February 2012

Spring Training: Phils defeat Florida State, 6-1.

In their first game of Spring Training, the Phils have defeated the Florida State University Seminoles, 6-1.

The Phils took a 1-0 in the sixth, before taking a commanding lead in the seventh with a five run outburst, after Florida had tied the game up in the top of the seventh.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, including a home run by Hector Luna, while Phils’ pitchers scattered six hits. Both teams committed an error in the game.

The winning pitcher for the Phils was J.C. Ramirez, who had given up the lone Seminoles’ run, while Waugh took the lost for Florida Satte.

The Phils first official spring training game will be this up coming Saturday, as they will face the New York Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, at 1:05 pm Eastern time.

Spring Training: Ryan Howard have hit a minor bump on the rehab road.

The Phils have reported that Ryan Howard have suffered a slight setback in his rehab from his Achilles tendon surgery as he had a procedure performed in Baltimore to clean out an infection to the original wound which will require him to stay off his feet for a few days. But, other than that in the big picture, according to Scott Sheridan, the Achilles is intact and have not compromised.

What happened is that one of the sutures from the operation did not dissolve properly, and have led to an infection, which, in turn, have required some antibiotics be used to clean out the infection. With that, the Phils have told Howard to stay off his feet for a while to allow the antibiotics to work on the infection. The Phils have said that they will consult with foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson in a couple of days to see how this will actually affect his rehab.

Hopefully this will only keep Howard off his feet for a few days, and won’t have a major impact on his rehab. But, as I’d said in the past, I’ll be happy to see him back around mid-to-late May. Take your time coming back, Ryan.

Spring Training: On the eve of the team’s first spring training game.

As the Phils get ready for their first spring training game, tomorrow, against Florida State, they have made several announcements after the arrival of all of their players to camp:

1) Charlie Manuel announced that the team was going to do some more small ball this season, which was quickly emphasised by him talking to the team’s lead-off man, and one of the leaders of the team, Jimmy Rollins last Thursday. This was followed by announcements that he was going to allow possible Hall of Famer Jim Thome to help some of the hitters improve on their hitting approach, and that he was going to have them bunt more (for base hits). Mike Schmidt, who is now in camp as a special coach, will also be helping the batters’ with their hitting approach, along with fellow Hall of Famer, and Iron Pigs coach Ryne Sandburg, while staying in camp a bit longer. While this is good news, since using small ball, as well as stealing more bases, should give the opposing defenses something to think about, I will not be convinced until the Phils leave Florida in late March with Juan Pierre as one of their players coming off the bench, since he would be a good option to use late in games because of both his speed and bat control.

2) Jose Contreras had another bullpen session, and is continuing to pitch fine with no elbow trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. This is good news, as it should give the team several good eighth innings options between him, Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls, if all three players make the team out of spring training.

3) And speaking of pitchers, starter Cliff Lee missed a bullpen session last week because of abdominal problems, and was told to skip the session. Lee said that he is feeling fine now and should be able to pitch in a bullpen session today. Hopefully, it was only a temporary problem.

4) Speaking of players’ health, Ryan Howard is right now in Baltimore, having a check-up with foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson, to check on his achilles tendon, to make sure that there’s no problem with it, since it was mentioned during the weekend that Howard was having a delayed reaction to the sutures. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. later announced that they doubt that it was a major problem. Anyway, it should help the Phils decide how they should continue their approach on Howard’s rehab, although they don’t really expect him back until about late May at the earliest. My opinion is that they should take as much time as they can to get Howard back healthy, as they already have a few options to play first base.

and 5), Chase Utley has announced that he should be able to come back from his leg troubles last year, while it is expected that he will be given the occasional rest, to help his legs, while Placido Polanco has announced that he is ready to go.

Charlie Manuel announces that he plans to use Mayberry mainly in left field.

