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Archive for August, 2013

Dodgers Acquire Michael Young

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, August 31, 2013 11:04 PM Comments: 37

UPDATE, 12:08 AM, 9/1/2013: Per Jayson Stark, the Phillies will receive left-hander Rob Rasmussen, a 24-year old starter. Rasmussen was a second-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2010 by the Florida Marlins and has made a number of pit stops since. Rasmussen went to the Astros system as the centerpiece of the Carlos Lee deal that sent him to Miami. Rasmussen was then traded to the Dodgers this off-season for John Ely. Rasmussen had a 2.40 ERA through 11 starts with Double-A Chattanooga in 2013 and was promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque where he struggled mightily, posting a 6.34 ERA in ten starts. Rasmussen returned to Chattanooga for four appearances, three starts, where he posted a 3.00 ERA while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.

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UPDATE, 11:32 PM:

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11:04 PM - Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Dodgers have acquired Michael Young. Rosenthal is reporting that Young grew up a Dodgers fan and has committed to waiving his No-Trade Clause. Young, 37, is in the final year of his contract and hit .272/.333/.389 with eight homers for the Phillies, splitting time at third and first base.

Young joins the 79-55, first-place Dodgers and could siphon most of the third base playing time away from Juan Uribe, Nick Punto, Luis Cruz, and Jerry Hairston and become the Dodgers’ regular third baseman. Uribe has actually had a terrific year, worth 2.8 fWAR hitting 7 HR with a .268/.326/.395 line with 12+ runs saved on defense. Young is not a clear upgrade over the over-achieving Uribe and it is unclear what role Young will have.

Check back for more information as this develops.

  • 37 Comments
 

Phillies Trade McDonald to Red Sox

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, August 31, 2013 08:43 PM Comments: 8

McDonald, seen here celebrating his only homer in 2013 as a Phillie with Chooch. Photo by AP.

The Phillies make a waiver-deadline deal!

Color me surprised. No really, this one is kind of shocking.

Ruben Amaro Jr. found a taker for Major League Baseball’s most statistically ineffective player (fWAR/PA) John McDonald, shipping the utility infielder he got for nothing for Nefi Ogando, a 24-year old reliever from the Dominican Republic in his fourth season in organized baseball. McDonald hit .174/.208/.304 with one homer with the Phillies. This nearly tripled his entire triple-slash line at the time the Phillies acquired him (.053/.163/.079).

From Sox Prospects, here is a scouting report on Ogando:

Dominican right-hander signed later in the 2009-2010 international signing period. On the older side for an international signee. Fastballs sits 92-93 mph and tops out at 94 mph in shorter bursts. Currently being stretched out to sharpen arsenal. Loses velocity as outings progress due to max-effort delivery. Does not easily generate velocity. Below-average fastball command due to inconsistent release point and lack of fluidity in delivery. Rough overall mechanics that must become smoother to enhance command. He may struggle to reach average fastball command. Also features an 83-86 mph slider with tight rotation. Plus potential and the ability to miss bats with the offering. Feels slider well, but does not mix well into sequences. Still learning how to pitch. Slider’s effectiveness is suppressed because of inability to consistently get ahead of hitters. Not much room left on his frame to fill out. Profiles as a reliever. Potential for considerable improvement if delivery can be cleaned up.

Analysis: At the time of the trade for McDonald, many crushed Amaro for trading something of value for the veteran infielder. Now? Without hurting the Phillies too much, Amaro was essentially able to turn a small amount of cash that went to Cleveland for McDonald into a minor league bullpen arm. Ogando has a live arm and is eligible for next year’s Rule 5 draft. The Phillies will have all of 2014 to get a good look at Ogando before deciding if they want to protect him.

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Phils Drop Middle Game To Cubs

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, August 31, 2013 07:29 PM Comments: 1

Hamels has been a victim of poor run support all season. (Photo: AP)

Cliff Lee wasn’t on his game today. (Photo: AP)

Well, you can’t win ‘em all. Or even most of them if you’re the 2013 Phillies. They dropped another game today, losing to the Cubs 4-3. It’s the 74th time they’ve lost this season. Methinks they’ll be finishing below .500.

