This will be the last ICYMI Monday until next off season, so after a few notes about recently passed Phillies Alumni, I will detail the final moves to get down to the 25 and 40 man roster limits, as well as make my prediction for the Phillies in 2017.
Remembering the Past:
The Phillies announced last week that they will honor Dallas Green with a uniform patch for the season, starting with the home opener on 4/7. “There’s very few people who were more synonymous with the Phillies than Dallas, and yet for 15 years he went elsewhere,” Phillies chairman Dave Montgomery said last week. “The first time you meet him, I mean, what a presence. He filled the room with his presence.”
Another important member of the Phillies family also passed away this week, Ruben Amaro Sr., a former Gold Glove shortstop, coach and scout for the team. He was also the father of former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. Mr. Amaro Sr. was 81. He said this in a 2009 interview:
“As a young fan in the early 1960s, I had the privilege of watching the amazing grace of Ruben Amaro Sr. as he played shortstop for the Phillies,” Montgomery said in a statement. “Ten years later, Ruben was my professional colleague at the Phillies. He was a joy to be around, because he treated people with the same special grace he exhibited fielding a ground ball.”
Besides being the 1st base coach for the ’80 World Series Championship squad, probably his biggest impact for the team were his roles in MiLB development and scouting. He was instrumental in the signings of Juan Samuel, Willie Hernandez, George Bell, Julio Franco and others, as well as strongly advising the Phillies to take a chance on Shane Victorino in the 2004 Rule 5 draft.
I could easily see the Phils adding a patch for him as well, at least for a part of the season
Phinal Moves Thursday Morning:
The Phils on Thursday started the final move process when they optioned RHP Luis Garcia to AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Soon after that they announced that LHP’s Adam Morgan and Joely Rodriguez had made the team.
Phinal Moves Thursday Post Game:
The Phillies made their last moves after the game as Brock Stassi and Daniel Nava, both non-roster stand-outs, earned the last bench spots. Jesmuel Valentin was optioned to AAA, and Tyler Goeddel was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
“A dream come true,” an emotional Stassi said of his promotion. “I made it to the big leagues and can finally say I’m a big leaguer. It’s special.”
One further roster note, RHP Zach Eflin will start the season on the 10-day DL, retroactive to 3/30, so they will make a decision when he is ready to return.
Fearless Forecast 2017:
It will surprise me that with a bolstered bullpen that can mix and match roles, some veteran hitters added to the lineup and the starting rotation, as well as a changed hitting approach from new hitting coach Matt Stairs, this team is not at least a .500 club this season. Nor will I be shocked if players like Franco, Hernandez and Galvis do not revert to their past hitting styles, if they even topped 90 wins, as the offense has to be better than last season, and the pitching follows suit by being more consistent and relies on what should also be an improved defensive squad.
I will split the difference and say 87-75, which last season would have earned them the second Wild Card spot in the NL.
Phinal ICYMI End Notes:
We will be doing things a bit differently this season at PattsionAve, as we will write about the team on a series by series basis instead of every game. Zach Bates and I will do most of the weekday series where we my highlight a game or two each series to cover more fully, and Ali Van Norden will do her usual excellent weekend wrap-up duties. Seamus Killeen will also continue his Monday look back at TWTW with the Phillies and the NL East, which is why I am putting this feature on hiatus until next – hopefully very late – October.
Since we will not be detailing every game we will make an effort to engage you with more features on players in the Bigs and those on the cusp of getting there. The Phillies farm system has not looked this deep and talented for quite a while, and part of the fun of watching this franchise will be to see if they can put together another late 70’s, or ’07-’11 run, type of team in the near future.
We are still looking for writers to help in these endeavors. If you think you have the write stuff to do recaps or feature stories before, during, and after the season please message me on twitter or Facebook.
I will be recapping the opening series starting today on the road against the Cincinnati Reds, at 4:10 PM, Comcast Sports Net, weather permitting. Scheduled to pitch the opener for the Phillies is RHP Jeremy Hellickson, making his second straight Opening Day start, vs RHP Scott Feldman, a FA who also opened the last two seasons for the Texas Rangers, and then the Houston Astros in 2016.
As the oldest franchise in baseball – 1869 beating the Phillies by 14 years – always open at home. The only exceptions were in 1966 – rained out – and in the lock-out year of 1990. This is their 141st home opener.
The rest of the series will see RHP Jerad Eickhoff Vs LHP Brandon Finnegan on Wednesday at 7:10 and RHP Clay Buchholz against RHP Rookie Davis on Thursday 12:35 PM.
Don’t forget that this season, for the first time, CSN will be live streaming all Phillies games for Comcast customers, like they now do for the 76’rs and Flyers.
Though I was born a few blocks from what was to be the NY Worlds Fair/Shea Stadium/Forrest Hills Complex, my parents saved me from being a NY fan by moving to Elkins Park in 1955, when I was 6 months old. I have been living and dying w/ Philly sports teams ever since. Now over 60 , I bring an older, but hopefully not stodgy, spin to this blog. By day I am a mild mannered controller/IT guy for a family business, but by night you will either find me @ CBP at least 17 games a season, and most other nights yelling at my tv as if they can hear me. Though I attend many other local sports, my main love has always been baseball, and my focus here is the Phillies, but I am also part of the team covering the Philadelphia Union.