Roy Halladay will lead the redesigned Philadelphia Phillies into 2013. Can they return to the prominence we have been spoiled by?
I will publish after every battle that is not washed out. I will have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 3-0 Triumph
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This is an article that got buried by the trade of Joe Blanton, and I decided to publish an updated version.
The Intersection Of Yesterday And Tomorrow:
The speedster in center, the right fielder and a hurler are on the west coast, but they didn’t want to be dealt. The reason was the money for 2013 and next season’s competitive-balance threshold. Shane Victorino was at $7.33M AAV (Average Annual Value), Joe Blanton was allotted $8M AAV, and Hunter Pence earned $10.4M with a projection to $14M in ‘13. The dollar combination for 22 players is: The core four ($75M), 2 aces plus a closer ($56.5M), 4 fielding positions other than 3B ($7M), 2 starters ($4.25M), 5 bench roles ($11.25M), 4 young relievers and 1 bullpen buyout ($2.5M). That total is $156.5M from a ceiling of $178M AAV with 3 open spots.
After allowing $5M for the July 31 deadline and $3M in achieved incentives, Rube Amaro would have $13.5M to spend. He would have 3 vacancies to fill, which is third base and 2 backend arms for the relief corps. Re-signing Cole Hamels was a must-do, but a struggling Vic and an undisciplined Hunter were departing necessities. Kentucky Joe was a straight $3M salary dump for the profit margin. Plus, Nate Schierholtz’s 8th-inning play on Wednesday night was probably not caught by Pence. That said, the club is not better without them, but a swapped Hamels would have been worse.
Schierholtz displays a hunger to be in the lineup on a daily basis, and Dom Brown has improved all phases of his game with a glove or a bat. They are likely to occupy 2 of the outfield jobs, while Juan Pierre and John Mayberry Jr. are also in the mix. In order to address the ‘pen and third base, there will be a number of contracts at or near the MLB minimum. In 2014, the Luxury Tax will increase $11M to $189M. This is why the Yankees and Sox have been quiet, while recent buyers will soon reach this boundary also. In other words, it is the look of parity.
Schierholtz wants to be in the order frequently, is solid defensively with strong throwing ability, and he has power. Brown has mostly shortened his swing, is comfortable at the plate, and he has vastly improved his fielding skills. Michael Martinez is here only for his leather, which includes centerfield without Vic. There may even be a place for Magic Juan on next year’s squad, and Laynce Nix is inked through ‘13. Don’t expect anything other than Schierholtz, Brown, Mayberry, Pierre and Nix sharing the outfield.
There are 6 balls-in-the-air requirements: 3 outfielders, a third baseman and 2 set-up men. Brown has already been tabbed as the leftfielder for beyond September, but he can handle all 3 positions. Pierre has speed, averages .300, is adequate in left; and with a $200K raise, he would account for $1M on a one-tour basis. Schierholtz and Mayberry could secure 1 or 2 spots with respectable numbers. Or with Dom and Juan in 2 slots, the other 2 could be the 8-hole glove-type player for a 4-man rotation. If this warning-track patrol can be fairly productive, the GM will have more maneuverability for the 3 bigger issues.
The 6 bullpen seats other than Jonathan Papelbon’s would be split 3 ways: Antonio Bastardo (7th), Josh Lindblom (7th), 2 youngsters from among 9 candidates, and 2 veterans for the 8th. The hot corner will have to be a dangerous right-handed stick, who is 32 or younger, and not error-prone. Rube has $13.5M for the third sacker and 2 endgame pieces, which is enough to accomplish his retooling.
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Since he overcame his mental boulder, he is 2-1 with a 2.75 July ERA in his last 5 performances. He is back to being the 2010 Christmas present that he was as a free agent.
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He is 5-4 with a 2.79 away ERA, which is 2.08 lower than in his hitter-friendly home park. Against the locals at Chase Field in late April, his ledger read: 5.1 frames, 6 hits, 4 all-earned runs, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts on 88 misfired bullets. Overall, he has worked 6.2 innings plus in 8 of 21 chances with 6 clunkers, including 4 at Chase–another was during a visit to Colorado.
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Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
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DISPLAY NOTE: Non-listed results can go up or down by
* 1 notch & ** 2 clicks (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.)
* 1 Tick UP
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12TH RIDE OF THE HORSEMEN:
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Check out my previous publications (Dollars And Sense) and the 87 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
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