March 22, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After quickly recording the first two outs of the fourth inning, Mike Stutes turned and watched. And waited. The third batter of the inning, Atlanta Braves' third baseman Juan Francisco, squared up one of Stutes' pitches and launched the ball over the fence in leftfield. The home run was one of five hit Monday between the Phillies and Braves, even though it felt like there were a dozen. The homer was one of 36 hits between the two teams, even though it felt like 66. "The ball was carrying a little bit," Stutes said at his locker at the tail end of a wild, 17-10 loss to the Braves.
March 21, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Roy Halladay entered the home clubhouse at Bright House Field on Tuesday morning and sat at his locker, less than 3 feet from Cliff Lee. That was the first good sign for concerned fans back home. If he was still ill and contagious, as the team said he was a day earlier, Halladay was not going to jeopardize another member of the rotation. The second positive sign came about 3 hours later when Halladay sat at a table in the middle of the same room and had a cup of soup.
March 17, 2013 |
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - No team in baseball got as much work from its starting pitchers than the Phillies did in 2012. The rotation pitched a grand total of 1,033 innings. The Cincinnati Reds starters, second in baseball in workload, pitched 14 1/3 fewer innings. After John Lannan threw five shutout innings Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, a day after Kyle Kendrick didn't allow an earned run in five innings of a minor league game on Thursday, Charlie Manuel was asked about the value of having a rotation that can be counted to on from April until October.
March 16, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It was not just another bullpen session. It was something more, because of how much Roy Halladay struggled in his previous outing when he felt "lethargic" against the Detroit Tigers. "He looked wonderful, he looked fine," pitching coach Rich Dubee said Thursday after tutoring Halladay during the two-time Cy Young Award winner's 39-pitch session at Bright House Field. Dubee was perplexed by the questions about Halladay's side session, but he should not have been.
March 15, 2013 |
TAMPA, Fla. - In Rich Dubee, the Phillies have a veteran pitching coach who isn't afraid to get in his pitchers' ears. In Rod Nichols, the team's new bullpen coach, the Phils have a guy who has a rapport with the team's young relievers, since he worked as the organization's Triple A pitching coach in each of the last eight seasons. But in the marathon that is a baseball season, from early bullpens in the first week of February to keeping your arm able and ready until late October, it's helpful for a younger pitcher to have a veteran teammate who has firsthand experience of the dos and don'ts of being a major league reliever.
March 14, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont ran in from the bullpen in the ninth inning Saturday afternoon in Phoenix and found himself right smack in the middle of an international incident. "It was pretty intense," Aumont said Tuesday after rejoining the Phillies following his three-game hiatus with Canada in the World Baseball Classic. "It was the first time I've ever been in an actual brawl where people were going to town on it. " The melee started after Mexico's Arnold Leon disregarded an umpire's warning following two brushback pitches and drilled Canada's Rene Tosoni.
March 11, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Closer Jonathan Papelbon carried a 43.20 ERA to the mound in the fifth inning Saturday afternoon at Bright House Field and had not pitched in eight days because of a bad cold. He remained the least of the Phillies' bullpen worries. After pitching a perfect fifth inning in a 15-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Papelbon made it clear what spring training means to him. "All I try to do is make sure that my delivery gets better and better as the spring goes on," Papelbon said.
March 10, 2013 |
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A couple of days ago, when Rich Dubee announced that the competition for the two or three open spots in the Phillies' bullpen would begin "pretty soon," he sent a message to the handful of relievers who are in the mix for the jobs. Forget about the past 3 weeks, the pitching coach said, and show us what you've got. That's good news for several players who have spent the first month of spring training trying to find a steady groove. At the top of that list is lefty Jeremy Horst, who already enjoyed a certain amount of leeway, thanks to a 2012 season in which he was the Phillies' most consistent reliever in front of Jonathan Papelbon.
February 25, 2013 |
LAKELAND, Fla. - Jake Diekman is right in the middle of the competition. Three spots are open in the Phillies' bullpen, and the lefthander with the funky sidearm delivery wants one of them, but he respects the talent level of his friendly adversaries. "There are 13 pitchers who have crazy big talent," Diekman said. "It's going to be a fun spring training just to see everybody throw because there is so much talent. " Jonathan Papelbon will be the closer. Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo will handle the primary setup roles, and veteran Chad Durbin will be among the middle relievers.
February 19, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It was a bold prediction on the final day of an unpleasant season. "If we're not the top bullpen in Major League Baseball [next season], we'll definitely be the top in the National League," Jonathan Papelbon said after the Phillies finished 2012 with a lackluster loss to Washington at Nationals Park. Nearly 20 weeks later, the Phillies closer was asked to explain his comment before Sunday's wind-chilled workout at the Carpenter Complex. "The only reason I said that is because I see a very eerily similar bullpen to the one I was in during the 2006 season," Papelbon said.