Todd Zolecki is reporting that the Phillies have signed 2B Ronnie Belliard to a Minor League deal. Belliard will start with the Iron Pigs.
Belliard increases the Phillies depth at second base just in case Utley is out long term and Valdez is not the answer.
He was recently released by the Yankees (signed a Minor League deal there) and recently saw his most amount of playing time with the LA Dodgers.
In 24 games with the Dodgers, he hit .351 with 5 home runs and took over the starting second baseman job from Orlando Hudson for the post-season. He played 82 games for the Dodgers in the 2010 season, batting .216 on the year. He was released in September of 2010 by the Dodgers after a down season.
He was also on the 2006 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals and batted .462 in the NLCS.
After the Phillies Spring Training loss to the Pirates, they announced the final Opening Day roster. Normally cuts would be made the day before Opening Day but the Phillies wasted no time with the announcement.
Earlier today the Phillies announced the release of 2B Luis Castillo, meaning that Wilson Valdez was going to be the Opening Day second baseman and Rule 5 Pick Mike Martinez made the team; leaving the final bench spot a competition between Pete Orr and Delwyn Young.
The Phillies announced that Pete Orr made the team with Young being sent to the minors. A reason why Orr made the team is because of his ability to play third base. Manuel is still worried about the elbow of Polanco so he wanted the depth there at third as well as second.
The Phillies also announced that David Herndon and Antonio Bastardo earned the final two bullpen spots, with Stutes being sent to Triple A.
Phillies roster now looks like this:
Bullpen: Danys Baez, Antonio Bastardo, Jose Contrares, David Herndon, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge (DL), Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, and Brian Schlitter (DL)
Starters: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton
Catchers: Carlos Ruiz, Brian Schnieder
Infielders: Ryan Howard, Wilson Valdez, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Pete Orr, Michael Martinez, Brian Bocock (DL), and Chase Utley (DL)
Outfielders: Ben Francisco, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry Jr, Ross Gload, Domonic Brown (DL).
The Phillies also announced that Utley, Lidge, Brown, Bocock & Schlitter will start the season on the DL.
Jimmy Rollins will lead off on Saturday with the lineup (NOT OFFICIAL, THIS IS MY GUESS!) looking like: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Francisco RF, Carlos Ruiz C, Wilson Valdez 2B, Roy Halladay P
The Phillies announced today the release of second baseman Luis Castillo. Castillo had a week to make the team and failed to do so, meaning the Phillies do not have pay him any of the $414,000 they signed him for. Castillo showed up to Clearwater a little late for the Phillies and in his debut he went 0-4. After that Castillo played well enough to make the team. In 50 at bats in Spring Training (with both the Phillies and Mets), he had a .280 average with one extra base hit, but he played very well for the Phillies in the week he was with them.
This release means that Rule 5 pick Mike Martinez will make the team with the last spot on the roster will be either Pete Orr and Delwyn Young.
In talking about who will replace Utley at second, Manuel said, “Wilson Valdez and Martinez are both going to play some there."
Castillo released by the Phillies. Photo courtesy of philly.com
Jayson Stark of ESPN reports, "Ruben Amaro Jr. finally acknowledged the obvious. Chase Utley will start the year on DL because 'he hasn't seen field yet & we're week away'"
Utley is still recovering from chronic patellar tendinitis in his right knee. The Phillies have been treating the injury as a rest and rehab injury to avoid surgery. There is no timetable for his return.
“There’s really nothing new,” Amaro said. “I think it feels better but it’s kind of a long term process.”
Keep an eye in the next week over the second base position battle. Wilson Valdez is the clear favorite to start the season as the Phillies starting second baseman, but, with the recent signing of Luis Castillo, the Phillies are also looking elsewhere to try and fill the shoes of Chase Utley.
Heading into this season this Phillies team was the second oldest team in Franchise history. Age leads to injury. We all knew Chase Utley has had his problems so far during Spring Training. Now add Closer Brad Lidge with his bicep issue and third baseman Placido Polanco who hyper-extended his elbow yesterday. Injury after injury have affected this team already and we haven't started the season yet ... but it's a long way to go.
These injuries right now are minor injuries that these players can come back from (Utley's injury is TBD).
No need to push the panic button just yet, but Matt Gelb of the Inquirer tends to think along the same side as me. You could pick any position in the infield and match an injury to it. Gelb points out: "First base: ankle. Second base: knee. Shortstop: calf. Third base: elbow."
Manuel has downplayed the injuries by saying, "I don't worry about that. Seriously. They're not trying to get hurt. If I'm worried about everybody getting hurt . . . I don't have time for that."
At this point we are 16 days away from Opening Day. Our offense is still a little depleted, but we still have a top rotation in baseball. Yes there will be injuries along the way, but there were injuries last season for the Phillies, who still had the best record in baseball.
John Mayberry Jr. entered Training Camp without even being considered by fans as competition for the Right Field Position. The names you heard heading into Spring Training were Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown, and Ross Gload.
Mayberry continues to impress the team, press, and fans in his pursue of a big league roster spot. His right handed bat is hot in Clearwater right now as he is batting .353, with three doubles, four home runs, and nine RBI.
Mayberry can not only play RF, but has played first base for the Phillies in Clearwater (he played first base in college). Mayberry has a solid glove at first and can track down balls in right to give him a double threat in the field.
