Archive for March, 2013

I’m okay and you’re okay and not just that — we both look like we have about the same chance as winning the NL Cy Young Award this season

Just about any scenario that envisions a return to glory for the Phillies in 2013 requires us to imagine Roy Halladay returning to his dominant self. That hasn’t happened this spring and it sure didn’t happen yesterday. Throwing in the mid-80s, Halladay was rocked by the Tigers, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings as the Phils fell 10-6.

Halladay says he’s okay, but none of the quotes anyone’s come up with since the outing inspire a lot of confidence.

Lost in the Halladay hammering yesterday was that Horst and Valdes both pitched great for the Phillies. Horst struck out one in 1 1/3 scoreless frames in which he did not allow a hit or a walk. Valdes was even better, striking out four in three scoreless innings.

Revere was 3-for-3 with two doubles and scored three runs, upping his spring line to an impressive 372/400/465. Even an isolated power of .093, which is where he is now, would be a fantastic development for Revere. I think we should assume he’s not going to keep hitting .372. It probably is safe to assume he might walk in about 4.3% of his plate appearances, though.

Betancourt also had two hits, going 2-for-4. He’s hitting .379. Not sure what the Phillies are going to do with Betancourt, but also not sure why they would have brought him in if they were just going to let him go if he lit things up in spring training.

Utley hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot off of righty Luis Marte. 179/343/321 in 28 at-bats for the spring.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a double. 333/356/714. Leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (12) and strikeouts (12).

Inciarte 1-for-2 with a single. He’s 4-for-13 with three walks and four singles. Mitchell 1-for-1 with a double. 5-for-10 with a walk, a double and two triples. The Phillies should let him play as long as it take for him to stop leading the team in OPS.

Michael Young 0-for-4 to drop his average to .333. He’s second on the team in RBI behind Howard with nine. Nine RBI over 41 plate appearances would have him on a pace to drive in about 132 runs over 600 plate appearances. That might not even happen.

Kratz and Brown both 0-for-3. Kratz is hitting .190. Brown’s line drops to 400/489/675.

Halladay started the game for the Phillies and was terrible, allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. He walked the first batter of the game, Quentin Berry, in the top of the first. Berry stole second and scored on a one-out single. Don Kelly hit a two-run homer off of Halladay in the second. Three of the first four men that Halladay faced in the fourth reached on a walk, a double and a hit by pitch (Kelly) before Ramon Santiago hit a grand slam. Halladay got the next batter after the slam and was replaced by Horst. Horst retired Berry to end the third.

Overall, Halladay went 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and four walks and hit one batter. He’s now made four starts, throwing to a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 ratio while striking out nine in 11 innings. After four walks yesterday he’s walked six in 11 innings and opponents are hitting .279 against him. In 2010 for the Phillies, Halladay pitched 250 2/3 innings in which he walked 30. So his walk rate in yesterday’s start wasn’t as good as it had been during the 2010 season.

Horst pitched well in the game. After getting the final out of the third, he came back to throw a scoreless fourth in which he hit one batter but didn’t allow a hit or a walk. He drops his ERA to 9.82 and his ratio to 1.77 with the outing.

Diekman struck out two in the fifth, but also allowed a single and a two-run homer. He came back to pitch the sixth and allowed another run on a pair of doubles.

Overall, Diekman went two innings on the day, allowing three runs on four hits, three of which went for extra-bases, and no walks. He has now struck out 13 in eight innings for the spring, but thrown to a 5.63 ERA while opponents hit .290 against him.

Valdes followed Diekman and was fantastic, throwing three shutout innings in which he struck out four. He allowed one runner on one hit, a leadoff single to start the seventh.

Valdes has thrown 10 1/3 innings this spring and leads the team with 15 strikeouts. 5.23 ERA with an 0.97 ratio. He was hammered in his early starts, giving up four early home runs that have hurt his numbers, but I think the Phillies would be making a mistake not to start the year with him on the team. Even if it means three lefties with Bastardo, Horst and Valdes. His ratio in 31 innings with the Phillies last year was 0.74. If you throw to a ratio under one for long enough, it’s the kind of thing that can help a team.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight in their first night game of the spring with Lee expected to pitch.

Rollins went 2-for-5 as the Phils topped Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic. USA plays the Dominican Republic on Thursday night. Insert your own Cole Hamels joke here.

Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, which means Phillippe Aumont has rejoined the Phillies. Aumont offers some criticism of Sebastian Valle’s conduct during the brawl between Mexico and Canada in the linked article.

See Spot? Run!

My most recent guess at the hitters who start the year with the Phillies came mid-February and looked like this:

Other candidates
1 Kratz D Ruf
2 Howard F Galvis
3 Utley D Young
4 Rollins Y Betancourt
5 M Young H Quintero
6 Nix S Lerud
7 Revere K Frandsen
8 Brown E Inciarte
9 Mayberry T Gillies
10 L Collier
11 J Mitchell
12 C Hernandez
13 M Martinez
P Orr
A Blanco
J Fields
J Mather
T Joseph
C Asche

I filled out the four roster spots I wasn’t sure about with guesses of Quintero, Galvis, Frandsen and Ruf.

Several of the guys on the top list are no longer with the major league camp. Mather, Joseph, Asche, Martinez and Zach Collier have all been released, optioned to the minors or sent to minor league camp.

It also seems pretty clear that Delmon Young will not start the year with the Phillies.

The Phils have four hitting slots to fill. One has to go to a backup catcher. One has to go to someone who can back up short. One will likely go to a fifth outfielder and the other seems likely to go to a backup infielder.

I still think Quintero is the backup catcher. I don’t think the spring results are going to matter a whole ton — I think Quintero gets the job because of his defense. He’s 3-for-10 so far while Lerud is 1-for-6.

The backup shortstop is either Betancourt or Galvis. Both have hit well this spring. Galvis is hitting 308/325/564 while Betancourt has hit 360/379/400. I think Galvis makes the team, which presumably leaves Betancourt competing with Frandsen for the backup infielder role. Frandsen can’t play defense but is hitting even more than Galvis so far — he’s posted a 355/375/742 line in his 31 at-bats.

I think Frandsen makes the team, too, which presumably leaves no room for Betancourt even if he keeps on hitting .400.

Quintero, Galvis and Frandsen is three more spots, leaving one, which presumably has to be filled with an outfielder.

Ruf and Inciarte seem like the primary candidates. Despite a recent spark with the bat, Ruf has been awful offensively, hitting 188/316/281 over 32 at-bats, and has also looked miserable defensively in the chances he’s gotten to play outfield. Inciarte has gone 3-for-11 with three singles and three walks in limited time. Probably not a candidate is Jermaine Mitchell, who has OPSed a team-high 1.389 in his nine at-bats, going 4-for-9 with a walk and two triples.

I have no idea what the Phillies are going to do. In the unlikely event they leave it up to me, I think I’m making Jermaine Mitchell the fifth outfielder. That probably won’t happen, though. Forced to guess I will guess they carry Inciarte.

Mayberry has been pretty miserable this spring after being pretty miserable last year, hitting 225/279/350 in 40 at-bats this spring. I can’t really imagine the Phillies wouldn’t carry him to start the year, though, given how thin they are in the outfield. Still, it seems like Brown, Revere and Nix and locks to make the team in a different way than Mayberry is.

Anyway, Quintero, Galvis, Frandsen and Inciarte gives the Phillies 13 hitters — Kratz, Quintero, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Michael Young, Nix, Mayberry, Revere, Brown, Inciarte, Galvis and Frandsen. That doesn’t seem particularly strong to me as I don’t think you really want to give about 40% of your opening day roster to Kratz, Quintero, Inciarte, Galvis and Frandsen.

Here’s the list of pitchers from the last time I offered a guess:

Other candidates
1 Halladay (R) P Aumont (R)
2 Lee (L) T Cloyd (R)
3 Hamels (L) J De Fratus (R)
4 Kendrick (R) M Schwimer (R)
5 Lannan (L) M Stutes (R)
6 Papelbon (R) BJ Rosenberg (R)
7 Adams (R) E Martin (R)
8 Bastardo (L) J Pettibone (R)
9 Durbin (R) JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 A Cook (R)
12 R Lopez (R)
J Friend (R)
K Simon (R)
J Horst (L)
R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)
A Morgan (L)

I gave the last three spots to Aumont, De Fratus and Horst.

Morgan, JC Ramirez, Pettibone, Simon, Martin and Savery have been sent down since then, leaving the list looking more like this:

Other candidates
1 Halladay (R) P Aumont (R)
2 Lee (L) T Cloyd (R)
3 Hamels (L) J De Fratus (R)
4 Kendrick (R) M Schwimer (R)
5 Lannan (L) M Stutes (R)
6 Papelbon (R) BJ Rosenberg (R)
7 Adams (R) Z Miner (R)
8 Bastardo (L) A Cook (R)
9 Durbin (R) R Lopez (R)
10 J Friend (R)
11 J Horst (L)
12 R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)

The Phillies presumably have three spots to fill in the bullpen. Most people seem to think that righties Aumont, De Fratus, Stutes and lefties Horst, Valdes and Diekman are competing for those three spots.

Aumont is the guy of that group who has pitched the best in official spring training games, throwing two scoreless innings in two appearances. Pitching for the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic, he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings in his first two appearances.

Horst and Valdes seemed like front-runners coming into the spring. Both have been awful. 12.00 ERA and a 2.17 ratio for Horst with four home runs allowed in six innings. Valdes has a 7.36 ERA with a 1.23 ratio and has allowed four home runs in 7 1/3 but also has struck out 11.

Diekman is the other lefty of the six. He’s been better than either Horst or Valdes, striking out ten in six innings while throwing to a 3.00 ERA with a 1.17 ratio.

De Fratus has a 7.50 ERA and a 1.67 ratio in his five appearances.

I am going to be very surprised if the Phillies carry Stutes coming off his injury. He’s thrown to a 6.75 ERA in his four appearances.

I think Aumont makes the team given the combination of his pretty good results and the struggles of De Fratus and Stutes.

I still think Horst makes the team despite his struggles given his 1.15 ERA from 2012.

Stumped on the last one. I don’t think it’s going to Stutes, but it could. I’d guess it goes to whoever pitches the best among Valdes, De Fratus and Diekman the rest of the way. Forced to pick between those three I will go will Valdes.

So Aumont, Horst and Valdes are my guesses to fill out the three remaining spots. That would leave the Phillies with 12 pitchers: Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Durbin, Bastardo, Aumont, Horst and Valdes.

Halladay is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face the Tigers.

Update: The Phillies optioned Cloyd, Rosenberg, Mauricio Robles, Tyson Gillies and Sebastian Valle to minor league camp.

Some days are better than others

The Phillies have played two games since Friday, beating the Astros 7-1 behind dominating pitching yesterday after a 15-7 loss to the Rays on Saturday.

The Phils one-hit Houston yesterday. Hamels allowed a run on one hit and one walk over five innings and was followed by four shutout innings from the pen in which the relievers didn’t allow a hit, walked one and struck out six.

Nix homered for the Phils in the game. He second home run of the spring and first in an official spring game. He continued his recent surge with a 2-for-3 day that upped his line to 231/286/346.

Michael Young is also hot and also had two hits. 2-for-3 with a double puts him at 371/405/514.

Freddy Galvis 3-for-4 with a double. 308/325/564. Seven extra-base hits and 11 strikeouts in 39 at-bats. Tied with Fields for second on the team in strikeouts behind Howard. Tied with Frandsen and Howard for the team lead in extra-base hits.

