Yesterday, the Phils had announced that, along with Rodrigo Lopez, they have signed right-handed pitchers Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz to minor league deals and have given them invitations to spring training, as they continue to add depth to their pitching staff.
Aaron Cook, who had spent part of 2012 pitching for the Boston Red Sox, compiling a record of 4-11 with a 5.65 ERA and a WHIP of 1.47 in 18 starts, in which he pitched in 94 innings, allowing 117 hits and 68 runs, 59 of which were earned, as he struck out 20 batters, while walking 21. Before joining the Red Sex, he had spent 10 years playing for the Colorado Rockies, compiling a career record of 76-79 with an ERA of 4.60 and a WHIP of 1.47, as he pitched in 256 games, 224 of which were starts, as he threw a total of 1406 and a third innings, giving up 1636 hits and 776 runs, of which 716 were earned, as he struck out 578 batters, while allowing 126 free passes.
Juan Cruz, who in 12 seasons have pitched in relief for the Chicago Cubs, the Atlanta Braves, the Oakland Athletics, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Kansas City Royals, and the Tampa Bay Rays, spent 2012 pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, appearing in 43 games, going 1-1 with three saves in four save opportunities, as he compiled an ERA of 2.78 and a WHIP of 1.63, as he allowed 39 hits and 12 runs, all but one of which were earned, while he struck out 33 batters, while walking only 19. Cruz would compile a career record of 38-36, along with 6 saves in nineteen save opportunities, as he pitched in 447 games, all but 38 of which were in relief, as he appeared in 655 total innings, compiling an ERA of 4.05 and a WHIP of 1.41, as he gave up 576 hits, as 332 runners scored, 295 of which were earned, as he struck out 659 batters, while walking 346.
Both pitchers will more than likely end up pitching for the Phils’ triple-A ballclub, the Iron Pigs, unless somebody on the staff gets hurt during the season.
First off, I would like to take the time to say, Happy New Year’s, folks. Second, sorry for the lack of posts, but, I got too busy with other things to get myself in gear to do new posts. But, I now got the time, and boy, do I have a lot to cover, as the Phils made some wheeling and dealing and small-scale free agent signings which they hope will put them into position to get back into the playoffs this upcoming October.
First, in the Rule Five Draft they picked up outfielder Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks, whom they hope will anchor centerfield in a few seasons, while drafting in the Triple-A Phase of the draft right-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty from the Kansas City Royals organization, while not losing a player to the draft.
On the same day, December 6, they made a trade with the Minnesota Twins, getting centerfielder Paul Revere, in exchange for minor league right-handed pitching prospect Trevor May and, coming as a complete surprise to most, right-handed starter Vance Worley. Revere, who appeared in 124 games for the Twins, batted .294 (150 for 511), hitting 13 doubles and 6 triples, as he scored 70 times, while knocking in 32. He had also stole 40 bases, ranking him third in the AL for 2012, being caught just 9 times. May spent 2012 pitching for the Reading Phillies (now the Fighting Phillies). Worley, who was placed on the disabled list towards the end of the 2012 season, before having an operation to remove bone chips from his elbow, would pitch in 23 games for the Phils before being shut down, all starts, as he collected a 6-9 record, with a 4.20 ERA and a WHIP of 1.51, as he pitched in 133 innings, giving up 154 hits and 69 runs, 62 of which were earned, as he struck out 107 batters, while walking only 47. Sorry to see you go, Vance, and I wish you luck in Minnesota, as long as you don’t pitch against the Phils. And, welcome to the team, Paul. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay here.
Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had made another trade, this one with the Texas Rangers, as they brought in Michael Young to take over duties at third base, in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and pitching prospect Lisalverto Bonilla. Michael Young, who has also played first base, second base and shortstop, appeared in 156 games for the former American League Champs (2010-11) batting .277 (169 for 611), as he hit 27 doubles, 3 triples and 8 home runs during the season, knocking in 67 runs, while scoring 79 times. He also walked 33 times. Josh Lindblom, who had started the 2012 season pitching relief for the Los Angeles before being traded to the Phils as part of a trade involving Shane Victorino, appeared in 74 games for both clubs, all in relief, posting a combined record of 3-5 with one save in four save opportunities, as he fielded an ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.35. He pitched in 71 innings, allowing 61 hits and 31 runs to score, of which 28 were earned. He walked 35 batters while striking out 70. Bonilla spent 2012 pitching for Clearwater and then Reading in the Phils’ farm system. Welcome to the team, Michael. I hope that you can help the team via both your bat and your glove, especially the later, as it looks like you may not just be covering the hot corner of third base during the season.
