Results tagged ‘ Delmon Young ’

It’s Delmon Time

Delmon YoungThe Phillies announced today they have activated Delmon Young from the 15-day disabled list. Ezequiel Carrera has been designated for assignment to make room for him on the 25-man roster.

Everybody finally gets a chance to see if Young can play right field or not. (Tonight’s lineup hasn’t been posted. Being the game is in Cleveland he certainly could DH.) Remember, the Phillies said Young would not join the team unless he could play there competently. I don’t know how much I believed that, unless he could barely stand out there. The Phillies need more production offensively from their outfielders, so I think they’re prepared to sacrifice defense for what they hope is a boost offensively. Phillies outfielders enter tonight’s game against the Indians with a combined .602 OPS, which is the second-worst mark in baseball. Only the Marlins (.597) are worse. Basically, if the Phillies infielders aren’t getting hits, nobody is.

If Young hits like he hit with the Twins in 2010 (.826 OPS) his offense could outweigh the potential negatives defensively. If he hits like he hit last year (.707 OPS) in Detroit, you wonder how much will be gained? He had 74 RBIs last season, but ranked 20th in baseball with 415 runners on base during his plate appearances. In other words, he had a ton of opportunities to knock in runs. But his runners batted in percentage (13.5 percent) ranked 98th, meaning he did not take advantage of those opportunities.

Stay tuned for the lineup …

Young Progressing, But Timetable Remains Unclear

Delmon YoungThe Phillies said last month they hoped to see Delmon Young play in a Spring Training game before they headed north to Philadelphia on March 28.

That is not going to happen, but Young continues to progress from microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November. He worked out in the outfield for the first time today. He also ran the bases with the athletic training staff monitoring him.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Young could face live pitching in a simulated game sometime in the next week.

“I’m just going day by day,” Young said before his workout. “If I feel good then we’ll keep going along. If I don’t then we’ll back off. I really don’t know yet. But I feel good. I’m happy with the progress. You want everything to happen right away, but you know it’s going to take time to build back up.”

Amaro said there remains a chance Young will rejoin the Phillies before May 1, but he wouldn’t say if his timetable has been pushed back or not.

Delmon Young to Step Up Rehab

Delmon YoungDelmon Young took the redeye from Los Angeles to Tampa last night, and showed up in the Phillies clubhouse early this morning at Bright House Field. He came straight from the airport to the clubhouse after sleeping on the plane.

He took batting practice with his teammates a short time later.

“That was the first time I had someone throwing to me since the last World Series game,” he said.

That must have been nice, right?

“It’s batting practice,” he said. “I really don’t care too much to hit on the field.”

But Young got good news in Los Angeles, where the doctor that performed the microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November told him that he can progress his rehab. That includes full-weight bearing on the treadmill, participating in batting practice and standing in the right field to get acclimated to fly balls. That does not include shagging or making lateral movements, although that could come in the next week or so.

He didn’t get the fuss as he answered a few questions about his rehab and trip to L.A. in front of his locker today.

“You guys trying to write a soap opera here or something?” he said.

(more…)

The Outfield Battle

John Mayberry Jr., Domonic BrownThe Phillies play their seventh Grapefruit League game today against the Yankees in Tampa.

Roy Halladay pitches for the Phillies. They were encouraged with what they saw from him in Sunday’s start against Detroit, but it was just one start in February. You can’t draw any conclusions from anything you’ve seen so far in camp. Of course, the players that are playing well say it’s great to get results and those results mean something to them. The players that aren’t getting results? Well, they’re just getting their work in.

I took a look yesterday at the outfielders competing for jobs and playing time. Domonic Brown clearly has taken a step forward, but there is time for the others to state their case. Interestingly, Charlie Manuel pulled John Mayberry Jr. to the side during batting practice before their 10-5 victory over Atlanta and had an animated conversation with him about just that. Delmon Young also talked about his trip to the doctor in Tuesday in LA. He’s optimistic he will get good news, which will allow him to step up his rehab.

Read about the details here.

Brown Making His Case Early

Domonic Brown assessed the first 492 plate appearances of his Phillies career this way today at Bright House Field:

“That stuff I’ve been doing in the big leagues — that’s not acceptable in my eyes.”

That stuff he has been doing in the team’s first four Grapefruit League games? That could earn him a starting job in the Phillies outfield. He crushed a solo home run over the batter’s eye in center field in the seventh inning in today’s 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field. Brown is hitting .429 (3-for-7) with two home runs, two RBIs and one strikeout this spring.

Brown said he has added 10 pounds of muscle, which might be why he is showing a little more power at the plate.

“Eating better,” he said. “I’m getting better checks so I can eat better. It feels good to be healthy again. … Lot of core and legs this winter because of the knee injury. I think I’m stronger down there and that might be why I have a pretty good base.”

Brown is going to get every opportunity to win a job this spring, especially with Delmon Young expected to open the season on the disabled list. He has taken advantage of the opportunity to this point.

“What you see is what he can do,” Charlie Manuel said. “His swing is more fluid and compact. It’s more explosive.”

And Manuel thinks if Brown can just find that consistency he has lacked in the big leagues, he could fulfill the potential that made him an untradeable prospect in the past.

He thinks he could become a game changer in the Phillies lineup.

“He’s that kind of guy,” he said. “Yeah, he is. Without a doubt. When you see him hit balls like that in the last three or four days. He’s swung the bat good. When I see him rip balls to right field, balls inside, it shows he’s strong. He’s got quick hands. He’s getting through the ball.”

Said Brown: “I’m just keeping it simple. Just going up there and making sure my approach is good. I’m seeing the ball well and trying to swing at strikes. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed approach, just fine tuning. That’s it. … I making sure I’m going out there and working hard and not putting pressure on myself and having fun and doing it because I want to do it like Chuck always says. I’m out there because I want to do it, not because they’re forcing me to do it.”

Delmon Young Likely to Miss Time

ALCS Yankees Tigers BaseballThe Phillies said a few times Delmon Young could open the season on the disabled list following microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November. Ruben Amaro Jr. reiterated that point earlier this month, when he said Young will be the only player in camp behind schedule and might not play in a Grapefruit League game until mid-March.

Charlie Manuel affirmed that likelihood again today.

“From where the doctors and the trainers have him at, I think there’s a chance he’ll miss some time,” he said.

Young didn’t dispute that.

“The ankle is feeling good but I’m not a doctor,” he said. “So when the doctor tells me when everything will be ready, I’ll be out there. I’m not going to put any date on it. I’ll be out there at that time when it’s fully healed and I build up baseball stamina and I can be out there for nine innings.”

So he’s likely to miss the beginning of the season then?

“I just told him, I have no clue,” he said. “So that answered your question.”

The Phillies signed Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract that can reach $3.5 million based on incentives and performance bonuses. He receives $250,000 the first day he spends on the active 25-man roster. He also receives conditioning bonuses. Young will be weighed six times this season. Each time he makes weight, he makes $100,000. The first three times he must weigh 230 pounds or fewer. The second three times he must weigh 235 pounds or fewer.

Young would not say how much he weighs with the Phillies holding their first full-squad workout tomorrow.

“I don’t really go on the scale that much,” he said. “I just see what clothes fit and see when I can go on the beach.”

Has he been to the beach yet?

“It’s too cold right now,” he said.

Young likely will not be participating in much of tomorrow’s workout. He can basically taking batting practice and play catch, but that’s about it.

“I’m on my own program until I’m fully able to go out there,” he said. “I have other things to get done. The timing of it all will conflict with me being on the field. … You want to be out there but you also don’t want to set yourself back a month or two by trying to go out too early.”

Young doesn’t think missing much time should affect him too much.

“I don’t know,” he said, asked if he hopes to play in a Grapefruit League game. “It really doesn’t matter. I’ve seen Joe Mauer miss a whole spring training and a month of the season and win MVP and go to the playoffs. As long as you’re healthy when you come back, you just go out and play well.”

Contract Details for Young, Durbin, Betancourt and More

Here are some recent contract details for those interested. It’s interesting to look at Delmon Young‘s deal, plus incentives and opt-out clauses for players like Yuniesky Betancourt, Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz:

