TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lidge Needs Shot; Rollins Goes For Record

As was the hot concern over Brad Lidge’s lack of velocity heated up, Todd Zolecki found out the reason why: Lidge had inflammation on the outside of his elbow and received a cortisone shot. Physician Michael Ciccotti said he doesn’t require an MRI nor is there any structural damage:

“Coming into Spring Training every year Brad has some lateral or outer elbow soreness,” Ciccotti said. “It’s just part of his reconditioning routine. Because he started a little bit later this year with his throwing because of those two surgeries (elbow surgery in November and knee surgery in January) that soreness has lingered a little bit longer. Usually it resolves by the second or the third week in March. … Again, the achiness is always along the outer aspect. His surgery was along the inner aspect of his elbow. And so to jump start him, we decided to give him an injection … His elbow is stable. Nor does he have any symptoms at all in his knee.”

This is why Lidge was not “a week ahead” as he felt he was. Just get healthy and then worry about returning.

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Via the Red Bull page (and the Phightins for making this known to my knowledge):

Attention Philadelphia: Baseball All-Star and World Series champion Jimmy Rollins will be knocking baseballs over Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Red Bull Ball Park Cranks on Tuesday, April 13th. Clear your lunch hour because we’re not just talking home runs here…Rollins is aiming beyond the typical stadium distance and looking to hit a massive 550-foot bomb — or the distance of almost two football fields.

Not stopping there, Rollins will also attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for ‘Longest Batted Ball’, which currently stands at 576 feet. The record is for the greatest distance one individual can hit a batted baseball in a legal manner with no restriction on equipment.

Rollins is encouraging his fellow Philadelphians to stop by to witness the science, the technology, the talent, the strength, or to just see their favorite professional athlete really hit it out of the park…and over a highway.

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Intersection of 20th Street)
When: Tuesday, April 13 // 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The event is free and spectators are welcome!

Good luck, Jimmy!

2010 Opening Day Roster

The Phillies currently have 27 names on their roster. Two of them, Brad Lidge, and J.C. Romero, are not going to be ready by Opening Day. Assuming the other 25 players are what the Phillies are satisfied with, this is your 2010 roster. If it was already announced then I missed it and therefor am an idiot.

Starters:
C Carlos Ruiz
1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
3B Placido Polanco
SS Jimmy Rollins
LF Raul Ibanez
CF Shane Victorino
RF Jayson Werth

Starting Pitchers:
Roy Halladay
Cole Hamels
Joe Blanton
J.A. Happ
Jamie Moyer

Bench:
C Brian Schneider
IF Greg Dobbs
IF Juan Castro
OF Ben Francisco
OF Ross Gload

Relief Pitchers:
Danys Baez
Antonio Bastardo
Jose Contreras
Chad Durbin
David Herndon
Kyle Kendrick
Brad Lidge *
Ryan Madson
J.C. Romero *

*injured

RIP JW Beard

On a sad day yesterday, Jayson Werth’s beard was laid to rest after a month-long life of glory. His beardliness, Mr. Werth, felt that the spring funk he was in was probably do to looking like a Neanderthal, proving that hitting isn’t so easy and that all cavemen can’t do it. So on this sad day after the passing of one of the finest facial follicles to grace a Phillies star, we remember Jaysus Werth, the alter-ego of Jayson.

Maybe on Sunday we will see a resurrection.

J.W. Beard: February 22, 2010-March 30, 2010.

Kendrick Preps for Pen

Kyle Kendrick was preparing for the bull pen without even knowing it. He got the start but lasted only two innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk and striking out one in the Phillies 5-2 loss to Houston. Kendrick even got a hit at the plate.

Chase Utley and Brian Schneider each had a pair of hits. Jose Contreras continued to have a poor spring as he got shelled for three runs on three hits and two walks in the fifth inning. Former Phillie Michael Bourn had four hits and Jason Michaels had a pinch hit.

Though Kendrick is preparing for a bull pen role, I don’t see him getting accustomed to it too quickly as Jamie Moyer, who beat Kendrick out for the fifth starters spot, will be walking a thin line.

Boxscore.

Moyer Named 5th Starter

Moyer photo by Mike Carlson. Kendrick photo by Kathy Willens. AP

Jamie Moyer held onto his spot on the rotation as he was named the fifth starter heading into the 2010 season, beating out Kyle Kendrick. The news came from David Murphy of the Philly Inquirer via Twitter. He got the report from Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.

Moyer pitched well enough during the spring to beat our Kendrick, something that didn’t surprise me. Here’s a look at the two pitchers’ lines for the spring:

  1. Kendrick – 0-1, 1.37 ERA, 19.2 innings
  2. Moyer – 1-0, 0.77 ERA, 11.2 innings

Both pitchers pitched extremely well even though Moyer had two fewer GFL starts. Moyer probably made his final pitch when he pitched 6.2 shut-out innings against the Yankees, allowing only one hit while striking out six.

As I said before, I will not be shocked if the Phillies have Moyer on a short leash and will give Kendrick the starting spot if Moyer slips up too frequently.

