Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holaday!

2014 Topps Update #US117
On Tuesday, the Phillies not only added a starting pitcher to their 2017 roster with the acquisition of Clay Buchholz, they also increased by one the number of their official non-roster invitees.  Feel the excitement!

Catcher Bryan Holaday joins the ranks, and he'll compete with Andrew Knapp to be the back-up to Cameron Rupp in 2017.  Holaday appeared in 44 games last season for the Rangers and Red Sox, hitting .231 wtih a pair of home runs and 14 RBIs.

Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)
5.  Bryan Holaday (c) - Tigers/Rangers/Red Sox - 2014 Topps Update #US117 (Tigers)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Phils Acquire Buchholz from Red Sox

2017 Chachi New Additions #6
2016 Choice Lakewood BlueClaws #25
In a somewhat surprising move, the Phillies yesterday acquired veteran right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox for infield prospect Josh Tobias.  Buchholz is a two-time A.L. All-Star and has played 10 seasons in Boston.  In 2016, he appeared in 37 games (21 starts) putting together an 8-10 record and a 4.78 ERA.  Buchholz's salary is $13.5 million for this coming year, and he'll become a free agent following the season.

For the Red Sox, the dealing of Buchholz gives them some payroll flexibility and opens up a back of the rotation spot for a younger arm.  For the Phillies, this would seem to give the team a logjam of starting pitching with Buchholz expected to fall in somewhere between Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola or Jared Eickhoff.  Vince Velasquez would seem to have the best shot at the final rotation spot, with Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Alec Asher and Adam Morgan all expected to be in the mix as well. If the wheels come off the Phillies' season early, Buchholz could find himself dealt to a contender in July.

Buchholz appeared in the Topps flagship and Topps Heritage sets last year.  To make room for the new pitcher on the roster, Richie Shaffer, with the organization for less than a week, was designated for assignment.

I'd sad to see Tobias go.  We saw him play this summer at Lakewood, and he was one of the few players who took the time to sign a number of autographs for the younger fans - my two sons included.  I have two Tobias cards in my collection, both from minor league team sets.

* * *

2017 Chachi Departures #9
2017 Chachi Departures #10
In other news, it was reported yesterday that both David Buchanan and Phil Klein will be playing in Japan next season.  Buchanan signed with the Yakult Swallows while Klein signed with the Yokohama BayStars.

David Buchanan Chachi Checklist
2014 Chachi #44
2015 Chachi #16
2016 Chachi Almost #15
2017 Chachi Departures #9

Phil Klein Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #52
2016 Chachi Fan Appreciation Day #8
2017 Chachi Departures #10

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals, 12/13/16.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency and signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/12/16.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released and signed with the Yakult Swallows (Japan), 12/20/16.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment and non-tendered.
  • Phil Klein - rhp (12/14/16) - Released and signed with the Yokohama BayStars (Japan), 12/20/16.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (12/14/16) - Resigned by the Phillies to a one-year contract.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • Joaquin Benoit - rhp (12/6/16) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Clay Buchholz - rhp (12/20/16) - Acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Josh Tobias.
Already Gone - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  Designated for assignment, 12/14/16.
  • Richie Shaffer - 3b (12/14/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  Designated for assignment, 12/20/16.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Blanco Returns, Shaffer Arrives, Klein & Rollins Depart

2017 Chachi New Additions #5
2017 Chachi Departures #8
Popular utility player Andres Blanco returned to the organization yesterday on a one-year deal, giving the Phillies a much-needed veteran who can play pretty much anywhere on the field.  In 90 games last season for the Phillies, Blanco hit .253 with 21 RBIs while seeing time at all four infield positions and left field.

