Results tagged ‘ Lehigh Valley ’

The 25-Man roster is set as J.A. Happ, Jack Taschner and Miguel Cairo take the final roster spots.

They Phillies have announced that they will be giving the final two spots in the bullpen to J.A. Happ and Jack Taschner while they send Gary Majewski down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They will also be giving the final bench spot to infielder Miguel Cairo. With that, your 2009 defending World Champions Philadelphia Phillies look like this:

Catchers
Carlos Ruiz
Chris Coste

Infielders
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley
Pedro Feliz
Jimmy Rollins
Greg Dobbs
Miguel Cairo
Eric Bruntlett

Outfielders
Raul Ibanez
Shane Victorino
Jayson Werth
Matt Stairs

Staring Pitchers
Cole Hamels
Brett Myers
Jamie Moyer
Joe Blanton
Chan Ho Park

Relief Pitchers
J.A. Happ
Clay Condrey
Jack Taschner
Chad Durbin
Scott Eyre
Ryan Madson
Brad Lidge

…plus J.C. Romero, who will be returning later in the season from his stupid 50-game suspension, to retake his roster spot in the bullpen.

Although the team looks good and appear ready to defend the title, I still have this nagging question in the back of my head. Why are they putting Happ into the bullpen, where he has not done too well so far at the big league level, instead of Majewski? Let’s be honest, folks. Happ is a starter, no more, no less. He’s better off pitching some more at Lehigh Valley until something bad happens to one of the five starters, knock on wood, instead of the bullpen. I can only think that he’s up here just in case someone in the starting rotation blows it big time real early in the season. I am so hoping that I’m wrong and that Charlie Manuel and the brain-trust knows exactly what they are doing.

In other Phillies-related news, the Mets have just signed outfielder Gary Sheffield to a one-year, $400,000 deal. If Gary’s attitude is as bad as I’d been reading about during the past few days, our team has just bit the bullet by him signing elsewhere. As for the Mets, I hate to be in their clubhouse when he starts becoming disruptive.

Last night, Phillies traded catcher Ronny Paulino to the Giants for left-handed relief pitcher Jack Taschner.

Last December, the Phillies had traded catching prospect Jason Jaramillo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ronny Paulino, who they hoped would be able to challenge, if not win, the second catcher job from fan favorite Chris Coste. Sadly, for Paulino, his spring training average would show otherwise as he batted only .194 (6 for 31) in thirteen Grapefruit League games with only two doubles and a home run while striking out twelve times. Although Coste didn’t do any better with his at-bats, the Phillies have decided to go with the known quantity instead of the unknown and had put Paulino out as trade bait several days ago. Last night they got a nibble as the Giants had traded to them left-handed relief pitcher Jack Taschner for Paulino.

Although Taschner is having just as bad a spring pitching for the Giants in the Cactus League (6.23 ERA in eight and two-thirds inning), the Phils thinks that he is the man that they need for their bullpen right now. While pitching for the Giants last year, Taschner went 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in fourty-eight innings as he appeared in 67 games. Career-wise, in four seasons in the big leagues, all with the Giants, Taschner has a career record of  8-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 140 innings as he pitched in 178 games, all in relief.

With the trade, the Phillies now have two left-handers coming out of the bullpen as they wait for J.C. Romero’s return from his soon to be served 50 games suspension. The trade may also have an influence on the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation, as its more than likely now that the left-hander J.A. Happ will either be declared the winner of the battle, over right-hander Chan Ho Park, or he will be sent down to the Lehigh Valley Triple-A team and will be the first pitcher to be called up if any of the members of the starting rotation is either injured or have a melt down. Only time will tell.

My thoughts on the trade? I think it’s a good strategic move on the Phillies’ part. The Phils have moved someone who they saw during spring training couldn’t cut it while getting in return a temporary, veteran, second left-handed arm to go along with their left-handed relief specialist Scott Eyre while they wait for J.C. Romero to come back from his enforced exile, thus preventing the kind of situations with Eyre like had just happened to him this past Thursday against the Yankees. Hopefully, Traschner will be good enough during that 50 games period that he makes it hard for the Phils to let him go when that happens. I would just love to see what the Phils will do if that happens. :)

Last night, Phillies traded catcher Ronny Paulino to the Giants for left-handed relief pitcher Jack Taschner.

Last December, the Phillies had traded catching prospect Jason Jaramillo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ronny Paulino, who they hoped would be able to challenge, if not win, the second catcher job from fan favorite Chris Coste. Sadly, for Paulino, his spring training average would show otherwise as he batted only .194 (6 for 31) in thirteen Grapefruit League games with only two doubles and a home run while striking out twelve times. Although Coste didn’t do any better with his at-bats, the Phillies have decided to go with the known quantity instead of the unknown and had put Paulino out as trade bait several days ago. Last night they got a nibble as the Giants had traded to them left-handed relief pitcher Jack Taschner for Paulino.

