MLB Free Agents 2012: Philadelphia Phillies Should Re-Sign Jimmy Rollins

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies‘ 2011 season is in the books, and it’s time to make some tough personnel decisions.

Some notable Phillies players potentially heading for free agency include: Raul Ibanez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt.

But the biggest name is Jimmy Rollins.

The 12-year veteran has spent his entire professional career in the Phillies organization. Rollins has made it clear that he would love to remain a Phillie but will not be providing any sort of hometown discount.

With Rollins’ contract expiring, the front office needs to decide how much they are willing to commit to an aging shortstop. 

If the Phillies can’t reach an agreement with Rollins he will have no trouble finding work elsewhere.

Here are the reasons why the Phillies need to take the risk and pay Rollins what he wants.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Eagles or Philadelphia Phillies: Who’s the Bigger Hometown Choker?

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

On Friday night, the World Series-favorite Philadelphia Phillies were bounced from the playoffs after falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.

Less than 48 hours later, Philadelphia fans watched with disgust and amazement as the Eagles continued to find ways to lose.

During this two-day span, the greatest team in Phillies history collapsed in first-round defeat, and the Eagles pushed themselves to the brink of elimination after a mere five games.

These events beg the eternal Philadelphia sports question: Who choked worse?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

John Mayberry Makes His Case To Be Philadelphia Phillies’ Starting LF in 2012

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Raul Ibanez is a 39-year-old with an expiring contract and diminishing skills. This season is likely his last in a Phillies uniform.

So who will be the starting left fielder in 2012?

After the acquisition of Hunter Pence, the answer seemed obvious. Domonic Brown was promptly sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in order to get consistent playing time and begin his transition to left field.

The plan was set. The Phillies would enter 2012 boasting a talented and balanced outfield of Brown, Victorino and Pence.

Unfortunately for Brown, his transition is off to a brutal start. Since returning to the minors, he is hitting a mere .191 with only one home run and three RBI over 21 games.

Brown’s struggles have opened the door for breakout star, John Mayberry Jr.

Mayberry is swinging the bat well and has pushed his season totals to 12 home runs, 41 RBI and a .275 average. The most impressive part is that he has complied these numbers in only 193 at-bats.

How would these numbers translate when stretched out over a full season?

Let’s say that Mayberry records 550 official at-bats (Ibanez totaled 561 in 155 games last year).

Using his 2011 pace, he would hit 34 home runs and drive in 117 runs during a full season of work.

Those are All-Star-caliber numbers.  

Detractors will be quick to point to the fact that the majority of his at-bats are against lefties. Some still see Mayberry as a platoon player and doubt his ability to produce consistently over a full season.

However, the flip side of that argument is that he has been able to post these numbers in spite of being bounced around and given irregular playing time.

Mayberry would also provide the Phillies with a significant defensive boost in left field. He is an above-average defensive player with solid range and instincts.

If Mayberry keeps hitting at this pace, the left field job should be his to lose in 2012.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies: Top 10 Moments so Far This Season

August 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies exploded out of the gates in 2011 and there has been no looking back.

This Phillies squad has experienced some pretty remarkable moments along the way. They have treated fans to a little of everything, from walk-off winners to milestone achievements.

Here is a countdown of the Top 10 moments, so far, in the 2011 season.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Hunter Pence: Philadelphia Phillies’ Deadline Deal Pays Immediate Dividends

August 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Hunter Pence was brought to Philadelphia in order to provide some much need balance to a lineup dominated by lefties. The Phillies parted with their top two prospects, along with two others, in order to acquire their new right fielder.

Let’s take a look at the early returns on the Phillies’ big move.

Philadelphia has won all five of its games since adding Pence. However, this is a Phillies team that already boasted the league’s best record prior to Pence’s arrival. So, we need to look deeper than wins and losses to see the effect that he’s had.

Through his first five games in a Phillies uniform, Pence is batting .285 with three RBI and three runs scored. Add in a pair of walks and Pence’s OBP is .348 while wearing the red pinstripes.

These numbers are taken from a very small sample—only 21 official at bats—but they fall in line with his overall season production.

What we must understand is that the impact of Hunter Pence on the National League pennant race goes far beyond what his stats can measure.

The most telling numbers are actually coming from a different player in the Phillies lineup. Since Pence’s arrival, this player is 9-for-22 with four home runs and nine RBI.

As I’m sure many of you know, these numbers belong to Ryan Howard. Pence has been hitting in the fifth slot of Charlie Manuel’s lineup, right behind the slugging first baseman.

If early results are any indication, Pence offers Ryan Howard the lineup protection that was previously missing. Knowing that Pence is lurking in the on-deck circle appears to have coaxed opposing pitchers into throwing Howard more fastballs.

In addition to statistics, Hunter Pence has invigorated the Phillies clubhouse and fanbase.

Pence spent his first four-and-a-half years with the Astros and has never had a sniff of the postseason. During his interviews after joining the Phillies, he expressed excitement about being involved in a playoff race. His energy will be a shot of life for his teammates and should help the team to avoid complacency.

Pence’s enthusiasm for the game has made him an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia. What Hunter lacks in style and grace, he more than makes up for with all out hustle.

A perfect fit for the city of Philadelphia.

In five games, Phillies fans have already gotten a small taste of the difference that Hunter Pence will make on this team.

The Phillies have now set their sights on the bay area. Hunter Pence and company are in San Francisco for a four-game series with the reigning World Series champs.  Only a week ago, the Giants handed the Phillies their first series loss since the middle of June.

The players will undoubtedly downplay this series’ significance, but for Phillies fans everywhere, the goal is sweet revenge.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies