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You Never Sausage a Post: Weekend Phillies Links

The Astros and Ken Giles can begin the next phase of the bullpen evolution, and "Chris Davis is Ryan Howard".


Phillies Likely 2016 Opening Day Lineup - That Balls Outta Here
A little more than three months from Opening Day 2016 in Cincinnati, Matt Veasey predicts Pete Mackanin's Phillies lineup on that first Monday in April.

Fightin Phillies - blogging Phillies baseball: 2016: Bound to be better for the Phillies and their fans

Why the Phillies should hope Ryan Howard really took performance-enhancing drugs | For The Win
The slugger has been a below-replacement player for years, but stands to make $25 million in 2016.

Phillies trade rumors - Not a fun week for Ryan Howard

On the Farm

Phillies Potential #1 Draft Pick: Riley Pint
Alexis Girardo is back with the next installment of her series examining players for the Phillies to choose with the top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Young Phillies outlook for 2016 season |
The Phillies will begin 2016 with a clean slate. There will be no speculation about their president, general manager or manager entering Spring Training. They have those people in place. There will be no speculation about the futures of Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon. They were traded last summer.

Atlanta Braves top most improved farm systems |
Throw in Cornelius Randolph and Scott Kingery from the Draft, Tyler Goeddel from the Rule 5 Draft and Jhailyn Ortiz,'s No. 8 international prospect whom the Phillies signed for north of $4 million, and the Phillies aren't far behind the Braves in terms of restocking success. PhoulBallz Off-season Check In: OF Nick Williams PhoulBallz Off-season Check In: RHP Matt Hockenberry

Around the League

WATCH: N.J. star Mike Trout's ridiculous tire workout |

The Astros can begin the next phase of the bullpen evolution - Beyond the Box Score
The Astros shouldn't limit Ken Giles by placing the closer tag on him.

Projecting the Prospects in the Aroldis Chapman Trade | FanGraphs Baseball

Yankees Build Laugh-Out-Loud Bullpen With Aroldis Chapman | FanGraphs Baseball
Chapman, Miller, and Betances had three of baseball’s four highest strikeout rates last year. Based on Steamer projections, they’re pegged for three of the five lowest FIPs in 2016.

The Yankees Bullpen Probably Won’t Be Any Better | FanGraphs Baseball
Compared to the Yankees before the Chapman move, these Yankees are going to have stronger relief. Just don’t expect them to have stronger relief than they had in 2015, once you take leverage into account.

Chris Davis and the Free Agent Bottleneck | FanGraphs Baseball
Chris Davis is Ryan Howard. Howard remained a decent offensive player at ages 30-31, with contact scores of 170 and 166; however, his poor K rate cut those to OPS+ figures of 128 and 125. Davis, on the positive side, might have a couple more years like that in him, before his continuing sub-.100 average on grounders and declining dominance in the air combine to undercut him.

How will 2016's pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery fare? | FOX Sports
On average, pitchers don't gain velocity, don't improve performance compared to their pre-injury numbers, and they're more likely to go on the disabled list with an injury to their throwing arm than a pitcher that didn't have surgery.

2016 ZiPS Projections – Chicago Cubs | FanGraphs Baseball
Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, and Anthony Rizzo amassed a total of 18 wins between them in 2015. Because negative regression is the rule, and not the exception, with regard to these sorts of star-level performances, ZiPS doesn’t call for an exact repeat of last year’s production. As a trio, however, that group is expected to log around 15 wins. That figure alone would represent a better mark than the overall totals posted by the position players of eight clubs in 2015.

What Happened To Carlos Gomez? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
This all makes Gomez a very high risk, high reward draft target. The marketplace isn’t about to give up on him after one mediocre season. He has a high floor – he still posted $9 of value in 2015. A hot hitting, middle of the order Gomez is a top 20 fantasy player. A cooler, bottom of the order Gomez is merely a modest core performer.

Part 2 of Using Contact% & Pull% to Predict a Batter’s Decline | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Last week, I examined how a decline in pull rate (Pull%) and contact rate (Contact%) may be a precursor to overall decline. The idea was that if the hitter was worse at doing either or both, they could be in for a larger than normal decline.

Reds should look to trade Joey Votto - Beyond the Box Score
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman could bring baseball's oldest franchise a huge return if they look to deal him.

Andrew Friedman is building a long-term juggernaut without sacrificing the present - Beyond the Box Score
Some have criticized the Dodgers for failing to have a coherent plan, but in reality they have been laying the foundation for long-term success.

The winter of opt-outs: Much better for the player than the team - Beyond the Box Score
Looking to the past to predict the value of Price's, Cueto's, and Heyward's opt-outs.

Griffey, a favorite son of Pacific Northwest, awaits Hall - Yahoo Sports
For those of us who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, Ken Griffey Jr. was the first transcendent star of our youth we could claim as our own. The ultimate accomplishment to go with all the numbers, awards and the fact that if not for Griffey's greatness - and the success of the franchise in 1995 - Safeco Field never gets built and baseball may have left Seattle. When Griffey takes his place in Cooperstown, he'll take the entire Northwest with him.

Dayton Moore was up for consideration as our 'Person of the Year' for 2015
Dayton Moore built the Royals into World Series winners, which is why he deserves consideration as our MLB "Person of the Year" for 2015.

An End-of-the-Year MLB Legal Update | FanGraphs Baseball

2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Predicting Secondary Market Prices for Playoff Tickets, Part 2 | FanGraphs Baseball

Jim O'Toole, Reds 1960s star pitcher, dies at 78 - Yahoo Sports
Jim O'Toole, a star pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1960s, has died after a long battle with cancer. The team said O'Toole died Saturday at his home, a day after celebrating Christmas with his large family. The lefty started the opening game of the 1961 World Series, losing to Yankees ace Whitey Ford 2-0.

Former outfielder Dave Henderson dies of heart attack at 57 - Yahoo Sports
Dave Henderson, the former major league outfielder who hit one of the most famous home runs in postseason history, died Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack. Henderson died early Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to a statement from the Mariners, one of five teams Henderson played for in his career. Henderson had a kidney transplant in late October.

Former Red Sox All-Star third baseman Frank Malzone dies - Yahoo Sports
Frank Malzone, the Boston Red Sox's all-time leader among third baseman with homers and RBIs, has died, the team said Tuesday. Malzone died at home in Needham, Massachusetts, of natural causes, the team said. A member of the Red Sox hall of fame since 1995, he played in Boston for 11 seasons from 1955-65.