Juan Pierre to the Marlins

Juan Pierre to the Marlins

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One of the few bright spots for the Phillies last season
turned out to be Juan Pierre. Now in his mid-30s, Pierre is a limited ball
player, but put up good numbers while remaining a consummate professional
during what was a trying year in Philadelphia. Things went so well for the 35
year old, there was even a thought he could return to the organization in 2013.

As it turns out, Pierre will stay in the NL East… it just won’t be here.

Seeing as they traded away half of their starting lineup in
a cost-cutting maneuver last week, the Miami Marlins are in the market for some
reasonably-priced help. And happy for the opportunity to continue playing on a
regular basis – not to mention the recipient of a decent payday – Pierre agreed
to a one-year deal
that will pay him $1.6 million next season.

Pierre gained notoriety with the then-Florida Marlins early
in his career, which might also have something to do with the decision. During
his three-year stint with the franchise between ‘03-‘05, Pierre finished
seasons as a league leader in hits, triples, and stolen bases. They also won
the World Series in ’03, with Pierre playing 162 games all three seasons.

Today he can barely pass for an everyday outfielder. That
said, Pierre appeared in 130 games for the Fightins last season, batting .307
with a .357 on-base percentage. He was also fifth in the NL with 37 stolen
bases, and led the league in sacrifices for the fourth time in his career with
17.

Pierre originally signed a minor-league contract with the
Phillies, but wound up becoming an indispensable member of the squad, coming
through with several clutch hits throughout the season. While he provides
almost zero power at the plate, and his arm in left field is severely lacking,
he was a veteran presence who understood the importance of doing the little
things.

Simply put, the Phillies probably lose a bunch more games in 2012 without him.

Pierre probably won’t be missed too much in the grand
scheme, particularly on a healthy Phillies squad complete with Ryan Howard and
we hope Chase Utley, but rest assured there will be moments. Thankfully, the
damage he can do in Miami next season appears to be limited at the very least.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P