Yesterday, the Phils signed veteran right-hander Jason Grilli to a Minor League Contract.
Grilli, in eight major league seasons, had an 18-18 record with a 4.74 ERA in 223 appearances. He has last thrown a pitch in the Majors in 2009, when he pitched for the Colorado Rockies and the Texas Rangers, with a combine record of 2-3 with an ERA of 5.32 in 52 appearances. Grilli did not pitch last year because of a knee injury.
Grilli will appear in the Phils’ minor league camp in Clearwater, and will likely start the season pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.
During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.
Yesterday, MLB.com announced who they consider to be Major League Baseball’s top 50 prospects. Among the fifty were two players in the Phillies’ farm system: Dom Brown, who came in at number 4 and Jonathan Singleton, who came in at 30.
Dom Brown, who is expected to join the team during spring training, to serve as part of a platoon in right field with Ben Francisco, to replace the just departed Jayson Werth, spent part of 2010 playing the outfield for both Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He batted .327, with an on-base percentage of .391 and a .589 slugging percentage, in 389 at-bats, as he hit 22 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 20 HRs and 68 RBIs for the two farm teams, before joining the major league ballclub during the summer after Shane Victorino got hurt. With limited playing time, as he stay with the ballclub through the playoffs, he batted .210 with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs and 13 RBIs in 62 at-bats, showing at the same time both his potential and his rawness. The Phils sent him to the Dominican Winter League to give him the at-bats he did not get while riding the bench during the last two months of the regular season, but he was sent home after struggling at the plate. So, he will be out to prove himself during spring training, to prove that he deserves to be with the big league ballclub.
Jonathan Singleton, who landed at number 30, spent the year playing for Class-A Lakewood, playing first base, as he went .290/.393/.479, hitting 25 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 14 HRs and 77 RBIs. As he shows potential, Singleton is being converted into an outfielder, as the Phils last season signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125-million contracts, which will start in 2012, meaning that he likely will not be able to join the ballclub playing that position. If he is able to show that he can play the outfield, Singleton should have a much better chance getting into the big league, hopefully as a Phil.
Phillies Red Pinstripes is still among the top 100 fan blogs, although now at 74. I’d figured I’d still be among the top 100, since I was among the top 50 two or three times during the year. I just hope I can find some way to get back on the other side of 50 a bit more often during the coming year.
I’d also noticed that there were, at least, five other Phils fan blogs among the top 100 last year, besides me: Phillies Phollowers (9), Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts (41), Phillies Outside (49), The Phanatic Addict (56) and Phightin’ Phils Phorum (95). Nice to know that I had a lot of company last year. I can’t wait to see how this year goes, considering whom we got on the mound as starters.
Anyway, here’s the entire list:
