November 11, 2013 |
SURPRISE, Ariz. - The most powerful arm in the Phillies minor-league system twists a white towel into knots. The veins in Ken Giles' right arm bulge as he squeezes. There is tension, and this is a sunny afternoon on a day in which his activity at the Arizona Fall League was confined to sitting in the bullpen. "I know I'm close," Giles says, "but I can't speed myself up. " Speed is what fuels Giles. Last weekend, he threw a baseball at 100.6 m.p.h. in an all-star game for this prospect-laden league.
October 14, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Remnants from the systemwide disappointment and misfortune of the 2013 season could be spotted at the Phillies' Florida Instructional League camp, which closed down Friday after a couple of scrimmages against Toronto's prospects at the Carpenter Complex. This would have been a great place for shortstop Roman Quinn, the Phillies' second-round pick in 2011, to get some at-bats after he missed the final 10 weeks of the season with a fractured bone in his left wrist.
October 12, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez misses where he has been and knows where he wants to go, but at the moment he is in the slow process of trying to get there. The 27-year-old pitcher's exact location Thursday morning was the Phillies' Carpenter Complex training facility, a baseball lover's paradise that is less than 350 miles from his native Cuba. Political strife between Cuba and the United States, however, makes it impossible for Gonzalez to still feel close to home. "It has been tough," Gonzalez said through a translator during his first interview since he defected from Cuba earlier this year and signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Phillies.
September 25, 2013 |
MIAMI - Ryan Howard "had a couple of at-bats" in a simulated game yesterday in Clearwater, Fla., where rain washed out the first string of games in instructional league play, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. Howard, who has been sidelined since July following left knee surgery, is expected to begin playing in games in Clearwater this week. Ben Revere, who also has been out since July, will follow the same plan. Recent Cuban free agent signee Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is also in Clearwater, but he isn't likely to take part in the 3-week instructional league schedule.
August 14, 2013 |
ATLANTA - Kevin Camiscioli, the Phillies' manager of video coaching services, handed Charlie Manuel a phone on Monday. The screen displayed Roy Halladay, throwing a bullpen session in Florida, which acted as his final barrier from competing in real games. Everything went as planned. Halladay, months removed from shoulder surgery, is cleared to pitch. He will start Thursday for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies in Clearwater. Because he will throw 75 to 80 pitches, the Phillies believe he could require just two minor-league rehab starts before a return to the majors.
August 5, 2013 |
WILLIAMSPORT - As with any 31st-round draft pick, the odds are against Chris Nichols' ever pitching in the big leagues the way his father, Rod, did with three teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That's not going to stop him from having the time of his life trying. Something special happened for Chris and Rod Nichols in June 2012. Rod was in his 13th season as a minor-league pitching coach with the Phillies when he learned the team was going to make Chris a 31st-round pick. Father was given the honor of telling his son. "I had a little bit of an idea, but it was just a little bit surreal," Chris said.
July 29, 2013 |
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Cesar Hernandez's move to center field so far is the way he has continued hitting. In his first 11 games after moving from second base, Hernandez batted .357 (15 for 42) with two doubles, five runs scored, and six RBIs. He also had walked four times to post a .404 on-base percentage. "It is impressive," Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan said. "Obviously he's got a lot on his plate and he's trying to figure out a very important skill position.
July 28, 2013 |
1. Nelson Prada, the first-year manager with the Phillies' Williamsport affiliate in the New York-Penn League, has a pretty cool story. Only 37 years old, he is already in his ninth year as a minor-league manager. A native of Maracay, Venezuela, he started coaching at the age of 22 when an injury ended his playing career in the Minnesota Twins' farm system. The Twins offered him a coaching job and he remained in the organization until the end of last season. Prada said he stresses to Latin American players the importance of learning English because it opens doors and makes the game easier.
July 22, 2013 |
Clearwater outfielder Cameron Perkins admits that his first ever baseball injury tested his patience. Perkins, a sixth-round draft choice in 2012 out of Purdue, fractured a bone in his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch on May 31. After sitting out five weeks, he played two games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies before returning to Clearwater's lineup on July 5. Entering the weekend, Perkins was hitting .317 with five home runs, 40...
July 19, 2013 |
It's time for the midseason installment of The Inquirer's list of the Phillies' top 25 minor-league prospects. The biggest change from our preseason top 25 is that power-hitting third baseman Maikel Franco has jumped from third to first, replacing lefthander Jesse Biddle at the top. Nine players on our preseason list - Jonathan Pettibone, Tyler Cloyd, Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont, Brody Colvin, Zach Collier, Tyson Gillies, Dylan Cozens, and...