Tag: jeremy horst

Weekend report

The Phillies played three games over the weekend. On Saturday they lost to Toronto 11-6. Yesterday they played split squad games against Toronto and Baltimore, beating the Blue Jays 13-5 and losing 12-3 to Baltimore.

Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard continued their hot starts and both ended the day yesterday with an OPS over 1.300 for the spring. Brown has hit 350/519/850, out OPSing Howard’s 417/444/917 line thanks to his six walks.

The other thing that happened yesterday was that Jeremy Horst, who I would have said is just about a lock to start the year in the pen, got hammered, allowing six runs in 2/3 of an inning. Lefties Horst and Valdes have both pitched very badly in relief in the early going, which presumably opens the door for another left-handed reliever to sneak onto the roster.

In the game against the Blue Jays, Brown hit a solo homer and Howard a three-run shot. Brown 1-for-4 on the day and Howard 1-for-3.

Betancourt started at short and went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, upping his average to .357. Frandsen is hitting 364/391/727 after going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and his first spring walk. Martinez, Joseph and Inciarte all had two hits. Inciarte slid niftily into home plate, avoiding a tag on a throw that beat him home. He’s 3-for-6 with three singles and three walks.

Cook allowed four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits over three innings.

De Fratus got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 fifth, dropping his spring ERA to 11.25 and his spring ratio to 2.25 after three innings in three appearances. Bastardo allowed a run on a solo homer in his inning. His spring ERA is 3.00, but he’s allowed two hits and no walks in three innings to give him an 0.67 ratio. JC Ramirez threw 1 1/3 scoreless and Joe Savery walked one and struck out three in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Galvis and Michael Young hit their first spring homers in the game against Baltimore. Galvis hit a solo shot and Young’s was a two-run homer. Those home runs drove in all three runs the Phillies scored in the game.

Mayberry was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He was 2-for-3 with a double and has his line up to 273/333/500 after a slow start. Josh Fields started at first and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, which dropped his average to .167. Revere led off and went 1-for-4, which puts his line at 304/333/348 after 23 at-bats.

The Phillies allowed 12 runs in the game. Kendrick and Horst combined to be charged with ten of the 12.

Kendrick started and allowed four runs in the bottom of the first on two home runs, a three-run shot by Matt Wieters that was followed by a solo home run from Conor Jackson. Kendrick threw a scoreless second inning, but ended the day with an 11.25 ERA and a 2.00 ratio for the spring over two starts and four innings.

Horst was the other pitcher in the game whose outing was notably bad. He entered in the bottom of the fifth with one out and a man on second. He faced eight hitters in the frame, allowing a single, a double, two walks and two home runs before getting out of the frame. Baltimore scored seven runs in the inning, six of which were charged to Horst.

Horst’s spring numbers won’t recover from that outing as he allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning. 17.18 ERA with a 3.00 ratio in three innings.

Kyle Simon threw a scoreless inning in the game and Zach Miner allowed a run on one hit over 2 1/3 innings. Miner actually pitched better than that — he threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth, then allowed a single in the fifth before being replace by Horst. Horst allowed his runner to score. Miner hadn’t pitched particularly well in his two previous spring appearances.

Jake Diekman was the other Phillie who pitched in the game. He allowed a run on two singles over two innings. He struck out five and notably did not walk a batter.

Diekman now has seven strikeouts in four innings over three appearances. His 4.50 ERA and 1.25 ratio isn’t fabulous, but he’s pitched a lot better than his fellow left-handed relief candidates Valdes and Horst.

On Saturday, Ruiz, Kratz and Howard all homered, but Lee wasn’t very good and Cloyd was terrible as the Phils fell to Toronto 11-6.

Howard are Kratz had two-run homers in the game and Ruiz’s was a slot blast. Michael Young doubled in the other run in the top of the first. Frandsen also doubled in the game, which was the only other extra-base hit the Phillies had.

No Phillie had more than one hit in the game.

After a very sharp first outing, Lee was charged with three runs in three innings. Three of the first four batters he faced in the bottom of the first got hits, two doubles a single. He allowed a solo homer to Emilio Bonifacio in the second and threw a 1-2-3 third. 5.40 ERA and a 1.20 ratio for Lee after two starts. He’s struck out five in five innings.

Cloyd was next and got hammered, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk over two innings. Jose Reyes hit a three-run homer off of him in the fourth and the Blue Jays had four extra-base hits off of Cloyd in two frames.

