What to expect from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021?

With The Eagles season just 3 Weeks away. We already kind of know what to expect. Or do we? With a new Coaching Staff and New QB a ton of questions remain unanswered in this blog I will give you some players and some coaches to be on the lookout for as we move closer to the start of the regular season.

Jalen Hurts

How can you hate Jalen Hurts? Jalen looks like player ready for war. He is always counted out and has always played very well under pressure. NBC’s Chris Simms recently left Jalen Hurts out of his top 40 Qb’s in the NFL. How disrespectful is that. I truly believe Jalen Hurts can take a huge leap and become the future for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now that is if the team allows him to. The Eagles have been recently linked to Houston Texans’ QuarterBack Deshaun Watson and knowing Howie Roseman he is most likely extremely interested. Although his legal issues may hold him back I would not be surprised if the Eagles trade for the star QB (if he’s innocent). But for now the QB1 is Jalen and he has all of the fanbases’ attention.

Nick Sirianni

Personally, I was not high on Nick Sirianni when the Eagles first hired him. And quite frankly I’m still not. As an eagles fan I’ve learned to never be excited about anything it seems like the eagles never have anything good. Like Donald Trump once said “Bad things happen in Philadelphia”. Nick Sirianni’s First press conference was one to remember he seemed nervous as if he’s never spoken to the media or anyone before. Since then he seems more confident but maybe a bit of a overthinker which is a big change supposing Doug Pederson was a guy who thought he knew it all. Coach Sirianni looks like he is ready to learn from his mistakes and become a better coach every day. Just like Coach said yesterday in His press conference ” Like Jalen said ‘Rent is due every week and we don’t plan on missing a payment”. Coach added, ” If we pay rent every week we get better”. Seems like these two are very responsible with their bills. Lol.

Jonathan Gannon

Oh Boy. Jonathan Gannon also newly hired as a Defensive Coordinator. His run defense this preseason is something that makes me want to turn off my TV. I really hope this is just a thing that he is doing for the preseason. He recently stated that he wants to see everyone 1v1. Meaning he won’t blitz this preseason which is understandable. Coach Gannon looks to regain the eagles reputation of being the blitz heavy defense we all remember. I expect big things this season for the defense with additions Like Anthony Harris, Eric Wilson and Steven Nelson this defense should look a lot better. If the team wants to be successful it starts with the defense.

Howie Roseman

This man has managed to salvage his Job multiple times. For example, When Chip kelly took over he was on the verge of being fired. One year Later he built a Championship Roster. But after that whole Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson Mess you have to hope this is a make or break season for Howie. Howie has been able to hire 3 head coaches that is unheard of in the NFL. But I give credit when credit is due and with no money he was able to sign some solid players. And was able to pull off a crazy trade on draft night to move up to 10 and draft WR Devonta Smith. I truly hope that of the eagles are a competent team in the trade deadline he is able to pull off 1 or 2 solid trades. With a estimated cap space of $54 Million and 2 first round picks in 2022 (Could be 3 if Carson Wentz plays 75% of the snaps for the colts) it’s a big offseason next year for Howie.

Devonta Smith

Devonta Smith was such a surprise pick. When the eagles traded up to 10 I was ecstatic. So was the entirety of the Eagles Fanbase just take a look at this.

Devonta Smith had his debut on Thursday against the patriots racking up 2 receptions for 19 yards. Does his body frame worry me? Watching his tape it seems like no one can catch him in the line of scrimmage so if no one can get physical with him then I don’t worry about his frame. The Former Heisman winner put up video game numbers in 2020. Making him the 2nd WR of all time to win the heisman award. With all the accomplishments it seems like the eagles finally got a WR1 but only time will tell. Wishing the best for Devonta.

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“Wentz” Did It Go Wrong?

