28-year-old righty Jerad Eickhoff gave the Phillies a feel-good story yesterday by tying a club record during his first MLB start in 13 months, as Joe Bloss details in a piece for MLB.com. Eickhoff managed to strike out seven consecutive Braves (eight overall) before allowing a homer to Johan Camargo and a single to Ozzie Albies, prompting an early hook by manager Gabe Kapler. Though Eickhoff was only allowed to throw 54 pitches, he recorded eight of his ten outs via the strikeout and didn’t walk a batter.
It stands to reason that a strong 2019 spring performance on the part of Eickhoff could have him back in the conversation for a rotation spot next year, though he’s likely to face some stiff competition. A rotation featuring Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin has done well in 2018, and each has accumulated at least 2.0 fWAR to date. That’s to say nothing of any potential offseason rotation additions, which the Phillies could certainly afford to purchase given their massive budget and relatively low 2019 payroll commitments. Still, Eickhoff made an intriguing opening statement to support his case last night.
More off the coast of the Atlantic…
- Speaking of the Phillies and their big winter budget, Scott Lauber opens an article for Philly.com by bluntly stating that John Middleton is “ready to make it rain.” With less than $70MM in salary commitments for the 2019 season, Lauber echoes the oft-heard sentiments that Philadelphia is firmly in the mix to sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado (if not both). With that in mind, he embarked on a quest to discover who a panel of experts would prefer to sign. The criteria mentioned in Lauber’s excellent journalistic endeavor operates upon a slew of criteria including pure talent, durability/longevity and organizational fit.
- Alex Speier of the Boston Globe recently wrote about how manager Alex Cora has changed the organizational culture of the Red Sox in regards to analytics. According to Speier, some front offices last year weren’t on the lookout for authority figures to serve as their club’s skippers as the were trying to identify someone who could “serve as a conduit for data-driven analysis”. Cora’s been able to do just that, as evidenced in a recent defensive shift detailed in Speier’s piece, though that’s far from the only example. “He’s kind of reformed the culture of how we’re going to integrate data into decision-making,” assistant GM Eddie Romero said of the rookie manager.
- The Mets have elected to shut down right-handers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman for the season, per a report from Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The decision comes as a result of workload concerns, as the two relievers have combined for 181 1/3 innings on the season. Mickey Callaway offered his thoughts on the subject. “”We feel that those guys have had outstanding years,” he explained. “They both finished with a save, on a strong note. They’ve probably done more than we could have ever asked to this point. And we felt these last three games, we’re going to give these younger guys a shot to go out there and nail down the games for us. We feel this is taking care of them heading into the offseason, so they can come back and be even better next year.”
Mets, of course they have.
Sounds like Yoda talk
Would anyone sign with the Phillies with the current coaching staff in place?
If they make the highest offer, yes.
Why not? They have the best manager in the league.
dimitrios in la
Velasquez has been getting the hook in the fourth inning if he’s lucky. Might as well transition him to the bullpen and accommodate eick.
Phillies organization should be fined severely for their disastrous showing vs the Rockies during a serious pennant chase. I’m a Cards fan, and I know that the Cardinals played themselves out of contention. But if I were a Dodgers fan, I would seriously be calling for something!!!. Phillies are pathetic.
kiddhoff…….You realize the have been awful since about mid August and not just against the Rockies, right? Since August 18 they are 10-28. They Phillies played themselves out of contention too, just well before the Cards. There no conspiracy here….smh.
I ain’t buying it! No conspiracy. Fine. I’ll give you that. I didn’t watch the games, but saw the scores. They did not show up to play.And 8 straight K’s? Come on. And I was just beginning to like them.
So you are making a claim without facts….cool. Maybe look at a box score, maybe realize that since their mid Aug. collapse he have been whipped by the Mets, Tor, Wash. Mia. …..every team they have played. What 8 straight K’s are you talking about?
By marquez. I’m not trying to debate you. I’m saying tha a professional club has the responsibility to compete, especially vs contending teams. And they chose to lay down. Are you telling me that you believe the majority of the Phillies were actually trying?
It’s not like the team thought in mid August “Well we’ve had a pretty good season. Let’s just throw in the towel and call it a year”. Seasonal collapses happen to teams a lot. That doesn’t mean they’re not trying.
What I am saying is the Phillies collapsed and have stunk for the past month and a half (and yes I am a Phillies fan since Dick Allen was RoY) This collapse has been as painful as ’64.
As for the K’s….no problem believing it at all. Thy are one K short of 1500 for the season. They rank 14th out of 15 NL teams in K’s. 6 of the “normal starting 8 have over 100’K’s. They K 25% of the time as a team.
They won earlier in the year because of pitching. While a few of the SP’s have stayed strong to fairly strong the BP has collapsed badly.
kiddhoff – if you watched any Phillies game since August, that was their best against the Rockies. They just sucked. No other way to say it. They could not pitch, hit, make any plays… That was them trying. No confidence. Watch a few games on demand.
I blame Kapler for the fall