Results tagged ‘ Jose Contreras ’

Hamels Could Be Back Friday

Cole Hamels threw roughly 25 pitches in an important bullpen session this afternoon at Nationals Park. He said it went well.

He will throw one more bullpen session early next week and if that goes well he said he should rejoin the rotation Friday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels missed a start this week because of inflammation in his left shoulder.

“Cole is moving along fine,” Rich Dubee said.

Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick will face the Mets at home next week. Hamels would open the series against the Marlins with Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay pitching Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

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Placido Polanco sounded optimistic he could be back in action Monday.

He has been on the DL since Aug. 7 because of a sports hernia. He recently received a cortisone injection and said today he feels “much better” than he had just a few days ago. He said he thinks he will be activated from the DL Monday.

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Jose Contreras had been scheduled to throw a bullpen session today, but that has been pushed back to Monday. Charlie Manuel called it a “setback,” while Dubee said Contreras simply felt he was not ready to throw off a mound.

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Injury Updates from Toronto

Greetings from Toronto.

A few injury updates for everybody:

  • Cole Hamels (bruised right hand) played catch this morning at Rogers Centre. He said he felt much better. “I’m good,” he said, flexing and moving his right hand to show the improvement. Hamels said he plans to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and make his scheduled start Tuesday in Florida. He said he normally would have thrown a bullpen session today, but the Phillies pushed it back to give the hand a chance to heal.
  • Ryan Madson (bruised right hand) played catch this morning. Rich Dubee said it went well. But because Madson has not pitched since June 18 there is a good chance he will need to make a rehab assignment before he is activated. So he won’t be activated Monday, when he is first eligible.
  • Roy Oswalt (lower back inflammation) received a second opinion on his back Friday in Dallas. The Phillies said spine surgeon Andrew Dossett concurred with the Phillies’ diagnosis: Oswalt has mild bulging discs in his back. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Oswalt will continue his prescribed treatment, which involves injections. “He should be able to begin tossing shortly there after,” Proefrock said. Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week he thinks there’s a chance Oswalt pitches before the end of the month.
  • Brad Lidge (strained right rotator cuff) threw a bullpen session yesterday in Reading. He could begin a rehab assignment early next week.
  • Joe Blanton (right elbow inflammation) is playing catch today, but has not thrown off a mound.
  • Jose Contreras (strained right forearm) is “progressing.”

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Madson Making His Case to Close

We’ve talked plenty lately about the shortcomings of the Phillies offense, so let’s take a look this morning at Ryan Madson‘s performance in the bullpen.

He’s 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA and seven saves in seven opportunities. He has allowed 10 hits, one run, seven walks (three intentional walks) and has struck out 22 in 17 innings. Opponents have hit .167 against him.

He’s done the job.

So what happens if Jose Contreras comes back next week?

So what happens if Brad Lidge comes back next month?

Contreras went 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and five saves in five opportunities before he went on the DL. He allowed four hits, four walks and struck out nine in eight innings. Lidge hasn’t pitched since last season, but went 0-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 17 saves in 18 opportunities from Aug. 1 through the end of the regular season.

The Phillies would be incredibly fortunate to have Lidge, Madson and Contreras healthy and pitching effectively at the same time. But even if the planets align perfectly I think it’d be hard to move Madson from the ninth inning. Contreras did a fine job early, but Madson has been overpowering. And it will have been roughly eight months since Lidge last threw a pitch in a big-league game, if he returns next month. I’m not sure the Phillies want to just drop him back into the ninth inning.

“It will be a tough decision, but I think it’ll work itself out,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think when [Madson is] pitching like that, he kind of makes it tough right now to move him. What would be the point?”

Exactly.

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Updates on Contreras, Lidge, Utley and More

Chatted with Ruben Amaro Jr. for nearly 20 minutes this morning in the visitor’s dugout at Turner Field.

Here’s the latest on the Phillies’ injured.

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Who’s In, Who’s Out When Contreras, Lidge Are Back?

