Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins received days off during the Dodgers' series, each getting some much-needed rest. Unfortunately, due to the current roster configuration, Eric Bruntlett (.451 OPS) received the extra ABs. Despite the fact that LA has been starting southpaws, the left-handed batting Matt Stairs might have been a better option, even when considering Stairs' defensive shortcomings. But, with these days off against the Dodgers, Charlie Manuel might not feel the need to insert Bruntlett into the starting lineup during the upcoming Mets' series.The Phils have a great opportunity to extend their division lead this week.
Relievers Chan Ho Park and Jack Taschner continue to watch ballgames, in their entirety, from the bullpen. Given that Manuel doesn't feel comfortable using either of the two, wouldn't a competent reliever, or position player, be a better use of a roster spot? Chan Ho Park, likely, isn't going anywhere, as he makes $2.5 million, and is the Phils' best right-handed pinch-hitting option. But swapping Taschner to AAA, for anyone, would upgrade the Phillies' major league roster. Yes, even The Return of Miguel Cairo, might be a more efficacious use of roster space.
Ever since #2 starter Brett Myers had surgery, and the Phillies announced their intention to acquire another starting pitcher via a trade, the rotation has been outstanding. If the Phillies can continue playing in San Diego, and in Manny-free Los Angeles, this streak could continue. (Hopefully, the strong performances will continue through the series against the injury-riddled Mets.) The Phillies should still be pursuing another starting pitcher.
Preferably, Roy Halladay.
The Lehigh Valley (AAA) IronPigs came-from-ahead to lose on Saturday, 5-4, to the Louisville Bats. Reliever Sergio Escalona got the loss, surrendering a two-run homer in the eighth inning to Bats' outfielder Daniel Dorn. Dorn, born in San Dimas, CA, where Wyld Stallyns' musician Ted Theodore Logan went to high school, had three hits. The IronPigs, with noted batsmith Pablo Ozuna out of the lineup, had a mere five hits. Kyle Kendrick started for Lehigh Valley, permitting only three runs in seven innings (with only one strikeout), but Dorn's homer cost Kendrick his fifth victory.
The Reading Phillies (AA) defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 6-1. Starting pitcher Mike Stutes held New Hampshire to only one run, in six and two-thirds innings. Stutes permitted four hits, and walked five Fisher Cats. Reliever Mike Zagurski, one of the numerous candidates in the Phillies' system who would be an upgrade over Jack Taschner, pitched two scoreless frames. Catcher Paul Bako, who would also be a roster upgrade over Taschner, had an RBI single. In Fisher Cats' news, a "fisher cat" is small (about 15 lbs.), yet somewhat ferocious, making it comparable to former Phillies' outfielder Ricky Otero.
The Clearwater Threshers (A) lost to the Fort Myers Miracle, 1-0. Threshers' starter Drew Naylor, a Brisbane (Australia) native, pitched eight scoreless innings (five hits, two walks, eight strikeouts). Clearwater had ten hits in the game, but went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
The Colorado Rockies picked up minor-league quality pitcher Adam Eaton, signing the ineffective northpaw to a minor-league deal. The Phillies host the Rockies on August 4th-6th. Hopefully, Eaton will see some time on the CBP mound in that series, and the Phils will finally receive some value from Eaton's $24.5 million contract, which they are still paying.