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 of doubles off of Stults and a three-run home run against reliever Alex Torres — all three hits coming off of lefties as the Phillies completed a series sweep in what has been their first winning streak since May 17-20.

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Hey. It’s Me. The New Guy.

Some of you may know me as BradInDC from, where I bring my most-times-bone-dry sense of humor to the tedious task of scouring through sometimes eight leagues worth of Phils minor league action in the daily box score recaps. Some of you may know me from Twitter, @bxe1234, where I rock a pretty baller Mike-Schmidt-With-70s-Perm avi, (which I swiped off some dude’s website with scans of a bunch of old MLB yearbook-type photos), and where I tweet about the Phils and affiliates, indie/indie-folk music, progressive politics and The West Wing, among other things. For those that don’t know me, consider yourselves introduced. For those that do know me – Look At Me, I’m On Crashburn Alley!

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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 MLB average is .313.

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Crash Bag, Vol. 104: Draft Review, Hot Dogs, Book Writing

Let’s get down to it.

@gberry523: “how surprised were you by the Phillies drafting only one high schooler in their first 10 (and barely any later)?”

I wasn’t that surprised that they went college-heavy early, but they wound up picking college players with 27 of their first 28 picks, which is kind of nuts. I don’t think anyone expected that, but I think that factoid is also a little deceptive.

After some consideration, I liked the Phillies’ draft in general: For all the time I spent griping about their plans to pick Aaron Nola, I can live with him at No. 7, and if nothing else, I don’t think they’ve ever picked a player I liked this much in college. I think I was mostly pissed that there were five guys I was sold on as potential superstars, and with the Phillies picking seventh and with the Cubs unlikely to pick one of those five (Rodon, Aiken, Kolek, Gordon and Jackson), it looked like the Phillies would miss out on those guys by one pick, which is exactly what happened. Once I got over that, and once I came to terms with the fact that they weren’t going to pick Jeff Hoffman or Max Pentecost–who, secret agent name aside, I like a lot–I learned to stop worrying and love Aaron Nola and so on.  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 the term “overworked” wouldn’t apply, it would be Hamels.

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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 in the big leagues despite comparatively better success at Triple-A — he finished with an .834 and .874 OPS with the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2007-08.

Moss was involved in a three-team trade in July 2008, moving from the Red Sox to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He again failed to make an impact at the big league level, and left the Pirates as a free agent after the 2010 season. He joined the Phillies and started the 2011 season with Lehigh Valley. There, he posted an .877 OPS with 23 home runs. The Phillies, in need of a left-handed bat off the bench, opted for John Bowker over Moss. Moss did come up late in September, but went hitless in six plate appearances. After the season, Moss debated re-signing with the Phillies, but eventually signed with the Athletics on a minor league deal. The rest, as they say, is history.

Moss sure would look nice in a Phillies uniform right now in the middle of the lineup. Rather than have MLB odds of making the playoffs at a lousy three percent, they could be at or near the top of the NL East with 50 percent odds.

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Aaron Nola and Young Pitching

The Phillies did not surprise anyone with their selection of LSU RHP Aaron Nola with the seventh overall pick Thursday night. Nola had long been linked to the Phils, despite his profile as a college pitcher being a rather distinct departure from the club’s particular tastes of toolsy high school athlete-types. His selection was predicted, but the expectation that he’ll be a fast riser through the minors and up to Citizens Bank Park is exciting for a number of reasons, the most intriguing of which being the lack of value added by young Phillies pitchers.

It didn’t seem like long ago that the Phillies had a carousel of Major League-caliber arms in their silo, ready to roll out one after another in a parade of cost-controlled goodness. Hell, there was one group some even took to calling the “Baby Aces.” Needless to say, through trade or otherwise, the Phillies have not exactly trotted out this continuously cycling, Tampa Bay Rays-style cheap/good rotation. In fact, it’s been damn near the opposite for some time now.

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Draft recap Day 1: Aaron Nola Scouting Report, Matt Imhof notes.

The Phillies got their wish Thursday night as a few surprises (the biggest of which In more ways than one was the Cubs’ selection of Kyle Schwarber at #4 overall) ahead of them freed them up to take the guy they’ve been targeting all along, LSU right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola, who turned 21 just a few days ago, has dominated SEC competition for the past two years, posting sub-2 ERAs in both 2013 and 2014. Continue reading…