Since the beginning of October, we’ve been posting a report card for every player to don Phillies red pinstripes in 2013. At long last, the list has been exhausted. If you missed any of them, use the convenient list below. Each author name is a link to the column.
Mike Adams was one of the best relievers in baseball, closer or not, from 2008-11. The right-hander used an array of mid-90’s four-seam fastballs as well as a cutter to break bats and rack up the strikeouts. His control was also pristine, allowing him to post strikeout-to-walk ratios in excess of five-to-one twice, in 2009 and in 2011.
It’s sort of arbitrary, but I always figured mid-2009 for the time when Carlos Ruiz turned it around at the (side of the) plate. Through games played on July 19th of that year, Ruiz had posted a .688 OPS, following a rough 2008 season (in which he nevertheless provided some choppy World Series heroics). That doesn’t sound too bad, I know, but this is 2009, when the league as a whole was still hitting baseballs.
Pull up a chair, we’re about to have a little chat.
You might remember that, back in January, the Phillies signed a player named Delmon Young. The former first-overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003 was a free agent for the first time, but would need to miss the start of the regular season recovering from November ankle surgery. He’d hit just .267/.299/.403 over the last two seasons and had only even cracked an .800 OPS twice in his career. He was notably bad on defense – and as a result, made 116 of his 156 2012 starts as DH – and ankle surgery wasn’t about to help that.
So, naturally, Ruben Amaro thought it’d be a great idea to sign this guy to be the everyday right fielder. Great, right? Made even better by the fact that Delmon hadn’t played the position in SIX YEARS. What’s more, he was suspended in April 2012 following revelations of a drunken, anti-Semitic rant in New York City late one night following a game. Foolproof. The guy’s a clear winner.
The monetary base of the contract wasn’t terrible. Young, having just made nearly $7 million in his final season in Detroit, got a $750 thousand base salary. What was fascinating to observe was the revelation of the incentives within the deal: nearly $3 million tied to playing time and…weight. The Phillies, obviously keen on the need to be in shape to play something approaching respectable outfield defense, wanted to make sure Delmon (not exactly a svelte man) didn’t eat his way off the field and out of the lineup.
We may never know how many of his $100,000 weigh-ins Delmon passed. It’s irrelevant.
Cole Hamels carried an ERA north of 4.00 into August. He was Jekyll & Hyde throughout most of the season, putting together a seven-inning, one-run start here, and a five-inning, four-run start there. He put it together in the final two months, though, allowing more than three runs in just one of his last 11 starts.
Jonathan Pettibone’s big league debut came after just three minor league starts in 2013. He threw 100 Major League innings during his rookie season. They were spread over eighteen starts. That’s about five and a half innings per start and only had one seven inning start, a tad less than you’d like to see from someone who was projected to have the body and strike throwing efficiency of a 200-inning starter (The raw stuff isn’t good enough to fool hitters multiple times through the lineup and Pettibone has to learn a few tricks to do it and I think he will) yada yada….MLB growing pains and such. Other than that, Pettibone was as advertised.
Cody Asche was drafted by the Phillies during the twilight of their 21st century boom years, 151st overall in the 2011 draft. He didn’t make a terrible amount of noise, but progressed through the system quickly, stopping at both Clearwater and Reading in 2012, performing ably at each.
I was fairly unmoved by the trade to acquire Ben Revere. On the one hand, getting anything serviceable for Vance Worley and Trevor May seems like a win on its face. Worley’s magic had just about run out, and May’s prospect star had dimmed out of the main sequence and into the “probable reliever” spectrum. Revere, though, did not seem like the everyday outfielder that the Phillies required.