December 5, 2012 |
NASHVILLE - At one point during Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s afternoon meeting with the media at the winter meetings, the idea of John Mayberry Jr. returning next season as the starting centerfielder was raised. Before a line forms at the top of the Walt Whitman Bridge or an angry mob shows up carrying torches at One Citizens Bank Way, you should know that Mayberry in center field is no better than Plan Z for Amaro, who said he went into this offseason with 10 Plan B's. Which Plan B comes to fruition between now and opening day in Atlanta remained a mystery on Monday as the winter meetings officially opened inside the vast Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, where holiday tourists, Tommy Lasorda, and John Kruk frequently crossed paths.
July 9, 2014 |
MILWAUKEE - Cliff Lee will resume his minor league rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater tomorrow in Tampa. Lee's first rehab start Sunday afternoon was limited to 24 pitches in two innings after a rainstorm in southern Florida suspended the game. The Phillies had hoped to get Lee up to 70 pitches in the game. "Stuff was good," Amaro said. "Delivery was good. He was 89 to 91, so not all that far off from where he usually is. " Barring a setback, Lee is likely to make two starts in the next week before rejoining the Phillies when the team returns from the All-Star break.
August 12, 2013 |
Plenty of business needs to be resolved in these final seven weeks of the Phillies' season. Some of it is being conducted right now down in Clearwater, Fla., a fitting location, considering the 2013 season has been relegated to a second spring training of sorts. Two players - Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay - making more money than two entire teams - Miami and Houston - are trying to get healthy. The recovery of Howard's surgically repaired left knee is considered as important as any plate appearance the Phillies will have in the big leagues between now and the Sept.
November 15, 2011 |
MILWAUKEE - As Ruben Amaro Jr. unveiled his latest prize 900 miles to the east, baseball's general managers trickled into this city for their first face-to-face contact of the winter. Amaro soon joined them in this charming Midwest city, but only after awarding the largest-ever deal for a relief pitcher. At its core, the Jonathan Papelbon deal epitomizes the debate of a closer's importance. The Phillies will be accused of overpaying, but that label is usually applied to most reliever contracts.
March 19, 2012 |
An MRI might show what is going on inside Chase Utley's knees. It can't tell us what's going on inside his head. That's just as important, as the Phillies second baseman embarks on his second annual quest for a short-term solution to his chronic knee problems. Utley has chosen to keep his medical issues and options to himself, which is his absolute right. It is also the right of the fans who contribute to his millions in salary to wish he'd be a little bit more forthcoming. Forced to honor Utley's wish for privacy, the Phillies have come off looking less than honest with those same fans.
December 6, 2011 |
DALLAS - Even if Jimmy Rollins ends up leaving Philadelphia, it is hard to envision the Phillies replacing him with a 22-year-old prospect who until last season had never hit higher than .240 in the minors. More likely, the team would look for a low-cost option, either through free agency or a trade, to pair with Wilson Valdez or Michael Martinez. Still, there is plenty of intrigue about Freddy Galvis among the Phillies brass. He has been hailed as a defensive whiz with a big-league-caliber glove since he was an 18-year-old at low-A Lakewood in 2008.
February 25, 2012 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Skipping a bullpen session in late February can have little effect later, but when it's a $120 million arm not doing the throwing as scheduled, it requires attention. So Cliff Lee's shrug and Ruben Amaro Jr.'s downplaying Wednesday could all be justified. Lee did not throw his last scheduled bullpen session because of abdominal soreness. Lee said it was a "minor deal. " Amaro called it "normal. " "I'm not worried about Cliff," Amaro said. "Better safe than sorry, especially this early," Lee said.
April 11, 2013 |
Charlie Manuel offered a history lesson Tuesday afternoon. He was talking about Roy Halladay, once a Phillies ace but now unrecognizable, and brought up Brad Lidge's name. The former Phillies closer is the quintessential example of Manuel's loyalty. Lidge blew 11 saves in 2009, pitched to a 7.21 ERA, but remained the closer as the Phillies won the pennant. "I looked down there and, to me, Brad Lidge was probably still the best I had," Manuel said. "If I was going to lose the game, it was going to be with Brad Lidge.
February 5, 2012
You've recently been fired as general manager of the Houston Astros and your cellphone rings. It's Ruben Amaro Jr. calling. He wants to know if you'd be interested in rejoining the Phillies as a special consultant. That's a big step down in title and pay from your previous job with the organization. It means you now report to several people, including Amaro, who used to report to you. What do you do? Ed Wade had to think about it. "I said, 'Let's park it in neutral so I can get my head around a lot of things,' " Wade said.