Tagged: Philadelphia Phillies

On Roy Halladay’s second Cy Young award

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Roy Halladay‘s
performance this season was one of the most brilliant performances in the history
of the game.  On May 29th he threw the 20th
perfect game in Major League history and followed that up by throwing only the
second no-hitter in post-season history and the first since Don Larsen was
perfect in 1956.  Overall, he was 21-10
with a 2.44 ERA in 33 starts in 2010
in his first tour of the National League with the Phillies.

Today,
Halladay was awarded with the 2010 NL Cy Young award; his second such award and
first in the NL.  Halladay received the
AL version in 2003 when he won a club-record 22 games with the Jays.  He becomes only the 5th pitcher to win the
award in both leagues joining Gaylord
Perry
, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

I couldn’t be
happier for Roy.  I’m sure most Jays’
fans are with me on this one.  He was one
of the few star players who actually wanted to stay in Toronto and did so for
12 seasons.  He did everything in his
power to bring a championship to Toronto and would have stayed if he had that
chance with the Jays.  Given that he’s
getting older, he deserved to be traded and given the opportunity to win it all
while still in his prime.  He didn’t get
there this year, but there’s no doubt he’ll get at least a few more chances
with a very good Phillies team.

The other two
main contenders for the NL Cy Young were Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and
Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies.  Both had
terrific years, but I think the right decision was made here.  Halladay was the unanimous choice for the
award.  He was clearly the best of the
three and cemented himself as baseball’s best pitcher.  In a few years, we may be calling him the
best of his generation.

VOTING
BREAKDOWN
(from
MLB.com)

PITCHER

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Pts.

Roy
Halladay, PHI

32

224

Adam
Wainwright, STL

28

122

Ubaldo
Jimenez, COL

4

19

8

1

90

Tim
Hudson, ATL

3

13

4

39

Josh
Johnson, FLA

5

5

9

34

Roy
Oswalt, HOU/PHI

1

3

5

14

Brian
Wilson, SF

1

5

7

Heath
Bell, SD

1

1

4

Mat
Latos, SD

1

2

4

Brett
Myers, HOU

1

2

Tim
Lincecum, SF

2

2

Bronson
Arroyo, CIN

1

1

Matt
Cain, SF

1

1

2010 Philadelphia Phillies Preview

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Phillies.png2009 Record: 93-69, 1st NL East

2009 Prediction: 89-73, 2nd NL East (NL
Wildcard)

2010 Prediction: 1st NL East

 

Impact Player: Ryan Howard

Impact Pitcher: Roy Halladay

Top Prospect Player:
OF Domonic Brown

Top Prospect Pitcher:
RHP Phillippe Aumont

 

Manager: Charlie Manuel, 6th Season (447-363,
.552)

 

Significant
Acquisitions
: 3B Placido Polanco,
C Brian Schneider, INF Juan Castro, UTIL Ross Gload, RHP Roy Halladay,
RHP Danys Baez, RHP Jose Contreras

Significant Losses: 3B Pedro Feliz, C Paul Bako,
1B/OF Matt Stairs, C Chris Coste, UTIL Eric Bruntlett, LHP Cliff
Lee
, RHP Chan Ho Park, RHP Clay Condrey, RHP Brett Myers, RHP Pedro
Martinez
, RHP Tyler Walker, LHP Scott Eyre

 

The Philadelphia Phillies are currently enjoying the glory
years of their franchise.  That’s a
little weird to say considering the Phils have been around as long as any Major
League franchise, but it’s true.  After
decades of losing that saw only 4 World Series appearances in 80+ years with
only one victory, the Phillies have
won the NL pennant two years in a row, winning it all in 2008.  The acquisition of the most prized commodity
in the offseason market in Roy Halladay
ensures that they will be at or near the top again in 2010.  The Phillies are trying to become the first
team since the 1922-24 New York Giants to win three consecutive NL pennants.

 

Pitching

halladayphils.png

GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. made a controversial trade in the
offseason.  No, it wasn’t acquiring
Halladay, it was dealing away Cliff Lee
who had been dominant down the stretch and in the playoffs for the
Phillies.  Analysts and experts are constantly
asking why Amaro dealt away Lee.  If they’d
have kept him, they say, the Phillies would have been the far and away
favourites to win the NL in a landslide. 
Here’s why that thinking is wrong. 
Lee would have made the Phils a force this season, but they are a force
without him in a weak National League. 
Amaro refused to trade away his future by acquiring Halladay.  By trading Lee, he was able to keep his farm
system in a healthy position to ensure that the Phillies will contend for years
to come.  Trust me, Phillies’ fans will
thank him when there’s no “rebuilding” phase in five years.

