Phillies resign Sizemore for 1 year: Good move

The Phillies resigned Grady Sizemore for a one year contract for a bargain, $2M for the single season. This is what the Phillies have done now for consecutive days, resign a couple players that looked good for the Phils in the past season.

Can Sizemore get more playing time to get into a groove? That is the question of what will make the Phillies a better team.

With so many lineup changes in the past couple seasons, this blogger can only say that this has been one of the primary reasons that the Phillies haven’t been as effective as they should have been. A team is a team for that reason. Don’t start different players in different positions every game, that’s a foolish way of trying to tweak a team from the bench on a daily basis. Make your position players just that, they’ve won the job and they should play.

Will the Phillies not contend for the next couple seasons as acting Phillies interim CEO, Pat Gillick has said? Hopefully he is wrong, the Phillies need to do better than that and can if properly setup by the management that has failed to do so in the past couple of years now.

Phillies resign Sizemore for 1 year: Good move
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PhoulBallz.com: Off-season league updates: Ruf, Perkins, Quinn, Altherr

PhoulBallz.com: Off-season league updates: Ruf, Perkins, Quinn, Altherr

Check out what the Phillies of the future are up to right now in other leagues from the PhoulBallz.com blog.

PhoulBallz.com: Off-season league updates: Ruf, Perkins, Quinn, Altherr
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2014 Phillies Report Card: John Mayberry, Jr.

When Bill gave out the report card assignments, I was probably least excited about writing up John Mayberry, Jr. I don’t have anything against the guy, but he reminds me just a little too much of all those bad Phillies teams from the late 80s and early 90s. Specifically, he reminds me of Wes Chamberlain, who I actually loved as a kid. Well what do you know, Wes Chamberlain is #7 on John Mayberry’s similarity score list (Dom Brown is #8!) on baseball-reference dot com. I’m not thrilled about the Phillies being just as bad now as they were when I was in elementary school, which isn’t JMJ’s fault at all, but here we are.

So I was really happy with myself Thursday morning when I had an epiphany: have some fun with it, don’t just write a regular analysis, do something quirky … Rickroll ‘em.

I spent a LOT of time writing this report card in an acrostic format, with the last paragraph in the article using the “down” in “never gonna let you down” only to discover (thanks to Bill) that browser resolution issues would render the joke useless to many readers. After accepting that, I realized that Rickrolling isn’t actually that funny anymore, anyway. And with that, I give you my evaluation of Yayberry.

We’ve known each other for so long, John Mayberry (that’s it, I promise no more). Since cementing his roster spot in 2011, Mayberry proved playable as a right-handed platoon bat, capable of handling four positions as a backup/300-400 at bats guy. However, his defense isn’t very good and his worst position, centerfield, is where the Phillies played Mayberry most often.

2011 UZR Inn. 2012 UZR Inn. 2013 UZR Inn. 2014 UZR Inn. Career UZR Inn.
LF 2.5 161.1 1.2 330.0 0.4 39.0 -0.5 93.0 -0.5 731.2
CF -0.9 246.2 -6.1 474.1 -8.2 344.0 0.0 81.0 -15.4 1153.0
RF 0.7 66.1 2.6 24.0 0.1 428.1 -1.6 33.0 3.3 592.1
1B -1.0 100.0 1.3 185.2 -0.7 44.0 -0.1 72.2 -0.6 435.1

Defensive metrics are still far from where we’d like them to be, but four seasons’ worth of UZR data is definitely worthwhile for discussion purposes. Mayberry was clearly miscast by the Phillies as a centerfielder, and played his best defense, overall, in right field. Good centerfielders are hard to find, especially those with even a modicum of power, but one whose defense is substandard seems a less than ideal backup. Blame Ruben Amaro, Jr. for poor roster construction, not John Mayberry, Jr. for simply being the round peg in a square hole after the 2012 trade of Shane Victorino to the Dodgers.

When Mayberry began his Phillies tenure years ago, he flashed exciting power potential. But with continued playing time, he was exposed, and his numbers deteriorated as the league figured out his weaknesses. His strikeout rate, always north of 20% in the minor leagues, was 18.6% in 2011 (his best overall season by far), then rose about five percent in 2012 to 23.2% and stayed there in 2013. Not coincidentally, Mayberry’s wOBA fell from great in 2011 to poor in 2012 and 2013. He did improve in 2014, registering an average wOBA (league average for non-pitchers was .315). Of course, it’s only fair to point out his career platoon splits: he’s got a .365 wOBA against lefties, and a .293 against righties.

