Phillies want a HR threat
by Kevin K
According to Jayson Stark, the Phillies may not be done yet. They are currently looking to acquire a Home Run threat off of the bench (ala Matt Stairs in 2008). The two players on their wish list, Jason Giambi and Jim Thome.
Yes they Phillies have contacted teams on acquiring these two players, according to reports.
It wouldn't be the worst thing the Phillies could do, and it will bring power to their bench, something they do not have right now.
We will keep you updated on any progression via Facebook and Twitter.
Hunter Pence is a Phillie
By Kevin K
And the day just continues to get better....
July 29th seems to be Amaro's favorite day to acquire star players. Two years ago he acquired Lee, last year Oswalt, and now Hunter Pence.
The trade was on, then off, then on, then off, then on (so on and so forth) and it FINALLY happened. The rumors were swirling that the Phillies would have to trade Domonic Brown or Vance Worley to acquire a player like Pence, they didn't have to do either.
The Phillies traded Jonathon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, and a player to be named later for RF Hunter Pence and cash considerations.
Pence is batting .307 with 11 HR and 62 RBI this season and will only excel more behind a player like Ryan Howard (Pence is expected to bat fifth in the lineup).
The Phillies expect Hunter Pence to join the team tomorrow prior to the game. They still haven't announced if he will play.
Hunter Pence will wear number 3 for the Phillies (Domonic Brown wears the number he wore in Houston, 9).
Pence saying his goodbyes to Astros teammates after he was pulled from the game and traded to the Phillies
My Fellow Phans,
So the Phillies are coming off of a series win against the Padres although they did miss a golden chance to sweep them yesterday.
Next they face the Giants. It is the matchup that all fans in this area have been waiting for since the Phillies’ season last year was ended by SF in the NLCS. Excitement is building and for some, tension is high as the defending World Champions come to town.
Bruce Bochy got his wish as you will see with the pitching matchups this series. His scheming during the All-Star Game set up a series against the Phillies minus the top 2 in the Phillies rotation; Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.
That doesn’t mean the Phillies are going into this series unarmed. I still believe in our chances to win this series despite the Bochy Factor.
A last second note was handed to me a few moments ago. Tim Lincecum, tonight’s scheduled starter, has been scratched from his start. Barry Zito will pitch in his place. With this new change, I am flip flopping the two players in my preview. There is no, I repeat no, confirmation of Timothea pitching tomorrow, but for now I am listing him as the opponent to Cole Hamels.
Giants / Phillies Preview:
Tuesday, July 26:
7:05 @ Citizens Bank Park – myPHL17
Vance Worley (6-1 2.02) vs. Barry Zito (3-2 4.78)
Wednesday, July 27:
7:05 @ Citizens Bank Park – CSN & ESPN
Cole Hamels (12-5 2.62) vs. Tim Lincecum (8-8 2.90) *
Thursday, July 28:
7:05 @ Citizens Bank Park – CSN
Kyle Kendrick (5-4 3.45) vs. Matt Cain (8-6 3.06)
At first glance, the Phillies look overmatched this series. However, I believe this to be far off. The Phillies and Giants are very similar teams. Both have excellent rotations with average lineups. The Giants edge the Phillies in ERA, but sit next to last, behind their division rival, the Padres in runs scored.
Yes, the Phillies will be facing a tough staff, but the light-hitting Giants lineup will be facing some quality starting pitching as well. In just pitching matchups alone, the Giants have a slight edge, but overall the Phillies have a stronger offensive club.
Before we all panic about this series, remember that the Phillies have beaten Matt Cain a few times before. Even the Giants appear weary of him pitching in Philadelphia, look at last' year’s NLCS for proof of this. We also beat Barry Zito too.
I think the Phillies can win 2-of-3 this series. Yes, I will warn all you fans now; this will be an excruciatingly tough series to watch offensively. Matt Cain is a flyball pitcher pitching in a hitter friendly ballpark where the ball flies during warm weather. Let’s hope the Phillies can take advantage.
I will keep tabs on this Lincecum situation and do my best to update you accordingly.
Until we meet again Phillies fans; Happy Reading and Go Phillies
- Johnny S.
My Phillies Phans,
Today the Phillies announced that Brad Lidge has finally been activated and Dannys Baez has been designated for assignment.
Now on the field, Baez had his share of struggles as he went 2-4 with an abysmal 6.25 ERA during the 2011 season with the Phillies.
Ill admit, I am glad to see him go to some extent, but give the man some credit. He pitched a week’s worth of innings in a single game back during that 19 inning marathon against the Reds. Yes, stat-wise he wasn’t too good, but that game he gave it his all. I’ll also admit that I had forgotten that game recently with his struggles, but it is something that should never be forgotten.
A for Lidge, he has been battling arm injuries that caused him to miss the start of the season. Brad has worked hard to get himself back to this point and the hard work has paid off a he will debut tonight.
The right-hander was 0-0 with a 3.52 ERA during an eight-game rehabilitation stint with Class A Lakewood and Double-A Reading, walking two batters and striking out 10 in 7 2/3 innings
Some people are badmouthing Lidge even before he has thrown a pitch this season. Anyone remember that the man threw to an 2.96 ERA last year. Can we give the man a shot before we crucify him again.
That’ all I am asking; patience people, patience. You guys are fans of one of the most frustrating teams, at times, in all of Major League Baseball. I see no reason why can’t be patient with Lidge.
Give the man a break; its only his first day.
In other injury news:
- John Salisbury, via twitter, reports that Roy Oswalt is recovering nicely: “Roy Oswalt is picking up rehab pace. He is pitching to hitters Mayberry, Brown, Francisco and Valdez right now at CBP.”
- Jose Contreras received a second opinion on his ailing arm that was just the same as the first. “He told me everything is OK, and I had just a little inflammation,” Contreras said. “There was no structural damage.” - Contreras could possibly return in mid-August.
- Joe Blanton’s situation has gone from bad to worse. Matt Gelb reports that Joe has stopped his throwing program and will return to Philadelphia for an examination by a physician. There is no real timetable for return. Blanton is suffering from what has been diagnosed as “an impingement that is causing inflammation”. I am honestly not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.
Blanton, who has still has 1 more season of his 3-year, 24 million dollar contract remaining, has started just 6 games this season composing 1-2 mark with a 5.50 ERA in 2011.
- Placido Polanco has been suffering from bulging disks in his back. He has, received injections for his injury and will be reevaluated next week.
Rosters & Rumors:
- The Phillies signed 11th Round pick Tyler Greene. There were no details disclosed of the deal.
- The Phillies also added former Met and Diamondback Aaron Heilman to a minor league deal. The righty posted a 6.88 ERA in 32 games with Arizona before being released. I’m not sure if he will see time with the ballclub, but we shall see.
- In terms of rumors, the Phillies have been linked to such players as The Mets’ Carlos Beltran and Houston’s Hunter Pence with rookie righty Vance Worley as the key player involved.
Other players thrown around include The Padres’ Heath Bell, Mike Adams, and Ryan Ludwick as well as the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez and the Royals’ Melky Cabrera.
* These are just names I have heard. There is most likely little truth to them, but I am just reported some things I am hearing.”
The Phillies will open a four game series with the San Diego Padres tonight. Cole Hamels opens up against Padres’ lefty Cory Luebke.
Scroll below for more on that series.
Until we meet again Phillies Fans; Happy Readings and Go Phillies!
- Johnny S.
My Fellow Phans,
So, I am trying a new look to my series previews here. I thought it would be nice to give you some more information than I used to. Let me know what you all think. I welcome all comments and suggestions. Anyhoo, here is your new look series preview:
The first place Phillies are coming off an impressive series win over the Cubs and come home to entertain the 4th place San Diego Padres.
