Earlier today the Phils had announced that they have invited eight players in their minor league system to try out with the main team during spring training, 2012. Four of the eight players are pitchers, two are infielders, one is an outfielder and one is a catcher.
Among the four pitchers, two are lefties and two are righties. The four are: left-handers Pat Misch and Raul Valdes and right-handers Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches. Misch made six relief appearances for the Mets in 2011, but spent most of the season at Triple-A Buffalo, making 22 starts. In 2011, Valdes went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 appearances for both the Cardinals and the Yankees. Sanches, pitching for the Marlins, went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA in 39 games. Elarton, because of injuries, last pitched professionally in 2010, and last pitched in the majors in 2008.
The two infielders are Pete Orr, who appeared in 49 games for the Phils in 2011, batting .219, and Kevin Frandsen, who played the entire year at Lehigh Valley, batting .309, with 5 home runs and 43 RBIs. The final two invitees are outfielder Scott Podsednik, who played in just 34 games, because of injuries, for the Triple-A teams of the Blue Jays and the Phils, batting .245, with six doubles and a triple for the Iron Pigs, and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, who, at Double-A Reading, played in 109 games, batting .247, with 13 homers and 66 RBIs. For Gosewisch, this will be his fourth invitation to spring training.
I wish the eight the best of luck.
During the organization’s 127-year existence as a member of the National League, seven starters who had wore the Phillies’ uniform has won the most games in seventeen seasons.
The first Phil to lead the league in wins would be Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander, who would do so in his rookie season of 1911, winning 28 games. The next Phil to lead the NL in wins would be Tom Seaton, who, in 1913, would lead the league with 27 wins. Alexander would then become the leader in wins for the next four seasons with 27 wins in 1914, 31 wins in 1915, as he help lead the Phils to their first National League pennant, as he performed the first of his two straight triple crown (Wins/ERA/Ks) pitching season as a Phil, 33 wins in 1916, as he performed his second triple crown season, while setting the Phils record for most wins in a season, and 30 wins in 1917. The third Phil to lead the league in victories would be Jumbo Elliott, who did so in a tie for first with Bill Hallahan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Heinie Meine of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who all had 19 wins in 1931. The fourth Phil pitcher to lead the NL in wins would be Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, who would lead the league with 28 victories in 1952, then would be tied for the lead in 1953 with fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves with 23 wins, then lead the league by himself in both 1954 and 1955 with 23 wins in both years. The fifth Phil starter to lead the NL would be Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, who first lead the NL in his pitching triple crown season of 1972, as he lead the NL with 27 wins, followed by 1977 with 23 victories, then 24 in 1980, as he helped lead the Phils to their first World Series Championship, and finally 1982, when he won 23 starts. The sixth Phil pitcher to lead the league would follow in 1983, as John Denny would lead the league with 19 wins, as he help lead the Phils to their fourth NL pennant. It would be twenty-seven years before the seventh, and presently last, Phil starter would lead the NL in wins, when Roy Halladay led the National League in wins with 21 in 2010.
Of the seven Phils to lead the National League in victories, three of them were Hall of Famers (Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton), with all three of them doing it multiple times. Alexander did it the most, as he won the title five times, with two of them as he won the pitching equivalent of the triple crown, followed by Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton, who have both won the title four times, with Carlton also performing the pitching triple crown. The other four have won it only once. Two of the Phils were tied for the lead in wins when they won the title, Jumbo Elliott in a three-way tie in 1931, and Roberts, when he was tied with Warren Spahn in 1953. Alexander had the most wins, when he won the title with 33 wins in 1916, which is still a team record, while Elliott and John Denny won the title with the least wins as the two recorded only 19 wins in 1931 and 1983, respectively. Phils’ pitchers have led the NL sixteen times in the 20th Century and have, so far, only done it once in the 21st Century.
Who might be the next Phil starter to lead the NL in victories? It could be any of their four major starters, as three of them (Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee) have all already lead either league in wins.
