The Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.
On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.
On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.
As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.
The Phils have just announced today that they have signed Jimmy Rollins to a new three-year contract, with a vesting option for a possible fourth year.
Rollins, who earlier in the post-season had announced that he was looking for a five-year deal, finally decided to take a deal with fewer years, after the Cardinals and the Brewers had last weekend signed multi-year deals with their own shortstops Rafael Furcal and Alex Gonzalez, respectively. Rollins, a former MVP (2007), and a member of the franchise since be drafted in 1996, and joining the main squad back in 2000, had, despite injuries during the last three seasons, appeared in a total of 1636 games, with a career batting average of .272 (1866 hits in 6858 at-bats) with 388 doubles, 100 triples and 170 home runs, as well as 373 stolen bases and 568 walks, scored 1080 runs while knocking in 725. During his MVP season, as he help lead the Phils to their first playoff appearance since 1993, he had a .296 batting average (212 for 716) as he appeared in all 162 regular season games, compiling 38 doubles, 20 triples and 30 home runs, as well as stealing 41 bases, as he scored 139 runs, while knocking in 94.
With the signing of Rollins, the Phils are likely done with any major moves, other than what to do with their four arbitration eliable players, especially Cole Hamels and Hunter Pence, until spring training 2012.
About time they’d locked Jimmy down. Guess his agent finally realized that J-Roll had nowhere else to go.
Let’s go Phils!!!
During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.
During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.
In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.
The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.
Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.
The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.
The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.
The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.
The Phils have officially announced their newest member to enter the Phils’ Walk of Fame, and it is former catcher, Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton, a mainstay of their teams of the late ’80s and ’90s.
Darren Daulton, born in Arkansas City, Kansas, on January 3, 1962, was drafted by the Phils in 1980, the year that they won their first World Championship. He made his major league debut on September 25, 1983, before joining the main club to stay in 1985. He played for the Phils fulltime from 1985 to 1997, before being traded to the Florida Marlins on July 21, 1997, becoming a member of the Marlins’ first World Championship team. He retired after the ’97 season.
In about 14 years of service with the Phils, Daulton played in 1109 games, compling a .245 career batting average as a Phil, as he collected 858 hits, of which 189 were doubles, 23 were triples and 134 were home runs, while he had 567 RBIs and scored 489 runs. He also walked 607 times. As a Phils, he won the RBI title in 1992, knocking in 109 RBIs, becoming the fourth catcher in major league history to do so, as he also won a Silver Slugger that season. Daulton then knocked in 105 RBIs in 1993, thus being the only Phils’ catcher to knock in more than 100 runs in two seasons or more. He was a three-time member of the NL All-Star team, doing so in 1992-1993 and 1995, each time as a Phil. This would tie him with Bob Boone for the most All-Star selections by a Phil’s catcher. In 1997, as a member of both the Phils and the Marlins, he was named the NL Comback Player of the Year. He was a member of the 1993 NL Champions Phillies, as one of the team’s leaders, to go along with his being a member of the 1997 World Champions Marlins.
Among the records that he set as a catcher for the Phils, he received the most walks by a catcher during a season by receiving 117 free passes in 1993. He knocked in the most RBIs by a catcher in a season with 109 in 1992, the year that he won the title. Also, in 1993, he hit the most doubles by a Phil’s catcher, 35, made the most putouts by a catcher, 981, and started the most double plays by a catcher, 19. As a Phil, he caught 965 games, to place him fourth on the team’s all-time list. He was also named the starting catcher of the all-Vet team during the year that Veterans Stadium was officially closed, 2003.
Daulton will be inducted into the Walk of Fame on August 6, prior to the Phils-Mets game, at 7:05 pm Eastern.
The Phils overcome a lackluster start by Kyle Kendrick to crush the Nationals, 14-7, putting up their best start since their pennant winning season of 1993, when they started off the season with an 8-1 record.
The Nats took a 3-0 lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, thanks to a Cristian Guzman single and walks to Adam Dunn, which sent Guzman over to second base, and to Josh Willingham, which sent Guzman to third and moved Dunn up to second base, and with two men out, Adam Kennedy hits a bases clearing double, scoring Guzman, Dunn and Willingham. The Phils would strike back in their half of the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles to Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco, which moved Victorino up to second base, and a walk to Chase Utley, which sent Victorino to third base, and moved Polanco up to second base, with no one out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in both Victorino and Polanco, making it a 3-2 Nat’s lead, while sending Utley to third base. The Phils then tied the game up at three-all as Greg Dobbs hits an RBI double, scoring Utley, while sending Howard to third, with still nobody out. The Phils then took a 4-3 lead as Raul Ibanez hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Howard. The Nats regain the lead in the second as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Guzman hits a two-run single, knocking in Alberto Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on a Nyjer Morgan single, and Morgan, who had earlier singled, and later stole second base, giving the Nats a 6-4 lead. The Phils would retake the lead in their half of the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Utley hits a three-run home run, his third home run of the season, knocking in Nelson Figueroa, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Polanco’s double, and Polanco, who had just doubled, giving the Phils a 7-6 lead. The Nats would come back to tie it up at seven-all in the third as, with two men on base, and with one man out, Morgan would hit into an RBI ground out, 3-unassisted, as Ivan Rodriguez, who had earlier singled, stole second, and then went to third on Gonzalez’s singled, scored, while Gonzalez, who had earlier singled, and then went to second on Jesse English’s sacrifice bunt, went to third. It would remain 7-7 until the bottom of the fifth when the Phils took the lead for good as, with one man on, and with two outs, Victorino hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the year, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, to give the Phils a 9-7 lead. The Phils would add to their lead in the sixth as Utley hits a lead-off home run, his fourth home run of the season, and his second of the game, making it a 10-7 Phils’ lead. The Phils would then break it wide open in the seventh as, with the bases loaded via walks to Juan Castro, Ruiz, with Castro moving up to second on Ruiz’s walk, and to pinch hitter Jayson Werth, moving both Castro and Ruiz up a base, and with nobody out, Victorino hits a bases clearing triple, knocking in Castro, Ruiz and Werth, giving the Phils a 13-7 lead. One batter later, Polanco would bring Victorino in with a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Phils a 14-7 lead. That would be the final score as David Herndon would come in and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth.
