This past Saturday, during the Phils’ 4-3 lost to the Pirates, Dom Brown, during an at-bat against pitcher Paul Maholm, fractured the hook of the hamate bone on his right hand as he fouled off a pitch, before getting his only hit of spring training, a single. Brown has returned to Philadelphia to visit hand specialist Randall Culp, to see how bad it is, although the Phils expect that Brown will need surgery on his right hand, and will therefore be out for four to six weeks. This will mean that Dom Brown will more than likely start the year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, before being called back to the main club, while Ben Francisco, who has been hitting the cover off of the ball so far this spring (before going 0 for 3 in today’s game with the Yankees), will be the one who will be the starter in right field, although no one have yet to say that he is.
This could end up being a blessing in disguise, as it should allow Brown to get away from all of the hype around him as he is considered the team’s number one prospect, as well as being the number one candidate for the job in right field, although he have not had a good spring as he had gone 0 for 15 before getting the single.
Meanwhile, in spite of taking a week off to allow his right knee to heal after it was announced that he was suffering from patellar tendenitis, Chase Utley was given a cortisone shot to help it heal. This is not good news, as the leg was expected to heal on its own, after being given some rest, although Utley have taken batting practice as he waited for his knee to get better. Hopefully his knee will be okay by the time that the team head north near the end of the month and it will make Utley sit out a few games during the regular season when told to by Charlie Manuel.
…the team’s all here.
All of the position players have decided to come to Clearwater earlier than the official Saturday date when they are suppose to report. To me, that means that they are all eager to get started, which brings a big smile to my face.
The news that has come out of camp, so far, is that the Phils plan to have Wilson Valdez work out some in centerfield, so that they can use him there during the season, as well as at second, third and short. Sounds like a good idea to me, since they are obviously planning to optimize the use of their bench players so that they can insert them anywhere on the field in the late innings, if they aren’t using them as pinch hitters, or intend to give their starters a few days off to rest.
Raul Ibanez has come to camp in good shape, having worked out during the off-season, showing himself prepared to play a full season without injury, thereby helping the ballclub both with the bat, and in the field.
Dom Brown is prepared to get the right fielder job while admitting that he had played poorly in the Domnican Winter League, and that he has no excuse for that. In fact, he hopes that it’ll help motivate him in his fight for the right field position. He has also mentioned that while he was in Clearwater earlier this year, that batting coach Greg Gross has helped him to correct his swing, to get rid of the kinks that had developed while he was on the bench during the last month or so of the 2010 regular season, figuring it’ll help him out.
Lastly, Chase Utley, when asked if he would take the opportunity to speak with Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the Phils’ new manager for their Triple-A team (Lehigh Valley), said that he planned to pick his brains. In fact, the pair had already spoken with each other, and Sandberg has said that he is impressed with Utley’s work ethic. I hope that the pair’s talking will help Utley bounce back from what happened last season.
Yesterday, MLB.com announced who they consider to be Major League Baseball’s top 50 prospects. Among the fifty were two players in the Phillies’ farm system: Dom Brown, who came in at number 4 and Jonathan Singleton, who came in at 30.
Dom Brown, who is expected to join the team during spring training, to serve as part of a platoon in right field with Ben Francisco, to replace the just departed Jayson Werth, spent part of 2010 playing the outfield for both Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He batted .327, with an on-base percentage of .391 and a .589 slugging percentage, in 389 at-bats, as he hit 22 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 20 HRs and 68 RBIs for the two farm teams, before joining the major league ballclub during the summer after Shane Victorino got hurt. With limited playing time, as he stay with the ballclub through the playoffs, he batted .210 with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs and 13 RBIs in 62 at-bats, showing at the same time both his potential and his rawness. The Phils sent him to the Dominican Winter League to give him the at-bats he did not get while riding the bench during the last two months of the regular season, but he was sent home after struggling at the plate. So, he will be out to prove himself during spring training, to prove that he deserves to be with the big league ballclub.
Jonathan Singleton, who landed at number 30, spent the year playing for Class-A Lakewood, playing first base, as he went .290/.393/.479, hitting 25 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 14 HRs and 77 RBIs. As he shows potential, Singleton is being converted into an outfielder, as the Phils last season signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125-million contracts, which will start in 2012, meaning that he likely will not be able to join the ballclub playing that position. If he is able to show that he can play the outfield, Singleton should have a much better chance getting into the big league, hopefully as a Phil.
It seems that several things had occurred as far as the Phils are concerned.
