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Archive for March, 2012

Here’s How a Hamels Deal Gets Done…

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, March 29, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 26

We’re about 200 days from major league free agents being able to sign with teams other than their own. One such player is Cole Hamels, whose contract with the Phillies ends after the 2012 season. If Hamels isn’t re-signed within six days of the end of the 2012 World Series, he can sign elsewhere.

I’ve been documenting Hamels’ contract status for almost a year. It began last May with a comparison of a Hamels deal and the contract signed by Tigers ace Justin Verlander. It continued in late-August after Jered Weaver signed a team-friendly pact with the Angels.

As time has worn on, those two deals have become less and less meaningful with regard to Hamels’ impending payday. We aren’t looking at numbers like $85 or $90 million. We’re looking more so at a figure close to $120 million.

I wrote several months ago that a five-year, $100 million contract with a sixth-year team option at $22 million (with a $12 million buyout) would likely get Hamels signed. He gets his $20 million per season but the Phillies avoid handing out a six- or seven-year deal. The contract would be worth, at most, $122 million and at least $112MM.

On Wednesday, CSNPhilly.com Phillies insider Jim Salisbury reported that talks between the Phillies and Hamels have progressed, especially in the wake of the Dodgers being sold for $2 billion to an ownership group that will seek to make a splash in the coming years.

Continue reading Here’s How a Hamels Deal Gets Done…

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Phillies Continue to Make Cuts Throughout Organization

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, March 28, 2012 08:19 PM Comments: 9

Eric Pettis. (photo: Jay Floyd)

The Phillies continued their trimming of the masses in minor league camp Wednesday morning by releasing another group of players. Among those who were let go was lefty pitcher Matt Way. Right-handed hurler Eric Pettis (pictured) was also among those cut.

Way was often injured during his time in the Philadelphia organization. In three seasons as a pro, including 2011 in which he did not pitch, Way posted a 13-9 record with a 3.22 ERA in 31 games (30 starts). The 24-year-old was a 5th round draft choice in 2009, out of Washington State.

Pettis stormed onto the pro scene as a 35th round draft selection in 2010, going 8-0 with 7 saves and a 1.37 ERA in 20 outings (5 starts) and becoming a NY-Penn League All-Star with the Williamsport Crosscutters that year before joining Class A Lakewood for their playoff push. Last season, Pettis, now 23-years-old, continued his success, tallying a 2-3 record with 5 saves and a 2.84 ERA in 47 combined relief appearances with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater. The release of Pettis is rather surprising, as many thought he was a solid option to contribute as a reliever at higher levels.

As more names of released players become available, we’ll have that information right here.

A source in Clearwater has also confirmed that the following players have been released by the Phillies: catcher Nolan Clark, catcher Chabriel Pizarro, right-handed pitcher Cody Fick, outfielder Luis Amaro and righty hurler Leonel Bastidas.

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Worley Rocked by Twins, Phils Lose 11-7

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 28, 2012 06:11 PM Comments: 12

Luna and Podsednik are vying for a spot.

Not the way Vance Worley wants to wind down his spring. It’s been up and down and this last start represents the lowest depths possible.

Worley pitched four innings giving up 11 runs, six earned, in the Phillies 11-7 loss to Minnesota. Now, again, how much stock do you put in a spring training game? If you put a lot in what is likely to be his second-to-last outing before real games begin, than this is something to look at. Not having seen what Worley was throwing firsthand, it’s hard to tell if he was still working on some things.

Side note: it’s funny how ST works. If a guy is lights out, you’ll say, hell it’s just spring training. But I get the feeling more people put stock in bad starts rather than good ones. So cynical.

Anyway, Hector Luna is certainly making a case to stick around as the last bench bat. He hit another home run today and there is some chatter on the interwebs today that Charlie Manuel will have a tough choice to make with him. Luna played some left field, third base, first base, and now, second base. If he’s able to play those positions seamlessly, he could provide a nice change of pace. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is a reason Hector Luna is a journeyman.

In just over one full season’s worth of plate appearances (806 to be exact), Luna actually has fairly respectable numbers: .265 avg, 13 home runs, 86 RBI, .705 OPS.