1. Confessions of a She-Fan
2. Red State Blue State
3. Angry Fan’s Baseball Fix
4. Rockpile Rant
5. Rays Renegade
6. The Future Blog of the Red Sox
7. The Three Bs
8. Unfinished Business
9. Phillies Phollowers
10. I Live for This
11. Blogging Dodgers and Baseball
12. Cook & Son Bats’ Blog
13. Julia’s Rants
14. Yankee Yapping
15. The Closer
16. Yankees Chick
17. Counting Baseballs
18. I’m Not A Headline Guy…
19. Ted’s Take
21. The Happy Youngster…Brew Town’s Ballhawk
22. Pick Me Up Some Mets!
23. Baseball Canadiana
25. Crzblue’s Dodger Blue World
26. The Pittsburgh Peas
27. King of Cali
28. Live, Eat, and Breathe Yankees
29. A Diatribe from a Journalism Student
30. Well Played Mauer
31. This is what the girl thinks….
32. Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend
33. Confessions Of A Baseball Fan
34. Underneath the Halo
35. A Misplaced Astros Fan
36. Rocky Mountain Way…Outside Coors looking in
38. Random Thoughts About the San Francisco Giants
39. THE BOSTON RED SOX BLOG
40. The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
41. Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts
42. Perpetual Padres Saga
43. The Watercooler
44. Pretty In Pinstripes
45. Hands off my Pirates Booty
46. Art of the Pale Hose
47. Linea de Primera
48. METrospection & More
49. Phillies Outside
50. The Diamond Diva
51. DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant
52. Cardinal Girl
53. Memoirs of a Red Sox Girl
54. Johnny Archive in J.A.I.L.
55. 30 Stadiums in 60 Days
56. The Phanatic Addict
57. Blogging ‘Bout Baseball
58. La Pagina de Tony Menendez
59. The ‘Burgh Blues
60. Seven good innings
61. The Yankees Baseball Whisperer
62. Everything Baseball
63. Thoughts of a Teen-Fan
64. Texas Summer Heat
65. Left Side of the Infield
66. Bottom of the Ninth
67. Bjarkman’s Latino and Cuban League Baseball History Page
68. The Friar Faithful
69. Just a Bit Outside
70. Cambios y Curvas
71. Baseball, The Yankees, and Life…
72. Baseball, Apple Pie, and Lobster
73. Sports Propaganda
74. Phillies Red Pinstripes
75. Perfect Pitch
76. Redbird Chatter
77. The 1 Constant
78. White Elephant Parade
79. Totally Tribe
80. Your Infield Fly is Down
81. M.T.’s Blogger
82. A Girl’s View in Six Words
83. More Cowbell–A Rays Blog
84. The Heirloom
85. The Fact of the Matter
86. The Brewer Nation
87. FenwayNation: The MLB Blog
89. Hail to Ichiro!
90. (:> Bird Brained
91. Minoring In Baseball
92. A Diehard Cubs Fan Speaks Out
93. Yesterday’s Hitter!
94. El Casillero de los Medias Rojas
95. Phightin’ Phils Phorum
96. The Ballhawk’s View
97. Baseball Addict
98. Prose and Ivy
99. steel city ballhawk
100. Commish 2040
Give everyone on the list a look see, okay.
The Phils have announced that their $1.1 million deal with Dennys Reyes has been called off, due to a snag, (maybe he didn’t pass his physical?) and he is now back on the Free Agent market.
What this means is that the Phils are once again looking for a main lefty out of the bullpen, to go along with the right handed bat to protect Ryan Howard in the line-up. Great.
I don’t know what caused this, but it if was because Reyes was not fit, I would prefer that it was known now instead of being found out at some point during the regular season, or spring training for that matter.
Well, I guess it’s back to the drawing board with the bullpen. But, with the four headed monster of a starting staff, it might not be as bad as it looks right now.
Three Phils have received four Greatness in Baseball Yearly or Gibby Awards, as voted by the fans.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz received the Gibby for X-Factor of the Year, because of the way he handled the Phils’ pitching staff in 2010. Roy Oswalt received the Gibby for the Oddity of the Year, as he became the first Phil pitcher, since Brian Wilson in 1971, to play a field position, as he played left field during an extra-inning game against his old Astros team on August 26, 2010. And the final two Gibbies that were won by a Phil went to Roy Hallady, as he was voted the Starting Pitcher of the Year for his record of 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, which included his perfect game performance against the Florida Marlins and for the Postseason Moment of the Year for his No-Hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010.
In a move that came completely out of the blue, the Phils have just signed free agent Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract, with a vesting option for a sixth year, beating the New York Yankees, who had offered Lee a six-year deal worth $135 million, with a vesting option for a seventh year, and the Texas Rangers, who had offered him a six-year deal worth $138 million, and with a vesting option for a seventh season. With this move, Lee returns to Philadelphia, after having been traded by the Phils to the Seattle Mariners, almost a year ago, giving the Phils a starting rotation that now have four aces (Lee, NL Cy Young Award Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels), that will be haunting the NL, especially the NL East, for at least a year (depending on whether Hamels will be resigned after the season, and if Oswalt decides not to retire after 2012.).
Lee, in 2010, as he pitched for first the Mariners, then the Rangers, went 12-9 with an ERA of 3.18, as he started in 28 games, pitching 212.1 innings, throwing seven complete games, including a shut out, as he struck out 185 batters, while walking only eighteen during the season. In the post-season, he helped pitched the Rangers into their first World Series appearance, before falling to the 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants, as he went 3-2 overall for the Rangers.
