October 17, 2014 |
LAST DECEMBER, 3 days after Roy Halladay announced his retirement, the Phillies signed veteran righthander Roberto Hernandez in an effort to fill the gap and solidify the bottom of their starting rotation. Two months later, not content with the final makeup of that rotation on the eve of the first official workout in Clearwater, the Phils signed another free-agent pitcher. A.J. Burnett joined the starting staff, effectively taking Halladay's place as the older, established righthander with playoff pedigree to plop between lefthanders Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The Phillies ended up paying just under $21 million for Hernandez and Burnett in 2014.
August 22, 2014 |
AS MANY AS 35,000 people trekked to see the latest episode in Taney Little League's destiny run last night, fueled by ESPN's blanket coverage and the appearance of star pitcher Mo'ne Davis on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, and fueling further adulation and, yes, unease. The concern that this is too much too soon is well-meant. But if I've learned anything as a parent helping to raise three children to adulthood, it is that as much pressure is felt during an untelevised regional spelling bee or debate at that age as there is a televised game.
August 19, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Whatever the Phillies could pull from Los Angeles for Roberto Hernandez, a player who had no part in the team's long-term plan, qualified as a bonus. The first such player, Jesmuel Valentin, has good baseball bloodlines as a high draft pick two summers ago. He, like any single-A player, is a long shot. Valentin was identified as one of two players to be named later from the Dodgers for Hernandez; the other will be a pitcher announced sometime in the next two weeks.
August 8, 2014 |
READING - Aaron Nola arrived here Monday afternoon, the first player among baseball's 1,215 June draftees to reach double A. The team store at FirstEnergy Stadium advertised "NOLA 10" T-shirts for $25. On Wednesday, a dozen fans crowded the railing above the right-field bullpen to watch Nola prepare for his Reading debut. The Phillies are an organization devoid of talent, and they are lusting for a potential cornerstone. Nola, the seventh overall pick in the draft, is no savior because the Phillies' issues are not solved by one arm. But he fired strikes for five innings Wednesday, allowed one run, and braved one of the Phillies' most aggressive promotions in recent years.
July 28, 2014 |
Jesse Biddle remains on double-A Reading's temporary inactive list, but the Phillies' 2010 first-round pick out of Germantown Friends School returned to the mound Saturday in Tampa, Fla. Pitching for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Biddle covered two innings and faced eight batters in his team's 4-2 win over the GCL Yankees squad. He allowed one hit - a home run to Drew Bridges - walked one batter, and struck out three. "It was encouraging that he was back out there throwing," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development.
July 21, 2014 |
1. Jesse Biddle has been out of action since he was placed on the temporary inactive list on June 26 for a mental break. Biddle, The Inquirer's fifth-ranked Phillies prospect, has been working in Clearwater since, and Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan said Thursday that the Germantown Friends product is on his way back to feeling confident on the mound again. "I think he's really back to himself right now," Jordan said. "He's very, very relaxed, his throwing sessions have been really good.
July 15, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The notion that the Phillies do not have a plan for the future is misguided. It just depends on which future you're talking about. Exactly what the plan is for the impending trade deadline, which is closing fast on general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., remains a mystery probably even to him. The smart money, especially after another lost weekend at Citizens Bank Park, continues to be on the trade-the-veterans-for-prospects strategy. The long-term solution, meanwhile, requires a patience that has mostly grown thin for fans who had become spoiled by nine consecutive winning seasons and five straight division titles before the ongoing collapse that started in 2012.
July 14, 2014 |
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and director of player development Joe Jordan couldn't have been more frank when assessing the minor-league system. "There are not enough offensive players in our system," Amaro said last week. "We feel we need to do better than that, and it certainly is something that is a priority for us. " Jordan went further. "We need more of everything," he said. "We are like 29 other teams. " In fairness, the system has helped the team in a few spots this year.
July 3, 2014 |
MIAMI - The immediate sensation from being struck in the head by a 78-m.p.h. curveball was not enough to prevent Carlos Ruiz from catching the final three innings of a 14-inning win over the Marlins on Thursday. But Ruiz suffered a concussion that night, and there has been no progress since. His injury "is maybe a little more serious than we originally thought, unfortunately," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. "He's had concussion issues in the past, so we have to be careful with him. " Ruiz did not travel with the team.
June 28, 2014 |
Jesse Biddle's next start had been scheduled for Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. Instead, the Phillies decided it was time for one of their top prospects to stop pitching for a while. According to a release sent out by the double-A Reading Fightin Phils, Biddle was placed on the temporary inactive list Thursday. "We decided to give Jesse a mental break," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "In order to do that, we had to place him on the temporary inactive list.