Kratz 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting .222.

Frandsen 1-for-5 and hitting 355/375/742. Revere 0-for-3. Mayberry 0-for-2 to drop his line to 225/279/350. Utley is at 167/333/208 after going 0-for-3. Howard was 0-for-3 and struck out twice, dropping his line to 333/357/718.

Ruf left the game after being hit by a pitch, but is, apparently, okay. He’s hitting .188 this spring with a .281 slugging percentage in 32 at-bats despite recent signs of life.

The pitching was fantastic. Hamels allowed a double to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the first, Tyler Greene, and Greene came around to score on a pair of ground outs. That’s the only run or hit Hamels would allow in five innings. He walked just one, dropping his ERA on the day to 0.90 after three starts and ten innings. The start against the Dominican Republic in which he got hammered wasn’t an unofficial outing, so his official numbers are great — 0.90 ERA with an 0.70 ratio and seven strikeouts and one walk in ten frames.

Cloyd, Miner, Horst and De Fratus all threw a scoreless inning after Hamels left. They combined to allow one walk, which Miner issued in the seventh.

Cloyd has been awful this spring, but drops his ERA to 10.80 with the scoreless inning.

Miner has also struggled and also has a 10.80 ERA.

Horst’s ERA drops to 12.00. Ten hits, including four home runs, and three walks over six innings gives him a 2.17 ratio. After striking out two in his frame yesterday he’s struck out four in six innings.

De Fratus drops his ERA to 7.50 after six innings. Seven hits and three walks over six innings gives him a 1.67 ratio. Unlike some of the other relievers who gave up a ton of home runs early (Horst and Valdes especially), De Fratus has yet to allow a home run.

Saturday was a different story as the Rays pounded out 15 runs against Phillie pitching. Lannan, Rosenberg and Bastardo combined to allow 13 runs in five innings. Rosenberg and Bastardo were charged with nine runs and got just three outs between them.

Howard homered, his fourth of the spring.

Brown went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. He’s hitting 432/523/730. If he strikes out in every one of his next 20 plate appearances, he’ll be hitting .281 and slugging .474.

Revere was 3-for-4 with a double in the game. After going 0-for-3 yesterday, he’s at 325/357/375.

Humberto Quintero had three hits. 3-for-4 with three singles and three RBI has him at 300/333/300 (3-for-10 with three singles and a walk).

Lannan started the game. He threw a 1-2-3 first and a 1-2-3 second. Brown made his first error of the spring in the fourth as the Rays scored four times — all four runs were earned despite the error as the Rays got three singles and a two-run homer in the frame. Lannan allowed a leadoff double in the fourth, but got the next three hitters to keep Tampa Bay off the board.

Overall, Lannan went four innings in the game, allowing four runs on five hits without walking anyone. After three starts and five innings he’s thrown to a 9.00 ERA with a 1.44 ratio. The two-run homer that Sean Rodriguez hit off of him in the four-run third is the only home run he’s allowed, but opponents are hitting .286 against him.

Papelbon and Diekman both threw scoreless innings in the game, which is especially welcomed in Papelbon’s case. Papelbon drops his ERA to 27.00 in his first spring appearance that’s been non-terrible. Diekman has struck out ten in six innings while throwing to a 3.00 ERA.

Durbin pitched the sixth and allowed a run on two hits and a walk. He has a 9.00 ERA and a 2.00 ratio after four innings. Opponents are hitting .438 against him.

Bastardo started the seventh. He faced eight hitters and was charged with four runs, only one of which was earned, on three singles and a walk. He hit a batter and another reached on a Mayberry error at first while getting two outs. JC Ramirez took over with two outs and men on first and second and got the final out on a fly ball to left.

Bastardo’s ERA rises to 3.86 after five appearances.

