Results tagged ‘ Sergio Escalona ’

A Crowded DL: Been There, Done That

The injuries are piling up for the Phillies, although Ruben Amaro Jr. said last night Carlos Ruiz won’t be placed on the DL today because of a back problem.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just won’t happen today. But the DL already is crowded with Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, Joe Blanton, J.C. Romero, Domonic Brown and Brian Bocock

The Phillies should be used to this. I pictured players checking their iPads or phones last night and shrugging their shoulders at the latest DL news, if they hadn’t heard already.

“Blanton’s on the DL? Damn. OK.”

The Phillies have travelled this road before:

  • 2007: They used 46 players, including 28 pitchers (some of those players included Chris Roberson, Pete LaForest, Russell Branyan, Yoel Hernandez, Anderson Garcia, Kane Davis, John Ennis, Joe Bisenius, Zack Segovia and Matt Smith).
  • 2008: They used 40 players, including 18 pitchers (Brad Harman, Andy Tracy, Chris Snelling, R.J. Swindle, Les Walrond and Andrew Carpenter).
  • 2009: They used 41 players, including 22 pitchers (Rodrigo Lopez, Paul Hoover, Sergio Escalona and Steven Register).
  • 2010: They used 42 players, including 21 pitchers (Cody Ransom, Dane Sardinha, Brian Bocock, Nate Robertson, Scott Mathieson and Nelson Figueroa).

The Phillies handled the injuries every time. Nobody can say they will handle them this year, but it explains why nobody in the clubhouse is panicked, either.

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Phillies Trade Escalona to Houston

The Philadelphia/Houston pipeline continues …

The Phillies today acquired second baseman Albert Cartwright from the Astros for left-hander Sergio Escalona.

Cartwright, 23, split last season between Single-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. He hit a combined .294 with 30 doubles, 14 triples, 10 home runs, 55 RBI and 31 stolen bases in 127 games. Cartwright has hit .272 in his Minor League career with 20 home runs, 112 RBI and 71 stolen bases in 284 games.

Escalona, 26, spent last season with Double-A Reading, where he went 4-8 with a 3.81 ERA in 50 games. He had 53 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. The Phillies designated him for assignment last week.

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Dennys Meet Danys, Danys Meet Dennys

A source said this afternoon the Phillies are very close to agreeing on a one-year contract with left-hander Dennys Reyes, although details were still being worked out. ESPN’s Enrique Rojas said the deal would include an option for 2012.

If the deal gets finalized, the Phillies will have a veteran left-hander in the pen next season. Antonio Bastardo is another lefty with a good chance to make the team out of Spring Training. The other left-handers on the 40-man roster with big-league experience are Mike Zagurski and Sergio Escalona.

So, yes, there would be Dennys Reyes and Danys Baez on the same team — thus the clip from Spies Like Us.

Asked how he pronounces his name, Reyes once told Cardinals beat writers, “It’s Dennys, like the restaurant.” So there you go.

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Escalona, Moyer and Polanco Updates

The Phillies play the Orioles tonight at Bright House Field, and we’ve got a couple things to pass along:

- The Phillies optioned left-hander Sergio Escalona to the Minor Leagues.

- Placido Polanco will not be in the lineup tonight, but Charlie Manuel said he is expected to play in a Minor League game tomorrow while the team is in Lakeland against the Tigers. Roy Halladay is pitching in Lakeland.

- Jamie Moyer will make his first Grapefruit League start Sunday against the Orioles. Kyle Kendrick pitches tonight against the Orioles.

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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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Romero Unlikely for Opening Day, Shooting for First Homestand


romero softball.jpgJ.C. Romero
said he feels fine, but he also said he has just one chance to do this right.

So he said this morning at Bright House Field that he does not expect to be ready by Opening Day on April 5 in Washington. Instead, he said he hopes to join the team for its first home series April 12-15 against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

Romero’s likely absence from the Opening Day roster means there are at least two jobs available in the bullpen — three, if Brad Lidge also is not ready. But no Romero certainly gives an advantage to left-handers like Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Mike Zagurski because the Phillies have no other left-handers in the bullpen.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Romero said. “But to be realistic, I know I want to break camp with the team, but I realize the time is against me. That’s not good, but I’m very optimistic about being with the team by the first homestand. I think they can deal without me for the first road trip. And that’s better for the team.”

And for himself.

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March 4 – Phillies 3, Yankees 2

halladay grapefruit opener.jpg

Roy Halladay looked like Roy Halladay in today’s 3-2 victory over the Yankees at Bright House Field.

He threw 24 pitches, 21 for strikes. He allowed no hits, no walks and no runs and struck out three in two innings. He looked good. Here is what Yankees ace CC Sabathia had to say about it:

“I think it will be a pretty easy transition for him,” Sabathia said. “He’ll like facing the 7-8-9 guys in the National League. The type of pitcher he is, I expect him to go out and be even better than he was with the Blue Jays.”

But are the Phillies better with Halladay instead of Cliff Lee?

“It’s kind of a wash, I feel like,” he said. “If they would have kept the two of them, they’re definitely the team to beat. If Cliff was over here, he’d say the same thing. They’re still a good team and the team to beat in the National League. I don’t think they’ve really lost anything.”

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It’s the first spring without Harry Kalas. … Kyle Kendrick and Placido Polanco make their Grapefruit League debuts. … SI.com ranked baseball’s GMs.

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Sergio Escalona blew a 1-0 run lead in the ninth, allowing four hits and two runs to hand the Yankees a 2-1 lead. But Brian Bocock singled and pinch-runner Quintin Berry scored on Paul Hoover‘s double in the botto of the ninth to tie the game. Hoover advanced to third on the throw home. Pinch-runner Dewayne Wise scored the winning run when Wilson Valdez singled off Yankees pitcher Wilkins Arias.

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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!

Baez Agrees to Two-Year Deal

baez.jpgSources said today the Phillies had agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Danys Baez, pending a physical. That physical is expected next week.

Baez, 32, went 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the Baltimore Orioles. He has 114 career saves, including a career-high 41 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005. He was 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 53 appearances with the Orioles in 2008.

The Phillies have been looking for bullpen help since the 2009 season ended. Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin are the only locks for the 2010 bullpen, but both Lidge and Romero are recovering from elbow surgeries. Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance they might not be ready to start the season.

Baez’s arrival at least gives Charlie Manuel, who had Baez in Cleveland from 2001-02, another ninth-inning option should Lidge not be ready.

Baez’s arrival also means free-agent right-hander Chan Ho Park will not be back.

Amaro, who has been unavailable for comment, said recently that once the Phillies sign a free-agent reliever they might have youngsters like Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona take the remaining jobs in the bullpen. The Phillies have been interested in bringing back Scott Eyre, but a source said the Phillies have offered him only a Minor League contract and have held firm in their offer. Eyre, who was 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 61 appearances since he arrived in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in Aug. 2008, made $2 million last season.

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Park, Eyre, Blanton and More

The Phillies continue to talk with Chan Ho Park‘s people and Scott Eyre‘s people about possible returns, but there seems to have been little progress. In fact, Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies probably would not make any deals before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Stalemate?

“It depends what you mean by stalemate,” Amaro said today. “We’re comfortable with the numbers we’ve presented, and if those are numbers that won’t really get it done then we might have to go ahead and move on. I’m sure they’re trying to maximize the value, which is the job of the agent. If they feel like there’s a better opportunity to make more money or to be in a different situation then they’re going to take it. … We’re still talking.”

But Amaro said the meetings have been productive. He already had meet with three or four teams earlier today and is scheduled to see two or three more before the end of the day. They might not be able to hammer out something before Thursday, but he sounds happy with the groundwork he has laid going forward.

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One source said today that Joe Blanton “is on the market, by the way.” Trading Blanton would weaken the rotation, and the Phillies don’t have a lot of depth to replace him. So why is he available?

“They want to get a big bullpen piece,” the source said.

Amaro has said the Phillies are most likely to add bullpen pieces via free agency. That would seem to make the most sense, unless they can get a real stud — which could be beneficial should Brad Lidge carry his 2009 struggles into 2010.

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Amaro said if the Phillies can’t get the veteran pitchers they want for the bullpen, they might have to go young. Candidates include left-handers Sergio Escalona and Antonio Bastardo and right-hander Scott Mathieson.

“You’d like to have guys who are veterans,” Amaro said. “Guys who have been through the wars, and have dealt with the adversity. In a perfect world you’d have young starters and have veteran-type relievers. But that’s just a perfect world. We have more young players in our bullpen this year. We’ll probably start off with (Kyle) Kendrick as a guy who will be pitching and fighting for a job in the rotation, but if he doesn’t make the rotation maybe he’ll be pushed into the bullpen.”

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A report earlier today had the Phillies interested in Cuban pitcher Ardolis Chapman, but a team source said the Phillies are not interested.

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Day 1 in Indy

A few more things from the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis:

  • Ruben Amaro Jr. said there is a chance Brad Lige and J.C. Romero will not be ready by Opening Day — they are recovering from elbow surgeries — although he said if they are not ready, it won’t be long after the season starts.
  • Amaro said he is more likely to fill holes on the pitching staff and bench via free agency, although he said the Phillies could get creative and work a trade.
  • Amaro declined comment on a rumor that the Phillies have made right-hander Joe Blanton available to trade to free up money to improve the bullpen, but it seems unlikely Amaro would trade pitching to get pitching. “I’m sure I would at some point,” he said. “It’s kind of like robbing Peter to trade Paul, but if you think Paul is better than Peter than it’s worth it.”
  • Amaro also said he doesn’t “want to mess with our rotation as it stands. But it doesn’t mean we have to make that a hard and fast rule,” he said. “I think it’s more about keeping the options as open as possible. … I’ll put our rotation as it stands up there with pretty much anybody in the National League. The better your rotation is the more heat you can take off the bullpen. I think that’s probably the best way to get a more predictable bullpen.”
  • It sounds to me like Chan Ho Park is the team’s top priority in the bullpen. Amaro met with Park’s agent Jeff Borris on Monday.
  • The Phillies have continued interest in left-hander Scott Eyre, although Amaro said he would be comfortable with rookie left-handers Antonio Bastardo or Sergio Escalona in the bullpen next season.
  • The Phillies have been linked to right-hander Brandon Lyon, but one source said Monday the asking price for Lyon remains high.
  • The Phillies already have committed $114.2 million committed to 15 players in 2010. Include the expected raises for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey and the payroll pushes to more than $130 million. That leaves the Phillies with just a few million to spend. “I think we’re going to be just fine with our payroll,” Amaro said. “I don’t think it’s going to change much. We have our limitations. We’re going to be pushing $140 million. It is what it is. It’s my job to figure out a way to make sure this a contending team.”
  • The Phillies have until Dec. 12 to offer contracts to Durbin and Condrey, who are eligible for salary arbitration. Amaro said the Phillies haven’t made a final decision, but “as far as I’m concerned, at least right now, these are guys that we’ll probably count on. But again, a lot of it kind of depends on what happens over these next several days in regards to the other free agents that might be out there.”
  • The Phillies have expressed interest in Brian Giles, although it doesn’t appear talks are serious. “We’ve talked about it a little bit,” said Giles’ agent, Joe Bick. “Philly needs to try to find Brian a spot where there might be more playing time, but it’s certainly something we’ll keep the door open on.”

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