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SPORTS
April 20, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - Maikel Franco circled the bases Tuesday night, and fireworks rocketed from the center-field scoreboard. It was Franco's first homer of the season. The prospect continued his fast start to the minor- league year, and the celebration was on. But in his next two at-bats, Franco appeared to be a hitter looking for fireworks. He popped up with a runner on first and later struck out on four pitches. Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage thought Franco was overswinging.
SPORTS
April 16, 2015
NEW YORK - The Louisville Slugger U1 bat, bench coach Larry Bowa said during spring training, represents the mentality the Phillies want Freddy Galvis to take at the plate. Heavier and an inch longer than his typical bat, it forced the shortstop throughout six weeks of workouts and spring games to shorten his swing. Three games into the regular season, however, Galvis shelved the bat in favor of his old model. He still uses the U1 occasionally in batting practice, but it appears to have done its job. The mind-set and hitting concepts attached to swinging it have helped the 25-year-old shortstop get off to the best offensive start on the team.
SPORTS
April 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Odubel Herrera stood up from the chair in front of his locker and turned to face the reporters waiting for him in the Phillies clubhouse late Saturday night. Remnants from a postgame shaving-cream pie, courtesy of teammate and countryman Freddy Galvis, sat in clumps at the front of his dreadlocks. Herrera, an always-smiling 23-year-old from Venezuela, picked an opportune time for his first major-league hit. The second baseman-turned-centerfielder, who spent last year in double A, smacked Tanner Roark's 0-2 slider down the right-field line to score Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the 10th inning and put the Phillies (3-2)
SPORTS
April 12, 2015 | By JEFF MOELLER, For the Daily News
ALLENTOWN - Having seen little action in the past 2 years, Chad Billingsley found himself in an unfamiliar position in more ways than one last night. Yet, he is keeping everything in perspective, including his timetable to get to Citizens Bank Park. "I haven't pitched under the lights in a while," said Billingsley, who made his first rehab start with the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park. "In my rehab starts, I was always pitching during the day. "Overall, I was happy with it. My curveball was good and my fastball was loose.
SPORTS
April 10, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
ENTERING THE final week of spring training, two players in camp were unsure if they'd still be with the organization by Opening Day. Relief pitcher Phillippe Aumont learned of his fate rather quickly. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Lehigh Valley before the Phillies left Clearwater, Fla. Cesar Hernandez, who was also out of minor league options, was still uncertain less than 48 hours before Cole Hamels fired the first pitch in Monday's opener. "A little nervous," Hernandez said yesterday at his locker stall at Citizens Bank Park.
SPORTS
April 10, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jeff Francoeur graciously jogged around second base and rounded third with ease. He stepped on home, raised his hands, and smiled. Francoeur's first home-run trot in nearly two years was almost complete. Francoeur, 31, did not solidify a roster spot until Sunday morning. A 4-2 Phillies win against Boston Wednesday marked his first start. His three-run homer in the sixth inning gave the Phillies their first runs of the season. It was the rightfielder's first home run since June 16, 2013.
SPORTS
April 9, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
READING - A piece of paper stapled to the bulletin board inside the Phillies' spring training complex told the five pitchers that Reading would be their post-Florida destination. Jesse Biddle, Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, and Ben Lively are the team's top five pitching prospects. They arrived this week in "Baseballtown" to assemble what is expected to be one of the top rotations in all of double A. The pitchers were grouped together throughout spring training, leading them to believe they would start the season as teammates.
SPORTS
April 8, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies boarded a plane for Philadelphia last Thursday. They had scored three or fewer runs in 17 of their 31 spring-training games. Perhaps their offensive struggles would be left behind. Those thoughts were quickly dispelled Monday with a listless 8-0 loss to Boston on opening day. The Phillies mustered just three hits, tied for their all-time lowest opening-day output. It was their first scoreless season opener since 1998. The team's first three batters - Ben Revere, Odubel Herrera, and Chase Utley - combined to go 0 for 12 with four strikeouts.
SPORTS
April 8, 2015 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
A YEAR AGO, Mookie Betts was preparing for his season as a Double A infielder in Portland, Maine. Yesterday, he hit a third-inning home run against Cole Hamels and ran down the few balls hit to him in centerfield. You want to know why the vibe is so different for the Boston Red Sox after a season in which they managed to lose even more games than the Phillies, Mookie is as good a place to start as any. Only 22, Betts was the leadoff hitter in Boston's free-agent-infused Opening Day lineup yesterday, a lineup that has added Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to central figures Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, a lineup that, yesterday at least, included a healthy and mobile Shane Victorino.
SPORTS
April 7, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Five third basemen were needed to fill out the final 116 games of the 1989 Phillies season. Mike Schmidt retired in late May from the spot he occupied for 17 years, leaving a glaring void on the hot corner. In a similar vein, another long accounted-for Phillies position was vacated in December. On Monday, for the first time since 2000, the team's opening-day shortstop will not be named James Calvin Rollins. After Rollins waived his no-trade rights to play for a contender, the Phillies did not acquire a shortstop to take his place.
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