Results tagged ‘ Carlos Beltran ’

Amaro: We’ve Already Made Offers

Ruben Amaro Jr.,The free-agent market opened yesterday and Ruben Amaro Jr. wasted no time.

“We’ve already made offers on several players,” he said from Arizona, where he is watching some of the organization’s top young talent in the Arizona Fall League.

Amaro declined to divulge names, but he can be aggressive. He moved quickly in Nov. 2011, when he signed closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract. Knowing there is a lack of power hitters available, perhaps Amaro is making a push to sign one. They need right-handed hitters in the worst way.

Nelson Cruz, 33, fits the bill. He hits right-handed, although he served a 50-game suspension last season and is not a defensive stalwart. Amaro has stressed the Phillies need to improve its outfield defense.

Carlos Beltran and Mike Morse also are free agents. The Phillies have tried to acquire them in the past. (Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said yesterday on SiriusXM that one team already has made an offer to Beltran.) The two biggest free-agent outfielders are Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, but they are expected to sign elsewhere.

Amaro said in September resigning catcher Carlos Ruiz was a top priority, but he couched that possibility this week.

“Well, we’re fortunate now that it’s kind of opened up,” Amaro said of the free-agent market. “There are several candidates that could be our catcher next year. We’ll see what happens. I mean, we’re in the open season.”

If the Phillies cannot resign Ruiz, there are options like Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski. But McCann hits left-handed and seems destined to join an American League team. Pierzynski also hits left-handed, and Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter that has a career .599 OPS hitting from the right side.

The Phillies could sign a less expensive catcher like Dioner Navarro, which would allow them to spend money elsewhere. But Ruiz seems like the best of the bunch, although he turns 35 in January and is coming off his worst offensive season since 2008.

The Phillies also are trying to upgrade their pitching staff, but if Amaro is trying to be aggressive, improving an anemic offense – the Phillies tied for 26th in baseball with just 610 runs scored – might be the place to start.

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The Phillies have hired Scott Freedman to be their analytics guy.

UPDATE: Wanted to clarify something about Freedman. He is not a full-time Phillies employee. MLB is paying his salary as part of a partnership with the Phillies, although the Phillies have the opportunity to hire him permanently once his externship concludes before the beginning of the regular season.

Has the Price Gone Up?

Pat Gillick talked this afternoon about the effect Carlos Beltran‘s trade to San Francisco has on the rest of the market with just four days to go before the trade deadline.

“When somebody goes off the market like Beltran goes off the market, then you say, well, OK, if he’s off the market that reduces the pool out there, so whoever we’re talking to you might have to up the ante because there’s one less guy out there,” he said.

If Gillick is accurate and the Astros are looking for four top prospects, which has been reported, then it seems like the Astros can dig in a little bit more.

Hey, the Giants gave up a top prospect for a two-month rental. You’ll have to give up more for a guy like Pence.

“You have to evaluate what your needs are, what your club has, what this player will do for your club, what you’ll get in return. You have to take all of this into consideration,” Gillick said. “And then probably most of the time with a club like ours you’ve got to be prepared to overpay a little bit. Sometimes to get what you want to have to overpay a bit.”

Will the Phillies overpay for Hunter Pence? It might start with Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. Would you throw in two more top prospects for Pence if that’s the starting price? Or is that too steep for a team that already has the best record in baseball and might be good enough to win the World Series as is?

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The Collapse of Cole Hamels

hamels 1031.jpgI wasn’t sure what to expect from Cole Hamels last night in Game 3 of the World Series. I figured he was due to pitch a good game, but I wasn’t going to be surprised if things fell apart.

Neither was Hamels.

“That’s been the story of my whole season,” he said following the 8-5 loss to the Yankees at Citizens Bank Park. “I can cruise through hitters and then all of a sudden — boom. I don’t hit a small speed bump. I hit a big one.”

Asked about the last pitch to Mark Teixeira in the fourth inning that resulted in a walk, which led to a two-run home run from Alex Rodriguez, Hamels said, “It was a strike. It’s the story of my season.”

He thought Rodriguez’s home run was a pop up.

“For it to go over the fence … you know what?” he said. “This is the park I play in, so I definitely know to expect this.”

But then came an intresting comment as he talked about a season that has been a struggle since spring training. Hamels, who is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts, told reporters, “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. It’s one of those things where, a year in, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”

Hamels lines up to pitch Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, if the series gets that far. Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee have to wonder how confident they can be sending him out there? Hamels is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts and he does not sound like a confident man. Asked if he would feel comfortable pitching Hamels in Game 7, Manuel would not commit.

“I wouldn’t be hesitant to start him,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ll see how the series goes.”

But after sounding like a mentally beaten man, Hamels also said he would like the chance.

“I really do hope I have that opportunity,” he said. “It’s one of those games that you can definitely redeem yourself. I would know it’s the very last game that I would ever have that season. It’s not the type of game you want to have in your last game. It’s just kind of something where if you could end it on a good note, why not? Having a Game 7 opportunity that would be mean a lot. I hope my teammates believe in me and want me to be out there for it.”

If the series gets to Game 7 — Hamels put the Phillies in the difficult position of having to win three of four games against the Yankees — the Phillies have two options: Hamels or J.A. Happ. Do they stick with Hamels, or do they look at what they have seen and heard and take their chances with Happ?

Of course, before we get in a lather about Game 7, Joe Blanton must outpitch CC Sabathia tonight in Game 4.

