April 25, 2014 |
ALLENTOWN - The Phillies believe they have a long-term solution at third base, a revolving-door position filled mostly by players from outside their farm system since Scott Rolen ascended to baseball heaven - that's St. Louis, in case you've forgotten - in the middle of the 2002 season. What the Phillies don't know and won't know for a while is the name attached to that solution. Maybe it's Cody Asche. It's his job to lose, and some would argue he's doing a pretty good job of losing it. To be fair, he has a history of being a slow starter, and he deserves a lot more than three weeks to prove himself.
April 24, 2014 |
LOS ANGELES — Two Dodgers tracked a lazy fly ball, stumbled into one another, and opened the door to an extra-inning Phillies victory. Domonic Brown smashed through it. For two years, these Phillies watched opposing teams benefit from their mistakes. They did not waste a gift-wrapped runner in Tuesday's 3-2 win over Los Angeles. Carlos Ruiz skied one to left in the 10th inning. Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez convened there, and neither caught the ball. Ruiz stood on second because he hustled from the moment he swung.
April 23, 2014 |
LOS ANGELES - Since the Phillies' lineup was matched up against lefthander Paul Maholm, who has seen righthanded hitters hit nearly 70 points higher than lefthanders in his career, it was hardly surprising that Cody Asche was out of last night's starting nine at Dodger Stadium. Asche also gave way to a pinch-hitter a day earlier in Denver, in another right-lefty matchup. And since Freddy Galvis returned from the disabled list 10 days earlier, Asche has been out of the lineup in four of the last 10 games.
April 22, 2014 |
DENVER - One of his teammates jabbed at him for his robotic, unemotional answers to the media's questions. Another picked on his sense of fashion. But John Mayberry Jr., who wore an ascot with his suit as he boarded a plane out of Denver bound for Los Angeles, took it in stride. Everyone is allowed to have a little fun at his expense when it comes after a victory, especially a victory that was preceded by two defeats in which the Phillies scored a total of two runs at the hitter's haven that is Coors Field.
April 10, 2014 |
Cole Hamels joined his teammates Tuesday for opening festivities at Citizens Bank Park, and he could return to the rotation in two weeks. Hamels said his arm has strengthened faster than first expected. He amended his original prediction of six minor-league starts; five could be enough to recover from biceps tendinitis. He plans to make two more starts for single-A Clearwater. That pegs him for a possible return April 22 in Los Angeles. "I do feel really great," Hamels said. "Everything has been going really well in between days, the day after, my bullpens.
April 6, 2014 |
CHICAGO - Carlos Ruiz logged nine plate appearances in the last two games and reached base six times, a number that will stick in the back of Ryne Sandberg's mind. Ruiz's two-game stay as the Phillies' No. 2 hitter will end Saturday when Jimmy Rollins returns. But the catcher made an impression at the top of the lineup. "Whatever spot he's in, I think he takes on that role," Sandberg said. "Maybe the fact he's batting second, it is a job to get on base and set the table for the other guys.
April 1, 2014
JIMMY ROLLINS may not be in the lineup for the Phillies' opener today in Arlington, Texas. Rollins did not fly on the team's charter flight on Saturday since he and his wife, Johari, are expecting the couple's second child. Rollins could still join the team before the game, which begins at 2 p.m. EDT. If the Phillies have to place Rollins on the paternity list, he could stay off the roster for as many as three games (but could also return after one game missed, too). If the Phils have to call up an infielder to replace Rollins, they have options.
March 31, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Spring training, manager Ryne Sandberg said, was a time to preach fundamentals. The relentless Phillies coaching staff fired grounders at the infielders. Pregame drills were performed at game speed, and players noted the difference in intensity. Still, there was one principle they forgot, and the four-word reminder was tacked to corkboards at the clubhouse's entrances in mid-March. "Please Wash Your Hands," it said. More than a dozen Phillies were sick with flu symptoms.
March 29, 2014 |
Over his 14 years in the major leagues, Jimmy Rollins has changed and stayed the same in all the ways you'd expect, unless you are the Phillies. He has remained a terrific defensive shortstop, his arm still strong and accurate, his positioning and footwork still sound, his range still more than adequate. His offensive production has declined, a trend common to a player who is 35 years old, and is likely to continue to decline. And his ego has stayed healthy, commensurate with a career in which he won the National League MVP award, should soon become the Phillies' all-time hits leader, and sometimes presumed that he could get away with giving less than full effort.
March 28, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - As a couple of their country's best teenage baseball players more than a decade ago, Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis became fast friends. Although their respective hometowns in Venezuela are a few hundred miles apart, the two then-future Phillies infielders have known each other since Galvis was 13. They first met when Galvis' boyhood baseball team made the 4-hour drive to Valencia from Punto Fijo. "The first time I went to his hometown to play, I stayed at his house," Galvis was saying yesterday at Bright House Field.