Results tagged ‘ Chad Durbin ’

Winter Meetings: Day 1 (So Far)

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A few things from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.:

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. said he does not believe the Phillies must find a right-handed-hitting outfielder to replace Jayson Werth. But outfielders to watch include free agents Scott Hairston and Matt Diaz. Diaz’s agent Larry Reynolds said he is receiving plenty of interest on Diaz, who could sign with a team before the conclusion of the meetings. He declined to say how interested the Phillies might be.
  • There has been a buzz at the Winter Meetings the Phillies had focused on free agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur, but sources said the Phillies are not seriously pursuing him.
  • Aaron Rowand is available in a trade, but the San Francisco Giants probably would need to pay a substantial portion of his salary to make it happen.
  • Interestingly, Amaro spoke of a potential platoon in right field involving Ben Francisco and Ross Gload – not mentioning Domonic Brown, who hit just .069 in nine Dominican Winter Ball games before returning home last week. Asked if he would prefer Brown to play every day than split time in the big leagues, Amaro said, “If we had our druthers we’d rather put Domonic in a position to get the at-bats that he kind of lost last year and prepare himself to improve his outfield play, base running, etc. In a perfect world, we don’t need Domonic to make our club, unless he really pushes us, unless he shows us in Spring Training that he’s ready to take that next step.”
  • The Los Angeles Times reported the Phillies could be interested in Angels outfielder Juan Rivera, which would make sense. The Phillies have liked him in the past, although Rivera struggled last season with just a .746 OPS against left-handed pitchers.


Rollins Is Getting Ready for 2011

Thumbnail image for rollins 0623 2010.jpgIn between lighting the Christmas tree in front of Citizens Bank Park and sitting down for a radio interview today, Jimmy Rollins helped the Phillies sell some six-game ticket plans.

“I’m working on my six pack,” he said, looking into a flip cam. “You can get yours at”

The sales pitch worked in more ways than one. Phillies fans also are curious about Rollins’ health following a disappointing 2010. He played just 87 games because of hamstring and calf injuries and when he played he struggled. He hit .243 with eight home runs, 41 RBIs and a .694 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, which was his lowest OPS since 2002 (.686). Rollins, who is entering the final year of a six-year, $46.5 million contract, is confident he will bounce back.

“If I’m healthy,” Rollins said. “Well, I am going to be healthy, so yes. All I have to do is stay healthy. I’ll produce.”

Why is he so confident?


Phillies to Offer Werth Arbitration, Not Durbin

durbin pumped.jpgA source said today the Phillies will offer salary arbitration to Jayson Werth, who is a Type A free agent, but not to Chad Durbin, who is a Type B free agent.

The decision on Werth hardly comes as a surprise. If he signs with another team as expected – the Phillies have had talks with Scott Boras, but he is expected to find a bigger deal elsewhere – the Phillies will receive two picks: a team’s top available pick (either a first or second-round selection based on their 2010 record) and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.

If the Phillies had offered Durbin arbitration and he signed elsewhere, the Phillies would have received a sandwich pick.

It makes complete sense to offer Werth arbitration because there is no downside. If Werth declines arbitration and signs elsewhere they get the picks. If Werth accepts arbitration, which is highly unlikely, they automatically get Werth to return next season on a one-year contract. (The Phillies absolutely would love that to happen.)


De Fratus, Rizzotti and Other 40-Man Players

defratus.jpgIt’s no secret the Phillies are looking for bullpen help.

They’re looking at left-handers like Hisanori Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano, Brian Fuentes and Arthur Rhodes. They could bring back Chad Durbin, too.

But the Phillies also will need help from pitchers already in the organization, like Antonio Bastardo, Scott Mathieson, David Herndon and Mike Zagurski. Throw Justin De Fratus into the mix. The Phillies must place De Fratus on the 40-man roster by tommorrow’s midnight deadline to avoid exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft, and they will.

The Phillies have other players they must protect or risk losing them. The most notable include Joe Savery, Matt Rizzotti, D’Arby Myers, Freddy Galvis and Harold Garcia. Savery is being converted from a pitcher to a hitter, so he is unlikely to be protected. Rizzotti is a talented hitter, but his path to the big leagues is blocked by Ryan Howard. Myers is a fourth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft who had a .678 OPS last season with Class A Clearwater. Galvis is a top shortstop, although he has struggled with the bat. Garcia is a top second base prospect.

