Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Philadelphia Phillies

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Their payroll constricted by the long-term deals they doled out during their recent run of success, the Phillies have fallen into a rut over the last few years, giving Fantasy owners a good idea what to expect in 2014: A bunch of old guys who'll probably just be worse than last year.

Fortunately, that's not true for the starting rotation yet -- or at least not all of it. Roy Halladay had some shoulder issues that forced his retirement, but Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels still exhibit top-10 potential. Drafting either as your ace puts you in a good position in mixed leagues.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Of course, they're about the only Phillies pitchers you'd want to draft. The other two in the discussion are closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose knockout stuff appeared to lose some of its bite in his age-32 season last year, and recently signed A.J. Burnett, who's back in a hitter's park after a two-year respite in Pittsburgh. Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez are assured spots but are just as likely to hurt your ERA and WHIP as help it in NL-only leagues -- and with hardly any strikeouts to boot.

The Phillies' big offseason acquisition was Marlon Byrd, which hardly constitutes a youth movement. Coming off a career season at age 36, he has his share of skeptics, but he isn't any riskier than Ryan Howard, who's now in jeopardy of becoming a platoon player because of his struggles against left-handed pitchers, which have only gotten worse with his body beginning to betray him at age 34. Hey, Darin Ruf hit 14 homers in 251 at-bats last year, and the Phillies talked like they wanted him to play every day until the Byrd signing forced him to the bench. His natural position is first base.

If the Phillies have one bright spot in their lineup, it's Domonic Brown. Chase Utley has remained fairly productive in between injuries, and Jimmy Rollins could end up going in the middle rounds just because of the position he plays, but Brown represents the one player in the Phillies lineup with honest-to-goodness upside. True, he already broke through as a Fantasy mainstay last year, but because of an Achilles injury that sidelined him off and on throughout the second half, he wasn't as steady as he could have been, hitting 12 of his 27 homers in May alone. He showed he's turned the corner, though, having finally settled on a swing after tinkering with his for most of his minor-league career, and is just scratching the surface of his potential at age 26.

Underappreciated ... Marlon Byrd, outfield

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Ben Revere CF
2. Jimmy Rollins SS
3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Domonic Brown LF
5. Marlon Byrd RF
6. Ryan Howard 1B
7. Cody Asche 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz C
Bench Darin Ruf 1B/OF
Bench Bobby Abreu OF
Nobody would endorse drafting Byrd where he finished last year, ranked 27th among outfielders in Head-to-Head leagues and 23rd in Rotisserie. Buying into a career-best performance from a 36-year-old is generally a bad policy. But judging by early draft data, Fantasy owners are so convinced Byrd won't repeat those numbers that they hardly draft him at all. The opportunity cost is so low that, frankly, you're better off believing. And here's some food for thought: Byrd revealed this offseason that he was always taught to aim for the top of the ball, hitting it on the ground to make better use of his speed. He finally realized that staying through the middle of the ball elevates it, making better use of his power. It seems too simple to be true, but looking back at his minor-league numbers, he started out as much more of a power hitter. Believe me: I don't revel in backing an obvious regression candidate, but value is value. At Byrd's likely going rate on Draft Day, he can't possibly hurt you.

Sleeper ... Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, starting pitcher

I could address every Gonzalez question yet to be asked with the same two-word response: Nobody knows. Nobody has any clue what kind of pitcher he'll be because nobody really knows what kind of skill set he has. Access to Cuban ballplayers is so limited that scouting reports on them are always vague, and Gonzalez specifically hasn't pitched since 2011 thanks to surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. So why draft a complete unknown? Like with Byrd, it's a matter of opportunity cost. The chance of striking gold with any player in the last round or two is so low that you may be better off gambling on the mystery man. Hey, the Phillies signed Gonzalez to a six-year, $48 million deal (before cutting it back to three years, $12 million because of concerns over his elbow) for a reason -- and they weren't the only ones bidding. With the A.J. Burnett signing, the gamble is much easier to justify in NL-only leagues than mixed, especially since Gonzalez is likely to begin the year in minors, but you'll want to monitor his performance in all formats. With only Roberto Hernandez standing in his way, a strong showing likely vaults him to the majors.

