PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Galvis starts, hits 2-run homer in win over Nationals – The Times Herald

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Galvis starts, hits 2-run homer in win over Nationals
The Times Herald
Philadelphia Phillies‘ Freddy Galvis, right, follows through after hitting a single off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in Philadelphia. At left is catcher Wilson Ramos.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Galvis starts, hits 2-run homer in win over Nationals – The Times Herald
Author:
From Feed: https://news.google.com/news/feeds?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Philadelphia+Phillies&output=rss

Powered by WPeMatico

Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels Right To Be Miffed After Quick Hook From … – Rant Sports


Rant Sports
Philadelphia Phillies‘ Cole Hamels Right To Be Miffed After Quick Hook From
Rant Sports
Without saying much, Cole Hamels said a lot after being pulled by Ryne Sandberg in a 4-3 win for the Philadelphia Phillies over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night. The highest-paid athlete in Philadelphia sports history and former World Series
Phillies-Nationals: 5 things you need to knowComcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Revere’s speed leads Phillies to 3rd straight winAsbury Park Press
Nationals’ Wednesday night lineup: Nats’ 1B Adam LaRoche back in against Federal Baseball
The Star-Ledger
all 23 news articles »

Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels Right To Be Miffed After Quick Hook From … – Rant Sports
Author:
From Feed: https://news.google.com/news/feeds?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Philadelphia+Phillies&output=rss

Powered by WPeMatico

Phils battling tough teams as end of August nears

The Phils have used the small ball approach to winning and it’s working

The Phillies are battling the tougher teams lately, and have a nice 3 game win streak to show for it. The Phils are now in a postion to sweep the Washington Nats, a possibility that didn’t see all that probable just a few short weeks ago.

They are doing it with small ball, the base hits that are turning into runs.

The team is still 15.5 games out of first place and have a record of 60-72, but it is now appearing that the Phils may be able to at least equal last year’s disastrous 73-89 record if they continue playing like they have the past week.

No, it’s not what we expected at the beginning of the season. At least some of us.

For some reason, this team hasn’t been able to pull it together now in a few seasons. In 2012, the Phils were 81-81 and have been on a downward slide since then.

Charlie Manuel was let go last season at a 53-67 record, so far Ryne Sandberg has remained out of the spotlight for why the Phillies aren’t doing so well.

For now though, we’ll take these last couple of games and try to build off of the positive of this. Start from little and try to think bigger.

One thing is probably for sure, the bulk of this team will probably change this offseason, so you may want to get out to the ballpark before it all changes. It may be the last time you see some of these players in a Phillies uniform.

Phils battling tough teams as end of August nears
Author:
From Feed: http://www.fightinphillies.com/feeds/posts/default

Powered by WPeMatico

Cole Hamels unhappy with manager Ryne Sandberg after 84-pitch start (Big League Stew)

Without saying a word, Cole Hamels spoke volumes Tuesday night on how he felt about being removed by manager Ryne Sandberg. After he allowed a tying home run to the Washington Nationals in the eighth inning, Hamels reacted with simmering anger when Sandberg came to fetch him. Hamels, who had thrown 84 pitches, churlishly flipped the ball to Sandberg without waiting for him to fully ascend the mound, as is the usual courtesy. Afterward,  Hamels swiftly stalked away, stone-faced. Carlos Ruiz drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth, and the Phillies won 4-3. In the grand scheme, the decision won’t matter much to the Phillies, who are out of the pennant race. The bigger question is, can the “highest-paid” Philadelphia athlete in history coexist with the manager? Hamels had not cooled off much by the time reporters questioned him, either. Via the Bucks County Courier Times :

Cole Hamels unhappy with manager Ryne Sandberg after 84-pitch start (Big League Stew)
Author:
From Feed: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/phi/rss.xml

Powered by WPeMatico

Angels pursuing pitching (The SportsXchange)

With Garrett Richards out of the season, the Los Angeles Angels are kicking the tires on multiple veteran pitchers ahead of the waiver trade deadline Sunday. Options include A.J. Burnett of the Philadelphia Phillies and Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets. Richards was having the best season of any starting pitcher in the Angels’ rotation. Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Matt Shoemaker are in line to lead the team’s playoff rotation, but the team is thin behind that threesome.

