June 16, 2014 |
READING - A former top-five draft pick was playing winter ball in Venezuela when he started to sense he would have difficulty landing a job this spring. So Adam Loewen reverted to an old custom. He began to long toss. More than 5 years had elapsed since Loewen, once a ballyhooed Orioles' pitching prospect, last toed the rubber. Arm injuries had sent the touted 6-6 southpaw into a second career as a hitter. But nearing 30 and after 3 years of stints manning the outfield in Buffalo, Port St. Lucie and New Hampshire, he opted to again gauge the status of his once-prized left arm. "I felt like I left a lot out there, a lot of potential that was untapped, really," he said.
June 13, 2014 |
HE GALLOPED in from the bullpen on a chariot made of solid gold, lightning bolts shooting from his eyes, flames streaming from his arms, thunder booming from the heavens as all in attendance threw themselves at his mercy. Eh, not quite. "I thought I was going to fall down," Kenny Giles said. "My legs were a little jellied. " Giles, a 23-year-old righthander whose ability to throw a fastball 100 miles per hour had made him a bit of a cause celebre amongst a fan base fatigued by some of the performances it had seen from the Phillies' bullpen, made his much-anticipated major league debut yesterday.
June 6, 2014 |
ALLENTOWN - Tyson Gillies was just 4 years old when his parents noticed something different about him. They thought he was not focusing, and ignoring them when they spoke to him. He was tested, and it was learned that he has 50 percent hearing in one ear, and just 30 percent in the other. "I was reading lips when I was 2 and 3 and speaking perfectly, so nobody knew," Gillies said. "There was something different. I found myself getting lost in different situations. Finally, when they brought me in for my third or fourth hearing test, they closed the blinds and I couldn't read lips anymore.
June 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Minutes after Ryne Sandberg held a brief team meeting to emphasize the magnitude of the next week, a Phillies public relations employee handed the manager a cellphone. Sandberg scrolled down the screen. Then he marched to the visitors dugout at Nationals Park to face reporters. He looked irritated. "I'm fired up," Sandberg said. "Ready for another ball game to get ready to move in another direction. There was a lot to be learned from the series we had. " Larry Bowa, Sandberg's bench coach and confidant, agreed.
April 29, 2014 |
PHOENIX - Although the slick-fielding infielder was hitless in his last 17 at-bats, Ryne Sandberg inserted Freddy Galvis into his starting lineup against the Diamondbacks on Saturday night. He wanted strong defense behind Cliff Lee and he obviously wanted to give Galvis a chance to get going offensively. Galvis went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He's hitless in his last 22 at-bats and hitting .033 (1-30) since returning from the disabled list more than 2 weeks ago. "He's struggling," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said of Galvis, who was out of yesterday's starting lineup.
April 25, 2014 |
ALLENTOWN - The Phillies believe they have a long-term solution at third base, a revolving-door position filled mostly by players from outside their farm system since Scott Rolen ascended to baseball heaven - that's St. Louis, in case you've forgotten - in the middle of the 2002 season. What the Phillies don't know and won't know for a while is the name attached to that solution. Maybe it's Cody Asche. It's his job to lose, and some would argue he's doing a pretty good job of losing it. To be fair, he has a history of being a slow starter, and he deserves a lot more than three weeks to prove himself.
March 20, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lefthander Jesse Biddle prepared for another day with the rest of the Phillies' minor-league players in a crowded clubhouse that contained prospects of all levels. The team's first-round draft choice out of Germantown Friends in 2010, Biddle said he enjoyed his brief time in the major-league camp this year. Even though he did not achieve the results he wanted in his two outings, Biddle feels he will be better for the experience. Biddle, 22, was sent down to the minor-league camp on March 8. He was not disappointed because he knows the landscape.
March 5, 2014 |
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - One of the first names out of Ryne Sandberg's mouth yesterday afternoon was that of a 36-year-old who has tallied more than 100 major league plate appearances in a season four times, 200 major league plate appearances in a season twice, and who has a frame that looks more like a utility infielder's. Meet Wil Nieves, the Phillies' backup catcher, a man who might print his resume in landscape mode, its breadth far exceeding its depth. A veteran of eight organizations, two of which never promoted him to the major leagues, the 5-11, 190-pound Puerto Rican player signed a $1.125 million contract to replace Erik Kratz as Carlos Ruiz' understudy behind the plate this season.
February 21, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A sweat-soaked Maikel Franco walked back into the Phillies' clubhouse yesterday afternoon after a long day's work. He smiled. It's good to be in big-league camp. The likely reality is that Franco - a third baseman who turned 21 in August near the end of his breakout minor league season - will be moving across the Carpenter Complex to minor league camp in a few weeks. Franco is young and probably still has some more developing to do as a professional.
February 11, 2014 |
WHILE A number of 2009 second-round draftees already have contributed to the major league club that selected them, Phillies prospect Kelly Dugan still is awaiting his opportunity to show off his talents in Philadelphia. The 23-year-old outfielder started 2013 in high-Class A Clearwater but finished his fifth year with the organization with Double A Reading, where he batted .264 with 10 home runs and 23 runs batted in in 56 games. Before joining Reading in July, the lefthanded-hitting Dugan hit .318 with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 56 games with the Threshers.