Results tagged ‘ Michael Young ’

False Alarm? Young Out of Lineup, Still Here

Michael YoungNope, the Phillies said it is just a tight right hamstring.

Phillies first baseman Michael Young cleared waivers today, which means the Phillies can trade him before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline. So when they suddenly scratched him from the lineup a couple hours before their game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park many people assumed he had been traded.

Young and Charlie Manuel said the lineup change had nothing to do with a trade, but with Young’s tight hamstring.

“I’m fine,” Young said. “I’m pretty sure if it was a night game I would have played, but a day game after a night game … I just did some work on it and it’s already starting to feel better. So I’m available to pinch hit and I expect to be in the lineup tomorrow.”

Young said he is aware he has cleared waivers.

“As far as what’s going to happen now, I’m not sure,” said Young, who remains in contract with Ruben Amaro Jr. about his future.

The Phillies held onto Young before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline because they said they did not get much of value in return. It remains to be seen if they can get anything of value before the end of the month, but the fact he clears waivers means he is available, although he has the right to refuse any trade because of a full no-trade clause.

Quiet Deadline for Phillies?

Michael YoungThe Phillies have spoiled fans with plenty of action at the trade deadline in recent years, one way or another.

Let’s look back, shall we?

  • 2006: Traded Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Rheal Cormier, David Bell and Sal Fasano and DFA’d Ryan Franklin in a fire sale.
  • 2007: Acquired Kyle Lohse and Tadahito Iguchi.
  • 2008: Acquired Joe Blanton.
  • 2009: Acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco and signed Pedro Martinez.
  • 2010: Acquired Roy Oswalt.
  • 2011: Acquired Hunter Pence.
  • 2012: Traded Shane Victorino and Pence.

This might be the quietest deadline since 2005, when the Phillies got Ugueth Urbina in June. I say that because last night the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox, which means Lee isn’t going to Boston or anywhere else. So I believe at this point it’s Michael Young or nobody. The Phillies are not going to trade Lee just to trade him. Why do that? They don’t need to shed payroll, and they’ve already been burned once on a Lee deal. Teams aren’t beating down doors for Jonathan Papelbon, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz or Delmon Young either, so they probably aren’t going anywhere. Ruben Amaro Jr. has said Chase Utley isn’t leaving as they’ve discussed a contract extension, so that’s basically it. It’s Michael Young or nobody, unless something crazy happens in the next few hours.

Asche Headed to Philly, Young Headed Elsewhere

ascheTriple-A third baseman Cody Asche is on his way to Citizens Bank Park, a strong indication Phillies third baseman Michael Young is headed elsewhere.

A source Tuesday confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report Asche, who is one of the organization’s top prospects, will join the team. The Phillies have been looking for ways to retool for next season, and Young always has been the most likely Phillies player to be traded before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.

Young has been linked most closely to the Red Sox and Orioles. The Rangers also have been mentioned although a source told MLB.com over the weekend a reunion with the Rangers is unlikely. What is interesting about that is FOX Sports has reported Young, who has a full no-trade clause, has only approved a trade to the Rangers.

Young is in the final season of his contract and is unlikely to be resigned. He also has value for a postseason contender as a veteran corner infielder with postseason experience and previous experience as a DH.

Asche is hitting .295 with 24 doubles, four triples, 15 home runs, 68 RBIs and .837 OPS in 446 plate appearances this season with the IronPigs. He is hitting .323 with 10 homers, 34 RBIs and a .935 OPS in 222 plate appearances since the end of May.

The Phillies acquired Young in a trade with the Rangers in December for pitchers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. Young is hitting .277 with 18 doubles, three triples, seven homers, 32 RBIs and a .743 OPS in 398 plate appearances.

The Clock Is Ticking …

Cliff LeeThe speculation and rumors are at a full boil.

Depending on the time of day, Cliff Lee either is not going to be traded because the Phillies’ asking price is way too high — we’ve heard everything from three to four legitimate prospects to first, second and third born children — to there is a good chance he will be traded. Here’s what I know: the Phillies are willing to trade Lee. They are listening to offers for Lee. But they still plan to try to win next season and beyond — thus the $48 million to Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and the expected contract extension with Chase Utley — so they’re not pressured to trade him. They’re not the Marlins or Pirates or another small-market team. They don’t have to shed payroll. Lee’s contract isn’t an issue (although it is an issue for other teams), and for all of those reasons I would say the chances the Phillies trade Lee are less likely than trading him.

Now, please keep in mind these things can change by the hour, minute, text message or phone call. The Phillies thought they had no chance to acquire Hunter Pence before the 2011 trade deadline, but eventually got the deal done. The same could happen for Lee, but I think the Phillies aren’t as motivated to move Lee as they were to acquire Pence.

The most likely Phillies player to be traded is Michael Young for obvious reasons. He has value as a veteran corner infielder that can also DH and he isn’t expected back next season. But don’t expect much in return for a two-month rental.

