Results tagged ‘ Mike Koplove ’

Outta Here!

Many baseballs left the ballpark today, as well as many players.  Marcus Giles, who batted only .167 this spring, was given his release today.  This was the best option for Giles who would not see a lot of action in the minors; this way, he has a chance to move on to another team.  P2222389 Mayberry.jpgJohn Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Carrasco were both optioned back to the minors.  Mayberry started off hot in camp this year, but struggled as the pitching became more difficult.  He needs some more work to be big league ready, as does Carrasco.  Three other players were told officially they would not make the team’s 25-man roster, but they will stay with the Phils until Saturday to give Charlie Manuel a few more options during the On Deck Series.  The three players are Philadelphia native, Mike Koplove, RHP; 2nd baseman Pablo Ozuna; and outfielder Jason Ellison.

This leaves Miguel Cairo as the only extra right-handed bat, unless a trade is pulled off in the next few weeks.  Cairo has not hit as well as Ozuna this spring, but he can play multiple positions and has a great deal of experience.  Also, the Phillies are required to release Cairo if he does not make the 25-man roster, which may play into the decision.  Rumor has it also that Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins are up for grabs; however, the Phillies are going to have a hard time getting rid of either as Stairs is nearing retirement and Jenkins is well over-paid.

Also still up in the air is the 5th starter’s spot.  Chan Ho Park has made this a very difficult decision; today he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 hits, 1 walk and only 1 earned run.  Park also struck out 7 and now has an ERA of 2.53 in 21 1/3 innings.  Lefty JA Happ currently stands at 20 innings with a 3.15 ERA.  Things being fairly even, Happ is still the best choice to start as Park has a proven track record as a reliever and Happ is not so comfortable in that role.  Plus with the addition of lefty Jack Taschner, there is less need for Happ, also a lefty, in the pen.  Park would be horribly disappointed in the decision if it goes that way, especially since he gave up pitching in the WBC this year, so does his mental status play into this as well?  That remains to be seen…

The Phillies bats are heating up in preparation for Opening Night as evidenced by four home runs today from Jimmy Rollins, Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. 

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7 of the Phillies 13 runs in the 13-3 victory over the Astros came off the long ball.  And Bruntlett in particular had a fun day against his former team, going  3 for 4 with 4 RBI.  With all this power unleashed, it makes you wish these guys would save a bit for the real thing.  Only 6 days left!

Brett Myers, now scheduled to start on opening day, will pitch tomorrow against the Blue Jays at 7:05pm.  Cole Hamels got into a minor league game today and said he felt no discomfort.  Hamels is tentatively scheduled to start with the Phillies on April 10th against the Rockies.

(All Photos by Jenn)

 

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Phillies Win World Series Reunion

Well, don’t get too excited…it is only Spring Training.  But the Phillies did finally get over the Grapefruit League hump and won their first game today against World Series opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 12-5.  Ryan Howard also got over his homer hump and slammed his first of 2009 in the 1st inning.  John Mayberry followed with one of his own and 2 batters later, 12-year MLB veteran Miguel Cairo joined the home run parade.  After a 5 run first inning, the Phils looked pretty relaxed.

The rookies tried to make good impressions; Mayberry and Jason Donald both played the entire game with Mayberry going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI, including the home run.  Donald went 1 for 4 with 1 RBI and made a spectacular over-the-wall grab on a foul ball.  He fell clear into the stands, disappearing from view, and still caught the ball.  Here is a photo of Donald being helped up by the fans; also shown:  Cairo sliding into home; Jimmy Rollins tags out a runner attempting to steal; rookie Ozzie Chavez gets a hit:

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Kyle Kendrick pitched the first 2 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, including 1 home run.  He pitched fairly well, but did pale in comparison to what we have seen from JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco thus far.  And so that battle continues…  Former Mariner Jake Woods continues to struggle, giving up 2 runs in his one inning of work; rookie Drew Naylor had a one run 2 1/3 innings; Mike Koplove looked great again, pitching a scoreless inning; and our only lefty in the pen so far, Scott Eyre, gave up one run in what looked like a bit of a shaky inning for him.  Eyre, having personal and financial issues right now, really needs to keep his head on straight.  It was reported earlier this week that, due to a bank fraud issue, his assets have been frozen and he is unable to pay bills.  It appears to have affected many people invested in this particular bank and may take a while before the issue is resolved, so let’s hope he can handle the stress.  The advance the Phillies gave him on his salary should help.  Read the article HERE.

