Results tagged ‘ Matt Stairs ’
From Elias Sports Bureau: Vance Worley threw seven scoreless innings in last night’s 1-0 victory over Florida. Worley has a 0.72 ERA in 25 innings in his last four starts, which is the lowest ERA in the National League from June 14 – July 4.
Elias also reports last night was the Phillies’ 201st game on July 4. They are 101-100.
Got a tweet from a Phillies fan last night saying the Phillies needed to cut Michael Martinez … on the night he got the game-winning hit. My Lord. I understand the frustration, but a little perspective, please. I remember when So Taguchi hit .220 as the team’s fifth outfielder in 2008. I remember when Eric Bruntlett hit .171 and Matt Stairs hit .194 in 2009. I remember when Greg Dobbs hit .196 last season. The 25th man on the roster is not going to cost this team a trip to the playoffs or the World Series. Yes, it’s ideal to have a more productive player in that spot, but there are bigger issues surrounding this team. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it worth being that angry about? No.
Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton is 2-2 with a 9.82 ERA and one save in four opportunities against the Phillies from the moment Matt Stairs‘ home run landed deep in the right-field bleachers at Dodger Stadium in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS to the moment teammates mobbed Carlos Ruiz near second base last night at Citizens Bank Park.
(In between Stairs and Ruiz, Jimmy Rollins had a pretty big hit in Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS.)
They might have been right.
The Tampa Bay Rays, who signed Burrell to a two-year, $16 million contract before the 2009 season, designated him for assignment today to make room for Hank Blalock. Burrell had hit just .202 with two home runs and 13 RBIs this season. The Rays have 10 days to dispose of Burrell’s contract. They can trade him, release or send him through waivers.
Asked if the Phillies have any interest in bringing back Burrell, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, “It’s unfortunate for him. I wish it would have worked out better there.”
Amaro cannot address their interest in Burrell because he remains with the Rays, but it seems there is no place for him on the 25-man roster.
Burrell has hit just .218 with 16 home runs and 77 RBIs in 496 at-bats the since he left the Phillies. He has just a .311 on-base percentage and a .361 slugging percentage. Out of the 213 players that qualify for on-base-plus-slugging percentage the past two seasons, Burrell’s .617 OPS is 198th. It is difficult seeing how Burrell would fit on the Phillies’ bench, especially with Ben Francisco and Ross Gload occupying those spots. Burrell cannot run well and has played just two games in the outfield since he left the Phillies. He also is a career .227 pinch-hitter.
A National League team’s fourth and fifth outfielders need some versatility. Francisco and Gload are much more versatile than Burrell because they can play multiple positions. Matt Stairs fit Burrell’s mold last season, but he also was an accomplished pinch-hitter.
“I think Burrell can still hit,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think he’ll get a job. I hope he does.”
Random thoughts from Houston …
- Jimmy Rollins said he meant no disrespect to the Phillies when he said the Yankees never would have traded Cliff Lee like the Phillies did. He said he meant it to compliment the Yankees, and say it would have big had the Phillies beaten them in the World Series because they are the only team that can spend with impunity. Either way, it’s much ado about nothing. Ruben Amaro Jr. had no comment when asked about it yesterday, but kiddingly gave Rollins a hard time in the clubhouse before the game.
- Raul Ibanez hit a ball hard in the first inning, a double to score to runs. Could be a good sign. Ibanez has been struggling.
- Shane Victorino entered tonight’s game hitting just .154 (2 for 13) with two RBIs. So he took some time going through the team’s bat bags before BP, looking for a teammate’s bat he could use in the game. Matt Stairs said last season that Victorino is a habitual bat borrower, so it’s not too unusual to see him doing that. But it shows players will try anything to get out of a funk.
- Happy Birthday to Chris Wheeler … except it isn’t his birthday. But Phillies broadcasters are behaving like it is, giving him a cake and a card and everything. Wheeler accidentally wrote in his book that his birthday is April 9. It’s actually August 9. As somebody who writes thousands upon thousands upon thousands of words a year, I feel his pain.
- Had the worst allergy attack of my life in DC. You know it’s bad when players come up to you and think you’re dying. Thankfully, the pollen count isn’t crippling me in Houston.
- The Astros play “Deep In the Heart of Texas” during the seventh-inning stretch. Always reminds me of the scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
Let’s catch up with where the Phillies stand as teams can sign free agents beginning Friday.
First, some important dates to know:
- The Phillies have until Dec. 1 to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents.
- Free agents offered arbitration have until Dec. 7 to accept.
- The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to tender contracts to their remaining unsigned players.
Everybody knows the Phillies are looking for a new third baseman. They would love Chone Figgins, but they are not expected to be in the running because he is seeking a reported five-year, $50 million deal. The Phillies already have $106.75 million committed to just 12 players next season, which does not include significant raises to salary arbitration eligible players Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz, plus upgrades to the bullpen and bench. The Phillies are going to look for a shorter, more affordable contract to fill their void at third. More likely targets are Placido Polanco, Adrian Beltre and Mark DeRosa. The Phillies have had interest in Miguel Tejada in the past, but he also might command too big a contract.
The Phillies reportedly have expressed interest in right-hander Fernando Rodney, but if he can close elsewhere, I imagine that is where he would go.
The Phillies have nine free agents: catcher Paul Bako, infielder Miguel Cairo, left-hander Scott Eyre, third baseman Pedro Feliz, right-hander Pedro Martinez, right-hander Brett Myers, right-hander Chan Ho Park, outfielder Matt Stairs and left-hander Jack Taschner.
Park and Eyre, who are Type B free agents, seem to be the most likely players to return. Ruben Amaro Jr. said he has contacted Park’s agent about bringing him back. Eyre, who had elbow surgery last Monday, said he will play for the Phillies or retire. If he decides to play, the Phillies seem interested. He is 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 games since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008.
The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. If Stairs returns, it would on a Minor League deal.
If Feliz returns it means the Phillies’ plans to upgrade at third base did not go as intended. Amaro said last week that he has told Martinez that they have not closed the door on his return, but are focusing their attention elsewhere. It seems unlikely Martinez will be back.
Amaro hasn’t ruled out Bako’s return, but he also said finding a backup catcher is a priority, which indicates they will be looking elsewhere. Taschner is expected to sign elsewhere. It is difficult to picture the Phillies signing Cairo to anything other than a Minor League deal.
The Phillies have seven players eligible for salary arbitration: Blanton, infielder Eric Bruntlett, right-hander Clay Condrey, right-hander Chad Durbin, Ruiz, Victorino and right-hander Tyler Walker. The Phillies are expected to tender contracts to Blanton, Ruiz and Victorino. Durbin is a good bet, depending on how the Phillies rebuild their bullpen. The futures for Bruntlett, Condrey and Walker seem less certain.
It is a formality, but Chan Ho Park, Pedro Feliz, Matt Stairs and Paul Bako filed for free agency today.
They joined Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers and Miguel Cairo, who filed Friday.
The Phillies have contacted Park’s agent about returning next season, which makes sense at the right price. He pitched effectively in the bullpen, going 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 38 relief appearances. The Phillies have told Myers that he will not be back. They have declined Feliz’s $5.5 million club option, which means they are exploring other options at third base. Stairs seems unlikely to return, unless they bring him back on a minor-league deal. It sounds like the Phillies will look elsewhere for a backup catcher. Martinez also seems unlikely to return because the Phillies already have Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and others signed or under their control.
He said this afternoon that Ruben Amaro Jr. informed him that he would not be re-signed. Myers, who the Phillies drafted in the first round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, said he first saw it coming when the Phillies acquired left-hander Cliff Lee in July and when he rarely pitched in the postseason. But he also knew with the salaries the Phillies already had committed that he was unlikely to return.
“Kenny Powers is officially a free agent,” he joked in a telephone interview.
Myers went 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA in 240 games (183) starts in his Phillies career. He went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA this season, which was derailed in May with an injured right hip that required surgery in June. Myers rejoined the team in September as a relief pitcher, but strained his right latissimus dorsi muscle that sidelined him for a couple more weeks.
“I’ll be fine,” Myers said. “I’ve got friends and family up here, but there’s always a time when change has to happen. If I don’t fit their plans that’s fine with me. There’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t sit here and be sad about it. It’s been great playing here. I’ve had ups and downs here. It’s always tough when you have to leave your family behind, and I consider the Phillies family. I’ve been with them for 10 years. But like I said, there’s always a time when you want to go.”
“We decided to go in a different direction,” Amaro said.
Myers said he would have been willing to sign a one-year, incentive laden deal to remain with the Phillies, but the Phillies weren’t interested. He also said he has no preference regarding starting or relieving with his new team. He said he would like to pitch closer to his Jacksonville, Fla., home. If he starts, he would like to start in the National League. If he is a reliever, he would pitch in either league.
“I just need to keep pitching and be myself,” he said. “There’s nothing I can change about myself and there’s nothing I’m going to change about myself. It’s me. It’s who I am. I’m going to compete just as hard for another team. If I come across the Phillies, I’m going to try to make it hell on them. I’ve got friends on my time, but cross that white line and it’s game on, you know?”
The Phillies have contacted Chan Ho Park‘s agent about returning. … The Phillies will wait for results on Scott Eyre‘s elbow surgery before they decide whether or not they want to bring him back. … If Matt Stairs is back in 2010 at all, it will be on a Minor League deal.
Here is your Phillies lineup for Game 2 of the World Series:
- Jimmy Rollins, SS
- Shane Victorino, CF
- Chase Utley, 2B
- Ryan Howard, 1B
- Jayson Werth, RF
- Raul Ibanez, LF
- Matt Stairs, DH
- Pedro Feliz, 3B
- Carlos Ruiz, C
Pedro Martinez is on the mound.
The Yankees have Jose Molina behind the plate instead of Jorge Posada. They also have Jerry Hairston Jr. in right field in place of Nick Swisher. Otherwise their lineup remains the same.
Greg Dobbs has the flu, and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Dobbs has been sent home. The Phillies do not seem to think the flu is too serious, and are not considering removing him from the 25-man roster. If they did that, Dobbs would be ineligible for the remainder of the season.
Here are a few things from today’s workout at the Bank:
- Charlie Manuel expects to see CC Sabathia three times if the World Series goes seven games.
- Raul Ibanez is going to DH Game 1, which would allow Ben Francisco to play left field. Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs could DH Game 2 against A.J. Burnett.
- Robin Roberts spoke about the 1950 World Series. He said back then he hated four things: Notre Dame, Michigan, the Yankees and Russia. That might be one of my top five answers to a question all year.
- Manuel would not say who will pitch Game 2, but he sounds more and more like it’s going to be Pedro Martinez. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. But Martinez has experience. He won’t be intimidated. “We weigh all that,” Manuel said. “We try to weigh everything possible. I guess that’s the good part about my job. I’ve got quite a few people around and we discuss everything about the game. We discuss everything that you’re supposed to cover. There’s not a whole lot that we’re going to miss as far as what we want to do. But when I look at Pedro, Pedro has been in the big environment. He’s pitched about everywhere you can pitch. I don’t think nothing is going to really bother him or get him upset. I think we can pitch him in either ballpark, really. I don’t think it matters at all.”
The Colorado Rockies swept the Phillies in the National League Division Series in 2007, but the Phillies get another shot at Colorado this week when they meet again in the NLDS.
Game 1 is Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.
“We kind of owe them something,” Charlie Manuel said yesterday. “[Rockies general manager] Dan O’Dowd is my former boss and a good friend of mine. Man, I’d like to beat him. I think we’ll be prepared. But I also think they’ll be prepared. They’ve got a lot of energy and they like to play. That’s why they’re where they’re at. That’s why they have such a big record ever since the first month of the season. They play like they just love to play baseball, and they go out there to beat you.”
The Phillies are 4-2 against the Rockies this season, but they have not seen them since Aug. 6 in Philadelphia. The Rockies were 59-49 at the time, but are 34-19 (.642) since for the best record in the National League and the second-best record in baseball.
The Phillies haven’t been in Colorado since April, when Matt Stairs capped a three-game series victory with a pinch-hit home run in the ninth-inning in a 7-5 victory April 12. It wasn’t just a memorable homer because Stairs won the game with a bomb to right-center field. It was memorable because it was Harry Kalas‘ last home run call. He died the next day in Washington.
The Phillies won the three-game series in August with the help from left-handers J.A. Happ, who threw a four-hit, 10-strikeout shutout, and Cliff Lee, who allowed one run and struck out nine in seven innings.