Angels pursuing pitching (The SportsXchange)
Author:
From Feed: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/phi/rss.xml

Powered by WPeMatico

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – News & Observer


Rant Sports
Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
News & Observer
(SportsNetwork.com) – And just that quickly, a franchise-record win streak is a losing streak. The Washington Nationals visit Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night for the third and final game of a series with the Philadelphia Phillies after having
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Galvis starts, hits 2-run homer in win over NationalsThe Times Herald
Philadelphia Phillies Beating Washington Nationals Another Example of Too Rant Sports
Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf help Philadelphia Phillies to win over Washington The Express-Times – lehighvalleylive.com
Reuters
all 288 news articles »

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – News & Observer
Author:
From Feed: https://news.google.com/news/feeds?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Philadelphia+Phillies&output=rss

Powered by WPeMatico

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – Lexington Herald Leader


Rant Sports
Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Lexington Herald Leader
(SportsNetwork.com) – And just that quickly, a franchise-record win streak is a losing streak. The Washington Nationals visit Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night for the third and final game of a series with the Philadelphia Phillies after having
Carlos Ruiz drives in go-ahead run as Philadelphia Phillies beat Washington The Times-Picayune – NOLA.com
Philadelphia Phillies Beating Washington Nationals Another Example of Too Rant Sports
Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf help Philadelphia Phillies to win over Washington The Express-Times – lehighvalleylive.com
CBSSports.com
all 269 news articles »

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – Lexington Herald Leader
Author:
From Feed: https://news.google.com/news/feeds?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Philadelphia+Phillies&output=rss

Powered by WPeMatico

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – Charlotte Observer


Rant Sports
Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Charlotte Observer
(SportsNetwork.com) – And just that quickly, a franchise-record win streak is a losing streak. The Washington Nationals visit Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night for the third and final game of a series with the Philadelphia Phillies after having
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: Galvis starts, hits 2-run homer in win over NationalsThe Times Herald
Philadelphia Phillies Beating Washington Nationals Another Example of Too Rant Sports
Freddy Galvis, Darin Ruf help Philadelphia Phillies to win over Washington The Express-Times – lehighvalleylive.com
Reuters -ESPN -The Times-Picayune – NOLA.com
all 274 news articles »

Washington Nationals (75-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (60-72), 7:05 p.m. (ET) – Charlotte Observer
Author:
From Feed: https://news.google.com/news/feeds?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=Philadelphia+Phillies&output=rss

Powered by WPeMatico

The Thinning Herd (Rotoworld)

The top tiers of the reliever rankings are thinning.

The Thinning Herd (Rotoworld)
Author:
From Feed: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/phi/rss.xml

Powered by WPeMatico

Crash Bag, Vol. 112: Evaluating Ben Revere

Sorry for the service interruption–last week I was driving through Pennsyltucky en route to seeing the beloved Taney Dragons get their heads bashed in by a bunch of enormous blond kids from Nevada. Here’s what I wrote about the spectacle, in case you’re interested in reading. If not, you can just head down to the question part.

@tssmythe: “Revere is young & cheap, has skills (avg, speed) and flaws (OBP, SLG, Def). Is he a good fit as CF on rebuilding team?”

Long have I been fascinated by Ben Revere. He’s not exactly a unique player–once we get past the pre-K “everyone is a snowflake” nonsense, there’s probably not such a thing as a baseball player who is beyond comparison. But Revere is fairly special in terms of how he plays the game, and for that reason I’ve always found him interesting, and for that reason, conventional stats aren’t particularly good at painting the whole picture. (Note: I wrote this before Tuesday night’s games, so these numbers might have changed slightly between then and now.)

