Results tagged ‘ Roy Oswalt ’

Oswalt? Phillies Have Other Fish to Fry

Vance Worley is out. Kyle Kendrick is in.

The Phillies said Worley has inflammation, but no structural damage in his right elbow. They think it is mild, so they will keep him from throwing for a week. If he looks and feels OK at that point, he could begin his throwing program. They are hopeful he misses only a few starts.

But what happens if Worley doesn’t come back as expected? Or what happens if the Phillies lose another starter?

Who do they turn to? The Phillies don’t have much depth at all after Kendrick.

“The depth is an issue for us,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I think it is for a lot of clubs, but depth is an issue, and if we’ve got to reach down and grab somebody else if somebody else goes down, we’ll have to get somebody who’s pitching as well … and make that assessment of who that guy is.”

Worley’s injury brought up an interesting name today: Roy Oswalt.

Could the Phillies bring him back, much like they brought back Pedro Martinez midseason in 2009? I speculated they could do just that during Spring Training. But one issue with Oswalt is how much he would want to be paid. I’m sure the Phillies would like to save some money for the bullpen or a bat come trade deadline time.

“We think he’s throwing,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Oswalt. “I guess he is. But right now what I’m worried about is our team playing better. That’s my focus right now. I feel comfortable with the starters we have. If we get to the point where we’re not comfortable with him then that might be something we explore. But I will tell you that right now I’m happy with our guys the way we are right now, unless something changes. I think we’ve got other fish to fry right now.”

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 16: Barnes & Noble, Wilmington, Del, 2 p.m.

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Now Available: The Rotation

Just a heads up: The Rotation is now available in Delaware Valley bookstores! So if you’re out and about and need a good book before heading to Clearwater (or you just need a book to get your ready for the baseball season), check it out. It’s also available on Amazon.com!

Oswalt Could Be a Fit for Phillies Midseason

So Roy Oswalt‘s agent Bob Garber released a statement yesterday:

“After much thought and careful consideration, Roy has decided to continue to evaluate his options. He is in great health and will continue to stay in shape, while throwing regularly off the mound. Roy has every intention of pitching for a contending club at some point this season.”is waiting to sign with a team, hoping to latch onto a contender midseason.”

Could the Phillies be a fit?

Absolutely.

If something happens to a Phillies starter — Joe Blanton missed most of last season with an injured right elbow, and his health is far from a guarantee — don’t be surprised if he rejoins the Phillies rotation. The Phillies signed a starter pitcher in the middle of the season before (see Pedro Martinez, 2009), so I’m sure they wouldn’t be afraid to do it again. And while there are reports Oswalt prefers Texas or St. Louis, a source tells MLB.com that Oswalt is very much interested in returning to Philadelphia.

It’s certainly something to watch during the season.

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book “The Rotation,” which is now available. Check it out here! It should be available in Delaware Valley bookstores soon, too!

The Market Is Open

This isn’t big news, but 148 players became free agents this morning. Free agents are eligible to sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m.  Thursday.

The Phillies have seven free agents:

  • Ross Gload
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Brad Lidge
  • Ryan Madson
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • Brian Schneider

Phillies Decline Options for Lidge, Oswalt

This is no surprise, but …

The Phillies officially declined the 2012 options for Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt.

“While we will not pick up either of their options, we will remain in contact with representatives for both players about the possibility of bringing them back for the 2012 season,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement.  “Brad and Roy both made significant contributions to the Phillies over the past several seasons.”

Lidge, 34, went 0-2 with one save and a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances this season. He struck out 23 batters in 19.1 innings, an average of 10.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.  In four seasons (2008-11) with Philadelphia, Lidge posted a 3-11 record with 100 saves and a 3.73 ERA.  In 22 postseason appearances, he went 1-1 with 12 saves in 12 opportunities and a 1.77 ERA. Lidge will receive a $1.5 million buyout for the Phillies declining their club option.

Oswalt, also 34, went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies this past season.  In 36 regular season games (35 starts) since being acquired from the Houston Astros on July 29, 2010, he was 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA. Oswalt will receive $2 million for the Phillies declining their side of a mutual option.

UPDATE: Agents for both Oswalt and Lidge said their clients are interested in returning to Philly.

Game 1 Starter Is Halladay. Duh!

Charlie Manuel isn’t ready to officially announce his Game 1 starter in the National League Division Series, but why should he?

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

It’s going to be Roy Halladay on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park with Cliff Lee pitching in Game 2 Sunday.

“I think if you’re good baseball people you should be able to see how we’re setting it up,” Manuel said. “I shouldn’t have to answer that.”

It is no surprise. Halladay is 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA this season. Lee is 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA. Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.75 ERA) is a good bet to start Game 3 with Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86 ERA) likely to start Game 4.

Is There Time to Right the Ship?

The Phillies celebrated fan appreciation night tonight at Citizens Bank Park, and the fans booed.

It’s tough to blame them. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but have played like the Houston Astros since clinching the National League East on Saturday. They have looked deader than dead, losing six consecutive games and getting swept in their first three- or four-game series since Aug. 2010.

The Phillies have six games to play before Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 1.

“That’s definitely enough time, but we do have to pick it up,” Charlie Manuel said. “It’s time for us to kick it and get ready for the playoffs.”

If you watched tonight’s ugly loss you know Roy Oswalt pitched much better than his line indicated. He looks ready for the postseason. But the offense looks like it’s in the early stages of spring training. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-36 with five walks in the series against the Nationals.

“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”

It hasn’t helped the Phillies have been without Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence. Howard will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in New York. He will not play Saturday, but Manuel said he will turn Howard loose Sunday. Pence should be back Saturday.

Maybe that gets them going. Maybe the Phillies can just flip the switch.

Oswalt doesn’t sound like he’s a big believer in “flipping the switch.”

“I’ve seen teams with the best record get beat in the first round,” Oswalt said. “It’s really the hottest team going in. Hopefully the next six games we’ll turn it around and start playing a little bit better, but teams that are hot when the playoffs start are tough to beat.”

Losing Ugly

The magic numbers:

  • 1- to clinch the Wild Card.
  • 5 – to clinch the National League East.
  • 7 – to clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Are you pretty confident the Phillies are going to win the division? Do you have tickets to a game this week at Citizens Bank Park? Can you be a little selfish at times? (Come on, admit it.) Yes? Well, then you might not have totally minded Monday’s loss — as sloppy as it was. Because it guaranteed the Phillies cannot clinch the division this week in Houston, which means they should clinch at home during their eight-day, 10-game homestand.

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Roy Oswalt didn’t have a good night, although his defense failed him at times. With just a few starts remaining before the postseason, Oswalt remains the fourth starter in my mind. It’s either Oswalt or Vance Worley, and I have to stick with Oswalt. Worley deserves a chance to pitch, but you only need four starters and Oswalt cannot be much of a reliever while Worley has shown he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen. Plus, he’s Roy Oswalt. I’ve got to think when the postseason comes Oswalt will elevate his play.

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Oswalt allowed five runs on 11 hits as a first-time opponent in Houston. He allowed at least five runs and 10 hits in only three of 149 starts at the ballpark when he pitched for the Astros, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

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Worley, Ibanez and the Game 1 Starter

A quick note from last night’s victory over the Braves:

  • The Phillies have won 14 consecutive Vance Worley starts. The last team to win 14 or more consecutive starts by a pitcher was the St. Louis Cardinals, who won 17 consecutive Chris Carpenter starts in 2005.

In case you were wondering:

  • Baseball Prospectus estimates the Phillies have a 100 percent chance of making the playoffs.  It breaks down like this: a 99.9 percent chance of winning the division and a 0.1 percent chance of winning the wild card. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  • Raul Ibanez had a good night last night. I like the idea of Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr. platooning the rest of the season and into the postseason. Ibanez is hitting .262/.314/.440 against right-handers and .198/.223/.362 against left-handers, while Mayberry is hitting .286/.341/.607 against left-handers and .244/.320/.458 against right-handers. But maybe the location of the game and not just the pitcher should influence Charlie Manuel‘s lineup. Ibanez is hitting .292/.332/.525 at home and .197/.223/.362 on the road. For whatever reason, Ibanez has been a much better player at Citizens Bank Park. Maybe it’s the “Rauuuuuuuuuul” chants, but it’s something to consider once October rolls around.
  • Lot of people have been asking me about the postseason rotation. There’s no debate to me. If everybody is rested, healthy and can be lined up the way the Phillies want to line them up it looks like this: Game 1 is Roy Halladay, Game 2 is Cliff Lee, Game 3 is Cole Hamels and Game 4 is Roy Oswalt. Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, so I start him in Game 1, even if Lee is hot. Why? Because Halladay is pretty good, too. He did throw a no-hitter in last year’s playoffs. He did win the Cy Young. If he wins Game 1 and Lee is pitching like he has been, Lee will put his foot on the throat of the other team in Game 2. Or if Halladay somehow loses Game 1, then Lee will even the series. Really, there’s no wrong way to go, but that’s the way I go. And I go with Oswalt because of his pedigree. Yes, Worley has pitched great, but I like Oswalt coming up big in the postseason. Got to go with your aces.

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Looks Like the Old Oswalt

It’s just one start, but it felt last night like the Phillies were getting the band back together:

The Four Aces.

The Rotation.

Roy Oswalt dominated in a 5-0 victory over the Nationals. His fastball touched 94 mph in the early innings and it averaged 92.2 mph for the night. That’s quite an improvement, considering his fastball averaged 90.9 mph from the time he hit the DL for the first time this season in early May and landed on it a second time in late June.

“He’s back,” Cole Hamels said. “I think that’s pretty much it. He’s back. When he has the velocity you know it’s game time.”

“The way he threw the ball,” Jimmy Rollins said, “vintage Roy. He had that little fastball that he shoots from his chest and by the time the batter swings it’s shoulder height. I was excited, man. His velocity was super. I was looking up and he was hitting 93 still late in the game. I was like, ‘Wow. And he was letting it go.’ You could tell he was confident in his back and in his arm.”

“His fastball had more life,” Carlos Ruiz said. “You could see a lot of swings and misses. The ball was moving (up). That was him, you know? He hit 93, 94. It’s good. You can see he was healthy. That’s the best start. He likes to compete, but when you’re hurt it’s hard. You could see it. He’s quiet, but you could see it in his face and body language. Something was wrong. He didn’t feel OK. Now I know he’s healthy.” <p>

If Oswalt is feeling like himself again – he had 15 swings and misses, 10 of them on fastballs – that is good news for the rotation and this team’s chances in October. Think about it. While most playoff teams will be debating whether or not to pitch their ace on short rest, the Phillies could have four well-rested aces pitching on regular or extra rest.

It would be a nice problem to have.

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