After the two trades, the Phils then made a pair of minor free agent signings, both pitchers, one a reliever and the other a starter. First, they signed to a two-years, $12 million dollars contract, with relief pitcher Mike Adams, formerly of the Rangers, who will be acting as the eight-inning bridge to Jonathan Papelbon, as he plans to take over an inning that was a major problem for the ballclub all season long. For the Rangers, Adams pitched in 61 games, compiling a 5-3 record with a 3.27 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39, as well as collecting a save in two save attempts. He would pitch in 52 and a third innings, giving up 56 hits and 21 runs, 19 of which were earned, as he struck out 45 batters, while walking only 17. The Phils then signed former Washington Nationals’ starter John Lannan, who is to become the Phils’ fifth starter, to replace Worley in the rotation, to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million dollars. Lannan, who had spent his entire career with the Nats, before becoming a free agent, appeared in only six games last year, all of them starts, as he compiled a record of 4-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a WHIP of 1.44, as he pitched a total of 32 and two-thirds innings, giving up 33 hits and 15 runs, all earned. He struck out 17 batters, while walking 14. During his six seasons with the Nats, Lannan had a win-lost record of 42-52, as he compiled an ERA of 4.01 and a career WHIP of 1.42, as he pitched a total of 783 and two-thirds innings, while appearing in 134 games, all starts. He would give up a total of 820 hits, as opponents scored 393 times, with 349 of those runs being earned. He would strikeout a total of 410 batters, while walking just 296. Welcome to the ballclub, guys. I hope that you two were worth the money spent.
The Phils have during the month mention that they would like to add a veteran corner outfielder, either via free agent signing or another trade, but it looks like they have the club they want before they enter spring training next month. I’m just hoping this team will improve on their third place finish last year.
The New York Yankees have announced earlier today that they have signed former Phil Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $1.1 million dollars contract, as a designated hitter.
Ibanez, who was the Phils’ left fielder for 2009-11, last year played in 144 games, hitting .245 (131 for 535), hitting 31 doubles, 1 triple and 20 home runs, knocking in 84 RBIs, while scoring 65 runs. During a 16-years career, while includes stints with the Seattle Mariners (two) and the Kansas City Royals, Ibanez would appear in 1817 games, hitting .280 (1791 for 6387), including 377 doubles, 43 triples and 252 home runs, as he knocked in 1054 runs, while scoring 928. He also has a career slugging percentage of .471 and a career on-base percentage of .342. As he joins the Yankees, Ibanez is expected to be their left-handed designated hitter, while also adding some depths to their outfield.
With the signing, as far as the Phils are concerned, it should give them a draft pick based on Ibanez’s free agent status.
Wish you luck with the Yanks, Raul.
Two home runs support a six-hit complete game shutout thrown by Cliff Lee, his second in two straight starts, as the Phils defeat the Cards, 4-0.
The Phils took the lead in the fourth as Jimmy Rollins hits a lead-off home run, his seventh home run of the season, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with one man on, and with one man out, the Phils took a 3-0 lead as Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his sixteenth home run of the season, scoring Chase Utley, who had just singled. The Phils then took a 4-0 lead in the ninth as, with one man on, and with one man out, Utley hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier tripled. That would be all the runs support that Cliff Lee would need as he proceeded to pitch a six-hit complete game shut out, his second straight complete game shutout.
Cliff Lee (8-5, 2.87) got the win as he pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just six hits and a walk, while striking out only three batters. Kyle Lohse (7-4, 2.91) took the lost as he pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. Mitchell Boggs pitched an inning, giving up a run on a hit, as he struck out one.
The Phils had eight hits in the ballgame, with Jimmy R0llins (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, 2 RBIs) both leading the team with two hits each. Shane Victorino (Triple), Chase Utley (Single, RBI), Placido Polanco (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Single) had the other four Phils’ hits.
