Archive for March, 2012

And then there were Juan

This article suggests that Juan Pierre will start the year with the Phillies, Lou Montanez definitely will not and Scott Podsednik very likely will not.

Pierre had two hits yesterday, raising his line to 313/377/333 in 48 at-bats, as the Phils topped the Rays 2-1.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was very good, holding the Rays to a run over 5 2/3 innings on three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Evan Longoria homered off of him in the fourth. Hamels dropped his ERA to 3.42 with the effort.

Chad Qualls struck out Carlos Pena to end the sixth. Savery followed Qualls and threw two shutout innings in which he faced just seven batters, allowing a leadoff double to Elliot Johnson but getting the next three Rays to keep them from scoring. Savery has made six official Spring Training appearances and thrown to a 3.24 ERA with a 1.20 ratio and struck out nine in 8 1/3 innings.

Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth, dropping his ERA to 0.90.

Brian Schneider had quite a day, going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. His solo shot in the fifth got the Phils their first run. He doubled with one out in the ninth and Tuffy Gosewisch ran for him. Gosewisch would score the game-winning run on Hector Luna’s single to right three batters later.

It was Luna’s only at-bat of the day and the hit raised his line to 302/362/558.

Pierre was 2-for-2 in the game with two singles and a stolen base. Podsednik 0-for-1 with a strikeout — he’s hitting .347.

Orr started at shortstop and went 0-for-4. 294/351/431. Orr has appeared in 393 games in his career and made nine appearances at shortstop. Eight of the nine came with Washington in 2008.

Nix was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .186. Mayberry is hitting .188 after going 0-for-1.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight with Bastardo expected to pitch.

Michael Stutes was scheduled to pitch in that game, but this article explains that he has stiffness in his right shoulder and it’s unclear if he will be ready for Opening Day.

If we’re guessing, my guess is he won’t.

So let’s review who might be on the pitching staff when the season starts. I think we can count on these guys: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Papelbon, Bastardo, Qualls. That’s nine.

My guess is that Contreras and Stutes won’t be on the active roster for Opening Day. The Phillies need at least two and maybe three more pitchers. Herndon seems like a very good bet to be one and I still think Raul Valdes with be a second. That makes 11, including two lefties in Valdes and Bastardo. Savery would be my guess for the 12th if the Phils start the year with 13 hitters.

On the hitters side, I think we should now be counting on these guys: Ruiz, Schneider, Mayberry, Wigginton, Galvis, Rollins, Polanco, Nix, Victorino, Pence, Thome, Pierre. That’s 12, leaving one or two openings. My guess is Orr is one of them and Luna would be my second guess if the Phils carry 14 hitters.

So I think there are nine pitching near locks and 12 hitting near locks. Herndon seems like just about a certainty. Valdes and Orr seem highly likely. That’s 24 and I think it leaves one slot for Savery or Luna, assuming that Contreras and Stutes are both not on the active roster to start the season.


Okay, one more set of problems, but after this everybody needs to take a number

The Phils lost to Minnesota 11-7 yesterday in a game where Vance Worley was pounded and Mayberry went 0-for-4 with a walk and struck out twice, dropping his spring average under .200.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and allowed eleven runs over four innings. Only five of the runs were earned, but Worley allowed two homers — a two-run homer to Justin Morneau in the first and a three-run shot off the bat of Luke Hughes in the fourth. The Twins scored seven runs charged to Worley in the fourth, getting five singles and Hughes’s three-run homer. Worley’s ERA rose to 4.50 and his ratio is up to 1.45. In 20 innings, he’s walked just two batters but allowed 27 hits. Opponents are hitting .329 against him.

Again, the starters have excelled at preventing walks but not hits in Spring Training for the Phils. In 94 2/3 innings, Hallday, Lee, Hamels, Blanton and Worley have combined to walk just 11, but have allowed 111 hits.

Raul Valdes followed Worley and he fared a lot better, getting three ground outs in a 1-2-3 fifth and allowing a pair of singles in a scoreless sixth. His ERA is down to 1.69 after eight appearances and he has an 0.94 ratio — in 10 2/3 innings he’s allowed nine hits, one walk and struck out 11.

Herndon allowed a single in a scoreless seventh then struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth. 2.77 ERA and a 1.15 ratio for Herndon over 13 innings so far. He seems like a pretty good bet to start the year with the Phils.

