Archive for March, 2011

On the range

All eyes on Luis Castillo this afternoon as the Phils face the Rays, giving fans a chance to see just how much speed and defensive range the 35-year-old Castillo has lost. We won’t know anything for sure from a single game, but one thing is for sure and that’s that there will be a whole lot more people who have an opinion on the matter before the day is done.

Yesterday the Phils beat the Blue Jays 5-4 to improve to 17-9 in official spring action.

Lee started the game for the Phils and went six innings, allowing a pair of runs on four hits and two walks. Rajai Davis led off the bottom of the first with a triple that led to the first run and Juan Rivera hit a solo homer off of him in the third. Lee has a 4.74 ERA and a 1.21 ERA through five spring starts.

Kendrick and Romero followed Lee and each threw a scoreless inning. Kendrick has allowed 15 hits in 13 innings this spring, but walked just one. Romero has a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 ratio in seven innings.

Baez started the ninth with a 5-2 lead and allowed singles to the first three men he faced, making it 5-3 with men on first and third before getting Ryan Budde swinging for the first out. Corey Patterson followed that with another single and it was 5-4 with men on first and second. Baez got Jonathan Diaz to hit into a double-play to end the game. He has now thrown to a 2.53 ERA with a 1.22 ratio in 10 2/3 innings.

Ibanez hit a three-run homer in the first to give the Phils an early lead. It was the only extra-base hit of the day for the Phils. Francisco was 3-for-3 in the game.

Mayberry 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. 278/350/630 in 54 at-bats. Orr 0-for-1 to drop his line to 316/316/553 in 38 at-bats. Barfield played center field and went 1-for-4. 325/356/450 in 40 at-bats. He has seen recent action at both third and center, positions he doesn’t really play. Martinez was 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI. 278/298/444. Young was 0-for-1 and has seen his line fall all the way to 280/321/380 as his at-bats have dropped off significantly.

The Phillies didn’t draw a walk in the game.

Oswalt will start today’s game.

Lidge allowed a hit in a scoreless inning in a minor league game yesterday and may pitch in an official spring game tomorrow.


No minors issue

The Phillies will use the next nine games to decide whether Luis Castillo will start the year with the team or be released. In the article linked above, Amaro says, “He’s not going to the minor leagues.”

This says that Castillo hasn’t arrive in camp yet, that he won’t play today and isn’t in tomorrow’s lineup, either.

Halladay was fantastic yesterday as the Phils topped the Red Sox 4-1. He allowed a run on five hits and three walks over 7 2/3 innings, dropping his spring ERA to 0.48. In 18 2/3 innings, he’s allowed one run on 12 hits and six walks.

Madson finished the game for the Phils, allowing a single in 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He has allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over 8 1/3 innings (2.16 ERA and an 0.96 ratio).

The Phils didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. Barfield was 1-for-4 with two RBI. Martinez 0-for-3 with an RBI. Orr and Delwyn Young were both 0-for-1.

Victorino and Ibanez collided in the outfield in the fifth inning, with Victorino getting the worst of it. He says he’s okay.

Mark Teixeira is mad at Ben Francisco after Francisco tried to knock the ball out of his glove in Sunday’s game.

Jose Contreras is the latest injured Phillie. He will be sidelined for “a few days” with a corneal abrasion.

Update: Castillo arrived in camp around 1:30 this afternoon and is expected to play tomorrow.


Luis, Luis

This article from the Phillies web site says that the team has agreed to a minor league deal with Luis Castillo and suggests that Castillo won’t necessarily start the year with the team.

A healthy Castillo can help the Phils. A Castillo who’s slow with no range can’t. You have to think he had options and picked a team where he thought he would get to play. We’ll see.

Yesterday the Phils couldn’t figure out CC Sabathia and fell to the Yankees, losing 8-1 to fall to 15-9 in official spring action.

Blanton started the game for the Phils and allowed four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He has a 4.09 ERA and a 1.27 ratio over five starts. In 22 innings, he’s walked just four but allowed 24 hits.

Bastardo followed Blanton and allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning on a single and a double. 1.59 ERA with a 1.06 ratio over 5 2/3 innings for Bastardo for the spring. Contreras followed Bastardo and went an inning, allowing a run on two hits. 2.57 ERA and a 1.00 ERA for Contreras in seven innings over six appearances. Zagurski pitched the ninth and was charged with two runs, both unearned with the help of a Valdez error, on a double and a single. 1.13 ERA and a 1.00 ratio for Zagurski. He’s struck out 11 in eight innings.

