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Jeff Mathis Jersey

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Although Andrew Knapp showed great signs of improvement this past season, another catcher in Philadelphia Phillies spring training camp should come away with the nod as the backup catcher to J.T. Realmuto for the 2021 season — non-roster invitee Jeff Mathis.

Mathis is a well-traveled 37-year-old veteran Wholesale Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys with eye-popping offensive numbers. No, not eye-popping in a good way, but rather numbers so abysmal at the plate. It may be confusing why he’s rostered each year, but when you look at his defensive numbers, it’s easy to understand.

Mathis played in 110 games over the past two seasons with the Texas Rangers. Over 290 at-bats across those two seasons, he slashed just .159/.212/.252. The highest OPS Mathis has ever posted in a full season was .642 back in 2012 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jeff Mathis brings intriguing value other than offensive numbers at the plate.
In his 16 seasons in the big leagues, teams have looked past Mathis’ hitting because of how much of a difference-maker he is defensively. His defensive output and work with the Rangers pitching staff over the past two years earned him another shot at the majors.

Throughout his career, Mathis has made a difference for some of the league’s best pitchers. When Mathis was with the Miami Marlins, he was the primary catcher for the late Jose Fernandez. The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner posted a 1.56 ERA with Mathis behind the dish. And, when Mathis moved onto the Arizona Diamondbacks, he became the batterymate to fellow All-Star Zack Greinke.

RELATED STORY: Phillies: Ivan Nova has ugly start to 2021 spring training
Mathis isn’t just someone you pair with a young pitcher, but a player who can maximize a veteran’s effectiveness. The 2019 season was when Mathis’ defensive impact and presence behind the plate came into the forefront of Rangers baseball. Lance Lynn and Mike Minor finished top 10 in Cy Young Award voting. Mathis caught in more than half (86) of the team’s 162 games — including 50 of the combined starts between the two pitchers. When Mathis was behind the plate, the ERA of the duo was 3.37. When someone else caught, their ERAs were a combined 4.65. This shows a direct correlation between pitcher success and Mathis being behind the plate.

Jeff Mathis could be an immediate difference-maker on the Phillies roster.
With catcher being the hardest defensive position in baseball, you can excuse the poor offensive numbers if the catcher can drastically affect a pitching staff like he has. Throughout his career, Mathis has been tremendous at framing pitches. He boasts a career FRAA (framing runs above average) of 93.8. This means that Mathis has saved more than 93 runs from scoring just from how well he frames his pitches.

Although Knapp made great offensive strides in 2020, the Phillies need someone to come in and help elevate the pitching staff when J.T Realmuto is not behind the plate. Mathis should be the Phillies backup catcher this coming season.

He just might take Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler to Cy Young Award contention.

Chase Anderson Jersey

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As the Philadelphia Phillies face the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon, Chase Anderson will get the start. This might be one of his last appearances in spring and he will have the opportunity to continue what has been a Wholesale Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys near-perfect Grapefruit League showing. Anderson probably couldn’t have envisioned a better start to his Phillies career.

In seven innings, he has surrendered just three hits and four walks with eight strikeouts and no runs. If Anderson has a strong outing opposite the Tigers, it could secure him a job in the starting rotation. There is no way to predict what the front office will do, but they would be foolish to not reward him for his performance.

Chase Anderson could be close to winning a spot in the Phillies rotation.
Anderson is coming off of an ugly 2020 season but that could be an outlier on his resume. Every year before that, he was at least a serviceable pitcher. He might not reach his 2017 peak performance ever again, but the Phillies just need him to pitch as he did in 2018 and 2019. Anything close to that would be an improvement over the back end of the Phillies rotation in recent seasons.

If Anderson secures his job, that would leave just one spot in the starting rotation for either Matt Moore or Spencer Howard. Moore is coming off of a solid performance against the Toronto Blue Jays in which he allowed five hits and two earned runs in four innings. It certainly wasn’t his best outing, but he has been fun to watch overall. After playing in Japan last year and getting a fresh start, he might be due for a bounce-back season. Howard might be best suited to start in Triple-A or the bullpen.

It looks like the Phillies rotation is starting to come together after they paid Anderson and Moore on one-year contracts. Let’s remember that spring training performance doesn’t always carry into the regular season though. This is just the first step for these guys. The real work will start in April when we will see how well they can perform and if they can pitch deep into ballgames. Let’s hope that’s the case, because the Phillies need them to step up.

