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And a third time would be more than charming

More strong pitching for the Phillies yesterday as they topped Detroit 4-1. Hamels, Durbin and Bastardo combined to throw five scoreless innings for the Phils, who have allowed a total of two runs in their last two games.

Fantastic pitching on back-to-back days sets the stage for Roy Halladay’s final spring start, which will come this afternoon against Toronto. Halladay has had a miserable spring training coming off of a 2012 in which he threw to a 5.28 ERA over his last 20 starts.

Michael Young drove in two of the four Phillie runs, going 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 264/304/361.

Mayberry was a much-needed 1-for-3 with a walk and a double, which ups his line to 200/263/286.

Revere 2-for-4 with two singles and two stolen bases. He has nine steals on the spring. Nine stolen bases in 87 plate appearances is a lot — it would put him on pace to steal about 52 over 500 plate appearances.

Inciarte started in left and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. He also stole his second base. 286/375/321 in 33 plate appearances. The Phillies need to make a decision about what to do with him by the end of the weekend.

Orr started at second and was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his line to 267/267/533. He’s walked in about 3.6% of his plate appearances for his career and exactly 0% of his plate appearances this spring.

Kevin Frandsen has a sore left wrist after being hit by a Justin Verlander pitch in the third inning.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and went three shutout innings, allowing a hit and a walk, both of which came in the bottom of the first. He threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third.

0.95 ERA and an 0.79 ratio for Hamels in 19 official spring innings. He hasn’t allowed a home run. He, Aumont (6 1/3 innings pitched) and Adams (7) are the Phillies who have thrown at least five official spring innings without allowing a home run.

Durbin followed Hamels, setting the Tigers down in order in the fourth.

5.56 ERA and a 1.41 ratio for Durbin. Opponents have hit .310 against him.

Miner pitched after Durbin, allowing a run over two innings to drop his ERA to 8.36.

Bastardo struck out two in a 1-2-3 seventh. He has 11 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.07 ratio.

Brandon Erbe and Chris Nichols combined to keep the Tigers off the board for the last two innings.

Halladay today as the Phils face the Blue Jays.


Phillies fans cannot understand how even a tiny particle of Freddy Galvis got into their left field

The Phillies pounded Tampa Bay yesterday, winning 10-1 on a day in which they started Freddy Galvis in left field and Galvis played very well, handling left and delivering two hits, including a two-run homer.

The pitching was fantastic for the Phils as they held the Rays to three hits and two walks. Valdes, Stutes, Horst, Bastardo and Papelbon all pitched well for the Phillies.

It was a little hard to notice with all the Freddy Galvis starting in left field going on.

There are a whole bunch of reasons you don’t want to ever see Freddy Galvis starting in left field for the Phillies in a game that matters. One is that he has a career on-base percentage of .292 in the minors. Another is that he has a career on-base percentage of .254 in the majors. A third would be that he’s not an outfielder.

He went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the game, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth and delivering an RBI-single in the sixth. He’s hitting 300/319/586 with 12 extra-base hits in 73 plate appearances. He’s tied with Howard for the team lead in extra-base hits.

Just monster power for Galvis this spring. His isolated power is at .286, which is nutty. Only one player in the National League with 50 or more plate appearances ended 2012 with an isolated power of .286 or better — Giancarlo Stanton was at .318. Galvis’s isolated power in 2,179 plate appearances in the minor leagues is .075. In 200 plate appearances in the majors it’s .137.

Tiny number of at-bats, of course, and if they ask you if that’s likely to go down from here you want to say yes. Several Phils have delivered a higher isolated power than Galvis this spring, including Brown, Howard and Pete Orr.

Frandsen 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI. 283/306/517.

Brown had three hits, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. 373/429/675.

Quintero 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to raise his spring average to .296 (8-for-27 with a double). He’s been bad defensively, but he’s a very good defensive player and I will be surprised if he’s not the backup catcher.

Howard 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. 338/369/675.

Revere led off and was 0-for-3 with a walk to drop his average to .316. Rollins is hitting .286 and on-basing .429 after going 1-for-4 with a single.

Inciarte was 0-for-1 and is hitting 250/357/292.

Valdes started the game for the Phils was fantastic, striking out five while allowing a run on two hits over three innings. He struck out two in a 1-2-3 first and another two in a 1-2-3 second. He allowed a run on a single and a double in the third.

Valdes allowed four home runs over his first 7 1/3 innings pitched this spring, but has been much better since. After 17 1/3 innings he has now thrown to a 4.15 ERA with an 0.92 ratio. He’s allowed two earned runs over his last ten innings, which is a 1.80 ERA. Again, his ratio with the Phillies in 2012 was 0.74. He allowed 18 hits in 31 innings and opponents hit .168 against him. I think the Phillies would be making a big mistake if they didn’t carry him to start the season.

Stutes took over for the Phils in the fourth. He allowed a one-out walk, but got the next hitter to ground into a double-play.

7.36 ERA and a 1.73 ratio for Stutes. He has walked nine in 11 innings.

Horst followed Stutes and was good as well, allowing a single over two scoreless innings.

Like Valdes, Horst struggled early. He has been even better since. After five innings, Horst had a 14.40 ERA and had allowed four home runs. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in ten innings since and now has a 4.80 ERA and a 1.27 ratio for the spring.

Bastardo started the eighth and got the two men he faced before leaving the game.

4.32 ERA and a 1.20 ratio for Bastardo. Opponents have hit .212 against him.

Papelbon pitched the ninth. He struck out the first two batters he faced on six pitches before getting Mike Fontenot to line to third and end the game.

9.82 ERA and a 1.50 ratio for Papelbon. Like Valdes and Horst, he’s been a whole lot better recently after a miserable start. Papelbon allowed eight earned runs in his first 1 2/3 innings pitched — since then he’s thrown 5 2/3 scoreless frames.

Colby Shreve threw a scoreless inning in the game and Steven Inch faced one batter (who he retired to end the eighth).

Cole Hamels is expected to start this afternoon as the Phils face the Tigers.

This article from the Phillies web site suggests Horst and Valdes are front-runners for two of the remaining bullpen spots and Aumont has the edge over Stutes for the other.

This suggests that Pete Orr and Inciarte could be competing for the final spot on the bench. Orr is hitting 308/308/615 in 28 at-bats this spring (8-for-26 with a triple, two home runs and no walks).

This article talks about who the sixth starter for the Phillies is now that they’ve cut ties with Rodrigo Lopez and Aaron Cook. The answer is probably Tyler Cloyd. Who the sixth starter is seems to be important given the combination of Kendrick being the fourth starter and the lack of certainty around Halladay.


Johnny B not-so-goode

The Blue Jays demolished John Lannan yesterday, scoring 12 runs charged to Lannan in his four innings on their way to a 13-4 win.

Down 13-0, the Phillies got on the board with four runs in the top of the ninth.

They had one extra-base hit in the game, a double by Frandsen in the ninth inning. Frandsen was 2-for-4 on the day and was also the only Phillie with more than one hit. Just one walk in 59 plate appearances and a 286/310/518 line. Frandsen walked in just 4.3% of his 210 plate appearances with the Phillies in 2012. If you’re not going to walk or play good defense, slugging .518 is the way to go.

Revere was 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base. 329/372/397 for the spring. Five walks in 79 plate appearances is 6.3%, which is a little better than his career mark of 5.4%.

Rollins 1-for-3. 292/452/417 in 24 at-bats. There’s a good chance he doesn’t on-base .452 for the regular season, but if he does I’m picking the Phillies to win the World Series.

Utley 0-for-4 and struck out once. Mayberry 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Mayberry’s line drops to an ugly 194/250/269.

Brown 0-for-3 and struck out three times. 354/414/646.

Kratz was 1-for-4 with a two-run single in the ninth-inning rally. 270/289/568 with six extra-base hits and 11 RBI in 38 plate appearances.

Lannan got the start for the Phillies and went four innings, allowing 12 runs on 14 hits and a walk. After a 1-2-3 first, Lannan allowed eight runs in a bottom of the second that included a three-run homer for JP Arencibia and a two-run triple by Jose Reyes. Toronto scored their ninth run in the third on three singles. Arencibia hit another homer off of Lannan in the fourth, this time a two-run shot, as Toronto scored three more times.

Lannan started the day with a 3.21 ERA and ended it with an 8.50 ERA. Opponents have hit .338 against him over 18 innings, cause 14 is a lot of hits to give up in four innings. He had pitched well prior before yesterday’s disaster.

Miner pitched the fifth. He allowed a leadoff homer to Melky Cabrera before getting the next three. One run in one inning keeps Miner’s ERA at nine after nine official appearances. Opponents have hit .364 against him.

Mike Adams allowed a leadoff walk to start the sixth, but struck out the next three hitters he faced. 1.29 ERA and an 0.71 ratio for Adams. He’s allowed four hits and a walk over seven innings.

Aumont threw a 1-2-3 seventh and Kyle Simon a 1-2-3 eighth. Aumont has allowed just three hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings over six appearances. He seems like a lock to start the year with the Phils. Simon has allowed two runs in four innings over six appearances.

The Phillies play the Rays this afternoon.

This article suggests that Horst and Valdes are the front-runners for the two bullpen jobs with Aumont ahead of Stutes for the final spot. If the Phillies carry Stutes to start the season and do not carry Aumont I will be stunned.

Kendrick pitched in a minor league game on Monday and allowed five runs in six innings. He gave up three home runs in the game.

This article talks about who will lead off for the Phillies in 2013. I am going to be very surprised if Ben Revere leads off against left-handed pitchers.

Update: The Phillies released Aaron Cook.


Chase ups the pace

Chase Utley sprang to life offensively this weekend, hitting three home runs in two games as the Phils went 1-1. They beat Baltimore 13-4 on Saturday and lost 7-6 to the Red Sox yesterday.

Utley and Howard hit back-to-back homers in each of the game. Howard continues his fantastic spring, but Utley’s had been far less fantastic prior to this weekend’s explosion. He’s 5-for-his-last-8 with three home runs.

Boston beat the Phillies 7-6 yesterday.

Utley hit a two-run homer off of righty Noe Ramirez in the eighth inning, his third home run in two days. 3-for-4 with four RBI in the game. His line has soared to to 291/400/545.

Howard also homered, his seventh. 1-for-4 in the game. 329/364/700 for the spring. He has also homered two days in a row.

Revere was 2-for-3 with a walk, upping his line to 324/360/394.

Rollins was 0-for-2 and walked twice. 286/464/429.

Mayberry’s average dropped to .206 with an 0-for-2 day. 206/265/286.

Brown was 0-for-4 and is at 368/429/671.

Nix 0-for-3 to drop his line to 212/241/308.

Inciarte was 0-for-1 with an error. Mitchell appeared in right but did not get an at-bat in the game. 261/370/304 for Inciarte in 23 at-bats. Mitchell is hitting 269/321/577 in 26 at-bats — he was reassigned to minor league camp on Friday.

Lee started the game for the Phillies and allowed six runs on nine hits and no walks over 5 1/3 innings. Only four of the runs were earned and he struck out seven. Jackie Bradley hit a three-run homer off of him in the second. Singles by the first three Boston batters in the third led to three more runs, two of which were unearned due to an error by Rollins.

Opponents have hit .324 against Lee for the spring. He has a 5.94 ERA with a 1.68 ratio. Twenty-four hits, including four home runs, over 16 2/3 innings.

Papelbon got the last two outs of the sixth inning on a double-play, dropping his spring ERA to 11.37. He has been good after a miserable start.

Stutes allowed a walk and a single in a scoreless seventh. He got the first batter in the eighth and was replaced by Horst.

Stutes has walked eight in ten innings, which is too many. 8.10 ERA with a 1.80 ratio.

Horst got the last two outs in the eighth. He returned to pitch the ninth in a 6-6 game. He allowed singles to the first three men he faced in the ninth with the third, by Shannon Wilkerson, scoring Xander Boegarts, to put Boston up to stay at 7-6. The run was unearned due to an Inciarte error on the second single of the inning.

5.54 ERA and a 1.38 ratio for Horst. Fifteen hits, including four home runs, allowing in ten innings.

On Saturday they beat Baltimore 13-4.

Utley hit two home runs, both two-run shots off of Bruce Chen. 2-for-4 with four RBI on the day.

Howard 1-for-2 with a walk and his sixth home run.

Brown 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventh.

Betancourt was 1-for-1 with a three-run homer, his first of the spring.

Eleven of the 13 runs scored on home runs.

Cook started the game for the Phillies and allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings on four hits and no walks. The Phils jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game before Cook allowed a two-run double to JJ Hardy in the bottom of the fourth to get Baltimore on the board.

Cook has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in official spring action. He leads team in innings pitched.

Aumont took over for Cook in the fifth, getting the final out in that frame. He came back for the sixth and allowed a run on a leadoff double and a walk, which upped his spring ERA to 3.38 as well. Opponents have hit just .158 against him in official spring action, but he has walked three in 5 1/3 innings.

Bastardo pitched a scoreless seventh to drop his ERA to 4.70.

Adams pitched the eighth and allowed a run on a single and a double, which plated the first run he’s been charged with the spring. 1.50 ERA and an 0.67 ratio in six innings.

JC Ramirez allowed three singles in the ninth, but kept the O’s off the board. 7.36 ERA with a 2.18 ratio in 3 2/3 innings. Opponents have hit .375 against him.

The Phillies released Yuniesky Betancourt, which makes it likely that Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen will both make the team as bench players.

Roy Halladay was hit hard in a minor league start on Saturday, allowing 11 of 18 batters he faced to reach base.

The Phillies traded 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez to Baltimore for 25-year-old outfielder Ronnie Welty. Rodriguez made 29 appearances for Reading last year, 22 of which were starts, in which he threw to a 4.23 ERA with a 1.47 ratio, walking 76 in 134 innings. Wielty hits right-handed and has played primarily right field in the minors, posting a 284/359/468 line over 2,113 plate appearances.


Better late than never

The Phils topped Atlanta 7-6 today, getting a walkoff homer from Darin Ruf with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead, the bullpen, and especially Chad Durbin, stumbled in the middle innings, but the Phils scored two in the eighth to tie the game at six and Ruf won it in the ninth.

The Phillies optioned Ruf to Triple-A after the game.

Ruf was 2-for-4 with a walk and won the game with a solo homer off of lefty Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez was trying to retire the righty Ruf to get his ninth out of the game in relief for Atlanta.

Kratz was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI.

Mitchell started in center and went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .269.

Howard 2-for-4 with a double. Brown 1-for-5. Betancourt had two more hits, going 2-for-5 with two RBI to drop his average to .435. This says that Betancourt will ask for his release if not added to the roster this weekend.

Morgan started the game for the Phillies and allowed a run on four hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. He surrendered a solo home run in the fifth to Evan Gattis to account for the lone run charged to him.

Fantastic spring for Morgan, who has thrown to a 1.93 ERA.

Durbin followed Morgan and didn’t fare as well. He got the final out in the fifth, then returned to pitch the sixth and allowed three runs on two singles, a double and a home run (also hit by Gattis).

Durbin’s spring ERA rises to 6.10 with the outing.

Valdes pitched the seventh, allowing a run on a solo home run by BJ Upton. It was the fifth home run that Valdes has allowed so far, which leads the team.

Miner allowed a run on three hits in the eighth and Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.


Ain’t that a Shane

Former Phil Shane Victorino delivered the big blow last night, a three-run triple off of Michael Stutes in the bottom of the seventh, as Boston topped the Phils 6-1.

Stutes was charged with five runs in 2/3 of an inning in the game, upping his spring ERA to 9.35. He has allowed seven walks in 8 2/3 innings. It all makes it pretty tough for me to see the Phils giving him a spot in the pen to start the year, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

With Revere and Rollins both in the starting lineup for the Phils, Revere led off with Rollins hitting third. The one run the Phillies scored in the game came in the top of the first. Pete Orr singled with one out, stole second, moved to third on popup that went for an unfielded double by Rollins and scored on a Michale Young ground out.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with an unlikely double. He’s 4-for-15 (.267) with two doubles.

Revere 0-for-3 to drop his line to 313/343/391.

Ruf 1-for-2 with a double in what I assume is a too-little-too-late effort. 226/305/396 with hide-your-eyes ugly defense in left. Ruf and Mayberry have both been terrible this spring.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-4 to drop his line to 218/283/309. If Mayberry could have played himself out of his roster spot this spring I think he did. I don’t think it’s likely he could have, though, given the combination of how thin the Phillies are in the outfield and the degree to which Ruf has looked unusable out there.

Galvis started at second and went 2-for-3 with a triple. 288/311/559. He has a team-high ten extra-base hits — six doubles, two triples and two home runs, in 62 official plate appearances. Not quite as much power as Brown and Howard have shown this spring, but a whole lot closer than most would have guessed. Brown’s isolated power this spring is .317, Howard’s .316 and Galvis’s .271. Galvis’s isolated power in 2,179 plate appearances in the minor leagues is .075.

Nix 1-for-2 with a double to up his line to 250/283/364. He’s had a better spring than that, but some of his success has come in games that don’t count as official spring action.

Young 0-for-3 with an RBI to drop his line to 262/292/361. He started real slow, got real hot and now has cooled again.

Mitchell and Iciarte both went 0-for-1 in the game. Incirate’s line is at 238/360/286 in 21 at-bats. Mitchell is hitting 318/375/682 in 22 at-bats.

Carlos Ruiz left the game in the ninth inning with a bruised hand after being hit by a pitch.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and allowed a run on four hits and two walks over six innings. The run came in the bottom of the second when a leadoff double by Will Middlebrooks was followed by a single that moved Middlebrooks up to third. He scored on a sac fly.

In the sixth inning, Hamels struck Victorino out looking at a beautiful 0-2 curve ball. Still think Victorino takes the day overall, though, what with winning the game for the Red Sox and whatnot.

Hamels has a 1.13 ERA and an 0.81 ratio in official spring action. Opponents are hitting .182 against him and he hasn’t allowed a home run in 16 innings. He got hammered in a start against the Dominican Republic WBC team in an unofficial game.

Stutes started the seventh, got hit real hard, and didn’t finish the frame. He was charged with five runs over 2/3 of an inning on one hit and three walks. He got the first two batters he faced in the inning, then walked three of the next four before Victorino hit a three-run triple. Stutes was replaced by righty Mike Nesseth, who threw to a 2.95 ERA in 76 1/3 innings between Lakewood and Clearwater last year, with two outs and a man on third. Nesseth allowed a double to Dustin Pedroia, scoring Victorino with the run charged to Stutes.

Stutes’s ERA is up to 9.35 after being charged with five runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Horst pitched the eighth. He allowed a one-out single, which was followed by an inning-ending double-play.

Horst drops his ERA to 6.35 and his ratio to 1.32. He’s pitched well after a very ugly start and seems to me to be a lock for the pen.

Adam Morgan is expected to pitch this afternoon when the Phils face the Braves.

Halladay will start in a minor league game tomorrow. The linked article also says that Delmon Young worked out in the outfield and is still likely to miss at least the first month of the season.


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