Before the season started the Phillies had their seventh, eighth and ninth inning relievers aligned like this:

  • Jose Contreras in the seventh.
  • Ryan Madson in the eighth.
  • Brad Lidge in the ninth.

But because of injuries to Lidge and Contreras, the Phillies have adjusted. They’ve used Danys Baez, Kyle Kendrick, J.C. Romero and others in critical late-inning situations. In last night’s 5-4 victory over the Braves, the Phillies went young. Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Vance Worley picked up big outs in the seventh and eighth innings.

“I think I put them in the fire, didn’t I?” Charlie Manuel said after the game.

Contreras could be back in roughly a week, although that remains to be seen. Lidge has said he’s hopeful he could be back before the end of June. It will be interesting to see how the bullpen lines up upon their return. Who stays? Who goes? Worley has done an excellent job, but it’s probably in the team’s s best interest to eventually send him back to Triple-A to start. (Ruben Amaro Jr. said as much recently.) They need him stretched out in case something happens to another starter. Roy Oswalt already has missed time because of a bad back and Joe Blanton already has missed time because of soreness in his right elbow (he still has discomfort in the elbow). It doesn’t make much sense to have the team’s No. 6 and 7 starters (Kendrick and Worley) both pitching in the bullpen.

Scott Mathieson or Vance Worley could be optioned Tuesday when the Phillies activate Oswalt from the DL. The other could be optioned when the Phillies activate Contreras. But what happens when Lidge returns? If Worley and Mathieson are optioned at some point and everybody is healthy, the bullpen would look like this: Baez, Bastardo, Contreras, Kendrick, Madson, Romero and Stutes.

Now it gets interesting. Bastardo, Contreras, Madson and Romero appear safe. The Phillies need a long man, which is Kendrick. That would leave Baez and Stutes. Baez has had his struggles, but is a veteran making $2.75 million. Stutes has options, but has been impressive in limited action. Fortunately for the Phillies the decision does not need to be made today. If Baez is pitching well when Lidge returns I think he stays. But if he’s not pitching well he could be in trouble — unless Stutes himself is struggling.

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Oswalt Is Back

Roy Oswalt rejoined the Phillies today after spending more than a week with his family in Mississippi.

Tornadoes tore through his home county. His home and the home of his in-laws suffered some damage, but his family is OK. His three children were in their grandparents’ home when the storms hit, which shook them up.

I’ll have more later on the experience, but here’s the baseball stuff:

  • Oswalt threw a bullpen session this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. He said it went well, although the Phillies said they have not decided if he will pitch Saturday. Rich Dubee said they must see how he feels tomorrow. Oswalt did not throw while he was home, and Dubee said Oswalt was a little rusty as a result.
  • If I’m a betting man I’m betting Chase Utley is in Clearwater, Fla., before the end of the weekend. He responded well to two simulated games earlier this week. The Phillies have said they have not made any decisions about his next step, but an appearance in extended spring training is the logical choice. “I would assume it would be a slow progression,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. That means starting with extended spring training before beginning a rehab assignment.
  • Carlos Ruiz took swings in the batting cage the past couple days, but is resting his back today. He suffered a bit of a setback. “He was progressing real well, then he kind of tweaked himself a little bit,” Amaro said. Ruiz has not played since April 27. The Phillies can back date his DL stint 10 days, so they have until Saturday to do that. “Not yet,” said Amaro, asked if he feels like they need to place Ruiz on the DL.
  • Don’t expect Vance Worley to stick around once Joe Blanton rejoins the rotation. Amaro said Worley has more value keeping stretched out as a starter in Triple-A.
  • Jose Contreras remains on schedule to return in three to four weeks. He’s been on the DL since April 22.

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A Younger, Inexperienced Bullpen

I’m sitting in the San Diego airport, getting ready to take the red eye back to Philadelphia. I won’t be in Arizona this week, so you might see fewer posts and tweets until I return Friday. But I figure I should post before I leave because I’ll be out of commission tomorrow.

