Rockies Too Steep for Phils

The host Colorado Rockies beat up on Phillies starter Jerome Williams, gaining a split of the 4-game series at Coors Field with a 7-3 victory on Thursday afternoon. Williams (3-4) allowed 8 hits and walked 3 batters in his 5 innings of work, allowing 5 earned runs. He was followed to the mound by reliever […]

Rockies Too Steep for Phils
Author: Matthew Veasey
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Colorado Rockies earn the win to split series with Philadelphia Phillies – Purple Row


Philly.com
Colorado Rockies earn the win to split series with Philadelphia Phillies
Purple Row
Philadelphia was first to the board after an error by first baseman Ben Paulsen put Phillies on the corners with one out. Darin Ruf sent a groundball past Daniel Descalso to score Galvis. De La Rosa got past Ryan Howard and Maikel Franco to limit the
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Ryan Howard’s big night lifts Phillies over the Rockies, 4-2Philly.com
Howard’s big night powers Phils past RockiesMLB.com

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Colorado Rockies earn the win to split series with Philadelphia Phillies – Purple Row
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Top Reasons For the Phillies’ Recent Success

It was only nine days ago when the Phillies were a season-low 12 games under .500, and held the worst record in MLB. Since then, they have enjoyed a successful stretch of seven wins in their last eight games, which included a six game winning streak; the club’s longest since September 2012.
With last night’s win, the Phillies improved their record to 18-24, and are currently 6.5 games back in the NL East.
So, what are the reasons for the Phillies’ recent success?
1. Ryan Howard heating up: Since May 2, Howard has raised his batting average .80 points to give him a current batting average of .257. His OBP has increased .73 points, and his slugging percentage has increased .127 points. In his last seven games, Howard has been one of the hottest first baseman in MLB with a .444 batting average, a .444 OBP, and a .778 slugging percentage. On the season, he has eight home runs, which ranks third among NL first basemen, and 20 RBIs.
2. Starting pitching doing the job: Over their last seven games, the Phillies

Top Reasons For the Phillies’ Recent Success
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Revere trade rumors; Would you deal him or someone else?

On Wednesday night, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported the Phillies have had discussions with the Angles about a possible trade of outfielder Ben Revere.
The 27-year-old Revere, who is under contract through the 2017 season and is making $4.1 million this season, is batting .258 with 12 RBI and nine stolen bases through 40 games this year.
The Angels have a struggling offense and their left fielder Matt Joyce is sporting a .155/.203/.236 slash line in 34 games. The addition of the speedy Revere could certainly prove to be beneficial for the team that sits 5 1/2 games behind the Astros in the American League West division.
Left field is a crowded position for the Phillies, who have options to replace Revere, who has also played plenty of center field, if he is dealt.
Domonic Brown, for Triple-A Lehigh Valley is 15-for-40 (.375 avg) with six RBI over his last nine games as he pushes he way back toward the big league roster. Overall the 27-year-old sports a .272 average with five doubles, a triple and 16 RBI in 3

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Colorado Rockies seek series split against the Philadelphia Phillies – Purple Row


Philly.com
Colorado Rockies seek series split against the Philadelphia Phillies
Purple Row
The Phillies will counter with veteran Jerome Williams, a flyball pitcher who has struggled a bit with left handed batters this season. Williams is 3-3 on the year with a 5.02 ERA, but owns an atrocious 8.16 ERA in three road starts. Here’s how the
Philadelphia Phillies (18-24) at Colorado Rockies (14-23), 3:10 pm (ET)News & Observer
Ryan Howard’s big night lifts Phillies over the Rockies, 4-2Philly.com

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Colorado Rockies seek series split against the Philadelphia Phillies – Purple Row
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Phillies go for series win against Rockies

View image | gettyimages.com Wednesday night’s 4-2 win for the Phillies was their seventh in the last eight games and sets up an opportunity for a second straight series win. Thursday afternoon presents that chance as the Phillies (18-24) look to hand the Rockies (14-23) another loss at Coors Field….

Phillies go for series win against Rockies
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Philadelphia Phillies (18-24) at Colorado Rockies (14-23), 3:10 p.m. (ET) – Lexington Herald Leader


Lexington Herald Leader
Philadelphia Phillies (18-24) at Colorado Rockies (14-23), 3:10 p.m. (ET)
Lexington Herald Leader
(SportsNetwork.com) – The Philadelphia Phillies eye a second straight series victory on Thursday afternoon when they conclude a four-game set with the Colorado Rockies. The Phillies have won seven of their past eight games, taking two of three versus
Philadelphia Phillies‘ Ryan Howard blasts 454-foot homer in winFOXSports.com
Howard’s big night powers Phils past RockiesMLB.com
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Philadelphia Phillies (18-24) at Colorado Rockies (14-23), 3:10 p.m. (ET) – Lexington Herald Leader
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Phillies Rock Colorado

The Phillies put runs on the board early and then cruised to their 7th win in the last 8 games, taking a 4-2 decision from the host Colorado Rockies on a cold Wednesday night at Coors Field in Denver. 22-year old rookie Severino Gonzalez, recalled from AAA Lehigh Valley and pressed into action once again […]

