Tag: Adam Eaton

Eaton firing on all cylinders, Phils’ hitters happy just to watch

After ten games the Phils have been through their rotation twice and Adam Eaton has just about inarguably been their second best starting pitcher behind Cole Hamels. Apparently the Phils are so surprised their hitters can’t think of much to do but stare. In Eaton’s two starts the Phillies have scored six runs.

Last night the Phils found themselves down 3-0 in the sixth, but scored one in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie the game up and send it to extra-innings. Despite a valiant effort from the pen, the Phils’ hitters couldn’t do much more. With two outs in the twelfth, Jose Reyes ripped a double and roared around to score on a close play when Angel Pagan followed with a single up the middle. The Phils had just two hits after the eighth, an infield single and a bunt where the catcher fell down after fielding the ball.

A big part of the problem for the Phils is the top of the order. With Rollins shelved with an ankle injury, Victorino and Bruntlett have combined to go 2-for-18 with two walks in the last two games.

The Phillies lost to the New York Mets last night, falling 4-3 in twelve innings to drop to 4-6 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out five.

Eaton had a pretty 1-2-3 first, getting two fly balls to left before striking out David Wright for the third out. Nine pitches.

He walked Carlos Delgado on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the second and Ryan Church followed with a single into right that moved Delgado to second. Damion Easley was next and hit a double-play ball to second that ended the inning. Nicely done by Bruntlett after a rough game the night before.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 third.

Pagan led off the fourth with a single. Eaton struck Wright out behind him, but walked Delgado to put men on first and second. Delgado grounded to second for the second out, moving the runners to second and third. Ryan Church was next and delivered a two-run single into center to put the Mets up 2-0. Damion Easley grounded to short to end the frame. Big two-out hit for Church.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fifth.

Pagan started the sixth with a double and moved to third when Wright followed and grounded out to second. Beltran was next and he singled into right, putting New York up 3-0. Delgado struck out for the second out. With Church at the plate, Beltran tried to steal second — Coste threw him out with the help of a nice pick from Bruntlett.

Ryan Madson started the seventh, seeing his first action since Friday after being sidelined with a sore arm. Jayson Werth, who had pinch-hit in the seventh, entered the game to play center field. Seeing Werth in center should be very, very good news to Phillies fans. He’s not as good as Victorino defensively there, but there’s some evidence he can be solid and brings a ton more offense to the position. Madson gave up a one-out double to Easley before he got Brian Schneider to line softly to Utley. Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson grounded to second to end the inning.

Romero started the seventh. Jose Reyes led off with an infield single and Pagan bunted him to second. Romero walked the righty Wright intentionally to put men on first and second for Beltran. Beltran swung and missed the 2-1 pitch as Reyes and Wright pulled off a double-steal, putting men on second and third with one out. The Phils brought the infield in, but only for one pitch as Romero struck Beltran out swinging for the second out. It brought up the lefty Delgado with the lefty Church behind him, and Delgado grounded to third to end the inning.

The Beltran strikeout after the double-steal was huge for Romero. Beltran could have put the Mets ahead with an out.

Lidge came in to pitch the ninth with the game tied at 3-3. He gave up a two-out walk to Schneider, but got pinch-hitter Endy Chavez to line to short for the third out.

Seanez started the tenth. He walked Wright on a close 3-2 pitch with two outs. Wright stole second on the 0-1 pitch in the dirt, but Seanez struck Beltran out swinging at a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

Gordon got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 eleventh.

He returned for the twelfth and got the first two before Reyes doubled. Pagan was next and singled up the middle. Werth charged and made a strong throw home. Reyes beat the ball to the plate, but Coste blocked it well. Very close play, but Reyes was called safe and the game was over. 4-3 Mets. Good play by both Werth and Coste to make it close.

Gordon was great in the eleventh, but asking him to go more than one inning might be optimistic.

Something is afoot with Werth in center. It’s not just curious that he played center, it’s also curious at the end of the game both he and Taguchi were on the field and he was in center and Taguchi was in left. If the Phils are really going to give Werth serious time in center that’s very good news.