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Teams that fall behind 2-1 in the World Series are 26-55.

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Jayson Werth has seven home runs this postseason. He would tie Barry Bonds (2002) and Carlos Beltran (2004) for the single-season playoff home run record with one more homer.

It certainly would help if more than Werth were hitting. Jimmy Rollins (.200), Shane Victorino (.182), Chase Utley (.182), Ryan Howard (.154) and Pedro Feliz (.091) are struggling. Werth (.400), Carlos Ruiz (.333) and Raul Ibanez (.250) are the only players hitting .250 or better.

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Charlie Picks Vic to Start

Charlie Manuel just announced his starting lineup for the National League:

  1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  2. Chase Utley, 2B
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Ryan Braun, RF
  5. Raul Ibanez, LF
  6. David Wright, 3B
  7. Shane Victorino, CF
  8. Yadier Molina, C
  9. Tim Lincecum, P

Victorino is starting in place of Carlos Beltran, who is out with an injury. Jayson Werth took Beltran’s spot on the roster, and Victorino took his spot in the lineup.

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A front office official said yesterday he considered Kyle Drabek, if not the best pitcher, one of the top three pitchers at the All-Star Futures Game.

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Werth Is an All-Star


werth 071009.jpgCharlie Manuel
has picked Jayson Werth to replace Carlos Beltran on the National League All-Star team.

Wow.

I wrote last night that Werth deserved serious consideration for the spot, but I never thought it would happen. From what I understood, Manuel and the league would pick Beltran’s replacement. While Werth is hitting .268 with 20 homers, 54 RBIs and 12 stolen bases, I thought the league would steer Manuel in a different direction because the Phillies already have outfielders Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino on the NL roster. I figured Beltran’s replacement would come from a trio of Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (.328, 13 homers, 48 RBIs), Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (.319, 10, 46, 19 stolen bases) and Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds (.262, 24, 62, 15 stolen bases).

Manuel had more pull than I thought.

The Phillies are sending five players to the All-Star Game: Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. The last time the Phillies sent five players to the All-Star Game was 1995, when they sent Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Tyler Green, Mickey Morandini and Heathcliff Slocumb. They also sent five players in 1976, 1979 and 1981.

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The last time a team sent three outfielders to the All-Star Game? The 1995 Cleveland Indians, who sent Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton and Manny Ramirez.

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Victorino Makes His Case

victorino 0708.jpgShane Victorino has been knocking on doors (literally) and kissing babies (not literally) since he became one of five Final Vote candidates for the final roster spot on the National League all-star team.

Fans can vote at MLB.com until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Here is my bold prediction: Cristian Guzman will not win.

The race is between Victorino and Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. They apparently have exchanged leads a couple times the past few days.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): Victorino leads Sandoval with a little more than four hours to go.

But Victorino made a strong case for himself with a game winning hit in the ninth inning tonight against the Reds.

“Is this meant to happen?” Victorino said.

We’ll find out Thursday. But even if he loses to Sandoval, he has a good chance at making the team.

Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran will not play in the All-Star Game because of an injury. If Beltran had earned a roster spot via the player vote, Manuel would have had to take the next highest finisher on the player ballot to replace him. But because fans elected Beltran as a starter, a MLB spokesman said Wednesday that Manuel does not have to pick from the player ballots to find a replacement. That would improve Victorino’s chances.

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Rollins on Mets: 'We're Going to Win'

rollins.jpgJimmy Rollins is amused with the talk he hears from New York Mets camp.

“This is still going on?” he said today.

Carlos Beltran kiddingly told New York reporters Tuesday that Cole Hamels, who called the Mets “choke artists” on a New York radio station over the winter, “will be watched every time he faces us and hopefully we kill him. Then he has to deal with the situation.”

“I guess when Cole is pitching, they are going to step it up and of course we are going to stand up for Cole,” Rollins said. “So that is going to force us to step it up. But that just brings out the best in both teams.”

But here was Rollins’ kicker.

“We’re going to win,” he said, “but it definitely will bring out the best in both teams.”

Myers: "We've Got the Hardware"

Somebody needs to write the Mets some new material.

Jimmy Rollins called the Phillies the team to beat in 2007, and they won the National League East. Carlos Beltran attempt a Rollins in 2008, when he called the Mets the team to beat … except the Phillies successfully defended their division title and won the World Series, while the Mets faded down the stretch for the second consecutive season.

Francisco Rodriguez then called the Mets the team to beat over the weekend. K-Rod later said he wasn’t aware of the Team to Beat history between the Phillies and Mets.

(Pat Riley once trademarked the phrase threepeat. Rollins is a good businessman. I’m surprised he hasn’t trademarked Team to Beat by now.)

“I’m so tired of talking about them,” Brett Myers said today. “I’m just tired of it. They can think what the hell they want, but we’ve got the hardware right now. It’s their job to take it from us. It’s our job to keep it.”

The Fightins have more about it.

K-Rod Borrows Line From J-Roll

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez went to the well yesterday, just like Carlos Beltran did last spring.

K-Rod called the Mets the team to beat in the NL East.

Seriously, again?

“Whatever they did last year, they already got paid,” Rodriguez told the New York Daily News. Whatever they did, I have all the respect in the world. They worked hard and they deserve it. This is a different year and different ballclubs now. I don’t want to make any controversy, but with me and (J.J.) Putz and the additions in the bullpen, I feel like now we are the team to beat.”

Jimmy Rollins should have trademarked the phrase “the team to beat.” He’d be rich … well, richer.

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