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Matt Hammond

  1. Justin De Fratus May Soon Overtake Phillippe Aumont

    May 15, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

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    By the second out of the eighth inning yesterday, Antonio Bastardo had hit a wall, Mike Adams was likely unavailable, Chad Durbin wasn’t a fit for the circumstances and Jeremy Horst wasn’t a righty. Due up with men on first and third and one out was Indians surprise slugger Mark Reynolds, who hit .301 with…

  2. Freddy Galvis in Center Field Could Enable Darin Ruf Callup

    May 15, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT

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    Freddy Galvis’ versatility has offered Charlie Manuel plenty of flexibility with his lineup card. But his latest dimension, potentially taking his Gold Glove-caliber defense to center field, could do the same for the roster. Specifically, it could allow the organization to DFA John Mayberry Jr. to callup Darin Ruf. Some cold water first. Galvis has…

  3. Good News (Told in GIF): Tyler Cloyd’s 2012 Home Run Problem May Be Fixable

    May 10, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

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    Let’s focus on the positives. Tyler Cloyd was, for a healthy part of last year, the most effective starter at the highest level of the minors, where he went 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA with the Iron Pigs. When he was tapped after September callups, Cloyd struck out 4.29 batters for every walk, which if…

  4. Misery (Hates) Company: Shaky Run Support Not Just a Cole Hamels Problem

    May 10, 2013, 10:29 AM EDT

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    This year, the Braves, one of the most potent offenses in all of baseball, are providing ace Kris Medlen with a Salvation Army-generous… 2.86 runs of support per game. The Giants, meanwhile, have plated just above the major league average for runs scored, but for top starter Matt Cain, have only mustered 3.14 runs of…

  5. On Carlos Ruiz and Catcher Defense

    May 9, 2013, 3:33 PM EDT

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    Carlos Ruiz picked a good time to nab his second base stealer of the year. If not for this rifle to get Gregor Blanco at second for the first out in the bottom of the ninth, Marco Scutaro gets walk-off winner with next at-bat, a double to center. The Phillies don’t even get a chance.…

  6. Ridin’ Solo: Phillies Lack of Multi-Run HRs is Not Good

    May 8, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

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    No doubt the fireworks have been fun lately. But that each of the Phillies last 12 home runs have been solo shots — in this case, the product of poor on-base ability — is less than good. Eventually, that inability to optimize what little power they’re getting is going to hurt. As if it hasn’t already. Take…

  7. The Opposite of Upside: Phillies Tap Tyler Cloyd as Roy Halladay’s Friday Replacement

    May 8, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

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    Tyler Cloyd dealt eight innings of one-run ball and fanned 10 Indiana Indians his last time out at Lehigh Valley. Two days later, more highly-regarded prospect Adam Morgan was crushed for four runs in as many frames. Maybe there’s more to the Phillies decision to tap Cloyd over Morgan as Roy Halladay’s replacement in the…

  8. Maybe Michael Young Should Bat Leadoff to Prevent All Those GIDPs

    May 6, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT

    Clearly the difference between the Phillies lineup and good isn’t as simple as another lineup shakeup. But there’s one move that can, at the very least, help them maximize what little offense they’re  getting: move Michael Young to the leadoff spot. That he grounds into so many double plays all but necessitates it. Whether he’s…

  9. On Charlie Manuel’s Defense of Rich Dubee

    May 5, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT

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    So, Charlie Manuel doesn’t take too kindly to national media types bashing his pitching coach – especially not former marginally-successful closers that may or may not have an axe to grind.

  10. Start 3: Sink or Swim Time For Jonathan Pettibone

    May 3, 2013, 3:01 PM EDT

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    Two starts in, all was well for Tyler Cloyd. He’d punched back-to-back quality starts in his debut appearances with the Phillies in 2012, for a more-than-reputable 1-1 mark and 2.77 ERA. He’d struck out 14 and walked only 2. By all appearances, Cloyd was, at the very least, serviceable.

    Then came start No. 3, what 2013 rookie Jonathan Pettibone will face tonight.

  11. The Marlins Are Bad and the Phillies Should Beat Them Tonight

    May 2, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

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    Forget about the Phillies for a moment. The Marlins (8-20) co-own the worst record in baseball with the Astros. They rank in the bottom two of every major offensive category, with a .229/.289/.312 line, and are on pace to score fewer than 500 runs this year, which would make for a 43-year first.

  12. Cliff Lee Has Actually Fared Well After High Pitch Count Outings

    May 1, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT

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    Cliff Lee will face a former team that traded him away for the first time tonight on their home turf when he takes on the Indians in Cleveland. He’s got the attitude you’d expect. Lee’s coming off a 122 pitch outing over the weekend, but that hasn’t been a bad thing for the ace.

