June 26, 2015 |
NEW YORK - It really had all the makings of the perfect showcase start for Cole Hamels and, instead, it spiraled into one of the many games that actually left the lefthander with his arms raised in the air in disbelief. After three games when everything broke right for the Phillies, Hamels took the mound and the worst team in baseball reared its ugly head behind him. It culminated in a routine ground ball to second base that began the fifth inning. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez was positioned far closer to second base than Hamels would have liked, and it resulted in a single.
May 12, 2015 |
EAGLES CENTER Mike Coccia is the biggest person in his family, but he's not the toughest, or the most determined, or even the best athlete. "That's my sister, Kristina," he said. Mike Coccia, a Bethlehem kid whose family has had season tickets for 15 years, realized a dream when he signed a rookie free-agent contract with the Eagles. He's got a good shot. The team needs depth on the offensive line. Coccia (pronounced KO-sha) played at New Hampshire, where they still run a version of Chip Kelly's offense.
May 6, 2015 |
ATLANTA - While he rehabilitated from the Tommy John surgery that ended his 2013 season after just two starts, Chad Billingsley said he could somewhat envision the day of his return to the mound. But when he tore his flexor tendon while he was on the comeback trail, Billingsley questioned whether he would ever get back. "And here I am right now," he said with a big smile Monday afternoon at Turner Field, "taking the field [Tuesday] and pitching on a big-league mound. " More than two years since his last major-league start, Billingsley will officially complete his long road back from consecutive elbow surgeries Tuesday night against the Braves.
April 5, 2015 |
Last August, on the next-to-last day of the tryouts for USA Baseball's under-18 national team in Houston, John Aiello's brief pitching stint abruptly went bad. "I threw a curveball and, basically, my elbow popped out," the Germantown Academy standout said. Tests revealed a tear to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, an injury that required Tommy John surgery. It was performed a month later by Phillies physician Michael Ciccotti at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
March 12, 2015
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Nine months elapsed between days on which Chad Billingsley pitched to live hitters, a time frame that probably seems like an eternity for the veteran major-leaguer. But there the 30-year-old righthander was Tuesday morning at the Phillies' spring training complex, directing a series of 25 pitches to non-roster invitees Chris McGuiness and Darin Mastroianni. Pitching coach Bob McClure said afterward that Billingsley threw as if he never underwent surgery. "From an arm strength [aspect]
January 31, 2015 |
Many of the Phillies' offseason moves, via trade and free agency, have addressed starting pitching. They added another arm to the mix Thursday when they signed veteran righthander Chad Billingsley to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Billingsley, 30, has not pitched since 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of that year. He also underwent right flexor tendon surgery in June 2014. His deal includes performance bonuses. Lefthanded reliever Cesar Jimenez was designated for assignment to make room for Billingsley on the Phillies' 40-man roster.
September 5, 2014 |
THE NFL PRESEASON was a yellow mess. Flags, flags everywhere as the league decided that it was time to crack down on the all of the mean and awful things that linebackers and defensive backs were doing to the league's receivers. Never mind that they did this following a season in which the league set all sorts of new scoring records. In the first 3 weeks of the preseason, the zebras threw 902 flags in 49 games. That's 18.5 penalties a game, or 5.1 a game more than they called in the 2013 regular-season.
August 9, 2014 |
When Cliff Lee consulted with two doctors, there was never a mention of surgery for his troublesome left elbow. The parties agreed that Lee suffered a reoccurrence of the strained flexor pronator muscle, an injury that sidelined him for two months earlier this season. The Phillies will adopt another conservative approach with Lee, who may not throw again until October or November. But another elongated period of rest will not quell doubt about Lee's availability for 2015. He is, for now, expected to be ready for spring training.
August 4, 2014 |
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - It wasn't the plan going into the season, but Lakewood, the Phillies' low-A affiliate, is employing a six-man rotation. Lefthanders Matt Imhof, who had a heavy college load, and Yoel Mecias, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, were recently promoted, and the Phillies want both 20-year-olds to have extra rest between starts. Plus, 19-year-old righthander Tyler Viza is in his first full professional season. Righthander Ranfi Casimiro, 22, like Viza, hasn't missed a start, so the Phillies organization thought the two could also benefit from extra rest.
May 19, 2014 |
The Marlins, manager Mike Redmond said, protected Jose Fernandez. They restricted his innings while in the minors. They did not permit him to pitch in the ninth inning of any major-league game. They shut him down in September last season. The 21-year-old Cuban with a dynamic right arm threw 100 or more pitches in just 11 of his first 36 starts, yet he fell to Tommy John surgery last week. "I wish we could find a reason for it, because it's sad," Redmond told reporters. "I wish we could figure out a way to keep these guys on the field.