Results tagged ‘ Carlos Carrasco ’
Phils make deal with Indians: Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for four minor league prospects. Whoo Hoo!!!!
Phillies land Lee from Tribe
Defending AL Cy Young winner to join world champions
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Oh my god!! Are the Phils now the team to beat??? It sure looks that way to me!!!
Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award last season. Less than a year later, he’ll join the defending world champions.
The Phillies and Indians reached agreement Wednesday that would send the left-handed Lee, along with outfielder Ben Francisco to Philadelphia for a package of four prospects — Class A right-hander Jason Knapp and Triple-A right-hander Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald.
The deal is pending medical reviews and could be announced later Wednesday.
The Phillies have been searching for starting pitching help for months. Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA this season. He went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA last season, after spending much of 2007 in the Minor Leagues. And Francisco fills a void for a potent right-handed bat off the bench. Francisco, who played regularly in left field, is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs.
On the other hand, the trade may be a signal that Cleveland — which traded the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner last year, too, in the person of CC Sabathia — is entering a rebuilding period.
Knapp appears to be the key acquisition for the Tribe. He was the Phillies’ second-round pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, and he won’t turn 19 until Aug. 31. Listed at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Knapp has an upper-90s fastball and a large frame. He was starting for Class A Lakewood in the South Atlantic League, where he was 2-7 with a 4.01 ERA in 17 starts, striking out a ******** 111 batters while walking 39 in 85 1/3 innings.
Knapp was recently shut down with right shoulder soreness. He hasn’t pitched since July 11.
It was well-documented that the Indians were seeking impact pitching prospects in advance of Friday’s Trade Deadline, and Carrasco is the other pitching piece of the deal. He had been discussed internally by the Tribe last year, when the club was shopping Sabathia. In the end, the Tribe turned down a package featuring Carrasco and instead shipped Sabathia to the Brewers for a package highlighted by outfielder Matt LaPorta.
But the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Carrasco is now coming aboard. Carrasco, a 22-year-old native of Venezuela, was with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he was 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 20 starts. He had struck out 112 with 38 walks in 114 2/3 innings.
Marson is one of the game’s top catching prospects. His acquisition could signal that the Indians are on the brink of another move, possibly involving Victor Martinez.
The 23-year-old Marson has hit .294 with a homer, 13 doubles, 24 RBIs and a .751 OPS in 63 games at Lehigh Valley this season. He appeared in seven games with the Phillies, going 4-for-17 at the plate.
Donald, 24, was batting .236 with a homer, 15 doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs and a .629 OPS in 51 games at Lehigh Valley. He just recently returned to action after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.
Lee was one of three pieces acquired by Cleveland in the 2002 trade that sent Bartolo Colon to the Expos, and he’s the second of those pieces to be shipped out, joining the Reds’ Brandon Phillips. Grady Sizemore is the lone remaining player from the trade that has defined Mark Shapiro’s tenure as general manager and the rebuilding effort that got the Indians into the postseason in 2007.
Lee, however, wasn’t part of that postseason run. The Indians demoted him to Triple-A that season to get him straightened out after an ineffective, injury-plagued start to the season. And Lee certainly looked straightened out in 2008, when he became the Tribe’s first 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry in 1974. His .880 winning percentage was the second-best in franchise history.
This season, Lee has continued to put up ace-caliber performances, but his supporting cast has let him down. His 7-9 record is no indication of how well he’s pitched, but his 3.14 ERA is. With the trade rumors swirling, Lee has really heated up in the second half. He was 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his first three starts after the All-Star break.
The Indians get four of the Phillies’ top prospects. But in what certainly made the deal attractive to the Phillies, they did not have to part with any of the three players the Blue Jays had been seeking for Roy Halladay: left-hander J.A. Happ, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Dominic Brown. (H/T Phillies.com)
Oh, my. After letting one get away, Roy Halladay, the Phils are able to hook another pitcher, Cliff Lee, and he’s bringing with him a right handed bat, Ben Francisco, to come off of our bench, two of the three parts that the Phils need to cover before the playoffs. And they did it without hurting themselves too badly among their prospects, or J.A. Happ, as it looks like, to me anyway, that Donald needed to be able to play full time elsewhere, thanks to the roadblocks of Jimmy Rollins and Pedro Feliz. As for Marson, I hate to see him go, but I wish both him and Donald luck in the Indians organization. Now, if Reuben can find the extra bullpen help we need, I think this team will be set for the playoffs. If this works out, all I can say is, Roy who? :) I never thought I would be feeling so happy as July ends. Whoo HOOOOOO!!!!!!
