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 – Fight For Survival


    The Philadelphia Phillies square off tomorrow against their biggest division rival the New York Mets.  The Phillies have the newly aquired right hander Joe Blanton (4.96 ERA) taking the mound against the Mets’ ace Johann Santana (3.10 ERA) .  Blanton has yet to give up a run in 15 career innings against the Mets organization.  On Wednesday opening day starter Brett Myers (5.84 ERA) will make his return back to the Phillies after his 4 minor league starts in Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater against John Maine (4.22 ERA).  Myers was sent to down to help regain confidence in his fastball and reacquire his swagger in which he believes he has accomplished.  There is probably no other team that will test Myer’s resolve better than the Mets.  He is already setting the stage telling the reporters that he does not like the Mets so, be prepared for a battle.  Jamie Moyer (3.90 ERA) will finish off the 3 game series at Shea looking for double digits in his win column against Oliver Perez (4.36 ERA) which has had some shaky outings.  The Phillies need to regroup offensively and get back to basics by getting on base and manufacturing runs by moving the  runners into scoring position via sac bunts, flys or stealing bases.  They need to win 2 out of 3 in every series in the 2nd half of the season to be in contention for the post season.  I would not rely of the wild card with as well as the central division is currently playing.  Go Phightins !!

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 . . . . .

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit Coca Cola Park and watch the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs vs Syracuse Chiefs.  The ballpark was very clean and had an open atmosphere to view the game.  The Iron Pigs on the other hand were a little rusty (no pun intended).  They ended up losing 1-0 in the 9th inning . . . . .   I did have a very enjoyable time watching the game.  The prices are very reasonable and it is a great place to bring the family.  It is also the team of choice for any Phillies rehab assignments.  So, do not hesitate to go to the AAA farm league team and support your Phightins!