For instance, the way you framed the question is instructive: Revere has a high batting average and speed, but has a low OBP and SLG and is a bad defender. That’s not actually true, or at least isn’t the best way of stating it. Revere is hitting .311/.330/.364, against a National League average of .249/.312/.384. So OBP is actually an asset, and SLG isn’t actually that much of a drag–20 points isn’t trivial, but neither is it too low for him to hold down a major league job. If we’re using SLG alone as a measure of power, how come we still consider Ryan Howard to be a power hitter with a .379 SLG, while Revere’s .364 SLG represents a lack of power so severe it renders him unplayable? The same is true with OBP–Revere’s actually got an above-average OBP. What people mean by that is that he’s not walking. Personally, in this run environment and with this roster, I’m cool starting a really fast guy with a .330 OBP in the leadoff spot–he’s getting on base, and for all practical purposes, it doesn’t matter how he does it.

What Revere represents (and this is why I find him so interesting) is the limit of batting average as an evaluative tool. SLG and OBP are far better descriptors of a player’s offensive value than batting average, but the primary determinant of both stats is batting average. That’s why the triple slash line is so great as a shorthand–whether those numbers are high or low tells you how good the player’s been, and the difference between those three numbers actually gives you a good feel for what kind of hitter he is without using any math more advanced than division of three-digit numbers.

So what are Revere’s actual assets and deficiencies as a hitter? Simply put, he doesn’t walk, and he doesn’t hit for power, which is what people actually mean when they say he’s got a low OBP and SLG. The good news is that by hitting for a high enough average and generating a ton of contact, you can overcome these things. Revere is one of the best contact hitters in baseball: among 152 qualified hitters, nobody makes more contact on pitches in the strike zone, and only Denard Span makes more contact overall. Revere hits 4.37 grounders for every fly ball (by far the highest ratio in the game) and he doesn’t so much run the bases as he’s transmitted from one base to the next like heat through an aluminum gutter on a sunny day in Texas. Given that grounders turn into hits more often than fly balls, and fast guys beat out more grounders than slow guys, Revere’s .339 BABIP is not luck-inflated. Put all that together and you get a guy who’ll hit over .300 in any run environment, and if you’re hitting over .300, you’re almost always going to have at least an average OBP nowadays, plus a high enough SLG not to be embarrassing. Revere’s strengths as a hitter not only compensate for his weaknesses, they directly counteract them, at least to a certain extent.

HOWEVER.

Now that I’ve spent 600 words arguing semantics, let’s talk about why Revere never walks. It’s not because he’s some hacker without a conscience who can’t tell the strike zone from a school bus. Among those 152 qualified hitters, Revere is 94th in swing rate on pitches outside the strike zone–he’s actually rather patient. The problem is the lack of power. We actually do have a stat in fairly common use, isolated power, that formalizes the gap between batting average and SLG. Revere’s ISO is .053, second-lowest in baseball, above only Derek Jeter, which is kind of hilarious on its own. The other day on Twitter, Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts held forth on the causes and effects of Revere’s lack of power, so you should go follow him, then scroll back through his timeline to Monday to see what he said.

If you don’t feel like doing that, here’s more or less the point of that–Revere’s got so little power not only because of a lack of physical strength, but because of his swing mechanics. His swing has been engineered to hit ground balls, and while the Phillies could get him to alter that, they do so at the risk of damaging the high-BABIP, high-contact swing he’s got now. Without the risk of giving up a home run–or really, even a double–pitchers don’t fear Revere enough to throw him balls. They’re content to pound the zone and have him beat a ball into the ground and take their chances–Revere sees the 10th-most pitches in the zone of any hitter, and even though he has the fifth-lowest swing percentage on pitches in the zone, he almost never misses. Tally up all the pitches Revere sees and he’ll swing and miss maybe once or twice a week, on average.

Put another way, if you take away his lack of power, Revere is very nearly a perfect hitter: he’s extremely selective, makes a preposterous amount of contact and turns a lot of those balls in play into hits. But the direct and indirect effects of not being able to hit a mistake for extra bases makes this, the best-case scenario for Revere as an offensive player, about league-average at the plate.

