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.
Ryan Madson, who had helped the team win the 2008 World Series, as well as reach the World Series in 2009, and the playoffs since 2007, is now a Red, as he had on Wednesday signed a one-year contract with the Reds worth $8.5 million dollars.
Madson, who had been a member of the Phils since 2003, began as a starter, before being placed in middle relief, than becoming the team’s eighth inning relief specialist (Bridge to Lidge), before becoming their closer last season. During his time with the Phils, he has a record of 47-30 with 52 saves in 78 save opportunities, with a career ERA of 3.59, as he played in 491 games, 18 of which as a starter (all but one in 2006), as he pitched in 630 innings. In those 491 games, he had struck out 547 batters, while walking only 191.
Congratulations on finally finding a team, Ryan. Sad to see you go. Wish you luck, except for when you’re facing the Phils.
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.
This post-season, for the first time since 2005, the Phils decided not to make a pick in the Rule 5 draft, as the organization this year did not see anyone in the minor league farm systems that were left unprotected by the other 29 major league teams that they thought would make an immediate impact on the main club.
While they did not make any pick ups, the Phils lost four players in their minor league system, with three of them being taken in the minor league portion of the draft. The four are right-handed pitcher Lenny Castillo, who was picked up by the Cubs from the Phils’ Class A Lakewood team, where, in 2011, he went 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA. Castillo, who was selected in the Major League portion of the draft, will now have to remain on the Cubs’ roster for the 2012 season, unless the Cubs offer him back to the Phils if he doesn’t make it through spring training. In the Minor League phase, the Phils lost left-hander Andrew Loomis to the Orioles, shortstop Travis Mattair to the Reds and catcher Francisco Diaz to the Pirates.
With the Phils not picking up a player through the draft, it means that they will not have to reserve a spot on the regular season 25 man roster for 2012, and I, personally, am glad, since it means that all of the positions can only be filled by those who had either been on the team in the previous season, picked up by the team via free agency or trades during the present off-season or are already in the Phils’ minor league system.
Okay guys, lets see if we can now nail down Jimmy Rollins to a contract.
As the Phils continue trying to resign Jimmy Rollins to a new contract, although presently disrupted by the Angels’ signing of Albert Pujols to a ten-year deal, the Phils announced their signing of Laynce Nix to a two-year deal.
Nix, formerly of the Nationals, a nine-year vet, is a corner outfielder who, last season, batted .250, while hitting 16 home runs and knocking in 44 RBIs in 324 at-bats in 124 games. Also a former Ranger, Brewer and Red, Nix has a .244 lifetime average, with 409 hits in 1673 at-bats, hitting 96 doubles, 11 triples and 64 home runs, as he knocked in 226 RBIs.
With this move, the Phils seems to have finished fixing up their bench, especially with them not going the Rule 5 route, while they still need a regular shortstop (which will hopefully be a resigned Jimmy Rollins) and shoring up their bullpen, which will likely come from within their farm system.
Anyway, welcome to the Phils, Laynce. I hope you and the others will soon be helping the Phils off of the bench during the upcoming season.
Cliff Lee pitches his major league leading sixth complete game shutout, as the bats erupt for nine runs, as the Phils clobber the Braves, 9-0.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Placido Polanco and Chase Utley, sending Polanco on to third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, moving Utley to second base, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits a two-run single, knocking in both Polanco and Utley, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Howard up to second base. The Phils increased their lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits a two-run single, scoring John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier walked, was safe at second on shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s force out attempt fielding error on Carlos Ruiz’s grounder, and went to third on Michael Martinez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, and Ruiz, who was safe at first on Gonzalez’s error, then went to second base on Martinez’s sac bunt, giving the Phils’ a 4-0 lead. The Phils then tried to make it a 5-0 lead as, with a man on second, after Victorino had stolen second base, Victorino stole third base, as Derek Lowe’s pitch got pass catcher Brian McCann. Victorino then tried to score, but is thrown out at the plate as McCann is able to get to the ball, and then throw it to Lowe, who tagged out Victorino at the plate for the inning’s third out. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Utley, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier been intentionally walk, on to third base. Two batters later, after Mayberry is intentionally walked to load the bases, Carlos Ruiz broke the game wide open with an RBI single, scoring Howard and Pence, making it a 7-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Mayberry on to second base. The Phils then made it an 8-0 lead in the seventh as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-first home run of the season. The Phils then took a 9-0 lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Lee, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Victorino’s walk, while Victorino, who had just walked, would stop at second base. That would be the end of the scoring, as Lee came in to pitch the top of the ninth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, as he recorded his sixth complete game shutout, as he threw a five hitter at the Braves.
Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.47) gets the win as he threw his sixth complete game shut out, giving up just five hits, while striking out six. Derek Lowe (9-13, 4.65) took the lost as he went just five innings, giving up seven runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits and four walks, while he struck out four. Scott Linebrink pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up a run on a hit. Peter Moylan pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Arodys Vizcaino pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk.
The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Placido Polanco (Singles, RBI), Chase Utley (Single, Triple), Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Hunter Pence (Single, Double, 3 RBIs) all leading the team with two hits each. Shane Victorinio (2 RBIs), Carlos Ruiz (2 RBIs) and Cliff Lee had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles.
The Phils (89-48, 1st) will continue their important series with the Braves (82-58, 2nd) weather permitting, with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it is slated to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (10-1, 2.85), who is coming off a win against the Reds on September 1, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 6-4 win. He will be out to put the Phils’ lead in the East once again at nine and a half games. The Braves will counter with Tim Hudson (14-8, 3.05), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Braves’ 5-2 win. He will be out to even the series. The Phils will be out to place a stranglehold on first place in the East.
The Phils lose the ballgame in fourteen innings on a walk-off bases loaded walk to the Marlins, 5-4.
The Marlins took the lead in the first as, with a man on third, and with nobody out, Omar Infante hits an RBI single, scoring Emilio Bonifacio, who had started the inning off with a triple, giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead. The Phils tied the game up at one-all as, with two men on, and with one man out, Marlins’ third baseman Greg Dobbs committed a throwing error on a Roy Halladay sacrifice bunt, allowing Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Wilson Valdez’s single, to score, while allowing Valdez, who had just singled, to reach third base, while Halladay would be safe at first. The Phils then took the lead two batters later as Michael Martinez hits an RBI single, scoring Valdez, while sending Halladay up to second base. The Marlins then tied the game up at two-all in the third as, with a runner on second base, and with two men on, Gaby Sanchez, who had earlier doubled, scored as Halladay committed a missed catch error on a grounder hit by Logan Morrison to Ryan Howard because he had broke off the mound late, and was thus unable to catch Howard’s throw to him. It looked like the Phils were starting to develop a rally in their half of the sixth as, with Howard on first, via a walk, and with nobody out, Hunter Pence hits a fly ball into deep right field that went off right fielder Bryan Petersen’s glove, and ended up being a double, placing Howard at third, as Pence stopped at second base. But Marlins’ skipper Jack McKeon asked for the play to be reviewed, claiming fan interference, which it was. Instead of telling him that the play could not be reviewed, since it had ended up being a double, and not a home run, as is stated by the rules on when instant reply could be used, the umpires, lead by Joe West, reviewed the play and called Pence out, claiming that Petersen may have been able to catch the ball if not for interference from the fan(s), while Howard was sent back to first base. Then Phils’ manager Charlie Manuel came out and tried to tell West that the umps should not have reviewed the play, as it was not used in the correct manner, but was not listened to by West, before being ejected. My take: the play, since it was not a home run, as it was called a double, should not have been reviewed, since it is only to be used to determine if a ball is a home run or not. Anyway, I’m afraid that this will open up a can of worm that MLB will only have itself to blame, as I’m sure that the Phils’ protest will be rejected, as the present day MLB is really reluctant to reprimand umps who make mistakes, and yes, this was a mistake. This would be immediately costly for the Phils as Raul Ibanez hits a double, which, instead of knocking in two runs, sent Howard back to third base. Ruiz is then walked to load up the bases, with one man out. The next batter, Valdez, then ended the threat by hitting into a 4-6-3 double play, wiping out Ruiz at second