Results tagged ‘ Sergio Escalona ’

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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Is Romero Lost for the Season?


Thumbnail image for j.c. romero.jpgCharlie Manuel
and Rich Dubee had hoped to have a handful of relief pitchers to choose from next week when they selected their postseason roster.

Those pitchers are dropping like flies.

We learned Wednesday that Jamie Moyer is lost for the season because of torn tendons in his left groin. Chan Ho Park suffered a setback yesterday when he left an Instructional League game in Clearwater when he felt something in his right hamstring. No word on how serious it is, but Park flew to Philly last night to be examined today. That does not sound good. The Phillies then announced J.C. Romero still has symptoms in his left forearm and is going to seek a second opinion from orthopedist David Altchek sometime this week in New York.

“I haven’t been counting on him (to pitch in the playoffs),” Manuel said of Romero. “I’ve told you guys before, if you’re not healthy or you’re not well … I’ve got to go with the guys I know who are ready to go and ready to pitch.”

If those three are out for the NLDS — and I have to think they are at this point — that leaves the Phillies with a group that includes Clay Condrey, Chad Durbin, Sergio Escalona, Scott Eyre, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Brett MyersTyler Walker and either J.A. Happ or Pedro Martinez.

That is 10 pitchers for eight spots, and three of those pitchers — Eyre, Myers and Condrey — are returning from their own injuries. Romero’s troubles could seal Happ’s fate to the bullpen because the Phillies need a healthy lefty in the bullpen. That would leave seven spots for nine pitchers. Could Escalona be one of them? He threw a scoreless inning last night, but is a rookie with just 11 big-league innings under his belt.

“If it comes down to that I’ll trust him,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to go with what you’ve got. That’s basically what I’ve been doing for five years.”

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Eyre Up, Escalona Down

The Phillies have activated left-hander Scott Eyre from the 15-day disabled list. They have optioned left-hander Sergio Escalona.

That leaves leftfielder Raul Ibanez, right-hander Brett Myers and right-hander Clay Condrey on the DL. Myers is expected to miss the rest of the season. Ibanez hopes to begin a rehab assignment this week, which would allow him to play in the All-Star Game on July 14 in St. Louis. Condrey is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today.

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Romero Faces Battery Charge, Bastardo Lands on DL


j.c. romero.jpgThe St. Petersburg Police Department has handed a complaint against Phillies left-hander J.C. Romero
to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office to determine if prosecutors will charge him with battery.

Romero and Rays fan Robert Eaton were involved in an incident immediately following Thursday night’s game between the Phillies and Rays at Tropicana Field.

St. Petersburg police spokesman George Kajtsa said the fan asked players leaving the field for autographs.

“The player ignored him and kept on going,” Kajtsa said of Romero. “So the victim starts yelling expletives and also making references to some things I can’t mention because it’s under investigation. That apparently angered the player, who then returned. The two had a shouting match and at one point the player hit him with an open hand — or he slapped him on his neck.”

Eaton told the St. Petersburg Times that he said something to Romero like, “How about you get me some juice?”

“Remember, this is a simple battery,” Kajtsa said. “No weapon was used. There were no injuries to the victim whatsoever, except as he says in the report he was embarrassed because it happened in front of other fans and his family. … This is a very minor incident so the state’s attorney will probably concentrate on more serious matters, but it will be up to the state’s attorney to make the determination.”

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Eaton and his lawyer Jim Magazine spoke today to WIP.

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The Phillies tonight placed left-hander Antonio Bastardo on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left posterior shoulder. They recalled left-hander Sergio Escalona to take his place. Escalona will join the team tomorrow in Atlanta.

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Back in Tampa Bay

tropicana field.jpgAh, Tropicana Field.

Such charm.

The Trop, as locals call it, reminds me of Olympic Stadium, only instead of being in Montreal and having Youppi as a mascot, we’re in St. Petersburg and have an aardvark as a mascot. (I have since been informed from a reliable source that the Rays mascot is a seadog, which I’m afraid is even worse than an aardvark.) Yep, not much atmosphere at the Trop. Not much of a crowd expected this week against the Phillies, either. I remember saying last year that it would be a shame for the Rays to win the World Series because nobody in Tampa Bay really cares about the team. I’m afraid that’s holding true this season. Attendance is up from last year, but they’re not packing them in, either.

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No word yet if Ryan Howard is flying to Florida to join the team today. As soon as I know, I’ll pass it along.

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Raul Ibanez is taking batting practice. Just thought I’d let you know.

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In case you missed it, the Phillies officially announced Clay Condrey is on the DL with a strained left oblique. Sergio Escalona takes his place.

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It is ridiculously hot and humid outside. Or maybe I just think that because it’s been 60 and raining in Philly for the past two months.

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Condrey to DL

condrey 0524.jpgIt looks like the Phillies have lost another relief pitcher to the disabled list.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told me tonight that right-hander Clay Condrey likely is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. Condrey had tests on the oblique yesterday.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said last week that Condrey had been bothered with back problems. I asked Condrey about it, but he downplayed the injury. But back injury or oblique injury, it certainly would help explain why Condrey has struggled recently. Condrey, who is 4-2 with a 3.71 ERA, was 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his first 31 appearances this season. He is 0-1 with a 162.00 ERA (six earned runs in 1/3 inning) in his last two appearances.

Left-hander Sergio Escalona is likely to take Condrey’s place.

Amaro said an official decision on Condrey won’t be made until tomorrow.

