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Cliff Lee Placed On Waivers By Philadelphia Phillies, According To Report

By Matt Brigidi
Special to TTB
Editor of TCL Flyers

According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Philadelphia Phillies have placed left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee on waivers and expect him to clear on Friday afternoon making him trade eligible. 

Due to the salary commitments owed to Lee over the next few seasons (three years, $87.5 million or potentially four years, $102.5 million to be exact), he is expected to clear without any issues.

In fact, the real issue with a potential trade involving the 33-year old pitcher is that the Phillies would likely be required to eat a chunk of his salary, something the organization is reportedly not interested in doing.

Of course, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. also stated that the team had no interest in trading Lee (as recently as Thursday morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning).

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Immediate Impact

The acquisition of Hunter Pence has already had a positive impact on the Phillies' lineup. (Photo:

Since becoming the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies back in November of 2008, Ruben Amaro Jr. has proven one thing; his only concern is on the immediate future.

Trades for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt have taxed the Phillies’ farm system, sacrificing the team’s long term future for immediate success.

Last Friday’s trade for outfielder Hunter Pence was just another example of Amaro choosing “now” over “later,” trading away highly rated prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton in a four-player package to Houston for Pence’s services. Just like the Lee trade in 2009 and the Oswalt trade in 2010, the Pence trade fell on the same day, July 29th.

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Phils Land Pence

After months of talk about adding a right-handed bat, the Phillies have finally added the piece that will put them over the top.

Pence provides the right-handed bat that the Phillies have coveted. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Reports are saying that the Phillies have landed Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. In exchange for Pence, the team will be sending pitching prospect Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton and two lesser prospect to be named later.

The deal was made without parting with Domonic Brown or Vance Worley, two popular fan-favorites.

There had been talk for the last week that the Phillies were interested in acquiring Pence. The pursuit had really kicked up a notch over the last two days as the team had made it clear that they would do just about anything to acquire Pence.

They are getting a player in Pence that is hitting .309 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs. He has also scored 49 runs and added seven stolen bases.

He is a career .290 hitter and has hit 25 home runs each year from 2008-2010. Pence also has 56 outfield assists, proving that he is an above average defender.

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Doc is masterful in ASG outing

Milwaukee's Prince Fielder hits a three-run homer in the 4th inning. The NL won, 5-1. (Getty Images)

Five Phillies were selected to represent the National League in the All-Star Game but only two were available to play.

NL Starting pitcher Roy Halladay and Phils starter Cliff Lee pitched the first four innings for the NL, who beat the American League for the second straight year thanks to pitching, 5-1.

Halladay was perfect through two innings, throwing 19 pitches and striking out one. He was absolutely fantastic – and efficient as well – allowing Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee to not stress over his most valuable possession pitching in an exhibition game.

Lee pitched the next 1 2/3 innings. He was perfect through the first five batters but allowed the game’s first run, a solo home run to Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez. He was then yanked in favor of Washington’s Tyler Clippard after surrendering two more hits.

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It’s not you Bautista, it’s me.

Cheaters like Barry Bonds have me convinced that every home run hitter is on the juice. (Photo

With one swing of the bat, Jose Bautista sent his 27th baseball into the seats on Sunday.

With one swing of the bat, Bautista gave his Blue Jays a 5-4 lead over the Phillies in the bottom of the eighth inning.

And with one swing of the bat, Bautista instantly put one thought in my mind.


How quickly the word came to my mind took me by surprise. It was as if the word had become synonymous with Bautista. And why not? Bautista sends every 90 mph fastball over the fence like it’s batting practice.

He has come out of nowhere too. He has hit 81 homeruns in the last year and a half, and before that he hit just 74 homeruns in his six previous seasons. Guys don’t hit 13 homeruns one year and hit 54 the next. Guys don’t do that, unless…


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Rare Polly blunder, Madson BS costs Phils the game

Phillies fans at the ball park and on the couch stayed up through the rain delay and through extra innings, hoping for another memorable extra-inning game. But a rare throwing error by Placido Polanco allowed Tyler Colvin to score in the 11th to give the Cubs a 4-3 win.

Fans have named every fifth day, “bullpen day” because of the poor performance by Phillies’ fifth starters. Tonight was once again a “bullpen day,” but not because of poor pitching.

After the Phillies’ first rain delay of the season and a blown save by Ryan Madson, the bullpen got a lot of work in the 4-3 loss. The Phillies bullpen allowed a respectable three runs in eight innings, but were outdueled by the Cubs bullpen which allowed no runs in 8.2 innings.

Jimmy Rollins opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second, homering to right to score Raul Ibanez and Dane Sardinha to make it 3-0. It would be the only three runs the Phillies would score tonight. After an easy top of the third for Kyle Kendrick, the tarp had to come on to the field in the bottom of the inning for a rain delay.

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The Phillies are in debt. No, I’m not kidding.

The LA Times reported this morning that nine MLB teams, including the Phillies, are in violation of MLB’s debt service rules.

While other teams on the list (Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Rangers, Nationals, Marlins and Tigers) are not surprising, seeing the Cubs and Phillies on the list is quite a shocker. Perhaps even more shocking is the only team in the NL East not in debt is the Atlanta Braves, officially making the NL East the poorest division in baseball.

