Tag: Michael Stutes

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Phillies learn Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst are out for the year


Losing at least two critical members of your bullpen for the final two and a half months of the season has to be disheartening to the Phillies, who consider themselves contenders in the NL East at 48-48, 6.5 games out of first place. The news on Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst comes via the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb:

Mike Adams did not respond to the conservative treatment for numerous tears in his shoulder. He will likely undergo surgery that could sideline him for the beginning of 2014. Adams is owed $7 million next season.

Lefthander Jeremy Horst’s season is likely over. Soreness in his elbow recurred during a rehab stint at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He visited noted orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion and was injected with a platelet-rich plasma shot. He will not throw for at least six weeks.

Gelb also mentions that right-hander Michael Stutes is still experiencing soreness in his biceps and will be shut down for at least another two weeks.

The Phillies have the worst bullpen ERA in the National League at 4.39. After getting rid of veterans like Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes earlier in the season, the Phillies have been relying on a lot of young, unproven pitchers like Phillippe Aumont and it hasn’t worked out. Their awful ERA has been caused in large part by a league-worst 10.2 percent walk rate and a 19.8 percent strikeout rate, which ranks as the fifth-lowest among all 30 bullpens. Additionally, they have allowed hits on balls put in play at the highest rate in the league at .315.

GM Ruben Amaro said last week he is shopping for a center fielder and at least one reliever, but it doesn’t seem like just one reliever will do the trick.

2013 Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

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Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2013 season. Today: the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Big Question: Will the Phillies defy age and injury concerns?

The Phillies had the oldest offense and the fourth-oldest pitching staff last year, according to Baseball Reference. Bringing most of the cast back for another season, and with the addition of the 36-year-old Michael Young, the team isn’t getting any younger. Furthermore, the entire roster seems to be a ticking time bomb in terms of injuries.

Roy Halladay (shoulder), Utley (knees), Howard (Achilles), Carlos Ruiz (plantar fasciitis), Mike Adams (thoracic outlet syndrome), Delmon Young (ankle), Freddy Galvis (back), Michael Stutes (shoulder), Justin De Fratus (elbow). Those are most of the key players, but even players like Young, who has had a clean bill of health throughout most of his career, can go down with a moment’s notice. Jimmy Rollins, too, even though he is going on three years removed from multiple leg injuries.

Concerns over age and injuries don’t simply encompass the time a player is off the roster, however. They can still play a big factor in limiting a player’s abilities and subsequent production and you need look no further than Ryan Howard after returning from an Achillies injury in July last season. It was painful watching him run the bases and he clearly couldn’t put weight on his left foot. As a result, everything about his game was worse: strikeouts way up (+7.2% from 2011), walks way down (-3%), isolated power way down (-.031), overall value way down (-2.7 FanGraphs WAR). So the Phillies not only have to worry about a player missing time, but being unproductive when he is in the lineup.

Halladay is probably the biggest question mark. He had an uncharacteristically awful season due to a right shoulder injury. He declined in every conceivable way: fastball velocity was down 2 MPH, strikeouts were down (-3%), walks were up (+2%), ground balls were down (-6%), home runs per fly ball were up (+7%). He hasn’t looked any better thus far in spring training as scouts  say his velocity still hangs in the mid-80’s and reaches the upper 80’s at best.

With a barren farm system – Keith Law ranked the Phillies 27th of 30 in his organizational rankings – the Phillies don’t have any contingency plans, either. If anything goes wrong, it all goes wrong.

What else is going on? 

  • All-Star Carlos Ruiz will miss the first 25 games of the season after testing positive for amphetamines (Adderall) in November. Among all catchers with at least 400 PA last season, Ruiz ranked third in FanGraphs WAR at 5.5, trailing only Buster Posey (8.0) and Yadier Molina (6.5). He will be replaced by Erik Kratz who, while he had an incredibly good showing in limited playing time last season, is not nearly as good. Steven LeRud will likely be the back-up. Ruiz is arguably the best player on the team. Losing him, and having to play replacement-level players in his stead, limits the Phillies’ already-limited room for mistakes.
  • Cole Hamels should be really good again. The lefty posted a 3.05 ERA last season, finishing eighth in NL Cy Young voting. Competing in the same league as Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw, it will be tough for him to go home with some hardware at the end of the season, but it is possible. Cliff Lee, despite a lousy won-lost record that made a lot of Phillies fans bonkers last year, is still elite and should be considered a Cy Young contender as well.
  • Thanks to a strong spring showing, Domonic Brown should get one of the two vacant corner outfield jobs. Brown is finally fully recovered from a broken hamate bone that sapped him of his power. Further, he has impressed defensively after looking completely and utterly lost in August and September last year. At the end of the season, Brown could very well wind up being the Phillies’ most valuable weapon.
  • The Phillies’ offense isn’t expected to blow anyone’s doors off, so expect them to play a lot of low-scoring nail-biters. With a back end that includes closer Jonathan Papelbon, as well as Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo, expect the Phillies to nail down a lot of close games.

Though the Phillies are hoping to enjoy full seasons from players finally recovered from injuries (Utley, Howard, Halladay), there are just way too many question marks. When you look 135 miles south to Washington, D.C., the Nationals are looking better and have fewer nagging problems. The new and improved Braves appear as if they will be a thorn in the Phillies’ side as well. 

PREDICTION: Third place, National League East.

Michael Stutes to undergo shoulder surgery Tuesday

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Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Michael Stutes is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday.

Stutes will have fraying cleaned out from his shoulder. The good news is that he isn’t believed to have any serious damage to his rotator cuff, but there’s still a chance that he could miss the rest of the season.

Stutes made his major league debut last season and posted a 3.63 ERA and 58/28 K/BB ratio over 62 innings out of the Phillies’ bullpen. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed six runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings over his first six appearances this season before landing on the disabled list on April 21.