August 16, 2016 |
PLACIDO POLANCO retired Sunday as a Phillie. It shouldn't be the last time we hear from him. Polanco always played in the shadow of bigger names - Jim Thome, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Cole Hamels, Billy Wagner, Roy Halladay - but he belonged with them. He should be remembered as a hard-nosed Phillie with deep connections to the four hardest-nosed Phillies to play for the franchise in the past 20 years: Scott Rolen, Chase Utley, Thome and Carlos Ruiz. Polanco came to Philadelphia in 2002 and turned out to be the most valuable piece in the deadline deal that sent Rolen to the Cardinals.
August 12, 2016 |
LOS ANGELES - Jeremy Hellickson threw a pitch in the fifth inning Wednesday afternoon, grabbed his back, and this is how a mediocre trip to the West Coast almost became destructive. The Phillies won as many games as they lost in California, but they will return home with some fears about their starting rotation. They beat the Dodgers, 6-2, because Freddy Galvis bashed his first homer against a lefthander in almost two years. That generated a happy flight home. It could have been worse; Hellickson left the game after the fifth with tightness in his back, but he expects to make his next scheduled start.
August 9, 2016 |
SAN DIEGO - Carlos Ruiz has thought about what it will be like when Chase Utley, wearing a white Dodgers uniform, steps into the batter's box Monday to face the Phillies. The two men were teammates for a decade. Utley, one of the most iconic players in Phillies history, carries a certain level of respect. It has been almost a year since the Phillies traded him to Los Angeles. And, still, it will be jarring to see him play against his former team. "If I'm kneeling down waiting for a pitch, I don't even know how I'm going to look at him," Ruiz said.
July 24, 2016 |
READING - As soon as Jorge Alfaro signed with the Texas Rangers in 2010, his focus shifted to doing whatever he could to make it to the majors. But Alfaro grew up playing the outfield, third base, and shortstop. He didn't have any catching experience and the Rangers moved him behind the plate anyway. He wasn't expecting it. But he wasn't surprised, either. Alfaro was ready to do whatever was asked of him. "I will play anything," Alfaro said. "But I really like catching [now]
July 17, 2016 |
Carlos Ruiz went home to his ranch in Panama during the all-star break, a moment to both recharge and celebrate a remarkable milestone. Ruiz, on Thursday, reached 10 years of major-league service time - all with the Phillies, the team that in 1998 made an $8,000 investment in Ruiz. "Wow," his wife, Haidee, told him. "Where did the time go?" Time, right now, is precious for Ruiz. He is a 37-year-old backup catcher on a rebuilding team. He wants one more shot at the postseason, a chance that will not likely come unless the Phillies trade him. "I would like to taste that again," Ruiz said Friday.
July 11, 2016 |
DENVER - The visitors' clubhouse doors will open Sunday morning, and the Phillies will mark a first in team history when they welcome a player back to the team during the same season in which he tested positive for performance- enhancing drugs. Daniel Stumpf, a rookie reliever, is set to rejoin the Phillies at the conclusion of his 80-game suspension for using dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid that was created in the 1960s for East German Olympians. Stumpf is the fifth Phillies player to be suspended by Major League Baseball, which began drug testing in 2004.
July 9, 2016 |
DENVER - The Phillies boarded their flight west on Wednesday afternoon wearing black cowboy hats. Carlos Ruiz, who lives on a ranch during the offseason in Panama, bought the hats for the players and coaches to wear to Denver for the final road trip before the all-star break. The team's first half has been filled with ups and downs, but at least it was guaranteed to end in style. "Everybody was happy wearing the cowboy hats. It was something different," Ruiz said. "I try to keep everyone relaxed.
July 5, 2016 |
Aaron Nola's all-star break will start a bit early as the Phillies will skip the pitcher's start on Thursday against the Colorado Rockies at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Manager Pete Mackanin said Sunday that the Phillies are skipping Nola so the pitcher can "clear his head" after a rough stretch of starts. He will pitch in a simulated game during the team's four-game trip to Denver. Mackanin did not say who would start for Nola on Thursday. The righthander has a 13.50 ERA in his last five starts and was tagged for five runs in five innings on Saturday.
June 30, 2016 |
PHOENIX - Last weekend, a Phillies official placed all-star ballots on every player's chair in the visiting clubhouse at AT&T Park. The 24-year-old bundle of constant energy that is the Phillies centerfielder breezed through the room to campaign. "Vote for me!" Odubel Herrera said. "Vote for me!" Herrera does nothing in a traditional manner. So it is appropriate for the former Rule 5 pick to take a most unconventional route to his first All-Star Game. The teams will be announced Tuesday, and Herrera has a good chance at representing the Phillies in San Diego.