Bill BaerBill Baer

Recent articles by Bill Baer

 

Submit A Fan Scouting Report for the Phillies

Every year, Tom Tango enlists fans to submit their own defensive evaluations of the players they watch the most. It’s that time of year again, and he could use some more Phillies-related evaluations. Here’s what Tango is looking for: I want you to tell me what your eyes see. I want you to tell me
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Jerome Williams Proving to be A Good Find for the Phillies

Starter Jerome Williams dominated the San Diego Padres last night, holding them to just one unearned run over 7 2/3 innings en route to a 1-0 loss. The right-hander surrendered just three hits and walked two while striking out six. Now with seven starts as a Phillie under his belt, Williams sports a 2.84 ERA
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Come Back, Hunter Pence

In case you’ve wondered why posting has slowed to a crawl here lately, it’s because I’ve been battling the flu over the last few days. Not out of the woods yet. Enjoy some filler content in the meantime. This is a cheesy rap video involving former Phillie Hunter Pence and the #HunterPenceSigns hashtag that popped
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Cole Hamels Continues Dominating

Cole Hamels was on point once again, limiting the Miami Marlins (though Giancarlo Stanton-less) to one run over seven innings last night. He allowed nine hits and walked one while striking out six. As usual, though, the Phillies gave him little run support and didn’t get the win until Cody Asche broke a 1-1 tie
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Ryne Sandberg Has Over-Exerted the Starting Rotation

On Monday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, manager Ryne Sandberg allowed starter Kyle Kendrick to start the eighth inning despite already being at 111 pitches. Kendrick proceeded to allow three straight singles before exiting the game in what turned out to be a four-run inning.

 

Draftkings.com: $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest – Week 2 Only

Football season has started and DraftKings is running a $100,000 fantasy football contest for Week 2. You can enter for free with your first deposit. The entry fee is $2 for everyone else. The top 11,500 will be paid, with the first place winner getting $10,000. The contest will start on Sunday, September 14th at
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What Got Into the Phillies’ Bullpen?

Ken Giles, obviously. But the Phillies’ bullpen overall, even excluding Giles, has been much improved following a rough start to the season. There has been a lot of turnover, as Jeff Manship, B.J. Rosenberg, and Phillippe Aumont have been eschewed. Meanwhile, Justin De Fratus has come on strong and Jake Diekman has been on the
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Phillies Unveil 2015 Schedule

It’s never too early to start thinking about next season. The Phillies have released their schedule for the 2015 season here. Let’s pick out some of the interesting parts.

 

Must-Click Link: Ben Revere’s Plate Discipline

Justin Schultz of Beyond the Box Score published a column yesterday examining Ben Revere‘s misleading walk rate. Revere has the lowest walk rate in baseball at 2.2 percent and much as been made of it, even though Revere ranks among the league leaders in hitting and owns an above-average on-base percentage.

 

On the Idea of Trading Ben Revere

Over at NJ.com, Gary Silvers suggests the Phillies ought to consider trading center fielder Ben Revere during the off-season while his value is high, particularly if he winds up winning the National League batting title. Silvers runs down what Revere doesn’t do well, and adds that the Phillies may get a useful player or two
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The Race to the Bottom

The Phillies’ recent hot streak, in which they have won nine of 13 games, has them tenuously close to falling out of the bottom-ten in the overall standings. At 64-75, they have the ninth-worst record in baseball, just ahead of the 66-74 New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds. They’re on pace to finish 75-87.

