April 13, 2015
THE REAL baseball fan loves the game for many reasons, one of which is the length of the season, which allows his or her team the ability to overcome an awful start. The season always has periods of ups and downs, which, alternately, give rise to hope and despair. The true fan brings high hopes into the start of the season, but, in truth, is realistic about the team's chances. Though we all dream of winning the World Series, we really want the season to be exciting from April to October.
April 9, 2015 |
READING - A piece of paper stapled to the bulletin board inside the Phillies' spring training complex told the five pitchers that Reading would be their post-Florida destination. Jesse Biddle, Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, and Ben Lively are the team's top five pitching prospects. They arrived this week in "Baseballtown" to assemble what is expected to be one of the top rotations in all of double A. The pitchers were grouped together throughout spring training, leading them to believe they would start the season as teammates.
April 7, 2015
The Phillies will carry two utility infielders and only four true outfielders to begin the season. Cesar Hernandez, who is out of minor-league options, and versatile veteran Andres Blanco made the team Sunday as bench players, as did rightfielder Jeff Francoeur. Centerfielder Odubel Herrera and leftfielder Ben Revere are expected to start Monday against the Red Sox. Grady Sizemore will likely play right field while Domonic Brown rehabs from Achilles tendinitis. Darin Ruf made the roster as an infielder but can play left field in addition to first base.
March 30, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Zach Eflin had to step outside Frenchy's beachfront restaurant on Friday evening. His phone was buzzing, and a band was playing inside. The call was from Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development. The pitching prospect had no idea why Jordan was calling. Jordan told Eflin that he will start Monday for the Phillies when they travel south to Bradenton. The 20-year-old will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first game against a major-league opponent.
March 15, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The first sign Aaron Harang would miss his second start of this spring came Friday morning, when he watched as the rest of the Phillies pitchers played catch. The veteran righthander was scratched for Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers because of lower-back discomfort. His status is day-to-day, the team said. "It's a little muscular thing that he has," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I'm not that concerned about it. " Righthander Paul Clemens, a nonroster invitee, will start in Harang's place.
March 14, 2015
LAKELAND, Fla. - Bob McClure, whose tenure in major-league baseball dates to 1975, said he once surveyed about 100 major- leaguers with 10 or more years of experience. The reason was to learn at what point bona fide big- leaguers realize they truly belong at the highest level of their sport. Nearly every one of them, McClure said, offered an answer of between their third and fourth big-league seasons. McClure, the second-year Phillies pitching coach, recounted that one morning this week while speaking about the second-youngest starter in the team's major-league camp.
March 13, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Philadelphia's own Jesse Biddle is scheduled to take the mound at Bright House Field against the Rays this afternoon for his second Grapefruit League appearances. It could be his last of 2015. Biddle, 23, isn't bidding for a spot in the Phillies' rotation. The former first-round pick's development has suffered in the last two seasons, where inconsistency on the mound has had him stuck at Double A. Biddle probably will be in the Reading rotation again when the regular season begins, and he'll need to continue to build up his arm as a starting pitcher in minor league camp.
March 9, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Jesse Biddle tried to establish his fastball in the seventh inning of Saturday's Grapefruit League game. The problem was he left it up in the zone. Perhaps, the lefthander from Germantown Friends suggested, he was a bit too amped up for his first outing of the spring. The Phillies' former first-round pick is preparing for a pivotal season after a struggle-filled 2014. "I've been doing a really good job in bullpens and live [batting practice] and throwing really well, so I'm not going to let this outweigh everything else I've been doing," he said after allowing two runs on three hits in his inning of work against the Toronto Blue Jays.
February 21, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Before the Phillies officially opened their self-proclaimed rebuilding season on a wind-chilled Thursday morning at the Carpenter Complex, one of the young, promising pitchers they hope is part of a better tomorrow declared that he has been rejuvenated. "Something is testing me and I'm going to answer the bell," Jesse Biddle said. "I'm right here and I'm ready to keep going. " That's good news for the Phillies because the list of things that tested their 2010 first-round draft pick last season was long and surreal, leaving some to wonder if his career was going to crash and burn before he even reached the big leagues in his hometown.
February 19, 2015 |
YESTERDAY, we looked at some of the bigger individual Phillies story lines we'll be monitoring, as pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout tomorrow. Now, let's look at five names who haven't garnered nearly as much attention, but who have more to gain (or lose) than most pitchers and catchers in camp this spring. 1 Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez: At this time last year, the Phillies were hoping that their first significant foray into one of baseball's emerging markets (Cuba, Korea, Japan, etc.)