Tag: Francisco Cordero

Guess appearance

Today’s very early guess on who starts the year with the Phillies. Barring new injuries, I think we can count on these 12 hitters:

1 Ruiz
2 Utley
3 Rollins
4 Polanco
5 Mayberry
6 Nix
7 Victorino
8 Pence
9 Wigginton
10 Thome
11 Schneider
12 Valdez

Notable no-shows on that list include Ryan Howard, still recovering, Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez.

Assuming you don’t count Wigginton, there are just four outfielders on that list including one, Nix, who can never, ever be used against lefties. On a related note, I have some trouble buying completely into the idea that Wigginton is the nearly every day first baseman while Howard is out. If Thome can play first at all (he probably can’t) he’s clearly the better choice. I think Mayberry is a better choice offensively as well, but to give him much time at first the Phils are going to need someone who can man left field against left-handed pitching. Maybe someone like Ben Francisco? Oh, wait.

I see one or two hitting spots as open, depending on how many pitchers the Phils decide to carry. I think one of them is filled by a fifth outfielder, either Domonic Brown or someone not currently on the roster who hits right-handed.

I think these 12 pitchers are likely to start the year with the Phils:

1 Halladay
2 Lee
3 Hamels
4 Blanton
5 Worley
6 Kendrick
7 Papelbon
8 Contreras
9 Bastardo
10 Stutes
11 Willis
12 Herndon

That assumes Contreras is healthy enough to start the year, of course, which is far from a sure thing. After Contreras, Stutes and Herndon seem like the two pitchers with the least solid hold on their slot. Brian Sanches, Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus seem like the most likely candidates to squeeze past them or take Contreras’s spot if he’s not ready to go.

I have trouble seeing the Phils carrying more than two lefties out of the pen to start 2012. Unless Bastardo or Willis get hurt, or are consistently and resoundingly awful in spring training, I’d be surprised to see Joe Savery or Jake Diekman start the year with the Phils.

Joe Blanton says he’s feeling and throwing well. If he’s healthy he seems like a lock for the rotation. If he’s not I’d guess Kendrick takes his turns in the rotation, barring a big effort in the spring from NRIs Dave Bush and Joel Pineiro.

If the Phillies went with 14 hitters to start the year, my guess would be that Stutes and Herndon would be fighting for the eleventh pitching slot, advantage Stutes.

Cesar Hernandez was fifth on MLB.com’s list of the top ten second base prospects. Sebastian Valle ninth on the list of catching prospects.

Thome says that Spring Training will be the true test for his back in terms of when and how often he might be able to place defensively at first this year. I’m going to be surprised if we see much at all of Thome at first in 2012.

This says the Phillies are one of four teams still in the mix to land Francisco Cordero.

Update: Wilson Valdez was traded to the Reds for 26-year-old left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst.

All that and invented the light bulb, too

Edinson Volquez pitched so well last night that when Joey Votto broke up Brett Myers’ no-hitter in the seven inning with an RBI double it would be the only run the Reds would need. Volquez baffled the Phils, striking out eight while allowing just two singles and two walks over seven shutout innings.

In two starts against the Phils this season, Volquez is 2-0 and has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings while striking out 16.

Brett Myers was almost as good as Volquez in last night’s game, holding the Reds to a run over 7 1/3 innings on a single hit while striking out eight. Since a bad first inning in his previous start, Myers has now allowed one run on four hits while striking out 19 over his past 14 1/3 innings.

The Phillies lost to the Cincinnati Reds last night, falling 2-0 to drop to 35-26 on the season. They lead the four-game set two games to one.

Myers got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run on a double and six walks. He struck out eight and has his ERA for the year down to 5.13.

He was perfect through four. In the fifth he walked Adam Dunn with one out. With Joey Votto at the plate the Reds tried to hit and run. Votto swung through a 1-0 pitch and Dunn was caught and tagged out between first and second. Myers walked Votto and then walked Edwin Encarnacion. It put men on first and second with two outs, but Myers struck Paul Bako out on three pitches to end the frame.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

With one out in the seventh, Brandon Phillips walked and stole second. Dunn flew to left for the second out, but Votto lined an 0-2 pitch into left-center for a double. Phillips scored on the first hit of the game for the Reds and Cincinnati led 1-0. Myers struck Encarnacion out for the third out.

Myers had thrown 99 pitches through seven innings.

He struck out Bako to start the eighth. Ken Griffey Jr, looking for career home run number 600, hit for Volquez and drew a walk. Hairston was next and Myers walked him, putting men on first and second. That was it for Myers and Romero came on to pitch to the lefty Corey Patterson. Romero struck Patterson out swinging for the second out. Bruce grounded softly to first for the third out.

