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June 2012

The Phillies are Busy Tonight on This Day Off Raising Money for Charity


Today's a day off for the Phillies but the players are very much on raising money for their charities.  

The biggest is Hunter Pence's "Let's Go Eat" Food and Fun Fest.  The event raises money for Pilabundance and the Make-A-Wish foundation":

Join Hunter Pence on the deck of the Moshulu for his inaugural "Let’s Go Eat!" Food and Fun Fest benefit on Thursday, May 31, 2012. The event will be featuring athletes, sports personalities and entertainers benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia, PHILABUNDANCE and Phillies Charities, Inc.

Tickets are still on sale for tonight for $150.00.   The event is held on The Moshulu on the Delaware River.   Many local celebrities and other players should be there tonight.  Pretty neat!


Placido Polanco will be raising money for the Kisses for Kyle Foundation for their "Spring Fling" at the Willow Grove Park Mall tonight starting at 6pm.   The foundation assists children fighting cancer.  

The event is described on the Kisses for Kyle website: 

Pre-purchase a $50 Willow Grove Mall gift card. The purchase will include a meet & greet with Philles’ third baseman Placido Polanco, an autographed baseball and group photo that will be printed on site at the time of the meet & greet. The gift cards will be given to families the foundation serves who will be completing a “Shopping Spree” that night with all of the gift card purchases. We are very proud of the unique concept for this event and appreciate all of your continued love and support.

If you cannot attend, click the link to purchase some raffle tickets to win some great prizes.


On Doc Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, Injuries, and the Phillies

Are you honestly shocked?
Let me preface all of this: Howard and Utley haven't played an inning, Worley, Lee, and Halladay have done DL stints, Thome and Nix are watching baseball and not playing it, Rollins and Qualls have stunk, Victorino and Pence have had their negatives, Joe Blanton is slumping, and they've used about 15 relievers (figuratively, I think?). The Phillies are three games out of first coming home for the weekend. Sure, not on June 1st should you jump to conclusions, but this team is nothing if not resilient.

With that in mind, I want to touch on a couple of thoughts of mine right now about this team.

  • Roy Halladay- Well, now Rich Dubee says he's not shocked. Real surprising from this organization, right? It was obvious in hindsight. Halladay's velocity was down in spring training, then it came up in the season, but his command went to hell a few times (Atlanta, the Nationals game, and this last start jump out). He was compensating on his velocity and giving up some command. I know he's 35, but it was obvious that this wasn't just drop-off from aging. I'm glad he is getting a second opinion, and hopefully this team can stay afloat for six to eight more weeks. I also hope they let him heal as much as possible. With that said, I'm concerned. I'm not concerned about Worley replacing the version of Halladay that we had this year. I'm concerned about Worley off an injury replacing a lesser Doc, and this team relying on Kendrick and Blanton. With that said, if this team can stay close until he's back, I think the division is well within reach.
  • Roy Oswalt- Yes, I know, "why didn't we sign him?" Because he got $5-6 million guaranteed. He's not worth that to us, at the luxury tax, a little over .500. Texas can take that risk in their position. I don't think it makes them any more of a favorite than they were, but good move. I'm glad we passed, ultimately. I'd have been ok with signing him though too.
  • Ryan Howard- He's out for June now it sounds like. Ruben says don't expect him. Honestly, having not started or even announced a rehab assignment yet, this isn't shocking, though I did expect him back in June. 
  • Utley and other injuries- Obviously Utley won't be back soon, Mini-Mart isn't doing anything yet, Nix says he'll be a while, and not much else is on the verge. I think it's fair to guess that Vance Worley is back soon, and Jim Thome is probably next after him. Honestly, I'm mostly concerned that Nix and Thome are around for the stretch run, and I'm concerned primarily with Utley and Worley. Chase is well behind last year, and that is cause for concern. I'd expect him later in June at best, and even then, is last year's Chase better than Galvis now? Ponder that for a second. Vance Worley is totally necessary though. If this team can survive June and no Halladay, Howard, or Utley, Worley has to step up next to Lee and Hamels. I have high hopes.
So, the team. They're 27-25, fifth in the NL East, and three games back. If a month from now, these conditions are unchanged (above .500 and within five), I have no doubt this team will be healthier, and will win the division. The road to get there isn't easy though. The next month looks like this:
  • Three with Miami (second place)
  • Four with Los Angeles (best record in the NL)
  • Three @ Baltimore (leading the AL East)
  • Three @ Minnesota (so far, awful)
  • Three @ Toronto (half game better than us)
  • Three with Colorado (They're really bad so far)
  • Three with Tampa (Also leading the AL East)
  • Four with the Pirates (the pain in our @$$ is three out in the central)
  • Finish up @Miami
In other words, this is a tough month of baseball. IF this team is still where it is in a month, it seems more likely that Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will be close to back, Doc could be close behind, Jim Thome might be back, and Laynce Nix could be on his way. 
The thing is, this month could be really bad for us. I think this is the month that can go either way. The Phillies need to step up, and keep up the positive momentum from this road trip. It is really important, mentally to say that this team just beat the Cardinals and Mets five out of seven games. These are teams that get us going. These are good wins. Now keep it up, beat Ozzie Guillen's bunch up, and keep with the logjam in this division, or pass them.

Carlos Ruiz Returns from the Dead to Homer for Phillies, Take Down Mets


The Phillies had one more game in Flushing (like "flushing a toilet"), New York at Citi Field and the series was at stake.  Dillon Gee went up against Cliff Lee who can't buy a win for the Phillies.

Well, Cliff Lee did not win again.  The 1st inning was a little rocky for Lee, giving up a run to the Mets, but former Met Ty Wigginton answered with a home run in the top of the 2nd inning.

The score remained 1-1 all the way until the 6th inning when Cliff Lee served up a two-out home run to Lucas Duda with one on to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.   But, the Phillies would answer in the top of the 7th.  Brian Schneider, starting in place of Carlos Ruiz due to a minor hamstring injury, hit a two-out double.  Then, Cliff Lee was pulled for a pinch hitter, none other than Carlos Ruiz.

Bobby Parnell was called in to face the pinch-hitter and did not fare so well for the Mets. Ruiz slammed a ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run.  The game was tied.

After Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless bottom of the 7th, the Phillies added one more run.  With Juan Pierre on third base and Hunter Pence on first base, Shane Victorino lined a ball to center field.   Pierre tagged and scored to take a 4-3 lead.  Despite being mired in an 0 for 15 slump, Victorino got the RBI for the go-ahead run.

Then, in the top of the 9th inning, Jimmy Rollins partied like it was 2007 and absolutely SLAMMED - and I mean SLAMMMMMMMED an upper deck home run to right field to make it 7-3 Phillies.  Rollins had three hits tonight in all.

But that was not it.  Shane Victorino broke his slump with a 2-run single.  The Phillies batted around plus one, plating six total runs in the top of the 9th, as Jonathan Papelbon warmed up. 

But of course your closer can't pitch unless he's in line to get a save in the box score, so Raul Valdes came in to pitch the 9th inning and gave up his first run of the season on a Lucas Duda solo home run, Duda's second of the night.    Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres had back to back hits with two outs to score another run to bring it to 10-5.  With Torres on second base and Charlie Manuel growing impatient, he called on Jonathan Papelbon to get the last out.

Papelbon came in and after fouling off many pitches, Daniel Murphy singled up the middle to score another run.  Papelbon then got the last out, it wasn't for a save, and he did not blow up.

The Phillies are off Thursday and begin a three-game series with the Marlins on Friday.

Jamie Moyer Designated for Assignment By Colorado Rockies; Is That it for Jamie?


Fan favorite Jamie Moyer was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies this afternoon.   Moyer came all the way back from Tommy John surgery to win a game at age 49, but Moyer won just one more after that for the Rockies.  All in all Moyer was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA.

If Moyer did not quit after needing Tommy John surgery knowing full-well he could not pitch again until after his 49th birthday, could he pitch again?

I would not be shocked if Moyer kept trying to pitch.  The problem will be finding someone to pick him up.  If Moyer was willing to take a minor-league assignment to prove his value first, maybe someone would give him a shot.  Might they?

Check out some of the players with a higher ERA than Moyer's 5.70:

  • Clay Bucholz, 7.19
  • Mike Minor, 6.98
  • Tim Lincecum, 6.41
  • Luke Hocevar, 6.19
  • Ubaldo Jimenez, 5.79
  • Randy Wolf, 5.73

John Danks is tied at 5.70.   Teams probably assume those players will rebound; Moyer may not get the opportunity as they do because of their age.

It would be nice to see the Seattle Mariners to give him a shot for a return to the team he rejuvenated his career with, or for the Phillies to give Moyer a shot to help fill some holes the Phillies have.  They sure look like they could use help.




Phillies' Roy Halladay Gets Second Opinion On Injury, Will Hold Press Conference Friday

I don't know if this is something to be worried or excited about. 

According to MLB's Todd Zolecki, Phillies' ace Roy Halladay has gotten a second opinion on his shoulder injury this afternoon.

Halladay met with Dr. David Altchek today to receive a second opinion on his grade 1 - grade 2 strained lat muscle that landed him on the DL yesterday. It's not surprising that he would get a second opinion, especially from the go-to guy for shoulder injuries.

Halladay will hold a press conference on Friday after meeting with more doctors. Hopefully it's good news and he'll be back quicker than expected. Six to eight weeks is too long for me. I'm already going through Doc withdrawl.


Remember how then-Cardinal Albert Pujols broke his wrist in June of last year and wasn't slated to be back in action until August? Yeah. Remember how he came back 2 weeks later? Yeah. Although this is a muscle issue and not a fracture or bone issue, it's a totally different healing process. I'm just making the assumption that Doc could possibly be back quicker than expected, but it's the Phillies' best interest to take it slow with their ace. 

We'll keep you updated on any word of this matter. 

Follow Erik Seybold on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.

Oh Em Gee: Cliff Lee, Dillon Gee Pitch in Mets-Phillies Rubber Match at Citi Field

Photo from - there are two more angles so check it out.

Lee vs. Gee: one of the best matchups we get now and then, and not just namewise.  The two have matched up before and provided some six-letter pitching matchup excitement.

Dillon Gee is 4-3 with a 4.92 ERA.  He can be stellar and he can be mediocre.  Cliff Lee is winless, but had been stellar most of the time.  Maybe tonight the Phillies will decide to score some runs and maybe play some defense.

How would Cliff Lee react tonight if this play by Shane Victorino came in his start?

Carlos Ruiz is still out, but presumably going to be available to pinch-hit.  His absence is very much noticed.   Freddy Galvis gets the night off tonight as well.   The hot-hitting as of late Ty Wigginton will bat cleanup and play first base.

Tonight's Lineup:

  1. Rollins SS
  2. Pierre LF
  3. Pence RF
  4. Wigginton 1B
  5. Victorino CF
  6. Polanco 3B
  7. Fontenot 2B
  8. Schneider C
  9. Lee P

7:10 Start - game carried on PHL 17, 1210AM and 94.1 FM.

I'm Not Surprised: "Realistic" Chance Jim Thome is Ready for A.L. Road Trip to DH for Phillies


I'm not conspiracy theorist, but I am not surprised that Jim Thome just may return from the disabled list in time for the Phillies' trip to Baltimore, Minnesota, and Toronto, when the Phillies will need a designated hitter.

Mark Narducci's Phillies notes has the update: 

[Phillies Assistant General Manager Scott] Proefrock said it was realistic to expect Thome back when the Phillies begin a nine-game road trip against American League teams Baltimore, Minnesota, and Toronto beginning June 8. The Phillies will need a designated hitter in those games, and, if healthy, Thome will be a viable option.

I am not shocked that the Phillies have been keeping Thome out a little extra since he is very limited to only occasional starts at first base and pinch hitting.  Up until now, the Phillies stood to benefit from having someone on the roster who can play positions.

Thome played a good amount in Spring Training, getting 37 at bats and then was seldom used in the regular season for the Phillies.  In 17 spring training games, Thome hit .243 with four doubles but had an on-base percentage of .364.

But in the regular season Thome just hit .111 (2 for 18) in limited action.  Despite playing first base a number of times in the preseason, Charlie Manuel seemed to hardly put Thome's name onto the lineup card.

I hope when Thome returns Manuel is less shy.  Of the nine games in American League cities, I would hope that Thome serves at DH for no less than five of them.   After this, I would like to see Thome play first base at least one day a week.   Thome would at the very least give the Phillies professional at bats from the cleanup or fifth spot.  PItchers would still fear Thome and he would take pitches instead of swinging at balls at his head.  Why not - what is the risk?

The obvious risk is that Thome experience soreness in his back once again.  Should Thome's back be sore sometime in July or August another disabled list stint would not be out of the question.  This could get the Phillies through to the roster expansion of September.  When (if) the Phillies make the playoffs, Thome would be there for that big pinch-hit bat and to serve as a World Series designated hitter, if I am not reaching too much.

Phillies Fall 6-3 to Mets after Hour Long Rain Delay


Joe Blanton took the hill at Citi Field tonight against Jeremy Hefner, who was making his second major league start. After two straight rough outings from Joe, it wouldn't get easier in another frustrating game. 

The Phillies jumped out in front scoring a run in the first on a wild pitch. The Mets came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from David Wright, and an RBI single from Daniel Murphy. 

Brian Schneider started tonight with Carlos Ruiz on the bench. Ruiz was available to hit, but stayed out of the game with hamstring tightness. Shneids hit the seams off the ball in the top of the second with a solo shot to the Pepsi Porch in right field. Tied ballgame.

To continue this game of cat and mouse, Mike Baxter put the Mets up 3-2 with a double to center field which scored Omar Quintanilla.

Jeremy Hefner did not have a major league hit under his belt up until the fourth inning tonight. On a high fastball, Hefner took Joe Blanton way deep to left field, putting the Mets up by two runs.

With Juan Pierre on first base, Hunter Pence drilled a double to left field which was misplayed by Mike Baxter, allowing Pierre to score. Pence was left on third base with nobody out. So, so, so not good.

Scott Hairston, pinch hitting for Hefner launched a two-run home run to left field off of Blanton, extending the Mets' lead to 6-3.

Blanton was taken out after five innings and 89 pitches. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out four. Raul Valdes pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the sixth, striking out one. 

After a scoreless seventh inning from both Jon Rauch and Jake Diekman, the game went into a rain delay. 

...One hour and four minutes later, Joe Savery took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and pitched another scoreless inning.

If you waited through the delay in hopes that you would see a come from behind win, I'm right there with you, and I'm just as disappointed as you are. The Phils couldn't come back from a three-run deficit, dropping game two, 6-3.

Cliff Lee and Dillon Gee tomorrow at 7:15. 

Report: Phillies Offered Oswalt More Money Than Rangers; Chose Rangers Anyway

Royocbs3's Jon Heyman had this interesting tidbit about Roy Oswalt's contract with the Texas Rangers.

The deal speaks to Oswalt's desire to win a World Series and to his affinity for Rangers president Nolan Ryan: Oswalt had better offers on the table from the Dodgers, Phillies and Cardinals, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.


It looks like Dave Bush will have to do.

Former Phillies Pitcher Roy Oswalt Reportedly Signs With Rangers

Photo: Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani

Well, the Phillies may have lost Roy Halladay to the disabled list, but they won't be replacing him with notable free-agent Roy Oswalt.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers and Roy Oswalt have reached agreement:

The length and terms of the deal with Oswalt could not be determined. He is likely to make a few minor-league starts before joining the Rangers. Left-hander Andy Pettitte, who sat out all of last season, made four minor-league starts before going into the New York Yankees' rotation

Things seemed to point toward the Rangers before, but earlier in the week, Oswalt's agent told teams that he worked out for the Dodgers.  I am sure the agent did so to bring up the price for the Rangers, who are without pitcher Neftali Feliz.  

Unfortunately the Halladay news came after the Rangers got Feliz injury updates.   As for the Phillies, they may have to turn to Delaware County's Dave Bush for a start or two before Vance Worley returns from the disabled list.  

Kyle Kendrick, who pitched like Halladay in his prime on Saturday, appears in the rotation to stay.