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.
Pat Burrell, who had played left field for the Phils from 2000-2008, and was a key member of the 2008 World Series Championship team, and the Phils have announced that he will officially retire as a Phil during the team’s weekend series with the Red Sox, May 18-20, after first signing a one-day contract. Burrell, the team’s no. 1 draft pick in 1998, would spend nine seasons with the ball club, playing in a total of 1306 games, with a batting average of .257 (1166 for 4535) with an OBP of .367 and an SLG of .485. As a Phil, among his 1166 hits were 253 doubles (14th), 14 triples and 251 home runs (4th) for a total of 518 extra-base hits (9th). He would also walk 785 times (5th). Burrell would knock in 827 RBIs (8th), while scoring 655 runs. Burrell’s main claim to fame as a Phil would be him hitting a double in the bottom of the seventh inning of game five of the 2008 World Series, which would lead to the game winning run. Burrell would then become a member of the 2009-10 Blue Jays, before joining the Giants later in 2010, becoming a member of their 2010 World Series Championship team, and then a member of their 2011 squad, before being released because of an aching right foot late in the season, and then announcing his retirement after the 2011 season. During his twelve years in the Major Leagues, Burrell would appear in a grand total of 1640 games, mostly as a left fielder and a DH (Rays), accumulating a career batting average of .253 (1393 for 5503), with an OBP of .361 and an SLG of .472 for an OPS of .834. He would have a total of 299 doubles, 16 triples and 292 home runs for a total of 607 extra-base hits, while he would walk a total of 932 times. Burrell would bring in a total of 976 runs, while crossing the plate 767 times.
Yesterday, Pat Burrell, who had spent nine years playing for the Phils, and was a member of the 2008 World Series Championship team, as well as being a member of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants team, announced his retirement.
Burrell, nicknamed Pat the Bat, was the number one draft choice of the Phils in the 1998 draft, before joining the main club in 2000. Spending 12 years in the majors, nine of which would be spent as a member of the Phils, Burrell would play in 1640 games for the Phils, the Rays, and the Giants, compling a career triple slash of .253/.361/.472, as he had a total of 1393 hits in 5503 total at-bats, hitting 299 doubles, 16 triples and 292 home runs, 251 of which was hit as a Phils, landing him in 4th place on the team’s all-time home run list. He would also collect 976 RBIs, while scoring 767 times.
Burrell will mainly be remembered for his RBI double in Game 5, part 2, of the 2008 World Series, which would lead to the Phils winning their second World Series Championship, before leading the victory parade down Broad Street.
Thanks for the memories, Pat, and wish you luck in your retirement.
The Phils have appeared to have added to their pitching depth by signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract, with an invitation to Spring Training.
Pineiro, who in 2011 pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, appeared in 27 games, 24 of which were starts, compiling a 7-7 record with a 5.13 ERA. Being in the majors since 2000, pitching for the Mariners, Red Sox, and Cardinals, along with the Angels, Pineiro has pitched in 335 games, with 263 of them as starts, with a record of 104-93 with 2 saves in 3 save opportunities, with an ERA of 4.41.
It is more than likely that Pineiro will start the year with the Iron Pigs, as an extra insurance policy for the team in case one of the starters get injured during the regular season.
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!!!