Yesterday, in Clearwater, Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel have told reporters that he plans to use John Mayberry, Jr. more often in left field than at first base. He also said that while the presumption is that he would probably be using a platoon in left field of Mayberry and Laynce Nix, with Nix to face right handers and Mayberry to face lefties, he plans to have Mayberry also face some right handers. That sounds like a good move, as it will give Mayberry a chance to see if he can hit right handed pitching or not.

This means that while Ryan Howard continues to recover from his injury (of which he had told reporters he felt that he was 40% ready), first base would be mainly covered by Nix and Ty Wigginton, with Jim Thome starting one or two games per week. Hopefully that’ll be enough before Howard’s return at some point in May.

Other news: Rich Dubee announced that Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session off of the mound on Tuesday, and appear to have shown no signs of trouble with his right elbow, doing very well. If this is the case, and he continues showing no sign of trouble after his surgery, he should be the front runner for the role of the team’s eighth inning specialist. Let keep our fingers cross on that.

The Phils have promoted Marti Wolever to assistant scouting GM.

The Phils have today announced that they have promoted Marti Wolever to the position of assistant general manager of amateur scouting, to replace Chuck Lamar, who last September had resigned from that position.

Wolever, who had started out as a scout in the Tigers organization in 1984, had been involved in the Phils’ scouting operation for the last nine seasons, helping to oversee the drafting of Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, Michael Stutes and several others, including players who would later be used in trades to bring to the ballclub such players as Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Hunter Pence.

Congratulations on your new postion, Marti.

Raul Ibanez have signed a one-year deal with the Yankees, as a DH.

The New York Yankees have announced earlier today that they have signed former Phil Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $1.1 million dollars contract, as a designated hitter.

Ibanez, who was the Phils’ left fielder for 2009-11, last year played in 144 games, hitting .245 (131 for 535), hitting 31 doubles, 1 triple and 20 home runs, knocking in 84 RBIs, while scoring 65 runs. During a 16-years career, while includes stints with the Seattle Mariners (two) and the Kansas City Royals, Ibanez would appear in 1817 games, hitting .280 (1791 for 6387), including 377 doubles, 43 triples and 252 home runs, as he knocked in 1054 runs, while scoring 928. He also has a career slugging percentage of .471 and a career on-base percentage of .342. As he joins the Yankees, Ibanez is expected to be their left-handed designated hitter, while also adding some depths to their outfield.

With the signing, as far as the Phils are concerned, it should give them a draft pick based on Ibanez’s free agent status.

Wish you luck with the Yanks, Raul.

Phils announce that they have given Kyle Kendrick an extension on his contract.

Yesterday, as the Phils’ pitchers and catchers begin their first official workout at Carpenter Field in Clearwater, Florida, the Phils announced that they have extended Kyle Kendrick’s contract.

Kendrick, who had about a month ago avoided arbitration by signing a one-year contract worth $3.585 million dollars, will now receive a two-year contract worth $7.5 million dollars plus incentives.

The move shows how much the Phils value his versatility as being a starter, a spot starter, and a long man out of the bullpen. Hopefully this will also mean that they have enough money to later give Cole Hamels an extension on his one-year contract. Time will tell on that one, I guess.

Glad that you’ll be sticking around, Kyle. Do not mess up.

Oh, and welcome back Baseball! Go PHILS!!!

This just in: The Phils have announced a new radio agreement.

Via a press release, the Phils have announced that they have just signed a new multi-year radio contract with CBS RADIO’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT and SportsRadio 94WIP, to cover live play-by-play broadcast of all Phillies pre-season, regular season and post-season games, starting with Spring Training later this month. Financial terms have yet to be announced.

Announcers Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson, who for the last few season have been announcing the game for 1210 WPHT will, starting this year, also be broadcasting on 94WIP.

In general, this means that the Phils will be having their games broadcast on both the AM and the FM dial on the radio.

Sounds to me like the Phils won’t be worrying about where the money stream for their players’ contracts will be coming from for the next few years. Especially if they can continue to win. That’s good news.