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Jesus First ✝️ SB LII 🏈 Currently: Postseason 80-82 3rd National League East EST. 8/4/15 #Phuture 🔴🔵⚪️

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Thoughts and prayer go out to @gabekapler and his family as he lost his home in California due to the wildfires. Thankfully him and his family are safe. Thoughts and prayers not only to Gabe and his family but to everyone who is suffering because of this tragedy. This is completely devastating, and I can’t imagine being in that situation. Keep this in your prayers.

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Moving on to the infield, 1st baseman Carlos Santana starts us off. During Santana’s career, he has hit .230 on certain years but has usually hit around .250-.260 most years. Unfortunately, in his first year as a Phillie it was a .230 year. I like Santana, and I defended him a lot for what he still contributed to the team despite his poor average, but that doesn’t mean I was happy with his play this year. Even still I gave him what is probably a generous C+ grade. However, if his average isn’t around .250-.260 next year, it will be a big disappointment. Santana made up for his poor average by getting on base a ton. That doesn’t completely excuse his .230 line, but it still helps. Not only that, but he turned a lot of his walks into runs as he scored 82 times which was 3rd on the team. His 24 home runs and 86 RBIs were also solid marks. In addition, Santana has been a guy throughout his career that has always stayed healthy and that didn’t change as he played 161 games this seasons. Despite some of these positives, his play at 1st base was not at the caliber we though it would be. He’s shown with the Indians that he is capable of winning a gold glove, however his 10 errors were the most he’s made in his career. This along with his batting average are huge weaknesses. I think Santana will improve next season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get traded this offseason to move Rhys back to 1st. #Slamtana #BeBold #Phuture

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Overall, our catchers did not have a great year. Wilson Ramos was amazing both at the plate and behind the plate, but we didn’t get that boost until mid-August so that’s why I saw they didn’t have a great year. Ramos was impressive not only at the plate but also throwing runners out at 2nd and calling the right pitches which was not easy considering he had to learn a whole new pitching staff and bullpen in a short amount of time. Behind him, Alfaro still needs some work at the plate and behind the plate. He started off throwing out runners at 2nd at an impressive rate but in the 2nd half that did not happen. In addition, he’s cost us plenty of runs because of his poor blocking skills. Alfaro is a work in progress, and I still have confidence in him, just some growing pains this year. Lastly, Andrew Knapp did not follow up a solid rookie season and looked lost at times. His production at the plate was hard to watch. Hopefully Ramos is resigned or we sign another capable veteran catcher to share time with Alfaro in 2019. #ElOso #Buffalo #BeBold #Phuture

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During the mid season grades series, Andrew Knapp was heating up. It looked like he was going to end up with similar numbers from his rookie year and prove once again that he was a capable back up catcher for us. However, when we acquired Wilson Ramos, Knapp became somewhat of an afterthought. He still had time to prove the Phillies could keep three catchers around since Ramos was injured when we acquired him. That did not help Knapp much as he continued to trend downward. He was called up shortly in August for a doubleheader and was a September call up as well, but did not end up producing. He was batting .234 at the All Star Break and as I said, he was starting to heat up as he had just gotten a walk-off home run and was batting .334 over a 15 game span leading up to the All Star BreK. Unfortunately Knapp really struggled down the stretch and gets a D+ because of it. If we don’t resign Ramos or acquire another catcher, Knapp will have a chance to prove himself again as Kapler mixes him in the lineup often. I would rather like to see Knapp start the year in AAA where he will get playing time and gain confidence. My hope is that we acquire a catcher via trade or free agency on a short term deal or even a guy like JT Realmuto would be great if the rumors are true. Knapp is still young and will have opportunities but they will decrease over time. Right now I can’t say I’m comfortable having Knapp on the major league roster, unfortunately. #KnappTime #BeBold #Phuture

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Creds to @nolansnyder27 since I saw this idea on his page and decide to do the same. Here are my 2018 MLB Awards Predictions: AL MVP: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox NL MVP: Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers AL Cy Young: Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets AL Rookie of the Year: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels NL Rookie of the Year: Ronald Acuña Jr, Atlanta Braves AL Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics NL Manager of the Year: Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves #BeBold #Phuture

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Aaron Nola has been named a finalist for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award! This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Nola, Max Scherzer, and Jacob DeGrom were all expected to be he nominees. Although he is very unlikely to win, its still great to see Nola in this conversation as he had a breakout year. Congrats again on a spectacular season Aaron Nola!

