Tag: Ross Gload

Dilemma in Philly: Whom Do the Phillies Play in Right Field in 2011?

The Phillies are going into the 2011 season with sky-high expectations. Of course, they earned those expectations with a rotation of the god-like right arm of Roy Halladay, big free agent signing Cliff Lee, 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels, and former 20-game winner Roy Oswalt. But, like an old cliche says, “Nobody is perfect.” The Phillies have one big flaw, and that is right field. The dilemma grows in Philadelphia, and everybody is uncertain who will play in right field for the Phillies with the loss of Jayson Werth. Here are a few options for the Phillies in 2011:

1. Ross Gload

Ross Gload is a great pinch hitter. Not an everyday player. Charlie Manuel has already expressed his concerns in Gload as a fielder. Gload, typically an infielder, does not have much experience in the outfield. Last season, as mostly a pinch hitter, Gload hit .281 and had 128 total at-bats. He added six HRs and 22 RBI. Gload’s left-handed bat would overload the Phillies lineup with lefties and switch hitters like Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins. Teams could strategically tear the Phillies apart with late-inning left-handed specialist relievers.


2. Ben Francisco

Ben Francisco is a very legitimate answer to the Phillies’ right field problem. Last season, he hit .268 with 6 HRs and 28 RBI. Francisco was a starter on rest days for Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth, and usually a defensive substitution for Ibanez in late innings. Francisco has decent speed, which will make up for some of the lost speed in Jayson Werth. Francisco, a tested veteran, could be a valuable asset for the Phillies in 2011.


3. Domonic Brown

Domonic Brown is the Phillies’ biggest up-and-coming prospect. Last year, in a short stint in the majors, Brown hit two HRs and drove in 13 RBI. He hit .210. One of his two home runs was a towering shot that broke the 400′ mark, and landed in the second deck of Citizens Bank Park.

In 65 games in Double-A Reading last season, Brown hit 15 HRs and drove in 47 runs. In 28 games in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he hit five HRs and drove in 21 runs—very impressive numbers. Also, to add on to those, he stole a total of 18 bases in double and triple-A ball.

Brown has very good speed, which would definitely replace that of Werth. Brown also has a rocket arm. He might not be ready for the majors yet, and that showed last year, but he is our right fielder of the future. Brown has postseason expierence, which many rookies coming into the league lack.

Another option is John Mayberry, Jr. He is a long shot for making the team, but certainly will be a consideration. He has great speed and power and is a decent fielder. He has six home runs in 69 major league at bats. Not to mention, Mayberry’s genes have baseball in them. John Mayberry, Sr. was a great player for the Kansas City Royals. Mayberry will most likely end up in the minors, but there’s a chance the Phillies will keep him up in the majors.

All in all, the Phillies, year after year, have made the right moves when needed and always get the job done. All fans have confidence in the Phillies front office, and if their outfield does not produce, look for a move to be made at the trade deadline. The Phillies in the end will make the right choice and have success in 2011.

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Phillies First Baseman Ryan Howard to Meet With Team Docs In Philly.

Philadelphia, PA- Just when you thought it could not get worse for the Philadelphia Phillies the injury struggles increased and, pending results, could send another Phillie to the overloaded disabled list.

What was thought as a minor sprain for Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard could turn into something more severe as Howard was sent back to Philadelphia yesterday to meet with team doctors.

Howard suffered the sprain in the first inning of the Phillies game three extra-innings-win against the Washington Nationals. Howard was taken for an MRI and X-Ray immediately and neither test showed a fracture.

After the teams off-day Monday the decision was made to send Howard back to Philadelphia to meet with team physician Michael Ciccotti to address the situation.

When speaking with the media Howard seemed optimistic and hopeful the sprain was not severe.

“I guess once the swelling goes down, we’ll see what happens”

For the meantime the Phillies will rely on bench players Cody Ransom and Ross Gload to platoon at first base.

Missing out on Howard’s bat could be tragic for the Phillies as he is leading the NL in RBI with 81 and his 119 hits is a team best.

No word if Howard will be sent to the disabled list but if that happens it will leave outfielder Jayson Werth as the only Phillies starter not to hit the DL.

The Phillies are currently three games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and three and a half games back in the wild card.

Ibanez optimistic about return.

After missing Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals outfielder Raul Ibanez seem optimistic he will be back in the lineup against the Florida Marlins. Ibanez was held out of Sundays game due to a sore left wrist.

Complete Phillies Coverage on Eternal Mulligan or Twitter.

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Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro’s Offseason Signings Deserve Kudos

After the Philadelphia Phillies fell just short of repeating as World Series Champions, GM Ruben Amaro spent the offseason actively reshaping the club. 

Of course, the biggest news involved the tandem trades of Cy Young hurlers Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Beyond that, Amaro used the free agent talent pool to land a new regular third baseman and essentially perform a makeover on both his bullpen and bench. 

The Phillies GM wasted little time when he inked Placido Polanco to replace Pedro Feliz at the hot corner. The deal came with some fan fare as it brought back a player who had been traded away when the team made a commitment to build around Chase Utley at second base.

Polanco remained in Phillies fans’ consciousness during his five seasons in Detroit by hitting .311 and winning a pair of Gold Gloves at second base. This time around, Amaro decided that they could make room for baseball’s best second sacker in Utley and Polanco by sliding the free agent over to third.

The move appears to be a winner. Polanco has quickly settled into his new position and looks right at home. He has also generated the additional offensive production Amaro was seeking—hitting .274 with 4 HR and 16 RBI after 28 games. 

The other signings were not front page worthy news, but overall appear to have been astute decisions. And, with the wide array of injuries the Phillies have experienced thus far in 2010, the improved depth is making a positive  impact. 

Before pulling up lame with a strained hamstring last evening, Juan Castro has had ample opportunity to show why Amaro wanted him. He is a clear improvement at the plate and in the field over Eric Bruntlett. 

Castro has filled in nicely for the injured Jimmy Rollins— displaying some flashy leather work and surprising pop in his bat. Amaro even had the foresight to stockpile talent by signing Wilson Valdez, who has proven to be a capable backup as well. 

Ross Gload is one of the better left-handed pinch hitters in baseball. And, Brian Schneider is one of the league’s top backup backstops. 

From a financial perspective, the biggest free agent acquisition in the pitching department was right handed reliever Danys Baez. Thus far, the former closer has displayed closer stuff with journeyman command. 

The most impactful bullpen addition, though, appears to be veteran Jose Contreras. After several mediocre years as a starter, the Colorado Rockies moved him into a relief role late last season. 

Apparently Contreras caught the Phillies attention enough for them to take a shot on him—and it appears they nailed it. The big righty still throws gas and has a truly nasty splitter. In 14.2 innings of work, Contreras has a 1.04 ERA with 14 K’s and zero walks.

The performance of Brad Lidge since returning to the big club has been encouraging. Should he falter; however, Contreras and his high 90s splitter appear to be a great backup plan. 

During the winter, news of signing players such as Castro, Gload, Schneider, Valdez and Contreras didn’t exactly light up the sports radio airwaves or blogoshere.

But, a month into the season, it sure looks like kudos are in order for Ruben Amaro. Oh, yeah, and although it wasn’t via free agency—the acquisition of Roy Halladay looks pretty special, too. 

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