Results tagged ‘ Joe Blanton ’

Blanton Traded, Lee Claimed

Joe Blanton is gone.

Cliff Lee isn’t going anywhere.

The Phillies placed Blanton on waivers this week, and the Dodgers promptly claimed him. The Phillies had the option of pulling him back from waivers, but instead they shipped him to Los Angeles for a player to be named or cash. The Dodgers will pay the remaining $2.9 million in Blanton’s salary, and the Phillies can get a player back if they want.

CBS’ Jon Heyman reported a team claimed Lee, but Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters today Lee isn’t going anywhere.

That’s not a surprise. Unless the Phillies got knocked out with an offer, the Phillies weren’t going to trade him.

Blanton’s departure leaves five players from the 2008 World Series roster: Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. While working on the The Rotation last year, I asked Blanton how often he gets asked about his home run in Game 4 of the 2008 World Series:

“It gets mentioned a lot. I get a lot of really cool comments. People remember where they were when I hit it, that kind of thing. I get a lot of that: I was sitting in this section. I was at home on my couch. I was at this bar when I was watching the game. People remember where they were when I hit it and they bring it up, which I think is unbelievable. To remember that … that’s pretty awesome.  I get asked about it, but I get more of the I was here stuff: That’s one of my favorite Phillies memories, or that was one my favorite moment of the postseason.”

Watch Blanton’s highlights from Game 4 and his thoughts after Game 5 after the jump …

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Victorino to LA Deal Gets Close

The Phillies and Dodgers are closing on a deal that would send Shane Victorino to Los Angeles, a source confirmed to MLB.com.

The Dodgers would send the Phillies right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and a second player.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Domonic Brown is on his way to Nationals Park, where the Phillies open a three-game series Tuesday against the Nationals. That is a sure sign a deal is imminent, although it remains to be seen where he plays. The Phillies also have been trying to trade rightfielder Hunter Pence. The Giants have been pursuing him.

Don’t rule out the Phillies trading both Victorino and Pence on the same day.

ESPN.com first reported the Phillies and Dodgers were close to the finish line on the trade.

The Phillies are looking to overhaul their roster after a remarkably disappointing season. Moving Victorino, who will become a free agent after the season, to the Dodgers will allow the Phillies to bolster their bullpen, which has been a weakness.

Victorino had been looking for a five-year contract once he hit the open market. The Phillies seemed unlikely to sign him, so it makes sense to move him rather than let him leave with nothing in return after the season.

Lindblom is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season for the Dodgers. He cannot become a free agent until 2018.

The Phillies have been talking to the Orioles about a trade involving Joe Blanton, although it appears the remaining $3 million on Blanton’s contract could kill the deal. The Orioles want the Phillies to pick up a substantial portion of the contract, which makes little sense to them if they are getting a lesser prospect in return.

Orioles Like Blanton (A Lot)

Brittany Ghiroli, who covers the Orioles for MLB.com, just filed a report on Baltimore’s interest in Joe Blanton.

Basically, if they give the Phillies something they like it’s a good bet he joins Jim Thome this week.

The sense I get in any trade involving the Phillies (Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre, Blanton, etc.) before tomorrow’s 4 p.m. deadline is this: They’re not going to trade a guy for a warm body. I think the Phillies are realistic enough to know they’re not going to get a top prospect for Blanton, who becomes a free agent after the season, but a quality relief pitcher or a solid utility infielder would be attractive to them. A filler in Double-A or Triple-A doesn’t make much sense, unless moving Blanton’s salary helps them dip below the luxury tax.

Stay tuned …

Improvers Should Improve

The Phillies don’t like to call themselves buyers or sellers.

They’re improvers, they said.

Well, it’s time to improve for 2013.

Charlie Manuel said yesterday the Phillies still have a heartbeat, but he understands the reality of the situation. They’re on pace to finish 71-91 and have given nobody any reason to believe they can put together the type of run they need to make the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. They knew they needed to win 2 of 3 or sweep this weekend in Atlanta, but they got swept instead. The Braves currently hold the second NL Wild Card and are on pace to finish 91-71, which means the Phillies would need to finish 46-14 (.767) to tie. That’s right, the Phillies would need to win more than three of every four games the rest of the season just to get into contention with the Pirates and Braves, assuming those teams keep their current pace. But the Phillies are just 8-7 (.533) since the break.

It doesn’t look like they’re up for the miracle of miracles.

The trade deadline is 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Is there any reason not to make a few trades to improve for next season?

Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton seem to be the most likely to go. Victorino could help a few outfields and Blanton could help a few rotations, much like he helped the Phillies rotation in 2008. Juan Pierre could help somebody. Hunter Pence‘s name is swirling around San Francisco, although every credible reporter there and nationally has dumped on the San Francisco TV report the Giants are simply awaiting approval from ownership to complete a deal. Personally, I don’t think it makes much sense to trade Pence unless they get quite a haul in return. They’ll need him next season. But if you can get something of value in return for Victorino and Blanton — a couple bullpen arms maybe? — then I think you have to do it. Sure, it would mean John Mayberry Jr. playing every day in center field the rest of the season, but it also might mean Domonic Brown playing every day in left field the rest of the season. And don’t the Phillies have to give Brown a two-month tryout, so they have a better idea of how they’re going to tackle the outfield in the offseason? I’m not sure they can go into next season hoping Brown can handle the job. They entered the previous two seasons hoping Ben Francisco could handle right field in place of Jayson Werth and Mayberry could handle left field in place of Raul Ibanez, and both fell far short of expectations.

Trading Victorino, Blanton, Pierre and others won’t make for pretty baseball the last two months of the season, but the first four months of the season haven’t been pretty with them.