Rollins was 3-for-3 with a solo homer for the only run the Phillies scored. Michael Martinez went 0-for-4 and is now hitting 292/320/479 after 48 at-bats. Orr 0-for-1, 333/333/583 in 36 at-bats. Delwyn Young was 0-for-1 and is at 292/333/396 in 48 at-bats. Mayberry 0-for-4 to drop his spring line to 294/368/667 in 51 at-bats. Barfield saw some time in left field and went 0-for-1. He’s at 344/378/500 in 32 at-bats.

Martinez, Orr and Barfield all have better numbers for the spring at this point than Young does.

Hamels struggled again on Saturday, but the Phils got three homers and topped Baltimore 7-5.

Hamels got pounded. He went 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks to raise his spring ERA to 6.23. He’s now walked eight in 17 1/3 innings.

Baez threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Hamels, dropping his ERA to 0.93. In 9 1/3 innings, he’s allowed a run on five hits and four walks. Mathieson threw a scoreless seventh and has a 2.25 ERA and an 0.75 ratio in eight innings over six appearances. Herndon followed that with two scoreless innings to drop his ERA to 3.52. He has a 1.30 spring ratio.

Mayberry hit a two-run homer in the second. Victorino had a three-run blast in the fifth and Eric Kratz added a solo shot in the seventh. Barfield 0-for-3 with a walk. Orr 1-for-3. Martinez 1-for-2. Delywn Young 0-for-1 with an RBI.

On Friday, Tuffy Gosewich delivered a walkoff two-run single with two outs in the ninth to give the Phils a 3-2 win over the Pirates.

Oswalt started the game for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs, which were both unearned. He allowed five hits and didn’t walk a batter. Oswalt has now thrown to a 3.38 in three starts for the spring, but four of the eight runs he has allowed have been unearned. Contreras, Romero and Madson all threw scoreless innings after Oswalt’s exit.

Orr went 3-for-4 with a double in the game. Martinez went 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks, which were his first of the spring. Time to stop hoping Martinez doesn’t make the team and start hoping he can produce offensively. Walking every now and again is a good place to start.

Brian Schneider returned to the team for Friday’s game.

In this article, Manuel won’t say that he won’t start Gload in right field on opening day. I think he won’t.

This says that Lidge and Polanco will be ready for opening day and that Lidge’s bullpen session yesterday went well.


Cliff dive

Cliff Lee had a rough fourth inning yesterday and the Phils fell to the Blue Jays 7-6 to drop to 13-8 in spring action.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk over four innings. All five of the runs came in the fourth inning and two of them were unearned, thanks to a throwing error by Barfield to start the inning. Barfield started the game at third base.

The outing upped Lee’s ERA to 5.54. In 13 innings, he’s allowed 15 hits and struck out 14 while walking just two.

After Lee left, Bastardo allowed a hit and a walk in throwing a scoreless fifth. Kendrick followed Bastardo and went three innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Only one of the runs that he allowed was earned, thanks to a throwing error by Freddy Galvis at short in the eighth. Zagurski threw a scoreless ninth.

Bastardo has now thrown five scoreless innings over four appearances in which he has allowed one hit and three walks and struck out seven. Zagurski has pitched well, too, allowing one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings and striking out nine.

Kendrick has allowed 15 hits in 12 innings and hasn’t walked a batter. He dropped his spring ERA to 4.50 with yesterday’s less than fantastic outing.

All of the Phillies runs came on home runs. Victorino, Martinez, Galvis and Erik Kratz all went deep in the game.

Martinez was 2-for-4 and is now hitting 325/325/525. Sure seems like he’s going to make the team. Barfield 1-for-3 and Orr and Young both went 0-for-1.

Mayberry drew a walk in his only plate appearance. 333/417/714 in 42 at-bats. Ruiz was 0-for-2 with a walk and is just 3-for-23 this spring (.130).

Oswalt gets the start today against the Pirates.

This says that Brian Schneider has left the team for personal reasons and will be away indefinitely.

Chase Utley still won’t be playing baseball for a long time. He will see an unnamed specialist in the continuing effort to avoid surgery.

The same article says that Polanco participated in fielding drills yesterday but did not taking batting practice. It also says that Lidge played catch yesterday and is scheduled for a bullpen session today.

The Phillies will try moving Jonathan Singleton to the outfield. That there is a good idea. Singleton doesn’t turn 20 until September and was named number 63 on Baseball Prospectus’s list of the top 101 prospects when it was released at the end of February.