The Phillies also claimed Richie Shaffer off waivers from the Mariners, and the former first round draft pick (Rays, 2012) is expected to start the season as the Triple-A IronPigs' every day third baseman.  In parts of two seasons with the Rays, Shaffer has hit .213 (26 for 122) with five home runs.  Shaffer had a bunch of mainstream 2016 baseball cards, including cards in the Topps flagship and Topps Heritage sets.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Blanco and Shaffer, the Phillies released pitcher Phil Klein and designated David Rollins for assignment.  Rollins had been with the organization for less than two weeks.

Finally, utility player Emmanuel Burriss signed a minor league contract with the Nationals, ending his one-year stay with the Phillies.  Burriss hit .111 (5 for 45) in 39 games with the Phillies in 2016.

Emmanuel Burriss Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #13
2017 Chachi Departures #8

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals, 12/13/16.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency and signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/12/16.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment and non-tendered.
  • Phil Klein - rhp (12/14/16) - Released.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (12/14/16) - Resigned by the Phillies to a one-year contract.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • Joaquin Benoit - rhp (12/6/16) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Richie Shaffer - 3b (12/14/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
Already Gone - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  Designated for assignment, 12/14/16.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Non-Roster Invitees! NON-ROSTER INVITEES!!

2014 Topps #68
2014 Topps #568
2016 Topps Now #293
2015 Topps Update #US229
I get irrationally excited every offseason at the first announcement of the Phillies non-roster invitees to spring training.  First, let's take a look back at last year's non-roster invitee list, and I've put a ** next to each player who actually spent time with the Phillies in 2016.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
**1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
**2.  Emmanuel Burriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
**4.  Frank Herrmann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
**12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
**14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)
15.  Mark Appel (rhp) - Astros - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #219 (Astros)
16.  J.P. Crawford (ss) - Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #208 (Phillies)
**17.  Zach Eflin (rhp) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Pro Debut #184 (Padres)
18.  Andrew Knapp (c) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #146 (Phillies)
19.  Gabriel Lino (c) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP199 (Phillies)
20.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
21.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
**22.  Jake Thompson (rhp) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #129 (Rangers)
23.  Nick Williams (of) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #175 (Rangers)
**24.  David Lough (of) - Orioles - 2015 Topps #290 (Orioles)
25.  Yoervis Medina (rhp) - Mariners/Cubs - 2014 Topps Update #US265 (Mariners)

8 of the 25 non-roster invitees from last year saw some playing time with the Phillies last season. None of these guys were difference-makers, but it bodes well for the incoming crop of non-roster invitees that they have a fairly solid chance of getting Major League playing time in 2017.

Here are the first four of what will probably be a few dozen non-roster invitees to Clearwater beginning in February.

Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)

One step closer to spring training!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Birthday Doug!


This is a milestone birthday for my oldest son Doug as he turns ten years old today.  Doug and I attended the Phillies holiday festivities yesterday where he had a chance to meet Phillies manager Pete Mackanin and pick up another autograph for his growing collection.

Doug continues to amaze us.  He's hard-working, determined, kind, curious, athletic, funny and cool, and we couldn't be prouder of him!

Happy birthday Doug!

Memory Lane
2006 to 2008 - Pre-The Phillies Room years
2009 - Doug turns 3
2010 - Took the year off . . . bad father!
2011 - A Shane Victorino card for Doug
2012 - Doug with the Phanatic, turns 6
2013 - Doug on the Braves, turns 7
2014 - Doug on the Marlins, turns 8
2015 - Doug on the Diamondbacks, turns 9

Friday, December 9, 2016

Four Players Depart the Phillies Organization

2017 Chachi Almost #1
 
2017 Chachi Almost #2
 
2017 Chachi Departures #7
 
2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Holiday #20
A few recent Phillies-related moves give me an excuse to feature a few new baseball cards.

Both Matt Harrison and Jimmy Cordero recently departed the organization without ever having played a game for the Phillies.  Harrison (who came over in a salary maneuvering move in the Cole Hamels deal with the Rangers) was released from the 40-man roster last month to free up some much-needed room.  Harrison will earn $15 million in 2017 in the final year of his contract and the Phils will recoup some of this via insurance relief.

