Ten Worst NL Pitchers With Better Records Than Roy Halladay in 2010

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

On Wednesday, the last day of June in the 2010 Major League Baseball season, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a complete game in which he allowed 13 hits but also struck out 10 batters while walking none.

He gave up four earned runs and took the loss.

In one sense, Halladay bears the blame for the loss.

He took the ball in the eighth inning up 3-2, and gave up a Jay Bruce two-run home run to seal the win.

In reality though, the blame falls to Roy’s supporting cast: the Phillies hitters for their terrible run support and the Phillies bullpen for their terrible everything.

One day after closer Brad Lidge blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Halladay was the only option going into the eighth where another team would have turned over the one-run leader to trusted relievers.

And so July 1st will come tomorrow and Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in baseball and the pitcher with the now-sixth best ERA in the National League at 2.42, has six complete games, three shutouts, a perfect game, and a 9-7 record.

To put that 9-7 record in perspective, here’s a list of 10 far-inferior National League pitchers with better records, winning percentage-wise.

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Jamie Moyer Should Go To Anaheim for All-Star Game

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

When potential players for Charlie Manuel’s National League club get thrown out into conversation, you will hear the typical Phillies’ candidates, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Roy Halladay.

But, one name should be mentioned in the conversation this year and it should be that of Jamie Moyer.

In a year where the Phillies have been mired in a slump, are dealing with injuries and are not hitting well, it is the perfect opportunity for the 47-year old to make his second All-Star Game appearance (he made one with the Mariners in 2003).

Moyer has a chance to be the Phillies’ leader in wins, WHIP and hits allowed before the All-Star break hits. With Roy Halladay on a losing streak, Moyer could have 11 wins, which would at worst tie him with Halladay at the break and with NL hitters finally finding a way to hit Halladay, Moyer could top the ace in wins with starts against the Pirates on Friday and if the rotation holds against a weak-road team in the Braves on Wednesday.

The other reason that Moyer should be on the team is that Charlie Manuel is the NL manager and just like every other Phillies fan, appreciates the effort and continued success that Moyer has had this season.

Plus, the extended rosters now let each manager choose two extra players to make the team a 34-man roster and Moyer does not even need to pitch in the game with the stellar talent that the NL pitching staff would have.

If everything goes right for the NL, Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Mike Pelfrey, Josh Johnson could start the game with Jimenez going two which in an ideal situation would lead to a combination of Billy Wagner, Matt Capps, Luke Gregerson and Arthur Rhodes (all of whom have been effective this season and are capable of holding and then closing a game) could close the game, or you could have Moyer come in between a pair of hard throwing starters and keep the AL hitters off balance.

In any situation, Jamie Moyer deserves to make the National League All-Star team because of what he is doing this season at his age, it would a great tribute to a humble man who has a solid MLB career.

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No Laughing Matter: Philadelphia Phanatic Gets Sued

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia— It seems that the world of a major league mascot gets harder and harder.

We have recently seen the issues within the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding disgruntled pierogies and their opinions on executive decisions.

Now, the other team that occupies the state of PA is getting into issues of his own.

Today the Philadelphia Phanatic got some bad news of his own as he was subpoenaed. The Phanatic is facing civil charges from a Bucks County woman claiming the Galapagoa Island native mascot injured her at a minor league baseball game.

Grace Crass is claiming the Phillies mascot climbed over her at a Reading Phillies game, causing her increased arthritis that led to knee surgery earlier this year.

In the suit, the Phillies, their minor league affiliate, the Reading Phillies, and Tom Burgoyne (the Phanatics “friend”) are all being sued for a combined $50,000 in damages.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ 10 Item Checklist to Take NL East Lead

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies began 2010 with lofty goals. Their first objective was to secure a fourth consecutive NL Eastern Division crown.

Now that the Philadelphia Phillies have finished interleague play and turned their attention back to the National League, they find themselves behind both the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets in the NL East.

They currently sit 2.5 games behind the Braves, who turned a disappointing April into a promising season, and a game behind the Mets.

