Bill BaerBill Baer

Recent articles by Bill Baer

 

Chase Utley’s All-Star Performance A Rare Feat by A Phillie

Chase Utley doubled in the National League’s first run of the game in the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field on Tuesday night. Utley ripped a Jon Lester fastball that bounced high off of the fence in right-center — a home run in many other ballparks — to score Aramis Ramirez, cutting the American League’s
Continue reading…

 

Just How Bad Is Ryan Howard?

Lately, we have been getting feedback that we have been too lenient on Ryan Howard‘s performance over the last few years. We give him a pass far too often, they say. Sometimes, they just want to stop by the blog and see the guy torn to pieces. Your feedback has been taken into consideration. I present
Continue reading…

 

Looking Ahead to Domonic Brown’s Second Half

Back on June 13, I put up a quick poll to get a feel for what fans expected of Domonic Brown in terms of weighted on-base average (wOBA) going forward. I had a bit of an ulterior motive because I expected that the responses would skew negative (though less negative than that of the general
Continue reading…

 

Kyle Kendrick Has Had Some First-Inning Issues

Jayson Werth‘s three-run home run in the first inning off of Kyle Kendrick in Sunday’s first-half finale was about the most predictable thing that could have happened. Kendrick entered the game having allowed 21 earned runs in 18 first innings. At the end of the first ion Sunday, his opening frame ERA was an ugly
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Should Consider Bringing Randy Wolf Back

Former Phillie Randy Wolf opted out of his minor league contract with the Orioles on Sunday and will be looking to join his fifth different organization this season in an attempt to prolong his playing career. Wolf made a handful of appearances for the Marlins, his first stint back in the majors since 2012, earlier
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Call Up Grady Sizemore from Triple-A

With the All-Star break just three days away, the Phillies decided to add an extra outfielder to the roster. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Grady Sizemore has been called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies signed Sizemore to a minor league deal back on June 24 after he was let go by the Boston
Continue reading…

 

Reports of Jonathan Papelbon’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated?

Early in the season, I wrote several blog posts discussing Jonathan Papelbon‘s waning velocity and tumbling strikeout rate, but all the right-hander has done over the first half of the season is pitch lights out. Despite missing out on a nomination to the National League All-Star team, Papelbon has been among the game’s best closers. Following last
Continue reading…

 

Ben Revere Has Turned His Season Around

When the Phillies lost the final two games of a three-game set in Cincinnati and returned home on June 10, Ben Revere was not well-liked among Phillies fans. He was hitting a meager .282 and had made a number of poor defensive plays in center field, leading to the pitching staff giving up unnecessary amounts
Continue reading…

 

Offense to Blame for Phillies’ 3-13 Skid

If there was any doubt that the Phillies were out of contention before embarking on a ten-game road trip, it has been erased as the Phillies dropped two of three to the Marlins in Miami and were just swept out of Pittsburgh by the Pirates. Since sweeping the Braves in Atlanta and taking the first
Continue reading…

 

Chase Utley Is the Phillies’ Only All-Star

The All-Star rosters were unveiled this evening on ESPN. The 37-51 Phillies will have only one representative at the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota: second baseman Chase Utley, who will start for the National League. Outfielder Marlon Byrd and starter Cole Hamels were other worthy candidates to make the roster as reserves,
Continue reading…

 

Ryan Howard Isn’t Providing Many Fireworks

Billy Hamilton. Jose Reyes. Alcides Escobar. Dee Gordon. Erick Aybar. These are a few of the names that have slugging percentages similar to or better than first baseman Ryan Howard. Howard hasn’t homered since June 19, two weeks ago. At .401, Howard is one more poor game away from watching his slugging percentage dip below .400.
Continue reading…

 

Don’t Give Up On Domonic Brown

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the sentiment among some Phillies fans that the club missed on Brandon Moss, who was briefly in the organization at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. I did the same with Jason Grilli last year. It’s tough to see marginal players pass through your fingertips only to go onto major success
Continue reading…

 

Ruben Amaro Doesn’t Want to Rebuild, Either

Earlier, I discussed how president David Montgomery feared going into a full rebuild because attendance could fall, even though it’s already been falling and will continue to fall until the team gets better. The Phillies’ brass must be sending out the big guns in an attempt to sway public sentiment, as GM Ruben Amaro joined
Continue reading…

 

David Montgomery Doesn’t Want to Rebuild Because Attendance Will Fall

One of the items I wrote about over the weekend at HardballTalk involved Phillies president David Montgomery and his reluctance to rebuild. Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier Times reported that Montgomery worries about falling attendance when considering blowing up the team.

