Phillies

Rhys Hoskins out of running for 2018 Rookie of the Year — and that's OK with him

Rhys Hoskins out of running for 2018 Rookie of the Year — and that's OK with him

Rhys Hoskins won the Eastern League Rookie of the Year award in 2016.
 
He won the International League Rookie of the Year award — he was also the league's Most Valuable Player — this season.
 
Hoskins will not make it three straight rookie of the year awards next year.
 
His eligibility for rookie status in 2018 quietly expired Monday night when he collected his 131st at-bat since joining the Phillies on Aug. 10. Once a player exceeds 130 at-bats (or 50 innings for a pitcher) he is not considered a rookie for the next season.
 
Hoskins is not disappointed that he won't be in the running to be the National League's top rookie next season.
 
He'd much rather have come to the big leagues when he did.
 
"There's too much valuable information being learned up here," he said.
 
Hoskins is eligible for this year's NL Rookie of the Year award, though he won't catch Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger, who is the favorite to win the award. Bellinger, in town this week with the Dodgers, has 38 homers and 88 RBIs.
 
At the time of his recall from Triple A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 10, Hoskins was leading the International League with 29 homers, 91 RBIs and a .966 OPS. He ended up third in the league in homers and retained his RBI and OPS leads.
 
Hoskins has had a dynamic arrival in the majors. He entered Monday night's game against the Dodgers leading the majors in homers (18), RBIs (38) and OPS (1.244) since Aug. 14.
 
And he was the NL Rookie of the Month for August.
 
So he can live without the chance to win one more rookie honor.
 
The Phillies have had four rookies of the year in their history — Jack Sanford (1957), Dick Allen (1964), Scott Rolen (1997) and Ryan Howard (2005).
 
Rolen, interesting enough, was on his way to exhausting his rookie status when his season in 1996 ended at 130 at-bats. He was hit by a pitch from Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel on Sept. 7 and suffered a broken wrist. The injury ended his season but preserved his rookie status for 1997 and he won the Rookie of the Year award.
 
"At the time, I wasn't really happy with [Trachsel]," Rolen said on the day he was announced as the award winner in November 1997. "Now, I might give him a call and thank him."
 
Rolen hit .283 with 21 homers and 92 RBIs that season. He made $150,000 that year, then the major-league minimum, but earned a $25,000 bonus for winning the Rookie of the Year award. So a little pain equaled a nice gain.
 
Rolen's winning the award in 1997 snapped a string of five straight Dodgers' rookies of the year — Eric Karros (1992), Mike Piazza (1993), Raul Mondesi (1994), Hideo Nomo (1995) and Todd Hollandsworth (1996).

Surprising how many NL teams let Justin Bour slip to Phillies

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Surprising how many NL teams let Justin Bour slip to Phillies

The Justin Bour-Matt Stairs comparison has been a popular one in the days since the Phillies surprisingly acquired Bour from the Marlins. Big, burly, power-hitting, left-handed first basemen.

But in several other ways, this move was different. 

• Bour is 10 years younger than Stairs was when the Phils traded for him in 2008. 

• Bour was acquired the second week of August; Stairs was acquired at the end of August. Stairs had just 19 regular-season plate appearances with the Phils in 2008. Bour should be able to double that pretty easily.

• Stairs was under contract for the following season. Bour is under contract the next two seasons after this one.

That last point was why it was so surprising that various NL teams let Bour slide through the waiver order and make it to the Phillies. 

A refresher: Once August hits, in order to trade a player, a team must first place him on waivers. The waiver queue is based on the inverse order of the standings in that player's league. So when Bour is placed on waivers, the worst team in the NL gets first dibs. If he passed through every NL team unclaimed, the worst AL team would get next crack at him and so on. (More on August trade rules here.)

It would have been one thing if Bour was a rental. In that case, he would have made sense only for contenders.

But Bour isn't a rental. He was awarded a $3.4 million salary this season, his first of arbitration eligibility. He's under team control each of the next two seasons and figures to make an estimated $14 million in 2019 and 2020 combined.

That's not a ton of money for a starting-caliber first baseman who has an .821 OPS since 2015 with 31 homers per 162 games.

Where were the Mets? Where were the Rockies? The Pirates?

