Tagged: Ozzie Chavez

Moyer Plays Superman; Hamels Still Working On It

While nothing official has been announced yet, it looks like the 5th starters spot will go to Jamie Moyer.  Against the Yankees on Friday, Moyer solidified his bid for the job by pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed only 1 hit. 
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His overall ERA for spring is now 2.61, if your count all the “B” games he pitched also.  Is it possible that this 47-year old man, coming off 3 surgeries in the off-season, is simply just indestructible?  Either he is taking Fountain of Youth pills or secretly, he is Superman with the red, white and blue uniform being perfect camouflage for his super hero suit.

So Kyle Kendrick will probably start the year in the bullpen and just wait around for someone to toss a huge ball of Kryptonite at Moyer.  Either way, Kendrick should be content just to make the team after a young but up and down career so far.

Leaving his super hero costume at home, Cole Hamels is still a work in progress.  He got beat up on Saturday against the Twins, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 6 1/3 innings.  While Hamels was pleased that he was able to reach the 90-pitch mark in a game, he still has some big control issues to work out.  After the game, Hamels told the press that he is “starting to really feel game-oriented.”  With only 8 days left until Opening Day, let us hope that his “game-oriented” compass is pointing towards the strike zone.

Another point of concern this spring is Raul Ibanez, who is barely swinging the bat with a paltry .098 average.  That is only 4 hits in 41 at bats.  Ibanez struggle the 2nd half of 2009 with a hernia that was operated on this off-season.  While he recovered well from the operation, he still has not looked at all like the “RAUUUUUL” of old.  To make matters worse, he got hit in the right elbow with a pitch on Friday.  It may not be a serious injury, but it may be enough that he does not get much more hitting practice before Opening Day.

When the Phillies signed Ibanez to replace Pat Burrell last year, many people, myself included, questioned why they signed a player who was 4-years older than Burrell to a 3-year contract.  Ibanez will turn 38 in June and it does appear that he is not wearing the same Superman cape that Jamie Moyer is using.  Moyer is a freak of nature.  Ibanez, however, appears to be a mere mortal.  While everyone was thrilled with his performance in the first half of 2009, things went downhill from there and show no signs of improving.  Cross your fingers; this could get interesting.

The good news is, if one of the outfielders should go down, John Mayberry Jr. is waiting in the wings.  Mayberry was sent to minor league camp today, but he had a great spring and would likely be first in line to be brought up if anything goes wrong.   Mayberry had 6 RBI, a homer, 3 doubles and hit for an average of .289 in camp.

Two more players were reassigned today also; catcher Dane Sardinha and infielder Ozzie Chavez.  This means the bench for the Phillies should consist of catcher Brian Schneider, infielders Juan Castro and Greg Dobbs and outfielder Ross Gload.  With the 12 pitchers and other regulars, that should complete the 25-man roster.

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Moyer head shot by Jenn


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Colorful Phillies News

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Cole Hamels had his second outing of spring yesterday against the Reds in a 8-4 loss.  Looking a bit un-Cole like, he gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and one homer in 2 2/3 innings.  After the game, Hamels told Comcast SportsNet that “the fastball’s not there” and that his changeup “doesn’t really have that deception that it normally has during the season.”    Well, where ever those pitches are hiding, I hope he finds them before Opening Day.  Maybe the new blonde highlights have gone to his head?  Ok, so I am really not worried; but if he dyes his hair red next, I may have to consult a counselor.

And in Ryan Howard news, I have a Phillies Phollowers exclusive for you!  Ryan got a new tattoo this week…what is it?  You will have to stay tuned to find out; I am awaiting word on a photo.  A friend of mine knows the guy who did the tattoo and brought her son to meet Howard while he was getting it done.   Reportedly, Howard designed the new ink himself.  And I am guessing it brought him luck, as Howard went 2 for 3 with a solo home run in yesterday’s game against the Reds.  And the ink news continues: Brett Myers got a new tattoo of his own this week.  Will it bring him luck as well?

