Roy Halladay Doesn’t Want Bonds, Clemens in the Hall of Fame

Ahead of Wednesday’s Hall of Fame balloting results being announced, former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay tweeted his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and their candidacy: he’s against both being allowed in.

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Who Are You: Jeremy Hellickson

This is the first post in a weekly series which will run each Thursday. Over the next several weeks, I’ll take a deep dive look at new members of the Phillies roster including guys like Peter Bourjos, Charlie Morton and, today’s subject, Jeremy Hellickson. We’re just a couple months away from settling down to watch these guys day-in and day-out for half a year, so let’s try to find out who they are and what to expect from them in 2016.


Jeremy Hellickson – RHP
Born:
4/8/87, entering age 29 season
Height: 6’1″, Weight: 190 lb.
2015 Stats: 9-12, 4.62 ERA, 146 IP, 19.0 K%, 6.8 BB%, 42.4 GB%, 36.5 FB%, 88 ERA+
Career: 49-48, 3.94 ERA, 786 IP, 17.6 K%, 7.6 BB%, 39.2 GB%, 40.5 FB%, 98 ERA+

History

A fourth round draft pick by Tampa Bay out of high school in 2005, Hellickson steadily rose to prospect stardom. Prior to his 2011 rookie season, he was ranked the #6 overall prospect by Baseball America, #9 overall by Baseball Prospectus, and #14 overall by Keith Law at ESPN. Scouts raved about his pin-point command, stellar changeup, solid fastball, and developing curveball.

He rode that prospect hype to an outstanding rookie campaign (189 IP, 2.95 ERA, 3.8 rWAR) which won him the AL Rookie of the Year award. His sophomore season was nearly as successful (177 IP, 3.10 ERA, 3.2 rWAR), but his initial success was riddled with red flags. The reason I used ERA to illustrate his success is that his peripheral stats told a remarkably different story. Including his 36.1 inning cup of coffee at the end of the 2010 season his 2010-2012 MLB stats were as follows:

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Phillies Announce Spring Training Invites for Non-Roster Prospects

The report date for pitchers and catchers is rapidly approaching and if you’ve forgotten how to get excited about the Phillies over the long offseason, the Phillies dropped some news today to help you get back in the spirit:

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It Probably Could’ve Been Worse: 2015 Phillies Highlights Part I

A year ago I was struck by the ease of putting together a highlight list for a season as awful as that of the 2014 Phillies. That team lost 89 games for the second straight year and finished last in the division for the first time since 2000. As I was working on the list, they unleashed a massive emotional blow to the fanbase by trading franchise icon Jimmy Rollins. It was a challenging time to be a Phillies fan and yet, despite it all, finding ten great moments was a piece of cake.

In many ways, 2015 was a markedly better season for the Philadelphia Phillies. The number in the loss column increased from 89 to 99, but the future is now extraordinarily more clear than it was a year ago at this time. Last year hopes for the future were pinned primarily on unproven players J.P. Crawford, Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco, and Ken Giles and little else. This year, despite the departure of Giles, the future is coming into better focus. Nola and Franco took significant steps forward at the major league level, Crawford continued his rise and, finally, a plethora of legitimate prospects have arrived via trade or breakouts to supplement the initial core including Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Vincent Velasquez, Mark Appel, Andrew Knapp, Jorge Alfaro, and more. Real hope is visibly on the horizon for the first time since the 2011 season, but when I sat down to put together this highlight list I drew a blank.

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Opt-Out Trend May Ultimately Benefit Large Market Teams

If there’s an overriding theme so far in the 2015-2016 offseason, it’s that opt-outs have graduated from a contract oddity to a legitimate trend. Of the four largest contracts signed to date, three have included at least one opt-out. The Giants signed Johnny Cueto to a 6-yr/$130M deal with an opt-out after two years. David Price can opt-out after the third year of his 7-yr/$210M deal with the Red Sox. And Jason Heyward trumped them both with two opt-outs, one after year-3 and one after year-4, on his brand new 8-yr/$184M deal with the Cubs. The only elite free agent to buck the opt-out trend was Zack Greinke, who signed a 6-yr/$207M deal sans opt-out with Arizona but, then again, he was only a free agent this year because he exercised the opt-out clause in his previous contract with the Dodgers. Opt-outs are totally the new black or whatever.

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Phillies Sign Bailey & Mujica

The Phillies have signed veteran right-handed relievers Andrew Bailey and Edward Mujica to minor league deals with invitations to big league Spring Training, putting a ribbon on a total bullpen overhaul that shifts the team from a homegrown crew to a grab bag of reclamation projects and newer, shinier organizational arms. Bailey is a Proven Closer who began his career in Oakland, but has dealt with a litany of injuries and hasn’t pitched more than 40 innings in a season since 2011. Mujica saved 37 games for the Cardinals in 2013, thus earning the Proven Closer tag as well, but has spent most of his career as a 7th/8th inning guy. The two newest Phillies, who were born three weeks apart in 1984, will compete for late-inning duties with David Hernandez and Ernesto Frieri, also recently signed by the Klentak regime.

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