Results tagged ‘ Rich Dubee ’

Looking Like Halladay for Game 1

halladay 0928 2010.jpgRoy Halladay seems destined to start Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Oct. 6 at Citizens Bank Park.

It is not official, but the Phillies dropped a couple hints today.

Kyle Kendrick will pitch Friday against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, which has become a meaningless series since the Phillies clinched their fourth consecutive NL East championship last night. The Phillies have not announced starters for Saturday or Sunday, but it sounds like Halladay will be skipped.

“There’s a real good chance,” Charlie Manuel said.

“He probably won’t start,” Rich Dubee said.

Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt both could pitch a few innings this weekend as a tune-up for the playoffs.

Manuel said the Phillies have chosen to play an eight-day NLDS because it allows them the luxury of pitching only Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt on normal rest through the five-game series. Because the Phillies only need three starters, they might carry fewer pitchers in the first round.

The Phillies would like to give left-handers Antonio Bastardo and Mike Zagurski work this week to see if they can carry two left-handers in the bullpen.

They also suggested left-hander Jamie Moyer, who has not pitched since July because of a left elbow injury, could be ready to pitch in the later rounds of the postseason. But Moyer just started throwing off a mound, and he only has thrown four-seam fastballs, which he does not throw in games. He is a way away from returning.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Aligning Big Three to Face Braves

Expect the Phillies to align the Big Three to face the Braves next week at Citizens Bank Park.

Rich Dubee said today there is a “good chance” Roy Oswalt will pitch Friday against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park, which would allow Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Oswalt to pitch against Atlanta.

It only takes a simple switch to make it happen.

Kyle Kendrick, who currently is scheduled to pitch Friday, would pitch Saturday. Oswalt, who is scheduled to pitch Saturday, would pitch Friday. Oswalt still would be pitching on normal rest, so there is little risk involved.

“As long as (Oswalt) is feeling fine, there’s a real good chance,” Dubee said. “I don’t think there’s any downside to pitching Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay. They are our front three starters. I would think if you have two series with the Braves you’d want the best guys available, if possible.”

The switch also would allow Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt to pitch against the Braves on Oct. 1-3 at Turner Field, if necessary. The Phillies entered tonight’s game against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium with a one-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Did Workload Hurt Halladay?


halladay 0523 2010.jpgRoy Halladay
suffered his worst start with the Phillies today at Citizens Bank Park, and you knew the questions would turn to his heavy workload in recent weeks. How much did it play a role in his struggles against the Red Sox?

“Not a damn thing,” Charlie Manuel said.

“From the horse’s mouth, it didn’t affect me,” Halladay said. “It was just a matter of not making good pitches. That’s the bottom line. You prepare yourself obviously all winter and all season to be able to handle the workload. That’s your job as a starting pitcher. I feel like I’ve done that and I feel good going out there. Obviously, people are going to say what they want to say.”

We knew this much about Halladay before he stepped onto the mound today: He led Major League Baseball in innings (71 1/3); he ranked second in pitches per game (111.8) and fourth in pitches thrown (1,006); he had thrown 118, 119, 121 and 132 pitches in his previous four starts, which were the most pitches he had thrown in a four-start stretch in his career; and his 111.8 pitches per game were the most he had averaged in his career.

Halladay allowed eight hits, seven runs (six earned runs), two walks and one home run in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one. It is just the second time in Halladay’s career he struck out one or fewer batters in five or more innings. It last happened June 3, 2006.

He didn’t seem to have his best stuff.

Why was that?

The Phillies said before Sunday that Halladay, 33, had adjusted his routine in between starts because of the increased workload. He skipped his bullpen session and instead threw on flat ground. I asked Rich Dubee on Friday about Halladay’s workload. He said they planned to keep him fresh by giving him extra rest in between starts. In other words, they planned not to have him pitch every five days, regardless of the schedule. If there was a day off, they would let him get that extra day. If there was a rainout and a day off, they would let give him the extra two days.

But the focus goes back to his start Tuesday against the Pirates. Should Halladay have thrown 132 pitches in a complete-game 2-1 loss? Asked why they felt comfortable having Halladay pitch the ninth, Dubee said, “Charlie wanted to send him out.” Was he comfortable with it? “I’m not going to talk about it,” he said.

Halladay had thrown 130 or more pitches just twice previously in his career. Interestingly, he threw one shutout and one complete game in the starts following those 130-pitch starts. He threw 130 pitches Aug. 9, 2008 against Cleveland, and allowed one run in nine innings at Boston on Aug. 16, 2008. He threw 133 pitches against the Angels on June, 2, 2009, and threw a shutout June 7 against Kansas City.

