Results tagged ‘ Shane Victorino ’

The Top 100 Players in Baseball

IMG_0359.JPGMLB Network has been running its top 100 players in baseball, and the Phillies are well represented with seven players.

Let’s work from the bottom up:

82. Shane Victorino
71. Cole Hamels
51. Roy Oswalt
31. Cliff Lee
26. Chase Utley
25. Ryan Howard
2. Roy Halladay

Albert Pujols is the top-ranked player in baseball. Falling behind Halladay in the top 10 are Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton.

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Heard the weather is a bit nippy back in Philly. It’s 73 degrees already at 10 a.m. in Clearwater. Get down here.

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The Top 10 … Right Now

halladay nohitter 03.jpg

MLB Network has been running episodes of Top 10 Right Now, where they rank players at every position in the big leagues. The Phillies were well represented, so I’m running the lists here.

These lists should make for a good debate:

Starting Pitchers
10. Josh Johnson
9. Justin Verlander
8. Adam Wainwright
7. Cliff Lee
6. David Price
5. Jon Lester
4. CC Sabathia
3. Tim Lincecum
2. Felix Hernandez
1. Roy Halladay

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Samuel Is Favorite to Replace Lopes

samuel.jpgThere is no arguing Davey Lopes meant plenty to the Phillies.

Shane Victorino is a perfect example. He stole just four of seven bases in 153 games in 2006, then stole 37 bases in 41 attempts in 131 games in 2007, when Lopes joined the Phillies as their first base coach. Victorino stole 132 bases in 161 attempts the past four seasons to rank 12th in baseball.

We know Lopes will not be back next season. Juan Samuel is expected to replace Lopes, and an announcement could come with the next couple days. Samuel was close to returning to the Baltimore Orioles as their third base coach, but sources in Baltimore said they also expect Samuel to join the Phillies.

The Phillies also are trying to fill vacancies on their Minor League coaching staff. Ryne Sandberg is a candidate to manage Triple-A Lehigh Valley. A source said Mickey Morandini is a candidate for a job somewhere on their player development staff.

The Phillies also have a managerial vacancy at Double-A Reading. Class A Lakewood manager Mark Parent, who is well respected in the organization, could move to a higher level to fill one of those jobs.

But Lopes will be missed.

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Victorino Wins Gold Glove


victorino catch.jpgShane Victorino
won his third consecutive Gold Glove today.

Victorino, the only Phillies player to win a Gold Glove this year, is the first Phillies outfielder to win three consecutive Gold Gloves since Garry Maddox won eight consecutive Gold Gloves from 1975-82.

Victorino tied for the league lead in assists (11) and finished fifth out of 37 qualifying outfielders in fielding percentage (.995) and range factor per game (2.59).

He is the sixth player in franchise history to win three or more Gold Gloves. Mike Schmidt (10), Maddox (eight), Manny Trillo (three), Scott Rolen (three) and Jimmy Rollins (three) are the others.

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The Phillies coaching search continues. Juan Samuel is the frontrunner to replace Davey Lopes. Ryne Sandberg is a candidate to manage in Triple-A. Mickey Morandini also is in the picture to coach in the minors.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Manuel Tweaks Lineup for Game 2

The Phillies have hit just .212 in the postseason, and just .147 against Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez in five career starts against him.

Charlie Manuel tried to shake up things with a tweak to his lineup before Game 2 of the NLCS. He flipped Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, which had Utley hitting second and Polanco hitting third.

“Same reason I always do it,” Manuel said.

He wanted to split the left-handed hitting Utley and Ryan Howard, which he has done on occasion this season against left-handed pitchers.

Manuel said Saturday he would “think” about hitting Jimmy Rollins first, but he never seriously considered it for three reasons: Rollins has hit .067 (1 for 15) with two walks and three strikeouts in the postseason and he has hit just .063 (1 for 16) against Sanchez while Shane Victorino, who is hitting leadoff, has hit .400 (6 for 15) against Sanchez.

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Manuel said Joe Blanton remains his starter for Game 4, but he left some room to change his mind Sunday.

“That’s still our plan,” he said. “But we’ll just take it day to day and see what happens.”

