Tag Archives: Philadelphia Phillies

Papelbon Wants Cole to Stay

10 Jul

The possible trade and departure of Cole Hamels is one of the biggest topics for the Phillies right now, and yesterday Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was asked for his take on the situation.

“I definitely don’t think we should. I don’t think he’s trying to jump ship by any means.”

Hamels was pretty outspoken about his desire to stay in Philadelphia in an interview given to CSNPhilly’s Leslie Gudel.

Papelbon continued…

“I don’t necessarily know if our clubhouse would take that too well. But, also, at the same time, everyone knows it’s a business. Sometimes things don’t go the way you think they should go because you don’t run the business; you work for the business. That’s it, man.”

Recently it has been mentioned in a few places that the Phillies’ clubhouse chemistry is not the same as it has been in years past.  Their lack of leadership has been noted by many, and veterans of this team have been known to act like babies from time to time.  Think Shane Victornino tearing up his World Series tickets last year after the Phillies lost in the NLDS, and just this past Sunday when Jimmy Rollins told the media “Don’t waste your time, guys.”

Something has to change, and Papelbon is doing his best to stay focused.

“That new wild card deal changes a lot of things for general managers. We’ve got a tough road ahead. We got Doc and Ryan Howard and Utley back now. You take [away] the third- and fourth-hole hitter in anybody’s lineup you can’t expect to have it easy. I think we’ve weathered the storm halfway decent. It’s too early to say, ‘Hey, let’s start dealing players.’ If we come back and lose 10 in a row, that’s a different story.”

The Phillies are dead last in the NL East at 37-50.  If they can’t muster up something quick, Hamels might just be dealt.

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Until They Get Back…

2 Jun

You’ve probably heard this phrase close to a million times this Spring.

“If we can just stay afloat until Howard and Utley come back…”

Gosh, I think I’ve even said it a few times myself.  Unfortunatly we had to add another big name to that list.

Roy Halladay. 

To say that Roy Halladay is important to this team is really understating it.  In his first two years in Philadelphia Halladay has won 40 games, and pitched more then 200 innings each time.  However, Halladay and the Phillies have been bounced from the playoffs each season before reaching the ultimate goal.

Why do I mention that last part? …  Because it could be worse.

Don’t get me wrong here.  Losing Halladay is really going to be tough for the Phillies, but at the same time his injury could have been far worse then it was.  He doesnt need surgury.  He didn’t tear his labrum, he didn’t tear his rotator cuff.  He’ll be stronger at the end of the season, and won’t have that wear and tear of a 200 inning pitchers come august and September.  I’d love to have Roy out there today, but a healthy Roy is going to be huge in the stretch run.

They need to win as many division games as possible, as all the teams in the NL East are above .500.

The Phillies have been a second half team these last few years.  Let’s hope that trend continues, because if the Phillies want to have any chance of making it to the Postseason, it’s really gonna have to.

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And That’s Why He’s the Vanimal…

20 Apr

Well it was a familiar story on Thursday night for the Phillies.

The game was nice and tight all the way through, and again the Phillies pitching was brilliant.  Vance Worley threw 7 scoreless innings, and a career high 11 strikeouts.  Vance, like Lee the night before had to pitch at the top of his game when runs are coming at a minimum.

Again the Phillies offense was bleak.  After loading the bases in the first and only walking away with one run, it wasn’t until the 9th that they would score again on a passed ball.

But alas, A win is a win.

It’s pretty nice to be at Petco Park. The Phillies have won 12 straight games here, dating to 2008, so it’s nice to have a 4 game series here when the offense is struggling so much.

Side Notes -

John Mayberry Jr.  - Oh my.  This kid needs a few days off, or to be sent down to AAA to figure it out.

Jonathan Papelbon - Pap is now a perfect 4 for 4 in save opportunities. He’s likely going to be a discussion point all season as he was the Phillies biggest offseason move, when offense really needed to be addressed.

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Notes From Spring Training

25 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy

Just a few updates on what’s happening in Clearwater…

• Cliff Lee - Cliff has been held back with some soreness in his abdomen.  He claims that everything is fine, and he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen on Sunday.  Lee has had some problems with his abdomen in his past, but he says it’s nothing to worry about.