Although Taschner is having just as bad a spring pitching for the Giants in the Cactus League (6.23 ERA in eight and two-thirds inning), the Phils thinks that he is the man that they need for their bullpen right now. While pitching for the Giants last year, Taschner went 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in fourty-eight innings as he appeared in 67 games. Career-wise, in four seasons in the big leagues, all with the Giants, Taschner has a career record of  8-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 140 innings as he pitched in 178 games, all in relief.

With the trade, the Phillies now have two left-handers coming out of the bullpen as they wait for J.C. Romero’s return from his soon to be served 50 games suspension. The trade may also have an influence on the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation, as its more than likely now that the left-hander J.A. Happ will either be declared the winner of the battle, over right-hander Chan Ho Park, or he will be sent down to the Lehigh Valley Triple-A team and will be the first pitcher to be called up if any of the members of the starting rotation is either injured or have a melt down. Only time will tell.

My thoughts on the trade? I think it’s a good strategic move on the Phillies’ part. The Phils have moved someone who they saw during spring training couldn’t cut it while getting in return a temporary, veteran, second left-handed arm to go along with their left-handed relief specialist Scott Eyre while they wait for J.C. Romero to come back from his enforced exile, thus preventing the kind of situations with Eyre like had just happened to him this past Thursday against the Yankees. Hopefully, Traschner will be good enough during that 50 games period that he makes it hard for the Phils to let him go when that happens. I would just love to see what the Phils will do if that happens. :)

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.

Spring Training: Phils get blanked by the Red Sox, 3-0.

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies were defeated by the Red Sox, as the offense was thrown goose eggs all afternoon, losing 3-0.

Brett Myers, the most likely opening night starter, if the Phils decide to give Cole Hamels extra time to get ready for the season, started the game for the Phils. Myers pitched five innings, giving up two runs in the first on a two-run home run by Mike Lowell, before settling down and blanking the BoSox for the next four innings. He would give up five hits along with the two runs, as he walked five batters (seems like bad Brett wanted to come out yesterday) and a strike out. Robert Mosebach followed him, pitching a shut out inning, giving up only two hits. Chad Durbin pitched next, having a shut out inning, giving up no hits, as he walked one, who was later wiped out in a double play and struck out one. Ryan Madson pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, one of them being as solo home run to Chris Carter, as he struck out two batters. Myers took the lost, with his spring training record now being 1-1 with a ERA of 2.63.

The Phillies would only get six hits in the game. Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, Jr., Pablo Ozuna and Carlos Ruiz would each get a hit, with Ibanez and Ruiz’s hits being doubles. None of the batters were able to knock in a run.

In other Phillies news, Kyle Kendrick, as I’d expected, was sent down to the minors camp this morning. He will more than likely start the season pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Hopefully, he’ll come back with a better demeaner and a new pitch or two.

The Phils are presently playing the New York Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater.

Spring Training: The Phillies played the Cardinals to a 10-innings, 2-2 tie.

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.

Spring Training: A tale of three Phillies starters.

The Phillies lose and then win in their last two games as three different starters appear to be going in three different directions.

Starter no. 1, Kyle Kendrick, appears headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley as he has yet another bad outing on the mound, as he gives up five runs, four of which were earned, to the New York Yankees, this past Monday afternoon. He would pitch four innings in total, giving up eight hits and three walks while striking out two, as he takes the lost. Rich Dubee did say that the fifth spot in the rotation was Kendrick’s to lose, and sadly, it looks like he has, as he complies a spring training record of 1-2 with a 12.10 ERA. But, on the plus side, it might be best for Kendrick if he was sent down to Triple-A, as it should allow him to regain his composer against major league batters, as well as to develop a new pitch or two to help himself get out of jams, which he constantly gets into.

Kendrick was followed by Robert Mosebach who pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs on five hits. Jake Woods follows Mosebach, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Scott Eyre pitches an inning, giving up no runs on a hit as he strikes out three Yanks. Ryan Madson also pitches an inning, as he gives up an unearned run, the twelfth that the Yanks would score against the Phils, on two hits while striking out one.

Batting-wise, the Phils only got six hits in the 12-0 lost, with Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, Jason Ellison and Ronny Paulino each getting a hit.

Starter no. 2, Brett Myers, pitches a strong outing yesterday afternoon against the Reds in the Phillies’ 8-1 victory, giving up no runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings of work. He would also strike out seven Reds. Dave Borkowski would follow with a third of an inning of work, walking one batter and striking out one. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, walking a batter. Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up one hit while striking out one. Brad Lidge, pitching in his first Grapefruit League game, would give up a meaningless run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Myers would get the win, giving him a spring training record of 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA, putting him in position to be the Opening Night starter if Cole Hamels isn’t ready to start. More on that later.