The luck does appear to have rubbed off on Jason Donald, who is on fire at the plate suddenly!  Donald went 3 for 4 in the game which he played at 3rd base and has brought his spring average to .320 with 8 hits in 25 at-bats, 6 walks and 2 RBI.  If he keeps this pace up, he may be a shoe-in to fill in for Pedro Feliz or Chase Utley if they are not ready for Opening Day.  Plus, he is adorable and very friendly.  I give out extra points for those qualities :O)

Speaking of Utley, here is what he had to tell Comcast SportsNet yesterday about the progress of his recovery:


Chris Coste, who has been nursing an injury, played a few innings yesterday and looked like he was feeling good.  Also getting back to form, Chad Durbin, Brad Lidge and Feliz are expected to see their first spring action tomorrow at 1:05pm against the Atlanta Braves.

And the sad news of the day; six Phillies rookies were sent to the minors yesterday; pitcher Yorman Bazardo; infielders Ozzie Chavez, Anthony Hewitt and Terry Tiffee; and outfielders Jeremy Slayden and Chris Walker.  This narrows down the roster a bit.  I wish them all good luck!

WBC Highlights

Team Italy beat out Team Canada yesterday, knocking them out of the classic.  Looks like Matt Stairs will return to the Phillies shortly.  Later today, Italy will play Venezuela to see who will face Team USA tomorrow.  Personally, as an Italian-American, I am voting for an Italy-USA match-up.  Of course, I may have just doomed Italy to failure by stating that… :O)

And in yesterday’s win over the Netherlands, Phillie JC Romero pitched 1 1/3 innings of 1 hit ball, getting the win for Team Puerto Rico.  You go JC!


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Phillies Win World Series Reunion

Well, don’t get too excited…it is only Spring Training.  But the Phillies did finally get over the Grapefruit League hump and won their first game today against World Series opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 12-5.  Ryan Howard also got over his homer hump and slammed his first of 2009 in the 1st inning.  John Mayberry followed with one of his own and 2 batters later, 12-year MLB veteran Miguel Cairo joined the home run parade.  After a 5 run first inning, the Phils looked pretty relaxed.

The rookies tried to make good impressions; Mayberry and Jason Donald both played the entire game with Mayberry going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI, including the home run.  Donald went 1 for 4 with 1 RBI and made a spectacular over-the-wall grab on a foul ball.  He fell clear into the stands, disappearing from view, and still caught the ball.  Here is a photo of Donald being helped up by the fans; also shown:  Cairo sliding into home; Jimmy Rollins tags out a runner attempting to steal; rookie Ozzie Chavez gets a hit:


Kyle Kendrick pitched the first 2 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, including 1 home run.  He pitched fairly well, but did pale in comparison to what we have seen from JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco thus far.  And so that battle continues…  Former Mariner Jake Woods continues to struggle, giving up 2 runs in his one inning of work; rookie Drew Naylor had a one run 2 1/3 innings; Mike Koplove looked great again, pitching a scoreless inning; and our only lefty in the pen so far, Scott Eyre, gave up one run in what looked like a bit of a shaky inning for him.  Eyre, having personal and financial issues right now, really needs to keep his head on straight.  It was reported earlier this week that, due to a bank fraud issue, his assets have been frozen and he is unable to pay bills.  It appears to have affected many people invested in this particular bank and may take a while before the issue is resolved, so let’s hope he can handle the stress.  The advance the Phillies gave him on his salary should help.  Read the article HERE.

The other story of the day was the return of Pat Burrell.  Burrell got a very warm reception from the Phillies fans, who cheered him when he came up to bat, and even before the game during batting practice.  It seems like we are not the only ones who are missing Pat; Greg Dobbs and Ryan Howard had a nice reunion with him before the game:


Burrell later told beat writer Todd Zolecki, “The response I got was very special,” Burrell said. “It’s something I won’t forget.”  And some thing we all won’t forget?  The Burrell Butt; oh, how we’ll miss it!


Phillies take on the Braves tomorrow at 1:05pm.


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*Remember also to check out our homepage My Team Rivals and our Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, Billy Penn Curse, Reinstate Pete Rose,  Phillies Mets Rivalry, Phillies Marlins Rivalry, and Phillies Braves Rivalry and my very own Miami Dolphins page, The Dolphin Pod!