February 23, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - For the third consecutive afternoon, a highly paid veteran Phillies pitcher finished his conditioning work and took a seat behind a microphone in the Bright House Field cafeteria. Cole Hamels' remarks Saturday in his first news conference of the spring jibed with Cliff Lee's on Thursday and Jonathan Papelbon's on Friday. Each is a potential trade piece who could find himself pitching elsewhere in the near future. Hamels, the top starting pitcher on the trade market, could land the Phillies a return that expedites their rebuilding.
February 22, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After playing catch and running through pitcher's fielding practice on the second day of camp yesterday, Jonathan Papelbon changed into his street clothes and asked a media relations representative a question. "Can I wear this?" the veteran closer said, pulling a T-shirt out from his locker. When Papelbon arrived in the cafeteria-slash-news conference room at Bright House Field a few minutes later, when he talked to reporters for the first time in 2015, the closer wore his trademark smirk.
February 5, 2015 |
AND THEN there were four. The remaining core of the 2008 world champion Phillies is down to Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Six weeks after shortstop Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, free-agent righthander Kyle Kendrick reportedly agreed to a 1-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. According to Yahoo Sports, Kendrick will earn $5.5 million in 2015 with the chance to make an additional $500,000 if he pitches at least 190 innings. It's a pay cut for the 30-year-old Kendrick: He earned $7.675 million with the Phillies last season.
January 30, 2015 |
Longtime Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery has new duties as he returns from a five-month medical leave of absence. Montgomery now will serve in the position of team chairman while Pat Gillick continues as president, the team said Wednesday. The front-office shake-up could pave the way for another new team president in the next year or two. Gillick, the architect of the 2008 world championship team, said Wednesday night in a telephone interview that he doesn't see himself in the position two or three years from now but "definitely" at least through this baseball season.
January 17, 2015 |
Many of the players and much of the atmosphere will be different when the Phillies begin spring training next month in Clearwater, Fla. Ryne Sandberg promises an altered approach from the manager, too. "With a veteran club, I think I expected a little different clubhouse in terms of leadership among the players [last season]," Sandberg said by telephone earlier this week from his winter residence in Chicago. "I don't think it was a good clubhouse, so I would say that falls on me first.
January 16, 2015 |
Before the Phillies' shortstops of past and future were no longer part of the same organization, J.P. Crawford had a couple of opportunities to chat with Jimmy Rollins. Crawford twice visited Citizens Bank Park, first after he was drafted in 2013 and again in September, when he was feted as the team's top minor-league player. "He just told me that it's going to be long seasons ahead of you and you're going to have bumps; you're going to have a roller coaster of a ride," Crawford said.
January 13, 2015 |
JIMMY ROLLINS was introduced as a Dodger last week and Marlon Byrd will report to camp with the Reds, not the Phillies, when spring training begins next month. Subtracting one-fourth of the regular lineup is a start, but it's difficult to label the Phillies' rebuilding efforts this winter as anything more than minor until the biggest hurdle toward fixing the future is cleared. Ryan Howard remains a Philadelphia Phillie. The front office would like to change that fact within the next 6 weeks.
January 9, 2015
THERE ARE still plenty of question marks facing the Phillies as they close in on the start of spring training. The three most intriguing, in my opinion: 1. Will Jonathan Papelbon be here? 2. Will Cliff Lee be healthy? 3. Will Cole Hamels be traded before Opening Day? The quick answers: 1 PROBABLY. Papelbon is the one player who can have a measurable impact on the Phillies' stated goal of competing in 2016 or 2017 (adjusted into real terms, that's 2018)
January 5, 2015 |
The easiest items to remove in the Phillies' offseason garage sale are gone. Jimmy Rollins' wheels may be old, but the engine still runs pretty well, and there was lots of value in the glove department. The $11 million price tag was minuscule for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the highest payroll in baseball. Marlon Byrd, meanwhile, has gotten better with age, and once the Phillies decided to eat $4 million, the Cincinnati Reds were willing to give up an upper-level prospect (pitcher Ben Lively)
January 2, 2015 |
WITHIN a 2-week span before the end of 2014, Ruben Amaro Jr. has jettisoned two everyday players from the Phillies' lineup. A dozen days after Jimmy Rollins officially was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the general manager sent outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitching prospect Ben Lively on Wednesday. The Phillies also sent cash to Cincinnati to complete the deal. Byrd, who turns 38 in August, hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2014. He also struck out a career-high 185 times; only Ryan Howard struck out more among major league hitters.