 

Speaking as a Jays fan, seeing Halladay leave is one of the
hardest things I’ve witnessed from a baseball perspective.  He’s a class act and probably the best player
the organization has ever had.  He’ll be
the unrivalled ace in the Phillies’ rotation and should be even more dominant than he was with the Jays
considering he’s not pitching in the AL East. 
2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels
had a rough 2009 finishing with only 10 wins and a 4.32 ERA.  He’ll need to be back in the form that saw
him go 29-15 in 2007-08.  He’s still only
26 so there’s no reason to think he can’t get back to that.  Joe
Blanton
is nothing if not consistent and is back as the third starter while
fourth man J.A. Happ was terrific in
his rookie campaign finishing second in ROTY voting while going 12-4 with a
2.93 ERA.  The fifth spot will be a Spring
battle between Kyle Kendrick,
47-year-old Jamie Moyer, and
24-year-old Antonio Bastardo.  If Moyer doesn’t start, he could pitch
long-relief although there are rumours that if he’s not starting, he’ll retire.

 

Brad Lidge was
easily the best closer in the NL in 2008, not blowing a single save the entire
year, but he might have been the worst closer in the NL in 2009.  He had 31 saves, but led the majors with 11
blown saves and had the highest ERA of any qualifying reliever at 7.21.  Phillies brass still has confidence in their
fragile-minded closer and he enters this year with his job still intact.  If he struggles again early on, they could
turn to Ryan Madson who was decent
in setup last year and also posted 10 saves, and offseason acquisition Danys Baez also has experience closing
ballgames.  Lefthander J.C. Romero return from his drug
suspension to post a 2.70 ERA down the stretch and veteran Chad Durbin returns as well. 
Jose Contreras was signed in
the offseason but won’t start; the Phillies want him in middle-relief to
preserve his arm and take advantage of his still electric stuff.  The Phillies could still use some help in the
bullpen as there weren’t any substantial improvements to a unit that was near
the bottom of the NL last year.

 

ROTATION

Age

B/T

Roy Halladay*

32/3

R/R

Cole Hamels

26

L/L

Joe Blanton

29

R/R

J.A. Happ

27

L/L

Kyle Kendrick

25/6

R/R

 

 

 

BULLPEN

 

 

Brad Lidge

33

R/R

Danys Baez*

32

R/R

Ryan Madson

29/0

L/R

J.C. Romero

33/4

S/L

Chad Durbin

32

R/R

Jose Contreras*

38

R/R

Jamie Moyer

47

L/L

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

Sergio Escalona

25/6

L/L

Antonio Bastardo

24

R/L

Mike Zagurski

27

L/L

Drew Naylor

22/3

R/R

Drew Carpenter

24/5

R/R

*=newly acquired

 

 

Lineup

ryanhoward.jpg

The Phillies are a team built to succeed in their home
field, Citizen’s Bank Park.  Lots of
power bats, especially from the left side to take advantage of the short porch
in rightfield.  The Phillies finished 1st
in runs scored and homeruns in 2009 in spite of only being 9th in
batting average.

 

In the outfield, Jayson
Werth
had a breakout year in 2009 and is back in rightfield.  He hit 36 homeruns and drove in 99 while
being elected to his first All-Star game. 
Raul Ibanez took advantage of
the homer-friendly atmosphere in Philly and smacked a career-high 34 homeruns
while driving in 93.  He’s not great
defensively in left, but wasn’t as bad as some people thought he would be.  Shane
Victorino
had a very good year winning a Gold Glove in centerfield in spite
of a -7.7 RTot rating.  He also hit .292
with 62 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a league-leading 13 triples.  Ibanez or Werth could be dealt at some point
to make room for phenom prospect Domonic
Brown
who’s just about ready to crack the big-league roster.

 

The Phillies have one of the most productive infields in all
of baseball.  The right side has two
perennial All-Stars in Ryan Howard
at first and Chase Utley at
second.  Those two are among the most
productive players in the game.  Howard
led the NL with 141 RBI in ’09 and also swatted 45 homeruns.  Most people say he has the most raw power of
anyone in the game.  Utley is probably
the best offensive second baseman in baseball and had another outstanding year
with 31 homeruns and 93 RBI.  It was the
fifth straight year that he’s hit at least 20 homeruns and driven in at least
90.  Jimmy
Rollins
is back at short and is one of the best in the game defensively.  The former MVP saw his average and on-base
percentage plummet in 2009, but he still hit 21 homeruns and stole 31
bases.  He’ll need to bring the average
back up to stay in the leadoff spot where the Phillies want him.  At third is Placido Polanco who’s back for a second stint in Philly.  Polanco is a Gold Glove second baseman, but
is being moved to third where he played more in his younger days.  The defensive transition should be seamless.

