First, Brett Myers.
Now, Adam Eaton.
The Phillies just announced this morning that Eaton has been optioned to the minor leagues. Eaton had the right to refuse the option, but accepted it. It's uncertain where he will pitch because the Phillies haven't worked out his schedule, but that should come shortly. The Phillies also haven't announced who will take his place in the bullpen, but they said they will make that move before tomorrow night's game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. Triple-A Lehigh Valley lefthander J.A. Happ could figure into those plans. The Phillies pulled him after just 2 2/3 innings yesterday.
But the fall of Eaton continues. He signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract before the 2007 season, and it's safe to say the signing has been a failure. He lost his job in the rotation and now must try to figure out things in the bullpen in the minor leagues. Eaton pitched poorly in his first two relief appearances, picking up a 9.00 ERA with opponents hitting .538 against him. Clearly, the Phillies couldn't continue to keep him in the bullpen if he had no chance of getting anybody out.
Here's the kicker: Eaton will make $8.5 million next season.
Bob Ford thinks the Phillies definitely need to improve their pitching for the stretch run.
Talked with Pat Gillick today. Chase Utley has been bothered with some irritation in his hip, which could be bothering him at the plate. Utley is hitting just .253 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs in 269 at-bats since May 5. That includes a .332 on-base percentage and a .457 slugging percentage. He was hitting .362 with 13 homers and 26 RBIs in 130 at-bats to start the season. That included a .441 on-base percentage and a .769 slugging percentage.
The Red Sox are looking to trade Manny Ramirez, but it seems unlikely he ends up with the Phillies.
In the Phillies Notebook: Shane Victorino's collision at home plate.