I hate it when they say that.

• Jose Contreras- has thrown a second bullpen, and it went very, very well.  He feels as if he’s able to throw harder then before, and that he’s going to be able to last though the season. “We were very encouraged with how he threw,” Ruben Amaro said. “More importantly, he was really encouraged.”  It’s important that the player throw without reservations.

Domonic Brown - Brown says that he came to camp to win the left field job, even though the Phillies plan to have him play there full time at AAA Lehigh Valley.

• Justin De Fratus - Justin has some soreness in his right elbow which should keep him out of practice for at least a week. De Fratus said he felt tightness in his elbow last month, and it has not improved. “We’ll just slow him down,” Amaro said. “It’s early and we want to be conservative with him.”

I don’t like the sound of that either.

 • Florida State Exhibition Game - The Phillies have decided to start Austin Hyatt.  Also slated to pitch are  Jake Diekman and Jeremy Horst, followed by relievers Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, J.C. Ramirez, B.J. Rosenberg and Phillippe Aumont.  The game is at 1 p.m. at Bright House Field.

Austin Hyatt spent the season last year at AA Reading, where he went 12-6 with a 3.85 ERA.

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Hollywood Comes to Clearwater

22 Feb

Photo: Miles Kennedy/Phillies - Hollywood arrives.

With all of the contract hype circling around Cole Hamels and finding a way to extend the lefty, it’s easy to forget that another all-star is coming to the end of his deal with the Phillies.  Shane Victorino will be able to become a free-agent at the end of this season.

But is he going to let that bother him?

“I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” he said.

“I never put a time frame on anything, but I just want to stay focused on playing the season out and seeing what happens,” he said. “We’ll go from there. But I don’t think you should put a time frame on it. But is it going to be a distraction if you’re talking about it during the year? Yeah, I think sometimes it does.”

The night after his cameo appearance on ABC’s Hawaii Five -0, Victorino, who had the red carpet rolled out for his arrival to camp, is focused on winning a title, and will “stay focused.”

“You definitely think about it, but you’ve just got to stay focused on what’s ahead of you,” Victorino said. “It’s a big year for all of us, not just because of free agency. Getting back to where we need to be is very important. There are a lot of expectations. I don’t want to use the word disappointment, but last year ended so quick. We want to keep this team as long as we can, but there’s a certain point when all that stuff starts coming into play.”

Spoken like a champ.

Will the Phillies be able to re-sign Victornio?  Probably, but so far there have been no talks of a deal, or extension.  Of all of the position players the Phillies have he is pretty much the closest to being in his prime years, despite being 31, and you can’t deny what an plus he has been to the team in last few seasons. It will take a little bit of work, but this deal should hopefully get done… Time will tell.

Victorino has been an All-Star twice, and has won two Gold Gloves.

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Free Agents for 2012

16 Oct

OK, a few of you have asked me about what I would like to see the Phillies do in the off-season.  I’m also pretty curious what you all would like to see.

Here is a list of all the free agents coming up in 2012.  The players with asterisks after their names have options for 2012.

 

Starting Pitchers

 

Mark Buehrle CWS
Chris Carpenter STL *
Aaron Cook COL *
Kyle Davies KC
Zach Duke PIT
Chad Gaudin OAK
Edwin Jackson CHW
Scott Kazmir LAA *
Hiroki Kuroda LAD
Brandon McCarthy OAK
John Maine NYM
Paul Maholm PIT
Jason Marquis WAS
Scott Olsen WAS
Roy Oswalt PHI *
Oliver Perez NYM
Joel Pineiro LAA
CC Sabathia NYY**
Brian Tallet TOR
Tim Wakefield BOS
Chien-Ming Wang WAS
C.J. Wilson TEX

 

