Philadelphia Phillies – Soul Searching

Jimmy Rollins finally confessed to the Padres last night that his lack of offense was due directly to the Philadelphia Phans negative demeanor.  Shortly after receiving that message the Padres proceeded to back hand Rollins until he began crying in the fetal position.  Post beating Rollins decided to show retribution by going 0-4 once again just to prove his point.

Kyle Kendrick has taken his turn stinking up the rotation after Myers and Eaton completed that task ealier this year.  Kendrick pitched 3 2/3 innings while allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and walking 5 batters.  This is Kendrick’s 2nd consecutive non quality start.  After the game it was heard that Kendrick will need a visit to see Rod Nichols at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs soon.

The Phillies offense was slightly more than stagnent tonight while accruing 6 hits.  Shane Victorino was the only light at the end of a long, long tunnel going 2-4.

Tonight Cole”I can’t buy a win” Hamels will take the mound in search of his 10th win.  Hamels (3.32 ERA) will take the hill against Cha Seung Baek (5.20 ERA) on ESPN at 8pm eastern.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 0 0 0 1 2 2 .266
Werth, RF 3 1 1 0 1 0 1 .264
Utley, 2B 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 .285
Howard, 1B 3 0 0 1 1 2 2 .233
Burrell, LF 2 0 0 0 2 1 2 .263
Victorino, CF 4 1 2 1 0 2 1 .285
Dobbs, 3B 4 0 1 1 0 2 2 .309
Coste, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .270
Kendrick, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .111
  Condrey, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  Eyre, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Taguchi, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .212
  Walrond, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Jenkins, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .241
Totals 32 3 6 3 5 13 14
image from phillies.com
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State Of The Union – Myers, Happ, Utley, Eaton and Manny

     The Phillies starting pitcher turned bullpen help Adam Eaton was demoted yesterday to AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  This comes off of a 2 inning mess on Sunday against the Braves that he allowed 3 runs with 2 of them being longballs.  Eaton was recently demoted into the bullpen hoping he could at least fill a need for a right handed long reliever, but he was unable to come into a game and shut down the opponent.  He was pulled into Manuel’s office after the game and gracefully bowed out as Brett Myers had recently done.  Adam will be placed into the starting rotation at Lehigh Valley and according to Ruben Amaro Jr. he will be shuffled around the Phillies affiliate teams in order to stay localized in case he needs to be called up.

     J.A. Happ is being called up to the Phillies once again, but it has not yet been determined whether he will be placed into the starting rotation or as a reliever.  Brett Myers has a start tomorrow against the Washington Nationals which could determine if he is to remain in the starting rotation or be moved to the bullpen and replaced by Happ.

     The trade rumors surrounding Manny Ramirez coming to Philadelphia has been down played by the Phillies organization.  It has been documented that the Phillies and the Mets have both contacted Boston in regards to trading Manny for their respective ball clubs.  The Mets do not have what it takes in trades to be able to get Manny and they are not even sure if they are willing to take the chance on disrupting the club house.  Pat Gillick had stated that the Phillies currently do not have a position open for Manny considering that they currently have Pat Burrell in left field.  I would assume that Manny would at least remain in Boston for the rest of the year considering how much his salary commands from an organization.

     Chase Utley has been having some soreness in his right hip according to Ruben Amaro Jr. and David Montgomery.  However, Utley has down played the injury stating that his soreness has nothing to do with his issues surrounding the recent hitting slump.  I would not expect Chase to be placed on the D.L., but you may see him get pulled out of games if they have a comfortable lead in order to rest his hip and get Eric Bruntlett some playing time.

Philadelphia Phillies – Catcher Help Wanted A.S.A.P.

