During his introductory press conference, new GM Matt Klentak said he hadn’t even seen his office. Well, he’s there now. The GM office is on the east end of the executive offices which are located on the Hall of Fame Club level. The president’s office (Andy MacPhail) is on the opposite end.
Matt is meeting with the Phillies beat writers at noon today and will appear live on the Philly Sports Talk hosted by Michael Barkan on ComcastSportsNet. The show begins at 5 p.m. He’ll also scheduled for the MLB Network and XM Radio the next couple of days.
Matt, Andy, assistant GM Scott Proefrock and Greg Casterioto (Director, Baseball Communication) will be attending the GM meetings. Greg is going as writers from the Inquirer, Daily News, Wilmington News-Journal, CSNPhilly.com and MLB.com will be covering the meetings.
So, get ready for some baseball coverage, the start of the Hot Stove League.
Mother Nature has four seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. If she wants to skip winter, that’s fine.
Baseball also has four seasons, spring training, the regular season, postseason and now hunting season. Hunting season? Yep, time for teams to go hunting for free agents.
It’s hunting season at this time of the year in Pennsylvania for deer, black bear and wild turkeys. Those hunters are armed with weapons. Baseball hunters are armed with check books. Will some free agent signings turn into wild turkeys?
Free agents are eligible to sign with any team starting on Saturday. Agents usually prefer show and tell over quick signings.
Key baseball dates:
**Monday through Wednesday, GM meetings in Boca Raton, FL.
**December 2, deadline for teams to decide whether or not to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. The free agent market could expand on this date.
**December 7-10, winter meetings in Nashville. Included during that time period is the annual Rule 5 Draft. Phillies have the first selection.
New Bullpen Arm
Right-handed reliever Dan Otero was claimed off waivers from Oakland on Tuesday, the first official transaction by GM Matt Klentak, who saw the reliever often the last three seasons. The Phillies poor 2015 season gives them the first chance at the waiver wire up until the start of next season.
Otero, 30, is a Florida native who played college ball at Duke and the University of South Florida. The Giants drafted him in the 21st round in the 2007 draft. Five years later he made the Giants’ opening day roster. He was claimed off waivers by the Yankees on March 26, 2013 and by the A’s three days later.
Otero had a very good season in 2014 and couldn’t match it this year. That’s nothing new for relievers, off and on seasons. Unfortunately, it happened to Justin De Fratus this year.
Winter Ball Update
The Arizona Fall League has announced the East and West Division rosters for the 10th annual Fall Stars Game, which will take place this Saturday at 8:08 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on MLB Network and MLB.com. Phillies have two players on the West squad, reliever Edubray Ramos and catcher Andrew Knapp.
Strength up-the-middle is key on championship teams–catcher, shortstop-second base and center field. Over a six-week period, we’ll examine the players at these positions on the Phillies pennant winners. Leading off last week were the 1915 Phillies. This week, the 1950 Whiz Kids.
1950: C Andy Seminick, SS Granny Hamner, 2B Mike Goliat and CF Richie Ashburn.
At 29 years of age, Seminick was considered the “grandpa” of this young team that won the pennant on the last day of the season in Brooklyn. He was a no-nonsense player, tough as nails and an excellent handler of the pitching staff. Caught 124 of 157 games (there were three ties). He sustained a broken ankle on the final Wednesday of the season, caught a doubleheader the next day and played on it throughout the World Series.
Hamner, 23, while only in his second full season as the shortstop, was the captain and the anchor of the infield. He was a brilliant fielder even though he made 48 errors. He also was involved in 100 double plays while playing in every game (157). He had a gun for an arm. Offensively, he was a tough clutch hitter. In his career with the Phillies he was twice an All-Star at shortstop and once at second base.
Goliat, 28, wore a Phillies uniform for three seasons but was a regular only once, 145 games in 1950. He was a good fielder with a strong arm. His .234 average that season was a career high as were his 13 homers.
Ashburn, 23, played in an era of three other Hall of Fame centerfielders, Willie Mays, Duke Snider and Mickey Mantle. While he didn’t have their power, he was the game’s best leadoff hitter and defender in centerfield, the anchor of the Whiz Kids defense. He shares the major league record for most seasons leading the league in putouts, nine. His .988 fielding percentage was the best among 1950 NL centerfielders. Not gifted with Mays’ arm, Ashburn annually was among the league leaders in assists. His biggest came in the last game of the season when he gunned down Cal Abrams with the winning run in the ninth inning. The Phillies won the pennant the next inning.
Next week: the 1980 World Champions.
Tuesday’s 3 p.m. NFL trading deadline passed quietly. The only news was that there was no news.