It’s May. The Phillies have lost four of the last six games Halladay has pitched, although this is the only the second game that can be traced to Halladay’s performance. And even then the Phillies scored just two runs in the two losses (at San Francisco on April 26 and today vs. Boston). Before everybody starts freaking out, let’s see how Halladay responds Saturday against the Marlins in Miami. Maybe it’s just coincidence. We’ll find out soon enough.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Romero Looks Sharp

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for j.c. romero.jpgThere is some concern about the Phillies’ bullpen with Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero opening the season on the disabled list. Lidge pitches in his fifth Minor League Spring Training game tomorrow, which means he might need five just more outings before he is ready to join the Phillies.

Romero pitched in his first game today at the Carpenter Complex. He looked sharp. He retired the four batters he faced, needing just 13 pitches to do it.

“Today was a big step for me,” Romero said. “I was very pleased with the outcome today. The good thing is that I was throwing a lot of strikes. My arm speed was outstanding.”

Rich Dubee said Romero’s arm speed is progressingly more quickly than Lidge’s. He said he is not concerned about Lidge.

“Two different surgeries,” Dubee explained. “Two different individuals. … Power guys, especially closers, they come a little bit slower. A lot of them come with adrenaline also. Billy Wagner was one of the best. He was one of the finest at looking absolutely awful in Spring Training. He didn’t have arm speed and he didn’t have adrenaline. Closers pitch off a lot of adrenaline.”

Romero earlier this spring said he could rejoin the team for its April 12-18 homestand against the Nationals and Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. He said he is more confident following Monday’s outing that he can be back in time for the team’s first homestand.

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Joe Blanton allowed 11 hits, 11 runs, 10 earned runs and three walks in 5 innings in a Minor League intrasquad game. He struck out two. … J.A. Happ allowed three hits, two runs and five walks and struck out four in five innings against the Braves at Bright House Field. Happ did not think he missed the strike zone by much. Dubee agreed. … Ryan Madson threw a 3-0 fastball to Eric Hinske, who hit a game-winning solo homer in the top of the ninth. Madson is 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA this spring. “He was dead today,” Dubee said. “Yeah, just a little dead. Everybody goes through stages this time in Spring Training.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Good Thursday for Kendrick, Big Friday for Moyer


Thumbnail image for kendrick 0308.jpgCharlie Manuel
insisted today that the Phillies haven’t talked about the fifth spot in their rotation.

Nope, not once.

(Insert “Really?!? with Seth & Amy” here.)

But the decision is near. Believe that much. In fact, it could be pretty clear after Jamie Moyer pitches tomorrow night against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. If he pitches OK, the job could be his. If he gets knocked around, things get a little more interesting.

Kyle Kendrick, who is competing with Moyer for the job, impressed again today in an 8-7 victory over the Astros at Bright House Field. Kendrick struggled with his command early and arguably had his worst stuff of the spring but allowed five hits, two runs (one earned run) and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out one. Kendrick has an impressive 1.37 ERA after five Grapefruit League appearances. Moyer has a 3.86 ERA in four spring appearances, which includes on Grapefruit League and three B game starts.

Big night for Moyer on Friday?

“I don’t know,” Manuel said. “I don’t think so. Not really.”

Really?!?

The Phillies announced on March 31 last year that Chan Ho Park had edged J.A. Happ for the fifth spot in the rotation. It would not be a surprise to see the Phillies make this year’s announcement around the same time with Kendrick scheduled to make his final Grapefruit League start next Tuesday.

“I’m pleased with the way Kyle is throwing the ball, but I also know there’s a track record on the other guy,” Rich Dubee said.

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A couple notes from today:

  • Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero are expected to open the season on the DL. No surprise there. The Phillies can backdate DL stints to March 26, which means today would have been the last day they could have pitched in a Grapefruit League game. The earliest Lidge or Romero are eligible to pitch is April 10 in Houston. There remains a chance Lidge could be ready to pitch in Houston, but Romero still hasn’t appeared in a Minor League Spring Training game. He is further behind.
  • Roy Halladay allowed seven hits, two runs and one walk and struck out seven in seven innings in a Minor League Spring Training game against the Yankees in Tampa. He threw 98 pitches. Halladay will make his final Grapefruit League start Wednesday against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. He makes his Phillies debut April 5 on Opening Day in DC.
  • Left-hander Antonio Bastardo allowed two hits, three runs, one walk and one home run in one inning. He struck out two. He has a 7.71 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances. “I can’t say a whole lot of our guys have been real sharp the last time out,” Rich Dubee said. “I think we’re at that point right now in Spring Training where guys are going through a little bit of a dead arm and dead body period, which is fine. I’d rather they hit it now than the first week of the season.”

