Results tagged ‘ Adam Eaton ’

It’s Been A While

A couple things happened last night at Citizens Bank Park:

  • Cliff Lee picked up his first win since April 14.
  • Ryan Howard snapped his 0-for-23 slump with a home run in the second inning.

I know a pitcher’s Win-Loss record is not truly indicative of his performance (Adam Eaton went 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, while Cole Hamels went 12-11 with a 3.09 ERA in 2010), but try telling that to the pitcher. Sure, he understands there is only so much he can control. But it is frustrating not to get W’s when he pitches well consistently. Lee has received 3.11 runs of support per nine innings this season, which ranks 94th out of 115 qualifying pitchers in baseball. But from April 15 through last night, he has the worst run support in baseball (1.52 runs per nine innings). Lee has a 3.38 ERA this season, but remove his awful start in Atlanta on April 8 (six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings) and he has a 2.70 ERA. Lee improved to 3-4 last night. He easily could be 5-2 or certainly 4-3. He knows he has pitched well. You know he has pitched well. But he certainly wouldn’t mind his record reflecting that.

Howard went 2-for-4 last night. Chase Utley could be back in the lineup as early as Monday, so now would be a good time for Howard to get hot.

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A Night to Forget for Hamels

Terrible start last night for Cole Hamels.

He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in the 7-1 loss to the Mets. In 150 career starts, just five of his starts have been fewer than three innings. Two were related to rain delays. One happened because it was the last game of the season and the Phillies pulled him to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

So just twice in his career Hamels has been pulled before three innings for poor performance.

The first came Aug. 24, 2006, in an 11-2 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He allowed nine hits, nine runs, five earned runs and two home runs in two innings. But Hamels actually had a reason for his struggles: he had cut his left index finger before the start, making it difficult to grip and throw the ball.

Hamels offered no excuses last night. What was he going to say? He pitched poorly. And looking at the reasons for those other four starts, this could be called the worst start of his career.

Fans let him know. He was booed off the field.

Booed. Hamels. After one bad start. In April.

Really? Couldn’t have disagreed more with that. Hamels isn’t Adam Eaton. He actually cares. (Never saw more indifference from a pitcher in postgame interviews than Eaton.) He isn’t Freddy Garcia. He has a pretty significant history here. I know Philly fans are tough and they expect the best, but doesn’t a guy like Hamels get a mulligan in April? I know it was the Mets. I know it was an awful start. But Hamels isn’t Jose Mesa or Paul Abbott (remember him?). It’s not like it’s July and Hamels is carrying an Eaton-esque 6.50 ERA. The guy could throw a shutout Sunday against the Braves. He’s good.

A little bandwagon-y, if you ask me.

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How Much Is Too Much?

halladay 04.jpgThe Blue Jays want J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.

The Phillies reportedly offered Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Jason Donald.

Is Happ, Drabek and Brown too much to give up for Roy Halladay? Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the Phillies would be getting him for two Octobers instead of one. We’re not talking about a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher here. We’re talking about Roy Freakin’ Halladay. Cy Young winner. Ace. Best of the best.

Two sources said Toronto’s demands are reasonable. So why won’t the Phillies pull the trigger?

They are keeping the future in mind, one source indicated. The Phillies’ rotation today includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Happ and Rodrigo Lopez/Pedro Martinez. If the Phillies get Halladay for Happ, Drabek and Brown, the rotation next season would include Hamels, Halladay and Moyer, who is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA this season. Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, seems like a smart bet to return, although the Phillies already have $95.5 million committed to 11 players next season. Add Halladay into that mix and the payroll jumps to $110.75 million. It seems unlikely, but it is possible the Phillies could non-tender Blanton, who would get a raise from the $5.475 million he is making, if they feel they need to trim some salary to pay Halladay and the rest of the roster. So that’s one starter if Blanton is back, two if he isn’t.

The Phillies can handle one starter. Maybe even two with Halladay and Hamels atop the rotation. But the number jumps to potentially four starters in 2011. There is no guarantee Halladay re-signs with the Phillies. He could leave for the highest bidder. Moyer presumably won’t be back. Blanton will be a free agent after 2010, and he also could leave for the big payday. That leaves Hamels and four vacancies.

The Phillies are considering those things as they consider a package for Halladay. They want to keep Happ or Drabek so they’re a little better equipped next season and beyond.

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Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.” Others agree. One source believes the chances of Halladay being traded are no better than 50-50. Another said he thinks it’s “unlikely” Halladay gets traded.

But one source said the Phillies’ counter offer, which ESPN.com said the Blue Jays rejected, is fair. He considers Happ a “poor man’s Andy Pettitte” and Taylor to be better than Brown. He also pointed out that entering this season many considered Carrasco to be the organization’s top pitching prospect. He also think Donald can be a good everyday player.

Of course, it only matters what Toronto thinks.

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It also is unlikely the Cliff Lee is traded. One source said it could be easier for the Phillies to make a trade for Lee because the package would be bigger, meaning not Drabek or Brown involved.

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Been hearing a lot about how the Phillies will have more money to spend next season because the Phillies are shedding the payroll of Adam Eaton ($9 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million). Not exactly. The Phillies have 11 players who are signed through next season or beyond. Those 11 players make $78.25 million this season. But because of built-in raises they will make $95.5 million next season. There goes those savings from Eaton, Jenkins and Thome. And keep in mind, that $95.5 million doesn’t the $5 million club option for Pedro Feliz and salary arbitration figures for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, etc.

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Out with the Old Yankee Stadium

yankee stadium great hall.jpgI like the new Yankee Stadium.

Like Jamie Moyer said yesterday, “I think they did a very tasteful job of recreating a very historical place.”

I certainly understood the history at old Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig. Mickey Mantle. Yogi Berra. Reggie Jackson. Rafael Santana. Sal Fasano. Twenty-six World Series championships, blah, blah, blah. I got it. But I simply liked other ballparks more. Maybe because old Yankee Stadium seemed a little decreipt on the inside.

Small.

Old.

It smelled like aftershave and taco meat.

But the new place is impressive. It looks very similar to the old joint. It’s just … nicer, warmer, bigger. It has that new ballpark smell.

And from a personal standpoint, the press box is great and the press dining room food is great, too. A ballwriter can’t ask for much more than that.

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The Orioles released Adam Eaton. He had an 8.56 ERA after eight starts. The Orioles will continue to pay the pro-rated big-league minimum through the remainder of the season. That means the Phillies remain on the hook for most of the $9.15 million he is owed this season.

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The Rings Are Here


The Phillies finally got their rings today.

They’re nice.

And when I say nice, I mean they’re a lot nicer than my high school class ring.

The Phillies invited everybody to the ring ceremony. It had been known that Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins and Kyle Kendrick would attend, but in a bit of a surprise Adam Eaton showed up, too.

“Mr. (David) Montgomery called, which went a long way,” Eaton said. “You don’t get too many opportunities for this chance, and to share it with these guys is something special.”

So, uh, what kind of reaction do you think you’re going to get?

“What do you think?” he said, smiling. “Everybody joked about what I should do. I’m not going to do anything because it was pretty disrespectful. At the same time they’re allowed to do what they want to do, but at the same time we’re honoring a team, not just one person or anything like that. I think the atmosphere out there is going to be very positive. I’m sure there’s going to be a smattering of boos, but we’ll move on and get my ring. I’m very excited obviously.”

Eaton got booed pretty heavily. Everybody else got a nice round of applause.

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Players that couldn’t make it included Tom Gordon, Rudy Seanez and So Taguchi.

Phillies at the Top in Payroll

USA Today released its annual Major League Baseball payroll database, which says the Phillies have the seventh highest payroll in baseball at a little more than $113 million.

$113 million?

We estimated yesterday that the Phillies’ payroll is more than $132 million. That is quite a difference, but USA Today only includes the 25 players on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, plus J.C. Romero and Mike Zagurski. It does not include the salaries for Adam Eaton ($9.15 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million) — salaries the Phillies are responsible for and consider part of their payroll.

So push that payroll to more than $132 million and the Phillies rank fourth in baseball behind the New York Yankees ($201.4 million), New York Mets ($149.3 million) and Chicago Cubs ($134.8 million). But remember other payrolls might be a little different, too. The Detroit Tigers, for example, are listed as having a $115 million payroll, but that doesn’t include the $14 million they’re paying Gary Sheffield.

So where should the Phillies be ranked? Let’s just say somewhere near the top. And what makes that even more interesting is that the newspaper reports that 14 of 30 teams this season have reduced payroll compared to last season. But because the Phillies won the World Series, they have been insulated from the recession and boosted payroll more than 25 percent.

