Williams, whom the Phils have picked up off of waivers during the summer, would start in nine games for the Phils, ending the season with a record of 4-2, with a 2.83 ERA, as he appeared in 57.1 innings, giving up 48 hits and 20 runs, 18 of which were earned, as he struck out 38 batters while walking 17. Williams, who also pitched for the Astros and the Rangers during the season, would appear in a total of 37 games, with 11 starts, compiling a combined record of 6-7 with a 4.77 ERA, as he pitched in 115.0 innings, giving up 125 hits and 64 runs, 61 of which were earned, as he struck out 82 batters while walking 36.
Williams would be receiving $2.5 million dollars, including performance bonuses, as he stays with the team, being one of the team’s confirmed starters, with the others being team ace Cole Hamels and Dave Buchanan, while Cliff Lee works his way back from a year ending elbow injury, and A.J. Burnett decides whether to stay with the team, attempt free agency or retire from baseball and Kyle Kendrick looks to become a free agent after the World Series is over.
Glad to still have you on the team, Jerome. Hope that 2015 will be as good for you as the final month or so of 2014 was.
The Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.
On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.
On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.
As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.
Yesterday the Phils announced that they had picked up outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off of the waiver wire, after he had been placed there by the Cleveland Indians. Carrera, who last year appeared in 48 games with the Indians, batted .272 (40 for 147), as he had six doubles, three triples and two home runs, knocking in 11 RBIs, while scoring 20 runs. He also had 8 stolen bases. In 116 total MLB games with the Indians in 2011-12, he had a batting average of .255 (89 for 349), with 14 doubles, six triples and two home run, as he knocked in 25 RBIs, while crossing the plate 47 times. Carrera also had 18 stolens bases. He should join the team in Atlanta for tonight’s game, as the Phils’ fifth outfielder.
To make room for him on the roster, the Phils have placed Ender Inciarte on waivers. Inciarte, whom the Phils had picked up from the Diamondbacks during last season’s Rule 5 Draft, made the opening day roster as their fifth outfielder, after a spring training in which he hit .273 (9 for 33), as he appeared in 27 games, hiting a double, and knocking in one run, while scoring 5. The news is that if he is not claimed off of the wire, the Diamondbacks might take him back, although it would cost them $25,000, which would be half of what the Phils had paid for drafting him.
Welcome to the club, Carrera. Hopefully you’ll have a future here.
Yesterday, the Phils sent out a press release announcing that they have signed two more players to minor league deals, offering spring training non-roster invitations to both players.
The players that the Phils have signed are infielder Hector Luna and outfielder Luis Montanez. Luna, who spent the 2011 season playing on the Red Sox Triple-A Pawtucket team, had played 311 games on the major league level between 2004-2010, playing for the Cardinals, Indians, Blue Jays and Marlins, compiling a .265 career batting average (194 hits in 732 at-bats). During his time in the majors, he had played at least one game at all four infield positions and all three outfield positions. Last year, for Pawtucket, he played in 113 games, batting .283, hitting 14 home runs and 58 RBIs. The other signed player, Montanez, spent part of the just finished 2011 season playing for Triple-A Iowa in the Cubs minor league system, appearing in 92 games, batting .321, hitting 7 home runs, and knocking in 69 RBIs. He had also appeared in 36 games with the Cubs, batting .222 (13 for 54). In his major league career, 2008-2011, in which he spent the first three seasons playing for the Orioles, he has a career batting average of .223 (68 for 305).
In the same press release, the Phils announced that they had lost minor league infielder Carlos Rivero to the Nationals via the waiver wire. Rivero was earlier taken off of the Phils 40-man roster to make room for the just resigned Jimmy Rollins.
My guess is that both signed players will likely end up playing for the Iron Pigs when the regular season starts.
Yesterday, the Phils signed recently released New York Mets second baseman, Luis Castillo, to a minor league contract, after Castillo had cleared waivers. Castillo, who, in 2010, played in 86 games for the Mets, going .235, with 58 hits, hitting four doubles and two triples, while knocking in only 17 RBIs, will be trying for the second baseman job, to temporarily replace Chase Utley while he continues to battle his injury.
The Phils, if he is able to make the roster, will only pay $414,000 of his $6 million salary. The Mets would pay the rest.
Well, we’ll see how this pan out. Castillo just should not feel too comfortable if he does make the team. After all, he is a temporary solution.
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.
Sweeney brought aboard by Phillies
First baseman acquired from Seattle for player to be named later.
By Charlie Nobles / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI — First baseman Mike Sweeney was acquired by the Phillies from the Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations, vice president and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel expects Sweeney, 37, to get the bulk of playing time at first base until Ryan Howard, who was put on the disabled list Sunday, returns possibly in mid-August.
“I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, but he knows how to hit,” Manuel said.
The Phillies expect him to arrive on Thursday, before the final game of their three-game series with the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.
Sweeney, a five-time American League All-Star, came into the season with a career .298 batting average over 16 seasons. He was batting .263 with six home runs and 18 RBIs over 30 games for the Mariners this season,
including three starts at first base.
Sweeney has hit at least 20 home runs in six seasons, including 29 in back-to-back seasons (2000-01).
“He’s always been able to hit the ball,” said Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez, who has known Sweeney since they were on the same team in Class A.
“He has some power, too,” Ibanez added. “He’s played in some big parks, but he’s always hit the ball hard.”
Sweeney’s hitting pedigree combined with the fact he has made 570 career starts at first base prompted the Phillies to make the move.
According to Ibanez, they also are getting a special person.
“He’s a quality, upbeat human being,” Ibanez said. “He’s one of the nicest teammates I’ve ever had and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He brings positive energy everywhere he goes every single day.”
Ibanez said Sweeney will lead by example but “can pull somebody aside” for counsel. And he said he is capable of “getting in someone’s face” should it be necessary.
Originally selected by the Royals in the 10th round of the 1991 First-Year Player Draft, Sweeney had 213 home runs and 901 RBIs in 1,428 games for Kansas City (1995-2007), Oakland (2008) and Seattle (2009-10).
Notably, he has batted .328 in his career with runners in scoring position. And in 27 career games against National League East teams, he has hit .320.
Now the Phillies just hope to keep him healthy.
Sweeney has been on the disabled list twice this season with back inflammation/spasms. Most recently, he was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. In 12 games there, he hit .366 with two home runs and nine RBIs.
The Phillies must make a move on the 25-man roster to accommodate Sweeney when he reports.
Hmm, I get the feeling that John Mayberry, Jr. is going back to the minors, unless its someone else that might not be expected. Either way, I hope Sweeney is to be part of temp answer to first base while Howard is out, and will be helpful on the bench afterwards. We will see.