It can’t get worse than this, can it??

Posted by mattsmith on 20th April 2012

Straight from Todd Zolecki’s Phillies.com blog this morning:

“The Phillies rank 14th in the league in on-base percentage (.280), 15th in slugging percentage (.325) and 15th in runs per game average (2.85). If those averages look horrendous, they are. No National League team has finished a season with a worse on-base percentage since the 1965 Mets (.277); a worse slugging percentage since the 1968 Dodgers (.319), 1968 Astros (.317) and 1968 Mets (.315); or a worse runs per game average than the 1942 Phillies (2.61).”

The suckitude cannot worsen, right? At some point, even an anemic rehabilitates and becomes stronger… right???

Funny how things work in baseball. Just three years ago, the Phillies were widely regarded as having the best offense in the National League, behind only the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays, maybe, in the majors.

Three years later, this is the worst lineup contructed since the Terry Francona era. Juan Pierre, John Mayberry Jr, Freddy Galvis (who will be a good player, but not this year), Placido Polanco are regulars.

Heck, does anyone in the lineup scare anyone? Or, how about this repharse: does anyone in the lineup excite or entertain anymone?

Rollins? Not anymore.
Polanco? Yeah, right…
Pierre? Don’t get me started.

Mayberry has been a disaster and looks absolutely lost at the plate. Chooch is what he is. He’s honestly the most popular Phillie right now, I’m convinced. Everybody loves the guy, but I don’t think the e-word when I think of Ruiz.

Maybe Shane Victorino, when he’s going real good. But he, like just about everyone else, has been nothing more than a singles hitter.

Honestly, the “watch” value of this club is at a low. I don’t think I’ve been this disinterested or disgusted since circa 2006, when the Abreus, Lieberthals and Liebers were clogging up roster spots.

On any given night, when I’m not working, I tend to pay more attention Nationals games or Mets games (best broadcast team in baseball), Tigers, Rays, Royals, etc. on MLB.TV than I do the Phils.

Sad.

Tags: Bobby Abreu, Freddy Galvis, Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Juan Pierre, Mike Lieberthal, New York Mets, Shane Victorino, Terry Francona, Todd Zolecki, Tomas Perez, Washington Nationals
Posted in Phillies commentary, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Bench makeover would help Phils

Posted by mattsmith on 5th October 2009

So much has been made out of the Phillies’ pitching situation heading into the playoffs, it’s easy to forget that this team has one major flaw outside of a guy whose name rhymes with “Lad” and “Bridge”…

The bench is weak.

But it’s not a lost cause, either.

There are two semi-not-really-controversial moves/switch-a-roos that should be made for the NLDS.

John Mayberry Jr. over Matt Stairs

So what if Mayberry failed to live up to the spring-training hype. And who cares if he has career minor leaguer written all over him.

Matt Stairs doesn’t deserve a spot on the roster.

I know, I know … he’s a power lefty and a folk hero. He can suck 90 percent of the time and make up for lost time with one swing of a bat.  Heck, I’ll be the first to admit that the Phillies MIGHT NOT have won the World Series without Stairs’ moonshot in Game 4 against the Dodgers.

But… c’mon, this guy flat-out cannot hit any longer. He’s old, beer-belly fat and Canadian. What more prove is there that this guy just doesn’t have it anymore?

Stairs can’t even catch up with a juicy fastball — his pride and joy. What does he have, one hit since July?

I understand that you’re losing the THREAT of a pinch-hit homer in late innings… but I’d gladly take my chance with Mayberry, who has shown flashes of power, if not an inability to hit any pitch that doesn’t stay straight in the zone.

Not to mention, Mayberry can run a little bit, so he can be used in pinch-run situations if need be.

Miguel Cairo over Eric Bruntlett

Ugh. Well, this isn’t exactly a huge, earth-shattering decision. Both guys a borderline terrible, but I’d give Cairo the nod because he has shown to be a better hitter in limited action this year.

Matt Stairs career-defining moment. Savior it forever, Phillies fans. It wont happen again (or, at least it shouldnt have the chance to happen again... not this year).

Matt Stairs' career-defining moment. Savior it forever, Phillies fans. It won't happen again (or, at least it shouldn't have the chance to happen again... not this year).

Like Stairs, Bruntlett can’t hit a lick.

Maybe Bruntlett is a better fielder… who the hell knows?

Here’s how the bench should look on Wednesday:

Outfielders – Ben Francisco and Mayberry

Infielders: Cairo and Dobbs

Catcher: Paul Bako

Tags: Ben Francisco, Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, John Mayberry Jr., Matt Stairs, Miguel Cairo, Paul Bako, Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Phillies commentary | 4 Comments »

Mayberry Jr., Register optioned

Posted by mattsmith on 30th July 2009

According to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, the Phillies optioned outfielder John Mayberry Jr. and reliever Steven Register to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Mayberry Jr. batted .167 with three home runs in limited action. Register made one ineffective appearance in Saturday’s victory over St. Louis.

Tags: John Mayberry Jr., Philadelphia Phillies, Steven Register
Posted in Phillies news | No Comments »

Francisco adds much-needed bench depth

Posted by mattsmith on 29th July 2009

Cliff Lee-Phillies is probably one of Google’s top search phrases today.

Ben Francisco-Phillies is probably not.

Francisco was essentially “the other guy” in the trade that sent the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner from Cleveland to Philadelphia. Francisco isn’t going to steal the headlines in newspapers tomorrow, but believe-you-me, he’s a welcome addition to the ballclub.

Ben Francisco should be a valuable contributor off the bench.

Ben Francisco should be a valuable contributor off the bench.

One of the Phillies’ few weaknesses this year has been bench depth, specifcally right-handed options. John Mayberry Jr. is an intriguing talent, but he’s a minor league outfielder at this point in his career, and who knows if he’ll be anything special.

Eric Bruntlett can’t hit Little League pitching, I am convinced.

And… well, that’s it in terms of right-handed utilty players.

Francisco played mostly everyday for the Tribe, batting ,240 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI in 308 at-bats. Nothing spectacular, but not bad for guy who’s played 89 games.

Basically, Francisco will give Charlie Manuel options. When Raul Ibanez or Jayson Werth need rest, Francisco gives Charlie Manuel a solid option off the bench.

With Francisco on board, the Phillies addressed a very underrated need.

Tags: Ben Francisco, Charlie Manuel, Cleveland Indians, Cliff Lee, John Mayberry Jr., Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Phillies commentary | No Comments »