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Category Archives: Joel Pineiro

Utley leaves camp; still having knee problems

Phillies 2B Chase Utley (right) with C Brian Schneider. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Chase Utley has left Clearwater without playing a single at-bat for the Philadelphia Phillies. This has finally created cause for concern that the 33-year-old may not even make the Opening Day roster.

The released a statement today that read:

“Chase’s rehab process has come to a bit of a plateau. He has made some strides but not enough to take the field. He is headed out of town for a few days to be evaluated by a specialist that has helped athletes overcome his issue. We anticipate that this trip will allow him to build on what he has already done with Scott Sheridan in order to get over the hump. He wants more than anything to be on the field with his teammates and we believe that this is a step in that direction.”

The “issue” at hand isn’t being disclosed, a red flag in the Phillies’ statement.

Utley suffered patellar tendinitis last season, a chronic knee condition that is going to bother him for the rest of his career. It’s been too severe for him to handle so far this spring, and it’s a wonder if this is something that’s going to shorten his career in pinstripes.

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Phils split their squads again

PHILLIES 6, TAMPA BAY 6 — Michael Scwimer pitched the 8th and 9th innings, blowing a two-run lead to the Rays in the 9th to end the game in a tie.

Joel Pineiro got the start, going two innings in the outing. He gave up a run on two hits and is most likely not making the Phils as a starter if he’s only pitching two innings this late in March.

On offense, Ty Wigginton doubled and Hector Luna had a pair of hits.

Scott Elarton was less than good in his second stint of the spring. After sitting down 12 straight a few days ago, he gave up three runs on four hits in only two innings of work.

Domonic Brown was scratched from this start at DH today with a stiff neck.

PHILLIES 6, ATLANTA 4 — Joe Blanton gave up three runs on four hits while striking out four in five innings. He have up a solo home run to Matt Diaz in the 2nd.

Jim Thome and Placido Polanco each had a pair of hits and a run batted in.

The Phils broke a 4-4 tie in the 7th when Scott Podsednik and Brian Schneider hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 6-4.

Pierre, Podsednik highlight this spring’s battles

Phillies Domonic Brown, right, steals second base vs. Florida State. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Even championship-caliber teams have position battles during Spring Training. With a good idea of who the 25 men making the Opening Day roster, a few position and roster battles loom heading into this season.

With a place on the team is set, John Mayberry, Laynce Nix and Ty Wigginton are all battling it out for the first base and left field openings left by now-Yankee Raul Ibanez and injured Ryan Howard.

Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and Joel Pineiro are looking to win the fifth starter’s spot of the rotation. Even Domonic Brown is hoping he can impress the Phillies this spring in hopes to skip a trip to Lehigh Valley at the end of March.

Lastly, and possibly the most interesting battle this spring belongs to who the Phillies 25th man will be. With Ben Francisco traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, a spot for an outfield bench player has been vacated.

The top two candidates for that spot are both veteran players with similar traits: Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre.

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The Curious Case of Kyle Kendrick

Phillies pitchers Kyle Kendrick (left) and Cliff Lee (right) during Spring Training. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Lets talk starting pitching. Everyone loves it, everyone needs it.

For the Phillies, they have an overabundance of it. From established veterans like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels to and up and coming star in Vance Worley.

That fills the first four spots in the rotation, and assuming Roy Oswalt isn’t coming back, who gets the fifth starter’s spot? It’s always seemed to be the biggest question since the dawn of time itself for the Phillies.

With the fifth starter’s spot still up in the air, three names come to mind when looking to fill that void. They are Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and Joel Pineiro.

Though there are three names competing for that spot, only one should be picked. Let’s make a case for Kendrick.

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Phillies Offseason Additions

An old friend, Jim Thome, returns to the Phillies.

With Spring Training around the corner, fans will get chance to see the new players the Phillies added to their very different roster. Changes needed to be made, in both the starting line up, the bench and bull pen.

The moves made this off season brought in some new names as well as some familiar faces and top of the market stars. 

Chris Bengel talks about these moves the Phillies made this off season and graded them based off the potential impact they will have this season.

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Phils add depth with Pineiro signing

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In a move to add competition for the fifth starter, the Phils signed veteran right-hander Joel Pineiro to a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training.

It was first reported by Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Pineiro, 33, pitched the last two years with the Los Angeles Angels. Last season, he was 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games (24 starts).

Pineiro can be a bull pen option. But despite the belief he was a fallback plan to Kerry Wood (signed with the Cubs), Stark believes he was night signed to pitch in the pen.

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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

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