Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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 ..

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Sean Doolittle tosses perfect inning in 15th save
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:42 am ET) Athletics closer Sean Doolittle earned his 15th save Wednesday, striking out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his team's 9-7 win over the Astros.

Doolittle picked up his first save of the second half, though was pitching for the third time in a four-day span. Another clean sheet gives the breakout performer a 2.70 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 67:3 K:BB ratio in 46 2/3 innings.


Jesse Chavez strikes out seven in win vs. Astros
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:39 am ET) Athletics pitcher Jesse Chavez earned a win Wednesday, surrendering two earned runs on four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings while striking out seven in his team's 9-7 victory over the Astros.

Chavez (8-6) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before giving up a run in the inning and another in the sixth. He owns a 3.14 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 114:38 K:BB ratio in 120 1/3 innings. Chavez has another matchup with the Astros scheduled for Monday.


Brad Peacock hammered for seven runs vs. A's
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:39 am ET) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock was knocked around in Wednesday's loss, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings while striking out three in his team's 9-7 defeat against the A's.

Peacock (3-7) served up two home runs in a five-run second inning and another homer in the two-run fourth, putting his team in a deep hole early. It was the worst outing of the season for Peacock, who owns a 4.93 ERA and 77:48 K:BB ratio in 87 2/3 innings. He's set to face the A's again Monday.


Yoenis Cespedes homers twice, suffers apparent injury
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was removed from Wednesday's game in the sixth inning with an apparent thumb injury, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Cespedes had a big night before coming out of the game, going 2 for 4 with two home runs and five RBI to help his team take a 7-0 lead by the end of the fourth inning. He has hit .254/.305/.460 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 374 at-bats.


X-rays on Grant Green's back come back clean
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:33 am ET) X-rays on the injured back of Angels outfielder Grant Green have come back clean, MLB.com reports.

Green expects he'll be healthy before his 15-day minimum stay on the disabled list is over. He was placed on the DL Wednesday due to a lumbar strain.


Tommy Hunter takes loss Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter was stuck with a loss Wednesday after surrendering two earned runs on two hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings and striking out two in his team's 3-2 defeat against the Angels.

Hunter (2-2) made it through the seventh inning without issue before surrendering hits to the first two batters of the eighth, tying the score at 2-2. Hunter intentionally walked the following batter before unintentionally walking the batter after that. He was then removed, with the next pitcher also issuing a walk to bring in a run, which was charged to Hunter. He owns a 4.11 ERA and 27:11 K:BB ratio in 35 innings.


Huston Street earns first save with new team Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) Angels closer Huston Street picked up his 25th save Wednesday but his first with his new team, giving up no hits and no runs while striking out two and walking one in his team's 3-2 win over the Orioles.

Street had made two appearances since the trade but hadn't seen a save opportunity until Wednesday. He continues to have a fantastic season, owning a 1.03 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 33:8 K:BB ratio in 35 innings.


Jered Weaver strikes out six in win vs. Orioles
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:06 am ET) Angels pitcher Jered Weaver earned a win Wednesday, giving up two earned runs on six hits and eight innings while striking out six in his team's 3-2 victory over the Orioles.

Weaver (11-6) looked like he was going to be on the hook for the loss, but his offense was able to score two runs and take the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. He owns a 3.36 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 110:38 K:BB ratio in 139 1/3 innings. Weaver is slated to face the Orioles again Tuesday.


Chris Tillman tosses six one-run innings Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:05 am ET) Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman didn't factor into the decision Wednesday, giving up just one earned run on five hits and two walks in six innings and striking out three in his team's 3-2 loss to the Angels.

Tillman hasn't surrendered more than three earned runs in an outing since June 5, but he hasn't been able to score a win in July. The Angels were able to pick up a run in the first inning before Tillman held them scoreless over the next five frames. He owns a 3.92 ERA and 83:51 K:BB ratio in 131 innings. Tillman is scheduled to face the Angels again Tuesday.


Luis Valbuena hits sixth home run Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:44 am ET) Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena hit his sixth home run Wednesday against the Padres.

With two men on, Valbuena worked a two-pitch at-bat against Ian Kennedy in the fourth inning. On the second pitch, Valbuena belted a 76 mph curve out to right for a three-run shot. He finished 1 for 4, with one run scored and three RBI. 


 
 
 
Rankings