Results tagged ‘ Tyson Gillies ’

Are We Seriously Only Halfway Through Spring Training?

Is it just me, or is it taking forever to get to the regular season?  I was excited when Spring Training began, because a little baseball is better than no baseball.  But that excitement has waned slowly and transformed into impatience.  Can we get to the real games already!

There is not much else in Philly to get excited about right now.  The Flyers are good one day, and suck the next.  They are in last place in their division.  And the 76ers are all but out of playoff contention, unless a small miracle occurs.  And no, that miracle will not be Andrew Bynum, who does not appear to have any desire to play this year.  He will sit back and collect his massive paycheck.

Some people are excited about the Papal Conclave in Rome.  I get it.  I was just in Rome this past October; I took the whole 9-mile tour of the Vatican museums, St. Peter’s and the Sistine Chapel.  It was an ethereal experience for sure.  But unless the smoke coming out of that chapel chimney signals the start of the regular season, I don’t have much to get excited about.

They will pick a new pope.  Some people will celebrate, some will complain and life will go on.  But what I really need is some baseball!

I like Spring Training; it is a necessary part of baseball.  But some things about it annoy me.  Mainly, that it is 6-weeks long, the games don’t count and the fact that I am not in Florida right now.  Ugh.

However, there have been a number of rather interesting incidents this spring.  A Hooter’s ball girl screwed up and fielded a fair ball (not that interesting I guess; this happens every year); Charlie Manuel was accosted by a strange man on a tricycle at a game against the Astros; and several Phillies playing for Team Canada in the WBC brawled with Team Mexico this past Saturday.  Apparently, Pete Orr was thrown out of the game.  Tyson Gillies, who has a habit of finding trouble, body slammed a Red Sox pitcher who was playing for Mexico.  And Phillies Sebastian Valle, who played for Mexico, swung his catcher’s helmet at opposing players, despite their being at least 3 of his Phillies teammates on Canada’s team.  Oops.

So while Spring Training has not been dull, it is just not over yet!  But we are half-way there and everyone, so far, is healthy (cross all fingers and toes)…3 weeks to go!

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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*

 

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*

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*

 

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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