Cordero was also the victim of the roster squeeze, getting dealt to the Nationals for a player to be named later.  He was originally acquired as part of the Ben Revere trade with the Blue Jays in 2015.

Catcher A.J. Ellis signed a one-year deal with the Marlins, meaning Andrew Knapp will most likely enter the 2017 season as the back-up catcher for the Phillies.  Ellis came over from the Dodgers in August for Carlos Ruiz.

A.J. Ellis Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #59
2017 Chachi Departures #7

Finally, the Phillies lost minor league pitcher Hoby Milner to the Indians in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning. Milner has been with the organization since 2012 and he split last season between Double-A and Triple-A.  His likely final Phillies-related baseball card was released a few weeks ago in the Reading Fightin Phils Holiday set.  For the second year in a row, the minor league team has released a holiday-themed set complete with some players in their Christmas in July uniforms and "snow" falling on the fronts of the cards.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

@Section_36 to the Rescue - Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Baseball Cards

2007 Bowman Heritage
Rainbow Foil #219
2007 Fleer #106
 
2007 Topps Update #UH103
 
2007 Upper Deck #393
 
Strange days indeed.

I've been in a bit of a funk since November 9th, and to be honest I haven't much felt like spending time with baseball cards.  But over the past few weeks, I came to the realization that there had to be some middle ground between reading about every new controversial move made or message delivered by the incoming administration and putting my head in the sand and pretending none of this matters.  In the weeks and months that follow, it will be extremely important to keep informed and to keep up with what's actually going on in our country.

But it's also important to occasionally enjoy some baseball cards.  I hadn't added many new baseball cards to my collection for quite some time until a surprise package showed up a few weeks back from Section 36.  For the eighth (!) year in a row, I was the recipient of a large assortment of Phillies baseball cards from Section 36 and it turns out that sorting through these cards and reminiscing about the "good old days" was exactly the therapy I needed after weeks of disappointment and angst.

For the uninitiated, Section 36 purges his collection every 10 years of non-Red Sox and other non-essential cards.  It was 2007's turn to receive the purge treatment, and I gladly inherited a nice stack of 2007 Phillies cards.  There are always some surprises from other years in a Section 36 package, and along with the 2007 Phillies cards I received an inordinate amount of Bobby Abreu and Chase Utley cards.  A Mike Trout card also found its way into the package, and that card quickly disappeared into my son Doug's player collection.

So when in doubt, and when things seem to be getting a little too squirrelly in our country and a break is needed, my advice is to sort through baseball cards.  Thanks again to Section 36 for providing some therapy.

We're The Phillies Room and we approve this message.

Memory Lane - Section 36 Purge
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Benoit Signed as Bullpen Help, Mariot DFA'd

2017 Chachi New Additions #4
This seems to be another offseason in which the Phillies will only make a few incremental improvements to their team as they wait for their top prospects to fully blossom.  On Tuesday, the signing of free-agent reliever Joaquin Benoit was officially announced, and Benoit is expected to fill a late-inning bullpen role.  The 15-year veteran split time last season between the Mariners and Blue Jays, compiling a 2.81 ERA over 48 innings pitched.

Benoit has several 2016 baseball card appearances to his name.  He appears with the Padres in Topps Series One and with the Blue Jays in Topps Update.  For some strange reason he has two cards within Topps Heritage, both featuring him with the Mariners.

Michael Mariot was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Benoit.

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment and non-tendered.
  • Michael Mariot - rhp (12/6/16) - Designated for assignment.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.
  • Joaquin Benoit - rhp (12/6/16) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Phillies Alumni Photo Cards - Checklist


This is a post a long-time in the making and one that will most likely be revised frequently.  Since about 2007, the Phillies have been issuing Alumni photo cards for returning players to sign at various meet and greet opportunities.  I'm going to attempt to checklist those photo cards here based on cards in my collection and help from fellow collectors.  I've already received some input from Rick (@rickphils) and Steve F. and I'm hoping they'll both weigh in with additions needed to the list below.

