Results tagged ‘ Kevin Frandsen ’

Frandsen Is Gone, Opts for Free Agency

Kevin FrandsenKevin Frandsen figured he no longer fit into the Phillies’ immediate plans when they outrighted him Sunday.

He had 72 hours to accept his Minor League assignment or he could become a free agent. He opted today for free agency, forfeiting a guaranteed $900,000 contract.

“A little bit,” said Ruben Amaro Jr., asked if he was surprised Frandsen elected free agency. “It’s his right as the rules go. As we told him when we talked to him about taking him off the roster, he had an opportunity to still make our club. We just wanted to try to give ourselves some flexibility. But that’s his choice, that’s his right and it’s part of the process.”

Frandsen led the big leagues with 14 pinch-hits last season. He also hit .353 with a .920 OPS the past two seasons against left-handers. A popular player in the Phillies clubhouse, the front office outrighted him because it felt it needed to create 40-man roster flexibility for impending moves.

It seemed a certainty Frandsen would be back with the Phillies at some point this season, but he apparently felt he had a better opportunity elsewhere. Regardless, he seems likely to take a pay cut. He cleared waivers Sunday, meaning none of the 29 teams wanted to pick him up at $900,000.

It leaves the Phillies even thinner in the infield. Freddy Galvis will open the season on the disabled list as he recovers from MRSA. They just released Ronny Cedeno today.

Cedeno Released, Look at Bench Options

Ronny CedenoThe Phillies created a little more intrigue to their bench jobs battle today.

They announced they had released infielder Ronny Cedeno, who seemed like the leading internal candidate to take Freddy Galvis’ spot on the 25-man roster while he recovers from MRSA. The Phillies had until Tuesday to place Cedeno on the 25-man roster, pay him a $100,000 retention bonus to play in Triple-A or release him.

The move indicates the Phillies believe they have a better option elsewhere.

“We’re still looking inside and outside the organization as far as filling that role,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “But we have candidates. We have guys internally and there are some guys we’re looking at outside the organization as well.”

Reid Brignac and Cesar Hernandez remain the only utility infielders in big-league camp, but Brignac is not necessarily regarded as a glove guy, although Rays manager Joe Maddon praised his defense in the past, and Hernandez hasn’t played shortstop since he was 17 in 2007. Infielder Kevin Frandsen also opted for free agency today after the Phillies outrighted him Sunday, which hurts their overall infield depth. The Phillies said he still had a chance to make the team, although he would not have filled the bill as a defensive shortstop.

 

(more…)

Frandsen Outrighted

Kevin FrandsenIn a surprise move, the Phillies announced today they have outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Frandsen has 72 hours to accept or reject the assignment. If he accepts it he will remain in camp with what Ruben Amaro Jr. said is an opportunity to still make the Opening Day roster. If he rejects it, he becomes a free agent. But if Frandsen becomes a free agent, he gives up the guaranteed $900,000 contract he signed in December, which would be a considerable risk. Yes, he would be free to sign with any team, but he just cleared waivers, meaning 29 teams passed on the opportunity to claim him, put him on their 40-man roster and pay him $900,000.

It leaves the Phillies with 37 players on the 40-man roster.

“We’re in a situation now with many of the injuries that have happened and the things that have occurred this spring to try and create some roster space for us,” Amaro said. “That’s what we’ve done. We still think he can be a valuable part of our club. But he’s competing. Just like he was before, he continues to compete for a job on the bench.”

“We can add him back,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.

It would be unusual for a team to outright a player from the roster then put him back on the roster in less than a week — Opening Day rosters must be finalized by 3 p.m. Eastern Sunday — but that is the situation Frandsen faces. Freddy Galvis will open the season on the disabled list with MRSA, which leaves Ronny Cedeno, Reid Brignac, Cesar Hernandez and Frandsen (if he stays) competing for utility infield jobs. Darin Ruf, like Galvis, also seemed likely to make the Opening Day roster, but he will open the season on the DL with a strained left oblique.

Cedeno and Brignac are not on the 40-man roster. Cedeno must be added to the roster by Tuesday, or he can ask for his release. If he decides to stay in the organization he receives a $100,000 retention bonus. Tony Gwynn Jr. and Bobby Abreu also seem likely to make the roster. Abreu must be added to the roster by Wednesday or he can ask for his release.

There are some pitchers that also might be added to the 40-man roster: Shawn Camp, Mario Hollands, Jeff Manship and David Buchanan.

Frandsen led the big leagues with 14 pinch-hits last season. He also his .353 with a .920 OPS the past two seasons against left-handers. He has hit .206 (7-for-34) with two RBIs, six strikeouts and a .412 OPS this spring.

Phils Agree with Frandsen, Tender Four Others

John Mayberry Jr.The Phillies offered no true surprises before todays’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline to offer contracts to their players eligible for salary arbitration.

They avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen, agreeing to a one-year, $900,00 contract, which includes performance bonuses. They also tendered contracts to right-hander Kyle Kendrick, center fielder Ben Revere, left-hander Antonio Bastardo and outfielder John Mayberry Jr.

They were the organization’s only five players eligible for arbitration.

There had been no doubt the Phillies would tender contracts to Kendrick, Revere and Bastardo. The Phillies need Kendrick to fill out the rotation, Revere to play center field and hit atop the lineup and Bastardo to help a beleaguered bullpen.

Frandsen could have been non-tendered had the Phillies felt they were too far apart in contract negotiations. They have infielders like Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez and Reig Brignac to compete for bench jobs in Spring Training.

Mayberry has had an up-and-down time with the Phillies, but he still holds value as a right-handed hitter with power who can play all three outfield positions and first base.

Frandsen OK After Getting Hit with Pitch

Kevin Frandsen earned a spot on the Opening Day roster Sunday, when the Phillies released Yuniesky Betancourt.

But he got a big scare in the third inning today at Joker Marchant Stadium, when Tigers ace Justin Verlander drilled him in the left wrist with a 94 mph fastball. Frandsen remained in the game before Charlie Manuel walked onto the field to remove him before the bottom of the third.

Frandsen said he is fine, although he had stitches from the baseball imprinted on his wrist as a memento.

“It’s not like it’s painful,” Frandsen said. “It’s sore. I’ve been hit well over 100 times in my professional career. Anywhere near your hand is the one that kind of freaks you out. The way it came off, it wasn’t like I couldn’t feel my hand or anything. It was just sore … as it should be after getting hit with a fastball.”

He said no x-rays is scheduled as far as he knew.

Betancourt Released; Galvis and Frandsen Win Jobs

Yuniesky BetancourtThe Phillies opened Spring Training last month with jobs available in the bullpen, outfield and infield.

They settled on their utility infielders today.

They announced they had released Yuniesky Betancourt as requested. He had hit .447 (21-for-47) with three doubles, one home run, 14 RBIs, a .451 on-base percentage and a .574 slugging percentage in 18 Grapefruit League games. The Phillies had signed Betancourt to a Minor League contract with an opt-out clause, stating they had to place him on the big-league roster by Sunday or release him if he requested it. His agent Alex Esteban said Betancourt officially requested his release.

The Phillies essentially chose Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen over Betancourt.

“This was the evaluation, right or wrong, of what we thought was best for our club,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Better to have this decision — too many players — than not having enough.”

(more…)

Five Topics with Eight Days Remaning in Florida

Domonic BrownThe Phillies board a flight for Philadelphia a week from tomorrow, which means the 2013 season is just 12 days away.

There have many storylines in camp, but as Spring Training in Florida comes to a close everybody seems to be talking about five things.

Let’s take a look at those five topics here:

Roy Halladay. There is reason to be concerned about Halladay. He looked fine in his first two Grapefruit League starts, throwing his fastball in the 89-91 mph range. But his velocity has dropped since then as he has had issues in each of his previous three starts. In his third Grapefruit League start his velocity fell into the 86-88 mph range as he talked about experiencing “dead arm.” He got shelled in 2 2/3 innings in his fourth start March 12, saying he felt lethargic. Then he lasted just one inning in his fifth start Sunday because of a stomach virus. Everybody is asking if Halladay is healthy. It is a fair and legitimate question to ask because Halladay and others in the organization said he was fine last March when he was experiencing lower back problems. But while the health question is justifiable, one also might ask this: Is Halladay simply running out of bullets? He turns 36 on May 14. He has pitched 2,351 1/3 innings from 2002-12, which ranks third in baseball. He has thrown 34,423 pitches in the regular season and postseason in that span, not including Spring Training games, bullpen sessions and warm ups. Maybe time is catching up to him, although he said in February he does not think he is there yet. It is a grim reality if it is true. Meanwhile, the Phillies are putting a positive spin on things, saying Halladay’s problems simply stem from a few mechanical issues and some problems with his cutter. They say all is well. They certainly hope they are right because it would be a blow to their chances if it is not. Halladay threw a bullpen session Wednesday and Rich Dubee said through a team spokesman, “Roy threw very well. He almost lost 10 pounds, so he’s just got to gain some weight back and get his strength.” Halladay is scheduled to make two more starts this spring before the regular season, including Saturday in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex. It is strange to be writing this, but while in the past nobody would think twice about a couple poor Spring Training starts from Halladay, some positive results here would put some minds at ease. And not just the minds of fans. Phillies officials are putting up a brave face, but they would like to see some, too.

Read the rest of the story, including thoughts on Domonic Brown, the three remaining bullpen jobs, the fifth outfielder and the two utility infield jobs, here.

Betancourt Decision Coming Soon

Yuniesky Betancourt

Ruben Amaro Jr. said today the competition for the team’s two utility infield jobs remains wide open with less than a week remaining before they need to make a decision.

Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Yuniesky Betancourt are fighting for those jobs, but because Betancourt has an opt-clause he must be informed by Sunday if he has made the 25-man roster. If he has not, he can ask to be released.

Galvis is hitting .273 (15-for-55) with six doubles, one triple, two home runs and eight RBIs. He is the best defender of the three, and Charlie Manuel has been vocal in his support. Frandsen has had a good spring offensively, hitting .298 (14-for-47) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBIs. Betancourt went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in today’s 17-10 loss to the Braves at Champion Stadium. He is hitting .450 (18-for-40) with three doubles and nine RBIs.

“I think they’ve all played well enough to be on our club, so it has to be wide open,” Amaro said, “Defense is still important, but obviously it’s the total package of the player. All three of them have played very well. I’m happy with all three of them.”

Asked if he can make up his mind in the next six days, Manuel said, “I can make up my mind in two seconds.”

But has he?

“No, I haven’t,” Manuel said. “Everything comes into play. It kind of depends on where we want to go and what we see on our team. Really. We’ve got a good battle there, man.”

Do Big Spring Training Numbers Matter?

Domonic BrownDomonic Brown and Ryan Howard have been bashing baseballs since the Phillies opened their Grapefruit League schedule last month.

That’s great, but does it really mean anything?

“It’s good for someone who we think needs to show us something,” Charlie Manuel said following today’s 10-6 loss to the Twins at Bright House Field. “That’s definitely good. But at the same time, when the season starts we’re talking about two different seasons. But it is very encouraging when you see somebody swinging the bat like Brown. I’ve seen some real big improvement out of him.”

But keep an eye on Howard, Brown and other Phillies hitters through the end of spring.

Particularly, pay attention to their slugging percentages.

Baseball statistician and author John Dewan found that players who beat their career slugging percentage by more than 200 points in Spring Training have more than a 60 percent chance at beating their career slugging percentage during the regular season (minimum 200 regular season at-bats and 40 Spring Training at-bats).

It is not a fail-proof predictor obviously, but it is something interesting to watch before the Phillies open the regular season April 1 in Atlanta. Consider for a moment that since Dewan started writing about his Spring Training predictor in 2005, eight of the 12 Phillies on his list ended up surpassing their career slugging percentages during the regular season. And of the four players that fell short, two were not everyday players (Eric Bruntlett in 2009 and Pete Orr in 2011) and one got injured midway through the season (Jim Thome in 2005).

(more…)

Betancourt Could Get A Job On Phillies Bench

Yuniesky BetancourtThe Phillies signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a Minor League contract in January, and my Twitter feed quickly filled with stunned-and-confused comments about it. I guess it’s one of those things that happens these days. The Phillies sign a guy for organizational depth at relatively low cost and minimal risk and people freak out because he has a career .290 on-base percentage.

I mean, we’re talking about the 25th man on the big-league roster or Lehigh Valley’s possible everyday shortstop, but whatever …

But an interesting thing is happening in Clearwater: Betancourt is playing well and he could get one of the team’s two utility infield jobs.

Read the entire story here.

What is especially interesting about the battle among Betancourt, Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis is Betancourt has an earlier than usual opt-out clause for March 24. The Phillies must tell Betancourt by that date if he has made the 25-man roster. If he has not made the team, he can ask to be released. March 24 is a full week before the Phillies play their final exhibition game, so the Phillies will have to decide on that before they theoretically come to conclusions about the final three bullpen jobs or outfield situation. Like I wrote yesterday, I would not be surprised to see Betancourt and Frandsen start the season with the team. Galvis can be optioned to Triple-A, where he could get more seasoning with the IronPigs. Meanwhile, Betancourt and Frandsen can show what they’ve got with the Phillies. If either struggles, the Phillies could recall Galvis at that point.

Interestingly, Ruben Amaro Jr. said Betancourt’s ability to play defense is key. That’s interesting because Galvis unquestionably is the best defensive player of the three, but the fact he has options and the others don’t could tilt the jobs in their favor.

“You could probably say right now, even though he’s a young player, he’d probably be the most reliable guy [defensively],” Amaro said of Galvis. “But again, Yuniesky has got a lot of experience. It depends on how [Betancourt] performs. We’re not making any decisions today. We don’t have to make any decision for several weeks, so we’re OK.”

Will your head explode if Betancourt makes the team? If you said yes, take a deep breath and relax. Like I said, we’re talking about the last bench player here. The Phillies won the World Series with So Taguchi‘s .580 OPS on the bench in 2008. They won a National League pennant with Eric Bruntlett‘s .462 OPS on the bench in 2009. And they won a franchise-record 102 games with Michael Martinez‘s .540 OPS on the bench in 2011.

I’m not really sure which way the Phillies will go, but Betancourt is playing well enough early to make the front office think long and hard about it.

*

MLB.com’s Richard Justice takes a look at the Phillies’ revamped bullpen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 277 other followers