February 2, 2016 |
Jesse Biddle had just finished getting a haircut at his favorite barber shop in Mount Airy on Friday afternoon when a two-word text message from Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock popped up on his phone. Call me. The pitcher the Phillies selected in the first round of the 2010 draft knew bad news probably awaited him. Still, it jolted him. "Yeah, in a lot of ways it did," Biddle said Sunday during a telephone interview. "I think in the back of my head I was always a little worried about it because this is not a good time to be hurt when the organization is obviously making a lot of moves to get younger by picking up a lot of prospects.
February 1, 2016 |
About 60 kids clad in red T-shirts formed a line Saturday afternoon inside Maplezone Sports Institute to greet the ace of Phillies past. For two days this weekend, this sprawling complex in Garnet Valley hosted Cole Hamels, who posed for photos with each camper before one of three four-hour pitching clinics. The potential ace of Phillies future - the tallest one in the room - stood nearby. Jason Groome, a possible No. 1 choice in the draft in June, was a coach at Hamels' camp. The lanky lefthander with a powerful fastball from the Jersey Shore trains two days a week at Maplezone.
January 23, 2016 |
Fifty-five minutes before the Eagles introduced Doug Pederson as their new head coach earlier this week in front of a packed auditorium at their practice facility, the relatively new manager of the Phillies talked about the dinosaur that will still be in the room when his team gathers for the start of spring training next month down in Clearwater, Fla. The audience at Citizens Bank Park wasn't nearly as big as the one across the street, but the...
January 22, 2016 |
When the Phillies head for Cincinnati in April to start the season, one thing is all but certain: The starting rotation will consist of five pitchers who were not Phillies last April. Aaron Nola prepared in Reading for his first full professional season. Charlie Morton rehabbed from Tommy John surgery while in Pittsburgh's minor-league system. Jeremy Hellickson was Arizona's No. 3 starter, and Jerad Eickhoff pitched for the double-A Frisco RoughRiders. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin put all four of those pitchers, barring a surprise, in his rotation during a news conference Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
January 21, 2016 |
In about a month, when Ryan Howard reports to Clearwater, Fla., for his final spring training with the Phillies, another in a long series of uncomfortable conversations awaits him. If he wants to play, manager Pete Mackanin will tell Howard, he will have to hit better. Forget Howard's special place in franchise history and the fact that he will represent one-fourth of the entire Phillies payroll in 2016. At least that is what Mackanin promised Tuesday as he addressed reporters at Citizens Bank Park.
January 19, 2016 |
Growing up in Galveston, Texas, Nick Williams spent a lot of time in his backyard hitting golf balls without a golf club. He was a kid who loved baseball, and kids who love baseball often love hitting home runs, and Williams savored the chance to track how far a baseball would go once his bat struck it. His father might throw him 200 pitches during a batting-practice session, Williams said, and he'd swing from his heels at every one. But he particularly...
January 14, 2016 |
One hundred and 99 days ago, the Phillies introduced Andy MacPhail as their president-in-waiting, the successor to Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick. MacPhail, a lifelong baseball man who had stepped away from the game for more than three years, sat down that night in a private box at Citizens Bank Park to get a closer look at what he was getting himself into. The Phillies were beginning a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers and even though they owned the worst record in baseball, the Brewers were only two games better in the National League standings.
December 12, 2015 |
NASHVILLE - The Phillies' rebuilding project, which began in earnest almost a year ago, continued to roll on this week at the winter meetings, most notably with Wednesday night's trade of closer Ken Giles. The deal added three more young pitchers and another intriguing outfielder to the franchise's arsenal of prospects. In 12 months, the Phillies traded seven players in exchange for 16 prospects as they drastically reshaped a downtrodden farm system. MLB.com ranks 10 of those prospects among the Phillies' top 16. All but one of those players, catcher Jorge Alfaro, is either an outfielder or a pitcher.
December 9, 2015 |
NASHVILLE - Matt Klentak is in his first year as general manager of the Phillies. But he is a veteran of the Winter Meetings, a conclave of baseball figures from clubhouse attendants to team presidents. And the one thing Klentak said he has learned at the Winter Meetings is that trades "can come together pretty quickly. " One of those moves could be Klentak's deal of Phillies closer Ken Giles, who is shaping up to be one of the most attractive relief pitchers on the market. Houston and the Chicago Cubs are two of the teams that have reportedly talked to the Phillies about Giles.
November 17, 2015 |
FROM THE TIME he stepped into Citizens Bank Park for the first time with his new job title - and a perfectly placed Phillies "P" pin on his suit jacket - general manager Matt Klentak said adding pitching to his new team would be a priority. It would be the focus this winter and beyond, he said. "If you can pitch, you have a chance," Klentak said on Oct. 26, the day he was hired, referencing the World Series-bound New York Mets. "That will absolutely become an organizational focus for us. To add pitching at every turn.