     With the trade deadline closing in some of the top pitchers have already closed a deal with the Phillies sitting on the benches.  So, where does that leave Philadelphia?  There is nothing set in stone, but I would venture to say that the Phillies will not acquire another starting pitcher.  I believe that they will be sitting on Brett Myers with hopes he will continue to improve in his rehab assignment and come back into the starting rotation.  I also see them holding onto J.A, Happ for the rotation which puts them at 6 pitchers.  Kendrick will stay so, that leaves Moyer and Eaton.  Well if you go by pure stats Moyer far exceeds Eaton, but Eaton is younger with a stronger arm.  You can make an argument for both of them, but one will most likey be sent to the bullpen or thrown in a deal with a position player.  With Jenkins slowly coming out of his slump the next most logical position would be the catcher.  Chris Coste has already said that he is not going to be the regular catcher due to his knees and age.  So, that leaves Carlos Ruiz . . . . . . .   Yes, that is chooch!  His recent batting average has dropped to 206!!  He is also the king of the double play ball when a clutch hit is needed.  Pat Gillick has recently mentioned that he would consider improving on the catcher position.  However, it is very difficult to acquire a solid productive catcher because no team wants to give them up.

Here are some of the potential trades for catchers:

  • Ivan Rodriguez – Tigers
  • Ramon Hernandez – Orioles
  • Paul Lo Duca – Nationals
  • Johnny Estrada – Nationals
  • Miguel Olivo – Royals
  • Yorvit Torrealba – Rockies
  • Gregg Zaun – Blue Jays

     Now with all of that taken into consideration if the Phils look internally they maybe suprised.  I have listed below the top prospects from the Reading Phillies and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  I also listed their stats in comparison to Carlos Ruiz.  It is difficult enough for an offense to absorb the pitchers role in the line-up, but the catcher should not be a sacrifice position.  I would much rather see the Phightins stick with what they found in J.A. Happ and hopefully Myers and replace Carlos Ruiz to bolster the offense even more.

  Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

    Jason Jaramillo – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

   Lou Marson – Reading Phillies (AA)

  G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
Ruiz 63 189 24 39 7 0 2 20 52 21 26 0 0 0.299 0.275 0.206
Jaramillo 72 253 24 66 14 0 5 27 95 19 42 0 1 0.311 0.361 0.251
Marson 80 269 47 87 15 0 4 44 114 60 54 3 3 0.447 0.424 0.323

Philadelphia Phillies – Atlanta Not So Brave

    

     The Philadelphia Phillies brought down the tee-pee in the Atlanta Braves series last night.  The Phillies defeated the Braves in a 4-1 victory while displaying their prowess in their division by sweeping the Braves both times they met this year in Atlanta.  Cole Hamels showed his ace status by pitching 8-2/3 innings while allowing 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and administering 7 strikeouts.  The Phillies offense also showed up for the 3rd consecutive day placing 8 hits on the board with 3 of those hits being homeruns from Chase Utley (24), Ryan Howard (22) and Pedro Feliz (10).  Some other notables are Pat Burrell going 2-4 and Pedro Feliz 3-4 while both of these players are breaking through a hitting slump.  The Phillies are hoping for the reversal of the overall offensive slump that they accrued after sweeping the Braves the 1st time.  Sweeping them the 2nd time around should place them back on track to dominating the N.L. Eastern Division once again.

     Tonight starts the 4 game series with the Phillies hosting the Mets at Citizen Bank Park.  J.A. Happ the rookie sensation will pitch tonight away from his normal home at Coca Cola Park and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  Happ (3.54 ERA) which had started for 1 game last year against the Mets is hoping that his new bag of tricks will help defeat his rival Johann Santana (3.01 ERA) which he faces on the mound tonight.  J.A. Happ has proven himself at the AAA level with 3.54 ERA, 38 BB, 104 strikeouts over 101.2 innings pitched.  You can check out more J.A. Happ stats as well as Kris Benson and Brett Myers here.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .276
Victorino, CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .265
Utley, 2B 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 .300
Howard, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 .219
Burrell, LF 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 .278
  Werth, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .268
Jenkins, RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .239
Feliz, 3B 4 1 3 2 0 0 0 .267
Ruiz, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .208
Hamels, P 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 .279
  Gordon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 34 4 8 4 1 8 11
Image from phillies.com

Philadelphia Phillies – Brother In Arms

     The Philadelphia Phillies won last night against the Atlanta Braves in their return to the National League schedule.  Kyle Kendrick pitched his way into the 8th win of the season at Turner Field.  He allowed 3 runs over 6 innings while accruing 6 hits 2 strikeouts and 2 walks.  Kendrick received his usual run support from the Phils with them administering 14 hits and shutting down the Braves on their 1st game of a 3 game homestand.

