Results tagged ‘ Philadelphia Inquirer ’

Spring Training: The Phillies lose another close one, as Blaine Neal is unable to hold the lead in the ninth.

The Phillies loses another close game in Spring Training, this time in spite of taking the lead with a five-run sixth inning, thanks to Blaine Neal being unable to hold off the Pirates in the ninth, as the Phils lose 6-5. Joe Blanton starts the game off for the Phils, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and a balk while he struck out two. Robert Mosebach follows for an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Ryan Madson and Scott Nestor follows with both men pitching an inning in relief, with each giving up a hit apiece as Madson strikes out three batters and Nestor two. Blaine Neal pitches an inning, losing the game as he gives up three runs on three hits, with the big blow being Jeff Salazar’s three-run home run, and a walk while striking out one. Blaine’s spring training record is now 0-2 with a 23.63 ERA, as he is also credited with a blown save. So far this spring, the Phils first four starters are pitching well, while both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park are both pitching well to claim the fifth and final spot in the rotation. If this keeps up, the starting rotation might become the strength of the Phillies arsenal this season like the bullpen was last season.

Among the batters, the Phils were quiet for most of the game, but had a five-run explosion in the sixth. The batters had nine hits, with Jason Donald leading the way with two hits, as he went 2 for 5 with a run scored, as he now has a .361 spring training batting average. Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, John Mayberry, Jr., Miguel Cairo and Carlos Ruiz got the other Phils hits. Howard got two more RBIs with a two-run blast, his fifth home run of the spring, while Ibanez, Cairo and Ruiz knock in the other three runs. Donald is impressing the brass with his batting, as is Mayberry. Also, Pedro Feliz was in the lineup, playing third base for several innings, although going 0 for 2.

The Phillies continue Grapefruit League play by facing the Houston Astros this afternoon, while the Astros will also be involved in a split squad game with the New York Mets.

In other Phillies news, it has been announced that Chase Utley might be ready to participate in some games next week, putting him on schedule for actually playing on Opening Night next month with the Atlanta Braves. If so, that would be very good news for the Phils. And ex-Phil and now Tampa Bay Ray, Pat Burrell, took out a pair of big ads which appeared in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, thanking the fans for their support during his nine seasons as a Phil. A real nice move by Pat the Bat.

More Trade Rumors: DeRosa might come to Phillies in exchange for J.A. Happ and another prospect to Cubs as part of Peavy deal.

DeRosa may move to Phillies

Infielder could be instrumental in Cubs obtaining Peavy from Pads

The newspaper said the Phillies were working on a complex trade that would import DeRosa, who would provide insurance for Utley at second base and fill, at least partially, the club’s vacancy in left field.

DeRosa, the one-time quarterback for Penn, would move from the Cubs to the Phillies, who would send pitcher J.A. Happ to the Cubs, possibly with another prospect. The Cubs would then move Happ, the second prospect and more to the Padres in a package for pitcher Peavy, the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner.

The Inquirer reported that the Orioles might be involved in the multiclub deal. “Three teams, possible,” the paper quoted a Phillies source as having said Monday night. “Four, doubtful.”

Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phils’ new general manager, declined to comment about the possibility of being involved in a Peavy trade, although a source said there have been talks. Pat Gillick, the outgoing GM who is now a consultant with the club, said on Tuesday morning that he has no detailed knowledge of the talks.

Utley, the All-Star second baseman, underwent surgery on his hip and is expected to miss at least two months of the season. The void in left field is the result of Pat Burrell filing for free agency. Burrell is not expected to re-sign with the Phillies.

DeRosa, 34 in February, appears to be an ideal fit for the Phillies. He batted .285 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs in 149 games for the Cubs last season, playing six positions including second base (96 games) and left field (27). He is signed for the 2009 season for $5.5 million.

Amaro said on Monday that there was a lot of general interest in infielder Jason Donald, who played for bronze medal-winning Team USA during the Summer Olympics in Beijing and was recently named to the Arizona Fall League’s All-Prospect team

The Padres have been attempting to move Peavy, their ace, who is owed $63 million over the next four seasons. The Cubs have been the main target since a deal with the Braves collapsed last month, but a match between the Padres and Cubs hasn’t been found, so San Diego GM Kevin Towers has said a third or fourth team might be needed to get a deal done.

Towers said Monday that a deal with the Cubs will most likely need to take place this week at the Winter Meetings or he expects to halt the process of trying to move Peavy, the 27-year-old who won the National League Cy Young Award and that league’s pitching Triple Crown just one year ago.

Towers wouldn’t comment on the Phillies being a possible go-between to get Peavy to the Cubs, saying only on Monday that “there’s a package there that would please us.”

Meanwhile, Amaro said he continues to talk with myriad clubs and agents about filling his club’s holes, which also includes one that could be created by the possible departure of veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer via free agency.

According to an SI.com report, the Phillies are believed to have offered Moyer a two-year deal for about $14 million. Moyer is said to be looking for $18 million over two years. At the same time, the Phillies are said to be one of several teams to make an offer to free-agent right-hander Derek Lowe.

Amaro declined to talk about players on other teams he might be talking with, but said that obtaining a starting pitcher would not necessarily preclude the re-signing of Moyer.

“You can never have enough pitching,” Amaro said.

“We’ve spent the day trying to crystallize some of the things we want to do,” Amaro said. “We’ve had some sort of discussions with each of the 29 other clubs. Our desire is trying to improve this team.”

As far as Burrell goes, Amaro said he’s had no substantive talks about bringing back the right-handed slugger, who had three homers and eight RBIs in 14 postseason games.

The Inquirer also reported that the Phillies retain interest in left-handed-hitting, free-agent outfielder Raul Ibanez to play left. However, Ibanez would make the Phillies’ batting order unbalanced once Utley returns. Utley and Ryan Howard also bat left-handed, and without Burrell, the club would lack a right-handed power presence in a ballpark tailored for right-handed hitters.

Ibanez, 36, batted .305 in 187 at-bats against left-handed pitching with the Mariners last season. He batted .293 with 23 homers and 110 RBIs overall, playing in all 162 games.

But opponents would be more likely to throw left-handed pitching at the Phillies whenever possible, and that seemingly would serve to defuse Howard’s potent home run bat.

Ibanez is considered a favorite of Gillick, a one-time Mariners GM, the paper said. Gillick is in Las Vegas for the Winter Meetings.

If the Phils don’t get DeRosa or Ibanez, they may pursue free agent Juan Rivera, a right-handed hitter who played for the Angels in 2008. He could become part of a left-field platoon with left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs.

The Phillies also have spoken with the Twins regarding outfielder Delmon Young. (H/T Phillies.com)

Even after reading this, my brain still hurts. Okay, a local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting this and not the Boston Globe. Anyway, if this does happen, I hope the Phils know what they’re doing and that DeRosa will still help the team once Utley comes back, since Utley is the regular second baseman. I just hate to see Happ go, though, after what he did for the team this year. I’m just hoping that they aren’t going to send along another player who would have helped the team in the future. Or next year for that matter. As for them and Moyer, if they’re that close, money wise, to settling the deal, then just meet half way and get it done. It isn’t rocket science, you know. Now on Lowe, if they are able to outbid the Yanks, I’ll be really surprised. Lastly, guys, either re-sign Burrell or go after another right handed power bat. I think we already have enough left handed power in Howard and Utley.

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