Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: January 2010

MNG: Roy Halladay

Player: Roy Halladay
Number: 34
Position: SP
Bats/Throws: R/R
Acquired: Acquired in a trade with Toronto for Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, and Travis D’Arnaud.

2009 Stats: (w/ Toronto) 17-10, 32 games, 239 IP, 208 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Intangibles: The Phillies got the best pitcher in the game when they traded for Halladay. He is a work horse and a game changer. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters and is a ground ball pitcher. Doc has a lot of diversity in his pitch arsenal. His fastball is in the mid-90’s, his sinker is in the low-90’s (making it a very dangerous pitch that fools batters and forces ground balls), and his cutter is his signature pitch. He also has a good curve and change-up.

Expectations: I think Doc will win 20 games this year and be a serious Cy Young contender. He’s pitching in a weaker hitting division and Cy Young winning pitchers that have made the switch to the NL have dominated in recent history (Randy Johnson, Johan Santana, and Cliff Lee). Now that he’s the ace of this staff, it will take a lot of pressure off the rest of the rotation and bull pen.


MNG: Ross Gload

Player: Ross Gload
Number: 3
Position: LF
Bats/Throws: L/L
Acquired: Signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract in the middle of December.

2009 Stats: 125 games, 230 AB, 33 R, 66 H, 6 HR, 30 RBI, .261 AVG, .329 OBP

Intangibles: He’s another power-hitting lefty, something the Phillies needed after dropping Matt Stairs. Gload can be just that as he hit .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs last season with the Marlins. He hit .318 as a pinch-hitter as well. He isn’t a great fielder and will most likely be a one-and-done player.

Expectations: I expect him to have a year similar to Stairs in 2008. If he has a season like last year, he’s an instant success. A batting average around .270 overall and over .300 as a PH will suit the team well. He will also be expected to hit a few homers, something that can easily be done in the hitter-friendly CBP.

Brown, Aumont Crack MLB 50 released their Top 50 prospects of 2010 and the Phillies own outfielder Domonic Brown and pitcher Phillippe Aumont cracked the list with Brown at 14 and Aumont at 47. Shockingly pithing phenom Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals is second on the list and not first. That honor goes to outfielder Jason Heyward of Atlanta.

Manuel Misses Lee; Loses Weight

Uncle Chollie misses Cliff Lee already and wishes the Phillies would have held onto him to team up with Roy Halladay. In a perfect world, we wish it was possible.

“Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Lee is a tad behind him. Of course it would’ve been nice to have both of them,” Manuel said Tuesday. “It’d be good to have Halladay, Lee, (Cole) Hamels. I’d be looking good. I might even be buying more expensive furniture than the Mrs. has been buying me lately.”

In order to hold onto to Lee for the remainder of the season, the Phillies would have a high risk of losing him because they couldn’t afford to have three players with $18+ million salaries. The ability to extend and sign Joe Blanon, Shane Victorino, and Carlos Ruiz would be hindered by having Lee on the roster. They also would have no farm system as Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies would not be here to replace Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor.

To add to the Manuel news (or subtract), our jolly skipper has lost 58 pounds, a great benefit to his health. I love Manuel and am glad that he is watching his weight and working on staying healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was motivated by Ryan Howard at all, who lost 30 pounds going into last season and wound up getting faster.

“I feel very good. Of course, I’ve been on a diet, but at the same time I’ve been doing a lot of exercising … I feel a lot better than I did when I weighed 286. I looked at a picture of me (Monday) and my stomach was over my belt. I had a pretty big gut.”

MNG: Tyson Gillies

Player: Tyson Gillies
Position: OF
Bats/Throws: L/R
Acquired: Acquired along with Phillippe Aumont and Jose Ramirez for Cliff Lee from Seattle.

2009 Stats: None.

Intangibles: He’s an incredibly gifted athlete with great speed and hustle. His scouting reports say that he lacks power, something that doesn’t worry the Phillies at all. This video shows his swing and speed, where you can see around the 15-second mark his speed when he sees he can stretch his base-hit for a double. His awareness after contact is like a combination of Chase Utley and Shane Victorino. Though his bat doesn’t have the pop, he can put the ball in play which is what the Phillies love.