Good day overall for the pen as they hold the Mets to a run over 5 2/3 innings. Nice to see Madson come back. Nobody threw a ton of pitches, Seanez was the high man with 22. We’ll have to see if Madson can go back-to-back days after his first action since Friday. You would think Romero and Lidge would be okay for tonight. Seanez is likely unavailable after throwing back-to-back days. Gordon only threw 19 pitches, but I would guess that after going more than an inning he probably won’t pitch tonight. Kudos to Chad Durbin for his heroic long effort in relief on Thursday — it gave the Phils a rested pen that pitched well and gave the hitters a lot of chances to win the game.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty John Maine went (1) Victorino (2) Bruntlett (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Rollins stays on the bench with his sore ankle. Victorino and Bruntlett stay at the top of the order. Still too high for Bruntlett, wish they’d just go Utley/Howard/Burrell 2-3-4. Coste gets a start behind the plate with Eaton on the mound.

Victorino led off the first with a single. He took off for second with the count 2-1 on Bruntlett and Bruntlett popped it up to first. Victorino couldn’t get back in time and was doubled-up. Utley flew to the warning track in left for the third out.

With two outs in the second, Jenkins hammered a ball of the wall in left-center for a double. Feliz flew to center to set the Phillies down.

Coste walked to start the third and Eaton bunted him to second. Victorino grounded back to the pitcher for the first out and Bruntlett flew to center.

Burrell walked with two outs in the fourth, but Jenkins grounded to first for the third out.

With the Mets up 2-0 in the fifth, the Phils went down 1-2-3.

Victorino led off the sixth with a walk. Bruntlett followed and flew out before Victorino took off for second with Utley at the plate and was thrown out. Utley singled, Howard walked and Burrell walked, loading the bases with two down. Jenkins grounded out to short to end the frame. The caught stealing by Victorino killed the Phils in the inning as the next three hitters reached based. Second time on the bases that Victorino gave away an out after getting doubled-off in the first.

Feliz started the seventh and hit one out to left for his first home run as a Phil, cutting the Mets’ lead to 3-1. Coste followed with a ground-rule double to left and Dobbs hit for Eaton. Lefty Pedro Feliciano came in to pitch for Maine, and Werth hit for Dobbs and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with nobody out and Victorino tried to bunt them along, couldn’t do it and swung away with two strikes and struck out. Bruntlett struck out looking and Utley went down swinging. The Phils get nothing out of first and second with one out. I would have let Victorino hit, but he had a pretty bad at-bat for the first out.

Righty Aaron Heilman started the eighth against the lefty Howard and Howard smoked a 1-1 pitch out to center to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. Righty Aaron Heilman is not really the guy you want facing lefty Ryan Howard in a close game. Don’t understand why it wasn’t the lefty Schoeneweis, especially with another lefty Jenkins hitting after Burrell. Burrell walked and Taugchi ran for him at first. Jenkins singled into right and Taguchi went to third. Big hit for Jenkins. I wouldn’t have run for Burrell there, but he wouldn’t have gone first to third. Feliz grounded softly to third and Wright didn’t have a chance to get Taguchi, who was going on contact. Wright threw Feliz out as Taguchi scored to make it 3-3 and Jenkins went to second. Coste struck out swinging at a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Werth grounded softly to first to end the frame.

Not seeing Schoeneweis, who threw 1/3 of an inning on Tuesday, is perplexing. I know the Mets’ fans hate him but if you’re not going to use him to get out lefties it’s hard to understand why he’s on the team. The lefties Howard and Jenkins hurt Heilman in the inning, Howard with the home run and Jenkins with the single. After you get through those guys, though, there’s nobody you need a lefty for for a while. Feliz, Coste, Werth, three righties (and guys Heilman set down 1-2-3 when he finally got to them).

Rollins hit for Romero to start the ninth and struck out swinging. Bruntlett flew to right for the second out before Utley drew a walk. Howard didn’t look like he had a chance against Wagner and struck out swinging to end the frame.

Jenkins walked with one out in the tenth. Feliz was next and flew to center before Coste lined to first base for the third out.