Spring Training: Ryan Howard and Chase Utley show their power while Phillies’ pitching gets spanked by the Yankees, 10-2.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils were for the second time in their three meetings crushed by the Yankees, this time by the score of 10-2. Pitching prospect, Carlos Carrasco, who should be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, started the game for the Phils. He pitched five innings, giving up four runs to the Bronx Bombers on six hits, including a two-run home run to Hideki Matsui in the first inning, and a solo shot to Cody Ransom in the fourth, and a walk while striking out four. Clay Condrey followed with an inning of work, giving up a run on a hit and a walk as he struck out two. Brad Lidge then took the mound, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Scott Eyre followed Lidge for an inning and gets hammered hard by the Yanks, giving up five runs on five hits, with two of them being a solo home run by Nick Swisher and a two-run shot from Melky Cabera, as he struck out one. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on no hits while striking out one. Carrasco took the lost, with his spring training record now at 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA.
Among the batters, the Phils had only six hits, with Chase Utley leading the way with two hits, including his second home run of the spring, a solo shot. Ryan Howard, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Ronny Paulino had the other hits, with Howard’s being a solo home run, his seventh of the spring, while Paulino and Stairs’ hits were doubles.
The Phillies will continue Grapefruit League play, as they face the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida. The game is in progress, with the Phils holding a slim 3-2 lead after four innings.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phillies played the Cardinals to a 2-2, 10-innings tie, thanks to a Tyler Greene throwing error in the sixth inning.
Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phils, giving up two runs, with both runs coming in on a two-run home run by Rick Ankiel in the third, on three hits and two walks. Chad Durbin follows him to the mound, pitching an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up no hits while walking two batters and striking out one. Ryan Madson then takes the mound, giving up no runs on a hit while striking out one in an inning and two thirds of work. Mike Koplove takes over, and pitches an inning and a third of shut out ball, giving up only one hit and a walk as he strikes out one batter. Jake Woods takes the mound in the tenth, giving up only one hit as he keeps the Cardinals from scoring a run, as the Phillies play their second tie in three games. Although Carrasco is likely not going north with the main team, he is likely to get sent to Lehigh Valley for more seasoning, and possible call up if something happens to someone on the main team during the season.
Among the batters, the Phils had a total of nine hits, with four batters having two hits apiece: Eric Bruntlett, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins, with one of Howard’s hits being a solo home run, his sixth home run of the spring. Carlos Ruiz had the Phils other hit. Howard had the Phils only RBI of the game, while Utley scored the second Phils’ run. Now having played in three Grapefruit League games, Utley, who appears to be ready to play second base on Opening Night, has a .333 batting average, while Howard has increased his average to .310 with his two hits.
The Phillies next spring training game is presently in progress with the Minnesota Twins at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, with the Phils’ trailing the Twins, 2-0, after at least one half-inning of play.
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils finally end their losing streak as they defeat the Astros, 5-2. Pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco started the game for the Phillies and recaptured his poise as he pitched three strong innings, giving up only a run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Dave Borkowski followed, pitching an inning, giving up no runs on no hits as he walked two batters and struck out one. Andrew Carpenter went to the mound next, giving up a run, a Mark Saccomanno solo home run, on three hits and four strike outs as he pitched four innings. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on one hit while recording one strike out. Koplove records a save while Carrasco gets the victory, with his spring training record rising to 2-1 as his ERA lowers to 6.30.
Meanwhile, the Phillies batters recorded eleven hits with Pablo Ozuna leading the attack with three hits as he goes 3 for 4 with an RBI, followed by both Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs, who both had two hits, with Dobbs knocking in two runs and scoring one. Jason Donald, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr. and Eric Bruntlett had the other Phillies’ hits, with Werth’s hit being a solo home run as he knocked in two runs. The Phils also had three stolen bases, with Ozuna, Donald and Bruntlett each swiping a base. Mayberry and Donald continues to impress the powers that be with their hitting.
