The Phillies season ended Sunday with an emotional tribute to slugger Ryan Howard. While the 2016 Phillies are done, packed up and hitting the first tee already this off-season, there is still a lot of baseball to be played, as the 2016 postseason begins Tuesday with two wild card games.
The Phillies finished 24 games back in the NL East and 16 games back from the rival Mets in the wild card race, but that doesn’t mean Philly baseball fans — and Phillies baseball fans, for that matter — have nothing to root for this postseason. There are more than a dozen former Phillies still playing, including some longtime favorites. So, while we fondly remember the good times with Howard, some of his old teammates — Chase, Cole, Chooch and more — still have a lot to play for this season.
Here is a team-by-playoff-team look at the former Phillies still fighting in the 2016 MLB Playoffs.
Baltimore Orioles (5th seed; 89-73)
Time with Phillies: Bourn was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Phillies. He made his debut in 2006, playing in just 17 games, but in 2007 he appeared in 105 games for the Phils, hitting .277 with an on-base percentage of .348. He was traded in 2007 to Houston as part of a deal for Eric Bruntlett and Brad Lidge. (That worked out well for the Phillies.)
2016: Bourn was released by the Braves in April, picked up by Toronto two weeks later then released two weeks after that. Arizona signed him to minor league deal in May then called him up five days later. He was traded to the Orioles on August 31 and activated September 2. He played in just 24 games for the Orioles after 89 with Arizona this season, hitting .283 with a .358 on base percentage for the O’s.
Time with Phillies: Worley was drafted in the 20th round of the 2005 MLB draft by the Phillies but he didn’t sign out of high school. Three years later the Phils took him in the third round of the 2008 draft. He pitched in five games in 2010, then made 21 starts in 2011 and 23 in 2012 before being traded in a deal to get Ben Revere from the Twins. He won 18 games for the Phillies over 53 appearances, with a 3.50 ERA.
2016: Worley pitched one year for the Twins, then two for Pittsburgh before being waved. He was picked up last October by the Orioles off waivers and appeared in 35 games for Baltimore, making four spot starts. He finished the 2016 regular season with a 3.53 ERA in 86.2 innings pitched.
Toronto Blue Jays (4th seed; 89-73)
Time with Phillies: Taken in the third round of the 2004 MLB draft by the Phillies he made his debut in 2007, lasting just four innings in his only start. He then started four of his eight games in 2008 and even made an appearance in the 2008 NLCS. He went 12-4 in 23 starts (35 appearances) in 2009, then made three starts for the Phils in 2010 before being traded in a deal for Roy Oswalt.
2016: Happ was with Houston for parts of three seasons, then Toronto for parts of three seasons, then Seattle and Pittsburgh last year before going back to Toronto this season where he…wait for it…won 20 games, going 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 32 starts.
Time with Phillies: The long and storied Phillies career of Carrera lasted…13 at bats. He had one hit with the Phillies, playing in 13 games in 2013.
2016: Hit .248 with an .679 OPS in 270 at bats in 110 games for Toronto this season.
Boston Red Sox (3rd seed; 93-69)
Time with Phillies: Ziegler never played for the Phillies, but he was drafted in the 20th round in 2003. He was released by the Phillies in March, 2004.
2016: The 36-year old Ziegler appeared in 69 games in 2016, 36 for Arizona before being traded to Boston, where he played in 33 games — 29.2 IP — and had a 1.52 ERA.
Cleveland Indians (2nd seed; 94-67)
Time with Phillies: Martinez was taken by the Phillies in the 2010 Rule 5 draft and played three seasons with the Phils from 2011 through 2013. A utility man, his career batting average with the Phillies was a whopping .187.
2016: Played for both Boston and Cleveland in 2016, appearing in 59 games for the Indians, finishing the regular season with a .242 batting average.
Time with Phillies: Garner never played for the Phillies, but he was drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB draft. The Phillies released him in March of 2015 after five years in the minor league system. He was signed two weeks later by Cleveland.
2016: Garner appeared in just eight games this season for Cleveland, pitching 9.1 innings and giving up five earned runs. A member of the 25-man roster, it would probably take something drastic for Garner to see the field this postseason.
Texas Rangers (1st seed; 95-67)
Time with Phillies: You may have heard of him. He he was good.
Hamels was the 17th overall pick in the 2002 draft and was a star for the Phillies for 10 years. He was the World Series MVP in 2008. He pitched in 295 games for the Phillies, winning 114 with an ERA of 3.30 before the team traded him to Texas last season.
2016: Hamels went 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA this season in 32 starts for Texas. He had 200 strikeouts in 200.2 innings, with a 1.31 WHIP.
Time with Phillies: Diekman was a fireballing reliever for parts of four seasons with the Phillies. Drafted in the 30th round in 2007, he made his debut in 2012 and played in 191 games during his tenure in Philly, recording 225 strikeouts in 173.1 innings. He was traded with Hamels in 2015 as part of an eight-player deal.
2016: Pitched in 66 games for Texas — 53.0 IP — and struck out 59 batters to just 27 walks with 15 games finished, 26 holds and four saves.
