Results tagged ‘ Pedro Martinez ’

Amaro's Next Move

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract, and it could be their final move this offseason.

But Ruben Amaro Jr. said today that he still has a left-handed reliever and another starter on his wish list:

Amaro said the Phillies “probably have finished the negotiations” with Scott Eyre, whom they offered a Minor League deal. Eyre was 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in 61 appearances since he joined the Phillies in Aug. 2008, but he also is coming off elbow surgery. Amaro said the Phillies offered Eyre the Minor League deal for protection from the surgery.

“I don’t believe he’ll be a Phillie next year,” Amaro said.

But Amaro said he still will explore opportunities for left-handed relievers because there is some question whether or not J.C. Romero will be ready to start the season. He had elbow surgery in October. He could begin throwing in the middle of the month, but Amaro said Romero is behind closer Brad Lidge, who also had elbow surgery and also might not be ready to start the season.

Free agent left-handers Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are possibilities to take Eyre’s place.

“There is not a lot to choose from,” Amaro said.

There is not much the Phillies can afford, either. Baez will make $2.5 million in 2010 and $2.75 million in 2011. That pushes their 2010 payroll to $118.45 million, and that does not include salaries for Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin, Ben Francisco, J.A. Happ and others.

Amaro added that Jamie Moyer, who is slated as the team’s fifth starter, also might not be ready to start the season. He is having the meniscus repaired in his right knee Monday. If he is not ready, Amaro said Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched last season in Japan, would be candidates for the fifth starter’s job. And because of the uncertainty surrounding Moyer, Amaro would like to add more depth to the rotation. He said he has talked with the agents for Ben Sheets, Chien-Ming Wang and others, but they seem unlikely to sign unless their asking prices drop significantly. Amaro said he also has spoken to Brett Myers‘ agent, which is noteworthy because Amaro said immediately after the season that Myers would not return.

That said, Amaro said he doesn’t see much likelihood that Myers will be back.

“If we had our druthers, we’ll try to perhaps sign somebody else – one or two pitchers who could fight for one of those jobs,” Amaro said. “Probably a Minor League deal at this point. A player who is anticipating getting a Major League deal and quite frankly the market isn’t out there for them.”

The Phillies have had interest in right-hander Miguel Batista in the past, although it is unclear what the market is for him. Amaro also said he will leave the lines of communication open with Pedro Martinez, although it seems their prices are far apart.

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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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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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Little Red Machine Can't Repeat

phils 1104.jpg

Jimmy Rollins said in Philadelphia last month when the Phillies clinched their third consecutive National League East championship that he wanted to wear Harry Kalas‘ jacket and shoes during another parade down Broad Street. He said in Denver when the Phillies clinched the NL Division Series that he hoped the Phillies could be known as the Little Red Machine, referring to the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, the last team to win consecutive World Series.

Neither came true when the Yankees beat the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series last night, 7-3.

A few things from the clubhouse before the Ny-Quil kicks in and I pass out:

  • Pedro Martinez left the ballpark almost immediately after the game. A few reporters got him before he jumped on an elevator, which would have been fine except an obnoxious and perhaps drunk Yankees fan stood next to him and harrassed him. No security jumped in. Martinez indicated he was sick during his start. He left before he could be asked about his future. Rich Dubee said he thinks Martinez could pitch effectively through an entire season. We’ll see what his future is with the Phillies, but I tend to think another team will offer him more money than the Phillies would be willing to commit.
  • Brett Myers and Scott Eyre both said they would like to be back. Both are free agents. Eyre, who is considering retirement, said he would play only for the Phillies. Myers, who could be a starter or reliever elsewhere, said he likes both roles.
  • Asked how he felt about his performance, Ryan Howard said, “I feel cool. I feel cool. I think the only thing you can do now is go home and relax and come back for Spring Training.”
  • “Are they better than we are? For this series they were,” Charlie Manuel said of the Yankees. “They’ve got the trophy. We don’t. We gave it up, but we’re going to get it back.”
  • Manuel, on if he considered replacing Martinez with J.A. Happ to face Hideki Matsui in the third inning: “Pedro, he knows how to pitch. He’s got experience. I had to let him face that guy. We can go down 4-1 and we can definitely rebound there. But I had to let him – it wasn’t the time for me to take him out.”

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A Few More Words Before Game 6

Thumbnail image for 3-2comebackschart.jpgCharlie Manuel sounded like a man who is leaning toward Cole Hamels in Game 7, if the World Series gets that far.

“I think when we sit down and measure out everything and we talk it over … that more than likely might be exactly what we’re going to do,” Manuel said. “But at the same time, like I told Hamels last night, I’m going to think about everything. We’ll sit down and I’ll come up with who’s going to pitch. But right now, we’re going to play tomorrow’s game. We don’t look back and we don’t look ahead.”

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Pedro Martinez entertained again during his press conference. Asked about Red Sox fans rooting for the Phillies in the World Series, he said, “I know that they don’t like the Yankees to win, not even in Nintendo games.”

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Manuel said Shane Victorino is day-to-day after brusing his right index finger in Game 5 last night. He also said Joe Blanton, who started Game 4, is available to pitch in relief.

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The chart to the left shows the teams that have overcome 3-2 deficits to win a World Series. Only six of those 18 teams had to win two consecutive games on the road like the Phillies do: the 1926 Cardinals, 1934 Cardinals, 1952 Yankees, 1958 Yankees, 1968 Tigers and 1979 Pirates.

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The Phillies are 2-4 in elimination games in World Series history.

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Since 1982, teams with a 3-2 lead are just 5-8 in Game 6.

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It's Pedro vs. Pettitte in Game 6

Yankees manager Joe Girardi just announced that left-hander Andy Pettitte will pitch Game 6 of the World Series tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte will be pitching on short rest.

Girardi said after Game 5 last night that he would ask Pettitte how he felt before he made a decision. He said the conversation went something like this:

“How do you feel?”

“Great.”

Pettitte is 4-6 with a 4.16 ERA on short rest in his career, although he has not pitched on short rest since 2006 with Houston. It could be risky.

“We’re still very comfortable doing it,” Girardi said.

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Hamels in Game 7? Got to Win Game 6 First.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for hamels 0604.jpgIf the Phillies win Game 6, who pitches Game 7?

I think it is going to be Cole Hamels, but with a very short leash.

Hamels talked at length last night about his comments after Game 3 that he couldn’t wait for the season to end. It was a terrible thing to say, but his comments also were taken out of context. He initially was asked if he would like to pitch Game 7, considering how things fell apart for him. He said he would. He said he wanted redemption, and that he hoped everybody would have faith in him that he could do the job. Then Hamels got asked what he would think if he did not get a chance to pitch again this season. That is when he said he couldn’t wait for the season to end. Like I said, a terrible choice of words, but he wasn’t saying, “Gee, I can’t wait to book a trip to Mexico.”

Hamels said he spoke with Charlie Manuel before Game 5 to explain himself.

“I didn’t even know what I said or put out there,” Hamels said. “It was not what I was thinking. Sometimes you talk and you try to be as honest as possible and connect to people and you say things you didn’t really mean. I would never be here if I ever quit on anything. If I was ever too tired not to go through with any decision I would not be standing here.

“I think Charlie knows me. I think he’s managed me for quite a few years. I think the only doubt it left in people’s minds is the fans. That hurts because I love the city of Philadelphia. I play as hard as I possibly can. … I wasn’t able to sleep for the past couple nights because of that. … I’ll never ever quit. I want to play this game until somebody takes it away from me.”

A report last night that Brett Myers and Hamels had a heated exchange has been refuted by a Phillies official and a media member present when it happened. (Myers couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.) Myers walked past Hamels and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit?” An important note: Myers and Hamels are friends. It seems to be a case of a bad joke at a bad time because when Hamels responded with an expletive, some took this as the two sniping at each other other.

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Rollins Takes A Poke at New York (Again)

martinez 1028.jpgA few thoughts about Game 2 of the World Series before I hit the sack for an early morning train ride back to Philly:

A.J. Burnett pitched great last night. Sure, there were a few opportunities to score, but he mostly dominated.

Pedro Martinez pitched good enough to win. He has allowed three runs in 13 innings this postseason. The Phillies have scored just two runs for him in those two starts.

The Yankee Stadium crowd? I considered it a non-factor. I wasn’t alone. Jimmy Rollins was asked about the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium compared to other ballparks.

“It’s really more of a different atmosphere at our ballpark compared to the others,” he said. “Our ballpark is so loud and rowdy. I was really expecting some of that here, but it was very tame and civilized actually.”

In New York?

“Yeah,” Rollins said. “You only heard one big cheer and that was on the home runs. Other than that … those expensive are running the loud fans out.”

Rollins later was asked if this feels more like a World Series compared to last year’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

“When we get to Philly it will,” Rollins said.

