Philadelphia Phillies: Could Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick Come to Broad Street?

June 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

There are rumors floating about the baseball world about the Philadelphia Phillies possibly bringing in closer Heath Bell and outfielder Ryan Ludwick. Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Philadelphia, Seattle and Cincinnati are interested in Bell and Ludwick. 

Let’s better analyze this potential trade in what it does for “Philly’s Phinest.” 

Heath Bell, the successor to Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman in San Diego, has been pretty much a success. The 6’3″, 260 lb. Bell has 89 saves the past two seasons. Compared with other pitchers in the Phillies bullpen, that is more than Brad Lidge (58) and Ryan Madson (15) combined.

Granted, Lidge was injured for a portion of the last two seasons, and Madson was mainly the eighth-inning setup man. However, in 2011, Bell has four more saves (19) than Madson (15), but Madson became the closer after Jose Contreras went down with an injury.

Madson who, like Bell, becomes a free agent after this year, has been solid in his relief role converting 15 saves and only blowing one save. However, Madson’s agent is Scott Boras. For those of you who don’t know, Boras is known for getting his clients the absolute most money he possibly can.

With Bastardo and Contreras, can the Phillies afford to let Madson walk? If they bring in Bell, who is 33, would they rather pay Bell or Madson? Madson just this year has become a ninth-inning-guy, and really has shined in the eighth inning. He has 112 career holds, including 58 holds in the last three years.

Bell has been a lockdown closer, something that the Phillies haven’t had since Brad Lidge’s magical 2008 season. Madson, as a closer last year, did have as many saves as blown saves—five. Maybe the Phillies want to use Bell in the ninth, Madson in the eighth and use Contreras, a proven veteran in the bullpen.

As for Ryan Ludwick, he fills a much-needed right-handed bat in the Phillies lineup. Other names that have surfaced as possible new residents in the outfield of Citizens’ Bank Park are the TwinsMichael Cuddyer and Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Willingham.

If you compare the stats among the three players, they are pretty much similar. In terms of batting average, Ludwick is a career .265 hitter, Willingham is a career .262 hitter and Cuddyer is a career .270 hitter. Ludwick and Willingham have both hit 113 career home runs to Cuddyer’s career 131 home runs.

In terms of driving runs in for their career, Cuddyer has 539 RBI, Ludwick has 420 RBI and Willingham has 378 RBI. But WIllingham leads his fellow right-handed batting outfielders in On-Base Percentage (.362) and Slugging Percentage (.469).

Cuddyer, Willingham, and Ludwick are all 32 years of age, and it looks as if Cuddyer is in the downside of his major league career, and over the last three years, Ludwick has a higher average (.273) and more home runs (76), than Willingham (.260, 55 HR).

So, if the Phillies are seriously considering bringing in a right-handed outfielder and a proven closer, maybe they should go after Ludwick and Bell, but who do they trade away to San Diego? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, what do you think the Phillies should do?

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Give Vance Worley the 5th Spot in the Rotation

January 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Vance who?

Vance Worley was selected in the third round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Player Draft.

He became one of the Phillies’ top pitching prospects, and perhaps the top pitching prospect after Kyle Drabek, son of former Cy Young Award Winner, Doug Drabek, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Roy Halladay deal.

After pitching his way through the minor leagues, he made his major league debut in a relief appearance v. the Colorado Rockies, pitching a scoreless ninth inning and recording two punch-outs. In his first major league start he was a victim of lack of run support even though he only allowed two earned runs with six hits.

In his short big-league career he is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA.

Worley features a two-seam and four-seam fastball, a slider, curve ball, and cutting fastball. He’d be in a rotation with four great starters to take the pressure off him. He’d learn from great starters and be the young infusion that the aging Phillies may need.

The choice of the fifth spot could be an inconsistent Joe Blanton, or a very inconsistent Kyle Kendrick. Blanton and Kendrick had a combined 20-16 record with 218 K’s. However, each had a ERA over 4.70 (Kendrick—4.73 and Blanton—4.82). 

Big Joe Blanton is 30 years old and Kyle Kendrick is 26, but Worley could be a better pitcher in the long run, but only time would tell.

On a side note, if you don’t put him in the rotation, put him in the ‘pen. I mean, anyone—or anything—is better than Danys Baez.

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies’ Joe Blanton: Viable Playoff Pitcher In 2010?

August 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Joe Blanton, the pitcher most notably remember for hitting a homerun vs. then Tampa Bay Ray, now White Sox Pitcher Edwin Jackson.

Blanton has had his fair share off up and downs, but I’m here to let you know if his ups and downs, may produce an up or down for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Blanton consistently throws a high-80s to mid-90s fastball, with a straight change-up, a slider, and a 12-6 Breaking Ball in his repertoire, has been having his trouble this year. Blanton suffered a strained oblique in Spring Training, and was on the Disabled List to begin the season.

Since his return to the Phillies’ roster, he has been the No. 4 starter behind Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer.

Since then, the Phillies have placed Moyer on the Disabled List, and acquired Roy Oswalt, who we all know can play left field now as well as pitch.

Blanton has been terrible in the first Inning, as since the All-Star Break, Blanton has a ERA (Earned Run Average) of over 10 in the first inning, allowing one HR, and three walks. 

Although in his latest three starts vs. San Francisco and two vs. Houston, he has dimmed down the first inning fireworks, but can his fireworks show start to explode again?

Assuming Blanton pitches in the playoffs, would he pitch both as a fourth starter and a long reliever?

With the struggles of relievers J.C. Romero, Danys Baez and sinkerballer David Herndon, does Blanton’s performance affect the roles of not only Kyle Kendrick, the fifth starter in the Phils’ rotation, but of the bullpen pitchers of Romero, Baez and Herndon?

So, after considering that, consider Blanton all time in postseason play is 2-0, pitching 34.2 Innings, with a 3.89 ERA and 30 Strikeouts. So, it seems Blanton can hold his own on the mound, but does the Blanton-of-old return?

Read more Philadelphia Phillies news on

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies