Does Chase Utley Have a Future with the Philadelphia Phillies?

January 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Fan News

Chase Utley has been a Philadelphia Phillie since 2003. He was 24 when he made his debut with the Phillies, and over the next 10 seasons, fans got to see one of the best second basemen to ever lace up his cleats.

Utley plays the game like everyone should: hard, fast and with grit. 

If injuries were not an issue, Utley was on the fast track to a Hall of Fame career.

He was consistently among the top players in baseball from 2005-2009, but then the chronic knee issues began to surface. Since 2009, Utley has not played in over 115 games due to his chronic knee problems, and some are questioning just how long he has left in his baseball career.

At the end of the 2013 season, Utley’s current contract will expire and he will become a free agent. He will also turn 35 in December.

Will the Phillies re-sign Utley to a short-term deal, or will they move in another direction and let Freddy Galvis or an outside candidate take over at second base?

I see this playing out in one of three scenarios.

One, Utley gets his knee issues under control and is able to play in 140 or more games in 2013. He posts above-average numbers and returns to the All-Star game. As a result, the Phillies decide to offer Utley a one- to two-year extension, which he accepts at a significant pay cut from the $15 million he made in 2013.

Two, Utley’s season is again cut short by injuries. He plays in only 50-70 games and struggles to find any consistency. As a result, Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis take over the majority of his playing time and show they can contribute.

This forces the Phillies to let Utley walk in free agency and look elsewhere for their 2014 second baseman.

Three, Utley finishes somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, as his career averages, age and injury history suggest he will. He plays 90-115 games, bats around .270 and hits anywhere from 10-15 home runs.

Unfortunately for Utley, this is not enough for Ruben Amaro Jr. to seriously consider bringing him back to Philadelphia. The Utley era in Philadelphia ends, and we see him sign with an American League team in the offseason.

In order for the Phillies to bring back Utley past the 2013 season, he must produce at least 80-90 percent of what he has in the past over a 140-plus-game season. 

Bringing back Utley will cost the Phillies a lot more money than letting a younger player like Galvis take over. For this reason, along with his age and injury history, it will be very difficult for the Phillies to want to bring back Utley after his contract expires.

If the Phillies do not see improvement in Utley’s health and production, we will see him play his last game as No. 26 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Most Memorable Moments from 2012

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

2012 was a season most fans will hope to forget, but through the 162 games of mediocrity and disappointment there were a few silver lining moments that should not be forgotten.  

Several Phillies players had themselves enshrined into the major league record books in 2012 while others just began their journeys as major league players.

All in all, there were a handful of memorable moments for the 2012 Phillies that should not go overlooked and some of these moments can give hope to the future of this organization.

Here are five of the most memorable moments from the Phillies’ 2012 season.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Will Ruben Amaro’s Lack of Major Signings Cost Him His Job at the End of 2013?

December 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

After a very disappointing season where the Phillies finished the season in third place and a record of 81-81, the 2012 offseason has become one of the most important in recent memory.

The general manager of the Phillies, Ruben Amaro Jr., has traded for center fielder Ben Revere and third baseman Michael Young while also signing reliever Mike Adams to booster the bullpen.

In acquiring these players, they traded away starter Vance Worley, reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitchers Trevor May and Lisalverto Bonilla.

The major free agent splash or trade has not happened so far this offseason. After trading away Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino, it became a priority to sign an impact outfielder, who can supply some power from the right-side.

Unfortunately, the Phillies were unable to add the power bat they had on their Christmas list this year. If the Phillies have another mediocre season with their enormous payroll, Amaro may be held responsible.

Which may or may not lead to him losing his job at the season’s end. 

There are reasons why he could lose his job, but there also many reasons why he should keep it. Here are three arguments for each side of the coin, complete with a verdict of Amaro‘s future with the Phillies organization.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

7 Phillies Who Could Be All-Stars in 2013

December 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Phillies have a team full of former All-Stars. Of the players who are projected to be on the 2013 25-man roster, eight of them have appeared in at least one All-Star Game.

If none of the Phillies start the season on the disabled list, the team will field five former All-Stars and it would be six if Carlos Ruiz hadn’t been suspended.

In 2012, Carlos Ruiz, Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon represented the Phillies in the All-Star Game. Hopefully, in 2013, the Phillies will have even more players make this season’s All-Star Game, which will be held at the New York Mets‘ Citi Field.

Here are the 7 Phillies who have the potential to be All-Stars in 2013.  

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

10 Players Still Within the Philadelphia Phillies’ Reach

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have sunk their teeth into the 2012 offseason by bringing in center fielder Ben Revere and third basemen Michael Young.

Unfortunately, those acquisitions sent starting pitcher Vance Worley and bullpen arm Josh Lindblom out of town along with minor league prospects Trevor May and Lisalverto Bonilla.

These trades have helped fill some of the Phillies’ most significant needs, but they also added a void to the starting rotation. There are several quality free agents left on the market and hopefully the Phillies will be able to shore up a corner outfield position, a bullpen arm and a back-end starting pitcher.

Here are 10 players that are still within the Phillies’ reach to acquire this offseason in hope of bringing another World Series title back to Philadelphia. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Why Phillies’ Second Half and Recent Acquisitions Show They Can Win in 2013

December 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The 2012 Philadelphia Phillies had their worst record (37-50) at the All-Star break since the 1997 Phillies. What many fans don’t realize is that without Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton, the Phillies were able to finish the season with a record of 44-31, which correlates to a .586 winning percentage.

During the Phillies’ second half, they also saw Vance Worley hit the disabled list in late August and Roy Halladay pitch as a shell of what he has been for the Phillies in the past. 

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were both back in the everyday lineup, but everyone watching them knew they were not playing close to 100 percent, leaving even more room for the team to improve in 2013.

On a positive note, one player who helped the Phillies turn it around in the second half was Kyle Kendrick. When Kendrick became a fixture in the starting rotation in August, he finished the month with a record of 4-1 and a 2.95 ERA. He completed the season with a career-high 116 strikeouts.

The second half of 2012 also gave us a small glimpse into Darin Ruf, who could potentially take the reins in left field and bring the 2013 Phillies a much-needed power bat from the right side. In Ruf’s 33 major league at-bats he hit .333 with three home runs, 10 RBI and an OPS of 1.079. 

So what does all this mean?

If the Phillies can play the type of quality baseball they played in the second half of 2012 throughout the entire 2013 season, get their core players healthy and receive solid contributions from the recently acquired Ben Revere and Michael Young, not only can they compete for a playoff berth in 2013, but they can challenge the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals to retake the NL East title.

With their holes at third base and center field filled—at a very cheap rate I might add—the Phillies should have enough cash to go after a quality corner outfielder or starting pitcher and still bring in some bullpen help.

Revere is said to play excellent defense and brings a true leadoff hitter to Philadelphia. He has the potential to swipe more than 40 bags and hit .300 in a season. Plus, he will turn just 25 in May, giving the Phillies some much-needed youth. The Phillies’ starting outfield in 2013 could potentially not have one player over the age of 26 when the season begins in April with Ruf, Domonic Brown and Revere.

Bringing Michael Young in to play third base is huge for the Phillies. He is a career .300 hitter who has won a Gold Glove and is a true veteran. Young played games and first base, second base, third base and shortstop in 2012. He also gives the Phillies some right-handed balance to a lefty-heavy lineup. 

The Phillies will also be looking to add some starting pitching depth with the departure of Vance Worley in the Ben Revere deal. A guy like Kyle Lohse would look great in a Phillies uniform.

2013 is beginning to look very promising for Phillies fans. With one or two more moves the Phillies should have the depth to seriously contend for a title in 2013.     

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Trade for Center Fielder Ben Revere: Now, Who Is He?

December 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Phillies have just traded for their center fielder of the future, according to Jim Salisbury of The trade will send Ben Revere to Philadelphia and in return the Minnesota Twins will receive starting pitcher Vance Worley and starting pitching prospect Trevor May.

The Minnesota Twins selected Revere with their first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2007 draft. He made his major league debut September 7, 2010, at the age of 22. 

Revere is a speedy outfielder whose game is very similar to recently departed Phillies’ outfielder, Juan Pierre. He is a 5′ 9”, 170-pound contact hitter who has the ability to steal 40-plus bags a season and hit in the neighborhood of .300. Revere has only two years of major league service, accumulating 984 big league at-bats. He is also a versatile outfielder, seeing time in all three positions in 2012.

Last year with the Twins, Revere hit .294 with an OBP of .333. He also stole 40 bases, which ranked second in the American League. He also scored 70 runs and finished the year with a 2.4 WAR.

Revere does have some downside; he has no power whatsoever and he doesn’t walk nearly as much as your prototypical leadoff hitter should. In 2012, Revere hit zero home runs and he walked a measly 29 times in 511 at-bats.

Back to the positives, Revere will turn 25 in May of next year and will be under Phillies’ control until 2017. This will provide the Phillies with some youth in center field and a player whose best years are hopefully still to come.

The best part about Revere is his price tag. He will play 2013 for less than $500,000. Giving the Phillies a ton of flexibility to make a few more moves this offseason and set them up to possibly make a deal at next year’s trade deadline.

Revere should fit nicely into the Phillies’ mold. He could potentially bat leadoff, but everyone knows Charlie Manuel is pretty content with penciling Rollins into that spot. Only time will tell. He also can provide sound defense in center, which will really pay dividends if they go with the inexperienced Darin Ruf in left field.

The potential is there, now we can only sit back and see how Revere can handle playing in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Is Philadelphia Phillies’ Offseason on the Verge of Being a Disaster?

December 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

As each day goes by, more and more key free agents are being acquired by teams all over baseball, and more importantly, within the same division. With the way things have gone so far, it’s not looking too promising for the Phillies

The Phillies’ key offseason target, B.J. Upton, has recently signed with the division rival, Atlanta Braves. To add more salt to the wound, reigning NL East Champion Washington Nationals recently traded for Twins‘ center fielder Denard Span.

With Upton signing and the center field market shrinking, the Phillies had to look to other options. One name they may have had interest in was Angel Pagan. That is, until today, when CSNBayArea’s Andrew Baggarly posted on his Twitter account that Pagan signed a four-year, $40 million deal that that included a $5 million signing bonus.

With almost all of the modestly priced free agents off the market besides Shane Victorino, the Phillies are left in quite the predicament.

Do they concentrate on the corner outfield free-agent market? Do they make a trade? Or do they let the market play out and see where what it looks like a month or more from now?

One thing we all know is that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has to do something. This team, as is, will have a lot of trouble competing in the NL East, let alone the rest of the National League. If Amaro is unable to bring anything of value to Philadelphia in 2013, we may be looking at another third place finish for the Phillies next season.

Amaro has seemed oddly patient so far this offseason, maybe a little too patient, but if history has taught us one thing, it tends to repeat itself. So, Amaro may have an unexpected ace up his sleeve, we just don’t know which one yet.

This is going to be an interesting week; it’s only Monday and the buzz is already heavy. Look for Amaro to use this week not only to see what the free-agent market is looking like, but to also lay groundwork for several trade possibilities. Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young and Peter Bourjos could all be fits for the Phillies. 

The Phillies have an abundance of depth at starting pitcher in the minor leagues and could use that to help bring some much-needed talent into Philadelphia. Tyler Cloyd, Trevor May, Adam Morgan, Brody Colvin and Jonathan Pettibone could all be available.   

If the Phillies want to compete in 2013, they need to add some talent. Third base, outfield and the bullpen are all areas of major concern. The more time that goes by, the tougher time Amaro will have to fill his voids. There are big names still out there, but Amaro seems hesitant to go on a spending spree this offseason. 

The good news is that it’s still relatively early, so don’t go into panic mode yet. Amaro may have something stirring in his pot that no one in baseball is expecting; he’s done it before and he could do it again. Let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later, for the fan’s sake. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Trade for Eighth-Inning Setup Man Wilton Lopez

November 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies have finally started to address some of their team’s issues. According to writer John Heyman via Twitter, “Phillies have an agreement to acquire reliever Wilton Lopez from the Astros for minor leaguers. Finalizing details.”

This is a great move for the Phillies and exactly what they need to do to complete a consistent bridge to closer Jonathan Papelbon. Lopez will also be under Phillies’ control until 2015 and will turn 30 in mid-July.

In 2012, Lopez made $515,000, he will be due a relatively small raise through the arbitration process, somewhere around the $1 million range, making his salary somewhere between $1.3-1.5 million for 2013. That’s a steal considering what they will pay Papelbon in 2013 ($13 million). 

Wilton has been in the major leagues since 2009, has pitched 223.1 innings and has accumulated a career 3.14 ERA in that time.

Since 2010, he has not posted an ERA over 2.96 and had the best season of his career in 2012, posting a 2.17 ERA in 66.1 innings.

Also in 2012, his WAR was an impressive 2.2 compared to Papelbon’s WAR, which was 1.6. Lopez also only gave up four home runs in all of 2012. Papelbon gave up eight in just 3.2 more innings’ pitches.

One of his most impressive statistics is his strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2012, 54/8, walking just 1.1 batters per nine innings pitched. Walks killed the Phillies bullpen last season, especially in the eighth inning. 

The players heading to Houston have still not been made public, but we will keep you up to date as the trade becomes finalized. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

5 Reasons the Phillies Should Trade Their Veterans for Young Stars

November 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies currently have several veteran players whom they could possibly use as trade bait as the 2013 season approaches.

Take a look at the numbers for just one closer and one starting pitcher: the Phillies owe veterans Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon $38 million dollars for the 2013 season. That is a ton of money for two guys who pitched a combined 281 innings in 2013, or only 19 percent of the total innings pitched during the entire season.

Furthermore, the Phillies are definitely in need of some talented youth to alleviate their dependence on high-priced free agents.

Here are five reasons why the Phillies should trade away a veteran or two in order to acquire some young stars. 

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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