In a game where neither starting pitcher was able to make it beyond the fifth inning, the two teams traded runs back and forth through the first six innings before shutting it down completely. An incredibly sloppy ballgame (seriously, it looked like little league at points), neither team was very sharp, and the Cubs simply outlasted the Phils.

CLIFTON STRUGGLES

- Cliff Lee just didn’t look himself today. His usual pinpoint control was slightly off, and it cost him. And while he didn’t pitch terribly, he just didn’t dominate the Cubs lineup the way he probably should have. In fact, he failed to even record a single 1-2-3 inning. By the time the end of the fifth inning rolled around, Lee had thrown 113 pitches and was finished, allowing three runs. He struck out four and walked three. Continue reading Phils Drop Middle Game To Cubs

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Gameday: Phillies (62-73) at Cubs (56-78)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, August 31, 2013 03:15 PM Comments: 17

39212-cubsPhiladelphia Phillies (62-73) at Chicago Cubs (56-78)

Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.07 ERA) vs RHP Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.64 ERA)

TIME: 4:05 ET, Wrigley Field
TV:
Comcast SportsNet, MLBN
Weather: 80, Isolated Thunderstorms
Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies are back at it again today after a thrilling come-from-behind victory against the Cubs yesterday in Ryne Sandberg’s return to Wrigley. That’s the seventh win for the Phils in their last ten games. If only they had done this all season, right? Oh well. It’s still been fun to watch them since Sandberg took over the helm.

With Cliff Lee on the mound, you’ve got to like their chances of winning again today. Lee, perhaps the streakiest pitcher in Phillies history, struggled out of the gate after the All Star Break. But he’s pitched well in his last starts, allowing six earned runs over 23 innings. Lee has dominated the Cubs over his career to the tune of a 1.77 ERA. They’ve never beaten him. You’ve got to like the Phils chances against Chicago when Lee is on the mound.

Throwing a wrench in the plans for victory could be Cubs starter Chris Rusin. The rookie pitcher has been great since getting recalled to the Majors in early July. Worse, he’s never faced the Phillies. Traditionally, that has been kryptonite for the Phillies lineup. But, with a bunch of fresh faces, maybe they’ll fair a bit better today.

Lineup: Young 3B, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Ruf LF, Mayberry RF, Frandsen 1B, Bernadina CF, Lee P

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Gameday Beer: Smithwicks Irish Red

Smithwicks has been around forever yet it never gets old. This red ale is one of the most common Irish brews and is perfect if you are in that Irish mood and want something lighter than a Guinness and a bit more than a Harp lager. It might not jump out at you, but you know that you are going to get a consistently solid beer, and a lot of times, that is enough.

  • 17 Comments
 

Young, Frandsen Key Comeback Win For Phils

Posted by Alex Lee, Fri, August 30, 2013 05:34 PM Comments: 6

Michael Young provided the game-winning hit on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Michael Young provided the game-winning hit on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The Phillies stormed back from a five-run deficit to beat the Cubs 6-5 at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon in Ryne Sandberg‘s managerial debut in his old stomping grounds.  Michael Young had the decisive hit, a two-out flare into right field in the ninth inning that scored Roger Bernadina and put the Phillies up for good.  The go-ahead single was the exclamation point on a great day for Young.  Starting at third, Young tallied four hits, two RBIs and scored a run.  It was the second time this season the Phillies have come from five behind to win, the first time being on June 14 in Colorado.

The Cubs jumped on a wild and ineffective Roy Halladay early to take a 5-0 lead.  The Phillies offense, behind two big Kevin Frandsen hits, came to life in the sixth and seventh innings while the bullpen shut down the Cubs over the game’s final four innings to seal the win.  Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 23rd save of the season in the ninth.

DOC ALL OVER THE PLACE AT WRIGLEY

- In short, Halladay looked awful on Friday afternoon in an outing that was very reminiscent of the worrisome starts we saw from him in March and April.  For the day, Doc lasted only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks.  He lacked command with all of his pitches, and his fastball sat between 85-87 miles-per-hour throughout the start.  He threw 77 pitches, only 48 of which went for strikes.  Not good.

