Results tagged ‘ Juan Castro ’

Polanco Has Back Injury, Out of Lineup

Placido Polanco said his left elbow felt fine yesterday.

Nobody asked him about his back.

Polanco is not in the lineup tonight for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds because of soreness in the middle of his back. Ruben Amaro Jr. said they never considered leaving Polanco off the NLDS roster because they expect him to eventually play in the series.

“It wasn’t so alarming that we thought it would affect our roster,” Amaro said in the dugout at Citizens Bank Park. “If it was more serious, yeah.”

Wilson Valdez, who hit .258 with four home runs and 35 RBIs in 333 at-bats, will start at third base and hit eighth. Charlie Manuel had planned to have Shane Victorino hit leadoff and Polanco second, but with Polanco out Manuel will hit Jimmy Rollins leadoff and Victorino second.

It certainly is a big loss for the Phillies. Polanco hit .298 with six homers and 52 RBIs in 554 at-bats and played solid defense at third base. Amaro said he still hoped Polanco could play Wednesday, perhaps as a pinch-hitter, although Manuel sounded pessimistic.

“He came in and told me that he couldn’t bend over,” Manuel said. “He said it hurt when he bent over. He said it hurt when he turned left or right. I’m concerned.”

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Rollins Likely to Be Activated Today

Jimmy Rollins could return to the Phillies lineup tonight.

I assume he will be activated before tonight’s series opener against the Indians. Whose place does he take on the 25-man roster? There are a few options:

1. Carlos Ruiz or Dane Sardinha. If testing hasn’t gone well for Ruiz, who got hit in the head with a bat Friday, they could place him on the DL. If Ruiz is healthy and ready to return to the field, Sardinha could go.
2. Wilson Valdez or Juan Castro. The reason is obvious here. Valdez took Rollins’ place on the roster — twice. He could be odd man out again. But Charlie Manuel clearly favors Valdez over Castro. They always could release Castro, but that seems pretty risky to me considering Rollins has been able to stay healthy for just 12 games this season. If they lose Valdez or Castro and Rollins got hurt a third time, they would be looking at bringing up Brian Bocock or Freddy Galvis. Not exactly ideal for a team trying to return to the World Series.
3. Somebody else. They’ve surprised me before.

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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!

Rollins Lands on DL

Thumbnail image for rollins 0614.jpgThe Phillies have announced that Jimmy Rollins has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

They said Tuesday’s MRI revealed a Grade 1/2 strain. Rollins injured his calf during pregame warmups Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

“We believe it to be a mild to moderate strain and we’re hopeful it will be a two-to-four week recovery,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “As in all of our injuries, precautions will be taken so that Jimmy is 100 percent when he returns to the field.”

The Phillies selected infielder Wilson Valdez‘s contract from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Rollins’ place on the 25-man roster.

Rollins is eligible to be activated as early as April 28 in San Francisco.

“Rollins, evidently he’s got like what they call a between a 2 and 1 degree calf, kinda, tear,” Manuel said earlier to Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy on Sirius XM’s MLB Home Plate. “And he’s gonna miss some time. … I mean, he’s definitely going to be out some time. How much, I don’t know yet, but he’s hurt pretty bad.”

Losing Rollins is a blow to the Phillies’ offense, but not a crippling one. Rollins did not start a game from April 9 to May 8, 2008, because of a sprained left ankle, and the Phillies went 16-12, scoring 4.9 runs per game. They averaged 4.9 runs per game with Rollins healthy in the other 134 games.

Ryan Howard missed 13 games in 2007 because of a strained left quad. The Phillies went 8-5, scoring 5.1 runs per game. They scored 5.5 runs per game with Howard healthy in the other 149 games.

Chase Utley missed 28 games in 2007 because of a fractured right wrist. The Phillies went 15-13, averaging 5.4 runs per game. They scored 5.5 runs per game with Utley healthy in the other 134 games.

The Phillies have enough offensive firepower to compensate for a short stretch without Rollins in the lineup. I’d expect Shane Victorino to be the new leadoff hitter, Carlos Ruiz to hit seventh and Juan Castro to hit eighth.