Romero returned for the ninth. Phillips led off with a single to right. He tried to steal second but took off too early. Romero threw to first but Phillips beat Howard’s throw to second and was safe with another stolen base. Dunn walked and Paul Janish ran for him at first. Votto hit the first pitch of his at-bat into the left field corner for a double. Phillips scored to make it 2-0 and Janish held third. Encarnacion was walked intentionally to load the bases with nobody out. Bako hit a ground ball to second and Utley threw home to force Janish for the first out. Madson came in to pitch to the pitcher Francisco Cordero with the bases still loaded. Cordero watched strike one down the middle and then grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Nice job by Manuel to avoid Gordon and Lidge, who had both pitched three days in a row, despite the tight game. Romero threw 24 pitches, Madson just two. By number of pitches, that was the third longest outing of the season for Romero and the longest since April 20.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Edinson Volquez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Coste catches against the righty as he continues to take time away from Ruiz behind the plate. Jenkins in right.

Utley and Victorino struck out in a 1-2-3 first.

Burrell walked with one out in the second. Jenkins flew to center for the second out. Feliz blooped a 1-1 pitch into right field, but Phillips made a fantastic over the shoulder catch for the third out.

Coste started the third with a ground ball hit hard to short that Hairston didn’t handle for an error. Myers tried to bunt Coste to second, but a wild pitch moved Coste to second before Myers struck out fouling off the third strike still trying to bunt for the first out. Rollins struck out and Victorino grounded to second for the third out.

Myers inability to move Coste to third hurt the Phils, although if Rollins was going to strike out anyway it mattered less.

Howard lined a single into right with one out in the fourth. Burrell was next and he hit it hard but right at Hairston at short for the second out. Jenkins moved Howard to second with another single. It put men on first and second with two down for Feliz, but Feliz popped to second to end the inning.

Coste was hit by a pitch to start the fifth and Myers bunted him to second. Rollins hit a ground ball to second for the second out and Coste moved to third. Victorino walked, putting men on first and third. Utley got behind 0-2 before he was hit by a pitch on a ball in the dirt. If not for the hit by pitch it probably would have been a wild pitch that allowed Coste to score from third. With the bases loaded, Howard swung at the first pitch and flew to shallow left for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Down 1-0 in the seventh, Volquez set the Phils down 1-2-3. Myers hit for himself with one out and nobody on and struck out.

Victorino started the eighth and hit a high foul ball down the right field line that Votto caught over his shoulder for the first out. Utley was next and lined a ball to left right at Dunn. Dunn may have lost it in the lights — it went off the heel of his glove and Utley was safe at second. Tough two base error on Dunn. Howard got ahead 2-0 but swung at a bad pitch for strike out and went down swinging 3-2. Big at-bats for Howard in both the fifth and the eighth and nada. Righty Francisco Cordero came in to pitch to Burrell. Burrell drew a walk and Taguchi ran for him at first. Jenkins hit a ball slowly back through the middle, but the shortstop Hairston took it behind second and nipped Jenkins at first to end the inning.

Down 2-0, Feliz led off the ninth with a ground ball to short. If Dobbs is available I think you have to use him there, but Manuel double-switched him into the game in the top of the ninth. Coste flew to right for the second out. Dobbs, hitting in the pitcher’s spot, grounded to short to end the game.

Don’t love double-switching Dobbs into the nine spot in the top of the ninth. Feliz leading off against a righty isn’t what you’re looking for in the inning you need to score two runs. Would have rather seen the Phils keep Madson in the nine spot and Dobbs out of the game, hit Dobbs for Feliz and then call on Snelling in the pitcher’s spot against the righty.

The Phillies had two singles and three walks in the game.

Rollins 0-for-4.

Victorino 0-for-3 with a walk.

Utley 0-for-3 and struck out twice.

Howard 1-for-4 and struck out twice.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks.

Jenkins 1-for-4.

Feliz 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-19.

Coste 0-for-3.

Cole Hamels (5-4, 3.73) faces righty Homer Bailey (NR) this afternoon. The 22-year-old Bailey made seven starts for the Reds in 2007, going 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA, and will be making his 2008 debut today. In 2007 he walked 28 in 45 1/3 innings. The Phillies bombed him for six runs in 1 2/3 innings in his start against them last year on June 26. Over his last two starts Hamels has gone 9 2/3 innings and been charged with 13 runs while striking out just four. Despite the recent woes, opponents are still hitting just .223 against him for the season, righties .215 and lefties .254. Hamels faced the Reds on April 7 and got the win, allowing two runs, only one of which was earned, over seven innings.

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