- While he only gave up one run in the first three innings – an Anthony Rizzo wind-aided home run in the first – Doc was more effectively wild than he was effective in the early going.  Eventually it would catch up with him, as Nate Schierholtz hit a screaming liner over the right field fence to lead off the fourth to make it 2-0.  The Cubs added five more hits and a walk in the next two innings – the biggest of which was a two-run Starlin Castro double – to make it 5-0 through five. Continue reading Young, Frandsen Key Comeback Win For Phils

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Phillies Officially Sign Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, August 30, 2013 03:57 PM Comments: 15

MAG signs. (Philly.com)

After many weeks of questions, the Phillies have finally sealed the deal on free agent Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The team announced they’ve reached a three-year, $12 million deal with the 26-year-old. The contract includes a vesting/club option for 2017, a signing bonus and performance bonuses.

Several weeks back, it appeared they had inked him to a six-or-seven year pact, however, the organization never acknowledged Gonzalez. Then, there are questions. Why did it take so long to sign the deal? What was the cause of the major drop in dollars from the first reported contract to the one he settled on?

There had been a report that health concerns popped up pertaining to his elbow.

“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with Miguel,” said Amaro.  “He is someone our scouts have followed for several years and in our most recent observations of him he showed tremendous stuff.  We are hopeful he will pitch out of our starting rotation for 2014 and beyond.”

Gonzalez will report to the Phillies spring training complex in Clearwater, Fla.  To make room for him on the 40-man roster, left-hander John Lannan has been moved to the 60-day disabled list.

As of this writing, there has been no plan to pitch him in the majors just yet, although he figures to be a member of the Phillies rotation in 2014. This could end up being good news, as the free agent crop of starters is relatively thin and filled with 30-somethings.

  • 15 Comments
 

Gameday: Phillies (50-61) vs. Cubs (49-62)

Posted by Alex Lee, Fri, August 30, 2013 02:22 PM Comments: 21

39212-cubsPhiladelphia Phillies (61-73) vs. Chicago Cubs (56-77)

RHP Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.81 ERA) vs RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.03 ERA)

TIME: 2:20 ET, Wrigley Field
TV: 
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 89, clear
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Ryne Sandberg returns to Wrigley Field today for the first time ever as a big league manager.  The Hall of Fame second baseman turned Phillies manager spent 15 years on the North Side of Chicago, earning 10 All-Star berths and nine consecutive gold gloves for the Cubs after coming over from the Phillies in a lopsided trade that netted the Phils only Ivan DeJesus.  Wrigley is always a festive atmosphere for day games and today should be no different.  Expect a warm welcome for Ryno, whose No. 23 was retired by the Cubs in 2005.

On the field, today marks the second major league start for Roy Halladay since returning from surgery.  Doc was solid in his first start back last Sunday, surrendering only four hits and two earned runs over six innings and earning the win against the Diamondbacks, which was only his third of the season.  Halladay will become a free agent after the season and has expressed interest in sticking around in Philly.  Each of his remaining starts is critical in determining what the 36-year-old has left in the tank.

The Phils had shown signs of life lately, winning seven of nine before ultimately splitting a four-game series with the Mets.  They’ll look to get back on track this afternoon at Wrigley Field, which tends to be an unpredictable environment for baseball weather-wise.  The forecast calls for sun and temperatures around 90, so if the wind is blowing out this could be an exciting one.  Halladay is opposed by Cubs fireballer Jeff Samardzija, who has tailed off significantly after a promising start to the season.  Samardzija has an ERA over five in July and August.

Lineup: Young 3B, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Ruf 1B, Mayberry RF, Bernadina CF, Halladay P

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Gameday Beer: Smithwicks Irish Red Ale

Smithwicks has been around forever yet it never gets old. This red ale is one of the most common Irish brews and is perfect if you are in that Irish mood and want something lighter than a Guinness and a bit more than a Harp lager. It might not jump out at you, but you know that you are going to get a consistently solid beer, and a lot of times, that is enough.

