The St. Louis Cardinals have suffered a major blow as they lose their ace, Adam Wainwright, as he will likely face Tommy John Surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. This, of course, means that the redbirds will be looking for someone to take Wainwright’s spot in their rotation.
Because of this, Joe Blanton’s name have been linked in talks about the possibilities of a trade between the two teams. Thing is, Ruben Amaro Jr. have said that the Phils plan to keep Blanton and intend to use him as their fifth starter. And, even if they were to trade him, the Phils would most likely be looking for, in return, a right handed bat who is major league ready, or just about, who the Cardinals will be willing to give up. I’m not sure if the Cards will do that at this point, if it happens at all.
Me, I think Blanton is going to be here for opening day and beyond.
Phillies.com has just announced that the Phillies have just signed catchers Chris Coste and Ronny Paulino to split contracts for the present season.
If either man makes the main team, Coste would receive $460,000, while Paulino would get $420,000. If either man is sent down to the minors, they would instead receive $249,000 and $201,330 respectively. This leaves only catcher Carlos Ruiz and lefthander Mike Zagurski, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow as the only men on the Phils 40-men roster who are presently unsigned.
With this move, the Phils could increase their payroll up to $132.5 million for Opening Day, including the $3 million still owed Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox, J.C. Romero, as he will be serving his 50-game suspension and Adam Eaton, whom the Phils will surely drop before spring training is over.
Not too bad. Hopefully the Phillies can leave Clearwater in late March with all of their players happy and well paid.
During the weekend, after signing Raul Ibenez to a three-year contract, pending a physical, the Phillies went towards locking in the ten players who they would be involved with in salary arbitration talks. They have concluded one-year deals with Eric Bruntlett, thus locking in the versatile infielder, as they will need him to help cover second base during Chase Utley’s rehab from hip surgery, and with Clay Condrey, their long relief pitcher. The Phillies have also offered contracts to Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Cole Hamels, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, in the process avoiding, as much as they can, the need to go to salary arbitration talks with each player, thus keeping them on the ballclub, one way or the other, through 2009. This, to me, sounds like a set of smart moves on the Phillies’ part, looking like they might have finally learn their lesson from past mistakes, depending, of course, on what they have actually offered the remaining eight arbitration eligible players.
The Phillies have also signed Scott Mathieson, a 24 years old pitcher who is still rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, to a minor league contract, adding more depth to the organization, pitching wise.
Two days after pulling himself out of a rehabilitation outing at Class A Clearwater, the Phillies’ setup man is scheduled to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Monday for a second opinion. In a 48-hour span, the team went from hoping the 40-year-old righty would be a factor in September, to wondering whether he’s thrown his final pitch.
“Right now we aren’t optimistic that he will [pitch this season],” head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan said. “We would really like to have Lew’s opinion because he’s been familiar with Tom. When we get that opinion on Monday, we can really lay out a solid plan that’s more accurate than today.”
Gordon, who was placed on the disabled list on July 6, was pitching in his second rehab appearance on Wednesday, and pulled himself out. Yocum performed Tommy John surgery on Gordon in 1999.
After looking at the results of an MRI performed on Thursday, Sheridan voiced two concerns, one for the ulner collateral ligament and one for the strain of the flexor muscle, the muscle on the inside of his elbow. While Tommy John surgery is a strong possibility, Gordon will gather additional information.
“Flash is trying to figure out what’s going to be best for him,” Sheridan said. “We haven’t talked about surgery. No one’s even mentioned whether he’s having surgery. It’s important to get another opinion on how to proceed.”
Gordon missed two months in 2007 with right shoulder problems and a bout of pneumonia, but returned to play a vital role in Philadelphia’s late-season capturing of the National League East.
After an Opening Day outing in which he allowed five runs in one-third of an inning, Gordon posted a 3.68 ERA in his next 33 appearances. Without him, manager Charlie Manuel has been using Chad Durbin as his primary right-handed setup reliever, and J.C. Romero. (H/T Phillies.com)
Well, all I can say, Tom, is this: If the doc says to have the surgery, have the surgery. But please be prepare for the fact that you might not be coming back, career-wise. While I’m hoping that you can sucessfully come back from the surgery, I am prepared for the possibility that we may have seen the last of you. But no matter what, taking care of yourself comes first, so, take the surgery, if it is needed, and get better.