Results tagged ‘ J.C. Romero ’

We've Got Updates

Got a few injury updates for everybody:

  • Left-hander J.A. Happ, who has a strained intercostal muscle, said he thinks he is better than 50-50 to make his next scheduled start Friday against the Braves in Atlanta. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Happ is about 50-50.
  • Left-hander Scott Eyre said he hopes to receive a cortisone injection into his left elbow today or tomorrow so he can return to the mound in the next few days. Eyre has a “loose body” in the elbow. He described it as a bone chip still attached to the muscle or cartilage. Eyre said he will try to pitch through the pain the remainder of the season.
  • Left-hander J.C. Romero, who had a cortisone injection in his left elbow Tuesday, said he hopes to rejoin the team possibly as early as next Friday in Atlanta.
  • Right-hander Clay Condrey will make a rehab appearance tomorrow for Double A Reading. He could be activated Sunday.
  • Greg Dobbs, who has a strained calf, is running in Clearwater. We don’t have much more on him than that.

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Manuel Has His Limits with Lidge


Thumbnail image for lidge 0815.jpgCharlie Manuel
is sticking with Brad Lidge, but his patience has a limit.

He said this afternoon at Nationals Park that while Lidge remains his closer, there will come a time when the Phillies must “win the game.”

Lidge is 0-7 with a 7.15 ERA and a Major-League leading 10 blown saves, but the postseason is less than a month away and the Phillies need more certainty in the ninth inning. Phillies right-hander Brett Myers remains Manuel’s top option to close should Lidge continue to struggle and the Phillies decide they need to go in a different direction.

“When that comes up I think it’s something we will definitely work with,” Manuel said. “I think that he’s our closer. I talk about it every day with (pitching coach Rich) Dubee as far as where he’s at and how he feels and what he’s doing. But at the same time we’re trying to win a championship and everything like that. I’m hoping he’s going to really get more consistent and really help us.”

Asked if he has thoughts about Myers, Manuel said, “I have a lot of thoughts. Really. I think about winning the game. How many times you have guys in the last five years heard me say, ‘I try to win the game.’ What did you make that dumb move for? I said I did it because I tried to win the game. How many times have you heard me say that? Believe me, I was trying to win the game.”

Lidge has had a little bit of everything go wrong this season. He had reporters circle his locker today to ask him numerous questions about a blister on his right index finger, which has bothered him recently. (You never feel more tool-ish as a reporter than when you’re talking about a minor injury, and the questions about that minor injury go on forever.) Lidge said he is fine and ready to pitch. Most of all, he said he is ready to put his troubles behind him. Everybody is.

“We’re in first place,” Lidge said. “Unless catastrophe strikes we’re heading to the playoffs. My mission is to get myself as good as I can be for the playoffs and to do the things that I can do in the postseason. That’s what September is going to be for me: getting locked in. I’ve been having three good outings, one bad outing. Three good outings, one bad outing. I’d like to get to the point where they’re going to be all good. At some point I’ll look back and say, ‘Man, that was a crap year.’ If September goes well and I throw well in the postseason then I’ll be happy with the year. I really will. Because that’s the goal right now.”

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J.A. Happ has a strained right intercostal muscle and will miss Saturday’s start against the Mets. The Phillies hope he can rejoin the rotation next week. … Left-hander Scott Eyre felt a “quick and sharp” pain in his left elbow Monday in Houston. Doctors examined him today, and said he is day to day with elbow soreness. … J.C. Romero had a cortisone shot in his left elbow today. He will be shut down for a couple days. They will see how he responds and go from there. … Ryan Madson had tendinitis in his right biceps, but he said he is ready to pitch. … Greg Dobbs is running in Floriday and could begin a rehab assingment soon. … Clay Condrey will start throwing simulated games soon and could begin a rehab assignment after.

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Getting Some Postseason Flexibility

ennis.jpgThe Phillies made a roster move today that offers them flexibility in the postseason.

They purchased the contract of injured right-hander John Ennis and immediately placed him on the 15-day disabled list. To make room for Ennis on the 40-man roster, they designated infielder Brad Harman for assignment.

