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SPORTS
April 9, 2005 | By Todd Zolecki INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cory Lidle told everybody he'd be OK. He pitched like it yesterday at Busch Stadium. After he went 1-2 with an 8.56 ERA in seven Grapefruit League starts, Lidle allowed just one earned run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He outpitched Cardinals lefthander Mark Mulder, who allowed five runs (four earned) in six innings, and should have picked up the victory. But the bullpen blew that golden opportunity. "I felt like I was really keeping a better focus," Lidle said.
SPORTS
April 1, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
BRADENTON, Fla. - McKechnie Field's public address announcer instructed the fans to remove their caps. The national anthem was ready to be performed. That is when the nerves kicked in Monday. "Here we go," said Larry Eflin, his shaky right hand covering his heart. His son, Phillies pitching prospect Zach Eflin, stood below in the bullpen. Preparations were all but finished for Eflin's first game against major-league hitters. His father could only watch. Zach Eflin pitched the first three innings of an 18-4 Grapefruit League loss against Pittsburgh.
SPORTS
March 3, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Two days after starting five non-roster spring training invitees in an exhibition against the University of Tampa, the Phillies will open their Grapefruit League slate with a lineup that is expected to feature more regulars. But second baseman Chase Utley won't be among those taking the field for Tuesday afternoon's game against the New York Yankees, manager Ryne Sandberg said Sunday. Utley, who in January sprained his right ankle while fielding ground balls, is "just getting in the flow of things a little bit as far as being on the field so much," Sandberg said.
SPORTS
March 14, 2008 | By Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The action isn't always inside the big, fancy stadium with the rockin' tiki bar out in the left-field grandstand. Sometimes the best show in spring training is outside the walls of the big house, over on the fields of the Phillies' minor-league complex. Yesterday was one of those days. All for the cost of a little sunblock, a few hundred fans got to watch Cole Hamels and Kris Benson work in minor-league games on adjoining fields. The two pitchers drew quite a crowd.
SPORTS
March 21, 2007 | By Todd Zolecki INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cole Hamels removed his spikes, grabbed his bag, and headed for the car yesterday afternoon at the Naimoli Complex. He has looked happier. Hamels, who struggled in his last two Grapefruit League starts, pitched in a minor-league game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays because he wanted to work on his mechanics. But in 3 2/3 innings, Hamels allowed four hits, four runs, four walks and a home run. He struck out one. "I guess the whole point of spring training is to get your work in, but you can't just keep getting work in," said Hamels, who is 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts and allowed seven earned runs in his last two starts against big-league teams.
SPORTS
March 28, 2011
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Not surprisingly, Roy Halladay dominated on the mound in spring training, but he also batted .400 in his Grapefruit League starts, including a two-run single against Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami on Sunday. That impressive average comes on the heels of Halladay's vast second-half improvement as a hitter during his first year pitching in the National League. With Chase Utley out indefinitely because of a knee injury it was suggested to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel that his staff ace could also serve as his three-hole hitter.
SPORTS
March 16, 2011 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Joe Blanton is typically quick to avoid the question that comes following each start in which he allows first-inning damage. After allowing a leadoff home run, three singles and a wild pitch in the first inning of Tuesday's 13-7 Grapefruit League victory over Toronto, Blanton admitted there has been an issue this spring. "I feel like each time I come out, I may be a little off to start," the Phillies righthander said, "but I feel like I'm making adjustments, which is always a positive.
SPORTS
March 14, 2013 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer murphyd@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies made five more cuts Tuesday, jettisoning righthanders Tyler Cloyd and B.J. Rosenberg, lefthander Mauricio Robles, outfielder Tyson Gillies and catcher Sebastian Valle to minor league camp. Valle and Gillies had just arrived back from the World Baseball Classic, where they both took part in the melee between teams Mexico and Canada. Here's what we saw from each of the players who were cut: * Righthander Tyler Cloyd: He was sidetracked by a bout with forearm tightness but appeared in three games, logging five innings and allowing six runs, all earned, with two strikeouts and two walks.
SPORTS
March 20, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Roy Halladay, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, passed through an empty Phillies clubhouse Monday morning without stopping at his locker. It was shortly before 8:30 a.m., and again this would not be a lengthy day for the pitcher. Halladay lasted just one inning Sunday because of what the team termed a stomach virus. Through a team spokesman, Halladay said he was still sick and contagious Monday. He was at the complex only to receive medication. It is a curious spring for Halladay, which has bred boundless conspiracy theories.
SPORTS
February 27, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The first two pitchers Ryan Howard faced in a spring game were lefthanded, and that suited Ryne Sandberg just fine. The Phillies manager watched Howard lace a single off Jesse Biddle and smash a homer to deep center off Cesar Jimenez. This was just an intrasquad scrimmage. But Sandberg expects Howard to spend the spring improving his craft against lefthanders. "He's talked to me about that himself," Sandberg said. "He's approached me about seeing lefthanded pitching.