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Jorge Alfaro did not follow up in impressive 2017 in the MLB the way we wanted him too. We had a lot of expectations for him to have a breakout year. He had a decent year, but it didn’t live up to the hype. I still have confidence in him moving forward, and I think he’ll develop into the player we know he can be. There were still plenty of growing pains in his first full season, and he has a lot to work on. For example, at the All Star break, Alfaro caught 17 runners stealing and let 34 runners steal safely. He was making up for his lack of production at the plate with his arm. However, he finished the season with 21 runners caught stealing and 59 stolen bases allowed. After the All Star break, he only caught 4 runners stealing while allowing 25 to reach safely. He went from being at the top of the leaderboards in stealing percentage by a catcher to the bottom. Alfaro also didn’t hit well enough in the first half which is the reason we acquired Ramos and that acquisition was one of the only reasons our offense produced. Alfaro did hit much better in the 2nd half when he was sharing time with Ramos. His average went up about .10-.15 points. However, he still needs some time to develop. I do expect the 25-year-old to be a lot better next year, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to resign Ramos and have them share time. Ramos isn’t younger and needed rest because of injuries last year so I think it would work out pretty well. #ElOso #BeBold #Phuture

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Sorry for an extended absence, but I’m going to continue my offseason grades. I haven’t even been on Instagram much in general because of my busy schedule, but I’m glad to be back for now! Wilson Ramos was a huge trade deadline acquisition for us, and I hope Klentak can ink him to a short term deal this offseason. I would love to have Ramos back and give Alfaro another year to develop under him. Ramos was one of the lone All Stars in the offense who actually helped us produce. While he has was with the Phillies his average with runners in scoring position was .526, his OPS w/RISP was 1.366, and his RBI total was 15 in 19 at bats. His Phillies debut was easily his most memorable moment here as he carried the Phillies to a huge win over the World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox. Ramos was also a weapon behind the plate as opponent’s stolen base percentage against him was only .563. Ramos’ only weaknesses were his speed which did hurt us at times and passed balls but he did pretty well keeping the ball in front of him during his time here. Ramos easily gets an A. He was fun to watch, and it’s a shame we couldn’t see him in action in the postseason. #Buffalo #BeBold #Phuture

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Today we celebrate the 10 year anniversary that ended the Phillies 28 year drought and a 25 year drought for the city. I still remember this season like it was yesterday and even at a young age, this meant so much to me. I can’t thank the 2008 team enough for how much this special season meant to the city, and I’m so grateful to live in a city with the best fans in the world who made this season that much better. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years, time flies. Thank you and congrats again to the 2008 team as we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their monumental accomplishment! #BeBold #Phuture at Citizens Bank Park

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“Can’t lose in the playoffs if you don’t make the playoffs” - Probably Gabe Kapler

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To wrap up the rotation, the Phillies started the season as one of the strongest units and ended it with one ace and a 4 other guys who stumbled to the finish line. A huge reason for the team’s collapse was this rotation’s inconsistency in the last 2 months. The bullpen and offense were issues, but we knew that from the beginning of the year. The rotation was the main reason we were 60-46 at one point and in first place. Arrieta has been inconsistent but still had solid numbers at that point, Pivetta hadn’t completely collapsed, Eflin looked like he really established himself as a reliable 3rd man, and Velasquez’s numbers were improving each day. Then it all went south after the trade deadline. Nola goes into 2019 as our bona fide ace and will continue to be that for hopefully a long time. As I’ve said in every season grade post so far, the Phillies will look to sign a free agent such as Patrick Corbin or maybe make a trade for that reliable 2nd starter that Arrieta failed to be this season. He’ll probably be 3rd or 4th. With his contract, we are pretty much stuck with him unless we were to trade him and eat most of his contract which is unlikely. Hopefully he can at least return to his 2017 from when he was 14-10 with a 3.50 ERA. Eflin looks to build off of his first full and healthy season. Despite his collapse, I think he’s just a streaky pitcher, and I have faith in him moving forward. I still think Velasquez’s future would be best in the bullpen. Mariano Rivera was originally a starter and is a future hall of fame reliever. Not that it will happen to Vince, but we’ve seen it happen many times when a starter has more success in the ‘pen. Klentak prefers him a starter, but I think 2019 will be the last opportunity Klentak gives Velasquez as a starter. Having him as a number 5 guy in the rotation is not bad at all. He’s perfect for that role. He doesn’t have to be amazing and can have certain nights where he’s on fire. This also means he would likely be used in the bullpen in the playoffs. Beyond that, Pivetta will also look to compete for that 5th spot which is a hill to climb for him. Watch out for some rotation moves this offseason. #BeBold #Phuture

