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.
The Phils have just announced that they have traded utility infielder Wilson Valdez to the Reds for left-handed relief pitcher Jeremy Horst.
Wilson Valdez, who had spent two seasons (2010-11) with the Phils, playing second base, shortstop and third base, as well as pitch a shutout inning in an extra-innings game (19), getting the win, played in 210 games for the Phils, batting .254 (154 for 606) with a .300 on-base percentage, as he hit 30 doubles, 7 triples and 5 HRs, while knocking in 65 RBIs. During last season, he batted .249 (68 for 273) as he appeared in 99 games, hitting 14 doubles, 4 triples and a home run, while knocking in 30 RBIs, while scoring 39 runs. Valdez, a career .243 hitter, has also played for the White Sox, the Mariners, the Padres, the Dodgers and the Mets from 2004-05, 2007-09, before joining the Phils.
Jeremy Horst, who the Phils are getting in return, is a 2007 Reds draft pitch, who made his major league debut last season. Coming out of the bullpen, he pitched in 12 games, compiling a record of 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA, as he pitched in 15.1 innings, giving up six runs, five of which were earned, as he gave up 18 hits. He also struck out nine players, while walking only six. He will come to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Horst, who is a left-hander, will likely be trying to become the late-innings left-handed specialist the Phils want to compliment Antonio Bastardo.
With the move, it is most likely that former Rule 5 pick, Michael Martinez, will be taking Valdez’s place as the Phils’ utility infielder. The less I’ll say about that, the better I’ll feel. Prove us all wrong, Mini-Mart!!!
Sorry to see you go, Wilson, and welcome to the club, Jeremy.
After having to come from behind to win their first spring training game over Florida State, 13-6, in seven and a half innings, the Phils, after taking the lead in the seventh via an RBI double by non-roster invitee Oscar Chavez, scoring Juan Castro from second base, lost the lead in the top of the ninth as reliever and eventual game winner Sergio Escalona gave up RBI singles to David Winfree and Jose Gil. The Phils would win the game in the bottom of the ninth as non-roster invitee Paul Hoover hit an RBI double to left, tying the score as Quintin Berry just beat in the throw to the plate, allowing Hoover to move up to third base with one man out. Two batters later, with pinch runner Dwayne Wise on third, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single which ricocheted off of Yankees’ relief pitcher Wilkins Arias, scoring Wise with the winning run, giving the Phils a 3-2 win, and a 1-0 record in Grapefruit League play.
Phils’ starter Roy Halladay, in his first game since the trade that brought him to the National League Champs, was in excellent form, striking out three batters in two scoreless innings, just missing a perfect outing as Placido Polanco commited a throwing error on a grounder to third base in the first, as he threw 21 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Kyle Kendrick, who is competing for the number five starter job with Jamie Moyer, followed Halladay with two scoreless innings of his own, giving up a hit, as he struck out one. The next two pitchers for the Phils, Jose Contreras and Andrew Carpenter followed by both pitching two scoreless frames apiece, with Contreras giving up two hits and Carpenter one, as they, between them, struck out five Yanks (Contreras (3), Carpenter (2)). The Phils’ winning pitcher, Escalona, had a bad ninth inning, blowing the save, his first in Grapefruit League play, as he gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out a batter, in one inning of work. Escalona’s record is now 1-0 with a high ERA of 18.00.
Besides the RBI hits by Chavez, Hoover and Valdez, the Phils had a total of eight hits in the game, with returning Phil, Polanco getting a hit in the first, a single, while John Mayberry, Jr., and Castro both got a basehit, while Brian Bocock had two. Chavez and Hoover had the Phils only extra-base hits, both doubles.
The Phils next Grapefruit League game will be a road game against the Toronto Blue Jays that will start at 1:05 pm.