Results tagged ‘ Hunter Pence ’

Hamels, Valdez Agree to Deals, Avoid Arbitration

The Phillies and Cole Hamels avoided salary arbitration today when they agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract, according to a source.

The Phillies also reached an agreement on a $930,000 contract with infielder Wilson Valdez, who was eligible for salary arbitration.

Hunter Pence remains the only Phillies player still eligible for salary arbitration, although an agreement can be reached up until the moment the team and player are supposed to meet with arbiters.

UPDATE. Incentives for Hamels and Valdez:

Hamels: $100,000 for MVP ($75,000 second, $50,000 third), $250,000 Cy Young ($150,000 second, $100,000 third), $100,000 World Series MVP, $50,000 League Championship Series MVP, $50,000 Gold Glove, $50,000 Silver Slugger, $50,000 All-Star.

Valdez: $25,000 Gold Glove, $25,000 Silver Slugger, $25,000 All-Star.

Phillies, Kendrick Avoid Arbitration

The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick have agreed to a one-year, $3.585 million contract.

Kendrick had been eligible for salary arbitration.

Kendrick, 27, went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 34 games (15 starts) last season. He proved to be a valuable piece to the pitching staff, moving back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation because of injuries to Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. in ERA and games.

The Phillies have three remaining arbitration-eligible players: Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence and Wilson Valdez.

UPDATED. Here are the bonuses in Kendrick’s deal: $25,000 for All-Star, $25,000 for LCS MVP, $50,000 for World Series MVP, $50,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids Relief Man (or $25,000 for second or $15,000 for third).

Phillies Get Good News on Howard

Ruben Amaro Jr. yesterday received encouraging news on some players that had offseason surgeries, most notably, Ryan Howard.

Howard had surgery in October to repair a ruptured left Achilles. Foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson examined Howard yesterday and cleared him to begin some strength and power exercises. Howard also will start jogging underwater, and is likely to begin baseball activities in six weeks. (He will start by fielding ground balls before progressing to hitting.)

That timetable places Howard’s baseball activities around the middle of February, which is the beginning of Spring Training.

Is there any chance Howard could be ready by Opening Day?

“I can’t even speculate,” Amaro told “All I know is that it’s nice to know that at some point in Spring Training that he’ll start doing some light baseball activities. I think it is good news.”

Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti examined right-hander Jose Contreras yesterday, and cleared him to begin a throwing program today. Contreras had surgery late last year to repair his right elbow.

“I don’t have any timetable on him,” Amaro said. “We’ll probably know more within the next month.”

But even with some uncertainty surrounding Contreras, Amaro said he is not looking to find another bullpen arm.

“If there’s somebody that falls in our lap, yeah,” Amaro said. “But it’s a good enough report (for Contreras) that we think he’s going to be ready. If not at Opening Day then hopefully close to it.”

Placido Polanco (sports hernia surgery) told Amaro recently he feels great and believes he will be ready to go 100 percent by Spring Training. Hunter Pence (sports hernia surgery) also is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Cole Hamels (surgery to remove loose bodies in left elbow) is throwing and feels fine.

“A very, very positive update as far as our walking wounded are concerned,” Amaro said.

Injury Updates on Howard, Pence, Polanco, Hamels

This is from a Phillies press release:

The Phillies have announced the following injury updates:

  • First baseman Ryan Howard’s MRI revealed a rupture of the left Achilles tendon.  He cannot have surgery until the swelling resolves and it has not been determined who will perform the surgery.  Recovery time won’t be known until after the surgery is complete and there is no guarantee he will be ready for spring training.
  • First baseman Ross Gload will have his right hip re-examined by Dr. Bryan Kelly.  Gload will likely have arthroscopic hip surgery.
  • Right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Placido Polanco will both have MRIs to evaluate the extent of their sports hernias.  Polanco will likely have surgery and Pence’s plan will be determined following the MRI.
  • Left-hander Cole Hamels will have loose bodies removed from his left elbow on October 14.  He also has an inguinal hernia and surgery for that is scheduled for a week later.

Finally, A ‘W’

Is everybody feeling better?

A few notes from yesterday’s s victory over the Mets, which snapped an eight-game losing streak:

  • You could feel a little extra energy in the clubhouse before the 9-4 victory because players knew they finally had their everyday lineup on the field. It was just the fifth time they’ve that since Hunter Pence joined the team. (They’re 5-0 in those games.) It was just the 16th time this season they’ve had that, including Domonic Brown or Ben Francisco. (They’re 12-4 in those games.)
  • Roy Halladay improved to 19-6. Halladay (2005-11) will be the sixth pitcher in baseball history to finish at least seven games over .500 in seven or more consecutive seasons. The other pitchers to do that are in the Hall of Fame: Tim Keefe (seven years, 1883-89), John Clarkson (nine, 1884-92), Kid Nichols (nine, 1890-98), Christy Mathewson (12, 1903-14) and Lefty Grove (seven, 1927-33).
  • Antonio Bastardo continues to struggle. He is saying the slider doesn’t feel good coming out of his hand. I’ve got to think his confidence is shot, too. Whatever the case, Bastardo has three games to figure out things before the postseason. He said he hopes to pitch one or two more times to see if he can get that feel back. If he can’t? I think they go with the right-handers. (What other choice do they have?) We saw Vance Worley taking over for Bastardo in the seventh inning. He could be an option, along with Mike Stutes and Brad Lidge.


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

Is There Time to Right the Ship?

The Phillies celebrated fan appreciation night tonight at Citizens Bank Park, and the fans booed.

It’s tough to blame them. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but have played like the Houston Astros since clinching the National League East on Saturday. They have looked deader than dead, losing six consecutive games and getting swept in their first three- or four-game series since Aug. 2010.