Durbin struck out two in a scoreless frame in the game. He’s allowed a hit in two innings over two appearances so far.

Stutes and Justin Friend both pitched an inning with both being charged with a run. Stutes has been pretty miserable in his first two appearances, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks over two innings (13.50 ERA with a 2.50 ratio with no strikeouts).

The Phillies play the Pirates this afternoon.


Not for Nuding the Phils would still be sadly winless

The Phillies won their first spring training game in four tries yesterday, topping the Yankees 4-3.

No Phillie had more than one hit in the game. Down 1-0 in the sixth, Rollins walked with one out and scored on a double by Frandsen to tie the game at 1-1. The Phils trailed 3-1 when they hit in the seventh. Brown hit a solo homer to cut the lead to 3-2. Cody Asche doubled with two outs and Tommy Joseph followed that with a two-run homer to left that put the Phils up to stay.

Brown’s homer was pretty and went real far. Look. Now if we can just get Zach Nuding to start 35 games or so for the Nats or Braves we should be all set.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a walk. Michael Young remains hitless after an 0-for-3, he’s 0-for-8 so far. Revere is 1-for-6 with an error on the spring after an 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Mayberry 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in the early going after going 0-for-1 with a strikeout yesterday.

Kendrick started the game for the Phils allowed a first-inning run on a double and a single. He threw a scoreless second and was followed by Aaron Cook, who tossed two scoreless frames.

Durbin, Cesar Jimenez and Horst all threw a scoreless inning. Horst started the ninth with a one-run lead and got the save. He gave up back-to-back hits with two outs and nobody on, putting runners on first and third, but got someone named Cito Culver, who is 20-years-old and slugged .283 at Single-A in 2012, on a fly ball to right to end the game. Culver was a first-round pick in 2010 draft, taken by the Yankees in that round ahead of some people you may have heard more about, like Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin and Mike Olt.

Look for the Phillies to take Culver in the 2019 Rule V draft and give him 587 plate appearances as their starting shortstop. You heard it here first.

After Kendrick’s run in the first inning, the only other Phillie pitcher who was scored on in the game was Zach Miner. Miner threw a scoreless sixth. He returned for the seventh with the game tied at 1-1 and yielded a pair of runs on a one-out single that was followed by a home run.

Not a great day for Zachs. Miner and Nuding combined to go three innings in the game, allowing five earned runs on six hits, three of which were home runs.

Second official appearance for Miner. He’s allowed four runs, three of which are earned, on six hits over three innings.

Chase Utley was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to wet weather conditions.

Delmon Young suggests that his ankle problems significantly impacted his performance during the last two season. That’s discussed in this blog post.

This suggests that Mike Adams could pitch tomorrow, which would be earlier than expected.

Lannan is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phils face the Twins.


Irregular season

Freeze frame, November, 2012. The Phillies shock the baseball world by naming you their new GM. Your job — add a starting center fielder, a starting third baseman, a starting corner outfielder, a top setup man and a fifth starter. Trade Vance Worley, Trevor May, Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla if you want, but make sure you take on less than $20 million in 2013 payroll.

Good luck.

If that’s your charge and you come back with Ben Revere, Michael Young, Delmon Young, John Lannan and Mike Adams, you’ve done your job.

Obviously Amaro had more flexibility than that, especially around who he traded. Keeping Worley would have made adding a fifth starter unnecessary. And some of the positions he filled from outside of the organization could have been filled from within. If the Phillies fail to play Domonic Brown just about every day to start 2013, they’re making a mistake. But they haven’t done that yet and, no matter what they say in January, I don’t think they will. And I don’t think that the off-season has been a disaster for the Phillies.

If there’s a disaster here, and despite how ugly 2012 was, I don’t think this is a disaster yet, it didn’t start this off-season. It started a couple of years ago and moves slow.

Success or failure for the 2013 Phillies is going to have a whole lot more to do with what Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee combine to produce for the $137ish million the Phils have committed to pay them than it will with what Delmon Young produces for the $750,000 they’ve committed to pay him. And a lot of what we saw in 2012 should make you worry about that group’s ability to produce $137 million worth of value in 2013.

You can pay all five of the new guys mentioned above this season with the $20 million the Phils have committed to Howard. With a couple of million left over. You can get most of the way there with the $13 million they’re going to pay Papelbon.

