According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker Online, only one home run registered at 480 feet or longer last season: an Evan Gattis monster home run off of Cole Hamels at Citizens Bank Park, which went 486 feet. It may be Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s personal mission to be the distance champion of the 2014 season.
Facing Padres starter Eric Stults in the bottom of the first inning with a runner on first base, Stanton crushed an 89 MPH fastball to left field above the “Budweiser Balcony”. It registered at 484 feet. It eclipsed Stanton’s 2013 best, a 463-foot shot off of Phillies pitcher Ethan Martin. He hit a longer one in 2012, a 494-foot blast against Josh Roenicke of the Rockies.
Don’t worry, there’s video of it:
The Phillies’ rotation depth took a hit today, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that right-hander Ethan Martin has been shut down for three weeks due to triceps and shoulder capsule strains.
Martin left Thursday’s exhibition opener against the Blue Jays due to shoulder soreness. He faced just four batters and was reportedly hitting around 85 mph on his fastball.
The Phillies are already expected to be without Cole Hamels and Jonathan Pettibone at the start of the regular season, so that leaves Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Kyle Kendrick, and Roberto Hernandez as the only sure things for the starting rotation. It would certainly help if Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez begins to show why the Phillies gave him a three-year, $12 million contract, but he’s a huge mystery at the moment.
Martin, 24, was acquired from the Dodgers in 2012 as part of the Shane Victorino trade. He posted a 6.08 ERA and 47/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings last year between the rotation and the bullpen.
This will solve everything:
Salisbury’s full story is here.
I guess when you have a bad season heads roll, and there’s no escaping the fact that the Phillies pitching staff, on the whole, was terrible (it ranked 27th out of 30 in ERA). But it’s hard to see how Dubee is responsible for what went on in Philly this year.
Roy Halladay is basically dead. Cliff Lee was amazing but was screwed by run support. Cole Hamels started poorly but rebounded. The bullpen faltered at inopportune times but, way more significantly, over 20 starts were given to flotsam like Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin, Raul Valdez and Zach Miner. Another 13 to Halladay. Fourteen to an ineffective John Lannan. Most of the blame would rest with the latent talent (or health in Halladay’s case) of the Phillies’ staff, not how they were coached by Dubee. That’s on Ruben Amaro, not Dubee.
Of course there’s also the matter of Ryne Sandberg taking over and, in all likelihood, wanting his own man on staff. Which is more understandable than Dubee being fired for cause.