17-0…17-24

*sighs*

For those who are unaware, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost to the Washington Football team. In rather embarrassing fashion might I add, squandering a 17-0 lead. Last year it was the Eagles who came out of the tunnel after halftime and rode hot handed DJAX to a eventual comeback of their own. This year, the Eagles came out hot, and lost all steam once Jack Driscoll was removed from the game.

The negatives of this game are abundant, and positives are few and far between, but, there are a few;

Jack Driscoll- The rookie tackle had a few hiccups, none resulting in anything catastrophic and all fixable mistakes. He’s a bright spot simply because once Mailatta was forced to replace him, the drop off was VERY evident. Overall, at this point Jack Driscoll is no Lane, true. I think more importantly we know he’ll be at worst servicable down the road, pending his injury diagnosis.

Defensive Line- Realistically Washington didn’t light us up offensively, Haskins took advantage of numerous short field situations. A product of our either a interception or failed 4th down conversion. The defense held up and players like Josh Sweat and Malik Jackson made some big plays, this is huge to see as they are key contributors going forward.

Wentz and DJAX are OK- As trivial as it sounds, we have to be happy two of our “projected” key contributors stood healthy. We have to assume they will move on to week 2 eager to erase the memory of the week 1 loss.

Rams are next….Let’s just say if this offensive line isn’t in tact by then, Aaron Donald may have a field day.

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Andrew McCutchen Returning to Form in Phillies Lineup

When Phillies General Manager Matt Klentak signed 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen to a three year deal in December of 2018, it helped to kick off one of the more memorable offseasons in franchise history. In the weeks that followed leading up to, and even heading into Spring Training, the front office would go on to acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins and sign outfielder Bryce Harper from the Nationals. Along with the addition of shortstop Jean Segura, who was brought over from the Mariners, 2nd-year Manager Gabe Kapler now had four new former All-Stars to place in his lineup.

Those four players would go on to regularly occupy four of the first five spots of the batting order to start the 2019 season. Cutch made an immediate impact, hitting a home run in his first Phillies at-bat. Of course, the Philly Phaithful responded, and he became a fan favorite instantly. It is not hard to see why McCutchen is well-liked by fans, coaches, managers, and baseball people around the league. He is a man of high character who genuinely means well, works hard, and plays the game the right way. That is part of the reason why it was so hard to see him go down with that devastating injury last June.

In sports, a torn ACL is one of the toughest injuries to rehab from. In most cases, it may take an athlete over a year to recover. The recovery process both physically and mentally can be draining, but McCutchen never let himself get too low. He even stayed an active member of the team throughout the remainder of the 2019 campaign. Although the team enjoyed his presence in the clubhouse, his absence in the lineup and the field were felt all year. With him on the shelf, Kapler struggled to find a consistent leadoff man to place atop of the batting order.

Fast forward to Spring Training 2020: Kapler is no longer the guy filling out the lineup card, and Joe Girardi is now the new manager. Now, if the season started when it was supposed to in late March, Andrew McCutchen would not have been ready for Opening Day. With that being said, the season did not start on time, and it was not until July 24th that the Phillies played a gamed that counted for real. This allowed for Cutch to have plenty of time to get ready, and sure enough, he was back in the leadoff spot playing left field in the home opener.

Much like Rhys Hoskins, who has been hitting behind him, McCutchen did not get off to a great start offensively. However, he has been starting to turn it around the past couple of weeks. Over his last 15 games, McCutchen is batting .293, with a .974 OPS. In just the past three days, McCutchen has driven in five RBI’s and has added two more home run’s to bring his season total to five over 29 contests. Overall, he only played the field in 20 of the contests.

It is no secret the Phillies are being cautious with Cutch’s knee, given the severity of the injury. This is a smart call, as McCutchen is locked up not just for the rest of this season, but all of next season as well. In 2021, there is no guarantee the DH, or designated hitter, will stay in the National League. Joe Girardi might as well use that luxury while he has the opportunity to do so.

