Archive for August, 2011

Analyzing a Potential Jim Thome Return

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, August 24, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 14

Monday, the Minnesota Twins placed designated hitter Jim Thome on trade waivers. You all remember Thome not just because of his hall of fame career, but because in the winter of 2002, he became the biggest free agent, arguably, since Pete Rose, to sign with the Phillies, which was viewed as a major step in rebuilding from the malaise years of the 1990s.

Thome has been in the news recently for hitting his 600th career home run, and with that achievement–and the accompanying media circus–now in the past, the Twins appear to be willing to let the 21-year veteran go. Thome has been a star on several teams that had a chance to make a run at a World Series, from the Cleveland Indians of 1995 and 1997 to the Dodgers in 2009 last year’s Twins. What’s more, Thome was traded from the Phillies to the White Sox one year after the White Sox won the World Series and three seasons before the Phillies won theirs.

With his career waning, Thome wants to take another crack at winning a title, and the Twins, out of contention even in the dismal AL Central, appear willing to allow him to do precisely that. From the Phillies’ perspective, there are three questions to ask about Thome: 1) Do they want him? 2) Should they want him? and 3) How likely is it that they can get him? The short answers to those questions are 1) Yes 2) Yes and 3) Unlikely, but possible.

For the long answers to those questions, follow the link. For information on Thome’s up-to-date status, click here. Much of the information below is sourced from those reports.

Continue reading Analyzing a Potential Jim Thome Return


Mets Want No Part of Phillies’ Scrubs

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, August 23, 2011 09:56 PM Comments: 12

Richie Ashburn Award: Vance Worley

Vance Worley, when he settles in as a major leaguer, is supposed to be a back-end of the rotation arm, or maybe a middle reliever.

But nobody appears to have notified Worley himself.

Worley allowed five baserunners among the first eight men he faced, then retired 15 in a row before allowing one run in the seventh as the Phillies took the middle game of the series by a score of 9-4. Worley threw 109 pitches and struck out a career high nine men, a staggering seven of them on called third strikes, including three in a row with runners on second and third in the second inning. Michael Stutes allowed three runs in two innings of garbage time, but the Mets weren’t really ever in the game after the fifth inning or so.

Continue reading Mets Want No Part of Phillies’ Scrubs


Gameday: Mets (60-67) at Phillies (82-44)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, August 23, 2011 06:27 PM Comments: 4

New York Mets (60-67) at Philadelphia Phillies (82-44)

Jonathon Niese, LHP (11-10, 4.05) vs. Vance Worley, RHP (8-1, 2.76)

Time: 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 80
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Turns out that Jonathon Niese, tonight’s starting pitcher for the Mets, is from Lima, Ohio, which, as you might know, is where Glee is set. That’s in no way important to tonight’s game, but in case you’re going to the game and feel like jeering Niese, there’s some extra ammunition. Continue reading Gameday: Mets (60-67) at Phillies (82-44)


U of Delaware Product Alonso Earns His Spot

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 23, 2011 08:37 AM Comments: 3

LAKEWOOD, NJ- As the 2011 minor league regular season began and players were assigned to their full-season clubs, infielder Carlos Alonso stayed behind in extended spring training. For months, Alonso, a 32nd round draft pick out of the University of Delaware in 2010, would split playing time with other players, hoping to get an opportunity and get noticed enough to join a roster.

The chance came for the 5-foot-11-inch 205-pound Alonso, once the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters came north in June. Through 5 games in the New York-Penn League, Alonso went 6-for-14 (.429 avg) with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. However, even then, Alonso had difficulty cracking the lineup on a daily basis.

Luckily for Alonso, some roster maneuvering landed the 23-year-old on the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws roster by July 10th. Since joining the two-time defending South Atlantic League champions, Alonso has played in 35 games and sports a .327 batting average with 1 HR, 16 RBI and a .446 on-base percentage.

Alonso, a California native, feels as though the regular playing time with Lakewood has enabled him to develop a greater level of belief in himself which has assisted in his overall development on the diamond.

“I came here with a new confidence,” Alonso said, having earned a spot as the BlueClaws’ everyday second baseman. “I wasn’t playing much in Williamsport and now I’m playing every day. And I’m just taking each day like it’s a new start and enjoying it. I’m just confident that I’m going to go out there and have good at bats every day.”

Continue reading U of Delaware Product Alonso Earns His Spot


Phillies Trash Mets as Lee Wins 14th

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 22, 2011 11:05 PM Comments: 26


June, August, October. If Cliff Lee continues the way he’s pitching, we’re in for a fantastic postseason.

Maybe you haven’t taken notice, but Cliff Lee’s August has been almost as amazing as his June. He continued his torrid month by throwing seven shutout innings in Monday’s 10-0 win over the New York Mets.

Here in August, Lee is 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA. He has given up just two runs in 31 innings, a bounce back after a rough July by his standards. Lee has blown through August relatively quietly, but it’s almost on par with June. In that month, Lee tossed 42 innings and gave up just one earned run. If he didn’t own June completely, this August may be getting more press. But as it stands, Lee just continues to roll along, winning his 14th game on Monday night against the lowly Mets.

Run support was given early and often by Hunter Pence and John Mayberry, Jr. among many others. Mayberry ripped his 11th homer of the season in the third inning, Pence went yard in the sixth, his 16th of the year.

