Yesterday, the Phils sent out a press release announcing that they have signed two more players to minor league deals, offering spring training non-roster invitations to both players.
The players that the Phils have signed are infielder Hector Luna and outfielder Luis Montanez. Luna, who spent the 2011 season playing on the Red Sox Triple-A Pawtucket team, had played 311 games on the major league level between 2004-2010, playing for the Cardinals, Indians, Blue Jays and Marlins, compiling a .265 career batting average (194 hits in 732 at-bats). During his time in the majors, he had played at least one game at all four infield positions and all three outfield positions. Last year, for Pawtucket, he played in 113 games, batting .283, hitting 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. The other signed player, Montanez, spent part of the just finished 2011 season playing for Triple-A Iowa in the Cubs minor league system, appearing in 92 games, batting .321, hitting 7 home runs, and knocking in 69 RBIs. He had also appeared in 36 games with the Cubs, batting .222 (13 for 54). In his major league career, 2008-2011, in which he spent the first three seasons playing for the Orioles, he has a career batting average of .223 (68 for 305).
In the same press release, the Phils announced that they had lost minor league infielder Carlos Rivero to the Nationals via the waiver wire. Rivero was earlier taken off of the Phils 40-man roster to make room for the just resigned Jimmy Rollins.
My guess is that both signed players will likely end up playing for the Iron Pigs when the regular season starts.
The Phils defeat the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth with a bases loaded, no out, walk-off win, evening their Grapefruit League record to 6-6.
The Orioles took the lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Jake Fox hits an RBI double, scoring Randy Winn, who had earlier walked, and then moved up to second on a Brendan Harris walk, which sending Harris, who had earlier walked, over to third base, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead. One batter later, the Orioles made it a 2-0 lead as Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Harris from third. The Phils got a run back in the fourth as Ryan Howard hits a lead-off home run, his third home run of the spring, making it a 2-1 Orioles’ lead. The Phils then tied it up at two-all in the fifth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Shane Victorino hits an RBI double, knocking in Josh Barfield, who had been safe at first on a force out, 6-4, as Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier walked, was wiped out at second base, then stole second base. The Orioles retook the lead in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with one out, Bell hits an RBI double, scoring Nolan Reimold, who had earlier been hit by the pitch, then stole second base, giving the Orioles a 3-2 lead. The Phils then rallied in the ninth as they loaded the bases, via walk by Dane Sardinha and Barfield, with pitch runner Wilson Valdes, who was running for Sardinha, stopping at second base, and a bunt single by Michael Martinez, with Valdez stopping at third, and Barfield moving up to second base, and with no one out, Carlos Rivero won the game with a two-run, walk-off single, knocking in both Valdez and Barfield, while Rivero would stop at second, giving the Phils a 4-3, come from behind, win.
Cole Hamels received a no-decision as he pitched four innings, giving up two runs on one hit and two walks, while striking out two. Jose Contreras pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit, while striking out two. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and a hit batter, while striking out two. Danys Baez and Dan Meyer both followed with a scoreless inning, striking out two batters (Baez) between them. Drew Carpenter (1-0, 0.00) received the win as he pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Justin Duchscherer also received a no-decision as he pitched two innings, giving up a hit and a walk. Brian Matusz received his first hold of the spring as he pitched two and a third innings, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Chris George received his first blown save of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit. Michael Gonzalez recorded his second hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, as he gave up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Jim Johnson received his first hold of the spring as he also pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out a batter. Adrian Rosario recorded his first blown save of the spring before getting the lost (0-1, 9.00), as he pitched an inning plus four batters, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Shane Victorino, Martin Martinez and Carlos Rivero each leading the team with two hits, with Victorino’s hit being a single and a double, knocking in a run, Martinez’s hits being two singles, and Rivero’s two hits also being two singles, knocking in two runs. Ryan Howard, Delwyn Young and John Mayberry, Jr., had the other three Phils’ hits, with Howard’s hit being a solo home run, Young’s hit being a single, and Mayberry’s hit being a double.
The Phils’ Grapefruit League record is now 6-6.
