Results tagged ‘ Scott Eyre ’

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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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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Lidge, Ibanez, Eyre to Have Surgery Next Week


lidge 02.jpgIt turns out Phillies closer Brad Lidge was more injured in 2009 than he let on.

He will have surgery Wednesday to remove a loose body from his right elbow. He also will have his right flexor/pronator tendon evaluated. If the tendon needs to be repaired, Lidge is unlikely to be ready to pitch by the beginning of Spring Training – although he should be ready a short time after. If the tendon is fine, he should be ready to pitch when camp opens in February in Clearwater, Fla.

Lidge, who went 0-8 with a 7.21 ERA and 31 saves in 42 opportunities, also spent time on the disabled list this season with inflammation in his right knee. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge’s knee is fine.

Leftfielder Raul Ibanez will have a sports hernia surgically repaired, and left-hander Scott Eyre will have loose bodies removed from his left elbow. Both surgeries will be Monday.

Ibanez went on the disabled list June 18 with a strained left groin. It was later revealed in a Sports Illustrated story that he had a small, but significant muscle tear in his abdomen. It could have affected Ibanez’s play the final months of the season. He hit .312 with 22 home runs, 59 RBIs and a .656 slugging percentage in 62 games through June 17. He hit .232 with 12 homers, 34 RBIs and a .448 slugging percentage in 72 games the rest of the regular season.

Eyre is a potential free agent. Amaro said they will decide whether or not they are interested in re-signing Eyre based on the results from his surgery.

Both Ibanez and Eyre are expected to be ready to play by Spring Training.

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Myers Won't Be Back in 2010


Thumbnail image for myers closer.jpgBrett Myers
will not be back with the Phillies in 2010.

He said this afternoon that Ruben Amaro Jr. informed him that he would not be re-signed. Myers, who the Phillies drafted in the first round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, said he first saw it coming when the Phillies acquired left-hander Cliff Lee in July and when he rarely pitched in the postseason. But he also knew with the salaries the Phillies already had committed that he was unlikely to return.

“Kenny Powers is officially a free agent,” he joked in a telephone interview.

Myers went 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA in 240 games (183) starts in his Phillies career. He went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA this season, which was derailed in May with an injured right hip that required surgery in June. Myers rejoined the team in September as a relief pitcher, but strained his right latissimus dorsi muscle that sidelined him for a couple more weeks.

“I’ll be fine,” Myers said. “I’ve got friends and family up here, but there’s always a time when change has to happen. If I don’t fit their plans that’s fine with me. There’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t sit here and be sad about it. It’s been great playing here. I’ve had ups and downs here. It’s always tough when you have to leave your family behind, and I consider the Phillies family. I’ve been with them for 10 years. But like I said, there’s always a time when you want to go.”

“We decided to go in a different direction,” Amaro said.

Myers said he would have been willing to sign a one-year, incentive laden deal to remain with the Phillies, but the Phillies weren’t interested. He also said he has no preference regarding starting or relieving with his new team. He said he would like to pitch closer to his Jacksonville, Fla., home. If he starts, he would like to start in the National League. If he is a reliever, he would pitch in either league.

“I just need to keep pitching and be myself,” he said. “There’s nothing I can change about myself and there’s nothing I’m going to change about myself. It’s me. It’s who I am. I’m going to compete just as hard for another team. If I come across the Phillies, I’m going to try to make it hell on them. I’ve got friends on my time, but cross that white line and it’s game on, you know?”

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The Phillies have contacted Chan Ho Park‘s agent about returning. … The Phillies will wait for results on Scott Eyre‘s elbow surgery before they decide whether or not they want to bring him back. … If Matt Stairs is back in 2010 at all, it will be on a Minor League deal.

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Phillies Pick Up Lee's Option

Thumbnail image for lee 0731 b.jpgThe Phillies announced their first significant move of the off-season today when they picked up Cliff Lee‘s $9 million club option.

It was no surprise.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said they have spoken with Lee’s agent a couple times during the postseason, and said they would consider thinking about a contract extension for Lee.

“That said, we have some time on that,” Amaro said.

Amaro also said they have not decided on Pedro Feliz‘s $5.5 million club option. Amaro said that decision must be made by Monday.

“More than anything else, what options might be out there for us,” said Amaro, asked why the decision on Feliz’s option is more difficult than Lee’s. “And deciding whether picking up his option is best suited to try to move forward. He had a solid year for us. I like the man personally. He’s a great person. He’s a great teammate. But I also believe in trying to improve and sometimes a change can be for the better. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to, but it’s something that we’re thinking about.”

