September 11, 2014 |
JIMMY ROLLINS will most likely not return to the lineup on the current homestand, but he should return sooner rather than later, according to manager Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg said yesterday afternoon that tests on Rollins' left hamstring revealed a mild strain. The manager said his veteran shortstop was simply "day-to-day. " "A little bit better than it looked [Monday] night," said Sandberg, who had to replace Rollins before the fifth inning, a half inning after the 35-year-old infielder legged out his fourth triple of the season.
August 28, 2014 |
The presence of Gio Gonzalez, a difficult Nationals lefthander, prompted Ryne Sandberg to adopt a different approach in Tuesday night's 4-3 Phillies win at Citizens Bank Park. The manager ditched Monday's lineup, which he used in 14 of the season's first 131 games, and inserted four new names. Freddy Galvis played second base for his first major-league start since May 8; he crushed a Gonzalez chest-high fastball for a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Darin Ruf started for the third time in 10 games; he smashed a Gonzalez fastball for a solo home run in the sixth.
August 23, 2014 |
Last September was a time for experimentation. Ryne Sandberg was an interim manager. He started infielder Cesar Hernandez 22 times in center field. He flipped Darin Ruf to right field for 11 starts and played him every day in various positions. He acclimated Cody Asche, a rookie third baseman, to the majors. This September? The plan is muddled. The potential additions from the minors - with Maikel Franco the exception - are familiar names. How Sandberg juggles veterans with the desire to see other players remains to be seen.
July 29, 2014 |
ALLENTOWN - Like the Phillies, Freddy Galvis has had a rough year. The 24-year-old infielder found misfortune even before the season started, and it has not gotten much better since. In late March, Glavis contracted MRSA, a staph infection that can easily lead to other infections, and had to be hospitalized. The Phillies made the decision that he would start the season on the disabled list, putting him behind right from the get-go. "It was really tough because I didn't get to do a spring training," Galvis said.
July 20, 2014 |
ATLANTA - For four days, the Phillies dispersed. Most went home. A few vacationed at the beach, and one traveled to Minnesota. They convened Friday at Turner Field, a group of 25 men still intact from last weekend. That will not last. Ryne Sandberg relaxed in Cape May, and the Phillies manager heard unsolicited advice from fans. He, like everyone in the Phillies clubhouse, knows change is looming. He watched another dispiriting loss, 6-4, to first-place Atlanta, and he must create another lineup Saturday because that is what this job demands.
June 20, 2014 |
There was a break between innings during a recent Phillies loss, and David Montgomery looked toward second base from the owner's suite at Citizens Bank Park. That is Chase Utley's spot; it was his when this sparkling ballpark opened, and when the Phillies signed Utley to a two-year contract last summer with three option years, Montgomery imagined it was Utley's until he relinquished it. Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins have started 1,129 games together, the most of all active double-play combinations.
June 2, 2014 |
IN A WEEK that featured one player contracting a MRSA infections (Freddy Galvis), another suffering a serious rib-cage injury (Darin Ruf) and another disappearing from camp altogether (Kevin Frandsen), it was easy for Justin De Fratus to fall below the radar as the Phillies' time in Clearwater, Fla. began to draw to a close in March. But De Fratus was completely OK with that. Not with catching the flu bug for 9 days and being sidelined from throwing for 6 days, of course. But with the idea of not making headlines for reasons neither good nor bad. Middle relievers, much like placekickers in football, know they're going well if they can do their job and go largely unnoticed.
May 25, 2014 |
THE COMPOSITION of the Phillies bench took a wild turn in the last week of spring training, when Darin Ruf suffered a severe rib-cage injury, Freddy Galvis contracted a MRSA infection and Kevin Frandsen elected for free agency after being removed from the 40-man roster. It's continued to be an ever-changing piece of the roster, from Jayson Nix coming and going, Reid Brignac arriving, Galvis being activated, sent down and then injured, Hernandez coming and going and Ruf entering the picture this week.
May 15, 2014 |
BEFORE LAST night's game, the Angels trotted out Mike Trout and Raul Ibanez to talk about their connection to the city of Philadelphia. Their connection to the product that the Phillies are putting on the field is a bit more tenuous, but it is worth noting. In 2009, the Angels selected Trout with a pick they received from the Yankees as compensation for New York's signing of Mark Teixeira. Two picks later, the Mariners drafted infielder Nick Franklin with the first-round pick that the Phillies gave them as compensation for signing Ibanez.
May 14, 2014 |
The Phillies removed Jayson Nix from the team Monday, the second bench subtraction in less than a week. The timing of the roster shuffle was interesting, since the Phillies lost another infield option Sunday when Freddy Galvis suffered a broken left clavicle during a collision with a teammate in pursuit of a foul ball. Nix was outrighted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He can elect free agency or accept his minor-league assignment. The team's 40-man roster is at 39. His replacement will be announced Tuesday.