Here is why they did it: Any player who is on the active 25-man roster or disabled list on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason. In this case, the Phillies have 31 players eligible for the postseason because Brett Myers, J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey, Greg Dobbs, Antonio Bastardo and Ennis are on the disabled list.

Myers, Romero, Condrey, Dobbs and Bastardo are expected to be healthy and playing before the end of the regular season. Ennis is recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery April 21. He won’t be healthy. But his presence on the DL allows the Phillies to add any player that is in the organization on Aug. 31 to the postseason roster.

That is how left-hander J.A. Happ made the postseason roster last year. Pitchers Scott Mathieson and Mike Zagruski were on the 60-day disabled list, which allowed the Phillies to take Happ, who was a September call up.

Ennis certainly doesn’t mind. He is now making a big-league salary and earning service time for just sitting on the DL for the rest of the season. Not bad.

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Myers is expected to make rehab appearances Tuesday and Wednesday for Triple A Lehigh Valley. If they go well, he could join the Phillies bullpen before the end of the week.

Condrey and Bastardo both made rehab appearances Monday for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies. Condrey allowed one hit and struck out one in one scoreless inning. Bastardo walked one in one scoreless inning.

Dobbs continues to rehab in Clearwater, Fla., and Romero could throw a bullpen session with the Phillies on Tuesday.

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Dobbs on DL, Cairo Returns

The Phillies placed Greg Dobbs on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf. They selected the contract of Miguel Cairo to take his place.

Dobbs strained his calf in Friday’s loss to the Mets. It sounded yesterday like the injury was not serious, but apparently Dobbs’ diagnosis changed. Dobbs declined comment. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this morning that Dobbs said he has had the injury off and on since last season. He also said Dobbs might get medical testing tomorrow in Philadelphia.

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Brett Myers makes a rehab start today in Single A Lakewood.

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J.C. Romero and right-hander Clay Condrey will throw bullpen sessions tomorrow in Clearwater. Antonio Bastardo makes a rehab start tomorrow for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

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Billy Says No, Phillies Say No


wagner 0821.jpgBilly Wagner
doesn’t need the Phillies, and the Phillies don’t need Billy Wagner.

The Mets, who are practically eliminated from postseason contention, put Wagner on waivers Wednesday for the possibility of trading him before the end of the season. A mystery team claimed Wagner on Friday — a report has the Red Sox being that team – but the Phillies said they are not it.

That’s OK with Wagner.

“It would have been tough to go back there,” said Wagner, who has a complete no-trade clause. “You’re never as good as you were. I don’t know if it would have been good. I love Charlie (Manuel). I love their team. All the guys there, but it would’ve been tough.”

Why?

“It’s hard to pitch in Philadelphia,” he said. “Plus, you’re coming back from Tommy John. It’s a little bit different.”

Tough because of the ballpark or tough because of the fans?

“Both,” he said. “I’m trying to work back.”

Wagner is owed $2.7 million in salary, plus an additional $1 million to buyout his 2010 club option. So the Phillies wouldn’t want Wagner anyway.

“Under the circumstances with his salary, we would not be able to place that kind of salary on our club,” Amaro said. “We don’t have $3 million to pull out of a tree.”

But besides the salary, the Phillies expect to have Brett Myers, J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey returning from the disabled list on or after Sept. 1, once the team can expand its roster.

“I’ll take those three guys,” Amaro said. “That’s like making a trade for three guys.”

Amaro said Myers, who made his first rehab appearance Thursday, felt fine Friday, but he said the team has not determined when Myers will make his next rehab appearance.

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Pedro Martinez met with the New York media this afternoon. He touched on many of the same topics as before, but he offered some new insight on joining the Phillies.

“It’s a great feeling to go to a team like this,” he said. “And you know what? This team really surprised me. This team, as intense as they are on the field, it doesn’t reflect the type of calm they have in the clubhouse. How relaxed that whole team is. How relaxed everybody is. How simple they do it as far as going about their business. It’s very simple. Everybody gets dressed and everybody goes about their business. When they come out there it seems like they know they’re going to win. It’s a great feeling to go out there realizing your team is pretty much on top of the other team by the time you step out.”