Here is your preview:
Friday, July 22: 7:05 @ Citizens Bank Park – CSN Cole Hamels (11-5 2.71) vs. Cory Leubke (3-3 2.57)
Saturday, July 23: 4:10 @ Citizens Bank Park – Fox 29 Kyle Kendrick (5-4 3.34) vs. Matt Latos (5-10 4.02)
Sunday, July 24: 1:35 @ Citizens Bank Park – PHL 17 Roy Halladay (11-4 2.57) vs. Tim Stauffer (6-6 2.83)
Monday, July 25: 1:05 @ Citizens Bank Park – CSN Cliff Lee (9-6 2.83) vs. Aaron Harang (8-2 3.29)
* All Games also on 1210 AM
The Phillies begin a 10-game home stand with this four gamer against the Padres. San Diego has had a dismal year although, like most seasons, their pitching has been solid coupled with an horrible offense. Their team ERA is third best in the NL at 3.16 while they are dead last in runs scored and batting average.
That doesn’t mean that these guys are pushovers. Offensively, there is some talent there. They are led by outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who leads the team by a long shot with 11 homers and 61 RBIs. The lesser known offensive star of the Padres is third baseman Chase Headley (.299 2 HR 32 RBI).
Pitching wise, the Phillies will be facing a bunch of quality arms. The ironic part is that the best pitcher that they are facing this weekend may have the highest ERA of the bunch. Latos was a stud last year and there is no doubt that he has the stuff capable of shutting down this lineup. Although, it could really be said of any starter this weekend.
I don’t see the Phillies scoring as many runs as they did against the Cubs although, I can definitely see them winning 3 or 4 games this season especially with all three of their “aces” going.
Being at home we a chance to put some runs on the board. Our friendly confines usually suits the offense better especially compared to the gigantic Petco Park in San Diego. We are one of the best teams when playing at home this season and we should keep this up against the Padres.
With this optimism, I do offer some words of caution. This could possibly set up to be a trap series for our beloved Phillies. The Giants are lurking directly behind the Padres and we all know how everyone wants another shot at the defending champs. The Phillies shouldn’t overlook this light-hitting team. They have played particularly well against these guys in the past so let’s hope it continues this series.
Until We Meet Again Phillies Fans; Happy Readings and Go Phillies!
- Johnny S.
My Fellow Phans,
After last year’s fall to the surprising Giants, all of Philadelphia turned their eyes to this upcoming baseball season with expectations higher than life. Throw in the signing of Cliff Lee this offseason and this Phillies team may have more expectations than any of team in the history of this franchise.
But who could blame them?
The team entered with a rotation consisting of 3 of the greatest veteran starters of our era in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt. Coupled with that trio was one of the best young left handers in the game today, Cole Hamels.
Their lineup is riddled with all-stars and their bullpen is anchored by one of the best, yet relatively unknown relievers in the game, Ryan Madson.
The biggest concern for any team near the top of the league is health and the Phillies certainly have had their share of health concerns this year.
Pitching wise, Oswalt and fellow starter Joe Blanton are currently on the DL with still no set timetable for their returns although Oswalt appears to be closer to returning then Blanton.
Enter 23 year old Vance Worley and 26 year old Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick, whom opened the year in the Phillies bullpen, has pitched to a 3-2 record with an 3.86 ERA as a starter this year.
While Kyle was known to many, Worley came up under the radar. He pitched in 5 games last season for the Phillies, but never got the full opportunity that he had this year. So far, in 10 starts this year, “The Vanimal” as he is know, has pitched to a rookie-best 2.01 ERA amassing a 6-1 record in the process. He has give up 2 earned runs or less in 8 of his 10 stats and has quickly won over the hearts of all those in Philadelphia and to think, this kid is just a year old than I am.
The bullpen has a similar story as the Phillies have lost their 3-top closing candidates in Ryan Madson, who has recently returned, Jose Contreras, still working his way back, and Brad Lidge, who may or may not make his first appearance on the season this Friday. So, whom has stepped up during the time when all three of these veterans were out simultaneously?
