Results tagged ‘ Phillipe Aumont ’

Prospect Gillies Arrested for Cocaine Possession

Is it just me, or does the Phillies off-season Cliff Lee trade look worse and worse every day?  The cherry on the crap sundae came today when Tyson Gillies, one of the 3 players sent to Philly in the Lee trade, was arrested for cocaine possession, according to Philly.com. 
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The incident allegedly took place this past June in Pinellas County, Florida.

I am guessing the Reading Phillies commercial starring Mr. Gillies will be pulled.  Check it out before it is gone forever…Gillies is asked by a kid if he is “fast” and Gillies brags about his base stealing speed.  Yeah, he is fast alright.  Cocaine will do that.

The incident took place in Clearwater while Gillies was participating in a rehab assignment for a hamstring injury that has bothered him most of the year.  He was batting only .238 in 26 games for Double-A Reading.

Another player from the Cliff Lee trade, Phillippe Aumont, has severely underperformed since coming to the Phillies organization.  He pitched at a 7.43 ERA in Reading and was then demoted to Clearwater in June.  Aumont has publically stated that he is feeling the immense “pressure” on him, having been traded for Lee.  He seemed quite worried about living up to expectations.  So, we started with a head case and now we have a coke head among the group.

The third player in the trade was righty JC Ramirez whose ERA is 5.18 in 12 games for Reading.  While it is still early to tell how he or Aumont ultimately will perform, right now, things do not look promising.

And are we to believe the Mariners had no knowledge of these issues before they shipped these players over to Philly?  I think they knew full well what they were doing.  As a result, the Phillies have been punk’d.  I will be curious to see what, if anything, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has to say about the recent events.  What a mess.

 

Photo by MLB.com

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

 

Hitting The Skids…Again

The first inning of today’s Phillies – Padres match-up was a microcosm of the issues that have been plaguing the Phils since the middle of May.  The offense started off with two hits, then they loaded the bases with one out and Jayson Werth hit a weak grounder into a double play to end the inning.  sad_bunny.jpgTwo batters before that, Chase Utley had popped out with 2 men on base. 

Werth and Utley, previously two of the teams’ best hitters, are quickly becoming the poster-children for killing rallies.  Phillies fans everywhere are losing patience waiting for the two sluggers to find their swings again.  Fans used to look forward to seeing them bat.  Now, all you can do is cringe when they step to the plate and begin counting the different ways they might kill an inning; will it be a double play?  A pop-up?  A strike-out?  Or maybe the bat will spontaneously combust due to lack of use, rendering him helpless at the plate…the possibilities are endless.

Once again, the real victim of this disgusting and seemingly unending offensive slump is the starting pitcher. 
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Cole Hamels had a no-hitter working through 6 innings.  He finally surrendered back-to-back homers in the 7th to end the streak, but with just those two runs allowed, Hamels more than did his job.  It is just one more outstanding pitching performance gone to waste by the Phils offensive offense.

Eight full innings and just 3 hits later, Hamels found himself still without any assistance from his teammates.  The pinch hitters failed again in the bottom of the 8th with both Greg Dobbs and Ross Gload going down in flames.  Danys Baez pitched the 9th and put the Phillies in a deeper hole by giving up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez, his second of the night.

The Phillies tried to battle back in the bottom of the 9th; Placido Polanco singled, followed by another Utley out.  Ryan Howard drove Polanco in but then Werth stepped to the plate and, as has been the trend, he struck out. The Phillies lose 1-3, but I suppose the good news is that at least it was not another shut-out.

Besides the huge disappointment today in the Phillies majors, the minor leagues reported one more bit if depressing news.  The “big” prospect the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade, pitcher Phillipe Aumont, was demoted to single-A ball after sporting a 10.61 ERA in AA-ball.  Remember back in Spring Training when the same guy gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning in an exhibition game against a college team in his first Phillies action?  And afterwards, he blamed it on the pressure of being traded for Cliff Lee?  Oh yeah, that guy. 

So, we get our first peek at how beneficial that trade really was.  If Aumont cannot handle pressure, what good is he?  And do you really think the Mariners were unaware of this when they sent him packing?  I doubt it.  Talent and potential are great, but I am pretty sure in the life-game of rock, paper, scissors, that mental toughness trumps both.  But hey, Lee will be available again at the trade deadline this year; think the Mariners will take Aumont back?  Ha, ha…I crack myself up ;o)

The draft took place tonight and the Phillies have selected a local; Jesse Biddle, a left-handed pitcher, from Philly.  Best of luck to the young pitcher!

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Happy Bunny by Jim Benton

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

 

Half Way Through Spring

Having gone past the half-way point of Spring Training, the paring down of the Phillies roster has begun.  The first fourteen cuts included pitchers Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Scott Mathieson, Drew Naylor, J.C. Ramirez, Jesus Sanchez, Joe Savery and Bill White; position players cut were catchers Tuffy Gosewisch, Kevin Nelson and John Sumoi; infielder Freddy Galvis; and outfielders Quintin Berry and Tyson Gillies.  You will notice that all three of the players involved in the Cliff Lee trade are on the list.

One of those players, Aumont, had a very rough start in camp in an exhibition game.  But after that, he made a solid 2 2/3 inning appearance where he did not allow a run.  J.C. Ramirez did not fare as well, appearing in two games and allowing 3 runs over 4 1/3 innings.  Both pitchers are still early in their development and we may not have a real sense of their worth for some time to come.


Thumbnail image for Gillies.jpgThe third player from the Lee trade is Tyson Gillies who showed some real potential.  He ended his trip to camp with a .286 average in 7 at-bats, including a home run, a double and 2 RBI.  Gillies told the press that camp was a huge learning experience for him and was especially grateful to manager Charlie Manuel for his words of advice; Gillies said, “Charlie told me the things I need to work on, slowing things down. Slower. Slower when I’m hitting. He wants me to be slow with the feet, and quick with the hands. Basically just stay back a little bit more. Keep my hands and everything back and try not to lunge at everything. Let the ball come to me.”

While it is endearing to hear those comments from a young player, it also leaves one to wonder what exactly the coaching staff in Seattle has been doing…or not doing.  Gillies has been in the minors since 2007 and no one ever told him not to lunge at the ball?  Or even how to properly approach an at-bat and hit the ball?  It is no wonder then why so many young players develop so many bad habits.  Seems that “coaching” may be a lost art…

Those players that remain in camp will slowly be whittled down to the final 25-man roster.  Starting pitchers, like JA Happ, will see a steady increase in innings.  Happ went 4 solid yesterday in a 5-4 win over the Twins.  He allowed just one hit and struck out 3.  Kyle Kendrick followed today with 4 solid innings of his own, allowing 2 hits.  Kendrick remains on the heels of Jamie Moyer in the competition for the 5th starters spot.

As for the hitters, here is a look at the batting averages for each player still in camp, with at least 5 at-bats:

W Valdez

.750

 

R Gload

.294

B Bocock

.455

 

J Castro

.273

C Utley

.438

 

R Howard

.250

P Polanco

.375

 

J Rollins

.250

D Wise

.375

 

B Francisco

.235

D Brown

.350

 

C Ransom

.200

O Chavez

.333

 

F Galvis

.182

G Dobbs

.333

 

J Werth

.136

B Schneider

.333

 

R Ibanez

.115

J Mayberry

.318

 

C Ruiz

.100 Bottom of Form

S Victorino

.313

 

 

 

 

Chase Utley and Placido Polanco lead the pack among the regular players.  And as expected, Polanco’s transition from 2nd to 3rd base has been very smooth.  He had one rough game right at the start for his only error of Spring, but has been great ever since.  Polanco has 17 assists and turned 5 double plays in 42 innings of work.

As for the still rehabbing players, Brad Lidge is doing well and will start a Double A Spring game on Thursday.  Manager Charlie Manuel announced that is Lidge is not ready in April, Ryan Madson will be given the closer duties.  JC Romero is also progressing, but will not be ready for Opening Day; he did throw some breaking balls today for the first time since his surgery and depending on how he feels over the next few days, he may get to throw to hitters this week.

 

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Gillies photo – MLB.com

 

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

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*

 

Phillies Beat The Yanks In First Spring Action

The first official Spring Training game for the Phillies ended with a 3-2 win over their World Series foes, the New York Yankees.  Not that spring games mean anything, but it was fun to watch.  mlb_i_rhalladay2_400.jpgRoy Halladay pitched two innings and lived up to the hype.  He did not allow a hit in 2 innings and threw 21 of 24 pitches for strikes.  It did not look like even one of those pitches came near the middle of the plate.  He had amazing movement on the ball, pinpoint control and he painted the corners, making it look effortless.

Kyle Kendrick and new pick-up Jose Contreras impressed as well.  Each threw 2 innings and looked solid.  Kendrick appears to be serious about grabbing the 5th starters’ spot.  Kendrick spent extra time this off-season working out to prepare and during camp, has been following Halladay around like a lost puppy.  The extra effort appears to be paying off.

