Lopez, who had pitched for the Phils once before, in 2009, before being sent back to the minors by the team when they added future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to the ballclub during the summer, last pitched for the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in four games in 2012 for the Cubbies, going 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA and a WHIP of 2.05, as he pitched for 6.1 innings, giving up 8 hits and 6 runs, four of which were earned, as he struck out only two while walking five. When he pitched for the Phils in 2009, he had a record of 3-1 with an ERA of 5.70 with a 1.77 WHIP, as he pitched in seven games, five of which were starts, as he appeared in 30 innings, giving up 42 hits and 24 runs, 19 of which were earned, as he struck out 19 batters while giving up 11 free passes.
During a 11 years career, Lopez had been with the Orioles, the Padres, the Rockies and the Diamondbacks, as well as the Phils and the Cubs, compiling a record of 81-89, with a 4.82 ERA and a WHIP of 1.42. He had appeared in 257 games, 215 of which were starts, as he pitched in 1350 and two-thirds innings, giving up a total of 1506 hits and 789 runs, 742 of which were earned, as he struck out 865 batters, while walking 416.
More than likely, Lopez will start the season with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, but he should be available if any member of the Phils’ starting rotation gets injured during the season.
First off, I would like to take the time to say, Happy New Year’s, folks. Second, sorry for the lack of posts, but, I got too busy with other things to get myself in gear to do new posts. But, I now got the time, and boy, do I have a lot to cover, as the Phils made some wheeling and dealing and small-scale free agent signings which they hope will put them into position to get back into the playoffs this upcoming October.
First, in the Rule Five Draft they picked up outfielder Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks, whom they hope will anchor centerfield in a few seasons, while drafting in the Triple-A Phase of the draft right-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty from the Kansas City Royals organization, while not losing a player to the draft.
On the same day, December 6, they made a trade with the Minnesota Twins, getting centerfielder Paul Revere, in exchange for minor league right-handed pitching prospect Trevor May and, coming as a complete surprise to most, right-handed starter Vance Worley. Revere, who appeared in 124 games for the Twins, batted .294 (150 for 511), hitting 13 doubles and 6 triples, as he scored 70 times, while knocking in 32. He had also stole 40 bases, ranking him third in the AL for 2012, being caught just 9 times. May spent 2012 pitching for the Reading Phillies (now the Fighting Phillies). Worley, who was placed on the disabled list towards the end of the 2012 season, before having an operation to remove bone chips from his elbow, would pitch in 23 games for the Phils before being shut down, all starts, as he collected a 6-9 record, with a 4.20 ERA and a WHIP of 1.51, as he pitched in 133 innings, giving up 154 hits and 69 runs, 62 of which were earned, as he struck out 107 batters, while walking only 47. Sorry to see you go, Vance, and I wish you luck in Minnesota, as long as you don’t pitch against the Phils. And, welcome to the team, Paul. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay here.
Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had made another trade, this one with the Texas Rangers, as they brought in Michael Young to take over duties at third base, in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Lisalverto Bonilla. Michael Young, who has also played first base, second base and shortstop, appeared in 156 games for the former American League Champs (2010-11) batting .277 (169 for 611), as he hit 27 doubles, 3 triples and 8 home runs during the season, knocking in 67 runs, while scoring 79 times. He also walked 33 times. Josh Lindblom, who had started the 2012 season pitching relief for the Los Angeles before being traded to the Phils as part of a trade involving Shane Victorino, appeared in 74 games for both clubs, all in relief, posting a combined record of 3-5 with one save in four save opportunities, as he fielded an ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.35. He pitched in 71 innings, allowing 61 hits and 31 runs to score, of which 28 were earned. He walked 35 batters while striking out 70. Bonilla spent 2012 pitching for Clearwater and then Reading in the Phils’ farm system. Welcome to the team, Michael. I hope that you can help the team via both your bat and your glove, especially the later, as it looks like you may not just be covering the hot corner of third base during the season.
After the two trades, the Phils then made a pair of minor free agent signings, both pitchers, one a reliever and the other a starter. First, they signed to a two-years, $12 million dollars contract, with relief pitcher Mike Adams, formerly of the Rangers, who will be acting as the eight-inning bridge to Jonathan Papelbon, as he plans to take over an inning that was a major problem for the ballclub all season long. For the Rangers, Adams pitched in 61 games, compiling a 5-3 record with a 3.27 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39, as well as collecting a save in two save attempts. He would pitch in 52 and a third innings, giving up 56 hits and 21 runs, 19 of which were earned, as he struck out 45 batters, while walking only 17. The Phils then signed former Washington Nationals’ starter John Lannan, who is to become the Phils’ fifth starter, to replace Worley in the rotation, to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million dollars. Lannan, who had spent his entire career with the Nats, before becoming a free agent, appeared in only six games last year, all of them starts, as he compiled a record of 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a WHIP of 1.44, as he pitched a total of 32 and two-thirds innings, giving up 33 hits and 15 runs, all earned. He struck out 17 batters, while walking 14. During his six seasons with the Nats, Lannan had a win-lost record of 42-52, as he compiled an ERA of 4.01 and a career WHIP of 1.42, as he pitched a total of 783 and two-thirds innings, while appearing in 134 games, all starts. He would give up a total of 820 hits, as opponents scored 393 times, with 349 of those runs being earned. He would strikeout a total of 410 batters, while walking just 296. Welcome to the ballclub, guys. I hope that you two were worth the money spent.
