Hot Stove Chatter: Park & Eyre, Halladay, Other stuff …

Posted by mattsmith on 9th December 2009

  • It appears the Phillies will not re-sign relief pitchers Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre before the end of the winter meetings Thursday. Park remains the team’s No. 1 priority in terms of the bullpen, but according to multiple local reports, the Phillies seem willing to move on without Eyre because they believe Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona have the potential to be effective left-handers out of the pen.
  • Brandon Lyon’s asking price is too high, according to multiple reports. The Phillies were aggressively pursuing Lyon to be, perhaps, the closer if Brad Lidge falters next year.
  • The Phillies have the pieces to obtain Roy Halladay in a trade. According to reports, the Phillies have had dialogue with the Blue Jays during the winter meetings.
  • The Phillies have until Saturday to offer salary arbitration to right-handers Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey. Durbin, in all likelihood, will return.
  • The addition of Ross Gload, signed late Tuesday, probably marks the “official” end of Matt Stairs’ tenure. Eric Bruntlett declined a minor-league contract last month and Juan Castro was signed to take his place.
  • GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told that Kyle Kendrick will “fight” for a spot in the starting rotation come spring training. Oft-injured, hard-throwing right-hander Scott Mathieson will compete for one of the bullpen spots.

Tags: Antonio Bastardo, Brandon Lyon, Chan Ho Park, Kyle Kendrick, Matt Stairs, Philadelphia Phillies, Ross Gload, Roy Halladay, Ruben Amaro Jr., Scott Eyre, Scott Mathieson, Sergio Escalona, Toronto Blue Jays
Posted in Hot Stove, Phillies news | No Comments »

NLDS GAMEDAY: Phils look upon their LEEader

Posted by phillies09 on 12th October 2009

NLDS Game Four

Phillies vs. Rockies

6:07 PM (EST) at Coors Field

The Phillies acquired Cliff Lee for the sole purpose of being the rotational ace. Tonight, they look for him to fulfill that position.

Cliff will once again in a Game 1 rematch look to take down Colorado’s main man RHP Ubaldo Jimenez.

Lee looked masterful in that game, as he really didn’t see much trouble beyond the first inning. The same could be said for Jimenez up until the fifth inning, when the Phils finally got to him in the tune of five runs over two innings. Every starting Phillie 1-9 got a hit that game, including Cliff Lee who then stole second.

The Rockies will be looking for revenge on what they consider a questionable Game 3, when the Phillies scored the go-ahead run off a Chase Utley single. Not only did the ball hit Utley, but he appeared to be out at first although he was called safe (conveniently they forget about Matt Stairs’ extremely wide strike zone when the Phils had runners on 2nd and 3rd). Jim Tracy did not blame the call for the team’s loss in his post-game interview.

Tracy also will make some lineup changes, removing the struggling Brad Hawpe for LF Seth Smith. Also, Garrett Atkins will bat 5th bumping Yorvit Torrealba to 6th.

Once again the new Phillies crusher (and thus probably future Met) Carlos Gonzalez will lead off. Gonzalez is a decent (sarcasm) 8 for 13 in the series so far.

Fun Phact - Ubaldo Jimenez had the highest average speed for a fastball in 2008 (94.9 MPH).

Im not really sure what the hell this is, but I believe it accurately describes the Rockies franchise completely.

I'm not really sure what the hell this is, but I believe it accurately describes the Rockies' franchise completely.

Tags: Carlos Gonzalez, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Colorado Rockies, Jim Tracy, Matt Stairs, NLDS, Philadelphia Phillies, Seth Smith, Ublado Jimenez
Posted in Phillies Playoffs 2009 | No Comments »

Bench makeover would help Phils

Posted by mattsmith on 5th October 2009

So much has been made out of the Phillies’ pitching situation heading into the playoffs, it’s easy to forget that this team has one major flaw outside of a guy whose name rhymes with “Lad” and “Bridge”…

The bench is weak.

But it’s not a lost cause, either.

There are two semi-not-really-controversial moves/switch-a-roos that should be made for the NLDS.

John Mayberry Jr. over Matt Stairs

So what if Mayberry failed to live up to the spring-training hype. And who cares if he has career minor leaguer written all over him.

Matt Stairs doesn’t deserve a spot on the roster.

