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SPORTS
January 10, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies' top position player and pitching prospects, Maikel Franco and Jesse Biddle, were invited to big-league spring training Wednesday, although neither may have a chance at winning a job. Franco will compete with Cody Asche at third base. Asche is the favorite in that competition given his decent production as a rookie in the final months of 2013. Franco is viewed as the future at the position; the 21-year-old Dominican solidified his top-prospect status with 31 homers last season.
SPORTS
September 12, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ANDREW CASHNER is the latest in a long line of Texas kids blessed with the god-gifted ability to throw a baseball really, really hard. Nolan Ryan came in the 1970s, Roger Clemens in the '80s. Kerry Wood followed in the '90s, Clayton Kershaw in the '00s. Only four pitchers have been armed with a faster fastball than San Diego's Cashner in 2013: Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, Jose Fernandez and Wily Peralta. A Phillies lineup featuring five guys who have played a considerable amount of time in Triple A in the last two seasons was no match for Cashner's heavy artillery last night.
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
August 5, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
WILLIAMSPORT - As with any 31st-round draft pick, the odds are against Chris Nichols' ever pitching in the big leagues the way his father, Rod, did with three teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That's not going to stop him from having the time of his life trying. Something special happened for Chris and Rod Nichols in June 2012. Rod was in his 13th season as a minor-league pitching coach with the Phillies when he learned the team was going to make Chris a 31st-round pick. Father was given the honor of telling his son. "I had a little bit of an idea, but it was just a little bit surreal," Chris said.
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
July 28, 2013 | By Zach Helfand, Inquirer Staff Writer
DETROIT - The Phillies 42d player this year has as many LinkedIn endorsements for Microsoft Office as he does for baseball. His resume lists his current employer as the Phillies. Before that, he was a program associate at a project-management company. He has a degree in civil engineering. Steve Susdorf was called up on Thursday, had his first major-league at bat against the Cardinals the same day - and grounded into double play. The Phillies had placed Domonic Brown on the seven-day disabled list for concussions before Thursday's game, and needed a replacement, quickly.
SPORTS
July 18, 2013 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - Pittsburgh Pirates closer and first-time all-star Jason Grilli had one thought during his brief stay with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' triple-A affiliate, in 2011. "I was thinking that I wanted to get the heck out," Grilli said before Tuesday's 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Citi Field. "Who wants to be an IronPig? Not me. " It's nothing against the IronPigs organization, he said, but Grilli believed he should have been pitching in the big leagues.
SPORTS
May 13, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - Whether it's at this year's trade deadline or after the season, one of the most difficult decisions in franchise history is going to have to be made in the not-too-distant future. Chase Utley: stay or go? Much of that decision will be influenced by the play of the team and the play of the veteran second baseman who so far has been solid offensively and shaky at times defensively. Some of the decision will also be influenced by the play of Cesar Hernandez, the 22-year-old second baseman at triple-A Lehigh Valley.
SPORTS
March 24, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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