Results tagged ‘ Dominic Brown ’

Highs and Lows of Spring

Here are some highlights from the last 2 Phillies Spring games:

3/7 vs. Tampa Bay; final score 5-3, Tampa:  JA Happ started the game and went 2 1/3 scoreless innings; he did walk 2 batters, but overall looked good.  But even better news was that newbie Phillipe Aumont recovered from his Phillies debut, which was a 5-run pounding in less than inning against Florida State.  Against the Rays, he went 2 2/3 scoreless innings with 1 walk and 2 hits.  Time for Aumont to exhale; he is back in top prospect form.

Joe Savery, on the hand, has a rough inning where he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.  Savery is a former first round draft pick of the Phillies but sadly, The 6’3″ lefty has never looked comfortable on the mound.  He has a 4.14 ERA in 3 years of minor league play.

The polar opposite of Savery has been young outfield propect Domonic Brown; he continues to impress this Spring and went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI against the Rays.  He also threw a runner out at home, just for good measure.  New bench piece Ross Gload also went 3 for 5 in the game in the DH role.

3/8 vs. Yankees; final score 7-5, Yanks:  Kyle Kendrick is putting the pressure on Jamie Moyer in competition for the 5th starters spot.  Kendrick went 3 solid innings allowing just one hit and no runs.  But more than that, he looked comfortable and confident.  I suppose sporting that Roy Halladay look-alike beard has given him an ego boost ;o)


Kendrick Halladay.jpgAnd then in the opposite category, Jose Contreras looked horrible today.  He could not seem to throw a first pitch strike, worked behind almost every batter in the count and as a result, he allowed 6 runs on 3 walks and 6 hits over only 1 2/3 innings.  Luckily, the Phillies have very little invested in the righty so if he does not shape up, no big deal.  Then again, Contreras was supposed to be an upgrade over the departed Chan Ho Park; do I smell a huge disappointment on the horizon?  Hmmmm….

Incidentally, Contreras began his career with the Yankees and his signing in 2002 is what precipitated the Yankee nickname, “Evil Empire.”  It is said that the Red Sox were so intent on signing Contreras that they booked every hotel room in the area of Cuba where Contreras was to keep the Yanks away.  In the end, they still lost out to the Yankees and the Sox owner allegedly threw a chair through a window in anger.  This is just a rumor, of course :O)

As for the bat today, Ryan Howard finally got his first, and then second, hit of Spring against the Yankees.  Whew!  But the big blast of the day came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins.  Pitcher Javier Vazquez made his return to the Yankees today since departing in 2005 and his very first pitch was taken out of the park by Rollins.  1 pitch, 1 homer – nice. 

Rollins had 2 hits in the game as did Howard, Chase Utley and John Mayberry Jr., who knocked the second Phillies homer of the game in the 6th inning.  But while the bat were popping, the outing by Contreras put the Phils in a hole they could not climb out of.

Shane Victorino was still missing from the line-up, but it appears he may make his Spring debut tomorrow against the Braves at 7:05pm.  His sore shoulder has been an issue so far this Spring and the Phillies are playing it safe with him.  But hopefully the Flyin’ Hawaiian will take flight again tomorrow night.

And congratulations to reader “blueferret” who was the first person to find the mistake on the new Cliff Lee Topps trading card from Saturday’s blog.  Topps photoshopped an old Phillies card to change the Phillies uniform to a Mariners uniform but they forgot to remove the “HK” patch from the new Mariners version.  The “HK” patch was a Phillies-only items that the team wore in 2009 in honor of the late Harry Kalas.

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Photos by ESPN.com

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

A Few First Looks At Pitchers and Hitters

In the last few Spring Training games, the Phillies have gotten a good look at many new and returning pitchers. 
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Cole Hamels gave up  a home run on only his 2nd pitch of spring against the Blue Jays, but recovered well and overall, had an good outing.  Hamels allowed two hits and a walk in two innings plus the home run.  He has added a cutter and a curveball to his repertoire of pitches which seems to be giving him a little more confidence in his ability to get outs.

