Ruben Amaro, Ryne Sandberg Want Carlos Ruiz Back in 2014

Via Todd Zolecki:

Ruiz has hit .301 with 12 doubles, four home runs, 26 RBIs and an .823 OPS in 41 games since Aug. 2.

“We’d like to bring him back,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He knows we’d like to bring him back. We’ll see what happens. It wouldn’t be the first free agent [we’ve had]. … I’d like to have as much balance [in the lineup] as we can, we haven’t been very good against left-handers. It’s well documented.”

Said manager Ryne Sandberg: “The way he’s performed, I would hope he’d be back. He’s a right-handed bat. His status here, him being comfortable here, maybe the ball’s in his corner and he could help with that decision. It could come down to that, where he wants to go.

“That’s a big hole that needs to be filled. The sooner the better.”

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The Future is Unwritten: JP Crawford (Part Two)

Last we saw JP Crawford on this site was post-draft, where the appetizer was a discussion of his skillset and the main course was a deep dive into how to project young bodies as they grow into men. I hadn’t seen Crawford in person at that point, the only scouting info and opinion we had on him at that time was what I’d gotten from sources. Most thought he’d be a slow comer, at least initially, as his wispy frame  would need thickening and his many mechanical issues needed greasing. We were wrong. Crawford’s quick signing (thank you for that, new CBA) and subsequent dominance in GCL ball (this is where most writers would post his triple slash line but I couldn’t care less about a GCL slash line) led to his aggressive promotion to the Sally League where I was able to get several fantastic looks at him. Continue reading…

Roy Halladay: The End

Roy Halladay threw 16 pitches tonight against the Marlins, 11 of them for balls and never once exceeding 83 MPH. He walked two Marlins and recorded just one out, prompting pitching coach Rich Dubee to make an early trip to the mound to check on the veteran right-hander. Following a brief conversation, Halladay was removed from the game and Luis Garcia entered.

The game, which is still being played as of this writing, became an afterthought. Halladay was scheduled to make one more start after tonight to wrap up the season, but that won’t be happening. He is eligible for free agency after the season. Considering how he has pitched since returning from shoulder surgery, the Phillies’ interest in bringing him back on an incentive-laden contract has dissipated.

Roy Halladay’s career as a Phillie — and perhaps his career overall — is over.

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Reason #1,942,813 Why Chase Utley Is Great

Cliff Lee was in a bit of trouble in the top of the fourth against the Mets this afternoon. After allowing a single to Eric Young, Jr., Wilmer Flores laced a line drive down the right field line. While Young was running to second, Utley acted as if Flores had hit a pop-up. This caused Young to slow up to find the ball in case he had to go back to first base. Of course, he didn’t, but once he found out it was too late to round third base and go home. While Young eventually came around to score on a ground out, Utley did save a run with the Academy Award-worthy acting.

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Crash Bag, Vol. 72: Chase Utley Frolicking in a Meadow

Hi, I’m Bill Baer. You might remember me from such films as “Jesus Christ, you signed Ryan Howard for how much?!” and “a 60-minute film that consists entirely of Chase Utley frolicking in a meadow”. I’m filling in for the esteemed Michael Baumann this week as he is off in Georgia getting married. Congratulations to both Mike and Kate (TLSF) on their happy day.

If you are a fan of The Daily Show like I am, you know that correspondent John Oliver filled in as host of the show for a few months during the summer while Jon Stewart was in the Middle East filming. While I have never been a particularly avid fan of British humor, I thought Oliver did a stand-up job. Anyway, Stewart is back and Oliver is back in his old role on the show, doing skits. But he warned Stewart of the future on Monday night’s show. I’m going to be the Oliver to Baumann’s Stewart.

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Why Isn’t Chase Utley Getting Hit?

Mitch asked me about Chase Utley‘s lower rate of getting hit by pitches for this week’s Crash Bag, but it was interesting enough that I thought a separate post was appropriate.

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Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

Last night, the Phillies made two base running blunders against the Marlins. In the second inning, Darin Ruf was on first base when Kevin Frandsen hit a ground ball single to right field. Ruf decided to test Giancarlo Stanton, well-regarded around the league for his cannon of an arm, by attempting to advance to third base. Stanton’s throw reached third baseman Chris Coghlan on the fly and Ruf was a dead duck.

In the bottom of the third, starter Brian Flynn uncorked a wild pitch with Carlos Ruiz on first base. Ruiz easily advanced to second, but upon seeing that catcher Jeff Mathis hadn’t yet corralled the ball, attempted to get to third base as well. First baseman Ed Lucas retrieved the baseball and fired to Coghlan at third. Ruiz was out with plenty of room to spare.

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Cliff Lee Had Himself A Ballgame

For any professional hitter, going 3-for-4 with a triple and four runs batted in is a heck of a night. It’s an unforgettable night if you’re a pitcher. Prior to last night’s game against the Marlins, only three Phillies had logged three hits and four RBI in a game this season: Delmon Young, Ryan Howard, and Domonic Brown, all in June. Brown was the only one to also triple. Starter Cliff Lee joined the club last night with an RBI single in the third, a two-run triple in the fifth, and another RBI single in the seventh. The only Phillies pitchers with three hits and four RBI in one game previously were Phil Collins in 1930 and Jack Scott in 1927. Lower the threshold to three RBI and Randy Wolf was the only pitcher with three hits and three RBI dating all the way back to 1977.

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