Rosenberg started the eighth. He faced six batters, getting one out, which came on a bunt, and allowed five runs, only four of which were earned due to an error by Martinez at second to start the inning. After the error to start the frame, Rosenberg allowed two singles, a double and a two-run homer. He ends the ugly outing with a 24.30 ERA and a 4.50 ratio. Opponents have hit .571 in his 3 1/3 official spring innings.

Kyle Simon took over for Rosenberg and got the last two outs in the eighth. He faced five batters and was charged with one run, allowing two walks and a single, which upped his spring ERA to 6.00.

The Phillies do not play today.

This article suggests that Aumont, De Fratus, Stutes, Diekman, Horst and Valdes are at the front of a competition for three spots in the pen.

Many transactions. The Phillies released Joe Mather. Mather was 1-for-11 with a walk for the Phils this spring.

Adam Morgan reassigned to Minor League camp, as were JC Ramirez, Kyle Simon, Tommy Joseph, Cody Asche and Michael Martinez.

I appreciate the effort from the Phils, but for me it’s still too little, too late on Martinez.

This article says: “Four players who are on the 40-man roster were optioned to the minors: Pitcher Joe Savery, pitcher Ethan Martin, pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, outfielder Zach Collier. Savery’s option was immediate. The options of Martin, Pettibone and Collier won’t take effect until Monday.”

Good penmanship not enough as Phils fall to Rays

Kevin Frandsen had two hits including a home run against the Rays this afternoon as the Phils fell 3-2. Kendrick started the game and allowed three runs in the bottom of the third on a single, a walk and a pair of RBI-doubles. Michael Young drove in the other run for the Phillies with a first-inning single.

Tampa Bay starter David Price allowed a pair of runs over four innings. After he left, the Rays bullpen threw five scoreless frames in which they allowed two singles and didn’t walk a batter.

The Phillie pen was pretty good itsownself, tossing four shutout innings.

Frandsen started at second for the Phils and hit his second spring home run. 2-for-3 in the game. 385/407/808.

Galvis had another extra-base hit, his fifth of the spring. 1-for-4 with a double. He struck out once and has ten strikeouts in 31 at-bats.

Ruf’s offensive numbers continue to improve. He was 1-for-3 with a double to raise his average to .200.

Michael Young is pounding the ball. 2-for-3 with a pair of singles ups his line to 344/382/469.

Brown had two more hits, going 2-for-3 with a caught stealing. 424/525/758.

Martinez 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and Mayberry 0-for-3 to drop his average to .250.

Kendrick started the game for the Phillies and allowed three runs over four innings on five hits and walk. All three of the runs scored in the third as he allowed a walk, a single and a pair of doubles. His ERA dropped to 9.00 with the start. He’s allowed 12 hits in eight innings (two walks give him 14 hits plus walks over eight frames or a 1.75 ratio).

Stutes pitched the fifth and had a very good outing, throwing a 1-2-3 inning and striking out two to drop his spring ERA to 6.00 after four appearances.

Mike Adams allowed one single in a scoreless sixth. He’s allowed two hits and no walks in three scoreless innings over three appearances so far.

Aaron Cook allowed a leadoff walk in the seventh, but got the next three to keep the Rays off the board. He also threw a scoreless eighth, allowing one single. Two scoreless innings drops his spring ERA to 3.38.

The Phillies play the Rays again tomorrow.

Hicks Aarons it out against the Phils

Aaron Hicks homered off of three different Phillie pitchers yesterday as the Twins topped the Phils 10-6. The Phils led 6-1 after three innings but couldn’t hold on. Valdes and Minor were charged with seven runs between them in the seventh and eighth innings combined.

Ruf hit a two-run double for the Phillies in the bottom of the second. A much needed 2-for-4 on the day with three RBI ups his line to 185/313/259 with just two walks and two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 32 plate appearances.

Galvis started at short and had the only other extra-base hit for the Phils, a triple. He was 1-for-5 in the game. Slugging .519 this spring.