 

On the bench, Brian
Schneider
is the new backup catcher and is solid in that role.  He knows the pitchers in this division well
having played his entire career in the NL East and plays solid defense.  Veteran Juan
Castro
will be the backup infielder at second, short and third while Greg Dobbs returns and can play all
four corner positions.  Ben Francisco is a solid fourth
outfielder and the Phillies signed Ross
Gload
to provide a bat off the bench and give Howard the occasional day off
at first.

 

Pos.

 

Age

B/T

SS

Jimmy Rollins

31

S/R

3B

Placido Polanco*

34

R/R

2B

Chase Utley

31

L/R

1B

Ryan Howard

30

L/L

RF

Jayson Werth

30/1

R/R

LF

Raul Ibanez

37/8

L/R

CF

Shane Victorino

29

S/R

C

Carlos Ruiz

31

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

BENCH

 

 

C

Brian Schneider*

33

L/R

INF

Juan Castro* (SS, 2B, 3B)

37/8

R/R

3B

Greg Dobbs (1B, LF, RF)

31/2

L/R

1B

Ross Gload* (LF, RF)

34

L/L

OF

Ben Francisco (RF, LF, CF)

29

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

OF

John Mayberry Jr. (RF, LF)

26

R/R

1B

Andy Tracy (3B)

36

L/R

OF

Dewayne Wise* (CF, LF)

32

L/L

C

Paul Hoover

34

R/R

INF

Cody Ransom* (SS, 2B, 3B)

34

R/R

OF

Domonic Brown

22

L/L

*=newly acquired

 

The Phillies should have no problem in the NL East, even
though the division has some depth with Florida, Atlanta, and New York all
potentially fielding winning teams. 
Their weak bullpen needs to improve if they want to make it back to the
World Series, and if Hamels can’t find his form and Happ has a sophomore slump,
the Phils could be in trouble in the postseason.  Their offense and the best pitcher in
baseball will carry them to another NL East division crown in 2010.

Final Prediction:
95-67, 1st NL East

’09 Preview — Philadelphia Phillies

1187577786575-909440613.gif2008 Record: 92-70, 1st NL East
2009 Prediction: 2nd NL East

Impact Player: Ryan Howard
Impact Pitcher: Cole Hamels
Top Prospect: Dominic Brown, OF

Significant Acquisitions: OF Raul Ibanez, P Chan-Ho Park
Significant Losses: OF Pat Burrell, OF So Taguchi, INF Tadahito Iguchi, P Rudy Seanez, P Tom Gordon

For the first time since the Phillies’ 1980 world championship, the city of Philadelphia had a reason to celebrate.  The Phillies have had a long history of losing; last year was only the team’s second World Series title in a history that spans over 120 years.  The Phillies were so bad that they actually changed their name in 1943 to the Philadelphia Blue Jays because they believed the “Phillies” were cursed.  They changed it back after just two seasons.  All that has changed, the Phillies have a core of young players who have become stars and will look to win their 3rd straight NL East as well as defend their world title.  Expect another dog-fight with the Mets for the division; the Mets and Phillies are quickly cultivating one of the most intriguing rivalries in baseball.

Pitching
The Phillies did a great thing in the off-season when they inked ace Cole Hamels to a 3-year $20.5-million contract extension.  Hamels, who is still only 25, is coming off a year in which he went 14-10 with a very good 3.09 ERA, and went onto win the MVP of both the NLCS and World Series.  This guy is the real deal; expect Hamels to be at the top of this rotation for years to come.  After Hamels, the Phillies trot out the oldest player in the majors, Jamie Moyer.  The 46-year-old Moyer signed a two-year extension in the off-season and there doesn’t appear to be any reason to doubt that he will continue to put up great numbers.  He was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA last year.  Brett Myers struggled at times in ’08 but looked good down the stretch and in the playoffs; he’s the number 3 guy.  Joe Blanton returns and hopes to build on a strong September and post-season as well and the fifth spot could go to a number of pitchers.  Young options J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick (who was 11-9 last year), and Carlos Carrasco (who’s only 22) will compete with veterans Adam Eaton and off-season signing Chan-Ho Park.  Park had a comeback season in ’08 pitching out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.  It is likely, however, that Park and Happ will start the year in the ‘pen.

