A Phillies Roundtable with the Crashburn Crew

It’s the doldrums of the off-season. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for another month and the rest of the Philadelphia sports scene leaves a lot to be desired. In an effort to get the blood flowing again, we decided to peel ourselves off of our beds and couches, warm under blankets, to talk Phillies over a virtual roundtable. Check out what we had to say below and let us know how you’d answer the questions in the comments.

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There Isn’t A Market for Ryan Howard Right Now

In a column for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal argues that the Phillies really shouldn’t be having much difficulty moving first baseman Ryan Howard. He quotes an American League executive, who discredit’s Howard’s ability to hit for power by citing his slugging percentage. Rosenthal counters by comparing Howard’s SLG to a selection of other players. It didn’t get to the root of the matter, however.

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Phillies’ Deal with Wandy Rodriguez Falls Through

Update (1/13/15, 4:10 PM EST: Rodriguez failed his physical with the Phillies and has signed with the Braves, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Update (12/27/14, 5:50 PM EST): A source for CSN Philly confirms that the Phillies and Rodriguez have agreed to a minor league deal.

Per Phillies Spanish play-by-play broadcaster Angel Ibo Castillo, free agent pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is on his way to Philadelphia to take a physical. If all goes well, he’ll presumably ink a minor league deal with the Phillies. Castillo adds that Rodriguez is expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.

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Tom McCarthy Discusses the Cole Hamels Trade Market

In this video for MLB.com, Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy discusses via phone the potential trade market for Cole Hamels. He provides, in my estimation, excellent analysis. McCarthy doesn’t think the Phillies will trade Hamels just to trade him and turn the page, rightly so. McCarthy also, correctly, claims that James Shields is a step below Hamels, countering a somewhat popular assertion made by national writers when analyzing top-tier pitchers.

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Phillies Representation In Cooperstown Is Likely To Increase

On May 28th, 1989, Michael Jack Schmidt took the field for the Philadelphia Phillies for the final time in his career. It was the last time a player currently in the Hall of Fame suited up for the Phillies, the fifth longest such drought in Major League Baseball trailing only the Rockies (no HOFers), Tigers (Al Kaline – 1974), Pirates (Willie Stargell – 1982), and Astros (Nolan Ryan – 1988). Tomorrow when the BBWAA announces the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees, the Astros streak will end if Craig Biggio and/or Jeff Bagwell is elected and the Phillies are all but certain to see at least one Phillies alumnus honored, Pedro Martinez, while another deserving alum, Curt Schilling, is likely to have to wait at least another year.

Of the five teams Pedro Martinez pitched for during his career, he threw the fewest regular season innings, 44 2/3, for the Phillies but he also pitched more World Series games for the Phillies, two, than he did for any other franchise. Had he won those two games in the 2009 World Series and secured a second championship ring for his collection, his abbreviated Phillies career would be more celebrated, but instead, when people visit Pedro’s plaque in Cooperstown twenty years from now they’ll likely mumble, “He played with the Phillies?” While most of the press Martinez will receive over the next few days will focus on his Red Sox, Expos and Mets careers, let’s take a moment to remember what he did while wearing Phillies red.

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Phillies Sign Aaron Harang

Update (1/5/15)Salisbury reports the Phillies have signed Harang to a one-year, $5 million deal.

(Posted 12/31/14): After confirming the Marlon Byrd trade to the Cincinnati Reds, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury added that the Phillies were “poking around” free agent starter Aaron Harang. The Phillies’ interest in adding another starter, even after recently signing Wandy Rodriguez, makes sense as they are thin on rotation depth.

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Happy New Year from Crashburn Alley

On behalf of everyone here at Crashburn Alley, I would like to wish you all a happy new year and thank you for making this site a regular part of your daily web-surfing routine. It has been very rewarding to talk Phillies with you (or, for those of you who read and don’t comment, talk at you) throughout the years. I hope you all have fun celebrating the new year and enjoy a happy and healthy 2015. We’ll still be here when the hangovers go away, ready to tackle the next Phillies-related issue.

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