mattwinkelmanMatt Winkelman

Recent articles by mattwinkelman

 

Crash Bag #7: What Are The Questions We Should Be Asking?

@JimClemmens: Why has everyone seemed to forget or ignore jesmuel valentin’s domestic violence history? I appreciate you asking this question, it is an important question to ask. I think on a basic level not many people know about it. For those without context, in April 2015 Jesmuel Valentin was arrested for domestic battery in an incident
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Differences in Sustainability: The 2018 and 2016 Phillies

The 2018 Phillies are currently 24-16, they have the second best record in both the NL East and the NL in general. This isn’t the first time the Phillies have gotten off to a hot start in the rebuild era. Leaving the day on May 18, 2016 the Phillies were 24-17, with the second best
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With the Promotion of Seranthony Dominguez the Phillies Are Sticking to Preseason Clichés

This spring the Phillies ran out a PR campaign around Kapler’s focus on “Value at the Margins” and #BeBold. For the most part the Phillies have been a pretty conventional sabermetrically inclines org. That is bold for baseball in this town. Outside Kingery starting in the majors, there hasn’t been any big personnel shakeups this
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Yacksel Rios Has Continued To Grow In His Major League Time

Yacksel Rios has been in the Phillies system for a long time for a player dancing on the outside of being an actual prospect. The Phillies drafted him at 17 out of a Puerto Rican high school in 2011. He didn’t reach full season ball until 2014, and was still starting sometimes all the way
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Crawford to the DL Opens Up Playing Time At a High Cost

Over the weekend, J.P. Crawford made a relay throw and lost feeling in his arm. For now he is on the disabled list with a forearm strain. We should know in the next few days how long Crawford will be out for. For now Scott Kingery will be the starting shortstop and Maikel Franco will
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Ben Lively to the DL as Shaky #5 SP Spot Becomes Shakier

It was not long after he got done pitching batting practice to the Arizona Diamondbacks that Ben Lively mentioned that his back was tight, and he just wasn’t feeling right. Given the lack of urgency to this after the game, it was a slight surprise that Lively ended up immediately on the disabled list. To
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Luis Garcia Has Become the Phillies Bullpen Workhorse

Luis Garcia was a great story back in 2013. He was a 26 year old who had been out of affiliated baseball for 2 full seasons, had barely pitched above low-A, and was working as a barber. After destroying three levels of the Phillies’ system, Garcia reached the majors in July. He had a hard
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With the Rotation Doing Fine, The Phillies Need To Reevaluate Their Bullpen

The Phillies starting rotation has not been dominant this season on a whole. They have had a few dominant starts, like Jake Arrieta last night, but they haven’t been truly lights out, especially when you account for their level of competition. Their starters have the 5th best ERA in baseball at 3.14, but once again
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Phillies Need to Continue Feasting On Bad Teams In Weak Early Schedule

After a 1-4 start to the season, the Phillies have won 8 of their last 9 games. At 9-5 they have one of the best records in baseball, but I don’t think anyone would argue that they are one of the best teams in baseball. After 14 games of the season it seems a bit
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Crash Bag #6: The Young Guys Might be Fine

Sorry for not writing much. I don’t have any excuses, so here is your questions answered. @andrewrnnier: Can they continue to find at bats for everyone/does the early success of Cesar make him more appealing in a trade thereby freeing up regular at bats for kingery @andrewrnnier: I guess the better question should have been, given
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The Phillies Aren’t Hitting Relievers

The Phillies are currently 3-5 and coming off a bit of a downer of a 3rd game in their series with the Marlins. In the final game of the series the Phillies repeated a pattern that they have had in many of their games this season. After scoring three runs early in the game, the
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The Many Sides of Pulling Aaron Nola Early

There has been a lot written and said angrily about Gabe Kapler pulling Aaron Nola after 68 pitches in the 6th inning of Opening Day against the Braves. I took a side yesterday, it turned out to not be the reason the Phillies used, and of course the bullpen gave up a bunch of runs
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Crashburn Alley’s 2018 Predictions

The 2018 season kicks off today. The Phillies have high expectations relative the past few years, but they aren’t the only team with high expectations. Once again the members of the Crashburn Alley staff has put together their predictions for standings, awards and other things. Participating this year: Matt Winkelman Brad Engler Adam Dembowitz Michael
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In Signing Scott Kingery the Phillies Show the Complicated Process of Building a Young Core

On Sunday, the Phillies announced both that Scott Kingery would be on the opening day roster and that they had agreed to a 6 year deal with 3 options years. There is a lot going on in that statement, both for the Phillies and Scott as baseball entities, and for the two of them as
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Crash Bag #5: Investing in Prospects

Did you know the Phillies signed Jake Arrieta this week, because they did. It means there are no questions this week about whether the Phillies should sign Jake Arrieta. Instead this week I go on a tangent about paying minor leaguers. Also look for exciting site developments next week. @andrew_pantano: What would be the first
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Jerad Eickhoff Out For 6-8 Weeks With Lat Injury

It has been less than a week since the Phillies made a major rotation upgrade, and already there are chinks in the solidified pitching staff. Eickhoff out 6 to 8 weeks w lat strain. — Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) March 16, 2018 This is a bigger blow for long term implications that it is for the
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Phillies DFA Tommy Joseph, Hopefully Give Him an Opportunity Elsewhere

After signing Jake Arrieta the Phillies were forced to remove a player from the 40 man roster, and rather than looking at one of their marginal relievers, the Phillies decided they had reached the end of the road with first baseman Tommy Joseph. It is a bittersweet moment for the player and the organization. Joseph
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Phillies Reportedly Sign Jake Arrieta

According to all of the writers on the internet, the Phillies are signing right handed pitcher Jake Arrieta for 3 years and $75 million. At times this move felt needed or inevitable for the Phillies, but they constantly stuck to their terms on making any deal for a free agent pitcher. Up until the middle
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Crash Bag Volume #3: A Spring Training Lightning Round

None of the questions this week had deep answers needed, so I just answered them all. A big thank you to everyone who applied to write here. I will get back to you this weekend, and for the rest of you I am excited about some of the new voices we may add to the
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Quick Thoughts on Outfield Shifts

Today for the second time this Spring Training, the Phillies had their left and right fielders swap. As Matt Gelb wrote last week, the Phillies are looking to be more aggressive with their outfield shifts. Positioning players to be deeper or shallow based on game situation (outs, batter, pitcher, count, and potentially a lot of
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Crashburn Alley is Looking For New Writers

If you haven’t noticed, there is baseball in the world once again. As the writers here at Crashburn are gearing up for the season, we are looking to add more writers to the site. The goal of Crashburn Alley is not to publish game recaps or regurgitate the news of the day. It was founded
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Crash Bag Volume #2: The Third Base Problem

There is currently a baseball game playing on a screen in front of me. We are still 5 weeks from opening day, thus we enter a time of questions and praying for health. @KRAM209: It seems like the Phillies have had trouble finding 3B prospects of late.  Why?  What do you think they should do
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola‘s arm injury in 2016 might have been the low point of the Phillies’ rebuild. Nola was supposed to be the sure thing in the rebuild, a command oriented middle of the rotation arm advanced beyond his years. After an offseason of worry, things did not get off to a good start. A back
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Monday Round Table (2/19): Spring Training Is Here

Today is the first day of full squad workouts in Clearwater. That means the winter is over and baseball can begin, or at least something like that. With that in mind I asked the writers for some roster predictions and other questions heading into a week of stretching and drills. Who will be the Phillies
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Crash Bag S2018 Volume #1: Baseball Is Back

In just under a week the Phillies will be playing their first baseball game of the year as they try to not lose to a bunch of college students. Until then it is time for fuzzy pictures of players stretching, worry about the state of the rotation, and apparently a picture of my cat. @DaleACooke:
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The Phillies Need to Acquire Another Starting Pitcher

Yu Darvish just received a 6 year contract from the Cubs. Darvish is the first of the major free agent starting pitchers to sign, leaving Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn all currently unsigned. All three of them rejected their qualifying offers and with Darvish getting below anticipated market, but not dramatically so, they
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Hector Neris

In a 2016 bullpen marred by some blindingly bad performances, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez helped the Phillies the Phillies have a great win percentage in 1 run games. Gomez fell apart down the stretch, leaving Neris as the only reliable bullpen arm in the Phillies opening day bullpen. In 2017, Pete Mackanin made Jeanmar
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Bullpen Breakouts

I realize it has now been over a month since the last post here and posts were not frequent before that. I am still trying to figure out how to get everything done. With my prospect list finished I am going to doing a mad rush to finish out the report cards here before we
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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Crash Bag Vol. 44 – The Best Phillies Rotation

This week was a quiet one if you weren’t Jerry Dipoto despite it being the GM’s meetings. So with that, some questions. @MichaelStubel: You’re tasked with putting together a rotation comprised of Phillies starters from the post-integration era. Who makes the cut? I laid some rules for this exercise before starting. The pitcher had to
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Cameron Rupp

I don’t know whether it feels like Cameron Rupp has been around forever or just a little bit of time. the 2017 season marked, Rupp’s 5th in the majors, but he only played a combined 22 games in his first two seasons. What it does mean is that the 29 year old will enter the
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Crash Bag Vol. 42 – It Might be a Little Late

I have promised this Crash Bag a few times now. So I will just post the answers now and stop delaying. @mweintr: What are the chances the phillies go after Darvish this winter? 2 bad outings in WS? could get for a decent price tag? I think the chances continue to be low. Given that
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Vince Velasquez

