Results tagged ‘ Jason Grilli ’

Evaluation from the Inside

The Phillies say they assess everything in the offseason from the 40-man roster to the Minor League system to the coaching staff.

Even the scouting department.

“Just like in any other part of our organization, everybody is being evaluated,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Everybody.”

Even himself?

“Oh, I would think so,” he said.

Every organization has hits and misses throughout the year: good and bad free agent signings, good and bad trades, a player released that should not have been released, a player that got promoted that surprised everybody, etc.

The trick is minimizing the misses.

The Phillies have had some misses lately. They released right-hander Jason Grilli in July 2011. He had a 1.93 ERA in Triple-A Lehigh Valley at the time. He signed with the Pirates, and had a 2.91 ERA in 64 appearances this season. They acquired outfielder John Bowker from the Pirates in Aug. 2011, considering him a better bench option than Lehigh Valley outfielder Brandon Moss. Bowker went hitless in 13 at-bats, while Moss, who had a fantastic season in Lehigh Valley, signed a contract with Oakland in December. He has hit .287 with 21 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .947 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 258 at-bats this season. They signed Laynce Nix to a two-year, $2.5 million deal in December, despite the fact he had never signed a big-league contract before and had a lengthy history of injuries. They signed Chad Qualls in January, despite terrible splits away from PETCO Park. He stunk, and the Phillies traded him to the Yankees on July 1. And one wonders why they did not have legitimate interest in somebody like Josh Willingham, who looks like a steal with the three-year, $21 million contract he signed with the Twins.

Now, the Phillies signed Juan Pierre to a Minor League contract, which was a big bargain. He has hit .310 with 37 stolen bases and has been a positive presence in the clubhouse. They acquired left-hander Jeremy Horst from Cincinnati for Wilson Valdez in the offseason, which looks like an absolute steal. Horst is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 31 appearances, while Valdez (but … but … but … he was the team MVP in 2010!) is hitting .203 with a .458 OPS with the Reds. Other Minor League free agent signings like Kevin Frandsen and Erik Kratz played well enough that they could be on next season’s Opening Day roster. The signings of Jonathan Papelbon and Jimmy Rollins also worked out well in their first seasons, although a contract can never truly be judged until the end. But Papelbon did his job, and Rollins will finish among the top third of shortstops in baseball in OPS.

“We evaluate all those things,” Amaro said of the good and bad moves. “We don’t hit on every single guy. At the same time I think we’ve done a very good job hitting on most. I have a great deal of trust in Mike Ondo, who heads up our pro scouting staff. He’s as thorough and as good as there is. I think Mike and his people did a great job at the Trade Deadline. We got some very, very good players. We came away with some players that we believe really helped our organization and are going to make some impact on our club pretty soon.

“Listen, we’re talking about human beings here. When you try to make moves that you think will work out and don’t for whatever reason, a lot of the stuff is not under your control. I feel pretty confident in the people that we employ to be the eyes and ears of our organization. I think we have as good a group of people in our baseball ops department as any club in baseball.”

One thing is certain: the Phillies need more hits this offseason. They need to find the next Willingham. They need to sign a relief pitcher or two where, unlike Qualls, they don’t have to cross their fingers and hope things break right for them to have good seasons. They need to find the right solution at third base, despite almost no attractive options.

Just Another Day for Martinez

From Elias Sports Bureau: Michael Martinez broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run, ninth-inning double last night. Martinez has hits in each of his last four at-bats in Late Inning Pressure Situations (all this month) and his 11 RBIs in July ties him with Wilson Ramos for second-most among rookies. Only Freddie Freeman (16) has more.

Some other notes:

  • Martinez has hit .298 (11-for-37) with one double, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs in 10 games this month, earning more playing time with third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list with lower back inflammation.
  • Only Raul Ibanez (14) and John Mayberry Jr. (12) have more RBIs for the Phillies this month than Martinez.
  • Jason Grilli has signed with the Pirates, announcing the move on Twitter. He had an out-clause in his contract, allowing him to sign with another team if another team offered him a big-league deal. The Phillies believed they had better options than him, so released him.

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Phillies Beat Yanks in Grapefruit League Opener

hamels 0226 2011.jpg

Baseball is back, Spring Training style.