National League Playoffs
San Francisco Giants (5th seed; 87-75)
Time with Phillies: It’s hard to believe Pence played just 155 games for the Phillies, over two seasons. Traded from Houston in 2011, Pence immediately became a fan favorite in Philly before he was shipped out of town to San Francisco 367 days later in a four-player deal that included Tommy Joseph coming to the Phils. Pence hit .289 with the Phillies with 28 homers and 94 RBI.
2016: Pence hit .289 for the Giants this season in 106 games, smacking 13 homers and knocking in 57 runs, his fifth season with the Giants that included one World Series championship so far. (It is an even-numbered year, after all.)
New York Mets (4th seed; 87-75)
Time with Phillies: d’Arnaud was a coveted prospect for the Phillies after being drafted in the first round in 2007. He was traded with Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor for Roy Halladay in 2009. Drabek and Taylor were two cornerstone pieces of that deal and were pretty much major-league busts, but d’Arnaud ended up the best of that group, albeit not exactly a superstar in the majors.
2016: Traded from Toronto in 2012 in a deal that included Noah Syndergaard, d’Arnaud has played in 281 games for the Mets in four seasons, hitting .247 in 75 games this season while suffering through several injuries.
LA Dodgers (3rd seed; 91-71)
Time with Phillies: Did he play for the Phillies? If only his career was more memorable…
The 15th pick of the 2000 MLB draft, Utley played in Philly for parts of 13 years, hitting .282 with 233 home runs and 916 RBI. The six-time All-Star was probably the Phillies’ best player for five seasons, though he never won an MVP, despite both Jimmy Rollins and Howard taking home the award in that span.
2016: Utley was traded in August, 2015 to the Dodgers then became a free agent after last season before re-upping with the Dodgers, where he hit .252 with 14 homers and 52 RBI in 138 games this year.
Time with Phillies: Chooch played for 11 years in Philly before being traded to the Dodgers at the deadline this year. He hit .266 in Philadelphia and was the backstop for some of the greatest pitching rotations in franchise history. The one-time All-Star is one of the most beloved Phillies in recent memory.
2016: He played in just 14 games for the Dodgers, hitting .278 with three runs batted in across 36 at bats.
Time with Phillies: The forgotten man on some of the Phillies’ best pitching rotations, Blanton played for five years for the Fightins, starting 105 games, winning 34, with a 4.47 ERA. Blanton pitched in nine postseason games for the Phillies, starting six, winning a game in the 2008 World Series.
2016: Blanton has bounced around since 2012, back with the Dodgers this season where he pitched 80 innings in 75 appearances, recording a career-best 2.48 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
Washington Nationals (2nd seed; 95-67)
Time with Phillies: Werth played four seasons in Philly after being signed as a free agent in 2006 after the Dodgers cut him following and injury that forced him to miss the entire 2005 season. Werth hit .282 with 95 homers in 543 games for the Phillies before dashing for the cash in Washington in 2011.
2016: After a woeful start to his Nationals career, Werth has been one of the team’s most productive bats since, 2015 notwithstanding. This season he hit .244 with 21 homers and 69 RBI in 143 games. He is also, surely, the most hated former Phillie on this list. You will not be rooting for him, or the Nationals, this postseason.
Time with Phillies: Traded to the Phillies in 2012, Revere lasted just three years with the Fightins, hitting .303 in that time, with very little power, but with 95 stolen bases in 335 games. He was traded in 2015 to the Blue Jays for two minor leaguers.
2016: Revere was traded to the Nationals in January. He hit .217 in Washington this year in 103 games.
Time with Phillies: Gonzalez wasn’t drafted by the Phillies and he never played for the Phillies, but he is notable, as trading him is probably one of the biggest mistakes the team made in the last two decades. Acquired in 2005 from the White Sox, the Phillies traded him back to the ChiSox in 2006 with Gavin Floyd in a deal for Freddy Garcia.
2016: Gonzalez was dealt in 2008 to the A’s then in to the Nationals after the 2011 season in which he made the All-Star team. He won 21 games in 2012, finishing third in the Cy Young voting. His numbers have dipped since, however, and this season he had a 4.57 ERA and an 11-11 record in 32 starts.
Chicago Cubs (1st seed; 103-58)
Time with Phillies: He never played for the Phillies. He wasn’t drafted by the Phillies. No player on the Cubs 25-man roster was. So why is Szczur — pronounced SEE-zur — on this list? Well, the outfielder is from Cape May and went to Villanova before the Cubbies drafted him in 2010 in the fifth round.
2016: If you are looking for a hometown reason to root for the top team in baseball this season, Szczur is your best bet. He hit .259 this season in 107 games, though just 185 at bats, in spot duty.
Who to root for in the 2016 MLB Postseason?
This is a personal preference, obviously, given Philly’s history with other cities and other baseball teams in the playoffs. Most of you will probably ignore the playoffs entirely, which is understandable, given the MLB station probably doesn’t get good reception on the Wentz Wagon.
But if you are interested in rooting for a team in the playoffs, or teams, the obvious suggestion would be to hope the Dodgers and the Rangers meet in the World Series, and Chase Utley comes to the plate in the top of the ninth against Cole Hamels in Game 7 with the game on the line.
Who would you root for? If it comes to that, we can figure it out then. For now, enjoy the playoffs as best you can, rooting for some old (literally) Phillies.