January 2012

Phils add more depth to the pen as they sign Chad Qualls.

The Phils today have announced that they have just signed former Padres righthander Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million dollars contract.

Qualls, who had pitched for the Padres last season, will be joining the Phils’ bullpen of Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Contreras, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, Kyle Kendrick and Dontrelle Willis, along with several others, for spring training. Last season, as a member of the Padres, Quads would appear in 77 games, going 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA, as he pitched in 74.1 innings. He would strike out 43 batters while working only 20. An eight year veteran, Qualls had also pitched for the Astros, the D-backs, and the Rays, appearing in 537 games for a total of 543 innings, compiling a 38-34 record with an ERA of 3.78, as he would save 51 games in 89 attempts. Career-wise, he would strike out 426 batters while walking only 150.

Qualls will likely be an insurance policy in case Contreras, who is coming off right elbow surgery, is not able to join the club going north at the end of spring training.

Welcome to the club, Qualls. Okay, junior, how about adding a little bit more depth to the offense?

Pat Burrell retires.

Yesterday, Pat Burrell, who had spent nine years playing for the Phils, and was a member of the 2008 World Series Championship team, as well as being a member of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants team, announced his retirement.

Burrell, nicknamed Pat the Bat, was the number one draft choice of the Phils in the 1998 draft, before joining the main club in 2000. Spending 12 years in the majors, nine of which would be spent as a member of the Phils, Burrell would play in 1640 games for the Phils, the Rays, and the Giants, compling a career triple slash of .253/.361/.472, as he had a total of 1393 hits in 5503 total at-bats, hitting 299 doubles, 16 triples and 292 home runs, 251 of which was hit as a Phils, landing him in 4th place on the team’s all-time home run list. He would also collect 976 RBIs, while scoring 767 times.

Burrell will mainly be remembered for his RBI double in Game 5, part 2, of the 2008 World Series, which would lead to the Phils winning their second World Series Championship, before leading the victory parade down Broad Street.

Thanks for the memories, Pat, and wish you luck in your retirement.

Hunter Pence have come to terms with the Phils, signing a one-year $10.4 million dollars deal.

The Phils have just announced that they have signed the last of their arbitration-eligible players, as Hunter Pence have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million dollars.

Pence, who have come to the Phils in a mid-season trade with the Astros, played in 54 games with the Phils, hitting .324 (67-207) with a .954 OPS, as he hit 12 doubles, 2 triples and 11 home runs, knocking in 35 RBIs, while scoring 35 times. During the 2011 season, he would play in 154 total games, hitting .314 (190-606) with an .871 OPS, as he hit 38 doubles, 5 triples and 22 home runs, scoring 84 runs, while he knocked in 97 RBIs. He would also walk 56 times.

With the Pence signing, the Phils have all of their players signed for the coming season, although they might still be looking for someone to replace Wilson Valdez as a multi-purpose infielder.

Let’s go, Phils!!!

Juan Pierre have just signed a minor-league contract with the Phils.

Earlier today, the Phils have announced that they had signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor league contract and have invited him to Spring Training.

Pierre, who was playing left field for the Chicago White Sox in 2011, would appear in 158 games for the pale socks last season, batting .279 (178-639), getting 17 doubles, four triples and two home runs, knocking in 50 RBIs, while scoring 80. He would also steal 27 bases, while being caught only 17 times. During a 12-years career, during which he would also play for the Rockies, the Florida Marlins, the Cubs and the Dodgers, he would compile a career .296 batting average (2020-6823), playing in 1751 games, as he got 234 doubles, 86 triples and 16 home runs, scoring 980 times, while knocking in 484 RBIs. He would also have 554 stolen bases, while being caught just 190 times.

Pierre will be trying to become the team’s fifth outfielder, who will probably be used mainly as a late-inning baserunning threat, which should put some pressure on the defense late in games, as well as a pinch hitter. Pierre is suppose to have good bat control and be able to bunt. He was also a good lead-off hitter while he was with the White Sox, which should come in handy if Jimmy Rollins gets injured at some point during the season.

Welcome to the Phils, Pierre. Wish you luck making the team during spring training.

Brad Lidge is now a Nats as he signs a one-year, $1 million contract with the rising rival.

Yesterday, the Nationals announced that they have signed Brad Lidge, one of the heroes of the Phils’ 2008 World Series Championship team, to a one-year deal worth $1 million dollars, plus incentives. Lidge, who had joined the Phils in an off-season trade with the Houston Astros in 2007, went 48 for 48 in save opportunities during the 2008 regular and post-seasons, before striking out Eric Hinske to give the Phils the championship. Plagued by injuries during the next three seasons (2009-2011),  Lidge would pitch in four seasons for the Phils, the first three as their closer, compiling a record of 100 saves in 116 save opportunities, with a win-loss record of 3-11, as he pitched in 214 games, appearing in 203 total innings.  During the 2011 season, after coming back from injury, Lidge would perform in mainly middle relief, appearing in 25 games, pitching in 19.1 innings, as he compiled an 0-2 record with 1 save in 1 save opportunity, with a 1.40 ERA. He would strike out 23 batters while walking only 13.

Originally a member of the Astros from 2002-2007, including being a member of the 2005 National League Champs, Lidge would appear in 592 games, all but 1 in relief, compiling a career record of 26-31, with an ERA of 3.44, while saving 223 games in 266 attempts, as he pitched in 594 innings. During his career, he would strike out a total of 789 batters, while walking only 276.

