Last December, the Phillies had traded catching prospect Jason Jaramillo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ronny Paulino, who they hoped would be able to challenge, if not win, the second catcher job from fan favorite Chris Coste. Sadly, for Paulino, his spring training average would show otherwise as he batted only .194 (6 for 31) in thirteen Grapefruit League games with only two doubles and a home run while striking out twelve times. Although Coste didn’t do any better with his at-bats, the Phillies have decided to go with the known quantity instead of the unknown and had put Paulino out as trade bait several days ago. Last night they got a nibble as the Giants had traded to them left-handed relief pitcher Jack Taschner for Paulino.
Although Taschner is having just as bad a spring pitching for the Giants in the Cactus League (6.23 ERA in eight and two-thirds inning), the Phils thinks that he is the man that they need for their bullpen right now. While pitching for the Giants last year, Taschner went 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in fourty-eight innings as he appeared in 67 games. Career-wise, in four seasons in the big leagues, all with the Giants, Taschner has a career record of 8-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 140 innings as he pitched in 178 games, all in relief.
With the trade, the Phillies now have two left-handers coming out of the bullpen as they wait for J.C. Romero’s return from his soon to be served 50 games suspension. The trade may also have an influence on the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation, as its more than likely now that the left-hander J.A. Happ will either be declared the winner of the battle, over right-hander Chan Ho Park, or he will be sent down to the Lehigh Valley Triple-A team and will be the first pitcher to be called up if any of the members of the starting rotation is either injured or have a melt down. Only time will tell.
My thoughts on the trade? I think it’s a good strategic move on the Phillies’ part. The Phils have moved someone who they saw during spring training couldn’t cut it while getting in return a temporary, veteran, second left-handed arm to go along with their left-handed relief specialist Scott Eyre while they wait for J.C. Romero to come back from his enforced exile, thus preventing the kind of situations with Eyre like had just happened to him this past Thursday against the Yankees. Hopefully, Traschner will be good enough during that 50 games period that he makes it hard for the Phils to let him go when that happens. I would just love to see what the Phils will do if that happens. 🙂
In Grapefruit League play yesterday afternoon, the Phils were for the second time in their three meetings crushed by the Yankees, this time by the score of 10-2. Pitching prospect, Carlos Carrasco, who should be headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, started the game for the Phils. He pitched five innings, giving up four runs to the Bronx Bombers on six hits, including a two-run home run to Hideki Matsui in the first inning, and a solo shot to Cody Ransom in the fourth, and a walk while striking out four. Clay Condrey followed with an inning of work, giving up a run on a hit and a walk as he struck out two. Brad Lidge then took the mound, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Scott Eyre followed Lidge for an inning and gets hammered hard by the Yanks, giving up five runs on five hits, with two of them being a solo home run by Nick Swisher and a two-run shot from Melky Cabera, as he struck out one. Mike Koplove pitched the final inning, giving up no runs on no hits while striking out one. Carrasco took the lost, with his spring training record now at 2-2 with a 5.95 ERA.
Among the batters, the Phils had only six hits, with Chase Utley leading the way with two hits, including his second home run of the spring, a solo shot. Ryan Howard, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Ronny Paulino had the other hits, with Howard’s being a solo home run, his seventh of the spring, while Paulino and Stairs’ hits were doubles.
The Phillies will continue Grapefruit League play, as they face the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida. The game is in progress, with the Phils holding a slim 3-2 lead after four innings.
After a short rain delay, the Phils proceeded to crush the Yankees yesterday afternoon, 8-3, getting even for the earlier 12-0 battering at the hands of the Bronx Bombers the previous week.
J.A. Happ started the game for the Phils, continuing to stake his claim to the final spot in the starting rotation by pitching a strong five innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and three walks as he struck out three. He was followed to the mound, for one inning each, by Clay Condrey and Brad Lidge, who each gave up a hit while they both struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed them, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, as he struck out two batters. Mike Koplove pitched the ninth for the Phils, giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Condrey was the winning pitcher, with his spring training record now at 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
The Phillies bats came out swinging yesterday as they recorded twelve hits, with Eric Bruntlett and Raul Ibanez leading the way with three hits a piece, with each man knocking in a run. Jayson Werth, Miguel Cairo, Marcus Giles, Matt Stairs, Ronny Paulino and Jason Ellison would each get a hit, with Stairs and Cairo’s hits being a pair of two-run home runs while Giles’ hit was a double. Bruntlett and Ibanez also got doubles. Werth had the Phils other RBI, while the final run came in on a double play ball.