  • Delmon Young. $750,000. Plus: $150,000 for 250 plate appearances; $150,000 for 300 plate appearances; $150,000 for 350 plate appearances; $150,000 for 400 plate appearances; $200,000 for 450 plate appearances; $200,000 for 500 plate appearances; $250,000 for 550 plate appearances; $250,000 for 600 plate appearances. Plus: $50,000 for All-Star ($25,000 selection); $100,000 for MVP; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $50,000 for Silver Slugger. Plus (for each on active Major League roster): $250,000 for 1 day; $100,000 for 40 days; $100,000 for 80 days; $100,000 for 120 days; $100,000 for 160 days. Plus: $100,000 each for six conditioning thresholds.
  • Chad Durbin. $850,000. Deal includes a $1.5 million club option for 2014 or a $250,000 buyout. Plus: $50,000 for 55 games pitched; $50,000 for 60 games pitched; $50,000 for 65 games pitched; $50,000 for 70 games pitched; $50,000 for 70 innings pitched; $50,000 for 75 innings pitched; $50,000 for 80 innings pitched. Plus: $50,000 for-All Star; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd); $25,000 for Gold Glove.
  • Antonio Bastardo. $1.4 million. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).
  • Yuniesky Betancourt. Minor League contract for $18,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $150,000. $900,000 in Majors. Plus: $25,000 for 50 games; $25,000 for 60 games; $25,000 for 70 games; $25,000 for 80 games; $50,000 for 90 games; $50,000 for 100 games; $50,000 for 110 games; $50,000 for 120 games; $100,000 for 130 games; $100,00 for 140 games. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for MVP; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove. If not on the Major League roster on March 24, player will be released if requested. Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Aaron Cook. Minor League contract for $18,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $150,000. $1.625 million in Majors. Plus: $325,000 for 10 games started; $325,000 for 15 games started; $400,000 for 20 games started; $475,000 for 25 games started; $475,000 for 30 games started. Plus: $50,000 for All-Star; $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $100,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($75,000-2nd; $50,000-3rd). Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Juan Cruz. Minor League contract for $18,500 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $180,000. $1 million in Majors. Plus (for each as pitcher): $50,000 for 40 games; $50,000 for 45 games; $75,000 for 50 games; $75,000 for 55 games; $100,000 for 60 games; $100,000 for 65 games. Plus: $25,000 for All-Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Rolaids or Cy Young ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd). If not on 25-man roster on June 1, player will be released for spot on another club’s roster. Major League invitation to Spring Training.
  • Zach Collier. $39,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Tyson Gillies. $79,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Erik Kratz. $208,967. $496,000 in Majors.
  • Darin Ruf. $79,900. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Joe Savery. $168,133. $490,000 in Majors.
  • Matt Tolbert. Minor League contract for $15,000 per month. Agreement for Major League contract for $90,000. $575,000 in Majors.

First full-squad workout is a week from today.

Could Adams Suffer Carpenter’s Fate?

Mike AdamsPhillies fans probably heard the Cardinals announce this week that Chris Carpenter might never pitch again.

Carpenter, 37, had surgery in July to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which involved removing a rib to alleviate pressure on a nerve near his right shoulder. He returned to pitch in September and told reporters last month, “I haven’t had any issues with my throwing or anything this year. I feel good. My shoulder feels good.”

But he suffered a season-ending setback last week, which included the return of numbness and discomfort in the right shoulder and neck area, bruising and discoloration in his right hand.

Those problems are relevant in Philadelphia because Phillies setup man Mike Adams, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract in December, had the same surgery in October.

“We’ve talked to him. He said he’s doing great,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said today about Adams. “We’ll find out more when he arrives in Clearwater, and I think he’ll be arriving there fairly soon. He’s been throwing off the mound and he hasn’t had any issues. We’ll see how far along he is, whether he’s going to be behind in Spring Training or not. We don’t think so. But we’ll find out once he gets to Clearwater. Right now we don’t have any concerns, but we obviously want to make sure that he’s all right and progressing properly.”

It goes without saying the Phillies need Adams healthy. The eighth inning proved to be a mess last season with the Phillies blowing 13 leads.

But while Amaro acknowledged that signing Adams carried risks, he said this week’s news regarding Carpenter did not make him more concerned.

“Everybody’s situation is a little different,” he said. “All the information we got from our doctor and looking at the medical reports and such we felt … as always there’s a risk when guys are coming off a surgery like this, but we felt like it was a good risk.”

As of today, Amaro said outfielder Delmon Young will be the only player in camp definitely behind schedule, although that could change by the time pitchers and catchers have their first official workout Wednesday. Young is recovering from microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November.

“He won’t be able to get into real activities probably for a few weeks after we open up, at least,” Amaro said. “He might not be able to play in games competitively until the middle of March. We don’t know that, but we’ll see how he progresses once we see him.”

Amaro said right-hander Mike Stutes, who had shoulder surgery in June, should be “100 percent, we believe. He shouldn’t be any issue at all. He’s been throwing bullpens for a while.” Left-hander Raul Valdes had right knee surgery in September. Amaro also said he doing well.

“He’ll be close to 100 percent,” he said.

Both pitchers will be competing for bullpen jobs.

Why Not Wait and See?

Roy HalladayDuring our meet-and-greet Tuesday with Chad Durbin, a reporter asked him what it’s like entering the season with the Nationals and Braves considered the top two teams in the National League East.