De Fratus, an 11th-round pick in 2007, certainly is worth watching next year. He went a combined 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 49 appearances with Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading and has struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings in the Arizona Fall League.

“He hasn’t had a chance to perform in front of Charlie (Manuel), Rich (Dubee) and the Major League staff,” assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said. “I think he’s going to open up some eyes. I think he’s going to get people’s attention in Spring Training with not only his physical ability, but how confidently he goes about his business. Whether he’s ready or not is yet to be seen. Only time will tell that, but I think he’ll at least be on the radar screen by the end of Spring Training.


Phillies, Contreras Could Be Close to Deal

Jose Contreras is one free agent the Phillies want to see in red pinstripes in 2011.

They could be close. reported Sunday night the Phillies are nearing a two-year, $5 million contract with Contreras. The report also said Contreras could receive a third year in an option based on performance incentives.

Contreras, 38, went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA in 67 appearances this season – his first full season as a relief pitcher. He quickly became a favorite for Charlie Manuel, picking up three of his four saves in May when Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson were on the disabled list.

The Phillies have seven free agents, and Contreras has been the most likely to resign. The Phillies also are interested in bringing back rightfielder Jayson Werth and right-hander Chad Durbin. The Phillies have had discussions about Werth, although it is believed he will sign elsewhere. Durbin could be back, depending on what kind of deals he can find elsewhere.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Hitting the Open Market

Thumbnail image for Werth0036.jpgJayson Werth hits the open market in less than 24 hours.

That should not surprise anybody. Werth was not going to sign a contract during his exclusive negotiating period with the Phillies. But beginning at midnight Saturday anybody from any team can contact any player, including Werth.

I still don’t think Werth resigns with the Phillies.

Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent, said yesterday it doesn’t have to be that way.

“The Yankees are a Goliath,” Boras said. “George (Steinbrenner) built them with the idea of the word ‘best.’ The Phillies are now Goliaths. The reality of it is they have the ability to do what they need to do to retain their players. It’s merely a matter of choice. It’s not a matter of good business because I think everybody would agree they’ve made some really good business decisions. They’ve all proven to be fruitful economically as far as franchise value increase, future television negotiations, fans. Everything is going well. Somebody asked me if they can have a $200 million payroll? Of course they could. It would be good business to do so.”


Looking Ahead: Six Free Agents, Three Arbitration Eligible Players

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You probably still have your NLCS hangover, but I thought I’d give everybody a quick look at the Phillies’ offseason. They have six potential free agents and three players eligible for salary arbitration.

Here is a look:


– Jayson Werth. The Phillies and Werth are going to say the right things in the coming weeks. The Phillies are going to say they would love to bring back Werth, which is true. And Werth is going to say he wants to come back, which also is true. But the reality is different. The Phillies already have more than $145 million committed to 16 players in 2011, and Werth is going to be one of the top free agents on the market. Ruben Amaro Jr. has said several times the Phillies can’t have a roster full of $15 million-a-year players, which is what Werth could be making soon. Outfielder Jason Bay received a four-year, $66 million contract from the New York Mets last winter. Werth should command more. Bay hit .267 with a .362 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage in the three seasons leading to free agency. Werth hit .279 with a .376 on-base percentage and a .513 slugging percentage the past three seasons. The numbers show Werth is a better hitter than Bay. He also is a better fielder and base runner. And there seems to be little doubt Scott Boras, who is Werth’s agent, will be seeking the big-time deal Werth has waited his entire career for.

– J.C. Romero. The Phillies have a $4.5 million club option on Romero, but it is unlikely to be exercised. The Phillies are expected to rely next season on Antonio Bastardo instead. And while Romero went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA the last two seasons, he also missed time with injuries and has walked (42) more hitters than he has struck out (42).


Madson Loose Before Game 3

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A little behind-the-scenes access for y’all:

MLB has press conferences before every postseason game and workout. Charlie Manuel attends one every day. (He loves it!) The Phillies usually bring in the next day’s starting pitcher, a key everyday player or somebody else who’s a hot story.

The press conference are helpful for reporters because we have no clubhouse access before games like we have during the season. But sometimes they can be a little boring. We’ve asked just about everything we can ask of these guys. They’ve answered the same questions a million times. We know this. They know this. But people are baseball crazy right now, so we’ve got to feed the beast.

So thank goodness Sunday for Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.

