Results tagged ‘ Eric Bruntlett ’

Myers Off NLCS Roster, Park On


myers closer.jpgBrett Myers
said tonight that the Phillies have told him he is not on the NLCS roster.

“I’m (ticked),” he said.

Chan Ho Park will take his place, a team source said. Park has not pitched since Sept. 16 because of a strained right hamstring, but Park said he feels healthy. Myers said he had a feeling he would not be on the NLCS roster once the Phillies did not pitch him in Games 3 or 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Myers said he had nothing else to say, but the normally boisterous right-hander sounded hurt by the decision.

The Phillies also have decided to carry 11 pitchers in the NLCS, instead of the 12 they had in the NLDS.

Eric Bruntlett will be on the roster. He replaces Kyle Kendrick.

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The source also said Martinez will be starting Game 2 on Friday.

Pedro vs. Padilla!

Huzzah!

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Bruntlett Turns Three

bruntlett 0823.jpgEric Brunlett‘s unassisted triple play today at Citi Field might have been one of the most incredible things I’ve seen in baseball.

It is just the 14th unassisted triple play in baseball history. It is only the second unassisted triple play to end the game. The first came May 31, 1927, when Tigers first baseman John Neun turned one against the Cleveland Indians.

“It’s hard to know how to react to it,” Bruntlett siad. “I was almost laughing. That doesn’t happen. What do you do there? Game is over. High fives.”

It was the Phillies’ first triple play since Sept. 12, 2007, against Colorado. It was the first unassisted triple play since Mickey Morandini turned one Sept. 20, 1992 against the Pirates.

“It’s crazy (stuff),” Jeff Francoeur said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

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Making More Moves?

amaro 01.jpgThe national pundits have spoken: the Phillies were winners at the trade deadline.

But a few teams were. The Cardinals reshaped their offense with Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa and Julio Lugo. The Tigers got Jarrod Washburn. The Red Sox got Victor Martinez. The Pirates … ah, nevermind. But the Phillies bolstered their rotation with Cliff Lee, who won the 2008 American League Cy Young Award. They also added a much-needed right-handed bat to their bench with Ben Francisco.

“We’re pretty happy with how it went,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

But not completely satisfied, either. The Phillies still have room to improve, and Amaro said they were close to another trade before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. Amaro wouldn’t say what it was, but a good guess is another bench player like Francisco because the Phillies seem to have a plethora of arms in the rotation and bullpen.

The Phillies can continue to try to make trades through Aug. 31 and still have those players eligible for postseason play. But players traded from the 40-man roster through the end of the season must clear waivers first.

The Phillies have had success in recent seasons in making waiver trades. There was Matt Stairs and Scott Eyre in 2008, and Jamie Moyer, Jeff Conine and Jose Hernandez in 2006.

“It’s possible,” Amaro said of a waiver trade. “But you never know which guys will get through the waiver process. But we’ll certainly keep an eye on the waiver wire and see if there are ways to improve. Our needs might change as we go through the next month.”

Looking on the bench, Francisco and Stairs solidify the outfield, Greg Dobbs is one of the team’s most potent pinch-hitters and the Phillies like Paul Bako as Carlos Ruiz‘s backup, although Bako has been playing more lately.

Eric Bruntlett has struggled. He is hitting .123 (10-for-81) with six RBIs in 55 games this season.

“Unfortunately for Brunt and fortunately for us, everybody has stayed healthy in the infield,” Amaro said. “He’s not serving the same role as he was last year when he was being used in the outfield for Pat [Burrell]. Basically, he hasn’t had a chance to be on the field as much, so it’s been very difficult to get into any type of offensive rhythm. But he still has a lot of versatility, which is probably his strong suit. He hasn’t produced offensively, and I’m sure he’ll be the first to admit that. But right now there’s nobody who can do that job in our system.”

Triple-A Lehigh Valley infielder Miguel Cairo is hitting .296 (69-for-233) with four homers and 26 RBIs, but the Phillies don’t feel he can play shortstop as well as Bruntlett.

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Joe Blanton is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA (six earned runs in 36 2/3 innings) in his previous five starts, and 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA (21 earned runs in 81 innings) in 12 starts since May 21. … The Phillies are hitting .103 (6-for-58) on this road trip with runners in scoring position.

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Lee Era Begins, Deadline Approaches

lee 04.jpgThe Cliff Lee Era begins tonight in San Francisco, a little more than six hours after the trade deadline passes.

Lee is looking forward to pitching on a team with a good lineup.

He went 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts this season with the Indians, but the record is deceiving. Lee had the eighth-worst run support of any pitcher in the American League.

That shouldn’t be a problem with the Phillies, who have the best offense in the National League.

“They had five All-Stars this year — all the outfielders and basically all the infielders,” said Lee, name-checking Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard.

