Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

Sources: Multiple Offers for Utley

Chase UtleyTrade talks for Phillies second baseman Chase Utley are hotter than ever.

Sources told MLB.com tonight that several teams have made offers for Utley, although no deal is imminent.

The Giants are just one of those teams. San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans confirmed to MLB.com that his team has made an offer for Utley. The Cubs, Dodgers, Angels and Yankees also have pursued him.

One source made one thing clear Thursday: everything is in Utley’s hands. He has 10-and-5 no-trade rights, so he can be traded only if he wants to be traded. If he prefers a team, he can steer the Phillies toward that team. If he does not like what he sees or hears, he can say no.

ESPN.com reported earlier Thursday that Utley wants a playing time guarantee before he goes anywhere. He does not want to ride the bench because he plans to play next season. That makes the Giants’ situation interesting. Utley spends his offseasons in the San Francisco area and the Giants certainly are World Series contenders. But while Giants second baseman Joe Panik is on the disabled list with lower back inflammation, he would expect to play once he is healthy.

It is a small sample size, but in five games since returning from the DL with a sprained right ankle, Utley is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. He is hitting .196 with a .564 in 70 games overall, which makes the compensation for Utley an interesting point of discussion. Teams believe Utley can help them, but based on Utley’s performance in the first half they seem unlikely to give up a top prospect for him.

But those who know his thinking say Utley still believes he can play at a high level, and the poor numbers before the All-Star break were the results of his ankle injury and a mechanical flaw in his swing.

Utley has a $15 million club option for 2016 that no longer will vest automatically based on plate appearances. His club option would then drop to $11 million, but the Phillies would be expected to take the $2 million buyout instead. That would make Utley a free agent, and the Phillies are unlikely to resign him because they plan to make Cesar Hernandez their second baseman in 2016.

Utley could be going over his options at this moment. If not, it seems only a matter of time before he does. While nothing seems likely to happen before the end of the night, these things can move quickly.

Asked Sunday in San Diego if he expected to be with the Phillies by the end of the season, Utley said, “Who knows?”

That question could be asked a bit differently at this point: Does he expect to be with the team by next week?

Rollins: Stolen Base Shouldn’t Have Upset Giants

Jimmy Rollins stole second base with a six-run lead in the top of the sixth inning last night at AT&T Park.

Could that have fueled Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez to drill Shane Victorino in the back with a first-pitch fastball, instigating a bench clearing brawl?

“I wouldn’t have done it,” Carlos Beltran said.

Rollins offered his take this morning.

“Two things,” he said. “Either Charlie (Manuel) stops me or they don’t hold me on. When you’re holding the guy on you’re still playing the game. You’re not conceding. If you concede the running part of the game, then I’ll concede the running part of the game. If you’re holding me on you’re saying, ‘We’re still playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.’

“You’ve got 12 outs (remaining). In the seventh inning obviously I’m not going to run. But in the sixth inning? When we don’t want guys to run our bench coach (Pete Mackanin) tells Ryan (Howard) to back up, play behind him or whatever. OK, the running game is off. The running game usually stops after the sixth or if it’s just way out of hand early. Like if it’s 7-0 in the second or third inning you don’t run. I understand the gentleman’s code, but if you’ve got 12 outs to work with? I’ve got the green light. It’s on until they take it off or you take it off.”

*

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter. Pick up a copy of my book.

Fight Night

What did you miss if you fell asleep last night?

Well, there’s this.

Then there are the postgame quotes:

Shane Victorino, on the pitch from Ramon Ramirez being intentional: “Yeah, absolutely. I think he did. That’s why I took a step forward. I had no intentions of going out there and charging the mound. I just wanted to know why in that situation … he was around the plate all night and throughout that inning … obviously with two outs and I get up to the plate and the first pitch is at my back. I just wanted to go out there and get an answer. I had no intentions of charging the mound. I did step forward. Obviously, Eli (Whiteside), I guess from looking at his reaction, thought I was going to go and he started jumping around. Obviously, (Placido) Polanco came in and he tackled Polanco. I think everything escalated from there.”