For those of you who are fans of Carlos Ruiz batting high in the order, he did so today. Ruiz was slotted in the two-spot and went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

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Corey Seidman on ESPN Williamsport

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, March 28, 2012 02:00 PM Comments: 2

Corey Seidman joined 1050 ESPN Radio in Williamsport earlier this week to talk Phillies with host Trevor Turner.

They mostly focused on Chase Utley’s injury and its implications on the team, but also delved into Domonic Brown’s prospects for playing this year and Ryan Madson’s unfortunate turn of events.

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Spring Training Gameday: Twins v. Phillies

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, March 28, 2012 12:00 PM Comments: 6

Time: 1:05 pm, Hammond Stadium – Fort Myers, FL
Weather: Clear Skies, 86
TV: Sorry Folks, This One is Not on TV Today
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The Phils try to build on momentum gained yesterday by the Podfather’s walk-off in today’s afternoon match-up versus the Twins. If the line-up looks a little strange today, it is because it is: five starters are playing positions that are not their primary positions.

Storylines to follow: Lou Montanez is battling tooth and nail for the final roster spot. Montanez is hitting .318/.354/.455 and trails only Scott Podsednik among Phillies with 40 or more Spring Training ABs in batting average. Hector Luna has cooled off quite a bit since his blazing hot start but he still remains in camp (.243/.317/.459). Luna likely does not have a spot on the Phillies, however he can play first and third in a pinch. The most surprising name remaining in camp may be Miguel Abreu. Abreu is a 27-year old who was essentially the Michael Martinez of the Orioles farm system for the last six seasons with a better bat. Abreu’s natural position is 2B but has seen action primarily at SS for the Phils and has played the outfield. Abreu was very quietly promoted to the Phils big league camp on March 16, the same day Dontrelle Willis was released.

Injury notes: Jose Contreras is expected to throw in a Minor League game today. Freddy Galvis is day-to-day with a bruised foot.

Phillies Lineup:

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Carlos Ruiz, C
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Ty Wigginton, 3B
5. Hector Luna, 1B
6. John Mayberry Jr., CF
7. Lou Montanez, LF
8. Miguel Abreu, 2B
9. Vance Worley, P

Phillies Pitchers:
RHP Vance Worley
RHP David Herndon
LHP Raul Valdes

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Writer’s Roundtable, Part 2: Press On

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, March 28, 2012 07:25 AM Comments: 104

Vance Worley will look to repeat his rookie season. (AP)

The grass is getting greener, the birds are retreating back to the Northeast, and my allergies are flaring up; these are, of course, the telltale signs of baseball’s return. The comments on both the blog and our Facebook page have been heating up with both optimism for the 2012 season but also some legitimate concerns for the Fightins. The Phillies Nation crew got together and put together the top reasons to panic as well as the top reasons to have faith in the Phils, or press on. Feel free to take a look at ours and add in reasons of your own! Today, we press on!

The Reasons to Press On

The Three AmigosNick Staskin, Retired Beerman

No matter what starting eight Charlie trots on the field, the trio of aces is going to keep the Phillies in games for 3/5 of the season. While some teams may have one or two shutdown stoppers, the Phillies still sport the best top three in all of baseball.

Much like last year when injuries plagued the team to start the season, I fully expect the big game pitchers to eat up innings and keep the Phils in games.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable, Part 2: Press On

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Lee Solid vs. Pirates; Galvis Day-to-Day

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 27, 2012 04:57 PM Comments: 15

Freddy Galvis.

Cliff Lee looks to be ready to rock. He struck out three, giving up three hits over six innings in the Phillies 5-4 win over the Pirates in Clearwater. Lee did not allow a run, but Antonio Bastardo did. He was responsible for three runs just a few days after returning from elbow tightness that was attributed to dehydration.

You can stash this in the “It’s Only Spring Training” file, but you’d like to see Bastardo back to the Tony of old, and recently he has not been. There is some cause of concern because the Phillies CANNOT lose him. He, currently, is their only lefty in the pen. And he’s a damn good one that they’ll be relying on – probably too much. So keep an eye on Bastardo.

