It’s January 3rd which means that I just turned 22!
(Cue Taylor Swift music here)
I know everyone is excited to celebrate and I’m personally inviting the Philadelphia Phillies to my party. This, of course, means that Mr. Klentak and Mr. Montgomery owe me a birthday present.
It might be late notice, but I thought I’d drop some gift ideas.
A Starting Rotation
Ok, now it might be asking a lot, but the Phillies could use a rotation overhaul. The bullpen just got two shiny new pieces in Hunter and Neshek so why can’t the rotation? Right now Aaron Nola is really the only guaranteed thing after having a career year. His 3.54 ERA and 9.9 SO per 9 innings are about the only welcome sights in the rotation.
Jerad Eickhoff did his best 2012 Cliff Lee impression last season by not getting his first win until July 9th against the lowly San Diego Padres. Vince Velasquez regressed further with a 5.13 ERA in 15 games before getting injured. Nick Pivetta’s rookie season had more ups and downs than Space Mountain. *WOOOOOO*
…..Did anyone else hear wooing or am I going insane? Anyway.
Jake Thompson was meh although his 1.55 WHIP worries me. Zach Eflin was always injured. Thomas Eshelman was sterling in AAA, but can he translate to the majors? And as for Ben Lively, I actually think Lively is severely underrated. In 15 games, he had 5 where he pitched 7+ innings. Don’t get me started on his power stroke. Home runs off of Robbie Ray and Jacob deGrom who are two of the game’s best young starters.
If you guys wouldn’t mind giving up our third round pick, we could add Lance Lynn (who has a career 3.38 ERA) or Alex Cobb (who makes me think of corn on the cob so who wouldn’t want that!).
If you want to keep that pick, then why not Yu. No not you. Yu. Yu Darvish, who wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the Dodgers. The 4-time All Star has a 3.42 ERA and over 1000 Ks in his career.
Or if you don’t want to spend a ton I hear the Blue Jays and Rays have some interesting pitchers you could trade for.
*crosses fingers* Please get me Stroman. Please get me Stroman.
A Veteran Bench Bat
So I hear what you’re saying. Maybe you can’t “afford” a 1-3 starting pitcher this year. How bout this then? A veteran bench bat.
Everybody loves them. Everybody NEEDs them. They’re your mom’s favorite player!
But seriously, a young team like this needs some veteran leadership. Everybody always has their favorite bench player too. In the past couple of years my personal favorites were Kevin Frandsen, Jeff Francoeur, and Daniel Nava. (go ahead and share your favorites in the comments).
Andres Blanco has had his time with the Phillies and it’s time to move on to a new utility player. After batting .192 in 2017, pretty much anyone could be an upgrade.
Eduardo Nunez would be a solid addition. In 2017, he played the middle infield, 3rd base, and the outfield corners. He embodies the definition of utility player. He also hit .313 with 12 HRs so he wouldn’t be a downgrade in any sense of the word. The only problem might be that he’s looking for a starting job.
Yunel Escobar hasn’t played outside of 3rd base since 2014, but who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks. His .333 OBP wouldn’t be a bad addition to the bench and at 34 years old provides a wealth of veteran experience for the younger players.
Lastly, I know the last thing the Phillies need is an outfielder, but Austin Jackson is coming off a good year. With a triple slash of .318/.387/.482, Jackson would help improve the Phillies OBP which was in the bottom third of the league last season.
Sign some minor league deals at least!
Wait. Steve Jeltz came out of retirement and signed a minor league deal with the Phillies? Well now, that’s more like… Oh Steve Geltz. A reliever that pitched with the Rays. I guess that’s something. But wait! According to MLB reporter Chris Cotillo, Will Middlebrooks will be signing a minor league deal. Ok, not bad, but guys it’s my birthday you can do better.
I’ve heard Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, and Chase Utley aren’t doing anything…….yet.
Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports