August Report Cards for All 25 Philadelphia Phillies Players

Greg PintoCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2012

August Report Cards for All 25 Philadelphia Phillies Players

0 of 25

    Is that a faint glimmer of hope on the horizon? 

    The Philadelphia Phillies rolled into the month of August surrounded by fans already focus on the 2013 season, but in a lot of ways, the Phillies themselves were already gearing up for next year. 

    By the final day of July they had traded away two of their key cogs coming into the season in Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. 

    They added some quality minor league talent in guys like Tommy Joseph and Ethan Martin while adding some players that could help at the MLB level next season in Josh Lindblom and Nate Schierholtz. 

    The month of August wasn't going to be one that the Phillies had become accustomed to in years past, but it was going to be an interesting one nonetheless. A lot of guys on this club still had something to play for. 

    Now, the Phillies find themselves in a unique situation. Hovering right around 10 games out of a Wild Card spot, they seem like a distant threat to the leaders. 

    But you know that this club can't help but realize that they're in nearly the exact same predicament as the St. Louis Cardinals were at this time last season, and that train ran right through Philadelphia on its way to a World Series. 

    August was a pretty good month for the Phillies. They're going to finish with a record north of .500 and an unlikely dream of recreating the Cardinals' dramatic run at the postseason. 

    So in order to determine whether or not they even have a shot, we'll look back at each player's month of August and grade them on their performance. Who needs to improve and who needs to stay the course for the Phillies to make an improbable run at October in the month of September? 

Phillippe Aumont

1 of 25

    Grade: N/A

    The Line: 2 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 SO

    I thought that when the Phillies called Phillippe Aumont up to the MLB it was because they wanted a new era of potential dominance to begin in the back end of their bullpen. 

    Instead, Aumont is wasting away out there, having pitched just twice since his call-up about a week ago. 

    In that pair of appearances, we saw why scouts say that Aumont is loaded with potential. He has the big, heavy sinker with a lot of movement that consistently sits in the mid 90s. Off of that he throws what the Phillies' broadcast team adequately described as a "power slurve." 

    What we didn't see was the good splitter that Aumont also throws. 

    Given the way that Josh Lindlbom has pitched recently, what is the excuse for not using Aumont in increasingly more demanding situations? Maybe he's the answer to the eighth inning role.

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Antonio Bastardo

2 of 25

    Grade: D

    The Line: 6 IP, 4 H, 11 SO, 3 BB, 5 ER

    The 2012 season certainly hasn't been kind to Antonio Bastardo, but he does seem to have made a bit of progress this month. 

    He's only thrown six innings though, which is a problem in and of itself given that the Phillies expected Bastardo to be pitching the eighth inning much more frequently. 

    As has been the case throughout the year, the strikeouts are there for the lefty, but so are the walks. He'll need to reign in his control and prove that he can still be successful against right-handed batters as well as lefties.

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Domonic Brown

3 of 25

    Grade: C-

    The Line: .250 / .324 / .359, 1 HR

    August hasn't been a terrible month for Domonic Brown, but I don't think that it would be incorrect to say that the Phillies will be expecting more out of him in the future. 

    Throughout his tenure with the Phils this season Brown has shown an improved approach at the plate. He doesn't swing at many bad pitches and, when he does take the bat off of his shoulders, he normally makes contact. 

    Obviously, the approach hasn't translated into numbers just yet. But as long as he keeps the same approach at the plate throughout the remainder of the season (and his knee is healthy), I think the numbers will come. 

    He just has too much talent not to produce. When 2013 rolls around though, there will be no excuses. People won't be content with a "good approach" and the power has to come back. He'll be more than a year removed from a broken hamate. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Kevin Frandsen

4 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Line: .330 / .390 / .374, 114 wRC+

    Kevin Frandsen is a hitting machine. 

    He was right near the top of the International League (where the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate is located) for most of the season in the hits category and he picked up right where he left off once he got the call up to the show. 

    He's played solid defense at third base and has given the Phillies what they expected out of Placido Polanco this season—a guy who hits for high average, finds ways on base, and helps to create runs. 

    August was a very good month for Frandsen, who could be playing his way into a bench role for 2013. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Roy Halladay

5 of 25

    Grade: A

    The Line: 4-1, 2.75 ERA, 36 IP, 28 H, 11 ER, 4 BB, 29 SO

    Here comes Roy Halladay. 

    The first few months of the season were probably "Doc's" worst nightmare. He never found his fastball velocity in spring training, leading to speculation about an injury, and he was finally forced to succumb to a strain right latissimus a few months later. 

