By Spike Eskin
PHILADEALPHIA (CBS) – Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix, and Ben Revere. Not really the big name outfielders Phillies fans have been used to over the last several years. They might want to start getting familiar with them.
“We do have a little bit of money to work with, I just don’t want to put money in it for money’s sake,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said about the team’s search for another outfielder. He joined Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show Friday morning. “We have been looking, doesn’t mean we have stopped looking. It is possible, and right now probable because of the lateness of where we are in the off-season that we will go with two guys in the platoon, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to try and improve on that even through spring training if we don’t do something prior. I don’t particularly like having unproven corner outfielders, no question about that. I mean, I’d be stupid to think that’s a good thing.
I’d like to put ourselves in position to have at least one of those positions more stable and then maybe make it a battle between the Rufs, and the Dominic Browns, and Mayberry’s, etc. and give those guys an opportunity to kind of fight for one position rather than two, but if we got to go with two at the outset, we’ll go with two. If we have a deficiency somewhere I’ll try to make a trade and get better.” Amaro said.
The team’s ace, Roy Halladay, had a disappointing season in 2012, his performance highlighted by decreased velocity on his pitches. Halladay’s return to form, or at least some semblance of what we’ve come to know of his form, will be crucial if the Phillies expect to compete for the NL East.
“Roy is doing really well. Rich Dubee, before he went on this cruise with Charlie Manuel, saw him and threw with him, saw him throw with Kyle Kendrick, they’ve been working out together,” Amaro said. “His mechanics look very good, he feels strong, he doesn’t have that stiffness that I guess he had early in his throwing program. Very, very good positive signs so far. Hopefully, that will continue, but all very positive stuff. We won’t really know until—what kind of Roy we’re going to have, until he’s firing on the mound in spring training. He’s supposed to get off the mound, his normal routine, is that he gets off the mound probably somewhere between January 20th and January 30th. Once he gets off the mound, we’ll know a little bit more, but all indications are good so far.”
As Halladay adjusts to a career after his prime, Cole Hamels is just entering his. Armed with a new contract, he’ll be asked to lead a staff that still has the potential to be one of the best in baseball.
“Cole, I guess, had some soreness at the end of the year. He changed his kind of off-season program after the ’08 when he kind of shut down and he wasn’t really ready for the ’09 season,” Amaro said. “One of the things we learned is that he probably needs to grow, and he continues to do that, he was kind of throwing through some soreness there. It was bothering him a little bit, we just let our trainers know, we told him to shut it down, he shut it down for a couple of weeks and we started throwing again. All indications are he’s just fine. It was a lot to do about nothing, I hope.
There’s soreness all the time. There’s not a pitcher who goes out there whose not sore, in some way shape or form. If there was something seriousness going on with him we would have had him see a doctor and brought him in and done what was necessary, and it certainly wasn’t to that level.”