Results tagged ‘ J.C. Romero ’

Moyer Makes His Case

moyer 0321.jpgLike the rest of us, Jamie Moyer does not know how the Phillies will pick their fifth starter.

But he made a strong case for himself today at Bright House Field. He allowed five hits and one run and struck out six in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles. It was Moyer’s first Grapefruit League appearance after making three starts in B games. In a combined 14 innings, he has allowed six earned runs for a 3.86 ERA. Kyle Kendrick, his sole competitor for the job, has allowed two runs in 14 innings in four Grapefruit League appearances for a 1.29 ERA.

The Phillies said a few weeks ago that Moyer had the edge over Kendrick because of his experience.

Still true?

“I think they’ve both got two more starts,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think it’ll play out. I think we’ll do what’s best for our club and everything. I like how Kendrick has improved, but at the same time Jamie’s healthy and in the next couple starts we’ll see where he’s at.”

“Basically it’s what’s best for us and how we line up as a team,” Rich Dubee said.

If Moyer pitches well in his next two starts and Kendrick struggles, Moyer gets the job. If Kendrick finishes the spring with a 1.29 ERA and Moyer finishes the spring with a 3.86 ERA, I’ve got to think Moyer still gets the job. If Moyer struggles and Kendrick pitches well Kendrick has the edge.

And if Moyer struggles in the rotation once the season starts, Kendrick could be this year’s J.A. Happ and take his place. But it makes some baseball sense to start Moyer in the rotation: 1) Moyer is better suited for the rotation than the bullpen; 2) This gives him a chance to prove himself; 3) If he struggles and returns to the bullpen the Phillies can say they gave him a fair shot.

The edge: Moyer

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Dubee said Cole Hamels, who was scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game, would pitch tomorrow against the Yankees. Joe Blanton, who originally had been scheduled to pitch tomorrow, will pitch Tuesday. … Dubee also said Brad Lidge will pitch in a Minor League game tomorrow and J.C. Romero will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Bullpen Help Needed?


escalona 2.jpgJ.C. Romero
might miss just one week of the season, but if the first two weeks of Spring Training are any indication it might be a rough one.

The Phillies are looking at rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski to take his place until Romero returns. So far Bastardo and Escalona have struggled. Zagurski has pitched just once.

Escalona allowed four hits, three runs and one walk in one inning today in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. In three Grapefruit League appearances, Escalona has allowed eight hits, five runs and one walk in three innings. He has a 15.00 ERA and two blown saves. Bastardo has allowed five hits, four runs (three earned runs) in two innings in two appearances. He has a 13.50 ERA and one blown save. He has struck out four. Zagurski threw two scoreless innings in his only Grapefruit League appearance. He will pitch Monday morning in a B game against the Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium.

“Well, not as good as I’d like to see yet,” said Rich Dubee, asked to assess his left-handed pitching situation with Opening Day nearly three weeks away. “But I’m sure it will iron itself out. We like both of those kids. We like Zagurski, even though he hasn’t been in many games. We think those guys have the ability to pitch in the big leagues. But the later we get in the spring the more they’re going to have to show it. They haven’t shown it yet.”

And if they don’t?

“We’ll see,” Dubee said. “We’ll make that call when we have to make that call.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday there is no “sense of urgency” to find a left-handed pitcher to help the bullpen, but if the right pitcher comes at the right price (a Minor League contract, for example) and Bastardo and Escalona continue to struggle that could change.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Romero, Lidge Updates

J.C. Romero threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session this morning in Clearwater. Roughly 12 pitchers were breaking balls, the first time he had thrown them this spring.

“Great,” Rich Dubee said. “He threw fine today.”

Next for Romero?

“We’ll see if he throws Tuesday or Wednesday,” Dubee said. “We’ll see how he responds. It’s the first time he’s throwing breaking balls. If he’s doing all right, maybe Wednesday could be a chance to see some hitters. If not, maybe Wednesday he’ll throw another side. But he was good today. Very good.”

Brad Lidge will start the Double A Spring Training game Thursday. J.A. Happ will start the Triple A game.

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Good luck to Scott Lauber, who is leaving the Wilmington News-Journal to cover the Red Sox for the Boston Herald. He spent his final minutes on the beat at Frenchy’s Cafe in Clearwater.

You can’t get grouper sandwiches in Fort Myers, dude!

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Romero Unlikely for Opening Day, Shooting for First Homestand


romero softball.jpgJ.C. Romero
said he feels fine, but he also said he has just one chance to do this right.

