The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Dioner Navarro hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Emilio Guerrero, who was pinch running for Jose Bautista, who had started the inning off with a single, stole second base as Adam Lind struck out, swinging, then went to third on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s throwing error as he tried to throw Guerrero out, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Blue Jays added insurance runs in the top of the eighth as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Gabe Jacobo hits a two-run single, knocking in Josh Thole, who had started the inning off with a walk, moved up to second base on Guerrero’s single, then went to third base on Jonathan Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, and Guerrero, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Diaz’s sacrifice bunt, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead, before moving up to second base on left fielder Leandro Castro’s throwing error to the plate. That would end up being the final score as Wil Browning collected the save as he ended a Phils’ threat as they loaded up the bases with Reid Brignac being hit by a pitch, before stealing second base, a walk to Edgar Duran, and a walk to Clete Thomas, and with two men out, as he struck out Koyie Hill, looking, for the game’s final out.
A.J. Burnett (1-3, 6.05) took the lost as he pitched five innings, giving up a run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out six. Jonathan Pettibone pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Mario Hollands pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Justin De Fratus pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two hits, while striking out two. Jonathan Papelbon threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Drew Hutchinson (1-1, 1.80) got the win as he threw five and a third scoreless innings, giving up a hit and three walks, while striking out three. Brett Cecil collected his third hold of the spring as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out a batter, as he retired both batters that he would faced. Casey Janssen received his first hold of the season as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Marcus Walden also received his first hold of the spring as he also threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. Wil Browning received his first save of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, giving up two walks and a hit batter, while striking out the side.
The Phils had only one hit in the game, a fourth inning single by Jimmy Rollins. The Phils also had five walks (Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Jr. Edgar Duran, Clete Thomas), a hit batter (Reid Brignac) and two stolen bases (Rollins (3), Brignac (1)) in the game, while the defense committed two errors (Carlos Ruiz, Leandro Castro).
The next Phils (9-17-3) game will be the first of two against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the On-Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park. The game is to start at 7:05 pm EDT tomorrow night. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (1-0, 4.09) while the Pirates will counter with Charlie Morton (1-1, 1.13). The Phils hope to do well in these last two spring training games.
The Phils took the lead in the top of the fourth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Wil Nieves hits an RBI single, knocking in Leandro Castro, who had earlier doubled, then stopped at third base on Freddy Galvis’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before Galvis, who had earlier singled, is thrown out at third base, 9-5, for the inning’s second out. The score would remain 1-0 Phils until the bottom of the seventh as the Rays tied the game up at one-all as, with two men on, and with one man out, Justin Christian, who had earlier walked, then stopped at third base on Jeremy Moore’s double, would score on Vince Belnome’s fielder’s choice ground ball to first baseman Darin Ruf, beating the throw to the plate, as Moore, who had earlier doubled, would move up to third base on the throw home. The Rays then took the lead three batters later, with the bases now loaded, after Moore is thrown out on a fielder’s choice throw to the plate on Eddy Rodriguez’s ground ball to the pitcher Michael Stutes, 1-2, for the inning’s second out, while Belnome would move up to second base, and then a walk to Jerry Sands, moving up both runners, and with two men out, Ray Olmedo hits a two-run single, knocking in Belnome and Rodriguez, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead, while sending Sands over to third base. The Rays then made it a 5-1 lead as Cole Figueroa hits a two-run double, scoring both Sands and Olmedo, before going on to third on the throw to the plate. The Rays added to their lead in the bottom of the eighth as, with two men out. Moore hits a solo home run, his first home run of the spring, giving the Rays a 6-1 lead. That would be the final score as Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 ninth.
Roberto Hernandez pitched three strong innings, giving up just a hit, while striking out three. Jeff Manship recorded his first hold of the spring as he recorded two scoreless innings, giving up a hit, as he struck out two. Phillippe Aumont also recorded his first hold of the spring as he pitched a scoreless inning, hitting a batter. Michael Stutes recorded his first blown save of the spring before taking the lost (0-1, 22.50), as he pitched an inning, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks. Justin De Fratus pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit. Matt Moore pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out two. C.J. Riefenhauser pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk. Heath Bell pitched an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Brandon Gomes and Josh Lueke combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a walk between them (Gomes), while striking out two (Gomes). Merrill Kelly (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out one. Kirby Yates threw a 1-2-3 inning.
The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Maikel Franco leading the team with two hits, both singles. Ben Revere (Single), Darin Ruf (Single), Leandro Castro (Double), Freddy Galvis (Single) and Wil Nieves (Single, RBI), had the other five Phils’ hit. The Phils also had four walks (Dom Brown (2), Ruf, pinch hitter Reid Brignac), and a stolen base (Revere (1)), in the game, while the defense performed a doubleplay.
The Phils’ next game is being played tonight against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field in a game already in progress.
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the first as, with the bases loaded, via a single by Andy Dirks, and walks to Jordan Lennerton and Austin Jackson, and with two men out, Nick Castellanos hits a bases clearing double to right center field, scoring Dirks, Lennerton and Jackson, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. The Phils would get a run back in the bottom of the second as, with two men on, and with two men out, Darin Ruf hits an RBI single, knocking in Marlon Bryd, who has started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on Carlos Ruiz’s walk, making it a 3-1 Tigers’ lead, while sending Ruiz, who has earlier walked, up to second base. The Phils made it a 3-2 Tigers’ lead in the bottom of the third as, with the bases loaded, via a lead-off walk by Jimmy Rollins, a single by Chase Utley, moving Rollins up to second base, and a single by Byrd, moving both runners up a base, and with one man out, Rollins would score on a force attempt missed catch error by shortstop Hernan Perez on first baseman Lennerton’s throw to second base on Dom Brown’s grounder, while Utley would move up to third base, and Byrd would be safe at second base, as Brown stops at first base, leaving the bases loaded. The Phils then tied the game up at three-all as Ruiz is hit by the pitch, forcing in Utley, as Byrd and Brown both moved up a base as the bases remained loaded. The Phils then took the lead as Maikel Franco received a bases loaded walk, forcing in Byrd, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead, while moving Brown up to third base and Ruiz over to second base, with the bases staying loaded. The Phils then made it a 5-3 lead as, with Ruf battling, pitcher Jhan Marinez threw a wild pitch, allowing Brown to score from third, and Ruiz and Franco to both move up a base. Ruf then gave the Phils a 6-3 lead as he hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Ruiz, as Franco stayed at second base. The Tigers then made a pitching change, replacing Marinez with Jose Valdez. Two batters later, after third baseman Castellanos had committed a foul pop error on a foul ball hit by Tony Gwynn, who then got on base with a walk, Rollins gives the Phils a 9-3 lead as he hits a third-run home run to right field for his first home run of the spring, scoring Franco and Gwynn. The Tigers would start a comeback in the top of the sixth as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Castellanos hits an RBI double, his second double of the game, and his fourth RBI, knocking in Jackson, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on shortstop Reid Brignac’s fielding error of Tyler Collins’ grounder, making it a 9-4 Phils’ lead, while sending Collins, who had reached base on Brignac’s error, over to third base. The Tigers then cut the Phils’ lead to 9-5 as, with runners on second and third, and with still nobody out, Trevor Crowe hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Collins, while sending Castellanos up to third base. The Tigers then made it a 9-6 Phils’ lead as, with a man on third, and now with one man out, Luis Exposito hits a sacrifice fly to center field, knocking in Castellanos. The Phils would get a run back in the bottom of the eighth as, with a man on third, and with one man out, pinch-hitter Leandro Castro hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Lou Marson, who had started the inning off with a double, then moved up to third base on Freddy Galvis’ fly out to right, giving the Phils a 10-6 lead. That would end up being the final score as Justin de Fratus would pitch a scoreless ninth.
Kyle Kendrick pitched two innings, giving up three runs on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch, while striking out three. Sean O’Sullivan (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, hitting a batter, while striking out three. Phillippe Aumont pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Luis Garcia pitched an inning, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. Cesar Jimenez received his first hold of the spring as he threw two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two. Justin De Fratus pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while striking out three. Jose Alvarez pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out two. Jhan Martinez collected his first blown save of the spring, before taking the lost (0-1, 40.50) as he lasted only two-thirds of an inning, giving up six runs, three of which were earned, on two hits, two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch, as he struck out two. Jose Valdez pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk. Evan Reed, Melvin Mercedes and Kyle Ryan combined for four 1-2-3 innings, striking out four (Reed (1), Mercedes (2), Ryan (1)) between them. Endrys Briceno pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, while striking out a batter.
The Phils had six hits in the game, with Marlon Byrd leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Home Run, 3 RBIs), Chase Utley (Single), Lou Marson (Double) and Darin Ruf (Single, 2 RBIs), had the Phils’ other four hits, while Dom Brown (Error), Ruiz (HBP), Maikel Franco (Walk) and pinch-hitter Leandro Castro (Ground Out) had the other four Phils’ RBIs, while the final run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils also had five walks (Tony Gwynn, Junior, Rollins (2), Ruiz, Franco) in the game, while the defense committed an error (Reid Brignac).
The Phils (1-2) play their next Greapefruit League game tomorrow afternoon against the New York Yankees (1-2) at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. The game is to start at 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils plan to send to the mound Miguel Gonzalez who’ll be making his first spring training start. The Yankees plan to counter with C.C. Sabathia (14-13, 4.78 (2013)), who is trying to bounce back from a bad 2013 season. The Phils hope to even up their record.
As the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.
The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.
Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.
The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.
Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.
The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.
The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.
On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.
Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.
On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.
Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.
In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.
With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.
Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. 🙂