Yesterday, MLB.com announced who they consider to be Major League Baseball’s top 50 prospects. Among the fifty were two players in the Phillies’ farm system: Dom Brown, who came in at number 4 and Jonathan Singleton, who came in at 30.
Dom Brown, who is expected to join the team during spring training, to serve as part of a platoon in right field with Ben Francisco, to replace the just departed Jayson Werth, spent part of 2010 playing the outfield for both Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He batted .327, with an on-base percentage of .391 and a .589 slugging percentage, in 389 at-bats, as he hit 22 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 20 HRs and 68 RBIs for the two farm teams, before joining the major league ballclub during the summer after Shane Victorino got hurt. With limited playing time, as he stay with the ballclub through the playoffs, he batted .210 with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs and 13 RBIs in 62 at-bats, showing at the same time both his potential and his rawness. The Phils sent him to the Dominican Winter League to give him the at-bats he did not get while riding the bench during the last two months of the regular season, but he was sent home after struggling at the plate. So, he will be out to prove himself during spring training, to prove that he deserves to be with the big league ballclub.
Jonathan Singleton, who landed at number 30, spent the year playing for Class-A Lakewood, playing first base, as he went .290/.393/.479, hitting 25 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 14 HRs and 77 RBIs. As he shows potential, Singleton is being converted into an outfielder, as the Phils last season signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125-million contracts, which will start in 2012, meaning that he likely will not be able to join the ballclub playing that position. If he is able to show that he can play the outfield, Singleton should have a much better chance getting into the big league, hopefully as a Phil.
Since the last time I’d written something here, the Phils have come to terms with both Ben Francisco (January 15) for one year for $1.175 million dollars with performance bonuses and with Kyle Kendrick (January 18) for $2.45 million, also for one year, to avoid arbitration with both players, thus having all of their players signed up for at least one season. Last season, 2010, in 88 games (28 of which were starts), Francisco batted .268 (48 for 179), as he hit thirteen doubles and six home runs and knocked in 28 RBIs. He also went .282 pinch hitting (11-39), hitting three doubles and knocking in 7 RBIs. This season, Francisco will be used in a platoon with Dom Brown in right field to replace Jayson Werth, who had during the off-season signed a long term contract with the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, Kendrick last season pitched in 33 games (a career-high), 31 of which were starts, as he went 11-10 with an ERA of 4.73, as he pitched in 180.2 innings and struck out 84 batters (both career highs) while walking 49, who, depending on what the team might do, will either be their long man coming out of the bullpen, or fighting for the fifth starter spot with Vance Worley.
As the Phils prepare for the start of spring training next month in Clearwater, Florida, they are looking at their options, thanks to their present embarrassment of riches with their starting pitching staff, which at the moment consists of Roy Halladay (Ace), Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt (who at the moment are being nicknamed either the Four Aces, R2C2 or the Fantastic Four by the fans) and Joe Blanton, as they decide whether they really need to trade Kentucky Joe to another team that needs a good starter to help give them some salary flexibility, or to just keep Joe, and use him as their fifth starter, knowing that he so far have had a good track record pitching for the Phils during the two plus seasons since they’d gotten him from the Oakland A’s to help them down the stretch towards their 2008 World Series Championship. My opinion is that they should hang onto Blanton, unless he brings in a good righthanded bat that’ll help the team in the line-up. Either way, he would be helping the team, especially as the fifth starter, since he is presently seen as a good third or fourth starter on most teams.
Lastly, Charlie Manuel’s contract is coming up this season. Although it is more than likely that the Phils will give him an extension, Charlie had announced on WIP radio yesterday, when asked about it, that he would like a three year contract, and prefer that he signed the contract extension as soon as possible so that it won’t become a distraction for the ballclub during the season, although he does see himself as signing a contract at some point this season. Me, sign him up as soon as possible Ruben. Uncle Chuck seems to know what he’s doing with the players, and we all know that they like playing for him.