So he said this morning at Bright House Field that he does not expect to be ready by Opening Day on April 5 in Washington. Instead, he said he hopes to join the team for its first home series April 12-15 against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

Romero’s likely absence from the Opening Day roster means there are at least two jobs available in the bullpen — three, if Brad Lidge also is not ready. But no Romero certainly gives an advantage to left-handers like Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski because the Phillies have no other left-handers in the bullpen.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Romero said. “But to be realistic, I know I want to break camp with the team, but I realize the time is against me. That’s not good, but I’m very optimistic about being with the team by the first homestand. I think they can deal without me for the first road trip. And that’s better for the team.”

And for himself.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Lazy Sunday

Halladay slides.jpg

Roy Halladay, who has hit .079 (3-for-38) with two runs and one RBI in his career, participates in sliding drills this morning at the Carpenter Complex.

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J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge both threw off the mound this morning. Both said it went well. Both said being ready by Opening Day remains their goal, although they also said they will be careful. Lidge is further along than Romero, so it stands to reason that Lidge has a better chance of being ready. But it’s still very early, and it sounds like neither will push it. Makes sense.

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I just finished an interview with The 700 Level, which was fun. They also gave my book a nice review, which was great. What? You haven’t picked up a copy yet? (In my best Judge Smails voice) Well … we’re waiting.<a href="" center;" text-align: auto; 10px margin: block;

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and at most Delaware Valley bookstores NOW!

Lidge to Throw Monday, Ahead of Schedule


lidge 0210 2010.jpgBrad Lidge
will begin throwing off a mound Monday, which puts him ahead of schedule.

Lidge is recovering from offseason knee and elbow surgeries. He said earlier this week he is about two weeks behind schedule, but the fact he is going to be throwing Monday would indicate he still has a chance to be ready by Opening Day.

Lidge will throw about 20 fastballs off the mound.

“Having not seen him, I didn’t think so,” said pitching coach Rich Dubee, asked if he thought Lidge would be on the mound so early. “Having reports from where he was, all the reports were good. All his workouts from Colorado were fantastic. He was feeling no pain. The doctors came to see him. They’ve tested and examined and moved him a little bit. He’s doing fine. Is he a little ahead of schedule? I would say so, yeah.”

J.C. Romero is recovering from elbow surgery. Romero said earlier this week he should be 100 percent by the second week of March.

“J.C. will get on a mound eventually, not far behind (Lidge),” Dubee said. “J.C. did some agility stuff today. J.C. will start taking part. We’re just trying to watch him throw during his PFP (pitcher’s fielding practice) stuff. He’s doing fine.”

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Thanks to We Should Be GMs for plugging my book. It’s appreciated, guys!

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and will be in Delaware Valley bookstores in late February/early March.

Romero Eyeing Opening Day Roster


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for j.c. romero.jpgJ.C. Romero
is in camp, and we had a chance to speak with him a few minutes ago. He is recovering from elbow surgery, which might not make him available Opening Day.

Here is some of what he said:

His doctor told him that he was “going to be 100 percent ready to go by the second week of March. From that I could let it loose and go get ‘em. I’ve been recovering very well and long tossing and stuff like that. I think I might be farther than what (team physician Michael) Ciccotti was expecting.

“My goal is break camp with the team … but I’m going to be smart at the same time because this is a marathon. This isn’t a sprint. I don’t want to do something to jeopardize the rest of my career and the rest of the season.

“I know where I’m at, and I know what I have to do to prepare myself. I’m not trying to be a hero. If I have to stay here a week after camp, so be it. I’m willing to do that, but in my mind my goal is to break camp with the team.”

Romero thinks he only needs seven to 12 innings in Grapefruit League games to be ready to pitch.

“I’ve been effectively wild my whole career, so nothing is going to change unless I start throwing like Jamie Moyer — finesse.

“I’m very anxious. Looking back at what happened last season (50-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy) it’s crazy, but believe it or not I think it was something positive. If I would have started playing from the get-go I would have gotten hurt a lot quicker, a lot sooner. … I probably would have hurt it worse. That’s the only positive thing that happened out of that. That is a chaper of my life that is is over and the injury and all that is long gone now. Somebody else has a trophy that I want. We have to go get it now.”

Romero enters the spring as the only veteran left-hander in the bullpen/

“That’s good. It’s more innings for me,” he said. “If I’m the only lefty in the bullpen then I’ve just got to strap it on and get the job done. Period. I’ve been the only lefty in other bullpens before. I’m all for the challenge. I hope that one of these young kids realize that we need another lefty at times and they can step up and earn that spot. I would like to see one of the young guys with a good arm make the roster as well. If that’s not the case I’ll be ready to go.”