“I’ve always liked Kendrick, and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in his pitching since last year,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He had a real good spring, and I’m sure he’s going to get to pitch quite a bit this year.”

It’s the last year of Moyer’s contract. Kyle Kendrick will also start the season in the bull pen. Kendrick is embracing his role though:

“If it is that way, then every day coming to the park, it’s going to be, ‘I might be able to pitch that day,’” Kendrick said.

Phanatic Honored; Romero Update

The Phillie Phanatic will be everywhere in Philly now. 20 different Phillie Phanatic statues will be scattered around Philadelphia as a tourist attraction.

“Fans who already love the Phillie Phanatic will see him in a brand new way,” said Frank Luzi, the museum’s public relations director. “There’s something different to each one.”

Some of the places the statue will be on display is the National Constitution Center and the African American Museum. The statues will be on display at the Please Touch Museum before being put at different locations throughout the summer. At then end of the summer, the statues will be auctioned off for various charities.

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J.C. Romero is heading towards a full return to the Phillies as well. He pitched in his first minor league intrasquad game, going an inning and facing four batters. He faced Tyson Gillies, Freddy Galvis, Domonic Brown and Zak Farkes on just 13 pitches, throwing 10 strikes. Romero could throw again as early as Wednesday.

“Today was a big step for me,” Romero said in the clubhouse at Bright House Field. “I was very pleased with the outcome today. The good thing is that I was throwing a lot of strikes. My arm speed was outstanding.”

Phils Comeback Falls Short

J.A. Happ looked good in another start but Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson relinquished the lead as the Phillies lost 5-4. Dewayn Wise grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth to end the game, preventing the Phillies comeback.

Happ went five innings, allowing two runs on three hits, five walks, and striking out four. Placido Polanco continued his spring tear with a pair of hits to raise his average to .408.

Boxscore.

RPAC Blogger Preview

I did another questionairre with a blog that got posted today. Justin Evans, a good friend and former teammate on We Hate to Lose, is the owner of Red Pinstripes Are Cooler. He asked myself in a few other bloggers a bunch of questions and posted our answers along with his. Here are my answers to his questions:

01.  Who do you believe is the biggest catalyst to the Phillies success in 2010?

Jimmy Rollins. He has always been the catalyst for the Phillies offense and will not have a year remotely as close to the one he had last year. He’s already batting over .300 in spring and with his high expectations and confidence, I think he’s going to have a fine year.

02.  What are your expectations for J.A. Happ?  Happ was as lucky as Cole Hamels was unlucky last season.  Do you think he can come close to his 2009 success?

I expect a sophomore slump but not one that’s as drastic as the one Kyle Kendrick had. If Happ can take the role of #4 and pitch well enough for the team win, then he will have a solid year of 10-14 wins and an ERA in the low 4’s.

03. How would you rate Ruben Amaro’s two offseasons as GM?  Would you have signed Ibanez or Polanco for more than two years knowing that you have a lot of youth to sign in the future?

Ibanez was a mistake and Polanco was actually a good signing. The infield prospects aren’t as great as the ones in the OF. If Ibanez was signed to a two year deal with an option for a third, that would’ve been better. As far as GMing the past two years, Amaro has done a good job. Though he gave up a lot for the two Cy Young pitchers he had in four months, he has a lot of young talent in the farm to afford to make those mistakes. He can’t do it again though.

04.  What does Joe Mauer’s deal mean for Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard?  Will the Phillies re-sign both, one, or neither?  If only one, which player do you recommend they re-sign?

Werth is gone unless the Phillies increase the pay-roll. I have no problem with that either if Dom Brown turns into a stud or Tyson Gillies become  a diamond in the rough.

05. After Domonic Brown, which prospect in the farm system are you most excited to see wear a Phillies uniform in the future?

It’s a toss-up between Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies. Aumont has a lot of upside on the mound and the the Phillies’ project in turning him into a starter will be very interesting. As far as Gillies, he’s got a beautiful compact swing and seems to be a guy who can get on base and be a serious threat to steal and stretch hits.

06.  Cole Hamels added some pitches to his arsenal.  How often do you think he’ll use his cutter and curve in 2010?  Everyone is expecting Cole to bounce back from an unlucky 2009, how big of a “bounce back” do you expect?

He’ll start off using his normal stuff, working the cutter and curve in. If things are going well for him at that point, the cutter and curve will not be used often. If he’s struggling, he’ll look to mix it up by adding the cutter and curve. As far as a bounce-back season: he will have one. Adding Roy Halladay took the pressure off of him. His confidence has also been much higher seeing as he feels he’s doing well in the spring and is looking to put 2009 behind him. I expect a 2008-like year.

07.  You’re going to a Phillies game today, what is your choice of food/beer for tailgating?  If you have no time to tailgate, what are must have drinks/food in the stadium?

I always get to the game early to feast at Harry the K’s or Bull’s BBQ. Pulled Pork, Schmidter, or a cheese steak from Tony Lukes are always top choices.

08.  How do you feel about the bullpen heading into the season?  Who are your biggest question marks?  If the Phillies make their third straight World Series, who pitches the final out for them?