Relief Pitchers


Danys Baez PHI
Matt Belisle COL
Heath Bell SD
Rafael Betancourt COL
Jonathan Broxton LAD
Brian Bruney WAS
Shawn Camp TOR
Matt Capps WAS
Todd Coffey MIL
Clay Condrey MIN
Francisco Cordero CIN *
Lance Cormier TB
Ryan Franklin STL
Mike Gonzalez TEX
John Grabow CHC
LaTroy Hawkins MIL
Bobby Jenks CWS
Brad Lidge PHI *
Scott Linebrink CWS
Javier Lopez PIT
Ryan Madson PHI
Damaso Marte NYY *
Sergio Mitre NYY
Joe Nathan MIN *
Jonathan Papelbon BOS
Chris Ray SF
Francisco Rodriguez NYM *
Takashi Saito ATL
George Sherrill LAD
Carlos Silva CHC *
Jose Valverde DET
Tyler Walker WAS
Michael Wuertz OAK
Joel Zumaya DET

Catchers

 

Jason Kendall KC
Ryan Doumit PIT
Ramon Hernandez CIN
Russ Martin NYY
Yadier Molina STL *
Dionar Navarro TB
Jorge Posada NYY
Ivan Rodriguez WAS
Brian Schneider PHI
Kelly Shoppach TB *
Chris Snyder ARZ *

First Basemen


Prince Fielder MIL
Ross Gload PHI
Todd Helton COL *
David Ortiz BOS
Carlos Pena CHI
Albert Pujols STL
Casey Kotchman TB

Second Basemen


Clint Barmes COL
Robinson Cano NYY *
Jamey Carroll LAD
Luis Castillo NYM
Aaron Hill ARZ *
Kelly Johnson TOR
Brandon Phillips CIN *
Freddy Sanchez SF
Rickie Weeks MIL

 

Third Basemen


Casey Blake LAD *
Wilson Betemit DET
Mark DeRosa SF
Greg Dobbs FLA
Edwin Encarnacion TOR
Aramis Ramirez CHC

Shortstops


Jason Bartlett TB
Jimmy Rollins PHI
Jose Reyes NYM
Yuniesky Betancourt KC *
Rafael Furcal LAD
John McDonald TOR
Augie Ojeda ARZ
Ramon Santiago DET
Marco Scutaro BOS *
Jack Wilson SEA


Outfielders


Bobby Abreu LAA *
Carlos Beltran SF
Milton Bradley SEA
Mike Cameron BOS
Ronny Cedeno PIT
Ryan Church PIT
Coco Crisp OAK
Michael Cuddyer MIN
Matt Diaz ATL
J.D. Drew BOS
Jonny Gomes CIN
Gabe Gross OAK
Carlos Guillen DET
Corey Hart MIL
Jeremy Hermida BOS
Raul Ibanez PHI
Conor Jackson BOS
Jason Kubel MIN
Ryan Ludwick STL
Gary Matthews Jr. NYM
Nate McLouth ATL *
Juan Pierre CWS
Juan Rivera LAD
Cody Ross FLA
Grady Sizemore CLE *
Nick Swisher NYY *
Josh Willingham OAK

 

Credit to chickenfriedbaseball.com who compiled this list.

Laying the Blame

10 Oct

Now that a few days have passed I’m ready to start dishing the blame.  I’ll have to say that despite what everyone is saying about Ryan Howard I think that it is more of a collective issue.  Let’s start at the top.

Charlie Manuel – Sorry Chuck, but I think a lot of this one is on you.  I like that the players like to play for you, but this time things just went horribly wrong.  After three games in a row where we couldn’t by a hit you leave the same lineup in?  Polanco stays at third when he can’t even buy a hit?  Did you even leave the dugout at all?  Throw some things around and try to fire these guys up?  I have always stuck by your side, but this time I honestly feel like you just stood by and watched.  You’re the so called hitting guru, but you can’t seem to get these guys to hit.  Maybe consider asking them to take a few pitches here and there.  Crossing your fingers isn’t working.  Next Spring better bring some answers because we’re all feeling pretty empty.

Cliff Lee – Cliff is honestly the player that I have the biggest issue with.  Before his start last Sunday Cliff was 94-1 in games where he was handed a 4 run lead.  That is huge, you have to hold that.  For the average starter a 4 run lead is tough to hold, but for Cliff it is practically a mortal lock for a win.

