December 3, 2015 |
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Arizona Fall League rosters are filled with major-league prospects, and the managers of the six teams must somehow afford playing time to each. The nature of the league ensures that talented young players accustomed to everyday roles are relegated to watching from the dugout much more than usual. Catcher Andrew Knapp, the Phillies' breakout minor-leaguer of 2015, was no exception. But in Knapp's case, that's not necessarily a detriment. The six-week extension to his already marathon season provided more time outside of games to work on his defense, the aspect of his game that likely will dictate when he reaches the major leagues.
November 8, 2015 |
PHOENIX - The value of a shutdown bullpen was on display no more so than in this year's playoffs. The World Series champion Kansas City Royals routinely shortened games with their formidable relief corps, led by an unhittable closer in Wade Davis. As the Phillies embark on the second offseason of a rebuilding process that will span several years, their bullpen is far from set for the long term. Among last year's group, arguably only closer Ken Giles, 25, and Elvis Araujo, 24, can be looked upon as building blocks for the future.
September 22, 2015 |
ATLANTA - Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin benched centerfielder Odubel Herrera in the fourth inning of Sunday's loss for throwing his bat down in frustration and not running hard to first base after flying out to left field. "Boys play Little League. Men play Major League Baseball. We will not pout. We will not feel sorry for ourselves. If you want to, then you don't belong here. He had to learn a lesson," Mackanin explained after the game. "To me, he's been pouting for a few days, and I just wanted to make sure that he gets the message.
September 21, 2015 |
ATLANTA - It is too early to tell exactly when J.P. Crawford, a highly touted shortstop and the Phillies' top prospect, will reach the major leagues. But it is not premature to begin to gauge whether Freddy Galvis, the Phillies' shortstop all season, could factor into the team's equation at second base in the future. Galvis started at second base for the first time this season in the Phillies' 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Turner Field. Although interim manager Pete Mackanin insisted there was "no ulterior motive" to the temporary position change, it makes sense for the Phillies' front office to see Galvis play on the right side of the infield before season's end. Galvis "might play two or three games" at second base over the final two weeks of the season, Mackanin said.
September 3, 2015 |
NEW YORK - As the youngest player in the Eastern League, J.P. Crawford has more than held his own this season. The Phillies will test their top prospect with a six-week stint in the Arizona Fall League beginning next month. Crawford was the highest-touted prospect selected Tuesday to play in the six-team AFL. The 20-year-old shortstop will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs along with five double-A Reading teammates and a former high-A Clearwater teammate. "He just needs to go play," Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said by phone.
September 2, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The annual date for major-league roster expansion Tuesday will not see the Phillies promote any touted prospects like they did a year ago by summoning Maikel Franco. This year's crop of September call-ups will be minimal altogether. The team will promote "probably three" players, according to interim manager Pete Mackanin, and maybe one or two more at the end of the triple-A season. Tuesday's call-ups are likely to consist of bullpen depth and a third catcher. "I don't think you're going to see a lot of moves made because the guys that are here are the ones that need to continue to play and progress," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.
August 13, 2015 |
PHOENIX - When the Cole Hamels blockbuster trade was agreed upon two weeks ago today, it was easy to sit back and label Jorge Alfaro the Phillies' catcher of the future. And that still might very well be true, since the athletic, 22-year-old prospect acquired in the deal has real raw power and what one scout recently labeled a "90 arm" on the 20-80 grading scale. But Alfaro has played only 70 games above Class A ball, including only 49 this season after suffering an ankle injury in early June.
June 22, 2015
It was a phone call that Adam Morgan said he had dreamed about: calling his father to tell him he was headed to the major leagues. His father, Wiley, pitched at Alabama and coached Morgan until he was 13. That dream became reality on Friday, when Morgan called his father to tell him he was pitching Sunday for the Phillies. "He was like, 'Well that's one hell of a Father's Day present,' " Morgan said before Saturday's game against St. Louis. "He couldn't believe it. It's really special.
March 6, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Last spring, Ken Giles was the kid in the back corner of the clubhouse with the filthiest fastball in the Grapefruit League. Since he had never played above Class A, though, Giles was sent to minor league camp midway through March. But then he would become a cult hero in Baseballtown, striking out 51 percent of the batters he faced during a monthlong stay at Double A Reading. And then he moved along to Allentown, where Triple A hitters were sent into fits with his triple-digit heat.
December 12, 2014 |
SAN DIEGO - While a franchise-altering trade hung in the balance, the Phillies completed one deal yesterday afternoon, their first major transaction of the winter. Veteran reliever Antonio Bastardo was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for lefthanded pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez. Bastardo, 29, was a pivotal member of the Phillies' bullpen for the last five seasons. He went 20-18 with a 3.72 ERA in 275 games (five starts), striking out 324 batters, while walking 125, in 259 innings.