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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
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
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
August 3, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
The trade deadline, Matt Klentak said, was never an inflection point in his mind. By being inactive Monday, the Phillies general manager does not view the promotions of some of his top prospects as delayed. It will simply require other roster maneuvers. "We will promote young players to the big leagues when those young players are ready to be promoted to the big leagues," Klentak said. "And if we need to create room for them, we will do so. We don't want players to come up to the big leagues only having to be sent back - that we didn't have to rush them.
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.
SPORTS
March 14, 2011 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Six years ago they were on the same distinguished list as Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels, minor-league stars on the verge of breaking into the big leagues. When Baseball America published its 2005 top 100 prospects, Dan Meyer, Josh Barfield and Brandon Moss were right there with Howard and Hamels. Meyer, a pitcher out of Kingsway High School in South Jersey, ranked 43d, 16 spots behind Howard. Barfield, an infielder whose father Jesse played 12 seasons with Toronto and the New York Yankees, was two spots behind Meyer at 45. Moss, an eighth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2002, ranked one spot behind Hamels at No. 73. Now, Meyer, Barfield and Moss are non-roster invitees, long shots looking to make the Phillies' opening-day roster.
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SPORTS
September 10, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
WASHINGTON - On the inside of Alec Asher's left wrist is the tattooed message of a fortune cookie he received on one of the worst days of his career. "Nothing can keep you from reaching your goals," the message reads. Asher cracked open that fortune after San Francisco reneged on a contract agreement in 2010 when the Giants discovered a bone spur in his right elbow after they drafted Asher in the 23rd round. His baseball future was on the rails. And if that was a bad day, then the afternoon in June - when Asher was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for a drug he claims he did not take - was an even worse one. That tattooed message was tucked under Asher's glove on Thursday night at Nationals Park as the righthander picked up his baseball career in a 4-1 win over Washington.
SPORTS
August 3, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
The trade deadline, Matt Klentak said, was never an inflection point in his mind. By being inactive Monday, the Phillies general manager does not view the promotions of some of his top prospects as delayed. It will simply require other roster maneuvers. "We will promote young players to the big leagues when those young players are ready to be promoted to the big leagues," Klentak said. "And if we need to create room for them, we will do so. We don't want players to come up to the big leagues only having to be sent back - that we didn't have to rush them.
SPORTS
June 23, 2016 | By Erin McCarthy, STAFF WRITER
In a year without a consensus No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft, Mike Garcia had no question. The Phillies' area scout for Southern California was sold on outfielder Mickey Moniak. "I was fighting for him. I loved him. I wanted him no matter what," Garcia said. "Even if we hadn't gotten him, I love the kid. Period. " On Tuesday, Garcia watched Moniak button up a Phillies No. 2 jersey to the sound of a dozen cameras clicking, snapping photos of someone he hopes is the organization's future.
SPORTS
April 3, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies rode 140 miles south on two buses last Sunday as the Grapefruit League schedule slogged to its conclusion. Matt Klentak stayed behind. The 35-year-old general manager of the Phillies walked to the Carpenter Complex, where Phillies minor leaguers scrimmaged against each other in two games. Klentak watched from a perch above home plate. He chatted with a few player-development officials as he shifted his focus from one game to the other. During the weeks spent in Florida, his presence on the back fields was a common sight.
SPORTS
March 14, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Pete Mackanin boarded the bus outside Bright House Field at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday for an unusual 140-mile trip with a split-squad Phillies team. He brought most of his coaching staff with him. Typically, when presented the chance to stay home with the other squad, the manager will do so. But Mackanin planned this. And he was rewarded, once he watched Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, and Mark Appel for eight innings. Now, as he removed his black-rimmed glasses inside a bland office at Hammond Stadium, he beamed.
SPORTS
August 23, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - Darnell Sweeney was getting ready to lead off and play center field in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night when he learned he was scratched from the lineup of the Dodgers' triple-A club. It didn't take much more than a scroll through Twitter to learn the reason. Sweeney's manager later officially alerted him that he had been traded to the Phillies. If that wasn't enough news, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called 20 minutes later and told Sweeney he was getting his first major-league promotion.
SPORTS
August 23, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - Jerad Eickhoff needed only three starts with triple-A Lehigh Valley before the Phillies were comfortable bringing him to the major leagues. He needed only 75 pitches on Friday to cement himself on the list of intriguing players to watch over the final six weeks of this Phillies season. The first of the five prospects the Phillies acquired for Cole Hamels to debut in the major leagues, Eickhoff tossed six shutout innings in a 7-1 win at Marlins Park. The 6-foot-4 righthander became the first Phillies starter to not allow a run in his big-league debut since Hamels in May 2006.
SPORTS
August 23, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - The 12th pitch Jerad Eickhoff delivered in his major league debut - a 92-mph fastball he spotted on the outside of the plate - was ripped back his way by Marlins cleanup hitter Justin Bour. The one-hopper deflected off Eickhoff's pitching hand and toward third baseman Andres Blanco. Pitching coach Bob McClure and the Phillies training staff made their way to the mound, where the rookie righthander's hand was examined before he attempted to throw a couple of warmup pitches.
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 23, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
FORTY-FIVE minutes before game time, the few fans who were in their seats and paying attention in rightfield broke out in a round of applause. A lone figure was jogging across the outfield grass toward the 401 sign in dead centerfield. The sound of 60 or so hands clapping mixed with the pregame elevator music that played over the sound system. The grounds crew watered the infield. Aaron Nola paused in front of the 401 sign, then jogged back. The smattering of fans clapped again. Hey, I wish I had something more dramatic for you, a slow clap or a rhythmic chant or an electric sense of anticipation rippling through a sold-out crowd as fathers lift sons upon shoulders to catch their first glimpse of the kid. But maybe the anonymity is fitting, because the Phillies' best pitching prospect since Cole Hamels is that kind of pitcher: understated, efficient, ready to pounce on any hitter who scoffs that he isn't a fire-breather named Thor.
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