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.

This will be my first year since 2011 not reporting on the daily grind of minor league action Continue reading…

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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Ben Revere’s Reminder That Baseball Is Good

Tonight the Phillies played the first of two games at Citizens Bank Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates which will conclude their 2015 preseason schedule. In an unsurprising development, the crowd turnout for the game was so light that the sea of empty seats shown during the television broadcast made the announced attendance figure of 16,609 seem inflated. As if the sub-par roster wasn’t reason enough to stay home, the forecast called for severe thunderstorms on a night of not one, but two major religious holidays.

The starting pitcher, Aaron Harang, struggled mightily (4.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K), but the offense strung together enough timely hits to keep the Phillies in the meaningless game which no one was watching. But baseball doesn’t care about the importance of a game or how few people are watching, it is a glorious juxtaposition of rare excitement and constant monotony. It drags on through predictable Ryan Howard strikeouts, pitcher sacrifice bunts, and blow outs games decided in the first few innings, with the promise of unexpected moments. The great at bat by a pitcher. The seemingly impossible comeback win. Or the Ben Revere home run.

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DraftKings $100,000 Opening Day Contest

With regular season baseball back in town, that means DraftKings is back too with their one-day fantasy baseball contests. DraftKings is running a $100,000 Opening Day “Moonshot” contest that is $3 to enter, or you can gain a free entry with your first deposit. With a $100,000 prize pool, the first place winner will take home $10,000 and the top 7,850 contestants will walk away with money, guaranteed.

The contest starts on Monday, April 6 at 1:05 PM EST. It uses salary cap-style drafting, allotting players $50,000 to fill 10 spots: two pitchers, one C, one 1B, one 2B, one 3B, one SS, and three OF. Click here to draft your team.

Make sure to play throughout the year, as Draftkings will pay out over $300,000,000 during the regular season.

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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