Another day, another award for Ryan Howard. Howard and fellow Phil Chase Utley both won Silver Sluggers yesterday, awards given annually to to the best offensive player at each position in both leagues. Coaches and managers vote on the award.
It's great to see Howard win the award after his breakout season. The big showdown between Howard and Albert Pujols will come when the NL MVP is announced on November 20.
And it's nice that someone noticed Utley's 203 hits and 32 home runs even with all of Howard's heroics. Dan Uggla (282/339/480 with 27 home runs) and Ray Durham (293/360/538 with 26 home runs) both posted excellent numbers, but Utley's 309/379/527 was enough this year. Durham's season was just about as good.
In the Arizona Fall League the Saguraos topped the Scottsdale Scorpions 5-4 in ten innings. The Big Cacti improve to 13-14. JA Happ went four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. His ERA went up to 5.02. Joe Bisenius pitched two perfect innings, striking out three and dropping his ERA to 16.20. Jason Jaramillo was 3-for-5 with three singles to raise his average to .383.
The Phillies web site has a review of how things are going in the winter leagues.
Pat Gillick says the Phillies may be willing to spend, spend, spend, perhaps past the $93 million mark in payroll, to get the Phillies in the playoffs. And apparently the way to do it is to add more offense to the NL's best offense and keep Gavin Floyd and Eude Brito warm.
Gary Sheffield won't be playing right for the Phillies next season. He was traded to the Tigers for minor league pitchers Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett. All three are right-handed. Pleased the Phillies chose not to offer the Yankees more than those three to add Sheffield. Sheffield and Abreu are entwined since Abreu unseated Sheffield in right for the Yanks in an injury-plagued season for Sheffield. If Abreu and Sheffield are similar players, or if Abreu is even a little more desirable, can one compare what the Phillies got for Abreu and what the Yankees got for Sheffield and say the Yankees made a better deal? I think the answer is probably no given the lack of flexibility the Phils had in trading Abreu. It may, however, speak to why Gillick is so opposed to including prohibitive no-trade clauses in new contracts.
Vicente Padilla isn't really representing himself. But you might want to check back again tomorrow. The same article linked above about Padilla says that Aramis Ramirez may seek a six-year deal if he leaves the Cubs. If he leaves the Cubs it seems unlikely he's coming here.