It’s a lotta eggs in a small number of baskets. There is no solution if those eggs can’t play anymore or simply have bad contracts — but it’s not Delmon Young’s fault, either. The choices are declare it’s over and rebuild or declare it’s not and do what you can with the limited flexibility that you have left. I’m glad they chose the later. This is what do what you can with the limited flexibility you have looks like.

Bottom line for me is that the Phillies may have made mistakes. Some of them are big mistakes. Maybe too big for the team to overcome in next few seasons. I’m a lot less sure they came this off-season, though.

Yesterday I updated my guess on who the hitters on the team are at this point. Earlier this month I made a guess on the pitching side. Here’s what I came up with then:

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 JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 J Horst (L)
12 R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)

Assuming 12 pitching spots to start the season, I gave the four open slots to Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus.

Not a whole lot has changed since January 9. The Phillies signed free agent righties Rodrigo Lopez, Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz and announced that righties Justin Friend and Kyle Simon would be invited to camp as NRIs, along with lefty Adam Morgan.

The list looks pretty much the same in my mind these days, with the exception of the addition of a few candidates:

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 JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 J Cruz (R)
12 A Cook (R)
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 still feel pretty good about the Horst and Aumont picks. That gets the Phillies to ten pitchers — five starters and five relievers, including two lefties in Bastardo and Horst.

I feel like there’s a chance that Cook can challenge Lannan for the fifth starter job. But I still think Lannan is the guy. Kendrick ended the season pitching really well out of the rotation, but I shake the feeling that the Phillies would be better off using him as a long reliever. I don’t think that’s going to happen, though, at least not to start the season.

Assuming Kendrick is in the rotation, there’s still an issue about long relief. The Phillies don’t have a long man in the ten guys I mentioned. Juan Cruz seems like he might get some consideration for that role. I’d guess the Phils think Rosenberg could give them more than one inning.

I still think the last two spots are pretty wide open. Valdes and De Fratus were the two relievers I picked last time. Valdes was fantastic for the Phillies in 2012 and De Fratus has put up outstanding numbers in the minors over the last few years.

Valdes would be the third lefty in the pen, though. And they still wouldn’t have a long man. Stutes is the other guy who seems like a legit candidate if he shows he’s healthy early in camp. He was solid for the Phillies in 2011 and got four or more outs in 14 of his 57 appearances.

Anyway, I’ll stick with Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus for the last four spots. That leaves the Phils with 12 pitchers — Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, De Fratus and Valdes. Still three lefties and still no long reliever. My top candidates among the guys not on that list would be Cruz, Rosenberg and Stutes.

This article suggests the Phillies have had the third-best off-season in the NL East.


Their better half

In the most recent post, I took a guess at the hitters who might start the year with the Phillies as well as the guys contending for the other spots. Here’s today’s guess about the pitchers:

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 JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 J Horst (L)
12 R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)

Lannan and Bastardo are the guys I feel least sure of among the eight pitchers I have on the team. But I think they both start the year on the staff with Lannan serving as the fifth starter. Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, Papelbon and Adams seem like locks if they are healthy, although I think it’s possible, but unlikely, that Kendrick could be pitching out of the pen at the start of the year.

If those eight guys did make the opening day roster for the Phils, it would leave the pitching staff with four open slots (assuming the team starts the year with 12 pitchers).

Of those four spots, one should go to a long man, or at least someone who could pitch more than one inning, and at least one other would go to a lefty.

The Phillies have a lot of options when it comes to the second lefty in the pen. Horst and Valdes were both very good in 2012 and I think it’s possible they both make the team to start the year. If it’s just one of them, I’d give Horst an advantage over Valdes. I think Horst is pretty close to a lock to start the year with the team.

I think the issue of who will be the long man out of the pen is more complicated. Kendrick is the guy best-suited for that role, but the Phillies would likely prefer to have him pitch out of the rotation, coming off of a 2012 in which he threw to a 2.43 ERA over his last ten starts. Cloyd, Ethan Martin or Jonathan Pettibone seem like the candidates to make the team that are mostly likely to be able to give the Phillies more than one inning, but I have a little trouble seeing the Phillies carrying one of them to pitch out of the pen to start the year. My guess at this point would be that the Phillies don’t have a true long man out of the pen to start the year.

So if Horst takes one of the four open spots, that leaves the Phils with three.

The guy I feel next strongest about is Aumont, given the combination of his upside and some promising results in 2012. I’ll slot him into the tenth spot.

