Phillies Notes: Phillies react to Ryan Braun suspension

Posted: July 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS - A day later, the topic remained delicate. Numerous Phillies players did not want to comment on Ryan Braun's historic 65-game suspension that sent shock waves through baseball.

Some deferred to the strong statements made by players on other teams.

"I don't need to talk about that," manager Charlie Manuel said, before talking at length about it.

"I want the game clean and fair," Manuel said. "I look at baseball as something I love. The game, I totally respect it. It's been totally tremendous to me. And I want it played right. I want both teams to play it right. I want to see good players. I want the game clean."

Braun's groundbreaking suspension will be the first of many rendered by Major League Baseball. Reportedly, it did not result from a failed a drug test. Instead, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger was indicted by evidence collected in the Biogenesis scandal, in which the head of a former antiaging clinic in Florida allegedly dispensed performance-enhancing drugs to players.

As many as 20 players could face punishment, and some bans could be longer than Braun's.

The suspensions are not bound by the traditional scale of 50 and 100 games for first- and second-time offenders.

In 43 career games against the Phillies, Braun hit .386 with a 1.120 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Those numbers are his best against any National League team. Only Prince Fielder has a higher OPS among active players with at least 100 plate appearances against the Phillies.

The reaction in most clubhouses to the suspension was overwhelmingly positive. The steroid culture has evolved.

"We've seen, over the last couple of years, players are adamant about having a level playing field," Phillies third baseman Michael Young said. "Anything less than that is unacceptable to the players. That's the way it should be.

"This is the big leagues. There are things I just don't buy. Guys say it is for injuries and this and that. We have a guy here who had a serious shoulder injury, Roy Halladay, and he busts his [rear] every day trying to get back on the field. You don't get a shortcut."

The players union has taken more aggressive steps in negotiating tougher penalties.

"The union is the players. We are heard more," veteran infielder John McDonald said.

Young said, "There is constant talk with all of the players with ways to improve it. It's definitely working. You look at the player reaction over the last day, it speaks for itself."

Savery to DL

Joe Savery's inactivity was explained Tuesday when he was placed on the disabled list with soreness in his left elbow. The lefthander had pitched once in the team's last 11 games. Manuel said the injury was apparent in Savery's last outing, July 13 against the Chicago White Sox.

Raul Valdes was recalled to assume Savery's mop-up role in the bullpen. Valdes was starting at triple-A Lehigh Valley since his demotion in May. He had a 3.11 ERA in 12 starts.

The Phillies have seven players on the disabled list. Four are relievers.

Extra bases

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters the Phillies plan to watch veteran closer Brian Wilson throw in an audition this week. The 31-year-old righty is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery and has pitched two innings since 2011. . . . Pitching prospect Adam Morgan returned to action Monday at triple A after missing two months with a shoulder injury. Morgan allowed one run in four innings and threw 71 pitches. He will continue to make a regular turn in the IronPigs rotation.

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