Three Phils have received four Greatness in Baseball Yearly or Gibby Awards, as voted by the fans.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz received the Gibby for X-Factor of the Year, because of the way he handled the Phils’ pitching staff in 2010. Roy Oswalt received the Gibby for the Oddity of the Year, as he became the first Phil pitcher, since Brian Wilson in 1971, to play a field position, as he played left field during an extra-inning game against his old Astros team on August 26, 2010. And the final two Gibbies that were won by a Phil went to Roy Hallady, as he was voted the Starting Pitcher of the Year for his record of 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, which included his perfect game performance against the Florida Marlins and for the Postseason Moment of the Year for his No-Hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010.
During the 54-year existence of the Cy Young Award, created a year after the death of the man it was named after, Hall of Famer Cy Young, four Phils have won the award, after it had been spilt in 1967 into separate awards for the NL and AL, for a total of seven times.
The first Phil to win the award was Hall of Famer Steve Cartlon, who won the first of four awards in 1972, when he went 27-10, including 15 wins in a row, as he won around half the games for a last place Phillies team, with an ERA of 1.98. He won his second award in 1977, as he helped lead the Phils to their second of three straight Eastern Division titles, as he went 23-10 with an ERA of 2.64. He won his third Cy Young in 1980, as he lead the Phils to their first World Series crown, with a record of 24-9 and an ERA of 2.34. Carlton would win his fourth and last Cy Young in 1982, as the Phils finished in second place behind the World Champions St. Louis Cardinals, as he went 23-11 with a high ERA (for him) of 3.11. The second Phil to win the award would by John Denny in 1983, as he help lead the ‘Wheeze Kids’ to their fourth NL flag, with a record of 19-6 and an ERA of 2.37. The third Phil to win the team’s sixth Cy Young Award was relief pitcher Steve Bedrosian, who in 1987, would lead the league in saves with 40 of them, while recording a win-lost record of 5-3 with an ERA of 2.83. The seventh, and most recent Cy Young Award was just won this season (2010) by Roy Halladay, who had a win-lost record of 21-10 with an ERA of 2.44.
Among the seven awards, six were won in the 20th Century and one in the 21st century, as six of the awards were won by a starter, while one was won by a relief pitcher. Steve Carlton has won the most awards with four, while the other three winners have so far won one award each. Steve Cartlon had the most wins (27 in 1972) and had the lowest ERA (1.98, also in ’72) as well as won it with the highest ERA (3.11 in 1982) among the four Phils who had won the award, while Steve Bedrosian had the lowest number of wins (5 in 1987) while winning the award, since he won it based on the number of saves that he had recorded that season (40).
Who will win it next? If he continues to pitch well, Halladay should have another Cy Young Award by the time his present contract runs out, unless either Cole Hamels or Roy Oswalt are able to pitch better than him within the next two-three years.
The BBWAA have just announced that Roy Halladay was voted the National League Cy Young Award, becoming the fifth pitcher to win the award as a pitcher in both league, as he had won the award in 2003 while pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, joining Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.
Roy received all 32 first-place votes for a total of 224 points, beating out Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had received 28 second-place votes, for a total of 122 votes, and Ubaldo Jiminez, who ended third with 90 votes, including 4 second-place votes.
Roy won the votes by going 21-10 as he pitched in 33 games, all starts, as he finished first, second or third in several categories, including finishing first with the most wins in the NL (21), most complete games (9), shutouts (4) and innings pitched (250 2/3), while he finished second in strikeouts (219), behind Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, and third in ERA (2.44), behind Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins and Wainwright. He also pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB History as he threw a no-no against the Marlins on May 29, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, as he pitched the Phils to a 1-0 win.
Halladay became the fourth Phil to win the award, following four-time winner Hall of Famer Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), John Denny (1983), and Steve Bedrosian (1987).
Congratulations, Doc. You deserve this win.