He has one tiny flaw: he only has 30% of his hearing in one ear and 60% in the other but can hear with an aide, which he has to take out in between innings to wipe the sweat from.

Here is his video I found on Project Prospect which also breaks down his swing fabulously:

Expectations: I expect him to play the entire season in the farm and then working his way up to the majors next year. He’s only 21 (a few months younger than me) and has PLENTY of room to develop.

2009 Most Memorable Moment #2: HK Dies

As Harry closed out the call for the Phillies game in Colorado on Easter, nobody expected that it would be his final call.  As the team headed to Washington for a series with the Nationals (and visit to the White House), Harry took his normal place in the broadcast booth prior to the game.  Harry then collapsed in the booth around 12:30 and taken to a local hospital where we was pronounced dead.

The game went on as scheduled, after some discussion, with the Nationals organization announcing Kalas’ death during the pregame festitivies, asking the stadium in a moment of silence.  Phillies president David Montgomery said Kalas would want the game to go on. The team taped up a picture of Harry in the visiting dugout, which later visitors left up as a sign of respect.  After Shane Victorino’s home run, he pointed to the broadcast booth after he touched home plate.

Longtime Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully had this to say about his colleague:

He was not only a multitalented fellow with a wonderful voice. He was a lovely guy. I mean, everybody liked Harry. The city of Philadelphia will just be in mourning because they loved him so much. I’m happy for him that his team was world champions last year, so he had the thrill of that.

Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who had just talked to Kalas a week before, added:

I always find it interesting when a celebrity passes away and people are so quick to say, ‘He was a great actor,’ or, ‘He was a great broadcaster.’ Harry Kalas was a great person. As much as we will remember Harry as a broadcaster, many of us will remember him even more as being a hell of a guy. I considered Harry a very good friend, and I was concerned about his health. I talked to him about getting the proper amount of rest and the things that we need to think about at our ages. I was very concerned about him, but he sounded good. When I found out about it today, I was shocked. It’s very, very sad.’

Montgomery summed it up best with “we lost our voice today.”  For 39 seasons, Harry was the voice of the Phillies.  Players came and went, but Harry was always there.  Through the good times, through the really bad times, Harry was there and many fans have fond memories of him.  A makeshift memorial was placed at the Mike Schmidt statue during the Phillies next homestand.


Real Deal’s story: I was in Washington with my cousin for the game, and we were checking out the stadium when someone texted me the news at first.  I looked on the internet on my phone, and both me and my cousin sent texts and called people to see if it was true, and nobody knew anything.  About 15 minutes later something popped up on CSN Mobile and I start spreading the news via text.  We went to find other Phillies fans, but couldn’t find any right away, until we ran into a writer for the Metro, who asked us about [Nats President] Stan Kasten’s plea to Philly fans to check out the stadium (in an attempt to sell tickets).  We explained to him we bought the tickets before we heard about him asking fans to come down to DC, and asked the reporter if he had heard about Harry, and he said no.  He then said he would have to change the article, and asked us about Harry and how we felt and such, and it was published the next day.  The trip was fun, the Phillies won, but the day was somber.

Roose’s story: Me and Justin Evans of “Red Pinstripes Are Cooler” were playing NHL 09 on X-Box Live when Evans told me that he saw on Twitter that HK collapsed in the booth. We kept our eyes glued to the computer screen until when we started a game, Evans told me that he had passed via Todd Zolecki. We sat there in silence for a couple minutes and then he said “I gotta go” and we just shut off the game. I sat there at my desk and just cried. It was such a horrible feeling. He was the voice of this franchise and the voice I grew up on. I recently purchased a Jimmy Rollins jersey and bought a “HK” patch and had it sewn on the jersey. I will always wear that jersey and will always think of Harry. We miss you.

Ruiz Last Starter to Sign

The Phillies locked up their catcher for the next three years as Carlos Ruiz and Phils agree to a three-year, $9 million deal pending a physical. The 31-year old became the third player to avoid arbitration after Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton were both signed to three-year deals. Chooch hit .255 with nine home runs and 43 RBI’s in 2009 in 107 games. He had an amazing post season where he batted .341 with two homers and nine RBI’s in 15 playoff games.

