Results tagged ‘ Miguel Tejada ’

Another Ruf Day

Darin RufPhillies outfielder Darin Ruf had another tough day today.

He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Dominican Republic in a 15-2 loss at Bright House Field. He also could not get to a ball Miguel Tejada hit to left-center field for a ground-rule double in the third. The ball appeared catchable.

Ruf is hitting .111 (3-for-27) with one double, three RBIs, two walks and nine strikeouts in nine games, including today’s game which does not figure into the official Spring Training statistics.

“It looks like he didn’t get no hits,” said Charlie Manuel, when asked what Ruf looked like at the plate. “Right now things aren’t going good for Ruf. He’ll be all right. Ruf isn’t the only guy to ever come to Spring Training and get off to a slow start. It happens every spring. He’ll be fine. He is going to get some more hits. He’s not going to go all of his life with collars.”

Utley Has Surgery, Out Eight Weeks

Chase Utley had surgery today in New York to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.

The Phillies said he will miss approximately eight weeks. Hand specialist Andrew Weiland will perform the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

(Read the full story here.)

Utley injured his thumb Monday, sliding head first into second base in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Utley remained in the game until he could not grip his bat in the ninth-inning.

Utley had hit .367 with one home run and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games. It’s obviously a major blow for the Phillies, but it is not unexpected. Teammates had said over the past couple days they expected him to miss a significant period of time.

Utley has done a good job in the past coming back from injuries. He broke his hand in 2007. He had surgery July 27, 2007, with the timetable to return three to four weeks. He returned Aug. 28. Utley had hip surgery following the 2008 season, with the timetable to return four to six months. He had the surgery Nov. 24, which meant he might not have been back until late May 2009. Utley was ready by Opening Day.

The Phillies traded for second baseman Tadahito Iguchi in 2007, when Utley missed a month. It would seem they need a second baseman or third baseman – Placido Polanco is on the disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, and his timetable to return is unknown – but Proefrock downplayed the urgency to get help.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a situation where we have to go get somebody,” Proefrock said.

But he said they are talking about it. Names that have been mentioned include Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada and Kelly Johnson.

“We’re always looking to improve the club,” Proefrock said. “It’s a continual process. That hasn’t changed. We talk about those kinds of things every day, so maybe the focus is a little different than it was.”

Polanco got a second opinion today from orthopedist David Altchek in New York. The Phillies said he will miss three to four weeks. 

“We’re not the only team that has injuries,” Proefrock said. “We’ve got a tremendous amount of talent still out on the field, and they need to step it up and do their jobs. (Wilson) Valdez has filled in very well when Jimmy (Rollins) was out at shortstop. He’s already done very well the first couple times he’s been at second base. Dobber (Greg Dobbs) has proven that when he gets to play regularly he can be a productive offensive player. He’s going to get that opportunity again. We just need everybody to do their jobs.”

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It's Deadline Day

Thumbnail image for park 0917.jpgThe Phillies have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to decide whether or not to offer salary arbitration to their free agents.

The suspense is killing you, isn’t it?

The Phillies basically have two players worth watching: Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre. They’re both Type B free agents. The Phillies would receive a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft as compensation, if they offer them salary arbitration and they sign elsewhere.

I’m guessing they offer Park arbitration, but don’t offer Eyre arbitration.

Park’s agent said recently that Park has drawn interest from several teams, and the Phillies have said recently they want Park back. If Park accepts arbitration from the Phillies, he is signed for 2010 and will get a raise from the $2.5 million he made last season. If he signs elsewhere, the Phillies get a draft pick. Seems like the Phillies can’t lose there.

Eyre seems less likely to be offered arbitration because he is coming off surgery on his left elbow, and because the Phillies seem to want to bring him back at their price. If the Phillies offered him arbitration, he would seem more likely to accept because it would mean a certain raise from the $2 million he received last season. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.‘s comments that the Phillies will not engage in a bidding war for Eyre’s services indicates they don’t want to go much higher – if at all – than the $2 million he made in 2009.

None of the team’s other free agents are expected to be offered arbitration: catcher Paul Bako, infielder Miguel Cairo, third baseman Pedro Feliz, right-hander Pedro Martinez, right-hander Brett Myers, outfielder Matt Stairs and left-hander Jack Taschner.

