- Maikel Franco has been on a roll ever since his promotion to the bigs. By taking advantage of playing pretty much everyday, Franco has shown himself to be a true ML player on offense AND defense. His play thus far (and extending into AAA of course), is deserving of an All-Star nod, along with Hamels, and possibly Harang & Pap... despite the team having the worst record in the majors). Yesterday, he went 4-5:
- He hit 2 homers - first career multi-homer game (coincidentally, Kris Bryant of the Cubs also had his first career multi-homer game).
- He drove in 5 runs, becoming the first Phillies rookie to drive in 5 in a game since Howard in Aug. 2005. Let's hope Franco's career doesn't resemble Howard's trends.
- The Phillies scored 20 runs in the last two games, which took them 10.5 games to reach leading up to those wins.
- The only player w/o a hit yesterday was Utley, who was the DH at Yankee Stadium and went 0-4. Only one strike-out but it's clear that Hernandez deserves more playing time right now at 2B and that Utley needs to retire at the end of the year.
And now, I discuss Aaron Nola. Here are his projections (Excel screen capture):
His Projections: 2.37 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 0.85 HR/9, 7.09 K/9, and 5.78 K:BB and 193 IP over 33 starts. It is clear to me that he was the most polished pitcher in the draft last year, although road woes could be an issue in the majors.
The park factors only applied at home and I used a straight-up ratio. I used raw averages to project his strike-out, base-on-balls, innings pitched, & hit-batters (HBP) numbers as most of that is within Nola's control (i.e. not dependent on defense & park factors). To project over a full season (only needed to do that for HBP & IP), I took his limits last year & the fact he did make one bullpen appearance (23 starts) into consideration. I think he'll be a 200-IP/YR pitcher (like Cole Hamels).
So, congrats to Nola, and to all our young guys at the major- -& minor-league levels... good luck.
One more thing - some commentary on what Pat Gillick said the other day: (1) Rube's & Ryne's jobs are safe for now; (2) there's no word on the Andy MacPhil rumors; (3) the Phillies may take a bit longer to contend (2019).
I think that if someone else comes in as Team Prez (like MacPhil), that's when Rube will be gone. Ryne may follow shortly thereafter but I think he's worth keeping until the Phillies contend (remember that he's been managing a crappy team). As for when contention occurs, I think 2017 & especially 2018 still seems like a good estimate. From what I've seen at the MLB-level & heard coming out of the MiLB-levels, plus the recent draft, the Phillies could contend for the 2nd Wild Card in 2017, perhaps the division in '17 & '18 pending moves by the Nats, Braves, Marlins & Mets.