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.
The Phils have just announced today that they have signed Jimmy Rollins to a new three-year contract, with a vesting option for a possible fourth year.
Rollins, who earlier in the post-season had announced that he was looking for a five-year deal, finally decided to take a deal with fewer years, after the Cardinals and the Brewers had last weekend signed multi-year deals with their own shortstops Rafael Furcal and Alex Gonzalez, respectively. Rollins, a former MVP (2007), and a member of the franchise since be drafted in 1996, and joining the main squad back in 2000, had, despite injuries during the last three seasons, appeared in a total of 1636 games, with a career batting average of .272 (1866 hits in 6858 at-bats) with 388 doubles, 100 triples and 170 home runs, as well as 373 stolen bases and 568 walks, scored 1080 runs while knocking in 725. During his MVP season, as he help lead the Phils to their first playoff appearance since 1993, he had a .296 batting average (212 for 716) as he appeared in all 162 regular season games, compiling 38 doubles, 20 triples and 30 home runs, as well as stealing 41 bases, as he scored 139 runs, while knocking in 94.
With the signing of Rollins, the Phils are likely done with any major moves, other than what to do with their four arbitration eliable players, especially Cole Hamels and Hunter Pence, until spring training 2012.
About time they’d locked Jimmy down. Guess his agent finally realized that J-Roll had nowhere else to go.
Let’s go Phils!!!
The Phils have announced that they had just concluded a trade with the Colorado Rockies, getting Ty Wigginton for either a player to be named later or cash. Wigginton, who has played first base, third base, left and right field in his career, will most likely be the team’s main right-handed bat off of the bench, to compliment Jim Thome, whom the Phils had recently resigned.
Wigginton, who played for the Rockies in 2011, had also played for the Mets, the Pirates, the Rays, the Astros and the Orioles since 2002, appeared in 130 games, batting .242 in 401 at-bats, getting 97 hits, including 21 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs. He had also knocked in 47 runs while scoring 52.
It is more than likely that during Ryan Howard’s absense, as he recovers from his injuries, that Wigginton might be sharing first base duties with John Mayberry, Jr. and Jim Thome, and might also play a bit of third base to give Placido Polanco some useful time off both before and after Howard’s return to the line-up.
This might be a good move for the Phils over-all, since Wigginton can cover several bases during the upcoming season.
Yesterday the National League announced that Raul Ibanez was named the National League Player of the Week. Ibanez, last week, hit .310 (9-for-29), as he hit three home runs and a double among his nine hits, knocking in 13 runs, which lead the majors last week, and scored six.
Congratulations on winning the Award, Raul.
Coming out of spring training, everyone pondered how the Phils offense would do without Jayson Werth (now a member of the Nationals) and Chase Utley (knee problems). Well, after nine games, they seems to be doing pretty well.
After nine games, the Phils are among the National League leaders in several offensive categories. They lead the league in team batting average (.334), team slugging percentage (.484), team total bases (155), team hits (107), stolen base percentage (80%) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.865), while they are tied for first with the Reds for most RBIs (58). They are second in on-base percentage (.380), doubles (22), runs scored (59), and team extra-base hits (31). They are fourth in total at-bats (320). They also have the third fewest strike outs (56).
As is shown by the stats, although they are not hitting as many home runs (8) as they have in the past, they are still knocking in runs, as they are getting a lot of singles, with enough doubles added, and are using them to move men around the bases to score.
All but one of the regular eight are presently batting over .300, with Shane Victorino leading the team with a .417 batting average, which puts him in fifth place among batting leaders, thanks to his recent hot series against the Braves. Victorino is also batting .611/432, as he is batting 15 for 36 with 8 runs scored and with 8 RBIs. He has four extra-base hits (2 2BS, 1 3B, 1 HR), for 22 total bases, and has stolen 2 bases, being caught once.
Ryan Howard is next with a .361/.639/.390, as he has gone 13 for 36, scoring 7 runs, while knocking in 11 runs, leading the club, as he have has 6 extra-base hits (4 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 23 total bases.
Thanks to his hot series against the Braves, Carlos Ruiz is third with a .346/.538/.414, as he has gone 9 for 26, scoring 6 runs, as he knocked in 7, with 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for 14 total bases.
