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.
March 27, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A white placard bearing his name still graced the top of the locker where he used to dress, but Kevin Frandsen was nowhere to be found yesterday. Nor is he expected to be found from this point forward, at least not at Bright House Field or Citizens Bank Park or anywhere else where players in Phillies jerseys congregate. The veteran infielder informed the organization yesterday that he had decided to decline an assignment to Triple A Lehigh Valley, a move that came as a mild surprise since it meant he was forgoing the $900,000 salary he was guaranteed to be paid for 2014.
March 25, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - During the game, Ryne Sandberg inserted Cesar Hernandez at third base. After the game, the manager summoned Kevin Frandsen to his office. The result was the latest wrinkle in the Phillies' quest to identify the members of their bench for the upcoming season. Frandsen, a member of the team's active roster since July 2012, was outrighted off the 40-man roster yesterday, a sign that the Phillies are leaning toward other options for the two backup infielders they usually carry.
March 24, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Eleven days ago, before starting at shortstop in a game in Disney World, where the Atlanta Braves call spring training home, Freddy Galvis rolled up his left pant leg and showed off a nasty cut. It wasn't an uncommon injury for a baseball player, as they slide hard into the ground routinely when trying to get to a base on offense or field a hard-to-reach grounder on defense. Galvis got this particular wound after sliding into third base one day. It was the reason he had briefly ditched his normal high-sock look.
March 23, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed Friday that Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis has contracted MRSA. "Right now we are more concerned about his overall health than anything else," Amaro said. "He will be in the hospital for a little bit, but we are not sure how long. " According to the Mayo Clinic, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus auerus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.
March 21, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - To say that things came into clearer focus yesterday would probably be inaccurate. The fringes of the Phillies' Opening Day roster are still as muddled as a Don Draper Old Fashioned. Nevertheless, as of yesterday, we hold these truths to be self-evident: 1) Tony Gwynn should have a place on the team. 2) David Buchanan is a real contender for the Opening Day roster. 3) The fates of subjects No. 1 and No. 2 could be intertwined. First, Gwynn: His line-drive double off Blue Jays righty Esmil Rogers yesterday was his fourth extra-base hit of the spring, and he would have swiped his third base had Chase Utley not been ruled to have been hit by a pitch.