Phils Weekly Recap: Mark Leiter, milestones and more
Jun 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) pitches during the first inning a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
ON THE PHIELD:
Phillies went 3-4 last week. The National League West proved tough in four games with the San Francisco Giants and three with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cliff Lee (4-5) returned Monday from an elbow injury that kept him out for two months. In two starts off the DL he struggled, pitching 10.2 innings while giving up 21 hits and nine earned runs.
Carlos Ruiz returned to the Phillies lineup Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month after a concussion kept him sidelined. Since then he’s played in three games and hit a single and three doubles in 12 at bats.
Cole Hamels was brilliant in eight innings against the Giants on Thursday. The southpaw ace gave up one earned run on six hits while striking out ten.
Jonathan Papelbon needed a couple tries for career save 310, but despite a rough week he notched the feat to tie Rich Gossage for 21st all-time. Pap blew a save Tuesday night off a Buster Posey home run, allowed three runs in a relief appearance Wednesday and finally reached 310 on Thursday. He appeared in five games last week and picked up two saves. He has 25 for the season and 311 in his career.
Grady Sizemore reached 1,000 hits this week and continues to be worthy of a starting spot in centerfield. In just 12 games in a Phillies uniform, Sizemore is batting .319 with 15 hits. He has an OPS of .764 and should it stay that high it’ll be the highest it’s been since 2009.
John Mayberry, Jr. was put on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with wrist soreness, keeping him out of trade conversation. He was given a cortisone shot on Wednesday.
ON THE TRADE BLOCK:
While the Phillies are still targeted as big sellers with the trade deadline approaching, there’s been nothing but rumors to date and some trade targets could be more likely to be claimed off waivers later this season.
Antonio Bastardo has been heavily scouted , probably more so than even Cliff Lee. In 2.2 innings last week he gave up eight hits, five earned runs and one walk to bring his ERA to 4.17. Bastardo was hit in the forearm by a line drive on Tuesday and has been considered day-to-day since then, which may be the reason for his struggles. Many still see the Detroit Tigers as a landing spot for the lefty.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies may or may not still be trying to work a deal for starting pitcher A.J. Burnett. It seems Burnett’s player option for the 2015 season is scaring the Pirates to the point they could move on without their former right-hander.
ON THE PHARM:
Mark Letier, Jr. (2-1) was strong in a Saturday start for Class-A Clearwater. He went seven strong and gave up only four hits with two earned runs. Leiter secured Florida State League Pitcher of the Week honors for a stellar outing in his previous start on July 20th in which he tossed a complete-game shutout with eight strikeouts. Leiter has a 3.27 ERA in five starts with Clearwater since being promoted from Lakewood.
Three Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters combined for nine innings of no-hit baseball in a game last week, but the Crosscutters lost 5-1 in 10 innings. Starter Ricardo Pinto with relievers Edubray Ramos and Calvin Rayburn allowed just one earned run, but combined for seven strikeouts in an eventual loss.
ON THE WHOLE:
The Phillies are 12.5 games back in the National League East and fans are just itching to see what deals can be made before the deadline, if any.