    Halladay returned after the All-Star break, and after a relatively slow start, has really picked things up lately. 

    Now the Phillies are in an interesting position. Do they turn Halladay loose and see if they can capture some of the same magic the St. Louis Cardinals bottled in 2011 or preserve him with an eye on 2013? 

    Decisions, decisions. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Cole Hamels

6 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Line: 3-1, 1.86 ERA, 38.2 IP, 33 H, 8 ER, 6 BB, 34 SO

    Another month, another string of a few great starts by Cole Hamels. 

    After signing his new mega-deal a few weeks back, Hamels has been everything the Phillies could have hoped for—a dominant, left-handed ace that gives the top end of their rotation stability several years into the future. 

    Now they have to figure out how to build a perennial contender around him and not spend a gazillion dollars doing so. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Jeremy Horst

7 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Line: 8.2 IP, 1.04 ERA, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO

    In a bullpen that includes last season's eight inning set-up man in Antonio Bastardo, Jeremy Horst has been the Phillies' best left-handed reliever this season. 

    If you're telling yourself that the above statement sounds kind of funny, look at the stats and read it again. It isn't particularly close. 

    While Bastardo has been striking batters out with consistency all seasons long, Horst has been consistently better in just about every other area of his game. 

    Given the fact that Wilson Valdez is currently posting an OPS of .452 for the Cincinnati Reds, I think the Phillies can be happy with last offseason's trade. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Ryan Howard

8 of 25

    Grade: C-

    The Line: .260 / .324 / .469, 5 HR, 11 RBI

    Nothing is going to come easy for Ryan Howard in 2012 and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for that. 

    The guy worked his tail off trying to recover from a torn Achilles tendon suffered on the final play of the 2011 season and, slowly but surely, you can see him starting to make progress at the plate here in the month of August.

    While the power numbers are a bit lower than the Phillies would like them to be, Howard has shown some progression at the dish and I'm willing to bet that September is his best month yet. 

    If I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, how come he only has a C-?

    The strikeouts. You can't strike out 40 times in 105 plate appearances and continue to progress. That needs to stop. 

    Stats through 8/28/12.

Kyle Kendrick

9 of 25

    Grade: A

    The Line: 4-1, 36.2 IP, 31 H, 12 ER, 6 BB, 25 SO

    If Kyle Kendrick hadn't been shelled by the Atlanta Braves early in the month of August his numbers would have been pristine and I would have given him an A+ easily. 

    And even though he did, an A- is nothing to scoff at either. 

    Kendrick has had an excellent month of August, rolling two straight scoreless outings during the month and giving the Phillies something to think about as they ponder their options for a fifth starter next season. 

    If he can keep up this string of quality outings, they'll have an affordable fifth starter already under team control. 

    Stats through 8/30/12.

Erik Kratz

10 of 25

    Grade: A-

    The Line: .250 / .329 / .485, 4 HR, 12 RBI

    You can look at Erik Kratz's month of August in one of two ways. You could take a gander at that .250 batting average and assume that he's had a bad month at the dish or take an OPS north of .800 out of your third string catcher—a positive. 

    I'll take the latter. 

    Kratz came into the season behind Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider on the depth chart, but injuries to both have forced him into action behind the plate. 

    While his defense leaves something to be desired (at least around the plate), Kratz will be a solid backup next season, at the least.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Cliff Lee

11 of 25

    Grade: A-

    The Line: 1-1, 3.47 ERA, 36.1 IP, 39 H, 14 ER, 1 BB, 37 SO

    Cliff Lee is giving up more than a hit per inning this month, which could be a cause for some concern, but I'm willing to overlook that in lieu of the fact that he's posting a ridiculous strikeout to walk ratio of 37:1 this month. 

    That just goes to show that a pitcher's win / loss record is incapable of telling the entire story. For that incredible strikeout to walk wizardry, Lee has just one win to show.

    Now he has to whip up a spell that will get the Phillies' offense to provide him with some run support moving forward.  

Josh Lindblom

12 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: 11.2 IP, 6.17 ERA, 7 H, 8 ER, 10 BB, 13 SO

    This isn't the kind of "relief help" the Phillies expected out of Josh Lindblom when they acquired him in the deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers

    At the time of the deal, the Phillies' bullpen was scuffling big time and the club was in the middle of a frantic search for a right-handed reliever to pitch in front of Jonathan Papelbon. 