UPDATE: Todd Zolecki confirmed that Ruiz’s deal is worth $8.85 million for three years with an option for a fourth year at $5 million.

The next question the Phillies need to answer is what to do with Jayson Werth. Going into the 2010 with a $140 million payroll could force the Phillies to either look to make some trades to free up money, give Werth a lucrative contract and operate on a much higher payroll or perhaps go with Domonic Brown in right.

“We cannot operate with nothing but $15- to $20-million players,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said at Friday’s news conference announcing the Victorino signing at Citizens Bank Park. “And if there’s any indication how much the [Matt] Holliday and [Jason] Bay signings have on direct impact on where Werth may be at the end of this year, we’re going to have to sift through it and figure out what’s best for the organization, not just for the next couple years, but also long term.”

2009 Phillies Moment #3: Phillies acquire Cliff Lee

The date was July 29th, 2009, and that morning everyone in Philadelphia was debating whether or not Roy Halladay would be a Phillie by the end of the 31st.  By the end of the 29th, Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco were dealt to Philadelphia in exchange for four prospects: C Lou Marson, P Jason Knapp, P Carlos Carrasco & IF Jason Donald, keeping their ‘big trio’ of prospects. 

Ben Francisco surely left his mark.  Big Ben played in 37 games for the Phils, mainly as a pinch hitter, hit .278 with 5 HR and 13 RBI for the club.  But the big story was the true ace that the Phillies were looking for (especially since Cole Hamels was slumping).  In 12 regular season games, Lee went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA.  But the true magic was in the postseason where Lee went 4-0 and a 1.56 ERA, as the Phillies went to the World Series.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said:

Obviously, we’re pretty pleased. One of our goals was to acquire a top-of-the-rotation guy, somebody who we felt like was going to make a difference. And we think that Cliff can certainly do that. We’ve talked a thousand times about the right-handed bat. We’ve given ourselves some versatility.

Closer Brad Lidge added:

It’s huge. I don’t know how they did it. But they were able to pull that off and not give away [left-hander J.A.] Happ. Wow. Getting a guy like Cliff Lee and getting a great outfielder, too, is pretty amazing considering we didn’t have to give away anybody on our team to do it.

Now we all know that Cliff Lee’s time here was short, but here’s to say it wasn’t sweet.  The day we acquired Lee, everyone was disappointed that we didn’t acquire Roy Halladay (just wait 6 months, fans), but pumped that we got an ace, regardless.


Real Deal’s personal story: I was actually in Williamsburg, Virginia that week, and was at Busch Gardens that day.  I didn’t bring my phone with me, but my cousin brought his, so at lunch I asked to borrow it for a second and saw that we were close to dealing for Lee.  Fortunately, we finished all the rides and attractions before we were forced to go home around 3:00 (rain, we could have stayed but we’ve been there so many times, and we did everything we wanted to that day).  The rest of the day I spent catching up on texts about Lee, and watching ESPN about the deal.

Phillies Sign Contreras

The Phillies and Jose Contreras have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. The 38-year old Cuban made 28 appearances last season for the White Sox and Rockies, 23 of them were starts. He went 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA in 131.2 innings pitched.

This is just another low-risk, high reward move that Ruben Amaro, Jr. made. Contreras will have a similar role to Chan Ho Park last year. He will compete with Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick for the fifth spot in the rotation and if he loses, he could be a valuable and experience right arm in the pen.

You can qualify this as a “MNG” segment as well seeing as you now know everything you need to know about him. This move should also rule out Ben Sheets.

Report: Victorino next to sign extension

According to Todd Zolecki, Shane Victorino is the next to sign an extension with the Phils.  The deal is reported to be a 3 year deal (going through 2012), like Joe Blanton’s.  Apparently the deal, according to reports, will be $22 million.  The official deal could be announced tommorow.

As for locking Victorino up, what does this mean for Jayson Werth at the end of the year when he becomes a free agent?

-Real Deal