First, on December 2, the Phils tendered contracts to outfielder Ben Francisco and pitcher Kyle Kendrick to keep them from becoming free agents. Kyle Kendrick will likely be fighting with Vance Worley for the fifth starter’s spot during spring training, while Francisco will be involved in a platoon situation with Dom Brown, as…
on the following Sunday, December 5, it was announced that Jayson Werth had signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Although he was expected to leave, Jayson’s signing with another team within the NL East came as a complete surprise to everyone, including Phils manager Charlie Manuel, as everyone had expected him to sign with an AL team, like the Red Sox or the Tigers. Well, Jayson, congrats on the money, but be prepared for a lot of boos, after being given some respectful cheers the first time you come to town in a Nat uniform. (The Nats? I hope you know what you’re doing Jayson.) As for the Phils’ compensation in draft picks, they will get a player in the draft between the first and second rounds, and then a player from the second round, as the Nats’ first round pick did not fall among the first 15 players of the draft.
The next day, December 6, the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee announced that it had elected ex-Phil General Manager Pat Gillick (2005-2008) to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gillick, who was also the GM for the Blue Jays, who won World Series Championships in 1992-1993, to go along with the Phils’ 2008 World Series Championship, as well as being the GM for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners, in 27 years as a GM, had 11 teams enter the post-season.
The next day, December 7, it was announced that journalist Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News (also formerly on the Philadelphia Bulletin) will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the BBWAA, for 50 years of meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He will be given the award during the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, NY, on July 25, 2011.
Then, on December 8, the Phils announced that they had signed former Cardinal relief pitcher Dennys Reyes to a one year deal for $1.1 million, with a $1.35 million option for 2012. Reyes, who has pitched in the major leagues for fourteen seasons out of the bullpen, will be joining his eleventh team when he joins the Phils, as he finished 2010 with a 3-1 record with an ERA of 3.55, as he pitched in 59 games, with a save, as he struck out 25 batters, while walking 21. The Phils will likely be using him as their left handed specialist out of the bullpen, to compliment Antonio Bastardo.
On the 9th, the Phils took three players in the Rule 5 Draft, with the first one, Michael Martinez, an infielder, coming from the Nats organization, via their Syracuse Triple-A affiliate. Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. jokingly commented that picking him up was the Phils way of getting back at the Nats for taking Jayson. (I just hope the last laugh ain’t on the Phils with this one.) The Phils would also pick up Chris Frey from the Rockies organization and Justin Friend from the A’s in the minor league part of the Rule 5 Draft. I guess it’ll be a while before we see if any of these guys pan out with the Phils.
Also during the week, the Phils brought Dom Brown back from the Dominican League, as they did not think that he was getting the seasoning that they thought he would need to be ready for spring training. Instead, they plan to do it during spring training itself, to get him ready for the regular season.
Lastly, the Phils had announced on Saturday that shortstop Jimmy Rollins had on Thursday undergone minor surgery on his left wrist. They also announced that he should be able to participate in spring training next year.
Sandberg to manage Phils’ Triple-A club
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tab Hall of Fame second baseman
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Hmm, first Juan, and now Ryne. So far so good, especially with
reports of them trying to sign up fan favorite Mickey Morandini as
PHILADELPHIA — Nearly 29 years after the Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs, he is rejoining the organization.
The Phillies announced on Monday morning that they’ve hired Sandberg
as the manager for their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron
Pigs. Sandberg managed the previous four seasons in the Cubs’ Minor
League system, including last season with Triple-A Iowa. He had been a
candidate to become the Cubs’ manager following Lou Piniella’s
midseason retirement, but Chicago retained Mike Quade instead.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman and Cubs icon, subsequently
informed the Cubs he would seek employment elsewhere.
The Phillies had an opening and landed Sandberg.
Dallas Green said last week that Sandberg would make a great manager.
Green has a storied history with Sandberg. Green was the Cubs’
general manager when he fleeced the Phillies in one of the worst trades
in franchise history. The Jan. 27, 1982, deal sent Larry Bowa and
Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. The Phillies felt they did not
have a position to play Sandberg, and because they felt compelled to
trade Bowa following a bitter contract dispute, Green astutely demanded
the Phillies include Sandberg in the trade.
Sandberg invited Green to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2005.
“I would think he would make a great fit for us,” Green said last
week. “We raised him. He’s been let down by Chicago a good bit. He’s a
little bit bitter about that. … When he didn’t get the job, I called
him and commiserated with him. I knew he was disappointed. I still
personally think he should be a big league guy if that’s what he really
wants to do.
“I love the guy. He’s got a great work ethic. I haven’t watched him, but I think he’s going to be a good teacher.”
Sandberg earned Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year honors this
past season, when he led the Iowa Cubs (82-62) to a tie for the best
record in the Northern Division.
Sandberg was a 10-time National League All-Star. He also won nine
Gold Glove Awards and seven Silver Slugger Awards during his 16-year
career. The Phillies drafted Sandberg in 1978, and he played 13 games
for the club in ’81 before being traded.
The Phillies said the remainder of their 2011 player development
staff will be announced at a later date, but Mickey Morandini is
expected to be named to the staff in some capacity.
