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.
Phils’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins have just won his fourth Gold Glove Award. Jimmy, who have won previous gold gloves in 2007-09, with his win is now ranked third in franchise history with the most gold gloves won by a Phil, trailing only Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddos (8).
During the season, Rollins, who continued to be an outstanding defensive player, only batted .250, with a .427 Slugging Percentage and a very low .316 On-Base Percentage (.743 OPS), as he went 158 for 632, including 33 doubles, 5 triples and 23 home runs, knocking in 68 runs, while scoring 102 times, as he appeared in 156 games. He also had 30 stolen bases, being caught only 5 times during the season.
Carlos Ruiz missed winning a gold glove as he was beaten out by the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina.
The Phils have earlier this week (Monday) announced that they have accepted Carlos Ruiz’s $5 million dollar option for 2013, so he’ll be staying with the ballclub for at least another season. Carlos, who played in 114 games, thanks in part to being on the DL twice during the season, had a .325 batting average (121 for 372) with a .935 OPS, as he had 32 doubles and 16 home runs, while knocking in 68 RBIs, while scoring 56 runs.
The Phils also announced that they are decling Placido Polanco’s option, instead buying out his option at $1 million, making him a free agent, as they pursues other options for third base. The Phils have also declined both Jose Contreas and Ty Wigginton’s options, buying them out at $500,000 dollars each, also making them free agents. Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider have also become free agents, as the Phils start making changes to their roster for the 2013 season, hoping to make themselves more competitive for next year’s pennant race .
The Phils have earlier this afternoon announced that they have traded Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in exchange for relief pitch Josh Lindblom and one prospect, and Hunter Pence to the Giants for outfielder Nate Schierholtz and two prospects, before announcing that they had called up Dom Brown from Lehigh Valley.
Shane Victorino, who had been with the Phils since 2005, which would include him being a member of the 2008 World Championship team, as well as spending part of 2003 playing for the Padres, had played in 1023 games, compiling a career batting average of .277 (1009 for 3644), while collecting 183 doubles, 63 triples and 88 home runs, along with 394 RBIs, 316 walks and 186 stolen bases, while crossing the plate a total of 590 times. He also has a career slugging percentage of .434 and an OBP of .342. This season, Victorino, before the trade, had played in 101 games, compiling a .261 batting average (101 for 387) including 17 doubles, 5 triples and nine home runs, the latest of which occurred this past Sunday against the Braves, as well as knocking in 40 RBIs, while walking 36 times and stealing 24 bases, while being caught only 4 times. He also crossed the plate 46 times. For Victorino, the Phils will be getting relief pitcher Josh Lindblom, who had pitched for the Dodgers during the last two seasons, including this year, appearing in a total of 75 games, compiling a record of 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA and a WHIP of 1.18, as he pitched in 77.1 innings, giving up 25 runs on 63 hits and 28 walks, while striking out a total of 71 batters. This year, his record is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA, as he had appeared in 48 games, throwing 47.2 innings, giving up 16 runs on 42 hits and 18 walks, while striking out 43. The Phils will also receive minor league pitching prospect Ethan Martin, who was pitching for AA Chattanooga in the Southern League before the trade.
After trading Victorino, the Phils then sent Hunter Pence, who they had gotten last year in a trade with the Astros for four prospects, to the Giants for outfielder Nate Schierholtz and two minor leaguers. Pence, who, until last year around this time, had played with the Astros, starting in 2007. Careerwise, Pence had batted .290 (943 for 3254), as he had appeared in 835 games, compiling a total of 172 doubles, 28 triples and 131 home runs, knocking in 471 runs, while scoring 447 times, as he had also complied 258 walks. For this season, he had appeared in 101 games, batting .271 (108 for 398), as he had 15 doubles, 2 triples and 17 home runs (at the time the Phils’ leader in that category), knocking in 59 RBIs, while crossing the plate 59 times. He also had 37 walks. In return for Pence, the Phils will get Nate Shierholtz, who had been playing for the Giants since 2007, as he had appeared in 503 games, with a .270 batting average (327 for 1209), collecting 72 doubles, 15 triples and 23 home runs, while knocking in 119 RBIs, while crossing the plate 145 times. He also has 80 walks. This season, Schierholtz has hit .257 (45 for 175), including 5 doubles, triples and home runs, while knocking in just 17 RBIs, while scoring only 15 times. He has walked just 18 times. The Phils also got from the Giants catching prospect Tommy Joseph, the Giants’ number 5 pick in the 2009 draft and pitching prospect right-hander Seth Rosin.
The Phils also announced that they will be calling up Dom Brown from the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, to take one of spots just opened up by the two trades.
I wished you luck Shane and Hunter, welcome to the club Josh and Nate, and welcome back Dom (you better have a good idea what is expected of you). Ruben, I really hope that you know what you’re doing trading tw0 of our three starting outfielders.
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.