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.
June 3, 2015 |
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - There were times last season when Matt Hockenberry said he would look into the dugout and wonder if his manager would be taking him out. The former Temple ace struggled in his first season with single-A Lakewood. "I would go out there and get maybe one or two outs," Hockenberry said. "Then when it would rain, it would pour. Guys would be running around the bases and I'd just be standing there. " The righthander pitched last season as a reliever with a starter's mind-set.
May 29, 2015 |
NEW YORK - About two weeks ago, during the Phillies' previous homestand, Carlos Ruiz woke up at 6 a.m. to the buzzing sound of his cellphone. It wasn't an alarm. Instead, it was the news he feared would come at some point in the last four months. Nicolas Miranda, a close friend of Ruiz's since boyhood, had died after complications from surgery. Miranda was the same age as Ruiz, 36, and shared the same hometown: David, Panama. Ruiz is honoring his late friend by wearing "44" on the bill of the helmet he wears under his catcher's mask.
May 28, 2015 |
NEW YORK - The impressive comeback for former Phillies reliever Ryan Madson began with him in catcher's gear, throwing on a mound in an attempt to demonstrate proper technique to a high school pitcher. That was last June in Temecula, Calif., about an hour north of San Diego. But after three years in which he threw just one minor-league inning, Madson is indeed back. The Kansas City Royals righthander has added significantly to what already was considered baseball's deepest bullpen.
May 27, 2015 |
NEW YORK - Severino Gonzalez, who has seen two of his four major-league starts end without a strikeout, began his outing Monday against the New York Mets on a curious run. Each of the 22-year-old righthander's first seven outs for the Phillies were recorded via strikeouts. Juan Lagares stood looking at an 89-m.p.h. fastball. Wilmer Flores and Anthony Recker swung through low-90s heaters. Michael Cuddyer, Danny Muno and Bartolo Colon each whiffed on sliders. Curtis Granderson struck out swinging on a sinker to lead off the third.
May 23, 2015 |
Ruben Amaro Jr. should not have said what he said even if he meant it and even if he was right. Shortly after the Jimmy Rollins trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers was finalized, the Phillies general manager was interviewed by WPEN-FM (97.5) and uttered these infamous words: "I talked to Ryan and [told him] that in our situation that it would probably bode better for the organization for us to move forward not with him, but without him. " In addition to the awkward syntax, it was bad form to treat a player who has meant so much to the organization in that manner, although Howard has been mistreated in a much worse way by a lot of Phillies fans and some of his own family members.
May 18, 2015 |
Elvis Araujo did not know he was the winning pitcher Friday until after the Phillies wrapped up their 4-3 victory over Arizona. The game ball was waiting for him in his locker in the clubhouse. The lefthanded reliever said he would place it next to the ball he earned earlier this season after striking out his first batter. "I was excited," the rookie said Saturday as his season of firsts rolled on. Araujo, 23, has been effective since being promoted last month from double-A Reading.