Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cairo ’

Madson Loose Before Game 3

madson mask.jpg

A little behind-the-scenes access for y’all:

MLB has press conferences before every postseason game and workout. Charlie Manuel attends one every day. (He loves it!) The Phillies usually bring in the next day’s starting pitcher, a key everyday player or somebody else who’s a hot story.

The press conference are helpful for reporters because we have no clubhouse access before games like we have during the season. But sometimes they can be a little boring. We’ve asked just about everything we can ask of these guys. They’ve answered the same questions a million times. We know this. They know this. But people are baseball crazy right now, so we’ve got to feed the beast.

So thank goodness Sunday for Ryan Madson and Chad Durbin.

Madson entered the press conference wearing a mask that looked like a little similar to Miguel Cairo. Durbin played straight man. Madson played funny man.

“I’ve been wearing it every day to the playoffs, so I had to wear it again today,” Madson said.

I asked Madson an important question: When does he wear the mask? Certain times? Certain moments?

“Hot tub is where it debuted,” Madson said. “That was cool. But the first guy that walked in was Charlie Manuel and he shook his head. But I kept with it. The guys encouraged me, and I guess my favorite place to wear it would be probably the shower.”

I wrote a week ago about how Carlos Ruiz is perhaps the most well-liked guy in the clubhouse, but Madson got a ton of votes in my highly unscientific poll. Madson is extremely well-liked because of his sense of humor.

“I knew it was (Madson),” Manuel said, asked if he knew who it was in the hot tub. “I saw Chooch (Carlos Ruiz) with it on, too.”

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Finding Bruntlett's Replacement

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bruntlett 0823.jpgThe Phillies have bigger fish to fry than finding Eric Bruntlett‘s replacement as the team’s utility player — they’re looking hard for a third baseman and bullpen help — but it certainly has its importance. It’s especially important because they have nobody in the system that can play shortstop for a significant stretch should something happen to Jimmy Rollins.

The Phillies recently removed Bruntlett, right-hander Tyler Walker, catcher Paul Hoover, infielder Andy Tracy and right-hander John Ennis from their 40-man roster. They have become free agents. Bruntlett and Walker will not be back next season, although Philadelphia contacted the agents for Hoover, Tracy and Ennis about possible returns.

Names to watch to replace Bruntlett are John McDonald, Omar Vizquel, Jamey Carroll, Ronnie Belliard and Juan Uribe. Miguel Cairo, who played for the Phillies in 2009, is a free agent and could be a possibility, but I think the Phillies probably would like to go elsewhere.

Bruntlett hit just .171 (18-for-105) with seven doubles, seven RBIs and two stolen bases in very limited action this season. Bruntlett hit a more respectable .217 in 2008, when he had 212 at-bats because of an ankle injury to Rollins in April and came in as a late defensive replacement for former left fielder Pat Burrell.

Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the 2008 World Series, and is a good guy. Best of luck to him.

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Four More Phillies File for Free Agency

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.

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Myers Makes World Series Roster


myers 1012.jpgBrett Myers
is back on the World Series roster.

Miguel Cairo is off.

“We felt like we needed another pitcher because of the moves that we’ve been making in situations,” Charlie Manuel said this evening at Yankee Stadium. “We ran through five pitchers in one inning over at the Dodgers (in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series). I feel like if those things happen again … we always need pitching. I feel like with Myers’ stuff and the face that he’s in better shape and he’s well and he’s ready to pitch, I feel like his talent actually belongs on our staff.”

Cairo is off probably because the Phillies do not want to be in the same situation they were in during Game 4 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies when they had to play Cairo in left field. Eric Bruntlett has more experience playing in left field, having played there much of last season as a defensive replacement for Pat Burrell. Bruntlett also is an effective pinch-runner.

Myers was on the NLDS roster, but off the NLCS roster. He wasn’t sharp during the NLDS. In 2/3 inning in Game 2 against the Rockies, he hit a batter, walked a batter and intentionally walked another batter.

“I just asked Charlie to try to give me an opportunity to get sharp if there was a next round,” Myers said.

Myers made a mechanical adjustment, which he said has made a huge difference. Myers threw a simulated game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Pedro Feliz asked why he was trying so hard, throwing him three breaking balls and a fastball.

“I’m trying to make the team,” Myers said. “It was a tryout for me.”

It worked.

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Manuel said Ben Francisco definitely would be in the Game 1 lineup.

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The Roster: Who's In, Who's Out?

Thumbnail image for bruntlett 0823.jpgThe Phillies announced their 25-man postseason roster:

Tyler Walker, Clay Condrey and Eric Bruntlett are NOT on the roster.

Kyle Kendrick, Miguel Cairo and Antonio Bastardo ARE on the roster.

The roster is:

CATCHERS (2): Carlos Ruiz, Paul Bako.
INFIELDERS (6): Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs, Cairo.
OUTFIELD (5): Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Matt Stairs.
PITCHERS (12): Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Pedro Martinez, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin, Kendrick, Bastardo.

I’m actually surprised Bruntlett isn’t on the roster, despite the fact he hit just .171. Why? Because Bruntlett is a pretty good base runner and can play everywhere in the field. He also is considered a better shortstop than Cairo, although I suppose if Rollins gets hurt Cairo vs. Bruntlett is probably the least of your concerns. Condrey didn’t surprise me too much because he missed so much time this season. Walker surprised me a bit because he went 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 32 appearances. Kendrick pitched well down the stretch, but I’m wondering how he would be used since the Phillies already are starting the series with Blanton, Happ and Martinez in the bullpen.

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Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

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Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

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Dobbs on DL, Cairo Returns

The Phillies placed Greg Dobbs on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf. They selected the contract of Miguel Cairo to take his place.

Dobbs strained his calf in Friday’s loss to the Mets. It sounded yesterday like the injury was not serious, but apparently Dobbs’ diagnosis changed. Dobbs declined comment. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this morning that Dobbs said he has had the injury off and on since last season. He also said Dobbs might get medical testing tomorrow in Philadelphia.

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Brett Myers makes a rehab start today in Single A Lakewood.

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J.C. Romero and right-hander Clay Condrey will throw bullpen sessions tomorrow in Clearwater. Antonio Bastardo makes a rehab start tomorrow for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies.

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Making More Moves?

amaro 01.jpgThe national pundits have spoken: the Phillies were winners at the trade deadline.

But a few teams were. The Cardinals reshaped their offense with Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa and Julio Lugo. The Tigers got Jarrod Washburn. The Red Sox got Victor Martinez. The Pirates … ah, nevermind. But the Phillies bolstered their rotation with Cliff Lee, who won the 2008 American League Cy Young Award. They also added a much-needed right-handed bat to their bench with Ben Francisco.

“We’re pretty happy with how it went,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

But not completely satisfied, either. The Phillies still have room to improve, and Amaro said they were close to another trade before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. Amaro wouldn’t say what it was, but a good guess is another bench player like Francisco because the Phillies seem to have a plethora of arms in the rotation and bullpen.

The Phillies can continue to try to make trades through Aug. 31 and still have those players eligible for postseason play. But players traded from the 40-man roster through the end of the season must clear waivers first.

The Phillies have had success in recent seasons in making waiver trades. There was Matt Stairs and Scott Eyre in 2008, and Jamie Moyer, Jeff Conine and Jose Hernandez in 2006.

“It’s possible,” Amaro said of a waiver trade. “But you never know which guys will get through the waiver process. But we’ll certainly keep an eye on the waiver wire and see if there are ways to improve. Our needs might change as we go through the next month.”

Looking on the bench, Francisco and Stairs solidify the outfield, Greg Dobbs is one of the team’s most potent pinch-hitters and the Phillies like Paul Bako as Carlos Ruiz‘s backup, although Bako has been playing more lately.

Eric Bruntlett has struggled. He is hitting .123 (10-for-81) with six RBIs in 55 games this season.

“Unfortunately for Brunt and fortunately for us, everybody has stayed healthy in the infield,” Amaro said. “He’s not serving the same role as he was last year when he was being used in the outfield for Pat [Burrell]. Basically, he hasn’t had a chance to be on the field as much, so it’s been very difficult to get into any type of offensive rhythm. But he still has a lot of versatility, which is probably his strong suit. He hasn’t produced offensively, and I’m sure he’ll be the first to admit that. But right now there’s nobody who can do that job in our system.”

Triple-A Lehigh Valley infielder Miguel Cairo is hitting .296 (69-for-233) with four homers and 26 RBIs, but the Phillies don’t feel he can play shortstop as well as Bruntlett.

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Joe Blanton is 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA (six earned runs in 36 2/3 innings) in his previous five starts, and 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA (21 earned runs in 81 innings) in 12 starts since May 21. … The Phillies are hitting .103 (6-for-58) on this road trip with runners in scoring position.

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Ibanez Named NL Player of the Week


ibanez vs. atlanta.jpgRaul Ibanez
continues to impress.

He earned National League Player of the Week honors after he led the Majors with 26 total bases last week.

Ibanez also tied for the league lead with 12 RBIs and nine runs scored, and tied for second in the league with four home runs and 13 hits. He hit .481 (13 for 27) with a .963 slugging percentage and a .576 on-base percentage.

Ibanez is hitting .357 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs this season. He ranks ninth in baseball in average, second in homers, fourth in RBIs, first in slugging percentage (.714) and 15th in on-base percentage.

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Infielder Miguel Cairo, who the Phillies designated for assignment after Friday’s game in Washington, has accepted his minor league assignment, although it is unclear when he will join Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Cairo had to accept the assignment as part of his contract.

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Happ, Taschner Make Bullpen

The Phillies have announced that left-handers J.A. Happ and Jack Taschner have made the bullpen.

The 25th man has not been announced. It appears Miguel Cairo would be that guy, but perhaps the Phillies have something cooking. A team source said earlier today they would move on and look elsewhere for help once they got word Gary Sheffield was going to New York.

There had been some thought the Phillies might keep Happ in his starter’s role in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but I think they feel he pitched well enough last season and this spring to earn a big-league job. They also said earlier this week they feel he can keep his arm stretched out enough that he could start at a moment’s notice.

Taschner was a lock all along. He was a lock because they acquired him recently in a trade with the Giants and because he will be paid $830,000 (i.e. they didn’t acquire him to have him pitch in the Minor Leagues … not at that salary).

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