Earlier today, I posted a 2014 preview of the Phillies over at HardballTalk. I’ve also posted previews for the Phillies’ four NL East opponents as well:
Recently, GM Ruben Amaro was on MLB Network Radio talking about the Phillies as they start spring training. Among other topics, Amaro discussed the team’s age and their starting pitching depth. In particular, he credited the team’s new analytics department for the signing of starter Roberto Hernandez.
The full quote can be read after the jump:
It’s no secret that the 2013 Phillies outfield situation was less than ideal, to put it kindly. The total production the Phillies received from the outfield positions on the season was tied with the Astros and Twins for worst in the majors according to fWAR. Hindered by injuries to Brown and Revere and the complete lack of a legitimate third starting option, subpar bench pieces received a crippling amount of playing time. Laynce Nix, Roger Bernadina, Michael Martinez and Casper Wells combined for 285 plate appearances and an astoundingly horrendous slash line: .169/.218/.255 .472 OPS. As a point of comparison, Cole Hamels has put up a .506 OPS over the past two seasons. Suffice it to say that the lack of outfield depth was a costly weakness for the Phillies and, to Ruben Amaro’s credit, attempts have been made this winter to avoid such a catastrophic showing in 2014. Exit Nix, Bernadina, Martinez, Wells, and Delmon Young. Enter Marlon Byrd, Bobby Abreu, Tony Gwynn, Jr. and Clete Thomas. But will the changes made this offseason be enough to reverse the outfield woes?
A lot of attention is going to be paid to Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (I’m not even going to link to BRef, it never goes to the right guy) this spring, and understandably so; he’s the shiny new toy, shrouded in mystery. I wanted to quickly run through what we saw in his first spring appearance on Saturday from a video scouting perspective. Is scouting based off of the television ideal? Hell no, I’d much rather see the mechanics in person and I’m not going to put grades on anything until I can do just that. But it’s the way I did things for two years at Baseball Info Solutions and it’s not hard to identify basic things like pitch types, velocity and command from the TV if you know what you’re doing. Continue reading…
@jimmyfricke: “Should Phillies fans be upset about Cruz being signed for 1 year 8 mil while we’re stuck with Byrd for 2 years 16 mil”
Absolutely not. Cruz is a 33-year-old power-before-hit corner outfielder who produces no value on the bases or in the field. Those guys tend to have a couple things in common: they’re overrated in their primes, because they produce homers and RBI, which are flashy, but nothing else. The other thing is that when the bat starts to slip even a little, the whole package falls apart. Look for Nelson Cruz comps and you’ll find names like Juan Gonzalez and Henry Rodriguez, and when those guys started to slip, things got ugly fast. Byrd is older, and didn’t have Cruz’s prime with the bat, but he was, at one point in the past, a good athlete, and I’m not convinced Byrd won’t be better than Cruz in 2014.
The other thing is Cruz costs a draft pick, and for a guy who makes you a 79-win team when John Mayberry makes you a 76-win team, that’s not even worth a second-rounder. The Orioles were in need of a DH and have a better shot at contending than the Phillies do, so this signing makes more sense for them–and even then, I’m not in love with it–but signing Nelson Cruz for a battle for third place is exactly the kind of pothole-in-front-of-the-rebuild move Ruben Amaro deserves credit for not making. The past two offseasons.
Better than anyone, Baseball America has been providing comprehensive coverage of all levels of America’s Pastime for over three decades. Whether you’re a subscriber to their website, magazine or purchase the annual Prospect Handbook (which you can find here) you’re going to get well written, informative, dynamic content. I visit their site on a daily basis and encourage you to do the same. The July 2 coverage is second to none, they do outstanding reporting (like Aaron Fitt has on the Phillies/Ben Wetzler story) and generate content with excellence in all forms of media. I’ve been purchasing the Prospect Handbook since my senior year of high school (when Phil Hughes was on the cover) and have been a subscriber ever since I left the IronPigs and could no longer steal the new mag issues from the Coca-Cola Park press box. This year the BA writer covering the Phillies list is Josh Norris, formerly of The Trentonian. Our conversation follows. Continue reading…
Oh hi, Crashburn Alley! I’m Corinne Landrey (Twitter handle: @Ut26) and I’ll be joining the Crashburn crew for the 2014 Phillies season. I’m a lifelong Phillies fan whose earliest baseball memories include poring over box scores at the breakfast table as soon as I learned to read and developing an intense dislike for Kyle Abbott at the ripe old age of 6. I have an insatiable desire to continue learning about the greatest sport around and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to share the ups and downs of Phillies fandom with you here on this gem of a website Bill provides for us.
With the Phillies entering a season I anticipate will provide many chances for angst and pessimism, I’ll take this moment to make my first piece here a light-hearted outlook on the upcoming season. Here are five reasons baseball will be fun in Philadelphia during the 2014 season:
Recently, I wrote about why spring training stats can be misleading. There aren’t many reasons why one should ever need to take a player’s spring training stats with anything less than a gigantic grain of salt, even just to look at strikeout and walk rates, which stabilize faster than most other stats and the only ones to stabilize in fewer than 240 trips to the plate.
Baseball. Phillies. Blue Jays. 1:05 PM ET. Save for a couple days in the middle of the season, we’ll have wall-to-wall baseball of some sort through October. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen.