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.
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 Reds took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Zack Cozart, Chris Heisey and Brandon Phillips, and with noone out, Jay Bruce hits an RBI double, knocking in Cozart, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead, before Heisey is thrown out at the plate on a good throw by second baseman Chase Utley, after first catching right fielder’s Dom Brown throw into the infield, with Erik Kratz applying the tag, for the inning’s first out, while Phillips stops at third base. The Red then made it a 2-0 lead as Scott Rolen hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, scoring Phillips. The Phils got a run back in their half of the first as, with one man on, and with two men out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single, knocking in Juan Pierre, who had earlier doubled, then stole third base, cutting the Reds’ lead down to 2-1. The Phils tied the game up at two-all in the third as, with two men out, Howard hits a solo home run, his eighth home run of the season. The Phils took the lead in the fourth as, with two men out, Kratz hits a solo home run, his seventh home run of the year, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Reds tied the game up at three-all in the fifth as, with a runner on third and with two men out, Heisey hits an RBI double, scoring Devin Mesoraco, who had started the inning off with a double, then moved up to third base on Mike Leake’s sacrifice bunt, 5-4. Two batters later, after Heisey moved up to third base on Phillips’ single, the Reds retook the lead as Bruce hits an RBI single, knocking in Heisey, giving the Reds a 4-3 lead, while sending Philips on to third base. The Reds then took a 5-3 lead as, with Rolen batting, Bruce got picked off first base, and was soon caught in a run down, 2-3-4-3-6, before finally being tagged out by shortstop Jimmy Rollins, caught stealing, but not before Philips scored from third base. The Phils got a run back in their half of the fifth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Utley hits an RBI double, knocking in Pierre, who had earlier singled, making it a 5-4 Reds’ lead. Two batters later, after Howard is intentionally walked, the Phils tied up the ballgame at five-all as John Mayberry, Jr. hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, while sending Howard on to third base. The Phils then took the lead for good as Brown followed with an RBI double, knocking in both Howard and Mayberry, giving the Phils a 7-5 lead. The Phils then added to their lead in the sixth as, with a man on third, and with nobody out, Utley hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Rollins, who had earlier doubled, then went to third base on Pierre’s sacrifice bunt, on which Pierre would reach first safely, giving the Phils an 8-5 lead. The Phils then took a 10-5 lead two batters later as Mayberry hits a two-run home run, his eleventh home run of the year, knocking in Pierre, who had earlier stole second base. The Phils then made it an 11-5 lead in the seventh as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Pierre hits an RBI single, scoring Placido Polanco, who had started the inning off with a walk, moved up to second base when Kratz was hit by a pitch, then went to third base when Rollins hits into a force out, 5-4, as Kratz is wiped out st second base for the inning’s second out, while Rollins, who was safe at first on the force out, would stop at second base. The Phils then took a 12-5 lead in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Mayberry, a walk by Brown, moving Mayberry up to second base, and a single by Polanco, and with one man out, Kratz hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Mayberry, while sending Brown on to third base. That would be the final score as Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless ninth.
Roy Halladay (7-7, 3.95) gets the win as he pitched seven innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out just three Reds. B.J. Rosenberg, Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom combined for two scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Rosenberg (1), Bastardo (1)) and a walk (Lindblom) between them, while striking out three (Bastardo (2), Lindblom (1)). Mike Leake (5-8, 4.50) took the lost as he went four and a third innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits and a walk, while striking out four. Sam LeCure pitched two-thirds of an inning, plus two batters, as he gave up two runs on a hit and a walk. Jose Arredondo pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out two. Logan Ondrusek pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out two.
The Phils collected fifteen hits in the ballgame, with Juan Pierre (2 Singles, Double, RBI) and John Mayberry, Jr. (2 Singles, Home Run, 3 RBIs) both leading the ballclub with three hits apiece, followed by Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs), Placido Polanco (Singles) and Erik Kratz (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs) with two hits each. Jimmy Rollins (Double), Chase Utley (Double, 2 RBIs) and Dom Brown (Double, 2 RBIs) had the other three Phils’ hits. The Phils also had four walks, a hit batter (Kratz) and two stolen bases (Pierre (30 & 31)) in the game.
The Phils (57-65, T-3rd East) will continue their series with the Reds (74-49, 1st Central) with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.83), who is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on August 16, when he went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits, as he struck out twelve, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be once again trying for his first win at home since last September. The Reds will counter with Homer Bailey (10-8, 4.16), as he is coming off a lost to the Mets on August 16, as he threw five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out six, in the Reds’ 8-4 lost. He will be trying to even up the series. The Phils will be trying to record their fourth straight win.
The Cards took a 1-0 lead in the second as Carlos Beltran hits a lead-off home run, his twenty-eighth home run of the year. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the second as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Dom Brown hits an RBI single that was able to get past Cards’ second baseman Daniel Descalso, scoring Ryan Howard, who had started off the inning with a double, and just kept on running after making sure that the ball would get past Descalso. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, who would go eight innings, giving up a total of two hits, the other hit being a two-out single by Jon Jay in the third, as well as hitting a batter (Yadier Molina in the fifth), and Cards’ starter Kyle Lohse, who gave up a total of four hits, with the other two hits being a one-out single in the fifth by Kevin Frandsen and a two-out single by Frandsen in the seventh, along with two walks. The Phils took the lead for good in the eighth as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Chase Utley hits a two-run home run, his eighth home-run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a single, moved up to second base on a balk by pitcher Barret Browning, then stopped at third base on Juan Pierre’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead. That would be the final score as Jonathan Papelbon recorded his twenty-fifth save of the season as he ended the game by catching Beltran trying to steal second base, 1-6, with Rollins applying the tag for the game’s final out.
