TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Spring Training Schedule

Here are a few things to note for the Phillies spring training this year in the Grapefruit League.

Starters this week (via Todd Zolecki):

  • Wednesday vs. Florida State: J.A. Happ
  • Thursday vs. *Yankees: Roy Halladay and Kyle Kendrick
  • Friday at Toronto in Dunedin: Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer
  • Saturday at Pittsburgh in Bradenton: Joe Blanton
  • Sunday vs. Tampa Bay: Happ

*C.C. Sabathia will pitch for the Yankees against Halladay.

Games televised on MLB Network:

  • March 4 – Yankees at Phillies (7 p.m.)
  • March 8 – Phillies at Yankees (1 p.m., live)
  • March 9 – Phillies at Braves (7 p.m.)
  • March 13 – Twins at Phillies (1 p.m., live)
  • March 16 – Tigers at Phillies (10 p.m.)
  • March 20 – Phillies at Tigers (1 p.m., live)
  • March 21 – Orioles at Phillies (1 p.m., live)

For the complete schedule, click here.

All-Bearded Team

Jayson Werth has given me inspiration. With the excitement for the 2010 season growing as fast as facial hair on Werth, I’ve decided to look back at some of the greatest facial hair to don a Phillies uniform. I give to you the first ever All-Bearded Team!

P: Roy Halladay

Red Beard will be famous.

C: Sal Fasano

Fasano rocked the classic "Foo-Man-Chu" in Philly

1B: John Kruk

John Kruk: Bringing the mullet back.

Krukker had a mullet to go with his goatie.

2B: Eric Bruntlett

SS: Dickie Thon

3B: Mike Schmidt

It's the Michael Jack stache. Nothing thwarts the power of the stache!

LF: Garry Maddox

I don't know what to call that but the afro made it epic!

CF: Bake McBride

RF: Pete Incaviglia

Inky had a stache or beard to go with his mullet

Doc Tossed BP Yesterday

Hallady during Media Day

The Phillies batters got a good first-hand look at what Roy Halladay is capable of yesterday in Clearwater reported Todd Zolecki. He threw batting practice to a group of hitters that included Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and outfield prospect Domonic Brown. While Utley and the rest of the vets stood in to just track Doc’s pitches, Brown swung away, barely touching his nasty sinkers and change-ups.

Quotes courtesy of Zo’s article:

“I was trying to get in there, see a few pitches and try to hit the long ball off him,” joked Brown, whom MLB.com ranks the 14th-best prospect in baseball. “But it was pretty nasty, man. Pretty nasty. It was tough for me. Roy was throwing his cutter, and everything was moving. He has a nasty sinker. But it was exciting. It was such a great experience for me.”

Halladay on the session:

“Just being able to work both sides of the plate with somebody standing there is always nice,” he said. “You kind of start to get a feel, especially pitching inside.”

Carlos Ruiz had the fortune to catch Halladay’s session. Along with Utley, they were both impressed with what he threw.

“You could see it in his face,” Ruiz said with a smile. “His sinker impressed me. So did his cutter. Every pitch was in the strike zone. He’s the kind of guy who can go long in the game, because he’s going to throw a lot of strikes. He’ll go seven, eight innings easy. That’s what I saw today.”

Watch the video attached with the article. Seeing Doc pitch get’s me even more excited for the upcoming baseball season.

Friday Tweet-off

As some of you may know, I have become extremely addicted to Twitter. It’s such an excellent tool for breaking news and sports debating. So today I decided to ask five random Phillies fans a question on Twitter. There will be no character-limit as I said they could use multiple tweets. This will be something I will try to do each week from now until the end of the season.

Here are this week’s questions:

What are you most excited for this Phillies season?
@chelsealynn818: Roy Halladay finally pitching for us and possibly getting back to the World Series.

Who do you think will be the Phillies MVP this season? Please include stats.
@meechone of The Fightins: I’m biased, but… Ryan Howard – .285/62/192/131 – he will break the single-season HR, RBI & SB records

Who should be the Phillies 5th starter and why?
@PhilaSports of Liberty Bell Sports: I think it all depends on if everyone is healthy enough for the start of the season, whoever performs better in spring training… between Moyer and Kendrick.

Who needs a bigger bounce-back year: Lidge, Hamels, Rollins, or other and why?
@f*ckthemets: If I was going to go obvious-style, I’d say Lidge. The rest of the bullpen proved it can’t take over, and…I don’t trust Baez closing again, either. But other than Lidge, I’d have to say Greg Dobbs (!). He’s our most important infield…bench player, and when he’s hot, he completely changes an opponent’s relief strategy.

Which NL team scares you the most in challenging the Phils for the pennant?
@iAims: The Cardinals, only because of their batting.

Random hits of the day:

@Macho_Row on Doc’s first perfect game: Won’t have to wait long. Opening Day against the Nationals is just around the corner.

@ryanlawrence21 (of Delco Times) on Doc’s beard: I consider Doc’s more “7 o’clock shadow” (slightly more prominent than 5 o’clock) than full-fledged beard.

Phils Sign Wilkerson

Brad Wilkerson (AP)

-AP Photo

If you can’t beat them, have them join you. After signing Phillie killer Brian Schneider in the beginning of the offseason, the Phillies sign Brad Wilkerson to a minor league deal. In eight seasons, he has hit .247 with 122 career home runs. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2008.

Wilkerson is an interesting signing. He’s another power bar that most likely won’t make the opening day roster. The 32-year old outfielder is a lefty as well. I’m not impressed by the signing but I’m also not shaken by it. Dumpster diving by Ruben Amaro again at its finest.

