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SPORTS
May 25, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE COMPOSITION of the Phillies bench took a wild turn in the last week of spring training, when Darin Ruf suffered a severe rib-cage injury, Freddy Galvis contracted a MRSA infection and Kevin Frandsen elected for free agency after being removed from the 40-man roster. It's continued to be an ever-changing piece of the roster, from Jayson Nix coming and going, Reid Brignac arriving, Galvis being activated, sent down and then injured, Hernandez coming and going and Ruf entering the picture this week.
SPORTS
May 18, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies position players have remained relatively healthy, but the offense has been inconsistent through a 17-21 start entering Friday's game at Citizens Bank Park against the Cincinnati Reds. The Phillies entered the weekend with a minus-34 run differential, the third worst in Major League Baseball. They were 29th in runners left in scoring position per game (4.11) and 26th in runners left on base per game (7.63). Before Friday's game, manager Ryne Sandberg was candid when asked if he was surprised at the offense's inconsistency, especially without many health issues in the first 38 games.
SPORTS
May 16, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The pain in Chase Utley's knees was most visible when bat met ball in 2011. The sound was not the same, either. Just 12.7 percent of Utley's batted balls were line drives, according to Baseball Info Solutions data. His power stroke disappeared. That is what makes Utley's .571 slugging percentage over the first six weeks of 2014 so remarkable. He doubled two more times Wednesday in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He leads the National League with 17 doubles and three triples.
SPORTS
May 15, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies infielders converged at the mound in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss Tuesday night, and Cody Asche was the loneliest man in Citizens Bank Park. Mike Trout, the superstar an entire South Jersey town came to ogle, had just chopped a grounder at Asche. The 23-year-old third baseman backpedaled and lunged for the ball, which trickled past him. Now, Asche stood on the slope of the mound, a few steps from his teammates. Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure motivated Cliff Lee, who was pushed to the brink because of Asche's sloppy fielding.
SPORTS
May 1, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
CODY ASCHE'S absence from the lineup last night wasn't as notable as Ryne Sandberg's choice to replace him. With a lefty starter on the mound, Sandberg elected to go with Jayson Nix instead of Freddy Galvis as his righthanded hitting third baseman. While it might not have been a major story line, it was a good indication of the improvement that Galvis needs to show at the plate if he ever hopes to make the transition from utility whiz to Gold Glove regular. Nix, a journeyman who is playing for his sixth team in 7 years, entered last night hitting .179 with a home run and a .493 OPS. Yet Sandberg had some reason to think Nix offered the best chance of success against Mets lefty Jon Niese.
SPORTS
April 21, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writers
This is the second installment of The Inquirer's Phillies Top 25 prospects. Some are long-range prospects, with six of the final 15 being 20 years old or younger. 11. Deivy Grullon, C, 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, age 18 Extended spring training He hit .273 with a home run and 14 RBIs in 41 games last season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. Considered to have the best arm in the Phillies' minor-league system, Grullon is also expected to be a solid hitter. 12. Aaron Altherr, OF, 6-5, 220, age 23 Clearwater He recently returned to action after being sidelined with a fracture in his wrist and eventually should be playing at Reading.
SPORTS
April 21, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eleven days after Mario Hollands became a major-league player, he pulled a box filled with books from his locker at Citizens Bank Park. Classes for the spring quarter at the Los Angeles-based Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising started April 10, and the lefthanded pitcher had reading assignments. Hollands is months away from a second college degree, this one an associate of arts in merchandise marketing with a professional designation. He foraged through the box and found course materials for MRCH 2820: Merchandise Allocation and MRCH 2200: Merchandise Buying.
SPORTS
April 20, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
DENVER - The Phillies will have played for 24 days when Cole Hamels throws his first pitch Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. That, in all likelihood, is the return date for Hamels. It will mark the franchise's longest period without its homegrown ace since 2007. They crave his presence. "It's pretty much right on schedule when you think about it," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. There is still some internal debate whether to start Hamels on Tuesday or Wednesday, but Sandberg believed Wednesday was best because that order places A.J. Burnett between Cliff Lee and Hamels, his two lefthanded starters.
SPORTS
April 14, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
READING - Kenny Giles elicits excitement for how hard he throws the ball from fans and teammates alike. "We call him 100 miles Giles," Reading catcher Tommy Joseph said. Maybe they should call him 101 miles Giles, which is the number the Reading righthander touched on the radar gun during last Sunday's 4-3 win over visiting Portland. As if he needs any more motivation, Giles admits that he receives an extra boost when the crowd reacts to the abnormally high radar-gun readings.
SPORTS
April 13, 2014 | BY DAVID MURPHY, Daily News Staff Writer dmurphy@phillynews.com
HELP COULD soon be on the way for the Phillies' beleaguered bullpen. Veteran setup man Mike Adams is targeting a Monday return, contingent upon a successful outing at Triple A Lehigh Valley today. The Phillies' bullpen entered yesterday with a 5.40 ERA, ranked second-worst in the National League. Phillies relievers were averaging only 7.09 strikeouts per nine innings, second-lowest in the NL (Washington and Atlanta rank first and second at 12.71 and 11.86). Adams, 35, was one of baseball's best setup men from 2008-12, prompting the Phillies to sign him to a 2-year, $12 million deal last offseason.
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