PA AVG OBP SLG BB% K% ISO wOBA
2011 296 0.273 0.341 0.513 8.8% 18.6% 0.240 0.368
2012 479 0.245 0.301 0.395 7.1% 23.2% 0.150 0.303
2013 384 0.227 0.286 0.391 7.0% 23.4% 0.164 0.298
2014 138 0.213 0.304 0.418 10.9% 21.7% 0.205 0.322

Give Amaro credit for managing to send Mayberry up north to Toronto in August for minor-league infielder Gustavo Pierre. Mayberry, entering his age 31 season in 2015, was not going to be a very good fit on an aging Phillies team, and this winter he will be eligible for arbitration (cue laugh track at his replacement, Grady Sizemore, being one year older). Pierre repeated A-ball twice, in 2012 and 2013. That indicates he’s an organizational depth player with a small chance to have anything beyond a negligible impact on the team’s future. For now, he’ll be cheap and has a nonzero chance of figuring out how to unlock his power potential as a member of the next competitive Phillies team. He was a very good get for a player who was a non-tender candidate before the 2014 season.

“Young” fan favorite Darin Ruf will easily replace Mayberry’s right-handed outfielder/first baseman/power bench bat on the 2015 Phillies. However, unless Ruf develops significantly on defense, he’ll be a downgrade there. Grady Sizemore, who had a decent couple of months for the Phillies, will back up all three outfield positions and has some upside, though the power/speed demon who set the league on fire is never coming back. Cesar Hernandez will also spend some time in center. So the Phillies have plenty of backup types, righty bench power, a backup/platoon first baseman, and oh yeah, Cody Asche.

Divining a letter grade for the one-time mermaid chaser wasn’t easy (I’m sorry, I had to do that). John Mayberry had a forgettable half-season in 2014, and was flipped for a lottery ticket. Next year, his talents will be easily replaced by younger, cheaper players AND an older, similarly priced player. He never came close to replicating his breakthrough 2011 season, but did fill several roles for the Phillies as they drifted further from contention. Goodbye, Maybs.

Grade: C

2014 Phillies Report Card: John Mayberry, Jr.
Author: Adam Dembowitz
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Joe Maddon ends decade-long Rays tenure (AFP)

Joe Maddon, who led Tampa Bay Rays to a World Series berth in 2008, has stepped down after almost a decade at the helm, the Major League Baseball club said. The long-time manager’s exit came after Maddon exercised an opt-out clause in his contract. The 60-year-old presided over the Rays during their most successful period in the franchise’s 17-year history. It followed the departure of longtime executive Andrew Friedman, who was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.

Joe Maddon ends decade-long Rays tenure (AFP)
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Rollins, Konerko named Clemente Award winners (Reuters)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Former Chicago White Sox player Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies were named co-winners of the Roberto Clemente Award on Friday for their community work. “Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball’s great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities,” said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. “Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society. …

Rollins, Konerko named Clemente Award winners (Reuters)
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Baseball-Rollins, Konerko named Clemente Award winners (Reuters)

Former Chicago White Sox player Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies were named co-winners of the Roberto Clemente Award on Friday for their community work. “Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball’s great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities,” said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. “Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society.” Both have been heavily involved in helping children. Konerko, who retired this season, founded the Bring Me Home Campaign in 2007 with former teammate Jim Thome and their respective wives, and have raised nearly $500,000 for school supplies and back-to-school clothing.

Baseball-Rollins, Konerko named Clemente Award winners (Reuters)
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Konerko, Rollins 1st co-winners of Clemente Award (The Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Retiring White Sox star Paul Konerko and Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins are the first co-winners of Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clement Award.

Konerko, Rollins 1st co-winners of Clemente Award (The Associated Press)
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Phils' philospophy beginning to evolve

October is a quiet month for baseball teams not in the postseason, so the Phillies have barely registered a blip on the local radar screen — even with the team signing Grady Sizemore and Jerome Williams this week. That changed Thursday when Phillies interim president Pat Gillick told CSN Philly that the team probably would not contend again until 2017 or 2018.

Phils' philospophy beginning to evolve
Author: Todd Zolecki
From Feed: http://partner.mlb.com/partnerxml/gen/news/rss/phi.xml

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With Maddon available, Amaro backs Sandberg

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday afternoon that the club supports manager Ryne Sandberg and has no interest in newly available skipper Joe Maddon.

With Maddon available, Amaro backs Sandberg
Author: Todd Zolecki
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Phillies could move Cole Hamels – ESPN (blog)


ESPN (blog)
Phillies could move Cole Hamels
ESPN (blog)
… and considering how great Hamels threw in 2014 — a career-low 2.46 ERA in 30 starts — his trade value will never be higher than it is right now, and the Phillies could flip him for a really good package of prospects that could help Philadelphia
Gillick: Phillies not a contender in 2015 or 2016Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
Phillies interim CEO: Team won’t contend until at least 2017SI.com
Pat Gillick Expects At Least Two Years Before Phillies ContendCBS Local
The Star-Ledger -The Good Phight
all 12 news articles »

Phillies could move Cole Hamels – ESPN (blog)
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