NL East Notes: Phillies, Harper, Martinez

Earlier today, we learned the Nationals signed outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady to a minor league contract, adding insurance for Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche, who are both battling injuries. Here's more on the Nats and a couple other items of note …

  • Phillies manager Charlie Manuel implied that his team may look for infield help outside of camp now that Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco are all dealing with injuries, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. We heard earlier today that the Phils could be interested in someone like utility man Mike Aviles of the Red Sox, although Aviles is tentatively slated to be Boston's starting shortstop as of now.
  • The Nationals optioned prized prospect Bryce Harper to minor league camp, the team announced. The Nats will go with an in-house option such as Roger Bernadina and/or Rick Ankiel in center field, a source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com, with Jayson Werth playing right field. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, for one, doesn't think Harper's demotion was related to his arbitration or free-agent clocks (via Twitter).
  • Mets manager Terry Collins said Fernando Martinez, now with the Astros, was waived this offseason because the outfielder was unable to stay healthy, writes Paul Hagen of MLB.com"I know his talent. I know he's got great talent. Unfortunately, he's been one of those guys who's had a tough time getting the amount of games that I think you have to have to get ready." Martinez, for his part, said he was surprised that the Mets chose to waive him, thinking instead that he thought at times that a trade was possible.


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18 Comments on "NL East Notes: Phillies, Harper, Martinez"


3 years 5 months ago

Nats made the right decision

Tony DiQuattro
3 years 5 months ago

Definitely. He hasn’t even seen triple A yet, which probably gives them an excuse to likely keep him from reaching super-two status, definitely from 6 year free agent status.
Even if he is ready to be an impact player at some point this season, they can see if they have a chance of making a playoff run, and if not they can probably just wait til next year.

BitLocker
3 years 5 months ago

How will the Nats know when he’s ready when they won’t allow him to get major league experience? You can’t really get a gauge of someone’s performance in less than 60 ABs in spring training.

Sniderlover
3 years 5 months ago

He is 19 year old and the highest level he has played is 37 games in AA. He also struggled there so I don’t know anybody can possibly think he is ready. 

bjsguess
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t think that struggled is the right word. He held his own as an 18YO playing against guys who were 3-5 years older than him. That’s after he absolutely destroyed A ball.

Ready is a relative term. I would suggest that Harper is better than Ankiel or Bernadina right now. Is he a superstar at 19? No. But Ankiel hasn’t posted a decent batting line since 2008. Meanwhile, Bernadino has a career 740 OPS in 10 years in the minors and has shown nothing in his limited career in the bigs.

I do agree with keeping Harper down though. The additional couple of wins that he *might* contribute is a steep price to pay for an extra year of team control or to avoid paying him as a Super 2.

LongTimeFan1
3 years 5 months ago

I would have sent Harper to advanced A and then if he played well for a few months, send him to AA for remainder of season.

Consider that in low A last year he went into extended slump after teams figured him out after tearing it up. He claimed he was bored. Nats promoted him to AA where he struggled though picked it up some before he got injured and was shut down for rest of season. I wouldn’t even consider a call-up until midseason 2013 at the earliest should he excel at both AA and AAA.

bjsguess
3 years 5 months ago

A year and a half? Why wouldn’t you consider it if he is tearing it up? Arbitrary timelines are bizarre to me. Why not just call him up when he’s ready. That could be 30 games from now or 5 years from now.

Runtime
3 years 5 months ago

Hmm…
Weren’t Nats fans hyping Harper to be an opening day starter?

FS54
3 years 5 months ago

Hoping, not hyping. Given what other choices we have.

3 years 5 months ago

The team’s manager was hyping him for opening day starter. Don’t pin this on the fans.

With that said, Harper could use a couple months. You’d rather call him up a month too late than a few months early.

HobokenMetsFan
3 years 5 months ago

Davey Johnson is a big proponent of youth so it doesnt surprise me he wanted Harper on the team, but I think sending him down was defintiely the right move. Its not like the Nats are looking at Ankiel long term, he’s a place holder and he knows it

Runtime
3 years 5 months ago

That’s true. Don’t want him ending up like poor Travis Snider

ColonelTom
3 years 5 months ago

In the article, the author asks, “Are there any bodies to man the infield for this team?”  Manuel responds, “I don’t want to hear ‘body’ crap.  I want somebody in here who can play. We talk about getting to the playoffs and winning the World Series. I don’t particularly like that. Don’t say ‘body’ to me.”

Anyone think Manuel’s satisfied with Ruben Amaro’s plan B for the infield (Ty Wigginton, Jim Thome, Michael Martinez, and Freddy Galvis)?

ColonelTom
3 years 5 months ago

And now Utley’s off to see a knee specialist, with Amaro saying it’s a “step” in the direction of Utley’s missing significant time like last year.  Way to plan ahead, hotshot.  Now that the Phils are desperate, it’s going to cost them Trevor May or Domonic Brown to get a meaningful replacement.

crashcameron
3 years 5 months ago

the Phillies seem like a zeppelin, impressive-looking on the outside, but a thin layer of balloon plastic on the inside

95isOver
3 years 5 months ago

 Ummm…WHAT?  That is sarcasm I hope

philliesfan136
3 years 5 months ago

yep.

Joveoak
3 years 5 months ago

 Your comments, I love.