Archive: November, 2009
Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer had surgery today after an MRI exam showed a small blood collection that could have been infected, the team said tonight.
Moyer is likely to remain hospitalized until Monday.
The Phillies team physician said tonight that pitcher Jamie Moyer was not seriously ill, but would likely be hospitalized for several days after experiencing lingering pain related to October surgery.
The Phillies and veteran utilityman Juan Castro have agreed in principle on a contract, and will likely finalize the agreement with a physical next week, Castro’s agent told the Inquirer today. Additionally, there were strong indications in baseball that a one-year deal could be announced next week, pending the results of the physical.
While the Phillies’ primary pursuit is the search for a third baseman, yesterday’s removal of Eric Bruntlett from the roster offered a reminder that the front office is also working to retool the bench. Here is a window into their thinking:
Awards are dumb. MVP and Rookie of the Year are particularly dumb. At least the dumb Cy Young Award compares people who do the same job. But in weighing J.A. Happ versus Chris Coghlan versus Tommy Hanson versus Garrett Jones versus Andrew McCutchen, how do you compare a talented outfielder to a talented pitcher, anyway? That is just one of many reasons why I do not, and will never, vote for athletic awards.
The news today is that Coghlan beat Happ (and the others) for N.L. ROY. I don’t care, and I don’t recommend that you get bothered over it (caveat--the players care, and there is nothing wrong with that; it always feels good to be recognized, whether or not the award is dumb. Philly.com could give me the Pointless Post of the Day Award, and I'd probably feel all good about myself for a few hours).
But here’s the only important thing for baseball fans: All of these players will likely be fun and interesting to watch for several years. They are all talented, in different ways. They are all fun to watch, and they all deserve praise for strong performances in 2009. Why this annual need to categorize people with fuzzily-defined awards?
The Phillies did some maneuvering of their 40-man roster today, removing utilityman Eric Bruntlett, RHP Tyler Walker, C Paul Hoover, INF Andy Tracy and RHP John Ennis. All are free agents.
If Bruntlett’s time in Philly is over—and he has seemed headed out of town for a while now--the Phillies Zone wishes him luck. A good guy, and scary smart (he holds a degree in economics from Stanford University, and scored a 1440 on his SATs), Bruntlett kept his on-field struggles in perspective this year, and always handled them with class.
Now, the Phils continue their search for a upgrade at the utility position—something that is increasingly essential, as Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins settle into baseball middle age and require more rest.
Brett Myers was told today that his Phillies career is over, the Inquirer's Jim Salisbury reports.
``I officially won’t be a Phillie next year,’’ the 29-year-old pitcher told The Inquirer this afternoon.
In a meeting with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., today, Myers was told that the team will not attempt to negotiate a new contact with him this offseason. Myers contact expired after the World Series. He said he will file for free agency today.
``Actually I’m not as disappointed as I thought I’d be,’’ Myers said. ``I don’t know if it’s because other things are in front of me, blurring my vision. I’m packing and getting ready to drive home (to Jacksonville, Fla.) tomorrow.
``It just didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. I kind of felt it coming.’’
Myers said Amaro gave him no reason for the decision not to attempt to extend the relationship between the team and the pitcher.
``I was just like, `OK, thanks for putting up with my (stuff),’ ‘’ Myers said. ``He thanked me and wished me and my family well.
``I’ll miss the guys on the team and the fans who have supported me. Hopefully I’ll be playing against the Phillies and when I do I want the roughest treatment the fans can give me – when I’m pitching. I’m an opposing player – you have to give it to me.’’
Myers was the Phils’ top draft pick in 1999. He spent eight seasons with the club and was 73-63 with a 4.40 ERA in 240 games.
The righthander had his ups and downs as a Phillie. He made three opening day starts and closed out a division championship clincher. In June 2006, Myers was charged with assaulting his wife in Boston. The charges were dropped. Myers missed several months this season with a hip injury that required surgery. He rehabbed aggressively and made it back for the postseason.
``The last two years, going to the World Series and all, have been exciting,’’ he said. ``Other than that, I’m disappointed with how I did the last few years. My last three years weren’t as productive as I would have liked.’’
Myers is open to working as a starter or a reliever with a new team.
``I’ll just go out there on the market and see what happens, dude,’’ he said.
The Phillies are actively exploring options at third base other than Pedro Feliz, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said today.
The team has until Monday to exercise a $5.5 million dollar contract option on Feliz for the 2010 season.
“More than anything else, we want to see what options may be out there for us and decide whether picking his option up is best suited for this club to try to move forward,” Amaro said. “He had a solid year for us. I like the man personally. He’s a great person and a great teammate, but I also believe in trying to improve and sometimes change can be for the better. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to, but it’s just something that we’re thinking about.”
Feliz, 34, is a top defensive player, but subpar offensively. In 2009, he batted .266, with a.308 on-base percentage and .386 slugging percentage.
Amaro could pursue a trade to upgrade the position. The general manager meetings begin on Monday in Chicago, so Amaro will gather with executives from other team’s before he needs to make a decision on Feliz’s option.
The GM could also replace Feliz with a free agent—though teams have a 15-day window to negotiate exclusively with free agents. Of the potential third basemen on the market, three stick out as potential fits for the Phils: Seattle’s Adrian Beltre, Anaheim’s Chone Figgins, St. Louis’ Mark DeRosa.
Because the Angels figure to aggressively pursue Figgins, and DeRosa is also 34 years old, Beltre, 30, stands out. A strong defender with a power bat, Beltre is coming off a five-year, $64 million contract. Injuries limited Beltre in 2009 to 111 games and eight home runs—but that performance might have made him affordable to the Phils. Amaro was vague yesterday when discussing payroll flexibility, but the team is unlikely to add significant money to a payroll that exceeded $130 million last season.
Closer Brad Lidge is scheduled to have his right elbow examined today, said Amaro. Lidge might have “loose bodies” in the elbow, the same issue that sidelined lefthander Scott Eyre in September.