Tag Archives: Rocco Baldelli

The two Phillies skippers to win Manager of the Year may surprise you

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Ozark was the first, and is one of just two Phillies managers to ever take home Manager of the Year honors

 

On Tuesday evening the 2019 Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Awards for the National and American Leagues will be announced.

As with Monday’s announcement of the Rookies of the Year, honorees were first named on social media by the IBWAA for their organization. That will be followed by a televised announcement on MLB Network at 6:00 pm EST for the Manager of the Year as chosen by the BBWAA.

The voters from the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America handed their honors out to Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves in the National League and Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins for the American League.

Finalists for this year’s BBWAA award in the National League are Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers, Mike Shildt of the Saint Louis Cardinals, and Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves.

My choice among these candidates would be Shildt. Prior to the season, most prognosticators had his Cardinals finishing behind the Brewers and Chicago Cubs. But the Cards won their first NL Central Division crown since 2015, turning last year’s worst defense in the NL into the league’s best.

While Shildt would be my pick among those finalists, he would not be my actual pick. I believe that Dave Martinez of the world champion Washington Nationals deserves the honor – and it has little to do with his club winning the first World Series in franchise history.

The Nationals were a dozen games below the .500 mark and sitting in fourth place in the NL East Division as May wound towards a close. Rather than throw in the towel, Martinez kept his team positive and focused. The Nats had the best record in the National League from that point to the end of the season.

Over in the American League, the finalists are Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees, Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins.

A great case can be made for any of these men, as well as Oakland A’s skipper Bob Melvin. But my choice would be Baldelli. While the Twins were considered a possible playoff team entering the season, few saw them winning 101 games and capturing the AL Central crown in nearly wire-to-wire fashion.

The first recognized honors in this category were The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award, established in 1936. From that year through 1985, one winner for all of Major League Baseball was announced. Since 1986, The Sporting News has handed out honors in both the American and National Leagues.

The  Baseball Writers Association of America began honoring a Manager of the Year for both leagues with the 1983 season. Each member of a 30-member committee of the BBWAA submits a ballot listing a first, second, and third place finisher among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.

Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa have won the BBWAA award four times, more than any other manager in history. Jim Leyland is the only skipper to be named Manager of the Year four times by The Sporting News.

The Phillies new manager Joe Girardi is the only person to be named as the BBWAA Manager of the Year while piloting a losing club. Girardi took those honors for keeping the 2006 Florida Marlins in the Wildcard playoff hunt until the season’s final weeks, despite working with the game’s lowest payroll.

Yesterday, I wrote about the four players who won the Rookie of the Year Award as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Today, we’ll look at the history of the club in Manager of the Year Award voting.

It’s not much of a history, mind you. Only one manager of the club has ever taken the award as handed out by the BBWAA. And that manager was not either of the men who guided the Phillies to World Series glory. He was also honored in the same year by The Sporting News, which has named just one other Phillies manager as a winner of their award.

As I said earlier, the BBWAA award did not begin until 1983, so Dallas Green obviously would not have a plaque on his shelf for that 1980 championship. That year, The Sporting News chose to honor Bill Virdon of the Houston Astros, whose team the Phillies defeated in the NLCS, as their NL Manager of the Year.

And after guiding the Phillies to a second consecutive NL East crown and the 2008 World Series championship, Charlie Manuel finished as the runner-up to Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs in that year’s BBWAA voting.

Manuel would lead the Phillies to five consecutive NL East crowns, but never was awarded the Manager of the Year by the BBWAA or The Sporting News. Not even in 2007, when an underdog Phillies team rallied from seven games back on September 12 to capture their first division title in 14 years.

Manuel finished second to Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2007 BBWAA voting. With his team established as favorites, ‘Uncle Charlie’ would finish just 6th in 2009, 5th in 2010, and 4th in 2011. That last was after guiding the Phillies to a 102-win season, the most regular season victories in franchise history.

Despite leading the “Whiz Kids” to a surprise National League pennant in 1950, manager Eddie Sawyer was passed over by The Sporting News in favor of Detroit Tigers skipper Red Rolfe, whose club had finished as the American League runners-up to the New York Yankees that year.