Time to cut bait. Time to improve.

Blanton Keeps Winning

A quick turnaround today. The tarp is on the field, but the Phillies and Astros are going to try to play.

If the game is postponed, I’ll let you know via Twitter ASAP.

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Joe Blanton allowed one run in seven innings in last night’s 5-1 victory over Houston. The Phillies have won three of his last four starts, and Blanton has not taken a loss since April 22. What is interesting about that is the Phillies have not won a game Roy Halladay has pitched since April 16 — a stretch of five consecutive starts — and they have not won a game Cliff Lee has pitched all season.

Of course, that is not entirely the fault of Halladay or Lee. The Phillies scored a combined three runs in Lee’s first three starts before the bullpen blew a lead Wednesday against the Mets. Halladay has a 4.59 ERA in his last five starts, but remove that brutal effort against Atlanta on May 2 and he has a 2.89 ERA in the other four.

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Placido Polanco became the 268th player in baseball history to reach 2,000 hits. He is the 17th active player to have 2,000.

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Freddy Galvis had three hits last night. Since he started his career 0-for-12, he is hitting .260 (25-for-96) with nine doubles, one triple, one home run and 15 RBIs. His 15 RBIs rank third on the team. Only Hunter Pence (23) and Carlos Ruiz (23) have more. And that’s more than Placido Polanco (eight) and Jimmy Rollins (six) have combined.

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More and more teams are using the defensive shift, but as of last week the Phillies had employed the defense just once. Sam Perlozzo explains.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

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Phillies Are .500!

Ah, one more win and the Phillies will have a winning record for the first time since April 5.

Just a little sarcasm to start the morning.

(Actually, I just really wanted to put a link to that Simpsons clip.)

The Phillies scored enough runs to win last night, but they have scored three or fewer runs in four of their first six games. So they are not out of the woods yet, but it certainly helps Phillies starters have a 1.60 ERA through six games. Joe Blanton was impressive last night, allowing three hits and one run in seven innings. The Phillies are 13-3 in Blanton’s last 16 regular-season starts at Citizens Bank Park, although he has a 4.29 ERA.

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Doc Gets Opening Day, Hamels Gets Home Opener

We asked nicely today, so Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee revealed his rotation to open the 2012 season:

  • April 5 in Pittsburgh: Roy Halladay
  • April 7 in Pittsburgh: Cliff Lee
  • April 8 in Pittsburgh: Vance Worley
  • April 9 vs. Miami: Cole Hamels

Dubee explained.

“Cole has had more experience,” said Dubee, asked why Hamels gets the home opener. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn’t put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.”

It is unclear when Joe Blanton would pitch, but because of two off days between the season opener April 5 and the fifth game of the season April 11, it is likely Halladay pitches April 11.

“I don’t think we’re going to let Doc sit around for seven or eight days,” Dubee said. “That’s too much.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • April 2: Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 3: Chester County Book Company in West Chester, PA, 7 p.m.
  • April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.

Orioles in Clearwater Today

I’m not at the ballpark today, but Paul Hagen is covering the team, so we’re in excellent shape.

Joe Blanton starts this afternoon’s game against the Orioles at Bright House Field. Scott Elarton follows him.

Elarton is an interesting story. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008, but after a chance meeting with Ruben Amaro Jr. at Coors Field is trying to make a comeback.

Read the story here.

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Jim Salisbury and I are signing copies of The Rotation before the March 19 game against the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Field. I’ll pass along the exact time when I have it. So far we’ve received tremendous response about it.So if you’re in Clearwater and attending that afternoon’s game, stop by, sell hello and pick up a copy!

Of course, if you’re not at that game, the book is available at the Bright House Field team store.

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Here’s today’s lineup against Baltimore:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Placido Polanco, 3B
  3. Shane Victorino, CF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Hunter Pence, RF
  6. Ty Wigginton, 1B
  7. John Mayberry Jr., LF
  8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
  9. Tuffy Gosewich, C

A Possible NLDS Roster

The Phillies said today they’re probably going to carry 11 pitchers on their postseason roster.

They’ve informed Domonic Brown, right-hander Justin De Fratus and left-hander Joe Savery they will be in instructional league during the postseason to stay sharp in case they are needed. Right-hander Michael Schwimer and outfielder Brandon Moss will head home after the season’s finale Wednesday. Catcher Erik Kratz could travel with the team, but that has not been decided.

Here’s a look at my projected 25-man NLDS roster:

  • Catchers (2): Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider.
  • Infielders (7): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Jimmy Rollins, Ross Gload, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
  • Outfielders (5): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Francisco.
  • Starters (4): Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.
  • Relievers: (7): Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Antonio Bastardo, Mike Stutes, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick with David Herndon or Joe Blanton taking up the final spot.

No surprises here among the 14 position players. Blanton has worked his way into the conversation to earn a bullpen spot. If he pitches well this week in Atlanta that could make the decision a little more difficult for the Phillies as Herndon has a 1.99 ERA in 33 appearances since April.

Pete Orr and John Bowker would have a shot to make the roster if the Phillies carried 10 pitchers, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen.

Blanton Is Back

Joe Blanton hopes to make something out of this season.

The Phillies activated him from the 60-day disabled list today.  Blanton had been on the DL since May 23 (retroactive to May 16) with right elbow inflammation. Blanton, 30, made one rehab appearance with Class A Lakewood on Friday, pitching one perfect inning . Blanton was 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA in six starts for the Phillies this season. He will be pitching out of the bullpen the rest of the season.

Kyle Kendrick has been reinstated from the paternity leave list.  Kendrick and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter, over the weekend.

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