Roy Halladay (6-6, 3.80) got the win as he went eight innings, giving up a run on two hits and a hit batter, while striking out eight. Jonathan Papelbon recorded his twenty-fifth save of the year as he threw a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits. Kyle Lohse received a no-decision as he pitched seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, while striking out seven. Brett Browning (0-1, 4.11) took the lost as he gave up two runs on two hits and a balk, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had six hits in the game, with Kevin Frandsen leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Chase Utley (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Double) and Dom Brown (Single, RBI) had the other four Phils’ hits. The Phils also had two walks and a stolen base (Juan Pierre (28)) in the game.
The Phils (51-61, 4th East) will continue their three-game series with the World Champions Cardinals (61-52, 3rd Central). The game wiill be played at Citizens Bank Park will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send out Cliff Lee (2-6, 3.78), who is coming off a no-decision against the Diamondbacks on August 5, as he went eight innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 5-4 walk-off win. He will be trying to pitch the Phils into a series win. The Cards will try to counter with Jake Westbrook (11-8, 3,76), who is coming off a win against the Giants on August 6, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, as he struck out four, in the Cards’ 8-2 rout. He will be trying to even up the series. The Phils will be trying to take another series from the world champs.
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.
The Cubs took the lead in the second as, with runners on second and third, and with nobody out, Ian Stewart hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Bryan LaHair, who had started the inning off with a ground-rule double, then stopped at third on Jeff Baker’s double, because of his slow speed, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead, while sending Baker, who had just doubled, over to third base. The Cubs increased their lead in the third as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Starlin Castro hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Tony Campana, who had earlier singled, went to second base on Laynce Nix’s missed catch error on Kyle Kenrdick’s pickoff attempt, then went to third on Darwin Barney’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead. The Cubs then made it a 3-0 lead in the fourth as, with two men out, Joe Mather hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season. The Cubs added to their lead in the eighth as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Campana, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, before moving up to third on Barney’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, would score on a fielder’s choice grounder hit by Castro, giving the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Two batters later, after Castro is caught trying to steal second base, 2-6, the Cubs make it a 5-0 as, with a man on second, and with two men out, Baker hits an RBI single, scoring LaHair, who had earlier doubled, his second double of the ballgame. The Phils would finally get on the scoreboard in the ninth as, with the bases loaded, via a walk by pinch hitter Pete Orr, a walk by Jimmy Rollins, moving Orr up to second base, and an infield single by Hunter Pence, moving up both runners, and with two men out, Ty Wigginton forced in a run with an RBI walk, scoring Orr, making it a 5-1 Cubs’ lead, while sending Rollins on to third base and moving Pence up to second base, leaving the bases loaded. That that would end up being the final score as Carlos Marmol finally ended the game by getting Shane Victorino to ground out, 6-3, for the final out.
Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 6.59) took the lost as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and a walk, while he struck out seven. Jose Contreras pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. David Herndon pitched two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, while he struck out one. Matt Garza (2-1, 2.67) got the win as he threw seven strong innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while he struck out ten. Rafael Solis pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Carlos Marmol pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit and three walks.
The Phils had only two hits in the ballgame, a single by Jimmy Rollins, to start off the game for the Phils, and an infield single by Hunter Pence, as the Phils were kept under control by Cubs’ starter Matt Garza. They also had four walks, with three of them coming in the ninth, helping to bring home their only run of the game, as the offense was unable to get anything going.
The Phils (10-12, 4th East) will conclude their series with the Cubs (8-14, 6th Central) with a night game tonight. The game will start at 7:05 pm EDT and will be played at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16), who is coming off a win against the D-backs on April 24, as he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 8-5 win. He will be out to lead the Phils to a series split. The Cubs will counter with Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.14), who is coming off a lost against the Cardinals on April 25, where he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out just two, in the Cubs’ 5-1 lost. He will be looking for his first win of the season. The Phils will be out to end April on a winning note, before they go on the road to play six games against the Braves and the Nats.
Earlier today, the Phils have announced that they had signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor league contract and have invited him to Spring Training.
Pierre, who was playing left field for the Chicago White Sox in 2011, would appear in 158 games for the pale socks last season, batting .279 (178-639), getting 17 doubles, four triples and two home runs, knocking in 50 RBIs, while scoring 80. He would also steal 27 bases, while being caught only 17 times. During a 12-years career, during which he would also play for the Rockies, the Florida Marlins, the Cubs and the Dodgers, he would compile a career .296 batting average (2020-6823), playing in 1751 games, as he got 234 doubles, 86 triples and 16 home runs, scoring 980 times, while knocking in 484 RBIs. He would also have 554 stolen bases, while being caught just 190 times.
Pierre will be trying to become the team’s fifth outfielder, who will probably be used mainly as a late-inning baserunning threat, which should put some pressure on the defense late in games, as well as a pinch hitter. Pierre is suppose to have good bat control and be able to bunt. He was also a good lead-off hitter while he was with the White Sox, which should come in handy if Jimmy Rollins gets injured at some point during the season.
Welcome to the Phils, Pierre. Wish you luck making the team during spring training.