Results tagged ‘ Luis Castillo ’

The Final Decisions Before Opening Day

After a few additions and subtractions, the Phillies Opening Day roster is set.

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Pitchers

#

Infielders

55

Danys Baez

6

Ryan Howard

58

Antonio Bastardo

19

Michael Martinez

56

Joe Blanton

60

Pete Orr

52

Jose Contreras

27

Placido Polanco

34

Roy Halladay

11

Jimmy Rollins

35

Cole Hamels

21

Wilson Valdez

57

David Herndon

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Outfielders

38

Kyle Kendrick

10

Ben Francisco

33

Cliff Lee

7

Ross Gload

46

Ryan Madson

29

Raul Ibanez

44

Roy Oswalt

15

John Mayberry

16

J.C. Romero

8

Shane Victorino

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Catchers

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Catchers

51

Carlos Ruiz

23

Brian Schneider

 

Most notable, Luis Castillo was released yesterday.  After showing up two days late for a very short try-out, the odds of him making the team seemed slim.  And although he did get on base quite a bit, the players already in camp were just as good and much better defensively.

So Wilson Valdez will start at second base in place of Chase Utley with Michael Martinez (photo), who also made the roster, helping out.  Pete Orr, who smashed a triple and showed off his speed on the base path yesterday, also made the roster.  Delwyn Young was sent to the minors.

As for the bullpen, the injury to Brad Lidge’s shoulder left a spot open which will be filled by David Herndon who beat out Michael Stutes for the last roster spot.  Jose Contreras will close for Lidge, who may be out until May or June.

Yesterday’s final exhibition game was a tad sleepy, but having players wandering around the ballpark was neat.  Here is hoping the Phillies make this a new, year-round tradition for the On-Deck series in the future.

Here is the PHOTO ALBUM from the 3/30/11 On-Deck game with the Pirates.

Chase Utley Speaks…Sort Of

A man of little words, Chase Utley has always preferred to do his talking with a bat.  But this season, the bat will remain silent as Utley attempts to recover from a potentially long-term injury.

Utley’s chronic knee pain has been found to be the result of patellar tendinitis, bone inflammation and chondromalacia.  And that does not just sound scary, it is scary.

Hesitant to speak about the issue, Utley has dodged reporters all through spring training.  Luckily, he did not need to depend on the knee to do the dodging.

But when he did finally speak, very little was made any clearer.  Utley referred to making “some progress” but still has no time table for a return.  And when asked which doctors he had seen, Utley’s response was, “ If I tell you I have to kill you.”

While that dry sense of humor is charming, it brings him no closer to a solution.  Surgery seems to risky and may actually do more harm than good.  Odds are that Utley will return at some point and likely struggle through the season in some pain.


Mystery Utley.jpgAnd so Utley remains a bit mysterious.  Incidentally, the word “mysterious” is defined as “Difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify; Having an atmosphere of strangeness or secrecy.”  Yup, that about sums it up.

As for the rest of the team, they are on their way back to Philly to play two exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday before Opening Day on Friday.  Questions still linger about the Phillies.  Will Luis Castillo make the team?  Who will be in the bullpen?  And will Jenn absolutely freak out when the full reality of Utley’s absence hits her on Friday?  Stay tuned…

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

Lidge To Start Year On DL; Should Fans Be Worried?

With pain in his right shoulder, closer Brad Lidge will start the 2011 season on the disabled list.  With Lidge’s long history of injuries, this new issue should be a huge red light to the Phillies that Lidge’s time is close to being over.


Thumbnail image for Lidge head.jpgLidge was especially concerned with this new injury saying, “I haven’t had shoulder problems in the past.”  Although, Lidge has had surgery on both knees multiple times, elbow surgery, an oblique strain, a strained intercostal muscle and bicep tendinitis, just to name a few.

Still, Lidge entered spring training boasting that he was healthy and felt great.  Exactly when that may have changed is hard to tell.  Lidge is an eternal optimist so what he says should maybe be taken with a grain of salt.

Here is a little help for those who cannot always decipher what Lidge is talking about.

The Brad Lidge Translator

Lidge Says:        I feel great.

Lidge Means:    The pain is unbearable!

 

Lidge Says:        I am not concerned.

Lidge Means:    I am totally freaking out here!

 

Lidge Says:        No need to panic.

Lidge Means:    Red alert, red alert…PANIC!!!

 

Lidge Says:        It is a setback.

Lidge Means:    This is the END of my career!

 

Lidge Says:        This is disappointing.

Lidge Means:    I am going to crawl into a hole with a vat of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and eat and cry until I vomit.

 

With Lidge out of the picture, closing duties will fall either to Ryan Madson or Jose Contreras.  While it is good to know the Phillies have options, this does create major issues in the bullpen.  The Phillies failed to re-sign Chad Durbin, which may come back to haunt them as they now have to rely on less experienced arms in the middle innings.

The Lidge injury is magnified when you think about the loss of Chase Utley, Domonic Brown and questions still lingering about Placido Polanco’s elbow.

So, should Phillies fans be worried?  The short answer is, not yet.

The team seems to have back-up for Utley.  Luis Castillo finally got a hit today and also walked twice while showing solid defense in the field.  Wilson Valdez continues to impress as well.

As for Brown, Ben Francisco is doing well in what may have been Brown’s spot in the outfield.  John Mayberry Jr. is also capable and the two may wind up rotating in right field.

Another good sign is that Polanco did play today in the 3-1 victory over the Braves.  Polly looked a bit tentative and was sore after the game, but he expects to play again on Sunday.  Or perhaps, much like Lidge, I am being a tad too optimistic about all this?  I hope not.