Continue reading Phillies Trash Mets as Lee Wins 14th


Gameday: Mets (60-66) at Phillies (81-44)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Mon, August 22, 2011 05:49 PM Comments: 35

New York Mets (60-66) at Philadelphia Phillies (81-44)

Dillon Gee, RHP (11-4, 3.92) vs. Cliff Lee, LHP (13-7, 2.82)

Time: 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Sunny, 75
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Tonight, Cliff Lee and Dillon Gee
Oppose each other at CBP
We’ll see the opening game of three
The Mets will spend in Philly.

The lineup facing Dillon Gee
Will be without a starter or three
Instead, Exxon and Mayberry
Will start, if they are willing.

Rollins, at short, and Ibanez
Have pulled their groins (Zolecki says)
But Polly’s back, so Martinez
Continues to ride the bench.

It matters not, for Hunter Pence
And his ilk ought to provide offense
Abundant for tonight’s starting arm…
One Cliff Lee–what a mensch!

Lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Lee P

Continue reading Gameday: Mets (60-66) at Phillies (81-44)


Did Jered Weaver Set the Price for Cole Hamels?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 22, 2011 09:32 AM Comments: 25

Jered Weaver is a rich man - when will Cole Hamels follow suit? (PHOTO: AP)

Both men are having Cy Young-caliber seasons and one just got paid. Jered Weaver inked a five-year, $85 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday – is Cole Hamels next?

It’s a topic of discussion that will not subside until Hamels is his given his due. He’s working on the final year of a three-year, $20.5 million deal he signed after the parade in ’08. He followed that up with a clunker in ’09 but has finally become one of the top 10 pitchers in all of baseball over the last two seasons to live up to, and play above, that deal.

Earlier this season when broaching this subject, many said a $95 to 100 million deal was fair value at some point in the near future for Hamels. That may not be far off after Weaver struck his deal.

Weaver is about as close a comparison that can be made to Cole Hamels throughout the majors. At 28, Weaver is slightly older, but other than the age, the on-the-field numbers are in the same ballpark.

Continue reading Did Jered Weaver Set the Price for Cole Hamels?


Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 06:30 PM Comments: 51

For the better part of this 2011 season, the Phillies have gotten through games unscathed and with relative ease. They’d blown

Chooch and Raul were celebrating. But the fun didn't last. (PHOTO:AP)

few games in the ninth inning up until this past week, so consider me, and many others I’m sure, a little shocked by what has transpired.

Sunday, after another rain delay, and just one strike from victory, the Nationals fought back to win 5-4 in 10 innings. It wasn’t quite a meltown, which Ryan Madson went through on Friday. Antonio Bastardo gave up a two out, two-strike home run to Ian Desmond to tie the game at four. In the 10th, Brad Lidge allowed two hits, a walk, and plunked Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded to send home the winning run, and leave everyone scratching their heads.

Bastardo has pretty much been flawless in ’11, so chalk this up as a blip in an otherwise ridiculous campaign for the young lefty. It’s just how it’s all happening right now that is head-scratching.

Continue reading Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend


Gameday: Phillies (81-43) vs. Nationals (60-64)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 12:32 PM Comments: 47

Philadelphia Phillies (81-43) at Washington Nationals (60-63)

Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.53) vs. Chien Ming Wang (2-2, 4.22)

Time: 1:35, Nationals Park
MyPHL 17
Weather: 84, Cloudy
Media: Twitter and Facebook

This is what teams now have to fear. If Roy Oswalt is indeed back to 100 percent, or very close, the Phillies now have five formidable starting pitchers that will make it very hard to beat them in a series of any length.

Really great to see Oswalt back on his game last night. His fastball popped and had plenty of life and he had swagger on the hill, something that was lacking. Love seeing that Oswalt smirk – it means he’s feeling good.

Today, its Roy H for the series win, which would make it a 13-4 August so far for the Phillies. But let’s hope they get it in. Scattered thunderstorms are once again in the forecast – hope the beat writers aren’t thinking of taking their own lives with all of this rain holding things up.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (81-43) vs. Nationals (60-64)


MiLB Notes: Greene, Quinn, Podsednik & More

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 21, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 3

On Saturday morning, supplemental first round draft pick, Larry Greene Jr., dressed and took part in baseball activities as a Phillie for the very first time. Along with second round draft choice Roman Quinn, Greene took batting practice in Clearwater at the Gulf Coast Phillies facility. The two youngsters are sharing schedules for practice, trainer sessions and more.

Reports from multiple pitchers who were present at BP stated that Greene was driving balls for great distance during his first day on a pro diamond. Australian right-hander Josh Warner claimed that Greene nearly hit one over the light tower beyond the outfield fence.

At this stage, it is unclear when Greene or Quinn will see game action with the GCL Phillies, but both players look forward to the opportunity to face suitable competition. Both players could be expected to take part in instructional ball from mid-September through mid-October in order to play more and to be evaluated further.

Greene, an 18-year-old Georgia native, agreed to terms with the Phillies late Sunday night and traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday, where he signed his first professional contract and met current players and team personnel, prior to their game against the Diamondbacks. The Phillies gave Greene, a power hitting outfielder, a $1 million signing bonus.

Quinn agreed to terms just prior to the deadline to notify the commissioner’s office, at midnight, Monday. The 18-year-old infielder was widely regarded as the fastest player in this year’s draft. Quinn, a native of Florida, signed for a $775,000 bonus. Continue reading MiLB Notes: Greene, Quinn, Podsednik & More

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