After a strong start and enviable lead in May, the Phillies fell upon hard times while their two rivals caught fire. The result has been a slide from a comfortable lead to a middle-of-the-pack chase position.

Although this is not where they hoped to be as June heads to a close, the Phillies surely are within striking distance.

Since it appears that the Braves and Mets will not fade, securing another division title will most likely require the Phillies to improve in several areas.

In other words, nobody is going to hand them the division; they will need to take it.

In order to make that happen, many, if not all, of the following 10 things need to happen over the balance of the year.

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Chase Utley and Placido Polanco Placed On DL by Philadelphia Phillies

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

It’s got to be really tough losing half of your starting infield in one fell swoop.

Such is the case for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies placed both second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco on the 15-day DL yesterday.

Utley was placed on the DL with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament of the right thumb. Utley hurt the thumb on Monday trying to stretch a single into a double.

Polanco was placed on the DL due to done spurs in his left elbow.

These are two huge losses for the Phillies, who entered last night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds 3.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. Utley’s injury in particular, as I have always believed him to be the heart and soul of the team.

Not only is Utley a fantastic offensive player (that’s called stating the obvious), but he is also tough as nails. Many believed he was playing hurt prior to this injury.

Polanco is no slouch either. He was third in the NL in hitting with a .318 mark and also has played outstanding defense all year. He currently ranks fourth amongst all major league third baseman with a 5.5 UZR.

So the question now is: How do the Phillies replace these two on a day-to-day basis?

Internally, the Phillies will try to roll with Greg Dobbs at third and Wilson Valdez at second like they did last night for the time being.

The Phillies also called up INF Brian Bocock (how is he not a porn star?) from Triple-A to provide some infield depth. Bocock was hitting only .179 in Triple-A, so of course he will hit .350 in the month of July.

If Utley and Polanco are out longer than expected, the Phillies could pursue options like Ty Wigginton, Adam Kennedy, or Kelly Johnson.

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Steroid Pioneer: Lenny Dykstra Admits Use in New Book

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

(New York, NY) — In a new book on the world of Wall Street corruption, author Randall Lane manages to shed some light on the long time speculations of one of Philadelphia former darlings, Lenny Dykstra.

Dyrstra, a member for the 1993 NL Champion Phillies, became a wall street and market speculation guru after his playing days and has been involved in current controversy over money he was given to influence his stock tips.

Lane writes that one day in 2000 he was meeting with Dykstra in his NYC apartment to pick up a settlement check. The two started discussing the ongoing congressional inquiry on steroids in baseball and Dykstra began to admit his past discretion.

“I was like the very first to do that,” stated Dykstra, “Me and Jose [Conseco] were the first ones.”

His steroid legacy was so well known and he was even consulted by MLB execs in 2000 about his career and his ability to educated the league on steroids.

The book entitled “The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane,” even contained Dykstra’s admittance that part of his steroid use was to get more money from the Phillies organization.

After the 1993 season, Dykstra was given a four-year $24.9 million dollar deal yet injuries kept him from playing a complete season for the Phillies and he retired in 1996.

Lane even describes how the once great Phillies rationalized his steroid use.

“‘You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in the whole world…So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family.”

Dykstra was a career .258 batter and has a career high 19 home runs in 1993.

Most of this steroid speculation is not revolutionary as Dykstra was one of 89 players mentioned in the 2000 Mitchell Report and Dykstra has been very public about the steroid era in baseball.

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Philadelphia Phillies Add Utley and Polanco to the DL

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

After finally getting Jimmy Rollins back in the action and off the DL this past week, the Phillies took a hit, placing second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco on the 15-day disabled list.

Utley’s out with a sprained thumb that occurred while sliding into second base in Monday night’s game against Cincinnati. He unsuccessfully tried to stretch a leadoff single into a double, staying in the game until the ninth. 

An MRI wasn’t conclusive about how bad the sprain is, so Utley is headed back to Philadelphia to get more tests done.  

