Countdown To Spring Training: 10 Non-Roster Invitees Who Could Earn a Contract

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

This is about the time of year when baseball fans start getting antsy every season. 

It’s about midway between the World Series and the beginning of spring training, but this off-season has given us plenty to talk about. 

Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Lee’s $100 million contracts have kept us busy.

But now it’s time to start thinking about spring training, and one of the more interesting elements of spring training is non-roster invitees.

Spring training is pretty much a try out for these guys, and it’s rare to see anyone try harder than them. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Cliff Lee: Return to Philadelphia Phillies Spells Trouble for Rest of MLB

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

So we finally know who won the two-team race between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees for Cliff Lee.

According to ESPN the winner is…the Philadelphia Phillies?

Suffice to say, that came out of left field.

The Phillies entered the Lee bidding at the last minute and apparently were convincing. 

Their offer of more than $100 million over five years was substantially less than the six years and $138 million offered by the Yankees.

So what are the repercussions of this surprise signing?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Jayson Werth: Why the Washington Nationals Are Misguided in Their Efforts

December 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

So the Washington Nationals are trying to become a contender.

That’s great. Who doesn’t love some parity?

But, someone might want to let them know they’re going about it the wrong way.

Jayson Werth is not the answer to your problems.

Consider this: The guy played for your division rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, and they showed little interest in bringing him back. 

That should have been a hint to the Nationals.

Now don’t get me wrong. Werth is a good player, and a tremendous upgrade to the Nationals’ outfield.

But at what cost?

At $18 million a year, for seven years, the Nationals are overpaying and burdening themselves with a huge contract.

Werth has only played two full seasons in the majors, has never had more than 100 RBI, and has never broken .300. And that was in a lineup where pitchers had to throw to him. 

Now throw in the fact that he was playing half his games in Citizen’s Bank Park, and it really calls into question the legitimacy of Werth.

At the end of his contract he will be 38. Major league baseball players generally begin to tail off around 35, so the final years of this deal could be downright awful.

Jayson Werth is going to be a burden for the Washington Nationals, and it’s a shame. 

Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

His best year came in a contract season, which always raises suspicions.

More than likely the Nationals will get the .270 career hitter that they paid for, along with 20 homers, and 75 RBI a season.

Is that worth $18 million?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Marlins-Phillies: Four-Game Series Will Dictate Second Half

July 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

Four games—that’s how far back the Marlins are off the Phillies at the All-Star break.

It’s also how many games the Marlins will play against the Phillies in Miami to start the second half. 

For the Marlins to be contenders, they need to win this series.

Splitting simply will not be enough.

Four games is hard to make up, especially with the Phillies playing the way they have as of late. The Marlins have the best chance of making up ground when the two teams go head-to-head.

After the Phillies series, the Marlins head out west for six games against the Padres and Dodgers. The Marlins historically struggle on the west coast, and it’s unlikely they would go better than 3-3 on the trip.

At the same time the Marlins will be on that six game trip, the Phillies have a seven-game home stand.

You can see where the Marlins could drastically lose ground to begin the second half. Anything less than three wins against the Phillies could end the Marlins’ playoff hopes early.

If the Marlins win one or less game in the four game series—well, you get the picture.

Now you know what Larry Beinfest is talking about when he says he’s waiting to see how the Marlins do the next few weeks.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Poised to Miss Playoffs

April 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

There is one thing that is indisputable: the Phillies are the defending world champions.

What happens this year is another story.

While the Nationals will almost surely finish last in the NL East, the rest of the division is up for grabs.

A strong first week has people believing in both the Florida Marlins and the Braves.

It seems like the AL East’s problem has now become the NL East’s. Four of the best teams in the league are now in one division.

So who will be the odd men out?

There is no doubt the Phillies have probably the best lineup in the east, if not the National League. But their pitching will be their downfall.

Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, and Chan Ho Park.

I can not see a team with these guys as their starting five being a 90 win team. Of those five, only Hamels and Moyer had winning seasons in 2008.

Moyer is now 46 years old and its been showing this year. He may have won Monday night’s game but he can not expect to give up four runs in six innings and win every time.

Hamels has had a rough start to 2008, but I am sure he will rebound. The guy has great stuff.

But how far can one pitcher get you? Brett Myers has been all over the place throughout his career. Joe Blanton is a .500 pitcher at best. And Chan Ho Park had trouble making a major league roster, yet he might be the best of the three.

Already the Phillies bullpen has accounted for two of their four wins. But we all know what happens to teams that rely on their bullpens too heavily to win games.

The Phillies will not make the playoffs if these guys remain their starting five. Not when they have to face the young guns of the Marlins. The Mets staff is not quite as good, but not a single one of their pitcher was below .500 in 2008. Pretty crazy stuff.

I think the Marlins and Mets pitching staffs will land them ahead of the Phillies at the end of the year.

I am sure the Phillies will go out and trade for a starter, but I just do not think that will be enough for them this year. The east is strong, and the Phillies will be the odd men out.

The Braves have a staff that added Derek Lowe and started the year 5-1 with Tom Glavine and Tim Hudson on the disable list.

Is it crazy to suggest the Phillies may find their way to a fourth place finish?

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies