Phillies ICYMI Monday: 01/09/17

Happy New Year Phillies Phans! Now just 36 days ’til P&C and 84 until Opening Day in Cincinnati, we get back to the latest in Phillies off-season doings after the Holiday break.

Clay on the Rubber:

The biggest news since our last post is the signing of veteran RHP Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league 2B Josh Tobias, announced by VP and GM Matt Klentak on 12/20/16.

 “We are excited to welcome Clay Buchholz to Philadelphia,” said Klentak. “Clay had a very productive tenure with the Red Sox, and we look forward to seeing what he can do in a Phillies uniform. He is a welcome addition to our young starting rotation.”

Buchholz, 32, who has played for no other team but Boston since he was selected by them as a supplemental first-round selection (42nd overall) in 2005, compiled an 81-61 record with a 3.96 ERA in 206 games (188 starts). During that time he was twice an All Star and also pitched a 9 inning no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in just his second MLB start on 9/1/07. He was the third pitcher since 1900 to do that in two or fewer starts. He also posted an 0-1 post-season record with a 4.25 ERA in 6 starts, with a highlight of allowing one unearned run in game 4 of the ’13 WS against the St Louis Cardinals.

Last season Buchholz, 32, was 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA in a career-high 37 games (21 starts). He finished strong by going 5-1 in his last 16 games, with a 2.80 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .212 batting average.

Tobias, 24, was a 10th round 2015 draft by the Phillies. He hit .291 with 31 2B, 9 HR, 69 RBI and 10 SB in 127 games split last season between single-A Clearwater and single-A Lakewood.  He was named to the South Atlantic League’s midseason and postseason All-Star teams. 3B Richie Shaffer was DFA’d to make room on the 40 man roster, and was then claimed by Cincinnati on 12/23

While it is always good to have a reliable veteran arm in the rotation, this will make for an interesting battle in Clearwater for the rest of the young hurlers vying for a spot with the big club.

Who Will Be Signed Next By Phillies?:

No it won’t be Jose Bautista  or Mike Trout as was twittified the past few weeks, but team President Andy MacPhail said on Sunday that they intend to add a left-handed hitter as their next move, reports Jim Duquette from MLB Network Radio.

“I’d be surprised if Matt (Klentak) didn’t make at least one more move between now and spring training,” MacPhail said. “… surprised if we didn’t make one more move for a left-handed bat.”

Left side FA’s include Brandon Moss and Michael Saunders who have already been linked to the Phillies, while Pedro Alvarez and Adam Lind are also available.

MiLB Signings:

In the last week the organization signed RHP Jesse Beal (Sussex County (Can-Am)), RHP Pedro Beato, and resigned OF Christian Marrero.

Beal, 26, who played last year in Independent ball, was drafted by MacPhail and Klentak when they were in Baltimore. Beato was also an Orioles signing as a 32nd overall pick in 2006, and made his major league debut with the Mets in 2011. Marrero hit .282 in 195 AB’s at the Reading Fightin’ Phils in 2016, 55 H, 36 R, 11 2B, 8HR, 32 RBI, 46 BB .422 OBP.

Protecting the Phans:

On Friday the Phillies announced that they are going to extend the protective netting to cover both dugouts. Previously, the netting ended at the closest end of the dugouts, which they extended last season behind home plate about 10 feet on both sides. The netting will be eight feet high and is expected to be installed sometime this month at which time they will invite affected season ticket holders in sections 114-118 and 129-133 to CBP to check it out and assumedly change their seats if they are not happy with it.

“We think this is a reasonable step which will provide additional protection for fans,” said Mike Stiles, the team’s chief operating officer. “We believe that we can do this without obstructing the views of any of our fans.”

This became an issue back in August when a ball hit by Freddy Galvis struck a young girl. He was visibly upset by this and after the game had this to say:

“What year is this? 2016? It’s 2016 and fans keep getting hit by foul balls when you’re supposed to have a net to protect the fans,” Galvis said  “The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right? We’re worried about speeding up the game. Why don’t you put up a net and protect all the fans?”

I believe this is a good move and hope more parks do the same in the coming season. Hockey fans have lived with this added protection for a few years now and it is time MLB teams and fans learn to live with this. That being said it is still up to the fans to pay better attention to games while the ball is in play, than to their cell phones, which can surely wait until a safer time to take selfies or text.

Next Ups:

It is a quiet time now so in the weeks leading up to training camp I will write about some of the interesting prospects the Phillies worked so hard to protect, as well as any Phillies who may be involved in the upcoming World Baseball Classic starting in early March.

PattisonAve.Com is still looking for writers to help cover the Phillies in 2017 and going forward.  If you think you have the write stuff to do game recaps or feature stories during the season please message me on twitter or Facebook.

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