Results tagged ‘ Hunter Pence ’

Your Hunter Pence Fix

In case you haven’t gotten your Hunter Pence fix yet, here’s a story I wrote based on a conversation I had with Pence on Wednesday in LA.

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A note from Elias Sports Bureau:

  • Vance Worley allowed six runs in four innings Wednesday, but the Phillies still beat the Dodgers, 9-8. It is the 10th consecutive game the Phillies have won that Worley has started. The Mets’ Dillon Gee accomplished the same feat earlier this season. Before this season that had not happened since 1996, when the Astros won 10 straight starts made by rookie Donne Wall.

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Pence, Pence, Pence

Here’s my story on the Hunter Pence trade.

And here’s a few quotes from a few of the people we heard from last night:

RUBEN AMARO JR.

On why they wanted Pence:
“We tried to address a need we felt was a missing piece. We believe in our offense as it stands. It has been a little inconsistent … not as consistent as it has been in the past. I think this give us a little bit more balance with a hitter from the right side for Charlie’s lineup. But not only that I think we acquired in a lot of ways somebody that is extremely well rounded, the type of player that we’d like to have here in Philadelphia. There are a lot of elements that are involved here, but clearly the way this guy plays, the way he goes about his business, the effort, the kind of teammate he is and the fact we have him under control for not only the end of this year, but for two more years. Those are very big factors for us. His defense is important for us. The fact that he runs well. He’s got speed. He’s a very, very good athlete. There’s a lot of things that factored onto this one.”

On Domonic Brown’s future with the Phillies:
“We believe Domonic Brown is going to be an outstanding Major League Baseball player. He’s kind of learning on the job as we’ve talked about before. He’s done a nice job for us here. It’s not a knock on Domonic Brown by any stretch of the imagination. We believe and hope he’s going to be a Phillie for a long time. I think for us, again, it’s one of those moves we made for the present, but for the future. Certainly, Dom is part of that.”

On having Pence under their control through 2013 being a big factor in this trade:
“It’s a huge element in it. I think control is a good part. If you know the way we operate … I don’t like rentals. I don’t believe in those. I guess there is a time and place to go that route. In this case as in most case, if you look at the trades we’ve made, very few of them were your classic rental. Certainly that’s a huge element for us in that transaction.”

On chances they make another move before Sunday’s deadline:
“We’ll keep our minds open, but right now I’m very comfortable with our ballclub.”

CHASE UTLEY

On adding a bat like Pence when they already have the best record in baseball:
“I think our front office knows we’re in a special time here in Philadelphia. We have a good team and if they feel like there’s some room for improvement they’re going to make that move. … Prior to the trade we had a pretty good team. I think adding him, a power right-handed bat can definitely help us.”

ROY HALLADAY
On getting Pence when they have the best record in baseball:
“It’s a good feeling, even just knowing they’re out there and they’re trying. Especially being in the position we are. We’re five, six games up and they’re still trying to make us a better team. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I was adamant on trying to come here. You want to be on the team that’s always trying to get better. … I’m really excited. To be on a team that is trying to give you the best chance to win that they can it’s a lot of fun. Even if they didn’t you know Ruben is going to do everything he can to make us better. Just that in itself means a lot. I can’t wait. We’ve got a good team here and when you’re able to add good players to a good team it makes it a lot of fun.”

DOMONIC BROWN
On any relief he wasn’t traded:
“Uh, I mean, yeah, but anything can still happen. We’ve still got until Sunday. I don’t know. I just hope I’m here. I just hope I’m here and not in Triple-A, but if that was to happen, just go out and play. It’s all I can do.”

On his concern going back to Triple-A:
“Not really concerned, but I would like to be here. That’s the goal.”

Pence Deal Done

The Phillies have acquired Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence, two sources said tonight.

A deal is expected to be announced before the end of the night.

One source said the Phillies will send four players to the Astros. None of those players are outfielder Domonic Brown or right-hander Vance Worley, both of whom had been rumored at different times to be part of a deal. Class A first baseman Jonathan Singleton and Class A pitcher Jarred Cosart are part of the trade.

MLB.com ranks Cosart and Singleton the 37th and 38th best prospects in baseball, respectively. They are the organizations top two prospects.

Double-A Reading pitcher Josh Zeid also is in the deal. The fourth is a player to be named later.

The trade boosts a Phillies lineup looking up to keep up with its strong pitching staff. Pence, 28, is hitting .309 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs. He has a .356 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging percentage. He should help a lineup that has struggled against left-handed pitching.

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I plan to have more later …

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So Pence Costs How Much?

If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago if Domonic Brown, Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton would not be enough to acquire Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros, I would have thought you were crazy.

The Astros would jump on that deal in a heartbeat.

Or not.

Here’s what we know: The Phillies are furiously trying to acquire Pence before Sunday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. They have dangled Cosart and Singleton, their top pitching and player prospect, respectively. The Phillies are willing to include Brown in a deal … but there are multiple reports the Astros would prefer to spin him to another team for more prospects.

In other words, Brown, Cosart and Singleton are not enough to get Pence.

Wow.

Pence certainly is an immediate upgrade to the Phillies lineup, but that is a major haul to send to Houston. Pence has never had more than 25 homers, 91 RBIs, 93 runs scored, 173 hits or 58 walks in a season. His .828 OPS this season is the best of his career. His .802 OPS from 2008-11 ranks 36th out of 91 qualifying outfielders in baseball. He is a very good player, but he is more of a complimentary piece, like Jayson Werth. This tells me one thing: Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to win NOW. I don’t disagree with that thinking. You don’t know what the future holds. Sure, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will be in the rotation next season. But will they be healthy? Will they be as good? I think the Phillies should strike while they can, but that still seems like a ton of talent to give up for Pence.

Of course, nobody will care if the Phillies win the World Series. That’s what the Phillies are trying to do. They’ll worry about the future later.

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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.”

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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?

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Has the Price Gone Up?

Pat Gillick talked this afternoon about the effect Carlos Beltran‘s trade to San Francisco has on the rest of the market with just four days to go before the trade deadline.

“When somebody goes off the market like Beltran goes off the market, then you say, well, OK, if he’s off the market that reduces the pool out there, so whoever we’re talking to you might have to up the ante because there’s one less guy out there,” he said.

If Gillick is accurate and the Astros are looking for four top prospects, which has been reported, then it seems like the Astros can dig in a little bit more.

Hey, the Giants gave up a top prospect for a two-month rental. You’ll have to give up more for a guy like Pence.

“You have to evaluate what your needs are, what your club has, what this player will do for your club, what you’ll get in return. You have to take all of this into consideration,” Gillick said. “And then probably most of the time with a club like ours you’ve got to be prepared to overpay a little bit. Sometimes to get what you want to have to overpay a bit.”

Will the Phillies overpay for Hunter Pence? It might start with Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. Would you throw in two more top prospects for Pence if that’s the starting price? Or is that too steep for a team that already has the best record in baseball and might be good enough to win the World Series as is?

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