Polanco may require off-season surgery for his ailing left elbow. He received a cortisone injection on Monday for his inflamed elbow that was provoked while diving last Friday. He’ll be a hard loss for the Phillies right now. Polanco leads the National League third basemen in fielding percentage and is third in the NL with a .318 batting average.

Polanco was hit by a pitch in April and has a bone spur in his left elbow that has bothered him ever since.  Despite two injections to help the healing it still seems to be  a bother and some rest will hopefully do the trick to get him well. 

Utley and Polanco were both candidates for starting spots in the All-Star Game in Anaheim, but those hopes are faded. Meanwhile, the Phils have to find players to fill their spots for the time being. It’s still up in the air how long they’ll be out.

So how are the Phils going to look without them?

With seven players now on the DL, if Utley and Polanco are out for longer than two weeks, Philadelphia might be looking to trade. 

The Phillies lost a huge part of their lineup with these two infielders, but this gives other players a chance to step up and make their mark.  

To replace them short-term, the Phils called up infielder Brian Bocock and utility player Greg Dobbs from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  

Dobbs was outrighted to Lehigh on June 23 where we was 2-for-17 with one RBI. With the Phils, he’ll play some games at third base. With Lehigh Valley, Bocock was hitting .179 with 12 RBIs and one homerun in 65 games.

Let’s hope Utley and Polanco hurry back.    

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Trouble In Philly: Chase Utley and Placido Polanco Sent to Disabled List

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Philadelphia, PAThe injury woes for the Phillies grew today as it was announced that second baseman Chase Utley and third baseman Placido Polanco were both added to the 15-day disabled list.

Utley had an MRI on a strained right thumb ligament and may miss up to three weeks with the injury. Utley bruised the thumb in last nights 7-3 loss to the Reds.

Ploanco, who was innactive for two games in the recent Toronto series, was placed on the retroactive disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow. He received a cortisone shot in the elbow this afternoon with the hope that he would return to the lineup for tonight’s game. The bruised elbow did not respond well to the shot and the decision to move to the disabled list was made.

The Phillies have called up infielders Brian Bocock and recently assigned Greg Dobbs from Triple-A Lehigh Vallley.

Dobbs was hitting .152 in 42 games with the Phillies this season and was sent to Lehigh Valley just two weeks ago.

Neither is expected to start as the team will most likely go with bench players Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro to start in the meantime.

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Waiver Wire Fliers: Replacing Phillies’ Second Baseman Chase Utley

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Phillies placed Chase Utley on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right thumb on Tuesday, making him the fourth player in recent weeks (Aramis Ramirez, Victor Martinez and Jason Heyward being the others) to be shelved due to a thumb injury.

It’s unclear how long the Phillies (and more importantly, your fantasy squad) will be without Utley’s services. Through 72 games this season, the 31-year-old was batting .277 with 49 runs, 11 homers, 37 RBI and five steals.

In his absence, Utley owners will be forced to ponder these waiver wire fliers as short-term replacements at second base:

Jose Lopez struggled through the first two months of the season, but appears to have found his stroke in June. Through 102 at-bats this month, the 26-year-old is batting .265 with three homers and 12 RBI for a run-hungry Mariners lineup.

Lopez is Seattle’s third baseman, but remains eligible at second after starting 139 games at the position in 2009. He will carry an 11-game hitting streak with him into Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. He’s currently owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Freddy Sanchez missed the first six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, but has posted respectable totals since, batting .300 with 18 runs and 18 RBI in 130 at-bats. The former N.L. batting champion should get plenty of run scoring opportunities batting second for the Giants. He’s currently owned in just 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

• Like Sanchez, Carlos Guillen has missed time due to injury this season. That hasn’t stopped him, however, from being a productive fantasy contributor. In 158 at-bats this year, Guillen has five homers, 21 RBI, and a .291 batting average.

Guillen’s bat has been especially hot of late, as he’s hit .305 with three homers and 12 RBI in 23 games this month. The 34-year-old hit .296 with 21 homers and 102 RBI and had 13 steals as recently as 2007, and clearly has something left in the tank.