Enter 25 year old Antonio Bastardo and 24 year old Michael Stutes. Bastardo had pitched for the Phillies during the past two season and had showed flashes of brilliance if he could just put it all together. Can we say that the young lefty has figured something out? Currently, he sits with a sterling 0.99 ERA striking out hitters at an astonishing rate while allowing just 13 hits in his 36.1 innings of work.
Stutes came out of spring training on a role and many though that he would make the roster, although that never happened. With all the injuries, the young gun finally got his chance in the big leagues. The young righty has garnered a 4-1 record with a steady 3.24 ERA. He and Bastardo have been the two more reliable relievers over the past few weeks.
To put this in perspective: The Phillies went 4-2 on their last road trip. The wins were from Worley, who won 2, Stutes, and Kendrick with Bastardo closing out a pair of victories.
Offensively, Third baseman Placido Polanco has seen considerable time on the DL while superstar second baseman Chase Utley missed nearly 1/3 of the season while injured.
Enter Michael Martinez. Yes, this guy is not entirely a “young” player at the age of 28, but this is his first real shot in the big leagues and he is certainly making the most of it. The super utility player has shown a dynamic glove while playing several positions. He current has 11 RBIs in the month of July, 2nd highest on the club trailing only Raul Ibanez in that department.
Speedy centerfielder Shane Victorino has been ailing this season with nagging injuries.
Enter John Mayberry and Domonick Brown. Now neither of these two are any stranger to Philly fans. Two players with a boatload of talent that just need to put it all together. Recently, these two are showing what potential they have. This month the duo has combined for 15 RBIs
The Phillies have had both opening day catchers on the DL simultaneously this season with Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schiender both out, but thankfully back now.
Despite all these injuries and with a big help from the young stars I mentioned, the Phillies have refused to slow down. They currently sit with the best record in baseball at 61-36.
To think as the injured veterans return, the Phillies will be faced with a problem of whom to demote from this young crop. Of all the problems that a team could face, this is one of the more pleasant ones. The most comforting part is that logically, the Phillies should only improve as these experienced players return.
Prepare for the return of Brad Lidge on Friday. This will be interesting to see how this turns out.
ON THE HORIZON:
Stay tuned for a later post on all injury updates as we will see who is close to returning, whom is way off, and who may not pitch again this season. We all have the good news, the O.K., and the bad news when it comes to the injury front in the near future.
I am also thinking of doing a small tidbit on what Bruce Bochy was truly planning during his All-Star game manipulation of our starters. I’ll warn you all right now; it looks like the Giants appear to have a distinct advantage next week when they come to Philadelphia for a three game series thanks to what his scheming.
I would also like to once again offer a huge THANK YOU to all who read this page; and I promise that my post totals will increase this second half.
Until we meet again Phillies fans; Happy Readings and Go Phillies!
- Johnny S.
Why the Phillies need Lidge
By Kevin K
Many people have trashed the return of Brad Lidge lately saying "we don't need that bum, he stinks". Well I am here to tell you differently, we need Brad Lidge. Yes the Phillies bullpen has held their own this year with great performances by Madson (who just came off the DL), Stutes, Bastardo, and even Kendrick.
However, for those four solid pitchers this season, there have been a rotating cast of characters in and out of the Phillies bullpen, including Danys Baez, Drew Carpenter, and David Herndon. All three of these players are currently in the Phillies bullpen and not performing so well.
After Danys Baez's fantastic five shut out innings, he has pitched terribly. He is currently 2-4 on the season with a 6.25 ERA.
Drew Carpenter is 0-0 on the season, but has a 6.23 ERA in the Majors for the Phillies so far this year.
Now comes everyone's favorite, David Herndon. Herndon is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA.
(take note, Phillies game on Monday 7/18 was NOT counted in the ERA's of Carpenter, Herndon, and Baez).
All three of these pitchers have been unreliable throughout the entire season.