The rest? Utley is not going to be traded. (See above.) Jonathan Papelbon‘s trade value isn’t terribly high at the moment and not because of his strong comments Sunday to MLB.com. It’s because of his performance and contract. His velocity has dipped and his five blown saves are tied for third in baseball. Carlos Ruiz could be moved, but don’t expect much in return. His .581 OPS would be the worst among big-league catchers, if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Trading Jimmy Rollins is moot. He said Sunday he would not waive his trade rights. I suppose the Phillies could move Delmon Young, but they would get less for him than they would get for Michael Young. CSNPhilly.com reported the only three players the Phillies will not trade are Utley, Cole Hamels and Domonic Brown. No surprises there. The Phillies expect Hamels to bounce back and a team starved for young talent would be crazy to trade Brown at this point.

If There’s A Bottom, This Has To Be It

Jake DiekmanThe Phillies didn’t need to say much in the visitors clubhouse following today’s 12-4 loss to the Tigers.

A few just offered a look.

It’s that look when the eyes open wide for a split second like, “Wow, can you believe that just happened?”

It did. The Phillies went 1-8 on the road against the Mets, Cardinals and Tigers. Their eight-game losing streak is their longest since an eight-game skid in Sept. 2011. It is their worst road trip of nine or more games since July 28-Aug. 6, 1995, when they went 1-8 against the Cubs, Braves and Reds.

“I’ve seen a lot, but I haven’t seen that,” said Jimmy Rollins, who has been with the team since 2000. “That was embarrassing. … If there’s a bottom, this has to be it. I can’t imagine things getting worse than they have this past week, culminating the way they did today.”

Rollins also offered his reasons for optimism. Read the above link for that. But Jonathan Papelbon isn’t nearly as cheery. He spoke a couple times yesterday, expressing his frustrations about the losing and the organization. He said if things don’t improve changes need to be made from top to bottom. I asked if Papelbon wants to be traded. He said no, he wants to remain in Philadelphia. But then he said if things continue this way, he doesn’t want to stick around. He said who would? You wonder what is going to happen there. I think both parties would welcome a trade, but it’s easier said than done. There doesn’t appear to be much of a market for Papelbon, and that could become a problem if the team keeps losing.

Michael Young said he hasn’t heard anything yet about a potential trade. And even though Rollins hasn’t been rumored to be traded, he said he would reject any proposals for now.

It was an interesting trip at the very least. It is hard to imagine the Phillies buying in any true capacity before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline (i.e. giving up a top prospect to fill a void in the bullpen or outfield). It wouldn’t make much sense. But I’m just not sure who they can trade to retool for the future. I’m not sure how much value Young has. It sounds like Chase Utley isn’t going anywhere. And while the Phillies would trade Cliff Lee, I wonder what they can get in return. They already traded him once and didn’t get much back.

Papelbon mentioned the Red Sox from 2011. Theo Epstein and Terry Francona both left the organization following a 7-20 finish. They also ditched players like Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Papelbon. The Red Sox struggled last season, but they are now first in the American League East with the second-best record in baseball. Ruben Amaro Jr. has his work cut out for him, but if he can make the right moves the Phillies could bounce back relatively quickly. But that’s easier said than done, and the last couple years nothing has been easy.

An Offensive Pulse

Chase Utley, Kurt SuzukiCole Hamels might be getting his mojo back, which could mean good things for the Phillies going forward. They need good pitching.

A few numbers to consider this fine Wednesday morning:

  • The Phillies have won six of their last eight games.
  • Since Atlanta started the season 12-1, it is 40-37, while the Phillies are 39-38 and the Nationals are 38-38. The Braves are practically begging somebody to challenge them in the NL East the second half of the season.
  • Since the end of May, the Phillies rank seventh in baseball averaging 4.58 runs per game. Since a loss in San Diego on June 24, they are seventh in baseball averaging 5.29 runs per game.
  • Ben Revere is hitting .346 since the end of April, which is seventh-best in baseball. He also is hitting .369 with an .871 OPS this season against lefties.
  • Following a 0-for-22 slump at the end of May, Michael Young has hit .331 with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs, 15 RBIs and an .844 OPS in his last 33 games.
  • Chase Utley‘s .504 slugging percentage is his best mark since a .508 slugging percentage in 2009.
  • Delmon Young has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games. He is hitting .431 with three doubles, one home run, 10 RBIs and a 1.022 OPS in that stretch.
  • Domonic Brown cooled a bit in June, hitting .135 with two RBIs in a 10-game stretch. But in 18 games since June 19 he has hit .319 with five doubles, two triples, four homers, 15 RBIs and a .978 OPS. He is hitting .305 with an .816 OPS against lefties, and .343 with a 1.007 OPS in eight games in the cleanup spot.
  • Jimmy Rollins is not hitting for any power this season, but he has a .326 batting average and .340 on-base percentage in his last 10 games.

