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.
February 5, 2015 |
AND THEN there were four. The remaining core of the 2008 world champion Phillies is down to Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Six weeks after shortstop Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, free-agent righthander Kyle Kendrick reportedly agreed to a 1-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. According to Yahoo Sports, Kendrick will earn $5.5 million in 2015 with the chance to make an additional $500,000 if he pitches at least 190 innings. It's a pay cut for the 30-year-old Kendrick: He earned $7.675 million with the Phillies last season.
December 13, 2014 |
With Jimmy Rollins, there were moments. There were always moments. Here was one: It was 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2009, and the carpet covering the floor of the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park was so soaked with champagne that a little puddle formed with every squishy footfall. The Phillies had just beaten the Dodgers - the team that Rollins will play for next season - in the National League Championship Series for the second straight year. Two nights earlier, he had lined a two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the series' fourth game.
November 21, 2014 |
WILL HE stay or will he go? Ryan Howard celebrated a birthday yesterday, joining Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd as Phillies regulars who are 35 years old or older. But Howard, despite being the youngest of that group and due to his massive contract and declining health and production in the last 3 years, is the face of a Phillies franchise in decline. Howard was benched briefly in July, when reports surfaced that the front office was ready to move on from the 2006 National League MVP. While a front office that's finally embraced a rebuilding mode could move anyone on this roster, Howard remains the most likely to go among the Phillies' core of former All-Star players.
November 20, 2014 |
The first major free-agent domino fell Monday when Russell Martin signed with Toronto for five years and $82 million, a contract that forces other teams to pursue their needs at catcher through a trade. No other starting catchers are available in free agency. The Pirates, Martin's former employer, traded for the Yankees' Francisco Cervelli, but both they and the Cubs are searching for a starter. They will look toward Arizona, which has reportedly made Miguel Montero available.