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December 11, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO - Ryne Sandberg played in 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, and only three resulted in more wins than losses. The constant losing did not derail a Hall of Fame career. But now, as a manager, he is a man whose livelihood relies on winning. If it was unsettling to hear Phillies interim president Pat Gillick predict a rebuilding process that could last at least two seasons, Sandberg on Tuesday showed no signs of apprehension. He spoke in his typical measured tone for 25 minutes.
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November 14, 2014 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
PHOENIX - The first major act of baseball's offseason came and went Thursday morning, and it proved to be nothing more than a feeling-out process for Phillies acting team president Pat Gillick and embattled general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The team made some minor news on the final day of the general managers meetings by announcing the signing of eight players to minor-league contracts. The list included outfielder Jeff Francoeur, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves who once upon a time was capable of driving in 100 runs.
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October 3, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLIFF LEE, arguably the most important player on the 2015 Phillies roster, given his salary and on-field impact, remains on track to be ready to return when the Phillies open camp in Clearwater in February. Lee underwent an MRI on Friday at the Rothman Institute that yielded "positive results," the Phillies said in a news release Wednesday. According to the team medical staff, Lee's flexor tendon is "healing well. " Lee will begin a full throwing program in November. Lee, 36, was limited to 13 starts this season after two separate stints on the disabled list because of an ailing left elbow.
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September 27, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - The 87th Phillies loss in 2014 resembled many before it, even though there was a certain significance to this particular one Thursday. The Phillies sealed a last-place finish for the first time since 2000. There will be countless growing pains for this franchise because no one can state with confidence that this is the nadir. David Buchanan could not pitch beyond the sixth inning in a 6-4 loss to the Marlins because Miami crushed him for nine hits. Everything fell apart in the seventh inning when Christian Yelich's routine grounder skipped through Cody Asche's legs.
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September 7, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Considering the alternative, Phillies rookie lefthander Mario Hollands feels extremely fortunate. Hollands was placed on the 60-day disabled list Friday with a Grade 2 flexor strain in his left forearm. Righthander Sean O'Sullivan had his contract selected from Lehigh Valley and will be available on Saturday. Hollands had an MRI and an ultrasound on Thursday. He said no tears were discovered, so there will be no surgery. But he won't even pick up a baseball for about six weeks.
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September 1, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - Maikel Franco, whose spring training and start to his minor-league season at Lehigh Valley was a dud, is finishing on a tear. The Inquirer's No. 2-ranked Phillies prospect is creating plenty of buzz: He turned 22 on Tuesday and celebrated by hitting a grand slam. Franco insists he hasn't dwelled on whether he will be called up after the minor-league season ends Monday, the same day the major-league rosters expand to 40 players. "No, I haven't thought about Philadelphia," Franco said during a pregame interview Wednesday at Coca-Cola Park.
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August 30, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Phillies signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for $12 million last summer, they included performance bonuses for games started and games relieved. Ruben Amaro Jr. proclaimed his Cuban import a starter - the team negotiated a $48 million agreement before a medical examination forced amendments - although the international scouting community was divided on Gonzalez's future role. Some, like the Phillies, saw the potential for a back-of-the-rotation arm. Others envisioned a shutdown reliever.
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August 29, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
'HE WAS erratic out there. " Those were manager Ryne Sandberg's words the last time he saw Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez pitch in a Phillies uniform. And Sandberg was actually kind with his choice of words. Gonzalez, the 27-year-old Cuban defector, had allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in an inning of work in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles in a spring training game in Sarasota, Fla. Gonzalez would be sidelined for the remainder of spring training with shoulder woes, which had plagued him from the time he signed with the Phillies.
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August 13, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
YESTERDAY, FOR the 68th game this season, the Phillies allowed an opponent to score at least four runs. In the National League, only Colorado (84), Arizona (78), Miami (72) and the Cubs (68) had allowed more. In 51 of those games, an opponent had scored at least five runs. Not surprisingly, the Phillies lost yesterday's game despite another late rally. The Mets left Philadelphia with a 5-3 victory, giving them six wins in eight games at Citizens Bank Park this season. The Phillies are 17-52 when allowing four or more runs, and they are 12-49 when they fail to score more than three themselves, which happened for the 61st time yesterday.
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August 4, 2014 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Daily News Staff Writer alberta@phillynews.com
THE TRANSITION from college to the professional level at in any sport can be daunting. Making the transition in baseball is even tougher. Players have no spring training after they are drafted. They go right from the college game to playing professionally in just weeks. For lefthander Matt Imhof, a 2014 second-round selection by the Phillies, not much changed. "The way I always look at it is baseball is baseball," Imhof said. "I'm still pitching 60 feet, 6 inches away. " The Hayward, Calif., native finished his college career with Cal Poly exactly 2 months ago today with a loss to Pepperdine in the NCAA tournament.
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