The bottom line is this: The Phillies have been playing winning baseball, and their recent hot streak has coincided with Andrew McCutchen’s resurgence at the dish. Now, he may not be the MVP candidate he was during his time in Pittsburgh, but his impact is surely being felt a top of the batting order. The Phillies are starting to trend up, and Andrew McCutchen is a big reason as to why.

What Will Winning A Championship During A Pandemic Look Like?

Today sports return to Philadelphia (sorry Union). The Philadelphia Phillies are set to play a regular-season MLB game for the first time since September of last year, the Philadelphia 76ers have an exhibition game against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Flyers are just around the corner. With the start of sports getting back to play, so come the high expectations that are placed on these teams. With the 76ers, they are hoping to turn around a mediocre regular season performance, the Flyers are looking to keep their hot pace going, and of course, the Phillies are expected to make the playoffs with the new 16 team format. 

Very possibly, Philadelphia could have all four major sports teams play a playoff game in the calendar year. Which is pretty impressive because it’s only happened four times since all four teams have been playing. The latest time was back in 2011 (2009,1981,1978 where the other years for those interested) when the Phillies lost to the Cardinals in the NL Division Series, the 76ers lost to the Heat, the Eagles lost Green Bay, and the Flyers fell to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup. So if you have a basic understanding of how math works, the more teams in the playoffs mean the likely chance that one of those teams can win the championship. So with that knowledge, it made me ponder what does a championship look like during a pandemic?

A lot of the joy that comes from watching your team winning a championship is celebrating with other fans, and joining together to celebrate. Although, considering that the MLB world series concludes at the end of October, and both the NBA and NHL championships before that, what will that mean for a parade? For fans, the parade is the crown of winning the championship (a close second is being able to brag to your friends that support other teams that they suck). Of course, we have no idea what the coronavirus’s impact could be at that time, but with Philadelphia officials already banning fans from the Eagles stadium for the upcoming season, it feels unlikely that a parade could work. With that out of the picture, how can fans express their joy? One big Zoom call? 

I understand I’m getting ahead of myself, and just as easily as these teams can make the playoffs, all of them could be swept out of the first round. Although, strangely it feels exactly what a Philadelphia sports team would do. The one year when fans can’t attend, they go on and win a championship. 

Continuing the idea of what the fan experience would be, I don’t know how much more changes past not having a parade. Of course, I’m not oblivious to some of the fans that will argue “It’s my American right to stand inches away from strangers, in cold weather, while I only get a glimpse of the team”. Parade or not, I think fans will still have the same communal experience as they can throw it in the faces of the losing team online. I’m sure the championship memorabilia will still come (although delayed because come on it’s a pandemic, cut some slack!) and you can wear it next season when hopefully fans can enter the stadiums once again. 

In terms of the value that the championship will have, shouldn’t change. Now I’m fully prepared to make the opposite argument if the Mets, Yankees, Penguins, or any team from Boston wins. With the setup of the season for baseball, it’s simply just more meaningful games. The NBA and NHL will have slightly different setups but will still have the same elements of a normal post-season. Again, this season will always have an asterisk next to it, but so do dozens of other championships that fans don’t remember. All that matters is that the team that wins, won. 

“Now I’m fully prepared to make the opposite argument if the Mets, Yankees, Penguins, or any team from Boston wins.”

Lastly, if you haven’t been paying attention (which I don’t blame you), please take this last advice, look at Liverpool. Yes, the soccer team from England. Liverpool recently won the Premier League, and this was the club’s first title in 30 years. Just like Philadelphia sports fans, their first instinct when their team won is to celebrate with other fans. Fans were gathering around the Mersey Ferry terminal, which resulted in their mayor Joe Anderson asking fans to go back home. Now, I think you know what happens next. Until that point, the Liverpool area totaled 544 coronavirus deaths, on June 25th that number jumped to 1,677. Since then, of course, fans have stayed home, but the impact was done. I understand just like you, that if one of our teams won a championship it would be very disappointing not to celebrate with all of our other fans to rejoice in victory. Again, this all may mean nothing for Philadelphia fans but someone team will win, and we must understand the importance of keeping people safe. 

