April 1, 2015 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - McKechnie Field's public address announcer instructed the fans to remove their caps. The national anthem was ready to be performed. That is when the nerves kicked in Monday. "Here we go," said Larry Eflin, his shaky right hand covering his heart. His son, Phillies pitching prospect Zach Eflin, stood below in the bullpen. Preparations were all but finished for Eflin's first game against major-league hitters. His father could only watch. Zach Eflin pitched the first three innings of an 18-4 Grapefruit League loss against Pittsburgh.
March 24, 2014 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - Cody Asche has warded off the competition from the Phillies' top prospect and will be the opening-day starter at third base. This is not a surprise, but it's now official, after 21-year-old Maikel Franco was reassigned to the Phillies minor-league camp on Saturday. When asked if the competition is over, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, responded: "Uh, yeah. " Franco, who combined for 31 home runs, 103 RBIs, and a .926 on-base-plus-slugging percentage at single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last year, needed a spectacular spring to unseat Asche.
March 16, 2014 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - Beyond the left-center field wall here at McKechnie Field, more than 375 feet away from home plate, sits a lovely set of bleachers shielded from the afternoon sun by three pine-green painted awnings. It would seem an excellent spot to snag a home-run ball during batting practice, provided the hitter doesn't rocket the ball so high and so far that it lands on top of one of the awnings, which is what Darin Ruf did Friday before the game. He did it with a swing so quick and fluid that it was easy to understand, in that single moment, why Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has insisted on writing Ruf's name on the team's lineup card so often this spring.
March 17, 2012 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - It was one of those spring training moments that, 10 years from now, might exist only in oblivion. Who knows, though. Maybe Starling Marte's home run off Cliff Lee represented an early meeting of superstars future and current. Marte, a top-100 prospect who is expected to start the season in the minor leagues, blasted a first-inning pitch from Lee over the fence in left field to help the Pirates beat the Phillies, 3-2, at McKechnie Field on Friday. The 23-year-old centerfielder hit .332 with a .370 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, and 12 home runs last year at double-A Altoona.
March 5, 2011 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - Delwyn Young expected to be at McKechnie Field yesterday. He just thought it would be as a member of the Pirates, not trying to earn a spot on the Phillies roster. Young was third in the majors with 16 pinch-hits last year and first in pinch at-bats with 69. But he was eligible for arbitration for the first time and the still-rebuilding Bucs weren't going to take a chance he might get more than they wanted to pay to a utilityman who batted .236. So he was nontendered and signed a minor league contract with the Phillies for $17,500 a month in the minors plus an invitation to big-league camp.
March 4, 2011
Who: Phillies (3-3) vs. Pittsburgh (4-3) When: 1:05 p.m. Where: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla. TV/Radio: None
March 7, 2008 |
The Boston Red Sox and closer Jonathan Papelbon agreed yesterday to a $775,000, one-year contract, nearly doubling his salary. Papelbon was among 18 Red Sox players who agreed to one-year deals, putting Boston's 40-man major-league roster under contract. Papelbon earned $425,550 last season, when he had 37 saves in 40 opportunities and a 1.85 ERA, then saved three of the four World Series games against Colorado. He had hoped to get a multiyear deal but had no leverage as a second-year player.
March 30, 2007 |
BRADENTON, Fla. - Charlie Manuel has talked often this spring about the difference between being ready to start the season and being ready to win once the season starts. The Phillies haven't won the last two Aprils. Manuel needs this one to be different. "We're ready. We've got to be ready," he said yesterday after a 5-5 tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field in the team's final Grapefruit League game before it heads to Philadelphia for a pair of exhibitions, tonight and tomorrow against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.
March 27, 2001 |
The X-rays and MRI results are in. And Cliff Politte is out, probably for at least two months. Tests on the 27-year-old righthander's aching upper arm yesterday revealed what club physician Michael Ciccotti feared: Politte has a stress reaction of the humerus. A pitcher who two weeks ago appeared to be a virtual lock for the starting rotation has been ordered not to pick up a baseball for four weeks. At that time, he will have another MRI to determine the next step. Even if Politte begins a throwing program at that point, he would most likely be at the same point most pitchers are at the beginning of spring training.
March 11, 2000 |
Curt Schilling is looking forward to the day when his success will again be measured in wins, strikeouts and earned-run average. For the moment, his progress continues to be charted by the yard. So when the rehabbing righthander was allowed to increase the distance of his outfield throws from 150 to 180 feet at Jack Russell Stadium yesterday morning, there were grins all around. "It's hard not to be excited," said manager Terry Francona, who watched the exercise before boarding the bus for a split-squad game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton.