During the organization’s 127-year existence as a member of the National League, seven starters who had wore the Phillies’ uniform has won the most games in seventeen seasons.
The first Phil to lead the league in wins would be Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander, who would do so in his rookie season of 1911, winning 28 games. The next Phil to lead the NL in wins would be Tom Seaton, who, in 1913, would lead the league with 27 wins. Alexander would then become the leader in wins for the next four seasons with 27 wins in 1914, 31 wins in 1915, as he help lead the Phils to their first National League pennant, as he performed the first of his two straight triple crown (Wins/ERA/Ks) pitching season as a Phil, 33 wins in 1916, as he performed his second triple crown season, while setting the Phils record for most wins in a season, and 30 wins in 1917. The third Phil to lead the league in victories would be Jumbo Elliott, who did so in a tie for first with Bill Hallahan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Heinie Meine of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who all had 19 wins in 1931. The fourth Phil pitcher to lead the NL in wins would be Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, who would lead the league with 28 victories in 1952, then would be tied for the lead in 1953 with fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves with 23 wins, then lead the league by himself in both 1954 and 1955 with 23 wins in both years. The fifth Phil starter to lead the NL would be Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who first lead the NL in his pitching triple crown season of 1972, as he lead the NL with 27 wins, followed by 1977 with 23 victories, then 24 in 1980, as he helped lead the Phils to their first World Series Championship, and finally 1982, when he won 23 starts. The sixth Phil pitcher to lead the league would follow in 1983, as John Denny would lead the league with 19 wins, as he help lead the Phils to their fourth NL pennant. It would be twenty-seven years before the seventh, and presently last, Phil starter would lead the NL in wins, when Roy Halladay led the National League in wins with 21 in 2010.
Of the seven Phils to lead the National League in victories, three of them were Hall of Famers (Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton), with all three of them doing it multiple times. Alexander did it the most, as he won the title five times, with two of them as he won the pitching equivalent of the triple crown, followed by Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton, who have both won the title four times, with Carlton also performing the pitching triple crown. The other four have won it only once. Two of the Phils were tied for the lead in wins when they won the title, Jumbo Elliott in a three-way tie in 1931, and Roberts, when he was tied with Warren Spahn in 1953. Alexander had the most wins, when he won the title with 33 wins in 1916, which is still a team record, while Elliott and John Denny won the title with the least wins as the two recorded only 19 wins in 1931 and 1983, respectively. Phils’ pitchers have led the NL sixteen times in the 20th Century and have, so far, only done it once in the 21st Century.
Who might be the next Phil starter to lead the NL in victories? It could be any of their four major starters, as three of them (Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee) have all already lead either league in wins.
During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.
During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.
Yesterday, MLB.com announced who they consider to be Major League Baseball’s top 50 prospects. Among the fifty were two players in the Phillies’ farm system: Dom Brown, who came in at number 4 and Jonathan Singleton, who came in at 30.
Dom Brown, who is expected to join the team during spring training, to serve as part of a platoon in right field with Ben Francisco, to replace the just departed Jayson Werth, spent part of 2010 playing the outfield for both Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He batted .327, with an on-base percentage of .391 and a .589 slugging percentage, in 389 at-bats, as he hit 22 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 20 HRs and 68 RBIs for the two farm teams, before joining the major league ballclub during the summer after Shane Victorino got hurt. With limited playing time, as he stay with the ballclub through the playoffs, he batted .210 with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs and 13 RBIs in 62 at-bats, showing at the same time both his potential and his rawness. The Phils sent him to the Dominican Winter League to give him the at-bats he did not get while riding the bench during the last two months of the regular season, but he was sent home after struggling at the plate. So, he will be out to prove himself during spring training, to prove that he deserves to be with the big league ballclub.
Jonathan Singleton, who landed at number 30, spent the year playing for Class-A Lakewood, playing first base, as he went .290/.393/.479, hitting 25 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 14 HRs and 77 RBIs. As he shows potential, Singleton is being converted into an outfielder, as the Phils last season signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125-million contracts, which will start in 2012, meaning that he likely will not be able to join the ballclub playing that position. If he is able to show that he can play the outfield, Singleton should have a much better chance getting into the big league, hopefully as a Phil.
Since the last time I’d written something here, the Phils have come to terms with both Ben Francisco (January 15) for one year for $1.175 million dollars with performance bonuses and with Kyle Kendrick (January 18) for $2.45 million, also for one year, to avoid arbitration with both players, thus having all of their players signed up for at least one season. Last season, 2010, in 88 games (28 of which were starts), Francisco batted .268 (48 for 179), as he hit thirteen doubles and six home runs and knocked in 28 RBIs. He also went .282 pinch hitting (11-39), hitting three doubles and knocking in 7 RBIs. This season, Francisco will be used in a platoon with Dom Brown in right field to replace Jayson Werth, who had during the off-season signed a long term contract with the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, Kendrick last season pitched in 33 games (a career-high), 31 of which were starts, as he went 11-10 with an ERA of 4.73, as he pitched in 180.2 innings and struck out 84 batters (both career highs) while walking 49, who, depending on what the team might do, will either be their long man coming out of the bullpen, or fighting for the fifth starter spot with Vance Worley.