Phillies Rock Colorado
Author: Matthew Veasey
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Ryan Howard's big night lifts Phillies over the Rockies, 4-2 – Philly.com


Philly.com
Ryan Howard’s big night lifts Phillies over the Rockies, 4-2
Philly.com
The Phillies‘ brass has been honest with its own club since around Halloween, though. It’s a rebuilding team that has been eager to sell off veteran parts. With the trade deadline a little more than a month away, the front office’s efforts to move the
Philadelphia Phillies‘ Ryan Howard blasts 454-foot homer in winFOXSports.com
Colorado Rockies walk their way to victory over Philadelphia PhilliesPurple Row
Philadelphia Phillies (17-24) at Colorado Rockies (14-22), 8:40 pm (ET)Belleville News-Democrat
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Ryan Howard's big night lifts Phillies over the Rockies, 4-2 – Philly.com
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Ryan Howard’s Power Is Back

Ryan Howard helped the Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night — their seventh win in their last eight games — with a 3-for-5 performance, including a double and a solo home run. It was crushed:

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Following the game, Howard is batting .257/.308/.507 with eight home runs on the year. He has a .250 isolated power (ISO), which is his best mark in that department since 2009 when he hit 45 home runs. The last three years have been particularly disappointing power-wise, as he finished at .204 in 2012, .199 in ’13, and .156 last season. Currently, the only first basemen with a better ISO than Howard are Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Cabrera, and Anthony Rizzo.

Per FanGraphs, Howard has a 119 wRC+ now, which means he’s batting 19 percent better than the league average. He was at 88, 112, and 93 over the last three seasons. We’re not yet out of May and Howard has taken only 147 plate appearances, so we can’t draw strong conclusions yet, but this is about as good a start to the season as the Phillies could have reasonably expected.

There is one item of concern, which is his 5.4 percent walk rate. His career average is 11.4 percent, but part of his low walk rate is the fact that pitchers aren’t nearly as afraid to challenge him with fastballs in the strike zone as they used to be. If Howard continues to punish pitching the way he has lately, pitchers will return to throwing him breaking balls low and away and Howard will have to adjust and accept he’ll have to settle for a walk sometimes. Howard’s strikeout rate, at 26.5 percent, is around his usual rate of 28 percent.

Howard has also returned to struggling against left-handed pitching. He oddly presented a reverse platoon split last season, posting a .339 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against southpaws compared to .292 against right-handers. This year, that split is .238/.353 which is more in line with his career .317/.394 split. This is a good thing, as the average batter will see a right-hander three times for every one time he faces a lefty. If you’re not a right-handed-hitting platoon guy and have to have a platoon split, you want to perform better against right-handers.

Howard’s revival doesn’t mean much for on-field reasons as the Phillies are rebuilding. He could hit 55 home runs or just five and it wouldn’t matter. His resurgence, though, does bode well for a potential trade. Howard is owed $25 million in each of the 2015 and ’16 seasons as well as a $10 million buyout for ’17, so it’s effectively $60 million over two years. The Phillies have said they’re willing to eat around $50 million of that to facilitate a trade, but interest was still mild at best heading into the season. But now that he’s hitting at a level we haven’t seen in at least five years, American League teams in need of a 1B/DH type will at least do their due diligence with a phone call to GM Ruben Amaro over the summer.

A look at the AL teams who might have a use for Howard:

  • Houston Astros: Neither first baseman Chris Carter (.281 wOBA) nor DH Evan Gattis (.268) are hitting. Former Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton will eventually get the call up to take over first base, which will push Carter to share the DH role with Gattis or to the bench. If neither player heats up, the surprisingly competitive Astros may want to solidify the position.
  • Los Angeles Angels: The Angels have gotten next-to-nothing out of the DH slot, mostly occupied by C.J. Cron (.221). In fact, their entire offense has been rather lackluster outside of Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun.
  • Detroit Tigers: DH Victor Martinez (.247) was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with knee inflammation. He had a career year in 2014 at the age of 36 but he’s been ineffective through nearly two months of the season. If Martinez doesn’t heal as expected or can’t find his way at the plate, Howard could look like an attractive option to keep them afloat in the AL Central race.
  • Boston Red Sox: Mike Napoli has a .273 wOBA. He’s held his own against lefties, so they’d probably want to utilize a platoon if they were to get Howard. It’s actually a decent fit but I suspect the Red Sox have their eyes fixated on one particular Phillie.
  • Minnesota Twins: The Twins are competitive for the first time since 2010. First baseman Joe Mauer isn’t moving off of first base despite only registering his first home run on Wednesday after 170 plate appearances. DH Kennys Vargas, however, was recently demoted after posting a .291 wOBA. The White Sox are the only American League team that has hit fewer home runs (23) than the Twins (29). Adding Howard would be nearly risk-free and would almost certainly provide some power to a mostly punchless lineup.

Ryan Howard’s Power Is Back
Author: Bill Baer
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