The Phillies sent Vance Worley, Jeff Larish, Freddy Galvis, Brandon Moss, Dan Meyer and Juan Perez to minor league camp. Perez pitched well for the Phils this spring, allowing one run on two hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven. Worley seems sure to be back before 2011 is over — he threw 9 1/3 innings this spring, allowing four runs on 12 hits and four walks while striking out six (3.86 ERA and a 1.71 ratio). Freddy Galvis is a slick-fielding infielder who can’t hit even a tiny, little bit, which pretty much ensures he’ll be starting in the middle infield for the new-look Phillies before too long.

Todd Zolecki says that Michael Stutes was also reassigned. Stutes had a fantastic spring, allowing three hits and a walk over nine innings while striking out nine and throwing to a 1.00 ERA.


Everybody sits, woo hoo

Placido Polanco is the latest Phillie to be sidelined. Polanco hyperextended his left elbow during yesterday’s game and is uncertain when he will return to spring action.

The Phils won the game, beating the Blue Jays 13-7.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went four innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He didn’t walk anyone and has now thrown to a 3.45 ERA with a 1.28 ratio in four starts.

Baez followed Blanton and allowed a run on a single and two walks to raise his spring ERA to 1.23. Madson allowed two runs in the sixth on two doubles and a pair of walks. He’s now allowed two runs in six innings while striking out 11. Romero allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the seventh — those are also the first runs he has allowed this spring as well as the first walk. Contreras and Juan Perez each threw scoreless innings. Juan Perez now has a 1.69 ERA and 1.13 ratio in his 5 1/3 innings. He’s allowed just two hits but walked four.

Ibanez and Francisco both homered for the Phils. It was the second for Ibanez and third for Francisco. Francisco’s line is at 368/429/737 through 38 at-bats. He leads all Phillies with at least 10 plate appearances with an OPS of 1.165.

Michael Martinez was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI. He still hasn’t drawn a walk yet, but he’s at 306/306/444 in 36 at-bats. Valdez drove in three runs as well, going 1-for-4 with a double. 455/514/636.

Barfield 0-for-3 to drop him to 417/429/583 in 24 at-bats. Mayberry played first and went 0-for-2. Young 0-for-2 and at 318/362/432 with a team-high 44 at-bats. Ruiz is hitting .143 after going 1-for-3 with a single.

No game today. Cliff Lee starts against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

This article from the Phillies web site suggests we bet on Utley to start the year on the DL. I think it would be tough to find someone who will take the other side of that bet. It also suggests that Pete Orr, Delwyn Young, Josh Barfield and Michael Martinez are competing for two bench slots. Still hoping for Young and Barfield, but Young and Martinez looks like the better guess at this point. Orr seems like a long shot compared to the rest of the group, although he has hit 296/296/593 in 27 at-bats. He can also play third, which might be attractive to the Phils if Polanco is going to miss significant time.

Martinez seems to have a huge advantage in that competition after being taken by the Phils in the Rule V draft.


Sidelined report

Brad Lidge is the latest sidelined Phillie. Lidge has been shut down temporarily with tendinitis in his right bicep. This article says that Lidge was expected to throw in a B-game on Thursday, but that he’ll probably be sidelined longer than that.

The same article suggests that Rich Dubee thinks Lidge will be ready for the start of the season.

The Phils beat the Astros 7-6 yesterday to improve to 12-7 in spring action.

Hamels got the start for the Phils and went 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Four of the five runs that he allowed came on home runs, he gave up three in the game. He’s now made four spring starts and thrown to a 4.61 ERA with a 1.10 ratio. He hadn’t allowed a home run in his three previous starts.

Bill Hall took exception to an inside pitch in the second inning and took a few steps towards Hamels, but order was quickly restored. Hall seemed to be holding a bit of a grudge after the game.

After Hamels left, Mathieson, Herndon, Bastardo and Tyson Brummett all got a chance to pitch and combined to throw four shutout innings. Dan Meyer didn’t fare as well, he allowed a run on three hits and two walks over 1 1/3 innings and has now allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings for the spring.

Mathieson has a 2.57 ERA and an 0.86 ERA after five appearances. He has struck out eight in seven innings. Bastardo has thrown four scoreless innings in three outings. Herndon has a 4.76 ERA and a 1.76 ratio in 5 2/3 innings.

Mayberry was 2-for-3 with a double. 350/422/750 in 40 at-bats. Michael Martinez was 1-for-2. In the ninth inning, he stole second then came from second on a wild pitch to put the Phils ahead 7-6. His line is up to 265/265/382 in 34 at-bats. Barfield was 1-for-2 with two RBI and a stolen base. 476/480/667 in 21 at-bats.

Blanton will start today against the Blue Jays.

Amaro says he has no payroll flexibility to make a trade.


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