January 24, 2015 |
The first question to emerge from a group of reporters and cameramen huddled around Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on Tuesday night at the Reading Crowne Plaza came from a local news outlet. Which players, the reporter asked, might Reading baseball fans see at FirstEnergy Stadium come April? Given the Phillies' stated rebuilding efforts, increased attention will be paid this season to the organization's prospects and their progress throughout the summer. And while some of it may depend on spring training performances, it's not too early to project at which levels in the farm system the Phillies' top minor-leaguers will begin the 2015 season.
January 22, 2015 |
READING - Cliff Lee has been throwing off a mound without issue and is on track to pitch come spring training, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday. Lee, working his way back from the left elbow injury that ended his season in August, has thrown off a mound three or four times already and is "in his normal progression to get ready for the season," Amaro said. The Phillies will send a staffer to Arkansas to watch the 36-year-old lefthander throw in the coming days.
January 20, 2015 |
LAST YEAR, two 70-something, lifelong baseball men needed a respite from the unforgiving Florida summer sun. Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and longtime Phillies minor league coach Mike Compton took in a Gulf Coast League game in Tampa. They watched. They waited. They sweated. "It was 12 o'clock, it was about 100 degrees and the humidity was 98 [percent], with no shade," Manuel said. "Compton and I are sitting over there and it seemed like the first five, six innings, it was never going to get over.
January 19, 2015 |
EVERYONE on the planet - well, everyone on the planet who even casually follows major league baseball - is aware that the Phillies would like to trade Ryan Howard in an effort to expedite their rebuilding project. Both Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf could step in and play first base in his place in 2015. Howard's skills have declined since shattering his left Achilles' tendon four Octobers ago, but he is still owed a minimum of $60 million for the next two seasons. He might be the most difficult player in baseball to trade.
January 18, 2015 |
Speaking 35 days from the first player workout in Clearwater, Fla., Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. deemed it "likely" Ryan Howard will still be with the team come spring training. That despite previously stating he told Howard that the Phillies, who are looking to get younger and rebuild, would be better off without the embattled first baseman. "There's always awkwardness when we're making transitions, I think," Amaro said Friday before the annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association banquet.
January 17, 2015 |
Many of the players and much of the atmosphere will be different when the Phillies begin spring training next month in Clearwater, Fla. Ryne Sandberg promises an altered approach from the manager, too. "With a veteran club, I think I expected a little different clubhouse in terms of leadership among the players [last season]," Sandberg said by telephone earlier this week from his winter residence in Chicago. "I don't think it was a good clubhouse, so I would say that falls on me first.
January 9, 2015
Individual tickets for Phillies spring training games will go on sale Thursday at 9 a.m. Fans can purchase tickets for the games online at phillies.com/spring or by calling 215-463-1000. The Phillies play at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The Phillies will open their Grapefruit League season when the New York Yankees visit on March 3.
January 7, 2015 |
BARRING a blockbuster Cole Hamels trade - which could still happen between now and next month - the 2015 Phillies starting rotation is beginning to crystallize. The Phillies signed veteran righthander Aaron Harang to a 1-year, $5 million deal yesterday. The deal includes performance and award bonuses. Harang, 36, went 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA in 33 starts with the Atlanta Braves last season. "Aaron brings a wealth of experience and durability to our rotation," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a press release.
December 21, 2014 |
JIMMY ROLLINS already played through one Phillies rebuild. He came along shortly after Curt Schilling was traded away and a couple of years before Scott Rolen's ugly Philadelphia divorce was finalized. Rollins made his major league debut on Sept. 17, 2000, at Veterans Stadium, during a season that ended with the Phillies losing 97 games. During the franchise's 132 years of existence, only 15 Phillies teams have finished with more defeats. Rollins jokingly tried to separate himself from that Terry Francona-led team yesterday.