 

Phillies First-Half Report Card

With the conclusion of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies reached the halfway point of the season. They stood 36-45, good for last place in the NL East and on pace for 90 losses. If they continue on their current path, 2014 will be their first 90-loss season since 2000, when they
Continue reading…

 

Jake Diekman Should Not Be the “Eighth-Inning Guy”

Reliever Jake Diekman ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning of last night’s eventual 14-inning victory over the Miami Marlins. The lefty started the inning and Marlins manager Mike Redmond opted to have the right-handed Reed Johnson pinch-hit for reliever Bryan Morris. Johnson would eventually fly out to right field. The Marlins’
Continue reading…

 

Domonic Brown Has Not Had A Good Time in Left Field

Left fielder Domonic Brown made another blunder in Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. With two outs and runners on first and second, Marcell Ozuna hit a line drive to Brown in left. Brown misjudged the ball and it sailed over his head, allowing one run to score. Another two would score immediately
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Sign Grady Sizemore to a Minor League Deal

Via MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki: The Phillies have signed OF Grady Sizemore to a minor league contract. He will report to Lehigh Valley (AAA) on Thursday. — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 24, 2014

 

Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

After winning back a ton of good will from fans with a five-game winning streak to begin a seven-game road trip, the Phillies dropped the final two games in St. Louis against the Cardinals, then came back to begin an eight-game homestand and were promptly shut out by the Miami Marlins for the tenth time
Continue reading…

 

Report: With Deadline on Horizon, Phillies Aggressive on Scouting Front

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies have been among the “most aggressive” in scouting other teams’ minor league systems as well as their parent teams. He adds that Cole Hamels is available. His full Phillies-centric blurb in the column:

 

Phillies Win Fourth in a Row, Adding Intrigue to NL East Race

Behind seven and two-thirds strong innings from David Buchanan in Thursday night’s series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phillies won their fourth consecutive game, gaining ground on the first-place Washington Nationals in a packed NL East. Ryan Howard homered and drove in three runs and Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 17th save with
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Bullpen Much Improved Lately

On Monday against the Atlanta Braves, Jonathan Papelbon blew his second save and reliever Justin De Fratus was inches away from allowing the game-winning run in the tenth inning. It’s a story we’ve seen countless times throughout the 2014 season, but it did not repeat itself — JDF was able to get an infield pop-up
Continue reading…

 

The Phillies’ Base Running Has Been Disastrous

John Mayberry, Jr. went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a three-run home run in Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the San Diego Padres. All in all, a pretty good day for him in what has been quite a productive season. Mayberry’s performance at the plate, particularly the home run which came in the seventh
Continue reading…

 

Quick Domonic Brown Poll

Domonic Brown currently has a .252 weighted on-base average, which now ranks as the third-worst among 167 qualified hitters in baseball. Jedd Gyorko is way down at .215, Brad Miller can be found at .248, and Zack Cozart has eked ahead of Brown at .253. The MLB average for non-pitchers is .318, and the MLB
Continue reading…

 

A Major League GM Can’t Tell the Difference Between Plate Appearances and At-Bats. Yep, it’s Ruben Amaro, Jr.

Over at The Good Phight, David S. Cohen wrote about something Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said while he was in the Phillies’ broadcast booth in yesterday’s series finale against the San Diego Padres. Speaking about Jimmy Rollins encroaching on Mike Schmidt‘s franchise hits record — Rollins is one hit away from tying him at
Continue reading…

 

John Mayberry, Jr. Quietly Having a Great Season

Outfielder John Mayberry, Jr. got the start at first base in place of Ryan Howard against San Diego Padres lefty Eric Stults in Thursday afternoon’s series finale. Mayberry, as he has done so often throughout his career, punished the southpaw along with his lefty mates in the bullpen. JMJ finished the day with a pair
Continue reading…

 

The Phillies Have to See Domonic Brown Through His Struggles

Domonic Brown‘s offensive futility continued last night as the outfielder went 0-for-3 with a walk against the San Diego Padres. His slash line fell to .211/.263/.312 and his weighted on-base average declined to .252. It’s the fourth-worst mark among all qualified hitters, ahead of only Jedd Gyorko (.215), Brad Miller (.242), and Zack Cozart (.251). The
Continue reading…

 

Cole Hamels in Danger of Being Overworked

Cole Hamels has been the definition of a workhorse throughout his Phillies career. He’s tossed 200-plus innings in five out of his last six seasons, and that sixth was 183 1/3 innings in 2007. In 2008, Hamels logged 227 1/3 innings along with an additional 35 in the playoffs. If there’s one player to whom
Continue reading…

 

Brandon Moss Wouldn’t Have Made A Difference for the Phillies

On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal wrote a column about Oakland Athletics 1B/OF Brandon Moss, who is having another fantastic season. Before joining the A’s before the 2012 season, Moss had jumped around several organizations, spending a majority of his time in the minor leagues. Through 2010, he had posted a .688 OPS in 743 plate appearances
Continue reading…

 

The Phillies Call Up Ken Giles from Triple-A

As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, the Phillies have placed reliever Mike Adams on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation of the right rotator cuff. As a result, the club is calling up Ken Giles from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

 

What’s Wrong with A.J. Burnett?

In April, following a short start lasting all of four and one-third innings against the Miami Marlins, A.J. Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If you’re squeamish, don’t look it up and just take my word that it’s a rather uncomfortable injury. Burnett said he could deal with the pain and discomfort and pitch
Continue reading…

 

The Phillies Are Loyal to A Fault

If there’s been one constant about the Phillies through the years, it’s that they’re a very loyal organization. Former players are often welcomed to stay with the organization in other roles. After being fired as the team’s manager towards the end of last season, Charlie Manuel agreed to become an advisor to GM Ruben Amaro, Jr.
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Demote Phillippe Aumont, Call Up Ethan Martin; Sign Jason Marquis

Some minor Phillies-related news from today:

 

For the Phillies, It’s Time to Sell

The Phillies lost, in excruciating fashion, the final game of a five-game home series with the New York Mets on Monday night. It was a competitive ballgame for a while, as the Phils trailed 1-0 going into the sixth, but Roberto Hernandez and Mario Hollands combined forces to allow a four-spot, and Jake Diekman and
Continue reading…

 

Phillies Bullpen Showing Improvement (At Least for a Few Days)

The Phillies are about to wrap up an obnoxious five-game series with the New York Mets, which has included back-to-back-to-back extra-inning affairs. A win tonight would help the Phlilies salvage the series at 2-3 instead of 1-4. At the moment, they’re 24-30, six games out of first place at the bottom of the NL East.
Continue reading…

 

Through Two Months, Roberto Hernandez Doing A Good Job

During the off-season, the Phillies made a low-risk signing of Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, to a one-year $4.5 million deal. The right-hander was coming off of an awful 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays in which he finished with a 4.89 ERA in 151 innings. Even in his seven seasons with the
Continue reading…

 

Play in Draftstreet.com’s $500 Pick ‘em League on Friday

Draftstreet.com is running a pick ‘em-style draft league on Friday. With a free entry, you could win a share of $500. Those who finish in the top 50 will be paid in vouchers. Click here to sign up for Friday’s competition at Draftstreet. Good luck!