Romero also said his lawsuits against Ergopharm and Vitamin Shoppe and GNC are alive.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “That isn’t going away. It’s still up in the air … right now it seems very positive. Everything is going to be all right. It’s a long process. But I ain’t quitting. I’ve said from Day 1 that the truth will set me free sooner or later, so sooner or later you guys will find out.”

Romero said he has not be tested this winter.

“They didn’t. I was very surprised. I was right by my phone the whole winter, expecting they would call. I went to Puerto Rico and I think I gave them like four different phone numbers. They can come and test me right now. It’s fine. It doesn’t change the way I train or do things. Last season I got tested a lot. They didn’t call me, so that means everything went well.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and will be in bookstores in the Delaware Valley in late February/early March.

Thursday Morning Notes

Passing along a few tidbits from Ruben Amaro Jr.:

  • The Phillies are looking for more starting pitching depth, but if they find somebody it would be on a Minor League deal. “It’s a possibility,” Amaro said. “At some point you’ve got to see what you’ve got. We’re probably as close to that stage as we’ve been all offseason. While I guess we’re not necessarily satisfied with where we are — we’re never satisfied — we’re comfortable with going into the spring with who we’ve got. We’ll kind of let things play out.”
  • J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge have started throwing. Jamie Moyer could begin throwing soon, too. Amaro had said for some time that Lidge is ahead of Romero, but Romero started to throw on the 17th. Lidge started to throw earlier this week, so it sounds like they might be even. “So far so good,” Amaro said about Lidge and Romero. “No news is good news on those guys.”
  • Moyer has told the Phillies he thinks he will be ready by Opening Day. The medical staff has a more conservative timetable.
  • Roy Halladay has been arriving every morning around 7 a.m. at Bright House Field in Clearwater to begin his workouts. Amaro said the training staff is raving about his workout routine. I think the word “animal” and “monster” is being used a lot. (These are not words people use to describe my workout routine.)
  • Amaro still will not confirm the Phillies are close to signing Jose Contreras, which could be announced as early as today. Of course, that really does not matter because Charlie Manuel confirmed it during Tuesday’s news conference. It was actually a pretty funny moment. (Well, funny to the scribes.) The Phillies cannot comment or confirm Contreras because he has not passed his physical. Of course, Manuel did not know this so he talked about him like he had signed. No worries, the world is still spinning.

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Amaro's Next Move

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract, and it could be their final move this offseason.

But Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that he still has a left-handed reliever and another starter on his wish list:

Amaro said the Phillies “probably have finished the negotiations” with Scott Eyre, whom they offered a Minor League deal. Eyre was 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008, but he also is coming off elbow surgery. Amaro said the Phillies offered Eyre the Minor League deal for protection from the surgery.

“I don’t believe he’ll be a Phillie next year,” Amaro said.

But Amaro said he still will explore opportunities for left-handed relievers because there is some question whether or not J.C. Romero will be ready to start the season. He had elbow surgery in October. He could begin throwing in the middle of the month, but Amaro said Romero is behind closer Brad Lidge, who also had elbow surgery and also might not be ready to start the season.

Free agent left-handers Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are possibilities to take Eyre’s place.

“There is not a lot to choose from,” Amaro said.

There is not much the Phillies can afford, either. Baez will make $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011. That pushes their 2010 payroll to $118.45 million, and that does not include salaries for Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, Ben Francisco, J.A. Happ and others.

Amaro added that Jamie Moyer, who is slated as the team’s fifth starter, also might not be ready to start the season. He is having the meniscus repaired in his right knee Monday. If he is not ready, Amaro said Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched last season in Japan, would be candidates for the fifth starter’s job. And because of the uncertainty surrounding Moyer, Amaro would like to add more depth to the rotation. He said he has talked with the agents for Ben Sheets, Chien-Ming Wang and others, but they seem unlikely to sign unless their asking prices drop significantly. Amaro said he also has spoken to Brett Myers‘ agent, which is noteworthy because Amaro said immediately after the season that Myers would not return.

That said, Amaro said he doesn’t see much likelihood that Myers will be back.

“If we had our druthers, we’ll try to perhaps sign somebody else – one or two pitchers who could fight for one of those jobs,” Amaro said. “Probably a Minor League deal at this point. A player who is anticipating getting a Major League deal and quite frankly the market isn’t out there for them.”

The Phillies have had interest in right-hander Miguel Batista in the past, although it is unclear what the market is for him. Amaro also said he will leave the lines of communication open with Pedro Martinez, although it seems their prices are far apart.

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Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

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