Results tagged ‘ Grady Sizemore ’

Sizemore Called Up

sizemoreThe Phillies dropped some serious hints that Grady Sizemore would join the Phillies before the All-Star break.

They made it official this evening when they announced they selected his contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They optioned right-hander David Buchanan to Triple-A to make room for him on the 25-man roster. They placed left-hander Cliff Lee on the 60-day disabled list to make room for him on the 40-man roster.

Both Buchanan and Lee are paperwork moves and nothing more.

The Phillies don’t need a fifth starter until July 22, so optioning Buchanan allows the Phillies to carry an extra bat into the break and through the first series after the break in Atlanta. It also allows Buchanan to keeping pitching. Lee, who has been on the DL since May 19 with a strained left elbow, can be activated as early as July 18.

Lee, who is making a third rehab start Monday with Class A Clearwater, is expected to pitch in Atlanta.

The Philies signed Sizemore because their outfield production has been among the worst in baseball this season. Their overall .679 OPS in the outfield ranked 23rd in baseball entering Thursday. Their .566 OPS in left field is last, and their .654 OPS in center field is 21st.

But it is unclear how much of a boost Sizemore can actually provide. He hit just .215 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 RBIs and a .612 OPS in 52 games before the Red Sox released him last month. He had been one of the better outfielders in baseball with the Indians from 2004-09 before seven surgeries for a variety of injuries limited to 104 games 2010-11 and kept him out of baseball in 2012-13.

Sizemore He hit .289 with one double, one home run, two RBIs and a .738 OPS in 50 plate appearances over 10 games with the IronPigs.

Amaro: Changes Are Coming

Ruben Amaro, Jr.Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that changes are coming for the Phillies’ offense.

It could come in the form of trades before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, injured players finally getting healthy or Minor Leaguers finally getting a shot.

“It’s disappointing, particularly the offense,” Amaro said about the Phillies’ performance. “What more can you say other than we’re not swinging the bats very well? I didn’t anticipate our guys being this poor. Because they are. They are this poor. We think that they’re better. But they haven’t shown it. So at some point we’re going to have to make some changes. Some guys, once they are ready to play, may be factors for us.”

The Phillies hit just .206 and averaged just 2.56 runs a game over their recent 3-13 slide. They hit .148 with runners in scoring position in that stretch. For the season, the Phillies are 26th in baseball in runs per game (3.75) and 29th in OPS (.661), despite having a franchise-record $180 million payroll and nearly every high-paid hitter healthy.

Possible changes include Triple-A outfielders Darin Ruf and Grady Sizemore and infielders Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis.

“Whoever else in the organization may be factors for us,” Amaro said. “We have to get them healthy and see if it behooves us to make any of those changes.”

Ruf is recovering from a knee and wrist injury, Sizemore can opt out of his contract over the All-Star break if he is not in the Phillies’ plans, Galvis is recovering from a broken collarbone and Franco is trying to get on track after struggling most of the season.

Franco, who was the organization’s top hitting prospect entering the season, is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and eight RBIs in the past nine games.

“He’s swinging the bat well,” Amaro said. “Hey, listen, I’m looking for people who can swing the bat. Because we’re not doing it here. If he gets to the point where he starts swinging the bat consistently, he’s a guy who could be in play too.”

But Franco plays third base and Phillies third baseman Cody Asche warrants a longer look. Could both be on the field at the same time?

“Yeah, because he could play first base, too,” Amaro said about Franco.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is hitting .230 with 14 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .701 OPS, which ranks 114th out of 165 qualifying hitters in baseball.

Amaro said there is still interest in his players, despite their poor play recently. He also said the front office has been active in pursuing improvements.

“Whether we’ll actually get it done or if there is something that can improve us, it depends on how our club is being evaluated,” Amaro said. “If we’re going to make changes, we make changes to get better. Everything we think about is thinking about how we can improve our club. Will we be better? That’s what you have to analyze.”

Sizemore Signed to Minor League Deal

sizemoreThe Phillies need some serious help in the outfield.

It is exactly why they signed Grady Sizemore today to a Minor League contract after the Red Sox released him last Wednesday. Sizemore will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday. Ruben Amaro Jr. said that Sizemore has an out clause in his contract. The Phillies will have to bring Sizemore to the big leagues sometime in July or he can ask for his release.

“Well, I’d like to have more production in the outfield,” Amaro said. “It’s pretty simple. If we think after watching him play in Lehigh Valley, if we think he’s going to help us, then we’ll bring him. Really, this is a no-risk, high-reward situation for us. ”

Sizemore hit just .215 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 RBIs and a .612 OPS in 52 games before the Red Sox released him. Sizemore had been one of the better outfielders in baseball with the Indians from 2004-09 before seven surgeries for a variety of injuries limited to 104 games 2010-11 and kept him out of baseball in 2012-13.

“More than anything else, when you take that much time off, it takes a long time — much longer than people think — to get your feet back on the ground,” Amaro said. “I know Boston gave him an opportunity to play. He had some level of success and then he did struggle at times. We’ll see what he has in the tank. We believe in the athlete. We’ll see what he has left.”

