April 3, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The sensation in Ken Giles' back was described to Ruben Amaro Jr. as milder than the ailment that slowed third baseman Cody Asche for four days. The Phillies general manager does not anticipate a stint on the disabled list for the team's promising setup man. "We wouldn't risk it if we think it's a risk," Amaro said. Giles exited his outing Tuesday after facing two batters. The 24-year-old downplayed the injury afterward, calling it "just tightness. " Wednesday, Amaro called it a mild mid-back strain.
April 2, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - While the Phillies played their final road game of spring training on Tuesday, Domonic Brown walked off the minor-league fields in Clearwater clutching two black bats and a red batting helmet. "Made it through," he quipped with a smile before heading back into an empty Bright House Field clubhouse. Hours earlier, the Phillies informed Brown that the tendinitis in his left Achilles would land him on the 15-day disabled list to start the season. This did not come as a surprise, not even to the optimistic rightfielder, who discussed such a possibility Monday with the team's head athletic trainer, Scott Sheridan.
March 30, 2015 |
Much of baseball's appeal relies on its unchanging nature. The 2015 game, between the lines at least, is virtually indistinguishable from that of 1965 or even 1915. It's a comfortable continuum that fosters, more than any other sport, generational interaction, comparisons between eras, and historical reverence. But baseball's ancient moat isn't so wide that it can exclude change completely. Right now, for example, in Clearwater, Fla., Phillies players are wrapping up a spring training their distant predecessors would have thought impossible.
March 29, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies are at the point in spring training when their relievers pitch back-to-back days to build arm strength for the season. Jake Diekman, in this particular case, is especially thankful he pitches again Saturday. "If I could, I'd be pitching right now," he said Friday after allowing seven runs on six hits in just 1/3 of an inning against the New York Yankees. "That was terrible. " A brutal fifth inning of a rain-shortened 10-0 Phillies' loss ballooned Diekman's spring ERA to 12.27.
March 27, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Here's the best thing you can say about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the Cuban import to whom the Phillies gave a 3-year, $12 million contract two Augusts ago: He's healthy. The first year of Gonzalez's deal wasn't a very productive one for the player or his new team. He had shoulder pain from the start in the spring, was shifted to the bullpen in the summer, and got virtually no experience that will aid his mission in becoming a pitcher in the Phillies' rotation sometime soon.
March 19, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - David Buchanan will be the first to tell you he's not a strikeout pitcher. But the 25-year-old righthander will take the six he recorded Tuesday in the first three innings of the Phillies' 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. "I got away with a few pitches. I'm not going to lie," he said. "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good in this game. " Buchanan, all but a lock for the Phillies rotation in the wake of Cliff Lee's elbow injury, allowed one run on two hits in four innings.
March 18, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - With Cliff Lee on the 60-day disabled list, the Phillies' offseason signing of Aaron Harang becomes even more important. Harang, a 36-year-old righthander, is in line to become the team's No. 2 starter behind ace Cole Hamels now that Lee is resting the torn common flexor tendon in his left elbow. That, of course, is dependent on Harang's staying healthy, too. But despite already missing two of three scheduled spring starts because of back discomfort, Harang said Monday he is confident he will begin the regular season on schedule.
March 17, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Things are different for the Phillies this spring. Everyone knows and acknowledges this. From 2004 through 2012, the Phillies came here with the expectation that they would compete for, if not presume to win, the National League East. In 2013 and 2014, they came here with the hope of repeating that success, even if anyone who had foreseen the team's predictable downward trajectory recognized that hope was faint. This spring is not like those springs. The expectations are minimal.
March 15, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The first sign Aaron Harang would miss his second start of this spring came Friday morning, when he watched as the rest of the Phillies pitchers played catch. The veteran righthander was scratched for Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers because of lower-back discomfort. His status is day-to-day, the team said. "It's a little muscular thing that he has," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "I'm not that concerned about it. " Righthander Paul Clemens, a nonroster invitee, will start in Harang's place.
March 12, 2015 |
Weak offense With the M*A*S*H* list growing by the minute inside the clubhouse - Maikel Franco left early yesterday to have a root canal - it was easy to miss the fact that the Phillies had four hits to go alongside a goose egg on the home half of the scoreboard entering the ninth inning. Non-roster first baseman Chris McGuiness singled in the ninth inning but the Phillies lost to Detroit, 6-0 at Bright House Field. It marked the fourth time in the last five games the Phillies scored fewer than three runs.