Results tagged ‘ Antonio Bastardo ’

Park, Eyre, Blanton and More

The Phillies continue to talk with Chan Ho Park‘s people and Scott Eyre‘s people about possible returns, but there seems to have been little progress. In fact, Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies probably would not make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Stalemate?

“It depends what you mean by stalemate,” Amaro said today. “We’re comfortable with the numbers we’ve presented, and if those are numbers that won’t really get it done then we might have to go ahead and move on. I’m sure they’re trying to maximize the value, which is the job of the agent. If they feel like there’s a better opportunity to make more money or to be in a different situation then they’re going to take it. … We’re still talking.”

But Amaro said the meetings have been productive. He already had meet with three or four teams earlier today and is scheduled to see two or three more before the end of the day. They might not be able to hammer out something before Thursday, but he sounds happy with the groundwork he has laid going forward.

*

One source said today that Joe Blanton “is on the market, by the way.” Trading Blanton would weaken the rotation, and the Phillies don’t have a lot of depth to replace him. So why is he available?

“They want to get a big bullpen piece,” the source said.

Amaro has said the Phillies are most likely to add bullpen pieces via free agency. That would seem to make the most sense, unless they can get a real stud — which could be beneficial should Brad Lidge carry his 2009 struggles into 2010.

*

Amaro said if the Phillies can’t get the veteran pitchers they want for the bullpen, they might have to go young. Candidates include left-handers Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo and right-hander Scott Mathieson.

“You’d like to have guys who are veterans,” Amaro said. “Guys who have been through the wars, and have dealt with the adversity. In a perfect world you’d have young starters and have veteran-type relievers. But that’s just a perfect world. We have more young players in our bullpen this year. We’ll probably start off with (Kyle) Kendrick as a guy who will be pitching and fighting for a job in the rotation, but if he doesn’t make the rotation maybe he’ll be pushed into the bullpen.”

*

A report earlier today had the Phillies interested in Cuban pitcher Ardolis Chapman, but a team source said the Phillies are not interested.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Day 1 in Indy

A few more things from the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis:

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance Brad Lige and J.C. Romero will not be ready by Opening Day — they are recovering from elbow surgeries — although he said if they are not ready, it won’t be long after the season starts.
  • Amaro said he is more likely to fill holes on the pitching staff and bench via free agency, although he said the Phillies could get creative and work a trade.
  • Amaro declined comment on a rumor that the Phillies have made right-hander Joe Blanton available to trade to free up money to improve the bullpen, but it seems unlikely Amaro would trade pitching to get pitching. “I’m sure I would at some point,” he said. “It’s kind of like robbing Peter to trade Paul, but if you think Paul is better than Peter than it’s worth it.”
  • Amaro also said he doesn’t “want to mess with our rotation as it stands. But it doesn’t mean we have to make that a hard and fast rule,” he said. “I think it’s more about keeping the options as open as possible. … I’ll put our rotation as it stands up there with pretty much anybody in the National League. The better your rotation is the more heat you can take off the bullpen. I think that’s probably the best way to get a more predictable bullpen.”
  • It sounds to me like Chan Ho Park is the team’s top priority in the bullpen. Amaro met with Park’s agent Jeff Borris on Monday.
  • The Phillies have continued interest in left-hander Scott Eyre, although Amaro said he would be comfortable with rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo or Sergio Escalona in the bullpen next season.
  • The Phillies have been linked to right-hander Brandon Lyon, but one source said Monday the asking price for Lyon remains high.
  • The Phillies already have committed $114.2 million committed to 15 players in 2010. Include the expected raises for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey and the payroll pushes to more than $130 million. That leaves the Phillies with just a few million to spend. “I think we’re going to be just fine with our payroll,” Amaro said. “I don’t think it’s going to change much. We have our limitations. We’re going to be pushing $140 million. It is what it is. It’s my job to figure out a way to make sure this a contending team.”
  • The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to offer contracts to Durbin and Condrey, who are eligible for salary arbitration. Amaro said the Phillies haven’t made a final decision, but “as far as I’m concerned, at least right now, these are guys that we’ll probably count on. But again, a lot of it kind of depends on what happens over these next several days in regards to the other free agents that might be out there.”
  • The Phillies have expressed interest in Brian Giles, although it doesn’t appear talks are serious. “We’ve talked about it a little bit,” said Giles’ agent, Joe Bick. “Philly needs to try to find Brian a spot where there might be more playing time, but it’s certainly something we’ll keep the door open on.”

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

How Will the Rotation Look?

Thumbnail image for lee b 1007.jpgHow would you set up the Phillies’ World Series rotation?

Charlie Manuel said earlier today he would discuss that with Rich Dubee, Ruben Amaro Jr. and others this weekend. I would not expect the Phillies to make an official announcement anytime soon, but it’s obvious that Cliff Lee will start Game 1. I would start Cole Hamels in Game 2, despite his recent struggles. As much as he has struggled — he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts this postseason — he still has one of the two best arms in the rotation. He was one botched double play from allowing one run through five innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. He allowed three solo homers in Game 5, but he wasn’t getting knocked around the ballpark (i.e. walking people and giving up four or five hits an inning). I still take my chances with him on the road.

I know everybody would like to see Pedro Martinez pitch Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, but I’d rather have him pitch Game 3 at home. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the NLCS. Martinez also is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. I’d rather have Martinez pitching in front of the home crowd in a place he has been more successful than in a place where he will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” chants.

Manuel said he more than likely will use right-hander Joe Blanton and left-hander J.A. Happ in the bullpen to start the series, but either of the could start Game 4. The Yankees have an .846 OPS against left-handers and an .837 OPS against right-handers. The Angels have a .793 OPS against right-handers and a .788 OPS against left-handers. Maybe they go with Blanton against the Yankees and Happ against the Angels, although Blanton is 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees and is 3-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 appearances against the Angels. Happ allowed four hits and two runs in six innings May 23 in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He has never faced the Angels.

*

Lee said he would be willing to pitch on short rest, but I only see that happening if the Phillies drop their first two games and they get into desperation mode.

*

Amaro said there remains a chance somebody like Brett Myers could make the postseason roster. Who would they bump? Left-hander Antonio Bastardo has faced just two batters this postseason. Maybe they go elsewhere.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

The Roster: Who's In, Who's Out?

Thumbnail image for bruntlett 0823.jpgThe Phillies announced their 25-man postseason roster:

Tyler Walker, Clay Condrey and Eric Bruntlett are NOT on the roster.

Kyle Kendrick, Miguel Cairo and Antonio Bastardo ARE on the roster.

The roster is:

CATCHERS (2): Carlos Ruiz, Paul Bako.
INFIELDERS (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs, Cairo.
OUTFIELD (5): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Matt Stairs.
PITCHERS (12): Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Pedro Martinez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin, Kendrick, Bastardo.

I’m actually surprised Bruntlett isn’t on the roster, despite the fact he hit just .171. Why? Because Bruntlett is a pretty good base runner and can play everywhere in the field. He also is considered a better shortstop than Cairo, although I suppose if Rollins gets hurt Cairo vs. Bruntlett is probably the least of your concerns. Condrey didn’t surprise me too much because he missed so much time this season. Walker surprised me a bit because he went 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 32 appearances. Kendrick pitched well down the stretch, but I’m wondering how he would be used since the Phillies already are starting the series with Blanton, Happ and Martinez in the bullpen.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

*

Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Getting Some Postseason Flexibility

ennis.jpgThe Phillies made a roster move today that offers them flexibility in the postseason.

They purchased the contract of injured right-hander John Ennis and immediately placed him on the 15-day disabled list. To make room for Ennis on the 40-man roster, they designated infielder Brad Harman for assignment.

Here is why they did it: Any player who is on the active 25-man roster or disabled list on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason. In this case, the Phillies have 31 players eligible for the postseason because Brett Myers, J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey, Greg Dobbs, Antonio Bastardo and Ennis are on the disabled list.

Myers, Romero, Condrey, Dobbs and Bastardo are expected to be healthy and playing before the end of the regular season. Ennis is recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery April 21. He won’t be healthy. But his presence on the DL allows the Phillies to add any player that is in the organization on Aug. 31 to the postseason roster.

That is how left-hander J.A. Happ made the postseason roster last year. Pitchers Scott Mathieson and Mike Zagruski were on the 60-day disabled list, which allowed the Phillies to take Happ, who was a September call up.

Ennis certainly doesn’t mind. He is now making a big-league salary and earning service time for just sitting on the DL for the rest of the season. Not bad.

*

Myers is expected to make rehab appearances Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple A Lehigh Valley. If they go well, he could join the Phillies bullpen before the end of the week.

Condrey and Bastardo both made rehab appearances Monday for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. Condrey allowed one hit and struck out one in one scoreless inning. Bastardo walked one in one scoreless inning.

Dobbs continues to rehab in Clearwater, Fla., and Romero could throw a bullpen session with the Phillies on Tuesday.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Dobbs on DL, Cairo Returns

The Phillies placed Greg Dobbs on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf. They selected the contract of Miguel Cairo to take his place.

Dobbs strained his calf in Friday’s loss to the Mets. It sounded yesterday like the injury was not serious, but apparently Dobbs’ diagnosis changed. Dobbs declined comment. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this morning that Dobbs said he has had the injury off and on since last season. He also said Dobbs might get medical testing tomorrow in Philadelphia.

*

Brett Myers makes a rehab start today in Single A Lakewood.

*

J.C. Romero and right-hander Clay Condrey will throw bullpen sessions tomorrow in Clearwater. Antonio Bastardo makes a rehab start tomorrow for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Lopez Shines


lopez 0703.jpgRodrigo Lopez
said he felt a whole bunch of butterflies as he stepped onto the mound tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

He had not pitched in the Majors since July 26, 2007.

It hardly looked like it. He allowed six hits, two runs and one walk and struck out four in six innings in a much-needed 7-2 victory over the Mets. Lopez would have pitched next week for the Phillies pretty much regardless of how he pitched tonight, but he solidified himself a few more starts with a solid effort.