And I really think we all ought to sit down and take a moment to contemplate that, because that’s fucking wild. I mean, how cool is that, that such an extreme case of a flaw can undo so many other great parts to a player’s game? Baseball is the best sometimes.

Anyway, when Revere came over from the Twins, I assumed that if he hit for as high an average as this, he’d produce nearly league-average results at the plate, which, when you put it together with good center field defense and 45 steals a year, is a first-division starter. The problem is that Revere’s graded out as a dreadful defender, and I have no idea why or what can be done to fix it. I know the arm is bad, but I figured he’d be able to get to enough balls in center to make up for it. Maybe the arm is just so extremely bad that it doesn’t matter how many balls he gets to, and given that everything else about Revere’s game is extreme, it wouldn’t shock me if that were the case. Maybe he’s got Domonic Brown‘s Disease, where you look at a player’s tools and just scratch your head as he gives back 15 runs a year with the glove for reasons passing understanding. Maybe it’s a fluke of the advanced defensive metrics. I have no idea. But I’d have given you long odds that it would be the glove and not the bat that would make Revere a replacement-level player. Because the bat plays as it is.

Back to your original question: Is Revere worth keeping around? Absolutely. He’s still only 26 and cost-controlled, and it’s not like the Phillies have a surfeit of better, younger center field prospects, so I see no reason to be aggressive in getting rid of him. But if he doesn’t turn into a scratch defender overall, he won’t be the center fielder on the next good Phillies team.

@FelskeFiles: “What’s your take on defensive metrics/stats, given that Fangraphs has Revere and Trout rated about equally defensively?”

There was an episode of Effectively Wild recently about how much we trust defensive stats, in wake of the Great War and Pestilence that resulted from Alex Gordon leading Mike Trout on the fWAR leaderboard. I think we’re frustrated by advanced defensive stats because they’re imperfect, and they lag behind offensive stats in terms of accuracy. Offense is simple–you know what you want to measure, and because offense occurs in discrete individual confrontations and produces simple numerical outputs, data’s extremely easy to measure. Defense is fluid. So much of it depends on factors outside the player’s control–particularly in the outfield–that it’s hard to come up with the kind of clean, exact data we expect from baseball. This will get better once the data gets better, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.

Left field in particular can get wonky, because there are a couple oddly-shaped left fields (Houston and Boston in particular) and the range in quality of left fielders is so great. You’ve got guys out there who can barely play first base, and you’ve got some guys who would be very good right or center fielders if their teams didn’t already have good right and center fielders, so the baselines for replacement-level and average are all shot to hell.

What I do now is make a mental adjustment whenever the defensive metrics spit out a number that doesn’t make sense, at least until we get enough data to iron out all the weirdness. So Alex Gordon’s a great defensive left fielder, but he’s probably not so much better than Trout is defensively to make up for Trout being a much better hitter at a much tougher position. When the going gets tough, the smart people give up.

Good question. Let’s have another.

@FelskeFiles: “should the Phillies spend whatever it takes to land Yasmani Tomas, or should there be a limit? If so, what’s the $ limit?”

I don’t know enough about Yasmani Tomas to be able to answer the second part of the question intelligently, so let me say this: Yes, they should spend whatever it takes. The Phillies’ greatest organizational strength is their economic might, and their greatest weakness is player development. Restrictions on spending for most amateur players and the leaguewide recognition of how aging curves work relative to free agency has blunted the Phillies’ ability to leverage their economic advantages into an on-field advantage. Except when it comes to international free agents like Tomas, who, as an added bonus, come nearly fully-formed.

Therefore, yes, I would want them to spend whatever it takes to sign him, within reason, obviously. I’m not suggesting they should give him $50 million a year, because I care very deeply about whether the Phillies win, and do not care even a little about whether ownership turns a profit. So if they think Tomas is the guy for them, the sky’s the limit. Of course, they’ll be bidding against other teams with equal economic might and better on-field situations, so maybe there’s a chance someone will give Tomas an offer that even I would consider unwise. Anything can happen.