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Thanks to WIP’s Howard Eskin and Ike Reese for having me on today to talk about the Phillies and my book.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Bullpen Help Needed?


escalona 2.jpgJ.C. Romero
might miss just one week of the season, but if the first two weeks of Spring Training are any indication it might be a rough one.

The Phillies are looking at rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski to take his place until Romero returns. So far Bastardo and Escalona have struggled. Zagurski has pitched just once.

Escalona allowed four hits, three runs and one walk in one inning today in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. In three Grapefruit League appearances, Escalona has allowed eight hits, five runs and one walk in three innings. He has a 15.00 ERA and two blown saves. Bastardo has allowed five hits, four runs (three earned runs) in two innings in two appearances. He has a 13.50 ERA and one blown save. He has struck out four. Zagurski threw two scoreless innings in his only Grapefruit League appearance. He will pitch Monday morning in a B game against the Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium.

“Well, not as good as I’d like to see yet,” said Rich Dubee, asked to assess his left-handed pitching situation with Opening Day nearly three weeks away. “But I’m sure it will iron itself out. We like both of those kids. We like Zagurski, even though he hasn’t been in many games. We think those guys have the ability to pitch in the big leagues. But the later we get in the spring the more they’re going to have to show it. They haven’t shown it yet.”

And if they don’t?

“We’ll see,” Dubee said. “We’ll make that call when we have to make that call.”

Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday there is no “sense of urgency” to find a left-handed pitcher to help the bullpen, but if the right pitcher comes at the right price (a Minor League contract, for example) and Bastardo and Escalona continue to struggle that could change.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Romero, Lidge Updates

J.C. Romero threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session this morning in Clearwater. Roughly 12 pitchers were breaking balls, the first time he had thrown them this spring.

“Great,” Rich Dubee said. “He threw fine today.”

Next for Romero?

“We’ll see if he throws Tuesday or Wednesday,” Dubee said. “We’ll see how he responds. It’s the first time he’s throwing breaking balls. If he’s doing all right, maybe Wednesday could be a chance to see some hitters. If not, maybe Wednesday he’ll throw another side. But he was good today. Very good.”

Brad Lidge will start the Double A Spring Training game Thursday. J.A. Happ will start the Triple A game.

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Good luck to Scott Lauber, who is leaving the Wilmington News-Journal to cover the Red Sox for the Boston Herald. He spent his final minutes on the beat at Frenchy’s Cafe in Clearwater.

You can’t get grouper sandwiches in Fort Myers, dude!

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Lidge to Throw Monday, Ahead of Schedule


lidge 0210 2010.jpgBrad Lidge
will begin throwing off a mound Monday, which puts him ahead of schedule.

Lidge is recovering from offseason knee and elbow surgeries. He said earlier this week he is about two weeks behind schedule, but the fact he is going to be throwing Monday would indicate he still has a chance to be ready by Opening Day.

Lidge will throw about 20 fastballs off the mound.

“Having not seen him, I didn’t think so,” said pitching coach Rich Dubee, asked if he thought Lidge would be on the mound so early. “Having reports from where he was, all the reports were good. All his workouts from Colorado were fantastic. He was feeling no pain. The doctors came to see him. They’ve tested and examined and moved him a little bit. He’s doing fine. Is he a little ahead of schedule? I would say so, yeah.”

J.C. Romero is recovering from elbow surgery. Romero said earlier this week he should be 100 percent by the second week of March.

“J.C. will get on a mound eventually, not far behind (Lidge),” Dubee said. “J.C. did some agility stuff today. J.C. will start taking part. We’re just trying to watch him throw during his PFP (pitcher’s fielding practice) stuff. He’s doing fine.”

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Thanks to We Should Be GMs for plugging my book. It’s appreciated, guys!

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Philadelphia Phillies” is available online, and will be in Delaware Valley bookstores in late February/early March.

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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Game 4 Lineups

Here is tonight’s lineup for Game 3 of the World Series:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Jayson Werth, RF
  6. Raul Ibanez, LF
  7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
  8. Carlos Ruiz, C
  9. Joe Blanton, P

Yankees lineup: 1. Derek Jeter, SS; 2. Johnny Damon, LF; 3. Mark Teixeira, 1B; 4. Alex Rodriguez; 5. Jorge Posada, C; 6. Robinson Cano, 2B; 7. Nick Swisher, RF; 8. Melky Cabrera, CF; 9. CC Sabathia, P.

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Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Chan Ho Park, who wasn’t available last night for Game 3 because of the flu, is available to pitch tonight.

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Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos has been covering the games in some capacity, and today she signed a ball (at the request of Shane Victorino) for Phillies batting practice pitcher Ali Modami.

Menounos is waving here to Modami.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.

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