If the Phillies trail the series entering Game 4, they could start Roy Halladay on short rest. Halladay has pitched on short rest five times in his career as a starter. (He started on short rest two other times, but those followed relief appearances.) Halladay is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA (seven earned runs in 37 innings) in those five starts, but he has made just one start on short rest since 2004.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Victorino Up, Bastardo Down, Gload Day-to-Day

If you saw Ross Gload pull up lame running to second base in the sixth inning last night you figured he absolutely had blown out his right groin and was headed to the DL.

But the Phillies announced today Gload is day-to-day.

They also announced they have activated Shane Victorino from the DL and optioned lefty Antonio Bastardo.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Domonic Brown Is On His Way

The Domonic Brown era begins tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies placed Shane Victorino on the DL with a strained left abdominal muscle. He had a MRI exam this morning morning, which revealed the severity of the injury.

Phillies fans have anxiously awaited Brown’s arrival for months.

Brown, who Baseball America recently named the top prospect in baseball, is the only top prospect the Phillies refused to trade in the past 12 months, when they sent four prospects to Cleveland for Cliff Lee and three prospects to Toronto for Roy Halladay.

He hit a combined .327 with 20 home runs and 68 RBIs in 93 games this season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Interestingly, as fans begged the Phillies to call up Brown earlier, Brown said this month at the All-Star Futures Game in Anahem that he did not mind the wait.

“You’ve got to be patient,” he said. “You talk about moving up. That’s not a big thing at all. I thought I might have been in Double-A the whole year. I don’t know. That’s just how I look at things. I’m in Triple-A, so I’m having fun. I’m enjoying my time. It’s not a hard thing. I’ve watched guys who’ve already come through the system. It took those guys time, so why can’t I wait? It’s not a rush for me at all, man. I see some guys, they come here, they get drafted high and talk about how they’re going to be in the big leagues the next year. I’m like, it doesn’t work like that. I just know reality. I know what’s going on.”

Brown might not have been called up until September, unless the Phillies suffered an injury like Victorino’s or traded rightfielder Jayson Werth, which no longer seems a possibility. That is because leftfielder Raul Ibanez has hit .367 (18-for-49) with four doubles, one home run and nine RBIs in 14 games since July 8. He has done a splendid job in the No. 3 spot in the lineup vacated by Chase Utley. Werth has hit .429 (12-for-28) with four doubles, one home run, four RBIs, a .579 on-base percentage and a .679 slugging percentage in nine games since July 18.

Victorino had hit .250 with 15 home runs, 53 RBIs and 20 stolen bases before the injury.

Brown, who will wear No. 9, will be in uniform Wednesday, although it remains to be seen if he will be in the starting lineup. If he is, he will play right field with Werth likely playing center field until Victorino returns.

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Here’s what I wrote earlier today about Roy Oswalt‘s chances of coming to Philly.

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Victorino, Brown, Werth and Oswalt

victorino alone.jpg

Still no word on the severity of Shane Victorino‘s strained left oblique, but we know the injury can be tricky.

It certainly would not be a good time to lose Victorino. Chase Utley is out another month, and Jimmy Rollins seems unlikely to play tonight because of a bruised left foot. Charlie Manuel said yesterday Rollins could miss a couple days. The sooner he is back the better. Rollins had started to swing the bat better, and the offense had started to get on a roll. They also just crawled within 3 1/2 games of the Braves after last night’s 9-5 victory over the Diamondbacks. Now would not be a good time for another deep offensive funk — and losing Rollins and Victorino for a stretch could contrbute to that.

But there are a couple things worth mentioning should Victorino land on the DL:

  1. They’ve got to call up Domonic Brown, right? He is the best outfielder in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and the object is to put the best product on the field. They could call up John Mayberry Jr., but based on performance Brown is more likely to come up with a big hit.
  2. The Phillies almost certainly would not trade Jayson Werth, if Victorino is going to miss a significant stretch. I mentioned earlier this week the Phillies do not have to trade Werth to acquire Roy Oswalt. This might make that decision a little easier for them.