“Those guys can swing it. A good offense can do nothing but benefit a pitcher. But you can’t take that for granted. I’m sure there are going to be games where they score five or six runs in the first inning and give me a nice cushion, but either way I’m still trying to put up a zero.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. said he is “pretty pleased” with the team he has on the field at the moment, which means they are not going to surprise anybody with any more blockbuster trades. But the potential to tinker remains. “I can’t say nothing is going to happen,” he said. If the Phillies would make a move before the deadline, I imagine it might be to bolster the bench. Eric Bruntlett is hitting .123 (10-for-81) with six RBIs. If they could find a utility player they might go for that. I would have said the Phillies could tinker with the bullpen, but they seem to have plenty of arms at the moment. They have J.C. Romero, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey and Brett Myers on the DL. They have Pedro Martinez making a rehab start tonight and they have to figure out what to do with Rodrigo Lopez.

“Things can happen after the deadline,” Amaro said, referring to the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

True enough. The Phillies got Matt Stairs and others in recent seasons after July 31.

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Rollins Hits Sixth

Jimmy Rollins is back in the Phillies lineup tonight, but he is not hitting leadoff.

Charlie Manuel is having Rollins hit sixth, and it sounds like it could be for more than just tonight’s series finale against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Manuel thinks Rollins, who has just two hits in his last 23 at-bats, needs a different look. Fifty-four games into the season, Rollins is hitting just .217 with a .257 on-base percentage.

Rollins did not start yesterday, the third time this season Manuel has rested Rollins to try to get him going. Tonight is the fourth time this season Rollins has not hit leadoff. (He hit fifth the previous three times.)

While Rollins has hit .217 overall, he has hit .213 in 48 games in the leadoff spot, which ranks 39th out of 41 hitters who qualify for the statistic. His .249 on-base percentage is worst amongst those 41 leadoff hitters. His .294 slugging percentage is tied for 37th with Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell.

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Matt Stairs is attending his daughter’s high school graduation today, which means the Phillies have just three bench players available: Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett and Chris Coste.

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Bruntlett's Beard

bruntlett.jpgThe fine folks at The 700 Level found a picture of Eric Bruntlett holding up a bass while fishing a couple weeks ago at Clear Lake in California.

Bruntlett was tagging along with the folks at TackleTour.com. A guy he knows, knows the guys who run that Web site.

What interested me about this wasn’t necessarily that Bruntlett is a fisherman. Many ballplayers spend their offseasons hunting, fishing, etc. What interested me is that many fans seemed to be enamored with Bruntlett’s beard.

Comments at The 700 Level included:

“Best. Beard. Ever.”

“That beard is made of pure awesome.”

“He looks like Yukon Cornelius.”

“He has a long career after baseball as a deck hand on one of the Deadliest Catch boats.”

So it was with some disappointment when Bruntlett arrived in camp this week with his beard noticeably shorter than in the picture.

So, what happened to the beard, Eric?

“It was nasty,” he said. “You saw the pictures. It was curly. It was a little scary. It was too much. I don’t want to scare people here. They probably wouldn’t have let me in the place.”

Burrell Makes Some Adjustments

Pat Burrell is in Tampa Bay Rays camp, and the former Phillies leftfielder talked about the adjustments he is facing.

One of those adjustments is being a DH.

“I haven’t done a whole lot of it,” Burrell said. “I’m trying to talk to as many guys as I can about that, trying to get the right mind-set. The whole deal is getting comfortable. Spring Training is a good time for that. And I haven’t spoken to [Rays manager] Joe [Maddon] too much about it. But it looks like that’s what I’m going to be doing most of my time. It’s something I’ve got to work on and get comfortable with.”

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The Phillies completed their first full squad workout today. Charlie Manuel said Chase Utley has moved past Pedro Feliz in terms of being ready for Opening Day. Utley is taking fielding practice and taking swings off the practice tee. Feliz is doing neither, but could be throwing in a few days.

The uncertainty surrounding Utley and Feliz means camp should be especially interesting for Eric Bruntlett, Jason Donald, Marcus Giles and Miguel Cairo. Only Bruntlett is guaranteed a spot on the team, but the other three could be needed to fill the void if Utley and/or Feliz aren’t ready to start the season.

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Manuel won’t be at tomorrow’s workout. He’s flying to Colorado to attend the funeral of Giants scout Ted Uhlaender. They played together in the Minnesota Twins organization.

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Mike Schmidt is in camp, and will meet with reporters tomorrow morning.

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The Phillies are being fitting for tuxedo’s tomorrow for a photo shoot Friday with the World Series trophy. The photo will appear in Phillies magazine.

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Here’s an entertaining exchange between Larry Bowa and Brad Penny.

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