June 7, 2013 |
MILWAUKEE - Four weeks ago, Tyler Cloyd pitched into the seventh inning of his first major league game of the season, holding the hot-hitting Arizona Diamondbacks to two runs. Before the night was over, he was optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley. Cloyd wasn't guaranteed anything on that night and he might not be around a month from now, either. John Lannan was scheduled to make his first rehab start last night in Clearwater before rain washed out the game, and tonight in Reading, Carlos Zambrano will try to impress in his quest for a return to the big leagues.
May 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The latest reminder of how fragile young pitching is happened last week, when Minnesota demoted its opening-day starter to triple A. For two seasons, Vance Worley mystified hitters as a mainstay in the Phillies' rotation. No one threw a higher percentage of his pitches for called strikes. The rest of baseball adjusted when the Twins acquired him. Worley allowed 82 hits in 482/3 innings for a 7.21 ERA and became a Rochester Red Wing before May concluded. This is particularly relevant to Jonathan Pettibone, the latest unheralded, 22-year-old pitcher to crash the Phillies' rotation.
March 29, 2013 |
The Phillies went into the season two years ago with four aces and a sense that something special was about to happen. And they were right. The special wasn't quite as special as they had hoped, and they had no idea that Vance Worley, not Roy Oswalt, would be the fourth ace. Worley didn't even get to pose as one of the five aces when it was inexplicably decided that Joe Blanton should be the ace of something, too. Two years later, the...
March 18, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Roy Halladay talked for quite some time after his turbulent 22/3 innings Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers. He insisted that his lack of velocity and loss of command could all be dismissed as by-products of a tired arm and body. He had a different workout routine this offseason and threw two bullpens between his March 6 start against Washington and his infamous March 12 assignment against the Tigers. He was overcome by lethargy. Manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee weighed in, too. In expressing his concern, Manuel also said he still had to keep sending Halladay out there because the pitcher insisted he was healthy.
March 15, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - On Thursday afternoon, the Phillies sent a starter to the mound who had a 5.54 ERA in 59 major league games over the previous three seasons. While that alone isn't unique during spring training, the fact that they went out of their way to get a look at righthander Aaron Cook against a quality lineup was a fitting commentary on the perilous state of the club's pitching depth. What once was the undisputed strength of the Phillies roster is now something of a question mark, one that only grew larger after Roy Halladay's ominous outing Tuesday against the Tigers.
March 5, 2013 |
FORT MYERS, Fla. - It was the kind of day that is known to occur once or twice this time of year. The flags in centerfield were pointing out of the ballpark and the temperature was struggling to stay in the 50s and the guys on the mound were no longer pitching like they were ahead of the hitters. Up and down the Gulf Coast of Florida, long fly balls screamed out of stadiums like tracers on an overcast sky. Back in Clearwater, Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard both launched pitches into the heart of the jet stream, the latter's home run looking for an instant like it might drop a surprise on the hood of one of the unwitting blue hairs who were matriculating their vehicles up the highway that runs behind the rightfield wall.
March 1, 2013 |
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Domonic Brown continued his path to the first Opening Day start of his career with another productive day at the plate against Minnesota. He had two walks, scored three runs and hit a long RBI double off the centerfield wall. The Phillies' other young outfield hopeful, Darin Ruf, was missing in action for the second straight day, until Charlie Manuel found an ideal situation for the power-hitting righthanded batter. With the Phils trailing, 12-5, Manuel sent Ruf up to pinch-hit for Pete Orr against lefty Andrew Albers, who isn't in major league camp with the Twins.
February 28, 2013 |
FORT MYERS, Fla. - When a surgeon mercifully removed the calcified bone spur from Vance Worley's right elbow in September, it was not offered to the pitcher as a parting gift. "They didn't even show it to me," Worley said. "Everybody else I know got to keep theirs. " Worley, standing Wednesday in the bowels of Hammond Stadium, laughed. The bespectacled pitcher is now a Minnesota Twin and perhaps the team's opening day starter. He is engaged, and he popped the question the day he was traded from the Phillies.
February 22, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - We live in a world where a Top 100 list seems to be a prerequisite for any entity that has a halfway-decent Google page rank. This year, most of those lists rank the Phillies near the bottom of the majors in overall talent. Ruben Amaro Jr. has a relatively simple explanation for this. "It's all a bunch of crap," he said earlier this week. If Amaro's dismissal is a case of sour grapes, he is certainly going to great lengths to disguise it. When the Phillies general manager agreed to trade away starter Vance Worley and one-time top pitching prospect Trevor May in December, it is hard to imagine he did so to clear a rotation spot for John Lannan.