The Phillies already have closer Brad Lidge and left-hander Scott Eyre on the DL. Lidge could rejoin the team this week.

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Escalona Down, Walker Up

It’s your daily Phillies roster move …

The Phillies optioned left-hander Sergio Escalona to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. They purchased the contract of Lehigh Valley right-hander Tyler Walker to take his place. As suggested last night, the Phillies’ bullpen has been so overworked lately that they needed another fresh arm for the series finale today against the Red Sox.

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Bastardo Shines

bastardo 0602.jpgYep, that settles it. Antonio Bastardo is better than Jake Peavy.

Bastardo impressed everybody in his Major League debut last night in a 10-5 victory over the Padres at Petco Park. He allowed four hits, one run and one walk and struck out five in six innings to pick up his first big-league win. His fastball settled in the 93-94 mph range, and he attacked the strike zone.

“I thought he had a good fastball,” Charlie Manuel said. “He was on a rush and you couldn’t slow him down if you had to. He did one thing real good and that was to be aggressive and he wasn’t afraid to throw the ball.

“He has a good changeup and a breaking ball, but he was gripping the ball and trying to throw it, so there wasn’t much action. But he did a super job, but he did it with one pitch.”

Of course, Bastardo will have to be able to throw his other two pitches if he expects to remain in the big leagues, but that is for another day. Right now the Phillies are feeling good because Bastardo showed he had the guts and the stuff to pitch in the big leagues. They could use somebody like that, especially if Ruben Amaro Jr. can’t pull off a trade for one of the top pitchers in baseball (i.e. Peavy or Roy Oswalt).

Say Bastardo sticks in the rotation, but he carries a 4.50 ERA come late July. Would you rather have him in the rotation or somebody like Jason Marquis or Jarrod Washburn, knowing you would have to give up a prospect or two to get them? Marquis is 7-3 with a 3.93 ERA after 10 starts with the Rockies. Washburn is 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA after 10 starts with the Mariners.

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Raul Ibanez homered twice for his 200th and 201st homers of his career. He’s good.

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The Phillies optioned Sergio Escalona to make room for J.C. Romero, who is back after serving his 50-game suspension.

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Bastardo vs. Peavy

bastardo.jpgTonight’s game at Petco Park has some intrigue to it.

Phillies rookie Antonio Bastardo, who is taking Brett Myers‘ place in the rotation, faces Padres ace Jake Peavy, who the Phillies would like to take Myers’ place in the rotation (Roy Halladay or Roy Oswalt wouldn’t be bad, either).

It is true Peavy is a long shot to come to Philadelphia, but that does not mean the Phillies aren’t interested. We’ve been over this before. The Phillies and Padres would have to agree on the talent to be exchanged for Peavy, which is not easy. The Phillies would have to decide if they can take on the remaining $63 million on Peavy’s contract — no small task considering the Phillies have nearly $100 committed to a handful of players next season. And, oh, Peavy would have to waive his no-trade clause to make it happen, and there are indications he would be unwilling to do that.

But who knows? Maybe Peavy can’t work a trade to one of his preferred teams (Cubs, Dodgers) and has to think to himself, “Either I stay with the Padres, where they’ll have to cut payroll elsewhere, or I go to Philadelphia for three years.”

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The Phillies optioned John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for Bastardo. The Phillies want Mayberry to play everyday. When the Phillies activate J.C. Romero after tonight’s game, I imagine left-hander Sergio Escalona will be headed back to the Minors.

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The Pen – the reality series featuring the Phillies bullpen – debuts Sun., June 14 @ 8 pm on MLB Network.

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Road Trippin'

phils 052409.jpgThe Phillies went 8-2 on their just completed trip through Washington, Cincinnati and New York. That’s their first 8-2 trip since Sept. 2007, when they handled the Mets, Cardinals and Nationals on their way to winning the National League East for the first time since 1993.

Some interesting numbers/things/events during the trip:

  • They kicked things off at the White House on May 15.
  • Brad Lidge had three saves and three blown saves.
  • Rookies Sergio Escalona and Andrew Carpenter picked up wins in Washington.
  • Rookie John Mayberry got his first big-league hit, a three-run home run at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
  • Chan Ho Park got bumped to the bullpen. J.A. Happ took his place and allowed two runs in six innings Saturday against the Yankees.
  • The Phillies were tied for second in the majors with the Twins with 65 runs scored in that span (May 15-24). Only the Blue Jays (74) scored more.
  • They hit .288 with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage. They stole 12 bases and got caught just twice.
  • They had a 4.63 ERA, which ranked 24th in baseball.
  • Raul Ibanez scored 11 runs, which tied for second in baseball in that span. Jimmy Rollins scored 10, which tied for fifth.
  • Ibanez led the majors with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

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Phillies starters have a 6.03 ERA, which is the worst mark in baseball. Lidge has a 9.15 ERA, which is the second-worst ERA in baseball for a relief pitcher. Only Cincinnati’s Mike Lincoln (9.19 ERA) is higher.

But yet the Phillies are six games over .500 to the lead the NL East and have the fourth-best record in the National League. Explain that one.

OK. They’re averaging 5.69 runs per game, which is the second-best mark in baseball. Only the Rays (5.72 runs per game) have been better. They also have committed just 13 errors, which is the fewest in baseball. That’s four fewer than any other team in baseball and 22 fewer errors than the Mets. The Phillies are hitting and playing great defense. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have to like your chances if the rotation can pitch more consistently (they looked good this weekend against the Yankees) and Lidge figures out a few things.

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