Paul Owens guided the Phillies “Wheeze Kids” to a 1983 NL pennant, but The Sporting News honors that year went to Tony La Russa, who had led the Chicago White Sox to a 99-win season and the AL West Division title in his first year as manager. In their first season giving out an award that year, the BBWAA handed the honors to the manager of the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda.

A decade later, Jim Fregosi skippered the ‘Macho Row’ Phillies to a stunning NL East crown in a wire-to-wire performance, then on to a National League pennant. But Fregosi finished a close runner-up to Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants, whose club had won 103 games but finished as runners-up in the NL West. The Sporting News gave their award to Bobby Cox of the NL West champion Atlanta Braves.

So, which Phillies managers have been recognized as the Manager of the Year?

The first was Danny Ozark, who The Sporting News named as their winner after he guided the Phillies to the first of three consecutive National League East Division titles in the 1976 season.

It would then be a quarter-century until a second Phillies skipper was so honored. For leading the club to a second place finish in the NL East in 2001, Larry Bowa won the Manager of the Year Award from both The Sporting News and the BBWAA.

That’s it, Ozark and Bowa, the only two men to ever be named as the Manager of the Year with the Phillies. The hope now is that Girardi can put a second career Manager of the Year award in his trophy case and on his resume’ as soon as next year at this time.

 

MORE RECENT PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CONTENT:

2019 MLB Power Ranking: Los Angeles Dodgers control top spot on June 1

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Two-time defending NL champion Dodgers at top of rankings

When my final 2018 MLB Power Rankings were released eight months ago on October 1, 2018, the Phillies were tied with the Cincinnati Reds at 21st overall. With these first 2019 rankings, they are in a higher slot – but perhaps not as high as one might think.

The work done by general manager Matt Klentak this past off-season with the support of principal owner John Middleton was significant, resulting in a greatly improved everyday lineup. It is those additions and changes which have elevated the Phillies to the top of the NL East Division standings.
Still, there is much to be done in order for the club to make themselves a true World Series contender. Just as with last year’s mid-season bolt to the top of the division, the 2019 Phillies have once again largely outplayed their statistics.
How the Phillies brain trust addresses the needs on the mound and in bench depth will determine just how far this team can go as the summer of 2019 unfolds over the next few months.

A LOOK BACK AT THE 2018 PHILLIES

Last season, the Phillies spent much of July at the top of those NL East standings. However, they never ranked higher than 16th in my MLB Power Rankings. Here was my final October 1, 2018 evaluation of their season, and my commentary on what they needed to do in order to rise in the 2019 standings and rankings:
“…the Phillies were never better than a middle-of-the-pack ball club from a statistical perspective.
Second, you can also see that the team plummeted down five places over the final month. Any Phillies fan who sat through the last two months can understand why.
Finally, a look over the full rankings shows that the Phillies finished just fourth among the five National League East Division teams. In fact, when looking at the numbers behind the rankings, the club finished just ahead of Miami as well.
The 2018 Philadelphia Phillies finished in the middle-of-the-pack as far as the overall MLB standings are concerned. Their pitching staff was competitive enough to be ranked in the middle as well.
It was the club’s 29th-ranked defense and 21st-ranked offense that held them back. It will be the job of Phillies management and ownership to fix the position-player mix in the coming off-season if they want to truly become a contending team in the 2019 campaign.

RANKINGS METHODOLOGY

The MLB Power Rankings will be updated here at Phillies Nation roughly every two weeks for the remainder of the regular season. As with last season when I began this evaluation process, there is no subjectivity on my part. I look at key statistics and rank the teams based on their ability to actually win ball games, in addition to their performance on offense, on the pitching mound, and in the field.
Introduced and then upgraded during the course of last season, my formula for compiling the rankings gets another tweak to begin this year. By the end of 2018, I was researching each of the 30 MLB teams current position in the four categories of winning percentageruns scoredpitching OPS, and fielding percentage.
This year, runs-per-game will be replacing simple runs scored to get the offensive component. I then assign each of those component category team rankings a 1-30 value and add them up to determine an overall final ratings score. Where there was a tie, it was broken by W-L percentage.

2019 JUNE 1 MLB RANKINGS

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Houston Astros
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. New York Yankees
  6. Boston Red Sox
  7. Milwaukee Brewers
  8. Oakland Athletics
  9. Arizona Diamondbacks
  10. Chicago Cubs
  11. Colorado Rockies
  12. Atlanta Braves
  13. Cincinnati Reds
  14. Saint Louis Cardinals
  15. Philadelphia Phillies
  16. Texas Rangers
  17. San Diego Padres
  18. Cleveland Indians
  19. Los Angeles Angels
  20. Pittsburgh Pirates
  21. Kansas City Royals
  22. New York Mets
  23. Miami Marlins
  24. Washington Nationals
  25. Chicago White Sox
  26. Seattle Mariners
  27. Detroit Tigers
  28. Toronto Blue Jays
  29. San Francisco Giants
  30. Baltimore Orioles

SPOTLIGHT TEAM: MINNESOTA TWINS

There is no doubt that the Twins have been the surprise team in Major League Baseball during the 2019 season. In my MLB Previews and Predictions piece for Phillies Nation back on March 28, I picked the Twins for second place in the AL Central Division.
In my snippet on the division, I made the following comment: “The Twins have been the fashionable pick as a surprise American League contender. If that turns out true, I believe it will have to be for a Wildcard berth.” In that piece, I also made Twins center fielder Byron Buxton my choice for the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Still just 25-year-old, the perennially injured Buxton has largely remained healthy this year. He is slashing .254/.311/.491 with five homers, 29 RBIs, and 29 runs scored. Buxton is second on the club with 27 extra-base hits, and leads the Twins with nine stolen bases. He is also playing exceptional center field defense.
Left fielder Eddie Rosario has been the Twins biggest run producer. The 27-year-old leads the club with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. 29-year-old first baseman C.J. Cron is second with 13 homers and third with 35 RBIs. 26-year-old right fielder Max Kepler is second with 36 RBIs and third with a dozen home runs.
The best all-around hitter for the team has been shortstop Jorge Polanco. The 25-year-old is slashing .338/.409/.590, and the switch-hitter is leading the Twins with 30 extra-base hits.
On the mound, the Twins have received strong efforts from starting pitchers Jake OdorizziJose BerriosKyle Gibson, and Martin Perez. While the bullpen has not settled on just one closer as yet, they have gotten solid work from right-handers Blake ParkerRyne HarperTrevor MayMatt Magill, and Tyler Harvey, and lefty Taylor Rogers.
Philly fans have been excited to learn of the recent promotion of left-hander Devin Smeltzer. The 23-year-old southpaw is from Voorhees, New Jersey and attended high school at Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken. Smeltzer was a 5th round choice of the Dodgers in the 2016 MLB Draft, and was dealt to the Twins as part of a package at last year’s trade deadline for second baseman Brian Dozier.
When I made my pre-season predictions, one award that I didn’t even mention as having a candidate from the Twins was the American League’s Manager of the Year honors. In hindsight, that was a foolish omission. But who could have ever foreseen the impact that first-year skipper Rocco Baldelli would have on this squad?
The Minnesota Twins (38-18) have the best record in the American League to this point in the 2019 regular season. The lead the AL Central Division by 10.5 games, 11 in the loss column. Their +103 run differential is the best in baseball. If the Twins can stay healthy, they are proving that they will be a serious contender for the American League pennant this season.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as 2019 MLB Power Ranking: June 1

Jorge Polanco hits for ‘The Cycle’ but Phillies power past Twins by 10-4

Polanco hit for ‘The Cycle’ but Phils down Twins
The Philadelphia Phillies (5-1) toughed out a 10-4 victoryover the Minnesota Twins (4-2) on a cold, wet Friday night at Citizens Bank Park in front of a crowd of 28,021 that was obviously held down in numbers by the miserable weather conditions.
What was a light rain as the game began picked up by the middle innings. The fourth inning in particular was played in a deluge that had to remind Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli of the rain-delayed Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. Baldelli was an outfielder with the Tampa Bay Rays during that Fall Classic and his home run briefly tied that game late during the renewal of play phase.
The Phillies jumped all over Twins starter Jake Odorizzi in the bottom of the first inning. Jean Segura got it started when he doubled to right to score Andrew McCutchen, who had barely held up on a 3-2 pitch to draw a leadoff walk. One out later, Rhys Hoskins base hit scored Segura to make it a 2-0 lead.
Walks to J.T. Realmuto and Cesar Hernandez loaded the bases and then Maikel Franco cleaned them off with a little help from some shoddy Twins defense. He looped a base hit to right field and then tried to stretch it into a double. The throw to second base by Twins right fielder Jake Cave rolled away and into left field, allowing an extra run to score, putting the Phillies up by 5-0 and chasing Odorizzi.
Minnesota got two back in the top of the third when Max Kepler drilled a two-run home run to right field. But the Phillies answered with a sac fly by Hernandez to score Realmuto in the bottom of the frame getting the lead back out to 6-2.
Jorge Polanco homered to lead off the top of the 5th and Cave later singled home a run to make it a 6-4 ball game. But again, the Phillies answered right away. With two outs in the bottom of the 5th both Hernandez and Maikel Franco worked walks. That brought up pinch-hitter Aaron Altherr, who delivered an RBI double to push the Phillies lead out to 7-4.
Altherr was hitting for Pivetta, who left as the pitcher of record hoping for the bullpen to hold the lead for him. Adam Morgan started well, retiring four of five batters that he faced into the 7th inning.

Twins shortstop Polanco hit for ‘The Cycle’ but the Phillies scored a victory over Minnesota on a cold, rainy Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. (Keith Allison)
With one out in the top of the 7th, Polanco ripped a double just fair down the left field line off Morgan. That hit completed ‘The Cycle’ for the Twins shortstop, the first for the Minnesota franchise since Michael Cuddyer accomplished the feat back in May of 2009.
Gabe Kapler then reached into his bullpen again and pulled out Hector Neris, who worked out of that top of the 7th inning with the Phillies still holding their 7-4 cushion.
In the bottom of the 7th inning the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs when McCutchen and Bryce Harper walks sandwiched a Segura base hit. That brought Hoskins, who looked good at the plate all night, to the plate with a chance to break it open.
Break it open he did, ripping a base hit, Hoskins’ third of the night, to clear the bags and give the Phillies a 10-4 lead. Harper helped create the third run on the play as he never stopped running around third, catching the Twins defense napping.
With that outburst the Phillies reached double-digits in runs scored for the second time in the young season. It also gave them at least eight runs scored in five of their first six games. It took until May 9 a year ago for the Phillies to reach eight runs for a fifth time.
Pat Neshek worked a crisp 1-2-3 top of the eighth and then David Robertson came on for the 9th inning. He surrendered a two-out hit, but it was to Polanco, who slapped his fifth hit of the night. Robertson then closed it out by striking out Eddie Rosario and the Phillies had their fifth victory.
Your first place 5-1 Phillies has scored at least 5 runs in each of its first 6 games of season for the first time since 1898

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SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING PERFORMANCES

Nick Pivetta: 5 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 strikeouts, 1 walk. 83 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Jake Odorizzi: 2/3 inning, 2 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 strikeout, 3 walks. 36 pitches, 18 for strikes

PHILLIES NUGGETS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Rhys Hoskins: 3-4 with a walk, 4 RBI, run scored

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, April 6, 2:05pm vs Minnesota Twins at Citizens Bank Park
  • TV coverage: NBC Sports+
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP FM, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)

Minnesota Twins visit Citizens Bank Park for first time since 2010

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First-year manager Rocco Baldelli leads the Twins into Philly

The Philadelphia Phillies (4-1) return home following a brief but eventful two-game series split with the division rival Washington Nationals down at Nationals Park in our nation’s capital earlier this week.

The pair of emotional games in D.C., especially Tuesday night’s nationally televised tilt, were important on many fronts. One was that it allowed these two teams, who many feel will battle for the NL East Division crown, to size one another up.
Another was that it allowed new Phillies superstar Bryce Harper to get the drama of returning to the place where he played the first seven seasons of his big-league career out of the way with in the early days of the season.
With that drama behind them the club can begin to focus on the lengthy six-month regular season. The Phillies should also begin to settle into much more of a normal baseball routine now as well. After experiencing three off-days over the first week there will be just two more over the rest of the month of April.

