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SPORTS
August 4, 2013 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
With his hands stretched behind his head, Zach Miner relaxed on his black leather chair on Friday afternoon and looked into his new locker in the Phillies clubhouse. A night earlier, triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage told him he was being promoted to the big leagues. Miner spent most of Friday's early afternoon stuck in traffic trying to find his way to Citizens Bank Park. But after four seasons, the 31-year-old righty was back in the majors. It feels better this time, Miner said, than when he debuted seven seasons ago with Detroit.
SPORTS
August 18, 2012 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ryne Sandberg is ready to return to the big leagues. "Oh, I'm ready," the Hall of Fame second baseman said last week as he sat in the dugout at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. "In my mind, I'm ready for a major-league opportunity. " Good luck trying to find somebody who does not agree. Sandberg has spent six seasons as a minor-league manager, including the last two with the Phillies' triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate, and the time has come for him to take the next step. You won't hear Sandberg say that.
SPORTS
September 6, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
WHEN MIKE Adams' season was declared over and Antonio Bastardo was served a 50-game suspension, the Phillies' bullpen basically turned into Jonathan Papelbon and a herd of pitchers moving in and out of a revolving door to and from Triple A Lehigh Valley. The relief corps has been made up of former IronPigs trying to stay former IronPigs by succeeding in the big leagues. It's really been one, big, open tryout for the 2014 bullpen. While many have struggled to take advantage of the opportunity, at least one reliever has blossomed as a big-leaguer.
SPORTS
May 21, 2012 | By Phil Sheridan, Inquirer Columnist
Going into this uncertain season, Freddy Galvis was one of the Phillies' biggest question marks. With a quarter of the regular season in the books, Galvis has raised some questions of his own with his performance. Questions such as: If the Phillies had known they would get this kind of production from Galvis, would they have committed to that new contract for Jimmy Rollins? And: Why didn't they expect Galvis to be ready for the big leagues? And what might that say about the way the Phillies evaluate their own minor-league prospects (ahem, Domonic Brown)
SPORTS
January 5, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The easiest items to remove in the Phillies' offseason garage sale are gone. Jimmy Rollins' wheels may be old, but the engine still runs pretty well, and there was lots of value in the glove department. The $11 million price tag was minuscule for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the highest payroll in baseball. Marlon Byrd, meanwhile, has gotten better with age, and once the Phillies decided to eat $4 million, the Cincinnati Reds were willing to give up an upper-level prospect (pitcher Ben Lively)
SPORTS
July 13, 2010
1. Now. He's ready for the big leagues. 2. Soon. The Phils might need outfield help. 3. Later. September sounds right.
SPORTS
August 23, 2011
The Phillies are expected to sign 16-year-old Venezuelan Carlos Tocci, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound outfielder, a baseball source said Monday. Tocci's signing bonus is expected to be in the $750,000 range, the largest for an international player by the Phillies since South Koreans Seung Lee and Il Kim signed in 2001. Lee received $1.2 million and Kim $800,000, but neither made it to the big leagues. Tocci could be signed Tuesday.   - Bob Brookover
SPORTS
July 16, 2015 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Columnist
CINCINNATI - It's been two decades since Kevin Garnett opened up the NBA Preschool Learning Academy by jumping immediately from high school to the NBA draft. Since 1995, the Association and its fans have adjusted to the rush of kids, accepting that potential has become the driving force in player selection and that it is better to gamble on getting the next Kobe Bryant or LeBron James than to be cautious and face the wrath of missing out. Major league baseball has not reached the point where the NBA is, but it does seem to be undergoing a shift in the conventional wisdom of how to best develop an exceptional young prospect.
SPORTS
May 13, 2015 | Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco entered Monday hitting .336 with an International League-leading 12 doubles. The Phillies closest prospect is "getting closer and closer" to a major-league promotion, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We want to bring him when we're sure that it's time for him to come," Amaro said. "He got his feet wet a little last year. I think that was good [for him] to get an understanding of what it's like to be in the big leagues and have a little precursor.
SPORTS
March 7, 2011 | By PAUL HAGEN, hagenp@phillynews.com
LAKELAND, Fla. - There's always more than one way to look at things. So while Kyle Kendrick pitched three impressive innings in his first Grapefruit League start and seems to have a firm grip on a spot in the bullpen, the old baseball disclaimer buzzes in the background: You never know. Kendrick allowed just one baserunner, a single by leftfielder Andy Dirks. So far this spring, he's totaled five shutout innings. The Phillies' split squad ended up losing, 2-1, to the Tigers at Marchant Stadium.
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SPORTS
July 23, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
RUBEN AMARO JR. found an empty chair next to the rookie pitcher's locker and waited for him to return. When Aaron Nola joined him, he received a few warm words and a hearty handshake from the Phillies' general manager. Maikel Franco followed, offering a fist bump to the 22-year-old righthander. Then relievers Luis Garcia, Hector Neris and Justin De Fratus, with a handshake, a hug, or a slap on the behind for the Louisianan Kid. Aaron Nola was as good as advertised in his major league debut.
SPORTS
July 19, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aaron Nola's sprint through the Phillies farm system reached the finish line on Friday morning as the team announced the righthander will make his major-league debut on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park against Tampa Bay. Nola, 21, went 10-4 this season with a 2.39 ERA in 18 starts between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. He is the first Phillies player to debut the season after he was drafted since Pat Combs in 1989. Nola will wear No. 27. Bench coach Larry Bowa currently wears No. 10, which Nola has sported since college.
SPORTS
July 16, 2015 | By John Smallwood, Daily News Columnist
CINCINNATI - It's been two decades since Kevin Garnett opened up the NBA Preschool Learning Academy by jumping immediately from high school to the NBA draft. Since 1995, the Association and its fans have adjusted to the rush of kids, accepting that potential has become the driving force in player selection and that it is better to gamble on getting the next Kobe Bryant or LeBron James than to be cautious and face the wrath of missing out. Major league baseball has not reached the point where the NBA is, but it does seem to be undergoing a shift in the conventional wisdom of how to best develop an exceptional young prospect.
SPORTS
July 12, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
SAN FRANCISCO - David Buchanan was nearly despondent as he tried to come to grips with the nightmare month that began his 2015 season. On the final day of April, Buchanan watched each of the first four batters in the St. Louis Cardinals reach base. Three of them scored. When the matinee at Busch Stadium was over for him before he could record a second out in the fifth inning, Buchanan had watched 11 of the 21 hitters he faced get on base. He watched his ERA skyrocket - at the conclusion of that game, a 9-3 defeat, Buchanan's ERA (8.76)
SPORTS
July 10, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LOS ANGELES - Severino Gonzalez returns to the rotation tonight and David Buchanan will be back on Saturday. Both are trying to establish themselves as big-league pitchers. Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco continue to make the most of their own, first, full-fledged major league opportunities. That's really the point of a last-place team in the middle of an organizational rebuild, giving young players the opportunity to play and seeing whether any of them have staying power.
SPORTS
May 13, 2015 | Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco entered Monday hitting .336 with an International League-leading 12 doubles. The Phillies closest prospect is "getting closer and closer" to a major-league promotion, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We want to bring him when we're sure that it's time for him to come," Amaro said. "He got his feet wet a little last year. I think that was good [for him] to get an understanding of what it's like to be in the big leagues and have a little precursor.
SPORTS
May 6, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - While he rehabilitated from the Tommy John surgery that ended his 2013 season after just two starts, Chad Billingsley said he could somewhat envision the day of his return to the mound. But when he tore his flexor tendon while he was on the comeback trail, Billingsley questioned whether he would ever get back. "And here I am right now," he said with a big smile Monday afternoon at Turner Field, "taking the field [Tuesday] and pitching on a big-league mound. " More than two years since his last major-league start, Billingsley will officially complete his long road back from consecutive elbow surgeries Tuesday night against the Braves.
SPORTS
April 30, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
ST. LOUIS - The fluid state of the Phillies' starting rotation should create a slew of openings this season. A lack of depth, injuries, and potential trades could lead to opportunities for several members of the triple-A rotation. The first two factors led the Phillies in their 21st game to use their seventh starting pitcher already. Severino Gonzalez's turn to pitch proved brief Tuesday night in an 11-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Gonzalez was shelled in his major-league debut as the night amounted essentially to what the Phillies called up the pitcher to avoid: a bullpen game.
SPORTS
April 30, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ST. LOUIS - The nerves weren't there for Severino Gonzalez last night. But one of baseball's best lineups was present at Busch Stadium, and it made his first big-league game a pretty forgettable one. Ten batters in, Gonzalez watched seven of the nine previos batters in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup reach base - and four come around to score, too - en route to an early exit in the Phillies' 11-5 defeat. "I wasn't nervous at all," Gonzalez said through interpreter and Phillies first-base coach Juan Samuel.
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