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.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.