Quotes Courtesy of Bob Brookover of Philly.com
"I think it definitely makes you hungry when you're able to experience big-league life and how fun it is at the big-league level," Mayberry said. "I guess it definitely increases your drive and makes you want to work that much harder so you can try to be a mainstay the next time you get up there."
Charlie Manuel has noticed saying, "He works out harder. He's in better shape. He's got a stronger core over the last two years and he's improved his hitting as far as his approach, his stance, and he's stronger. He takes a stronger swing at the ball."
"He puts in real good at-bats on lefties, but he still has to hit righties better," Manuel said. "But you can platoon guys. You can get at-bats that way."
Right now, Mayberry is hitting well against every pitcher he sees, and it's pleasing his manager.
"I look at him as a guy who is similar to Jayson Werth," Manuel said. "The better he does - who knows? - he might end up being a regular."
Phillies give Ruben Amaro Jr. a four year extension, which will keep him here until 2015.
LHP Jamie Moyer is eyeing a 2012 comeback
Amaro described the progression as "baby steps" and added he thinks Utley is "feeling a little bit better". "We have done some consultations with some doctors and right now after consulting with (team physician) Dr. Ciccotti as well, we're comfortable with what we're doing here right now," Amaro said. "He's actually been able to do some more exercises that he had not been doing before. He showed some progression in some of the exercises. I don't think he's taking ground balls quite yet, but some of the work he is doing with (trainer) Scott Sheridan on his rehab, he's done some more things."
He is the President of a Major League Baseball team. Not just any team but his hometown team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
David Montgomery, who grew up in Roxborough, PA just outside of Philadelphia, was born and raised in Philadelphia. He grew up watching the local professional Philadelphia teams play.
He graduated from William Penn Charter High School, went to University of Pennsylvania. He started working for the Phillies some 30 years ago.
Phillies president, David Montgomery, speaks at a press conference four years ago.
On Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 he spoke a capacity crowd at Springfield Township High School in Erdenhiem, PA. He was a featured speaker in a “Local Gems” program that the Township runs, highlighting local celebrities and famous people who have made an impact on the township and the community.
Montgomery spoke about his job as President of the Phillies, and what his job entitles. As well as spoke about what makes this franchise unique. Fan support, as Montgomery stated during his discussion, has helped the franchise become successful both on and off the field.
“The players can ‘feel’ the fans,” Montgomery stated and continued, “One of the things that Cliff Lee mentioned was the fact that the fans don’t need a teleprompter to get loud.”
He said the players notice the fans, and notice that they travel well. Whether it’s as many Phillies as Nationals fans in D.C. or Phillies fans out west, everywhere they go, the team always sees Phillies fans, Montgomery stated.
“It’s that passion for sports in Philadelphia,” he said. “Whether it’s at home or on the road or even at Spring Training at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Phillies fans travel excellently.”
After Montgomery finished his talk and the Question/Answer segment, he was kind enough to sit down with me to answer some questions.
BM: “What’s the deal with [Jamie] Moyer? Do you know what his plans are?”
DM: As you know, he recently had Tommy John Surgery on his left arm. He is going to rehab as if he is going to pitch again, just not this season… in 2012. Of course he will be age 50. He would also like to expand into broadcasting if he can not pitch again as well as help the expansion of his charity, Camp Erin into 25 major league cities (cities with at least one MLB team).
BM: “Tell me about this Scoreboard upgrade”
DM: In ‘04 when Citizens Bank Park first opened it was only Standard Definition, since no one even thought about High Def. But if would of waited until ‘06, it would have been High Definition. It got to the point where the SD Scoreboard became too much to operate and service, thus the upgrade.
BM: “Your thoughts on the right field situation with Werth leaving”
DM: As you know, we made an offer to Werth. It was a three year with an option for a fourth year. He obviously left. But we feel that given the proper at bats, Ben Francisco can become a more significant hitter with more at bats. Of course, there is Dom Brown who is also going to play a big part. We also have a AAA prospect in John Mayberry as a right-handed bat, and of course we can use [Ross] Gload for Werth’s production with the bat.
BM: “Alright, how about your thoughts on Joe Blanton”
DM: Blanton is going to be the fifth starter. We are just fine with Blanton as our fifth starter or whoever else it made be: Kendrick or Worley.
More of the Q&A with Montgomery is located on the Team to Beat’s website.
On Tuesday, Ryan Howard was placed on the 15 Day DL after an injury from Sunday’s game versus the Nationals. Howard lead the Phillies in Home Runs (23) and RBI (81). His batting average (.292) is the fourth best on the team (behind Polanco, Ruiz, and Werth). Howard also lead the team in games played (104) before going down with the injury.
With the loss of Ryan Howard, that leaves three (Victorino, Utley, Howard) of the Phillies starters on the DL at the same time.
The Phillies somehow continue to win after the injury bug has completely taken over this team. So far this season all but one position player (Jayson Werth) for the Phillies missed games this season because of an injury.
On Tuesday, Charlie Manuel put together his 68th different lineup this season. Compare that to the 68 lineup combinations that Manuel used in all of 2009. The injury bug has definitely affected the Phillies and their play.
John Mayberry Jr. was called up to replace Howard on the roster. Mayberry has been taking groundballs from first base in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Utley Watch: Utley took grounders before Tuesday’s game. He even used his right hand (not a full force throw) to throw back to Perlozzi.