Phillies

Instant Replay: Diamondbacks 2, Phillies 1 (11 innings)

Instant Replay: Diamondbacks 2, Phillies 1 (11 innings)

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Phillies, 2-1, in 11 innings Sunday afternoon.
 
The Diamondbacks won it on a two-out, RBI single by Daniel Descalso against Edubray Ramos. He drove in Paul Goldschmidt who had reached base on a two-out single. Chris Owings followed Goldschmidt and drew a 12-pitch walk.
 
It was the Phillies' 50th loss in 74 games.
 
The Phillies tied the game at 1-1 on a pinch-hit single by Howie Kendrick with two outs in the seventh.
 
The Phillies dropped to 24-50 and 10-30 on the road. They have scored just three runs in losing two in a row to the Diamondbacks.
 
Starting pitching report
Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson scattered three hits and a run over six walk-free innings. He struck out seven. Over his last two starts, the right-hander has given up just two runs in 13 innings. He has walked just two over that span. Hellickson did not give up a home run after allowing at least one in six straight starts.
 
Arizona right-hander Randall Delgado pitched four-hit, one-walk ball over five shutout innings.
 
Bullpen report
Luis Garcia pitched two scoreless and struck out three for the Phillies. His biggest strikeout came with two men on base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Gregor Blanco to keep the game tied at 1-1. Garcia has rung up six straight scoreless outings.
 
Pat Neshek got some help from centerfielder Odubel Herrera in pitching a scoreless ninth. Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless 10th.
 
Arizona reliever Rubby De La Rosa allowed a two-out triple to Aaron Altherr in the sixth inning. He then struck out Tommy Joseph on three pitches to end the frame and protect a 1-0 lead.
 
An inning later, Archie Bradley was faced with a similar situation but he gave up a bloop single to Kendrick and the Phillies tied the game at 1-1. The run was charged to Andrew Chafin.
 
Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth and Jorge De La Rosa a scoreless 10th. T.J. McFarland pitched a scoreless 11th and got the win.
 
At the plate
Aaron Altherr had three hits. Cameron Perkins struck out three times. He has struck out eight times in his first 22 at-bats.
 
Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Nick Ahmed doubled against Hellickson and scored on a single by Paul Goldschmidt.
 
In the field
Center fielder Herrera made a leaping catch at the wall (right in front of 407-foot sign) for the third out in the bottom of the ninth. The catch, on a long drive by Descalso, preserved a 1-1 tie and sent the game into extra innings.
 
On the bases
Maikel Franco doubled in the second inning and was picked off by pitcher Delgado.
 
Health check
Updates here on Jerad Eickhoff and Kendrick (see story).

Moving up
After the game, the Phillies promoted second base prospect Scott Kingery to Triple A Lehigh Valley.
 
Up next
The series concludes Monday afternoon with Nick Pivetta (1-3, 4.46) facing Zack Greinke (8-4, 3.14).

Phillies' ramped-up rebuild demands starting-pitching upgrade

Phillies' ramped-up rebuild demands starting-pitching upgrade

Let the record show that on a snowy Friday afternoon 10 days before Christmas 2017, the Phillies ramped up their rebuild.

Dramatically.

What other conclusion can be drawn after the club went out and signed Carlos Santana, one of the best offensive players on the free-agent market? With the signing, confirmed by multiple baseball sources, general manager Matt Klentak has attached a new level of importance to the 2018 season.

Just a couple of days ago at the winter meetings in Orlando, Klentak spoke of how 2018 was going to be a time to "find out" more about the team's young core of players. Who would continue to take a step forward? Who would fall by the wayside?

But now that Santana is here, 2018 doesn't feel like it's just a find-out season. It feels like a season in which the Phillies can continue to find out about players — separate the studs from the duds — and also start nibbling around that second National League wild-card spot.

Sure, a lot has to go right for that to happen.

And one of the things that has to go right is Klentak has to land a starting pitcher to slot in around Aaron Nola and the rest of the staff, which has the look of a bunch of No. 4 and No. 5 starters — until someone steps forward.