The Phils will more than likely have to trade someone(s) to help them better afford their move. There is already rumors flying around that they have been trying to ship off Joe Blanton and or Raul Ibanez as a salary dump, with them willing to pay for part of Blanton’s salary to move him. I do not know if any of them is true, but, if they need to move someone, it should be Kyle Kendrick, not Blanton. After all, Blanton has been a bit more consistant, pitching wise, than has Kendrick, and he would be a lot better backup to the now Big Four than might Kendrick. Whatever does happen, I hope Ruben will know what he’s doing, although there does seem to be some method to his madness.
In the Phillies’ 128-year history as a member of the National League, they have spent most of that time being either a cellar dweller or as a member of the second division. But, the team has spent some time in the first division, winning two World Series Championship, seven National League pennants, with two in consecutive seasons (2008-2009) and ten National League Eastern Division flags, including winning the last four (2007-2010). The team has also finished in second place in either the National League (1883-1968) or in the National League Eastern Division (1969 to the present) a grand total of thirteen time.
The first time they would end up in second place would be in 1887, the fifth year of the team’s existence, as they would finish the season behind the first place Detroit Wolverines with a record of 75-48 for a winning percentage of .610, finishing 3.5 games behind the Wolverines in a league of eight teams, before the expansion to twelve teams in 1892. For the Phils, who were also called the Quakers at the time, this would be their only second place finish in the 19th Century. The next time the Phils would finish in second place, and the first time in the 20th Century, would occur in 1901, as they fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were at the beginning of winning three straight NL pennants (1901-1903), as they finish the season with a record of 83-57, with a .593 winning percentage, finishing 7.5 games behind the Bucos. The next time that the Phils would end up in second place would occur in 1913, as they finished behind the New York Giants, who had won their third straight NL pennant (1911-1913), ending the year with a record of 88-63 for a winning percentage of .583, ending up 12.5 games behind the Giants. The Phils would then finished second for the two seasons after they had won their first NL pennant in 1915. The first time, for the fourth time overall, would occur in 1916, when they would finish behind the Brooklyn Robins, now Dodgers, with a 91-62 record, winning one game more than they did the year that they won the pennant, with a winning percentage of .595, finishing 2.5 games behind the Robins. The following season, 1917, they would finish in second place again, this time behind the Giants, with a record of 87-65, with a .572 winning percentage, trailing the Giants by 10 games. The Phils would then spend most of the next 47 years in the second division before once again finishing second. The Phils would then end up tied for second place with the Cincinnati Reds in 1964, after collapsing in September, finishing behind the St. Louis Cardinals with a record of 92-70, with a winning percentage of .568, a game out of first. This would be the sixth and final time that they would finish in second place in the National League before the two major leagues split into divisions in 1969, with the Phils becoming a member of the NL East. The first time the Phils would end up in second place in the NL East would occur in 1975, when they finished second to the Pirates, finishing the year with a record of 86-76, with a .531 winning percentage, finishing 6.5 games before the Pirates. The second time they would end up in second place in the NL East would happen in 1982, as they trail the Cardinals, ending up with a record of 89-73, with a winning percentage of .549, finishing 3 games behind the redbirds. The third time they would finish second in the NL East would be in 1986, as they finished behind the New York Mets with a record of 86-75, with a .534 winning percentage, trailing by 21.5 games. The fourth time they would finish the season in second place in the NL East would not occur until 2001, when they finished behind the Atlanta Braves with an 86-76 record, a winning percentage of .531, ending up 2 games out of first. The Phils will then end up in second place in the East, missing being the wild card winner each season, in 2004, 2005, and 2006, finishing behind the Braves in 2004 and 2005 and then behind the Mets in 2006. In 2004, they finished the season with an 86-76 record, a .531 winning percentage, as they finished 10 games behind the Braves. In 2005, they finished the year with a record of 88-74, with a winning percentage of .543, 2 games behind the Braves. In 2006, they would end the baseball season with a record of 85-77, a winning percentage of .525, 12 games in back of the Mets.
Of their thirteen finishes in second place, six occurred as a member of the NL, and the other seven as a member of the NL East. They would finish in second place once in the 19th Century, eight times in the 20th Century (5 (NL), 3 (NL East)), and four, so far, in the 21st Century as a member of the NL East. Their best record in second place was when they finished second in 1964, when they finished with a record of 91-70. Their worst second place finish was in 1887, the first time they would finish second, as they had a record of 75-48. Their highest winning percentage would be the .610 of 1887, while the worst would be the .525 of 2006. Their best game behind finish was when they ended a game behind (with the Reds) in 1964, while their worst was when they fell 21.5 games behind (the Mets in the East) in 1986.
