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Category Archives: Bobby Abreu

Lee Remains Winless Again

Dodgers 2, Phillies 1
WP – Chad Billingsley (3-4, 3.80)
LP – Cliff Lee (0-3, 2.92)
SV – Kenley Jansen (8)

PHILADELPHIA — Teams win together and teams lose together.

For Cliff Lee, the loss hurts especially for him. The first win of the year eluded Lee once again as he fell to 0-3 on the season despite boasting a 2.92 ERA as the Phillies lost their fourth straight game, 2-1, to the Dodgers.

The Phillies are back under .500 for the first time since May 23.

Again the loss can be pitted on a lack of finishing innings. They managed seven hits in the game, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranding seven.

Hunter Pence’s RBI single in the 1st inning was the lone run the Phillies would score for Lee.

The Phils held the 1-0 lead into the 8th inning until the Dodgers scored the tying and go-ahead runs off Lee in the inning. The inning itself was bizarre, seeing Dodgers runners twice tossed out at third.

Matt Treanor hit a lead-off double but was out at third on a Tony Gwynn Jr ground out. Gwynn was then thrown out at third on a single by Bobby Abreu. Dee Gordon then singled to put two men on with two outs.

Ellian Herrera then hit a two-run, two-out double off Lee, scoring both Abreu and Gordon to give the Dodgers the 2-1 lead.

Lee went 7 2/3, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out 12. He was the first pitcher to lose a game despite throwing 92 strikes when Aaron Harang did it in September 2007.

2B: Rollins (9).

Boxscore.

Not Werth the Money

By John Russo

Yes you read the headline right: Jayson Werth is not worth the Jayson Bay-like money he could be receiving in the off season. That isn’t saying he won’t get it and I’m willing to bet he won’t be on a team that isn’t willing to give him that money.

Now before you think, “I’m not going to read this garbage. He’s unfairly going to rip on Jayson Werth! He’s the best player the Phillies have!” let me tell you what I think of Werth. He’s very talented but he doesn’t have the ability to handle being a super star. He isn’t clutch but isn’t showing signs of being able to handle the role that comes with being a top player. You can have all the talent in the world but when the pressure is on, he is not.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?:

Now this could just be an extended slump that he’s in. Or he is showing us fans and the Phillies brass that he just isn’t that he is all cracked up to be. He’s still putting up good numbers, just not the Bay numbers that landed the now Mets outfielder a huge contract. He’s still a damn good outfielder, just not the fielder the Phillies want him to be.

You know who he reminds me of a little? And I know it’s an insult but he’s starting to remind me of Bobby Abreu. Yes, the 30 homers, 30 stolen bases guy who was afraid of walls. Werth’s gritty fielding has vanished this year and his ability to go after the ball at the plate has as well.

The best example I can give you is the Braves game I attended on July 6. With the score tied at three and Ryan Howard standing on third with no outs in the seventh inning I believe, Werth barely lifted the bat off his shoulder as he struck out looking. The next two batters got out, a sample of the offense’s overall display of inadequacy.

If the personal experience isn’t enough for you, look at his numbers with runners in scoring position. He’s batting .169 with RISP in 77 AB’s while driving in 32 RBIs and hitting three homers. He’s batting .119 with RISP and two outs with 13 RBIs and .133 in a late and close game. His season numbers are also down. With an inflated .279 average, 13 homers, and 50 RBIs, Werth is off his pace for last year’s numbers when he clouted 36 homers and 99 RBIs. Through May 21 (41 games), he had nine homers and 35 RBIs. Since then (46 games): four homers, 15 RBIs. His season numbers are inflated from the hot start (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference).

Werth is in his contract year, a year where he should be swinging away and trying to raise his value for his next contract. Instead he stands at the plate, barely lifting the bat off his shoulder. He’s struck out 90 times, leading the Phillies. He also has been caught looking at the third strike 25 times, a sickening amount when 13 of them have come within the past few weeks. He’s a hole in the line up and being in the fifth spot, that decimates Ryan Howard.

WHAT TO DO WITH HIM?:

Werth is valuable to the Phillies, just not the way we all wish he was. This team will be in need of another good starting pitcher when the post season comes around. They are indeed in an offensive rut but signs have pointed towards this team working out of it. As players get healthy, the line up re-balances itself. But the Phillies only have two pitchers they can be confident in going out every five days and be confident that they can give the Phillies seven good innings.

This is where Werth comes in. The likelihood of trading him for a pitcher straight-up is slim. They will need a third team who they can ship Werth to, who will send prospects to the team with the pitcher, and that pitcher will come to Philly.

See, fellow staff writer Chris kept questioning me and I kept giving him straight answers. “But John, what about bull pen help or another bat on the bench?” Have no fear, Mr. Bengel but we have that covered. The addition of said pitcher, hopefully Roy Oswalt (imagine a Roy-Roy combo) or Dan Haren, will force Kyle Kendrick into the bull pen for an instant upgrade. And with J.A. Happ’s hopeful return, throw him in the pen as well as he won’t be in full-time starters shape as the season heads into the final month.

But I didn’t answer the bench bat. When the roster expands to 40 men, one of those extra 15 guys will be Domonic Brown (at least he should be). It won’t cost the Phillies a few prospects to land Ty Wigginton or Miguel Tejada of the Orioles because the solution will come from the organization. This kid could make his 2011 tryout and ever 2010 post season tryout as he may be that clutch bat off the bench.  By then, he’ll be in right field next season in a lefty-heavy line up where the line up could work.

Here’s a possible line up:
Victorino
Polanco
Utley
Howard
Rollins
Ibanez
Ruiz
Brown
pitcher

See that wasn’t that crazy at all in my opinion. Though Shane Victorino hasn’t been a great lead-off option, neither has Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies won a World Series with him in that spot. You could even flip-flop J-Roll and Vic and still have a very balanced line up.

It's been a frustrating year for Werth, who is seen celebrating with thirdbase coach Sam Perlozo after hitting a home run.

DEFENDING WERTH:

He’s a unique talent. With his body size, long arms, smooth home-run swing, and ability to run, throw, and field are what makes him such a special player, a player that could potentially be better than Jason Bay. But potential is a fancy word for, “haven’t done jack.”

But Werth has done jack. His numbers last year were exceptional (couldn’t get that pesky 100th RBI though). He really gave fans a sampling of what he can do when not in a contract year, not playing to get paid. In fact, Werth is a clutch player in the World Series, batting .351 in 11 games with three homers, six RBIs, and an OPS of 1.176. His OPS this year is a .872, around pace with his past two years.

Werth isn’t necessarily a one-of-a-kind player but he’s a right-handed power hitter that teams tend to covet. His value to the Phillies, again, may not be his playing for the team but his price in a trade.

CONCLUSION:

Werth is expendable and can bring this team a pitcher that could put them over the top. Unless the Phillies truly will be able to sign him in the offseason for no more than $10 million (will not happen), they should be able to get some proven help for him and not the compensatory draft picks that will come when he signs with another team.

The Phillies can still win using the pitching-heavy formula. We saw what happened to them in the World Series when the bats went cold and the pitching didn’t hold up. A rotation with Roy Halladay, Oswalt/Haren, and Cole Hamels would certainly be a great trio to ride the playoffs with.

His Bat Got Papi

Another night of “Back, Back, Back’s” and Joe Morgan’s stupidity has concluded. David Ortiz, the nicest guy to ever do steroids, was victorious over the player he mentored, Hanley Ramirez. Big Papi blasted 11 home runs in the final round as Ramirez managed five. Ortiz was also the first Red Sox player to win the Derby in it’s 26th year.

Ortiz was the true winner of the Derby, hitting the most total homers with 32. Both he and Ramirez went into the finals round with 21 homers so there was going to be a real winner and not an instance like two years ago with Josh Hamilton.

Corey Hart (13 total) and Miguel Cabrera (12) were the other two players to move onto the second round. Matt Holliday (5), Nick Swisher (4), Vernon Wells (3), and Chris Young (1) were the other four contestants. Hart in the first round and Ortiz in the second round hit the most home runs in a single round with 13 dingers.

Not a single Phillies player participated in the derby this year, a first in six years. In the past six, Jim Thome, Bobby Abreu, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley all participated in the event with Abreu and Howard each winning one. Howard was interviewed by Morgan and Chris Berman and marveled out the feel of Mickey Mantle’s bat that was being auctioned off later that night.

The 81st All-Star game will air tomorrow at 8:00 p.m ET. Howard will be the DH and Roy Halladay will not pitch more than one inning said Charlie Manuel.

2010 Isn’t That Bad

By Dan MacNeal

2010 started with a lot of promise, coming off back-to-back World Series appearances and one championship.  Hopes were high for the 2010 Phillies, but halfway through the year, the team has struggled. They are currently sitting in third place and 5 games behind the hated Atlanta Braves.  Missing Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Placido Polanco among others for a chunk of time hasn’t helped matters.  But, let us hop into the old time machine and travel ten years into the past.

The year is 2000. Ten years to today, the Phillies trotted out a starting lineup including an aging Ron Gant, Alex Arias & Tom Prince.  The Phils beat the Brewers that day, with Chris Brock earning the win.  Wait, WHO? Yeah, Chris Brock. The team ended play on July 4 twelve games out of first, and residing in the NL East basement. Okay, maybe I’m making things a little worse than they seem, because the 2000 team did have a young Pat Burrell, star Scott Rolen and an emerging Bobby Abreu on the roster.

Travis Lee-ve sucking up the Phillies' money.

51 different players played for the Phils that summer.  Most of the names long forgotten, such as Kevin Sefcik, Cliff Politte and Clemente Alverez. (Who the hell is Clemente Alverez?!?)  Jimmy Rollins did get his feet wet, playing 14 games with the big club.  Seriously, letting the 21 year old Rollins play wasn’t any worse an idea than giving Desi Relaford more time at short.

