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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Domonic Brown Needs to Have Some Pull Around Here

Left fielder Domonic Brown‘s struggles have been well documented here since the start of the year. In the latter half of 2013, opposing pitchers stopped giving him as many pitches in the inside half of the plate as well as up and on the outer half, where he hit all of his May home runs:

In the time since, Brown has had trouble adjusting, posting a .299 weighted on-base average since the start of July last season. To his credit, he has recognized the changes made by the opposition, and he has tried to go with the flow, going the opposite way more frequently.

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Is Jimmy Rollins Back?

Hey Crashburn fans! My name’s Adam Dembowitz (@adamd243) and I’m very happy to be joining the team here. I was born in Philadelphia and raised in Cherry Hill, and I grew up listening to Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn get through bad baseball on late summer afternoons. I still hate Joe Carter. I was at Game 4 of the 2008 World Series, so, you’re welcome. And with that, let’s get to it.

He’s a former MVP. He’s one of the best shortstops in baseball (yes, still), and we expect a lot from him. But last year, he wasn’t himself. Now 147 plate appearances into the 2014 season, is Jimmy Rollins back?

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The Phillies Offense Has A Glaring Weakness But It’s Not Age

During the offseason, jokes about the advanced age of the Phillies roster were as ubiquitous as loud middle schoolers on awkward group dates at your local movie theater. Did you hear the one about Ruben Amaro scouting a game at a retirement community?! Or the call he put in to Ron Reed while evaluating his bullpen options?! Well, I hope you got your jollies in while you had a chance, because the Phillies well-seasoned veterans are no laughing matter.

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