Earlier today the Phils had announced that they have invited eight players in their minor league system to try out with the main team during spring training, 2012. Four of the eight players are pitchers, two are infielders, one is an outfielder and one is a catcher.
Among the four pitchers, two are lefties and two are righties. The four are: left-handers Pat Misch and Raul Valdes and right-handers Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches. Misch made six relief appearances for the Mets in 2011, but spent most of the season at Triple-A Buffalo, making 22 starts. In 2011, Valdes went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 appearances for both the Cardinals and the Yankees. Sanches, pitching for the Marlins, went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA in 39 games. Elarton, because of injuries, last pitched professionally in 2010, and last pitched in the majors in 2008.
The two infielders are Pete Orr, who appeared in 49 games for the Phils in 2011, batting .219, and Kevin Frandsen, who played the entire year at Lehigh Valley, batting .309, with 5 home runs and 43 RBIs. The final two invitees are outfielder Scott Podsednik, who played in just 34 games, because of injuries, for the Triple-A teams of the Blue Jays and the Phils, batting .245, with six doubles and a triple for the Iron Pigs, and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, who, at Double-A Reading, played in 109 games, batting .247, with 13 homers and 66 RBIs. For Gosewisch, this will be his fourth invitation to spring training.
I wish the eight the best of luck.
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.
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).
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.
A sixteen-hit attack, including four from Ryan Howard, welcomes Hunter Pence’s arrival to the line-up as the Phils’ defeat the Pirates, 7-4.
The Phils took the lead in the second as Ryan Howard lead-off the inning with a home run, his twenty-first home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils then made it a 2-0 lead in the third as, with one man out, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his thirteenth home run of the year. The Phils then added to their lead three batters later as, with two men on, and with still one man out, Howard hits an RBI double, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Chase Utley, who had just walked, on to third. The Pirates cut down the Phils’ lead to 3-2 in the fourth as, with one man on, and with two men out, Pedro Alvarez hits a two-run home run, his third home run of the year, knocking in Brandon Wood, who had just singled. The Phils got a run back in their half of the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Utley hits a single, that allowed Cliff Lee, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Rollins’ single, to reach third, while Rollins, who had just singled, would stop at second base, before Lee would score when right fielder Steve Pearce committed a fielding error, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead. The Phils then made it a 5-2 lead as Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Utley on to third. The Phils then added to their lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one man out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI double, scoring Placido Polanco, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. The Pirates then tried to rally in the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Neil Walker hits an RBI single, knocking in Pedro Ciriaco, who had earlier gotten on base with a bunt single, moved up to second base on Matt Diaz’s walk, then went to third on Andrew McCutchen’s force out grounder, 6-4, as Diaz is wiped out at second for the inning’s first out, making it a 6-3 Phils’ lead. Two batters later, after Pearce had hit into a force out, 5-4, wiping out Walker at second base for the inning’s second out, while sending McCutchen on to third, Wood made it a 6-4 Phils’ lead as he hits an RBI single, scoring Wood, while Pearce would stop at second base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the eighth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had earlier hit a lead-off triple, while sending Howard, who had just been intentionally walked, on to second base, giving the Phils a 7-4 lead. That would be the final score as Ryan Madson recorded his eighteenth save of the year as he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out the side.
Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) finally got his tenth win of the year, as he went seven and one-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out eleven. Antonio Bastardo would received his eighth hold of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, striking outn the only man that he would face. Ryan Madson recorded his eighteenth save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and two walks, while striking out five. Daniel McCutchen pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Chris Resop pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out one. Jose Veras pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits and a walk.
The Phils had sixteen hits in the ballgame, with Ryan Howard leading the team with four hits, a single, two doubles, and a solo home run, being a triple short of hitting the cycle, as he knocked in three runs, while raising his batting average up to .254. Jimmy Rollins (Single, Home Run, RBI), Shane Victorino (Single, Triple), Placido Polanco (Singles), Carlos Ruiz (Single, Double, RBI) and Cliff Lee (Singles), all followed with two hits apiece. Chase Utley (Single) and Hunter Pence (Single, RBI) had the other two Phils’ hits. The seventh Phil run scored on a Pirates error.
The Phils (67-39, 1st East) will conclude their series with the Pirates (54-51, 3rd Central) with an afternoon game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 1:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (7-1, 2.02), who is coming off a complete game win against the Giants on July 26, as he gave up just two runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 7-2 win. He will be trying to give the Phils a sweep. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Karstens (8-5, 2.41), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on July 26, as he went five innings, giving upm three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three in the Pirates’ 4-3 extra-innings lost. He will be out to keep the Pirates from being swept. The Phils will be out to end their successful home stand with a sweep.
