29 Sep

Originally posted on The Zo Zone:

It is a fitting end to a forgettable season.

Ryan Howard, who missed much of 2012 following left Achilles surgery, broke his right big toe Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, where he dropped the lead pipe his swings in the on-deck circle squarely on his toe. Howard said an x-ray Thursday revealed a small fracture in the toe, which will require nothing more than rest to heal.

But his season is over.

So what’s next for the Phillies’ $125 million man? Only the most important offseason of his career.

Howard hit .219 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 56 RBIs in 71 games. His batting average, on-base percentage (.295), slugging percentage (.423) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.718) are career lows, but he projected to 127 RBIs over a full season because he hit .329 with runners in scoring position.

“I know I’m a better hitter than that,” Howard said…

View original 426 more words

Melky Suspension May Disrupt Phillies

15 Aug

Like it or not, the suspension of Melky Cabrera is going to have an impact on the Phillies offseason plans.

Cabrera was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy, as he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Cabrera had denied reports of the test for a number of weeks after rumors swirled of the test around the time of the All-Star game.

Cabrera was the All-Star Game MVP, and was leading the league in runs, and hits.

The Phillies toyed with the idea of trying to trade for Melky last season before making their move for Hunter Pence, and given their need for a center fielder next season, would likely have considered trying to sign him as a free agent this fall.

They still could.

For Cabrera it was a mistake that will cost him millions, as he was likely in line to entertain offers above $75MM for his services going forward.  He was going to be one of the three most sought after outfielders this fall with Michael Bourn, and Shane Victorino. All along I was kinda hoping that Bourn would be our number one target, but with this suspension to Cabrera it may actually increase Bourn’s price.

With Bourn’s price already looking to be sky high, and Melky’s suspension makes the market for a premiere outfielder a little bit thinner.  At the same time it’s possible that a team might get a huge discount if a team decides to grab Cabrera in free agency, but of course there is plenty of risk there, since you really don’t know what you’re going to get.

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Halladay Looked Good… Real Good

11 Aug

Eight innings good.

For those of you who thought Roy Halladay was cooked, you were wrong.

Roy’s performance on Friday night was utterly brilliant, and it all came down to one thing.

His mechanics.
“To me it’s going out and making pitches. I’ve had years when I threw 90 or 91. I had success. It’s location, movement and making pitches. For me one or two miles-per-hour isn’t going to help me. For me, location and movement is going to help me. I just need to focus to continue to do that — just go out and pitch. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success in my career and I’ve been very blessed to do that and I’m going to go out from game to game like I always have. I’m not worried about if I’m going to win 20. Those are things I’ve never worried about and I’m not going to worry about them now. I’m just going to do the best I can and be aggressive and make pitches.”
That’s just the type of pitcher Roy is.  It’s not about his velocity, it’s about his stuff.  Last night made it pretty evident that Roy can be effective if he’s throwing 90-91 instead of 92-93.
Did you see that curve ball last night?  Nasty.

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Just for Fun!

10 Aug

Good morning gang!  I’m so totally excited to present a little collaboration with a great artist and Phillies fan, Dan Boyer!

Check these out! 

Dan Boyer of Wild Kingdumb.com is the West Coast’s biggest Phillies fan.  He specializes in pop-culture art and nerd-tastic illustrations, and has been a huge Phillies fan since Joe Carter broke his heart in ’93.  Dan takes requests and special orders so go visit him at WildKingdumb.com.

Dan was awesome enough to hand draw these great pictures of the Phanatic just or this limited release.  Each shirt design is limited to a run of 50, so get yours before they are gone!

Check out Dan’s art, and grab one of his shirts!  Limited Edition = Cool.

I’m so totally excited that this got done.

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Impressive Sellout Streak Ends

6 Aug

The Phillies have nobody to thank for their successes, but you, the fans.

After 257 straight regular-season sellouts, the streak ends.  Monday night’s loss to the Braves was taken in by just 41,665, and was the smallest since July 6, 2009.  The Phillies have said that they drew a total of 11,585,952 during the 257 sellout streak. They are still first in the Majors in attendance this season.

“The number of sellouts could not have been possible without the tremendous loyalty of our fans who continue to lead all of Major League Baseball in average attendance this year,” Phillies president David Montgomery said in a statement.

The Phillies sellout streak was the longest in National League history, and the third longest in Major League history.The only two that were longer are The Boston Red Sox current sellout streak of 772 games going, and the Cleveland Indians had 455 consecutive sellouts from 1995 through 2001.

As the team started to dwindle, so did the crowds, and it was just a matter of time.  The empty patches of seats were starting to become noticeable over the last few weeks, but still sellouts were being recorded because of a large amount of pre-sales.  It’s fairly likely that the Phillies will have a collection of sellouts still before the season ends, but it’s going to take a better product on the field to get it motored up.

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Phillies Tidbits

5 Aug
  • Cliff Lee will remain a Phillie for the remainder of 2012, as the window on the Dodgers’ waiver claim closed today. Lee coughed up three home runs in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks this afternoon.  Lee looked great at times, but continues to attack
  • Kyle Kendrick will start on Wednesday against the Braves.  Kendrick stepped in as a spot starter on Friday when Dodgers acquired Joe Blanton just before game time. Kendrick will be making his 15th start of the season which earns him a $100,000 bonus.
  • Jimmy Rollins got Sunday off after going hitless in his last three games.  Rollins was batting .187 in his last 22 games.  Rollins came on to pinch hit for Michael Martinez in the 8th, and finished the game. He popped out in his lone at-bat.
  • The Phillies announced that they have released infielder Mike Fontenot.  The Phils designated Fontenot for assignment on August 1.  Mike was released to make room on the roster when the Phillies acquired Josh Lindblom and Nate Schierholtz. Fontenot, 32, hit .289/.343/.340 in 105 plate appearances this year for the Phillies.  The veteran signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in April and split time between second and third base in 2012.
  • Shane Victorino is batting .167 (2-12) with 1 run scored and 1 stolen base in three games with the Dodgers.
  • Hunter Pence is batting .118 (2-17) with zero runs, 2 RBI and 3K’s in four games with the Giants.
  • The Phillies observed a moment of silence for Garrett Reid before Sunday’s game. The 29-year-old son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid was found dead in his room at the Eagles training camp at Lehigh University on Sunday morning. Local police said there were no “suspicious” activity and no cause of death has been determined.

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Chooch Likely Done for the Season

4 Aug

For any of you crazies that were holding out hope, he’s your final blow…

The Phillies have announced that  Carlos Ruiz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

An MRI has revealed a partial tear in Chooch’s foot, and he is expected to miss four to six weeks…. But more likely the rest of the season.

The Phillies have recalled Hector Luna.  Brian Schneider and Erik Kratz will assume the team’s catching duties into September.

It’s a real shame for Carlos, who was having the best season of his career. He was batting .335 with 28 doubles, 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, a .399 on-base percentage, a .559 slugging percentage and a .959 OPS.

Carlos had been nursing this injury for a number of weeks, but recently it just became too much.

Plantar’s fasciitis is a tricky injury, and it does tend to resurface for athletes that have had it before.  I feel that it may just be in the best interest of Carlos to just shut him down and have him return to Clearwater in the Spring.  I’m not a huge fan of having him push himself just to come back for the last two weeks of September.

Carlos really was the best part of 2012 for the Phillies lost season.

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