The Phils (47-28, 1st East) will conclude their three-game series with the Cards (40-35, 2nd Central) with a night game at Busch Stadium (III). The game will start at 8:15 pm EDT (7:15 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (4-5, 3.38) , who is coming off a lost against the Mariners on June 17, as he went six and a third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out just three, in the Phils’ 4-2 lost. He will be trying to even up his record, while also trying to pitch the Phils to their second sweep in their last three series. The Cards will counter with Chris Carpenter (1-7, 4.47), who is coming off a lost against the Royals on June 17, as he pitched eight innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on ten hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Cards’ 5-4 lost. He will be trying to keep the Cards from being swept by the Phils. The Phils will be going for the series sweep, before coming home to face the Athletics during the weekend.
Samuel joins Phillies as third-base coach
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Wait, I thought that he was going for Davey Lopes’ job???
PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies announced on Thursday they have hired Juan Samuel to be their third-base coach and outfield instructor.
Sam Perlozzo, who served as the team’s third-base coach the previous two seasons, will move from third to first base and handle the club’s baserunning instruction. The Phillies hired Samuel because Davey Lopes, who handled the team’s outfield and baserunning duties as first-base coach the previous four seasons, left the organization following a stalemate during contract negotiations.
Samuel and Perlozzo join pitching coach Rich Dubee, hitting coach Greg Gross, bench coach Pete Mackanin and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer on the 2011 coaching staff.
“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in a statement. “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history, and I’m looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players. He’s a great addition to our organization.”
There were indications Samuel would return to Baltimore next season as its third-base coach, but the sides never finalized a deal, and the Phillies wooed him to Philadelphia.
Samuel, 49, was the Orioles’ third-base coach from 2007-10. He also served as interim manager this season after the Orioles dismissed Dave Trembley. Samuel also served as a first- and third-base coach with the Detroit Tigers (1999-2005).
Samuel, a three-time National League All-Star, played with the Phillies from 1983-89 and was inducted into the organization’s Wall of Fame in 2008. He hit .259 with 161 home runs, 703 RBIs and 396 stolen bases in 1,720 games for the Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Royals, Reds, Tigers and Blue Jays.
He is the 34th man in franchise history to both play and coach for the Phillies.
Okay. Let me get this straight: Juan is joining the staff to replace Davey Lopes, but, he is going to be the team’s third-base, not first-base, coach, and will also work with the outfielders, while Sam Perlozzo will now become the team’s first-base coach and will be handling the baserunning duties?!? Anyone else besides me confused by this arrangement? Okay, guys, you better know what you’re doing since I think Juan should be the one handling the baserunning duties and vice versa. I’ll guess we’ll all see how it works out during the ’11 season.
With that said, welcome back, Juan.
In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.
The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.
Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.
The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.
The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.
The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.
Two rain delays, and the Blue Jays’ excellent use of their bullpen, help to defeat the Phils’ in the final game of their three games interleague play series, 6-5. The lost put the Phillies in a tie for second place with the New York Mets, both teams now a full game behind the Florida Marlins, as the Mets would win their game with the New York Yankees. The Phils start the game off by taking a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Ryan Howard hits a two-run home run, his tenth home run of the year, off of Blue Jays’ starter, Shaun Marcum, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a single, while Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick pitched a 1-2-3 first inning on twelve pitches. The two teams would then go through a rain delay which would last over two hours before resuming play. When it does, both starters would be remove by their teams, with the Phils using Chad Durbin in place of Kendrick, while the Blue Jays would counter with Shawn Camp. Both teams are then kept off the scoreboard until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Phils’ score their third run of the ballgame on a RBI single by Carlos Ruiz, scoring Geoff Jenkins, who has also singled. But the Phils would then miss an opportunity to break the game wide open, as, with the bases loaded and two outs, Camp would get out of the inning by getting Jayson Werth to fly out. Then things would go from bad to worst, as Durbin, with two on and two outs, would give up a pitch hit, three-runs home run to Lyle Overbay, his second home run of the year, scoring Rod Barajas, who has earlier doubled, the Blue Jays’ first hit of the game, and Marco Scutaro, who has walked, tying the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the fourth, the Phils would threaten to retake the lead, as they loaded up the bases again, this time with one out, against Blue Jays’ reliever Brian Tallet. Tallet is replaced by Jason Frasor, who is able to end the Phils’ threat by getting Pedro Feliz to pop up and Ruiz to ground out. In the top of the fifth, the Blue Jays’ would take the lead, as they score three runs off of Rudy Seanez. The first two runs are knocked in on a RBI double by Shannon Stewart, scoring Aaron Hills, who has also doubled, and Matt Stairs, who has just been intenionally walked, giving the Blue Jays a 5-3 lead. Barajas would then single in Stewart, making it 6-3 Blue Jays. The Phils would get a run back in the bottom of the sixth, as Chase Utley doubles in Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier with a walk. After Howard walks, the game is once again delayed by rain. After play resumes again, the Blue Jays would replace Jesse Carlson, who has just replaced Frasor, with Cy Young award winner Ray Halladay, to face Pat Burrell. Halladay would end the threat by getting Burrell to pop up, leaving the score, 6-4 Blue Jays. The Phils would threathen for one last time in the ninth, when, with two outs, Pat Burrell would hit his tenth home run of the year, a solo shot off of B.J. Ryan, making it a 6-5 ballgame. Chris Coste would then double, putting the tying run in scoring position, as Eric Bruntlett comes up to pitch hit. Unfortunately, after fouling off several pitches, Ryan would get Bruntlett to strike out swinging, ending the ballgame, as he records his ninth save.
