Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

The Phils get infielder Jayson Nix from the Rays for cash.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThis past Friday, to fill in the hole left by backup shortstop Freddy Galvis  being placed on the 15-Day Disabled List as he recovers from MRSA, the Phils made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, receiving infielder Jayson Nix in exchange for cash. Jayson joined the team before yesterday’s opening day game with the Texas Rangers.

Nix, a six year veteran infielder, who had played for the Rockies, the White Sox, the Indians, the Blue Jays and the Yankees since 2008, has appeared in 425 games, with a batting average of .218 (267 for 1222), as he has hit 55 doubles, 2 triples and 37 home runs, and knocked in 126 RBIs, while scoring 141 times. He has also walked 105 times. Until Galvis has recovered from MRSA, he will act as the team’s backup shortstop.

Welcome to the team Jayson. Hope you’ll fill Freddy’s shoes admirably while he’s on the disabled list.

The Phils end their Grapefruit League season on a sour note as they are shutout for the second straight game as they lose to the Blue Jays, 3-0.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils end their Grapefruit League portion of spring training on a low note as they end up being shutout for the second straight game as they lose to the Blue Jays, 3-0.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Dioner Navarro hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Emilio Guerrero, who was pinch running for Jose Bautista, who had started the inning off with a single, stole second base as Adam Lind struck out, swinging, then went to third on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s throwing error as he tried to throw Guerrero out, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays added insurance runs in the top of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Gabe Jacobo hits a two-run single, knocking in Josh Thole, who had started the inning off with a walk, moved up to second base on Guerrero’s single, then went to third base on Jonathan Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, and Guerrero, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead, before moving up to second base on left fielder Leandro Castro’s throwing error to the plate. That would end up being the final score as Wil Browning collected the save as he ended a Phils’ threat as they loaded up the bases with Reid Brignac being hit by a pitch, before stealing second base, a walk to Edgar Duran, and a walk to Clete Thomas, and with two men out, as he struck out Koyie Hill, looking, for the game’s final out.

A.J. Burnett (1-3, 6.05) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out six. Jonathan Pettibone pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Mario Hollands pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Justin De Fratus pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jonathan Papelbon threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Drew Hutchinson (1-1, 1.80) got the win as he threw five and a third scoreless innings, giving up a hit and three walks, while striking out three. Brett Cecil collected his third hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter, as he retired both batters that he would faced. Casey Janssen received his first hold of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Marcus Walden also received his first hold of the spring as he also threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Wil Browning received his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up two walks and a hit batter, while striking out the side.

The Phils had only one hit in the game, a fourth inning single by Jimmy Rollins. The Phils also had five walks (Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Jr. Edgar Duran, Clete Thomas), a hit batter (Reid Brignac) and two stolen bases (Rollins (3), Brignac (1)) in the game, while the defense committed two errors (Carlos Ruiz, Leandro Castro).

The next Phils (9-17-3) game will be the first of two against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT tomorrow night. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 4.09) while the Pirates will counter with Charlie Morton (1-1, 1.13). The Phils hope to do well in these last two spring training games.

The Phils three-game winning streak come to an end as they are two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils’ winning streak ends at three games as they get two-hit by the Tigers, losing 1-0.

The Tigers take the lead in the top of the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Miguel Cabrera hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Ian Kinsler, who had just tripled, as the Tigers take a 1-0 lead. That would hold up as the final score as Cliff Lee and the Phils’ bullpen would only give up nine more hits and a walk in the game, while the Tigers’ pitching staff would keep the Phils’ offense grounded, giving up only two hits, both singles, and three walks in the game.

Cliff Lee (1-2, 2.55) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Phillippe Aumont, Antonio Bastardo, B.J. Rosenberg and Jake Diekman would combine for four scoreless innings, giving up four hits (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Rosenberg (2)) between them, while striking out 4 (Aumont (1), Bastardo (1), Diekman (2)). Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw six and a third shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out seven. Phil Coke collected his fourth hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter. Al Alburquerque received his second hold of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out two. Blaine Hardy collected his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The Phils had only two hits in the game, both singles, a two-out single in the first by Chase Utley and a two-out single in the eighth by Wil Nieves. The Phils also had three walks in the game (Ryan Howard, Reid Brignac (2)), while the defense committed two errors (Howard, Cesar Hernandez), had an outfield assist (Clete Thomas), and performed three double plays, while Cliff Lee picked off a runner.

