More Cole Hamels Trade Clamor

Over the winter, we were inundated with national baseball writers clamoring for a Cole Hamels trade. MLB Network fantasized about Hamels going to the Red Sox. Peter Gammons painted GM Ruben Amaro as a despot. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports even called the Phillies’ off-season a “major fail” just before pitchers and catchers reported in February.

Rosenthal has continued the “Phillies must trade Hamels” meme with his latest column, suggesting the team needs to “get real” if they want to trade Hamels to the Red Sox. He starts out by asking the obvious question: “OK, can the Phillies stop asking the Red Sox about center fielder Mookie Betts and catcher Blake Swihart now?”

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It’s Going to be A Long Year, Booing Isn’t Necessary

The Phillies suffered a bit of an unlucky loss on Thursday night against the Boston Red Sox. They lost by a 6-2 margin but the game was put thoroughly out of reach in the third inning when Xander Bogaerts dunked a triple down the right field line to clear the bases, making it 5-0. The ball hit the ground where the dirt met the outfield grass and caused the ball to carom in an unexpected direction away from outfielder Jeff Francoeur. Opposing pitcher Justin Masterson followed up with an RBI single to center, the first of his two hits, to make it 6-0.

With two outs in the fifth inning, the Red Sox again threatened. Bogaerts reached on a Freddy Galvis throwing error, bringing up Masterson. Masterson hit a sharp ground ball down the third base line, which Cody Asche snagged with a diving effort. He quickly got to his feet and fired to first base, but the throw was low and Ryan Howard was unable to come up with the scoop for the final out of the inning.

Check out the play here:

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Phillies Minor League Preview

Minor League Full-Season leagues open today, with not too many surprises on the rosters. I’d like to tell you about a couple of those, note a couple other items of interest, and pick some deeper sleeper and breakout guys to watch out for as the season gets going, since one of my sleepers and one of my breakouts from my Top 30 are injured, (breakout Kelly Dugan and sleeper Samuel Hiciano), and one isn’t starting the year where I’d hoped, (sleeper Malquin Canelo). So that’s looking pretty bad already.

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Phillies Start 2015 Off with a Whimper

More accurately, the Phillies started the 2015 season off with a bang, several of them, which all came from the bats of Red Sox hitters. Cole Hamels, as expected, got the honor of starting on Opening Day, but it went poorly. The lefty served up a solo home run to Dustin Pedroia with one out in the first inning, then a solo homer to Mookie Betts in the third, and two more to Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez in the fifth inning. All told Hamels allowed the four runs on five hits while walking three and striking out six.

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Phillies Opening Day Fun Facts

In a few hours, regular season Major League Baseball will return to Philadelphia. No really, it’s true, I double checked and the Phillies are indeed still considered a Major League Baseball club. Both the bad ugly unconventional Phillies Opening Day lineup and interleague matchup lend themselves well to fun facts. Here are a few of my favorites:

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2015 Predictions with the Crashburn Staff

Update: It’s been brought to my attention that the table-based formatting is messed up on smaller devices. The predictions are best viewed on as large a resolution as possible.

With the regular season officially kicking off tonight in the Windy City, it’s time for the Crashburn Alley staff to reveal their 2015 season predictions. We will pick over/unders, division standings, and end-of-season awards. Feel free to let us know where you think we’ll be dead wrong and where you think we got it right using the comments below.

The participants:

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Phillies Spring Training Stocks

With the end of spring training drawing near, it’s time to take stock of which players helped or hurt their own causes in Grapefruit League action. Spring training playing time constitutes a small and nearly useless sample of playing time, but teams still use it to figure out who belongs on the roster and how much playing time to allot to whom. With that said, let’s see how some key Phillies contestants fared.

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Ben Revere Moves from Center Field to Left Field

Manager Ryne Sandberg started Ben Revere in left field in Sunday’s Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers. It went well, as Revere leaped over the fence to steal a solo home run away from Rajai Davis in the third inning. (Funny story about that here.) Sandberg said the position change is likely permanent, as Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reported yesterday. With Revere out of center field, the Phillies are expected to have Odubel Herrera take over that position on a regular basis to start the season.

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