Lidge is my biggest question mark because I’m afraid he will rush himself back. If Lidge is doing fine, he will be the closer all year. If he’s hurt or struggling, Ryan Madson should be the first to take the ball again. Am I worried he will struggle again? A little. But he got a lot of valuable experience last year after being thrown into the role. He will have the mindset of a closer this year as he knows he will be the go-to back-up.

09. Fifth starter: Kendrick or Moyer?  Does it really matter?

It matters a lot. Having a complete rotation will always matter. The Phillies have that too. Moyer will most likely start the season with only a couple chances to screw up. If he doesn’t get the job done then Kendrick is in. Kendrick earned himself a shot at starting but it was Moyer’s job to lose and he has pitched to deserve holding onto it for now.

10.  Better beard?  Werth, Park, or Bruntlett?

Werth’s by far. He had the Jesus-hair going with it. And with Easter around the corner, it’s so fitting.

11. Is Gload/Castro/Schneider better than Bako/Stairs/Bruntlett?  Yes/No? Why?

It’s much better. Schneider is a legit back-up and the confidence Charlie Manuel will have in him to play more will keep Carlos Ruiz fresh all year so he can be affective in the post season again. Gload is a better hitter than Matt Stairs all around. He’s actually another Greg Dobbs with a little more pop. Both he and Schneider will benefit in the Bank. Castro is a solid fielder and a better hitter than Bruntlett. In fact, anything is an upgrade in the hitting department compared to Bruntlett. Castro can play a lot of positions and will keep Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins fresh.

12.  Which current Phillie do you see making a speech at Cooperstown in the future?

No one anytime soon. They have future HOFers in Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and possibly Jimmy Rollins and Jamie Moyer. Moyer could be the closest age-wise but he’s not a guarenteed future HOFer. The first three are all locks but have plenty of years left in them.

13. Which Phillies on the 2009 World Series team, not named Cliff Lee, do you think this team will miss the most?

JA Happ. He won’t be he same pitcher this year.

14.  With Placido Polanco switching from second base to third, what are your expectations regarding his defense?  How valuable is he to the Phillies lineup in the 2-hole?

He’ going to be fine at third. Some throws won’t be made but he’s a smart guy and won’t forc bad throws. He has good range and will be able to eat up balls that could get into the OF. As a hitter, he fills a hole Pedro Feliz left in the line up. He will also be a great 2-hitter seeing as he strikes out a lot less than Shane Victorino.

15. Who scares you the most in the NL East?  The NL?

The Braves in the division because it’s Bobby Cox’s las year and they have a good rotation to go wih a balanced offense. In the NL it’s easily the Cards as their 1-2 is the best in baseball. Also having the best player in baseball in Albert Pujols helps.

Werth Denies Being Courted By Yanks

It’s almost a sickening feeling when you think about the Yankees taking one of your beloved players. Red Sox fans felt it almost five years ago when Johnny Damon signed with New York. Now Phillies fans are wondering if Jayson Werth will be the next rising star to wear blue pinstripes.

Werth had lunch with Reggie Jackson, one of the Yankee greats who also so happens to be a special advisor for the Yankees. Though a meeting like this could be considered tampering, it falls in that gray area because Jackson wouldn’t have to directly make an attempt to perswade Werth, whose father was a teammate of Jackson’s in the 1980′s.

But Werth denies the fact that the Yankees were interested in him and that Jackson was there to court him reported Paul Hagen of the Philly Inquirer.

“Reggie’s an old family friend,” Werth said after yesterday’s game was canceled. “I’ve known him since I was 7 years old, I think. I’ve known him forever. There’s nothing to tell, really. Two friends having lunch.”

“What we talked about is our business. But, honestly, it was just two friends having lunch,” Werth said.

Do I believe Werth? Yes. Do I believe Jackson would have something to say in regards to the Yankees? Yes. We all know Jackson had an intent to put the bug in Werth’s brain but was smart enough to do it unintentionally.

Damn Yankees.

Phils Lose; Hamels, Lidge Updates

The Twins used some big hits from the best players to beat Cole Hamel and the Phillies Saturday, 8-4. Greg Dobbs doubled and homered for the Phillies while a few others had multiple-hit games. Former Phil Jim Thome had a homer in the eighth inning as well.

Hamels was pleased with his ability to pitch more innings despite allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks in 6.1 innings. He struck out two in the effort. Hamels is starting to really make use of the curveball he hoped to improve heading into this season. With the addition of that pitch and all that else has happened in the offseason, it’s easy for the fans to have their confidence restored in Hamels.

That condifendence starts in him.

“Being able to go that deep into the game, it’s just nice,” Hamels said. “Now I’m starting to really feel game-oriented, and ready to really get up there and get going.”

Boxscore.

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Brad Lidge is not ready nor will he be ready by Opening Day. Neither is J.C. Romero as both are still rehabbing and getting themselves back in game shape. Missing the opening series is evitable but Lidge still had hopes in pitching with the Phillies in the second series. He began Spring Training two weeks behinds all pitchers but feels he’s shaved a week off of that. If Lidge is smart, he will stop feeling he shaved that week off, use it, and not repeat the poor season he had in 2009.

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