With the Phillies in the middle of a rebuilding effort, they are facing some tough (and long overdue) truths with their veteran players. After officially dealing shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. made an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia yesterday and was pretty blunt about how the club feels about the future of longtime first baseman Ryan Howard.
Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media has this quote from Amaro’s interview:
“We’ve talked to Ryan,” Amaro said in an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli on Friday afternoon. “And I told him that in our situation it would probably bode better for the organization not with him but without him. With that said if he’s with us, then we’ll work around him. We’ll hope he puts up the kind of numbers that we hope he can and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
As we have said many times in this space before, moving Howard is no easy task. He turned 35 in November and is owed $60 million through 2016. The Phillies would likely have to cover most of his remaining salary in order to get a deal done, but that still leaves a limited number of teams would could be in the market for a declining DH-type player. Howard amassed 23 home runs and 93 RBI last season, which are appealing numbers on the surface, but he hit just .223 and his .690 OPS was 119th among 146 qualified hitters in MLB. He has a .720 OPS (and a 98 OPS+) over the past three seasons. While the Phillies want to turn the page, Amaro has no plans to release Howard if they can’t find a trade partner.
MLB COVID-19 testing results were just jointly released by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The results given are through close of business yesterday.
The MLB COVID-19 testing results are broken down by both”Intake Screening,” which was the threshold testing required before players and staff were allowed to enter camp. Then the “Monitoring Testing” which is the every-other-day testing being conducted from now until the end of the season.
Here’s how it breaks down:
COMPLETED INTAKE SCREENING
- The number of positive intake tests was 66, which was 1.8% of the 3,748 total samples tested;
- 58 of these 66 positives were players and 8 were staff members;
- 27 different clubs had at least one positive test;
- The number of monitoring samples collected and tested has been 7,401;
- 17 of these 7,401 samples, which is 0.2%, have been new positives;
- 13 of the 17 positives have been players and 4 have been staff members;
- 10 different Clubs have had a new positive during Monitoring Testing.
COMBINED INTAKE AND MONITORING TESTING
Combining the totals of Intake Screening and Monitoring Testing, the results are as follows:
- The total number of positive tests between both testing phases is 83, which is 0.7% of the 11,149 samples since the beginning of Intake Screening on June 27th;
- Among the 83 positives, 71 have been players and 12 have been staff members;
- 28 different Clubs have had positive tests overall.
Left unclear from the MLB COVID-19 testing press release is whether MLB is up-to-schedule in its monitoring testing (i.e. if they are turning around the tests in 24 hours is required by MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan or if, as we saw earlier in the week, there has been lag.
It’s also not clear if this sort of update will come every week or if this was a one-time thing. Guess we’ll see soon.