The Phils have appeared to have added to their pitching depth by signing Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract, with an invitation to Spring Training.
Pineiro, who in 2011 pitched for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, appeared in 27 games, 24 of which were starts, compiling a 7-7 record with a 5.13 ERA. Being in the majors since 2000, pitching for the Mariners, Red Sox, and Cardinals, along with the Angels, Pineiro has pitched in 335 games, with 263 of them as starts, with a record of 104-93 with 2 saves in 3 save opportunities, with an ERA of 4.41.
It is more than likely that Pineiro will start the year with the Iron Pigs, as an extra insurance policy for the team in case one of the starters get injured during the regular season.
The Phils have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Kyle Kendrick as they have reached a one-year contract with the starter-reliever worth $3.585 million dollars.
Kendrick, who had started the 2011 season in the bullpen, would rejoin the starting rotation because of injuries to both Joe Blanton and Roy Oswalt. During the season, he would appear in 34 games, 15 of them as a starter, ending the year with an 8-6 record, with an ERA of 3.22. In 114.2 innings pitched, he would strike out 59 batters, which walking only 30, receiving a WHIP of 1.22.
With Kendrick’s signing, that leaves only Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez arbitration-eligible , with the fanbase hoping that Hamels will be nailed down to a multi-year contract.
The Phils have tendered contracts to the four players on the team who are still arbitration eligible after they had traded Ben Francisco to the Blue Jays: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Vladez. Although it is expected that all four will receive an increase in salary whether they accept the proffered contracts, or go through arbitration, most of the fanbase would prefer that the Phils give multi-year contracts to both Hamels and Pence, especially Hamels, to keep them with the team for a while. As for Kendrick and Valdez, the two have shown their worth as insurance policies in case somebody gets hurt (although Kendrick had also shown that he can be a very good asset in the bullpen).
While this is going on, there has been reports that the Phils have signed to a one-year contract, pending him passing a physical, left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Willis, a former Rookie of the Year (2003 with the Marlins), pitched for the Reds last season, going 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts. Being mostly a starter during his nine-years career with the Marlins, the Tigers, the D-backs and the Reds, Willis had complied a record of 72-69 with an ERA of 4.17, as he had appeared in 205 games, all but three as a starter. The Phils, if he passes the physical, will more than likely be using him out of the bullpen as a left-handed specialist, and a spot-starter, as a kind of compliment to Kendrick, since there is really no way that he will be able to make the rotation, especially with his issues with his control.
Hopefully, the signing of Willis will end up being a good move for the Phils for next season.
Earlier today, the Phils have traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league reliever Frank Gailey.
Francisco, who was part of the deal with the Indians that originally brought Cliff Lee to the Phils in late July 2009, appeared in 225 games for the Phils from 2009-2011, mainly as their fourth outfielder, although for the first couple of months of 2011 he was the team’s starting right fielder, until he was put back on the bench before the Phils eventually traded with the Astros for Hunter Pence. In those games, he batted .259, having 136 hits including 32 doubles,1 triple and 17 home runs, while knocking in 75 RBIs. He also appeared in 17 post-season games, including the 2009 World Series, where he had an overall batting average of .105, with 2 hits in 19 at-bats, which includes his dramatic three-run home run in the third game of the 2011 National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which gave the Phils a temporary 2-1 series lead, before finally falling to the eventual World Series champs in five games.
Gailey, a native Philadelphian, had pitched a combine 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances for Class-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ farm system. In his minor league career, overall, Gailey is 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances.
Wish you luck with the Blue Jays, Ben, and thanks for what you did while you was here. Welcome to the organization, Frank. Hope you’ll be able to work your way to the main club.
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.
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels ended up in 2nd, 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in the voting for the 2011 National League Cy Young Award, which was won by Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, as most people had expected.
Roy Halladay, the ace of the Phils pitching staff, and the winner of the award the previous season (2010), who in 2011 had a record of 19-6 in 32 games started, with an ERA of 2.35, and pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 220 batters while walking only 35, ended second in the balloting with 4 first place votes, 21 second place votes and 7 third places votes, for a total of 133 points, being unable to win his second straight Cy Young Award and his third overall (2003 AL (Toronto), 2011 NL (Phils)). Cliff Lee, who during the season was twice voted the NL pitcher of the month (June, August), had a record of 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA in 32 starts, pitched in 232.2 innings, striking out 228 batters while only giving out 42 free passes, while throwing six complete game shutouts, ended up third in the balloting, with five second place votes, 17 third, 9 fourth and 1 fifth place votes for a total of 90 points. The third Phil among the top five, Cole Hamels, ended the 2011 season with a 14-9 record with a 2.79 ERA in 32 games pitched, all but one as a starter, pitching in 216 innings as he struck out 194 batters while walking only 44, ended up in fifth place among those on the ballot, with two fourth place votes and 13 fifth place votes, for a total of 17 points.
The winner, Clayton Kershaw, won the award with 27 first place votes, 3 second and 2 third places votes, as he won the NL pitching Triple Crown, as he ended up tied for most wins (21) with Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks, having the best ERA (2.28) and the most strikeouts (248).
Congratulations to Kershaw, and congrats on your placements on the ballot, guys.
The Phils have just announced that they have declined on accepting the option year of both reliever and former closer Brad Lidge and starter Roy Oswalt. Lidge, who had been with the Phils since 2008, in 2011 went 0-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances for the team, after spending the early part of the season on the disabled list, as the Phils, instead of accepting his option of $12.5 million for 2012, bought out his option year for $1.5 million. Roy Oswalt, who joined the Phils during the stretch run in 2010, went 9-10 this year, with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts, as he went on the disabled list twice because of back problems, as the Phils declined to accept his option year of $16 million, buying his out for $2 million.
The Phils said that they will stay in contact with their representatives to see if they will come back for 2012, but I personally do not expect to see either of them returning for Spring Training 2012. If this is indeed the last that we will see of either of them in the red pinstripes, then I want to take this time to thank Brad for helping the team win its second world series championship in 2008 with his perfect season, and Roy for helping the team get back into the post-season in 2010, and wish them both the best of luck finding future employment in baseball.