Jamie Moyer also pitched in a “B” game that same day and does not look like a man who had 3 surgeries in the off-season.  He pitched 3 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits and striking out 3 batters.  Clearly, Moyer is not ready to concede the 5th starters spot to one of the younger pitchers.  And with the $8 million dollars the Phillies owe him this year whether he performs or not, that is a good thing.

Three other pitchers who did not make such a great impression on Friday were J.C. Ramirez, picked up in the Cliff Lee trade; Ryan Vogelsong, a Philly-area native who recently spent time playing in Japan; and Bill White, who was picked up off waivers from the Rangers.  Ramirez allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 1 1/3 innings.  Both Vogelsong and White gave up 4 runs each in an inning or less.  It is still early in Spring, but the results do not bode well for these pitchers.

Joe Blanton also had a rough outing today against the Pirates; 5 hits and 3 runs in 2 innings plus a number of extra base hits were the highlights.  However, the relievers did very well, including Danys Baez, BJ Rosenberg and Mike Zagurski; they each pitched 2 scoreless innings in the game.

As for the hitters, prospect Tyson Gillies, also from the Cliff Lee trade, hit a solo homer in the sixth inning against the Jays and was 2 for 2 overall with 2 RBI in the game, making a great first impression.  Gillies also has tremendous speed and a great arm from centerfield.  The Phillies top prospect Domonic Brown went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and threw a runner out at the plate from right field.  Brown appears to be on track to take over for Jayson Werth should he depart in 2011 once becoming a free agent.

Ryan Howard remains hitless so far this Spring, but more concerning is the absence of Shane Victorino.  Benched with a sore shoulder since the start of the month, Victorino did not travel to the Pirates game with the team today.  While this may simply be the Phillies being extra cautious with their star centerfielder, it is concerning.  Victorino has had a number of nagging injuries over the last few years that seemed fairly minor, but still kept him out of the line-up for extended periods of time.  All the Phillies can do is hope this does not become one of those situations.

And just for fun, has anyone seen the new Cliff Lee Topps Opening Day trading card?  Generally, when a player is traded, Topps will take one of their old trading cards and paint the new uniform in the photo over the old uniform.  In Cliff Lee’s transition from the Phillies to the Mariners, see if you can spot the error from Topps’ editing job:CliffLeeToppsGaff.jpg

Leave your guess in the comment section; the first person to get it right is the winner and be mentioned in my next blog.

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Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

The Chooch Train Rolls For 3 More Years

Avoiding arbitration totally for the second year in a row, the Phillies signed Carlos Ruiz, their final arbitration eligible player.  Chooch will be manning the back-stop for at least three more years with a contract worth 8.85 million, plus a 5 million dollar option for a 4th year.  Ruiz has been the little engine who could at the end of this Phillies line-up for some time now.  Keeping him on board with the rest of the crew through 2012 adds even more stability to the team.175 ruiz.jpg

Earlier this week, the Phillies also signed veteran right-hander Jose Contreras to a deal worth about 1 million for one year.  The deal is pending a physical, of course.  A starter most of his career, the 39-year old Contreras has a lifetime 4.61 ERA which includes time spent with Colorado last year and the White Sox and Yankees before that.  He won the World Series in 2005 with the Sox.  Another fun tidbit; Contreras will join pitcher Danys Baez as the second Cuban defector to be acquired by the Phillies this offseason.

All the signings this month mean that 7 of our 8 starting position players are now signed at least through 2011.  The lone wolf in the bunch is right fielder, Jayson Werth who is signed only through this coming season.  It is thought that, unless he gets hurt or has a very bad year, the Phillies will be unable to afford Werth after 2010.  While Jayson is certainly Werth-Y of big bucks, there are just too many youngsters, like highly-touted prospect Dominic Brown, waiting in the wings to justify the additional expense.  Rumor has it that Werth may command a salary near 16 million a year.  The Phils budget simply will not be able to hold him.

Anything can happen, of course.  That is, anything except for the Phillies budget jumping to Yankee-like numbers.  That being said, Werth being with us long-term does not look very likely.  Well, we will just have to worry about that next year…

Photo by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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