Nick Kakolowski's Philadelphia Phillies Fan Profile

Who am I?

Greetings. I was raised in a Philadelphia suburb and graduated from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA with a BA in English in May of 2008. I have followed all four major Philadelphia sports for as long as I can remember. I was married in July of 08 and now live in Franklin, VA and work as an English and Latin teacher.


books (literary and popular), history, religion, Sports, video games

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Nick Kakolowski's Weblog Posts

Phillies Prospect Greg Golson Traded to Texas for John Mayberry posted on 11/21/2008

I had planned on discussing the Phillies’ bullpen situation for this off-season today, but the organization just announced a deal that may have a profound affect on the way things will play out with Pat Burrell in left field.  An agreement has been made with the Texas Rangers to trade Phillies former first round pick Greg Golson (Drafted 21st overall in 2004) for Rangers prospect and former first round pick John Mayberry (19th overall in 2005). 

           From most angles, this trade favors the Phils.  For the most part Golson was thought to be a weak prospect overall.  He is often described as a Michael Bourne with a bit more pop.  While this is by no means a bad thing, the Phillies are looking for somebody who can develop into a solid starter in left field, and by most accounts Golson is not it, or at least will not be soon enough.  He is also a natural center fielder.  He did, however, put up solid numbers in Double-A Reading last year batting .282 with 13 homers and a very respectable 60 RBIs over the course of 106 games.  These numbers may have enhanced his value enough to make this trade possible.

Continue reading "Phillies Prospect Greg Golson Traded to Texas for John Mayberry"

Chase Utley will Need Surgery and Could be Out Until June posted on 11/20/2008

    The Phillies lineup just took a major hit as it has been determined that Chase Utley will need to go under the knife to assess and repair any damage to his injured hip.  The injury plaqued the second baseman for a significant part of the second half of the season and undoubtedly hurt his production.  The timetable for his return is a bit sketchy.  If all goes well he should be able to get on the field sometime around Spring Training.  But returning to feel health and shaking off the rust is expected to leave him out until April at the earliest.  It would not be surprising if his hip took until June to recover fully enough for him to hit the field.

    There is not too much reason to panic if history holds true.  Usually when one of the big three (Rollins, Utley, Howard) go down the other two get hot to make up for it.  The problem is that without Burrell's bat to support them, Rollins and Howard may have a harder time picking up for Utley (Burrell frequently stepped up during injuries to other players as well).  The front office has not made it completely clear what they will do to try and replace Utley, but speculation is that they may try to go after Tadihito Iguchi or Nick Punto, both players who have spent time with the Phils in the past.  Another option would be to move Jason Donald from shortstop to second base and see what he can do.  Right now Donald is tearing up  the Arizona Fall League and getting work at third base to be a potential replacement for Pedro Feliz when his contract runs out at the end of next season.  Despite his recent success, most scouts still project Donald as a solid utility guy in the majors.  While his bat is good, it is considered to lack the pop (in the eyes of most scouts) to be a legitimate power threat for a corner infield (but right now it wouldn't take much pop to beat out Feliz in terms of production).  Having second base open up temporarily may be the perfect opportunity for the Phillies organization to see whether this prospect has a chance to be as good as he has shown so far, or if he is just the utility infielder that scouts are projecting him to be.

Continue reading "Chase Utley will Need Surgery and Could be Out Until June"

The Outlook of the Phillies Rotation for this Hot Stove Season posted on 11/19/2008

In yesterday’s entry I emphasized that this off-season is a perilous one for the Phillies organization.  Over the course of my entry I gave some valid reasons for this, but managed not to express just how serious the situation is.  Think of it this way, last season the Phils won the NL East by three games.  They would have only won the wild card by two games if they had not taken the division.  In 2007 the division was won by one game, and they would not have made the playoffs if they did not defeat the Mets.  That means that over those two seasons (approximately 244 games) the Phillies made the playoffs by a whopping margin of four games.  With only a slight shift in fortune the Fightins could have very easily been on the outside looking in.  I’m not, by any means trying to be a doomsayer.  They definitely earned those titles.  But the National League East is going to be even more competitive next year than it was this past season.  The Mets are likely to land at least one major free agent, the Marlins will be fiercely competitive with their slew of young talent , and the Braves are not going to quietly ride into the sunset.  They will dog the Phillies steps all season.  If we want to win next year, we need to improve just as much as the other teams improve.  That does not mean we need any major changes, but we do have important holes to fill.

Continue reading "The Outlook of the Phillies Rotation for this Hot Stove Season"

How Will the Phillies Off-season Unfold Under their New GM Ruben Amaro Jr.? posted on 11/18/2008

Believe it or not, the Phillies are in something of a tough spot this offseason.  The jubilation of the World Series victory was short-lived for the organization because of Pat Gillick's well deserved retirement.  This situation has rarely occurred over the history of Major League Baseball, and leaves Ruben Amaro Jr. (Gillick's replacement) in a very challenging pickle.  First of all, he has lost Mike Arbuckle from the scouting staff.  Arbuckle deserves significant credit for the drafts that brought the Phils Pat Burrel, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and many more.  He was in competition with Amaro for the GM job and lost out.  Naturally, he chose to move on and is now working in the Royals organization.  Will Amaro be able to set things in motion for this team to repeat?  Many pundits are concerned that Amaro will behave similarly to former Phillies GM Ed Wade (Now with the Astros).  The concern here is that Amaro will work too hard at pleasing the ownership, and not hard enough at winning a championship.  Only time will tell what we can actually expect from Amaro, but my guess will be more of Gillick than Wade.  As a player Amaro was tenacious and aggressive.  Over the course of his career he had stints in the Bigs in eight seasons.  His time was spent playing for the then California Angels, Phillies, Indians, Blue Jays, and then back with the Phillies again.  The MLB journeyman knows the league well and undoubtedly has been around Philadelphia baseball for long enough to have a good sense of the organization's pulse (He has been a member of the front office since his playing career ended in 1998).  For all intensive purposes, he was groomed for the job.  He knows the city and the fans well, and should represent our passion.  The question now is how he will go about making this team better for next season. 

Continue reading "How Will the Phillies Off-season Unfold Under their New GM Ruben Amaro Jr.?"

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