Welcome back, Ryne. Hope you’ll do well managing over in Lehigh Valley.
Last week the Phils’ picked up, via waivers, infielder Carlos Rivero from the Cleveland Indians.
The team is still looking for low price free agents for their bullpen, while pondering whether to give new contracts to either Chad Durbin or Jose Contreras, or to both pitchers. In the meantime, they are in the hunt to resign Jayson Werth, but since his agent Scott Boras is asking for money in the Matt Holliday/Jason Bay range, it is more than likely that he won’t be back in red pinstripes.
It has been announced on Monday that ex-Phil Jamie Moyer has re-injured his left elbow while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic, while trying to prove that he can still pitch. Ouch. Talk about a setback. Hope it wasn’t too bad an injury, Jamie.
It was also announced yesterday that former Phil GM Pat Gillick is on the Hall of Fame ballot that is being sent to the committee to elect those managers, executives and retired players who were not elected originally, who come from Baseball’s Expansion-era (post-1960). Congrats on getting on the Ballot, Pat, and wish you luck getting into the Hall. You deserve it.
Lastly, today, there is speculation that former Phil, ex-Orioles manager and fan favorite, Juan Samuel, is thinking of taking over Davey Lopes’ position as the team’s first base coach. If he does, that should be good news for the team, since he was a very successful base stealer during his days as a ballplayer. Is has also been announced that they are looking at Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as the new manager for their Triple-A Lehigh Valley ballclub, as he is leaving the Cubs Triple-A club after being pass over as the main club’s new manager. He might be another popular move, if the Phils do go after him. Whether the pair will actually get either post is another question.
Boy, a lot of news have been released by the Phils today. Along with their announcement of selecting Darren Daulton as the newest member of the Phils’ Walk of Fame (See previous post), and the expected return of regular shortstop, leader and sparkplug, Jimmy Rollins, the Phils have made several more announcements:
1) To make room for JayRo, the Phils have sent the struggling Greg Dobbs, who is at the moment batting a lousy .152, with one homer and six RBIs, and is only 1 for 25 as a pinch hitter, to assignment. If he clears waivers, Dobbs will likely be sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, to get some well needed at-bats to get his swing back, if he is not either claimed on waivers by another team or is not traded by the Phils within the next 10 days;
2) Carlos Ruiz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, as he continues to recover from getting his bell rung by a broken bat swing against the back of his head during last Friday night’s game with the Twins. This will leave Brian Schneider as the no. 1 catcher (UGH!) and Dane Sardinha, who was called up after Friday’s game to act as the backup, will stay as the no. 2 catcher, while Ruiz recovers;
3) Scott Mathieson, who came back to the big leagues, was sent back to the minors, with his place on the roster to be taken by Mike Zagurski.
With the above moves the Phils’ bench is now Juan Castro, Wilson Valdez, Ross Gload, Schneider (once Ruiz is back) and Ben Francisco.
With all this, I hope that Rollins will give some life back into the Phils’ starting line-up, with Castro and Valdez both being ready to come off the bench, considering the numbers of at-bats the pair had gotten during Rollins’ two stints on the disabled list. Now, if Francisco can just get his swing back, the bench might actually have improved with Dobbs being sent down. Knock on wood. A lot!!!!
Oh, and Dobbs, if this is the last time that we actually see you in a Phils’ uniform, thanks for helping the team during the last three seasons, but, dude, why did you have to go and stink during the last season plus?
Ruiz, please get well soon.
My thoughts on all these moves? I have no idea on the situation with Mathieson, since it is a tough break from him to be sent back down after returning to the bigs. I just hope the front office knows what it is doing. As for them sending down Dobbs, I think that it was the right move. Dobbs is just not doing it this year, and he might need a temporary (hopefully) change of scenary to (hopefully) get his groove back. As for Rollins’ return, uhm, excuse me….. Yaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhheeeeewwwwww, Jimmy’s back!!!!!! 🙂 Yes, I’m happy, thank you.
The Phillies (35-32, 3rd NL East) will continue their home stand with a three game series with the Indians (26-42, 5th AL Central), starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.76), who is coming off a win against the Yankees on June 16, as he pitched a strong eight innings, giving up just two runs, both on home runs, on three hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 6-3 win. He will be going for his eighth win of the season, while trying to start the series for the Phils on a winning note. The Indians will counter with their ace Mitch Talbot (7-5, 4.21), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on June 16, as he went five and two-thirds innings, being rocked for eight runs on thirteen hits, as he struck out only three, in the Indians’ 8-4 lost. He will be trying to recover from the lost, while hoping that the Phils’ bat don’t erupt. The Phils will be trying to win their second interleague series by hopefully taking advantage of one of the weakest teams of the AL. Hopefully there will not be a repeat of last year’s embarrassment at the hands of the Orioles. Come on guys, time to regroup and clobber the tribe with the bats.