base. The Marlins then retook the lead in their half of the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, pinch hitter Jose Lopez hits an RBI single, knocking in Petersen, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Jon Buck’s single, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead, while sending Buck on to third base. The Phils then retook the lead in the seventh as, with two men on, and with two men out, Howard hits a two-run single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier walked, went to second on Martinez’s walk, before both runners moved up a base on Chase Utley’s ground out, 3-1, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead. The Marlins then tied up the game at four-all in their half of the seventh as, with runners on second and third, and with nobody out, Sanchez hits into a fielder’s choice ground out, 6-5, as Dobbs, who had earlier doubled, sending Infante, who had started the inning off with a walk, to third base, made a base running mistake by trying to go to third on the grounder, before he is tagged out by third baseman Martinez, for the inning’s first out, as Infante scored from third, while Sanchez was safe at first base. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the fourteenth, as the Phils develop no offense, while the Phils’ bullpen kept the Marlins off the scoreboard, especially David Herndon, who would get himself out of three straight bases loaded situations, after the game have gone into extra-innings. But, his luck would run out in the fourteenth inning, as the Marlins once again loaded the bases, via a walk to Bonifacio, who then moved up to second base on Infante’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4, for the inning’s first out, an intentional walk to Dobbs, that was then followed by a lined out to left by Sanchez, for the inning’s second out, then an intentional walk to Morrison, moving up both runners, and with two men out, Mike Cameron walked, forcing in Bonifacio with the winning run, giving the Marlins a 5-4 walk-off win.
Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he went six innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on nine hits and a walk, while striking out four. Michael Schwimer committed his second blown save of the year as he pitched an inning, giving up a run on one hit and three walks, while striking out two. Brad Lidge and Michael Stutes combined for three scoreless innings, giving up two hits (one hit each) and a walk (Stutes), while striking out five (Lidge (1), Stutes (4)) between them. David Herndon (1-3, 3.83) would take the lost as he went three and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on four hits and seven walks. Anibal Sanchez also received a no-decision as he pitched sixth innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits and three walks, as he struck out five. Burke Badenhop recorded his fourth hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up two runs on two walks, striking out a batter. Michael Dunn blew his three save opportunity of the season as he pitched two-third of an inning, giving up a hit. Edward Mujica, Leo Nunez, Jose Ceda and Steve Cishek combined for five scoreless innings, giving up three hits (Mujica (1), Cishek (2)) and two walks (Ceda (1), Cishek (1)), while striking out two (Nunez (1), Cishek (1)) between them. Clay Hensley (3-6, 5.34) got the win as he pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out a batter.
The Phils had ten hits in the ballgame, with Michael Martinez (Single, Double, RBI), Ryan Howard (Singles, 2 RBIs) and Raul Ibanez (Single, Double) all leading the team with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Single), Carlos Ruiz (Single), Wilson Valdez and Placido Polanco had the other four Phils’ hits. The other Phil run came in on a throwing error.
The Phils (88-48, 1st) will start a three-game series with the Braves (82-57, 2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Cliff Lee (15-7, 2.59), who is coming off a win against the Reds on August 31, as he went eight and two-thirds innings, giving up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 3-0 win. Lee will be going for his sixteenth win of the year, while trying to start off the series with a win. The Braves will counter with Derek Lowe (9-12, 4.52), who is coming off a win against the Nats on August 31, as he went six innings, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out six, in the Braves’ 3-1 win. He will be out to add to the Phils’ present losing streak. The Phils will be out to see if they can put the NL East away for good with a series win against the Braves.