The Phils have announced that they had just concluded a trade with the Colorado Rockies, getting Ty Wigginton for either a player to be named later or cash. Wigginton, who has played first base, third base, left and right field in his career, will most likely be the team’s main right-handed bat off of the bench, to compliment Jim Thome, whom the Phils had recently resigned.
Wigginton, who played for the Rockies in 2011, had also played for the Mets, the Pirates, the Rays, the Astros and the Orioles since 2002, appeared in 130 games, batting .242 in 401 at-bats, getting 97 hits, including 21 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs. He had also knocked in 47 runs while scoring 52.
It is more than likely that during Ryan Howard’s absense, as he recovers from his injuries, that Wigginton might be sharing first base duties with John Mayberry, Jr. and Jim Thome, and might also play a bit of third base to give Placido Polanco some useful time off both before and after Howard’s return to the line-up.
This might be a good move for the Phils over-all, since Wigginton can cover several bases during the upcoming season.
Yesterday the National League announced that Raul Ibanez was named the National League Player of the Week. Ibanez, last week, hit .310 (9-for-29), as he hit three home runs and a double among his nine hits, knocking in 13 runs, which lead the majors last week, and scored six.
Congratulations on winning the Award, Raul.
Coming out of spring training, everyone pondered how the Phils offense would do without Jayson Werth (now a member of the Nationals) and Chase Utley (knee problems). Well, after nine games, they seems to be doing pretty well.
After nine games, the Phils are among the National League leaders in several offensive categories. They lead the league in team batting average (.334), team slugging percentage (.484), team total bases (155), team hits (107), stolen base percentage (80%) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.865), while they are tied for first with the Reds for most RBIs (58). They are second in on-base percentage (.380), doubles (22), runs scored (59), and team extra-base hits (31). They are fourth in total at-bats (320). They also have the third fewest strike outs (56).
As is shown by the stats, although they are not hitting as many home runs (8) as they have in the past, they are still knocking in runs, as they are getting a lot of singles, with enough doubles added, and are using them to move men around the bases to score.
All but one of the regular eight are presently batting over .300, with Shane Victorino leading the team with a .417 batting average, which puts him in fifth place among batting leaders, thanks to his recent hot series against the Braves. Victorino is also batting .611/432, as he is batting 15 for 36 with 8 runs scored and with 8 RBIs. He has four extra-base hits (2 2BS, 1 3B, 1 HR), for 22 total bases, and has stolen 2 bases, being caught once.
Ryan Howard is next with a .361/.639/.390, as he has gone 13 for 36, scoring 7 runs, while knocking in 11 runs, leading the club, as he have has 6 extra-base hits (4 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 23 total bases.
Thanks to his hot series against the Braves, Carlos Ruiz is third with a .346/.538/.414, as he has gone 9 for 26, scoring 6 runs, as he knocked in 7, with 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for 14 total bases.
Fourth among the starting eight is Placido Polanco with a .342/.447/.390, as he has batted 13 for 38, scoring 6 runs, while he had knocked in 8, with a total of 4 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 17 total bases.
Fifth is Wilson Valdez, who is playing second base as Utley recovers from his injury. Valdez has gone .333/.444/.357, hitting 9 for 27, scoring 5 times, while knocking in 5. He has 3 extra-bases hits, all doubles, for 12 total bases. He also has a stolen base.
Jimmy Rollins, in a contract year, is doing well in the third spot in the line-up, although slowing down in the Braves series, being no. six. He is batting .324/.405/.390, going 12 for 37, crossing the plate 6 times, while still waiting for his first RBI. He has 3 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 15 total bases. He has 3 stolen bases, leading the team.
Seventh is Ben Francisco, who is doing rather well as he handle the right field duties. He has gone .306/.528./375, batting 11 for 36, scoring 7 times, while knocking in 7. He has 4 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 19 total bases. He also has a stolen base, and has been caught once.
