Archive for May 16th, 2011

Has Charlie Manuel Lost The Clubhouse?

May 16th, 2011 by Mike H. | 2 Comments | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

The Phillies offense has been undescribably bad. They’ve now lost three straight games with Oswalt heading to the hill for the first time since coming off the disabled list. They also get the “pleasure” of matching up against Jaime Garcia, who already has five wins with a sub-two earned run average. Which doesn’t bode well for a team struggling to get hits as it is.

The skipper is on record with stating that he wants this team to hit for more power. The Phillies currently are 11th in the National League in Slugging Percentage. They are 10th in the National League in home runs hit. They have also hit the least amount of home runs in the division. Where I also would love for the lineup to hit for more power, that just isn’t this team. Ryan Howard is your ONLY consistent home run threat, and teams are starting to not even give the “Big Piece” pitches to hit.

So have the players started to give up on Charlie? None would ever admit to quitting on the manager, but the ambivilance and complacency seem to be shrouding this team. Even the defensive side of the ball has been lacking. A usually defensive steady Rollins has wavered recently. I don’t doubt that age could be a factor in all of this either.

Or is it all just the injuries starting to pile up? Going around the diamond, Utley’s “replacements” have proven why they are just replacements. Polanco’s sore back kept him from starting in the opener in St. Louis, giving way to Wilson Valdez AND Pete Orr being in the starting lineup. Shane Victorino’s absence from the lineup hurt the team by keeping both Ibanez and Francisco in the lineup. Both have struggled this month and one needs to sit. With Ibanez’ large salary, he most likely isn’t going to be moved.  That leaves Francisco and his under two million dollar salary, so take a seat, whether it be here or in AAA.

Who knows what will ignite this lineup? Hopefully the return of Chase Utley (and Dom Brown?) will provide that spark. At this point, firing Manuel seems far from likely as he signed that two year extension before the season started. So if the Phillies don’t start hitting, and soon, Greg Gross could be heading to the unemployment line.

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Did Tony LaRussa Invent Baseball?

May 16th, 2011 by Christian | 1 Comment | Filed in General

Or does he just act like he did…

Duhhhhh

Man I can’t stand this guy!

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My Tirade

May 16th, 2011 by AmyMac | 1 Comment | Filed in General

By Amy McCormick

Roy Oswalt was activated from the disabled list today, and he’ll return to pitch tomorrow. Vance Worley, as a result, has been sent down to Lehigh Valley. To be perfectly honest, my first reaction was “We’re holding onto Baez and Romero, but Worley is being sent to AAA?” After a little thought, though, it makes sense.

Vance Worley is a starting pitcher, and at this point, he seems a little rusty coming out of the bullpen. He needs to pitch seven innings. If he were to stay in Philadelphia, he’d be the odd man out in our rotation, and would hardly see any playing time. At least in the Lehigh Valley, he will be a starter. If and when we have an injury occur, I expect him to be called up again. We also need to remember that Worley is just 23 years old, and we should be seeing him for some time. Personally, I’d like to see Blanton unloaded before the deadline, but who knows if that will happen.

I have to say, I have mixed feelings about our bullpen right now. The one inning I don’t really worry about is the ninth; Ryan Madson has proven that he runs that show. In all honesty, he’s proving that Brad Lidge is essentially unnecessary.

For long relief, we’ve got Kyle Kendrick, who’s 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA. I actually like Kendrick in this role, and I think he’s handling it decently well. It could certainly be worse.

Speaking of “worse” … our right handed pitcher situation in the bullpen doesn’t make me very happy. We’ve got David Herndon with a 9.28 ERA, Danys Baez with a 3.94 ERA, and Michael Stutes with a 3.60 ERA. It’s a sad state of affairs when Stutes and Baez are the best righties we have. I don’t worry so much about the LHPs, because Antonio Bastardo is doing well. We need a decent RHP for the eighth inning.

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Minor News

May 16th, 2011 by Mike H. | Comments Off on Minor News | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

The Clearwater Threshers squeaked out a 1-0 win against Bradenton today. Chase Utley was 0-for-4, but played all nine innings. He should be ready to move up soon. The real story of the game, however, was Jarred Cosart. Cosart pitched a perfect game into the seventh inning. He ended up with seven strong innings allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out eight. Justin Friend closed out the final six outs for the Threshers, picking up his 14th save of the season and lowering his ERA to a minuscule 0.47 ERA.

Speaking of Friend, I know the upper levels of the minors are where all the quality relievers call home within the Phillies organization, but isn’t it time the 2010 Rule V draft pick get a promotion? The soon to be 25 year old is just overmatching the younger hitters. Opponents are hitting .100 batting average and have a strikeout ratio of 4:1.

In Reading, both of the pitchers acquired in the Cliff Lee deal were all the pitching the R-Phils needed. J.C. Ramirez went eight innings, while Aumont struggled through the ninth but did manage to close the door. Matt Rizzotti is still mashing. The 25 year old is hitting .421 in his last ten games and .351 on the season.

Another level of minor league play opens this morning as the Phillies Venezuelan Summer League affiliate starts at 11 a.m. As soon as they start producing, I’ll add them into the mix.

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