I think it’s really wide open after that. At this point I’ll take Valdes, based on his impressive 2012, for the eleventh slot. Beyond that I see it as close to a toss-up between Stutes and De Fratus as front-runners for the final spot. Stutes is coming off of a significant injury that sidelined him for much of 2012 and both should contribute to the team this year. Stutes helped the Phils a lot in 2011 and De Fratus has had several very impressive years in the minors in a row.

I’ll pick De Fratus for the twelfth spot.

So that gives the Phils 12 pitchers — Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus. Five starters, seven relievers. Three lefties out of the pen and no long man in relief.

If that’s the staff heading into 2013, I expect we’ll all feel a whole lot more comfortable with the pitching than we do with the hitting to start the year.

This article from the Phillies web site adds Michael Cuddyer to the list of players the Phils might be pursuing that includes Hairston, Wells and Soriano.

This article suggests that if the outfield situation stays the same, we may see Brown getting a chance to be the everyday guy in right field to start the year with a platoon in left that includes some combination of the lefty Nix and righties Ruf and Mayberry. Mayberry seems like he should be a candidate to get some at-bats at first base against left-handed pitching as well.

There are a bunch of problems in left if that proves to be the case. One is that it’s hugely unlikely that Laynce Nix is going to be able to take all or maybe even most of the at-bats against righties in left field in 2013. Nix is 32 and has never gotten more than 400 plate appearances in a season. Phillie left fielders are going to get around 480 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2013. Nix has never had more than 321 plate appearances against righties in a season. So it seems likely that some parts of that platoon would be hitting a lot against righties. I don’t think you want to see a whole lot more of Mayberry hitting against righties given his 229/291/335 line against them in 2012. We’ll see on Ruf. He was 5-for-17 against righties last year with a home run.

The other important problem with Nix as the left-handed part of a platoon in left is that Nix, despite his left-handedness, isn’t exactly a fabulous hitter against right-handed pitching anyway. His career line against righties is 253/297/447. Last year he got just 117 plate appearances against righties, but put up a 248/316/390 line. So Nix probably couldn’t completely man a left-handed platoon in left anyway and if he could, you might not want him to.


Playoff intensity not delivering much but playoff results so far for the Phils

The problem for the Phillies isn’t that they fail to grasp the seriousness of their situation or elevate their level of play. The problem is that they do and that they have and they keep losing anyway. The Phils have battled for just about every at-bat over the last handful of games, but Rays and the Pirates haven’t seemed that impressed. After losing 5-4 yesterday afternoon, the Phils are 2-4 over their last six games.

They’ve still got plenty of time to get it going, but they didn’t start yesterday. Kendrick had a hide-your-eyes ugly first inning that saw the Pirates score five runs by the time they sent their seventh batter of the game to the plate. The pitching was great after that, Kendrick tossed six scoreless frames and new additions Sanches and Horst combined to throw two more, but the Phils couldn’t quite climb all the way back as their rally fell a run short.

So somebody needs to get in there an kick the flux capacitor or something. Cause right now all I can picture is a rather exasperated-looking Charlie Manuel firing off an “I’m giving her all she’s got, Captain!” and the only response to this point has been a diverse group of opposing players hitting the ball all manner of hard and far against an equally diverse group of Phillie pitchers.

The Phillies are 36-42 on the year after losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 yesterday afternoon. The teams split the four-game series. The Phils are in fifth place in the NL East, nine games behind the first place Nationals.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for first inning home runs, a three-run blast and a solo shot.

Kendrick has a 7.67 ERA over his last five starts. Opponents have hit .294 against him and he’s allowed five home runs and 15 walks over 27 innings.

Drew Sutton was the first batter of the game and reached on an infield single on a ball deflected by Kendrick. Neil Walker followed that with a walk, putting runners on first and second for Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen flew to right for the first out with Sutton tagging and moving up to third. With men on the corners, Garrett Jones singled to right, scoring Sutton to put the Pirates up 1-0 with men on first and second for Casey McGehee. McGehee hit a 1-2 pitch from Kendrick out to left-center. 4-0. Alvarez was next and homered to right. 5-0. Kendrick struck out Clint Barmes for the second out and got Michael McKenry on a fly ball to left for the third.

Kendrick got the first two batters to start the second before Walker singled to left. McCutchen went down swinging to leave Walker stranded.

He set the Pirates down in order in the third, fourth and the fifth.