Brad Lidge won the NL Comeback Player of the Year award after posting a perfect 41 for 41 save total and had a sparkling 1.95 ERA and he returns as the closer.  The Phillies should be careful with Lidge though; closers tend to experience setbacks after big years.  J.C. Romero tested positive for Androstiendione in the off-season and will be suspended for the first 50 games of ’08.  Romero says that he mistakenly bought the wrong supplement powder because he ran out of his normal stuff.  Either way, Romero is the team’s top lefty and will be out until June 1st.  In his absence, veteran Scott Eyre will have to step up and Happ could be the second lefthanded option.  From the right-side, Ryan Madson pitched 82.2 innings in the ‘pen last year so could experience some arm-drag but is expected to setup Lidge, and Chad Durbin is back after posting a 2.87 ERA last season.  Veteran Clay Condrey is also expected to earn a spot.

Rotation (Handedness/Age on June 30, 2009)

  • Cole Hamels (L/25)
  • Jamie Moyer (L/46)
  • Brett Myers (R/28)
  • Joe Blanton (R/28)
  • Kyle Kendrick (R/24) 

Bullpen

  • Brad Lidge (R/32)
  • Ryan Madson (R/28)
  • Chad Durbin (R/31)
  • Scott Eyre (L/37)
  • Clay Condrey (R/33)
  • Chan-Ho Park (R/36)
  • J.A. Happ (L/26)

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Lineup
The Phillies led the NL in home runs
in ’08 and finished tied with the Mets for second in runs scored.  This
year should be more of the same with almost exactly the same lineup
returning.  In the outfield, Pat Burrell bolted to play for the team the
Phillies beat in last year’s World Series, the Rays, and has been replaced by
veteran Raul Ibanez who signed a 3-year deal in the off-season.  Shane
Victorino returns in Center and could win a gold glove; many people also think
that he’ll one day be a 20-20 threat.  In Rightfield is former Blue Jay
Jayson Werth who emerged last season as an everyday player hitting .273 with 24
home runs and 67 RBI while also stealing 20 bases.  If he can’t live up to
his ’08 season and falls back to his pre-’08-type numbers than Geoff Jenkins is
still around.  The Phillies may have the best infield in all of
baseball.  Ryan Howard is coming off another great year where he led the
NL with 48 home runs and if he can bring his average back up to about .280 (he
hit .251 last year) than he might be the best all around hitter in the NL whose
name isn’t Albert.  Second Baseman Chase Utley is a 5-tool player who
could win an MVP someday and Short Stop Jimmy Rollins is a former MVP who is
the inspirational leader of this team.  At Third is Pedro Feliz who had a
decent first season in Philly and is outstanding defensively but management
would like to see him hit higher than .249.  Catching will be split
between veterans Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz.  Ruiz has the edge as
starter simply because he’s younger and more durable.

The Phillies have a very deep bench, something all contending teams need. 
Jenkins and Coste will be joined by three other vets in corner infielder Greg
Dobbs, middle-infielder Eric Bruntlett and pinch-hit specialist Matt
Stairs.  Stairs is 41 but still has the ability to take any pitcher deep
late in games if they make a mistake and can also still play the odd inning in
the outfield or at First.  Marcus Giles has also been given a minor-league
deal and could crack the team with a solid spring.

Lineup (Handedness/Age on June 30, 2009)

  • SS  Jimmy Rollins (S/30)
  • CF  Shane Victorino (S/28)
  • 2B  Chase Utley (L/30)
  • 1B  Ryan Howard (L/29)
  • 3B  Pedro Feliz (R/34)
  • LF  Raul Ibanez (L/37)
  • RF  Jayson Werth (R/30)
  • C    Carlos Ruiz (R/30)

Bench

  • OF  Geoff Jenkins (L/34)
  • 3B/1B Greg Dobbs (L/30)
  • C    Chris Coste (R/36)
  • OF/1B Matt Stairs (L/41)
  • INF Eric Bruntlett (R/31)

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Outlook
The Phillies have about as good a chance as anyone at repeating, at least in
the National League.  The NL is so rife with parody that there are
probably 10 teams that could be in the playoff mix; Philadelphia will no doubt
be one of them.  Their offense is as good as anyone’s and their pitching
staff has a lot of potential.  The difference this year is that the
Phillies will have a target on their back and that might make it tougher for
them to repeat as World Series champs.  Final Prediction: 89-73, 2nd NL
East (NL Wildcard Champs, Lose to Chicago Cubs in NLDS)