Amaro announced that leftfielder Raul Ibanez (groin), closer Brad Lidge (elbow) and Scott Eyre (elbow) would be seen by team doctors Friday and Saturday. Eyre needs surgery to remove a loose body from his elbow. Lidge is going to get checked for potential loose bodies in his elbow. And Ibanez will have a MRI on his groin. Ibanez also had a tear in his abdomen, which might require surgery.

“We’re getting our arms around that to see exactly what kind of damage he has in there,” Amaro said of Ibanez’s injury.

Amaro also announced that the entire coaching staff has been invited back for 2010.

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Little Red Machine Can't Repeat

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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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Win Today, Go to LA

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A couple things about Game 3 last night;

  • Chase Utley hustled and made something happen out of nothing in the ninth inning. That’s why you run hard.
  • Who said the Phillies can’t play small ball? They’ve done a good job of doing the little things this series.
  • Charlie Manuel isn’t messing around, bringing Joe Blanton into the game in the fourth inning and Ryan Madson into the game in the seventh inning.
  • Scott Eyre has a mild sprain of his right ankle. He said he should be OK. In fact, he said there is no way he will not be able to pitch.
  • If this is the shot of confidence Brad Lidge needed, it could be a boost for the bullpen.

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Happ In, Martinez Out for Game 3

Thumbnail image for happ 0805.jpgThanks to the cold and snow today, the Phillies are going to continue firing left-handers at the Rockies in the National League Division Series.

They will start left-hander J.A. Happ tomorrow night in Game 3 at Coors Field.

Pedro Martinez had been scheduled to pitch, but with today’s postponement because of cold weather, it allows the Phillies to go with a better matchup. It also allows them to pitch left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4 and left-hander Cole Hamels in a potential Game 5.

“It’s the most reasonable thing to do,” Martinez said this afternoon in the lobby of the team’s hotel. “I haven’t thrown in 10 days. Difficult weather. Happ has been in there. He has a better feel for the ball. I’m just hoping I get an opportunity to pitch a couple innings before they use me.”

Charlie Manuel and Happ will speak on a conference call later today.

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The consensus regarding today’s postponenment? Good call.

“Hopefully, Game 5 last year kind of set the tone for future events like that,” Jayson Werth said.

“There’s no need for a game of this type of importance to come down to 22 degree weather or a guy possibly getting injured or something like that,” Chad Durbin said. “Hitting, running bases, fielding ground balls would have been tough. Any athletic. Skiing up in the mountains is athletic, but to play baseball it’s not conducive.”

Jim Tracy said it perfectly,” Scott Eyre said. “The first two games have been so good. Well played. Players have played good. Managers made decisions they thought were right and worked out. You don’t want to have a game like we had last year in the World Series, where Jimmy (Rollins) misses a pop fly and they tie the game because of crap weather. You don’t want to make that mistake again.”

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How were many players spending the day? Going to the mall.

“What else do you do when it’s snowing outside?” Werth said.

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Postseason Roster Takes Shape

taschner 0930.jpgIt took longer than expected, but the regular season finally ended this afternoon when Paul Hoover scored John Mayberry Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

Onto the postseason …

The Phillies have off tomorrow and will hold a workout Tuesday before Game 1 against the Rockies at 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. (It could be Cole Hamels vs. Ubaldo Jimenez.) But there will be meetings and discussions about the postseason roster in the meantime. The Phillies do not need to submit their 25-man roster until 10 a.m. Wednesday, but there were clues and answers about it after the game:

