NL East Notes: Phillies, Gonzalez, Kimbrel

There isn't much optimism about the Phillies, but their roster has the talent to contend if it can stay healthy, Bob Ford of the Inquirer writes. Their season will turn on Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, all core players in their thirties. "I don't believe all of a sudden that these guys are so old that they've lost all of their bat speed, their quickness, and their abilities," says GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Here's more on the NL East.

  • Amaro will be the Phillies employee who faces the heaviest scrutiny this spring, but after that is Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, writes Matt Gelb of the Inquirer. "If I knew more what Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was, I would feel better about it," says Amaro, referring to the Phillies' starting pitching. "We think he has the potential to be that guy. It's not a slam dunk. We haven't seen him pitch. In some ways, we have to get lucky on that one." Gonzalez and the Phillies initially agreed on a deal worth a minimum of $48MM, but the team ended up signing him for $12MM instead after concerns about Gonzalez's elbow scuttled the original deal.
  • The Braves' signings of Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward to extensions likely mean less money on hand to sign Craig Kimbrel. That might be justified given the decline in Kimbrel's deceptiveness last season, Alec Dopp of BaseballAnalytics.org writes. While Kimbrel was still dominant in 2013, his K:BB ratio took a big step backward, and batters made significantly more contact against him. His release point varied more in 2013, Dopp argues, which made it easier for batters to identify his pitches.


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16 Comments on "NL East Notes: Phillies, Gonzalez, Kimbrel"


UK Tiger
UK Tiger
1 year 6 months ago

“I don’t believe all of a sudden that these guys are so old that they’ve lost all of their bat speed, their quickness, and their abilities,”

Actually Ruben I think that is actually playing a big part in it.

levdog
1 year 6 months ago

Utley came back to form with a decent year last year. Howard will almost certainly come back from his injury suffered in the playoffs 2 seasons back. The interesting one is Jimmy Rollins, who lost his power last season. I expect that he will have a much better season and the Phillies will be in the wildcard hunt all season.

Puig Power
1 year 6 months ago

Haven’t seen him pitch?

Teacherhst
1 year 6 months ago

That was the first thing I picked up on. Worst GM in baseball. Inherited a good core and let it get old.

BCleveland3381
1 year 6 months ago

I still don’t understand the Marlon Byrd signing for the Phils. It’s one thing if he was part of a bigger plan for the team, but that’s basically all they did. The Phils might finish 5th in the division…yes, even behind the Marlins.

hiflyer000
1 year 6 months ago

Its pretty obvious what the plan is; tread water with the aging core for a few more years until the new TV deal kicks in, while stocking the farm with high draft picks and increased international signings. Then once 2017 rolls around they’ll have tons of payroll room and possibly a fairly stacked farm to boot.

As for Byrd, the Phillies had something like a collective -2.5 WAR in RF last year, and even if Byrd sucks he’ll probably still come out 0 WAR at worst, which is a huge improvement.

Ryan
1 year 6 months ago

” In some ways, we have to get lucky on that one.”

This basically sums up the majority of the moves made by Amaro in his tenure. In essence, since luck is such a big part of it, he could be replaced tomorrow by a monkey throwing darts at a list of free agents and the franchise would not miss a beat.

This makes me feel great as a fan……

James Dickinson Burtz
1 year 6 months ago

Well Ruben we have seen Burnett pitch and even at 37 he still will allow Gonzales to be gravy. You will have three guys at the top barring injury that will keep the phillies in at least 80 to 90 games.

Matthew Cramer
1 year 6 months ago

This is why he’s a terrible GM…. he just can’t fathom the idea that guys get old.

PhilliesPhan1975
1 year 6 months ago

I can’t believe how terrible the Phils could possibly be this season. RAJ did barely anything to improve them. It’s like he just gave up. Sigh…I’ll still watch every game but I’ll be cursing a whole lot. WE better do better than Marlins. Even the freakin’ Mets look better this season.

Dylan Griffin
1 year 6 months ago

Yep, this confirms my believe that Amaro is probably the worst GM in MLB. Poorly-advised moves, not knowing when to hit the reset button, asking for teams to give up their farm and cover the entire cost of their over paid players, the list goes on. Phils really need to can this guy.

Monk81
1 year 6 months ago

One legacy, Bill Giles (son of Warren), ruined baseball for an entire generation of Phillies fans. Looks like another legacy, Ruben Amaro Jr., is going to get the opportunity to do the same.

Monk81
1 year 6 months ago

One legacy, Bill Giles (son of Warren), ruined baseball for an entire generation of Phillies fans. Looks like another legacy, Ruben Amaro Jr., is going to get the opportunity to do the same.

mattynokes
1 year 6 months ago

Ha, easier to hit Kimbrel, so what? Most pitchers would kill for a 13.1 K/9 and .166 BAA. He can “regress” even further and still be damn good.

Jeff Miller
1 year 6 months ago

With a 4th year option. It’s not a RAJ deal without one.

jury_rigger
1 year 6 months ago

If you aren’t over 40, don’t bother.