Lopez spent nearly two years recovering from Tommy John surgery to get to this point. But this moment almost never came. He spoke tonight about how he almost bailed on his big-league aspirations last month.

Lopez signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies at the end of Spring Training. He had an out clause in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent if he was not on the big-league roster by June 15.

He gave up six hits and five runs in five innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in a loss June 13, which dropped him to 2-4 with a 5.19 ERA.

“I was very upset about it,” Lopez said. “So I talked to (Lehigh Valley pitching coach Rod Nichols). I asked for his advice. I told him, ‘What do you think about me going to Mexico to try to get my confidence back?’ He told me, ‘The challenge is here. You can go to Mexico, but the challenge is here.’ Those were words that I’ll always remember.”

Lopez stuck with it. He went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his next three starts for the IronPigs. And once left-hander Antonio Bastardo injured his shoulder, the Phillies chose Lopez over Carlos Carrasco, Andrew Carpenter and Kyle Kendrick to take his place.

Good call.

*

Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 5 with two doubles, two RBIs, a run scored and one Marco Scutaro.

Scutaro infamously took second base on a walk a couple weeks ago at Citizens Bank Park when the Phillies fell asleep and nobody covered second base. Rollins pulled a similar move in the third inning when he took second after he hit a ball to center field. Nobody covered second and Rollins took advantage.

“Everybody parted the sea and there’s like this golden case sitting right in front of you,” Rollins said. “I hit the ball up the middle and I saw (Ryan) Church and he was looking to throw the ball to somebody. I never stopped running. I took three hard steps around first and I saw somebody in the middle and I said, ‘He’s not beating me to the bag,’ and I kept going. Those things happen.”

*

Tonight’s victory snapped a six-game losing streak at home. … Rollins broke out “Billie Jean” and “Smooth Criminal” as his intro music tonight. Nice touch.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Romero Faces Battery Charge, Bastardo Lands on DL


j.c. romero.jpgThe St. Petersburg Police Department has handed a complaint against Phillies left-hander J.C. Romero
to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office to determine if prosecutors will charge him with battery.

Romero and Rays fan Robert Eaton were involved in an incident immediately following Thursday night’s game between the Phillies and Rays at Tropicana Field.

St. Petersburg police spokesman George Kajtsa said the fan asked players leaving the field for autographs.

“The player ignored him and kept on going,” Kajtsa said of Romero. “So the victim starts yelling expletives and also making references to some things I can’t mention because it’s under investigation. That apparently angered the player, who then returned. The two had a shouting match and at one point the player hit him with an open hand — or he slapped him on his neck.”

Eaton told the St. Petersburg Times that he said something to Romero like, “How about you get me some juice?”

“Remember, this is a simple battery,” Kajtsa said. “No weapon was used. There were no injuries to the victim whatsoever, except as he says in the report he was embarrassed because it happened in front of other fans and his family. … This is a very minor incident so the state’s attorney will probably concentrate on more serious matters, but it will be up to the state’s attorney to make the determination.”

*

Eaton and his lawyer Jim Magazine spoke today to WIP.

*

The Phillies tonight placed left-hander Antonio Bastardo on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left posterior shoulder. They recalled left-hander Sergio Escalona to take his place. Escalona will join the team tomorrow in Atlanta.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Getting Frustrated …


phillies 0625.jpgCharlie Manuel
is tired of it.

The Phillies have lost 10 of their last 12 games following last night’s 10-4 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. They have hit .232 and scored 53 runs in that span. The rotation has a 5.24 ERA. The bullpen has a 7.44 ERA. The defense has committed eight errors.

And then there are the mental errors.

“If I’m going to go out there and address (the mental errors), there’s a lot of other crap I should be addressing, too,” Manuel said. “I don’t know where I go from there. It’s building up. The dam bursts and get it all out. What can you say?”

“You know what? You play like that right there, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose some more. That’s not good play. I don’t think anybody in our clubhouse will tell you that they think that’s very good play. We’ve lost some games where we’ve given some away. We’ve lost some games where we’ve played bad baseball. We’ve made some mental mistakes. Mistakes that you’re not supposed to make. Sometimes we don’t score. Sometimes we don’t hold them. We don’t play consistent baseball. We don’t have the pitching and the hitting and the defense together. That’s how you accumulate losses.”

The Phillies have been in stretches like this before, but I don’t recall a stretch with so many mental errors lumped so close together.

It obviously will help once Raul Ibanez returns to the lineup. It will help to have Scott Eyre and Clay Condrey back in the bullpen, too. But strained left shoulder or not, it is clear after watching Antonio Bastardo pitch last night that this team really needs to get some starting pitching help before the trade deadline.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, there is almost nothing available right now.

*

Another clue Manuel is frustrated: the clubhouse doors opened almost immediately following last night’s game. The doors are supposed to remain closed to the media 10 minutes after every game for a “cooling off” period. But once we got to the doors last night, they opened. That is the first time that has happened since I’ve been on the beat.

Usually Manuel likes to decompress a bit. This time I think Manuel just wanted to get it over with.

*

Jimmy Rollins declined before and after the game to talk about Manuel’s decision to bench him at least two games.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 294 other followers