Ruben Amaro Gets His Man….Again

30 Jul

If you didn’t know better you might think that Houston GM Ed Wade was on the Phillies payroll.  Ever since Wade made the move to Houston, players have been making the move from the Astros to the Phillies in record numbers via the Amaro-Wade hotline.  First came Brad Lidge in 2007, then last year, Roy Oswalt and yesterday–All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence.

Given Amaro‘s stellar track record of making deadline deals, the surprise wasn’t that they got Pence but what they didn’t have to give up to get him.  As in they didn’t have to give up either Domonic Brown or Vance Worley.

Yes, they did give up two top prospects in Jonathan Singelton and Jarred Cosart but Singleton is a first baseman and with the Big Piece holding down first for the forseeable future he would not have seen action for the Phillies any time soon.  Cosart is a top pitcher in the minors but pitching prospects are always a gamble.  The deal also includes two players to be named later but neither are currently at the major league level.

Pence is  great fit for the Phillies.  He comes from the Chase Utley school of baseball:  he’s aggressive, he plays hard and he’s not afraid to get his uniform dirty.  Former teammate Roy Oswalt thinks Pence will look great in Phillies red:

“He’s a good, hard-nosed player.  Plays hard, gives 100 percent on the field.  Don’t have to worry about him putting his work in.”

Is Pence the Final Piece?

And all that work is paying off.  Pence comes to the Phillies batting  .309 with a .472 slugging percentage.  The two-time All-Star has 11 home runs and 62 RBI.  He has 123 hits and 26 doubles both of which will lead his new team.  And he’s achieved all of this with the Astros,  the team with the worst record in baseball.

In short, Pence,  is that right-handed bat that Charlie Manuel has been asking for and asking for and asking for.

And there’s more.  Pence is a strong defensive right fielder and leads the NL in outfield assists with 9.  He will definitely shore up the Phillies outfield defense which is critical heading down the stretch and in the play-offs.  I don’t know about you but I look forward to not holding my breath every time a ball heads for the right field corner.

Although Pence does have good speed and is considered a good baserunner he only has seven stolen bases this year.  He stole 18 last year, however, and will likely have more opportunities with the Phillies.

Perhaps the best thing about the Pence deal is that while he will certainly help the Phillies this year, he is not a half season rental like a Carlos Beltran would have been.  He does not become a free agent until 2013 so the Phillies will have him for several more years at least.

With Raul Ibanez in the last year of his contract, the Phillies are likely looking at an outfield next year of Pence, Victorino and Brown.  Plus,  at 28, Pence brings some needed youth to this aging veteran line-up.

So how about a big shout-out to Ed Wade for thinking yet again of his old friends in Philadelphia.  With the addition of Pence, the Phillies seem poised for the stretch run.  And don’t forget, it’s only Saturday.  Amaro still has until 4:00 tomorrow to see if his friend Ed has anyone else to unload.

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One Response to “Ruben Amaro Gets His Man….Again”

  1. Lea Dickler July 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    YOU SURE KNOW HOW TO RAISE A GIRL’S SPIRITS!!!!

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