Results tagged ‘ Ryan Howard ’
“Chad was one of those guys that was available to us at a reasonable price for what he can do,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He has the ability to pitch in the seventh and the eighth. We’ll see where he fits. Charlie (Manuel) and (Rich) Dubee and Chad will decide that, but he’s certainly a guy with a power-sinker and power-slider combination. He was throwing very well at the end of the year. He’s had some battles with consistency, but he clearly has ability and some durability. And those are pretty important elements.”
Qualls, 33, went 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 77 appearances last season with the San Diego Padres. He had a 1.96 ERA in his final 19 appearances, but also went 4-5 with a 5.05 ERA in 38 appearances on the road compared to 2-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 39 appearances in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.
Can he pitch outside PETCO?
“We looked at it. We saw it,” Amaro said. “We took a look at some of that data and information, but at the end of the day when we discussed it with our scouts we just felt like this type of a risk on a guy was not all that big of a risk. We kind of know what we’re going to get out of him.”
Right-handers hit just .218 with a .537 OPS against him last season, while left-handers had much better success, hitting .320 with an .881 OPS.
“If he’s throwing strikes regularly he’ll do some damage for us,” Amaro said.
Amaro offered some other updates last night at the Philadelphia Sports Writers’ Association dinner, including an injury update on Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell possibly retiring a Phillie. Click here for more.
Howard had surgery in October to repair a ruptured left Achilles. Foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson examined Howard yesterday and cleared him to begin some strength and power exercises. Howard also will start jogging underwater, and is likely to begin baseball activities in six weeks. (He will start by fielding ground balls before progressing to hitting.)
That timetable places Howard’s baseball activities around the middle of February, which is the beginning of Spring Training.
Is there any chance Howard could be ready by Opening Day?
“I can’t even speculate,” Amaro told MLB.com. “All I know is that it’s nice to know that at some point in Spring Training that he’ll start doing some light baseball activities. I think it is good news.”
Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti examined right-hander Jose Contreras yesterday, and cleared him to begin a throwing program today. Contreras had surgery late last year to repair his right elbow.
“I don’t have any timetable on him,” Amaro said. “We’ll probably know more within the next month.”
But even with some uncertainty surrounding Contreras, Amaro said he is not looking to find another bullpen arm.
“If there’s somebody that falls in our lap, yeah,” Amaro said. “But it’s a good enough report (for Contreras) that we think he’s going to be ready. If not at Opening Day then hopefully close to it.”
Placido Polanco (sports hernia surgery) told Amaro recently he feels great and believes he will be ready to go 100 percent by Spring Training. Hunter Pence (sports hernia surgery) also is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Cole Hamels (surgery to remove loose bodies in left elbow) is throwing and feels fine.
“A very, very positive update as far as our walking wounded are concerned,” Amaro said.
It carried the headline: Is the Ted Williams Shift Effective?
It ought to make Ryan Howard a little nauseous, actuall. Baseball Info Solutions looked at groundballs and short liners (balls infielders can handle while playing the shift) over the previous two seasons. Ryan Howard hit .174 when hitting against the shift. He hit .273 hitting without the shift.
Looking for a holiday gift? I will be signing my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” on Friday night at the Barnes & Noble at the Oxford Valley Mall. A bunch of other local sportswriters and sports personalities will be there as well. Come one, come all!
The Phillies hope Ryan Howard can be back in their lineup in April.
He had surgery this morning in Baltimore to repair a completely torn Achilles tendon in his left leg. Foot and ankle specialist Mark Myerson performed the surgery and also administered a PRP injection. The Phillies said the surgery was successful, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement, “It’s going to be five to six months from the surgery until he can play at his accustomed level.”
Howard tore the Achilles making the final out Friday in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
“A lot depends on how he recovers,” Amaro said. “The start of the season could be impacted, but I still hope he makes his first at-bat of the season.”
The Phillies said Howard will be immobilized one to two weeks, and could begin weight bearing and strength in about a month, but that depends on his recovery.
Did you watch Game 1 of the NLCS yesterday?
I don’t blame you if you didn’t. I think most Phillies fans are still in shock the Cardinals beat the Phillies on Friday night. But if you watched the game you might have noticed quality at-bats from both teams. The Brewers and Cardinals worked their respective pitchers. They worked counts. Skip Schumaker‘s 10-pitch at-bat against Roy Halladay in the first inning in Game 5 on Friday is exactly the type of thing the Phillies didn’t do against the Cardinals, or against the Giants in last year’s NLCS. The Phillies have some holes to fill this offseason and it won’t be easy, but it would behoove them to find a hitter (or more) that can work a count and get on base.
Of the four teams in the NLDS, the Phillies ranked last in pitches per plate appearance, and it wasn’t even close:
- Diamondbacks: 3.97
- Cardinals: 3.67
- Brewers: 3.58
- Phillies: 3.48
That doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but consider the Diamondbacks saw 766 pitches in 193 plate appearances. If the Phillies would have had 193 plate appearancs they would have seen only 672 pitches. That’s 94 fewer pitches over the course of a five-game series.
That’s almost a game’s worth of pitches.