Santana's deal is for three years and $60 million, according to sources. Three years is a nice get — i.e., it's not cripplingly long — for a 32-year-old (in April) who hits for power, produces runs and does what Klentak likes best: controls the strike zone. (You could say that Klentak added two players who control the strike zone to his lineup Friday as the trade of Freddy Galvis to San Diego for strike-throwing pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos cleared the way for J.P. Crawford to be the regular shortstop.)

The Phillies need to do everything within reason to make sure that the first of Santana's three seasons with the club isn't about simply inching the rebuild forward. The Nationals are the class of the NL East, but the rest of the division ranges from ordinary to awful. The Phils, with an improved offense and bullpen (Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter), can play with the Braves and Mets and clean up on the Marlins, the jewelry store that became a pawnshop, in agent Scott Boras' words.

It's just up to Klentak to get more starting pitching, and he's on the case. He admitted that at the winter meetings. He is particularly fond of young starters with years of control remaining on their contracts. Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer fit this description. It takes talent to get pitchers like that. The Phillies have enough depth of prospects to get one of these guys and their reserves of expendable talent just grew with the Santana signing.

Santana, a switch-hitter who has averaged 25 homers, 85 RBIs and a .810 OPS in eight seasons, is going to be the team's primary first baseman. Rhys Hoskins is going to be the primary leftfielder. That means the Phillies suddenly have a young outfielder that they could deal. Maybe they try to capitalize on Nick Williams' strong half-season in the majors and package him for an arm. Or maybe it's Odubel Herrera or Aaron Altherr.

However it plays out, you can be sure that Klentak will be creative. You can rule nothing out with this guy. The other day, we poo-pooed the Phillies signing Jake Arrieta, who is looking for a long-term deal approaching $200 million. But if Arrieta lingers out there until February and is looking for a two-year landing spot, hey, maybe.

We wouldn't even put it past Klentak to entertain the idea of using Santana at third base a little bit — he did play 26 games there in 2014 — and trading Maikel Franco. The Giants were sniffing around, gathering intel on Franco at the winter meetings. There has to be a reason for that. Also at the meetings, an official from a rival club said the Phillies weren't as aggressive as he expected in trying to move Cesar Hernandez. Could it be that Hernandez would get some time at third if Franco were to be moved? Hernandez is still a trade chip, but he doesn't need to be cashed in until July and by that time Scott Kingery should be here.

There are a lot of ways this thing can go. And with the signing of Carlos Santana — which won't become official until he passes a physical next week — the Phillies have guaranteed that the remainder of this offseason will be a busy one.

It has to be.

The stakes have changed for 2018. The rebuild is still in place, but it has been ramped up. Matt Klentak has improved the bullpen and the offense. Now he has to attack that starting pitching and he has the trade weapons to do it.

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

The Phillies' busy Friday continued with a pricey free-agent signing.

The Phils have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with former Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.

It is by far the most expensive contract the Phillies have given out under the Matt Klentak-Andy MacPhail regime.

They had the money. When the offseason began, the only player the Phillies had signed to a multi-million dollar deal was Odubel Herrera.

Santana, 31, has always been a high-walk power hitter. From 2011 through 2017, he walked between 88 and 113 times each season, all while maintaining relatively low strikeout totals for a man with such power and plate selection.

In 2016, Santana set a career high with 34 home runs. Last season, he hit .259/.363/.455 with 37 doubles, 23 homers and 79 RBIs.

This addition provides the Phillies with much-needed pop to protect Rhys Hoskins and also gives the Phils added versatility. Santana is a switch-hitter who came up as a catcher, but he hasn't caught since 2014. The last three seasons, he has played primarily first base. In his eight seasons, Santana has also started 26 games at third base and seven in right field.

The move likely means Hoskins will play left field, and it could facilitate another Phillies trade of an outfielder such as Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr or Odubel Herrera.