The Phillies next Grapefruit League game is against the Toronto Blue Jays, which is presently in progress.
The Phillies lose and then win in their last two games as three different starters appear to be going in three different directions.
Starter no. 1, Kyle Kendrick, appears headed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley as he has yet another bad outing on the mound, as he gives up five runs, four of which were earned, to the New York Yankees, this past Monday afternoon. He would pitch four innings in total, giving up eight hits and three walks while striking out two, as he takes the lost. Rich Dubee did say that the fifth spot in the rotation was Kendrick’s to lose, and sadly, it looks like he has, as he complies a spring training record of 1-2 with a 12.10 ERA. But, on the plus side, it might be best for Kendrick if he was sent down to Triple-A, as it should allow him to regain his composer against major league batters, as well as to develop a new pitch or two to help himself get out of jams, which he constantly gets into.
Kendrick was followed by Robert Mosebach who pitches an inning and a third, giving up four runs on five hits. Jake Woods follows Mosebach, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on four hits. Scott Eyre pitches an inning, giving up no runs on a hit as he strikes out three Yanks. Ryan Madson also pitches an inning, as he gives up an unearned run, the twelfth that the Yanks would score against the Phils, on two hits while striking out one.
Batting-wise, the Phils only got six hits in the 12-0 lost, with Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, Jason Ellison and Ronny Paulino each getting a hit.
Starter no. 2, Brett Myers, pitches a strong outing yesterday afternoon against the Reds in the Phillies’ 8-1 victory, giving up no runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings of work. He would also strike out seven Reds. Dave Borkowski would follow with a third of an inning of work, walking one batter and striking out one. Chad Durbin would pitch an inning, walking a batter. Clay Condrey would also pitch an inning, giving up one hit while striking out one. Brad Lidge, pitching in his first Grapefruit League game, would give up a meaningless run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Myers would get the win, giving him a spring training record of 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA, putting him in position to be the Opening Night starter if Cole Hamels isn’t ready to start. More on that later.
Batting-wise, the Phillies would score eight runs in a fourteen-hit attack, with six of those runs coming in the second inning. Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Jr. and Carlos Ruiz would lead the attack with two hits apiece, with Ruiz also knocking in a run. Pablo Ozuna, Bruntlett, Jason Donald, Howard, Stairs, Ellison, Myers and Jayson Werth would get the other hits. Ozuna, Bruntlett, Donald, and Howard would each knock in a run, along with Ruiz, while Stairs would knock in three. The Phillies had a total of six doubles, with Ibanez, Mayberry, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Stairs and Howard each hitting one. Mayberry and Donald continue to impress.
The third pitcher, Cole Hamels, have had his left elbow examined yesterday in Philadelphia. It appears that there is nothing structurally wrong with his elbow, as team physician Michael Ciccotti checked over his elbow before administering an anti-inflammatory injection into it to help it. Although good news, the Phillies will be going slow with Hamels, meaning that more likely than not that he will not be the Opening Night pitcher after all, and might actually miss his first two starts in the rotation. But, as they say, better to be safe than sorry. And with the team’s ace, better that he is pitching healthy than to have him pitching while hurt and blowing up his arm at some point during the season.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Blue Jays, with the game tied 4 to 4 after six innings of play.
Starting on Friday night, the Phils played three Grapefruit League games, winning one and losing three, putting their Grapefruit League games record at 4-5.
On Friday night, they played a night game with the Toronto Blue Jays, losing a close game, 4-3. Chan Ho Park started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, giving up only an earned run on three hits as he struck out four. Yorman Bazardo followed him for an inning, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a batter. Gary Majewski next came in to pitch two strong innings, as he struck out two batters, continuing to impress. Lastly, Sergio Escalona came in to pitch an inning, giving up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out one, becoming the losing pitching. His Grapefruit league record is now 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA.
Batting-wise, the Phillies had seven hits, with Greg Dobbs and Pablo Ozuna leading the way with two hits each, while Eric Bruntlett, Raul Ibanez, and Geoff Jenkins would each get a hit, with Jenkins knocking in all three Phillies’ runs.
On Saturday, the Phils played the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, defeating the Tigers, 8-2. Jamie Moyer started the game for the Phillies, pitching four strong innings, as he gave up only one earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five, with the run coming in on a home run. J.A. Happ would follow, pitching three strong innings as he stay on pace with Park in the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation. Happ would give up no runs on two hits while striking out seven Tigers. Scott Eyre followed with an inning of relief, giving up a run on a hit, also a home run, while striking out two. Mike Koplove continues to impress with a strong 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, striking out one. Moyer takes the win, his Grapefruit League record now 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
The batters would get only five hits, but making them count when they needed to. Bruntlett, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr., Jayson Werth and Jason Donald would else get a hit, with Howard and Mayberry’s hits being a pair of three-run home runs. Jenkins and Lou Marson would bring in the other two Phillies runs.
Yesterday, the Phillies played the Braves, losing that game,7-2. Joe Blanton started the game for the Phils, pitching three strong innings, before giving up a run in the fourth as the Braves batters in that inning proceeded to go first pitch hitting to knock in a run. Blanton would give up a run on four hits and a walk. Carlos Carrasco would follow and have two very unproductive innings as he gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits. This, along with his previous bad outing, will hurt his changes in the battle for the fifth spot in the Phils starting rotation. Clay Condrey would pitch next, putting up a 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Madson pitched next, giving up a run on four hits while striking out one. Carrasco takes the lost, his record now 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA.
The Phils got eight hits yesterday, with Marcus Giles and Donald leading the way with two hits apiece. Werth, Bruntlett, Ronny Paulino and J.J. Fumaniak would collect the other four hits. Donald and Paulino would knock in the two Phillies’ runs.
In the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, Park and Happ appears to have turned it into a two man race, while Carrasco has been showing that he still need to improve on the mental aspect of his game before he can start facing major league level batters. Meanwhile, the man whose job the other three are shooting for, Kyle Kendrick, needs to not lose his head when things seem to go bad for him in games.
Presently, the Phillies are playing the Reds at Bright House Field, with the score tied 3-3 after five innings.
Cole Hamels, in his first Spring Training start, would pitch two strong innings of shut out ball against Team Canada, giving up only two hits and a walk. Meanwhile, the Phillies bats would continue to pound the ball, collecting ten hits and four walks as they knock in nine runs, as the Phils would defeat Team Canada, 9-2. John Mayberry Jr. and Ryan Howard would lead the way with two hits a piece, while Jason Ellison, Raul Ibanez, Jeremy Slayden, Greg Dobbs, Ozzie Chavez and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Mayberry and Slayden both continue to impress as Mayberry would hit a double and a two-run home run, while Slyaden would hit a three-run homer in his only at bat. Ibanez also keep impressing as he would hit a double as he knocks in three RBIs. Howard would have the Phils other RBI.
After Hamels’ two shut out innings, Dave Borkowski would pitch a 1-2-3 third inning, receiving the win as the Phillies would score their first runs (4) in the bottom of the inning, followed by two more in the fourth and three in the seventh. Andrew Carpenter would follow Borkowski, this time being able to records some outs, after his shlacking at the hands of the Blue Jays last Friday, when he was unable to record a single out, as he would pitch a scoreless fourth. He would then give up two runs in the fifth, making the score at the time 6-2 Phils. Carpenter would pitch two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks, as he strikes out one batter. Scott Eyre would follow, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth, recording two strikeouts. Justin Lehr would then come in and pitch two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out one. Jake Woods would come in to pitch the ninth inning, giving up just one hit.
Matt Stairs, who was playing for Team Canada, would go 1-3 with a single, as he would play right field.
The Phillies next game, also an exhibition game, will be played tomorrow against Team USA at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game will start at 12:05 pm Eastern.
Like Julia of Julia’s Rants is presently doing, I will start asking trivia questions. I will only be asking my questions once a week, and they will be either Phillies or National League related.
Okay, here’s the first question, and its technically a two-parter: Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win the NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series? You all know where to find the answer.
Okay, first things first: The Baltimore Orioles during the weekend had picked up Adam Eaton, signing him to a minor league contract worth $400,000 dollars, after he had cleared waivers. Okay, I have just this to say: Hey Baltimore, are you guys so desperate for arms that you’re willing to pick him up? If so, good luck with him, guys, as you are going to be needing it.