Cliff was brought to Philadelphia to win in the Postseason, and that didn’t happen. So far he is 0-1 in his new tenure in Philadelphia.  That can’t happen again.  I’m glad that he took “Full responsibility,” but that does nothing for me as I sit here and watch the Cardinals lose to Milwaukee. Had he pitched like we expected him to do so we would have swept St. Louis right out of the playoffs.

“I take a lot of responsibility for this,” Lee said after the Game 5 loss. “I had a 4-0 lead and wasn’t able to keep it. If I did, we would have swept the series. I wasn’t able to keep a four-run lead and now it’s over.”

Cliff choked.  No doubt about it.

Ryan Howard - I stand up for Ryno in many instances, but during a series is not time to mess with your mechanics.  After game one I was expecting Ryan to just destroy the Cardinals, but he fell right into their trap.  If they are going to throw you junk, then you need to just stand there and take that walks.  That was something that I always admired about Pat Burrell.

I get that he was hurt, but he did himself, and the team zero favors by swinging at the crap they threw to him.  I can’t even count at how many balls that were tight and inside that he swung at.  You have to make them pitch to you.  I have mixed feelings about him swinging at the 3-0 ball that he got towards the end of game 5.  I know that people wished that green light had taken away from him at that point, but in a one run game one swing from Ryan can change the course of the game.  It was a half decent pitch, so anything could have happened.

But Howard wasn’t the only one that didn’t hit.

Placido Polanco – Really when it comes to Polly the problem starts with Charlie Manual.  I don’t get why we think that an injured Polanco is any better then Wilson Valdez or Michael Martinez.  Polly went 2-19 (.105) in the NLDS… You have to think that Valdez could have done better then that.  Polly is the best defensive choice we have at third, but with his injuries, his bad speed is gone, and he can’t run worth a damn.

Hunter Pence – Hunter had 4 RBI, but still only hit .211 in the series.  He’s a .300 hitter all season long, and went cold by his standards in the playoffs.  Offensively he’s a fine player, but defensively he leaves much to be desired in the outfield.  I hope that we can make some end-roads with him over the winter and into Spring Training next year.  I love the hustle, but he came up short in the end.

Carlos Ruiz – Behind the plate Chooch is always an All-Star, but standing at it, he had a terrible series.  1-17 (.059) in the NLDS is just terrible.  Carlos had a really tough October.  He needs to keep the ball out of the air, and work on going the other way a little more.  He pulls the ball far too much.

Roy Oswalt – Roy had pitched to the Cardinals hitters more then any other pitcher on the Phillies staff from his time in the National League Central, but didn’t look like it at all.  He’s likely never to pitch another game for the Phillies again, but I expected much more from him than we got.

I’m wondering what everyone else is feeling.  Shoot me an email, or comment below.

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Phils Take Game One

2 Oct

So far the NLCS belongs to the Phillies, who blasted the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6 on Saturday night in game one of the best-of-five contest.

Roy Halladay hit a little bump in the road named Lance Berkman in the first inning, but after that settled in nicely and cruised through the next seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpen.  Though Berkman’s homer was a big one Halladay only allowed just three hits in his eight innings of work.  Berkman’s homer got to him, and Roy put it into overdrive.

“He was kind of like a Rocky movie,” Charlie Manuel said. “He got mad after he gave up the homer. That ticked him off and he hung in there and kept going. But he’s special. He’s everything that people talk about.”

Roy put up enough zeros for the Phillies offense to stage a comeback.  And that they did.

As many people remember, the 2010 Postseason ended with Ryan Howard standing at the plate with the bat on his shoulder.  2011′s Postseason run started differently for the big man when Howard blasted a monster 3-run homer off of Kyle Loshe in the bottom of the 6th to give the Phillies the lead. Two batters later Rual Ibanez sent one over the right field fence too, ending Loshe’s night.

The Phillies hitters 1 through six went 13-25, (.520 average) scoring 11 runs.  With that kind of production you have to like our pitchers chances in any match up.

Game Two is tonight with Cliff Lee going against Chris Carpenter. See you there.

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