Philadelphia Phillies News
7-26-16: The Phillies, who are now without Andres Blanco due to a fractured finger, are still looking for their first series victory of their post-All-Star break schedule, but Monday’s 4-0 victory over the Marlins in Miami bodes well for Philadelphia. Jeremy Hellickson threw six scoreless innings in the win. A week ago, the Phillies lost three of four contests against the visiting Marlins, and two of the losses were in extra innings.
7-19-16: On Monday, first baseman Tommy Joseph homered for the 12th time this season, but the Phillies lost the first game of their series against the visiting Miami Marlins in 11 innings. Philadelphia has just one win since the All-Star break; in Saturday’s victory, Jerad Eickhoff threw six innings of two-run ball, and Ryan Howard homered for the 13th time this season.
7-14-16: The Phillies have looked strong in July, but their record is still six games below .500. They headed into their four-game series as winners of their previous three series, but could only salvage a split against the Colorado Rockies, the team that is one spot below them in the National League wild card standings.
7-7-16: Jeremy Hellickson threw six innings and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, and he helped the Phillies stay in the game, so Freddy Galvis could hit a home run in the eighth inning. The two-run round tripper proved to be the difference in Wednesday’s 4-3 victory that completed the sweep of the visiting Atlanta Braves.
6-29-16: Vincent Velasquez, who returned from his biceps injury on Monday, threw five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts en route to the Phillies’ 8-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Then on Tuesday, the Phillies rode a ninth-inning rally, including Ryan Howard’s bases-loaded walk, to win the game, 4-3, and already clinch the series victory.
9-28-15: The Phillies, who announced that they will not pick up the option on 37-year-starting pitcher Cliff Lee, made a statement on Sunday at Nationals Park. Philadelphia put eight runs on the board in the ninth inning en route to their 12-5 win in the rubber game. Jeff Francoeur and Andres Blanco each homered in the victory.
9-25-15: The Philadelphia Phillies have the worst record in Major League Baseball and if they can hold onto that distinction they will get the first overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft. Both teams already have a strong farm system heading into the final weeks of the 2015 season with the Phillies impressive group of youngsters being led by Aaron Nola, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson and J.P. Crawford while the Braves sport top prospects Ozhaino Albies, Kolby Allard and Hector Olivera who is currently with the Major League club. While the Phillies have prospects that are a few seasons away the team also has a veteran presence or two already willing to come back to the team in 2016. The Phillies have veteran outfield Jeff Francoeur on the team and the club and the right-handed bat have a mutual interest in returning next season. The Phillies showed their confidence in “Frenchy” after the outfielder was claimed on revocable waivers in August and the team quickly pulled him back without attempting to trade him first.
9-23-15: After an off day, the Phillies, who announced that manager Pete Mackanin is returning for 2016, bounced back from their six-game losing streak to win on Tuesday against the Marlins in Miami. Aaron Harang won his sixth game of the season, as he threw seven innings of two-run ball. Code Asche homered twice as a part of a three-hit night, and Darin Ruf added a homer as well.
9-18-15: The Philadelphia Phillies will have a new GM when the 2015 season ends but the team will also have a new team president as well in Andy MacPhail. MacPhail will replace Pat Gillick at the end of the season and has already put his footprint into the team when he relieved Ruben Amaro Jr. of his GM duties last week after lackluster three or four seasons in Philadelphia. All signs point to the current interim GM Pete Mackanin keeping the GM job past the 2015 season but nothing is set in stone at this time in Philadelphia. Mackanin is hoping to not take the blame for decisions that were sometimes outside of his control as the Phillies GM. Amaro Jr. reportedly wanted to start a rebuilding period for the Phillies earlier than the 2015 season but was overruled by team management who wanted to continue their win-now tactics. Gillick, the man Amaro replaced as the GM and the team’s president for the remainder of the season, was behind many of the decisions to trade near-ready minor league prospects for established veteran players that may or may not have been past their primes.
9-15-15: Last week, it was announced that Ruben Amaro Jr. was fired after serving as the general manager of the Phillies for seven years. On Monday, Philadelphia looked to get its winning streak to three games, but pitching failed the Phillies that evening. Although Aaron Nola had eight strikeouts, he allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings in the 8-7 extra-inning loss.