In other Phils news, Chase Utley played in a minor league game yesterday, going 2 for 4 as he played second base for four innings, showing that he hasn’t lost a step. If he can show this in regular spring training games, he should be ready to start at second base on opening night.
The Phillies next spring training game is this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 pm.
Starting on Friday night, the Phils played three Grapefruit League games, winning one and losing three, putting their Grapefruit League games record at 4-5.
On Friday night, they played a night game with the Toronto Blue Jays, losing a close game, 4-3. Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits as he struck out four. Yorman Bazardo followed him for an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a batter. Gary Majewski next came in to pitch two strong innings, as he struck out two batters, continuing to impress. Lastly, Sergio Escalona came in to pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out one, becoming the losing pitching. His Grapefruit league record is now 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA.
Batting-wise, the Phillies had seven hits, with Greg Dobbs and Pablo Ozuna leading the way with two hits each, while Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit, with Jenkins knocking in all three Phillies’ runs.
On Saturday, the Phils played the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Tigers, 8-2. Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, as he gave up only one earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five, with the run coming in on a home run. J.A. Happ would follow, pitching three strong innings as he stay on pace with Park in the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation. Happ would give up no runs on two hits while striking out seven Tigers. Scott Eyre followed with an inning of relief, giving up a run on a hit, also a home run, while striking out two. Mike Koplove continues to impress with a strong 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, striking out one. Moyer takes the win, his Grapefruit League record now 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
The batters would get only five hits, but making them count when they needed to. Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Jayson Werth and Jason Donald would else get a hit, with Howard and Mayberry’s hits being a pair of three-run home runs. Jenkins and Lou Marson would bring in the other two Phillies runs.
Yesterday, the Phillies played the Braves, losing that game,7-2. Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, pitching three strong innings, before giving up a run in the fourth as the Braves batters in that inning proceeded to go first pitch hitting to knock in a run. Blanton would give up a run on four hits and a walk. Carlos Carrasco would follow and have two very unproductive innings as he gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits. This, along with his previous bad outing, will hurt his changes in the battle for the fifth spot in the Phils starting rotation. Clay Condrey would pitch next, putting up a 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Madson pitched next, giving up a run on four hits while striking out one. Carrasco takes the lost, his record now 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA.
The Phils got eight hits yesterday, with Marcus Giles and Donald leading the way with two hits apiece. Werth, Bruntlett, Ronny Paulino and J.J. Fumaniak would collect the other four hits. Donald and Paulino would knock in the two Phillies’ runs.
In the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, Park and Happ appears to have turned it into a two man race, while Carrasco has been showing that he still need to improve on the mental aspect of his game before he can start facing major league level batters. Meanwhile, the man whose job the other three are shooting for, Kyle Kendrick, needs to not lose his head when things seem to go bad for him in games.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Reds at Bright House Field, with the score tied 3-3 after five innings.
Spring Training: Latest news and the Phillies now have a three-game winning streak in Grapefruit League play.
Okay, first things first: The Baltimore Orioles during the weekend had picked up Adam Eaton, signing him to a minor league contract worth $400,000 dollars, after he had cleared waivers. Okay, I have just this to say: Hey Baltimore, are you guys so desperate for arms that you’re willing to pick him up? If so, good luck with him, guys, as you are going to be needing it.
As several Phils, including Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, get ready to join their teams for the World Baseball Classic, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge are both presently sidelined with soreness, Durbin with his right hamstring and Lidge with his arm, although Lidge would pitch earlier today with very little trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee, while Durbin, at the moment, has no idea when he’ll start throwing in non-game conditions.
The Phillies have added two B games to their schedule, both against the Toronto Blue Jays. One was played earlier this afternoon, at Clearwater, with the other B game to be played this coming Friday. In the B game, via a report from Phillies.com beat writer Todd Zolecki’s blog, The Zoe Zone, starters Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton have combined for seven scoreless innings, giving up between them just seven scattered hits, as Moyer would also walk one while striking out four.