I know, small sample size, right? But the Phillies ranked eighth in the National League this season, averaging 3.80 PPA. That’s their lowest average since 2001, when it was 3.76. I don’t think it’s a complete coincidence the Phillies’ .323 on-base percentage was their worst since 1997, when it was .322. You can’t walk if you’re swinging early in the count nearly every time you step into the batter’s box. (And this isn’t a Ryan Howard problem, either. He averaged 4.13 PPA this season, which ranked fourth in the league.) Grind out a few at-bats against Chris Carpenter on Friday and maybe he tires a little. Maybe he slips up. Maybe he elevates a pitch in the strike zone. But that didn’t happen so we’ll never know.
This is from a Phillies press release:
The Phillies have announced the following injury updates:
- First baseman Ryan Howard’s MRI revealed a rupture of the left Achilles tendon. He cannot have surgery until the swelling resolves and it has not been determined who will perform the surgery. Recovery time won’t be known until after the surgery is complete and there is no guarantee he will be ready for spring training.
- First baseman Ross Gload will have his right hip re-examined by Dr. Bryan Kelly. Gload will likely have arthroscopic hip surgery.
- Right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Placido Polanco will both have MRIs to evaluate the extent of their sports hernias. Polanco will likely have surgery and Pence’s plan will be determined following the MRI.
- Left-hander Cole Hamels will have loose bodies removed from his left elbow on October 14. He also has an inguinal hernia and surgery for that is scheduled for a week later.
If you’re stunned, shocked, saddened, whatever, you’re not alone. I think a lot of Phillies fans feel that way. I think the Phillies feel that way, too.
A couple scenes from the clubhouse to illustrate that point:
- Roy Halladay sitting at his locker for more than 20 minutes after the final out. It looked like he couldn’t bring himself to remove his uniform. He pitched a hell of a game. He deserved much, much better.
- Shane Victorino grabbing a sleeve of World Series tickets from his locker, tearing them into pieces and tossing them in the trash before leaving the ballpark.
More to come in the coming days …
A few notes from tonight’s 11-6 victory over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS:
- Roy Halladay is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four postseason starts. He retired 21 consecutive batters to finish the game.
- Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino could make a friendly postseason wager. Howard passed Victorino as the franchise’s all-time postseason RBI leader with 31. Victorino has 30. Howard had no homers and no RBIs in last year’s postseason, so it’s good for him to put those questions behind him.
- Raul Ibanez had big homer in the sixth. He hit .245 with 20 homers and 84 RBIs this season. Let’s pose this question: Would you bring back Ibanez on a one-year deal next season? Or are you comfortable enough with Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. in left field in 2012? Something to think about.
- The Phillies are 15-7 in Game 1s.
- The Phillies tied a postseason record with 14 hits. They had 14 in the Game 2 of the 1980 NLCS, Game 3 of the 1980 World Series and Game 4 of the 1993 World Series.
- Mike Stutes was frustrated with his effort tonight. He said he wasn’t as aggressive as he normally is. He expects that to change the next time he pitches.
- Carlos Ruiz wrote “10 mas” on the dry erase board in the center of the Phillies clubhouse. Of course, “10 mas” translates to 10 more. I’m sure you can figure out what that means.
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.”
It doesn’t take a genius to know Charlie Manuel is worried about the offense.
The Phillies could have clinched the NL East last night, but failed to take advantage in a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals in 11 innings. Asked how frustrated he was about that, he said, “We didn’t do enough hitting tonight to get there.” That’s what we call reading between the lines. Manuel was asked how frustrated he was to have to wait another night, and he answered a question about the offense.
The Phillies have averaged 2.0 runs per game in their last eight games (Sept. 10-16), which ranks last in the National League. They’re hitting .205 (last) with a .261 on-base percentage (last) and a .324 slugging percentage (14th). This is not the best time to get into a team-wide slump, considering a lack of offense cost them in last year’s NLCS. But the Phillies have not had their projected everyday lineup together since Aug. 6 in San Francisco. And lately, they have been without Jimmy Rollins, who has missed time with a strained groin; Chase Utley, who missed time with a concussion; and Ryan Howard, who has not started four of the last 10 games because of bursitis in his left Achilles.
Maybe that has something to do with it. I’m sure Manuel hopes that’s the case.
The offense has been a tale of two halves:
- April – June: 4.01 runs per game (eighth in the league), .244 average (10th), .318 OBP (seventh) and .374 slugging (11th).
- July – Sept. 9: 5.41 runs per game (first), .269 average (second), .337 OBP (second) and .439 slugging (first).
Are they turning back the clock at the wrong time?
Keep an eye on Justin De Fratus and Joe Savery, who were called up last night. The Phillies’ bullpen has been a little rocky lately, so maybe they could pitch themselves onto the postseason roster. Savery is especially interesting because of Antonio Bastardo‘s recent struggles. Bastardo is the only left-hander in the bullpen, so if he is scuffling the Phillies might have to consider Savery as a second option.
Sad news: KYW’s Jack O’Rourke died last night after covering the Phillies game. A very, very nice man. He covered every spring training since I’ve been on the beat, which is how I will remember him — getting interviews from players in Clearwater and returning to one of the radio booths in the press box to send sound back to Philadephia. He always had a smile on his face and always greeted me the same way:
“What’s up, Jack?”
He was the only person to call me that. Thoughts and prayers with his family. He will be missed.