The Phillies remain top contenders for Oswalt, although consummating a trade will be difficult before Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Sources said yesterday that Oswalt would waive his no-trade clause to play in Philadelphia, which echoed what Oswalt said Monday. Sources also said his $16 million club option for 2012 is not the sticking point it has been made to be, indicating Oswalt might not make the Phillies pick up the option, if it meant being traded or remaining in Houston.

That is important. If Oswalt requires the Phillies to pick up the option, a deal might be too difficult to stomach because of the prospects the Phillies are expected to deliver and the money they already have committed to future payrolls. If he does not, it would be easier for the Phillies to pull the trigger.

It remains to be seen if the Phillies and Astros can agree on prospects. The Astros have scouted left-hander J.A. Happ, which indicates he could be part of the deal. Astros general manager Ed Wade personally scouted Class A Lakewood recently. (Hint, hint, they know the talent in Lakewood very well.)

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. My Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

Trying to Make Sense of It All

Thumbnail image for utley swings.jpgI left the Phillies’ clubhouse last night feeling a little dizzy.

Charlie Manuel talked about edge and cockiness and swagger. He said the team is trying too hard, but said a couple times the game (i.e. winning) needs to be the players’ No. 1 priority. He said he hears talk about losing, but then said he sees a difference in the clubhouse more than hears it. Shane Victorino expressed his frustrations at a few fans who ripped him last night. He brought up Jimmy Rollins‘ infamous frontrunners comment from a couple years ago — you can think it, but why would you say it? — but then said Phillies fans have been great and have brought a ton of energy to the ballpark.

Confused with the contradictions?

I am, too.

Here is my take:

There is a difference in the clubhouse this year. The edge is missing. But let’s be real: the Phillies have had 12 players on the DL this season and those injuries have caught up with them. It has caught up with them in talent on the field, and it has caught up with them in attitude. Lose enough games, struggle enough and people become Debbie Downers. People start worrying about other things. They start complaining. They don’t feel invincible. They don’t feel like they can overcome their problems. It’s human nature.

“We don’t quite have the swagger that we once had,” said Jamie Moyer, who gave the clearest answer of anybody of what is ailing the team. “I don’t think it was a cocky swagger. It was just a swagger. And I think it was carried by all. We have some new faces in here. That’s not the reason, but as teams change, I think it’s the responsibility of those who remain to try to continue that swagger in the way that we play.”

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Rollins Back to the DL

Jimmy Rollins is back on the disabled list, but the Phillies said he could be back in 15 days.

Rollins strained his right calf during last night’s victory over the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. It is the second time this season Rollins has been on the DL because of a strained right calf, but Ruben Amaro Jr. said before tonight’s game that the latest strain is not as severe as the first.

“It’s a Grade 1 strain, much, much milder than his last one,” Amaro said. “But we didn’t want to mess around with it, so we decide we’ve got to get it taken care of. I think this is a two-week thing. I wouldn’t see this going much more than the DL stint. In fact, it might not take that long, but we can’t afford to put ourselves in a position where it turns into something serious and we can’t leave the team short [a player on the bench].”

The Phillies called up infielder Wilson Valdez to take Rollins’ place on the 25-man roster. Valdez just cleared waivers after the Phillies designated him for assignment Monday, when they activated Rollins from his first DL stint. The Phillies were fortunate Valdez cleared waivers. If he had been claimed by another team, Triple-A Lehigh Valley shortstop Brian Bocock and Double-A Reading shortstop Freddy Galvis would have been candidates to take Rollins’ place.

But will Rollins’ injury hinder him throughout the season? Greg Dobbs and Shane Victorino know it can linger.

Dobbs played through a strained calf through 2009, and said it only felt completely healthy until the offseason. He still wears a protective sleeve over the calf, which he said helps prevent another injury. Victorino spent July 31-Aug. 21, 2007, on the DL with a strained right calf. He strained the calf again Aug. 24, in just his third game back. He returned to action in the second game of a doubleheader Aug. 27 and played in 22 games (six starts) the rest of the regular season. Victorino also said he never felt completely healthy until the offseason.

“It [stinks],” Victorino said. “Hopefully [Rollins] gets better, but it can linger.”

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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!

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