Looming Le Toux Departure Hurts Fans, But It's a Textbook Buy Low, Sell High Move

Looming Le Toux Departure Hurts Fans, But It's a Textbook Buy Low, Sell High Move

I am still processing the report from Soccer By Ives that the Union are preparing to sell leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux to English Premier League side Bolton Wanderers, but here are my immediate thoughts.

It’s a bad time to be one of the most popular and recognizable players on a Philadelphia team (Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and now Le Toux). Sebastien embodied everything Philadelphia fans want from its athletes. He never stopped hustling. His work rate was off the charts. His tireless running was almost comical. He never quit on a ball, never stopped making runs, and never gave up on a 50/50 ball.

Oh yeah, and he also put up numbers. In two seasons with the expansion Union he scored 25 goals and recorded 20 assists. To put that in perspective, the Union has scored 79 goals over its two year history. Le Toux either scored or assisted on 45 of them – that’s 57% of their goals scored.

Although we do not yet know the details in terms of the money Bolton will send the Union it stands to be an incredible return on investment. Looking at this from a purely objective economic perspective selling Le Toux is good business. The Union acquired Le Toux from Seattle in the MLS Expansion Draft. Seattle left him unprotected, the Union identified and valued his talent, and now they stand to cash in -– big-time.

His 2011 base salary was $155,000, with guaranteed compensation of $179,000. He’s 28 years old and is coming off of consecutive All-Star seasons. This is about as textbook a buy low, sell high scenario you will ever see.

Drafting UCLA forward Chandler Hoffman makes a bit more sense now. With Hoffman, Le Toux, Danny Mwanga, Jack McInereny, and newly acquired Josue Martinez the Union had a glut of forwards. In light of Le Toux’s departure fans may expect Hoffman to step right in and produce. In my opinion, the onus should fall on Mwanga and Martinez. It’s time for former first overall pick Mwanga to produce like a first XI player.

Who is the face of the franchise now? It’s tough to say. Danny Califf and Faryd Mondragon are certainly candidates to fill that role. They are both veterans who likely would not be too affected by carrying that responsibility.

Finally, I cannot imagine a better fit between expansion team, city, and player than the Union, Philadelphia, and Sebastien Le Toux. He was the perfect person to draw fans into a new Philadelphia soccer franchise. I am sure all Union fans will look back fondly at the time he spent here. It’ll be odd not hearing fans at PPL Park bellow “LeTouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuux”.

Tres bien, Seba. Tres bien.

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

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Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

The Phillies were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Monday night, but wins and losses don’t matter as much as development in a rebuilding season, so there was a bright spot: Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson finally broke through with a good start in holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings.
 
The Phillies’ offense was not good. It produced just four hits on the night.
 
Washington got all the offense it needed when Jayson Werth, the second batter of the game, homered off Thompson in the first inning.

The Nats lead the NL East at 76-55. The Phils are 60-71.
 
The crowd of 16,056 was the smallest of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Starting pitching report
Thompson had struggled in four starts – 9.78 ERA – since arriving from Triple A and there were questions whether he’d even make this start. But he put together a nice outing. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he pitched six straight scoreless innings, finishing his outing with three strikeouts, the last of which came on his 111th pitch when he froze Trea Turner with a breaking ball with two men on base. Thompson allowed seven hits – four in the first three innings – and walked one.
 
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 14-7. He held the Phils to four hits and a walk and struck out five.

Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up two runs in the ninth.
 
At the plate
Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ four hits.
 
Werth’s homer in the top of the first was his 19th. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out single in that inning. Clint Robinson and Turner had RBI singles in the ninth to push the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
 
ICYMI
Herrera is staying in center field for the remainder of the season, Pete Mackanin said (see story).
 
Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) pitches against Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92).

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.