Brandon Kintzler Jersey

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Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” got a ton of hype over the past several weeks. (I watched it. It’s good. It’s better than the original, but it’s still no Avengers.) The superhero talk got me wondering about any superpowers Phillies players might love to add to their game. It could be anything, but the caveat was that it Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys China had to be a talent, skill or pitch belonging to one of their teammates.

Here is what they told me this month while I was in Clearwater, Fla.

Andrew McCutchen

“[Bryce] Harper’s arm, for sure. To watch him just throw a ball, it seems like he’s going to throw it out of the stadium, and somehow it’s the most accurate and hard throw that I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty impressive. Like, he hasn’t made too many — at least from my perspective — bad throws when he’s actually trying to throw someone out. He’s been flat-footed and just let some stuff eat and I’m like, ‘Oh, no.’ And I’m kind of like doing this [squints] as he’s throwing it. And it’s on the money almost every time. So, it’s not only the arm that’s good. It’s the accuracy behind it, too. Because, you know, he throws like he swings. It’s just hard. So, yeah, that’d be neat. Just to be able to throw a ball 100 miles an hour from the outfield. That’d be pretty cool.

“I remember, I threw somebody out a couple years ago from left. Mark Reynolds. He isn’t the fastest runner. But I threw him out. And I was like, ‘Man, that was a good throw.’ And I felt good about it. And I came in, I was like, ‘Hey, what’d Statcast say? How hard did I throw that?’ They’re like, ‘89.’ I was like, ‘89?! That’s it?!’ They’re like, ‘Yeah.’ ‘No, that’s off, that’s not right.’ OK, you know what? I’ll remember to never ask again.”

Spencer Howard

“[José] Alvarado’s two-seamer and/or velocity. It’s like 12 1/2 inches of horizontal movement and I don’t know if I have anything that does that. No, I definitely don’t have anything that does that. That would be a nice weapon to add to the repertoire.”

Rhys Hoskins

“I’ll take [Roman] Quinn’s speed. Speed never slumps. That’s what they say. It’s fun to watch.”

Quinn’s speed beats strong throw
Aug 15, 2020 · 0:54
Quinn’s speed beats strong throw
Zack Wheeler

“My curveball is decent, but I like [Aaron] Nola’s, just how consistent it is. A consistent curveball? There’s nothing better. Especially a slower one like he’s kind of got. He can just pop it in there, or he can back-door lefties. He’s got really good command of it. I kind of just throw it and hope for the best, but he can throw it down, up, side to side. That’s probably the pitch I’d take. Or maybe somebody’s changeup. Mine stinks.”

Aaron Nola strikes out three
Mar 12, 2021 · 0:54
Aaron Nola strikes out three
Andrew Knapp

“Probably Roman Quinn’s speed. It has to be. That’s a no-brainer. I mean, I feel like I’d get a lot of infield hits.”

Brandon Kintzler

“I’d take [Sam] Coonrod’s slider. I don’t need anybody else’s changeup or sinker. If I had his slider … it’s as fast as my fastball, though. It comes out hard, late and small. It’s not a huge slider. You want it small. A small and late slider.”

J.T. Realmuto

“Bryce’s eye. He’s got a great eye at the plate. When he’s going right, he’s already such a good hitter, but I think part of the thing that makes him such a good hitter is he doesn’t chase a lot. Like, I’m a guy who, when I get in the box, I think I can hit everything. Like, if the guy throws it anywhere around the plate, I feel like I can hit it and, like, it’s not true. It gets me in trouble a lot. But he’s got a very specific zone that he swings in and he doesn’t really expand. Obviously, everybody expands some, but he expands way less than most of us.”

Héctor Neris

“I’d take Nola’s sinker. He’s a ground-ball pitcher. He pitches to contact. He gets a lot of ground balls. Sometimes, especially in my situation, I know I need a lot of swings and misses, but when you’re in a situation and the game is on the line and there’s a man on first and second with no outs, sometimes you want a strikeout, but sometimes you want to throw one pitch and get a double play. And then maybe you get a fly ball on the next pitch and you save pitches for the next day. You don’t have to strike out the three guys. It’s a good pitch to have in that situation.”