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SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The time was just before 12:30 p.m. when Mike Adams strode onto the lush green grass that separates a firing line of pitching rubbers from their respective home plates. The Carpenter Complex is mostly known as an incubator for big-league dreams, but every now and then the sprawling complex that unfolds in the shadow of Bright House Field gets a chance to rehabilitate them. "I was nervous," Adams said, "don't get me wrong. " Most of us would like to think that we would still feel that way at age 35, even with $13.5 million in career earnings and $7 million more on the way. That's what competition does, in almost any setting, from the first tee of a municipal golf course to the tipoff circle of 40-plus rec league.
SPORTS
March 20, 2014
Former Phillie Vance Worley allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs in Minnesota's 11-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night in Fort Myers, Fla. Worley's spring ERA rose to 13.50, and he didn't get through the third inning. He is battling for the Twins' final rotation spot.   Niese returns Jonathon Niese was relieved to be back at spring training with the New York Mets after receiving a relatively good medical report. The lefthander had an MRI exam of his pitching elbow in New York on Monday, and the scan revealed he had some inflammation but no damage.
SPORTS
March 20, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lefthander Jesse Biddle prepared for another day with the rest of the Phillies' minor-league players in a crowded clubhouse that contained prospects of all levels. The team's first-round draft choice out of Germantown Friends in 2010, Biddle said he enjoyed his brief time in the major-league camp this year. Even though he did not achieve the results he wanted in his two outings, Biddle feels he will be better for the experience. Biddle, 22, was sent down to the minor-league camp on March 8. He was not disappointed because he knows the landscape.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Cole Hamels won't be ready on Opening Day, but he made that clear over a month ago, on Feb. 12, a day before pitchers and catchers held their first workout of spring training. Hamels could be ready at some point in April, however, depending on how he progresses in the coming weeks. Hamels threw just over 30 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday morning; it was the second time he threw off the mound in the last 5 days. Afterward, Hamels was excited with his progress in the last week, following an 11-day layoff due to fatigue.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - After finding a seat on top of a picnic table outside the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field yesterday morning, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt quickly repositioned himself. He said something about trying to avoid the sun. In the 20 minutes that followed, Schmidt explained why he was wary of the sun and why he was unable to perform his regular duties as an on-field guest instructor this spring training, too. Schmidt, 64, was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma in August and underwent two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments in the months that followed.
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
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.
SPORTS
March 15, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The message was clear before Bob McClure sent Roberto Hernandez to the mound Thursday for his sixth inning of work. The righthander, perfect through five innings against the Yankees, was permitted one or two more hitters. "I know it's spring training and there are pitchers behind me," Hernandez said, "but when I went to the mound, I wanted to pitch. " Minor-league infielder Scott Sizemore laced a single to center to start the sixth. McClure came for Hernandez, and a sold-out crowd at Bright House Field applauded during a 6-2 Phillies victory.
SPORTS
March 15, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Wite-Out covered Jimmy Rollins' name Tuesday morning on the Phillies' lineup card. Someone in the clubhouse called Rollins and told him not to drive to Orlando for the day's game against Atlanta. His presence was no longer mandated. The shortstop's name was missing from Wednesday's lineup, too, and he did not play Thursday. That marked three days on the bench for a healthy regular during the middle of spring training, something Rollins called "unusual. " His manager, Ryne Sandberg, disputed that notion.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Ten days passed without Cole Hamels' throwing from a mound. Thirty-five pitches in a March 1 bullpen session felt like a thousand to Hamels. That prompted the Phillies to alter a strengthening program to energize his fatigued left arm, a side effect of wintertime biceps tendinitis. Hamels rebooted Wednesday morning in the bullpen at Bright House Field. He fired 20 fastballs, and equated it to something he would do "the day before spring training. " That was four weeks ago for the rest of the Phillies pitchers.
SPORTS
March 11, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Guys like Jeff Manship inhabit a strange world in spring training. One side of the clubhouse shows the normal order of things, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley listening to music and watching television and eating breakfast together around a rectangular table. Another side bubbles with the immortality of youth, minor league teammates like Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr talking among themselves as they soak it all in, well aware that the exit papers jettisoning them to minor league camp could be signed any day, that their most consequential big-league camps are yet to come.
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