High Expectations for Nostra-Jimmy

-AP Photo

@ScottLauber: Jimmy Rollins says he wants to steal 50 bases, make less than three errors, score 150 runs, hit .300

The bold predictions continue from Jimmy. The numbers he presented are numbers that would make him an MVP candidate. Does Jimmy have that type of production in him? I don’t think so. Can he give the Phillies something reasonably close? Yes he can.

At his best, Rollins is one of the best short stops in baseball. At his worst people wonder why he even leads off. He’s the captain and vocal leader of this team. When he’s playing well, the rest of the team plays well. If Rollins can produce anything similar to what he expects from himself, the Phillies could be having another parade down Broad Street.

Here are the stats J-Roll hopes to accomplish and how likely he is to achieve them:

50 steals: This stat might be a stretch for J-Roll. He has never stolen more than 47 bases in a season (2008) and has nabbed over 40 only four times. An even better stat: Rollins has only attempted to steal 50+ bases in his career twice. The first was in 2001, his first full season as a start when he was 46/54. The other time was 2008 when he was 47/50. Rollins only attempted to steal 39 time last season, being successful 31 times.

Probability: doubtful

Less than 3 errors: Rollins is still one of the best fielding short stops in the game, winning the Gold Glove the past three seasons. Last season he had a career high .990 fielding percentage and a career low six errors. His range factor was unfortunately at a career low of 3.96. He will need to have the best fielding year of his career in order to do so which is very possible.

Probability: possible

150 runs: this is the stat where I think Rollins is stretching too far. His career high was 137 runs in his MVP year fo 2007. I think the highest he could get this season is 120 runs. Rollins scored 100 runs last year despite having a horrible OBP of .296. He will need to get that percentage way up into the .300’s (.344 in his MVP year and a career high .349 in 2008). If he can accomplish the goal I will talk about next, then he has a shot at 130-140. 150 is too much for a player who has never come close to that number.

Probability: highly doubtful

Bat over .300: Rollins can easily do this with a much better year. Granted he’s a career .276 hitter and has never hit over .300 in his career as a full-time starter (.296 is his high in 2007). All he needs is a career year batting and we could see his average, OBP, runs scored, and steals numbers go back up.

Probability: highly possible

2010 predictions: .286 average, 121 runs, 194 hits (40 doubles, 8 triples, 16 homers), 68 RBI’s, .330 OBP.

Offseason news 2/22/10

Lidge ahead of schedule: Closer Brad Lidge is ahead of schedule to be ready to pitch by opening day. He threw off of a mound today, throwing only 20 fastballs. Pitching coach Rich Dubee doesn’t want Lidge throwing any sliders yet. A bull pen session could be in store for Lidge next Thursday.

“[Originally] two weeks behind … I feel like I’m ahead of that now,” Lidge said. “My arm is weak right now but strength is something that comes naturally. I didn’t come out and feel 100% but I didn’t expect that. My lower half is feeling strong. That’s an encouraging sign.”

Lopes not retiring yet: After Todd Zolecki reported on Twitter that Jayson Werth hinted at first base coach Davey Lopes possibly returing after the seaosn. Lopes confirmed that he is not planning to retire yet.

“One of these years I will retire,” Lopes said. “I’ll know when it’s time to go. Is it getting close? Probably so. I’m going to be 65. I’ve been in the game a long time.”

Jesus had a brother named Jayson: Thank you Zolecki for this picture:

user posted image

Romero to throw Saturday: Following suit of Lidge’s return to tossing, J.C. Romero will throw from a mound on Saturday as well. Like Lidge, this is good news as the pen hopes to have both of those guys fully healthy for the whole season.

Kalas Statue in the Making

 

Sculptor Lawrence Nowlan working on a statue of legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas. If donations raise about $80,000, the clay version will be duplicated in bronze and given to the Phillies for display at Citizens Bank Park.

-Philadelphia Inquirer 

A Vermont sculptor is working on a clay model of Harry Kalas. His vision is to present the statue in a bronze form to the Phillies organization. Lawrence J. Nolan is the sculptor and he hopes to be able to remember the late Kalas by having him join Richie Ashburn, Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, and Steve Carlton in a statue form for fans to post with.

If $80,000 are donated to him, the statue will be duplicated in bronze so that it could be presented to the Phillies organization. You can give $10 just by texting “HARRY” to 20222. Credit cards and Pay Pal are also accepted at www.harrykalasstatue.com, and checks can be sent to Dear Harry Incorporated, 416 Sawmill Court, Norristown, PA 19401. Over $25,000 has already been donated.

There are two things I find wrong with this: Why didn’t the Phillies do this prior to his death (along with him being honored on the Wall of Fame in Ashburn Alley) and why hasn’t the organization already chipped in most of the money? Do they really expect fans to give them an $80,000 statue out of their own pockets? Are the raised ticket prices, 73/81 home games being sold out already for 2010, and all the money made in concessions and merchandise not enough?

We love HK no doubt and we are willing to donate money to have him immortalized in bronze on the outside of the stadium or in Ashburn Alley. But the Phillies organization should convince us that they do love Harry as much as we do and chip in!

LBS Podcast Episode 1!

Listen to our first show here. The show airs on Thursday’s at 2 PM until 3 PM. In this episode we talked about the Phillies Spring Training, the Flyers and Olympics, the Sixers recent trade, and the Eagles.

The podcast is for Liberty Bell Sports, my other site, but I wanted to advertise it here because of it’s relevance to the Phillies.

Doc in Red!

Roy Halladay is throwing in Clearwater.

Courtesy of Todd Zolecki down in Clearwater.

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