The biggest thing to happen this weekend — besides the Phillies sweeping the Padres — is Jose Contreras landing on the DL.

The bullpen is 5-2 with a 2.24 ERA this season. Phillies relievers have allowed just one home run and opponents have hit just .210 against them.

It will be interesting to see how they hold up without Contreras. The Phillies’ bullpen looks like this: Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Kyle Kendrick, David Herndon, Michael Stutes and Mike Zagurski. Those seven entered the season with a combined 1,005 relief appearances. The projected bullpen on Opening Day had a combined 2,180 relief appearances with Brad Lidge, J.C. Romero, Contreras, Madson, Baez, Kendrick and Bastardo.

This bullpen got young and inexperienced in a hurry.

I’m more than a little curious to see how Stutes pitches. Phillies personnel really liked him in Spring Training. They liked his stuff, but they loved his makeup. He’s got heart.

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When everybody is healthy, we know Lidge, Madson and Contreras can close if Lidge is unavailable. But who closes now if Madson needs a day off? Bastardo got the save today. He’s got great stuff. It might be him.

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The Phillies have not scored more than four runs in 13 consecutive games. They have hit .207/.280/.303 in that span. That is bad, but it’s got to improve. Just like Phillies hitters weren’t that good the first eight games of the season, they’re not this bad in the last 13. … John Mayberry Jr. deserves more playing time. I’m not saying he’s going to save the offense, but it can’t hurt to play him when Raul Ibanez is struggling. … Lots of Phillies fans in San Diego this weekend. If you’re looking to make a Phillies’ road trip in the future, San Diego is highly recommended. My top five Got-To-See-In-The-National-League ballparks: Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, PETCO Park and PNC Park. … Thanks for the restaurant suggestions to those who sent them. Had peanut butter and banana stuffed French toast at Cafe 222 and a good lunch later in the week at Tin Fish. Two thumbs up.

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Big Truck to DL

The Phillies found themselves in a save situation today at PETCO Park, but Jose Contreras never picked up a baseball.

He might not pick up a baseball for a long time.

Contreras has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right flexor pronator tendon, which is located on the inside part of the elbow. He will fly tomorrow from Phoenix to Philadelphia, where Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti will examine him tomorrow evening or Tuesday morning. A MRI exam is not scheduled, but is a possibility.

The Phillies selected right-hander Michael Stutes’ contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his spot on the roster.

Right-hander Ryan Madson will close for the foreseeable future.

“Yeah, I’m alarmed,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Anytime a guy goes on the DL it bothers me. Hopefully it isn’t serious. He’s sore. He was a little better yesterday and a little more sore today. Hopefully we’ll have good news.”

Read the entire story here.

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Going for the Sweep

All of a sudden the three-hour time change has decided to crush me, so I’m going to throw out a few random thoughts/stats from last night’s 4-2 victory over the Padres in 11 innings and get to bed:

  • The Padres have one of the worst lineups — maybe the worst — I can recall. And they have to face Roy Halladay, who is coming off a poor start, in the series finale tomorrow. Poor lineup. Motivated Halladay. Could be a quick one.
  • Phillies pitchers are 7-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the last 10 games. Opponents have hit just .219 against them. They are 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA and a .197 opponents average in the last four games.
  • Expect Raul Ibanez to get a rest today. He is hitless in his last 18 at-bats. Not sure why John Mayberry Jr. doesn’t get a few more chances to play — this would be his third start this season — but I’m not the manager.
  • Jose Contreras hasn’t pitched the last two nights, but Charlie Manuel said he’s fine and is expected to be available today.

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Contreras’ Closer Music

Jose Contreras will hear Jay-Z‘s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” when he enters games in save situations at Citizens Bank Park. He chose the song earlier this week. He heard some KC & the Sunshine Band last Friday.

This is much better.

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Jimmy Rollins will be featured on HBO’s Real Sports on April 19 at 10 p.m.

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