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SPORTS
April 10, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
An 86-m.p.h. fastball smacked into Carlos Ruiz's mitt and Aaron Harang's regular-season debut with his eighth major-league team was underway. The journeyman was brought to Philadelphia to eat innings in a rebuilding season, but for much of Wednesday night his results more closely emulated those of the pitcher who made five consecutive opening-day starts for the Reds. Mixing his five pitches and changing speeds, Harang limited the Boston Red Sox to one hit through the first six innings of a chilly, misty night at Citizens Bank Park.
SPORTS
April 4, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies' biggest free-agent outlay this winter brought them a 36-year-old righthander pitching for his eighth team in five years. The allure of adding a $5 million pitcher such as Aaron Harang, though, goes deeper. The well-traveled veteran eats innings. Relief pitching figures to be the strength of this year's Phillies. The more innings logged by starters such as Harang and fellow journeyman Jerome Williams, the less wear and tear in a rebuilding year on the young bullpen arms that are sure to factor into the team's future.
SPORTS
March 24, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - With the three hitters projected to hit in the middle of the batting order past their 35th birthdays, the regular production expected from the Phillies' offense is uncertain at best. With Cliff Lee likely gone for the duration of the season and the likelihood that Cole Hamels could be traded before the end of the summer, the formerly formidable starting rotation is more than vulnerable. It's a 1-2 punch that has led some to believe to Phillies could flirt with 100 losses in 2015.
SPORTS
March 20, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Seemingly each time they discuss Elvis Araujo, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Bob McClure refer to the angle at which the ball travels from the pitcher's left hand to home plate. Araujo, in other words, stands an imposing 6-foot-6, 280 pounds. His fastball, which he complements with a slider and change-up, peaked this week at 97 miles per hour on the Bright House Field radar gun. In five Grapefruit League innings, he has allowed only two hits.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 30 pitchers in Phillies camp broke their circle and each took a few steps to pick up his glove. Cliff Lee found a spot among the two rows of hurlers and began playing catch with bullpen coach Rod Nichols. This was the start of Lee's throwing program Wednesday. As he tossed a baseball for about 10 minutes, pitching coach Bob McClure watched by his side. Afterward, the 36-year-old lefthander retreated to a back field and threw his first bullpen session since the elbow setback that has put in question his season and could lead to the end of his playing career.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Starter-turned-reliever Ethan Martin is back to starting. At least for now. "He needs to pitch. He didn't get enough reps last year," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday. "I think he needs to work on all his stuff and the command of all his pitches, and I think this is the best way to do it and get his arm strength going. " Martin, the 25-year-old righthander the Phillies acquired in 2012 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shane Victorino, spent last year as a reliever.
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
IF YOU'RE reading this after making it through the last 3 days of our annual October State of the Phillies series, congratulations. It's been a long week. Running through the limited options involving fixing the Phillies infield, outfield and starting rotation (with the same front-office group intact to do the fixing) surely hasn't made you feel too good. So, as a reward for your loyal readership, we end this series with a segment of the team that doesn't need fixing. (Imagine that!
SPORTS
October 17, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
IF THERE is a lesson to be learned from the Royals' run to the World Series, it is that a dominant bullpen can make up for a lot of deficiencies. Their lineup wasn't any better than the Phillies, who outperformed them at rightfield, third base, shortstop, second base and catcher. Rotation? With a healthy Cliff Lee, the Phillies would have been equal in four of five rotation slots. The bullpen is where the roads diverge. The Phillies were good, but the Royals were dominant. Their closer and two primary setup men each logged at least 62 innings with an ERA under 1.45.
SPORTS
August 22, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
AS THE Philadelphia region prepared itself for the main event of the day's sporting schedule, a Little League game played out during a long inning at Citizens Bank Park on yesterday afternoon. And not of the high-caliber kind that's being played this week in Williamsport. More of the endless, error-filled brand of ball found at your local recreation league fields each weekend in the spring. The fourth inning of a matinee between the Phillies and Seattle Mariners featured a wild pitch, a passed ball, two errors, Cole Hamels' pitch count nearing 90, and one baserunner caught between third and home when his teammate missed a bunt sign.
SPORTS
July 3, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - In the next 4 weeks, there could be more than a few changes to the Phillies' roster, including in the bullpen. While the relief corps is home to the team's most promising crop of youngsters (Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, Justin De Fratus, Mario Hollands, et al.), two veteran relievers could move on before the July 31 trade deadline: closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup lefthander Antonio Bastardo. If and when one or both of those guys go through the exit door, it could open up a spot for the second-priciest pitcher the Phillies have signed in the last year: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
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