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Pedro Talks About Zimmer, His Daddy and More


pedro 1028.jpgPedro Martinez
met with reporters earlier to talk about his start tomorrow night against Yankees in Game 2 of the World Series.

Pedro filled up the notebook as the scribes like to say.

Here is the best of what he had to say:

QUESTION: You’ve had a unique relationship with the fans in the Bronx over the years. Why do you think that is? Have you thought about that over your career? And what about it do you enjoy?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: I don’t know if you realize this, but because of you guys in some ways, I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium. I can honestly say that. I mean, I have been a big fan of baseball for a long time, since I was a kid.  My first ball I ever got from a Big League player I actually got to purchase in Dodger Stadium in a silent auction, was Reggie Jackson. I was actually a big fan of the Yankees, too. For some reason with all the hype and different players that have passed by, maybe because I played for the Red Sox is probably why you guys made it such a big deal every time I came in, but you know, I have a good bond with the people. After playing in New York, I went to realize something: New York fans are very passionate and very aggressive.  But after it all, after you take your uniform off and you deal with the people, they’re real human beings. It’s all just being fans

I have all the respect in the world for the way they enjoy being fans. Sometimes they might be giving you the middle finger, just like they will be cursing you and telling you what color underwear you’re wearing. All those things you can hear when you’re a fan. But at the end of the day, they’re just great fans that want to see the team win. I don’t have any problem with that.

QUESTION: Two things: One, when you say you’re one of the most influential players to come in here, do you mean as a visiting player or …
PEDRO MARTINEZ:  I think in every aspect, the way you guys have used me and abused me since I’ve been coming to Dodgers Stadium, just because I wore actually a red uniform just like this one while playing for Boston, it’s been like, I remember quotes in the paper, “Here comes the man that New York loves to hate.” Man? None of you have probably ever eaten steak with me or rice and beans with me to understand what the man is about. You might say the player, the competitor, but the man? You guys have abused my name. You guys have said so many things, have written so many things.

There was one time I remember when I was a free agent, there was talk that I might meet with Steinbrenner. One of your colleagues had me in the papers with horns and a tail, red horns and a tail. That’s a sign of the devil. I’m a Christian man. I don’t like those things. I take those things very serious.

Those are the kind of things that the fans actually get used to seeing, and actually sometimes influence those people to believe that you are a bad person, that you are like an ogre. I see Mariano, and that’s probably the player I admire the most because of how he goes about his business, how he does it, and he remains a humble Christian man admired by everyone in baseball. The way people perceive me in New York, I don’t know if they got to know me a little bit better after I got to the Mets. It’s totally different than the way I am; I just compete. And yes, I will do whatever it takes to beat you. But I’m a human being after I take my clothes off. A lot of people can witness that any time, anywhere, any moment.

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Cole Cool with Game 3

Thumbnail image for hamels 0821.jpgIt’s Pedro Martinez in Game 2 of the World Series, which means Cole Hamels will pitch Game 3 on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Charlie Manuel said he wanted to split up his left-handed pitchers against the Yankees, which makes sense. But you’ve also got to think if Hamels were pitching better that he would be pitching Game 2.

Hamels said he is OK with that.

“It’s an honor to pitch. It’s an honor to pitch at home,” Hamels said. “Any time you get to pitch at home, I think it’s great. Especially Game 3. Game 3 is very important. Jamie (Moyer)showed us how important it was last year. That could turn a series. You know what? I think it’s going to be just as important as Game 1 or Game 2 or Game 4 or Game 5. I think this is going to be nice to have the home crowd and no DH. I couldn’t ask for a better scenario.”

Rich Dubee said last week that it seems most of Hamels’ problems have been mental. Maybe he is putting too much pressure on himself. Maybe he has been too concerned with trying to match last season’s postseason numbers.

Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last year. He is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three postseason starts this year.

“When you have success early you want to continue it,” he said. “You put a little bit too much pressure on trying to be that guy all the time, instead of just letting it happen. … I’ve never gone through the struggles that I have, but I haven’t had a long career yet. I’ve been able to talk to Pedro and Jamie and Cliff (Lee). They’ve had their ups and downs. It’s how you learn to deal with it. I think they understand when you do great things people expect it to happen. All of a sudden you do kind of get wrapped up in expecting it to happen and it can really throw you off your game. I think it has to a point. I don’t want to make excuses. I haven’t been able to do my job as well as I would like, and it’s something that I’m fighting to be that caliber player that everybody expects me to be. But at the same time, I’m not going to put too much stress on it anymore because I’ve gotten myself in trouble when I try to expect too much.”

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