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Nick Pivetta improved from 2017, however, that was not hard to do as he had a 6.02 ERA. In his first full season in the big leagues, the Phillies showed trust in Pivetta by putting him in the starting rotation on opening day and not trading for a starter at the trade deadlines. This trust paid off big time in the first couple months of the season as he was 4-3 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .230 BAA, and 67 K in 58 innings. He looked like he was confident and a completely different pitcher. However, June was a struggle for him and those struggled continued all throughout July. He got off to a solid start in August with a 1.50 ERA in his first 3 starts that month, but as you can see by his season numbers, that didn’t last. Yes he was top 10 in the National League in strikeouts, but it doesn’t matter how many strikeouts you get if you let up 4+ runs each game. Like all of our starters, Pivetta has shown his dominance in certain games and has had some pretty key starts for us. However, he hit a roadblock and had a downward spiral from June to the end of the season. I can’t say that I see Pivetta in the rotation next year although Klentak likes him. I think other teams will see that he has dominated teams like the Red Sox even during his worst season and see that he has strikeout pitches. Because of this and the fact that he’s still fairly young, he could definitely be packaged in a trade. With the likelihood of the Phillies acquiring a starter this offseason and/or the possibility of younger guys like Cole Irvin and Enyel De Los Santos competing for a rotation spot, I think it’s unlikely Pivetta earns a spot unless someone gets injured or has a terrible spring. Improvement from 2018, but overall poor season for Pivetta. #BeBold #Phuture

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Vince Velasquez had an interesting, up-and-down season. There were points in the season where I was really excited for Velasquez, and it looked like he had finally turned the corner as a starting pitcher. Then there were also points where he left pitches over the plate and had flat-out ugly games. I can specifically remember him having multiple no-hit bids early on in the season. Velasquez and Eflin can pitch like aces on any given night and dominant an opponent. The problem is that Velasquez also had starts where he allowed 10 earned runs in 3.2 innings which really hurt his numbers. This is a problem Eflin used to have which he has minimized a bit. Eflin’s first career start was one of the worst debuts in MLB history. He’s had plenty of those types of starts until 2018 where he would still have poor starts but not completely explode. This is something Velasquez needs to work on: minimizing the damage. He really improved this year with his unpredictability. Last year it seemed like he just wanted to use his fastball to blow it by hitters every time with 2 strikes which is easy for hitters to catch on to. This year he was more deceptive in his impressive starts. Vinny also field his position really well due to his athleticism as we saw when he injured his right arm but threw to first with his left hand to get the 3rd out and save a run. I feel like Kapler took other pitchers out earlier when they were struggling, but left Vince in too long pretty often. I don’t think Velasquez’s numbers are a true reflection of how he pitched this year and his true potential. I think he gets one more shot next year as a starter and then the possibility of the bullpen will become more of a reality if he puts up similar numbers. I’ve always wanted him in the bullpen for a while, but I don’t think t happens next year just because we don’t have a ton of young candidates competing for a rotation spot besides Enyel De Los Santos and Cole Irvin. Plus De Los Santos was good in the bullpens and might be moved there like Seranthony Dominguez was. If we sign a free agent, their chances decrease since they don’t have the experience that Vince does. #VinnyFromPhilly #BeBold #Phuture

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For me, one word describes Eflin’s 2018 season: streaky. He would have points where he looked like the best pitcher in baseball but follow that up with multiple bad starts in a row. Eflin wasn’t called up until May and started off ok but in June he was a candidate for pitcher of the month going 5-0 in 5 starts with a 1.76 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .218 BAA, and 28 K. He capped off June by shutting out a dominant Yankees lineup allowing just 4 hits in 7 innings. The rest of the season it seemed like Eflin would have a few good starts and then follow it up with a few bad starts. His ERA for the season was as low as 2.97 in July and as high as 4.42 in September. Towards the end of the season, it looked like Eflin was going to finish strong with 2 nice outings but he’s last start wasn’t a great way to go out. The reason I gave him a higher grade than Arrieta is because Eflin has pitched his best in some big games like the Yankees and is still very young. He’s only 24 and if he can find a way to end his cold streaks a little sooner and make his hot streaks last a little longer, he’ll be one of the most dominant pitchers on the team. He’s shown the potential to be that type of player very often and has 9 quality starts out of 24 total which is not far off from Arrieta’s ratio. Eflin was finally able to stay healthy and play nearly a full season in the big leagues minus April. I’m excited to see him grow, and I think Eflin has a bright future in this rotation. He’ll have to fight for a spot in Spring since we’re likely to sign a free agent, and Zach didn’t exactly solidify his spot, but he has a great shot at being a middle of the rotation guy for us. I see him having an impressive 2019 season and coming up clutch in the playoffs too. #Zeflin #BeBold #Phuture