The Phils (9-16-3) will play their last Grapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays (13-13). The game will be played at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, and is to start at 1:05 PM EDT. The Phils will send to the mound A.J. Burnett (1-2, 7.53) while the Blue Jays will counter with Drew Hutchison (0-1, 2.79). The Phils will be trying to end their Grapefruit League season on a good note, before heading north for their final two spring training games at Citizens Bank Park with the Pirates.

Yesterday, the Phils lose their third straight spring training game, as they lose to the Rays, 6-1.

Philadelphia_PhilliesYesterday afternoon, the Phils get creamed for five runs in the bottom of the seven inning, before they lose to the Rays, 6-1.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, knocking in Leandro Castro, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third base on Freddy Galvis’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before Galvis, who had earlier singled, is thrown out at third base, 9-5, for the inning’s second out. The score would remain 1-0 Phils until the bottom of the seventh as the Rays tied the game up at one-all as, with two men on, and with one man out, Justin Christian, who had earlier walked, then stopped at third base on Jeremy Moore’s double, would score on Vince Belnome’s fielder’s choice ground ball to first baseman Darin Ruf, beating the throw to the plate, as Moore, who had earlier doubled, would move up to third base on the throw home. The Rays then took the lead three batters later, with the bases now loaded, after Moore is thrown out on a fielder’s choice throw to the plate on Eddy Rodriguez’s ground ball to the pitcher Michael Stutes, 1-2, for the inning’s second out, while Belnome would move up to second base, and then a walk to Jerry Sands, moving up both runners, and with two men out,  Ray Olmedo hits a two-run single, knocking in Belnome and Rodriguez, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead, while sending Sands over to third base. The Rays then made it a 5-1 lead as Cole Figueroa hits a two-run double, scoring both Sands and Olmedo, before going on to third on the throw to the plate. The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the eighth as, with two men out. Moore hits a solo home run, his first home run of the spring, giving the Rays a 6-1 lead. That would be the final score as Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Roberto Hernandez pitched three strong innings, giving up just a hit, while striking out three. Jeff Manship recorded his first hold of the spring as he recorded two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Phillippe Aumont also recorded his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, hitting a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first blown save of the spring before taking the lost (0-1, 22.50), as he pitched an inning, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks. Justin De Fratus pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Matt Moore pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. C.J. Riefenhauser pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk. Heath Bell pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Brandon Gomes and Josh Lueke combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a walk between them (Gomes), while striking out two (Gomes). Merrill Kelly (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 inning.

The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Maikel Franco leading the team with two hits, both singles. Ben Revere (Single), Darin Ruf (Single), Leandro Castro (Double), Freddy Galvis (Single) and Wil Nieves (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hit. The Phils also had four walks (Dom Brown (2), Ruf, pinch hitter Reid Brignac), and a stolen base (Revere (1)), in the game, while the defense performed a doubleplay.

The Phils’ next game is being played tonight against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field in a game already in progress.

The Phils had announced yesterday…

Philadelphia_PhilliesThat Ethan Martin, who had pitched to four Blue Jays in the bottom of the fifth inning in yesterday’s Grapefruit League game, was taken out of the game because of discomfort in his right shoulder, especially as his pitching velocity is down in comparison to last season. He is today seeing a doctor to find out what may be wrong with his shoulder, how serious it might be, and how long he may be out once the problem is diagnosed.

Hopefully it won’t be bad, and he’ll soon be back on the mound.

The Phils drop their second Grapefruit League game as their give up five runs in the middle innings, as they lose to the Blue Jays, 7-5.

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils lose their second straight spring training game to the Blue Jays as they lose, 7-5.