Kyle Kendrick, the Phils’ starter, would only go one inning because of the two hours plus rain delay, facing only three hitters as he gives up no runs on no hits. Chad Durbin would go four innings, giving up three earned runs on two hits, one of which was a pitch hit home run. Rudy Seanez, the Phils’ losing pitcher, would go one inning, giving up three earned runs on three hits. His record is now 2-3, while his ERA rises up to 2.89. J.C. Romero would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Clay Condrey would also go an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitch one inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Blue Jays’s starter, Shaun Marcum, like Kendrick, would only go one inning because of the long rain delay, giving up two earned runs on two hits, one of which was Ryan Howard’s home run. Shawn Camp would then pitch three innings, giving up an earned run on four hits. Brian Tallet would only go a third of an inning, giving up no runs on three hits. Jason Frasor, the Blue Jays’ winning pitcher, would go an inning and a third, giving up an earned run on no hits. Jesse Carlson would face just two batters, giving up no runs on a hit and a walk. Roy Halladay would pitch two and one-thirds innings, giving up no runs on one hits. B.J. Ryan would go an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits, as he records his ninth save of the years.
The Phils’ offense, although out hitting the Blue Jays’ thirteen hits to six, would twice leave the bases loaded, once with less than two men outs, whereby one hit at either time could’ve help them put the game out of reach. Instead, momentum shifted over to the Blue Jays, who would get to both Durbin and Seanez for their six runs in the fifth and sixth innings, thus ballooning both relievers ERAs in the process.
With the lost of their Interleague play series with the Blue Jays (23-23, 4th American League East), the Phillies (24-21) split their six games home stand, 3-3. They will now travel to Washington, D.C. to start a two cities, seven games, road trip to Washington and Houston. Their first game will be played tonight in D.C. in the Nationals’ (19-26) new ballpark, Nationals Park. The game will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starting pitcher will be Brett Myers (2-4, 5.91), who is coming off of his worst outing of the season, as he would go only four and one-thirds innings against the Braves on May 14, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, on nine hits, in the Phils’ 8-6 lost. He will be looking to regain his stuff as he faces the Nationals for the 28th time in his long career. In his 27 previous starts against them, including when the Nationals were the Montreal Expos, he is 7-7 lifetime, with a 4.91 ERA. The Nationals will oppose him with Tim Reddings (5-3. 3.55), who is coming off a win against the Mets on May 14, where he pitched six solid innings, giving up only an earned run on two hits, in the Nationals’ 5-3 victory. He will be trying for his sixth win of the season.
In spite of the lost, the Phillies are still trailing the Marlins by a game, as the fish lost their game to the Kansas City Royals, 9-3. The Phils are once again in a technical tie for second place with the New York Mets, .004 percentage points behind them, as the Mets once again defeated the New York Yankees, 11-2. They are a game ahead of the Braves, who have beaten the Oakland Athletics, 5-2. While the Phils play the last place Nationals tonight, the Marlins, the Mets and the Braves will all have the day off, giving the Phils a chance to gain a half game on the Marlins with a victory tonight, if Myers can get his act together and if the offense can get a hit when its needed.