Tracy Hoping His Season Continues in Philly

With the numbers that Andy Tracy has put up at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, he deserves a trip to Philadelphia for the final month. And if he doesn't get the call, he admits it would be a disappointment.

Ask anyone around the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and you'll find that Andy Tracy is a true team leader, both on and off the field. You see it in the way he plays the game, you see it in the way he relates to younger players and you definitely see it behind closed doors, where he is perhaps at his best.

This season, few players have had better Triple-A seasons than the 35 year old Tracy. He's launched a franchise-record 26 home runs and has 96 RBI on the season for Lehigh Valley. He's second in the league in home runs and RBI, behind Scranton Wilkes-Barre's Shelley Duncan in both categories, but certainly within striking distance in the RBI category as the 'Pigs prepare for the final day of the season.

In fact, Duncan is the one player who has perhaps, had a better season than Tracy.

"If I didn't get called up, I would be disappointed, yes," admitted Tracy. "But, I've been disappointed a lot in this game."

The biggest reason why Tracy wouldn't get a shot with the Phillies this September is because of how the 40 man roster is situated. The Phillies have already maneuvered around to fit former IronPigs players like Paul Hoover and Miguel Cairo on the roster, so there aren't a lot of moves they could make without risking the loss of a player that they deem important to the organization. It would appear that the only likely move would be to put pitcher John Ennis on the 60 day DL, which would effectively remove him and give the Phillies a spot for Tracy.

"I think I could help them up there. They've got one lefty off the bench right now - I don't know where Dobbs is at this point - but, we'll have to see."

Having been around baseball for most of his adult life, Tracy knows how things work and understands the choices that teams have to make. But he also knows that if the Phillies value him enough and share his belief that he could help them over the final month of the season, something can almost always be done.

"If you're a big market club and you want to clear spots, you can clear spots. I'm not saying that in a negative way, but look at the Yankees; if they want to clear a spot, they're going to clear a spot," believes Tracy.

For now, Tracy just has to focus on game number 144 of the season for the IronPigs and do what he can to keep impressing the folks in the Philadelphia front office.

He's right about their need for a left-handed bat off the bench. Matt Stairs hasn't had a hit since before the All-Star Break and is 0-for-28 in that span and has drawn only eight walks in that time, giving him an on-base percentage of just .200 in the second-half of the season. Greg Dobbs is getting closer to being activated from the DL, but Dobbs also isn't putting up the numbers that he did last season and was 3-for-19 (.158) prior to going on the DL. Now, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino are also hobbled by injuries, so another bat wouldn't be a bad thing to have.

It would be disappointing it Tracy isn't brought up to the big league club for the final month of the season. In Tracy, the Phillies would have a big league guy who could at least give them a capable bat to bring off the bench. And unlike Stairs and Dobbs, Tracy has been hitting well lately, going 9-for-28 (.321) with two home runs and 11 RBI in his last nine games.



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