Who Are You Series Wrap-Up

For the past six weeks, we’ve been looking in depth at new members of the Phillies roster. In case you missed any of the profiles, here are handy links to all six of them:

OF – Peter Bourjos (link)
SP – Jeremy Hellickson (link)
SP – Charlie Morton (link)
SP/RP – Brett Oberholtzer (link)
SP/RP – Vincent Velasquez (link)
RP – David Hernandez (link)

Before tying a bow on this series, I will run down a few thoughts on the new members of the 40-man roster who didn’t warrant a full write-up either due to a lack of previous major league experience or questionable likelihood they will have a notable role for the 2016 Phillies. To close it out I’ll share a few final takeaways. Continue reading…

Who Are You: Brett Oberholtzer

This is part of an ongoing series profiling new members of the 2016 Phillies roster. Previous installments:

Jeremy Hellickson
Peter Bourjos
Charlie Morton
Vincent Velasquez
David Hernandez


Brett Oberholtzer – LHP
Born: 7/1/89 — entering age 26 season
Height: 6’1″, Weight: 225 lb.
2015 MLB: 38.1 IP, 4.46 ERA, 15.8 K%, 9.9 BB%, 91 ERA+
2015 AAA:  70.0 IP, 3.86 ERA, 17.9 K%, 4.1 BB%
MLB Career: 253.2 IP, 3.94 ERA, 15.3 K%, 5.3 BB%, 100 ERA+
Contract Status: pre-arb; 5 years of team control remaining

History

The most important thing you need to know about Brett Oberholtzer is he hails from the greatest state in the union. In 2007, he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 47th round after graduating from William Penn High School in New Castle, Delaware, but he opted to go on to junior college instead of signing. After a year at Seminole Community College, his draft stock soared and the Atlanta Braves took him in the eighth round of the 2008 draft.

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Phillies Acquire Taylor Featherston From Angels

UPDATE (2:56 PM): The Phillies designated Bobby LaFromboise for assignment in order to make room for Featherston on the 40-man roster. The Phillies claimed LaFromboise, a left-handed reliever, two weeks ago off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.


In case you need a reminder that not all Rule 5 selections turn out like Odubel Herrera, look no further than new Phillie Taylor Featherston. Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reported that the Phillies have acquired Featherston from the Angels today via trade.

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If #34 Could Talk: A Retrospective

Two things happened in the immediate aftermath of Brad Lidge striking out Eric Hinske on that magical October night in 2008: 1) Philadelphia sports fans all across the Delaware Valley, country, and world called the most important fellow Philadelphia sports fan in their lives (seriously, we still used phones to actually talk to other human beings way back in 2008) and 2) A collection of the select few men in this world who work while wearing red pinstripe uniforms streamed out of the dugout and bullpen onto the field at Citizens Bank Park.

Men in uniforms with numbers on the back you’ll never forget — Ryan Howard’s #6, Jimmy Rollins’ #11, Chase Utley’s #26, and Cole Hamels’ #35 — celebrated on television screens across the nation. You may also remember #5 (Pat Burrell), #8 (Shane Victorino), #28 (Jayson Werth), and #50 (Jamie Moyer). If you’re particularly taken with uniform numerology, you might even remember #10 (Geoff Jenkins), #27 (Chris Coste), or #55 (Clay Condrey) celebrating on the field. You will not, however, recall seeing an elated Phillie with a giant #34 emblazoned across his back that night. Uniform #34 would soon come to mean a great deal in Philadelphia, but not until the following summer.

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Who Are You: David Hernandez

This is part of an ongoing series profiling new members of the 2016 Phillies roster. Previous installments:

Jeremy Hellickson
Peter Bourjos
Charlie Morton
Vincent Velasquez


David Hernandez – RHP
Born: 5/13/85, entering age 31 season
Height: 6’3″, Weight: 245 lb.
2015: 1-5, 4.28 ERA, 33.2 IP,  22.9 K%, 7.6 BB%, 96 ERA+
Career: 25-35, 4.15 ERA, 414.1 IP, 23.2 K%, 9.8 BB%, 100 ERA+
Contract Status: 1-year/$3.9M

History

Drafted by the Orioles in the 16th round of the 2005 draft, David Hernandez came up through Baltimore’s system as a starting pitcher. His minor league numbers were rather ordinary — 28-27, 552.1 IP, 3.75 ERA, 9.8 BB% — except for a notably impressive strikeout rate of 27.1 percent. A successful start to the 2009 season in Triple-A led to Hernandez making his major league debut and, ultimately, starting 19 games that season for Baltimore.

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Phillies Trade Jesse Biddle to the Pirates

Update: The Phillies got pitcher Yoervis Medina in return for Biddle. Medina is 27 and has four years of team control remaining, meaning he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. The right-hander had a pair of solid years pitching out of the Mariners’ bullpen in 2013 and ’14, posting ERA’s of 2.91 and 2.68, respectively. However, Medina has struggled with command as his 12.4 career walk rate illustrates. He struggled immensely last season between the Mariners and Cubs, spending most of his season facing Triple-A competition. Medina will battle in spring training for a spot at the back of the Phillies’ bullpen.

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Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies have traded pitcher Jesse Biddle to the Pittsburgh Pirates for an as yet unknown return. Biddle had been designated for assignment earlier this week, which gave the club 10 days to trade, release, or waive the lefty.

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Phillies Unveil “New” Horrendous Uniforms

Today the Phillies unveiled a new uniform look they will be rolling out for six games during the 2016 season and, let’s not beat around the bush here, they’re bad. They’re really, really bad.

Before we get caught up in the ways the uniform is an unmitigated failure, let’s acknowledge the one thing the Phillies did right. They avoided what, for me, is the #1 worst uniform offense: inconsistency across looks. The worst offender in this category in recent history is the Padres who have an utterly bizarre and distracting penchant for using script logo on their home jerseys and a completely unconnected block lettering on their away jerseys. You know what a Red Sox uniform looks like or a Marlins uniform or an Athletics uniform, but the Padres look is an incoherent mashing of ideas.

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Phillies Claim LaFromboise, DFA Biddle

A bit of news from the Phillies as they continue working to finalize their spring roster in advance of pitchers and catchers reporting to camp (in less than three weeks!):

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Who Are You: Vincent Velasquez

This is part of an ongoing series profiling new members of the 2016 Phillies roster. Previous installments:

Jeremy Hellickson
Peter Bourjos
Charlie Morton


Vincent Velasquez – RHP
Born: 6/7/92, entering age 24 season
Height: 6’3″, Weight: 205 lb.
MiLB Career: 26-14, 3.28 ERA, 296.1 IP, 29.0 K%,  8.3 BB%
2015 MLB: 1-1, 4.37 ERA, 55.2 IP, 25.1 K%, 9.1 BB%
Contract Status: pre-arb; not arbitration eligible until 2019 at the earliest

History

If you’ve heard the hyperbolic scouting adage that all major leaguers were once shortstops, Vincent Velasquez is not the player you can go to as evidence to the contrary. An elbow injury kept Velasquez off the mound for the entirety of his junior year in high school and pushed him to shortstop. In his senior year, however, he returned to the mound and caught the attention of scouts with his low-90s fastball, impressive changeup, and developing curveball. The Houston Astros were impressed enough to take him in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft as the #58 overall pick.

Continue reading…