During the ballgame, but announced afterwards, the Phils announced that they have finally gotten their man. The Phils had finally completed a deal with the Astros, getting right handed outfielder Hunter Pence, while sending to Houston pitching prospects Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid and first base prospect Jonathan Singleton, with a fourth player to be named later. Pence, who will most likely be playing in right field, is presently batting .309, with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs, along with a .356 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging percentage.
Pence, who is expected to be the right handed bat that the Phils have been looking for all year, especially to protect Ryan Howard by batting in the fifth spot, will be under the Phils’ control for both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, as well as this year.
The Phils are expecting Pence to appear in time for tomorrow night’s game, as he was pulled out of the Astros-Brewers game in Milwaukee in the fifth inning, saying goodbye to his teammates.
Welcome to the team, Hunter. I hope that you are what we have been looking for all season in the corner outfield, especially during the playoffs in October.
Cliff Lee awful second inning ends the latest Phils chance at a sweep as they lose to the Padres, 5-4.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI double, knocking in Chase Utley, who had earlier walked, then go on to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before Howard, who had just singled, is thrown out at the plate, 9-4-2, ending the inning, on a play that likely ended up deciding the game’s outcome. The Padres tied it up at one-all in the second as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Rob Johnson hits an RBI double, scoring Jesus Guzman, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Orlando Hudson’s ground out, 4-3. Two batters later, with the runner still on second base, and now with two men out, Chris Denorfia gave the Padres the lead with an RBI single, scoring Johnson, who beat the thrown home, giving the Padres a 2-1 lead, while Denorfia would move up to second base on the throw home. Three batters later, after Denorfia stole third base, and then Jason Bartlett walked to put runner on the corners, as Cliff Lee threw a soft toss to first to keep Bartlett there, Denorfia took off from third base and stole home, beating Howard’s throw to the plate, making it a 3-1 Padres’ lead. The Padres then made it a 4-1 lead as Chase Headley hits an RBI double, scoring Bartlett. The Padres added to their lead in the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Ryan Ludwick hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Denorfia, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Bartlett’s ground out, 3-unassisted, then stopped at third base on Headley single, before he moved up to second base when Victorino tried to throw out Denorfia at third, giving the Padres a 5-1 lead. The Phils got a run back in their half of the fourth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Dom Brown hits an RBI triple on a fly ball misplayed by Ludwick, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had just doubled, making it a 5-2 Padres’ lead. The Phils then made it a 5-3 Padres’ lead as Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI single, scoring Brown. The Phils then made it a 5-4 Padres’ lead in the sixth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Victorino, who had just doubled. That would end up being the final score as Heath Bell would record his twenty-ninth save of the season by getting Jimmy Rollins to fly out to right for the final out.
Cliff Lee (9-7, 3.05) took the lost as he went only four innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out five. Drew Carpenter, Brad Lidge (making his first apppearance of the season) and Michael Stutes combined for five scoreless innings, giving up just a hit (Carpenter), while striking out five (Carpenter (2), Lidge (1), Stutes (2)) between them. Aaron Harang (9-2, 3.45) got the win as he went six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out two. Chad Qualls collected his tenth hold of the season as he pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. Mike Adams recorded his twenty-second hold of the year as he also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Heath Bell received his twenty-ninth save of the season as he pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up a walk, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had ten hits in the game, with Shane Victorino leading the team with three hits, two doubles and a triple, knocking in a run, as he raised his batting average to .302. Raul Ibanez followed with two hits, a single and a double, knocking in a run. Chase Utley (Single), Ryan Howard (Single), Dom Brown (Double, RBI), Carlos Ruiz (Single, RBI) and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. (Single), had the other five Phils’ hits.
The Phils (64-37, 1st East) will start a three-game series with the Giants (59-43, 1st West), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (6-1, 2.02), who is coming off a win against the Cubs on July 20, as he pitched eight strong innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in the Phils’ 9-1 rout. He hopes to give the Phils a chance to win tonight. The Giants will send to the mound their ace Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90), who is coming off a lost to the Dodgers on July 20, as he went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits and four walks, while striking out seven, in the Giants’ 1-0 lost. He will be trying to recover from that lost. The Phils will be trying to see if they can get to Lincecum, so that they can start off the series with a win.