After losing three games in a row, the Phils have three straight games, as they would defeat the Atlanta Braves yesterday afternoon, 7-3 and have just beaten the Toronto Blue Jays’ ‘A’ squad, 12-7, coming from behind to win both games.
In yesterday’s game, pitching-wise, Brett Myers would pitch three solid innings, as he would give up just two earned runs on three hits, while striking out one batter. Chan Ho Park, the fourth man involved in the battle for the final spot in the rotation, would follow him by pitching three strong innings, giving up only one run, via a home run, on four hits, as he also strikes out one batter. Scott Nestor would follow with a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out one and walking one. Joe Bisenius and Blaine Neal, who would redeem himself after his bad outing, would both follow with a pair of 1-2-3 innings.
Meanwhile, the Phils’ batters, after being kept scoreless during the first four innings, would score their seven runs in the fifth (1), sixth (4) and seventh (2) innings. Eric Bluntlett and Marcus Giles would lead the attack by getting two hits each, with Giles scoring two runs and knocking in a run, while Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Jeremy Slayden, Gerg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Carlos Ruiz would each contribute a hit in the Phils’ 11-hit attack. Besides Giles, Rollins, Dobbs, and Stairs would each get an RBI, while Ruiz would knock in two runs. Giles would also steal two bases, while Bruntlett and Mayberry would each steal one.
Park would be the winning pitcher, with a Spring Training record of 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. The losing pitcher for the Braves would be Jeff Ridgway, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with a 40.50 ERA.
In today’s games, J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco would start things off for the Phils. Happ would give up a two-run home run to Adam Lind in the first inning, giving Toronto the lead, before settling down. He would pitch three strong innings, giving up just two runs on three hits and a walk. Carrasco would take over and have a 1-2-3 fourth, before being hit around in the fifth, giving up five runs, including a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Bradley Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. He would then come back and keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the sixth. Carrasco, in three innings, would give up five runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out three. Gary Majewski would then come in and pitch two strong innings, giving up no runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Yoman Bazardo would follow him with a strong inning of relief.
Batting wise, after scoring single runs in both the first and fifth innings, the Phils would explode for six runs in the sixth, and then score two runs apiece in both the seventh and eighth innings. In an eleven-hit attack, Raul Ibanez and Slayden would lead the team with two hits each, while Bruntlett, Miguel Cairo, Ryan Howard, Mayberry, Pablo Ozuna, Jason Donald and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Bruntlett, Ibanez, Howard, Mayberry and Slayden would each knock in two runs, while Cairo and Ozuna would both knock in one run each. Howard would hit a two-run home run, while Slayden would hit a solo shot. After being quiet in the first three games, the bats have come alive, knocking in thirty-one runs in three games.
The winning pitcher, in spite of the five runs that he would give up in the fifth, is Carrasco, now with a Spring Training record of 1-0 and an ERA of 5.40. The losing pitcher for the Blue Jays is Jeremy Accardo, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 and an 15.75 ERA.
The Phillies’ Grapefruit League record is now 3-3 after six games.
The Phillies have tomorrow off. Their next game will be an Exhibition Game on Wednesday afternoon against Team Canada, with Cole Hamels on the mound. The game will begin at 1:05 pm Eastern from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.
The Phillies has just finished playing their home opener at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, this afternoon. They ended up on the short end once again, as they lose to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2.
The Phillies started the game, pitching wise, by sending out Carlos Carrasco, one of the four men trying to land the job of fifth starter in the starting rotation. The pitching prospect was soon aiming to please, as he put down the Blue Jays 1-2-3, getting two straight strikeouts and a ground out, third to first. After the Phils went down in order in their half of the first, Carrasco went back on the mound in the top of the second, once again getting a 1-2-3 innings against the Blue Jays batters by getting a ground out, 5-3, a fly out to right and a third strikeout. Carrasco seems to have set the bar in the battle for the final rotation spot by striking out three, getting two ground outs and a fly out.