So long, Brad, good luck with your new team, except when you’re pitching against the Phils, of course. :-)

This just in: The Phils have just traded Wilson Valdez for Reds’ relief pitcher Jeremy Horst.

The Phils have just announced that they have traded utility infielder Wilson Valdez to the Reds for left-handed relief pitcher Jeremy Horst.

Wilson Valdez, who had spent two seasons (2010-11) with the Phils, playing second base, shortstop and third base, as well as pitch a shutout inning in an extra-innings game (19), getting the win, played in 210 games for the Phils, batting .254 (154 for 606) with a .300 on-base percentage, as he hit 30 doubles, 7 triples and 5 HRs, while knocking in 65 RBIs. During last season, he batted .249 (68 for 273) as he appeared in 99 games, hitting 14 doubles, 4 triples and a home run, while knocking in 30 RBIs, while scoring 39 runs. Valdez, a career .243 hitter, has also played for the White Sox, the Mariners, the Padres, the Dodgers and the Mets from 2004-05, 2007-09, before joining the Phils.

Jeremy Horst, who the Phils are getting in return, is a 2007 Reds draft pitch, who made his major league debut last season. Coming out of the bullpen, he pitched in 12 games, compiling a record of 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA, as he pitched in 15.1 innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, as he gave up 18 hits. He also struck out nine players, while walking only six. He will come to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Horst, who is a left-hander, will likely be trying to become the late-innings left-handed specialist the Phils want to compliment Antonio Bastardo.

With the move, it is most likely that former Rule 5 pick, Michael Martinez, will be taking Valdez’s place as the Phils’ utility infielder. The less I’ll say about that, the better I’ll feel. Prove us all wrong, Mini-Mart!!!

Sorry to see you go, Wilson, and welcome to the club, Jeremy.

Some recent news…

This past Friday, Jim Thome announced that he was doing what he could do, physically, to get himself ready to occasionally play first base (expected to be at least once a week) both before and after Ryan Howard returns, although during the season the Phils will be using him mainly as a late-innings pinch-hitting threat, like they did with Matt Stairs in late 2008 and 2009. Although the Phils will most likely be using Ty Wigginton as their everyday first baseman with John Mayberry playing the position against certain lefties during the regular season, until Howard’s expected return in late May, it is nice to know that Thome is getting himself ready for when he is called upon to play the position.

On Monday, it was announced that former Phils announcer Andy Musser died on Sunday at the age of 74 at his home in Wynnewood, PA. Musser was a member of the Phils’ broadcasting crew from 1976-2001, working with Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Ford C. Frick Award winners Harry Kalas and Tim McCarver, as well as present Phil broadcaster Chris Wheeler. Rest in Peace, Chris, and late condolences to your family.

The Phils have come to an aggreement with both Cole Hamels and Wilson Valdez, avoiding arbitration with both.

Earlier today, the Phils have announced that Cole Hamels had earlier today signed a one-year contract worth $15 million dollars, thus avoiding arbitration. Hamels, who is the number three-man in the Phils’ starting rotation, in 2011 had a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA, as he pitched in 32 games, all but one of which was as a starter. He pitched in 216 innings, striking out 194 batters, while walking only 44. Hamels threw 10 complete, while pitching four shut outs. Carrer-wise, his record is 74-54 with an ERA of 3.39. Although he would become eligible to enter the free agent market after this season, it is hoped that at some point during the season that the Phils will sign Hamels to a multi-year extension. Let keep our fingers crossed on that people.

The Phils have also avoided arbitration with Wilson Valdez, who had signed a new contract for one season, worth $930,000. Valdez, who had played second base, third base and shortstop, last year appeared in 99 games, batting .249 (68 for 273), with 14 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home runs, while knocking in 30 runs.

That leaves just Hunter Pence to sign to a contract before both sides would have to face an arbitrator. I think that it can be done.

The Phils appeared to have added to their pitching depth.

The Phils have appeared to have added to their pitching depth by signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract, with an invitation to Spring Training.

Pineiro, who in 2011 pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, appeared in 27 games, 24 of which were starts, compiling a 7-7 record with a 5.13 ERA. Being in the majors since 2000, pitching for the Mariners, Red Sox, and Cardinals, along with the Angels, Pineiro has pitched in 335 games, with 263 of them as starts, with a record of 104-93 with 2 saves in 3 save opportunities, with an ERA of 4.41.

It is more than likely that Pineiro will start the year with the Iron Pigs, as an extra insurance policy for the team in case one of the starters get injured during the regular season.

The Phils have today announced that they have come to a one-year aggrement with Kyle Kendrick.

The Phils have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick as they have reached a one-year contract with the starter-reliever worth $3.585 million dollars.

Kendrick, who had started the 2011 season in the bullpen, would rejoin the starting rotation because of injuries to both Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt. During the season, he would appear in 34 games, 15 of them as a starter, ending the year with an 8-6 record, with an ERA of 3.22. In 114.2 innings pitched, he would strike out 59 batters, which walking only 30, receiving a WHIP of 1.22.

With Kendrick’s signing, that leaves only Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez arbitration-eligible , with the fanbase hoping that Hamels will be nailed down to a multi-year contract.

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