ST. LOUIS – Recent efforts by Phillies management to trade for a backup outfielder have been unsuccessful. So with Domonic Brown down for at least two days and undergoing tests for a concussion (see story), the Phillies were forced to bring Michael Martinez back to the majors for a third time this season on Wednesday.
Martinez, a .186 hitter in 139 big-league games, passed through waivers unclaimed last month. He was hitting .298 with a .358 on-base percentage in 62 games at Triple A this season, but had just four hits in his last 27 at-bats.
“I think that’s about what we had,” said manager Charlie Manuel, sounding uninspired by the addition of Martinez. “They said he’s playing good and that’s what they sent us.”
In addition to looking for outfield help, the Phils have talked to a number of clubs about acquiring a reliever. Those attempts have so far been unsuccessful. The Phils entered Wednesday night’s game against the Cardinals having lost three straight games to fall to two games under .500. If they don't rack up some wins in a hurry, management could trade off talent before next week’s trade deadline.
“In order for us to make a run, we have to play really, really good,” Manuel said. “We have to win a high percentage of games. It’s kind of tough for us. We better play like hell.”
Though the wind seems to be blowing in the “sell” direction, Manuel said the Phils have tried to acquire help through trades.
Does he believe anything is close?
“No, I don’t,” he said. “Because I think they are talking to every team in baseball, but we’re not close as far as I hear. We’re not really close on deals. I’ve always told you guys I don’t get excited about talking. Talking ain’t (crap), if you want to know the truth. Talking ain’t nothing. It’s when you have a deal and they say, ‘We made a trade.’ That’s when you’ve got something.
“I think it depends on how much interest teams have in our guys. The closer it gets to the deadline, that’s when we’re going to find out how much someone is willing to part with. There’s just a lot of fishing right now.”