After the Phils would go scoreless in their half of the second, J.A. Happ, another contender for the fifth spot, would take the mound. Refusing to give ground to Carassco, Happ would put together a 1-2-3 inning of his own, getting a ground out, 6-3, a fly out to right and a strike out. The Phillies would then proceed to break the scoreless tie, as, with no one out, and runners on first and second via a single and a stolen base (Jason Ellison) and a walk (Carlos Ruiz), Jimmy Rollins would knock in Ellinson with a single to right, while sending Ruiz to third, as he would move up to second on the throw home. Sadly, that would be all that the Phillies would do that inning, as the next three batters would strike out, pop out and strike out. Happ would go back to the mound in the top of the fourth, soon getting the first two men out via a ground out, 4-3 and a pop out to third. He would then give up a single, the first hit of the game for the Blue Jays, before he ended the inning with a fly out to center. In spite of the hit, Happ would do as well as Carrasco, getting two ground outs, two fly outs, a pop out and a strike out. The Phillies would only manage a walk in the bottom of the fourth.
The Phillies would send Justin Lehr to the mound to start the fifth. Lehr would be welcomed by Travis Snider who would hit a lead-off home run on a 2-2 pitch, tying the game up at 1-1. The Blue Jays would then take the lead as Jason Lane would follow Snider with a home run of his own on a 3-2 pitch. Lehr would then get out of the inning by getting two straight ground outs, 4-3 and 3-1 and then a line out to second. The Phils would go down 1-2-3 in their half of the fifth.
Gary Majewski would pitch the sixth for the Phillies. He would pitch a 1-2-3 inning against the Blue Jays, with a strike out, a ground out, 3-1 and another strike out. In the Phillies’ half of the inning, they would tie the score at 2-2 with two men outs as Greg Dobbs singles in John Mayberry, Jr., who has earlier doubled. After the sixth inning ends, Majewski would go back out to pitch the seventh, soon mowing down the Blue Jays again, 1-2-3, as he would get a fly out to left, a ground out, 4-3, and a pop out to third on six pitches. The Phillies would be unable to score in their half of the inning, in spite of getting a man on first via a hit batman, with one out, because of an inning ending double play.
The Phillies would start the eighth inning with Blaine Neal on the pitching rubber. After getting out the first batter with a pop out to second, he would give up a double to David Cooper. The next batter would ground out, 5-3, keeping Cooper at second. After that, everything would go wrong for Neal. He would walk Angel Sanchez, putting runners on first and second, then would throw a wild pitch, sending Cooper to third, putting runners on the corner. He would then walk Bradley Emaus on four pitches, loading up the bases as Sanchez would move over to second. Scott Campbell would then come up and clears the bases with a double, scoring Cooper, Sanchez and Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. That would be it for Neal, as he would be taken out for Yorman Bazardo. Bazardo would hit the first batter he would face, Brian Jeroloman, putting runners on first and second. He would then give up an RBI single to Adam Loewen, scoring Campbell, and sending Jeroloman to third, as the Blue Jays would increase their lead to 6-2. Bazardo would finally end the inning by getting the next batter to ground out, 4-3, but by then the damage had already been done as Neal and Bazardo would combine to give up four runs (all charged to Neal) on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. The Phils would be unable to score in their half of the eighth, in spite of starting the inning off with a walk, as the next batter would hit into a double play before the inning would end with a strike out.
Bazardo would be sent back out to pitch the ninth. He would strike out the first batter he would face, before issuing a walk. He would then end the inning by getting the next batter to ground into a double play. The Phillies ninth would begin with a strike out before Andy Tracy would get on base with a single. Pablo Ozuna would follow him with a single, putting runners on first and second with one out. The next batter would then hit into a force out, with Ozuna being out at second while Tracy would move over to third. The next batter would then strike out, ending the game, and giving the Phils their second straight Spring Training lost.
For the Phillies, the two men trying for the fifth starter spot in the rotation, Carrasco and Happ, would both do well today, as between them, they would give up no runs in four innings of work, giving up only a single, while striking out four. Majewski would also do well, as he would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits, while striking out two. Although he would allow in the fourth and final run to score in the eighth inning, Bazardo would pitch a scoreless inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk and hitting a batter, while striking out one. Lehr would pitch one bad inning, giving up back-to-bat home runs, before getting out of the inning with no further damage. Neal though, would end up being hit the hardest, as he would give up four earned runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch in two-thirds of an inning.
