Results tagged ‘ Scott Proefrock ’
As inconsistent as they have been, they believe they have a shot to make the postseason.
So they took a chance today and signed talented, but controversial right-hander Carlos Zambrano to a Minor League deal. Zambrano will report to Clearwater, Fla., where he will begin working out in extended Spring Training. He has until July 1 to prove himself before he can exercise an opt-out clause in his contract.
“No promises were made, but this was just an opportunity to add some starting pitching depth,” Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.
Zambrano went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 appearances (20 starts) last season with the Marlins. He is 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA in a career spent mostly with the Cubs, but he has become notorious for his outbursts, which have involved fights with teammates like Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett, battered water coolers and criticism of fans. He has been suspended twice as a result.
Apparently, they believe he can.
The Phillies activated him from the disabled list before tonight’s game against the Indians at Progressive Field, designating outfielder Ezequiel Carerrera for assignment to make room for him on the 25-man roster. Young hit fifth behind Ryan Howard in the Phillies lineup, serving as the designated hitter. Charlie Manuel said he expects Young to play in right tomorrow night.
It should be interesting to watch. Young has been recovering from microfracture surgery on his right ankle, reacquainting himself with right field, a position he has not played since 2007. Young said he feels fine out there and his mobility continues to improve the more he plays.
He also said he is motivated.
“You’ve got to be motivated if you want to play,” he said. “If you aren’t motivated you could have one good season and then take it back to the house and never play again. So if you want to play as long as you can possibly play, have a career sort of like Chipper Jones, you have to be motivated day in and day out. This is not an easy sport. It’s not a sport that’s going to let you have your way with it. You have to work hard. You have to have to have some type of motivation to come out here and play.”
Ruiz had been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot before the Phillies activated him today. The Phillies plan to ease back Ruiz slowly, using him as a pinch-hitter this weekend before working him in as a defensive replacement. He could start once or twice a week once he gets comfortable.
“We definitely want to be careful with him,” Charlie Manuel said. “What he’s got is something that if he’s on his feet for a long time, if he’s moving a lot, he gets real tight.”
But the Phillies said there is little risk playing Ruiz the remainder of the season.
“If it was going to hurt him, we wouldn’t do it,” Manuel said. “But they feel like it’s not going to hurt him.”
Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock concurred.
“I think we’re very comfortable with the fact that I don’t think he’s going to do any further damage,” he said. “But he hasn’t played so I think it’s just something that we’re going to … hopefully he can come out and contribute a little bit and get back in a rhythm and be ready to go for next year. I think it’s important that he gets back out on the field.”
And why is that?
“I think for him, and I think he still has a chance to help us,” Proefrock said. “As long of a shot as it is, we’re not out of this. He can contribute. He’s an important part of our offense.”
Said Ruiz: “I know everybody was concerned that maybe I was done for the year, but I was thinking that I would try really hard to come back because I want to finish. Now I’m happy that I got activated. I’m ready to go. I want to finish the season. I want to go home happy. I told myself I have to finish playing and then relax and be ready for next year. I was really sad in last six weeks. Now I have the chance to get back in the lineup.”
Vance Worley is pitching with a bone chip in his right elbow and is 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA in eight starts since the end of June.
So, naturally, a lot of fans have been asking if the Phillies could shut down Worley the remainder of the season, despite the fact Worley maintains the injury is not a factor in his recent struggles. The school of thought is Worley could have a surgical procedure to remove the bone chips and begin his road to recovery sooner rather than later.
But the Phillies said there has been no discussion about that.
“My understanding is the issue isn’t going to take a whole offseason to recover from,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. “As long as he can still pitch and there’s not a risk of him hurting himself … and from everything I understand there’s no issue there. He’s pitched some good games, he’s pitched some bad games. You’ve got to remember last year was his first time around. The second time around you’ve got to make adjustments. My impression is (Worley’s struggles) are not related to the issue.
“I haven’t been involved in any discussions whatsoever with shutting him down.”
One thing worth noting: Cole Hamels pitched with a bone chip last season, had surgery in the offseason and was throwing well before spring training started.
So we learned today Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock will interview for Baltimore’s GM vacancy and Ryne Sandberg will interview for St. Louis’ managerial vacancy.
They’re not the only Phillies personnel teams are interested in.
Bench coach Pete Mackanin just interviewed for Boston’s managerial vacancy. Big league scout Jim Fregosi Jr. left to become special assistant to the general manager in Kansas City, and Double-A manager Mark Parent left to become the bench coach with the Chicago White Sox.
It is worth noting the Cubs have told Sandberg he will not be a candidate for their managerial vacancy. I believe if Mackanin gets hired somewhere, the Phillies would promote Sandberg as his replacement. The Phillies love Sandberg. In fact, I think if Sandberg somehow remains with the organization he would be a front runner to replace Charlie Manuel once his contract expires and he decides he has had enough of managing.
Chase Utley is unlikely to rejoin the Phillies early next week in Houston, but they said they got good news on his concussion today.
Concussion specialist Rob Franks examined Utley in Philadelphia, where he administered an ImPACT test. The results showed Utley is near his baseline test, which he took in Spring Training. That allowed Utley to begin exercising to see how he responds to exertion. Utley will have a follow up ImPACT test Monday, when Franks will reevaluate him.
“Based on that examination we’ll have a better idea of when he will return to play,” Scott Proefrock said.
But while Proefrock said it is unlikely Utley rejoins the Phillies for next week’s three-game series against in Houston, it sounds like Utley could be back sometime later next week.