With the way the Phils are presently structured, they could remain as either a first or a second place team in the NL East for several more seasons.
Ex-Phil Morandini to manage Class A affiliate
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Looks like the team has gotten their man again. Welcome back to the red pinstripes, Mick. Hope you’ll do well running the team in Williamsport.
PHILADELPHIA — Mickey Morandini is back with the Phillies.
He told The Northwest Indiana Times on Thursday he will be the Class A Williamsport manager next season. Morandini had talked during Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., about coaching professionally in the near future.
Morandini — fans still can hear Harry Kalas drawing out the second baseman’s name during broadcasts — had been the baseball coach at Valparaiso High School in Indiana.
“I’m gonna miss it. I had fun. I really enjoyed working with the kids,” Morandini told the newspaper. “But this is an opportunity to do some good things at the professional level, and it’s something I couldn’t pass up. I’m excited about it. I know the owner and GM very well. It’s a great family-owned organization that’s always taken care of its past players. Its Minor League system is very well-run. I’m excited to be a part of it again.”
Morandini said the Phillies had contacted him about coaching every year since he retired from playing in 2000. “I love to manage,” Morandini said. “I love all the little things that go into teaching kids. Hopefully, I can work my way up through the system kind of like ‘Ryno’ [Ryne Sandberg] and get back to the big leagues some day.”
Morandini played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including nine seasons (1990-97 and 2000) with Philadelphia. He made the National League All-Star team in 1995, and hit .268 in his career with the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays.
Samuel? Check! Sandberg? Check! Morandini? Check! Three fan favorites back in the fold. Here’s to wishing them well in their new positions in the organization, and hoping that the Phils’ management (I’m looking at you, junior) will be doing something this late fall/winter that will help the main ball club.
During the 54-year existence of the Cy Young Award, created a year after the death of the man it was named after, Hall of Famer Cy Young, four Phils have won the award, after it had been spilt in 1967 into separate awards for the NL and AL, for a total of seven times.
The first Phil to win the award was Hall of Famer Steve Cartlon, who won the first of four awards in 1972, when he went 27-10, including 15 wins in a row, as he won around half the games for a last place Phillies team, with an ERA of 1.98. He won his second award in 1977, as he helped lead the Phils to their second of three straight Eastern Division titles, as he went 23-10 with an ERA of 2.64. He won his third Cy Young in 1980, as he lead the Phils to their first World Series crown, with a record of 24-9 and an ERA of 2.34. Carlton would win his fourth and last Cy Young in 1982, as the Phils finished in second place behind the World Champions St. Louis Cardinals, as he went 23-11 with a high ERA (for him) of 3.11. The second Phil to win the award would by John Denny in 1983, as he help lead the ‘Wheeze Kids’ to their fourth NL flag, with a record of 19-6 and an ERA of 2.37. The third Phil to win the team’s sixth Cy Young Award was relief pitcher Steve Bedrosian, who in 1987, would lead the league in saves with 40 of them, while recording a win-lost record of 5-3 with an ERA of 2.83. The seventh, and most recent Cy Young Award was just won this season (2010) by Roy Halladay, who had a win-lost record of 21-10 with an ERA of 2.44.
Among the seven awards, six were won in the 20th Century and one in the 21st century, as six of the awards were won by a starter, while one was won by a relief pitcher. Steve Carlton has won the most awards with four, while the other three winners have so far won one award each. Steve Cartlon had the most wins (27 in 1972) and had the lowest ERA (1.98, also in ’72) as well as won it with the highest ERA (3.11 in 1982) among the four Phils who had won the award, while Steve Bedrosian had the lowest number of wins (5 in 1987) while winning the award, since he won it based on the number of saves that he had recorded that season (40).
Who will win it next? If he continues to pitch well, Halladay should have another Cy Young Award by the time his present contract runs out, unless either Cole Hamels or Roy Oswalt are able to pitch better than him within the next two-three years.