July 13, 2015 |
SAN FRANCISCO - When the Phillies reported for spring training in mid-February, their bullpen was viewed as their strength, and their rotation didn't look half-bad, either. It was scoring runs that would prove a big challenge. But with the Phillies ready to cap the unofficial first half of their season, it's the starting pitching that is letting them down as much as anything else. Baseball's worst team entered Saturday's game against the Giants with a major-league-worst 5.45 ERA and 580 hits allowed.
July 11, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The Phillies announced the signing of 16-year-old Dominican slugger Jhailyn Ortiz on Thursday night. Ortiz, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound first baseman/leftfielder, was set to receive a $4.2 million signing bonus, according to several reports. The Phillies, who acquired the No. 1 international signing slot from the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, also announced the signings of Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan, Dominican infielder Kuedy Bocio, and Dominican lefthander Manuel Silva.
June 29, 2015 |
When the Chicago Cubs bypassed Ryne Sandberg for a managerial vacancy immediately after Sandberg had been voted the triple-A Pacific Coast League's manager of the year for that organization in 2010, the back-channel reason given was that the Cubs didn't want to be in the position of having to fire a franchise legend. What general manager Jim Hendry, a protege of former team president Andy MacPhail, didn't explain, however, was why the Cubs were so sure they would have to. Sandberg never got the opportunity to be a franchise legend with the Phillies, the team that drafted him in 1978, but it is where he did get his chance to manage a major-league team, such as it was. That tenure ended Friday, when Sandberg resigned his position 22 months after replacing Charlie Manuel.
June 26, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The most jarring thing about the Phillies' after-midnight news Tuesday night that saw Chase Utley in the manager's office, standing alongside the assistant general manager and head team athletic trainer, wasn't that the oft-injured, 36-year-old second baseman was being placed on the disabled list with a right-ankle injury. It was that the news appeared to completely blindside manager Ryne Sandberg. About 8 hours earlier, before the game, the manager was asked if he had to have a difficult conversation with Utley, who was hitting under .180 and was out of the lineup for the third time in the last five games.
June 16, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - Domonic Brown arrived just after 10 o'clock on a sticky gray morning. He spent some time acclimating himself to his surroundings, unpacking the bags that he'd brought with him on the trip west, exchanging pleasantries with teammates that he had not seen since March. He is 27 years old now, three-and-a-half months away from the end of his final option year, two years removed from the blistering May and June that seemed to justify the scouting reports that had hailed him as one of the best prospects in baseball.
June 15, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - Domonic Brown's sabbatical in the minor leagues came to a close on Saturday. The Phillies promoted the outfielder from triple-A Lehigh Valley and sent down Darin Ruf. Brown will join the team on Sunday for the series finale against the Pirates. Brown, 27, is batting .304 in 11 games this month. He hit two homers this past week, his first this season at triple A. He has not played in the majors this year. Brown injured his Achilles tendon during spring training and was optioned to the IronPigs last month after the completion of a 20-day rehab stint.
June 13, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - It was exactly a year ago Friday when Ken Giles made his highly anticipated major-league debut. His first pitch registered 100 m.p.h. on the Citizens Bank Park scoreboard. His fifth left the field of play. A monumental 31/2-month run followed for the reliever who became one of the lone bright spots in the Phillies' second consecutive 89-loss season. It wasn't until this past spring training that he endured his first stretch of bumps at the big-league level. "I think I'm a completely different pitcher than I was a whole year ago," Giles said this week.
June 9, 2015 |
JEFF FRANCOEUR has been with seven teams in a decade-long career that began in Atlanta. After the way his last couple of stops ended, he wasn't sure where or maybe even when the next chance would surface. The Phils signed him to a minor league contract last November. In his last 24 games, he's batting .356 (21-for-59) with 16 RBI, including the two that turned into the game winners yesterday. "I'm just trying to work my butt off and enjoy each and every moment," he said. "I think with what I've been through, you just take it day by day. Sometimes, you never know.
June 8, 2015 |
Two years ago Sunday, the Phillies leftfielder experienced a bit of an off game in a road loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Throughout his epic six-week stretch, a homer-less night featuring just one hit, albeit a double, could be considered something of a disappointment. Life these days is vastly different, of course, for Domonic Brown, a $2.6 million outfielder relegated to triple A through the first two months of this baseball season. After a woeful follow-up last year to his 2013 all-star campaign, Brown suffered a spring training bout of Achilles tendinitis that landed him with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
June 4, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - The lineup card posted outside triple-A Lehigh Valley's clubhouse on Tuesday night had "Brown" scribbled into the No. 3 spot. Domonic Brown - the Phillies' former top prospect - was set to play right field. Another day brought another minor-league game for Brown. The outfielder said he has accepted that he could spend the rest of the season with the IronPigs. A promotion to the Phillies would be a "positive," he said, but it does not sound as if he expects one. "I'm not in here just looking to be in Philly every day," Brown said before the game was rained out. "Nah, I'm coming in here to play.