He walked McGehee with one out in the sixth, but got Alvarez and Barmes behind him.

McKenry reached on an infield single to start the seventh. Burnett tried to bunt him to second, but Kratz fielded, threw to second for the first out and Rollins went to Fontenot at first to complete the double-play. Kendrick walked Sutton and Alex Presley ran for Sutton at first. Kendrick got Walker to line to left to leave Presley at first.

Very nice play by Kratz to pounce on the ball and throw to second to start the double-play.

Sanches started the eighth. Jones doubled off the railing in right with one out on a play that was still a double after being reviewed. McGehee was next and flew to center for the second out with Jones moving up to third. Sanches walked the lefty Alvarez intentionally to put runners on first and third for Barmes. Sanches got Barmes swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.

Fourth appearance for Sanches with the Phillies this season and the first time he hasn’t been charged with at least one run.

It was 5-4 when Horst started the ninth, making his debut with the Phillies. He walked McKenry on five pitches to start the frame. Tabata bunted McKenry to second with the first out. Alex Presley was next and Horst walked him, too, putting runners on first and second. Horst got Walker on a foul ball handled by Wigginton for the second out. McCutchen was next and Horst struck him out swinging 1-2 to leave both men stranded.

Horst facing the righty McCutchen with two men on doesn’t make you feel real comfortable, but the lefty got it done that time. He has thrown to a 2.11 ERA at Triple-A this year, but with a 1.59 ratio. In 38 1/3 innings he’s allowed 43 hits and walked 18.

Sanches and Horst get the job done in the game, throwing two scoreless innings as they allow a hit and two walks. Horst threw 24 pitches and Sanches 22.

The Phillies lineup against righty AJ Burnett went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Polanco (6) Wigginton (7) Fontenot (8) Kratz. Pierre in left against the righty with Wigginton at first. Kratz makes his first start of the year catching the day game after a night game. Polanco hits fifth, which is terrible given that he has slugged .375 over his last 2,054 plate appearances coming into the game. Fontenot at second with Utley resting.

Down 5-0, Victorino singled with two outs and took second on an error by Jones in right. Pence grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.

Wigginton singled to center with one out in the second. Fontenot was next and flew to center for the second out, but was next and hit an 0-2 pitch out to center, getting the Phils on the board at 5-2. Kendrick grounded to second for the third out.

Second home run in five at-bats for Kratz on the year.

Pierre singled with one out in the third and stole second. Pierre took third on a ground out, but was left stranded when Burnett struck Pence out looking 1-2 to end the inning.

The Phils went in order in the fourth and again in the fifth.

Victorino and Pence singled back-to-back with one out in the sixth, putting runners on the corners for Polanco. Polanco hit a ground ball to third. Alvarez went to second for the first out, but Polanco beat the relay to first as Victorino scored to make it 5-3. Wigginton walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Fontenot. Fontenot took ball one way high and then grounded to first to end the inning.

Kinda looked like Burnett had lost the strike zone there a little.

Kratz struck out to start the seventh. Utley hit for Kendrick and struck out for the second before Rollins walked. Righty Juan Cruz came in to pitch to Pierre and walked him, putting two men on for Victorino. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Pence started the eighth and lined a 1-1 pitch just out to left off of righty Jason Grilli. 5-4. Polanco was hit by a pitch. Wigginton got ahead 3-1, but struck out swinging for the first out. Fontenot followed and singled on a ball knocked down but not handled by Grilli. It put runners on first and second for Kratz and Thome hit for him. He hammered the first pitch he saw out by foul and then struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Ruiz hit for Sanches and fouled out to McGehee as the first baseman went into the stands to make a great catch and end the inning.

Rollins singled off of righty Joel Hanrahan to start the ninth. Pierre bunted him to second with the first out and Victorino struck out swinging for the second. It brought Pence to the plate with two down and Rollins on second. Before Hanrahan threw a pitch to Pence, Rollins stole third, but Pence flew to McCutchen in shallow center to end the game.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base in the game. 5-for-16 with three walks, a double a triple and a home run in the series. 339/385/645 over his last 130 plate appearances. 268/322/419 for the year. He’s hitting .323 at home and .215 on the road.

Pierre 1-for-3 with a walk and another stolen base, which gives him 18 on the year. He’s been caught just three times. 2-for-11 with a walk in the series. 254/299/365 over his last 69 plate appearances and 315/355/380 for the year.

