April 10, 2015 |
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.
March 28, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla.- A throng of reporters, TV cameras, and microphones clustered near Odubel Herrera's locker after a morning workout earlier in spring training. The intriguing outfielder had yet to do a group interview. His English is limited. "Whitey," Herrera shouted to the far corner of the Phillies clubhouse. The Venezuelan sought infielder Andres Blanco, a countryman, to serve as his interpreter. Blanco walked across the room and stood by Herrera's side. He translated reporters' questions into Spanish and Herrera's answers into English.
March 27, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - On one side, you had Houston's Jonathan Villar, a former Phillies prospect and longtime shortstop. The 23-year-old started in centerfield for the Astros. Before this spring, Villar hadn't played centerfield since 2008 - for one game - when he was a 17-year-old in the Phillies organization, 2 years before moving on to Houston in the Roy Oswalt trade. Villar made an athletic diving catch to rob Freddy Galvis of an extra-base hit in the first inning of yesterday's game, and, later, avoided a near-disastrous collision with rightfielder Robbie Grossman to track down another ball in the gap. On the Phillies' side was Odubel Herrera, the Rule 5 pick left unprotected by the Texas Rangers this spring in part because he does not have a natural position on the field.
March 21, 2015 |
TAMPA, Fla. - When Cameron Rupp enrolled in 2007 at the University of Texas, he became an education major. If his baseball career did not pan out, he planned to be a high school coach. His father coached Rupp's baseball and football teams when Rupp was growing up. His uncle was a college baseball coach. "I guess I'd have to be a teacher if I wanted to be a coach. So I went that route," Rupp said before Thursday night's game against the New York Yankees. "But it worked out this way. " Rupp put his coaching plans on hold when the Phillies drafted him in 2010.
March 19, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It's easy for a player to do his own thing or go about his business unnoticed inside the vast home clubhouse in Bright House Field. A player can return from the field, the indoor batting cages, or the showers and never talk to anyone else on his way to and from his locker stall. Carlos Ruiz, however, is not that kind of person. Ruiz is often the guy seated in a group of three or four players, holding court. Whether it's prepping for that day's game, telling stories, or just general conversation, the veteran catcher is often in the middle of it all, eager to listen and talk, too. "When I [first]
March 17, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - With three weeks until opening day, the Phillies' starting rotation is still very much in flux. Cliff Lee is attempting to pitch through a tear in his elbow tendon and Aaron Harang has missed two of three scheduled Grapefruit League starts. The uncertainty has given Cuban righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez a good chance to win a spot in the back end of the rotation. But his results through three Grapefruit League outings have done little to quell the newfound concerns about the Phillies' starting pitching behind ace Cole Hamels.
March 8, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Carlos Ruiz was behind the plate Friday afternoon for the first time this spring. The 36-year-old caught five innings and went 0 for 2 with a strikeout. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Ruiz will catch once every four or five days during spring training. He has played one game so far as a designated hitter. Sandberg said it is a priority to get Ruiz at-bats. "For him to get work and throw and block and everything," Sandberg said after Friday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees.
February 26, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Moments after catching his first batting-practice session of the spring, Carlos Ruiz huddled with his pitcher by the third-base line for a chat. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez had just pitched to Ben Revere, Freddy Galvis, and nonroster invitee Xavier Paul, capping a session that elicited positive reviews early in the Cuban righthander's second big-league spring training. The Phillies' veteran catcher noted a considerable difference in fastball velocity from last spring.
February 24, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Throughout the week, they have trickled into the clubhouse and onto the playing surface at Bright House Field. Ben Revere. Chase Utley. Grady Sizemore. The first full-squad workout is tomorrow, at which point Ryne Sandberg will begin the process of figuring out where, exactly, the runs will come from this season. The known quantities are limited to Carlos Ruiz at catcher, Utley at second base, Revere in centerfield, and, to a lesser extent, Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
February 13, 2015 |
TODAY AT Citizens Bank Park, 7 weeks and 3 days before the Phillies' season begins at the 12-year-old ballpark, an equipment truck filled with everything from baseballs and batting helmets to bubblegum and sunflower seeds will begin its annual trek south. It will arrive at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla., at some point this weekend. The truck will empty and all of the pieces will be properly put into place before pitchers and catchers take part in their first official workout on Thursday.