As the Phils prepare for the start of spring training next month in Clearwater, Florida, they are looking at their options, thanks to their present embarrassment of riches with their starting pitching staff, which at the moment consists of Roy Halladay (Ace), Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt (who at the moment are being nicknamed either the Four Aces, R2C2 or the Fantastic Four by the fans) and Joe Blanton, as they decide whether they really need to trade Kentucky Joe to another team that needs a good starter to help give them some salary flexibility, or to just keep Joe, and use him as their fifth starter, knowing that he so far have had a good track record pitching for the Phils during the two plus seasons since they’d gotten him from the Oakland A’s to help them down the stretch towards their 2008 World Series Championship. My opinion is that they should hang onto Blanton, unless he brings in a good righthanded bat that’ll help the team in the line-up. Either way, he would be helping the team, especially as the fifth starter, since he is presently seen as a good third or fourth starter on most teams.
Lastly, Charlie Manuel’s contract is coming up this season. Although it is more than likely that the Phils will give him an extension, Charlie had announced on WIP radio yesterday, when asked about it, that he would like a three year contract, and prefer that he signed the contract extension as soon as possible so that it won’t become a distraction for the ballclub during the season, although he does see himself as signing a contract at some point this season. Me, sign him up as soon as possible Ruben. Uncle Chuck seems to know what he’s doing with the players, and we all know that they like playing for him.
Phillies Red Pinstripes is still among the top 100 fan blogs, although now at 74. I’d figured I’d still be among the top 100, since I was among the top 50 two or three times during the year. I just hope I can find some way to get back on the other side of 50 a bit more often during the coming year.
I’d also noticed that there were, at least, five other Phils fan blogs among the top 100 last year, besides me: Phillies Phollowers (9), Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts (41), Phillies Outside (49), The Phanatic Addict (56) and Phightin’ Phils Phorum (95). Nice to know that I had a lot of company last year. I can’t wait to see how this year goes, considering whom we got on the mound as starters.
Anyway, here’s the entire list:
1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Red State Blue State
3. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix
4. Rockpile Rant
5. Rays Renegade
6. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
7. The Three Bs
8. Unfinished Business
9. Phillies Phollowers
10. I Live for This
11. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
12. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
13. Julia’s Rants
14. Yankee Yapping
15. The Closer
16. Yankees Chick
17. Counting Baseballs
18. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
19. Ted’s Take
21. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
22. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
23. Baseball Canadiana
25. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
26. The Pittsburgh Peas
27. King of Cali
28. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
29. A Diatribe from a Journalism Student
30. Well Played Mauer
31. This is what the girl thinks….
32. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
33. Confessions Of A Baseball Fan
34. Underneath the Halo
35. A Misplaced Astros Fan
36. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
38. Random Thoughts About the San Francisco Giants
39. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
40. The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
41. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
42. Perpetual Padres Saga
43. The Watercooler
44. Pretty In Pinstripes
45. Hands off my Pirates Booty
46. Art of the Pale Hose
47. Linea de Primera
48. METrospection & More
49. Phillies Outside
50. The Diamond Diva
51. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
52. Cardinal Girl
53. Memoirs of a Red Sox Girl
54. Johnny Archive in J.A.I.L.
55. 30 Stadiums in 60 Days
56. The Phanatic Addict
57. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
58. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
59. The ‘Burgh Blues
60. Seven good innings
61. The Yankees Baseball Whisperer
62. Everything Baseball
63. Thoughts of a Teen-Fan
64. Texas Summer Heat
65. Left Side of the Infield
66. Bottom of the Ninth
67. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
68. The Friar Faithful
69. Just a Bit Outside
70. Cambios y Curvas
71. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
72. Baseball, Apple Pie, and Lobster
73. Sports Propaganda
74. Phillies Red Pinstripes
75. Perfect Pitch
76. Redbird Chatter
77. The 1 Constant
78. White Elephant Parade
79. Totally Tribe
80. Your Infield Fly is Down
81. M.T.’s Blogger
82. A Girl’s View in Six Words
83. More Cowbell–A Rays Blog
84. The Heirloom
85. The Fact of the Matter
86. The Brewer Nation
87. FenwayNation: The MLB Blog
89. Hail to Ichiro!
90. (:> Bird Brained
91. Minoring In Baseball
92. A Diehard Cubs Fan Speaks Out
93. Yesterday’s Hitter!
94. El Casillero de los Medias Rojas
95. Phightin’ Phils Phorum
96. The Ballhawk’s View
97. Baseball Addict
98. Prose and Ivy
99. steel city ballhawk
100. Commish 2040
Give everyone on the list a look see, okay.