Madson entered the press conference wearing a mask that looked like a little similar to Miguel Cairo. Durbin played straight man. Madson played funny man.

“I’ve been wearing it every day to the playoffs, so I had to wear it again today,” Madson said.

I asked Madson an important question: When does he wear the mask? Certain times? Certain moments?

“Hot tub is where it debuted,” Madson said. “That was cool. But the first guy that walked in was Charlie Manuel and he shook his head. But I kept with it. The guys encouraged me, and I guess my favorite place to wear it would be probably the shower.”

I wrote a week ago about how Carlos Ruiz is perhaps the most well-liked guy in the clubhouse, but Madson got a ton of votes in my highly unscientific poll. Madson is extremely well-liked because of his sense of humor.

“I knew it was (Madson),” Manuel said, asked if he knew who it was in the hot tub. “I saw Chooch (Carlos Ruiz) with it on, too.”


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Breaking Down the NL Playoff Scenarios

Charlie Manuel said he couldn’t care less about the numerous NL playoff scenarios entering tomorrow.

“Somebody’s going down,” he said. “There’s three teams in there. Somebody’s going down, man.”

This much is true, but who falls and when might not be decided until Tuesday. That is because the Phillies beat the Braves today, 7-0, and the Padres beat the Giants, 4-2. The Padres pulled into a first-place tie with the Braves in the Wild Card race. They also pulled within a game of the Giants for the NL West lead with one game to play.

It looked like a near certainty the Phillies would play the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Division Series, beginning Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, but not anymore. Here are the scenarios:

  • Phillies and Giants win Sunday. The Giants win the NL West. The Padres and Braves tie for the Wild Card and have a one-game playoff Monday at Turner Field. If the Padres win, they play the Phillies in the NLDS. If the Braves win, the Reds play the Phillies in the NLDS.
  • Phillies and Padres win. The Braves are eliminated. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record. The Padres would be NL West champions because they won the season series against the Giants. The Giants would be Wild Card champions and play the Phillies in the NLDS.
  • Braves and Giants win. The Padres are eliminated. The Giants win the NL West. The Braves win the Wild Card. The Phillies play the Reds in the NLDS.
  • Braves and Padres win. The Padres and Giants finish with the same record and play a one-game playoff Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. The winner is NL West champion. The loser flies to Atlanta for a one-game playoff Tuesday. The winner is Wild Card champion. In that scenario, if the Giants or Padres beat Atlanta on Tuesday, they would play four games in four days in four cities: Sunday in San Francisco, Monday in San Diego, Tuesday in Atlanta and Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Got it?

“If I could pick it I might care, but at the same time I can’t pick it so there’s sense in me hashing it out and worrying about it,” Manuel said.

Cole Hamels will start tomorrow, but he will only pitch two innings. Roy Oswalt is expected to pitch an inning in relief. Brad Lidge also could pitch an inning.

“We knew they were going to fill the stands, and it was important for them,” Chad Durbin said. “We know from doing anything competitive, if it’s important to the other guy, it’s important to you. We have a team full of guys like that. We’re going to compete until the last out. That goes for game 162, no matter what the scenario.”


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Phillies Looking to Japan?

The Phillies have not signed any Japanese pitchers, contrary to reports.

Japan’s Daily Sports Online first reported the Phillies had signed Shigetoshi Yamakita and Naoyo Okamoto to Minor League contracts. But the Phillies said there have been no signings or agreements with any Japanese players. Could something happen in the next couple weeks? A source said he is unaware of any discussions about any Japanese players.


Chad Durbin hails from Louisiana and is throwing a big Super Bowl bash, which is even bigger because he also is celebrating his wife’s 30th birthday.

“This game is a big deal down here and the people down here do know how to throw a party,” he said.


Scott Eyre will have an audition on Sirius/XM Radio’s Home Plate channel on Monday night with Joe Castellano. FP Santangelo and Steve Trachsel also tried out recently. I know Eyre has said broadcasting interests him, so it wouldn’t surprise me to hear him on the radio or see him on TV (Comcast SportsNet?) in the future.


I’ve got to think the Colts will beat the Saints today. I say that because I do not look forward to the countless shots of Archie Manning and Eli Manning in the stands, and I just know if the Colts are winning they’ll be showing them a lot.


A week from tomorrow and I’ll be in Clearwater. I will miss the snow.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available for preorder online everywhere books are sold.