“That’s the sentiment right now, but that can change in a month as soon as the games are played,” Durbin replied.

Wait for some games to be played. That sounds pretty reasonable. But why be reasonable when it’s more fun to speak in absolutes?

On paper I can’t argue the Phillies are the third-best team in the division. The Nationals won 98 games last season. The Braves won 94. The Phillies won just 81. And while I know the Phillies have been telling everybody they played .600 baseball from July 31 through the end of the regular season, those two teams are in a better position to win (especially the Nationals) while the Phillies have a ton of questions entering camp in a couple weeks:

  • Can Roy Halladay bounce back?
  • Can Chase Utley stay healthy and produce like a true No. 3 hitter?
  • Can Ryan Howard hit left-handed pitching and produce like a $20 million cleanup hitter?
  • Can Carlos Ruiz replicate his offensive numbers without the benefits of PEDs?
  • Can Michael Young return to form and play third base regularly?
  • Can Delmon Young play right field?
  • Who in the world is going to play left field?

Those seven questions constitute six of the team’s eight positions in the field, plus its ace. Oof. That’s ugly. And based on e-mails and tweets this offseason, most of you agree. There are a lot of angry, upset, depressed and pessimistic Phillies fans. But relax for a moment. Follow Durbin’s lead and give them until June 1. That’s just two months of baseball. I really don’t see any need to get bent out of shape on Jan. 31. What’s the point? A colleague recalled earlier this week how experts gushed over the Marlins and Angels last winter, annointing them the clear-cut winners of the offseason. Both teams missed the postseason — the Marlins in spectacular fashion — while nearly nobody had the Nationals coming together so quickly, the A’s winning the AL West or the Orioles winning an AL Wild Card.

Another colleague posed an interesting question last week: Do the Braves’ additions of the Upton brothers and Chris Johnson make up for the losses of Chipper Jones, Martin Prado and Michael Bourn? The Braves might lead baseball in five-tool outfielders, but are they so much improved they’re completely uncatchable?

The Phillies need quite a few things to go right this season if they expect to win the division. The odds of that happening are not good. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to see them make the postseason. Their chances might not be as strong as the past few years, but this team is not doomed before camp opens. But that school of thought is not popular. It’s much better to declare clear-cut winners and losers and speak in grand absolutes. Delmong Young? Disaster waiting to happen. Michael Young? He won’t be able to play third base effectively every day. Utley? Can’t stay healthy. Halladay? Too many innings on that right arm.

Those things might end up being completely true. The Phillies might flat-out stink. They were on pace to lose 91 games on July 29. And with a few injuries and their worst fears coming true at a couple other positions, this team could lose 90 games this year. But is it more likely they lose 90 or win 88 and win the second Wild Card? I’d say 88, but I’m going to wait and see. I’m heading to Clearwater in a couple weeks. I’m going to grab some breakfast at Lenny’s, enjoy the sun and watch everything unfold.

It’s not the worst idea in the world. It’s much less stressful, too.

So What’s Manuel’s Lineup?

rollins 0517So, if everybody is healthy, what do you think Charlie Manuel‘s Opening Day lineup will be?

That’s a big if, obviously. Chase Utley hasn’t played in a single Grapefruit League game since 2010 and Delmon Young could miss the first couple weeks of the season because of an injured ankle. But if everybody is healthy, what will it be?

Here’s my best guess:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Young, RF
  6. Domonic Brown/Darin Ruf/John Mayberry Jr., LF
  7. Erik Kratz, C
  8. Ben Revere, CF

Here is what Manuel said about Delmon Young hitting fifth, providing that right-handed power like Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth in the past:

“Yeah, he can hit fifth,” he said. “He definitely can hit fifth. I think once we get to Spring Training and put him in and let him play, I think hitting is definitely his strong point. I think he’s a good hitter.”

Where is Revere hitting?

“He can hit in the top of the lineup to somewhere down toward the bottom. It kind of depends on how he looks. I have seen the guy hit three times. I don’t go on somebody telling me where he can hit. I go on what I see, once I see him.”

If Delmong Young hits five, can Michael Young hit second?

“Yeah. First of all, we can do a lot of things. But also, too, as I explained, if we are going to give people time off and things like that, then we will have different lineups. We are going to have completely different lineups sometimes.”

Note: Scream so hard your face turns red, but I don’t see Rollins moving out of the leadoff spot. That could change once the season starts or if Manuel falls in love with Revere, but Manuel likes Rollins at the top of the lineup.

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