The debt service rules limit a team’s debt to 10 times its annual earnings, but the LA Times say commissioner Bud Selig has “wide latitude to enforce those rules.”

To think the Phillies have debt ten times more than their annual earning seems impossible. The Phillies sell out almost every game, and it’s almost impossible to walk into WaWa without seeing a Phillies shirt, which tells me they sell a lot of memorabilia too.

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Phillies get shutout by Harrison 2-0

Chase Utley, your return tomorrow could not come at a better time.

Once again the Phillies offense failed to give their starter the run support he needed, as they wasted a great outing by Roy Oswalt, and were shutout by the Rangers 2-0. The abysmal offense left six runners on base and were just 1-6 with runners with scoring position. This is the fourth time this season the Phillies have been shutout.

Both starters were on their game today with neither allowing a single run through the first five innings. For Texas, lefty Matt Harrison allowed no runs on five hits in eight innings pitched. Despite only having 1-2-3 inning once, Harrison only allowed one Phillie to reach third base.

Oswalt also pitched great in his second start since returning from the disabled list. Oswalt went seven innings and allowed just one run on eight hits while striking out three batters. Oswalt also recorded his 100th and 101st career sacrifice bunts, but the anemic offense could not get the runners home from scoring position.

Oswalt didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning when Mitch Moreland hit his eleventh double of the season to score Michael Young from second base to make it 1-0 Rangers. After striking out Mike Napoli, Oswalt intentionally walked Craig Gentry to get to Harrison. Harrison hit a ground ball that was run down by Jimmy Rollins who had to jump and throw against his body to get Harrison out at first and end the inning.

The Rangers would add an insurance run in the top of the eighth when Craig Gentry pulled off what seemed like an impossible suicide squeeze to score Adrian Beltre to make it 2-0. The pitch from Phillies reliever David Herndon appeared to be heading right towards the face of Gentry, but Gentry was able to get that bat up in time to lay down the bunt as he fell down.

2B: Murphy (4), Moreland (11), Beltre (10)

WP: Harrison (4-4) LP: Oswalt (3-2) S: Feliz (9)

Utley expected to return to lineup Monday

The Phillies, who have gone eight straight games without scoring more than three runs, are about to get some much needed reinforcements.

Second basemen Chase Utley will be in the clubhouse for today’s game against the Texas Rangers, and is expected to make his season debut on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds after missing the beginning of the season with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Utley is not expected to play every day right away as both Ruben Amaro Jr. and Charlie Manuel want to make sure the knee injury does not flare up again.

Unlike Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez who would have to be put on waivers to be sent down to the minors, Pete Orr does not which means he will likely be the man sent down to open up a roster spot for Utley.

Utley’s return could not come at a better time. The Phillies’ anemic offense has struggled to give their starters any run support, and haven’t been able to put up at least four runs in over a week. Utley’s ability to hit the long ball, something his replacements (Valdez, Orr, and Martinez) have not been able to do, should significantly improve this feeble offense and get more runs on the board.

Phillies fail to score for Cliff Lee. Again.

Same song, different verse.

For the sixth straight time, the Phillies failed to give Cliff Lee the run support he needed as they fell to the Cardinals 3-1. Cliff Lee is now winless in his sixth straight start, and the Phillies have now lost a season high three straight games.

The feeble Phillies lineup, that included Wilson Valdez batting second and Raul Ibanez batting third, mustered just one run on four hits off Jake Westbrook. To put it in perspective, two of those hits came from the same player (Jimmy Rollins), and one came from Lee. Going into the game Westbrook had an ERA of 6.20, but the Phillies made him look like the 2012 NL Cy Young award winner.

The other hit came gave the Phils the early 1-0 lead as Ben Francisco hit a RBI single to left that scored John Mayberry Jr. from second. It was the first run the Phillies had scored while Cliff Lee was pitching since April 14th. Pete Orr prevented the Phils from scoring any more runs in the inning by grounding into a fielder’s choice and then getting picked off at first.

The Cardinals would tie it up in the bottom of the fourth inning on a line drive RBI single by Nick Punto that scored Matt Holiday from third. The Cards would take the lead on another line drive single to right field, this time by Ryan Theriot. Lance Berkman scored, but Yadier Molina was called out at home on a great play by Chooch to end the inning.

Both Holiday and Berkman, who scored the two runs in the inning, were walked back to back by Cliff Lee. Lee was very un-Lee like, walking six batters in the game. Going into tonight’s game he had walked just seven batters, but tonight’s six walks was a career high for Lee. Before tonight, Lee’s strikeout to walk ratio was 9:1, but his ratio tonight was 4:6. His inability to find home plate umpire Gerry Davis’ strike zone not only put runners on base, but drove Lee’s pitch count up to 122 and forced him out of the game with one out in the seventh inning despite allowing just three runs.

The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on Jon Jay’s line drive single to center that scored Punto and ended Lee’s night. Michael Stutes relived Lee and forced Albert Pujols into a double play to end the inning and prevent any further damage.

The Phillies conclude their series at St Louis tomorrow at 8:15 with Roy Oswalt making his first start since coming off the DL.

2B: Rollins (8)

WP: Westbrook (3-3)  LP: Lee (2-4)  S: Salas (4)