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SPORTS
February 26, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. - I am going to double back on something I wrote yesterday, and because there are still 37 days left in spring training, I'm not going to feel bad about it. Words will be written on other topics. For now, though, let's look at an issue that several people raised via Twitter and email yesterday with regard to the Red Sox' signing of Cuban infield prospect Yoan Moncada. As I mentioned in the column, one of the mitigating factors that clubs had to consider before signing Moncada was the accompanying forfeiture of the right to sign any international players for more than $300,000 for 2 years.
SPORTS
February 26, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Although the Phillies did not appear to make a serious run at 19-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, his reported deal with the Boston Red Sox could affect the Phils in the coming months. Boston's addition of Moncada, who Monday reportedly agreed to a $31.5 million signing bonus, deepens the Red Sox prospect pool. It's possible the Red Sox could intensify their pursuit of Cole Hamels as the July 31 trade deadline gets close. At that point, an abundance of prospects could make Boston the front-runner to land the Phillies ace. Moncada will join a talent pool already consisting of touted catcher Blake Swihart and 6-foot-6 lefthander Henry Owens.
SPORTS
February 24, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The core of the Phillies' young bullpen gathered Sunday morning on the back pitching mounds of the Carpenter Complex. Jake Diekman and Ken Giles - two of the hardest-throwing pitchers in camp - threw simultaneously to complete their second bullpen sessions of spring training. The two relievers are preparing for their first regular season with defined roles as they will be responsible for being the bridge between the starting pitcher and closer Jonathan Papelbon.
SPORTS
February 24, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Freddy Galvis has the unenviable task of replacing Phillies' all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins as the team's everyday shortstop. The slick-fielding 25-year-old said Sunday he doesn't feel extra pressure because of the act he's following. "Jimmy was Jimmy. Jimmy was the man here in Philadelphia," Galvis said. "But you have to come here and play baseball. That's it. I have to do my game. I don't have to do Jimmy's game. I have to do Freddy Galvis' game and play ball.
SPORTS
February 24, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Another catcher reported to the Phillies' camp Sunday morning and even though he will be unable to help the rebuilding process on the field, Darren Daulton was still the most welcome sight on these premises since spring training opened Thursday. That's especially true because he came bearing good news at a time when his former team could use it. After visiting his oncologist for an MRI examination in Florida, Daulton tweeted this on Thursday: "I'm incredibly blessed to have a clean scan.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | Daily News staff and wire reports
NEW YORK - Major League Baseball is making some changes designed to speed games, but won't implement more radical proposals this year. The league and the players' union announced an agreement yesterday to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter's box in most cases. MLB also will post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks. MLB did not institute many of the ideas experimented with during the Arizona Fall League, such as a 20-second clock between pitches, a limitation of pitcher's mound conferences involving catchers and managers, and no-pitch intentional walks.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Starter-turned-reliever Ethan Martin is back to starting. At least for now. "He needs to pitch. He didn't get enough reps last year," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday. "I think he needs to work on all his stuff and the command of all his pitches, and I think this is the best way to do it and get his arm strength going. " Martin, the 25-year-old righthander the Phillies acquired in 2012 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shane Victorino, spent last year as a reliever.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. What he said and when he said it predictably became the focal point of Cole Hamels' 25-minute interrogation at Bright House Field on Saturday. The former World Series MVP and the Phillies' current Trade Chip MVP created quite the stir on the eve of spring training Wednesday when he was quoted by a USA Today reporter essentially saying he wanted out of Philadelphia because he wants to win "and I know it's not going to happen here. " Those became the most scrutinized words spoken by Hamels since the 2009 World Series, when he said after a Game 3 loss to the New York Yankees that he couldn't wait for the season to end. What he said then was considered by many to be twisted and taken out of context, and maybe this was, too. Hamels, however, did not deny his words at his group media session Saturday even as he softened his stance so much that it was impossible to figure out exactly how he felt about anything.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Columnist
Winter seems a little deeper, more barren this year. It's not just the cold and snow. Here in Philadelphia, the normal spiritual thawing that spring training delivers has been negated by the Phillies' bitter-cold hopelessness. And so, in search of baseball-related sunshine - and, frankly, a column idea - I reached for Total Baseball, the game's statistical and historical encyclopedia. Perhaps an indiscriminately discovered fact could temper February's icy chill. Opening the behemoth book to a random page, 920 as it happened, I shut my eyes and blindly poked a finger.
SPORTS
February 22, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Major League Baseball announced rules changes on Friday that are intended to quicken the game's pace, and Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg is all for it. The pace of the average game has slowed by nearly a half hour in the last 34 years. Under the new rules, a manager no longer needs to leave the dugout to invoke instant replay to challenge an umpire's call; a batter must keep one foot in the batter's box at all times; and in-stadium timers will be used to enforce a prompt return to play after commercial breaks.
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