Jul 10, 2009

Slice of a Season: Part 9 of 18 and Mid-Season Summary

Slice of a Season: 2009, Slice 9
Slice Record: 5-4
Cumulative Record: 43-38
Standing at Slice's End: 2 games ahead of the Marlins
Opponents that hurt the Phillies: Braves
Opponents that helped the Phillies: Mets
Wins to Remember: Beating Cincinnati 22-1 on July 6th, beating the Mets and Santana 2-0 on July 5th
Losses to spill milk over: Losing to Atlanta
Bats do help in general: When facing Jair Jurrjens
New Nemesis Alert, i.e. the new Mark Lemke?: Martin Prado
Welcome to the team: Rodrigo Lopez
Hitting Heroes: Jayson Werth, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins (his first appearance, all he needed was NY pitching)
Charlie Manuel needs to re-define contact sometimes: Is Eric Bruntlett the best right-handed contact hitter on the bench? If so, a search must be conducted.
Need Adjustments: Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz
Fire Starters on the Mound: Ryan Madson
Holding the Fort Down: J.A Happ, Joe Blanton

Midseason Grades

Phillies as a team: B-; all hitting for the most part, a starting pitching staff that has worn out the bullpen, and a bullpen whose anchor is not reliable, amazingly they are in first place.

Charlie Manuel as a manager: B+; he has managed hitting slumps pretty well and tends to give his players confidence even when they don't always succeed. Sometimes loyal to a fault. He doesn't have many head-scratching moves that I can recall (please enlighten me if you can)

Ruben Amaro Jr as a GM: B; still needs to replenish the bench on the right side, needs to stop listening to his players with how they would like to be used (case in point, Chan Ho Park). If the possibility is there for a blockbuster, he should jump on it. Raul Ibanez, when healthy, has been the signing of the offseason.

Player Review

There are only 5 categories: exceeded expectations, met expectations, below expectations, newcomers, no longer around to criticize because we always think we know who will and should do well and there are always surprises in both directions. If the surprises outnumber the disappointments, the team will usually be on their way up.

Exceeded Expectations

Chase Utley: Has returned from hip injury to post strongest numbers of his career thus far.
Pedro Feliz: He can walk! and his fielding has been steadily great.
Raul Ibanez: Before his injury, second to Pujols on the NL MVP charts.
Jayson Werth: July power surge has lent his numbers all-star oomph.
Shane Victorino: Team leader in runs and doubles, not just a fast singles hitter.
Matt Stairs: has turned into main option off bench, exhibiting power and patience.
JA Happ: Thrust into starting rotation and has been stellar in most starts.
Scott Eyre: More than a LOOGY, replaced Romero as a set-up guy nicely.
Clay Condrey: Everyday Clay held the fort down in April and May

Met Expectations
Carlos Ruiz: Good fielding, not great hitting catcher as his career suggests, has a hot streak in him somewhere.
Greg Dobbs: Not a top of the world pinch hitter like last year, but still a worthy one.
Chad Durbin: middle reliever who serviceably eats innings.
Ryan Madson: Settled into set-up role...not perfect, but who is?
Chan Ho Park: Expected to have +5 ERA, but not this way, another reliever ace?
Joe Blanton: league average, but his Ks portend more success
JC Romero: Back in his role after his suspension.

Below Expectations

Ryan Howard: His stats are trending the wrong direction. Should be .OPSing above .950
Jimmy Rollins: Worst leadoff hitter in the league so far, showed signs of snapping back to life
Eric Bruntlett: less than .150...not good enough to hit.
Jaime Moyer: sometimes time catches up, but he can be a 5th starter.
Cole Hamels: where's the backbreaking changeup? Inconsistent this year
Brad Lidge: 7+ ERA, >5 BB/9...closing is not easy

Newcomers (or too soon to have expectations)

John Mayberry: will be a good 4th outfielder with Ibanez back
Paul Bako: good fielding, no hit, veteran catcher
Antonio Bastardo:pleasant surprise before getting hurt
Rodrigo Lopez: can be a serviceable spot starter.
Tyler Walker: back of the pen guy, no more
Sergio Escalona: he rides the Lehigh Valley express too often to get a good read on him.

No longer around to criticize

Chris Coste (sadly)
Lou Marson:waiting for an opportunity
Miguel Cairo: didn;t offer enough
Kyle Kendrick
Andrew Carpenter
Brett Myers: injured and missed, but so mercurial he drove me nuts.
Jack Taschner: cut for better options

Here's to a successful 2nd half!

1 comment:

Jim said...

Bring it on! I think (I hope) the Phils are finally playing like they're capable of playing. I'm anxious to see what Ruben does prior to the 7/31 non-waiver deadline.