The Phils took the lead in the top of the first as, with the bases loaded, via a lead-off single by Ben Revere, who then went to third base on shortstop Jose Reyes’ force attempt throwing error to second base of Bobby Abreu’s grounder, while Abreu was safe at first and a walk to Darin Ruf, moving Abreu up to second base, and with one man out, Revere would score on catcher Erik Kratz’s passed ball, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while both Abreu and Ruf would move up a base. The Blue Jays would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Jose Bautista hits an RBI double, knocking in Moises Sierra, who had earlier doubled. The Phils retook the lead in the top of the third as, with a man on first, and with nobody out, Ruf hits a two-run home run, his first home run of the spring, knocking in Abreu, who had started the inning off with a walk, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. The Blue Jays would get a run back in their half of the third as, with a runner on first, and with two men out, Bautista hits an RBI double, his second double of the ballgame, scoring Sierra, who had earlier reached base on first baseman Ruf’s missed catch error of third baseman Cody Asche’s throw to first, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead. The Blue Jays tied the game up again at 3-all in the bottom of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Kenny Wilson hits an RBI single, knocking in Melky Cabrera, who was earlier safe at first base on a 6-4 force out, forcing out at second base Brett Lawrie, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Maicer Izturis’ single, then went to third on Kratz’s fly out to right, while Izturis, who had earlier singled, would stop at third base. The Blue Jays then took a 4-3 lead a batter later as Reyes hits an infield single to short, scoring Izturis, while sending Lawrie up to second base. The Blue Jays increased their lead in the bottom of the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Lawrie hits an RBI double, scoring pinch-runner Kevin Nolan, who was pinch-running for Bautista, who had started the inning off with a single, then went to third base on Edwin Encarnacion’s single, giving the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead, while sending pinch-runner Andy LaRouche, who was pinch-running for Encarnacion, who had just singled, on to third base. The Blue Jays then made it a 7-3 lead as Cabrera hits a two-run double, scoring LaRouche and pinch-runner Jared Goedert, who was pinch-running for Lawrie. The Phils would get a run back in the top of the sixth as, with two men out, John Mayberry, Jr. hits a solo home run,  his first home run of the spring, making it a 7-4 Blue Jays’ lead. The Phils then cut the Blue Jays’ lead down to 7-5 in the top of the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via Maikel Franco reaching first base on third baseman Goedert’s fielding error, a walk to Reid Brignac, moving Franco up to second base, and Kelly Dugan being hit by the pitch, moving both runners up a base, and with one man out, Franco would score on a force attempt throwing error by first baseman LaRoche to second base as he tried to throw out Dugan on Tommy Joseph’s ground ball, while Brignac would move up to third base on the error, as Dugan would be safe at second base and Joseph would stop at first base. That would end up being the final score as Marcus Walden would record his first save of the spring by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cliff Lee pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out three. Brad Lincoln collected his first hold of the spring as he threw an inning, giving up an unearned run on a hit, while he struck out a batter. Jake Diekman blew his first save of the spring before taking the lost (0-1, 18.00) as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Ethan Martin pitched to four batters, getting none of them out, as he gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Michael Stutes, Mario Hollands and B.J. Rosenberg would combine for four 1-2-3 innings, striking out two batters (Hollands (1), Rosenberg (1)) between them. R.A. Dickey pitched two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits, two walks and a passed ball, while striking out two. Esmil Rogers pitched an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, while striking out a batter. Brett Cecil (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Dustin McGowan pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Aaron Loup pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit. Jeremy Jeffress collected his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk. Rob Rasmussen collected his first hold of the spring as he threw an inning, giving up an unearned run on a walk and a hit batter. Marcus Walden received his first save of the spring as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Ben Revere leading the team with three hits, all singles, followed by John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Home Run). Darin Ruf had the other Phil hit, a two-run home run. Tommy Joseph had the other Phil RBI on a bases loaded throwing error while their final run came in on a Erik Kratz’s passed ball. The Phils also had five walks in the game (Bobby Abreu (2), Ruf, Maikel Franco, Mayberry), a stolen base (Mayberry (1)) and a hit batter (Dugan), while the defense committed two errors (Franco (2), Wil Nieves).

The Phils (0-2) will play their next game in Clearwater at Bright House Field against a Detroit Tigers (2-0) split-squad at 1:05 pm EST. Kyle Kendrick (10-13, 4.70 (2013)) is scheduled to start for the Phils, while the Tigers plan to send Jose Alvarez (1-5, 5.82 (2013)) to the mound. The Phils will try to gain their first Grapefruit League win before the start of March.