@Ut26: “Listening to a baseball game on the radio (called by a strong broadcast booth) is better than watching on TV. True or False?”

False. Come on, the Phillies aren’t so bad that the games are actually better if you can’t see them. There’s probably some nostalgia about the bygone days where you and Granpappy would sit on the porch outside his Arkansas farmhouse and listen to the Cardinals games on the radio and sip iced tea and play checkers while Norman Rockwell painted your picture. But you can bet your ass that given the choice, Granpappy would rather take his iced tea indoors and actually watch the game in HD. And so should you. I’m reminded of the Lance Reddick light bulb commercials from last year.

No, Lt. Daniels, I do not do the warsh down at the crick, and neither do I listen to the ballgame on the radio unless I’m in the car. Technological advancements, on the whole, are a force for good, and those who oppose them in favor of a simpler time would best serve society by sucking it up going on with their lives, as people did in the cholera-infested wasteland to which they’d want us to return. The best thing that can happen to a generation is for the generation that came before it to die, and allow us to move on in peace.

@dj_mosfett: “What is the one baseball player name you never could pronounce right, no matter how hard you tried?”

Hyun-Jin Ryu, which I’m really embarrassed about. I forget who pointed this out, but when Giannis Antetokounmpo (I spelled it right on the first try, by the way, though I had to check after the fact) broke in with the Bucks and everyone made a big deal out of his name, everyone (read: Mostly white, American men) made a big deal about how crazy his name was and tried to shorten it so they wouldn’t have to pronounce or spell it. Anyway, the objection was that it might be 61 letters long, but it’s still his name, and it’s disrespectful at best, imperialist at worst, to truncate or mispronounce it right just because it’s foreign. So while acknowledging that I think it’d be cool if he went by “Giannis” only, like Ichiro or a Brazilian soccer player, I’ve tried to make more of an effort to pronounce players’ names correctly.

That said, even though I’m like 85 percent sure I’m trying to pronounce Ryu’s name right, I have a hard time physically making the noise you should make when you’re saying “Ryu.” So I’m sorry for being the ugly American, but I’m doing the best I can.

@andymoney69: “which one of the following scenarios are most likely the sun swallows the earth whole, we find happiness or ruben amaro goes bye”

1) The Sun swallows the Earth. This is pretty much a lock to happen in, like, 4 billion years, right? At least according to our current understanding of the way stars work, it is certain that the thing that gives us life will engulf us in a nuclear fire from which there can be no escape.

2) Ruben Amaro goes bye. Even if he’s never fired, he’ll get bored or frustrated or die at some point in the future.

3) We find happiness. The first two are virtual certainties–if you think great fulfillment awaits, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

@tholzerman: “Which potential playoff team is the most kosher for Phillies fans to adopt?”

So, my standby was always the Rangers, which is, um, probably not happening this time. Really, I don’t care as long as it’s not the Yankees or Cardinals, who are Evil, or the Braves, who are a hated rival. Even the Nats I’m ambivalent about, because they’re fun and even though they’re a division rival, they’ve never bothered me for whatever reason.

My first instinct was the Orioles: great uniforms, tortured fans, Mid-Atlantic solidarity, Buck Showalter. But they’ve also lost Manny Machado and gained Delmon Young, so I feel like we can do better. Mariners and Brewers fans deserve a trip to the World Series, while the Angels and Dodgers have the two most exciting players.

But I really want to see the A’s at least win the pennant. Those poor bastards have been losing in Game 5 of the ALDS since time immemorial, and they’re due. I think that’s my preferred winner, but anyone but the Braves, Cardinals and Yankees are kosher, as far as I’m concerned.

Thank you for patronizing the Crash Bag. Come back next week.

Crash Bag, Vol. 112: Evaluating Ben Revere
Author: Michael Baumann
From Feed: http://crashburnalley.com/feed/

Powered by WPeMatico