Another anxiously awaited debut was that of former 2nd baseman, Placido Polanco at third base.  The first batter of the day hit it right to him and Polly handled it well.  Later that same inning however, he made a fantastic scoop but overthrew to first for the first error of spring.  It was basically smooth sailing after that minus a pop-up that the wind took away.   Polanco started his career at third and it is expected that he will progress quickly in his return to the position.

So it was all positives for the Phillies in their 1st official spring game.  Yesterday’s exhibition against Florida State however was a bit more challenging for one new Phillie.  Top prospect Phillipe Aumont who was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade had a memorable outing on the mound, although it won’t be a good memory for the young pitcher. 

Obviously shaken by the pressure to show he was worth the trade, Aumont gave up 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning including 3 walks and a 3-run homer.  Previously touted for his excellent control, that skill went right out the window as nerves got the better of him.  And all that was against a college team…ouch.  This poor kid needs a hug….bad.  The Phillies still won 13-6 so no worries.  Besides, things can only get better from here.  Aumont should bounce back now that he has purged the nervous energy.  I wish him luck!

So the Phillies will play a game every day until their one day off of the month on March 18th.  Tomorrow they face the Blue Jays in Dunedin and Halladay will make his first visit back to his old spring stadium.  Cole Hamels is scheduled to start and we will also see J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo in action as well.  Game time is 1:05pm.

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Photo from ESPN.com

 

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

 

Spring Games Set To Begin

The Phillies take to the field tonight for the first real action of Spring Training in an exhibition game against Florida State.  JA Happ will be the starting pitcher followed by Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon.  All eyes will be on Aumont as he was one of the prospects the Phillies got in the Cliff Lee trade.  Many are anxious to see if the risk will pay off.

Shane Victorino has been left off the starting line-up for precautionary reasons. 
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Victorino has been suffering from a sore shoulder and the team will likely not want to push him.  It does not seem serious, but it is usually better to be safe than sorry.  John Mayberry Jr. will fill in at center and Greg Dobbs gets the nod as the DH.  But as is usual in Spring games, the starters will probably not play long, giving the team a chance to look at some prospects.  Game time is 7:05pm.

The game everyone is waiting for though is tomorrow’s match up against the Yankees with Roy Halladay on the mound.  It will be the team’s first look at their off-season prize in live game action.  The talk about Halladay’s work ethic, poise and electric arm has been non-stop since he signed.  Finally, it is time to see some results.  Tomorrow’s game starts at 1pm and will be carried on Comcast Sportsnet and then replayed on The MLB Network at 7pm.

And now for the disturbing news of the week:  Phillies fans know Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning as the man who pitched the only perfect game in Phillies history on June 24, 1964 which happened to be Father’s Day as well.  Considered one of the best Phillies players in history, Bunning is also one of only six pitchers ever to throw both a perfect game and a no-hitter in his career.  So as a baseball player, Bunning gets two thumbs up.  As a politician, not so much…

Bunning has served in the Kentucky State Senate since 1998 and in 2006, Time magazine dubbed him one of “America’s Five Worst Senators.”  He routinely misses Senate floor votes and on Christmas Eve 2009, he was the only senator to skip the vote on the historic health care reform bill.  Adding more fuel to the fire this month, Bunning single-handedly blocked a 30-day extension of federal unemployment benefits when more than 200,000 unemployed Americans were set to lose benefits.  The proposal of unanimous consent on any legislation like this is generally reserved for situation where no one is going to object.  Essentially, the proposal is thought to be a no-brainer….that is, for everyone on the planet except Jim Bunning.

The Senate was attempting to avoid a massive hit to the economy and considered the extension an emergency.  After receiving public spankings from both Democrats and Republicans, Bunning finally relented on Tuesday night and the legislation was passed, but not before Bunning made a total as*s out of himself.   Wait a second, I though the “as*s” was the symbol of the Democratic party?


PB023558 Bunning.jpgWe still love you in Philly Jim, but please, do America a favor and get out of politics while you still have some dignity left.  Let us all remember you as the guy who tossed the only Phillies perfect game and not the guy who tried to make 200,000 angry, unemployed people storm his house, tie him and up and force him to watch tape of the 1964 Phillies collapse; they dropped 10 consecutive games at the end of the season and lost the Division after being in first place with a 3-game lead.  This type of torture is cruel and unusual punishment.  Please, don’t make us do it…we don’t want to remember that year either.