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SPORTS
April 7, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
Aaron Nola tucked his glove under his arm and walked the dirt path that leads out of the Phillies' minor-league complex. His work in Florida was finished. A new season - his first full one in the majors - awaited. Nola made his last start in Clearwater, Fla., last week, pitching five innings in a minor-league game in front of a handful of fans. His outing was moved to the back fields because the team wanted to get a closer look at other pitchers. The 22-year-old's spot on the team was well secured.
SPORTS
April 6, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
CINCINNATI - The first Phillies player to step onto the field Monday before batting practice was a rookie lefthander from Humble, Texas. Daniel Stumpf, one of two Rule 5 picks to make the Phillies roster, surveyed Great American Ballpark. "There's a lot of emotions," said Stumpf, 25. "I'm excited to show these guys what I can do. " The Phillies are just one of two teams (San Diego is the other) to carry two Rule 5 picks at the start of the season. It is rare for any Rule 5 pick to stick; an average of five per season have stayed on a roster for the whole season since 2006, according to Baseball America.
SPORTS
March 29, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Phillies will choose their fifth starter on Monday, deciding between Adam Morgan and Vince Velasquez. Velasquez is scheduled to pitch against Toronto, but Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Sunday that the pitcher's performance will not impact the decision. Morgan has allowed only two earned runs this spring in 12 innings, which includes the lefthander's three scoreless innings Thursday in a game that was called off by rain. Velasquez, who was acquired from Houston as part of the Ken Giles trade, is considered the favorite.
SPORTS
March 24, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, STAFF WRITER
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Jerad Eickhoff stepped to the plate in the second inning of his first Grapefruit League start, the sign to bunt may or may not have been flashed. Depends on whom you ask. Eickhoff, who fractured his right thumb in a February bunting incident that delayed his spring progress, swung with runners on the corners and one out. He chopped it back to the pitcher. "To get back in the box was kind of a nervous wreck," Eickhoff said Tuesday. "If I had to bunt, I had to bunt.
SPORTS
March 20, 2016 | By Matt Breen, STAFF WRITER
CLEARWATER, Fla. - This is the time of spring, general manager Matt Klentak said, when teams around baseball begin to communicate with one another about which players will be making their clubs and those who will be cut. The Phillies, who have a significant need in the outfield, will be listening closely. The Phillies hold the first priority in baseball's waiver order. They will have the first option to claim any player who is waived from a roster as teams begin to trim toward the 25-man limit.
SPORTS
March 19, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Vince Velasquez was in trouble. As his pitch count mounted Thursday in the fifth inning of a 6-1 Phillies loss, his fourth Grapefruit League start neared its conclusion. A single followed by double off the wall put Tampa Bay runners on second and third. Catcher Gabriel Lino trotted to the mound. "Let's just get after it," Velasquez told Lino. "No messing around. Let's just get after it. " The 23-year-old righthander used his secondary pitches to reach two-strike counts.
SPORTS
March 19, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - This spring, Ryan Howard said, is about fun. "Smiling again," he said Thursday, soon after he doubled and homered against a lefthanded pitcher. Fun, because there is no such thing as a platoon in the Grapefruit League. When the season starts April 4, Howard is likely to split time at first base with Darin Ruf. A few at-bats in the spring will not change that, but Howard is unequivocal in his belief that he can still hit lefties. He is happy to have the chance, for now. This spring, he is 3 for 6 with two doubles, a home run and one strikeout against lefthanded pitching.
SPORTS
March 17, 2016 | By Matt Breen, Staff Writer
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - David Hernandez pitched in a game Tuesday for the first time in two weeks and said he expects to be ready for opening day even though he still feels soreness in his right triceps. Hernandez, 30, is nearly two years removed from Tommy John surgery. The righthander said he was told by the Phillies' training staff that slight discomfort is normal for pitchers who are coming back from the surgery. Hernandez had been sidelined since March 1, when he felt sore after his first inning of work this spring.
SPORTS
March 17, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - He was three more conquered batters closer to a goal that a 31-year-old survivor of shoulder surgery no longer considers paramount. Yes, Andrew Bailey said, everyone wants to be the closer. But surgery, which rendered the former rookie of the year and all-star reliever an afterthought, forces one to reassess his priorities. "I felt good," Bailey said Tuesday after striking out the side for his fourth scoreless outing of the spring. And, in the quest to find the next Phillies closer, that is an important step.
SPORTS
March 13, 2016 | By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Five teams, including his current employer, have placed Bobby LaFromboise on waivers in the last 22 months. So the lefthanded reliever has learned that six stellar Grapefruit League innings are merely that, and nothing more. But, in a spring in which the Phillies have invited two dozen relievers to camp and offered a handful of jobs, the smallest of adjustments could pay dividends. Like LaFromboise's moving his feet to the other side of the rubber to accentuate the movement on his sub-90-mph fastball.
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