The Phillies have six games to play before Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 1.

“That’s definitely enough time, but we do have to pick it up,” Charlie Manuel said. “It’s time for us to kick it and get ready for the playoffs.”

If you watched tonight’s ugly loss you know Roy Oswalt pitched much better than his line indicated. He looks ready for the postseason. But the offense looks like it’s in the early stages of spring training. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-36 with five walks in the series against the Nationals.

“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”

It hasn’t helped the Phillies have been without Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence. Howard will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in New York. He will not play Saturday, but Manuel said he will turn Howard loose Sunday. Pence should be back Saturday.

Maybe that gets them going. Maybe the Phillies can just flip the switch.

Oswalt doesn’t sound like he’s a big believer in “flipping the switch.”

“I’ve seen teams with the best record get beat in the first round,” Oswalt said. “It’s really the hottest team going in. Hopefully the next six games we’ll turn it around and start playing a little bit better, but teams that are hot when the playoffs start are tough to beat.”

Nothing to See Here?

Hunter Pence flashed the international thumbs up sign for I’m OK.

He said he’s OK.

But is he OK?

We’ll see. He has patellar tendinitis in his left knee and will have a MRI exam today. Hearing “patellar tendinitis” might cause Phillies fans’ hearts to skip a beat because that is the same affliction that cost Chase Utley most of the first two months of the season.

“It’s gonna be fine,” he said. “I already feel a lot better. It’s just precautionary. I’ve had patellar tendinitis for forever. It just flared up a little bit and they want me to go get an MRI. I didn’t really feel it necessary, but I’m going to do what they want me to do.”

Pence could be seen limping on the field in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader before being pulled in the sixth inning. Charlie Manuel planned to play him in Game 2, but was advised against it. Pence said he could have played.
“I don’t even like to really talk about it because there’s a difference between injuries and being hurt,” he said. “Pain is something that you deal with and you don’t talk about.”

Should Utley Hit Third Against Lefties?

Chase Utley is 4-for-9 in his last two games, which could be a sign he is coming out of a funk that has lasted for more than a month.

The Phillies hope so.

Since Utley reached a season-high .290 average on Aug. 1, he has hit just .221 with a .280 on-base percentage and a .329 slugging percentage. He has just nine RBIs in 36 games, which is alarming considering he has been hitting third in a lineup that is tied for second in the National League in scoring in that stretch.

Utley’s .771 OPS is easily his worst since he became the Phillies’ everyday second baseman in 2005:

  • 2005: .915
  • 2006: 906
  • 2007: .976
  • 2008: .915
  • 2009: .905
  • 2010: .832
  • 2011: .771

“I think his injuries over the last two or three years have been real serious,” Charlie Manuel said following tonight’s 4-3 loss to St. Louis. “He’s not where he used to be, but I think he’s due to get hot. I think somewhere along the line … I think he’s due to have a little run where he’s hitting the ball good. Hopefully we can get him there before the playoffs start.”

But what if he doesn’t get hot? Utley is hitting .192/.286/.323 against left-handers compared to .289/.365/.474 against right-handers. Manuel already is using a platoon in left field with Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr. because he’s taking advantage of his talent to put the best lineup on the field. So why not move Utley out of the No. 3 hole against left-handers and replace him with Hunter Pence? Pence is hitting .313/.400/.597 against left-handers.

“I don’t know,” said Manuel, asked if he would move Utley out of the No. 3 spot. “It’s hard to say. I don’t like to commit to nothing. Why should I sit here and say something? I might do anything. I don’t know.”

Of course, where would you hit Utley then? Normally, I’d say hit him second because he’s such a high on-base percentage guy, but he’s not getting on base against left-handers. You could hit him fifth. But what’s two spots in the order really going to do? Maybe nothing, but the higher you hit in the order the more plate appearances you get. It could mean just one extra at-bat for Pence in one game against a left-hander, which could mean the difference between a rally or runners left on base. One or two more big hits in last year’s NLCS and the Phillies quite possibly beat the Giants.

Something to think about.


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

Werth Thinks Pence Is A Good Fit

Jayson Werth was relaxing in the Nationals clubhouse this afternoon with Magnus, his four-month-old Great Dane, when Hunter Pence’s name came up.

“I’m happy for Hunter,” Werth said. “That’s an enviable position to be in. I know firsthand what that’s like.

“Immediately, when I heard it I thought about him going from Houston to Philadelphia. I don’t know how much fun they were having over there (in Houston), but I do know how much fun those guys have over there, what that clubhouse is like, the chemistry, the camaraderie. I know how well a guy like that will fit in. I immediately thought about how much fun he was going to have. I’m happy for him. He’s a good player.”

Werth knows Pence a bit from being on the 2009 National League All-Star team. He said he has spoken with Pence a couple times since his arrival in Philadelphia.

“He seems like a good fit,” he said.

So no more wistful thoughts about Philadelphia or how it should have been him? The Phillies essentially got Pence because they did not find anybody to replace his production in right field. They started the season with Ben Francisco before moving to Domonic Brown.

“Not really,” Werth said. “It was more like, I knew what he was about to get himself into. It kind of made me smile.”


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

Phillies Send Santana to Houston as PTBN

The Phillies sent outfielder Domingo Santana to the Houston Astros as the player to be named in the Hunter Pence trade.

Santana, 19, had been playing with Class A Lakewood. He has been assigned to Class A Lexington.

He was hitting .269 with 29 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 32 RBIs and four stolen bases for the BlueClaws. Baseball America had him the ninth-best prospect in the organization before the season.

The Phillies traded right-hander Jarred Cosart, first baseman Jonathan Singleton, right-hander Josh Zeid and a player to be named to the Astros on July 29 for Pence. The Astros had a group of players they could choose as the player to be named before settling on Santana.


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