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Pedro Goes Wednesday, Moyer Goes to Pen

pedro signs.jpgThe Phillies announced Pedro Martinez will make his Phillies debut Wednesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

They moved Jamie Moyer to the bullpen to make room for Martinez in the rotation.

The Phillies rotation looks like this for the immediate future:

- Tuesday vs. Cubs: LHP J.A. Happ
- Wednesday vs. Cubs: RHP Pedro Martinez
- Thursday vs. Cubs: LHP Cliff Lee
- Friday vs. Braves: RHP Joe Blanton
- Saturday vs. Braves: LHP Cole Hamels

Martinez went 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA (seven earned runs in 12 1/3 innings) and 16 strikeouts in three rehab starts. The Phillies have not yet made a move to accomodate Martinez on the 25-man roster. That will come before his start Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

“Based on our reports on how Pedro has pitched in his rehab starts, we felt it was time to move him into our rotation,” Charlie Manuel said in a statement.  “Jamie was a total professional and team player when we let him know of the decision to move him to the bullpen.  He has been and will continue to be a very important part of this team.”

The team is flying to Chicago tonight, which means Martinez, Moyer, Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee will be unavailable until tomorrow. But I had a chance to speak with Ruben Amaro Jr. Here is some of what he said:

Q: Why did the team decide to move Moyer to the bullpen to give Martinez a shot?
A: We just felt that Pedro is pitching well enough that he deserves a chance to pitch in the rotation, and we hope it’s an upgrade.
Q: How tough of a decision was this considering how much Moyer has meant to the organization? It’s different moving a guy like Moyer to the bullpen than somebody like Eude Brito or Amaury Telemaco.
A: Clearly, he’s got a lot more of a track record and he’s done a lot more for us than your average pitcher. Jamie has dedicated himself to his starts and to his performance and he will continue to do that, but we are trying to do what we can to win baseball games and win this division. And these are baseball decisions that are made collectively, and we feel it’s for the betterment of our club.
Q: Can Jamie be effective in the bullpen? He’s 46 and hasn’t done that in years.
A: We’ll see. He’s done it before. He hasn’t done it in a long time, but we’ll see how it goes. You’ll have to talk to Dubee and Charlie about what his role is, but we’ll see how effective he can be.
Q: How did Jamie take the news?
A: Extremely professionally. You’ll have to talk to Jamie about it, but I’m sure he wasn’t real happy about it. But at the same time he understands that we’re doing what we possibly can to have success. We just felt it was the right thing to do and he understands it.
Q: What are the realistic expecations for Pedro?
A: We’re going to watch him pitch and hopefully he’s an effective starter for us. I don’t have expectations one way or another, other than we hope he is successful and he helps us win games.

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Left-hander J.C. Romero had a MRI today. Amaro said Romero has mid-grade tendinitis that is healing. He will not throw for another week or so, when he will return to Clearwater to begin his rehab.

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The Phillies activated right-hander Chad Durbin from the DL. He went on the DL on July 23 with a right latissimus dorsi strain (that’s fancy talk for strained back muscle). The Phillies optioned right-hander Rodrigo Lopez to triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Durbin. Lopez had a clause in his contract that stated he must consent to an assignment in the Minor Leagues. He had an option remaining, which is why they were able to option him.

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Making Room for Pedro


pedro lehigh valley.jpgCharlie Manuel
got asked every which way he might shape the rotation once Pedro Martinez joins the Phillies.

J.A. Happ to the bullpen? Jamie Moyer? Martinez? How about a six-man rotation?

“It’s something we’ll go over when it’s time,” Manuel said before tonight’s game against the Rockies.

It would have made little sense for Manuel to spill the beans with Moyer scheduled to pitch tonight, Happ scheduled to pitch tomorrow night and Martinez scheduled to make a rehab start tomorrow night for Double-A Reading. Anything could happen before Martinez returns.

But the interest in this situation is legitimate and understandable. Happ has pitched remarkably well as a starter this season. He is 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA overall, and 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 starts since May 23. He ranks 16th out of 53 National League pitchers in ERA since May 23, which is better than Josh Johnson (3.12 ERA), Ted Lilly (3.75 ERA), Randy Wolf (3.98 ERA), Jamie Moyer (4.00 ERA), Johan Santana (4.09 ERA), Cole Hamels (4.57 ERA), Derek Lowe (4.65 ERA) and others.