The other story of the day was the return of Pat Burrell.  Burrell got a very warm reception from the Phillies fans, who cheered him when he came up to bat, and even before the game during batting practice.  It seems like we are not the only ones who are missing Pat; Greg Dobbs and Ryan Howard had a nice reunion with him before the game:

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Burrell later told beat writer Todd Zolecki, “The response I got was very special,” Burrell said. “It’s something I won’t forget.”  And some thing we all won’t forget?  The Burrell Butt; oh, how we’ll miss it!

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Phillies take on the Braves tomorrow at 1:05pm.

 

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Spring Training Games Begin In Controversy

Today’s first Spring Training game got off to a rather odd start; while the players were stretching on the field before the game, suddenly, almost all of the Phillies broke out in applause, mid-stretch.  Everyone looked around to see what the fuss was about and then noticed Jimmy Rollins running on to the field – late.  The applause was to congratulate J-Roll on actually showing up.  He was in such a rush to get onto the field, he had forgotten to remove the bling from his ears; realizing this, J-Roll removed the earrings and stuffed them in his pocket.  Rollins began to stretch and Charlie Manuel strode over to confront Rollins.  J-Roll pointed to the nearby highway and tried to explain his tardiness.  Manuel, looking less than pleased, must have been having bad flashbacks to last season when Rollins was benched for being  late.  After Manuel finished scolding Rollins, Ryan Howard attempted to comfort his buddy:

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Rollins was not benched after the incident, but there may be fall-out later for him to deal with.  I will keep you posted.  And on to the game:

The Good

- Jamie Moyer continues to age in reverse; he pitched 2 strong, scoreless innings and chased after a foul ball like an 11 year-old kid on the playground, which brought cheers from the crowd.

- Raul Ibanez got his first pre-season hit as a Phillie.

- Mike Koplove pitched well; could he be a piece to the bullpen?  That remains to be seen.

The Bad

Minor league pitcher Joe Bisenius was all over the strike zone; his wildness cost the Phillies 4 runs in one inning and led to the 8-2 loss; Scott Nestor was no better, allowing 3 runs in one inning.  It does not look like either pitcher will be seeing time in the majors in the near future.

The Ugly

The first two innings for the Phillies batters seemed to echo ghosts of dysfunctional innings of the past; It began with J-Roll popping out, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard striking out and Eric Bruntlett hitting into a double play with one out and the bases loaded.

Below, you will see Moyer pitching, Howard striking out and JJ Furmaniak trying to pick off a runner:

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The Weird

Birds!  Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, birds swarmed the Pirates stadium, with many of them hanging out in the outfield during the game.  Greg Dobbs nearly lost his head:P2253560.JPG

Poor guy.  Happy to report, aside from the possibly birdy bomb, no one was seriously injured.  Tomorrow the Phillies take on the Blue Jays for the first home game of Spring Training.  Game time is 1:05pm.

 

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Where Is The Love?

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Ruben Amaro Jr. is off to a great start; well, a great start in totally confusing and possibly pissing off Phillies fans everywhere!  Amaro & company declined to offer arbitration to ANY of the four eligible players, including Jamie Moyer and Pat Burrell.  I expected as much for Tom Gordon and Rudy Seanez, but the other two are surprising.  By not offering arbitration to Moyer or Burrell, they have just given every other team in Major League Baseball a super incentive to sign them:  If you sign a player who has NOT been offered arbitration, then you do not have to give up any draft picks when signing that player away from his current team.  And in the same respect, the Phillies will get nothing if another team picks up one of our players.  So I ask then, where is the love for Moyer & Burrell?

The other side of this is that if Moyer or Burrell were actually to go to arbitration, they may have gotten salaries beyond what the Phillies want to pay for them.  I guess after getting burned on Ryan Howard’s arbitration last year where he was awarded 10 million dollars, they did not want to take this risk.  But I also think that not offering the arbitration may be sending a signal to these players that management does not mind so much if they do not return to the Phillies; and that may turn out to be a real issue.  It also makes signing new players more difficult.  For example, both A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe (pitchers) were offered arbitration by their teams.  So, the Phillies will lose draft picks if they decided to sign one of these guys.  And since they now gain nothing for losing Moyer to another team, they will be unlikely to sign a guy to replace him, like Burnett or Lowe, who has been offered arbitration.  If they did that, they lose draft picks and Moyer…it’s a double blow.

Last week, the Phillies did sign veteran reliever Mike Koplove; a 32-year old with a career ERA of 3.82 in the majors.  However, they expect him to spend a lot of time in AAA, as he did for most of his career.  So, why do the Phillies sign a 32-year old minor leaguer?  For the same reason they skipped arbitration for Moyer and Burrell this year – the Phillies management are CHEAP.  I guess they figured we won our World Series and that will be enough for the next 28 years.

Now say it with me everyone…take a deep breath and let it out….UUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

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