When the Phillies traded Ken Giles to Houston in exchange for Vince Velasquez and other pieces, they were supposed to be acquiring a long term rotation piece. Within the first month of his 2016 season, it looked like they had actually acquired an ace. The rest of Velasquez’s year did not go to script, and
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The Cesar Hernandez Trade Problem

The Phillies have a log jam in the middle infield. They have J.P. Crawford at shortstop, Scott Kingery and Cesar Hernandez at second, and Freddy Galvis still hanging around. In reality the real log jam is just at second base. Cesar Hernandez has turned himself into a really good baseball player, and Scott Kingery has
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Jeremy Hellickson

In an ideal world for the Phillies, Jeremy Hellickson would have been on another team going into the 2017 season. However, the righty did not find the market he was looking for this offseason going off a solid 2016 campaign, and so returned to the Phillies on the qualifying offer tender of $17.2 million. For
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Michael Saunders

Before going into the 2016 offseason Pete Mackanin asked for the Phillies’ front office to get him a few bats to help out the young Phillies pitching staff. The two big spots of need were the two corner outfield positions. In 2016 Phillies right fielders hit .231/.291/.350 (70wRC+) and their left fielders hit .207/.278/.316 (59
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Andrew Knapp

2017 was the season of the rookie for the Phillies. The late season headlines were dominated by top prospects like Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams, but the first prospect up was forced into major league action by roster need. It is well documented that the Phillies had a roster crunch that forced them
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Pedro Florimon

Baseball is weird. Pedro Florimon made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles on September 10, 2011. Since then the Dominican infielder has appeared in 256 major league games and recorded 742 plate appearances. In that time he hit .200/.261/.297 with 2.4 WAR. Most of that came in 2013 when he hit .221/.281/.330 with great defense
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You Can’t Make a Unicorn by Putting a Horn on a Horse’s Head

Yesterday Phillies president Andy MacPhail sat down and answered questions about the Phillies rebuild and the direction the team would take going into the offseason. When asked about where they would go with pitching, MacPhail responded with this. Today Bob Brookover wrote a piece with this title “Phillies’ Andy MacPhail must not fear unicorns or
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2017 Phillies Report Card: Joaquin Benoit

The 2016 Phillies had the 3rd worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 5.05. The Phillies entered the offseason looking to provide some stability to the late innings and signed Joaquin Benoit to go along with earlier acquisition Pat Neshek. Whereas Neshek was coming off a subpar year, Benoit had just gotten off a great end
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Crash Bag Vol. 38: Pete Mackanin is No Longer the Manager

The Phillies fired Pete Mackanin today. It is a move that isn’t really surprising given that the team has fully transitioned from a rebuild into a straight build now. The Phillies have their offensive core in the majors now, they needs some pitchers and have the means to do so. It is an exciting time
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Hoby Milner and the Worst 20 Game Scoreless Streak Of the Past Decade

Hoby Milner is a great story for the Phillies. He was a 7th round pick in the 2012 draft and washed out as a starter. In 2016 they lowered his arm slot and he took off as a reliever. Despite their need for left handed relievers, the Phillies left him unprotected in the Rule 5
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Edubray Ramos is Becoming the RH Adam Morgan

I wrote a bit ago about what has become of Adam Morgan in the Phillies bullpen. The summary to all of it was that Morgan was throwing his fastball harder, he was throwing his fastball less, and he was dominating same side platoon splits. The newest pitcher to follow most of that model is Edubray
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Hoskins, BABIP, and Sustainability

The topic of Rhys Hoksins and sustainability is a big one, because no one believes he will hit 80 home runs a year, but they do want to know how real he is. Today The Athletic Philly wrote about Hoskins and sustainability and this set of paragraphs caught me. BABIP might be one of the
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The Phillies Youth Movement is In Full Swing

2 That is the number of players 30 years old or older on the Phillies’ active roster after Daniel Nava was moved to the 60 day DL. Those players are RHP Luis Garcia and IF Andres Blanco. Last night the oldest player to take the field for the Phillies was 28 year old Cameron Rupp.
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Phillies Claim Another Marginal LH Reliever

Even with the IronPigs ending their season yesterday, it appeared the Phillies were out of new additions to the 40 man roster this season. So when Jesen Therrien went down with a season ending arm injury it opened up a roster spot they likely weren’t planning on having. #Phillies have claimed LHP Zac Curtis off
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Crashbag Vol. 36: The Future Infield

Last night the minor league regular season ended, the IronPigs are still in playoffs and sending a AA rotation to the mound. Oh and the major league club has Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro up with Odubel Herrera back from injury. @totommit: Kingery’s K% has risen to 20.3% and BB% has
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