There is reason to roll the dice. Phillies leftfielders entered Tuesday 30th in baseball with a .578 OPS and Phillies centerfielders were 27th with a .612 OPS. Individually, Domonic Brown was 162nd out of 167 qualified players with a .596 OPS. Ben Revere was 157th with a .615 OPS.

Marlon Byrd‘s .778 OPS was 63rd. He was on pace for 25 home runs and 93 RBIs.

Amaro said he thinks Sizemore can still play center field, although he will get a look at every outfield spot.

The Phillies expressed interest in Sizemore in the offseason, but did not want to offer him a big-league contract.

“We were interested,” Amaro said. “It didn’t work out. But we’ll get an opportunity to see how he’s progressed. We’ll see what happens. There’s a chance we could get him back here in July at some point.”

Get Your Halladay Fix


halladay 02.jpgIt’s been a few minutes since the last Roy Halladay update, and if you’re like me, you’re probably getting the shakes from withdrawl. So here are a few tidbits to get your fix, you baseball junkie:

- Ruben Amaro Jr. said this afternoon he did not have a sense either way if the Phillies would make a trade – any trade – before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But we know most baseball insiders still consider the Phillies the favorites to get Halladay. And we know the Phillies remain hot after Halladay. Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick has been in Toronto recently, and Blue Jays scouts have been combing the Phillies’ farm system as they decide on the prospects the Phillies would need to include to acquire the former Cy Young winner.

- Here’s the kicker if the Phillies and Blue Jays pull the trigger at the last hour: Halladay won’t need to change hotel rooms. The Phillies play the Giants in San Francisco from July 30 – Aug. 2 and the Blue Jays play the Athletics in Oakland from July 31 – Aug. 2. Both teams are staying in the same hotel in San Francisco.

- Amaro said any reports about his prospects being untouchable (or tradeable) are purely speculative, including reports that the Phillies have told the Blue Jays that Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek would not be traded. Amaro wouldn’t say if they would trade Drabek or not. “There are some people we would not trade and there are some people we would, and it’s all subject to change,” Amaro said.

- Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he expects a package “similar or better” to packages the Orioles received in 2008 for Erik Bedard and the Indians received in 2002 for Bartolo Colon. The Orioles received All-Star outfielder Adam Jones, All-Star closer George Sherrill, top pitching prospect Chris Tillman and two others for Bedard. The Indians received Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore, second baseman Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Colon.

- There is some thought the Phillies, if they are unable to land a quality starter, will turn their attention to the bullpen. AOL Fanhouse reported this week the Phillies have scouted Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls. Sherrill could be available at the right price. Bullpen help makes sense. The Phillies just placed left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list, and closer Brad Lidge continues to struggle.

- The Phillies still hope to land a right-handed bat for their bench. They fell short in recent weeks in their pursuit of Mark DeRosa and Scott Hairston. “We have different pursuits,” Amaro said. “We’ll continue to pursue all of them. And we’ll decide by the 31st which is our biggest need. … We’re just trying to improve our club if we can. If it’s with pitching, it’s pitching. If it’s with a bat, it’s a bat. We’ll try to address all these issues. These are all issues that are easier said than done. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be done. They may be done internally, too. Are we trying to improve our club in those three areas? Yes, but how we line it up and prioritize it is something that we’ll keep to ourselves.”

- Asked which he would prefer: a starter or a reliever before the deadline, Charlie Manuel didn’t miss a beat: “I prefer the horse. The horse keeps you out of your bullpen.”

*

Pedro Martinez threw 60 pitches in a simulated game and felt fine. He is expected to begin a rehab assingment Sunday with Single-A Clearwater.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Halladay on the Move?

halladay.jpgHey, look, Roy Halladay is on the market.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Riccardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that Halladay is available.

“We have to see what’s out there,” Ricciardi said. “I’m not saying we’re going to shop him. But if something makes sense, we at least have to listen. We’re (leaning) more toward listening than we’ve ever been.”

The Phillies are interested in Halladay, and who wouldn’t be? But the price for him is going to be enormous. Rosenthal wrote that the Blue Jays would be looking for a deal like the one the Indians made for Bartolo Colon in 2002, when they got Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips. No question the Blue Jays would be looking for one or more of the Phillies top prospects: Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Jason Knapp — although the Phillies have made it known that those three are untouchable.

Michael Taylor? Jason Donald? Lou Marson? Carlos Carrasco? The Phillies are willing to trade them.

But what if the Phillies have a real shot to land Halladay? What if including Drabek is the difference between making a deal and not making a deal? I understand saying no for a pitcher like Erik Bedard or Brad Penny, but Halladay is a different animal. He not only is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he is signed through 2010 at $15.75 million.

So a trade market that looked remarkably weak just a few hours ago — the Phillies are taking a look today at Pedro Martinez — suddenly got a lot more interesting. And the Blue Jays hold the cards.

*

The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 298 other followers