November 11, 2015 |
BOCA RATON, Fla. - General managers and their top lieutenants filtered into the Boca Raton Resort and Club throughout the morning and afternoon Monday, where baseball's annual GM meetings began in the evening with a group dinner for the executives. Dozens of reporters milled around the lobby where the likes of Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees, the Washington Nationals' Mike Rizzo and Jon Daniels of the Texas Rangers could be seen passing through. Among those spotted at the site was new Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, representing the team for the first time this week alongside assistant GM Scott Proefrock.
October 28, 2015 |
DEPENDING ON how long it takes for the Kansas City Royals to dispose of the Mets in the World Series (yeah, the more-complete American League team is going to win), baseball's offseason will get underway in the next week to 10 days. The free-agent process begins five days after the conclusion of the World Series, with teams facing deadline to offer contracts to their soon-to-be-free agents. By the middle of November, an impressive class of players looking for work, one likely to include David Price, Zack Greinke and Yoenis Cespedes, will be free to sign lucrative deals with any team in baseball.
October 7, 2015 |
THE PHILLIES lost 99 games for the first time since 1969. They were owners of baseball's worst record when the season ended on Sunday. They finished with the second lowest attendance in the National League, behind Miami, a city that should barely count as a functional major league franchise. The Phillies drew 1,831,080, falling below 2 million fans for the first time in 13 years. They traded away a World Series MVP and another franchise icon, too; they had a manager walk out on the organization less than three months in; a beleaguered general manager was fired with three weeks left; a squirrel nearly attacked aforementioned franchise icon; and a dead bird plopped onto the Citizens Bank Park turf during the final game of the year.
October 1, 2015 |
IN THE EARLY 1990s, when Ron Hextall was in his mid-20s and entering the prime of his goaltending career, the message was pretty straightforward when it came to playing his position and getting ready for a new season. "All they did with us was gave us our equipment and said, 'Go get em,' " Hextall said. There weren't goalie-specific trainers to work with in the offseason. There weren't many offseason training programs designed for goaltenders, either. You'd show up at camp, put the pads on and go to work.
September 25, 2015 |
MIAMI - The first six starts of Jerad Eickhoff's major-league career have provided the Phillies a bit of help when it comes to filling out their starting rotation for 2016. The 25-year-old righthander has shown the ability to command his fastball to either side of the plate, flashed an above-average curveball and mixed in a solid slider. But a factor that will help dictate Eickhoff's ceiling, whether he down the road ends up a mid-to-back end of the rotation starter or a workhorse reliever, will be the development of his changeup.
June 19, 2015 |
CHIP KELLY made the annual, ceremonial declaration common to all coaches, that no hard and fast conclusions should emerge from the Eagles' spring work. Yesterday's bit of cautionary Kelly boilerplate might be more accurate than usual this year, given the long list of new starters we haven't seen in pads yet, and the fact that the presumed No. 1 quarterback, Sam Bradford, has yet to throw in an 11-on-11 session. "It's a lot of new people coming into the fold right now, but chemistry is going to come," cornerback Byron Maxwell said.
June 5, 2015 |
BILL DAVIS can tinker more now. It's too early to worry about who starts where in his base defense, the Eagles' defensive coordinator said yesterday, but Davis does see, with, say, three top-notch inside linebackers, some interesting variations. Davis is just trying to get everybody healthy and in sync, he said, with DeMeco Ryans coming off an Achilles' and Kiko Alonso coming off an ACL, while learning a new scheme. But ultimately, adding Alonso to ILBs Ryans and Mychal Kendricks, not to mention ex-Packer Brad Jones and third-round rookie Jordan Hicks, "expands our ability to play with more packages," Davis said.
April 23, 2015 |
THE EAGLES will not have to worry about defending Jimmy Graham, but they will have to contend with Ndamukong Suh. With so much turnover in the last month, here is a look at moves made by the Birds' opponents: Week 1 - at Atlanta Biggest move: Replacing head coach Mike Smith with Dan Quinn, who had been the defensive coordinator in Seattle. Kyle Shanahan will be Matt Ryan's third offensive coordinator in 5 years. Key additions: DE Adrian Clayborn (Tampa Bay), LB Brooks Reed (Houston)
April 9, 2015 |
HOWEVER YOU feel about the front office's past missteps, Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick have done a solid job rebuilding the organization's minor league depth over the past year. The system is still woefully thin on hitting prospects and, with the exception of top prospect J.P. Crawford, devoid of the kind of blue-chip talent that might fulfill the Phillies' stated desire to build "a new core. " But it is in much better shape than it was a year ago, when half of its top 10 prospects weren't even in the system.
April 6, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - When Ryan Howard blooped a single to center field in the final inning of another lost Phillies season late in September, the notion existed that it may have been his final at-bat with the team. But six months later, after a winter in which the club's front office failed to find a taker for the aging slugger and a fraction of the $60 million left on his contract, Howard will find himself back at first base at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon. This season, the first of the Phillies' daunting rebuild, will differ from its immediate predecessors, but not in terms of who bats cleanup.