The Phils have just announced that they have resigned catcher Brian Schneider to a one-year deal.
Schneider, who had appeared in 41 games in 2011, batted a low .176 batting average, with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.
With that out of the way, the Phils now have to see if they can resign Jimmy Rollins to a multi-year deal, and sign up free agent Michael Cuddyer to the bench, as well as decide whether to sign Cole Hamels to a multi-year deal, or continue with arbitration for another year. (I prefer they tie Hamels up, but that’s just me).
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels ended up in 2nd, 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in the voting for the 2011 National League Cy Young Award, which was won by Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, as most people had expected.
Roy Halladay, the ace of the Phils pitching staff, and the winner of the award the previous season (2010), who in 2011 had a record of 19-6 in 32 games started, with an ERA of 2.35, and pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 220 batters while walking only 35, ended second in the balloting with 4 first place votes, 21 second place votes and 7 third places votes, for a total of 133 points, being unable to win his second straight Cy Young Award and his third overall (2003 AL (Toronto), 2011 NL (Phils)). Cliff Lee, who during the season was twice voted the NL pitcher of the month (June, August), had a record of 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA in 32 starts, pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 228 batters while only giving out 42 free passes, while throwing six complete game shutouts, ended up third in the balloting, with five second place votes, 17 third, 9 fourth and 1 fifth place votes for a total of 90 points. The third Phil among the top five, Cole Hamels, ended the 2011 season with a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA in 32 games pitched, all but one as a starter, pitching in 216 innings as he struck out 194 batters while walking only 44, ended up in fifth place among those on the ballot, with two fourth place votes and 13 fifth place votes, for a total of 17 points.
The winner, Clayton Kershaw, won the award with 27 first place votes, 3 second and 2 third places votes, as he won the NL pitching Triple Crown, as he ended up tied for most wins (21) with Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, having the best ERA (2.28) and the most strikeouts (248).
Congratulations to Kershaw, and congrats on your placements on the ballot, guys.
Major League Baseball had just announced who was voted the NL and AL Rookies of the Year for 2011, and the Phils’ Vance Worley had ended up in third place among NL Rookies. Worley, who pitched in 25 games for the Phils, 21 of which was as a starter, for a record of 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 131.2 innings pitched, received 40 total points (8 2nd place votes and 16 third place votes), trailing Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. who was unanimously voted the NL Rookie of the year with 32 first place votes for a total of 160 points, and Freddie Freeman, also of the Braves, who finished in second place with 70 points. During the 2011 season, Worley, along with his ERA, gave up only 46 walks, while striking out 119, a surprising large number of which were by looking, while having a WHIP of 1.23.
Congratualtions of reaching third place, Vance. Hope that 2012 will be a better season for you.
According to reports yesterday, the Phils have signed former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year contract worth $50 million dollars, with a possible vetting for a fifth season that could lead to a total of $60 million, all pending on him passing a physical. If this is true, it means that the Phils are passing up on Ryan Madson, who, earlier in the week, was going to sign a four-year contract, worth $44 million, with a possible fifth season, before talks stalled. Reports are that the stalling might have been because Madson’s agent Scott Boras started playing games to push up Madson’s price. If that is so, than Madson has only Boras to blame for his being past over by the Phils, and Papelbon have Boras to thank for the deal he has just gotten, as it is obvious that Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. refuses to play Boras’ little games.
Papelbon, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, pitched the last seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, being a member of the 2007 World Series Championship team. During those seven seasons, he had saved 219 games in 248 chances, as he pitched in 396 games, pitching all but three games as a reliever, with a record of 23-19 and an ERA of 2.33. In 429.1 innings pitched, Papelbon struck out 509 batters, while walking just 115. Last season, as a member of the 2011 Red Sox, which had one of the worst collapses in Major League History, missing the playoffs on the last week of the season, he pitched in 63 games, saving 31 games in 34 attempts, having a 4-1 record with a 2.94 ERA, as he pitched 64.1 innings, striking out 87 batters while walking only 10.
Welcome to the Phils, Mr. Papelbon. I hope that you’ll be able to do what everyone is expecting, especially after what had happened in 2011 up in Boston. As for Ryan, sorry to see you go. Thanks for what you did while a member of the Phils, and I hope that you’ll be able to find another team, especially after what have happened this past week.
Jim Thome, who had played first base for the Phils from 2003-2005, before being traded to the White Sox after the 2005 season, allowing Ryan Howard to become the everyday first baseman, will return to the Phils as he signed a one-year contract worth $1.25 million dollars, to become mainly the left-handed bat off the bench, although expected to play a few games at first base early in the 2012 season as Howard recovers from his Achilles tendon injury, pending a physical.
During his three seasons with the Phils, ‘Gentleman Jim’ Thome help to make the Phils a contender as he had 333 hits, including 96 home runs, 65 doubles and 4 triples, while knocking in 266 runs while scoring 234. He also walked 260 times. Last season, as he played for both the Twins and the Indians, he hit a combined .256 batting average, with 71 hits, including 15 home runs and 16 doubles, as he knocked in 50 runs, while scoring 32 runs. Breaking into the majors with the Indians in 1991, Thome has a career total of 2287 hits, which includes 604 home runs, 444 doubles and 26 triples, knocking in1674 RBIs, for a career batting average of .277.
Welcome back, Jim. Hopefully you’re the left-handed bench bat that the team presently need once Howard comes back from his injury.
Last night, Major League Baseball announced that Placido Polanco has won his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award, this time as a third baseman. His previous Gold Gloves were won as a second baseman of the Detroit Tigers in 2007 and 2009. With his win, he becomes the second man to win a Gold Glove at multiple positions, joining Darin Erstad.
Polanco, starting in 115 games, committed only eight errors during the season, for a fielding percentage of .977.
Congratulation on winning the honor, Polanco.
Spring training ends on a low note for the Phils as they lose to the Pirates, 4-1.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second as, with one man on, and with one man out, Pedro Alvarez hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the spring, knocking in Lyle Overbay, who had earlier doubled. The Phils cut the Pirates lead to 2-1 in their half of the second as, with one man on base, and with one man out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI ground out, 3-1, knocking in Ben Francisco, who had earlier reached based on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Alvarez, then moved up to third on Carlos Ruiz’s ground out, 6-3. The Pirates then increased their lead in the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Jordy Mercer hits an RBI single, scoring Steve Pearce, who had earlier doubled, making it a 3-1 Pirates’ lead. The Pirates added an insurance run in the ninth as, with two men on, and with two men out, John Bowker hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Josh Rodriguez, who had earlier singled, then went to third on pinch hitter Josh Harrison’s single, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead, while moving Harrison, who had earlier singled, up to second base. That would be the final score as the Phils were unable to develop a rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Cole Hamels (1-2, 6.67) took the lost as he pitched three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while he struck out three. Jose Contreras pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while stiking out one. Joe Blanton pitched three innings, giving up a run on four hits, while striking out three batters. Kyle Kendrick pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Juan Perez pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a run on three hits. Antonio Bastardo pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Charlie Morton (2-0, 2.63) got the win as he pitched five innings, giving up an unearned run on one hit and two walks, while striking out two. Michael Crotta picked up his third spring hold as he pitched a scoreless inning, while striking out a batter. Chris Resop recorded his fourth spring hold as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Joel Hanrahan recorded his third hold of the spring, as he gives up a hit. Jared Hughes received his first save of the spring as he pitched a scoreless ninth, walking a batter.
The Phils had only two hits in the game, a single by Jimmy Rollins and a triple by Pete Orr. Wilson Valdez knocked in the only Phil run on a ground out.
The Phils ended the spring with a 21-14 record.
The Phils will begin the 2011 season with a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park against the Houston Astros, starting on April 1, weather permitting. The first game, opening day, is to begin about 1:05 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The Phils’ starter will be their ace, 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who is coming off a 21-10 season, with an ERA of 2.44. He will be trying to continue his 2010 season, and his well pitched spring by trying to start the Phils’ 2011 season with a win at home. The Astros will counter with ex-Phil Brett Myers, who is coming off a 14-8 record during his first season with Houston, with a 3.14 ERA. He will be looking for his second win against his old team.