  • Charlie Manuel said he might not take 12 pitchers. “I might go with 11,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
  • Manuel could be thinking about 11 pitchers because Miguel Cairo has been playing well. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, home run and one RBI yesterday. He has hit .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, one triple, one home run and two RBIs since he rejoined the team Aug. 29.
  • But before you start thinking Cairo could bump Eric Bruntlett, Manuel said he finds value in Bruntlett because he can play everywhere in the field, especially the outfield. The Phillies also consider him a better shortstop than Cairo. He can run, too. Bruntlett scored the winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the World Series. I don’t think it’s Bruntlett or Cairo. I think it’s Bruntlett and maybe Cairo, although I have been surprised before.
  • Manuel sounds like he likes left-hander J.A. Happ in the rotation because the Rockies have a lineup loaded with left-handers. Happ shutout the Rockies in August, which helps his cause. But the Phillies also might need Happ in the bullpen because Scott Eyre looks like the only other lefty in the pen. “I always have looked at (Happ) as a starter and his success this year has been as a starter,” Manuel said. “I’m not ready to reveal what we’re going to do yet because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
  • Left-hander Jack Taschner quietly cleaned out his locker. The Phillies told him he would not be needed. Taschner was not surprised, but was upset nonetheless. He went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this season. He asked for his release, but the Phillies did not grant it. He pitched in the Minors and rejoined the team last week after suffering a back injury. He pitched just once. Taschner is salary arbitration eligible, but does not expect to be back next season. “I’m not going to say anything,” he told me. “What is done is done.” Ruben Amaro Jr. later told me, “As far as his future here, we haven’t made any decisions. It was a tough year for him. Frankly, I think because he struggled earlier in the year, it was one of the reasons why he didn’t pitch a lot because he didn’t perform at the level we would have liked. He was caught in a Catch 22. He didn’t pitch a lot, and when he did he wasn’t as effective. I like Jack a lot.” Taschner changed his mechanics in the Minors, which Amaro said could prove beneficial next season. If he is back.
  • Amaro also said while Taschner’s season is over, the Phillies have sent left-hander Sergio Escalona and Mayberry to Clearwater, Fla., to play in case they are needed.
  • Before Taschner cleared out his locker and before Amaro said Escalona was headed to Clearwater, Manuel said it would be tough to put Taschner, Escalona and left-hander Antonio Bastardo into big-game situations. I would surprised to see Bastardo to make the roster based simply off what Manuel said. “It’s kind of hard to put a young kid in there,” he said.
  • He said Brett Myers is ready to pitch in short bursts, but not multiple innings. Myers pronounced himself ready to go in back-to-back games. I expect him to be on the roster.
  • With Taschner, Escalona and most likely Bastardo out, that would leave Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Myers, Tyler Walker and Happ/Pedro Martinez as bullpen candidates.

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Games 1 and 2 will be played at 2:37 p.m., which was not unexpected. Game 2 in Colorado will start at 9:37 p.m.

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Manuel Drops Hints about the Bullpen

Thumbnail image for happ 0720.jpgIt seems likely the Phillies take 13 position players and 12 pitchers into the postseason.

If there are just 13 position players they will be catchers Carlos Ruiz and Paul Bako; infielders Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Dobbs and Eric Bruntlett; and outfielders Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco and Matt Stairs.

The pitching staff is not nearly as easy to call, but Charlie Manuel dropped a few hints today.

Expect left-handers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee and right-hander Joe Blanton to be in the rotation. No surprise there. The fourth starter will be left-hander J.A. Happ or right-hander Pedro Martinez. Happ is 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA, while Martinez is 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA. Happ deserves to start, but the Phillies are short in the bullpen with injuries to left-handers J.C. Romero and Jamie Moyer and right-hander Chan Ho Park. Manuel said they could use Happ in the bullpen early in the NLDS, but still have him start if he only throws an inning in those first couple games.

“I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but that does enter my mind,” Manuel said.

That would leave 10 pitchers competing for seven remaining bullpen spots: Antonio Bastardo, Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Sergio Escalona, Scott Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers and Tyler Walker. Bastardo got recalled today, and he’s not here for the heck of it. He could make a good enough impression today or tomorrow to work his way onto the postseason roster, despite not pitching since June 25. (That shows just how shaky the bullpen is.)

Eyre and Myers both have battled injuries this month, but Manuel sounded like if they finish the season healthy they will be on the postseason roster.

“I think Scott Eyre definitely could pitch on lefties,” Manuel said. “I think Brett Myers has all the experience in the world. If he can go, I think he can help us in the bullpen because he’s done that.”

Is the closer Madson or Lidge?

“You’ve got Madson and you’ve got Brad,” Manuel said. “I’ve heard people talk. I’ve heard people say instead of using Brad use somebody else. But who else out there would you want on the mound if you were going to win or lose a game? Who would you want? Take your pick. I always get back to Lidge. I’ve got Madson and Lidge in there. Madson probably would be the guy I would go to today to win the game. But there’s going to come a point where Lidge is going to have to pitch and do the job.”

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The Phillies have clinched home-field advantage in the NLDS with St. Louis losing today to the Brewers.

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