Thursday, October 14, 2021

Phillies Name Kevin Long New Hitting Coach

2009 Topps Heritage #465
On Wednesday afternoon, the Phillies officially announced Kevin Long as their new hitting coach for the 2022 season, their sixth hitting coach since the team's playoff drought began in 2011.  Like Joe Dillon before him, Long is highly regarded in baseball and the hope is he can connect with the Phillies offense better than Dillon and John Mallee before him.

Long has previously served as a hitting coach for the Yankees (2007-2014), Mets (2015-2017) and Nationals (2018-2021).  This will be a Yankees mini-reunion as Phillies manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Rob Thomson and Long all worked together in the Bronx between 2008 and 2014.  Bryce Harper and Long were together in Washington in 2018.

Long was drafted by the Royals in 1989 and spent eight seasons in their minor league system, never reaching the majors.  He appeared on a bunch of minor league baseball cards between 1988 and 2005, both as a player and a minor league coach.  He shares a floating head coach's card in the 2009 Topps Heritage set with Thomson.

With Long's hiring, the Phillies are down to needing an assistant hitting coach and a new infield coach, rumored to be Bobby Dickerson, who was with the Phillies previously in 2019.  Here's a look at the list of Phillies hitting coaches since 1970, with Billy DeMars still the undisputed dean of the group.

  • Billy DeMars 1969-1981 - DeMars also served as first base coach (1969-1972) and third base coach (1972-1979).
  • Deron Johnson 1982-1984 - Johnson also served as first base coach during his coaching tenure.
  • Del Unser 1985-1988 - Unser also served as first base coach (1985-1987).
  • Denis Menke 1989-1996
  • Hal McRae 1997-2000
  • Richie Hebner 2001
  • Greg Gross 2002-2004; 2011-2012
  • Milt Thompson 2005-2011
  • Steve Henderson 2013-2016
  • Matt Stairs 2017
  • John Mallee 2018-2019
  • Charlie Manuel 2019
  • Joe Dillon 2020-2021
  • Kevin Long 2022

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A Look Back at the Phillies Transactions - 2020 to 2021

2021 Topps Heritage #337
2021 Topps Heritage #442
2021 Chachi Departures #2
2021 Topps Heritage #69
2021 Topps Heritage #421

I put together this listing each year for the sake of completeness, and similar to recent years I feel the need to hit Publish and quickly move on for the good of my own mental health.

Departures - 2020-2021 Offseason
  • Deolis Guerra - rhp (10/14/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the Oakland Athletics (2/2/21).
  • Trevor Kelley - rhp (10/14/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the Chicago Cubs (12/14/20).
  • Jose Alvarez - lhp (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the San Francisco Giants (3/6/21).
  • Jake Arrieta - rhp (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the Chicago Cubs (2/17/21).
  • Jay Bruce - of (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the New York Yankees (2/12/21).
  • Tommy Hunter - rhp (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the New York Mets (2/14/21).
  • Brandon Workman - rhp (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, signed with the Chicago Cubs (2/18/21).
  • Phil Gosselin - inf (10/30/20) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency, signed with the Los Angeles Angels (2/11/21).
  • Heath Hembree - rhp (10/30/20) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency, singed with the Cleveland Indians (2/5/21).
  • Adam Morgan - lhp (10/30/20) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency, signed with the Chicago Cubs (2/12/21).
  • Blake Parker - rhp (10/30/20) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency, signed with the Cleveland Indians (2/16/21).
  • David Phelps - rhp (10/30/20) - Club option declined, elected free agency, signed with the Toronto Blue Jays (2/11/21).
  • David Robertson - rhp (10/30/20) - Club option declined, elected free agency, signed with the Tampa Bay Rays (8/16/21).
  • Reggie McClain - rhp (12/10/20) - Selected by the Yankees in the minor league portion of the annual rule 5 draft.
  • Garrett Cleavinger - lhp (12/29/20) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers with the Phillies receiving Jose Alvarado in exchange from the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Kyle Garlick - of (1/22/21) - Claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
  • Victor Arano - rhp (1/22/21) - Claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
  • Cole Irvin - lhp (1/30/21) - Traded to the Oakland Athletics for cash considerations.
Coming Back - 2020-2021 Offseason
  • Ronald Torreyes - inf (10/15/20) - Elected free agency, re-signed with the Phillies (1/4/21).
  • J.T. Realmuto - c (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, re-signed with the Phillies (1/29/21).
  • Didi Gregorius - ss (10/28/20) - Elected free agency, re-signed with the Phillies (2/10/21).
2021 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs Update #26
2021 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #11
2021 Choice Reading
Fightin Phils #3
2021 Topps Allen & Ginter #29
 
2021 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #7

New Additions - 2020-2021 Offseason
  • Jose Alvarado - lhp (12/29/20) - Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays with the Dodgers receiving Garrett Cleavinger in exchange.
  • Neftail Feliz - rhp (1/4/21) - Signed as a free agent.
  • Sam Coonrod - rhp (1/9/21) - Acquired from the San Francisco Giants for Carson Ragsdale.
  • Archie Bradley - rhp (1/18/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • David Paulino - rhp (1/18/21) - Signed as a free agent.
  • Matt Moore -lhp (2/3/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
  • Chase Anderson - rhp (2/8/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Matt Joyce - of (2/10/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Miami Marlins.
  • Brandon Kintzler - rhp (2/10/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Miami Marlins.
  • Travis Jankowski - of (2/12/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Brad Miller - inf (2/17/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Arrived During the 2021 Season
  • Jorge Bonifacio - of (5/25/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Detroit Tigers.
  • Cam Bedrosian - rhp (7/7/21) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Oakland Athletics.
  • Hans Crouse - rhp, Kyle Gibson - rhp and Ian Kennedy - rhp (7/30/21) - Acquired from the Texas Rangers with cash for Josh Gessner, Kevin Gowdy and Spencer Howard.
  • Freddy Galvis - inf (7/30/21) - Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for Tyler Burch.
Departed During the 2021 Season
  • David Hale - rhp (6/27/21) - Granted free agency.
  • Neftali Feliz - rhp (7/3/21) - Granted free agency, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers (7/5/21).
  • Spencer Howard - rhp (7/30/21) - Traded to the Texas Rangers with Josh Gessner and Kevin Gowdy for Hans Crouse, Kyle Gibson, Ian Kennedy and cash.
  • Brandon Kintzler - rhp (8/2/21) - Released.
  • Chase Anderson - rhp (8/27/21) - Released, signed with the Texas Rangers (8/31/21).
  • Vince Velasquez - rhp (9/12/21) - Released, signed with the San Diego Padres (9/15/21).
  • Enyel De Los Santos - rhp (9/13/21) - Selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Matt Joyce - of (9/26/21) - Released.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

2021 Chachi #68 Seranthony Dominguez


#58
Seranthony Ambioris Dominguez
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  225
Opening Day Age:  26
Born:  November 25, 1994, Esperanza, DR
How Obtained:  Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent, October 6, 2011
Contract Status:  Arbitration eligible in 2022, free agency eligible in 2025
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Phillies 2018-2019, 2021
First Phillies Card:  2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #58
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2016 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #5
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #58

Newest Card Added:  2020 Topps Total #155

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (2):  2018-2019

16 - Dominguez baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 10/4/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2018 Chachi #36
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #10 - with Edubray Ramos
2019 Chachi #19
2019 Chachi Phillies Phestival #15 - with Edubray Ramos and Juan Nicasio
2019 Chachi Friendly Encounters #16
2019 Chachi Photo Night #15
2021 Chachi #68

Seranthony Dominguez was recalled on October 2nd, pitching a scoreless inning in the final game of the season.  He had last appeared on a big league mound on June 15, 2019, before missing 2 1/2 years following Tommy John surgery.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Monday, October 4, 2021

Game 162 - Bring on the 2022 Season!

2021 Chachi #69

Marlins 5
, Phillies 4
Game 162 - Sunday Afternoon, October 3rd in Miami
Record - 82-80, 2nd Place, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies lost the final game of the season as several players appeared with the club for perhaps the final time.

What It Means:  Celebrating my birthday, we watched the end of this game at my sister Carol's house and I was grateful to spend the the day with my family.  The time spent with family was wonderful.  The experience of watching the Phillies drop one last game of 2021, not so much.

What Happened:  It was a bullpen game with Bailey Falter starting things off, and allowing three runs in his two innings of work.  Hector Neris took the loss despite a history-making strikeout (see below).  Freddy Galvis and Andrew McCutchen both homered.  Bryce Harper doubled and recorded his 100th walk of the season.  He joined an elite list of outfielders with 40 doubles, 35 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 walks in a season:  Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds.  Harper finished the season with the highest OPS in the majors (1.044).

Featured Card:  Hector Neris, who enters free agency this offseason, recorded his 520th strikeout in the fifth inning, getting Jazz Chisolm to swing and miss on a ball in the dirt.  The strikeout moved him past Ron Reed on the franchise's all-time strikeout list by relief pitchers.

Transactions:  Before the game, it was announced that Joe Dillon (hitting coach) and Juan Castro (infield coach) would not have their contracts renewed.  Pedro Guerrero (assistant hitting coach) is also essentially gone as the new hitting coach will have the ability to hire his own assistant.  Because the Phillies didn't produce team-issued photo cards in either 2020 or 2021, Dillon and Castro have no baseball cards to mark their short time on the team's coaching staff.  Guerrero appeared in all four team-issued photo card sets released in 2018 and 2019.

Memory Lane - Game 162
And just like that, my 13th year of chronicling the day-to-day activities of the Phillies, for better and for worse, is in the books.  Honestly, this year was a grind at times as my other blogs (1956 Topps, 1965 Topps, 1934-36 Diamond Stars) proved to be a much more enjoyable daily respite than the 2021 Phillies did.  Still, I have no plans of stopping this daily diversion and I remain hopeful the club will see postseason action in 2022.  Thank you for reading, thank you for your comments and Go Phils!
  1. October 4, 2009 - Catcher Paul Hoover singled in the winning run in the 10th in a 7-6 win over the Marlins.
  2. October 3, 2010 - The Phillies lost 8-7 to the Braves in their final tune-up before facing the Reds in the NLDS.
  3. September 28, 2011 - The Phillies closed out the 2011 regular season with a 13-inning victory against the Braves, setting a franchise record with their 102nd regular season win.
  4. October 3, 2012 - The Phillies closed out their 2012 season with a lethargic 5-1 loss to the N.L. East Champion Nationals.
  5. September 29, 2013 - Zach Miner got the ball for the Phillies and lasted 2 1/3 innings in a 12-5 loss to the Braves.
  6. September 28, 2014 - Cole Hamels pitched another fine game and suffered through another outing with minimal run support.
  7. October 4, 2015 - Phillies avoid 100 losses and Ichiro makes his pitching debut in a 7-2 victory.
  8. October 2, 2016 - Phillies bid an emotional farewell to franchise icon Ryan Howard.
  9. October 1, 2017 - Phils clobber Mets in Pete Mackanin's final game as manager.
  10. September 30, 2018 - Lame duck Phillies win season finale in Gabe Kapler's frustrating debut season.
  11. September 29, 2019 - Phillies miss postseason for 8th year in a row, Brad Miller finishes the season red hot.
  12. September 27, 2020 - Shortened 60-game season ends with Phillies swept out by the Rays.
  13. October 3, 2021 - Hector Neris sets Phils' reliever strikeout record in the 10th straight season without postseason baseball.
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 161 - 2021 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Update #8 Kyle Dohy

Marlins 3
, Phillies 1
Game 161 - Saturday Night, October 2nd in Miami
Record - 82-79, 2nd Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies offense collected eight singles and struck out 15 times as they prepared to enter the 2021-2022 offseason.

What It Means:  Unfortunately, this was another forgettable game in a long list of forgettable games from the 2021 season.

What Happened:  Hans Crouse received his second big league start and pitched four innings, allowing three runs on just two hits and three walks.  Cristopher Sanchez pitched three shut out innings in relief.  Freddy Galvis had a pair of hits, but the overall offense went 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  Kyle Dohy made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless eighth inning after having trouble finding the plate over his first few batters.  He allowed a hit, a walk and recorded his first strikeout against Lewis Brinson.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Game 160 - 2019 Topps Total #663 Ranger Suarez

Phillies 5
, Marlins 0
Game 160 - Friday Night, October 1st in Miami
Record - 82-78, 2nd Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Ranger Suarez concluded his amazing season with seven more shutout innings, as the Phillies defeated the Marlins, 5-0.

What It Means:  With the win, the Phillies secured their first winning season since 2011.

What Happened:  Suarez scattered six hits over his outing while striking out nine and improving his season record to 8-5.  Per this Tweet from Ryan Spaeder, Suarez's ERA of 1.36 is the lowest in history by a pitcher with at least 10 games started and 20 games in relief.  That's incredible.  Bryce Harper recovered from his rough series in Atlanta to go 3 for 5 with a single, double, home run and two RBIs.  Matt Vierling added his second home run of the season in the ninth. 

