Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly today and he ripped the Phillies a new one.
Bowa said he’s angry and that the clubhouse is angry. He said that the young players aren’t stepping up and may not have the best baseball instincts. He called out his pitchers — Roberto Hernandez specifically — for not going deep enough into games and said “if you’ve got a big league uniform on, you gotta go more than five innings.”
He called out Dom Brown for his attitude somewhat subtly, saying Brown comes to the ballpark happy every day and Bowa’s not sure how he can given his poor performance. He also said that if you take away Brown’s good “five or six weeks” last year he hasn’t done much and made it sound like, if he were in charge, Brown wouldn’t be playing. Though Bowa admitted that there aren’t many alternatives.
He called this past homestand the worst he’s ever seen and summed it up by saying that the Phillies just aren’t playing big league baseball right now.
Go here to listen to the entire interview.
It’s not often that you hear someone call out a team from the inside like this. It happens, but it’s rare. It’s even more rare when it’s a coach as opposed to the manager. Larry Bowa has a track record, of course, but he’s not in charge. And you have to wonder how happy Ryne Sandberg and the Phillies’ brass is that he ripped the club in public like this.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.