  • 21 Comments
 

Phillies Nation TV: Sandberg, Halladay and Top Free Agent Targets

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, August 30, 2013 11:34 AM Comments: 0

This week the Pat and Corey cover the first week under new Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. Was his hiring the catalyst for a team that won 5 of 6 games? Or perhaps it was Roy Halladay’s first start since going on the DL that will serve to energize the team. Still, like C.C. Sabathia in New York, the guys discuss how Roy’s performance is still below expectations.

Also covered this week are the futures for role players such as Roger Bernadina, Darin Ruf and Jake Diekman. We also breakdown last Saturday’s wacky 18-inning game in our “By the Numbers” segment.

Ryann asks the guys who tops their list of off-season free agent targets for the Phillies. And Brian Quinn of BQ Basement Systems stops by the set to talk about the dual disappointment of a wet basement and the 2013 Phillies.

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Former Phillies Prospect May Taking Strides Toward Majors

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, August 30, 2013 08:05 AM Comments: 4

TrevorMay2

Trevor May with Reading in 2012, Image- Jay Floyd

Following his team’s heart wrenching 9-8 loss to the Trenton Thunder on Wednesday, in which the Twins’ Double-A affiliate New Britain failed to maintain two separate extra-inning leads, right-handed pitcher Trevor May reflected on his season as well as a trade that brought him to a new organization last winter. What’s in the past, however, is not as important as what’s on the horizon for the promising youngster.  The ability to quickly refocus and move beyond that sort of loss is the type of approach that can help carry May to the top level of the sport.

With some noticeable highs and lows throughout his career, May, who was the Phillies’ 4th round draft choice in 2008 out of Kelso High School (WA), took some internal inventory and realized that his focus was the missing factor to his game. The “stuff” was always there, but an occasionally absent ability to execute his pitches with consistency was his main problem.

May, who entered the 2013 season with a 37-31 record, a 3.92 ERA and an 11.08 K/9 mark in his pro career, has notoriously been a pitcher that has peaks and valleys with his production. In his second season in the Double-A Eastern League, May has tallied a 9-9 record along with a 4.48 ERA with two complete games in 26 starts. A collection of very good outings have combined with the poor ones to produce a moderately mediocre stat line.

“Ups and downs has kind of been my M.O. since I was drafted,” May said. “But I feel like the severe roller coaster years, with how this year has gone, are definitely in the past. I’ve figured a lot of stuff about myself out. I’ve really created consistency for myself. I made a lot of changes with how I approach pitching and how I approach outings, you know kind of where I get my head at when I pitch.” Continue reading Former Phillies Prospect May Taking Strides Toward Majors

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Phillies Crushed by Mets, 11-3

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, August 29, 2013 04:24 PM Comments: 20

Struggle

PHOTO: AP

The Phillies were absolutely crushed by the Mets Thursday afternoon. Ethan Martin lasted four innings while giving up three runs, but the bullpen lost control of the game in the later innings. The offense was only able to scrape one run across in the first seven innings (on a sac fly by Darin Ruf), and the Phillies lost 11-3.

STRUGGLING PITCHING

Ethan Martin is struggling. In his last start, he did not make it out of the first inning. Today, he allowed three runs in four innings. And it only got worse from there. He was relieved by Cesar Jimenez, who allowed three more runs in less than two innings. Justin De Fratus then relieved Jimenez, and he proceeded to allow four runs in one inning of work. And just for kicks, J.C. Ramirez gave up a run, too. It was tough to watch. The lone bright spot is that Martin looks like he can really rack up the strikeouts. He had nine today in four innings, which brings his total to 32 in 25.1 IP this year.

QUIET OFFENSE

With the exclusion of the Roger Bernadina home run in the eighth inning, the Phillies offense was REALLY quiet today. Doubles by Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz were the only other extra base hits. The team had seven hits total. They were facing a guy that, in his last appearance as a starter, was annihilated by the Washington Nationals. I would’ve expected more from the Phillies offense today.

UP NEXT:

The Phillies head to Chicago tomorrow for another day game with Roy Halladay and Jeff Samardzija getting the call.

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