Raul Ibanez is the last of the eight, as he has also cool down in the Braves series, after being hot against the Mets. He is presently hitting .257/.400/.350, as he has gone 9 for 35, with 9 runs scored, while he has knocked in 6. He has 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for a total of 14 total bases. He has also stolen 1 base.
The rest of the team, including pitchers, have gone a collective 16 for 49, collecting one extra-base hit (1 HR), for 19 total bases. They have scored 5 times, while knocking in 6 RBIs.
Finally, unlike last year, the team has done very effectively pinch hitting, having ten hits, with 5 RBIs, with 4 of them coming on Ruiz’s pinch hit grand-slam home run last saturday afternoon.
If the Phils can continue what they are doing right now, their starting pitching will be even more effective, since the offense will be handing them leads both at home and on the road.
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.
The Phillies (5-6, 4th) plan to conclude their four-games home stand with the Padres (9-4, 2nd National League West) with a game tonight, weather permitting. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be the ageless veteran Jamie Moyer (1-1, 6.55), who is coming off a victory against the Nationals back on April 13, as he pitched six good innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ emotional 9-8 victory, on the day that Harry Kalas died. He will be going for his second straight win, which trying to cut down on the number of runs that he has so far given up this season. The Padres will counter with Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.09), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on April 15, where he went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, as he struck out five, in the Padres’ 7-2 lost. He will be trying for his first win of the year. The Phillies hope to end the four-games series with the Padres at two-wins apiece, before they host the Milwaukee Brewers for a three-games series, starting tomorrow night.
Raul Ibanez, after only two weeks being a member of the Phillies, is presently a hot man. At the moment, he is hitting 17 for 44 in eleven games played, for a .386 batting average, which places him fifth in batting in the National League. Ibanez has scored twelve runs, placing him in a tie for fifth place. His seventeen hits puts him in a tie for sixth place. He is leading the league in both total bases (38) and slugging percentage (.864), while he is also tied for first place in home runs (5), is tied for sixth in triples (1), is tied for eleventh in doubles (4), is tied for thirteenth in RBIs (11), and is tied for nineteenth in stolen bases (1). His On-Base plus Slugging Percentage (OPS) is presently at 1.301, while his On-Base Percentage is at .438. He has also fielded left field rather well, despite yesterday’s miscue, and has also run the bases rather well. Ibanez is, so far, making a real good impression on the city of Philadelphia, as he is making Reuben Amaro, Jr’s free agent signing look golden.
Edit: The Phillies have just announced that their game with the Padres has been rained out. There has been no announcement when the game will be made up. The Phillies’ next game will be played tomorrow night at 7:05 pm Eastern against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Earlier this afternoon, in a surprising move, the Phillies have outright released veteran outfielder Geoff Jenkins. In eleven seasons, ten of which were spent playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, in 1349 games, Jenkins went 1293 for 4700 for a career batting average of .275, hitting 303 doubles, 22 triples and 221 home runs, while knocking in 733 rbis as he scored 688 runs. In his one season playing for the World Champs, he appeared in 115 games, going 72 for 293 for a .246 average, with sixteen doubles and nine home runs, knocking in 29 rbis while he scored only 27 runs.
I hope that there’s a method to their madness cause I just am not getting the release of Jenkins unless he no longer fits in their plans. Anyway, I wish Jenkins luck joining another ballclub before Spring Training is over.
I know that I’d said I would give the answer on Wednesday but since Sue of Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts has already gotten the correct answer yesterday, I’d decided that I might as well give the answer out now.
First, the original question: Name the Phillies’ player who is the team leader in career batting average?
And the answer is, Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton. Hamilton spent six years playing for the Phillies from 1890 to 1895. During those six years, he complied a batting average of .361, which is thirteen points higher than fellow Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, as he got 1079 hits in 2993 at-bats in 729 games played, mainly as an outfielder. During those six seasons as a Phil, he would win two batting titles (1891 and 1893) as well as four stolen base titles (1890-1891, 1894-1895).
So, Congratulations Sue. Next trivia question will be asked next Monday.