Phillies lose to orioles in exhibition game: Breaking it down

Baseball is finally back it is great. We finally all get to watch some phillies baseball once again.

Pitching

Zack wheeler tonight pitched 4 and a third giving up 2 earned runs. Not awful but it looked like every pitch was a battle. It’s safe to say it wasn’t his most efficient he’s been, Wheeler definitely didn’t have his best stuff tonight. Although that is expected in his first outing ( not counting intrasquads). Wheeler maybe could’ve cleaned up a few things but all in all looked pretty good.

After Wheeler, Connor Brogdon, Jose Álvarez, Vìctor Arano, Reggie Mcclain, and Austin Davis, all pitched pretty good. Despite hanging a few, pitches witch resulted in homeruns, I think all of them looked really good for their firsts outings. Mcclain and Davis were the only ones who gave up runs and they were both solo homeruns witch really isn’t the worst thing.

Hitting

The phillies really didn’t hit all that well tonight. They couldn’t push runs across. 8 hits with only one run is not ideal. Although the Phils didn’t hit great there are some positives about some players performance. Andrew Mccutchen drove in a two out run witch was the only run the phillies scored. Harper still looks good going 2 for 3 and a walk on the night. Rhys hoskins also went 2 for 3 on the night. JT realmuto (sign him please) went 1 for 3 but got robbed of a homerun or at least a double so i thought he looked pretty good. Other then that the phillies did not look great at the plate.

We did get to see Alec Bohm play tonight. He played a decent first base but did not hit well. He went 0 for 1 while grounding into a double play in his only at bat. I think Alex bohm is totally slept on the win rookie of the year.

Other

Man it was weird with no fans at the stadium but I really don’t care as long as there is baseball. The fan sound affects were very realistic until a speaker broke and causes a delay. I can’t wait for the cardboard cutouts of people behind the plate, which i’ve seen at other stadiums and it’s just enough distracting to the pitcher that it looks good. It was definitely different and it always will be the Phillies fuel of off the fans just like every other philly team.

Will We See Phillies Baseball This Year?

Yes. As of now, baseball officials and the president have said baseball will be played at some point this year.

Right now the season is expected to start in mid June early May. President Donald Trump says that he is almost certain to get fans into games between August and September.

Donald Trump met will all commissioners over technology, talking about what playing would be like. Not too much is known but we can expect for a month or two at least, there will be no fans in attendance.

Another part is that baseball could be played in one to two stadiums and have the 30 teams quarantined. As MLB says, “this would be very complex to do, and hard to pass by with local officials, Federal, and health officials.” The season is for sure shortened and we are looking at 115 games to 75 games.

Some other news is that, Donald Trump also ensures to all Youth, that baseball will be played very soon. Which could mean June/July.

As of now yes. We will see the Phillies play some ball! Now for a few months you will only be able to see it on TV but, baseball is still being played. And hopefully we will be able to see it in person for a game or two. I know I’m going to one in August and I’m hoping that everything with the virus shoots down and fans are allowed back in!

Stay safe! Wash hands! Stay home! It is a pleasure writing for you guys! Check out my Instagram for daily news, highlights, updates, and more! And remember it’s always a great day to be a Phillies Phan!

What will be the Phillies lineup now with the delay.?

As we know by now, Major League Baseball has been postponed till mid May or early June. Those dates are up in the air and can still change. The Phillies never had a full lineup in place but there were rumors of some.

Some changes have occurred in the club though. Some players went down to the minors to big ones were, Nick Williams and Cole Irvin. I was expecting Williams to start this year. Now he might come in mid-season with Bohm. But now that time has been set back we are not sure if Bohm will be starting opening day or if he will come back in the mid season part.