Victorino 2-for-5 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 5-for-15 in the series with two walks and five singles. 253/324/390 for the year. Doesn’t seem like a great choice to hit third against a righty given his 231/300/319 line against them for the season.

Pence 2-for-5 with a home run. 6-for-17 with two walks, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He came into the series slugging .329 over his last 90 plate appearances without a home run. 277/345/476 for the season.

Polanco 0-for-3 with an RBI thanks to nice hustle to beat out his double-play ball. 4-for-10 with two walks and four singles in the set. 278/324/363. Polanco hitting fifth against a right-handed pitcher is a pretty good sign there are some issues with your lineup.

Wigginton 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-12 with two walks and a home run in the set. 250/317/398 for the year. Playing way too much against righties. 185/228/315 over his last 57 plate appearances. It’s him, Mayberry or Luna at first so far and they’re all right-handed. Mayberry’s hitting 212/246/470 in June. Luna is 1-for-his-last-11 with five strikeouts. If Nix is back in a few weeks, that will help. Till then I really think they should consider giving the lefty Fontenot a try at first against some righties.

Kratz was great. 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and made a great play to start a double-play on the bunt in the seventh. 2-for-7 on the year with two home runs.

Ruiz was 0-for-1 in the game and 8-for-14 with two home runs in the series. 362/429/588 for the year. He’s obviously getting a ton more hits in 2012 than he has over his career, but also hitting for way more power, especially against right-handed pitching. For his career, his isolated power against righties is .133. So far in 2012, his isolated power against righties is .242 (for lefties it is .183 this year compared to .155 for his career).

Cliff Lee (0-4, 3.72) faces righty Josh Johnson (4-5, 3.96) tonight in Florida. Lee has a 5.10 ERA over his last seven starts and the Phillies are 3-9 in his outings for the year. Johnson threw to a 6.61 ERA in his first six starts on the season. Since then he’s made nine starts, throwing to a 2.56 ERA and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of those outings.


But can they play second?

There’s a lot going wrong for the Phils these days, but one thing going unexpectedly right is the performance they’ve gotten from left-handed relievers this Spring Training.

In yesterday’s game against Detroit, lefties out of the pen for the Phils combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which they allowed three hits, no walks and struck out seven. It seemed like a good a time as any to check in on the lefty relievers in camp other than Bastardo.

Here’s what lefty relievers in camp have done in official Spring Training action so far:

IP ERA Ratio K
David Purcey 7 2.57 1.14 5
Raul Valdes 6 2/3 1.35 0.75 8
Joe Savery 5 1/3 0.00 0.94 7
Jeremy Horst 4 6.75 2.00 4
Pat Misch 4 2.25 1.75 3
Jake Diekman 4 0.00 0.75 8
Dontrelle Willis 2 2/3 16.87 3.38 0

Purcey has been good. Valdes, Savery and Diekman have been great.

It’s already clear that several of those guys are out of the running to start the year with the Phils. Willis has already been released and Misch assigned to minor league camp. Purcey and Horst were reassigned this morning.

The Phillies beat the Tigers 4-3 yesterday.

Scott Elarton started the game for the Phillies and was charged with three runs over 2 1/3 innings, pushing his Spring Training ERA to 6.10. Valdes followed Elarton, allowing a single over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Savery was next and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Brian Sanches pitched the seventh, allowing a two-out double but keeping the Tigers off the board. He has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over six innings. Diekman threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Purcey allowed a double with two outs in the ninth, but got Austin Jackson on a ground ball to third to end the game.

Galvis had a two-run triple in a four-run fifth for the Phillies. He was 1-for-3 in the game and upped his line to 282/311/462 with a team-high ten RBI. Wigginton went 1-for-3 with a single and his hitting .219. Nix started in left and went 1-for-3.

The Phillies play Baltimore this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.

Chase Utley has left camp to see a specialist about his knees. It looks as if Freddy Galvis may see significant time at second base early in the season for the Phillies. Galvis has a career .292 on-base percentage in the minor leagues.

Jimmy Rollins fires up his own private uplifting quote machine yet again in this article, saying of Utley, “If he doesn’t play again that would be something horrible.”

Other in-house options for the Phillies at second would appear to include Martinez and Polanco, although Manuel points out in the article linked above that he’s having a lot of trouble keeping Polanco healthy at third.

The Phillies released Joel Piniero.


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