Are the Phillies a better team without Burrell?

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Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times writes that the Phillies say they are a better team without Pat Burrell, however his former teammates steer clear of actually saying that.



“I can’t say it’s the right move,” (Jimmy) Rollins said. “It’s not a wrong move. It was really just a business decision.”



“That’s probably not a fair question,” rightfielder Jayson Werth said.
“Pat always will be missed around here, but, that said, we made a great
addition with Raul Ibanez. He filled a great void not only in leftfield
but in the clubhouse.”




General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. took
some criticism when he signed Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million
contract last December, but the 37-year-old outfielder responded by
batting .272/.347/.552 with a career-high 34 homers to go along with 93
RBI. Meanwhile, Burrell, who signed a two-year, $16 million contact
with the Rays, struggled with a neck condition, batting just
.221/.315/.367 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI.




Ibanez was a legitimate MVP
candidate in the first-half, but after the All-Star break, he and
Burrell were below average offensively:




Ibanez: .232/.326/.448 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI and a .774 OPS



Burrell: .212/.292/.383 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI and a .675 OPS



There’s no way to know how the
Ibanez contract will look this time next year, as he continues to age,
but for now, it looks like Amaro made the right move.




Ibanez is batting .226/.333/.387 with one home run and nine RBI in his first postseason appearance since 2000.

Charlie Morton exits start with discomfort in right shoulder

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Astros pitcher Charlie Morton left Sunday’s start against the Angels after just one inning due to discomfort in his right shoulder, the team announced. Morton yielded a one-out double to Justin Upton, who later scored on a wild pitch. He averages about 96 MPH on his fastball but sat in the 92-94 MPH range in his one inning of work.

Morton, 34, went on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort on August 29 and returned on September 8. It’s bad news for the Astros, who may have to go into the playoffs without him. If that is to be the case, Lance McCullers would take Morton’s spot in the rotation. It’s also bad news for Morton, who is a free agent after the season and figures to be one of the more sought-after starters.

Morton entered Sunday’s start 15-3 with a 3.15 ERA with a 195/63 K/BB ratio in 163 innings of work.