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.
Chris Branch of the News Journal reports that the Phillies have decided to move Ethan Martin to the bullpen and Tyler Cloyd to the rotation. Martin, acquired from the Dodgers last year in the Shane Victorino trade, had made seven starts since making his Major League debut against the Braves on August 2, posting a 6.90 ERA in 30 innings of work.
While Martin flashed an impressive mid-90’s fastball and a decent curve, he quickly lost steam. In his first trip through the opposing lineup, Martin held the opposition to a .618 OPS. The second time through, he allowed a .961 OPS, and his third time through, 1.488. His fastball averaged 95 MPH in the first inning but dropped below 93 MPH by the fifth inning, according to Brooks Baseball. Scouts profiled him as a future reliever and it seems like the Phillies are starting to see that, though pitching coach Rich Dubee says the team wants to “protect him”.
More from Dubee, via CSN Philly’s John Finger:
“I’m not afraid to put him in the eighth inning right now,” Dubee said. “Again, this is all trial and error. It will be interesting to see how he handles it. His stuff has played phenomenally well the first time through a lineup.
“And again, I don’t know if it’s because of fatigue, I don’t know if it’s because he burns up too much energy, but his stuff shortens up the second and third time through. I do think this guy is a gem. He will play some big role on a pitching staff. It will be a nice little change to take a different look at him.”
Cloyd was with Triple-A Lehigh Valley between June 17 and August 14, then made one start with the Phillies on the 20th, and a five-inning extra-inning relief appearance on the 24th against the Diamondbacks. He went back to Lehigh Valley on the 30th for a six-inning start and hasn’t pitched since. Martin was scheduled to start against the Padres on September 10, so that will likely be Cloyd’s next appearance.