It was not a very successful All-Star Festival for the Phillies as Papelbon continued to reiterate his desire to leave ("Trade me or get off the pot") and did not play in the game. After pitching 6 innings over the weekend, Aaron Nola also didn't pitch in the Futures game. He'll make his ML debut tomorrow vs. the Rays. The only All-Star success story for a Phillies organization player is SS J.P. Crawford - drove in a run & continued to flash leather in the Futures Game. However, Philly natives Todd Fraizer (Toms River, NJ) and Mike Trout (Millville, NJ) stole the show by winning the Derby & the All-Star Game MVP respectively.
Commentary & Analysis
Papelbon needs to learn how to say "no comment" on trade rumors.
Nola's debut comes at an interesting time. His last start was a rough outing - L, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 R (2 HR, 5 ER) in 3 innings. In his last three starts combined: 15 IP, 11 R (10 earned for an 6.00 ERA & 3 HRs), 27 base-runners for an 1.80 WHIP and 15 Ks & 4 BB. These starts were on the road, which I pointed out has been an issue for him. And showing resiliency has been Ruben Amaro, Jr.'s No. 1 mentioned prerequisite for a debut. I guess he's making up for (1) holding him back in AA & disparaging fans in the process and (2) trying to increase ticket sales. It is worth noting that about half of the ML debuts of starting pitchers over the past 5-6 years have not gone well (via CSNPhilly,com). Perhaps Nola's reputation as being the most polished in last year's draft and a desire to bounce back will improve our averages slightly, plus he's debuting at home. Best of luck, Aaron.
Crawford, if all goes well, seems likely to make his debut in the middle of 2016. If all goes well for him, if Quinn recovers from injury and debuts in 2017, if Utley & Howard are gone, if Cole Hamels & Jon Papelbon (and possibly others like Revere, Frenchy, Brown, Chooch) are traded for good prospects (hitters), and if most of our top-level starting pitchers make an impact... then I think 2018 and possibly 2017 will be great years for the organization.
Congrats to the All-Stars on your selections & recent successes the past week. Good luck to all!