But Happ might be headed to the bullpen because Moyer and Martinez are not seen as viable bullpen options. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said repeatedly the Phillies signed Martinez to be a starter (although also has said things could change). Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee has echoed that sentiment.

“I think what’s going to weigh into it is what our best options are,” Dubee said. “What’s going to give us a chance to win another World Series. That’s our goal.”

Wednesday will be Martinez’s third rehab start. And while he has bonuses in his contract based on relief appearances, if the Phillies considered him a relief pitcher they might be preparing him differently.

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The entire pitching staff is in flux. The Phillies have Brett Myers, J.C. Romero, Clay Condrey and Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list.

Myers, who is recovering from surgery on his right hip, started to jog Tuesday. He will throw a simulated game Thursday in Clearwater, Fla. Durbin, who has a strained muscle in his back, will make a rehab appearance Wednesday with Single-A Clearwater. Romero, who has a strained left forearm, will make a rehab appearance Friday. Condrey, who has a strained left oblique, is progressing slowly. The Phillies are going to make sure he heals completely before they bring him back.

If Myers returns throwing hard, he could become a nice weapon in the bullpen. He also could be an insurance policy should closer Brad Lidge continue to struggle. Lidge is 0-4 with a 7.11 ERA. His ERA is the highest in baseball amongst qualifying relief pitchers.

“He’s our closer,” Manuel said of Lidge. “Showing him confidence, that’s how he’ll get back on a streak. He’s very capable of doing that. He’s showed how good he is. I’m very positive. I have all the faith in the world in him. I know exactly what he can do.”

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Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who went 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts, already has been moved to the bullpen to make room for left-hander Cliff Lee.

“It’s tough, but having a former Cy Young winner it’s pretty understandable,” Lopez said. “It’s too bad he took my spot, but I want to win.”

Even with Lopez out there are too many starters and not enough spots for them, unless the Phillies would go to a six-man rotation. And what are the chances of that?

“Personally, I think it would be pretty tough,” Dubee said. “Organizationally, I don’t know.”

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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.”

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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.

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Romero and Durbin on DL

The Phillies placed left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list today.

Romero has a strained left forearm and Durbin has a strained right latissimus. Romero has been bothered with the forearm injury since last week in Florida. Durbin has been bothered with his back injury for about a month, although he notified the Phillies about it today for the first time.

Right-hander Tyler Walker had his contract selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Right-hander Andrew Carpenter also has been recalled.

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Bullpen Woes

taschner dfa.jpgI flew from Atlanta to Philadelphia this morning and got to the ballpark today around 2:30 p.m.

In between, I crunched numbers.

(I also showered.)

Here is what I found:

The Phillies entered Friday’s opener against the Mets with 19 saves in 32 opportunities this season. Their 59.4 save completion percentage ranked 23rd in baseball.

The Phillies had 47 saves in 62 opportunities last season. Their 75.8 save completion percentage ranked fourth in baseball. Before you ask, while Brad Lidge went 41 for 41 in save opportunities last year, pitchers can blow saves in the seventh or eighth innings, too, which accounted for last season’s blown saves.

That is a remarkable drop. The Phillies blew just 15 saves last season. They have blown 13 this season.

The Phillies have not had a worse save completion percentage since 1998, when they saved just 57.1 percent of their games (32-for-56). That team finished 75-87 and third in the National League East.

The closer that year? Mark Leiter.

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The Phillies designated Jack Taschner for assignment. He went 1-1 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 appearances. The Phillies could have optioned him, but they said they wanted to do him a favor and give him the opportunity to join another team and pitch elsewhere in the Majors.

Taschner had a 3.74 ERA through June 10, but once J.C. Romero returned, Taschner pitched less and less and got rustier and rustier. The Phillies have 10 days to dispose of his contract. He can be traded, claimed on waivers, released or sent to the minors if he clears waivers.

Taschner not only is a fellow Wisconsinite, but he’s a good guy. I wish him well.

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