First. yesterday, former Phil Roy Oswalt announced that he was officially retiring, as he signed a one-day contract with the Astros so that he could officially retire as an Astros. Oswalt, who is an fourteen-year veteran, ten of which was spent as an Astros, was a member of the Phils for part of the 2010 season and part of the 2011 season, during which he complied a winning record of 16-11. Oswalt would also play for the Rangers and the Rockies. Oswalt, during his career, would be the NL leader for ERA in 2006 with a 2.98 ERA, wins in 2004 with 20, games started with 35 games in both 2004 and 2005 and in WHIP in 2010 with a 1.03 WHIP. He was also a member of the 2005 Astros team that would win the NL pennant before losing to the White Sox in that year’s World Series, being swept by Chicago, 4-0. Overall, Oswalt had a career record of 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA as he pitched in 365 games, 341 of which were starts, as he completed 20 games, including 8 shutouts. He would pitch in 2245.1 innings, giving up 2199 hits and 897 runs, 838 of which were earned, as he struck out 1852 batters, while walking only 520. I wish you luck in your retirement, Roy.
Then, the Phils announced that Comcast plans to hire both Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs to replace Chris Wheeler and Garry Matthews inside the TV broadcast booth, starting this season during Spring Training. Congratulations, guys. Hope you both do well in the broadcast booth.
Lastly, the Phils announced that they have just signed starter A.J. Burnett, who they have been pursuing during the off-season, to a one-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Burnett, who had pitched for the Pirates last year and in 2012, is coming off a 10-11 season, with a 3.30 ERA, as he pitched in 30 games, all starts, with a complete game, as he threw in 191 innings, giving up 165 hits and 79 runs, 70 of which were earned, as he struck out 209 batters, while walking only 67. Burnett, who has also pitched for the Marlins, the Blue Jays and the Yankees, being a member of the 2009 World Championship team, has a 147-132 record with a 3.99 ERA, as he appeared in 375 games, starting 370 of them, as he threw 23 complete games, 10 of which were shutouts. He threw a total of 2353.2 innings, giving up 2140 hits and 1142 runs, 1043 of which were earned, as he struck out 2180 batters, while walking only 955. Welcome to the team, A.J.
Burnett’ll more than likely be the number three man in the starting rotation, after Cole Hamels starts pitching after the start of the season, as the Phils announced that Cole will miss opening day as he has developed tendinitis in his left bicep, which will keep him from throwing the ball for the next eight to ten days, and slow down his participation in spring training, although Cole has said that he should be ready to pitch at some point in April. I’m just hoping that it is only a minor setback, as the Phils will need Cole to back up Cliff Lee, if they expect to get anywhere this season.
The Phils (4-5, 4th), after leaving Citizens Bank Park with their first series win of 2013, will start a three-games series with the last place Marlins (1-8, 5th), the team with presently the worst record in the National League. The game will be played at Marlins Park and will start at 7:10 EDT.
The Phils will put on the mound their fifth-game starter John Lannan (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a rather good start against the Royals on April 6, in his first start as a Phil, as he went seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five, holding off the Royals until the Phils were able to make a comeback in the ninth inning to win the game by the score of 4-3. He will be trying to win his first start as a Phil, while trying to lead the club to their first three-game winning streak. The Marlins will counter with Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.97), who is making his third start of the season, as he comes off a no-decision against the Mets on April 6, as he went five and a third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three, in the Marlins’ 7-3 lost. He will once again be looking for his first win of the season, while the fish will be looking for their second win of 2013. The Phils will be trying to take advantage of the Marlins’ early season woes, while trying to move up in the NL East standings, while trying to keep from falling any further behind the first place Braves.
After nine games, the Phils have three regulars with a .300 or better batting average, third baseman Michael Young (.375 (12 for 32)), second baseman Chase Utley (.333 (11 for 33)) and shortstop Jimmy Rollins (.316 (12 for 38)), with Utley presently leading the team with nine RBIs and is tied for the team’s lead in home runs with two (tied with Dom Brown) and for the team’s lead in triple with one (along with Young), while Rollins is the team’s leader in doubles with five. Utley and Rollins are tied for second place in stolen bases with three each, both trailing Ben Revere, who presently has four. Rollins is tied for second in RBIs with five with both Ryan Howard and Brown, as they all trail Utley. Rollins, for now, is batting a lot better as the second batter in the Phils’ line-up, looking like the Rollins of 2007-2008, while Utley appears to have gone back to what he was doing before his foot problems of the last two seasons (2011-2012). The biggest disappointment, at the moment, is Howard, who is presently batting (.200 (7 for 35)), despite him showing that he might have finally gotten it during spring training (.322 (28 for 87)), but seems to have gone back to swinging at the junk pitches of breaking balls out of the strike zone and high fastballs, as he have collected only one extra-base hit, a home run, as he has struck out a team leading twelve times. As long as he continue to go after the junk, opposing pitchers will not throw him any good pitches to hit, unless Young start to force them to start pitching to Howard by continuing to hit.
