April 9, 2016 |
CINCINNATI - The glimmer of hope is gone, vanished in the reality that the Phillies are every bit as bad and maybe even worse than so many people expected. It seemed as if the schedule makers were being kind when they sent the Phillies to Cincinnati for their season-opening series. Sure they were the worst team in baseball last season, but they were only one game worse than the Reds, a team going through a similar rebuilding process. So this was the World Series of the wretched, and the Phillies clearly earned the crown of being the biggest losers as the Reds completed a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon with a wind-chilled 10-6 win at a sparsely attended Great American Park.
April 6, 2016 |
CINCINNATI - The first Phillies player to step onto the field Monday before batting practice was a rookie lefthander from Humble, Texas. Daniel Stumpf, one of two Rule 5 picks to make the Phillies roster, surveyed Great American Ballpark. "There's a lot of emotions," said Stumpf, 25. "I'm excited to show these guys what I can do. " The Phillies are just one of two teams (San Diego is the other) to carry two Rule 5 picks at the start of the season. It is rare for any Rule 5 pick to stick; an average of five per season have stayed on a roster for the whole season since 2006, according to Baseball America.
April 4, 2016 |
Cedric Hunter's long journey back to the Major Leagues took years of perseverance, but the 28-year-old Phillies outfielder and career minor-leaguer wanted to make one thing clear. "Everybody is giving me congrats and everything, and I am happy about that. But in the back of my mind this is just a beginning," Hunter said before the Phillies departed for Monday's opener in Cincinnati against the Reds. "I have to really go out and prove myself and show that I am ready to be here. " Hunter was signed by the Phillies as a minor-league free agent and is expected to see significant playing time.
March 25, 2016 |
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The subject of who will close for the Phillies arose again this week, and Pete Mackanin stressed patience. He listed three names - Andrew Bailey, David Hernandez, and Cuban righthander Dalier Hinojosa, who has all of 23 innings in the majors. "He's in the mix," Mackanin said. "They're all in the mix. It's a big mix. " With a week until the Phillies break camp, the projected bullpen is no clearer. Just about every option is in play. Mackanin expects decisions to be made at the last possible moment.
March 23, 2016 |
CLEARWATER , Fla. - "Bwooosh," Cameron Rupp said, skimming the palm of one hand just over the top of his head. "When I got drafted they had another kid ahead of me that I had to play in front of. And then when they traded Hunter Pence, they brought Tommy Joseph over . . . " These days, there are two Phillies catchers of the future, neither named Cameron. Andrew Knapp, their 2013 second-round pick, will start the season in Triple A. Jorge Alfaro, one of the prospects received in the Cole Hamels trade, will begin at Double A. Both, Rupp reads over and over again, are expected to be with the Phillies real soon.
March 14, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The wind blew out to left field Saturday afternoon, and the majors' highest-scoring offense brought its regulars to Bright House Field. When Vince Velasquez could not located his trusted fastball against the Blue Jays, the latest test in his bid to become the Phillies' fifth starter became even more daunting. "It kind of hit me a little bit," Velasquez said after an 8-5 Phillies win. "A lineup like that is not easy. But when I faced them for the second time, I composed myself a little bit. I made a pitch.
March 1, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Seven years ago, Panama's president called Carlos Ruiz to ask why he would not play for his country. It was 2009, and Ruiz thought it best to stay in Phillies camp. The catcher later reconsidered. Now, at age 37, Ruiz will savor the chance in March to help Panama qualify for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. His career in its twilight, Ruiz needed no presidential convincing this time. "It gives me a chance to represent my country," Ruiz said. "Bring them back to the World Baseball Classic.
February 29, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Seven years ago, Panama's president called Carlos Ruiz to ask why he would not play for his country. It was 2009, and Ruiz thought it best to stay in Phillies camp. The catcher later reconsidered. Now, at age 37, Ruiz will savor the chance in March to help Panama qualify for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. His career in its twilight, Ruiz needed no presidential persuasion this time. "It gives me a chance to represent my country," Ruiz said. "Bring them back to the World Baseball Classic.
February 26, 2016
CLEARWATER, Fla. - On Sunday, the Phillies seek revenge. They will play the University of Tampa, a Division II school, in baseball's first exhibition game of the spring. And this time, the Phillies hope to win. They will start veteran Jeremy Hellickson - not a young pitcher - against the college kids. Tampa beat the Phillies, 6-2, last March. "We think he can handle the pressure," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin deadpanned. "We have to beat them. " All joking aside, it would not be a great look to lose to amateurs in two straight springs.
February 22, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When the new-look Phillies debut in six weeks at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark, it is possible that two players in the starting lineup will make $33.5 million while the other seven account for a total of $6.5 million. The team's payroll could dip below $100 million for the first time since 2006. That is by design. "Sometimes where we spend our money is pretty public, in the case of a major-league player contract," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said.