Tag: John Lannan

Some days are better than others

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miner has also struggled and also has a 10.80 ERA.

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

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

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

Howard homered, his fourth of the spring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bastardo’s ERA rises to 3.86 after five appearances.

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

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

The Phillies do not play today.

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

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

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

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

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

One-hit wonderment

Good pitching and bad pitching were on display yesterday as the Phils squared off with the Pirates. The Phillies came out on the right side, though, winning 5-0 as John Lannan, Mike Adams, Adam Morgan and Raul Valdes held the Pirates to one hit and four walks over nine shutout innings. The Pirates, on the other hand, walked three different Phillies (Quintero, Revere and Utley) with the bases loaded in the second inning.

The Phillies had nine hits in the game, all singles.

Michael Young was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Betancourt 2-for-3 with a walk and Revere 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

Betancourt is hitting .412. Revere has a 346/393/385 line with three stolen bases. Young is 5-for-his-last-13 with a double and a homer after starting the spring 1-for-9.

Might seem like Revere isn’t hitting for a lot of power, but that’s just the way it’s going to be. His isolated power of .039 so far this spring is pretty similar to his career mark of .045.

Brown 1-for-3, Mayberry 1-for-4. Ruf 0-for-2 with a walk, dropping his spring average to .130. He has one extra-base hit, a double.

Mayberry started 1-for-10 and is 6-for-his-last-16 (.375) with a double and a home run.

Lannan started the game for the Phillies and was fantastic, going three shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit, a first-inning double to Travis Snider, and walking two.

Lannan drops his spring ERA to 1.80, but he has a 1.60 ratio to go with it. He’s walked three in five innings and opponents are hitting .278 against him.

Adam Morgan also three shutout innings in the game for the Phils. He walked two and struck out two without allowing a hit.

Morgan has a 1.93 ERA and has struck out six in 4 2/3 innings, but again with a high ratio of 1.50. Three of the fours runs he’s been charged with are unearned.

Mike Adams threw a 1-2-3 fourth. He’s now thrown two scoreless innings in which he’s allowed one hit without walking a batter.

Valdes was great in the game, too. After being awful in his first two appearances, Valdes faced six batters and retired all six, dropping his ERA to 6.00. He’s struck out seven in six innings, but allowed three home runs. Yesterday was the only one of Valdes’s three outings in which he did not give up a home run.

The Phillies will play the Dominican Republic team this afternoon.

Jonathan Papelbon was scheduled to pitch today, but has a cold and will not do so.

BJ Rosenberg has some tenderness in his elbow, which kept him from pitching on Sunday.

Delmon Young will have his ankle looked at by a doctor in California today.

This article takes a guess at the opening day roster for the Phillies, giving two of the three unknown bullpen slots to Horst and Valdes and leaving the other one open. It also has Ruf off the roster and Inciarte on.

I think if the Phillies are truly thinking about giving Inciarte a spot on the roster we’ll see him getting a whole lot more at-bats soon. So far he has seven. It definitely seems possible.

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.

Hit parade

So just who on the Phillies did John Lannan plunk? A review.

July 26, 2007. Lannan faced the Phillies in his major league debut. The Phillies led 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth. Victorino grounded to second for the first out in the frame before Lannan hit Utley in the hand, breaking it. He then hit Howard in the back and was ejected from the game. The Phillies took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning, but the Nats scored two in the seventh and Jesus Flores hit a three-run homer off of Zagurski in the eighth. Nats won 7-6.

July 31, 2008. Lannan hit Shane Victorino, the second batter of the game for the Phillies, in the bottom of the first. The Phils went on to score eight runs charged to Lannan in 5 2/3 innings.

May 15, 2009. This game between the Nats and Phils featured five hit batters, including two by Lannan. Utley led off the top of the sixth with the Phillies down 4-1 and Lannan hit him with a pitch. Lannan got the next two before hitting Ibanez. Feliz followed with a single that scored Utley and knocked Lannan from the game. Down 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the Nats scored two runs off of Lidge to sent the game into extra-innings. The Phils scored four in the top of the twelfth and won 10-6.