My lineup was going to be of, 1. McCutchen, 2. Segura, 3. Harper, 4.Hoskins, 5. Realmuto, 6. Gregorius , 7. Harrison, 8. Bruce, 9. Nola

Manager Joe Girardi stated, “the Phillies roster will be significantly changed due to the delay of opening day.” Anything in the roster could be up in the air. I do expect most players in my lineup to be starting. But we could see Bohm in theere, Bruce could be out, and possibly Harrison. Even though, I think Harrison can do a great deal to this team. Which he has also played with McCutchen back on the Pirates.

Can’t wait to see the lineup when it’s posted!

Stay safe, wash hands, stay in, and remember it’s always a great day to be a Phillies phan! Make sure to like and comment on this post! Follow me on Instagram @philliesphan.01 for DAILY Phillies news, updates, highlights, predictions, and more!

2020 a Make or Break Season for Roman Quinn

Despite signing Right Fielder Bryce Harper to a record breaking 13 year deal last winter, the Phillies outfield was still an area of uncertainty in 2019.  Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera -who is still technically in the organization- missed the majority of the season, and neither player is expected to make the opening day roster this season. 

McCutchen is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last June, and Herrera is no longer a part of the 40 Man Roster. Veteran Outfielders Jay Bruce and Corey Dickerson -who were acquired via trade mid-season-also missed significant time due to injury. Speaking of injuries, it appears that Roman Quinn is fully healthy (finally) and ready to make an impact in 2020. The 2011 2nd round selection has been on the Phillies radar for a while, and is starting to come into his own.

Quinn’s pure combination of speed and hustle have caught the eye of a number of personnel in the organization, including his new Manager, Joe Girardi. It appears his bat is finally starting to come around, which could be enough to give him the starting nod in Center Field come Opening Day. He most certainly would serve as an upgrade defensively over Adam Haseley, and his ability to switch hit could give him an advantage over other young outfielders on the roster. 

Unlike years past, his spot on the team should not be in question, especially with the newly expanded 26 man rosters. Even if Quinn doesn’t play everyday, he can serve as a defensive replacement late in games, and as a speed threat off the bench late in games as a pinch runner. If Roman can get off to a hot start, and more importantly stay healthy, there is no doubt in my mind that he can play a key role on this team this season, and beyond.

When is enough enough for Nick Pivetta?

Nick Pivetta, a right handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, has been in the major leagues for three years. (Since 2017) In that time, Pivetta has posted 5.34 career ERA in 390.2 innings pitched. To put that in perspective: the average pitcher’s ERA in the major leagues is 4.47. The 2017 season for the Phillies was less than spectacular. They finished the season 66-96 which was good for last in the NL East. Given this information, it is fair to say that by late April in 2017, the Phillies knew that they were not going to be making any playoff runs that season. Having this in mind, the coaches and front office wanted to look to the future to try to develop some new, younger pitchers to help make a difference for the team in upcoming seasons. Keeping all this in mind, the Phillies decided to call up a 24 year old Nick Pivetta, on April 30th, 2017 for a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2017 season went about the way people would have predicted. He didn’t light up any stat categories, but he did show some potential and some room to grow. He posted a 6.02 ERA in 133 innings pitched over 26 starts.

By the time the 2018 season rolled around, the Phillies had fired their manager and were looking for a fresh start. Nick Pivetta was looking to make a name for himself as a legitimate big league starter. In 2018 the Phillies definitely started to turn things around. They finished with an 80-82 record, and fell just short during a late playoff push. A big surprise from the 2018 Phillies, was Nick Pivetta’s huge improvements. He finished the year with a 4.77 ERA. Now, this stat was not particularly great, it was a huge improvement from the prior year. Pivetta also gave up two less earned runs in 31 more innings pitched. He also allowed one less home run and six less walks. (Keep in mind how much more he pitched)

