February 16, 2015 |
In hotels and country clubs and event centers across Pennsylvania one week last month, members of the Phillies brass outlined an objective - to identify the team's next core of players. On his current career trajectory, Maikel Franco is a potential middle-of-the-order mainstay. Only 22, he has displayed soft hands, a cannon arm at third base, and streaky power at the plate. But it remains to be seen when the organization's most major-league-ready prospect will stick with the Phillies.
August 30, 2014 |
When the Phillies signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for $12 million last summer, they included performance bonuses for games started and games relieved. Ruben Amaro Jr. proclaimed his Cuban import a starter - the team negotiated a $48 million agreement before a medical examination forced amendments - although the international scouting community was divided on Gonzalez's future role. Some, like the Phillies, saw the potential for a back-of-the-rotation arm. Others envisioned a shutdown reliever.
July 4, 2014 |
MIAMI - When the Phillies spent $12 million on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez last summer, they expected the Cuban righthander to slot into their rotation. But Gonzalez encountered shoulder soreness, and Ruben Amaro Jr. said the pitcher's stuff "started to break down" at the 40-pitch mark. Those are not optimistic signs from a 27-year-old arm. So Gonzalez, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday and optioned to double-A Reading, will pitch as a reliever for the remainder of 2014.
October 4, 2013
RYAN HOWARD is headed to the Hall of Fame . . . in Arizona. Howard will be inducted into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Scottsdale Stadium before the Scottsdale Scorpions' home opener in Arizona Fall League play. Howard, who missed the last 3 months of the Phillies season while recovering from knee surgery, played for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in 2004. "Ryan Howard is a record-setting all-star player, a World Series champion, and a great ballplayer, teammate and person," Fall League director Steve Cobb said in a press release.
August 26, 2013 |
ALLENTOWN, N.J. - The main reason for having an extensive minor-league system is obviously to develop players. But that doesn't mean teams don't think it's important to field winning squads that compete in the postseason. And when minor-league teams make the playoffs it provides extra benefits for the development of young players. Lehigh Valley entered the weekend 31/2 games out of a wild-card playoff spot in the triple-A International League and four games out of first place in its division with 12 games left to play.
August 18, 2013
Here is a look at interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg: As a manager and coach: He was named Phillies third base coach and infield instructor on Oct. 4, 2012. It was his first Major League coaching position. Sandberg spent two seasons as the manager of triple AAA Lehigh Valley. He went 155-132 (.540) and led Lehigh Valley to its first playoff appearance in club history by winning the International League wild card in 2011. He was named Minor League manager of the year for 2011 by Baseball America.
July 8, 2013 |
Depending on moves the Phillies could make before the July 31 trade deadline, a few players waiting in the wings at triple-A Lehigh Valley could be called on to fill spots on the big-league roster. IronPigs third baseman Cody Asche and second baseman Cesar Hernandez - both 23-year-olds and triple-A all-stars this season - are swinging hot enough bats to make a case for a trip to Philadelphia. But Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage isn't convinced the prospects should be leaving Allentown any time soon.
January 8, 2013 |
APPARENTLY, Ilya Bryzgalov was right. Bryz, the Flyers' eccentric and emotive franchise goalie, last week reportedly left his team in Russia in anticipation of an imminent resolution of the NHL lockout. In typical Bryzgalov style, he decried the veracity of the story, denied saying what he said and forced the reporter to recant. Except, Bryzgalov was right. We missed that sort of thing. The transparent gamesmanship; the cruel retributions; the outlandish stew of the only truly international league in America.
September 4, 2012 |
CINCINNATI - This September will conjure few memories for a team accustomed to its annual champagne celebration with postseason planning. These Phillies are playing out the string, and a day like Monday is ripe for sleepwalking. They arrived in Ohio shortly after midnight following a wretched defeat in Georgia and faced an early wake-up call for holiday matinee baseball. The leading candidate for National League Cy Young fired against their depleted lineup. The Phillies sent a junk-balling 26-year-old rookie pitcher up against the team with the second best record in baseball.
September 2, 2012 |
The good news for the Phillies in this season of so much bad is that the minor-league system has had a renaissance of sorts. "I think we had a good year in the minor leagues," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' first-year director of player development. "There were a lot of good stories and some struggles along the way, but what I see as the most successful part is that we had a lot of good arms that stayed healthy and got their innings. " The better news for the Phillies in this season of so much bad is that a scout from outside the organization agrees and was even stronger in his praise than Jordan.