Among the batters, the Phils would have only six hits, with Rollins, Mayberry, Dobbs, Tracy, Ozuna and Ellison each getting a hit, while Rollins and Dobbs would be responsible for the Phils two RBIs. The Phillies would only walk three times in the game while striking out nine times.
Neal would be the losing pitching, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with an ERA of 54.00. The winning pitching for the Blue Jays would be Bill Murphy, who, in one inning of work, would give up no runs or hits, while striking out one batter. His Spring Training record is now 1-0 with an 0.00 ERA.
The Phillies next Spring Training game will be played tomorrow afternoon from Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida at 1:05 pm Easetrn.
The Phillies will officially begin their defense of their World Series title tomorrow, as pitchers and catchers will officially report at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Although the team is, for the most part, already set, there will still be some battles for spots on the team. Among them will be, who will be the fifth starter and who will be taking up residence in the bullpen between J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park, and prospect Carlos Carrasco; who will be playing back-up to Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, Chris Coste or Ronny Paulino; and lastly, who will be playing second base, if Chase Utley is not ready by opening day, April 5, Eric Bruntlett or prospect/rookie Jason Donald, or someone else. Other questions to be answered will include: will Raul Ibanez be the improvement to the departed fan favorite Pat Burrell that everyone keep saying that he is; will the Phillies be able to get lefty Will Ohman to replace J.C. Romero during his 50 games suspension, or will they be able to find someone in-house; will they be able to get Nomar Garciaparra to sign on the dotted line to become their right-handed bat off the bench to compliment left-hander Greg Dobbs, or will they be able to do it with left-handers Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins; will the afformentioned Utley actually be ready to start at second base on opening day, or will the Phils tell him to give his right hip the rest that they think it will need for him to be fully ready; will Pedro Feliz’s back be ready to let him play during the spring; will the Phils be able to get somebody to take Adam Eaton off their hands, or will they just let him go; and lastly, will anyone among the invitees be able to get a job with the main team, or will they be spending the season in the minors or with another MLB team.
Those are the questions. They should all be answered by the time the Phillies will start their title defense at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night, April 5, against the Atlanta Braves.
Me, I can’t wait to find out the answers.
All eight Phils who are eligible for arbitration have just filed, including Ryan Howard, 2008 NLCS and WS MVP Cole Hamel and Shane Victorino. All players must now tell the Phils how much they think they’re worth by this upcoming Tuesday, and any of those that don’t come to a quick decision with the ballclub, will have their case sent to a panel of three arbitrators for February 1-21.
In my opinion, I believe that except for maybe Howard, the players and the Phils will quickly settled their monetary differences and sign contracts for the next several seasons. With Howard, if last year is any indication, the team may decide to try their luck again with arbitration. While I think this might end up being another bad move on management’s part, I can see their point because of Howard’s low batting average and the large number of strikeouts he has made, in spite of his ability to knock in runs and hit home runs. But, I will say this, if the Phillies’ front office stiff Hamel, after asking him to pitch a full season without an injury, which he did, by helping the team win it all in the post-season, by not giving him a several seasons contract, then they will only have themselves to blame if he decides to try free agency the first chance he gets. Hey, front office, listen up, lock him in, now!!!!
Also, in an Alden Gonzalez article that was posted recently on Phillies.com, J.A. Happ has said that he is ready to compete for the last spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation, as he goes up against Chan Ho Park, Kyle Kendrick, and prospect Carlos Carrasco, among others for that spot.
I wish Happ luck on getting the spot. But if he doesn’t, I’m sure he will continue what he was doing at Lehigh Valley, while waiting to be called back if something goes wrong with one of the starters on the main squad.