    They eventually acquired Lindblom (along with prospect Ethan Martin) from the Dodgers in exchange for Victorino and thought they had solved a lot of their eighth inning problems. 

    Not so fast. 

    Lindblom has struggled big time in the month of August, both with missing bats and throwing strikes, and has become more of a question than an answer for the Phillies. 

    He has shown some signs of coming out of this funk, so there's hope.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Michael Martinez

13 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: .158 / .200 / .316, 1 HR

    In a month where the Phillies were quite open about evaluating some players for next season, Michael Martinez is playing himself right out of a job for 2013. 

    Realistically, the only reason that he is even on the roster at this point in time is because of his ability to "play multiple positions defensively." 

    Well, that hasn't gone so well. 

    Martinez has spent most of his days this season accruing service time on the bench and the Phillies will likely put an end to that as 2013 rolls around by upgrading their utility spot on the bench. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

John Mayberry Jr.

14 of 25

    Grade: D+

    The Line: .256 / .301 / .430, 4 HR, 16 RBI

    John Mayberry Jr. is an interesting case for the Phillies moving forward. 

    Now that he's failed each and every time that they've given him an opportunity to play regularly, I think it is safe to assume that the Phillies will move in a different direction as far as the regular outfield is concerned in 2013. 

    But there's still a role for Mayberry next season. He's not a terrible guy to have on your bench as a fourth outfielder type, especially because he's not making much money (relatively speaking). 

    He plays at least average defense when he's not exposed and playing every day and has hit left-handed pitching well this season (.277 / .284 / .531, 8 HR). He just isn't cut out to play every day, and as long as you're not expecting more out of him, he's a fine bench player.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Laynce Nix

15 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: .211 / .311 / .342, 1 HR, 2 RBI

    You have to wonder just how much that calf strain hurt Laynce Nix, not just physically, but figuratively speaking as well. 

    He hit the disabled list in May with a serious calf strain in the midst of a hot streak at the plate and hasn't been the same since returning. 

    The Phillies have used him more sporadically since his activation, thanks in large part to the roster additions of Ryan Howard, Nate Schierholtz, and Domonic Brown—all left-handed batters playing in his positions. 

    Nix, who is signed through the 2013 season, will likely be the Phillies' main source of power off of the bench against right-handed pitching next year.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Jonathan Papelbon

16 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Line: 12.1 IP, 0.73 ERA, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 SO, 7 SV

    Jonathan Papelbon has 29 saves this season. The Phillies, as a team, have 61 wins. The only player on a non-contending team with more saves than Papelbon is Cleveland's Chris Perez. 

    Simple math tells us that Papelbon has saved roughly 48% of all Phillies' victories. 

    Is that worth all the money that they're paying him this season? Probably not. But it wouldn't be fair to say that Papelbon hasn't come in and done exactly what the Phillies have asked of him this season—dominate. 

    Pound for pound, August has been Papelbon's most dominant month yet.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Juan Pierre

17 of 25

    Grade: D+

    The Line: .246 / .306 / .298, 7 R, 7 SB, 1 CS

    Juan Pierre has been the Phillies' best left fielder this season by quite a wide margin, but I'm not sure that the previous statement is much of a compliment.

    Following the trade deadline, the Phillies wanted to give some of his playing time to guys like Nate Schierholtz and Domonic Brown and Pierre was very professional about it. But it's also clear that not playing as much has hurt his numbers. 

    There's probably not much room for him on next year's roster with the plethora of outfielders already on it and those yet to come, but Pierre has really helped the Phillies this season both with his bat and his experience. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Placido Polanco

18 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: .273 / .333 / .273, 11 AB

    I was going to give Placido Polanco an "N/A" for this month because he hasn't been able to stay on the field, but then I realized that this is part of the problem. 

    The one thing that the Phillies needed out of Polanco this season was some consistency. That's what they signed him for a couple of offseasons ago. 

    He was a guy who played slick defense and provided quality at-bats that hand't missed more than a handful of games since the 2006 season. 

    He hasn't been the same guy for the Phillies in 2012. Polanco has appeared in just 88 games this season and is clearly on his way out the door, having been replaced by the hot-hitting Kevin Frandsen. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Jimmy Rollins

19 of 25

    Grade: D-

    The Line: .212 / .288 / .424, 5 HR, 17 R, 13 RBI, 7 SB, 1 CS

    Right after the Phillies re-signed Jimmy Rollins last offseason and in the months that led up to the regular season, one of the things that I found myself saying over and over again was that as long as Rollins played above average defense, they wouldn't care about his offense. 