 

Ben Revere On Pace For A Phillies First

It’s September 3 and center fielder Ben Revere is batting .311 with 42 stolen bases. With eight more bags, and holding his .300-plus batting average through the end of the season — which, if he gets 100 more at-bats, would require him to bat .230 or worse — Revere could become the first Phillie to bat
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Cole Hamels, Bullpen Combine For A No-Hitter

The Phillies celebrated Labor Day in style on Monday, as Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon combined to toss nine no-hit innings against the Atlanta Braves. Hamels battled spotty control, walking five, but the Braves weren’t able to hit him very hard when he was in the strike zone. It’s no surprise
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Phillies Trade John Mayberry, Jr. to the Blue Jays

Take it away, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer: John Mayberry Jr. was traded to Toronto. A third baseman named Gustavo Pierre is the return. — Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 1, 2014

 

Jimmy Rollins Has Quietly Had A Good Season

A look at his meager .242 batting average, unexciting .324 on-base percentage, and a sub-.400 slugging percentage and it’s easy to conclude that Jimmy Rollins has had a mediocre season. Even by adjusted OPS, of which Rollins has an even 100, he’s simply average. If we go a little deeper, though, and use a better
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Analyzing Domonic Brown’s Base Running Gaffe

The Phillies swept the Washington Nationals out of Philadelphia with an easy 8-4 victory last night, making them winners of six of their last seven games. Though the Phillies pounded out 15 hits, three of which were home runs, the game wasn’t without mistakes. One of those mistakes occurred in the bottom of the sixth
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Ryan Howard Could Have One of the Worst 100 RBI Seasons Ever

On Saturday night’s broadcast of the Cardinals-Phillies game, Mike Schmidt said (paraphrasing) that you can’t get to 100 RBI and have a bad season. In the eighth inning, as if the baseball gods wanted to put on a live demonstration of teammates’ effect on a hitter’s RBI total, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley hit consecutive
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In A World Without Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels A Cy Young Candidate

It’s Clayton Kershaw‘s world; Cole Hamels is just living in it. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ lefty seems well on his way to a third career National League Cy Young award, leading the league with 15 wins, a 1.82 ERA, six complete games, a 0.83 WHIP, a 32 percent strikeout rate, a 195 adjusted ERA, an
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Ruben Amaro Given A Vote of Confidence

MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Erik Bacharach, and Greg Johns report that Phillies president David Montgomery said that GM Ruben Amaro “is not on the hot seat” at the Baseball 101 Clinic and Luncheon for Women at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.

 

Ken Giles Has Emerged As A Top-Shelf Reliever

Before Ken Giles‘ mid-June call up to the Major Leagues — after throwing all of 13 2/3 innings in his first taste of Triple-A competition — some space was devoted here to urging caution and patience with the talented right-hander. It was not misguided, as Giles was displaying control problems reminiscent of Phillippe Aumont. He
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DraftKings.com: $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest – Week 1 Only

Football season is nearly upon us, and DraftKings is running a $100,000 fantasy football contest, but only for Week 1. You can enter for free with your first deposit. The entry fee is $2 for everyone else. The top 11,500 will be paid, with the first place winner getting $10,000. The contest will start on
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Phillies Might Bring Grady Sizemore Back in 2015

Over the weekend, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported that outfielder Grady Sizemore may be back in Phillies red for the 2015 season. The 32-year-old, oft-injured outfielder has performed well for the Phillies after struggling with the Boston Red Sox, with which he started the season.

 

Phillies Acquire Jesmuel Valentin from the Dodgers

MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki with the report: The Phillies acquire Class A 2B Jesmuel Valentin as first player to be named later in Roberto Hernandez trade with LAD. — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 17, 2014

 

There Are 41 Games Left, and the Phillies Need Information

Tonight, the Phillies open up a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco. With a 53-68 record and 11 games out of the second wild card, the season is realistically over and has been for quite some time. The journey that has left them 15 games under .500 hasn’t been entirely fruitless, however. The
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Adding A Bit of Character into Analysis

For a while, most Sabermetric analysis was very cold and impersonal. Lots of column-sorting in Excel, tabbing through pages in the web browser, and querying databases. The evolution of Sabermetrics has made it simple for a casual fan, a die-hard, and your cadre of baseball writers to criticize and compare your favorite (or least favorite)
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Phillies Claim Jerome Williams off of Waivers

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that the Phillies claimed pitcher Jerome Williams off of waivers from the Texas Rangers. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Phillies are sending $20,000 to the Rangers as compensation. To make room for Williams on the roster, the club designated Sean O’Sullivan for
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Ryan Howard’s Top Five Biggest Home Runs

Last night, with the Phillies trailing the Astros 5-2, first baseman Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead grand slam off of lefty reliever Tony Sipp. The FanGraphs win expectancy chart illustrates just how important the home run was:

 

Antonio Bastardo Has A Point

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News posted a column yesterday with a few rather revealing quotes from reliever Antonio Bastardo. The lefty was placed on revocable waivers by the team on Monday after failing to move him by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Bastardo said a trade would be good for him.