The Phils’ first game of the Grapefruit League is over…

Philadelphia_Phillies…and sadly, thanks to the game being called before the start of the bottom half of the seventh inning because of rain, the Phils lose to the Blue Jays, 4-3.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the first inning against Phils’ starter Roberto Hernandez as, with two men out, and with nobody on base, Jose Bautista hits a solo home run to left field, his first home run of spring training, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single off of J.A. Happ, knocking in lead-off man Ben Revere, who had started the Phils’ Grapefruit League season with a single, then moved up to second base on Happ’s wild pitch, while sending Jimmy Rollins, who had just walked, over to third base. The Phils then took a 2-1 lead as Marlon Byrd followed with an RBI single, knocking in Rollins, while moving Howard up to second base. The Blue Jays would tie the game up at two-all in the top of the second inning as, with a man on second, and with nobody out, Colby Rasmus hits an RBI double, scoring Brett Lawrie, who had started the inning off with a double. The Blue Jays would take the lead in the top of the third inning, as with two men on, and with one man out, Adam Lind hits an RBI single off of Phillippe Aumont, knocking in Melky Cabrera, who had started the inning off with a walk, then moved up to second base on Bautista’s walk, giving the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead, while moving Bautista, who had just walked, up to second base. One batter later, after Aumont’s wild pitch had moved both runners up a base, Lawrie hits into an RBI groundout, 1-3, bringing home Bautista, giving the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead, while moving Lind up to third base. The Phils would cut the Blue Jays’ lead down to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning as, with one man on, and with one man out, Ronny Cedeno hits an RBI double off of Kyle Drabek, scoring Tony Gwynn, Jr., who had just walked. That would end up being the final score, as it started to rain in Clearwater before the Phils could bat in their half of the seventh inning, and after a while, the game was called.

Roberto Hernandez pitched two innings for the Phils, giving up two runs on four hits. Phillippe Aumont (0-1, 18.00) took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch. Jeff Manship, Antonio Bastardo and Kevin Munson combined for four scoreless innings, giving up three hits (one hit each) and a walk (Munson), while striking out five (Manship (3), Bastardo (1), Munson (1)). J.A. Happ pitched an inning for the Blue Jays, giving up two runs on four hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Todd Redmond (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw two scoreless innings, striking out a batter. Kyle Drabek pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on a hit and three walks, striking out a batter. Neil Wagner pitched an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three batters. Chad Jenkins recorded his first save of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter whom he would face.

The Phils would end the game with five hits, a single by Ben Revere, an RBI single by Ryan Howard, an RBI single by Marlon Byrd, a single by Dom Brown and an RBI double by Ronny Cedeno. The Phils also had five walks in the game (Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu (2), Tony Gwynn, Jr., Darin Ruf). The defense would commit an error (throwing error by third baseman Maikel Franco) and a doubleplay (6-4-3) in the game.

The Phils’ next Grapefruit League game will be tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida at 1:05 pm EST. The Phils’ starter is suppose to be Cliff Lee (14-8, 2.87 (2013)), while the Blue Jays’ starter is suppose to be R.A. Dickey (14-13, 4.21 (2013)). Hopefully the final outcome will be difference tomorrow.

News from the broadcast booth…

Philadelphia_PhilliesOn Monday, the Phils and Comcast officially announced that Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will join the broadcast team, starting with spring training games. Jamie Moyers will be in the booth, broadcasting games for Comcast, MLB.TV and WPHL-17 for 109 games, while Stairs will broadcast 108 games, with their first broadcast being today’s opening Grapefruit League game between the Phils and the Blue Jays.  A day later, the Phils confirmed that Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt, will also be in the broadcast booth, broadcasting Sunday home games.

Meanwhile, the people whom Moyers and Stairs have replaced, Garry Matthews and Chris Wheeler, are still with the Phils, planning to act as goodwill ambassadors for the organization during the season, while Matthews is presently involved with the players in Clearwater acting as a guest instructor.

Since my last post….

Philadelphia_PhilliesThe Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.

On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.

On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.

As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.

Moves the Phils have made during the past off-season…

Philadelphia_PhilliesAs the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.

The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.

Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.

The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.

Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.

The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altheer and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.

On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.

Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.

On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.

Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.

In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.

With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.

Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. :-)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.