    I was right in some ways and wrong in others. 

    It's been a dreadful offensive season for Rollins, without a doubt. He has struggled to get anything going for an extended period of time and hits more pop-ups than any player I can recall off the top of my head. 

    If he was hitting eighth in the order, it wouldn't be as huge a problem as it is right now, but of course, he's not. Charlie Manuel refuses to remove him from the top of the order and see what some other guys can do. 

    Until he does, Rollins is never going to provide anything of quality offensively. Learn to live with it. 

    But he is still a supreme defensive shortstop and there is certainly value in that—a lot of value, in fact. Just enough to keep me from giving him an "F" this month.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

B.J. Rosenberg

20 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: 8.1 IP, 9.72 ERA, 9 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO

    Feel free to insert whatever "bad at baseball" cliche you have on the tip of your tongue here. Given the way that B.J. Rosenberg has pitched this month, I'm sure that almost all of them fit. 

    Sans a couple of appearances that had a few people (myself included) fooled into believing that he had turned a corner, the month of August has not been kind to Rosenberg. 

    The right-handed reliever found himself being called upon in increasingly more pressurized situations this month, but his latest implosion in an extra innings game against the New York Mets is yet another strike against him. 

    He's lucky that rosters are expanding this week. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Brian Schneider

21 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: .200 / .273 / .300, 20 AB

    Brian Schneider hasn't played much in the month of August and that's been a big part of the problem. 

    After spending time on the disabled list with an ankle injury to open the month of August, Schneider will find himself back on the DL as the calendar turns into September, this time, with a hamstring strain. 

    Other than that, there isn't much to talk about in regards to Schneider. One of the backup catcher's biggest jobs is to stay healthy and be ready for the call to action. Schneider hasn't been able to do that in 2012.

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Chase Utley

22 of 25

    Grade: A-

    The Line: .274 / .397 / .484, 4 HR, 14 R, 12 RBI

    August has been an encouraging month from Chase Utley. 

    As has been the rhetoric for most of the season for the Phillies' second baseman, the batting average probably isn't where he'd like it to be right now, but he's playing well. 

    Utley's on-base percentage is hovering right around .400 and he's been hitting with more power this month, both of which are very good signs that his knees are healthy. 

    With the Phillies likely to officially fall out of the postseason race some time during the month of September, the focus now for Utley is to keep his knees fresh throughout the offseason and come ready to play in spring training next February. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Raul Valdes

23 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Line: 9.2 IP, 0.96 ERA, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO

    If the Phillies were writing the script for how this season was supposed to go, Antonio Bastardo would be the bullpen's primary lefty and guys like Raul Valdes and Jeremy Horst wouldn't even be needed, but alas, they're not. 

    Instead, Valdes and Horst have been two of the bullpen's better relievers. 

    Valdes is an interesting story. He came into spring training with nothing more than an invite and eventually battled his way onto the Phillies' 25-man roster after a brief stint in Triple-A. 

    Sans a brief demotion (for reasons I'm still unsure of), Valdes has been with the Phillies all season long and has rarely faltered. 

    He even made a start earlier this season.

    Stats through 8/30/12.

Ty Wigginton

24 of 25

    Grade: C-

    The Line: .250 / .318 / .400, 1 HR, 20 AB

    I'm kind of willing to give Ty Wigginton the benefit of the doubt this month because Charlie Manuel barely even used him. It's tough to stay sharp as a bench player like that. 

    Even then, it would be unrealistic to expect much more out of Wigginton anyway. 

    The Phillies, who acquired him from the Colorado Rockies last offseason, will likely part ways with Wigginton this offseason. They hold a $4 million club option on him for 2013, but will likely go with a more affordable option. 

    Stats through 8/29/12.

Vance Worley

25 of 25

    Grade: F

    The Line: 1-3, 5.23 ERA, 31 IP, 45 H, 18 ER, 11 BB, 16 SO

    In a sad kind of way, the best thing that happened to Vance Worley this month was probably the Phillies' decision to finally shut him down for the season. 

    Worley, who had been pitching with bone chips in his right elbow for most of the season, will undergo surgery this week and be ready to join the rest of the rotation in their regular offseason training regiment. 

    Pitching with bone chips had to be tough for Worley, regardless of what he told the media. He didn't have the normal "bite" on any of his pitches and was struggling with location. 

    This truly was the best decision for all parties involved.

    Stats through 8/29/12.