     Tonight Adam Eaton (4.86 ERA) takes the mound in Atlanta in search of just his 3rd win of the season.  He will face off against the Braves righty Jorge Campillo (2.54 ERA).  With the temporary threat of  4 man rotation Cole Hamels will prepare himself for a early start and the Ace position in the rotation tomorrow.  Meanwhile Brett Myers will pitch tonight in Lehigh Valley in his 1st rehab assignment with the Iron Pigs.  There still is no permanent solution for his replacement, but rather a mish-mosh of AA and AAA pitchers including J.A. Happ and Carlos Carrasco.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 4 1 2 0 1 0 0 .267
Victorino, CF 5 1 2 4 1 1 1 .274
Utley, 2B 6 1 2 0 0 2 6 .298
Howard, 1B 5 1 2 0 0 1 4 .218
Burrell, LF 3 1 2 2 1 0 0 .275
  1-Werth, PR-LF 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .268
Jenkins, RF 5 0 2 1 0 1 4 .243
Feliz, 3B 4 0 0 1 0 3 6 .256
Ruiz, C 2 1 0 0 3 0 2 .213
Kendrick, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 .129
  Romero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  a-Taguchi, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .203
  Gordon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
  b-Dobbs, PH 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .327
  Lidge, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 40 8 14 8 6 9 26  
Image from phillies.com
 

Philadelphia Phillies – High Noon In The Lonestar State

    

 The Philadelphia Phillies won last night while hornswaggling the Texas Rangers in a 8-6 showdown.  The Phillies were able to match bat for bat against the Rangers that lead the majors in runs and RBI’s.  Also, Cole Hamels pitched his 8th win of the year while Brad Lidge was able to close the door on 19/19 saves.  Chase Utley and Ryan Howard smoked the longball out of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX.  This ties Chase Utley (23 HR) with Dan Uggla (23 HR) from the Florida Marlins with the most homeruns in the majors in 2008.  This surpasses last year’s 22 HR produced by Utley and we are only 82 games into the season.

     The Phillies pull  ahead in the N.L. standings with the eastern division all losing in yesterday’s games.  The Florida Marlins fall back to 2 games behind the Phightins with losing Dan Uggla to an ankle sprain.  The Braves and the Mets fall back to 4 games with the Mets losing the last 2 games during their subway series with the Yankees.  The Washington Nationals bring up the rear of the division with being an inflated 12 games in the defecit.

     The Phils are still trying to determine what they will do with Brett Myers and his starting rotation position.  They have considered moving Chad Durbin into the rotation and placing Myers in the bullpen.  There is always the option of J.A. Happ or Kris Benson that is pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs today in a rehab assignment.  They may even consider to move to a temporary 4 man rotation until a determination can be made.  With those decisions looming veteran Jamie Moyer (4.09 ERA) takes the mound against the Rangers Eric Hurley (4.24 ERA) in the series finale and the end of interleague play for the year.

 

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Rollins, SS 5 0 1 1 0 0 3 .264
Victorino, CF 5 1 1 0 0 2 2 .275
Utley, 2B 5 1 3 2 0 0 2 .298
Burrell, LF 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 .270
  Bruntlett, LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .239
Howard, 1B 3 2 1 2 1 1 1 .215
Dobbs, DH 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 .330
Feliz, 3B 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 .264
Werth, RF 3 0 1 2 1 0 0 .263
Coste, C 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 .314
Totals 36 8 10 7 3 5 13
Image from phillies.com

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs – Mud Hole

The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are currently .300 winning percentage.  Does this sound like a good team to you?  Well little can be said for the stats surrounding the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, but they pulled their heads out of the trough.  The Iron Pigs have won 15 out of 50 games, but 11 of those wins have come within the past month of May.  You can check out the team stats here .  They have come along way since last time I went to see them play the Syracuse Chiefs at Coca Cola Park.  Most of the team’s batting averages were not even at the .200 mark.  I was almost embarassed for them, but when you check their stats now it is plain to see that they have made tremendous strides in their offense.  Maybe you can say that they are a fair weather team, but I can say they can keep their snouts high with the type of baseball they have been playing in May.  Go out and support your local AAA affliate baseball team . . . . .