The Phils have during the month mention that they would like to add a veteran corner outfielder, either via free agent signing or another trade, but it looks like they have the club they want before they enter spring training next month. I’m just hoping this team will improve on their third place finish last year.
It has just been announced that Phils’ catcher Carlos Ruiz has been tested positive for using Adderall, an amphetamine commonly used to help control attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as it help the user stay focus. This is not a steroid, but it’s use is banned by MLB. This is the second time that he has tested positive for using the stimulant, which will not lead to an automatic suspension the first time it is detected, as it would have if he had been using steroids, and will lead to him being suspended for 25 games, a suspension that will begin at the start of the 2013 season.
Ruiz, who has apologized for using the substance, and have said that he will take his punishment, was one of the few bright spots in the Phils’ lousy 2012 season. During the season, in which he played in 114 games, Ruiz batted .325, hitting 121 for 372, with 32 doubles, 16 home runs and 68 RBIs, with a .394 on-base percentage, a .540 slugging percentage and a .935 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
During the suspension, Erik Kratz will likely be the team’s starting catcher. Kratz, who joined the club late in the season, appeared in 50 games, batting .248 with nine doubles, nine home runs and 26 RBIs. I hope you’re ready to step up again, Erik.
Wow, just wow!!! 2012 can’t end soon enough for me!!!
Frandsen, who had earlier in the season signed a minor league deal with the team, joined the main club around mid-season, after third baseman Placido Polanco went down with an injury. Frandsen would appear in 55 games, playing mostly third base, batting .338/.383/.451/.834 (66 for 195), hitting 10 doubles, three triples and two home runs, knocking in 14 RBIs while he scored 24 runs. He also had nine walks during his short season with the main club.
The Phils will probably used Frandsen in a platoon situation at third base with a returning Freddy Galvis, thanks to rather slim pickings among this year’s crop of third base free agents.
The Phils now have only two other arbitration cases left to deal with, left hander Antonio Bastardo and outfielder Nate Schierholtz, which the team should be able to take care of before the start of the new year. This should leave the Phils able to concentrate on looking for a center fielder and a veteran relief pitcher to help out in a bullpen presently made up of mostly still young pitchers.
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 first six innings involved a pitcher’s duel between Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, who would give up two lead-off hits in the first, before inducing a doubleplay ball, before going through the Pirates’ line-up with little further trouble, allowing only a hit batter in the fourth to reach base, striking out three batters, and Pirates’ starter Erik Bedard, who would scatter four hits and a walk, as he was helped by a couple of doubleplay balls, while striking out four Phils. The Phils finally broke up the 0-0 tie in the seventh as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Ty Wigginton, who had earlier singled, then stopped at third on John Mayberry Jr’s double, beating right fielder Jose Tabata’s throw to the plate, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. After Halladay kept the Pirates’ bats quiet in the seventh and eighth innings, the ball was handed over to new closer Jonathan Papelbon, who would record his first save of the 2012 season as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting Andrew McCutchen to ground out, 5-3, for the game’s final out.
Roy Halladay (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he threw eighth strong innings, giving up just two hits and two hit batters, while striking out five. Jonathan Papelbon received his first save of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out a batter. Erik Bedard (0-1, 1.29) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. Chris Resop and Juan Cruz would combine for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and a walk (Resop), while striking out four (two batters apiece) between them.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz (Singles, RBI) leading the team with three hits, followed by John Mayberry, Jr. (Single, Double) with two hits. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Ty Wigginton (Single) and Roy Halladay (Single), had the other three Phils’ hits. The Phils also had two walks, and a stolen base (Shane Victorino) in the ballgame.
The Phils (1-0, T-1 NL East) will have the day off tomorrow, before continuing their three games series with the Pirates (0-1, 6 NL Central) Saturday night. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT, and will be played at PNC Park. The Phils will send to the mound their no. 2 pitcher, Cliff Lee (0-0, -.–), who had a record of 17-8 in 2011, with an ERA of 2.40 and a WHIP of 1.03. He would pitch in 232.2 innings, striking out 238 batters. He will be trying to see if he can lead the Phils to their second straight win at the start of the 2012 season. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Karstens (0-0, -.–), who had ended last season with a record of 9-9, with a 3.38 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. Karstens would pitch in 162.1 innings, striking out just 96 batters. He will be trying to even up the series at a game apiece. The Phils will be trying to see if they can start the 2012 season with a 2-0 record.
The Phils will begin their 129th season as a member of the National League with an afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA. The game will start at 1:35 pm EDT.
The Phils, who are coming off a team record setting 102-80 win season, will be protecting their fifth straight National League Eastern Division Championship, also a team record, after having been knocked out of the NL Divisional Series, losing the series 3 games to 2, by the eventual 2011 World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals. The Phils will send to the mound their ace, Roy Halladay (0-0, —), who will be coming off a 19-6 2011, with a 2.35 ERA and a WHIP of 1.04. He also struck out 220 batters. The Pirates, who are coming off their19th straight losing season, finishing 2011 in 4th place in the National League Central Division with a 72-90 record, will be trying once again to at least reach a .500 record. They will be sending to the mound Erik Bedard (0-0, -.–), who had spent 2011 pitching for both the Red Sox and the Mariners, who will be coming off a combine record of 5-9 with an ERA of 3.62, and a WHIP of 1.28.
The Phils will be out to start the 2012 season on a good note.