Fourth among the starting eight is Placido Polanco with a .342/.447/.390, as he has batted 13 for 38, scoring 6 runs, while he had knocked in 8, with a total of 4 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 17 total bases.
Fifth is Wilson Valdez, who is playing second base as Utley recovers from his injury. Valdez has gone .333/.444/.357, hitting 9 for 27, scoring 5 times, while knocking in 5. He has 3 extra-bases hits, all doubles, for 12 total bases. He also has a stolen base.
Jimmy Rollins, in a contract year, is doing well in the third spot in the line-up, although slowing down in the Braves series, being no. six. He is batting .324/.405/.390, going 12 for 37, crossing the plate 6 times, while still waiting for his first RBI. He has 3 extra-base hits, all doubles, for 15 total bases. He has 3 stolen bases, leading the team.
Seventh is Ben Francisco, who is doing rather well as he handle the right field duties. He has gone .306/.528./375, batting 11 for 36, scoring 7 times, while knocking in 7. He has 4 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 2 HRs), for 19 total bases. He also has a stolen base, and has been caught once.
Raul Ibanez is the last of the eight, as he has also cool down in the Braves series, after being hot against the Mets. He is presently hitting .257/.400/.350, as he has gone 9 for 35, with 9 runs scored, while he has knocked in 6. He has 3 extra-base hits (2 2Bs, 1 HR), for a total of 14 total bases. He has also stolen 1 base.
The rest of the team, including pitchers, have gone a collective 16 for 49, collecting one extra-base hit (1 HR), for 19 total bases. They have scored 5 times, while knocking in 6 RBIs.
Finally, unlike last year, the team has done very effectively pinch hitting, having ten hits, with 5 RBIs, with 4 of them coming on Ruiz’s pinch hit grand-slam home run last saturday afternoon.
If the Phils can continue what they are doing right now, their starting pitching will be even more effective, since the offense will be handing them leads both at home and on the road.
The Phils have announced that they have made a one-year deal, pending his passing a physical, with J.C. Romero, for an undisclosed amount of cash.
J.C. Romero, whom the Phils had let go earlier in the off-season, had spent the last three plus seasons (2007-10) with the Phils, going 6-6 with 4 saves and a 2.60 ERA, as he appeared in 213 games, pitching in 148.2 innings, giving up 99 hits and 46 runs, 41 of which were earned, and walking 105 batters, while striking out 123. Last year, in 60 games pitched, he recorded a 1-0 record with 3 saves and a 3.68 ERA, as he pitched 36.2 innings, giving up 30 hits and 17 runs, 15 of which were earned, as he walked 29 batters, while striking out 28.
If he passes the physical, its obvious that the Phils will once again use him as their situational lefty out of the bullpen, hoping that he’ll bounce back from his injuries in 2009-10. I just hope the Phils know what they’re doing.
During the sixty-three years that the Rookie of the Year has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Associations of America (BBWAA), only four Phils have won the NL version of the award.
The first Phil to win the award was pitcher Jack Sanford in 1957 who in 33 starts complied a win-lost record of 19-8 with a 3.08 ERA, as he struck out 188 batters. The second Phil to win the award was third baseman Dick Allen in 1964, who in that year batted .318, hitting 29 home runs, 19 triples, leading the league in that category, and knocking in 91 RBIs, while scoring 125, the league leader in that category. It would be thirty-three years before another Phil would be voted the NL Rookie of the Year. Third baseman Scott Rolen would win the award in 1997, with a .283 batting average, as he hit 21 home runs, while knocking in 92 RBIs. The fourth, and presently final, Phil to win the award would be first baseman Ryan Howard in 2005, who that year batted .288, as he hit 22 home runs, while knocking in 63 RBIs.
Of the four awards won by a Phil, three were won in the 20th Century and one, so far, in the 21st. Three have been won by position players and one by a pitcher. So far, none of the award has been won by a member of the Hall of Fame, since both Rolen and Howard are still active players, although Allen is presently under consideration by the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee.
Who will be the next Phil to win the Award? Considering the Phils’ farm system, that is a good question, since the Phils just missed having a fifth award as J.A. Happ ended up second place in 2009.