I know, I know … he’s a power lefty and a folk hero. He can suck 90 percent of the time and make up for lost time with one swing of a bat.  Heck, I’ll be the first to admit that the Phillies MIGHT NOT have won the World Series without Stairs’ moonshot in Game 4 against the Dodgers.

But… c’mon, this guy flat-out cannot hit any longer. He’s old, beer-belly fat and Canadian. What more prove is there that this guy just doesn’t have it anymore?

Stairs can’t even catch up with a juicy fastball — his pride and joy. What does he have, one hit since July?

I understand that you’re losing the THREAT of a pinch-hit homer in late innings… but I’d gladly take my chance with Mayberry, who has shown flashes of power, if not an inability to hit any pitch that doesn’t stay straight in the zone.

Not to mention, Mayberry can run a little bit, so he can be used in pinch-run situations if need be.

Miguel Cairo over Eric Bruntlett

Ugh. Well, this isn’t exactly a huge, earth-shattering decision. Both guys a borderline terrible, but I’d give Cairo the nod because he has shown to be a better hitter in limited action this year.

Matt Stairs career-defining moment. Savior it forever, Phillies fans. It wont happen again (or, at least it shouldnt have the chance to happen again... not this year).

Matt Stairs' career-defining moment. Savior it forever, Phillies fans. It won't happen again (or, at least it shouldn't have the chance to happen again... not this year).

Like Stairs, Bruntlett can’t hit a lick.

Maybe Bruntlett is a better fielder… who the hell knows?

Here’s how the bench should look on Wednesday:

Outfielders - Ben Francisco and Mayberry

Infielders: Cairo and Dobbs

Catcher: Paul Bako

Tags: Ben Francisco, Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, John Mayberry Jr., Matt Stairs, Miguel Cairo, Paul Bako, Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Phillies commentary | 4 Comments »

Questions abound about Phillies’ playoff roster

Posted by mattsmith on 3rd October 2009

The Phillies lost to the Marlins, 4-3, Saturday afternoon. They cannot clinch home field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.

Good news, though, is that the Cardinals lost to the Brewers. Thus, the Phils have home field advantage in the first round ONLY.

Todd Zolecki of blogged Saturday that Charlie Manuel is leaning toward carrying 13 pitchers and 10 position player on the first-round playoff roster. Here’s the breakdown as far as position players are concerned:

C: Carlos Ruiz and Paul Bako

INF: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and Eric Bruntlett.

OF: Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Matt Stairs and Ben Francisco.

The pitching is a whole lot blurrier. With season-ending injuries to J.C. Romero, Jamie Moyer and possibly Chan Ho Park… there are questions here. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will start Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS, respectively. Joe Blanton should pitch the third game. The No. 4 spot has not yet been determined.

J.A Happ and Pedro Martinez are the candidates. Happ could be moved to the bullpen because of the team’s shortage of left-handed relievers. As of now, Scott Eyre

Dont lie to us, Charlie. If Brad Lidge has another 1-2-3 outing in a meaningless game Sunday (like he did on Saturday), youre gonna put him in a save situation the first chance you get, right?

Don't lie to us, Charlie. If Brad Lidge has another 1-2-3 outing in a meaningless game Sunday (like he did Saturday), you're gonna put him in a save situation the first chance you get, right?

is probably the Phillies’ only lefty specialist.

However, if Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo pitch well over the weekend, either one could be included on the postseason roster. At this point, you’d have to think that both are long shots…

Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Tyler Walker, Brett Myers and Eyre are “locks”. I’m pretty sure Kyle Kendrick has earned the role of long reliever.

Either Happ or Martinez is guaranteed a spot in the pen. Clay Condrey is iffy because he hasn’t pitched a whole lot this season because of injuries…

The pitching roles are pretty much undefined at this point. With one day left to go in the regular season, Manuel has some crucial decisions to make.

Tags: Antonio Bastardo, Ben Francisco, Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, Chan Ho Park, Charlie Manuel, Chase Utley, Clay Condrey, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Eric Bruntlett, Greg Dobbs, J.A. Happ, J.C. Romero, Jamie Moyer, Jayson Werth, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, Matt Stairs, Paul Bako, Pedro Feliz, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Sergio Escalona, Shane Victorino
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Gameday: Phils eye sweep behind Cliff Lee

Posted by phillies09 on 13th August 2009

Phillies vs. Cubs

2:20 p.m. EST at Wrigley Field

Ryan Dempster (6-4, 4.04 ERA)

Ryan Dempster (6-4, 4.04 ERA)

Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.13 ERA)

Cliff Lee (2-0, 1.13 ERA)

The Phillies will take the field today in Chicago hoping to watch Cliff Lee do what he does best. If the Phillies and their new ace are able to win today they will complete the much needed sweep against one of the NL’s best team.

The Cubs look to starter Ryan Dempster to salvage the three game series. Dempster’s last outing in Colorado resulted in a win, as he only gave up two earned off nine hits through six innings.

Cliff Lee who has yet to lose in a Phillies uniform this year will be looking for his third win of the season. He “only” lasted seven innings in his last start, also against Colorado, when he gave up one run on six hits.

The Phillies offense will look to carry over some of the production they were having in last nights game. The 12 runs they scored were the most since July 25, and Raul Ibanez’s homer was the first in August between him, Howard, and Utley.

Play to watch - Matt Stairs. If a pinch hit situation should arise against Dempster, look for Charlie to turn to Stairs. Stairs has three home runs on four hits in seven at-bats against the starter.

Fun Phact - Wrigley Field  never saw a night game before 1984, when lights in the stadium were not yet installed.

Tags: Chase Utley, Chicago Cubs, Cliff Lee, Matt Stairs, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Howard
Posted in Phillies previews | No Comments »

Marlins spoil HK’s night

Posted by mattsmith on 7th August 2009

Friday, August 7th

Marlins 3, Phillies 2

Harry Kalas’ enshrinement into the Phillies Wall of Fame was belied by Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins, who took Game 1 of the weekend series.

The Fish scored two runs in the first inning off Joe Blanton and a solo homer by Cody Ross in the second made it 3-0. Those were all the runs Florida would need.

Save a two-run homer by Ben Francisco, Nolasco (8-7, 4.86 ERA) stymied the Phils’ at-bats. The right-hander pitched seven innings with seven strikeouts.

The Phillies, who mustered only four hits, had runners on first and third base with no outs in the second inning, but could not score. The lack of production at the plate has been a recurring theme over the last several games.

To his credit, Blanton (7-6, 4.02 ERA) settled down after a rocky start, lasting 6 2/3 frames. However, the burly right-hander was once again starved of run support. The Phillies have scored only two runs in Blanton’s last two starts.

Leo Nunez needed only five pitches to retire Francisco, Greg Dobbs and Matt Stairs in the ninth.

Player of the Game

Ricky Nolasco

Ricky Nolasco

Tags: Ben Francisco, Cody Ross, Florida Marlins, Greg Dobbs, Harry Kalas, Joe Blanton, Matt Stairs, Philadelphia Phillies, Ricky Nolasco
Posted in Phillies recaps | 3 Comments »

Gameday: Phils open series with Rockies

Posted by mattsmith on 4th August 2009

Phillies vs. Rockies

7:05 p.m. EST at Citizens Bank Park

Matt Hammel (5-6, 4.66 ERA)

Jason Hammel (5-6, 4.66 ERA)

Jamie Moyer (10-7, 5.32 ERA)

Jamie Moyer (10-7, 5.32 ERA)

Season Series Background

The Colorado Rockies visit Philadelphia for the first and only time in 2009. In early April, the Phillies took 2 of 3 games at Coors Field. Matt Stairs hit a game-winning home run in the ninth inning on getaway day. It proved to be legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas’ final home run call.

The Phillies (59-44, 1st place NL East) return home from a 3-4 road trip. At home, the Phillies have won 13 of their last 17 games.

The Rockies (58-47, 3rd place NL West) have been a changed team since Jim Tracy took the helm in late May. Colorado is coming off a three-game sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati and are neck-and-neck with the Giants for the NL wild card lead.

Jamie Moyer toes the slab for the Phillies. Moyer leads all Philadelphia starters in wins (10). He is coming off a strong outing against Arizona, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He finished July with a 4-1 record and a 3.30 ERA.

Jason Hammel gets the ball for the Rockies. Hammel was roughed up in his last start against the Mets, allowing five runs over 1 1/3 innings. It was the worst start of his career.

Hammel has made only one career appearance against the Phillies. Raul Ibanez is 2-for-5 lifetime with a solo homer off Hammel.

Tags: Colorado Rockies, Jamie Moyer, Jason Hammel, Matt Stairs, Philadelphia Phillies, Raul Ibanez
Posted in Phillies previews | No Comments »