Young and Mayberry both 2-for-3. Mayberry also drew a walk to raise his line to 281/343/438 after a slow start. Young’s continued hot hitting has his average up to .310.

Brown and Kratz 2-for-4. Kratz is hitting .200 without a walk in 15 at-bats. Brown is at 400/514/767. Leads the team in walks and runs scored and is tied for Howard with the home run lead at three. Brown has scored 13 runs this spring while no other Phillie has scored more than seven.

This article talks about nice defensive plays made by Young, Brown and Utley in the game.

Lee started the game for the Phillies. He gave up a leadoff homer to the first batter he faced before retiring the next three to end the first. He allowed two hits and a walk in a scoreless second and threw a 1-2-3 third. He started the fourth, allowing another solo home run, this time with one out. He got the second out and was replaced by Horst.

Overall, Lee went 3 2/3 innings in the game, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Both of the runs scored on solo homers. 5.19 ERA with a 1.27 ratio over three starts. Ten strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.

Horst allowed a walk before getting the final out of the fourth. He came back to pitch the fifth and allowed a run on a solo homer.

Again Horst doesn’t pitch well. The spring started out well for him and has fallen apart a little over his last couple outings. His numbers at this point are ugly — 14.40 ERA with a 2.60 ratio. In five innings he’s allowed four home runs.

Valdes allowed a single single before striking out the side in the sixth. He returned for the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk, which was followed by yet another homer by Aaron Hicks (his third of the day — Lee, Horst and Valdes). Valdes struck the next hitter out for the first out of the frame and was replaced by Kyle Simon.

Valdes’s numbers are better than Horst, but they’re still really bad. 7.36 ERA with a 1.23 ratio. Like Horst, he’s allowed four home runs. He’s struck out a team-high 11 in 7 1/3 innings.

Simon got the last two outs in the seventh. He has now allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings over four appearances.

Miner started the eighth and faced six batters, getting one out, walking two and allowing four singles before getting pulled. He wound up charged with five runs on three hits and two walks over a third of an inning. Fields made an error at first after Miner left that meant that one of his five runs was unearned.

Miner has a 12.71 ERA for the spring and opponents have hit .370 against him.

Savery got the last two outs in the eighth, allowing one runner to reach on Fields’s error. He came back and allowed two singles in a scoreless ninth.

Savery hasn’t been charged with a run in his three appearances, allowing four hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings while striking out four (0.00 ERA and a 1.15 ratio).

Kendrick is expected to start against the Rays this afternoon. Papelbon will not pitch as scheduled and may pitch Saturday.

USA plays Mexico today in the World Baseball Classic.

Nationals incident

Yesterday’s game between the Phils and Nationals will be most remembered for the one pitch that Roy Halladay threw behind Tyler Moore in the third inning. The other 55 were pretty impressive, though, as Doc delivered his best outing of spring training, throwing four shutout innings in which he held Washington to two hits and a walk.

Stephen Strasburg hit Utley in the shin with the first pitch of Utley’s at-bat in the bottom of the third. With two outs and nobody on in the fourth, Halladay delivered a fastball behind Washington’s Tyler Moore.

After the game, Halladay said it wouldn’t have been the worst thing if the ball had hit Moore.

The Phils finished third in the NL East last year, 17 games behind Washington.

Tommy Joseph started at catcher for the Phillies and went 3-for-4 with a double, including 2-for-2 with a pair of singles off of Strasburg. 6-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in official spring action.

Also notable is that Halladay pitched extremely well throwing to Joseph.

Josh Fields hit his first home run, a solo shot in the seventh off of Cole Kimball. He was 1-for-2 in the game. Hitting .188 without a walk in 16 at-bats.

Domonic Brown had two more hits. 2-for-3 with a double. He was also impressive on the bases. With two outs, he dumped a ball into center and hustled it into a double, which allowed him to score when Nix followed with a single. 385/515/808 in 26 at-bats.