 

Despite Walk-Off Homer, Ryan Howard Still Isn’t Back

Ending what at many points appeared to be another signed, sealed, and delivered frustrating loss for the Phillies, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard teamed up to hang a four-spot on the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the ninth inning. Howard blasted a walk-off three-run home run to left field off of lefty reliever Boone
Continue reading…

 

Ben Revere Homered

@everyword, take it away:

 

Josh Beckett’s No-Hitter Doesn’t Change Anything

As if the 2014 season couldn’t feel any worse, Los Angeles Dodgers starter Josh Beckett no-hit the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Even aside from the no-hitter, it was a frustrating game to watch, as Ben Revere went 0-for-4, Ryan Howard made a fielding error, Domonic Brown made a mental error, and A.J. Burnett was giving
Continue reading…

 

Ryne Sandberg Makes Questionable Choices for Friday’s Lineup

Generally, I try not to get worked up over the Phillies’ lineup on any given night. The batting order is unlikely to be the direct cause of a loss and even taken together over the course of a 162-game season, inefficient lineups may only cost the team a few games — not exactly nothing, but
Continue reading…

 

Phillies’ Middle Infield Among Most Productive in Baseball

The production of the Phillies’ middle infield has been no secret. Chase Utley has been the game’s best-hitting second baseman and is on his way to a sixth career All-Star Game if he can stay healthy. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has been resurgent after five consecutive years of mediocrity, chasing the Phillies’ franchise hits record. Both
Continue reading…

 

Middle Relief Remains An Issue for the Phillies

Tasked with keeping Wednesday night’s game close, the Phillies bullpen turned a 6-3 deficit into a 10-3 deficit which eventually turned into a 14-5 loss. It’s a story you’ve heard plenty of times already. Mario Hollands allowed an RBI single; Jeff Manship served up a grand slam to Marcell Ozuna; Luis Garcia, who hadn’t pitched
Continue reading…

 

“The Daily Show” Eviscerates Ryne Sandberg and the city of Philadelphia

In a bit discussing the various ways in which the human race could meet its bitter end, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart went through MERS and climate change before arriving at Phillies manager’s Ryne Sandberg‘s recent problem with Shake Shack during the team’s recent visit to Citi Field. Stewart, who is from New York and
Continue reading…

 

Cliff Lee Dealing with A Flexor Pronator Strain in His Left Elbow

The alarming news from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: It’s a flexor pronator strain for Cliff Lee. Phillies doctors were alarmed enough to send him for MRI. Pitched for three weeks with it. — Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 20, 2014 Update (10:55 PM EST): Cliff Lee has been placed on the 15-day disabled list,
Continue reading…

 

What Are the Phillies Doing with Ben Revere?

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury just posted tonight’s starting lineup against the Miami Marlins, and someone was once again noticeably absent: Phillies at Miami tonight pic.twitter.com/RSrkbPB2sj — Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 20, 2014 For the fourth straight game, center fielder Ben Revere is not starting. Tony Gwynn, Jr. is playing center field in his stead.

 

Is Cliff Lee’s Waning Strikeout Rate A Cause for Concern?

Cliff Lee bounced back from a shaky first inning with six shutout innings to help the Phillies wrap up a series win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon. Lee appears on his way to another typical season, currently sitting on a 3.18 ERA with a 61-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

 

Despite Shutout, Friday’s Lineup Worked Well

Process, not results. It’s one of the tougher principles to keep in mind, especially as you’re watching your team fall into yet another slump. The Phillies were shut out 3-0 for the second consecutive game on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds and now have not scored since the seventh inning on Tuesday. It’s the third
Continue reading…

 

Should the Phillies Go After Kyle Farnsworth?

Reliever Kyle Farnsworth was released by the New York Mets last night, as Wednesday was the deadline on his advance consent agreement, which allowed the Mets to pay him for 45 days as opposed to a full season. The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been nearly as bad as the Phillies’, but it has been in a
Continue reading…

 

Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

The Phillies were swept in a short two-game series by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or as the series has been more commonly referred to, “Mike Trout‘s Homecoming. Did you know that he is From Around Here? He lived in New Jersey and likes the Phillies and the Eagles. Maybe one day he can
Continue reading…