The plan for Pivetta was that if he could continue to improve every year the way he did in 2018, he would eventually get to be a top level pitcher. That’s not exactly how 2019 played out. Pivetta made the team in 2019 as the number two pitcher behind Nola and ahead of Arietta. It was obvious that everyone was hoping that this could be the breakout year for Pivetta. However, in his first four starts, he gave up 17 earned runs in only 18.1 innings. Good for a 8.45 ERA. The furthest he had gone into a game during this time was five innings. In his fifth start of the year, everyone was hoping that he could get it together. He put forth a mediocre performance. He went five innings and allowed three earned runs. Even Pivetta’s slight glimmer of hope was not enough to prevent him from being sent down to Triple A. After a brief stint in Triple A, Pivetta was brought back and performed well. He had two back to back very good starts which showed everyone that he might be able to redeem himself after all. That sadly wasn’t the case. His next five starts he gave up 22 earned runs in only 27.1 innings pitched. (7.31 ERA) Pivetta’s next start lasted only three innings. After that, Gabe Kapler gave him another chance to shine by moving him to the bullpen. Pivetta wouldn’t start another game that year. He didn’t pitch horribly out of the bullpen. He gave up 12 earned runs in 24.2 innings which was good for a 4.46 ERA. The point to all of this is, Nick Pivetta had a ton of hype surrounding his name heading into the 2019 season. After not pitching well in his first five starts, he was sent down. Then, he was gifted another opportunity to come back and start a few games, and he didn’t pitch well. Then, he was gifted yet another opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen and didn’t prove anything.

Right now, heading into the 2020 MLB season, Phillies fans have two ways to look at the Nick Pivetta situation. The first way to look at it is: He has been in the league for 3 years now and is yet to post an ERA under 4.00. He is 27 this year and hasn’t proven anything yet. The other way to look at it is: He has only pitched for three seasons. He improved greatly from 2017 to 2018 and just had a down year in 2019. Regardless of how you view this, I think that it is safe to say that Nick Pivetta should have to earn everything including his roster spot this year. Especially with some new hyped up young pitchers in camp looking to make the team. Pivetta should have to prove that he can be a consistent 4.00 ERA or better. He will be competing against at least two other people for a roster spot. It will be very interesting to see how many more opportunities Nick Pivetta will get in the Phillies organization.

Phillies’ Segura Looking to Bounce Back in 2020

Last winter, the Phillies made a franchise altering trade when they dealt away their shortstop of the future, J.P. Crawford, in a package that netted the team infielder Jean Segura. There were also three other players involved in the trade: Relief Pitchers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos were shipped to Philadelphia, and 1st Baseman Carlos Santana was originally sent to Seattle, before being moved back to Cleveland.

In his first full season with the team, Segura took over the starting job at shortstop and the number two spot in the batting order. After a down year offensively in 2019, the team decided to move in a different direction. Didi Gregorouis, who played under Joe Girardi in New York, was signed away from the Yankees. Barring injury, he will now become the team’s everyday shortstop. Despite losing the starting job at short, Segura is still only 29 years of age, and is under contract through the 2023 season. I expect him to have a bounce back season for numerous reasons. 

For one, I think a change of positions can be beneficial not just in the short term, but in the long run as well. It’s not that Segura was a bad shortstop by any stretch, but a shift to 2nd or 3rd base may help his development, and will add to his versatility.

Another dynamic that will work in Segura’s favor is that he may see more pitches to hit, depending on where he hits in the batting order. With the addition of Gregarious, and a full season from both Bruce and Haseley, the Phillies lineup is as deep as it’s been in a while, especially from the left handed side. The guys who hit towards the top of the order should expect to see more fastballs. Unlike years past, there doesn’t seem to be a “weak link” in our lineup. Last but not least, I feel having already played in Philadelphia and the NL East will work in his favor. He will not need as long to adjust to his team, or the pitchers in the division.

Whether you like him or hate him, Jean Segura is owed over $42 million throughout the next 3 seasons. He is here to stay, and barring injury, is expected to play a starting role on this team moving forward. The two time All-Star will look to rebound, and help the Phillies get back to October in 2020.