It also will be interesting to see which free agents on other teams are offered arbitration. I’m curious to see what the Tigers do with Placido Polanco. He’s a Type A free agent. If the Tigers offer and the Phillies sign him, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick to get him. If the Tigers don’t offer, I would think the Phillies really go after him, if they haven’t already. The other Type A free agent worth watching for the Phillies is Miguel Tejada, who they could have some interest in — although Polanco, Mark DeRosa and Adrian Beltre are their top targets at third base.

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Phillies Favorites for DeRosa?

derosa.jpgFOXSports.com reported early this morning that the Phillies are the favorite to land Mark DeRosa, according to a Major-League source.

But the Phillies also are seriously interested in Placido Polanco and Adrian Beltre. Other potential candidates like Miguel Tejada could become possibilities, depending how the market develops.

DeRosa hit .250 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs last season with the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs. He had wrist surgery Oct. 26, but his representatives said Tuesday that DeRosa should resume baseball activities before Spring Training.

There are reasons why DeRosa would fit.

He is from the Northeast. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Penn. He has a reputation as a hard worker and good teammate, which the Phillies consider important attributes. He also is not expected to command a major salary, which is why Chone Figgins is not a realistic possibility for the Phillies. DeRosa made $5.5 million last season.

Of course, those same things can be said about Polanco. He played with the Phillies from 2002-05. He is a hard worker, good teammate and also is unlikely to command a major deal. He made $4.6 million last season. But one potential sticking point with Polanco is that he is a Type A free agent. If the Detroit Tigers offer him salary arbitration, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft if they sign him.

The Phillies have liked DeRosa for some time. They talked with him and Wes Helms about joining the Phillies before the 2007 season, but ultimately signed Helms. They also tried to trade for DeRosa last winter. The deal ultimately fell through, and the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez to play left field.

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A Hot Stove Refresher

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.

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It's A Big Series, But It's June

mets slide.jpgIt’s June.

No matter what happens this week between the Phillies and Mets at Citi Field, just remember it’s only June.

The Phillies could sweep the Mets to take a six-game lead in the National League East, but it does not guarantee anything.

If the Phillies can overcome a seven-game deficit with 17 games to play in 2007, the Mets certainly can overcome a six-game deficit with more than 100 games to play. And if the Mets sweep the Phillies, it doesn’t mean the Phillies are in big trouble. The sky is not falling. It just means the Phillies played a bad series against a division rival in June.

You get the idea.

That is not to say the Phillies won’t be looking pretty good or feeling pretty good if they take 2 of 3 from the Mets this week. They will. And they should. It always feels good to win a series against a division rival, especially when that division rival is the Mets. But knowing the players in the clubhouse, they won’t be getting too high or too low this week. A lot can happen in 100 games.

Or just 17.

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Being a manager is more than just making out lineups and making pitching changes. It’s managing 25 different personalities in the clubhouse.

Charlie Manuel has had a knack for handling those personalities over the years. Why do I say this? Because you very rarely hear a player gripe about Manuel in the clubhouse. I heard that frequently during Larry Bowa‘s final two seasons. I hear it coming from other clubhouses, too. But Manuel seems to have the right touch. When to sit a player. When to stick with a player. That stuff plays up big in a clubhouse, where manager, coaches and teammates are together seven-plus weeks in Spring Training and over the course of a six-month season.

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It is easy to make a case for Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley to be National League All-Star starters.

Ibanez leads NL outfielders in home runs (19), RBIs (54), runs (46), hits (72) and slugging percentage (.676). He ranks fourth in hitting (.329), fifth in doubles (15) and seventh in on-base percentage (.386). Utley leads NL second basemen in runs (39), home runs (12), walks (37), on-base percentage (.438) and slugging percentage (.548). He is third in RBis (38), fourth in hitting (.296), and fifth in hits (55) and doubles (11).

But Jimmy Rollins, the NL’s leading vote getter at shortstop, is another matter. He ranks 12th out of 12 qualifying players in hitting (.222) and on-base percentage (.261) and 10th in slugging percentage (.322). He ranks second from the top in runs (34), third in doubles (13), sixth in hits (53), eighth in home runs (3) and ninth in RBIs (18).

What is interesting is that Rollins is getting some of his best fan support during one of his worst first-halves. He hasn’t been to the All-Star Game since 2005. Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein and Jose Reyes went in 2006. Reyes and J.J. Hardy went in 2007. Hanley Ramirez, Cristian Guzman and Miguel Tejada went in 2008. Rollins could have gone in 2006 and 2007 (he had no shot last season after suffering an ankle injury in April), but never went. Now in a season he is struggling, he might get to start. Go figure.

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