  13. As Delmon Young Experiment Begins, So Too Does Darin Ruf Watch

    May 1, 2013, 12:35 PM EDT

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    Delmon Young had a fine debut for the Phillies on Tuesday night in Cleveland. His performance the rest of the way likely dictates when or if we’ll ever see Darin Ruf back on the big club. The two are oddly intertwines. We explain below.

  14. Phillies Need to Reverse First-Timers Curse vs. Cleveland Tonight

    Apr 30, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT

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    Cleveland starter Zach McAllister has been perfectly average so far.

    He’s is 1-3 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts. His record’s a product of his shoddy run support: he’s surrendered no more than two runs in any of his starts, but the Indians have plated three or fewer for him in each. (Before you feel sorry for him: McAllister’s 3.50 RS/9 would be the second-most on the Phillies, ahead of Roy Halladay (3.40), Cliff Lee (3.20) and John Lannan (3.00), and behind Kyle Kendrick’s 4.40.) Though his ERA, which ranks 57 of 109 qualifying starters, is mostly on him.

    But tonight against the Phillies, McAllister enters with a distinct edge if you consider the way the Phillies have fared in such situations so far: he’s never seen them before.

  15. Five Encouraging Parts of the Phillies Sweep of the Mets This Weekend

    Apr 29, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT

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    None of the three games were even particularly close–yesterday afternoon’s game was knotted for a while, but the Phils broke it open in the seventh and the Mets never really fought back. And in the meantime, a whole bunch of our guys who had been struggling some got to get back on track. Some of the positives include:

  16. Kyle Kendrick’s Escape Act Isn’t Likely To Continue

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

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    In 642 National League games so far, only 13 times has a starter limited eight hits or more of damage to just two runs or fewer. Kyle Kendrick owns two of those starts. The only other pitcher with two such starts is Justin Verlander. This year, Kendrick’s been one of baseball’s best at getting himself out…

  17. Kyle Kendrick’s Escape Act Isn’t Likely To Continue

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:53 PM EDT

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    In 642 National League games so far, only 13 times has a starter limited eight hits or more of damage to just two runs or fewer. Kyle Kendrick owns two of those starts.

    The only other pitcher with two such starts is Justin Verlander.

    This year, Kendrick’s been one of baseball’s best at getting himself out of his own mess. The result? The Phillies second-best starter ERA (3.28), from their No. 4. But how long does it last? Will it buckle tonight in Game 1 against the Mets?

  18. The Phillies Defense Hasn’t Been Great, But Their Range Is Worse

    Apr 24, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT

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    Sure, the boots look bad.

    But worse for the Phillies in the field this year are the plays that, well, aren’t.

    Despite an handful of errors so far — including two in the first two frames in last night’s loss as well as a could’ve-been-made play by Jimmy Rollins that let the first scored runner reach — the Phillies’ .980 fielding percentage is actually solid: eighth in all of baseball.

  19. Jonathan Pettibone Makes MLB Debut Amid Mild Expectations

    Apr 22, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

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    After nabbing International League Pitcher of the Year honors with a 12-1 mark and 2.35 ERA for the Iron Pigs in Triple-A last year, Tyler Cloyd got lit up in the six starts following his September callup for the Phillies, for a 2-2 record and 4.91 ERA.

    Lot of anticipation. World of let-down. In all, the Cloyd Experience was kind of a drag.

    Tonight, when Jonathan Pettibone makes his Big League debut in place of the 15-day DL’d John Lannan against A.J. Burnett and the Pirates, it probably won’t go that way.

  20. Why, Exactly, Is Joe Savery (And Not Justin De Fratus) In Philadelphia?

    Apr 21, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

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    Charlie Manuel has a realm, the expanse of which includes crafting his lineup, managing egos, and keeping the ship afloat in general.

    Player personnel decisions exist outside it.

    So when it was announced that Joe Savery would be the reliever filling John Lannan’s roster spot for the weekend set against the Cardinals, until the organization settled on a replacement starter for Lannan’s scheduled turn on Monday, Manuel wasn’t behind it.

  21. Roy Halladay Tinkers In Attempt to Evolve, Stay Effective

    Apr 19, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT

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    His last time out, when he earned himself that novelty-size champagne bottle with career win No. 200, Roy Halladay looked as if he’d found a sustainable model for a 35-year-old with over 33,000 pitches on his odometer that started to look like it.

    He was also pitching against the Marlins.

    What gives? The numbers say Halladay’s cutter and two-seamer, and a mentality.

  22. The Chooch Cometh: Ten Days Out, What Can Carlos Ruiz’s Return Mean to Phillies?

    Apr 18, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

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    Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero have combined to hit .167/.164/.278 so far this season, with each of those being in the bottom four in baseball among catchers, and the OBP being dead-last.

    And so, Carlos Ruiz becomes the Phillies early-season white knight, scheduled to ride in 10 games and 10 days from now, when his 25-game suspension ends – even though he’s presumed to be less than he was last season.