Complicating any efforts to fully checklist these cards is the fact that the Phillies had originally printed the cards with a copyright date on the back reflecting the date of issuance.  More recently, the copyright date on the backs of these cards is for the date of the photo on the front.  For example, I'm fairly certain the Randy Ready card shown above was available during the 2016 Alumni Weekend festivities in August, but the card contains a 1995 copyright date which corresponds to the photo used for the card.

Player - Year First Issued - Copyright Date - Other Notes
  • Larry Andersen - 2010 - 2010
  • Marlon Anderson - 2016 - 2003
  • Bob Boone - 2010 - 2010 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Warren Brusstar - 2017 - 2017 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Pat Burrell - 2015 - 2008 - Available as part of the 2015 Phillies Team Issue 2nd Edition set
  • Marty Bystrom - 2017 - 2010 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Larry Christenson - 2017 - 2010 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Rheal Cormier - 2011 - 2011 - Obtained in April 2014 at Citizens Bank Park
  • Bob Dernier - 2017 - 2017 - Obtained on July 7, 2017 at Citizens Bank Park
  • Jim Eisenreich - 2010 - 2010
  • Tommy Greene - 2010 - 2010 - Obtained in March 2013 at Citizens Bank Park
  • Ricky Jordan - 2011 - 2011 - Obtained during 2014 Alumni Weekend
  • Greg Luzinski - 2010 - 2010 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Garry Maddox - 2017 - NEED
  • Charlie Manuel - 2015 - 2011 - Available as part of the 2015 Phillies Team Issue set
  • Bake McBride - 2017 - 2017 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Don Money - 2015 - 2015 - Old Phillies logo on back
  • Dickie Noles - 2012 - 2012 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Todd Pratt - 2016 - 1993
  • Randy Ready - 2016 - 1995
  • Jim Thome - 2016 - No copyright - Available briefly as part of 2016 Phillies Team Issue 2nd Edition Update set
  • Manny Trillo - 2017 - 2017 - Obtained during 2017 Alumni Weekend
  • Del Unser - NEED
  • Wilson Valdez - 2014 - 2014 - Obtained in July 2014 at Citizens Bank Park

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baseball Card Show Report - Valley Forge 5 (featuring Don Money)

1961 Bazooka #1
Getting closer to a complete set
1909 T206
Doug and I made the hour-long trek to Valley Forge on Saturday morning so that he could spend the entirety of his allowance and birthday money at the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show. With only a few checklists in tow and no real plan in place, we decided we'd both enjoy a morning of free-style pickin' and just see what we could find.  Doug made out great, obtaining quite a few certified autograph cards for his growing collection, including his two new favorite treasures - the very impressive, and very thick, on-card, gold-framed autographs of Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco from the 2016 Topps Gold Label set.  He's still trying to figure out how best to store and display these cards.

He was also very pleased with the addition of two Hall of Fame rookie cards to his collection - a nice 1983 Topps Wade Boggs (for $2!) and a nearly destroyed 1975 Topps Robin Yount (for $1).

Here's a summary of what I picked up:
  • A nice stack of 1971 Topps cards for my set, including the Willie Mays card.
  • 1977 and 1978 Phillies Media Guides.
  • Only a few Phillies cards - 1961 Bazooka Art Mahaffey (shown above), another T206 Phillies card (Mickey Doolan, fielding, Piedmont back) and a few signed Phillies Alumni Photo Cards (post coming soon)
2016 Chachi Valley Forge Autographs #5
One of the highlights of the day, at least for me, was meeting former Phillies and Brewers third baseman Don Money.  Money was the sole former baseball player signing at the show.  I printed a copy of a newspaper article featuring Money and my Dad from 1970 (see below, my Dad is the Coach) and I asked him to sign it.  He graciously obliged and noted that the photo looked to be "at least a few years old."  He was also kind enough to pose for a photo with Doug.

