Baseball America’s Top 10 Phillies Prospects

2013 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

By Matt Forman
December 17, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects

Lists are based on projections of a player’s long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven’t exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Jesse Biddle, lhp
2. Roman Quinn, ss
3. Tommy Joseph, c
4. Jon Pettibone, rhp
5. Adam Morgan, lhp
6. Ethan Martin, rhp
7. Cody Asche, 3b
8. Maikel Franco, 3b
9. Darin Ruf, 1b/of
10. Carlos Tocci, of
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Cody Asche
Best Power Hitter Darin Ruf
Best Strike Zone Discipline Darin Ruf
Fastest Baserunner Roman Quinn
Best Athlete Roman Quinn
Best Fastball Kenny Giles
Best Curveball Jesse Biddle
Best Slider Adam Morgan
Best Changeup Jon Pettibone
Best Control Jon Pettibone
Best Defensive Catcher Sebastian Valle
Best Defensive Infielder Cesar Hernandez
Best Infield Arm Maikel Franco
Best Defensive OF Tyson Gillies
Best Outfield Arm Kyrell Hudson
PROJECTED 2016
LINEUP
Catcher Tommy Joseph
First Base Ryan Howard
Second Base Chase Utley
Third Base Cody Asche
Shortstop Roman Quinn
Left Field Darin Ruf
Center Field Ben Revere
Right Field Domonic Brown
No. 1 Starter Cole Hamels
No. 2 Starter Cliff Lee
No. 3 Starter Roy Halladay
No. 4 Starter Jesse Biddle
No. 5 Starter Jonathan Pettibone
Closer Jonathan Papelbon
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Gavin Floyd, rhp White Sox
2004 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2005 Ryan Howard, 1b Phillies
2006 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2007 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2008 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2009 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2010 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2011 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2012 Trevor May, rhp Phillies
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Tim Moss, 2B (3rd round) Out of baseball
2004 Greg Golson, OF Yankees
2005 Mike Costanzo, 3B (2nd round) Reds
2006 Kyle Drabek, RHP/SS Blue Jays
2007 Joe Savery, LHP Phillies
2008 Anthony Hewitt, SS Phillies
2009 Kelly Dugan, OF Phillies
2010 Jesse Biddle, LHP Phillies
2011 Larry Greene, OF Phillies
2012 Shane Watson, RHP Phillies
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Gavin Floyd, 2001 $4,200,000
Pat Burrell, 1998 $3,150,000
Brett Myers, 1999 $2,050,000
Cole Hamels, 2002 $2,000,000
Chase Utley, 2000 $1,780,000
PHILLIES
LINKS
Phillies Team Page
Phillies Top 10 Scouting Reports  Premium
Last Year’s Phillies Top 10 Prospects
2012 Draft: Phillies
2012 Draft Report Cards: Philadelphia Phillies Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2013 Prospect Handbook
Philadelphia Phillies

For different reasons, the Phillies’ last two seasons have ended in disappointment. In 2011, the playoff run that had become an annual expectation in Philadelphia ended too early. In 2012, there was no postseason baseball in Philadelphia at all, for the first time in six years.

The Phillies expected their season to start slowly because of lingering injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but it never really got on its projected course, at least until it was too late. The Phillies finished 81-81, their worst record since 2002, and needed a late-season blitz just to break even after falling 14 games under .500 at one point. Philadelphia lost several more players for significant time to injuries, including Jose Contreras, Freddy Galvis, Roy Halladay, Placido Polanco, Mike Stutes and Vance Worley.

As a result, the Phillies were sellers on the trade market for the first time since 2006. One year after acquiring Hunter Pence, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. shipped him to the Giants for Nate Schierholtz and a pair of prospects (catcher Tommy Joseph and righthander Seth Rosin). Amaro also sent Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in separate deals for Josh Lindblom and righthanders Ethan Martin and Ryan O’Sullivan.

The big league struggles gave Philadelphia a chance to evaluate its system, as eight rookies debuted in the majors, the most since it had 15 in 1996. Along with the unexpected development of a few prospects, that ensured the last two months of the season weren’t completely irrelevant.

Once considered an organization player, first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf blasted 20 homers in Double-A in August to tie Sammy Sosa’s pro record for a single month, then hit three more during a September callup. Tyler Cloyd, a soft-tossing righty who’s short on stuff but strong on pitching sense, made his major league debut in August and won two of his six starts. Longtime minor league veteran Eric Kratz showed some pop, while Phillippe Aumont flashed his plus stuff out of the bullpen. In varying capacities, they all figure to contribute in 2013.