Batting behind Magglio Ordonez , Miguel Cabrera, and Brennan Boesch in the Tigers’ lineup, Guillen will see several RBI opportunities. Surprisingly, he remains available in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Jonathan Herrera is a relatively unknown name, but the switch-hitting 25-year-old has done nothing but hit since being called up on June 1. Through 19 games this season, Herrera is batting .305 (18-for-59) and takes a 10-game hitting streak with him into Tuesday night’s game against the Padres.

The undrafted shortstop (who’s currently playing second base) has little power, as he hit just 24 homers with a .715 OPS in seven minor league seasons. However, Herrera does have some speed (131 career minor league steals), though he has yet to display it at the highest level.

His long-term outlook is bleak, but his hot streak is worth riding in deeper formats while it lasts. He’s currently owned in just one percent of Yahoo! leagues.


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Chase Utley Takes his Struggles to the DL

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

It has been a long season for Chase Utley owners. Projected as a no-doubt first rounder and the top second baseman heading into this season, Utley has struggled to a .277 AVG with only 11 home runs and 37 RBI.
Now a bruised thumb has sent him to the disabled list and sent fantasy owners into a state of panic.
The thumb injury in one thing, but Utley owners have been frustrated for a while now. After a two consecutive 30-plus home run seasons, Utley has managed only 11 to this point in 2010.
Interestingly enough, one of baseball’s most consistent hitters has changed his approach a bit.
From 2005 through 2009, Chase Utley had held fly ball rates of between 41 and 47 percent. So far this season, only about 38 percent of Utleys balls in play have been classified as fly balls, an almost ten percent drop from last season’s rate. That rate has also seen a dramatic drop every month this season . Even with such a drop in fly balls, his HR/FB ratio has only dropped by about one and a half percent.
If his GB/FB rate holds, it will mark the first time since becoming a regular that Utley has hit over 40 percent ground balls and less than 40 percent fly balls.
Giving himself fewer home run opportunities by hitting the ball on the ground more often is likely a big reason we’ve seen a dip in Utley’s power production (his current .189 ISO would be the lowest of his career).
Has Utley become a slap hitter?
The only reason I ask that question is because, along with the change in GB/FB rate, Utley has seen a dramatic drop in his strikeout rate to this point. Utley holds a career 18 percent strikeout rate. This season, he has only struck out 14 percent of the time while continuing a base on balls pace similar to last season.
If not a slap hitter, has he been hiding an injury?
I only ask that question for two reasons:
1. Utley exactly type of player that will play through injuries and has done so in the past.
2. His season splits show an increase in ground ball rate each month, most notably rising about ten percent from May through June.
Could his thumb have been bothering him for a while and last night’s slide into second just pushed the pain over the edge?
The truth is that I have no idea and there seems like little chance that anyone would be able to get that information from Utey himself. Utley showed no signs of being hurt at the time the injury occurred. He simply got up and jogged back to the dugout.
This reminds me a lot of Derek Jeter back in 2008 when he had a down year across the board. Everyone thought that he was simply entering the decline phase of his career, but in fact he had been playing hurt (pretty badly hurt) for almost the entire season.
Jeter’s line drive rate fell to about 17 percent that season, which was his lowest since the stat was recorded in 2002.
At this point, what is done is done. Utley has underperformed based on expectations and is now out commission for at least 15 days. However, if this injury has been one that has lingered for a while, his time on the DL may indeed be a good thing.
At age 31, there is little reason to suspect a drop in skills as the reason for Utley’s down year. If injury is the reason, we can expect a rested and healthy Utley to be much more productive once he returns to the lineup. That would be good news not only for this season, but for keeper league owners wondering whether to hold or sell.
For now, as is the case with Dustin Pedroia, there isn’t much to do but stash Utley on the DL and hope he comes back sooner rather than later. I have a feeling that when he does come back, we’ll see a much more productive hitter.


Charlie Saponara is the owner/author of fantasybaseball365.com and can be contacted at cs.fb365@gmail.com .  Follow FB365 on Twitter .

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