Memory Lane
Valley Forge 1 - September 2010 - Thinking of my Dad
Valley Forge 2 - October 2012 - Doug's first baseball card show
Valley Forge 3 - September 2014 - Meeting Darren Daulton
Valley Forge 4 - September 2016 - Phillies acquisitions and 4 Phillies Legends
Valley Forge 5 - December 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rollins Added to Bullpen, Asche DFA'd

2017 Chachi New Additions #3
The Phillies made an addition to their roster on Friday afternoon and bid farewell to a popular player who had been with the organization since 2011.  Lefty reliever David Rollins was claimed off waivers from the Rangers and outfielder/third baseman Cody Asche was designated for assignment to make room for Rollins on the roster.

Rollins appeared in 31 games with the Mariners in 2015 and 2016, pitching to a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings.  The Phillies are his fourth organization in two weeks.  He was claimed by the Cubs off waivers from the Mariners on November 18th, claimed by the Rangers off waivers from the Cubs on November 22nd and claimed by the Phillies off waivers from the Rangers on Friday.

Rollins has baseball cards in Mariners minor league team sets and within the 2015 Panini National Treasures set.

Asche was most likely the odd-man-out with the acquisition of Howie Kendrick a few weeks ago. On Friday evening, it was announced that Asche had not been tendered a contract allowing him to pursue a deal with another team via free agency.

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment and non-tendered.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Phillies Overhaul 40-Man Roster

2016 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #1
2016 Topps Heritage
Minor League #64
2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Playoff #23
2016 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #9
On Friday afternoon, in the biggest 40-man roster overhaul in recent memory, the Phillies dropped three players and added 11 in preparation for the upcoming Rule 5 draft.  Over the past seven offseasons, the most prospects added to the 40-man roster in November prior to this was five.  Here's a look at the 11 players added, their 2016 clubs, and a few brief notes.
  • Drew Anderson (rhp) - Lakewood/Clearwater - Struck out 78 in 70 innings and pitched the first four innings of a combined Threshers no-hitter in July.
  • Mark Appel (rhp) - Lehigh Valley - Acquired from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade and missed most of the season with a shoulder injury.
  • Dylan Cozens (of) - Reading - Co-winner (with Rhys Hoskins) of the 2016 Paul Owens Award for the best Phillies position player in their minor leagues.
  • Elniery Garcia (lhp) - Clearwater - 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 games.
2016 Topps Heritage
Minor League #183
2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Top Prospects #14
2016 Topps Heritage
Minor League #13
2016 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils #23
  • Andrew Knapp (c) - Lehigh Valley - Hit .266 with 8 home runs and 46 RBIs in 107 games.
  • Ben Lively (rhp) - Reading/Lehigh Valley - Winner of the 2016 Paul Owens Award for the best Phillies pitcher in the minors.
  • Ricardo Pinto (rhp) - Reading - Represented the Phillies on the World Team in the 2016 Futures Game.
  • Nick Pivetta (rhp) - Reading/Lehigh Valley - Acquired from the Nationals for Jonathan Papelbon, went a combined 12-8 with a 3.27 ERA in 27 starts.
  • Alberto Tirado (rhp) - Lakewood/Clearwater - Acquired from the Blue Jays (with Jimmy Cordero) for Ben Revere.
  • Jesmuel Valentin (inf) - Reading/Lehigh Valley - Hit .269 in 125 games.
  • Nick Williams (of) - Lehigh Valley - One of the top prospects in the organization, hit .258 with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs for the IronPigs.
2016 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #24
2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Playoff #21
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #2
To create some room for all the additions, the Phillies designated David Buchanan and Cordero for assignment and announced that Elvis Araujo was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.