The Phils’ stratch and claw their way to their second straight spring training win on the road, as they defeat the Pirates, 7-4.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first, as, with runners on first and second, via two straight singles by Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco, with Rollins stopping at second base, and with no one out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, while sending Polanco up to second base. One batter later, the Phils took a 2-0 lead as, with still nobody out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, scoring Polanco, while sending Ibanez on to third. The Pirates cut the Phils’ lead in their half of the first as, with runners on the corners, via a double by Pedro Ciriaco, and a single by Neil Walker, with Ciriaco stopping at third, and with one man out, Lyle Overbay hits an RBI single to right, knocking in Ciriaco. But, on the play, Walker is thrown out at third by Wilson Valdez on a strong throw, 9-5, for the inning’s second out. The Pirates then tied the game up at two-all in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Andy Marte hits an RBI single, scoring Matt Diaz, who had earlier reached first on a walk, and then stole second base. The Phils regain the lead in the sixth as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his first of the spring, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Pirates then tied it up at three-all in their half of the sixth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Garrett Jones hits into an RBI ground out, three-unassisted, scoring Neil Walker, who had earlier walked, then went to third on Tony Sanchez’s ground-rule double, while moving Sanchez, who had just doubled, over to third base. One batter later, the Bucos took the lead as Marte hits an RBI ground-rule double of his own, knocking in Sanchez, giving the Pirates a 4-3 lead. The Phils came back to tie it at four-all in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Matt Rizzotti hits an RBI double, knocking in Freddy Galvis, who had earlier singled and had gone on to third on Brandon Moss’ single, while Moss, who had just singled, would stop at third base. The Phils then retook the lead as Pete Orr hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring Moss, making it a 5-4 Phils’ lead, while sending Rizzotti on to third base. The Phils then made it 6-4 as, with a man on third, and with two men out, Dane Sardinha hits an RBI single, scoring Rizotti. The Pirates tried to come back in their half of the seventh as they loaded the bases, via singles to Alex Presley and John Bowker, with Presley stopping at second base, and a walk to Corey Wimberly, moving both Presley and Bowker up a base, with only one man out. But Drew Carpenter pitched himself out of trouble by first striking out Josh Fields, swinging, for the second out, and then striking out Sanchez, looking. The Phils then made it 7-4 in the eighth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Glavis hits a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Valdez, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Michael Martinez’s ground out, 4-3. That would be the final score as Antonio Bastardo would pitch an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Joe Blanton received a no-decision as he pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out two. Danys Baez received a blown save as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit. Dan Meyer also received a blown save, before getting the win (1-0, 9.00), as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out 2. Drew Carpenter received his first hold of the spring as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two batters. Mike Zagurski records his second spring hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Antonio Bastardo records his first save of the spring as he pitches a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Kevin Correia also received a no-decision as he went three innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while he struck out five. Brian Burres followed with two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Fernando Nieve took the lost (0-1, 27.00) as he pitched an inning and a third, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Michael Dubee pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Bryan Morris pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Daniel Moskos pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter.
The Phils had fourteen hits in the game, with Wilson Valdez leading the team with three hits, two singles and a doubles, as he raised his spring average to .417. He was followed by Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, who both had two hits, with Rollins’ hits being a single and a double, and Howard’s being a single and a solo home run, his first of the spring. Freddy Galvis, Placido Polanco, Carlos Rivero, Raul Ibanez, Brandon Moss, Matt Rizzotti and Dane Sardinha had the other seven Phils’ hits, all singles, except for Rizzotti’s double. Rollins and Howard’s two hits help raised their spring batting averages.
The Phils’s Grapefruit League record is now 4-3.
Last week the Phils’ picked up, via waivers, infielder Carlos Rivero from the Cleveland Indians.
The team is still looking for low price free agents for their bullpen, while pondering whether to give new contracts to either Chad Durbin or Jose Contreras, or to both pitchers. In the meantime, they are in the hunt to resign Jayson Werth, but since his agent Scott Boras is asking for money in the Matt Holliday/Jason Bay range, it is more than likely that he won’t be back in red pinstripes.
It has been announced on Monday that ex-Phil Jamie Moyer has re-injured his left elbow while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic, while trying to prove that he can still pitch. Ouch. Talk about a setback. Hope it wasn’t too bad an injury, Jamie.
It was also announced yesterday that former Phil GM Pat Gillick is on the Hall of Fame ballot that is being sent to the committee to elect those managers, executives and retired players who were not elected originally, who come from Baseball’s Expansion-era (post-1960). Congrats on getting on the Ballot, Pat, and wish you luck getting into the Hall. You deserve it.
Lastly, today, there is speculation that former Phil, ex-Orioles manager and fan favorite, Juan Samuel, is thinking of taking over Davey Lopes’ position as the team’s first base coach. If he does, that should be good news for the team, since he was a very successful base stealer during his days as a ballplayer. Is has also been announced that they are looking at Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as the new manager for their Triple-A Lehigh Valley ballclub, as he is leaving the Cubs Triple-A club after being pass over as the main club’s new manager. He might be another popular move, if the Phils do go after him. Whether the pair will actually get either post is another question.