Since the All-Star break, the Phillies have played themselves back into the buyer bracket, but face a new dilemma as Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn await Tuesday medical exams.
The team that needed pitching, pitching and more pitching has already added a second baseman, pitcher and now, potentially, could add another outfielder. Victorino will have a precautionary MRI on his right calf today after running out a grounder. Bourn will have a precautionary X-Ray on his left ankle after stumbling to catch a foul ball. On a positive note, both players felt a little better after the game after icing down their injuries, although Victorino told MLB.com he heard a pop, and Bourn’s fall certainly looked pretty bad. More to come ...
The Phillies were fortunate the market for second baseman was pretty wide open to acquire Tadahito Iguchi without much hassle. Outfield reinforcements may be even easier to come by; they could actually wait until after tonight’s non-waiver trade deadline like they did last season when they acquired Jeff Conine. This might be the most practical approach; test the severity of Victorino and Bourn’s injuries before going nuts-o with an ill-advised rush to judgement. Forgotten man Jayson Werth is also an option, but his rehab has been slow.
They still need relief pitching, and it would be nice to move Rod Barajas out of town. We’ll see whether Pat Gillick and Co. continue working the phones. As of this writing, seven hours to go ...
... and by the way: Three games back of the Mets, one game back in the Wild Card.
News Update: Phils sign Knotts to minor league deal
Right-hander Gary Knotts, 30, appeared in 86 Major League games, 38 as a starter, going 13-18 with a 5.45 ERA. He had been pitching with Newark of the independent Atlantic League and has been assigned to Double-A Reading.
This season in Newark, Knotts threw 108.2 innings, striking out 86 batters while posting a 7-5 record with a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts. According to the Bears Web site, he ranks first in the Atlantic League in ERA and second in strikeouts. According to Baseball Cube, 2004 was his last season in professional ball before this season. He was originally an 11th round pick of the Marlins and spent parts of two seasons with the Fish (2001-2002).
In other Reading news, Jesus Merchan and OF Shaun Boyd were promoted to Ottawa. Infielder Hector Made was added from Clearwater.