Now people can still try to argue with me that bringing back Lidge is a bad idea, but it is not. Bringing back Lidge brings depth back to the Phillies bullpen. Lidge had his one bad rehab assignment last week, where he was truly wild as ever, but has been perfect before and after that outing.
Now I am not saying to put Brad Lidge into the closers role, because even Lidge admits that it is Madson's job now. The Phillies needs a veteran reliever (and really another in a trade) to bring more depth to the Phillies bullpen. Lidge would need to be used in the 7th or 8th inning as more of a setup man than a closer.
So go ahead and continue your rants on how bad Lidge is (he actually did great for the Phillies in 2010 and was PERFECT in 2008). Go ahead and tell me that 2009 was a terrible year for Lidge, because it was for Cole Hamels too and no one is currently yelling about him.
Now bringing back Brad Lidge does not mean that the Phillies shouldn't also look at bringing in an arm for the bullpen (which they are looking at). But bringing back Brad Lidge gets rid of players like Drew Carpenter, David Herndon, or Danys Baez.
The Phillies and the fans want to win in 2011, Brad Lidge may be the best option available for the Phillies
Mike Dill/For The Times
Phillies need help on third?
By Kevin K
As the trade deadline quickly approaches, the big question is what is the Phillies biggest need? The Phillies have been rumored to be looking at a relief pitcher and a right handed outfielder, but what about third base?
According to CSN's Jim Salisbury, "Just spoke with Placido Polanco. Back still sore. He believes he needs injection to help relieve pain from bulging disc".
Polanco started the season red hot, but slowly started to cool off and hasn't been himself while injured. There may be a reason to worry knowing how bad backs are hard to come back (no pun intended) into playing at a high level (look at Polanco and Oswalt).
Now there has been no trade rumors of the Phillies going after a third baseman, but I wouldn't leave it out of the question. Polanco's health certainly scares you a but as a Phillies fan and might cause you to push the panic button just a little bit.
Now I am not trying to take away from what Martinez has done for us lately, but he is not the everyday solution for the Phillies at third base. Just two weeks ago we were all saying how Martinez shouldn't even be on the team (so please don't try to attack me here).
All I am trying to really get out of this is letting you know do not be surprised if the Phillies decide to go after a right handed hitting third baseman.
Kendrick and Worley are getting the job done. According to John Clark, "Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick have made 17 starts for Phillies. They are 8-3, ERA around 3.00. They've been better than Oswalt/Blanton"
Teams are high on Phillies Prospect Jared Cosart. Expect his name to come up a lot in the upcoming weeks as "trade bait"
Five Phillies make the All Star Team
By Kevin K
The Philadelphia Phillies tied a franchise record, after Shane Victorino won the final vote yesterday, with five Phillies in the All Star Game. The Phillies had five players in the All Star Game in 1976, 1979, 1981, 1995, and 2009.
Victorino won the Final Vote with 9.2 million votes. He led all candidates in the final vote (AL and NL) and is the first player to win the Final Vote twice.
Now it is very nice to see that Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels all made the All Star Game, but there is a distinct possibility that only one of them will play.
Polanco (starter) and Victorino both have come down with injuries lately. So much so that the Phillies have been tempted to put them both on the DL; Victorino was officially put on the DL today (retroactive July 4th). Both say that if they play this weekend, they will play in the All Star Game. Once again, that is a big if.
Now look at the three Phillies pitchers. Roy Halladay has the best chance of playing in the All Star Game Tuesday night. He starts for the Phillies tonight versus the Braves and by Tuesday night he will officially have three full rest days (which may not be enough).
Then there is Cliff Lee who is pitching Saturday versus the Braves, if you are counting that is two full rest days. If it's me, I don't go to the All Star Game if I am Lee only because I do not want to risk injury.
The long shot to play in the All Star Game is Sunday's starter for the Phillies, Cole Hamels. Hamels is a pitcher who deserves to go to the All Star Game, but may be forced not to play. One day rest may kill Hamels and definitely put him at risk of injury.
So you see, the Phillies do have five players in the All Star Game, but might only be represented by one person.