Looking at those numbers you could say the offense is coming alive, which is desperately needed because the pitching staff is 24th in baseball with a 4.33 ERA since June 8. The bullpen is even worse. It has a 5.21 ERA in that stretch, which is 27th. That is why Hamels’ last two starts are encouraging. If he can return to form he can put up a few zeroes, keep the young relievers in the pen and give the Phillies a better chance to win.

If these past few weeks are a sign of something real and not fool’s good then you have to think the Phillies will look to shore up its bullpen in the coming weeks. Of course, at what cost? As encouraging as the offense has been lately, I can’t imagine it would make much sense to part with a legitimate prospect to plug a hole in the bullpen … unless it is a guy the Phillies can keep beyond this season. (Joba Chamberlain? That makes ZERO sense. I mean, none.)

Young Reinstated, Martinez Optioned

Phillies Cardinals BaseballMichael Young feels fortunate to be back with the Phillies in a relatively clear state of mind.

He got a big scare last Tuesday at Fenway Park, where he received a serious phone call about 30 minutes before his game against the Red Sox regarding a health issue concerning his nine-month-old son Antonio. Young went on the bereavement list Wednesday to return home to Texas before returning to Philadelphia to be activated before tonight’s series opener against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

“That’s what I’ve been doing, tending to my little boy,” said Young, who declined to discuss specifics regarding his son’s health issue. “A hospital bed is no place for a nine-month-old baby boy. They’re home now. Better. Awaiting some results from some tests, but he’s home now and isn’t stuck to an IV, which is a good thing to see from a father’s standpoint. He’s home with my family and he’s comfortable.”

The Phillies optioned light-hitting infielder Michael Martinez to make room for Young on the roster. They instead kept Cesar Hernandez, who replaced Young on the roster last week. The Phillies trumpeted Martinez’s defensive versatility when he replaced Chase Utley on the roster May 24, but while Hernandez is primarily a second baseman, he simply is a better baseball player than Martinez. Hernandez entered Monday hitting .263 (5-for-19) with one double in five games. Martinez has a career .509 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 358 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Phillies.

But the good news is Young’s son is feeling better.

“I’m OK,” Young said. “We got a lot of potentially bad things ruled out, which is great news. The fact that some really horrible things were ruled out was great news for my family. I’m just happy my son’s home.”

Young is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow. He said he is ready to play.

“I could always count on baseball to be kind of my sanctuary, another place where I can be me and cut it loose and go out and compete at the highest level, which is who I am and what I do and what I love to do the most,” he said. “If anything, I can count on baseball for that.”

Michael Young: A Sabermetrican’s Dream

Michael YoungMichael Young played a critical role in the Phillies’ 5-3 victory last night against the Reds.

He hit a two-out triple to score Cliff Lee in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a three-run lead. He then turned a 10-pitch at-bat in the eighth inning into his third walk of the game, which sparked a two-run rally.

Young has walked 22 times this season, which is tied for seventh in the National League. His .399 on-base percentage is eighth.

Young walked just 33 times last season. He walked a career-high 58 times in 2005.

“I’ve made an effort to really make sure I lock into the strike zone,” Young said. “Right now the walks are up. Last year they were probably really low for me, too. I don’t think necessarily think last year was indicative of how much I’ve walked. I’ve never really walked a ton of times in my career, but the goal is still the same: get a good pitch to hit and hit it as hard as I possibly can. But at the same time, if there’s something outside the strike zone I don’t want to bite on it.”

Young, who has grounded into 10 double plays to tie for the league lead with Matt Holliday, has showed a little more power recently, too. He had just four extra-base hits in his first 95 at-bats through May 1, but has five in his last 41.

Young Stays Hot

Michael YoungFrom Elias Sports Bureau: Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an infield single in the eighth inning last night that started a four-run rally to give the Phillies the lead in their 7-3 victory over the Cardinals. Young has had hitting streaks of 12 or more games in each of the last ten seasons (2004-2013). Ichiro Suzuki had hitting streaks of at least 12 games in each of the past 12 years (2001-2012).

Manuel Back Young at Third

Michael YoungCharlie Manuel reiterated he is completely confident in Michael Young’s abilities to play third base.

Young had trouble with a couple balls in Monday’s season opener against the Braves at Turner Field. He had a ball go off his glove in the fourth inning that was ruled a double. He later had another ground ball pop out of his glove. He made the throw to first, with Ryan Howard making a nice pick to get the out. But because of the bobble, he could not get a force out at second.

“He’s going to bobble some balls,” Manuel said. “Everybody we put over there is going to bobble some balls. Brooks Robinson used to bobble balls. That’s part of the game. When somebody says he has trouble fielding just because a ball gets by him or he bobbles a ball, it doesn’t mean he’s not a good fielder. That’s one. If you sit there and see him boxing three or four a game or something, then yeah we’ve got a major problem. But Michael is fine there.”

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