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 14, 2015 |
NASHVILLE - Before the start of baseball's winter meetings last week, $795.8 million had already been issued to free-agent pitchers this offseason. It was nearly nine times the amount that had been spent on position players. The second day of the meetings brought the first major trade as Shelby Miller - a decent pitcher - was sent by Atlanta to Arizona in exchange for a top prospect, a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, and the top pick in last June's draft. A huge haul, indeed. It was clear that pitching was every team's first priority.
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 11, 2015 |
IT MIGHT feel strange to feel OK about saying goodbye to a guy like Ken Giles, but the Phillies' apparent decision to trade away their fireballing closer is a promising sign that Matt Klentak and Andy MacPhail are setting a solid course for the franchise. Counterintuitive? Sure. Giles is everything the Phillies weren't when their fall from grace began: young, cheap and talented. But he is also a relief pitcher, and, besides the health risks commonly associated with the position, the role itself is drastically less important and easier to fill (or at least fake)
December 10, 2015 |
NASHVILLE - Tyler Goeddel, a former-first-round pick by Tampa Bay, appears to be the player the Phillies will target with the No. 1 pick in Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft. Goeddel, a 23-year-old outfielder, spent all of last season in double A. Tampa Bay drafted him in 2011. He spent his first three seasons as an infielder before transitioning to the outfield last year. He can play any of the three outfield positions. The righthander batted .279 with a .350 on-base percentage in 473 at-bats.
November 12, 2015 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The summer development of Andrew Knapp and the July acquisition of Jorge Alfaro prompt the obvious questions regarding which player will be the Phillies' catcher of the future. It doesn't sound as if Matt Klentak has gotten that far yet. The Phillies' new general manager said Tuesday that the organization still views both Alfaro and Knapp as catchers and that each will continue to be developed as such. Both are offensive-oriented players. There exists a school of thought in the industry that Alfaro, given his athleticism and cannon of an arm, could end up in right field.
November 11, 2015 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Matt Klentak arrived at Major League Baseball's General Manager Meetings at the Boca Raton Resort and Club on Monday. After surveying the canvas that is the Phillies organization - first in organizational meetings in Clearwater, Fla., two weeks ago and then in moving into his office at Citizens Bank Park last week - Klentak will have the opportunity to mingle face-to-face with his fellow GMs for the next three days during his...
November 7, 2015 |
Matt Klentak flew to Florida last month, shortly after the Phillies introduced him as their new general manager. His first order of business was the franchise's organizational meetings at the team complex in Clearwater. Klentak and the team's front office and scouting staff discussed every player in the Phillies system, even the teenagers who played in the Dominican Republican and Venezuelan summer leagues. The general manager was asked Thursday if all that research made his eyes bloodshot.
November 5, 2015 |
IF REVENGE is a dish best served cold, seven years is plenty long for Mike Arbuckle's resentment to have chilled. Except there is no resentment. He is too big a man, too good a man, to consider even tasting vengeance. Arbuckle was part of another World Series parade on Tuesday. He will be fitted for another ring this winter. Today, Phillies president Andy MacPhail is tasked with clearing the rubble of a Phillies franchise Arbuckle helped build as an assistant general manager, then watched crumble from Midwestern exile as a special adviser with the Royals.