The Mets have no offense. At first base, they've been playing Wilmer Flores, who is not the long-term answer. Prospect Dom Smith has hit .193 in 257 big-league plate appearances and has also had a poor season at Triple A. 

If you're the Mets, a team that acts as a small-market club with little money to spend, why not take a flier on Bour for a modest price over the next two seasons? Is anyone awake in Flushing?

The Rockies, a contender, haven't gotten great production from first base. It's been a combination of Ian Desmond and left-handed hitting Ryan McMahon. Against righties, Bour is an upgrade over both.

When Bour was placed on waivers at the beginning of the month, Pirates 1B Josh Bell was on the DL. Bell, a switch-hitter the Pirates are high on, has been a league-average first baseman since getting to the majors. He's been good against right-handed pitching but Bour has just been better, with a career OPS 73 points higher. 

The money

It will be interesting to see whether the Phillies keep Bour around past this season. If he produces as a pinch-hitter and fits in, he'd be a valuable bench bat to have. He'd be valuable insurance for Carlos Santana.

One of the things to really like about Bour is his production against pitching within the division. He's 8 for 21 (.381) with two homers, a double and three walks against Jacob deGrom. Yes, that Jacob deGrom. Bour has been one of the very best hitters in the league against deGrom during the righty's stellar career.

Bour has gone a respectable 5 for 17 (.294) vs. Noah Syndergaard. 

He's reached base in 17 of 28 plate appearances vs. Julio Teheran. 

He's 8 for 15 with two homers and a double against Mike Foltynewicz.

He has a homer and a .385 OBP in 26 plate appearances vs. Stephen Strasburg.

This all matters moving forward in a division with so many high-quality starting pitchers.

The Phillies are a deep-pocketed team that could afford to pay Bour $5.5 million or so next season as a non-regular. Not every team is in that position but the Phils are. Aside from their arbitration-eligible players, the Phils have just six players under contract for 2019: Jake Arrieta, Santana, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Odubel Herrera and Scott Kingery.

Their decision whether to keep Bour around, trade him or non-tender him will obviously be affected by their pursuit of top free agents like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. It will also be affected by how the Phils approach the pending free agency of Wilson Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera, two players who make even more sense to retain because of the positions they play.

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Phillies are just another team to Freddy Galvis — wink, wink

Phillies are just another team to Freddy Galvis — wink, wink

SAN DIEGO – Deep down inside, this had to be sweet for Freddy Galvis.

But outwardly?

Just another day. Just another game. Just another team.

Galvis, traded from the Phillies to San Diego in December, has haunted his former club in six games this season. He is 10 for 22 with nine RBIs. Five of them came this weekend as the Padres took two of three from the Phillies.

Galvis, 28, launched the first grand slam of his career in the third inning Sunday to help lead a 9-3 Padres’ win over his old team. The grand slam was a 409-foot bomb – in Ted Williams’ hometown – against Jake Arrieta.

“Freddy Galvis has swung the bat against us very well all year long,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Give him some credit for continuing to swing the bat well and putting good at-bats together.”

Galvis signed with the Phillies in the summer of 2006. He was just 16 at the time. He spent a dozen years in the organization, rising to become the team’s regular shortstop for three seasons after Jimmy Rollins moved on.

Galvis never got on base enough for a Phillies management team that took over before the 2016 season, and he was traded for pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos last winter. The Phillies shortstop position has been in flux since with J.P. Crawford, Scott Kingery and now Asdrubal Cabrera all playing there this season. Manny Machado will be a free-agent target this winter and could be the next to hold down the position — the Phillies hope.

Meanwhile, Galvis plays on. He is having a typical Freddy Galvis season, hitting .237 with some pop — eight homers and 48 RBIs. His on-base percentage is just .296. His defense remains top-shelf.

Galvis harbors no hard feelings against his old team for moving on without him. He said he understands the business of the game.

But still, that grannie against Arrieta had to feel awfully good, right?

“No, I treat those guys like any another team,” Galvis said. “Play hard, play ball and that’s it.”

Galvis was asked how he was able to treat a team he’d spent so much of his life with as just another club.

“I guess I’m a pro,” he said. “I’m a professional. That’s what I am. I just play the game the right way and that’s it.”

Still, it is not lost on Galvis that he has put up big numbers against the Phillies this season.

Ten hits, nine RBIs …

“Good one, huh?” he said with a smile.

Yeah, pretty good.

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