Results tagged ‘ Juan Pierre ’

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.

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.

Small Ball, No Runs

So be honest, how nervous are you right now?

I’ve seen some truly awful Phillies starts over the past 10 years. The Phillies are 1-2. Yes, the offense has been dreadful. Yes, the bullpen has been more than suspect. But it’s just one series.

Relax … for now.

“It’s three games into the season,” Shane Victorino said. “There is no reason to sit here and … panic. Do we want to be 3-0? Absolutely. I don’t want to be 1-2, but we sit at 1-2 and that’s what it is.”

“Anytime you open the season, you always want to win the first series, you want to win the first game, you want to get hits, you want to make big pitches,” Jim Thome said. “I think the one things I’ve learned over the years is that it’s a long haul. And we have a very talented club, we have a very, very good club. … Any time you play the first series, everything is always magnified. That’s part of the game.”

That said, the offense certainly hasn’t looked capable of hitting anybody, which makes you wonder how they’re going to handle the Marlins (Anibal Sanchez, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle) this week at Citizens Bank Park. But I thought Charlie Manuel made a very interesting comment following today’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

“I don’t want our guys to think we can’t score,” he said. “I think that sometimes when we bunt in situations, we send a message. I’m an offensive guy. I’m here because I’m an offensive guy. I’m a true believer that you get better because of confidence and the manager has to show that. We’ve got guys who have been good hitters in the past. We have to get where we want to be. I believe we’re going to score runs. It’s a matter of getting guys hot.”

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Thome, Pierre Get the Start

Charlie Manuel hinted yesterday Jim Thome would play today in the series finale against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Here’s today’s lineup:

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Jim Thome, 1B
  6. Ty Wigginton, 3B
  7. Freddy Galvis, 2B
  8. Brian Schneider, C
  9. Vance Worley, P

Manuel is looking for a little offense. Just a little. Because the Phillies have scored just two runs in 19 innings this season, and just three in 36 innings dating to the second inning in Game 4 of the NLDS.

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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 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.

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Lineup Shuffle

Not long ago Charlie Manuel had a remarkably predictable lineup.

He hit Jimmy Rolllins first, Shane Victorino or Placido Polanco second, Chase Utley third, Ryan Howard fourth and Jayson Werth or Pat Burrell fifth. But it is anybody’s guess how Manuel’s lineup will look the first few months of the season while Utley and Howard are sidelined with injuries.

“I’m still trying lineups,” Manuel said before tonight’s game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “I like to look at some lineups and figure out the ones I like. See how we play. See how we go together. I’m looking for some balance.”

Manuel said throughout the spring he wants Rollins to hit first, but that was before Utley revealed he will be sidelined indefinitely because of a chronic knee injury.

Manuel had Juan Pierre hit leadoff Friday. Victorino hit second and Rollins hit third.

“Jimmy can hit in the three hole,” Manuel said. “When he’s hitting, he can hit anywhere. I’ve put him there before and he’s hit well.”

But Victorino and Hunter Pence could hit third, too. And they probably will at some point if the offense is not producing like Manuel expects.

“I think it’s going to take a few (lineups),” Manuel said. “We’ll see. We could have a different lineup a lot. I’m not saying every day, but we’re going to have some lineups. … I like Polly in the two-hole when he’s healthy, when he can run. I want to try Pierre at the top. Pierre, to me, has always been a top of the order hitter.”

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Pierre could earn more playing time in left field, especially if John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix struggle.

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@zoowithroy throws down the gauntlet in our funnel cake feud!

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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.

Pierre Makes Team, Podsednik on Bubble

Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre has his spot on the Opening Day roster.

Scott Podsednik does not, and he does not think he will.

The Phillies had until noon tomorrow to inform Pierre if he had made the 25-man roster, but they told him he made the team following today’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay at Bright House Field. If Pierre had not made the roster he could have asked for his release. But Pierre, who is hitting .313 (15-for-48) with one double and two RBIs in 23 Grapefruit League games, showed the Phillies enough to convince them to keep him at $800,000.

“We definitely feel like Juan can help us,” Charlie Manuel said. “I look at where he could fit in some of the lineups we could use, and he’s done a little bit of everything in the game. He’s been a bench player. He’s been a regular for a long time. Last couple of years, he has a lot of at-bats in the big leagues.”

The Phillies insisted this does not mean Podsednik, who is hitting .347 (17-for-49) with five doubles, one home run and two RBIs in 26 games, will not make the team, although he signed a Minor League contract, which means he is contractually obligated to open the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley if the Phillies request it. Podsednik said he would accept his assignment to Lehigh Valley, depending on the situation. But other than retirement his only way out of it would be if the Phillies granted him his release.

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Galvis Bruises Foot, Bastardo Looks for Velocity

Freddy Galvis offered a quick smile in front of his locker this afternoon at Bright House Field.

“It’s good,” he said. “I’m good.”

Galvis fouled a pitch off the top of his left foot in the eighth inning in a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. Galvis, who left the game, suffered a bruise, but the Phillies do not believe the injury to be serious.

Galvis, who did not have x-rays, is day-to-day. A doctor will examine him tomorrow.

“Tomorrow I’m good,” Galvis insisted.

The Phillies already are without Ryan Howard (left Achilles surgery), Chase Utley (chronic left knee injury) and Michael Martinez (fractured right foot). They cannot afford to lose Galvis for any period of time.

That said, Charlie Manuel said it wasn’t a scary moment for him.

“Scary, no?” he said. “It takes a hell of a lot to scare me. If I get scared, I usually get mad.”

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There are obvious infield concerns, but there is a concern in the bullpen, too.

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You will know by Friday whether or not Juan Pierre is making the Opening Day roster.

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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.

Dom Down

The Phillies optioned Domonic Brown to Minor League camp this morning.

Brown had trouble getting on the field this month. He sprained his right thumb March 8 and suffered from a stiff neck for the past week, limiting him to just seven Grapefruit League games. He hit .300 (6 for 20) with two triples, one home run, two RBIs, one walk and a .983 OPS, but also showed he needed more work in left field, which has been a struggle.

Brown, although not surprised, was clearly disappointed.

“Life goes on,” he said. “I’m going to go down there and play hard. And that’s it. I was not expecting it, but keeping it in the back of my mind. We’ve got a lot of big-name free agent guys. John Mayberry is playing well. They just told me they want to see me out there every day, so Triple-A is the best spot for it. I’ve been through a lot these last couple years. A lot more than some veteran guys, so I think I can deal with it. I think I can handle it. Go down there and play hard and that’s all I can do.”

The Phillies said in the offseason they planned to have Brown start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he can work on his offense and defense. The Phillies believe they have enough options in left field to open the season, even with Mayberry expected to play some first base while Ryan Howard is out. Laynce Nix and Juan Pierre, who is the favorite to be the team’s fifth outfielder, can play left field when Mayberry is at first.

Asked if playing in Triple-A will at least give him a clear mind, Brown said, “No, I wanted to be here, man. That’s the goal, but things happen.”

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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.
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