The Phillies beat the Yankees today at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 5-4. Cole Hamles allowed on unearned run in two innings. Vance Worley, Justin Feierabend, Brian Schlitter, Mike Zagurski and Jason Grilli also pitched.

Charlie Manuel had only a few words after the game, but really there wasn’t much to say. It was the first Grapefruit League game, which means there are 30 more days before the Phillies board a flight to Philadelphia to finish the exhibition schedule with a couple games March 29-30 against the Pirates at Citziens Bank Park.

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Chase Utley is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Yankees.

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Durbin, Polanco and Other Odds and Ends

Tonight is the Philadelphia Sportswriter Association banquet in Cherry Hill. Ruben Amaro Jr., Roy Halladay, Shane Victorino and Charlie Manuel are in attendance. The four spoke before the dinner and ceremonies.

Here are a few highlights from Amaro, who talked about the makeup of the team:

  • On the door being closed on Chad Durbin, who remains a free agent: “I would say that we’re probably not going to resign him.” Amaro does not appear to be bluffing, either. Amaro said the Phillies could carry 11 or 12 pitchers in the bullpen. They have a healthy handful of pitchers who should be able to fill out those one or two open spots. And remember, if Joe Blanton remains with the team and everybody in the rotation is healthy to open the season, Kyle Kendrick could take Durbin’s role.
  • On if he has any offers on the table to any remaining free agents: “No. Right now, like I’ve said before, I think we’re pretty comfortable with where we are coming into spring. We have some decisions to make. But I think that we’re — I never like to say we’re pretty well set — but I think we kind of have to go with what we’ve got and start to make assessments as to what we may need as we go through the spring. It will be interesting to see some of the competition. We’ve talked about the right field situation and the bench and also the bullpen, and those are kind of the three things that I’m curious to see how they shake out there. I think we’ll have competition in all three of those areas.”
  • On his confidence of getting a contract with Charlie Manuel, who is entering the final year of his deal: “We’ve been working at Charlie’s contract since December. We’re hoping we can get something done. And just like any other negotiation we like to keep it quiet. But I think Charlie knows exactly how we feel about him. We know how he feels about us. Hopefully we can continue the relationship.”
  • On Placido Polanco, who had offseason surgery on his left elbow: “He’s fine. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. He should be 100 percent.”
  • On if this is the best team he has taken to Spring Training: “I guess on paper it probably is just because of the pitching. As I’ve said before, acquring pitching is pretty tough. And for us to have the starting pitching, at least on paper, those projected five guys are as good a pitching staff as I think we’ve ever had. At least since I’ve been here.”
  • On the fifth starter: “Right now it’s Joe.”
  • On if it’s an open competition in right field: “Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s open. Wide open.”
  • He repeated he is not looking for a right-handed bat at this time.
  • He repeated he is not looking for middle relief at this time.
  • It’s official. The Phillies have signed Jason Grilli to a Minor League deal. He will not be in big-league camp.

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Phillies Add Grilli

The Phillies added another arm to their system with an agreement to a Minor League contract with right-hander Jason Grilli.

Grilli wrote Sunday on his Twitter account (@grillcheese49): “This Italian Stallion is FIRED UP about the City of Brother Love! Balboa workouts paid off and READY TO GO!!!”

Grilli is 18-18 with a 4.74 ERA in 238 appearances over eight seasons in the big leagues. He last pitched with the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers in 2009, when he went a combined 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA in 52 appearances. He did not pitch last year because of a knee injury.

Grilli will not be in big-league camp, which begins Feb. 14 in Clearwater, Fla. He will be in Minor League camp.

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Some contract details:

  • Kyle Kendrick. One-year, $2.45 million contract. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $50,000 for Cy Young or Rolaids ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd).
  • Ben Francisco. One-year, $1.175 million contract. Performance bonuses: $25,000 for 400 plate appearances; $25,000 for 450 plate appearances; $25,000 for 500 plate appearances. Awards bonuses: $25,000 for All Star; $50,000 for MVP ($25,000-2nd; $15,000-3rd); $50,000 for World Series MVP; $25,000 for LCS MVP; $25,000 for Gold Glove; and $25,000 for Silver Slugger.
  • Justin De Fratus. $33,600 in Minors; $414,000 in Majors.

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