Meanwhile, the Phillies’ .500 finish secured them a higher first-round pick than any in recent memory, as long as they don’t sign a free agent who requires compensation. They’re slated to select 16th, their highest selection since they took Gavin Floyd fourth overall in 2001.

Philadelphia has stuck with its philosophy of drafting high-upside athletes, with scouting director Marti Wolever preferring lefthanded pitching and speed. That’s reflected on this list, which begins with a southpaw (Jesse Biddle) and a fleet-footed shortstop (Roman Quinn). Quinn is one of several members of a talented 2011 draft class who took a big step forward in their first full pro seasons, a group that also included lefthander Adam Morgan, third baseman Cody Asche and flamethrowing reliever Kenny Giles.

Most of the Phillies’ best prospects are at least a year or two away from being ready for Citizens Bank Park, so Amaro swung two trades for veteran offensive help in December. He acquired Ben Revere from the Twins for Vance Worley and enigmatic righthander Trevor May, then dispatched Lindblom and righty Lisalverto Bonilla to get Michael Young from the Rangers.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Phillies, who will return several significant players from their 2007-11 National League East championship clubs in 2013. If they can stay healthy—certainly not a guarantee given the age of many of the players—their season could have a happier ending.

Phils Win Opener 1-0 In Pitching Duel

DOC, PAPELBON, CHOOCH, MAYBERRY SHINE

by Charles Oliver aka Bloggo Schloggo

In a pitching dominated game The Good Doctor tossed 8 innings of 2 hit ball. I was hoping Charlie would let Doc come out for the 9th and get try and get the complete game shutout. He was 8 pitches short of 100 after 8 innings. But who am I to 2nd guess Charlie. Charlie opted to bring in the Phils new closer Papelbon and he closed out with a stellar 3 up 3 down performance,

Roy Halladay

Chooch finished with 3 hits including knocking in the games only run. John Mayberry made 2 great catches in left field on long drives and had two hits including a double. Victorino had a stolen base. Newcomer Freddy Galvis fielded his position well but was weak with the bat having grounded into 2 double plays and going hitless.

Thus another campaign has begun with another Phillies win. 1 down and 161 to go. It should be interesting to see how well the Phils fare especially with big guns Utley and Howard on the sidelines. The Marlins and Nationals are much improved and the Braves are still a valid threat. The lowly Mets still look like cellar dwellers. Come Autumn and Sept. 30th we’ll know who was for real and who were pretenders. GO PHILLIES!

Phillies 1, Pirates 0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
PHI
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 0
PIT
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Victorino, CF 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .000
Polanco, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .000
Rollins, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 .250
Pence, RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000
Wigginton, 1B 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Mayberry, LF 4 0 2 0 0 2 0 .500
Ruiz, C 3 0 3 1 0 0 0 1.000
Galvis, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 5 .000
Halladay, P 3 0 1 0 0 2 0 .333
Papelbon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 32 1 8 1 2 8 13 .250
Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Presley, LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .250
Tabata, RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
McCutchen, A, CF 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Walker, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Jones, G, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Barajas, C 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Alvarez, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Barmes, SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Resop, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
a-McLouth, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Cruz, J, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 28 0 2 0 0 6 6 .071

a-Struck out for Resop in the 8th.

BATTING
2B: Mayberry (1, Bedard).
TB: Ruiz 3; Wigginton; Mayberry 3; Halladay; Rollins.
RBI: Ruiz (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Galvis; Rollins; Pence.
SF: Ruiz.
GIDP: Galvis 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.BASERUNNING
SB: Victorino (1, 2nd base off Bedard/Barajas).FIELDING
DP: (Rollins-Galvis-Wigginton).
BATTING
TB: Presley; Tabata.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Walker.
GIDP: McCutchen, A.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 3.FIELDING
DP: 2 (Barmes-Walker-Jones, G, Alvarez-Walker-Jones, G).
Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Halladay(W, 1-0) 8.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00
Papelbon(S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 2 0 0 0 6 0 0.00
Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bedard(L, 0-1) 7.0 6 1 1 1 4 0 1.29
Resop 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0.00
Cruz, J 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 8 1 1 2 8 0 1.00
HBP: Barmes (by Halladay), McCutchen, A (by Halladay).
Pitches-strikes: Halladay 92-65, Papelbon 10-9, Resop 18-10, Bedard 81-58, Cruz, J 17-11.
Groundouts-flyouts: Halladay 10-5, Papelbon 2-0, Resop 0-0, Bedard 6-5, Cruz, J 1-0.
Batters faced: Halladay 27, Papelbon 3, Resop 5, Bedard 26, Cruz, J 4.
Umpires: HP: Brian Gorman. 1B: Larry Vanover. 2B: Tony Randazzo. 3B: Todd Tichenor.
Weather: 52 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 4 mph, L to R.
T: 2:14.
Att: 39,585.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media

Doc dominates as Phillies shut out Pirates

 By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PITTSBURGH — The Phillies began the 2012 season knowing they could pitch and hoping they could score enough runs to win.

They followed form Thursday.

Phillies ace Roy Halladay dominated in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates on Opening Day at PNC Park. He just needed a little help, which finally came in the seventh inning, when Carlos Ruiz’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Ty Wigginton from third base.

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitc...

It was the first run the Phillies had scored for Halladay since the eighth inning in Game 1 of the 2011 National League Division Series. The Phillies had played 15 scoreless innings behind Halladay — nine of them coming in Game 5 of the NLDS — until Ruiz finally knocked in a run.

Halladay allowed back-to-back singles to Alex Presley and Jose Tabata in the bottom of the first inning — the only hits he allowed over his eight innings — but got Andrew McCutchen to bounce into a double play and struck out Neil Walker to get out of the jam.

Halladay retired nine consecutive batters until he hit McCutchen with a pitch with one out in the fourth inning. He retired the next 13 batters he faced until he hit Clint Barmes with a pitch with two outs in the eighth.

Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard cruised through six shutout innings, but the Phillies finally got something going offensively in the seventh. Wigginton hit a one-out single to center and John Mayberry Jr. doubled into the right-field corner to put runners on second and third with one out.

Ruiz’s sacrifice fly gave the Phillies the only run of the game.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his first save with the Phillies with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

HOT BOARDS- RECENT Transaction Trends

RECENT Transaction Trends

 

 

 

Francisco Cordero

Francisco Cordero

 

 

(Tor – RP)No new player Notes
22 328 0
350
(Det – C,1B)New player notes
93 223 1
317
(LAD – RP)No new player Notes
7 301 0
308
(NYY – SP)No new player Notes
6 299 2
307
(Tex – SP)No new player Notes
9 252 0
261
(ChC – OF)No new player Notes
21 228 0
249
(StL – RP)No new player Notes
7 222 0
229
(NYM – 1B,2B,3B)No new player Notes
30 152 2
184
(Was – OF)Player notes
11 156 0
167
(Atl – SP)No new player Notes
133 29 2
164
(StL – SP)No new player Notes
9 154 0
163
(SF – 1B,OF)No new player Notes
141 10 0
151
(Mil – RP)No new player Notes
8 136 0
144
(LAA – OF)No new player Notes
119 22 1
142
(Was – RP)No new player Notes
15 120 1
136
(Pit – SP)No new player Notes
105 24 1
130
(Bos – RP)Player notes
88 35 0
123
(CWS – OF)No new player Notes
108 12 0
120
(Pit – OF)No new player Notes
111 7 1
119
(CWS – OF)No new player Notes
102 13 3
118
(Oak – RP)No new player Notes
65 49 2
116
(TB – 1B)No new player Notes
31 82 2
115
(Atl – 3B)Player notes
32 81 1
114
(Min – SP)No new player Notes
75 38 1
114
(Ari – OF)No new player Notes
95 16 2
113
(SF – RP)No new player Notes
88 24 1
113
(LAA – OF)Player notes
32 79 1
112
(SD – SP)No new player Notes
99 10 1
110
(Oak – OF)No new player Notes
1 109 0
110
(NYY – RP)No new player Notes
11 92 0
103
(SF – OF)No new player Notes
63 39 0
102
(Min – 3B)No new player Notes
9 92 0
101
(NYM – OF)No new player Notes
85 16 0
101
(LAD – 1B)No new player Notes
87 13 1
101
(KC – SP)No new player Notes
63 38 0
101
(Ari – 1B)No new player Notes
84 11 4
99
(CWS – OF)No new player Notes
87 10 1
98
(CWS – 1B)No new player Notes
77 18 3
98
(Det – OF)No new player Notes
49 48 0
97
(Tex – 1B,OF)No new player Notes
79 16 2
97
(SF – SP)No new player Notes
7 88 1
96
(Mia – SP)No new player Notes
73 23 0
96
(SD – 3B)No new player Notes
85 7 3
95
(Cin – RP)New player notes
45 50 0
95
(Ari – SP,RP)No new player Notes
18 74 0
92
(SD – SP)No new player Notes
78 13 0
91
(StL – OF)No new player Notes
38 53 0
91
(Col – OF)No new player Notes
82 7 1
90
(Tex – RP)No new player Notes
22 67 0
89
(Cle – 2B)No new player Notes
63 23 3
89

 

Note: Data on this page reflects transactions made in Fantasy Baseball.

 

Phils Add Right Handed Bullpen Help With Chad Qualls

Phils bolster bullpen with veteran righty Qualls

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies wanted more bullpen depth, so Tuesday they signed right-hander Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million contract.

Qualls, 33, is expected to join a ‘pen that could include Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Contreras, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Kyle Kendrick and Dontrelle Willis, with several others in the mix in Spring Training.

Chad Qualls

Qualls provides the Phils another veteran right-handed arm, which might prove necessary because of the uncertainty surrounding Contreras’ health. Contreras had right elbow surgery last year, and while the Phillies believe he could be ready close to Opening Day, nobody is certain.

“Chad was one of those guys that was available to us at a reasonable price for what he can do,” Philadelphia general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. “He has the ability to pitch in the seventh and the eighth. We’ll see where he fits. [Manager] Charlie [Manuel] and [pitching coach Rich] Dubee and Chad will decide that, but he’s certainly a guy with a power-sinker and power-slider combination.

“He was throwing very well at the end of the year. He’s had some battles with consistency, but he clearly has ability and some durability. And those are pretty important elements.”

Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 appearances last season with the Padres. He had a 1.96 ERA in his final 19 appearances, but he went 4-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 38 appearances on the road, compared to 2-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 39 appearances in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

“We looked at it. We saw it,” Amaro said. “We took a look at some of that data and information, but at the end of the day, when we discussed it with our scouts, we just felt like this type of a risk on a guy was not all that big of a risk. We kind of know what we’re going to get out of him.”

Right-handers hit just .218 with a .537 OPS against Qualls last season, while left-handers had much better success, hitting .320 with an .881 OPS.

Qualls has more appearances (512) over the previous seven seasons than any other pitcher. He is 38-34 with a 3.78 ERA and 51 saves in 537 career appearances with Houston, Arizona, Tampa Bay and San Diego.

His deal includes performance and award bonuses. He will wear No. 50.

“If he’s throwing strikes regularly, he’ll do some damage for us,” Amaro said.

Amaro said he does not expect any similar moves before the beginning of Spring Training on Feb. 19.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Madson Packs Bags… Headed for Cincinnati

Reds, closer Madson agree on one-year deal

Cincinnati fills one of biggest needs in snagging free agent

Ryan Madson signing autographs before the Marc...

CINCINNATI — The Reds agreed to terms late Tuesday on a one-year, $10 million contract with free-agent closer Ryan Madson, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network had the initial report of a deal being reached. The Reds have not announced any agreement. A message was left with general manager Walt Jocketty.

Citing sources, Heyman reported earlier in the evening that talks between the two sides were heating up and in the serious stages. However, a source familiar with the situation downplayed the report to MLB.com, saying it was unlikely the Reds would get Madson unless his agent — Scott Boras — came well off the demand of a four-year, $44 million contract he had been reportedly been wanting.

And with this seeming to be a one-year deal for Madson, that certainly appears to be the case.

Francisco Cordero

Talks had been ongoing all winter with former Reds closer Francisco Cordero, who became a free agent after his $12 million club option was not exercised. Cincinnati had a one-year contract offer at an unknown figure on the table but could never reach an agreement with Cordero.

It looks as though the Reds turned their attention to the only other closer remaining on the market from a once-crowded field, though former Phillies closer Brad Lidge remains on the market.

Madson was believed close to re-signing with the Phillies earlier in the offseason before they signed Jonathan Papelbon. Last season, in his first full year as Philadelphia’s closer, the right-handed Madson was 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and 32 saves in 34 chances while making $4.8 million.

The addition of a new closer further underscores the pitching makeover Cincinnati has made this offseason in an effort to go for the National League Central title in 2012. Late last month, the Reds parted with several young players in two separate trades that brought in starting pitcher Mat Latos from the Padres and left-handed reliever Sean Marshall from the Cubs.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What are the club’s plans for Brown?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers Phils fans’ questions

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
What on earth are the Phillies going to do with Domonic Brown? They have John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Shane Victorino in center field and Hunter Pence in right field. Where’s the space for Brown? — Brett L., Broomall, Pa.
Domonic Brown

There is none, unless there is an injury or Mayberry and Nix don’t perform. Unless things change, Brown is expected to play the 2012 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will be looking to regain confidence and learning to play left field.

Nothing really has gone smoothly with Brown the past couple of seasons. The Phillies admittedly erred in the way they have handled him (bringing him up in 2010, only to spend most of the second half of the season sitting on the bench).

Brown performed poorly in winter ball following that season and started slowly in Spring Training 2011 before breaking his hand. He was playing great with Lehigh Valley early last season, when the Phils called him up (after saying they didn’t think he was ready). He did OK, relatively speaking, but once the Phillies acquired Pence and optioned Brown to Lehigh Valley, he struggled.

The Phils are hoping a full season in the Minors will get Brown back on track. Maybe it will, but if Mayberry and Nix perform well in left, I would think Brown could be trade bait at some point.

If Ryan Madson does not come back, where do you think he will sign and why are the Phillies disinterested in him? — Daniel S., Pinellas Park, Fla.

Ryan Madson signing autographs before the Marc...

Who said they’re disinterested in Madson? I’m sure general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would love to have Madson as his setup man, but would Madson come back to set up for Jonathan Papelbon? If I’m Madson, I’m not sure I would. But if Madson can’t get a closer job at closer money, maybe he would come back to a place he’s familiar and set up before hitting the market again next offseason. But I’m betting Madson will take his services elsewhere before Spring Training.

Is Chase Utley healthy this year? — Janet X., Harrisburg, Pa.

Chase Utley

The Phillies said late last season that Utley, who had knee issues last year, will be on a different offseason training program that should allow him to strengthen his legs without causing the tendinitis that forced him to miss the first couple of months of the 2011 season. They said that lack of strength in his lower half contributed to his lack of pop at the plate. Will he be the old Utley in 2012, one of the best offensive performers in the game? I’m not sure, but they certainly need him to play much better than he did last season.

How can you argue the Phillies can only get younger at two positions when they have an aging and oft-injured third baseman? — Bob P., Renovo, Pa.

Got lots of questions over the past week about third base, the David Wright rumors, how much they can expect to get from Polanco. Those are good questions, but some of the questions are almost like, “What’s the Phillies’ problem? Why won’t they get David Wright?” Like it were easy. Like Amaro can get Wright (or another stud third baseman) by just snapping his fingers. The Phils would love Wright at third base, but it’s not going to happen right now. The club has said Polanco should be healthy entering the season. If he is, he’s a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman than hits better than .300. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

Do you think the Phillies will hit a wall and not win the National League East? — Steven B., Cheltenham, Pa.

English: John Mayberry, Jr. of the Philadelphi...

The NL East has improved, but I still think the Phils will] win their sixth straight division title. If everybody is healthy, of course. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will win their fair share of games. The offense, which has flopped the previous two postseasons, has been productive during the season. I just don’t see how anybody could catch them.

The bench seems to have gained some much needed depth this year. What impact will this have on the 2012 Phillies? — Zack K., Clarks Summit, Pa.

Laynce Nix

It gives manager Charlie Manuel more options. If Polanco misses time, Manuel can play Ty Wigginton at third instead of Michael Martinez. When Ryan Howard is out, the Phillies can play Mayberry, Nix, Wigginton or even Jim Thome. They should be able to handle injuries a little better than they have in the past, while not sacrificing as much offense in the process.

Do you see any offensive options the Phillies could pursue at the Trade Deadline, like David Wright or a left fielder? — Jim D., Tabernacle, N.J.

Whoa. We’re already looking at the Trade Deadline? It’s a long way from July 31. Like I mentioned above, I’ve gotten lots of questions about third base, left field, etc. There were similar questions last year at this time about right field, and how the Phillies were going to replace Jayson Werth. The Phils decided they would give Ben Francisco, Brown and Mayberry a shot. If it worked, great. If not, then they could always find somebody else.

I think the same holds true this year. Why not see if Polanco can stay healthy? Why not see if Mayberry and Nix can platoon in left field? If they can’t, they can always try to find somebody else. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be smart emptying the farm system for something that might not happen (Polanco staying healthy, etc.). It would be smarter to see how they do, then reassess midseason.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies: Power Ranking 20 Oddest Moments in Franchise History

By Greg Pinto (Featured Columnist)

Baseball can be a strange game.

Not the kind of strange that forces the casual fan to turn their head away from the action, but the kind of strange that forces the avid fan to lean back, raise an eyebrow and say, “That is something I may never see again in my lifetime.”

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies are well aware of the meaning of “strange baseball.” Their team has helped to give those simple words a definition over the course of its history. From position players taking the mound, to waiting for an opponent to answer nature’s call, to watching their beloved mascot and a rival’s beloved manager resort to fisticuffs.

In the City of Brotherly Love, you could say that normal situations are strange, and that strange situations, are the norm.

20. The Ryan Madson Saga

127833382_display_image
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Free agency is an odd thing in and of itself.

With the market built to stay open right through the holiday season, nothing illustrates the spirit of giving better than throwing millions of dollars at baseball players to better your team, or in some cases, just keep good players away from your rivals.

Because of the nature of the market, it isn’t unusual to see player linked to a certain team for weeks at a time only to later find out that not only was a deal never close to being completed, but it was never even talked about. With the world of social media growing at a rapid pace, it can lead to a lot of rumors and a lot of hurt feelings.

Regardless of all of that, whatever was going on between the Philadelphia Phillies and Ryan Madson during the 2012 off-season was strange.

After emerging as the club’s closer in 2011, the Phillies looked as though they were ready to make Madson their closer for the foreseeable future, offering him a four-year, $44 million contract, which the right hander was ready to accept.

Or did they?

In spite of several respectable sources reporting that the deal was finished, the Phillies denied having any deal in place with Madson. A new rumor surfaced that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. needed the approval of team owner David Montgomery, another falsehood.

In the long run, the Phillies never did sign Madson. Instead, they inked Jonathan Papelbon to an even bigger deal, only to leave Madson in a dwindling market for closers and give him the opportunity to accept arbitration and return to the team anyway.

19. The Completely Unnecessary Hunter Pence Slide

Pence_display_image

It didn’t take long for fans to realize what an interesting character Hunter Pence is after he was acquired by the Phillies from the Houston Astros. Not only did he provide some right handed thump in the middle of the batting order, but he’s a great defensive outfielder and a lively guy.
Well, he may be a little too lively for his own good.

In a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011, Pence stood on second base with John Mayberry Jr. at the plate. Mayberry proceeded to hit a sharp single back up the middle, but Pence thought it was going to be flagged down. It wasn’t, but Pence slid into third anyway, as third base coach Juan Samuel waved him around like a mad man.

Pence popped up, scored the run, and the laughter ensued.

The Phillie Phanatic has never refused to taunt someone in the opposing dugout. Simply put, no player, manager, coach, or umpire is off limits to the Phanatic, and the Los Angeles Dodgers found that out the hard way. During a nationally televised game in 1988, the Phanatic took a life-sized dummy, wearing Lasorda’s Dodgers uniform, and beat the stuffing out of him.

Lasorda, never one to back down from a challenge in his own right, did not take kindly to this. He emerged from the visitor’s dugout and chased the Phanatic down, beating the stuffing out of the famous mascot.

After he retired, Lasorda would simply say, “I hate the Phillie Phanatic.”

17. Beer League

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Playing baseball isn’t so easy when you’re covered in a full cup of adult beverage.

Shane Victorino found that out first hand in a game against the Chicago Cubs, when the center fielder roamed back towards the ivy to catch a fly ball and instead, caught a full cup of beer right in the face. The Cubs would then proceed to throw the wrong guy out of the ballpark, only to catch the actual beer-throwing-bandit a few days later.

16. Doh! (Nut)

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At some point, you have to wonder whether or not Hunter Pence has a few screws loose in that noggin of his his, but then again, don’t we all? Just three months into his Phillies’ tenure, Pence has created two of the most strangest moments in the organization’s history.

This moment came in a game against the Colorado Rockies, where Pence went to bat with his weighted, warm-up doughnut still on the barrel of his bat. After wondering why his bat was so heavy, he struggled to get the doughnut off, smashing the bat against the ground, before going back to being a strange player in general.

Photo Credit: The Fightins

15. Man Down!

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Being the fabled Phillie Phanatic is not a simple gig, and apparently, he is safer when he is working at Citizens Bank Park than on his days off.

As the Phillies took to the road during the season, the Phanatic found himself working the crowd for the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While standing on his usual perch atop the home team’s dugout, a foul ball was lined into the stands, but never made contact with a fan.

That’s because it hit the Phanatic right in the neck!

Though he toppled down for a moment, the Phanatic was treated and released on the same night, ready to go back to work the next day. The man (creature-thing) is a trooper.

Photo Credit: www.egotvonline.com

14. The Flying Tarp: A Showcase of Sportsmanship

Playing baseball on the road isn’t easy. Players have to deal with rowdy fans and conditions that are less than ideal for winning a ball game. Playing baseball on the road, in Colorado, against the Colorado Rockies, during a severe thunderstorm while trying to help the Coors’ Field grounds crew pull a flying tarp onto the infield is even more difficult.

The Phillies managed to just that though in this strange moment, when they emerged from the dugout to aid the struggling grounds crew in pulling the tarp onto the field.

For some reason, however, it is Jimmy Rollins’ socks that stick out like a sore thumb to me in the video.

13. Johnny Callison Puts on Offensive Clinic, but Phillies Lose

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Sometimes, when things are going bad, they’re going terrible. That was the case for the Phillies at the back end of the 1964 season. Trying desperately to help break his team out of a losing streak, Johnny Callison thought he was on to something in a game against the Milwaukee Braves. The Phillies’ outfielder hit three home runs in a single game—and off feat in and of itself.

However, even with three home runs from Callison alone, the Phillies’ pitching staff could not hold a lead! They would give up 14 runs of their own en route to a 14-8 loss in the strangest of fashions.

12. Angel Pagan Takes a Bathroom Break…Before an At-Bat

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When you gotta go, you gotta go.

It just so happens that in a game against the Phillies, New York Mets‘ outfielder Angel Pagan had to go right before an at-bat. After running in from the outfield, Pagan disappeared into the clubhouse, leaving Phillies’ starter Cliff Lee waiting on the mound as the inning progressed for Pagan to appear.

Finally, as the umpires and Lee began to get a bit impatient, Pagan emerged from the clubhouse, into the dugout, and finally, into the batter’s box, feeling much better than he had when he began his sprint towards the restroom.

11. Falling Short, Literally

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The Phillies were supposed to win it all in 2011, but ultimately, fell short of their goal—quite literally. For the second season in a row, they assembled an elite pitching staff that kept them within striking distance of a win in each postseason game they pitched in, but the bats couldn’t get them a sustainable lead. Fast-forward to an out away from playing golf, and Ryan Howard is at the plate once again, down by one.

Perfect symmetry.

After bouncing a simple ground ball, Howard crumpled to the ground to watch the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate around him—but he crumpled for good reason. On the final play of the season, Howard had tore his Achilles tendon!

10. Pedro Martinez to the Rescue

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Pedro Martinez never really seemed like the Phillies’ cup of tea.

Ever since becoming a contending franchise, the Phillies have prided themselves on employing “character guys”—players that are as effective in the clubhouse as they are on the field. Martinez had always been an interesting character, and his playing for a heated rival—the Mets—certainly didn’t improve his standing in the eyes of the fans.

So when Martinez, coming off of a couple of injury riddled seasons, decided that he wouldn’t sign with a team until mid-season, a lot of people scratched the Phillies off of their list of possible destinations right away.

Enter the mystery team!

The Phillies swooped in, signed Martinez, sent him to the Minor Leagues, and called him up to make nine starts during the regular season, all before putting him on the mound in a must-win Game 6 in the World Series against the New York Yankees amidst chants of “Who’s Your Daddy?”

It was a strange signing from day one.

9. Ed Delahanty’s Four Home Run Game…Goes for Naught

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Ed Delahanty was one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he never really hit for power. So when a guy like Delahanty hits four home runs in a single game for your club, a rare and strange feat in and of itself, there is a pretty good chance you’re going to win the ball game, right?

Wrong.

Delahanty managed to hit four home runs against the Chicago Colts as a member of the Phillies, propelling the offense to score eight runs. The pitching staff gave up nine, and the Phillies fell to the Colts 9-8, wasting Delahanty’s four home run effort.

8. Phillies’ Security Team Defuses…Hot Dog Bomb

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Once upon a time, the Phillies weren’t able to fill Citizens Bank Park to the brim each night, and often times, the Phillie Phanatic’s hot dog cannon shot hog dogs into the stands that bounced around without ever reaching a target.

One night, after the Phanatic launched a hot dog into the crowd, it bounced around and found its way under a seat, where the clean-up crew missed it and left it there overnight.

The next day, when the employees arrived to open the ballpark up, someone found a “suspicious looking package,” and security was called in, followed by the bomb squad, who cautiously defused…a hot dog.

Just goes to show you, those hot dog cannons can be dangers. You’ll shoot your eye out kid!

7. Wilson Valdez—Really, Really Late Innings Closer

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There is something extraordinarily odd about looking at Wilson Valdez standing on the pitcher’s mound.

The utility man secured his place in Phillies’ lore in 2011 when the Phillies took on the Cincinnati Reds in a showdown for the ages. Well, that may be a bit over-dramatic, but it was a great game. In the simplest of terms, it was a game started by ace Roy Halladay and finished by utility closer Wilson Valdez.

In a 19-inning affair, the Phillies had stretched Danys Baez for as far as he could go before asking Valdez to ditch his infield position and take the mound. Valdez set down each of the three batters he faced, including Joey Votto, and picked up the win in the bottom half of the inning.

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

6. Ed Delahanty’s Mysterious Death

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There is no disputing the fact that Ed Delahanty was one of the greatest Phillies of all-time. He put up some numbers that cause chronic double-checking when his statistics are mentioned. However, the oddest part about Delahanty’s life was the way in which he passed away.

Not long after his Phillies’ career had ended and while he was still playing baseball, Delahanty was kicked off of a train by its conductor, who cited Delahanty for public drunkenness, claiming that he had stooped so far as to harassing female passengers.

The drunken Delahanty tried to cross back into the United States by himself, returning from Canada, but was swept over Niagara Falls and found days later. To this day, people question his death, wondering if it was an accident, if he committed suicide, or if Delahanty was murdered.

Honorable Mention: While researching Delahanty’s death, I came across another odd story, this one claiming that he was responsible for one of the most shameful home runs of all-time. Delahanty, an outfielder by trade, was tracking down a fly ball that would hit off of a pole and fall into an area of the mechanical scoreboard known as the “dog-house,” used to store the numbers.

The ball was ruled in play, and Delahanty had to struggle to get the ball out of the well. When he was unable to reach over, he decided to try and crawl through a small opening, but he got stuck! The runner scored and the play became known as the “inside the dog-house home run.”

5. Phillies Play the Blue Jays on the Road…at Home

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Finding a decent picture of the Phillies playing the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, at home in Citizens Bank Park was as difficult a task to find as it was to describe in this sentence, so hang with me here.

Due to the G4 Summit that was to be held in Toronto in June of 2010, the Blue Jays were forced to move their three game home series against the Phillies to Citizens Bank Park. Though the Jays would be the home team, the Phillies would actually be the home team.

It was a strange situation. Watching the Phillies bat first and wear their grey uniforms at home was an odd sight, and one you may never see again.

4. The Phold

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“The Phold” was a series of odd moments.

The 1964 Phillies were positioned to make the postseason, and once there, had the tools to win the World Series. The only problem was that manager Gene Mauch severely overworked his starting rotation leading into the stretch run, and though the Phils held a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left to play, all of that was about to change.

The Phillies were a dreadful, exhausted team entering those 12 games, and they would lose 10 of them, effectively knocking themselves out of the postseason picture. To this date, even with the current collapses of the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox fresh in our memories, “The Phold” is known as the most catastrophic baseball collapse of all-time.

3. Rain, Rain…Delays the World Series

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Leading the series three games to one against the Tampa Bay rays, the Phillies were on the verge of winning the second World Series title in franchise history. However, Mother Nature would have none of it. After the Rays managed to tie Game 5 up and everything was equal, the skies opened and commissioner Bug Selig was forced to suspend the game.

It was the first time in the history of the World Series that a game had been suspended, and because rain continued to fall in the city of Philadelphia, the teams would have to wait until Wednesday to finish a game that began on Monday.

The odd suspension of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series led to a rule change in the off-season, but in hindsight, it was well worth the wait for the Phillies, who would capture that championship.

2. Phillies Win 1980 World Series

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Viewing this as an odd moment may take a bit of creativity, but think about this for a moment.

For a long time, it seemed as though the Phillies were never going to win the World Series. After all, though they had come close in 1915 and 1950, neither of those clubs could finish the job, and they were led by Pete Alexander and Robin Roberts, respectively. After the collapse of 1964, it really looked like the Phillies just weren’t meant to be champions.

However, it was just like Tug McGraw said, “You gotta believe.”

The Phillies made believers out of the baseball world in 1980, when on the strength of guys like McGraw, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt, the Phillies became World Champions. It was strange, seeing the Phils on top, especially after coming up short for so long.

1. “Mitchie Poo” Walks It Off

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As strange as it was to see Wilson Valdez pitching, it was even more of an oddity to watch Mitch Williams hit, and the baseball events of the day were even more of a spectacle.

The Phillies were set to host a double header, and the San Diego Padres took Game 1, which included a very long rain delay. The Phillies believed that they were done for the night. They were wrong. With 1am having come and gone, the Phillies and Padres took the field for Game 2—an extra-innings affair.

In a tie game, Williams pitched two scoreless innings—the ninth and tenth—and was due up fourth at the plate in the bottom half of the inning. Manager Jim Fregosi had no intention of pitching Williams should the game continue, but he was out of options on the bench.

With two men on, Darren Daulton stepped to the plate, and the Phils hoped that he could end it before Williams had to bat. That wasn’t the case, as Trevor Hoffman had other plans, striking the catcher out. Now, Williams stepped to plate, and at 4:41am, the oddest Phillies’ moment of all times ensued, as Williams; “Wild Thing;” the closer, singled over the shortstop’s head to end the game.

That walk-off hit spawned one of the most memorable Harry Kalas calls of all-time, who said excitedly, “This game is over on an RBI hit by “Mitchie Poo!”