July 3, 2015 |
IN HIS FIRST five days on the job, manager Pete Mackanin has made it known more than once that it's high time for younger players to begin to get on the field more in 2015, the first season the Phillies have committed to a rebuild. "The whole point of this year basically is to see young guys, help us get ready for next year and beyond," Mackanin said of a question about the likelihood of veterans moving before the trade deadline at the end of the month. The Phillies already have begun to filter younger players into the regular lineup, with Freddy Galvis at the outset of the season, and more recently, Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez in the infield, too. But what about the pitching staff?
July 1, 2015
Once again Phillies righthander Chad Billingsley is returning to the big leagues. Billingsley will start Thursday against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. He missed most of the previous two seasons after Tommy John surgery and additional elbow surgery. Billingsley began this season with triple-A Lehigh Valley. After he made three starts with the Phillies and posted a 6.75 ERA, he returned to the DL May 17 with a right shoulder strain. "I've just got to get back out there again, getting my rhythm, getting a routine and constantly getting back out there," Billingsley said.
June 22, 2015
It was a phone call that Adam Morgan said he had dreamed about: calling his father to tell him he was headed to the major leagues. His father, Wiley, pitched at Alabama and coached Morgan until he was 13. That dream became reality on Friday, when Morgan called his father to tell him he was pitching Sunday for the Phillies. "He was like, 'Well that's one hell of a Father's Day present,' " Morgan said before Saturday's game against St. Louis. "He couldn't believe it. It's really special.
June 21, 2015 |
Cole Hamels says he hopes to make his next start and unlike Thursday, this was no prank. Hamels missed Friday's start with the St. Louis Cardinals with a mild right hamstring strain. He has his eye toward his next start Wednesday against the host New York Yankees. "I'll throw a bullpen on Sunday and go back to my normal day start on Wednesday; that is the plan," Hamels said before Friday's game. Of course, much will depend on how he feels after the bullpen session on Sunday. Hamels insists that he wasn't going on the disabled list and says he is feeling much better.
June 20, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - A clubhouse attendant asked Chase d'Arnaud if he had good handwriting on Thursday night as two disco balls shined a rainbow of colors through the Lehigh Valley clubhouse. He wanted d'Arnaud to take a Sharpie and inscribe the game ball from Aaron Nola's first start with the IronPigs, a good-as-advertised, five-inning scoreless outing in a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Bisons. Nola struck out seven batters and walked just one. He scattered four hits and threw 98 pitches, 66 of which were for strikes.
June 19, 2015 |
WHEN THE Phillies finished off their 2-1 win yesterday and the media was allowed into the clubhouse, the locker stall in the back left corner of the room was empty. There was no No. 35 plate with the name "Cole Hamels" on it. No contents in the locker. The team announced before yesterday's game that Hamels would be scratched from tonight's start against St. Louis with a "mild right hamstring strain. " But had the Phillies' ace been traded? Apparently not, though no one in the clubhouse owned up to playing a prank.
June 17, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - Aaron Nola drove to Allentown on Monday afternoon, officially beginning the next stage of his baseball career. The Phillies' top pitching prospect dominated at the double-A level. The Phillies promoted him Sunday to triple A. It was time for a new test. "I'm ready to get things started," Nola said before Lehigh Valley's game Monday night. "I'm ready to learn more of the game. I feel like I'm going to learn more over here. There's a lot of older guys. I'm going to keep my ears open and my eyes open.
June 10, 2015
CINCINNATI - Needing a starting pitcher who could better preserve the bullpen and not wanting to push the development of their prospects, the Phillies went outside the organization to fill their rotation. Kevin Correia joined them Monday at Great American Ball Park after signing a major-league contract for the remainder of the season. A 34-year-old righthander with 12 years of big-league experience, Correia will start Friday in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
June 10, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - David Buchanan lasted no longer than the season's first month, and severely sprained his right ankle shortly after joining Triple A Lehigh Valley. Chad Billingsley joined the major league rotation a month ago, but his stay lasted all of three starts because of shoulder discomfort. He isn't likely to return before July. Severino Gonzalez has been tearing up mileage on the Northeast Extension, shuttling to and from the big leagues and the minor leagues. Cliff Lee hasn't been heard from since March, and is a longshot ever to throw another major league pitch.
June 7, 2015
Justin De Fratus remembers Marlon Byrd pulling him aside last April after De Fratus was demoted to the minors. The veteran outfielder told De Fratus to be mad. This was his time to be angry, Byrd told him. "But when you get there tomorrow, it's time to work," Byrd told De Fratus. De Fratus passed along that advice on Thursday night to Jake Diekman after the lefthanded reliever was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Diekman is one of De Fratus' best friends. He said he has no doubt that Diekman will respond to being sent down.