Nix hit a two-run single in the fifth. 1-for-3 with two RBI a day after homering against the Dominican Republic. Just 2-for-18 in official action, but looking a lot better than that in the past two days.

Howard and Betancourt 1-for-3. Betancourt 400/455/450 in 20 at-bats. Revere and Mayberry both 0-for-3. Mayberry’s official line drops to 241/290/414.

Michael Young 1-for-3 with an RBI. Second on the team in RBI with eight. Howard leads with 11.

Galvis played four defensive innings at third base and was 0-for-1 with a walk at the plate. 273/304/500. Tied for the team lead in strikeouts with eight.

Jermaine Mitchell walked in his only chance. 3-for-6 with two triples and a 1.738 OPS. There’s a lot of talk these days about the possibility Ender Inciarte will start the year with the Phils. I think I’d rather see the team carry Mitchell, even if it means losing Inciarte, although I’d guess the chances of that happening are close to zero. Mitchell seems like the better fit — not based on the 19 combined plate appearances the two have been given this spring but the more than 5,000 combined plate appearances the two have been given in the minors.

Halladay started the game for the Phillies and went four shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out two.

That’s the best of three starts for Halladay. 2.16 ERA with an 0.96 ratio in 8 1/3 innings.

Stutes was next and he threw a scoreless fifth, allowing a double and a walk. He seems like a real long shot to make the pen at this point. 9.00 ERA with a 2.33 ratio over three appearances. Opponents have hit .308 against him and he’s walked three in three innings.

Durbin started the sixth with a 4-0 lead and allowed three runs in the frame. Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer with one out. Durbin got the second out and then allowed single, RBI-double and RBI-single before setting the Nats down.

Durbin had been really good in his first two outings before getting hit hard yesterday. His ERA jumps to 9.00 thanks to a rough outing. He had thrown two scoreless frames on the spring coming into the game.

Bastardo struck out two in a 1-2-3 seventh. He’s allowed one run in four innings over four appearances. 2.25 ERA with an 0.50 ratio and opponents are hitting .133 against him.

De Fratus pitched the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single before getting the next three hitters in order.

Step in the right direction for De Fratus, who still has ugly spring numbers. 9.00 ERA with a 2.00 ratio in five innings over four appearances. Always nice to see him not walking people.

Diekman got two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth, allowing a single.

Nice outing for Diekman, whose numbers are getting better. 3.60 ERA with a 1.20 ratio. He’s struck out nine in five innings over four appearances. Nine strikeouts leads the team. Ten pitchers have thrown as many or more innings as he has and 12 have faced as many or more batters.

Amaro seems to suggest that Aumont has a step up on other bullpen candidates in this article. He also says he has confidence in Horst and that Valdes took a step up his last time out. Cause of not letting everyone homer, you see.

I don’t really even know what to say about this article on Delmon Young. Just read it, but brace yourself. I guess I should try to point out some of the highlights. Here goes: 1) Young is not anxious to play in games 2) Amaro is of the opinion that Young is a bad left fielder, which is hard to argue 3) Amaro seems to be of the opinion that Young could be a good right fielder, which would surprise me a great deal 4) Young will only play right field when he plays for the Phillies (that would surprise me) 5) Brown may move from left to right once Young returns and 6) Amaro hopes that Young will be playing for the Phils sometime between mid-April and May.

It’s a little tough to find an article that someone has written about Young that makes him seem likeable. I’m not saying it can’t be done. Just saying it’s a little tough.

Todd Zolecki writes about Yuniesky Betancourt’s unusual contract here, saying the Phillies must tell Betancourt by March 24 if he has made the 25-man roster. If he has not, Betancourt can asked to be released.

I don’t really understand why the Phillies thought acquiring Betancourt was the way to go in the first place. Given that they did, it’s a little tough for me to see them being unimpressed by his hitting .400 so far. Consider me worried.

Cliff Lee is expected to start this afternoon against the Twins.

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