Hector Luna was 3-for-5 with a solo homer in the game for the Phils. 286/348/548 in 42 at-bats. Montanez 2-for-3 with a double to up his line to 340/385/489. Ruiz 2-for-3 with a double to up his average to .472.

Mayberry’s miserable spring continued as he went 0-for-4 with a walk to drop his average under .200. 191/247/250, which is an ugly combination of not getting on base at all or hitting for any power. He’s 13-for-68 with four doubles.

Wigginton went 0-for-3 and left four men on base, dropping his average to .216.

Orr was a defensive replacement at third in the game and went 1-for-2 with a double, upping his line to 319/365/468. I think you have to wonder if Orr might have an advantage over Luna in the quest for a roster spot if the Phils had to pick one of them because the Phils would feel more comfortable putting him at short in an emergency.

Podsednik and Pierre were both 0-for-1. 354/415/521 for Podsednik and 283/353/304 for Pierre. That might be a tough choice for reasons that have little to do with how they produce offensively on the field, but there’s not much question about who has been better on the field this spring.

The Phils play the Rays this afternoon with Hamels expected to pitch.


Great Scott

Scott Podsednik had another big day yesterday, going 2-for-2 with a home run to raise his spring line to 362/423/532. This article points out the Phillies need to let Podsednik’s fellow left-handed outfield candidate Juan Pierre know Friday whether he’ll start the year on the 25-man roster or not. Pierre’s Spring Training line is at 289/360/311.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Pirates 5-4 on a walkoff homer by Podsednik in the bottom of the ninth.

Lee started the game for the Phils and was great. He threw six shutout innings, allowing two singles, a double and a walk while striking out three. He dropped his spring ERA to 2.49. Kendrick followed Lee, striking out two in a scoreless seven to keep his ERA at 0.00.

Bastardo started the eighth but couldn’t finish it. He walked the leadoff man and got the next two before an RBI-single by Nick Evans. Eric Fryer was next and he doubled home Evans. Stutes took over for Bastardo, but he gave up a double to the first man he faced. Fryer scored and Bastardo was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 4.26. Papelbon threw a perfect ninth to drop his ERA to 1.00.

Podsednik was 2-for-2 with a walkoff home run, his first homer of the spring. Thome played six innings at first base, going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Orr started the game at short and played five innings there. He was 2-for-4 in the game and his average is up to .311. Pierre is hitting .289 after going 0-for-1.

Polanco played third and went 1-for-3. He’s hitting 440/481/480 so far (11-for-25 with a double and no walks).

This article suggests there is mild concern about Bastardo’s velocity.

This says Jose Contreras will only pitch in minor league games the rest of Spring Training, which seems to suggest he many not be with the team to start the season.


Blanton blasted, but hopes remain high the special teams unit can really contribute this season

Spring Training stats don’t matter at all, everyone knows that. Right? Right? Well, let’s hope so. Cause the offense isn’t looking so hot right now any formula for success for the Phillies until they get their big bats back and probably even after they do has a lot to do with dominating starting pitching. Joe Blanton got banged around yesterday, and a look at the numbers for the guys in the rotation this spring shows they haven’t been especially dominating:

IP ERA Ratio K
Halladay 20 5.40 1.30 24
Lee 15 2/3 3.45 1.28 16
Hamels 18 4.00 1.39 10
Blanton 15 4.80 1.20 13
Worley 16 2.81 1.13 18
Total 84 2/3 4.15 1.26 81

Worley has had a nice spring so far and Lee’s numbers are pretty good overall. Halladay’s high ERA has been well documented and Blanton’s is getting up there as well after a rough day yesterday. Hamels doesn’t have the high ERA, but opponents have hit .303 against him and he has struck out just ten in 18 innings.

One thing the guys in the rotation have done is continue to prevent walks. As a group, the five pitchers above has walked just ten in 84 2/3 innings so far, which is a tiny walk rate of 1.06 per nine innings. That helps keep their ratio as a group pretty low, but hidden in that number is the fact that they have allowed 97 hits in 84 2/3 innings. That’s too many.

Three hits for the Phils yesterday as the fell to Boston 6-0.

