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SPORTS
July 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MILWAUKEE - Ruben Amaro Jr. grabbed a pack of jalapeƱo sunflower seeds Thursday afternoon and found a spot on the wooden dugout bench. There were three weeks until the July 31 trade deadline and this was a moment for more reality. Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies' closer, made it clear Wednesday night he would welcome a trade to a contender - his partial no-trade clause will not be an impediment - and questioned why players would want to remain on a losing team. "I think that's a no-brainer," Papelbon said.
SPORTS
July 11, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MILWAUKEE - The trade deadline is 20 days away and Jonathan Papelbon is eager to move on from the Phillies to a team in contention. Asked on Wednesday night if he was ready to move on if a contender came calling, Papelbon gave an affirmative, "Yeah," and added an almost incredulous laugh, too, for effect. Papelbon also said it was "mind-boggling" to him that anyone would want to stay on a last-place team, that it was a "no-brainer" to move on if given the chance. How exactly did his boss react to that?
SPORTS
July 9, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
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.
SPORTS
July 9, 2014 | By RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MILWAUKEE - At some point in the next week, Grady Sizemore could get a chance to win regular at-bats in the Phillies outfield. At some point this month, Darin Ruf could do the same. Carlos Ruiz could return from the disabled list, too, and even Freddy Galvis and third-base prospect Maikel Franco could receive consideration in the major league lineup, too. Those were the words general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke yesterday afternoon in Milwaukee, a day removed from watching his underachieving, last-place team get swept in Pittsburgh over the holiday weekend.
SPORTS
July 9, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Ruben Amaro Jr. became the dean of Philadelphia general managers when Paul Holmgren switched positions with the Flyers in May. Long before that, however, the Phillies' chief personnel man had become the most unpopular GM in the city, tagged with copious unflattering nicknames, including Ruin Tomorrow Jr. He was handed the keys to a Rolls-Royce in 2008 and given enough cash to pimp his already luxurious ride. Had he won another World Series title, you wonder if his existence during the team's current free fall would be more palatable.
SPORTS
July 3, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - It is bad business to wave a proverbial white flag 30 days before the trade deadline, and that is why Ruben Amaro Jr. preached patience Tuesday. There is no need for the Phillies general manager to sacrifice leverage with other teams by proclaiming his roster for sale. And it is important to maintain an illusion of competitiveness for the paying customers. "My mind is open to everything," Amaro said Tuesday. "We'll listen to everything. We'll try to assess the most advantageous move we can make, and we'll go from there.
SPORTS
June 19, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Less than two weeks after surgery to remove cancer from his right jawbone, David Montgomery attended the Phillies' predraft planning meeting in late May. The team's president has missed few days of work since then and polls his baseball people on a regular basis, even as he recovers from the significant procedure. The next month could hold big changes for the team with a payroll of more than $180 million that is on pace to win just 73 games. Montgomery believes the current executives in place, including general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., are capable of overseeing those decisions.
SPORTS
June 16, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE MODEST three-game winning streak the Phillies took into their weekend series with the Chicago Cubs didn't do much to dull the senses of the man in charge of maintaining the team's high-salaried-but-underachieving roster. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr., in his sixth year on the job, is well aware of the advantages of the July 31 trade deadline. He made impactful moves in each of his first 4 years on the job, trading for the likes to Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence, and also trading away Shane Victorino and Pence.
SPORTS
May 29, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Phillies placed third baseman Cody Asche on the disabled list Sunday, Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke of top prospect Maikel Franco as a "possibility" to ascend to the majors. Two days later, the general manager was less convinced. "He's just not playing good enough baseball yet," Amaro said. "He's not really ready to be a big leaguer yet. " So, Ryne Sandberg started Cesar Hernandez at third Tuesday for the fifth straight game. Hernandez was 0 for 12 in his first four starts there.
SPORTS
May 29, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
WHEN THE Phillies reported to spring training a little over 3 months ago, the depth at third base was minimal. There was incumbent Cody Asche, who played 50 games as a rookie at the position last year. There was Kevin Frandsen, who was never known for his defense, which was one reason he wasn't even in camp anymore before camp broke in March. There was Freddy Galvis, a great option defensively but not really viewed as a starting candidate at third. And then there was Maikel Franco, the organization's top prospect, who hit 36 home runs between Class A Clearwater and Double A Reading last season.
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