the disabled list on Wednesday due to inflammation in his right ankle. The 36-year-old was slow to start during spring training due to an ankle issue as well, so the injury doesn’t come out of left field.

Riding the pine is a big deal for Utley, as he has $15 million options for each of the 2016-18 seasons which vest with 500 plate appearances in the preceding season. He’s currently at 249. He’ll be eligible to come off the disabled list on July 7, which would be the Phillies’ 86th game. Using his rate of playing time prior to the injury, he would be on pace to finish the season with 469 plate appearances, leaving him 31 PA shy of achieving his vesting option.

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