Blanton started the game for the Phillies and was hit hard, allowing five runs on seven hits over five innings to raise his ERA to 4.80. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. Qualls was the only other pitcher likely to stat the year with the Phils to pitch in the game. He struck out one in a scoreless seventh, dropping his ERA to 4.15. He has now allowed just six hits and two walks in 8 2/3 innings.

Galvis had another extra-base hit, a double. He was 1-for-3, upping his line to 274/294/484. Orr played three innings at short for the Phils and was 1-for-1 at the plate to raise his average to .293. Montanez started in right and got the other hit, going 1-for-3. He’s at 326/362/465.

Wigginton and Mayberry were both 0-for-3 and struck out twice. Wigginton is hitting .230. Mayberry is at an ugly 206/254/270 in a team-high 63 at-bats.

The Phillies sent Brian Sanches, Scott Elarton and Jake Diekman to minor league camp.


The truth is out there — way, way, way out there

This just in: No timetable for Chase Utley’s return. No, really. And apparently we should all just try and calm down a little.

As if.

Two games for the Phils over the weekend.

Jim Thome played first base in an official Spring Training game for the first time this year yesterday as the Phils and Orioles played to a 3-3 tie.

Halladay started for the Phils and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. He has a 5.40 ERA and a 1.30 ratio through five starts, but has struck out 24 in 20 innings.

Bastardo took over for Halladay in the seventh, faced two men with runners on the corners and struck both out. Contreras pitched the eighth in his third appearance and allowed a run on a single and a double. He has now been charged with six runs in 2 1/3 innings, but the good news is there may be something magical about the way the ball is coming out of his hand. Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth to drop his ERA to 1.13. Juan Morillo threw a 1-2-3 tenth.

Thome played five innings at first and went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. No balls were hit to him. Ruiz was 2-for-4 with a double to up his line to 484/515/774 after 31 at-bats. Mayberry went 0-for-5 to drop his line to 217/266/263.

Galvis was 3-for-4 with three singles, upping his line to 271/292/475.

Orr, Galvis and Ruiz all homered for the Phils on Saturday in a 10-5 win over Boston.

Hamels started the game for the Phils and allowed two runs over four innings on four hits and two walks, raising his ERA to 4.00. Qualls and Diekman each threw a scoreless inning in the game, with Diekman keeping his ERA at 0.00. Raul Valdes went two frames and was charged with a run on three singles, pushing his ERA to 2.08. Sanches pitched the eighth and allowed a run on a walk and three singles, which pushed his ERA up to 6.43.

Galvis started at second and went 1-for-4 with his second spring home run and first error. Pierre was 2-for-5 with a double. Podsednik 0-for-2. Ruiz 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Orr 2-for-4 with his first homer. Nix had two hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and raising his average to .226.

Polanco played third base on Sunday and went 1-for-2.

Ryan Madson will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2012 season.


Brown adds a break to the list of stuff he can’t catch

Not sure I’d put it near the top, though.

The Phils played the Yankees this afternoon after news broke that Domonic Brown had been sent to minor league camp. Yankees won 5-3, dropping the Phils to 9-11.

Worley started the game for the Phillies and allowed three runs in the first inning thanks to double, single, double, single by the first four batters he faced. Things got better after that, though, as he followed up the ugly first with five shutout innings. He threw six innings on the day, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk as his ERA rose to 2.81. He struck out seven.

Herndon pitched the seventh and allowed a run on a single and a double, upping his ERA to 3.00.

Stutes followed Herndon and struck out three, but allowed a run on a double and two singles. His ERA is up to 4.50.

Papelbon got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth as he dropped his ERA to 1.29.

Erik Kratz homered for the Phils in his only at-bat, his second homer of the season. He’s hitting .389 (7-for-18). Miguel Abreu played three more innings of shortstop, going 1-for-2 with a double at the plate. 2-for-5 in official Spring Training action.

Rollins, Victorino and Wigginton were all 1-for-3. Rollins is hitting .262 while Victorino and Wigginton are both hitting .244.

Nix was 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his average to .185. Mayberry 1-for-3 with a strikeout and an RBI.

Galvis started at second and went 0-for-4. His average have dropped to .235 thanks to a 1-for-his-last-12.

Cole Hamels is expected to pitch Saturday as the Phils play the Red Sox.


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