Freddy Galvis is OK after fouling a ball off his foot; he’ll be day-to-day, but no x-ray is necessary, according to some tweets from the beats in Clearwater. This is a bullet dodged, for sure. They can’t have their starting second baseman breaking his foot a week before the season starts. Crisis averted.

Jim Thome played first base again today and went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a walk.

Scott Podsednik continues to make his case for the opening day roster as he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

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Spring Training Gameday: Pirates v. Phillies

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, March 27, 2012 12:23 PM Comments: 11

Time: 1:05 pm, Brighthouse Field – Clearwater, FL
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 81
TV: The Comcast Network, MLB Network, MLB.TV, MLB.com
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The Phillies look to snap out of an offensive funk today against the Pirates at Brighthouse Field. Cliff Lee takes the hill against the Bucs.

The Phils now only have two lefty relievers in camp: Antonio Bastardo and Joe Savery. Jake Diekman, despite having a stellar Spring, will  start the year in Triple-A. In addition to Diekman, fellow lefty Raul Valdes and long-shot righty veteran Scott Elarton will also start the year in Triple A.

Phillies Lineup:

1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Jim Thome, 1B
5. Laynce Nix, LF
6. Pete Orr, SS
7. Brian Schneider, C
8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
9. Cliff Lee, P

Phillies Pitchers:
LHP Cliff Lee
RHP Kyle Kendrick
LHP Antonio Bastardo
RHP Jonathan Papelbon
RHP Mike Stutes

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Gump Speaks on Getting Dumped by Phils

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 27, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 1

If you missed it on the site recently, I’ve been bringing exclusive updates on cuts from Phillies minor league camp. Among the individuals that Philadelphia was parted ways with over the past week or so was outfielder Brian Gump,  a 26th round draft selection in 2009 out of UC Santa Barbara.

I had the opportunity to speak with Brian last week and he agreed to allow a glance inside the process of getting released, his time with the Phillies and other things. Read ahead for that insider content  you can only find right here on PhilliesNation.com .

What is the process of getting released like?

The process is what the players refer to as “the walk of death”. In the early (morning), when we are all arriving at the complex, there is usually a coach or two waiting outside the front office to pluck players away and send them to the office to sign their release papers and talk with the brass. It is an unsettling feeling for almost all the players as you approach the front and have to walk past the coaches to get into the locker room, not knowing if they are going to ask you to come with them.

Was getting released a surprise at all and how is this sinking in?

It was a bit of surprise, but the organization has quite a log jam of older talent across the board in the AA and AAA levels that creates a bit of a glass ceiling for everyone outside of the “top prospect” category, so it wasn’t totally out of the blue for me. They had a lot of guys in camp and obviously cannot keep every one. Continue reading Gump Speaks on Getting Dumped by Phils

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Writer’s Roundtable, Part 1: Press Panic

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, March 27, 2012 07:50 AM Comments: 94

The Big Piece is among Phillies Nation's biggest concerns.

The grass is getting greener, the birds are retreating back to the Northeast, and my allergies are flaring up; these are, of course, the telltale signs of baseball’s return. The comments on both the blog and our Facebook page have been heating up with both optimism for the 2012 season but also some legitimate concerns for the Fightins. The Phillies Nation crew got together and put together the top reasons to panic as well as the top reasons to have faith in the Phils, or press on. Feel free to take a look at ours and add in reasons of your own!

Today, we panic!

Time to Hit the Panic Button

Who will step up offensively? – Pat Gallen, Editor-in-Chief

It’s an honest, legitimate question – and I don’t know that there is an easy answer. No Chase Utley for the foreseeable future; no Ryan Howard ’til who knows when. Who will be asked to do more than usual?

Start at the top with Jimmy Rollins – he will need to be a superior table-setter every single day. There is really no choice. Shane Victorino cannot regress; he must continue to be one the Swiss Army Knife of this lineup. And Hunter Pence will have to put the offense on his back at times. But beyond that, it is anyone’s guess as to who will be the person to step up large. If they can’t find that person, then runs will be hard to come by and the pitching staff will have to be near perfect.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable, Part 1: Press Panic

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