About 1.6 million people went through the turnstiles at the Vet that summer.  To put that in perspective, the Phillies have already drawn over 1.7 million so far this season.  In a stadium that holds about 20,000 less people per game.

Well, my friends, the summer grew long, and a not horrible first half (.453) turned into a Pirates-esque second half (.342) for a grand total record of 65-97. Ouch. Curt Schilling got tired of the losing, demanded a trade, and was dealt to Arizona for four stiffs.  If I mentioned their names, Philadelphia would get mad all over again.  A eight game losing streak helped the Phils finish 32 games under .500, 30 games behind the first place Braves. Terry Francona got the axe at the end of the year, although it probably should have happened sooner.

(For those fans too young to remember, or started watching the Phils seven or eight years after this story, the Phillies stunk at one point in time.  Really stunk bad.)

That summer was brutal. Please bring me back to 2010.

5 Teams to Watch in the AL

Yankees – They’re the 2009 World Series champions and still kept intact the solid nucleus that got them there. They traded top prospects to land centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a much better defensive asset than Johnny Damon. They also traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez to bolster the starting rotation. With guys like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Brunett, and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees boast a very good pitching unit. Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game and the aging offense led by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira can still put a ton of runs up on the score board. If things go right, they could have another parade down Broadway.

Red Sox – The pitching is truly phenomenal. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka form the best top-four in baseball. The offense is led by top young stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Marco Scutaro is hoping to end the revolving door at the short stop position and Adrian Beltre is an offensive upgrade at third. Offensive depth is the only thing that should concern the Sox but they have the pitching to get the job done. David Ortiz is a shell of his old self but it still the DH.

Twins – It’s safe to say that Joe Mauer is the scariest hitter in the AL. The reigning MVP is one of the reasons Minnesota is buzzing prior to the 2010 season. Along with a new outdoor park and a very dangerous lineup featuring Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, the fans and Twins have high expectations for this year. The only problem with them this year though is pitching. If their starters can have decent years, they could beat out Detroit for the division.

Mariners – Seattle is truly going to be a serious contender in the AL. The addition of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley will revamp a pitching staff and offense in need of fire power. Lee became a hot pitcher again after his last season transformation with the Phillies and will look to create a formidable 1-2 punch with Felix Hernandez. Figgins will add speed and Bradley will look to add power to a Mariners lineup that hit 160 homer (12th in the AL) last season.

Angels – Surely they make their case for a serious playoff contender every year but there has to be a breaking point. They improved an already solid lineup with Hideki Matsui and bolstered their bull pen with Fernando Rodney but the team still doesn’t jump out at anyone. The core of the offense is aging in Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Matsui and they lost Figgins to the division rival Mariners. Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, and newly acquired Joel Pineiro will need to have season like 2009 to give the Mariners a fighting chance in an AL crowded with contenders.

East: Yankees
Central: Twins
West: Mariners
Wild Card: Red Sox

Pennant: Yankees over Mariners

Offseason 1/13/10

A few interesting things happened today. First let’s focus on the positive. Todd Zolecki named Jimmy Rollins his “Player of the Decade” today, and deservedly so. Of the logical choices, he was the only player to play for the Phillies all 10 years (was a rookie in 2000) and was one of two to win a NL MVP (2007). He led the organization in games (1,406), at-bats (5,941), runs (945), hits (1,629), doubles (350), triples (95) and stolen bases (326). He ranked fourth in RBIs (621), behind Pat Burrell (827), Bobby Abreu (647) and Ryan Howard (640). He ranked fifth in home runs, behind Burrell (251), Howard (222), Chase Utley (161) and Abreu (158). Ading to his World Series ring and NL MVP are his three Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger Award. He also played in three All-Star Games.

Pitcher Brett Myers puts on his new Astros jersey during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 in Houston after signing with the Houston Astros baseball pitching staff. Myers, 29, gets $3.1 million this year, and the deal includes an $8 million mutual option for 2011 with a $2 million buyout. He also can earn additional performance bonuses. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Not to rain on the parade but we have a new Billy Wagner to look forward to and this time it comes in the form of Brett Myers. The former Phillie and current headcase said that he wants to “stick it” to the Phillies when he returns this year.

From the AP:

“I wanted to go back to Philadelphia, but they didn’t show an interest, they had other obligations, which is fine with me,” Myers said. He then promised to “stick it” to the Phillies every time he faces them.

Brett, you proved you were a good pitcher here and the fans and organization were thankful for it. The reason you didn’t come back was YOUR fault. You had the injury problems. You got into a fight at a bar or fell out of your truck or got hit by a baseball by your kid or whatever excuse you flew with. You cried about being left off the post season roster and then did nothing when you were on. All of that was just this past season! How about I bring up when you dragged your wife through the streets of Boston or that you were so bad as a starter you were a closer for one year.

I’ll be classier than you and wish you the best of luck in the “Land of Misfit Phils,” but the only “sticking to” that’s going to be done when you come back home is when Ryan Howard sticks your low-90’s fastball into the third deck in right field.

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