Werth led off the eleventh with an infield single to third. Wright was guarding the line and had to make a nice diving stop near shortstop to keep it in the infield. Cole Hamels hit for Seanez to bunt and deadened the ball right in front of home plate. Schneider picked it up and slipped as he started to throw to first. Hamels was safe at first with a single and Werth went to second. Bruntlett was next and he tried to bunt. He got down 0-2 and bunted foul for the first out. Schoeneweis came in to pitch to Utley and got him to hit into a double-play to turn the Phillies away.

Jenkins reached on an error with two outs in the twelfth, but Feliz followed and grounded to third to end the frame.

Victorino was 1-for-3 with a walk and a caught stealing. Bad day on the bases and couldn’t get the bunt down in the seventh. 3-for-12 with three singles and two walks in the three-game series. 175/233/225 on the season. He needs to start hitting or he’s going to start losing more at-bats.

Bruntlett was 0-for-6 with two strikeouts and left seven men on base. 1-for-10 with a single and a walk in the series. 167/231/167 in 12 at-bats on the year. Just a miserable start all-around for Bruntlett.

Utley was 1-for-5 with a walk and left four men on base. 3-for-11 with a walk and two doubles in the set. 324/447/676 on the year.

Howard was 1-for-5 with a home run and a walk to raise his average to .189. 2-for-13 with two walks and four strikeouts in the series. 189/311/378.

Burrell was 0-for-1 with three walks in the game. I wouldn’t have run for him in the eighth, even though it helped score the run that tied the game. I might have lost, too, but at least I would have lost with my best players on the field. Burrell was 2-for-8 with four walks in the series. He’s hitting 387/513/774 on the year.

Jenkins was 2-for-5 with a walk and a double. 3-for-9 with a walk and a double in the series. 281/343/438.

Feliz was 1-for-6 with a home run and two RBI. 1-for-13 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 194/256/306.

Coste was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The Mets stole three bases in the game and he gunned down Beltran once. 2-for-5 with two doubles and a walk in the series. 308/400/692 in 13 at-bats on the season.

Werth was 1-for-2 with a walk. Still hope the Phillies figure out how to get him more time, and it seems like they’re trying. 3-for-6 with three walks in the series. 364/563/455 in 11 at-bats on the season. Got to get him on the field.

Speaking of got to get him on the field, Rollins was 0-for-1 with a strikeout last night. 2-for-6 in the series. 306/342/528.

Taguchi was 0-for-2. 0-for-4 in the series, 143/143/286 in seven at-bats on the year.

Dobbs was wasted for the second straight game, announced as a pinch-hitter and then pinch-hit for. 0-for-1 with a strikeout in the series. 100/100/100 on the year, really he is.

Ruiz did not play in last night’s game but was 2-for-8 with a walk in the series. 185/241/259.

Victorino, Ruiz, Feliz and Howard are all playing regularly and on-basing .311 or lower.

Burrell and Utley continue to lead the Phillies offense. Werth and Coste have been good with the bat in less playing time.

Lefty Steve Kline signed a minor league deal with the Phils.

Brett Myers (0-1, 6.30) faces righty Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 1.32) tonight. Jason Maquis was supposed to make the start but has the flu, so Zambrano was moved up a day. Zambrano has been good in both of his starts this year. He last pitched on Sunday against the Astros and shut Houston out on three hits over 6 2/3 innings. He didn’t face the Phils last season. Myers has made two starts on the season, neither of them inspired. Opponents have hit .310 against him and he’s walked five in ten innings, four of them lefties. He pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief against the Cubs last season over four games, allowing a run on three hits and two walks.

Myers says he’s closing for nine innings tonight, so look for him to blow out his arm around the fourth.

While on web sites dedicated to fantasy baseball, I also wanted to mention Fantasy Dope. Fantasy Dope is a fantastic aggregator that pulls in news about baseball and other major sports from blogs, team sites and other traditional news outlets. Lots of good baseball stuff whether you’re playing fantasy baseball or not.