Impact prospect ... Maikel Franco, third base

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Cliff Lee LHP
2. Cole Hamels LHP
3. A.J. Burnett RHP
4. Kyle Kendrick RHP
5. Roberto Hernandez RHP
ALT Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Jonathan Papelbon RHP
2. Antonio Bastardo LHP
3. Mike Adams RHP
4. Jacob Diekman LHP
5. Chad Gaudin RHP
If the Phillies hadn't already broken in a third baseman last year in Cody Asche, Franco would be a candidate for this year's Wil Myers -- that hitter everyone stashes before the season in anticipation of his arrival midseason. No, he's not quite as well-known as Myers, but judging by his breakthrough performance last year, when he hit .320 with 31 home runs and a .926 OPS -- numbers that only improved following a midseason promotion to Double-A -- he's a pretty big deal. A much bigger deal than Asche, by the way, who doesn't exactly profile as the next Scott Rolen. Translation: The Phillies may not be as committed to him as the world perceives them to be. It's not like he earned anything with his 162 at-bats last year. He didn't embarrass himself, but with a .235 batting average and .691 OPS, he didn't lock up the starting third base job forever and ever. If Asche gets off to a slow start and Franco continues to rake at Triple-A, a midseason switch could be in store.

Prospects Report

Franco isn't the only potential game-changer in the Phillies system. Jesse Biddle might already be in the big leagues if his control hadn't abandoned him down the stretch last year. It was never his strength, but the way he started out 2013, striking out 16 batters on April 22 and 10 in his next start, it didn't seem like it'd be too much of a hindrance. Until he makes some progress on that front, his arrival is difficult to gauge. The Phillies shouldn't have trouble making way for him as soon as he proves ready, but the indefinite timetable makes him a draft-and-stash better left for NL-only formats. ... Ethan Martin could technically win a job in spring training but was so unimpressive in his audition late last year, suffering from his own control issues, that Fantasy owners shouldn't put much faith in him. ... Cesar Hernandez has proven to be a prolific base-stealer in the minors, but getting him in the lineup isn't a priority for the Phillies. If he wins a reserve role, he could matter in NL-only Rotisserie leagues. ... Shortstop J.P. Crawford, the team's first-round pick in 2013, has gotten plenty of love from talent evaluators, but at age 19, he's more tools than polish and several years from reaching the big leagues.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite ..

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Twins DH Kennys Vargas thriving since demotion to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Twins DH Kennys Vargas has been crushing the baseball following his demotion to Triple-A Rochester. Vargas homered for the third time in six games Monday.

He has a .409/.458/.864/1.322 slash line since joining the Rochester lineup. He has hit safely in all but one game. He also has one double, two walks, five strikeouts, six walks and six runs.

Vargas was demoted to the minors last week after batting .248 with three home runs, 10 RBI and 30 strikeouts in 29 games for Minnesota.


Dodgers, Braves have deal in place involving Uribe, Callaspo
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:34 am ET) The Dodgers and Braves have a deal in place involving infielders Juan Uribe and Alberto Callaspo, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. No word yet on if the deal has been finalized.

The deal would save Los Angeles some money in sending Uribe to Atlanta, but Callaspo can reject the deal until June 15th per a clause in his contract. The deal would also send a minor leaguer to Atlanta with the Braves shipping back three minor-league prospects.

Callaspo was a late scratch from Monday's game as the team was looking to make a trade. He is hitting .206 with eight RBI in 107 at-bats this season.

Uribe is part of a crowded infield with manager Don Mattingly trying to rotate both Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero in at third base. Uribe is hitting .247 with six RBI in 81 at-bats this season.


OF Slade Heathcott off to promising start for Yankees
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) The short-term future of Yankees newcomer Slade Heathcott is unknown. One can only speculate on his status upon the eventual return of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the disabled list.

But the present looks pretty promising. Heathcott has been impressive in three games, slamming a double for his first big-league hit and adding a two-run homer in a Monday rout of the Royals. He is 5-for-12 with three runs and three RBI.

So much for wilting under the pressure of playing in the majors, let alone that of wearing the legendary pinstripes.

"When I step across those lines, I just want it to be the same game I've played my entire career life," he told the Journal News. "Obviously on a higher scale, and at a higher level - a lot more fans, a lot more energy - but I want to keep this the same game I've been playing. Don't stress. Don't try to do too much. That's something I have to remind myself every AB."

Joe Girardi has not indicated where Heathcott will fit in when Ellsbury comes back. But he's certainly happy with his performance.