First, some good news. The Phillies yesterday made it official as they signed reliever Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to a one-year, $2.5 million dollars contract, to pitch for the Phils in 2009, after having past his physical. The right hander, who will be fighting for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ starting rotation with Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, and minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco, but will more than likely be coming out of the bullpen, has pitched in 378 games, and starting in 280 of them, in a 15 years career as a major leaguer, with a record of 117 wins and 92 loses with an ERA of 4.34. For the 2008 Dodgers, he has appeared in 54 games, all but 5 of them coming out of the bullpen, going 4-4 on the year with a 3.40 ERA.
Later that day, the Phillies signed righthanded second baseman Marcus Giles to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training, for $600,000. Although signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2008, he was released by them before the start of the 2008 season. His last full season in the majors was in 2007, where he played for the San Diego Padres for 116 games, going 96 for 420 for a .229 average, knocking in 39 RBIs on 19 2Bs, 3 3Bs and 4 HRs, while scoring 52 runs. In three years in the majors, he has a career batting average of .277, knocking in 333 RBIs on 187 2Bs, 16 3Bs and 76 HRs, while scoring 468 runs. Giles will more than likely, if he makes the team in spring training, be used as the second baseman while Chase Utley continues to recover from hip surgery, and then be used as insurance at second base and their right handed bat off of the bench after Utley’s return.
Now, the bad news. J.C. Romero has been suspended by MLB for the first 50 games of the season for violating the league’s drug policy, inspite of the fact that he has done nothing wrong, while doing every thing that he could to avoid violating the policy, as he took an over-the-counter supplement, bought from a Cherry Hill GNC, that contain traces of a substance that is on the MLB’s do not take policy. My opinion is that this is just flat-out bogus.
Other folks elsewhere have already commented on this, and I’m just going to give my two cents. I consider Romero the victim of bad advice, being told that the new product that he had bought over-the-counter from GNC was at the time okay to take, as the player’s association has told him that everything bought from a nutrition store like GNC was okay, as well as being told by three different nutritionists that it was safe to use, but never being informed that there was actually an illegal substance in it, according to the Center for Drug Free Sports. He only realized that something was wrong when he was told that he had tested positive during a drug test done on him on Aug. 26 in Sept., before, if the time line is correct, being informed that he has failed again on September 19. Romero took immediate action, and stop taking all of his supplements, not know which one has caused the positive reading, thus rating a negative when he was tested again on October 1, before the playoffs, so that whatever was that was in his system has finally passed through. But, he was at the time offered a deal by major league baseball: Admit that you was wrong in taking it and take a 25 games suspension, effective immediately, or, take your chances with arbitration, lose and get a 50 games suspension. Romero, who honestly believe that he has done nothing wrong (as would anyone who is following this very carefully, and without any bias), told them no on the plea, and decided to take his chances with an arbitrator. Sadly, the arbitrator found in favor of MLB, and Romero is now out for 50 games.
This whole thing would be funny, if not for the fact that Romero had done everything he could to not be in this present situation, as he kept asking if the product was safe to use, as did the Yankees’ Sergio Mitre, who also bought an over-the-counter product from GNC, that has also gotten him into hot water, with the same results, and are both now being penalized, and having their good names dragged through the mud because of other people’s mistakes, because these same people have been burned by the steroid era of the 90s and the reaction from the U.S. Congress a few years back. (Yeah, yeah, I know a few of you out there are saying sour grapes, but please read all of the articles on this, before making knee jerk reactions. It took me over a day before I’d decided to write about this, and it was only after reading several articles and seeing the reactions to it on several other blogs, and, for the most part, I am reading that people, in general, think that the two of them are both getting a raw deal.) Yeah, you heard me. This is the MLB trying to tell Congress and the public, see, see, we’re cleaning up our act. Sorry, guys, but for you to convince me, you need to do a whole lot better than this, when it doesn’t look that you’re trying to kiss up to the U.S. Congress. You guys are pathetic.
Anyway, I’m hoping that the Phillies will take advantage of the situation. How? Remember people, Romero will be gone for 50 games, plus how many games he might miss trying to get back into the swing of things, if the Phillies don’t have him pitching in their minor league system to get himself ready. Romero will thus be fresh and ready to go when the second half grind start. I feel sorry for the batters JC’ll be facing if he decides to use it as an opportunity to defend his honor by taking it out on them for the rest of the year.