MINNESOTA TWINS COME TO TOWN

The Phillies welcome in the Minnesota Twins (4-1) of the American League Central Division for the first interleague series of the 2019 campaign. The two teams have not met since a three-game set at Target Field in Minnesota back in June of 2016, and this is their first series against one another at Citizens Bank Park since June of 2010. The Twins hold a 10-8 edge in the all-time series between the clubs.
Minnesota has won three in a row entering this series to take an early lead in that AL Central Division race. Each of their last two victories have come thanks to late inning rallies in Kansas City.
Despite the retirement of popular hometown franchise icon Joe Mauer, the Twins were a popular choice among many preseason pundits as a surprise American League playoff contender.

FRIDAY LINEUPS AND PREVIEW

MINNESOTA TWINS LINEUP

  1. Max Kepler (L), CF
  2. Jorge Polanco (S), SS
  3. Eddie Rosario (L), LF
  4. C.J. Cron (R), 1B
  5. Marwin Gonzalez (S), 3B
  6. Jake Cave (L), RF
  7. Jonathan Schoop (R), 2B
  8. Jason Castro (L), C
  9. Jake Odorizzi (R), P
The Minnesota offensive attack has been led by 38-year-old, 15-year veteran Nelson Cruz. The regular Designated Hitter, Cruz leads the Twins in RBI with six and has their only home run to this point. He has not played the field yet in 2019.
25-year-old shorstop Jorge Polanco is tied with Cruz and former Phillies farm hand Willians Astudillo for the club lead in hits with six and his three extra-base hits are tied with Astudillo and center fielder Byron Buxton for the Twins lead in that category.

The Phillies and the rest of baseball will no longer have to deal with Joe Mauer. The 6x AL All-Star and 2009 AL MVP has retired after a 15-year big-league career. (Keith Allison)
A 27-year-old second-year service time rookie, Astudillo has seen action at three positions including two games behind the plate. He was originally signed by the Phillies out of his native Venezuela as a 17-year-old back in December 2008.
Astudillo rose only to High-A Clearwater by 2015 and became a minor league free agent following that season, signing with the Atlanta Braves. He then bounced from Atlanta to the Arizona Diamondbacks before catching on with the Twins in November 2017.
The perennially underachieving or injured Buxton, easily Minnesota’s most talented ball player, finds himself banged up yet again after running into a wall on Tuesday night in Kansas City. He is out for the opener of this series and is considered day-to-day with bruised ribs.
Also out of the lineup is slugging third baseman Miguel Sano, sidelined following a laceration to his right leg during spring training. He is not due back until some point in May.
The Twins bullpen has been solid thus far, surrendering just five earned runs and a dozen hits over their first 16.2 innings. Three of those runs came in one burst, when lefty Martin Perez gave up a three-run double to former Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana in the eighth inning last Sunday.
One of the key arms in that bullpen is another former Phillies prospect. Right-hander Trevor May was the fourth round pick of the Phillies in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school in Washington state. He was dealt to Minnesota in December 2012 along with pitcher Vance Worley in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere.
Willians Astudillo is projected to have a higher WAR/600 PA than Trevor Story, Anthony Rizzo, Lorenzo Cain, George Springer, and Matt Carpenter among others in 2020 (ZiPS)

See Beyond the Box Score’s other Tweets

This would appear to be a mismatch on paper, with the Phillies clearly possessing greater lineup firepower. The best chance for Minnesota would appear to be in keeping the games close into the later innings, allowing their bullpen to shut the Phillies down, and then picking up a big hit to steal a game or two. That was the winning formula in their previous series out in Kansas City.
Bryce Harper is slashing .500/.652/1.188, has homered in three straight games, and also has a pair of doubles and seven walks. Maikel Franco has slashed .400/.591/1.000 from the eight-hole with three homers, seven walks, and a team-leading seven RBI in the early going. Jean Segura is hitting .364 with a .391 OBP, two doubles and four RBI.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

  • Nick Pivetta (0-0, 7.71 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
  • Pivetta was whacked around last weekend by the Atlanta Braves in his first 2019 outing and has never faced the Twins.
  • A 29-year-old right-hander, Odorizzi tied his career-high with 11 K’s while allowing just a solo home run in his first start this season against the Cleveland Indians.
  • Odorizzi has faced the Phillies just once previously. On July 22, 2015 while pitching with the Tampa Bay Rays he got the start at Citizens Bank Park, allowing two earned on five hits over five innings.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PRE-GAME NOTES

  • The Phillies have powered up for 39 runs over their first five games. That above lineup makes it a sixth consecutive game for manager Gabe Kapler filling out the exact same starting group. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? The lineup has produced at least eight runs in four of those five contests including a 10-run outburst on Opening Day.
  • Don’t be surprised if Cruz doesn’t get a start over this entire series, with Baldelli instead picking his spots to bring the big right-handed veteran bat off the bench at a key moment. He played just nine total games in right field over the prior two seasons with the Seattle Mariners and has not appeared in the field at all to this point in 2019.
  • Tonight is schedule as the Phillies “High School Series” event. High school students and their parents and teachers have been invited to go behind-the-scenes to find out what it’s like to work for a big-league team. They’ll hear from Phillies players and execs, take pictures, and then watch the game from the 200 level.

FRIDAY’S PROGRAMMING INFORMATION

  • First pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with a 70% chance of rain over the first couple of hours
  • Location: Citizens Bank Park, South Philadelphia
  • TV: NBC10
  • Radio: SportsRadio WIP 94.1 FM, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)

Dodgers will have 2008 Phillies World Series hero Ryan Madson in their bullpen for the Fall Classic

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Madson will be trying to win his third World Series ring with a third different team

The Los Angeles Dodgers punched their ticket to the Fall Classic with Saturday night’s 5-1 victory in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series over the host Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

The Dodgers will now open the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park in Boston on tonight against the host Red Sox.
This is a return trip for the Dodgers, who a year ago advanced to the 2017 World Series. Los Angeles was edged out in seven games by the Houston Astros last October.
This also marks something of a return to baseball’s biggest stage for two key members of the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series championship team, second baseman Chase Utley and relief pitcher Ryan Madson.
While Utley and Madson are under contract with and have played with the club this season, only Madson will actually be seeing action in the Fall Classic roster that was submitted today.
Madson began this season with the Washington Nationals. He was dealt to the Dodgers on August 31, three days after his 38th birthday.
He would make nine appearances for Los Angeles in September and was particularly effective over the final two weeks of the season. Madson allowed just one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in five innings down the stretch as the Dodgers battled for a sixth straight National League West Division crown.
Madson was on the Dodgers roster and made two appearances in the NLDS win over Atlanta Braves. He was then included on the NLCS roster in the victory over the Brewers. All total, he has seven postseason appearances so far this year, allowing just one run on six hits over 6.1 innings across seven games with a 6/1 K:BB ratio.
Utley has not appeared at all in this postseason for the Dodgers, though he has been given credit by players such as Matt Kemp and Enrique ‘Kike’ Hernandez for helping them.
A decade ago, both Utley and Madson were pivotal players in their prime as the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in five games to win the club’s second-ever and most recent World Series championship.
Over 13 seasons with the Phillies, Utley became the greatest second baseman in the history of the franchise. The six-time NL All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner received National League Most Valuable Player votes on five occasions. He will surely be inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame sometime in the next few years.
Madson was with the Phillies for the first nine of the 13 big-league seasons thus far in his career. He tossed 630 innings for the club, the vast majority of those as a key arm out of the bullpen.
Madson appeared on the mound in 491 games with the Phillies, with 478 of those coming in relief. He made another 33 relief appearances for the Phillies in the postseason from 2008-11. In the championship-clinching victory over the Rays he was touched for a game-tying home run off the bat of Rocco Baldelli in the top of the 7th inning.
A truly remarkable comeback story, Madson was out of baseball with various injuries for three full seasons. He returned in 2015 in surprisingly dominant form, becoming a vital member of the Kansas City Royals bullpen and winning a second World Series ring.

Utley will turn 40-years-old a week before Christmas and has announced that this will be his final season as an active player in Major League Baseball. Madson has made no formal announcement. But his continuing effectiveness should allow him to catch on with a team for the 2019 season, should he so desire.
Time stands still for no one, and that includes our sports heroes. Utley – warmly remembered by Phillies fans as “The Man” for his heroics here – will be rooting on his current Dodgers teammates as the events of the 2018 World Series unfold without his direct participation.
No matter what happens as this October battle winds the 2018 season to an end, the two will always be cherished and feted in Philadelphia for their contributions to the Phillies teams of the 2000’s.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Ryan Madson on, Chase Utley off Dodgers 2018 World Series roster