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The Phillies replaced the carpet in the clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park after last season because it was five years old and needed to be replaced. (Can’t imagine it was easy getting the champagne smell out, either.) So what are they doing with the old carpet? They’re cutting them up and turning them into doormats. MLB authenticated the carpet, so fans will be able to buy the carpet in front of Chase Utley‘s locker or Ryan Howard‘s locker, etc.

And who knows? Maybe somebody in Japan will pay big bucks for the carpet in front of So Taguchi‘s locker.

The carpet could be available later this month, selling for around $250.

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Phillies vs. Blue Jays – 3/6

Here are the lineups for today’s games against the Blue Jays. They play a “B” game at 2 p.m. today at Bright House Field. They play a Grapefruit League game at 7 p.m. at Dunedin Stadium.

B game
1. Jason Ellison, CF
2. J.J. Furmaniak, 2B
3. Jeremy Slayden, DH
4. Andy Tracy, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, LF
6. Chris Walker, RF
7. Ozzie Chavez, SS
8. Anthony Hewitt, 3B
9. Tuffy Gosewisch, C

Grapefruit League game
1. Eric Bruntlett, SS
2. Marcus Giles, 3B
3. Raul Ibanez, LF
4. Greg Dobbs, 1B
5. John Mayberry Jr., CF
6. Geoff Jenkins, RF
7. Mike Cervenak, 3B
8. Pablo Ozuna, 2B
9. Ronny Paulino, C

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Jimmy Rollins and nine other members of Team USA appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

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Adam Eaton said it: “What went wrong? A lot of things went wrong, but a lot of things that went right, too. I helped them get to the playoffs two years in a row, and obviously we won the World Series last year. That’s a big thrill of mine, but obviously I still want to compete in that World Series atmosphere. That’s what I aim to do. It’s bitter for the fact that I wasn’t able to compete in it, but sweet in the fact that I watched those guys perform the way they did at such a high level at the right time. It’s a huge sense of pride in being a part of that.”

Eaton Goes to the O's

Adam Eaton has signed a minor-league contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

If Eaton should make the big-league roster, the Orioles would have to pay only $400,000 of the $9.15 million he is owed. This is what you call a low-risk, high-reward move. If Eaton somehow resurrects his career, it’s a great move. If he continues to pitch terribly, it doesn’t cost the Orioles anything. The Orioles expressed interest in Eaton during the winter meetings, when the Phillies were trying to trade him. But the Orioles probably figured why take on any of Eaton’s contract (the Phillies were willing to eat all but $1 million) when they could get him for nothing in the spring?

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Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Brad Lidge has had some forearm tightness and general tightness, which is why he hasn’t pitched in a Grapefruit League game. Nobody is concerned.

“What’s a closer going to need?” Dubee said, regarding the spring training appearances Lidge will need to be ready for the April 5 season opener.

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Cole Hamels threw batting practice today in Clearwater. If he comes out of that OK, he will pitch Wednesday against Team Canada at Bright House Field. … Chad Durbin still has soreness in his right hamstring. It’s unclear when he will get into a game. “He’s coming along, but he’ll be a while, probably longer than maybe during the course of the season because we have plenty of time,” Dubee said. “There’s no reason to rush.” … Charlie Manuel said he has Jayson Werth in the lineup tomorrow against the Toronto Blue Jays. Werth, who has had some soreness behind his right shoulder, hasn’t played in the first five games.

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The Phillies have a “B” game at noon tomorrow against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Carpenter Complex. Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton pitch there. Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ will pitch in the regular game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Phillies vs. Reds – 2/27

Live from Sarasota.

Shane Victorino has been named to Team USA’s roster for the World Baseball Classic after Grady Sizemore pulled out.

ed smith.jpgHere is the lineup for today’s game against the Reds at Ed Smith Stadium:

 1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Jason Donald, 3B
3. Raul Ibanez, LF
4. Matt Stairs, DH
5. Greg Dobbs, 1B
6. Geoff Jenkins, RF
7. Pablo Ozuna, 2B
8. Ozzie Chavez, SS
9. Lou Marson, C

Pitchers: Drew Carpenter, Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson and Sergio Escalona. Chad Durbin had been scheduled to pitch, but he has sore right hamstring. He should be OK in a couple days.

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Of course, the Phillies also released Adam Eaton this morning.

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Ruben Amaro Jr. said he is cautiously optimistic Pedro Feliz will be ready to play Opening Day. Feliz has hit off the practice the last couple days, but it is unclear when he will take live BP. “He’s progressing well,” Amaro said. And Chase Utley? Amaro said he also is cautiously optimistic that Utley will be ready Opening Day, although he seems to be much further along than Feliz.

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Amaro said Nomar Garciaparra is “likely to sign with the A’s or not play at all. I’m not sure whether he’s going to play or not. I would not view him as somebody who would be with us.”

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Victorino hit a leadoff double and Ibanez followed two batters later with a double to left-center field to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. … Carpenter got knocked out early. He allowed three hits, three walks and four runs to the six batters he faced. He did not record an out. Antonio Bastardo took his place and got out of the inning. … Dobbs singled and scored Donald from third in the third to make it 5-2. … Ozuna hit a solo homer to left-center field in the fourth to make it 5-3.

Eaton Is Released

eaton.jpgThe Phillies released righthander Adam Eaton this morning.

Perhaps the only surprise is that it happened today, and not later this spring. Eaton went 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, and 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA in ’08. The Phillies asked him to accept a Minor League assignment last year. He accepted, but went 0-5 with a 7.16 ERA in seven starts for Class A Lakewood, Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Those two years sealed his fate for 2009.

Despite the fact he signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract on Nov. 30, 2006, he was not a candidate to win the fifth starter’s job this spring. He will make $9.15 million this year (his $8.65 million salary, plus a $500,000 buyout on a 2010 club option). If Eaton clears release waivers as expected and signs with another team, the Phillies will be responsible for $8.75 million of that.

Here is some of what Eaton said this morning:

On expectations after he signed his contract. Disappointed? Upset?
I don’t think upset is the right word. Underachieve? Yeah. I wasn’t as healthy as I’d like to be. That’s been my focus this spring, to be healthy so I can do what I’m able to do. Anytime you’re weighing surgery options in the offseason before the second year of a contract … and maybe I should have done it, maybe that would have been the best case scenario, but I feel fine now. … Unrealized, both sides, expectations for me coming in. One was achieved last year, but not in the way we thought. I thought when we signed the deal, that I would be an integral part in any positives on the field. For the most part, it didn’t happen that way. I did have moments of success, but for whatever reason they were short-lived.

On being a former first-round pick with the Phillies, coming back, and being released.
This organization obviously thought highly enough to draft me No. 1 overall in ’96 and make a big splash in the off-seson going into the ’07 season. They thought well enough of me to make a bigger splash signing me to a three-year deal. When I left last time they got Andy Ashby. When I leave now they just get Andy Ashby’s contract. It’s sad, but I wish I was able to earn that money while I’m still in this uniform.

Feel expectations with salary?
If given the opportunity, if you’re out there working hard, doing the things you can to prepare, you are earning that money. The results … you can have the best teacher in the world, but if the student tries hard, but just can’t get a concept it doesn’t mean they’ve failed as a teacher. I failed as performing to how I wanted to perform, but to say I failed as a teammate? I failed as an athlete? No. But we’re all tested on a day-to-day basis. I passed a lot of days, but my results weren’t very good. I think the test results weren’t very good. To have a label put on you to be a certain way is fine. I have a higher label on myself than I think a lot of people do. Especially now.

On any regrets about not pitching in the Florida Instructional League during the NLDS? Players who participated rejoined the team to watch the NLCS and World Series from the bench.
The only thing I regret about not being there for the World Series was not sharing it with my teammates. Organizationally, you know, whether they were thinking, ‘Would Adam be here? Would he just show up, or should we invite him?’ There was never a conversation there. I never thought about coming because, I was like, they’re doing so well, I didn’t want to show up and say, ‘Hey guys, look who’s here.’ I think that would be a little two-faced on my part. I weighed my decision very carefully before I was given the opportunity. I was not going to make the playoff roster, obviously. I haven’t pitched in the big leagues since whenever, July. And they say, ‘Well, go down and get in shape for possibly…’ Give me a [bleeping] break. What do you want me to say? You want me to swallow another pill? For what? Waste two weeks down here where I can go spend two weeks with my family? Yeah, sure, I’ll go up there for the World Series. Hey, I’m up on the float. ‘Boo, [bleep] you.’ Great. Would that be any fun for anybody? No. In that regard, not sharing it with my teammates. But it was nice to see them on TV. They’re world [bleeping] champs.

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