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Disappointing season for a guy we paid a lot of money. He was hot and cold from start to start. Jake Arrieta’s 2018 was the definition of inconsistent, and he stumbled to the finish line when we needed him most. I know he’s aging, but he still underperformed. I think I’m being somewhat generous with a season grade of a C. He’s getting that grade because like I said he was on and off from start to start which means he did have some good starts, in fact 15 of his 31 starts were quality starts. However, 16 of the other starts we’re not very impressive. He called out the team midseason yet he didn’t step up himself. In August, he was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 5 starts and in September, he was 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA in 5 starts. I really thought his experience in meaningful September baseball and in the playoffs would help us come up clutch in the last 2 months of the season, but I was very wrong. Because of Arrieta’s mediocre overall season, the Phillies will likely look to acquire a starting pitcher in the offseason, most likely in free agency such as a guy like Patrick Corbin. Arrieta is not getting younger and did not solidify himself as the number 2 guys behind Nola at all. Hopefully 2019 is an improvement, and he contributes as the number 3 or 4 guy. #BeBold #Phuture

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First grade is fairly simple and easy. Aaron Nola’s numbers didn’t change much since the All-Star break as he maintained what was an incredible season. He did have a small roadblock in September but rebounded from it to finish with 3 great starts at the end of the year, capping off a fantastic season to say the least. The Phillies lone 2018 All Star is also a Cy Young candidate. He won’t win it, but he was easily one of the top 3 pitchers in the National League. He finished with the most starts and innings pitched in his career which will only help him more now that he has more experience and a bigger workload. Year 5 for Nola will be something special to watch. Easy A+ for Nola in 2018. #TheBigEasy #Nols #BeBold #Phuture

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As we wait for the Birds game at 4:25, today will be the start of my full season player grades! If you remember, after the All-Star break I did mid-season grades so this is now the full evaluation for 2018. Stay tuned! #BeBold #Phuture

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Even though we aren’t in it, I’m still really excited for some postseason baseball! I’m going to drop my predictions, and who I’m rooting for below. Let me know your predictions and favorite teams in the playoffs IN THE COMMENTS! Who I want to win it all: AL: Cleveland Indians NL: Milwaukee Brewers Wild Card AL: Athletics at Yankees NL: Rockies at Cubs Who I think will win: Yankees and Cubs Who I want to win: Athletics and Rockies Divisional Series: AL: Yankees vs Red Sox, Indians vs Astros NL: Cubs vs Brewers, Braves vs Dodgers Who I think will win: Yankees, Indians, Brewers, Dodgers Who I want to win: Neither (Red Sox vs Yankees), Indians, Brewers, Dodgers Championship Series: AL: Yankees vs Indians NL: Dodgers vs Brewers Who I think will win: Yankees, Brewers Who I want to win: Indians, Brewers ALCS MVP: Luis Severino NLCS MVP: Lorenzo Cain World Series: New York Yankees vs Milwaukee Brewers Who I think will win: Milwaukee Brewers Who I want to win: Milwaukee Brewers MVP: Christian Yelich As you can see, I’m pretty hype on the Brewers and Christian Yelich haha. I do realize that some of their players don’t have the same playoff experience as other teams do though. I hope the Brewers or the Indians win. I would also love to see the Oakland Athletics go on a run as they are a close second favorite team in the AL postseason for me. It would be awesome to see that team go further than the Moneyball team did. As much as it pains me to say, I think the Yankees have a great shot of going all the way. I also think there’s a great chance the Dodgers go all the way because of their depth. However, that will depend on if Dave Roberts uses all his players correctly and if Kenley Jansen and the bullpen can step up again unlike today giving up back-to-back home runs in the 9th. Also, I think the Red Sox will have an early exit. In any sport, I’m not hype on teams like them or the 15-1 Packers team not too long ago. I feel like those types of teams exit early in playoffs or at the very least don’t win it all. COMMENT ANY OPINIONS, QUESTIONS, ETC. The tiebreakers were great, and I can’t wait for the postseason to start! #BeBold #Phuture

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