Kyle Kendrick receives a no-decision as he pitches only an inning and two-thirds, giving up six runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out only one. Nelson Figueroa would get the win as he goes three and a third innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. His record is now 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Chad Durbin records his fourth hold of the year as he pitches two scoreless innings, as he gives up just two hits, while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon combines for two scoreless innings, giving up just two walks (Bastardo) and striking out one (Bastardo). Craig Stammen also receives a no-decision as he lasts only one and a third innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits and a walk. Jesse English pitches two and two-third scoreless innings, giving up just four hits while striking out two. Jason Bergmann took the lost as he pitches an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. His record is now 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA. Sean Burnett pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on one hit, while striking out a batter. Brian Bruney pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs on three walks, while striking out a batter. Tyler Clippard pitches an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Miguel Batista pitches a scoreless inning.
The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the way with four hits, two singles, a triple and a home run, being a double short of hitting the cycle, knocking in five runs, while scoring three. Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Nelson Figueroa all followed with two hits each, with Polanco’s hits being a single and a double, knocking in a run while scoring two, with Utley’s hits being two home runs, knocking in four runs as he scored three, Howard’s two hits being singles, knocking in two runs as he scored once, while Figueroa’s hits were a single and a double, scoring a run. Greg Dobbs, Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz got the other three Phils’ hit, with Dobbs’ hit being a double, plating one run, with Ibanez’s hit being a single, as he knocked in a run, while Ruiz’s hit was a double, as he scores two runs.
The Phils (7-1, 1st) concludes their three-games series with the Nats in a game already in progress. The Phils’ starter is J.A. Happ (1-0, 0.00) while the Nats counter with Scott Olsen (0-0, -.–). The game is presently a 1-1 tie, with the Phils batting in the bottom of the fifth.
During the Phillies’ 126 years as a member of the National League, the team have had a member outhit the rest of the league only sixteen times in its existence. Eleven players would win the title, with one player actually doing it three times, while two others, who would both win the title twice, would both win one title while tied with another National Leaguer.
The first Phillie player to win the title would be Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would do it in 1890, as he would get 172 hits, tying him for the lead with Jack Glassock of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants. The next Phil to be the NL hits leader would be fellow Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who would win the title the following year, 1891, as he would get 179 hits. Thompson would regain the title in 1893, as he would get 222 hits. The third Phil to win the team’s fourth hits title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would get 238 hits in 1899. The fourth Phillie player to win the hits title would be Gravvy Gravath, who would win it in 1913 with 179 hits. The following year, 1914, Sherry Magee would become the fifth Phil to become the hits champ, as he would get 171 hits that season. Lefty O’Doul would become the sixth Phil to win the title, as he would get 154 hits in 1929, which is still the franchise record for the most hits in a season. The seventh Phillie player to win the hits title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would get 226 hits in 1932. Klein would follow that up by winning his second straight hits title during his Triple Crown season of 1933, as he would get 223 hits that year. The Phillies would not will the title again for eighteen years. Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn would then become the eighth Phil to win the team’s tenth hits title as he would win the title in 1951 with 221 hits. He would then win his second hits title two years later, in 1953, as he would get 205 hits. Ashburn would then get his third and final hits title as a Phil as he would get 215 hits in 1958. Dave Cash would become the ninth Phil to win the title, as he would win it in 1975 with 213 hits. Pete Rose would win the title in the strike year of 1981, become the ten Phillie player to win it, as he would get 140 hits that season. The eleventh, and presently the last Phil, to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who would win the title first in 1990, tied for the lead with Brett Butler of the San Francisco Giants, with both men getting 192 hits, and winning it by himself in 1993 with 194 hits, as he help lead the Phils to the National League pennant that year. The Phillies have not won a hits title since 1993.
Of the eleven men to win the titles, five of them would be hall of famers, who together would win nine of the sixteen hits titles. O’Doul would win the title with the most hits (154 in 1929) while Pete Rose would win it with the least hits (140 in 1981). The Phillies have won four titles in the 19th Century and twelve in the 20th, and, so far, none in the 21st Century.
Who would be the next Phil to win the hits title? I have no idea at this point, but I wouldn’t put it beyond either Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins as being the one to do it.