Phillies exploring other options at third base

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pedrofeliz.jpgWhen asked if Pedro Feliz will return next season, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. hedged a bit:

“More than anything else, we want to see what options may be out there
for us and decide whether picking his option up is best suited for this
club to try to move forward,” Amaro said. “He had a solid year for us.
I like the man personally. He’s a great person and a great teammate,
but I also believe in trying to improve and sometimes change can be for
the better. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to, but it’s just
something that we’re thinking about.”


The Phillies have until Monday to
decide whether to pick up Feliz’s $5.5 million option for 2010. Feliz,
34, is known for being one of the best defensive third basemen in the
majors, however he batted a modest .266/.308/.386 with 12 home runs and
82 RBI in 2009. His .694 OPS was the third lowest among third basemen
with at least 500 plate appearances.




If the Phillies choose to exercise
his $500,000 buyout, they’ll have plenty of alternatives in the
free-agent market. Adrian Beltre and Chone Figgins would both be
upgrades offensively, with fine defensive reputations, to boot. Only
thing is, they’ll certainly ask for more than the $5.5 million Feliz
would make.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.