 

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Photos by Jenn

 

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

 

Happy Juice

During the official introduction of Roy Halladay yesterday, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. explained further why he chose to ship Cliff Lee off to Seattle.  He backed off the idea of not being able to sign him past one year and moved on to replenishing the farm system.  Amaro admitted this move was a risk, but one he was willing to take in order to keep the franchise winning for years to come, rather than just putting all their eggs into the 2010 basket.

As for the fans, we are all very excited to see Roy Halladay in a Phillies uniform!  But many wish the ultimate pitching dream of Halladay & Lee could have been a reality.  Here is a synopsis of how it all went down for the Lee fans:

5 Stages of Grief In Losing Cliff Lee:

- Denial:  This cannot be happening!  Lee was the only pitcher to win a game for us in the World Series!

- Anger:   Noooooo!  Ruben Amaro Jr., you stink!

- Bargaining:   Hey Ruben, how about we keep both Halladay AND Lee?  Come on….please?  I’ll be your best friend :O)

- Depression:  I am going to crawl in a hole; wake me in the Spring.

- Acceptance:  Oh, ok.  I guess it was a good business decision.  I still love you Ruben :O)  Thank you for a Happy Halladay!

Amaro drunk.jpgMr. Amaro may be the happiest person on the planet right now; he has wanted Halladay for a very long time and finally got his wish.  During the press conference, Amaro referred to the acquisition of Halladay as “intoxicating.”  Well, that does explain a lot about the trade I suppose.  Clearly, he was drunk on Halladay Juice and made some very creative decisions.  I’ll give him an A+ on getting Halladay.  As for letting Lee go in exchange for the prospects, the jury is out until we see how he handles the hangover. ;o)

Well, it is the Halladay Season, so drink up Mr. Amaro!  Just sober up in time for Spring Training.

By the way, the This Year In Baseball awards are in and some Phillies, plus a few of their fans, won awards.  Ruben Amaro Jr. was voted Best Executive; J.A. Happ, who should have gotten the Rookie of the Year award will have to settle for the TYIB Best Rookie prize; Jayson Werth won Best Unsung Star; and the father-daughter pair who were shown all over TV after Dad caught a ball and his daughter tossed it back, were named the season’s Best Oddity.

Congrats to all!

Amaro photo by Jenn

 

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

 

Halladay Shopping Is Done For The Phillies

The Phillies made it official this afternoon; Cy Young award winning pitcher Roy Halladay is now a Phillie :O)  Some say he is the best pitcher in baseball.  This is a huge pick up for the Phillies and an exciting day for the fans.  Halladay has signed a 3-year extension, keeping him in red pinstripes through 2013 for around 20 million a year after his 1-year Jays contract is fulfilled in 2010.

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So the Phillies have swapped one Cy Young winner for another and three prospects for 3 different prospects.  The casualties for the Phillies include Cliff Lee, who went to Seattle plus 3 of our top 4 prospects; pitcher Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis d’Arnaud who all went to the Jays.  In return, the Phillies will get 3 prospects from Seattle to restock the farm system; pitchers Phillipe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies. 

The Cliff Lee trade is disappointing, but it makes sense from a business perspective as the Phillies were nearing their payroll limit and they knew for sure that Lee would be only a 1-year pitcher, testing the market after 2010.  From a fan perspective, it is sad to see Lee go and one cannot help but wish we could have had both Lee and Halladay even for just the one year.

And to all the yahoo’s out there who want to shout obscenities and declare that Phillies fans do not appreciate Roy Halladay, get over yourselves.  It has nothing to do with appreciating Halladay and everything to do with losing Cliff Lee.  If the Yankees got Halladay and had to ship off CC Sabathia to do so, tell me Yankee fans would not be shouting from the rooftops?  It is the same thing.  And yes, Lee and Sabathiha have comparable stats.

We are very, very happy to have Halladay and excited to see him pitch in a Phillies uniform.  But it does seem sad to lose other good players in the process, especially Lee and the three prospects.  You feel like a kid at Christmas that got exactly what you always wanted, but had to give back all your other presents to do so.

I have personally spoken to Michael Taylor, as an example, and he is not only a great player, but a great person as well.  One cannot help but feel disappointed to see these guys leave.  And I saw Lee pitch his first game with the Phillies in San Francisco; he pitched a complete game and made it look easy.  We are entitled to be upset over losing our best pitcher, as I am sure Jays fans are upset over losing theirs.  Are we getting a better pitcher in return?  Absolutely.  But wouldn’t both be so much nicer?

That being said, Phillies fans are thrilled to finally get the big prize!  Happy Halladay’s to everyone in Philly!  I cannot wait until Spring Training :O)

 

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

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