Ryan Howard had surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon yesterday and the timetable for his return is 5-6 months, with the Phillies saying likely April. Power comes from the legs in both pitching and hitting, and without a good base struggles occur. Howard already struggles enough, so being pessimistic about the long term effect this has on him is natural. Thank God for that extension though...NOT!
Yes, I just broke out a lame 90's joke. Deal with it.
Manuel Wants More:
Fuqua spoke his mind the other day and wants more stability at 3rd base and an improved approach at the plate next season from all the hitters. Also, he expects the World Series, not just the playoffs. Great! No go do it.
"I take a lot of pride in hitters. I get upset sometimes when we don't hit as good as I want us to hit or think we should hit. Let me tell you something. I don't care whether you like it or not, I know how good a hitting coach I am. Whether you want to believe that or whatever, really. We will get better. The pitchers make adjustments and the hitters have to make adjustments. If you don't like to or are afraid to go deep in the count or to hit with two strikes on you, you are going to get anxious, you'll be aggressive and chase bad balls. At times, we'll take a fastball right down the middle, some guy will throw a breaking ball down and we'll roll over it and swing at it and miss. That's not good hitting. We talk about that all the time."
~Charles Fuqua Manuel
As far as upgrading 3rd, that's not so easily done. Aramis Ramirez is the only major upgrade available on the market, and he's likely to be expensive. Utility players capable of playing 3rd include Clint Barmes, Wilson Betemit, Jamey Carroll, and Jerry Hairston, but none are really any better than Polanco (who just had double hernia surgery and may miss the beginning of the season). However, any of them would make an excellent addition to the Phillies weak bench.
Rollins is All About the Money:
Jimmy Rollins wants a 5 year contract and will not accept anything lower than a 4 year deal with a 5th year player option. I would never do that. He's injured and declining and plays a speed position. 3 years tops, and that could be sketchy. J-Roll wants the money, and he, just like Jayson Werth is going to the place that gives him the most (as do most free agents). I just hope that place isn't Philadelphia under those conditions (years/$).
From Sir Alden-
J-Roll is worth 3 years at 8 Mil with a 4th Year Option at 8 Mil/3 Mil buyout tops.
No one cheered more loudly than I did when J-Roll hit the ball on the screws and began to run for his 20th Triple 5 years ago.
He has been injured and on the DL 3 times in the last 2 years. He must take that into account, and that Father Time works on all of us.
He has no interest in a 1 year $12 Mil contract where he could show that the injuries are behind him.
The Phillies are bidding against themselves and San Francisco. I am pretty sure the Giants have learned their lesson with Aaron "Face Plant" Rowand.
Aug 31, 2011
"In a clear message from management, the Giants have designated Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand for assignment. The Giants crossed a big bridge by swallowing the $12 million owed to Rowand in 2012 but Sabean said that wasn’t much of a speed bump for ownership. They signed off on the move without delay. The total amount they ate on Rowand was almost $14 million, including the salary still owed to him this year."
The Dodgers and Oakland A's will never sign Rollins for over 3 years.
The Phillies won 102 Games with him on the DL for a good chunk of the season. Hamels, a top closer, and even Roy Oswalt if he would take a Carpenter-like 2 years at 10 Mil per year contract are more important.
And - they need to roll the dice on Aramis Ramirez at 3B.