As several Phils, including Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, get ready to join their teams for the World Baseball Classic, Chad Durbin and Brad Lidge are both presently sidelined with soreness, Durbin with his right hamstring and Lidge with his arm, although Lidge would pitch earlier today with very little trouble, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee, while Durbin, at the moment, has no idea when he’ll start throwing in non-game conditions.
The Phillies have added two B games to their schedule, both against the Toronto Blue Jays. One was played earlier this afternoon, at Clearwater, with the other B game to be played this coming Friday. In the B game, via a report from Phillies.com beat writer Todd Zolecki’s blog, The Zoe Zone, starters Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton have combined for seven scoreless innings, giving up between them just seven scattered hits, as Moyer would also walk one while striking out four.
After losing three games in a row, the Phils have three straight games, as they would defeat the Atlanta Braves yesterday afternoon, 7-3 and have just beaten the Toronto Blue Jays’ ‘A’ squad, 12-7, coming from behind to win both games.
In yesterday’s game, pitching-wise, Brett Myers would pitch three solid innings, as he would give up just two earned runs on three hits, while striking out one batter. Chan Ho Park, the fourth man involved in the battle for the final spot in the rotation, would follow him by pitching three strong innings, giving up only one run, via a home run, on four hits, as he also strikes out one batter. Scott Nestor would follow with a scoreless inning, giving up only one hit while striking out one and walking one. Joe Bisenius and Blaine Neal, who would redeem himself after his bad outing, would both follow with a pair of 1-2-3 innings.
Meanwhile, the Phils’ batters, after being kept scoreless during the first four innings, would score their seven runs in the fifth (1), sixth (4) and seventh (2) innings. Eric Bluntlett and Marcus Giles would lead the attack by getting two hits each, with Giles scoring two runs and knocking in a run, while Jimmy Rollins, John Mayberry Jr., Jeremy Slayden, Gerg Dobbs, Geoff Jenkins, Matt Stairs and Carlos Ruiz would each contribute a hit in the Phils’ 11-hit attack. Besides Giles, Rollins, Dobbs, and Stairs would each get an RBI, while Ruiz would knock in two runs. Giles would also steal two bases, while Bruntlett and Mayberry would each steal one.
Park would be the winning pitcher, with a Spring Training record of 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. The losing pitcher for the Braves would be Jeff Ridgway, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 with a 40.50 ERA.
In today’s games, J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco would start things off for the Phils. Happ would give up a two-run home run to Adam Lind in the first inning, giving Toronto the lead, before settling down. He would pitch three strong innings, giving up just two runs on three hits and a walk. Carrasco would take over and have a 1-2-3 fourth, before being hit around in the fifth, giving up five runs, including a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Bradley Emaus, giving the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead. He would then come back and keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the sixth. Carrasco, in three innings, would give up five runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out three. Gary Majewski would then come in and pitch two strong innings, giving up no runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. Yoman Bazardo would follow him with a strong inning of relief.
Batting wise, after scoring single runs in both the first and fifth innings, the Phils would explode for six runs in the sixth, and then score two runs apiece in both the seventh and eighth innings. In an eleven-hit attack, Raul Ibanez and Slayden would lead the team with two hits each, while Bruntlett, Miguel Cairo, Ryan Howard, Mayberry, Pablo Ozuna, Jason Donald and Ronny Paulino would each get a hit. Bruntlett, Ibanez, Howard, Mayberry and Slayden would each knock in two runs, while Cairo and Ozuna would both knock in one run each. Howard would hit a two-run home run, while Slayden would hit a solo shot. After being quiet in the first three games, the bats have come alive, knocking in thirty-one runs in three games.
The winning pitcher, in spite of the five runs that he would give up in the fifth, is Carrasco, now with a Spring Training record of 1-0 and an ERA of 5.40. The losing pitcher for the Blue Jays is Jeremy Accardo, with a Spring Training record of 0-1 and an 15.75 ERA.
The Phillies’ Grapefruit League record is now 3-3 after six games.
The Phillies have tomorrow off. Their next game will be an Exhibition Game on Wednesday afternoon against Team Canada, with Cole Hamels on the mound. The game will begin at 1:05 pm Eastern from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.