August 1, 2010. Ryan Howard was the fourth batter of the game, coming to the plate in a scoreless tie with two down and Werth on second. Lannan drilled him on the right elbow. The elbow was x-rayed after the game and the x-rays came back negative. Howard injured his ankle running the bases and would not appear again for the Phillies until August 21.

September 27, 2010. The Phils were up 1-0 in the sixth with one down and Victorino on first when Lannan hit Utley. The Phils went on to score three runs in the frame and beat the Nats 8-0 as they clinched the NL East.

April 13, 2011. The Phillies led 2-0 in the fifth with two outs and the bases loaded. Lannan hit Howard on the right wrist, forcing in a run. Howard stayed in the game and x-rays after the game were negative. Halladay hit Nat Laynce Nix in the seventh and the Phillies won 3-2 behind a complete game, 123 pitch outing from Halladay.

May 5, 2011. Lannan hit Victorino, the second batter of the game for the Phillies in the bottom of the first inning of a scoreless tie.

June 1, 2011. Lannan hit Mayberry with one out in the top of the third and the bases empty. Mayberry is the only right-handed batter (not including the switch-hitter Victorino) to be hit by Lannan with the Phillies. Nix made a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Brown with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning in that game and the Nats went on to win 2-1.

September 26, 2012. Down 5-0, Howard led off the bottom of the second was hit by Lannan. The Nats pounded Kendrick in the game on their way to an 8-4 win.

And how did it work out for him? Not so great. It’s hard to tell if hitting batters is the cause or the symptom of problems, but, either way, his numbers overall in innings in which he has hit a Phillie batter aren’t so good. Here they are:

7/26/07 0.3 0 0 2 2 1 Utley, Howard
7/31/08 1 1 0 1 0 0 Victorino
5/15/09 0.7 1 0 2 2 2 Ibanez, Utley
8/1/10 1 3 0 1 2 2 Howard
9/27/10 0.7 2 1 1 3 3 Utley
4/13/11 1 3 0 1 2 2 Howard
5/5/11 1 0 0 1 0 0 Victorino
6/1/11 1 1 0 1 0 0 Mayberry
9/26/12 1 0 0 1 0 0 Howard
Total 7 2/3 11 1 11 11 10

Ten earned runs over 7 2/3 innings is an 11.74 ERA. Notably, he’s walked just one hitter in the 7 2/3 innings (Polanco ahead of Utley on 9/27/10), so his control has been pretty good even in the innings when he’s plunking folks. 1.57 ratio for the 7 2/3 frames.

Even leaving the Phillies wasn’t enough to save Victorino. Lannan hit four batters in 2012 — Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard and Victorino when he was with the Dodgers.

Here are his career rates of hitting Phillies, non-Phillies and some of your favorite Phillies and non-Phillies:

PA HBP % of PA
All teams 3402 30 0.8
PHI 484 11 2.3
Not PHI 2918 19 0.7
Utley 48 3 6.2
Howard 46 4 8.7
Victorino 47 3 6.4

There are four players that Lannan has hit three or more times in his career. Three of them are current or former Phils. He’s hit Howard four times and Utley, Victorino and Nate McLouth three times each.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around January 3.

So the John Lannan glass is kinda maybe half fullish and, if that’s not enough for you ingrates, there’s the chance we might, just might, be in the mix to acquire Vernon Wells

That there could solve everything.

One way to look at John Lannan’s career is that he’s had four seasons in which he’s made at least ten starts and three of them have been pretty good.

Lannan has spent parts of six different seasons in the majors from 2007 through 2012. Of those, in two, 2007 and 2012, he threw less than 40 innings. If you remove those two, that leaves you with the four years from 2008 to 2011. In each of those four years, Lannan made at least 25 starts and over those years combined he threw to a 4.00 ERA with a 1.42 ratio.

Only one of the four seasons was really bad, though, his 2010 effort in which he threw to a 4.65 ERA with a 1.56 ratio. Opponents hit .302 against him. Removing 2010, in the three other years in which he’s made ten or more starts he has a 3.83 ERA with a 1.38 ratio.

Here are the four years of his career in which he’s thrown more than 40 innings.

Year GS IP ERA Ratio
2008 31 182.0 3.91 1.34
2009 33 206.3 3.88 1.35
2010 25 143.3 4.65 1.56
2011 33 184.7 3.70 1.46
’08 to ’11 122 716.3 4.00 1.42
’08, ’09 and ’11 97 573 3.83 1.38

Remember, that’s pretty much his whole career, removing only a total of 67 1/3 innings thrown in 2008 and 2012 combined. And if you take out 2010, things look pretty okay, at least judging by his 3.83 ERA and 1.38 ratio.

So what went wrong in 2010? Not his walk rate. He walked just 7.6% of the batters that he faced, which is the lowest mark for his career and well below his career walk rate of 8.7%. It wasn’t home runs — he allowed home runs to 2.2% of the hitters he faced, which was a decrease from his mark from the two previous years and is below his career home run rate of 2.3%.

What he did do was allow a lot more hits.

IP AB H Opp Avg H/9 % of PA H
2010 143 1/3 580 175 .302 11.0 27.2
Career 783 2/3 3,018 820 .272 9.4 24.1
Not 2010 640 1/3 2,438 645 .265 9.1 23.4
’08, ’09 and ’11 573 2,184 576 .264 9.0 23.4

So his hit rate skyrocketed in 2010. But so did his batting average for balls in play. Coming into 2010, Lannan had thrown 423 innings over three seasons. His Baseball-Reference calculated BABIP for those three years is .275 with a range of .272 to .277 (.277 in 2007, .272 in 2008 and .277 again in 2009). In 2010 it was .322.

The other thing about Lannan’s BABIP is that after it took off in 2010, it stayed up. .301 in 2011 and .314 in 2012. From 2007 to 2009, opponents hit .261 against Lannan with a BABIP of .275. From 2010 through 2012, opponents hit .284 against him with a BABIP of .311.

Also important to remember is that Lannan’s best year by ERA, 2011, when he put up a 3.70, is far from his best year in the majors. He’s going to have trouble keeping his ERA at that level with a 1.46 ratio and we should all be hoping he can bring his ratio down to 2008 and ’09 levels. Opponents hit .272 against him in ’11 and his walk rate of 3.7 batters per nine was above his career mark of 3.4.

Another thing that odd about Lannan is his recent history around giving up home runs. He hasn’t allowed one in his last 11 starts. Between August 13, 2011 and August 31, 2011, Lannan allowed five home runs in 21 innings for the Nationals. Since then he’s made 11 starts, throwing 57 1/3 innings without allowing a home run.

This article suggests that the Phillies have Cody Ross and Vernon Wells on their shopping list. Let’s hold out hope that either 1) it’s a really, really long list or 2) it’s a list from the 2010 off-season that somebody just recently uncovered. Wells is owed $21 million in 2013 and $21 million in 2014 and has hit 222/258/409 in 791 plate appearances over the last two years.

This article from yesterday’s Boston Globe says, “Ross has drawn considerable interest from the Braves, Phillies, Mets, Yankees, and Orioles, but nothing is close, according to a major league source.” The article also speculates on the possibility that Boston wants to trade Ellsbury, move Victorino to center and then sign Ross.

This suggests that the Phillies may be interested in acquiring left-handed reliever JP Howell. I’d be pretty surprised if the Phillies added a left-handed relief pitcher without trading away one of the six they currently have on their 40-man roster (Bastardo, Horst, Valdes, Diekman, Savery and Robles, in that order, in my opinion). Maybe they could add another fourth outfielder who can’t play center? Oh wait, they’re working on that.

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