Back to the drawing board for those looking for a cure for Eaton’s woes as pitching well proves not to be the answer

Adam Eaton gave the Phils far more than any fan could have reasonably expected this afternoon. He pitched deep into the eighth inning. He gave the weary pen some much-needed rest. Most importantly, perhaps, he gave us all a little bit of hope with his first start of 2008 that the Adam Eaton of 2007 is gone forever. That in itself might be enough.

For today, at least, it’s going to have to be. The Phillies lost. Eaton was up 3-2 with two outs in the eighth when Corey Patterson muscled one out to the opposite field to tie the game. The Reds pushed across the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.

The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon, falling 4-3 to drop to 2-3 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. Just two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two.

Eaton’s first pitch of the season was to Corey Patterson and hit the dirt about three feet in front of the plate. Ball one. Patterson walked on four pitches and got a huge jump with Jeff Keppinger at the plate, stealing second easily. Keppinger hit one to short that Rollins took for the first out, Patterson moved to third on the play. Ken Griffey flew to left and Patterson scored from third to put the Reds up 1-0. Eaton started Brandon Phillips with a pretty breaking ball and went on to strike him out to end the inning with the no-hitter intact.

Adam Dunn busted it up by leading off the second with a line drive single into right. Eaton walked the next hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, before Scott Hatteberg singled into center. Victorino threw home but Dunn beat it and the Reds led 2-0. Paul Bako lined softly to third for the first out and it brought up the pitcher Harang with one out and men on first and second. Harang bunted too hard back to Eaton, who threw to third for the first out before Dobbs relayed to first to complete the double-play that ended the inning.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 third, getting a nice play from Dobbs for the second out on a ball Keppinger hit down the line. Dobbs made a great play and then dribbled a throw to Howard, who did a nice job with the stretch to help get the out.

Phillips led off the fourth with a walk but Coste threw him out trying to steal second with Dunn at the plate for the first out. Nice throw by Coste. Dunn hit it hard, but right at Utley playing the shift for the second out. Encarnacion struck out swinging for the third out.

Bako singled to left with one out in the fifth. Harang tried to bunt him along but popped it up to Howard for the second out. Patterson was next and hit a ball slowly down the first base line. Eaton did a dive/slide thing for it and flipped to Howard to end the inning. Nifty play by Eaton. Second time in the game Harang’s inability to bunt the runner over hurt the Reds.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 sixth. Griffey crushed a ball to center for the second, but Victorino tracked it down.

And a 1-2-3 seventh. Nobody crushed anything anywhere. Another pretty breaking ball started Encarnacion’s at-bat before Encarnacion flew to left to end for the second out of the inning.

Bako started the eighth with a single into center. Joey Votto was next and Eaton got him to hit into a double-play to short that cleared the bases with two down. Patterson was next and mauled a ball out the opposite way, typing the game at 3-3. Keppinger was next and hit a screamer down to third, off of Feliz’s glove and then high in the air. A double. Eaton walked Griffey intentionally and in came Flash to pitch to Phillips. Gordon struck Phillips out looking at a beautiful 0-2 curve ball to end the inning.

Chad Durbin started the ninth for the Phils with the score tied at 3-3 and walked the lefty Dunn to start the inning. Romero was the guy to pitch to Dunn, but no doubt he was unavailable after pitching on three straight days. Ryan Freel ran for Dunn at first and Encarnacion followed with another walk. Norris Hopper hit for Francisco Cordero and bunted the runners to second and third. Bako was next and the Phils elected to pitch to him and bring the infield in. Votto, who had hit into a double-play his last time up, was on deck. Bako hit a ball slowly between short and third. Rollins charged and fielded and started to throw home but couldn’t find the handle. After the misfire on the attempt to throw home, Rollins didn’t have a chance to get Freel and threw to first for reasons unknown. Bako was safe with a single and Freel scored to give the Reds a 4-3 win.

Tough luck for Eaton, who pitched great. Gordon got a big out in the eighth. Durbin has been really good so far this season, but the two walks to start the ninth really hurt the Phils. Durbin threw 20 pitches so he’s probably unavailable again tomorrow, but the long outing by Eaton got the pen some much-needed rest.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Aaron Harang went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs gets his first start of the year at third against the tough righty. Coste catches Eaton.

Rollins led off the first with a single. Victorino followed and flew to center for the first out. Rollins stole second with Utley at the plate, but Utley drew a walk to put men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit it hard to left, but it was taken at the wall for the second out. Rollins moved to third, putting men on first and third with two down for Burrell. Burrell got down 0-2 and hit a soft fly ball into left for the third out.

Jenkins started the second with a single. Dobbs worked the count full and Jenkins took off for second. Dobbs swung through the 3-2 pitch and Jenkins was thrown out to empty the bases for Coste with two down. Coste flew out to left for the third out.

With two outs in the third, Victorino lined a ball into left-center for a triple. Utley followed and hit one to nearly the same place for a double. Victorino scored to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1. Howard flew out to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fourth and again in the fifth. Harang had retired seven in a row.

With one out in the sixth, Utley blooped a single to left and Howard followed with a walk. Burrell was next and he smashed a double into left. Utley scored to tie the game at 2-2 and Howard went to third. With Dobbs on deck having already struck out twice, Harang walked Jenkins to load the bases. Dobbs struck out on three pitches and Coste popped to Phillips in shallow center to end the inning. Phils can’t get any more after putting men on second and third with one out. Big hit for Burrell against the tough righty, but the strikeout for Dobbs when the Phils could have gone ahead in the game even with a good out hurt.

Eaton led off the seventh with the score tied at 2-2 having thrown 68 pitches. Tough call, but I think I would have gone that way too given how much work the pen has gotten early and the fact that Eaton is a pretty decent hitter. Eaton struck out and Rollins and Victorino went down behind him.

Lefty Kent Merker started the eighth with Utley and Howard due to hit for the Phils. Almost worked. Utley fouled out to first but Howard crushed one out to center for his first home run of the year, putting the Phils up 3-2. With the lefty Jenkins hitting behind Burrell, Merker stayed in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell ripped a couple of foul balls but settled for a one out walk. Taguchi ran for him at first. Jenkins smashed it to first base, but Votto started a double-play that ended the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the ninth. Werth hit for Gordon and flew to right for the third out.

The failure to get more in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out looms large in retrospect in the one-run game.

Rollins was 1-for-4.

Victorino 1-for-4 with a triple.

Utley 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Howard 1-for-3 with a walk and his first home run of the year.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a walk.

Dobbs made a nice defensive play in the third but had a miserable day at the plate, going 0-for-3.

Coste was 0-for-4.

Brett Myers faces righty Edinson Volquez tomorrow in game three of the four game set. The 24-year-old Volquez has never faced the Phillies and will be making his first start of the year. Over the last three seasons he has appeared in 20 games for the Rangers, 17 of which were starts. In 80 innings he’s gone 3-11 with a 7.20 ERA, allowing 111 hits and 42 walks. He was much better than that last year, going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.44 ratio for Texas in six starts.

The Phillies activated Brad Lidge from the DL and designated Tim Lahey for assignment.


Sigh of the tiger

Apparently you can put your Adam Eaton for Cy Young hats and party favors away. I don’t wanna be a stick-in-the-mud, but you might want to think about canceling that party altogether. After back-to-back solid spring starts, Eaton was hammered yesterday as the Phils dropped to 12-16 with a 14-5 loss to the Tigers in their final spring training game in Florida.

Eaton got the start and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits and two walks. Six of the hits went for extra-bases, five doubles and a home run. He struck out one. Eaton came into spring training with a lot of people worried about his 6.29 ERA last season. His spring ERA puffed to 7.94 with yesterday’s outing. Of the ten pitchers sure to make the team, Eaton didn’t even have the worst day. Not even close, but more on that in a minute. Condrey followed Eaton and he was just fine. He gave up a single in 1 1/3 innings to drop his ERA to 4.05. Romero was next and he allowed a single in another scoreless frame. His ERA is a sparking 2.25.