 

Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

Oswalt’s Near Miss & Castillo’s Total Miss

Hearts stopped all over Phillies nation today as pitcher Roy Oswalt fell to the ground after appearing to get hit in the head with a line drive.  Always cool under pressure, Oswalt adjusted his cap as he lay on the ground awaiting assistance.

Oswalt walked off the field as if nothing happened but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.  Both X-Rays and CAT-Scans were negative.

As it turns out, the ball just barely missed a potentially dangerous area and hit just below the right ear, leaving him with a neck contusion.  Had Manny Ramirez hit the ball any harder though, it may have been a lot worse.

The good news is that Oswalt’s head is apparently made of bricks.

 

Oswalt bricks.jpg

The really good news is that he should be fine and is expected to make his next scheduled start.  Whew!

So while Oswalt had a near miss in the 4-1 loss to the Rays, Luis Castillo had a total miss.  In his first appearance as a Phillie, Castillo went 0-4 at the plate while grounding out twice, lining out and hitting a soft pop-up.  He also left four men on base.

One can only assume that the strikeout for Castillo will come in tomorrow’s game as he finishes up demonstrating all the different ways to make an out.

Just to recap, Castillo was given a second chance by the Phillies after being tossed out like the trash by the Mets.  He then proceeds to show up two days late to camp with lame excuses.  When finally put into a game, Castillo showed the Phillies nothing.  Basically, he sucked.

There are only seven games to go for Castillo to show he is better than Wilson Valdez, who should get the job in place of Chase Utley as he has earned it.  But alas, the charade will go on as games continue.

Then again, at the rate injuries have come this spring for the Phillies, maybe they should just sit all the roster players and let the minor leaguers play the final spring games.

The regulars should be instructed to cover themselves in bubble wrap and avoid all sharp objects or anything moving at rate faster than 0.5 MPH. 
cartoon_turtle.jpg
Pretty much, contact should be limited only to turtles who have had their claws clipped and jaws muzzled.

Although, that sounds a bit cruel to the turtles so, let’s make it goldfish.  Yeah, goldfish are pretty harmless, right?  Wait…both turtles and goldfish can carry Salmonella, which can infect humans!  Damn it!  No one is safe!

And that is your animal science lesson for the day.  Now, back to the bubble wrap…

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

No Show Castillo

Barely hanging on to his career by the skin of his teeth, former Mets second baseman Luis Castillo failed to report to Clearwater either yesterday or today.  The doctor who was to perform his physical this morning had to be sent home and Castillo was also scratched from the line-up of today’s game against the Blue Jays.

In fact, the Phillies have not put him in the line-up for tomorrow’s spring game either, as no one seems to be sure when Castillo may actually show up.  With only nine games left to show the Phillies what he is made of, Castillo’s no show seems to indicate a serious lack of motivation.


Picture1.jpgCastillo has blamed the incident on a miscommunication with his agent and some hotel issue.  But it is not like Castillo was in another country or even another state.  He has been staying in Miami, Florida which is one hour away by plane and under five hours driving distance.

The real confusion seems to be whether or not Castillo feels like playing baseball any longer.  If he is so interested in extending his career, would he not have sprinted to Clearwater as fast as he could?  Charlie Manuel agrees and said earlier, “If it was me? I would have been here two days ago.”

The Mets let this guy go for a reason.  Perhaps the Phillies are now more aware of exactly why that was.

Other than really not caring, the only other logical reason to think that Castillo was in no rush to get to camp is that maybe he thinks his veteran status will ensure him a spot on the team.  But whether it was arrogance, disinterest or just plain stupidity, does it really matter?  My thought is if the guy shows no initiative, he should not even be considered.

Manuel said if it were him, he would be two days early.  If it were me in Manuel’s place, I would just tell Castillo to stay in Miami and not bother coming at all.

Phillies Sign Luis Castillo As Concern About Utley Grows

Those who were hoping for an Opening Day miracle in the form of a healthy Chase Utley are going to be sorely disappointed.  The signing of veteran second baseman, Luis Castillo, to a minor league deal means that Utley may be down for a long time.


Castillo.jpgThis move seems like the Phillies are taking out the Mets trash in the hope of turning it into treasure.  But Castillo was just released from the Mets for poor performance and a poor attitude.  The move cost the Mets $6 million to eat Castillo’s contract.  With that in mind, they must have wanted him gone very badly.

Once upon a time, Castillo was a very good player.  But this 35-year old is coming off a season where he hit only .235 with 17 RBI and played just 86 games due to injuries.

And guess what body part gives Castillo the most issues?  His legs, more specifically knees, ankles and feet, have been trouble for Castillo for many years now.  So the Phillies are trying to replace a second baseman with a bad knee with another second baseman with a bad knee?

There are at least four guys already in camp with the Phillies who can replace Utley temporarily.  This includes Wilson Valdez, Michael Martinez, Josh Barfield and Pete Orr.  All have hit well, especially Valdez who is batting .419 in 43 at-bats.

But the Castillo contract is low-risk as the Phillies have to pay him less only $414,000 if he makes the 25-man roster.  However, can they accurately assess Castillo’s play with only nine games to go?

This move stinks of desperation from a team that has maxed out its payroll.  And it also does not bode well for the present or future of Utley.

Clearly, the knee issue is much worse than anticipated.  And the fact that surgery has not been done yet is an even bigger red flag.  If the Phillies are so worried that surgery could make matters worse, then Utley’s future, even beyond 2011, is a huge question mark too.

Hang on, Phillies fans.  This is going to be a very long and very strange trip through the 2011 season.

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By the way, I have started a new Twitter page dedicated to Chase Utley’s KneeFollow the misadventures of baseball’s most infamous body part, Chase Utley’s Knee.

 

Photo by Eric Kilby, Wikimedia Commons

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the MTR Media network*

 

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