March 24, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Darin Ruf's road to the big leagues took a detour Friday, but only after he showed once again why he was here in the first place. The 26-year-old slugger stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning and launched a long walk-off home run to left field, giving the Phillies a 7-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves. As he crossed home plate, Ruf was swarmed by his teammates in what was unquestionably the best moment of his often difficult spring training.
May 21, 1996 |
It's as much a part of Baltimore as crabcakes and the Inner Harbor: Cal Ripken at shortstop for the Orioles. Ripken's streak of 2,168th consecutive games at shortstop could soon end because the former third baseman might be forced to return to his old position to fill in for two injured teammates. B.J. Surhoff is on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, and backup Bobby Bonilla is playing despite being hobbled by a similar injury. Because utility infielder Manny Alexander is better at shortstop than third base, manager Davey Johnson is considering moving Ripken to solidify the defense.
March 16, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It came in the form of a text message from the team a couple of hours after the Phillies' 2-1 Grapefruit League victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it was certainly not a surprise. Still, it's somewhat of a big deal to be named an opening-day starter in the big leagues for the first time in your career, and that's exactly what officially happened for Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels Thursday. Hamels, 29, will pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 1. He was not available for comment, but he downplayed the honor earlier in spring training.
August 24, 2012 |
WITH THE deadline for making trades through waivers coming up a week from Friday, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. continues to do his due diligence in talking with his counterparts on other teams. But when asked earlier this week how many general managers he had spoken to on that particular day, Amaro said, "Zero. " Instead, he and the Phils brass were hunkered down in organizational meetings. In addition to the upcoming waiver deadline is the beginning of September, when rosters expand from 25 to up to as many as 40 players.
May 16, 2012 |
They look like they could be brothers, a couple of 6-foot-4 towheads with high cheekbones and, on this afternoon, big country smiles. Hunter Pence and Jake Diekman went through a whirlwind of emotions on Tuesday afternoon. Pence drew boos for a costly error, his second defensive misadventure of this homestand, then cranked the game-winning home run in the 10th inning. The homer - which for added delight came at the expense of old pal Brett Myers - earned a victory for Diekman in the young lefthander's major-league debut.
February 22, 2012
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A year ago, it seemed a seamless fit. Jayson Werth had vacated rightfield. Domonic Brown, the Phillies' top position prospect, was a rightfielder. A quick study with a swing likened to Darryl Strawberry's and one of those laser arms that make you beg for a play at the plate, Brown would make the Phillies look smart for not re-signing Werth, maybe even make them better. Twelve months and 1,200 doubts later, no one's quite sure where Domonic Brown fits, when he fits or even whether he fits.
March 5, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ender Inciarte, an athletic outfielder who is short on experience but high on talent, is making an impression on Charlie Manuel. At least better than the first impression the Rule 5 pick had on his new manager. "The first day we practiced I showed up at [4:45 a.m.]," Manuel said following Sunday's 13-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. "And he came in behind me and asked, 'Who do I see about getting a locker?' I said, 'What's your name?' And he told me, and I didn't recognize his name.
August 30, 2012 |
If you can hit the ball really far, it will not take long for Charlie Manuel to notice. If you can hit the ball really far and with great frequency, Manuel will do more than notice. If you can do all of this while the Phillies flounder, Manuel will start thinking big things. Such is the case with Darin Ruf, the 26-year-old slugging first baseman at double-A Reading. Manuel has watched recent video of Ruf's assault on the Eastern League. The Phillies manager is interested. "He's had an extraordinary year," Manuel said Tuesday.
February 16, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Somebody asked Domonic Brown Thursday whether this was his last chance to win a job with the Phillies. It's funny because the 25-year-old outfielder who was once considered the best minor-league prospect in the game by Baseball America has just over one year of big-league service time. He has stepped to home plate only 492 times in the big leagues. The numbers - a .236 batting average, 12 home runs, 58 RBIs, and a .703 OPS - have not translated to the superstardom expected from the hype he received earlier in his professional career.
September 10, 2012 |
It is going to be a difficult and defining offseason for Ruben Amaro Jr. For the first time during his tenure as Phillies general manager, Amaro will not have the benefit of the doubt or a division title as he goes about the business of putting together the 2013 Phillies. The Phillies are going to finish first in the big leagues in attendance for the second straight season, but that trend will not continue without a rapid rise back to the top of the National League East. That is no easy task when you consider the youth and talent of the two teams - Washington and Atlanta - currently in front of them.