 

Phillies trade Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer with the report: Roberto Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers for two PTBNL. — Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 7, 2014

 

Report: Cole Hamels, Marlon Byrd Claimed on Waivers

It’s news, though not exactly surprising news. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Phillies ace Cole Hamels and right fielder Marlon Byrd have been claimed by separate, unidentified teams on revocable waivers. Closer Jonathan Papelbon cleared waivers.

 

Two Months Later, Roberto Hernandez Still Getting It Done

At the end of May, I took stock of starter Roberto Hernandez‘s performance. He had, to that point, compiled a 3.76 ERA over 12 starts. In the four starts after that, he struggled, ballooning his ERA to 4.52, but he was the least of the Phillies’ concerns at the time. Since then, in his last
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What to Watch for in the Final Two Months

The Phillies are enjoying a much-needed day off today, after having been dominated by Nationals pitching over the weekend. They were shut out in each of their last two games and haven’t scored since the sixth inning of Friday’s 2-1 win. They’re 49-63, tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the third-worst record in the National League.
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The Latest in A Sad Chapter of Phillies Baseball

There was a reason why your parents lied about sending the family dog to a farm upstate. In ignorance, a comfortable lie is always better than the cold, hard reality. Better to deal with a temporarily nonplussed child who believes his dog will play fetch into eternity than an inconsolable child who just lost an irreplaceable best
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Ruben Amaro Explains the Phillies’ Inactivity

The Phillies didn’t do anything leading up to today’s 4 PM ET trade deadline. GM Ruben Amaro blamed other general managers.

 

A Rundown of the Phillies’ Activity at the Trade Deadline

 

The Strangest Ryan Howard Development Yet

11 years into Ryan Howard‘s tenure as a major league ballplayer in Philadelphia, we sometimes think we’ve heard it all with him — the highs and the lows. Home run streaks, home run droughts; dominance and struggles against certain pitchers; success and failure against teams or in specific ballparks. But with nearly 1,300 career games
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All Quiet on the Trade Front for the Phillies

Just like last year, the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching and the Phillies are standing motionless, arms akimbo, a plethora of marketable assets to either side. GM Ruben Amaro could have gotten value out of soon-to-be free agent Carlos Ruiz, third baseman Michael Young, outfielder Delmon Young, reliever Mike Adams, and bench
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Roy Halladay Expresses His Feelings for Chase Utley on Twitter

Roy Halladay joined Twitter a few months ago and has quickly become a must-follow. Not only because it gives us access to a former Phillie, but because he’s often unintentionally hilarious and takes the time to interact with his haters. On Tuesday afternoon, while people were clamoring over the Chase Headley trade, Halladay decided to
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DraftKings Is Giving You A Free Entry with Your First Deposit and a Chance to Win $100,000

Check out DraftKings.com and make a deposit to gain a free entry for a chance to play in Tuesday’s $400,000 midsummer classic. Top places gain free entry into the contest. The winner of the midsummer classic will take home $100,000. The entry fee is normally $2, but if you’re making a first-time deposit, your entry
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Cole Hamels Is on His Way to Phillies Immortality

Cole Hamels has been bandied about in trade rumors, despite having signed a six-year, $144 million contract extension with the Phillies nearly two years ago to this date. The Phillies’ future is looking bleak, and their other trade chips aren’t expected to bring in a franchise-altering haul. Hamels, on the other hand, could bring that kind
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,
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