Frandsen felt blindsided by ending with Phillies

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Frandsen felt blindsided by ending with Phillies

Kevin Frandsen will never forget his three years in the Phillies organization.

“I was excited and lucky to be a Phillie,” he said. “I got an opportunity to make it back up to the big leagues and play really well for them.”

Frandsen will never forget the way it all ended, either, with his being released from the 40-man roster during the final days of spring training in March.

“Blindside,” he said. “I was like the ball boy on the sideline that got run over by someone.”

Frandsen, 31, turned down a chance to stay in the Phillies’ organization and go to Triple A because he believed he’d proven himself to be a major-league player. The move was risky as the veteran utility infielder forfeited the $900,000 the Phillies still owed him.

The risk proved to be worth it when Frandsen signed with the Washington Nationals shortly before opening day. He was back at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night for the start of a three-game series.

“I was pissed,” said Frandsen, looking back at the Phillies’ decision. “I earned my way to being on the bench, to being a vital part over there. That’s what I thought and that’s the feeling I have and I’m going to go with it.”

Frandsen made it clear that he believed the front office made the call to let him go. At the time, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he needed roster flexibility. Phillies management was looking to improve the team’s defense off the bench and looking for someone who could play shortstop as Freddy Galvis recovered from an infection that landed him on the disabled list. Frandsen plays second, third, first base and outfield.

“I don’t care what it was on timing and circumstance,” Frandsen said. “I earned my way. I earned my right to have that contract. I went about it the right way to be on that team over there. It didn’t happen.”

Frandsen, who led the majors with 14 pinch hits for the Phillies in 2013, has found happiness in Washington.

“We’re four games over .500 here, and I’m loving that,” he said. “I’m loving winning.”

Frandsen is contributing. He came into Friday night’s game 11 for 38 with two RBIs. He has appeared in 10 games and made seven starts in left field. He always told the Phillies he could play outfield, but never did with the club.

Had the Phillies kept Frandsen, he might have been a candidate for time at third base. Phillies third basemen hit just .160 in April.

“I think I could have helped (at third) last year,” Frandsen said. “I never got an opportunity.”

Frandsen remains a big supporter of Cody Asche, who started at third for the Phillies on Friday night.

“Cody is awesome,” Frandsen said. “He wants to be good. He is good. He prepares to be good. It’s just a matter of time.”

Frandsen could not hide a sheepish grin when asked whether he’d circled the trip to Philadelphia when he joined the Nationals before opening day. There’s no question he’d like to make a point during his visit and or in subsequent meetings with his old team this season.

“It was a great time in Phladelphia,” he said. “And now I’m grateful and excited to be a National.”

Instant Replay: Mets 5, Phillies 3, Oct. 1

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Instant Replay: Mets 5, Phillies 3, Oct. 1

BOX SCORE

Ryan Howard gave the fans a treat with a two-run home run in his penultimate game in a Phillies uniform, but that was the extent of the highlights Saturday afternoon as the Phils suffered a 5-3 loss to the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

With the victory, the Mets clinched a spot in the NL playoffs as a wild-card team.

The Phillies clinched their sixth straight loss and eighth in the last nine games.

They are 70-91 heading into the final day of the season.

Starting pitching report
Phil Klein worked four innings for the Phillies and gave up one run.

Mets starter Bartolo Colon went five innings and gave up just two runs. Both runs came on Howard’s homer in the fifth.

Bullpen report
Patrick Schuster and David Hernandez gave up runs in the sixth as the Mets broke a 2-2 tie. Hernandez allowed a two-run homer and took the loss.

The Mets’ bullpen pitched four shutout innings. Jeurys Familia closed it out for his 51st save.

At the plate
Howard’s homer was his 25th of the season, tying him with Maikel Franco for the team lead. It was the 382nd homer of his career, tying him with Jim Rice and Frank Howard for 67th on the all-time list.

Howard has six doubles, 13 homers and 32 RBIs in 47 games since July 3.

Darin Ruf smacked a pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning.

The Mets scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. James Loney put them ahead for good with a two-run homer in the top if the sixth. It broke a 2-2 tie. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in an insurance run with a single in the top of the ninth.

Up next
The Phillies close out the season Sunday afternoon against the Mets. Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.72) pitches for the Phillies. Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60) is the Mets’ scheduled starter.

The game will start at 3:05. The Phillies will honor Howard at 2:30.

Jimmy Rollins salutes former Phillies teammate Ryan Howard

Jimmy Rollins salutes former Phillies teammate Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were all drafted and developed by the Phillies. They came to the majors and became the best first baseman, shortstop and second baseman in franchise history.
 
And, of course, they were a huge part of the core of the team that won the 2008 World Series.
 
Time moves on and so do great players.
 
Rollins was traded in December 2014 as the team began a rebuild. Utley was traded in August 2015. On Sunday, Howard, the last piece from that championship season, will play his last game with the Phillies.
 
Rollins took some time Saturday to pass along some thoughts on his friend’s time in red pinstripes.
 
“When Ryan first arrived in Philadelphia, he was merely filling in for Jim Thome in the eyes of many, but he did not let that opportunity to shine pass him by,” Rollins wrote in an email. “He quickly became feared as he won Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive years and reached 200 home runs quicker than anyone in the history of the game. He loved the pressure and wanted to be the man at the plate when the game mattered most.”
 
The Phillies won five division titles from 2007 to 2011. Howard led the majors in homers twice and RBIs three times.
 
“During our run, we leaned on him many times for big hits and clutch home runs and he found ways to deliver,” Rollins said. “Ryan never stopped working to better himself and his craft, whether it was getting to the field early for extra defensive work or finding that sweet home run stroke. Although he hit a lot of them, he was more than just a power hitter -- he was a great teammate.
 
“We all hoped to bring more than one championship to Philadelphia, but without Ryan that one may not have been possible. So, many thanks to 'Big Piece' for being such a big piece of the best years of my career in the City of Brotherly Love!”