On this Monday when the Full Squad officially reports to Clearwater, we keep it real w/ updates on the last Philadelphia Phillies Arbitration case, an injury update, and a little more sunshine for spring training camp.
Arbitration: And Then There Were None.
As I suggested might happen in my post of 1/14/19, the day before the scheduled arbitration hearing on Valentines Day, the Phillies announced they had reached a deal with P Aaron Nola. It turned out even better than a split of the two arby figures each side put out there – $4.5M Vs $6.5M – as it is a four year extension totaling $45M. The breakdown is $4M for 2019 plus a $2M bonus. It then calls for $8 million, $11.75M, and $15M the next three seasons. This deal covers all his arbitration years plus the first year of his FA. In addition there is a 2023 club option for $16M and a $4.25M buyout of his second year of FA.
Refreshingly with all the #MacHarper stuff flying around, Nola had this to say:
“It just felt right for me at this time. I don’t play specifically for the money. I play for the love of the game. I play for my teammates. I’m not just here to play for the money. I’m here to win.”
Though some may try, it is hard to find any fault with this result as it makes the team and the player happy – and even the added bonus of making some agents unhappy. IMHO along with the other deals they have made this off-season, even if they do not sign one of the “Big Fish” this has to be considered a successful off-season, though yes it can, and very well may, get better.
Injury Update: Arrieta Comes Clean, Eickhoff throws pain free
On Thursday P Jake Arrieta told reporters something I hinted at often the second half of last season, that he was pitching with an injury as early as June, if not earlier.
After he felt pops during a weight-training session in Texas, he had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee last month.
“I was able to pitch pretty effectively and it didn’t bother me too much in between starts,” Arrieta said. “Then in the offseason training, just doing some routine stuff, moving around a little bit, I came up out of the seated position and there were a couple pops. It didn’t feel right.”
On whether he will be ready to start the season on time:
“Pretty much now on the same page as everyone else in camp,” he said. “Really no setbacks. I have thrown three or four bullpens. Another one lined up for tomorrow, with no restrictions. The timing actually was really nice that it happened when it did. If it would have happened now or two weeks ago, I might have had a setback of some sort. We’re in a good position.”
Manager Gabe Kapler said the club was not aware of this until recently.
“Jake’s a tough individual, so he’s not the kind of guy who’s going to let on that something’s bugging him, because there’s a lot of pride there,” Kapler said. “My understanding was that it was an injury that he sustained during one of his workouts. … Obviously, Jake knows his body very well and he was feeling it last season.”
Any of my followers knows that I have been pretty hard on Arrieta most of last season stemming back to his disparaging comments of his teammates defense and the FO’s use of shifts – hint bad shifts did not give up 21 HR and 76 ER, two and three short of his career highs respectively.
He has a lot to prove to me and the phans this season, and hopefully can earn the # 2 position in the rotation.
Eickhoff’s First Bull Pen Session of the spring:
With the staff and fellow pitchers watching intently, P Jerad Eickhoff threw 20 “pain free” pitches from a bull pen mound on Sunday. This is just the first step in recovery after surgery shortly after the season to to relieve he carpal tunnel issue that caused tingling in his fingertips that ended his season, except for three short outings in September. He thought the problem was solved, but it returned early last month. Working with his doctor, through medication and therapy, they believe they can keep it under control without further surgery.
After the quick session with no problems:
“I had the rug pulled out from under me before,” Eickhoff said. “I’m kind of restraining myself with excitement. I’m emphasizing on taking it day to day and focusing on each task. Today was a great day.”
“He’s so well-liked, he’s such a good person that everyone is pulling for him,” Kapler said. “Everyone wanted the same thing: for him to come out of that bullpen healthy. Don’t worry about what comes next. Let’s keep him on track, healthy and strong.”
At this point, a spot in the rotation is not guaranteed, but if he stays pain free through the progression of BP sessions to exhibition outings, the team will go from there.
“I can’t say that I have zero concern for Jerad, just because we had hoped that the procedure he had would have alleviated this entirely and it apparently did not,” GM Matt Klentak said. “But I still feel really good about our pitching depth at the major-league level, our pitching depth at the minor leagues, and we have a lot of guys who are waiting in the wings at triple A.”
Additional Guest Instructor: No Ka Oi!
As if Florida needed any more sunshine, the Phillies have invited the effervescent Flyin’ Hawaiian himself, Shane Victorino to camp as another alumni guest instructor. He is expected to join the camp in mid March. He certainly can help Odubel Herrera with at least the mental side of the game, and maybe he will have a new OF to work with.
On Deck: Let The “Games” Begin
The past few days, the rumor mill has been on PED’s, mostly surrounding Harper, so who knows what this week will bring.
One thing we know for certain is that on Friday we get to hear #PlayBall for the first time. Even if it is only for the first Exhibition Game at Tampa Bay Rays @ 1:05. You can listen on 94 WIP. On Saturday they play the first home game against the Pitsburgh Pirates also at 1:05. That one will be televised on NBCSP+.
As for the other thing, just like these notable twitteratti, we are all just waiting for the “real” news on the #MacHarper front.