Then came Flash. One out, six runs on three hits and three walks. Clete Thomas hit a two-run homer of him and Mike Hessman had a two-run double. The walks are almost as bad — three walks in a third of an inning isn’t the way to go, especially if you’re gonna have baseballs leaving the building at the rate Gordon has been. Gordon’s spring ERA is up to 12.38. 28-year-old righty Jason Anderson got the last two outs of the game but was charged with a run on two singles and a walk. The Phils signed Anderson to a minor league contract in May of last year and he pitched both Double and Triple-A, throwing to a combined 4.59 ERA with a 1.31 ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Anderson has appeared in 32 major league games in his career with the Yankees, Mets and Indians, throwing to a 6.39 ERA in 38 innings.

Pedro Feliz socked a three-run homer, his fifth of the spring. He was 1-for-4 on the day. Victorino had two singles in four at-bats to raise his average to .270. Helms 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks. Ruiz was 2-for-4 with another double, he’s hitting .372.

The Phils play the Blue Jays tonight in Citizens Bank Park and again tomorrow. Sunday they play Triple-A Lehigh Valley before opening against the Nationals in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.

Brad Lidge pitched to a few hitters yesterday and only one of them homered.

If you’re willing to read about the details of the Phillies’ travel yesterday and Pat Gillick’s love of plane schedules, this article suggests that Chris Snelling has been put on waivers and that Wes Helms may be the 14th hitter. More on Snelling and waivers here. The Phillies will presumably have an eleventh pitcher, too. Might be JD Durbin if he clears waivers, but beyond that if you think you can pitch I wouldn’t wait another minute before giving the Phils a call. The bad news is that if you really could pitch the Phils would have called you by now.


Twinkies linked to good Eaton

Another day, another fantastic outing for a struggling Phillies’ starter. This time it was the much maligned, much misunderstood, much manhandled but suddenly magnificent Adam Eaton mowing down many a Minnesota Twin. Phils won the game and everything. They’re 10-13 in spring training after winning 3-2.

In his last two starts Eaton has allowed one earned run in 8 1/3 innings on nine hits. He hasn’t walked a batter.

Yesterday Eaton went 5 1/3 innings and held the Twins to a run on four hits, all of them singles. He struck out four. Romero followed Eaton and went 1 2/3 innings and allowing a run on two hits including a double by Michael Cuddyer. Madson allowed a single in a scoreless eighth, dropping his spring ERA to 1.80. Vic Darensbourg pitched the ninth with a 3-2 lead and allowed a single but kept the Twins off the board to nail down his first spring save. Darensbourg lowered his ERA to 2.57. He’s clearly outpitched Travis Blackley and pitched well enough to earn a spot as the second lefty in the pen. With so many guys, Rosario, Condrey, Durbin, Blackley, either out of options or having to be offered back to the Giants if they don’t make the team you have to wonder if pitching well is going to be enough for Darensbourg.

Taguchi was 2-for-3 with a walk for the Phils to up his average to .355. Victorino 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Dobbs 1-for-3 with a double. Bruntlett was 0-for-4 and struck out twice to drop his average down to .214 after a hot start early. Helms was 1-for-4 with a double, Snelling 0-for-2 with a walk.

The Phillies play the Tigers this afternoon.

Article about Kyle Drabeck here.

Brett Myers pitched in a minor league game and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.


Every Rosario has its thorn

Francisco Rosario didn’t exactly wipe out his fantastic spring with a bad start yesterday, but it’s safe to say his 1.whatever ERA has left the building and may never be heard from again. Rosario, who had put himself in strong position to make the opening day roster, was hammered by the Braves in his start on Friday as the Phils fell 9-1.

Yunel Escobar had the big blow against Rosario, a two-out grand slam in the second. Rosario went two innings and allowed six runs on three hits and two walks. Youman followed Rosario and he allowed a three-run shot to Scott Thorman in his inning. Youman allowed three hits and a walk in his frame as his spring ERA rose to 8.22. Along with Blackley and JD Durbin, Youman is another guy who seemingly came into camp with a real chance to make the team but has struggled. John Ennis followed Youman and tossed two scoreless frames, striking out four while holding the Braves to a pair of singles. Condrey pitched the sixth and allowed two more singles but kept Atlanta off the board. Carlos Carrasco finished it out with three strong innings, keeping the Braves off the board on two singles to drop his ERA to 6.22.

Dobbs hit a solo homer in the second to account for the Phils lone run. Snelling was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Helms 1-for-1 with a walk.

A relatively nice outing by Adam Eaton was the story of this afternoon’s game against the Twins as the the Phils were pounded 11-2 to drop to 5-12 in spring training. Eaton went three innings and wasn’t charged a run. He allowed five hits, four singles and a double, and didn’t walk a batter. That passes for fantastic news for Eaton, who has struggled to get outs all spring and is battling back problems.

Despite the nice day for Eaton, the Phils still gave up 11 runs on 18 hits. JD Durbin followed Eaton and got shelled, charged with five runs on five hits and two walks over three innings. You have to believe that if JD Durbin hasn’t pitched himself out of contention to start the season with the team yet he’s pretty close. Castro followed Durbin and he allowed two runs on four hits over two innings. His spring ERA is up to 6.00. Knotts pitched the ninth and gave up four runs on four hits and a walk. Knotts had nice numbers coming into today’s outing but leaves with a 9.00 ERA for the spring.

Offensively, the Phils scored two runs on five hits. Ryan Howard hit his fourth spring homer. Burrell, Rollins and Utley all doubled. Jenkins was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .146. Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. After a hot start he’s hitting .263 with zero walks in 38 plate appearances. Werth was also 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, he’s hitting .154. Snelling 0-for-1, Helms 0-for-1.

Phils play the Reds tomorrow.

TJ Bohn, Greg Golson, Josh Outman, Brandon Watson and Carlos Carrasco were reassigned to minor league camps. Of those I think Outman’s the one most likely to help the Phillies on the field in the immediate future. Youman and Ennis were sent down today.

This suggests that Manuel is displeased with the lackluster approach being taken by some of his regular players, hitters specifically.

Kendrick pitched in a minor league game today and allowed two earned runs on four hits and two walks over four innings.


Phils hopefully looking for more pitchers or an unusually competitive T-ball league

As the Phillies opened spring training, I saw 22 guys as sure things to make the opening day roster. They were:


Hitters

Pitchers
1 Howard Hamels
2 Utley Myers
3 Rollins Kendrick
4 Burrell Moyer
5 Victorino Eaton
6 Werth Lidge
7 Ruiz Gordon
8 Feliz Madson
9 Jenkins Romero
10 Dobbs
11 Coste
12 Bruntlett
13 Taguchi

Of that group of hitters I think all 13 are still locks to be on the roster when the season begins. Taguchi is the only guy I question at all and he’s been on fire this spring, hitting 415/545/529 in 17 at-bats.

That’s a full roster of hitters unless the Phils go with 14.

Of the nine pitchers, Hamels, Kendrick, Eaton and Gordon have all struggled badly, but there’s close to zero chance Hamels and Gordon don’t start the season on the roster. As badly as he’s pitched, Kendrick’s hold on his spot in the rotation seems solid unless things get worse for him, which is pretty hard to imagine. If Eaton isn’t on the roster on opening day he’ll be on the DL. Romero has only thrown one official spring inning, Lidge none. Moyer, Madson and Myers have pitched well.

Eaton and Lidge both seem to be question marks for the opening day roster. Lidge because of the knee surgery and Eaton because of the back problems in combination with the 15.75 ERA (fourth best in the Phils rotation). I would guess that both still make the opening day roster. That leaves us with 22.

Just about everyone says that Chad Durbin is a lock for the tenth pitching slot. Here’s what Chad Durbin has done so far:

 

IP


ERA


Ratio

Chad Durbin

5.0

7.20

1.20

Opponents are hitting .286 against him, but if he really was in when spring training started I don’t think he’s pitched himself out. If he’s the tenth pitcher, that makes 23.