“It’s positive,” Proefrock said. “Very positive. Good news. We’re going to be very cautious, obviously. But it seems like he’s making progress. We’ll make sure he’s 100 percent before we get him back on the field.”
Utley has no symptoms from the concussion. Proefrock said Utley “felt a little foggy” when he was hit in the helmet with a pitch Wednesday, but never experienced any headaches.
Greetings from Toronto.
A few injury updates for everybody:
- Cole Hamels (bruised right hand) played catch this morning at Rogers Centre. He said he felt much better. “I’m good,” he said, flexing and moving his right hand to show the improvement. Hamels said he plans to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and make his scheduled start Tuesday in Florida. He said he normally would have thrown a bullpen session today, but the Phillies pushed it back to give the hand a chance to heal.
- Ryan Madson (bruised right hand) played catch this morning. Rich Dubee said it went well. But because Madson has not pitched since June 18 there is a good chance he will need to make a rehab assignment before he is activated. So he won’t be activated Monday, when he is first eligible.
- Roy Oswalt (lower back inflammation) received a second opinion on his back Friday in Dallas. The Phillies said spine surgeon Andrew Dossett concurred with the Phillies’ diagnosis: Oswalt has mild bulging discs in his back. Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Oswalt will continue his prescribed treatment, which involves injections. “He should be able to begin tossing shortly there after,” Proefrock said. Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week he thinks there’s a chance Oswalt pitches before the end of the month.
- Brad Lidge (strained right rotator cuff) threw a bullpen session yesterday in Reading. He could begin a rehab assignment early next week.
- Joe Blanton (right elbow inflammation) is playing catch today, but has not thrown off a mound.
- Jose Contreras (strained right forearm) is “progressing.”
Phillies coaches and front office personnel meet every morning at Bright House Field to discuss players and other happenings in camp.
But this morning they presented a gas can to assistant general manager Scott Proefrock.
Front office officials make every Grapefruit League road game. They typically alternate driving, and Proefrock drove his rental car yesterday to Port Charlotte, which is roughly 1 hour, 40 minutes from Clearwater. He had Phillies president David Montgomery, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., pro scouting director Mike Ondo and Jesse Rendell, the son of former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, in the car.
Proefrock had been making great time to Port Charlotte … until the car ran out of gas roughly 20 miles from Charlotte Sports Park.
He called AAA for help. The group finally arrived to the game in the fifth inning.
“I’m more than willing to do a PSA for AAA this year,” Proefrock said.
“That was a first,” Amaro said.
The group happily made it back to Clearwater without running out of gas, although the Phillies’ official pregame notes said Proefrock asked for $1 to pay a toll because he does not have Sun Pass.
The Phillies gained postseason roster flexibility today when they placed right-hander Danys Baez on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms.
The Phillies, who recalled left-hander Antonio Bastardo from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Baez’s place, have 28 players eligible for the postseason. They have the players on the current 25-man roster, plus the three players on the disabled list: Baez, Ross Gload and Jamie Moyer.
“We’d have one wild card, which would be Jamie’s spot,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.
Moyer is a wild card because he will not pitch again this season. The Phillies can replace Moyer with anybody who is in the organization on Aug. 31. In other words, if they wanted to call up a player from Class A Lakewood they could do that. That is how left-hander J.A. Happ made the postseason roster in 2008. Pitchers Scott Mathieson and Mike Zagurski were on the 60-day disabled list, which allowed the Phillies to take Happ, who was a September call-up.
The Phillies got creative in 2009, when they selected the contract of injured right-hander John Ennis and immediately placed him on the 15-day disabled list. That is unlikely to happen to this year, but there are ways to get more flexibility. Now that Baez is on the DL, the Phillies won’t have to use their wild card on Bastardo, if they would want him on the postseason roster.
The Phillies announced this morning that Utley, who is recovering from surgery on his right thumb, will begin a rehab assignment tonight with Class A Clearwater. He will play five innings in the field.
He will play seven innings Sunday, nine innings in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sunday and nine innings as a DH in Game 2 of the doubleheader. He will be reevaluated then, but if he feels fine he should be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Giants.
Sources said yesterday that Utley, who had surgery July 1, is ahead of schedule and could rejoin the team as early as Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. CBSSports.com first reported Utley told teammates he hoped to rejoin the team Tuesday.
Asked last night if Utley could play in a rehab game Saturday with Clearwater, Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said, “It depends how he feels.”
Utley felt fine after swinging a bat Friday in Clearwater, Fla.
Utley tore a ligament in his right thumb June 28 in Cincinnati. He had surgery three days later, and the Phillies estimated it would take him eight weeks to recover, which would have put him back in the lineup around Sept. 1. If Utley returns Tuesday, he would be returning roughly two weeks ahead of schedule.
Utley has been a quick healer in the past. He had hip surgery following the 2008 World Series championship. The Phillies estimated a four-to-six month recovery period, which meant he might not have been back until late May 2009.
Utley was playing in Spring Training games in March and was in the 2009 Opening Day lineup.
Tuesday is realistic because Utley has not needed many games in the past to get ready following an injury. When he missed a month with a broken right hand in 2007, he went 1-for-10 in three rehab games before rejoining the Phillies. He hit .321 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs, 21 RBIs and a .916 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 32 games to finish the season.
Clearwater plays at home at Bright House Field on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If Utley needs just three games again, he could play with the Threshers and return to Philadelphia on Tuesday.