Featured Card:  I love that I'm running out of Suarez cards to feature and I'm hoping Topps took notice of his performance this season, giving him some cardboard appreciation in their 2022 releases.  This is his Topps Total card from 2019, and to date Suarez hasn't appeared on any baseball cards in 2021, with the exception of a recent Topps Now appearance which I don't yet have in hand.

2021 Chachi #66 Kyle Dohy


#71
Kyle Kent Dohy
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  202
Opening Day Age:  24
Born:  September 17, 1996, Arcadia, CA
How Obtained:  Selected by Phillies in the 16th round of the June 2017 amateur player draft
Major League Teams:  N/A
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2017 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #7
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A

Newest Card Added:  2021 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Update #8

Topps Flagship Set Appearances (0):  N/A

8 - Dohy baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 10/1/21.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2021 Chachi #66

Kyle Dohy had his contract selected from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on September 25th.  Prior to the start of the final series of the season against the Marlins, Dohy had been on the active roster for five games but had yet to make his big league debut.  He's appeared in eight different Phillies minor league team sets dating back to 2017, the year Dohy was drafted.

2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Friday, October 1, 2021

Series Preview - Phillies at Marlins: October 1st to October 3rd

1986 Topps #420
2021 Chachi Fan Favorites #15

Friday 7:10, Saturday 6:10, Sunday 3:10

loanDepot park - Miami, FL

At the Ballpark:  On Saturday, there's postgame fireworks and on Sunday all fans will receive a 2022 Marlins schedule magnet, while the first 5,000 kids will receive a bat and ball set.  On Monday, the long offseason begins.

Phillies 81-78
2nd Place in the N.L. East, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

Phillies Probables
Ranger Suarez (7-5, 1.45)
TBD
Zack Wheeler (14-10, 2.78)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Bryce Harper - .305
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 99
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 34
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 82
Stolen Bases:  Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto - 13

Wins:  Zack Wheeler - 14
ERA:  Zack Wheeler - 2.78
Strikeouts:  Zack Wheeler - 247
Saves:  Hector Neris - 12
Marlins 65-94
Tied for 4th Place in the N.L. East, 21 1/2 games behind the Braves

Marlins Probables
Sandy Alcantara (9-14, 3.09)
Jesus Luzardo (3-5, 6.92)
Trevor Rogers (7-8, 2.64)

Marlins Leaders
Average:  Miguel Rojas - .263
Runs:  Jazz Chisolm - 69
Home Runs:  Jesus Aguilar and Adam Duvall - 22
RBIs:  Jesus Aguilar - 93
Stolen Bases:  Jazz Chisolm - 23

Wins:  Sandy Alcantara - 9
ERA:  Sandy Alcantara - 3.09
Strikeouts:  Sandy Alcantara - 195
Saves:  Yimi Garcia - 15
2021 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2021 Season Summary Index 2021 Chachi Set Checklist

Game 159 - 2011 Chachi #69 NLDS Game 5

Braves 5
, Phillies 3
Game 159 - Thursday Night, September 30th in Atlanta
Record - 81-78, 2nd Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies fell somewhat quietly yet again, getting swept by the Braves and being eliminated from postseason contention, prolonging their playoff drought to 10 years.

What It Means:  Phillies fans, myself included, are wiped out.  I can't say for sure how much of this upcoming Marlins series I'll even watch.  There's so much work that needs to be done this offseason to make this team into more of a contender, and ten years of false starts and dashed hopes is way too long for a team that seemingly has money to spend.  I'm going to miss watching Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Ranger Suarez, Zack Wheeler, Hector Neris and Matt Vierling play, but I need a break from the rest of them.

What Happened:  The Braves held a seemingly insurmountable lead after six innings, having scored five runs off Phillies starter Kyle Gibson, making his last start of the season.  Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run in the seventh and J.T. Realmuto hit a meaningless solo home run in the eighth.  Harper, who carried this team for almost all of the season, went 0 for 11 in the series with five strikeouts.

Featured Card:  In a few short days, we'll hit the 10-year anniversary of the last time the Phillies played a postseason game.  It was a painful loss in Game 5 of the NLDS on October 7, 2011, as Chris Carpenter out dueled Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard had to be helped off the field after rupturing his Achilles while running to first base for the game's final out.