Results tagged ‘ Rich Dubee ’

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. :-)

The Phils made a quick shake up among their coaches after the last game of the season.

After the last game of the 2012 season, the Phils made a quick shake up among their coaches: Pete Mackanin, Greg Gross and Sam Perlozzo are out, Ryne Sandberg, Steve Henderson and Rod Nichols are in.

After yesterday’s game in Washington, the Phils announced that they were releasing their bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo, all casualties of the 2012 season. Today, the Phils announced that they were going to keep Juan Samuel, who will now be the team’s first base coach, as well as their outfield/baserunning instructor, moving over from the third base coach’s box, Mick Billmeyer, who will now be the team’s catching coach, being promoted from being their bullpen coach, and Rich Dubee, who would remain the team’s pitching coach. They also announced their three new members of the coach staff:

Ryne Sandberg, who was formerly the manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, would be taking over Juan Samuel’s spot as the team’s third base coach, as well as becoming the team’s infield instructor; Steve Henderson, who will become the team’s new hitting coach, taking over for Gross, while Rod Nichols would become the new bullpen coach, taking Billmeyer’s place.

Congratulations on the promotions, or moving to new positions, Juan, and Billmeyer and congrats on joining the main club as coaches, Ryne, Steve and Rod. Hopefully, you five, and Rich, will help get this team back to being a pennant contender. Sorry to see you all go, Pete, Greg and Sam. I know what happened this year wasn’t all of your faults, but, well, a shake was called for after this sucky year. Wish you all luck in finding new teams.

Spring Training: On the eve of the team’s first spring training game.

As the Phils get ready for their first spring training game, tomorrow, against Florida State, they have made several announcements after the arrival of all of their players to camp:

1) Charlie Manuel announced that the team was going to do some more small ball this season, which was quickly emphasised by him talking to the team’s lead-off man, and one of the leaders of the team, Jimmy Rollins last Thursday. This was followed by announcements that he was going to allow possible Hall of Famer Jim Thome to help some of the hitters improve on their hitting approach, and that he was going to have them bunt more (for base hits). Mike Schmidt, who is now in camp as a special coach, will also be helping the batters’ with their hitting approach, along with fellow Hall of Famer, and Iron Pigs coach Ryne Sandburg, while staying in camp a bit longer. While this is good news, since using small ball, as well as stealing more bases, should give the opposing defenses something to think about, I will not be convinced until the Phils leave Florida in late March with Juan Pierre as one of their players coming off the bench, since he would be a good option to use late in games because of both his speed and bat control.

2) Jose Contreras had another bullpen session, and is continuing to pitch fine with no elbow trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. This is good news, as it should give the team several good eighth innings options between him, Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls, if all three players make the team out of spring training.

3) And speaking of pitchers, starter Cliff Lee missed a bullpen session last week because of abdominal problems, and was told to skip the session. Lee said that he is feeling fine now and should be able to pitch in a bullpen session today. Hopefully, it was only a temporary problem.

4) Speaking of players’ health, Ryan Howard is right now in Baltimore, having a check-up with foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson, to check on his achilles tendon, to make sure that there’s no problem with it, since it was mentioned during the weekend that Howard was having a delayed reaction to the sutures. GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. later announced that they doubt that it was a major problem. Anyway, it should help the Phils decide how they should continue their approach on Howard’s rehab, although they don’t really expect him back until about late May at the earliest. My opinion is that they should take as much time as they can to get Howard back healthy, as they already have a few options to play first base.

and 5), Chase Utley has announced that he should be able to come back from his leg troubles last year, while it is expected that he will be given the occasional rest, to help his legs, while Placido Polanco has announced that he is ready to go.

Charlie Manuel announces that he plans to use Mayberry mainly in left field.

Yesterday, in Clearwater, Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel have told reporters that he plans to use John Mayberry, Jr. more often in left field than at first base. He also said that while the presumption is that he would probably be using a platoon in left field of Mayberry and Laynce Nix, with Nix to face right handers and Mayberry to face lefties, he plans to have Mayberry also face some right handers. That sounds like a good move, as it will give Mayberry a chance to see if he can hit right handed pitching or not.

This means that while Ryan Howard continues to recover from his injury (of which he had told reporters he felt that he was 40% ready), first base would be mainly covered by Nix and Ty Wigginton, with Jim Thome starting one or two games per week. Hopefully that’ll be enough before Howard’s return at some point in May.

Other news: Rich Dubee announced that Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session off of the mound on Tuesday, and appear to have shown no signs of trouble with his right elbow, doing very well. If this is the case, and he continues showing no sign of trouble after his surgery, he should be the front runner for the role of the team’s eighth inning specialist. Let keep our fingers cross on that.

The Phils have just announced…

…that all of their coaches will be back for the 2012 season. This means that pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin, bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, first base coach Sam Perlozzo and third base coach Juan Samuel have all signed contracts for 2012.  I will be the first to admit, that I have no problem with the stability of the coaching staff. The problem, sadly, is at the top. I hate to say it, but, in spite of GM Ruben Amaro saying that he want to see changes made in the way that the Phils’ offense operates, the only way that will happen is for the manager, Charlie Manuel, to start practicing some small ball, and I can not see him doing that. I just think that he is just too set in his ways, thinking that the long ball (home runs) will get the team wins. Well, that might work during the regular season, it have not seem to work during the playoffs of the last two years, especially with the way the team is presently structured. Of course, we won’t really know what will happen until we all see what the team does during spring training of 2012. Right now, unless somethinge really bad happens, they’re the favorite to win the East next season. I just hope that they’ll find a way to win it all between now and next October.

The Phils have hired Juan Samuel as their new third base coach. Huh?!?

Samuel joins Phillies as third-base coach

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

Wait, I thought that he was going for Davey Lopes’ job???

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies announced on Thursday they have hired  Juan Samuel to be their third-base coach and outfield instructor.

Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third-base coach the previous two  seasons, will move from third to first base and handle the club’s  baserunning instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes,  who handled the team’s outfield and baserunning duties as first-base  coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a  stalemate during contract negotiations.

Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg  Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the  2011 coaching staff.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to  our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a  statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of  Phillies history, and I’m looking forward to him passing on his  knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our  organization.”

There were indications Samuel would return to Baltimore next season as  its third-base coach, but the sides never finalized a deal, and the  Phillies wooed him to Philadelphia.

Samuel, 49, was the Orioles’ third-base coach from 2007-10. He also  served as interim manager this season after the Orioles dismissed Dave  Trembley. Samuel also served as a first- and third-base coach with the  Detroit Tigers (1999-2005).

Samuel, a three-time National League All-Star, played with the Phillies  from 1983-89 and was inducted into the organization’s Wall of Fame in  2008. He hit .259 with 161 home runs, 703 RBIs and 396 stolen bases in  1,720 games for the Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Reds, Tigers and  Blue Jays.

He is the 34th man in franchise history to both play and coach for the Phillies.

H/T Phillies.com

Okay. Let me get this straight: Juan is joining the staff to replace Davey Lopes, but, he is going to be the team’s third-base, not first-base, coach, and will also work with the outfielders, while Sam Perlozzo will now become the team’s first-base coach and will be handling the baserunning duties?!? Anyone else besides me confused by this arrangement? Okay, guys, you better know what you’re doing since I think Juan should be the one handling the baserunning duties and vice versa. I’ll guess we’ll all see how it works out during the ’11 season.

With that said, welcome back, Juan.

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.

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. 

Spring Training: The Phillies have won their first Spring Training game as they defeat the Rays, 12-5.

After losing their third straight Spring Training game yesterday, this time to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Florida, by the score of 10-3, the Phillies’ bats would come alive today as they would pound the 2008 American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays for 12 runs on 13 hits at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Rays, 12-5.

Kyle Kendrick, whom pitching coach Rich Dubee had earlier announced as the person who had the fifth starter job to lose, would keep the Rays off the board in the top of the first. In the Phils’ half of the first, the silent bats would finally wake up in an explosive way against Rays’ starter Mitch Talbot. Jimmy Rollins would start the inning off with a double, before scoring on an RBI single by Shane Victorino, making it 1-0 Phils. One out later, Ryan Howard would get his first Spring Training hit, a two-run home run, plating Victorino before him, giving the Phillies a 3-0 lead. The next batter, John Mayberry, Jr., who is playing right field in place of Jayson Werth, who has a sore shoulder, would follow Howard with his own home run, his first for the spring, to make it 4-0 Phils. Two batters later, Miguel Cairo would knock in the last Phils run for the inning, as he would hit a solo home run, the third home run for the Phils in the inning, making it 5-0 Phillies.

In the top of the second inning, the Rays would get one of the runs back, as Ray Sadler would hit a two-out solo home run off of Kendrick, making it a 5-1 Phils lead. The Phillies would not score in their half of the second, nor would either team score a run in the third, although Kendrick would be replaced by Drew Naylor in the top of the inning when he got himself into a jam with two men out. Naylor would turn back the Rays, and then keep them quiet in the fourth. The Phillies would get another run back in their half of the fourth, as Jason Donald had an RBI single, his first hit of the spring, as he knocks in Cairo, who had earlier doubled, to make it 6-1 Phils. Naylor would then give up an RBI single to Justin Ruggiano in the fifth, as he would knock in Ray Olmedo, who has earlier singled and then stole second, as Naylor committeed an error trying to pick him off, making it 6-2 Phillies. 

After neither the Phils, in the bottom of the fifth, or the Rays, in the top of the sixth, as Mike Koplove would pitch an almost clean inning aginst the Rays, would be able to score, the Phillies would increase their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Ronny Paulino would hit a two-out solo shot. The Rays would get the run back in the top of the seventh, as Jon Weber would hit a two-out RBI double, knocking in Olmedo, making it a 7-3 Phils lead. The Phillies would get the run back in the bottom of the seventh, to make it 8-3 Phillies. After Clay Condrey would put the Rays down 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, the Phillies would finally put the game away in the bottom of the inning as they would score four more runs, with Eric Bruntlett, Andy Tracy and Mayberry each knocking in a run with two men outs.

In the ninth, the Phils would send Jake Woods to the mound. He would give up a two-run home run to Elliot Johnson, with two men out, before finally ending the game, with the Phils winning 12-5.

Pitching-wise, Kendrick, one of the four pitchers trying out for the fifth starer position in the starting rotation, would pitch two and two-thirds innings, giving up one earned run on four hits. Naylor would follow by going two and a third innings, also giving up an earned run on three hits while striking out three batters. Koplove would go to the mound next, pitching a scoreless sixth, although walking a batter, who would later be erased in a double play. Scott Eyre would be the next Phils’ pitcher, giving up an earned run on two hits, while striking out one Ray. Condrey would follow and pitch a 1-2-3 eighth. Woods would pitch the ninth, giving up two earned runs on two hits as he struck out two.

Among the batters, Howard, Cairo and Mayberry would lead the Phils thirteen-hit attack by each getting two hits, with each man hitting a home run, a two-run shot by Howard and solo shots by Cairo and Mayberry, while Mayberry would knock in a second run during the Phillies’ four-run eighth. Rollins, Victorino, Bruntlett, Tracy, Pablo Ozuna, Donald and Paulino would each get one hit.

The victory gives the Phillies a 1-3 record in the Grapefruit League. The next Phillies’ game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm Eastern, as the Phils play the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

Spring Training: Hmmm, seems somebody is losing weight, and other comments.

Well, spring training has just started, and it seems that a few Phils have decided to show up in better shape then they did when they left Citizen Bank Park after the victory parade last Halloween.

Ryan Howard has shown up at Bright House Field weighing 30 pounds less. Brett Myers has meanwhile lost 20 pounds and Scott Eyre has lost 10. Hhhhmm, 30, 20 and 10? Is someone trying to tell us something? Hopefully, it will all translate into better seasons for all three players.

Also, Ryan has said that he plans to work on his defense this spring, and is working out with third base coach Sam Perlozzo, and that some of the things that he has shown him has clicked. Sam, if you are able to get Ryan to stop leaking balls during the season, I’ll try and see if I can get the other fans to raise a moument in your honor.

Meanwhile, Brett plans to do a lot better this season than he did during the first half of last season. We’ll all be watching you very closely Brett, as the batters won’t be the only ones seeing if you can continue what you did after coming back from the all-star break last season.

Phils’ pitching coach Rich Dubee had announced that he sees Kyle Kendrick as the present favorite to win the number five starting job in the Phillies’ starting rotation, when he commented that it was Kyle’s job to lose. Hear that Kyle, that means that only you can pitch yourself out of that position right now. And, I hear that both J.A. Happ and Chan Ho Park want your job badly, especially Park. So, you better show Dubee and the rest of the brain trust your best stuff while you’re out there pitching this spring, or you might be seeing yourself either heading back to the minors, or being used as trade bait.

The Phillies this weekend have signed Miguel Cairo to a minor league contract and an invite to spring training while they still continue to see if they can get Nomar Garciaparra to signed as their righthanded bench bat. Cairo spent the 2008 season playing the infield for the Seattle Mariners as he batted .249 with no home runs and 23 RBIs in 221 at-bats. A career .266 hitter, Cairo has been a journeyman in the majors for 13 seasons. Well, I’ll say this for the team, they certainly won’t be lacking for players if someone goes down during the season.

Lastly, Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets’ new closer has once again says that the Mets will be the team to beat this season. Yawn!!! Jimmy Rollins, when are you going to defend your copyright against these New Yorkers? But seriously, F-Rod, saying it is one thing. Prove it on the playing field, mister!!! 

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