If the Phils are going to carry 14 hitters, the 14th will almost certainly be Helms or Snelling. Here’s what they have done so far:


Helms

5-for-23

217/280/261

Snelling

4-for-17

235/316/294

Helms has just been miserable. Snelling started camp as a longer shot than Helms and hasn’t been much better. At this point I would guess that Snelling is just about out of the picture with Helms still a possibility, especially depending on the injury status of Lidge and Eaton as the season begins.

If you assume that Chad Durbin is the tenth pitcher, Lidge and Eaton both start the year on the active roster and the Phils don’t carry a 14th hitter, that leaves two pitchers who would likely come from this group:

 

IP


ERA


Ratio
C Condrey 7.1 4.91 1.23
F Castro 7.0 5.14 1.43
JD Durbin 9.1 9.64 2.36
F Rosario 8.2 1.04 0.92
S Youman 6.2 5.40 1.65
T Blackley 7.2 8.22 1.70
G Knotts 3.0 0.00 1.00
V Darensbourg 4.0 2.25 1.00

If you think about the guys who have helped and hurt themselves the most since spring training began, I think you would have to say that Rosario is the guy who has opened the most eyes while JD Durbin and Blackley are the pair that came in with a real opportunity to make the team but have hurt their chances.

I still think the Phillies need a second lefty in their pen. I see them as needing one pitcher from the group of lefties (Castro, Youman, Blackley and Darensbourg) and one from the group of righties (Condrey, JD Durbin, Rosario and Knotts). Rosario is out of options and has been pitching great. I see him as the pick from the righties with Condrey close behind. The lefties are harder. In limited action, Darensbourg has been the least bad, but I think he came into camp as a long shot to win a roster spot. I don’t feel real comfortable about, but if I’m going to guess again I’d still take Castro. There’s also a good chance, as this article suggests, that the second lefty in the pen will be a player not currently in the organization.

That would make their opening day roster:

Hitters (13): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Burrell, Victorino, Jenkins, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Coste, Taguchi

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Kendrick, Moyer, Gordon, Lidge, Madson, Romero, Eaton, Chad Durbin, Castro, Rosario

My most recent guess was on February 13. I had JD Durbin as the last pitcher instead of Rosario.

Last night the Phils lost to the Reds 6-1 to fall to 4-10 in spring training.

Ryan Madson got the start for the Phils and went three innings, allowing a run on solo home run to Jerry Hairston. Madson walked one and allowed three hits. Castro was next and he allowed two runs on five hits over two runs. Both of the runs scored on a two-run homer by Scott Hatteberg. Blackley followed Castro and struck out five over three innings, but allowed two runs on two hits and two walks to puff his ERA to 8.22. Both of the runs he allowed came on a two-run shot by Craig Tatum. Condrey pitched the ninth and allowed a run on two hits.

Offensively the Phillies lineup featured basically all the Phillies regulars with Dobbs at DH. They scored one run on five hits, all singles, and a walk. Dobbs was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. Utley was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts to drop his spring average to .214. Jayson Werth played center for the Phils, which is just great. I really hope the Phils see Werth as a viable option in center behind Victorino — he’s by far a better hitter than Taguchi or Bruntlett. I believe he can handle the position defensively. He doesn’t have a lot of innings there, but in the innings he’s played the numbers are good.

The Phils play the Reds again tonight.

The Phillies offered Lincoln Holdzkom back to the Red Sox, who refused him, making him a free agent. That may help create room on the 40-man roster for Benson, who can opt out of his contract on March 25 if he’s not on the roster.

This article says that 1) Lidge hopes to be able to pitch in a game next week 2) Eaton felt good in a bullpen session and will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday 3) Benson will throw in a minor league game today and 4) Hamels didn’t pitch in a minor league game yesterday because he has the flu.

Moyer will start the third game of the season for the Phils, Kendrick the fourth. Whether or not Kendrick can get anyone out is going to be a lot more interesting than whether he’s the third starter or the fourth.

This suggests that Kyle Lohse is being pursued by the Cardinals, Giants and Rangers. This suggests that Lohse may get a one-year deal worth less than $5 million. The Phillies have big problems with their pitching, in the rotation and in the pen. If they had an opportunity to sign Lohse to a one-year deal worth around $5 million and didn’t do it that would be really disappointing.


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