Don’t expect Castro to put up Rollins numbers. Eric Bruntlett took Rollins’ spot for the month in 2008, hitting .245 with a .304 OBP and .349 SLG. The Phillies would be more than happy if Castro provided that type of production. They need him to catch the ball. If he hits, it’s almost a bonus.

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No word if Jayson Werth is in the lineup tonight, but he said he’s fine. He required no MRI.

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I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Uglyfrom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Borders on S. Broad Street in Center City. I hope you can stop by. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Where in the World Is Jimmy Rollins? And Werth?


rollins 1019.jpgJimmy Rollins
was a very late scratch from this afternoon’s home opener at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies announced that Rollins strained his right calf while working out in the outfield before the game.

Juan Castro took Rollins’ place at shortstop, but what threw everybody through a loop is that Rollins participated in BP, warmed up on the field and got introduced during pregame introductions.

Then suddenly everybody noticed Castro warming up a shortstop before the top of the first inning.

This is the first time Castro has played this season.

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So what do we know about calf strains? We know Greg Dobbs suffered one throughout 2009. It eventually put him on the DL from Aug. 23 – Sept. 16, but he said it never truly got better until the offseason.

Shane Victorino spent time on the DL twice with calf strains: July 31 – Aug. 21, 2007, and April 13 – 28, 2008.

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Jayson Werth left the game before the sixth inning because of soreness in his left hip. It is unknown how severe the injury is. Ben Francisco took his place in right field.

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And what happens tomorrow? Rollins is scheduled to participate in a contest to set the Guiness World Record for longest batted ball.

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I will be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Uglyfrom 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Borders on S. Broad Street in Center City. I hope you can stop by. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Getting Rest for Utley and Rollins




juan castro.JPGCharlie Manuel
recently shared a conversation he had earlier this spring with Jimmy Rollins: Manuel said to Rollins that he might rest him a little more this season, and Rollins quickly replied, “Charlie, you say that every year.”

It’s true. Manuel says it every year, but every year Rollins and Utley are the lineup almost every day.

(The numbers show Utley definitely could use more breaks throughout the season.)

The topic has been broached a few times this spring because Manuel said Juan Castro‘s arrival allows Manuel to rest Rollins and Utley more often. Manuel said Castro can play both shortstop and second base. He can run the bases. He is not a great hitter, but he can handle the bat.

“He’s not going to do anything great (with the bat), but he’ll do everything pretty good,” Manuel said.

OK, but will Manuel really follow through this season and rest his regulars more?

“I think how we’re playing can dictate that,” Manuel said. “When we got up in the race we couldn’t extend the lead. We couldn’t put people away. If you have extended the lead a bit we could have started playing people more and we can give them a chance.

“I get two things. Most of the time people are talking, and I’m talking about people that are ahead of me. They say, ‘You have to play this guy more. You’ve got to give this guy some rest for October, blah, blah, blah.’ Then you look up and the same guy will tell you, ‘We’ve got to win today.’ What are you trying to tell me? All right?”

Updated: Forgot to mention that Manuel does not expect to play Placido Polanco at second base unless something drastic happens (i.e. Utley suffers a long term injury). Otherwise, expect Castro to be giving Utley his days off.

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Thanks to FOX 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” for giving my book a mention this morning!

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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!

Phillies Sign Gload

gload.jpgThe Phillies have found the last player for their bench.

Word spread late tonight at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis that the Phillies had signed free agent outfielder Ross Gload. A baseball source said it was a two-year contract.

Gload, who hits left-handed, hit .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 230 at-bats last season with the Florida Marlins. He has hit .283 with a .328 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage in an eight-year career with the Cubs, Rockies, White Sox, Royals and Marlins.

Gload joins a Phillies bench that includes outfielder Ben Francisco, catcher Brian Schneider and infielders Greg Dobbs and Juan Castro.

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Polanco Signs Three-Year, $18 Million Deal

The Phillies announced Placido Polanco has signed a three-year, $18 million contract. The contract also includes a fourth-year mutual option for 2013.

Polanco will meet with reporters later today.

Update: The Phillies also just announced that Juan Castro officially is a Phillie. He signed a one-year $750,000 contract with a club option for 2011. He will make $700,000 in 2010. He has a $750,000 club option with a $50,000 buyout for 2011.