Batting-wise, the Phillies would score eight runs in a fourteen-hit attack, with six of those runs coming in the second inning. Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would lead the attack with two hits apiece, with Ruiz also knocking in a run. Pablo Ozuna, Bruntlett, Jason Donald, Howard, Stairs, Ellison, Myers and Jayson Werth would get the other hits. Ozuna, Bruntlett, Donald, and Howard would each knock in a run, along with Ruiz, while Stairs would knock in three. The Phillies had a total of six doubles, with Ibanez, Mayberry, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Stairs and Howard each hitting one. Mayberry and Donald continue to impress.

The third pitcher, Cole Hamels, have had his left elbow examined yesterday in Philadelphia. It appears that there is nothing structurally wrong with his elbow, as team physician Michael Ciccotti checked over his elbow before administering an anti-inflammatory injection into it to help it. Although good news, the Phillies will be going slow with Hamels, meaning that more likely than not that he will not be the Opening Night pitcher after all, and might actually miss his first two starts in the rotation. But, as they say, better to be safe than sorry. And with the team’s ace, better that he is pitching healthy than to have him pitching while hurt and blowing up his arm at some point during the season.

Presently, the Phillies are playing the Blue Jays, with the game tied 4 to 4 after six innings of play.

And now, in local Phillies news….

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.

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090116&content_id=3746707&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi 

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.

According to the Philadelphia Daliy News, the Phillies have added veteran reliever Mike Koplove to add depth to their bullpen.

Phillies add Koplove to bullpen

Champs reportedly add veteran right-handed reliever

Citing two sources familiar with the situation who confirmed the agreement, the Daily News said Koplove is likely to wind up at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but will have an invitation to be in Clearwater, Fla., with the Major League club for Spring Training.

Koplove spent last season in the Dodgers’ system, going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Last year, the Phils made a relatively unheralded bullpen move in signing Chad Durbin, and Durbin wound up being a key factor in Philadelphia’s run to a World Series title. Koplove, 32, has only seven Major League appearances since 2005, but has pitched 254 2/3 innings in his career. (H/T Phillies.com)

Well, I’ll wait until spring training to see if this guy will actually help the team or not. But, if he does, how the Dodgers let him out of their minor league system I’ll never know. 

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 9: Heading to Miami, planning to help finish the Marlins’ dream of reaching the playoffs.

The Phillies (86-67) will played their final road games of 2008 as they get ready to face the third place Marlins (80-72) for three games in Miami. The first game of the series will be played at Dolphin Stadium tonight and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Brett Myers (10-11, 4.06), who is coming off a complete game win over the sliding Brewers on September 14, as he gave up only one earned run on two hits, in the Phillies’ 6-1 win in the nightcap of a day/night doubleheader. Since coming back from his minor league assignment, Myers has been red hot, going 7-2, with two no-decisions in eleven starts, posting an ERA of 1.80. One of those two losts, sadly, came at the hands of the Marlins on September 10, as he went seven and a third innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 lost. The numbers are deceptive, though, as Myers controlled the fish for the first six innings, giving up just three runs in those innings, but getting little, if any, runs support from the Phillies’ bat, especially after they had tied up the game in the fifth. Myers will be looking to even his overall season record and for his eighth win since his return, while hoping that the Phillies will this time give him some very early runs support against the fish. The Marlins will counter with Josh Johnson (5-1, 3.30), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 13, as he went six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Marlins’ 4-2 win. In his previous start against the Phillies on August 5 he picked up a win as he went six innings, giving up no runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 8-2 win. He will be trying to extend the Marlins’ eight games winning streak while hoping to snap the Phillies’ seven games winning streak.

The keys to the game will be for the Phillies’ offense to stay hot and give Brett Myers an early lead which he can work with. Although the Braves would cool the bats off in the final game of the three games series in Atlanta, the fact that Pat Burrell has hit the ball hard in his last three at bats, leading to a home run and a single, might mean that he is finally ready to break out of his slump. If so, it couldn’t happen at a nicer time, as the Phillies’ offense really need to take the pesky Marlins out of the game real early so that they won’t be able to do anything late. Myers’ key to winning will be to just keep doing what he’d been doing against the rest of the National League since his return from Lehigh Valley, while keeping the Marlins’ young bats quiet so that they won’t be given the chance to become a spolier against the Philles. If anything else, the Phillies need to show their host how much they enjoy them being around for most of the season by ending their dreams of a playoff spot right now.

The Phillies are a half game ahead of the Mets, as the Mets prepare to meet the Braves for a three games series. They are five and a half games ahead of the Marlins, who will be hosting the Phils for three games, starting tonight. In the Wild Card chase, the Mets lead the Brewers by a game and a half as the Brewers face the Reds in Cincinnati for three games. The Mets now lead both the Marlins and the Astros by five games, as the fish host the Phillies while the Astros will play the Pirates for three games. The Phillies will be looking to continue their winning streak and to increase their lead in the Eastern Division while trying to end the Marlins’ pennant hopes in both the division and the wild card.

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