How 2 Save $:
When you have a team full of superstars making big money (Howard, Halladay, Utley, Rollins, Werth, Hamels, Lidge, etc.) you need to conserve cash where you can. The Phillies have a self-imposed salary cap of $140M. To save money they could switch their car insurance to Geico or make better free agent signings. When it comes to backup catchers, laying down multi-year and multi-million dollar deals isn't a fiscally sound plan unless the backup is Carlton Fisk. This offseason Amaro dished out 2 years and $2.75M for the services of the aging and offensively challenged Brian Schneider. 2010 stats: .167/.452 with only 3 runs scored and no rbi in 7 games/18 at bats, but he has caught 40% of base stealers. Meanwhile minor league journeyman Paul Hoover was inked to a minor league deal and was brought up to fill Schneider's duties as backup catcher when he went on the DL and has done admirably thus far. Hoover 2010: .417/1.117 with 6 runs and 2 rbi in 4 games/12 at bats and nabbed the only attempted base theif. These are extremely small sample sizes, but over each of their career's they've had similar results: Schneider- .250/.695, 38% caught stealing, Hoover- .278/.627, 36% caught stealing. Where's the extra year and $2M+ difference coming from?
Missing in Action:
Jimmy Rollins will likely be activated for tonight's game which opens a 2-game set with the Pirates. Who goes when he returns, Valdez or Castro? Wilson Valdez would have to clear waivers and accept his minor league assignment (no big loss if he says "peace"), or Juan Castro could be DL'd because he hasn't played much of late and is still nursing his hamstring.
My question is- when do Carlos Ruiz and JA Happ return? Chooch is still listed as day-to-day after injuring his knee in the Colorado series. Happ is going to throw a bullpen session sometime this week, but June will be the earliest he returns.
*The Phillies were winners all through the system (majors/minors) yesterday going 5 for 5.
*Despite numerous injuries to key players the Phillies own the NL's best record at 23-13 and have a run differential of +58.
*Phillies offense has a NL best 200 runs scored and .811 OPS.
*Phillies pitching staff is 4th in the NL in ERA (3.75)and 5th in WHIP (1.31) helped by NL low 100 walks allowed.
*Of course all of this should be negated because they cheat and steal signs.