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Amaro Talks About Pitching, Third Base, Smoltz and More

smoltz.jpgThe Phillies locked up catcher Brian Schneider today, and are expected to lock up infielder Juan Castro on Thursday.

Next up for the Phillies?

Pitching and third base. Reporters had a chance to talk with Ruben Amaro Jr. about those things and more for a few minutes this afternoon at the Bank. Here is a taste of what he said:

On finding starting pitching help: “I would like to try to add some depth there, if we could. Kendrick could be one of those options. Obviously we line up with Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer and possibly Kendrick. We’d like to add some more depth if we could, but pitchers aren’t falling out of trees and I don’t have an unlimited budget so I have to try to work on the other priorities and that’s third base and the bullpen and maybe add some depth (to the rotation) with perhaps a sixth-year free agent … or take a flier or somebody who might give us some upside who may not be on anybody’s radar screen. Try to shoot for a low-risk, high-reward type of a guy. There’s a lot of pitching out there. The quality of it, you just never know.”

On interest in John Smoltz, first reported by ESPN.com: “I guess he’d fit the bill (of low risk, high reward). We’ve talked to several agents about a bunch of different guys. But we don’t talk about specific guys unless we’re signing them. But he would kind of fit the ball, certainly. I’m not sure if that’s a role he wants to play, but we’ve had some discussions with some of those guys who could give us some more pitching depth.”

On where they stand with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre: “It is probably likely that we will not offer (salary arbitration) on either guy. I just think, number one, I don’t know that we want to put ourselves in a position to be tied up money-wise in either player. I think we want to be able to keep our flexibility as far as who we’ll make a run at. And that will financially tie us up, frankly. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to bring them back. We can still sign them back.”

On progress at third base: “I’m optimistic that we can get something done. How quickly kind of depends on the pace of the agent.”

On if they would sign a Type A free agent who is offered salary arbitration (if they did, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in 2010): “It doesn’t necessarily preclude us from moving forward on a guy. We’re going to be picking late again, and I guess the thought is, depending on the quality of the guy and how he impacts our club now and in the future, that’ll impact the decision we make to move forward on it. It obviously has an impact because our goal is to try to develop young players. And losing draft picks doesn’t help, but if you’re signing a Raul Ibanez or a higher level guy sometimes it’s worth making the move.”

Amaro also said left-hander Jamie Moyer is out of the hospital and back in Florida. But he also said Moyer is expected to have surgery on his left knee operation next month. Amaro said it could impact his start of Spring Training, but not the start of the season.

“It’s not a long recovery.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

Castro Is Bruntlett's Replacement

castro.jpgThe Phillies have found their replacement for Eric Bruntlett.

They have agreed to a one-year deal with Juan Castro, who hit .277 with one home run and nine RBIs in 112 at-bats last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Castro’s agent, Oscar Suarez, said today that “we’re closing in on something.” But a source said an announcement could come next week after Castro takes his physical.

It is a one-year deal worth less than $1 million, plus a 2011 club option.

“Who doesn’t like the Phillies as an organization?” Suarez said. “You want to win. And who doesn’t like Juan Castro? You want to have a superb utility man to back up the guys you have up the middle. We’re trying to put this thing together. I think we’re going to get it done.”

Castro, 37, is a career .230 hitter in 15 seasons in the Majors with the Dodgers, Reds, Twins and Orioles. He played shortstop, second base, third base and left field last season with the Dodgers. He has played 538 games in his career at shortstop. He also has played 251 games at third base, 241 games at second base, seven games at first base and three games in left field.

The Phillies have needed somebody who can play shortstop for a significant stretch since they recently removed Bruntlett from the 40-man roster to allow him to become a free agent. They currently have no other player like that in the system who is big-league ready.

Other teams had expressed interest in Castro, according to Suarez. FOXSports.com reported the Dodgers and Phillies were Castro’s top pursuers.

“If you look at the Phillies, they have a hell of an organization,” Suarez said. “And they probably need a guy who can play shortstop if Jimmy Rollins needs a day off or he gets thrown out of a game or he needs a break at the end of a game. It makes a lot of sense. When you’re a veteran player you want to win. That’s why he is enjoying the Dodgers. The last two years for the Phillies speak for itself.”

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Ryan Howard finished third in NL MVP voting. Albert Pujols won unanimously. Hanley Ramirez took second.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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