Polanco, on Victorino’s comment he got tackled: “He didn’t tackle me.”

Victorino, on why he jumped back into the scrum: “I just felt like Carlos (Ruiz) was in a position like I needed to go in and help him get away from everything.”

Charlie Manuel, on Ramirez: “He hit Vic and then came off the mound at him. Vic almost has to go, unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken. That’s the way baseball works. I’ve been playing for almost 50 years. He pretty much called him out.”

*

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter. Pick up a copy of my book.

Their Nemesis

So a quick recap before we talk about this week’s series in San Francisco:

– The Phillies had the best record in baseball last season, but the Giants beat them in six games in the NLCS. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and the rest of the Giants pitchers held the Phillies to a .216 average and 20 runs.
– The Phillies have the best record in baseball this season and have won 11 of their last 12 series. The only series they lost since losing two of three to Seattle in mid-June? The Giants last week at Citizens Bank Park.

That makes this four-game series at AT&T Park especially intriguing.

“They’re not in our heads,” Charlie Manuel said last week. “I don’t think so. Really, I don’t think so at all.”

I can’t get inside the Phillies’ heads, but I’ve got to think losing to San Francisco this week would put the Giants in their heads before a potential October showdown. That’s why I think Manuel tried to downplay the greatness of Lincecum and Cain last week.

You remember those comments, right?

“You say they’re great pitchers,” Manuel said. “To me, I don’t know how great they are. I think as they move on into their careers, there’s the longevity part and things like that. I think that’s when the greatness might come by. This is a consistent game. When you say somebody is great … tonight I saw 90 fastball, 92 at the best. I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball. I saw a cutter. Good pitching, but at the same time we can beat that. I’ve seen us do that.”

I think Manuel was trying to pump up his players more than say Lincecum and Cain aren’t good. What’s he supposed to say?

Boy, those two are unhittable. Hope we don’t face them in the postseason because we’ve got no shot.

“I think we can get ‘em, if you want to know the truth,” Manuel said. “I know we can get ‘em. It’s just a matter of us putting it together and for us to play the right way.”

They have a chance to do that tonight.

*

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter. Pick up a copy of my book.

Manuel: Giants Aren’t In Our Heads

This series certainly had a familiar feel to it.

The Phillies managed just two runs and 10 hits in two losses to the Giants this week. It was the first time the Phillies lost back-to-back games since losing four-straight games May 31-June 4 to Washington and Pittsburgh. It was the first series they lost since June 17-19 in Seattle.

And it happened against the team that beat them in last year’s NLCS.

“I think we can get ‘em, if you want to know the truth,” Charlie Manuel said. “I know we can get ‘em. It’s just a matter of us putting it together and for us to play the right way. And that’s pitch, hit and play good defense. Yeah, I think we can get ‘em. They’ve been playing us tough. They’ve got a good team. They’ve got good pitching. So do we. It’s just a matter of us outplaying them. Basically, the last two nights they took it to us.”

Manuel might have been trying to pump up his hitters when a reporter asked him how the Phillies can turn around things against a couple great pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.

“You say they’re great pitchers,” Manuel said. “To me, I don’t know how great they are. I think as they move on into their careers, there’s the longevity part and things like that. I think that’s when the greatness might come by. This is a consistent game. When you say somebody is great … tonight I saw 90 fastball, 92 at the best. I saw a good changeup. I saw a breaking ball. I saw a cutter. Good pitching, but at the same time we can beat that. I’ve seen us do that.”

But they haven’t. And while it is just July, you just know Phillies fans watched these last two games and wondered what might happen if these teams meet again in the postseason. Because so far the Giants have found ways to win while the Phillies have not.

“They’re not in our heads,” Manuel said. “I don’t think so. Really, I don’t think so at all. It’s just the fact we’ve got to get after them.”

*

Paging Hunter Pence. You’ve got to think Ruben Amaro Jr. really wants a bat after watching his team struggle this week against the Giants, right?

*

Check out my Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter. Pick up a copy of my book.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 344 other followers