Yesterday the Phils announced that they had picked up outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off of the waiver wire, after he had been placed there by the Cleveland Indians. Carrera, who last year appeared in 48 games with the Indians, batted .272 (40 for 147), as he had six doubles, three triples and two home runs, knocking in 11 RBIs, while scoring 20 runs. He also had 8 stolen bases. In 116 total MLB games with the Indians in 2011-12, he had a batting average of .255 (89 for 349), with 14 doubles, six triples and two home run, as he knocked in 25 RBIs, while crossing the plate 47 times. Carrera also had 18 stolens bases. He should join the team in Atlanta for tonight’s game, as the Phils’ fifth outfielder.
To make room for him on the roster, the Phils have placed Ender Inciarte on waivers. Inciarte, whom the Phils had picked up from the Diamondbacks during last season’s Rule 5 Draft, made the opening day roster as their fifth outfielder, after a spring training in which he hit .273 (9 for 33), as he appeared in 27 games, hiting a double, and knocking in one run, while scoring 5. The news is that if he is not claimed off of the wire, the Diamondbacks might take him back, although it would cost them $25,000, which would be half of what the Phils had paid for drafting him.
Welcome to the club, Carrera. Hopefully you’ll have a future here.
Today, the Phils announced that they had signed to a one-year deal, worth $1.4 million dollars, plus award bonuses, left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo, the only player on the roster who was arbitration eligible.
Bastardo, who had an awful 2012 season, would appear in 65 games, all in relief, as he pitched in 52 innings, compiling a record of 2-5, plus a save in five save opportunities, as he had an ERA of 4.33 with a WHIP of 1.27, as he allowed 40 hits and 26 runs, all but one of which was earned, as he struck out 81 batters, while walking 26. In four season with the Phils, with 2011 being his best season, so far, Bastardo has compiled a record of 12-9 with a 4.02 ERA and a WHIP of 1.20, as he appeared in 160 games, all but 5 games being in relief, as he threw in 152 and a third innings, giving up 113 hits and 70 runs, all but two of which were earned, as he struck out 196 batters, while walking only 70. He also have nine career saves in fifteen save opportunities.
Bastardo, who may be the team’s main lefty set-up man when the season starts, have held hitters to a .207 batting average in 2012, being especially tough on lefties as he held them to a .169 batting average against. He ended the season third among relievers in strikeouts per nine innings with a 14.02 mark, despite having a bad season, thanks to being hit hard by batters during the middle part of the season, before finally regaining his grove towards them season’s final weeks. Hopefully, he’ll regain his form that he had for most of 2011 this season.
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.
The New York Yankees have announced earlier today that they have signed former Phil Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $1.1 million dollars contract, as a designated hitter.
Ibanez, who was the Phils’ left fielder for 2009-11, last year played in 144 games, hitting .245 (131 for 535), hitting 31 doubles, 1 triple and 20 home runs, knocking in 84 RBIs, while scoring 65 runs. During a 16-years career, while includes stints with the Seattle Mariners (two) and the Kansas City Royals, Ibanez would appear in 1817 games, hitting .280 (1791 for 6387), including 377 doubles, 43 triples and 252 home runs, as he knocked in 1054 runs, while scoring 928. He also has a career slugging percentage of .471 and a career on-base percentage of .342. As he joins the Yankees, Ibanez is expected to be their left-handed designated hitter, while also adding some depths to their outfield.
With the signing, as far as the Phils are concerned, it should give them a draft pick based on Ibanez’s free agent status.
Wish you luck with the Yanks, Raul.
The Phils have just announced that they have signed the last of their arbitration-eligible players, as Hunter Pence have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million dollars.
Pence, who have come to the Phils in a mid-season trade with the Astros, played in 54 games with the Phils, hitting .324 (67-207) with a .954 OPS, as he hit 12 doubles, 2 triples and 11 home runs, knocking in 35 RBIs, while scoring 35 times. During the 2011 season, he would play in 154 total games, hitting .314 (190-606) with an .871 OPS, as he hit 38 doubles, 5 triples and 22 home runs, scoring 84 runs, while he knocked in 97 RBIs. He would also walk 56 times.
With the Pence signing, the Phils have all of their players signed for the coming season, although they might still be looking for someone to replace Wilson Valdez as a multi-purpose infielder.
Let’s go, Phils!!!