February 12, 2012 |
Pitchers and catchers report for work Sunday in Clearwater, Fla. For the 21st-century Phillies, that has come to mean another realistic pursuit of a World Series title is about to begin. The road to the final destination is always marked by potholes and unexpected turns. Sometimes, the obstacles are in place beforehand and other times they pop up unexpectedly in the middle of spring training. (See Chase Utley, 2011.) Here's a look at some of the bigger issues the Phillies must confront in this spring training: Can the hitters change?
March 9, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The other spring training opens for the Phillies Sunday morning at the Carpenter Complex, and, given the state of the team, it is the more important one. For the first time in this century, the Phillies arrived on the Gulf Coast of Florida as neither contenders nor pretenders. The proclamation from team president Pat Gillick in the offseason was that the Phillies are officially rebuilding. Depressing as that is for the fans, it has an entirely different meaning for the long list of minor-leaguers reporting for Sunday's first full-squad workout.
March 17, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - On March 7, the Phillies rode a bus 55 miles from here to Sarasota for a spring-training game against the Baltimore Orioles. They did not so much play baseball that day as they committed it. They struck out eight times. They were charged with two fielding errors and probably should have been charged with more. Their pitchers allowed 16 hits and walked six batters. They lost, 15-4. A circus calliope would have provided an appropriate soundtrack. A team often chalks up such messy performances to the easygoing nature of spring training, especially a team with as many experienced players as the Phillies have.
March 1, 2011 |
DUNEDIN, Fla. - These early spring outings for Roy Halladay actually serve a purpose beyond rounding into pitching shape for his opening-day start April 1 at Citizens Bank Park. The best pitcher in baseball says he has a few plans before he heads north. "I'm always trying things," Halladay said. "There's a couple [new] things I want to try. " What could a pitcher who issued only nine more walks (30) than he had wins (21) while throwing a perfect game and no-hitter on his way to winning the Cy Young Award have to improve?
January 24, 2014 |
ROY HALLADAY and Brad Lidge, two recently retired former Phillies, will be in Clearwater, Fla., this spring to work as guest instructors at spring training. But the most famous, longtime guest instructor - and the best player in franchise history - will not be able to work on the field this spring. Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt will not take part in this year's camp while dealing with a health issue. Here's a statement from the team: "Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors and will be unable to attend spring training as a field instructor this year.
February 17, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - If Groundhog Day rules applied to Phillies pitchers and catchers who reported this morning, Charlie Manuel would have led the troops out of their burrow, blinked at his shadow and ordered all pitchers to the covered mounds. Winter Haven Chuck would have foretold 6 more weeks of a winter that even has the normally benign Suncoast in an icy grip. Calling the World Series, "The Fall Classic," we get. It actually is autumn, according to the calendar - and even though Bud Selig keeps pushing the postseason toward Thanksgiving, he's still in the Fallpark.
March 28, 2011 |
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - One thing that needs to be stressed: Charlie Manuel does not have final say in personnel decisions. The Phillies, like any organization, take a plethora of opinions into consideration before deciding on the makeup of their Opening Day roster. But after the Phillies' 6-1 victory over the Braves in their penultimate Grapefruit League game yesterday, their manager dropped some interesting hints about his views on the few lingering questions that remain. And despite the various viewpoints that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will solicit in meetings this week, Manuel's voice is one of the most influential.
March 29, 2011
CLEARWATER, Fla. - In the third inning, fat, cold drops of rain pelted down on the Piggy Bank, Bright House Field. There went the meteorological no-hitter, broken up in the Phillies' final exhibition of a Florida phase where the weather was all-time spectacular and the daily news bulletins could not have been worse. We were introduced to the dark side of Chase Utley's benign-sounding patellar tendinitis, a tongue-twisting condition called chondromalacia. Simplified description: cartilage on the underside of the kneecap that has been eroded by wear and tear over time - think Housemaid's knee - and is now close to bone-on-bone.