2016 Chachi Departures #5
Elvis Araujo Chachi Checklist

Memory Lane
2009 Additions - Quintin BerryYohan Flande and Jesus Sanchez
2010 Additions - Cesar Hernandez, Matt Rizzotti, Harold Garcia, Freddy Galvis and Justin De Fratus*
2011 Additions - Phillippe AumontJake DiekmanTyson Gillies and Sebastian Valle
2012 Additions - Zach CollierEthan MartinTrevor May and Jonathan Pettibone
2013 Additions - Aaron AltherrKelly DuganTommy Joseph and Rob Rasmussen
2014 Additions - Jesse BiddleAdam Morgan and Nefi Ogando
2015 Additions - Jimmy Cordero, Roman Quinn and Edubray Ramos
2016 Additions - 11 prospects

*Somehow I skipped 2010 and didn't do a post.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hellickson Returns, Morton Signs with Astros

2017 Chachi Departures #4
2017 Chachi Departures #1
This past week saw a few additional roster moves, the biggest of which was the announcement that starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson had accepted a qualifying offer from the Phillies.  Hellickson returns to the club on a one-year contract worth $17.2 million and the Phillies won't receive an additional draft pick in the 2017 amateur player draft.

Hellickson's return provides some clarity for the front-end of the 2017 starting pitching rotation with Jared Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez expected to round out the top four.  It gets murky from there as Jake Thompson, Adam Morgan and Alec Asher (among others) will all be vying for the fifth starter's spot.

Charlie Morton, who entered the 2016 season as the club's #3 starter, recently signed a two-year deal with the Astros.  Morton made only four starts for the Phillies before a brutal hamstring injury ended his season prematurely.  His sole mainstream Phillies cards can be found within the Topps Phillies retail team set and the 2016 Topps Heritage set.  Morton also appeared in the early season, first edition Phillies photo card set.

Finally, reliever Patrick Schuster (6 games, 2 innings pitched, 45.00 ERA) signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.  He'll enter the ranks of former Phillies players with no official Phillies baseball card.

Charlie Morton Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi New Additions #9
2016 Chachi #16
2017 Chachi Departures #4

Patrick Schuster Chachi Checklist
2016 Chachi #60
2016 Chachi Fan Appreciation Day #6
2017 Chachi Departures #1

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Phillies Acquire Kendrick from Dodgers for Ruf, Sweeney

2017 Chachi New Additions #2
2017 Chachi Departures #2
2017 Chachi Departures #3

On Friday afternoon, the Phillies seemingly found their coveted "professional hitter," acquiring Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.  Kendrick is expected to be the team's everyday left fielder in 2017.  An 11-year veteran, Kendrick has played the majority of his career at second base and only 120 of his 1,112 games have been in left.  But the Phillies wanted his bat and they're hopeful he can add some punch to what was a mostly punchless offense in 2016.

In 146 games for the Dodgers last season, Kendrick hit .255 with 8 home runs and 40 RBIs.  An All-Star in 2011 with the Angels, Kendrick is a career .289 hitter.  His most recent mainstream baseball cards can be found within the 2016 Topps Update, Topps Allen & Ginter, Topps Gypsy Queen and Topps Heritage sets.

The Phils bid farewell to Ruf, part of the Phillies system since 2009.  Blocked at first base by Ryan Howard for most of his Phillies career, he's ironically departing the organization the same year as Howard.  Between 2012 and 2016, Ruf appeared in 286 games, hitting .240 with 35 home runs and 96 RBIs.

Sweeney was originally acquired from the Dodgers in the August 2015 Chase Utley deal.  He spent all of 2016 with the IronPigs, and he appeared in 37 games for the 2015 Phillies, hitting .176.  Here's a complete listing of Ruf's and Sweeney's Chachi cards:

Darin Ruf Chachi Checklist
2012 Chachi #57
2013 Chachi #48
2014 Chachi #43
2015 Chachi #13
2016 Chachi #11
2017 Chachi Departures #2

Darnell Sweeney Chachi Checklist
2015 Chachi #59
2016 Chachi IronPigs Signing Autographs #3
2016 Chachi Almost #24
2017 Chachi Departures #3