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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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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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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Through Two Months, Roberto Hernandez Doing A Good Job

During the off-season, the Phillies made a low-risk signing of Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, to a one-year $4.5 million deal. The right-hander was coming off of an awful 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays in which he finished with a 4.89 ERA in 151 innings. Even in his seven seasons with the Cleveland Indians between 2006-13 were mostly unproductive, as he finished with an aggregate 4.64 ERA. The signing was not outright unpopular, but it certainly didn’t move the needle any to get fans excited about the season and it appeared that the Phillies could have made comparatively lateral moves for less money.

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Despite Walk-Off Homer, Ryan Howard Still Isn’t Back

Ending what at many points appeared to be another signed, sealed, and delivered frustrating loss for the Phillies, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard teamed up to hang a four-spot on the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the ninth inning. Howard blasted a walk-off three-run home run to left field off of lefty reliever Boone Logan.

Howard also had an RBI single earlier in the game, giving him four RBI on the night — the most he has driven in a game since, well, Monday.

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Believe In Marlon Byrd

After 47 games (entering Monday) in this up-and-down season, no Phillies regular except for His Holiness Chase Utley has a higher slugging percentage (SLG) than Marlon Byrd. Only The Man and Jimmy Rollins have a higher weighted on-base average (wOBA). Byrd leads the team in RBI, and is tied for second (with the resurgent Rollins) in homers. Of course, you all knew Ryan Howard was going to be the team leader in homers. Byrd ranks favorably among National League hitters in traditional stats, too: 12th in RBI, 26th in hits, and 23rd in AVG. Continue reading…

Phillies’ Middle Infield Among Most Productive in Baseball

The production of the Phillies’ middle infield has been no secret. Chase Utley has been the game’s best-hitting second baseman and is on his way to a sixth career All-Star Game if he can stay healthy. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has been resurgent after five consecutive years of mediocrity, chasing the Phillies’ franchise hits record. Both are 35 years old, making their success all the more surprising.

Just how good has the duo been? I decided to run the numbers.

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Offensive Environment Is Critical To Critiques Of Ben Revere’s Game

Corey Seidman has a piece up at that cites an oft-used criticism of Ben Revere: his low on-base percentage. Seidman frames it in the context of a Ben Revere-Juan Pierre comparison.

“This season, though? Revere in 36 games has hit .268 with a .284 on-base percentage. He’s walked three times in 142 plate appearances — that 2.1 percent walk rate ties him for dead last in the majors with Jean Segura and Khris Davis of the Brewers.”

“When you’re a player with no power and can’t play quality defense, you better get on base a ton like Juan Pierre did in his prime. Pierre from 2000 to 2009 hit .301 with a .348 on-base percentage. That made up for an arm that was always tested and a bat that produced just 13 home runs in 1,433 games.

And you know what? As soon as Pierre started hitting below .280, he started settling for one-year deals and irregular playing time.”

Corey Seidman

He raises an excellent point. Revere’s strength is his speed and the only way he’s a valuable starter is if he uses that speed to run down balls in the outfield, get on base, and then steal additional bases. Juan Pierre is the perfect model for what Ben Revere should be trying to achieve. The fact that Pierre had a .348 OBP while Revere’s OBP this season sits at .284 should set off massive alarm bells. It’s natural for this discrepancy to raise questions and concerns about Revere’s overall effectiveness, but when analyzing Revere’s value in comparison to Pierre it is absolutely critical to remember to adjust for the offensive environment.

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Should the Phillies Go After Kyle Farnsworth?

Reliever Kyle Farnsworth was released by the New York Mets last night, as Wednesday was the deadline on his advance consent agreement, which allowed the Mets to pay him for 45 days as opposed to a full season. The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been nearly as bad as the Phillies’, but it has been in a similar state of flux. That the Mets released him is odd, considering he only would have been paid $1 million for the full season. The situation left Farnsworth with some anger towards the Mets:

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