"You want to see your young players come up and have success and feel like they're contributing," he said. "Not put a ton of pressure on themselves and not looking over their shoulder and wondering if they're going to play the next day."


Reds closer Aroldis Chapman takes loss on Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) Reds closer Aroldis Chapman gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth inning on Monday in Cincinnati's 5-4 loss to the Rockies.

Chapman, in a non-save situation, allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach safely, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Then, Chapman allowed a sacrifice fly to Nolan Arenado to give Colorado the lead. Chapman would strikeout the final two batters to end the inning.

Chapman, now 2-3, moved his ERA to 1.86 in 19 1/3 innings of work.


Mets' Cuddyer: David Wright experiencing 'frustration of unknown'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has been exchanging text messages with ailing teammate David Wright lately. And the former can sum up the feelings of the latter with one word.

Frustration.

Wright has spun his wheels in his attempt to return from the disabled list. A diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis has him seeing a spine specialist. He appears no closer to coming off the DL now than he did when he was placed on it. There is no timetable - just more examinations and more rest.

"He's frustrated," Cuddyer told NJ.com. "I'm right there with him. We're all frustrated with him. On a personal level it stinks. ... Not knowing [is] tough. Any time it's an indefinite - you don't know. Broken arm, you know six weeks. Hamstring, you know probably three weeks. the back thing with him now, you just don't know. It's the frustration of the unknown."

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has stated that there is no indication that the back injury will limit Wright in the future. But nobody seems to know when that future on the field will begin.


Agent: Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto to undergo MRI on elbow Tuesday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:08 am ET) Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto is reportedly set to undergo an MRI on his elbow on Tuesday, his agent Bryce Dixon said per FOXSports.com.

Cueto missed his last scheduled start on Sunday with elbow stiffness and manager Bryan Price said after Monday's game he didn't expect Cueto to miss more than one start with the injury. Dixon said he is optimistic Cueto is just dealing with fatigue. Cueto has logged a team-high 65 1/3 innings of work with a 3-4 record and a 3.03 ERA this season.


Astros RP Samuel Deduno set to throw in bullpen Tuesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:59 am ET) Astros reliever Samuel Deduno (back) will throw in the bullpen Tuesday in Baltimore, manager A.J. Hinch said Monday, per MLB.com. If all goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment this week.

Report: Dodgers, Braves discussing trade involving Callaspo, Uribe
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:58 am ET) The Braves and Dodgers are reportedly discussing a deal that would send Alberto Callaspo to Los Angeles for Juan Uribe, according to FOXSports.com.

Callaspo was scratched from Monday's game because the team was looking at a possible trade for the veteran. Callaspo is hitting .206 with eight RBI in 107 at-bats this season. However, Callaspo has a right to reject any trade in his contract, which could be a hold up in the deal being completed, according to the report.

The proposed deal would involve six players: Uribe and a minor leaguer for Callaspo and three minor leaguers.

Uribe is part of a crowded infield in Los Angeles where manager Don Mattingly is trying to rotate his young players. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman noted on Friday that Uribe was a likely trade candidate for the Dodgers. Uribe is hitting .247 with six RBI in 81 at-bats this season.


Astros SP Brett Oberholtzer nearing rehab assignment
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:52 am ET) Astros starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer (finger) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno this week, manager A.J. Hinch said Monday, per MLB.com.

Oberholtzer has been sidelined since mid-May. He has made just one appearance for Houston this season due to injury. He missed the start of the season recovering from a lat injury.


Roenis Elias has been clutch performer for Mariners
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:37 am ET) Mariners starting pitcher Roenis Elias has been pretty outstanding in place of the injured Hisashi Iwakuma. He has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts and has allowed a total of three runs in his last three starts following Monday's 4-1 win at Tampa Bay.

"Any time you lose a guy of Iwakuma's status, that's a big hit," manager Lloyd McClendon said, per MLB.com. "But it was nice to have this young man there waiting in the wings. And he hasn't disappointed."

Catcher Mike Zunino said Elias' best attribute is his ability to work himself out of tight jams.

"I think he clicks it in a little bit," Zunino said. "He focuses a little bit more and keeps the ball down in the zone. The way he's been throwing, he has a lot of trust in his changeup. He used that a couple times with guys on base to get ground balls and get us out of the inning."


 
 
 
Rankings