9-11-15: The Philadelphia Phillies finally cut ties with their GM Ruben Amaro Jr. this week when they gave him his walking papers and release. The team announced that assistant GM Scott Proefrock will take over as the interim GM immediately as he replaces the man that has been at the helm of the team since the offseason before the 2008 season. Amaro’s led Phillies won the World Series in his first season as GM in 2008 and returned to the World Series in 2009 before losing to the New York Yankees in six games. Amaro also led the team to the playoffs in the 2010 and 2011 seasons before the steep decline for the team and the players on the field began in 2012. Amaro attempted to make deals to keep the team relevant but the list of budding prospects and stars that he traded away, a list that includes Carlos Carrasco, Travis d’Arnaud, Jarred Cosart, JA Happ, Vance Worley, Trevor May, Domingo Santana and Jon Singleton, far outweighed the list of effective players the GM brought back to the club in return. Amaro did acquire Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee for relatively small prospect packages but the extensions and deals handed out to Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz have dampened the team’s playoff chances ever since.
9-7-15: The Phillies had 11 hits at Fenway Park on Sunday, as they tried to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. However, all of the hits went for singles. Philadelphia scored just two runs, as the team fell, 6-2. Jerad Eickhoff allowed six runs in four innings in the loss.
9-4-15: The Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was thought to be a lame duck general manager coming into the season but after his wheeling and dealing this season he may not only save his spot inside the Phillies organization but he may also keep the GM’s hat as well. After selling off Cole Hamels for a significant deal and shedding the salaries of Jonathan Papelbon and Chase Utley the Phillies may want to keep Amaro around to at least watch over the beginning the team’s rebuilding process. Part of that rebuilding process may have seen outfielder Domonic Brown play his final game in a Philadelphia Phillies after injuring himself on a popup. Brown tried to make a catch over the right field fall this week and went tumbling over the wall landing on his head. Brown was removed from the game with a suspected concussion and could be done for the remainder of the 2015 season due to precautionary reasons. While some players are placed on the 7-day concussion DL a player like Brown, who has had concussions in the past, are treated completely differently and a lot more cautiously in order to prevent a career-ending injury.
8-31-15: The Phillies took the first two contests of their three-game series against the San Diego Padres, but Philadelphia fell on Sunday, 9-4. In his Major League Baseball debut, Alec Asher allowed four runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit his eighth home run of the season in the loss.
8-28-15: The Philadelphia Phillies are unlikely to bring back their GM Ruben Amaro Jr. after the 2015 season after he was given much of the blame for the team’s current state of affairs. Under Amaro’s watchful eye the Phillies signed or acquired the likes of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere, Marlon Byrd and Jimmy Rollins to name a few and ended up having to trade most of them this season thus beginning a rebuilding process. One player Amaro Jr. will not get credit for trading is outfielder Jeff Francoeur after the team pulled him back off revocable waivers this week. The Phillies placed Francoeur on revocable waivers and saw their outfielder claimed by an unreported team, although it is rumored that the Pittsburgh Pirates were awarded the claim, and were unable to work out a trade before having to pull him back off waivers. The Phillies can place Francoeur on waivers a second time this month but the team will not be able to pull him back this team which could limit what the team gets back, if anything, for his services. Francoeur is willing to come back to Philadelphia for the 2016 season despite the team’s rebuilding process finally being in full effect and could serve as a veteran mentor and teacher for the young group of Phillies prospects ready to come through the farm system and make their way to the big leagues as soon as 2016.
8-24-15: Last week, the Phillies sent Chase Utley and $2 million to the Los Angles Dodgers in exchange for minor leaguers Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. On Sunday, Philadelphia closed out its four-game series against the Miami Marlins on a strong note. Behind Aaron Nola’s eight scoreless innings, the Phillies won, 2-0, to win their third consecutive game.
8-21-15: The Philadelphia Phillies announced this week that the Houston Astros had the best package for Philadelphia Phillies ace left-hander Cole Hamels but it was Hamels and his limited no-trade clause that kept Hamels out of Houston and in Texas with the Texas Rangers. Houston was willing to give up prospects Brett Phillips and Josh Hader in the deal, both of whom went to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez, while the Astros were also willing to guarantee Hamels option year written into his contract but ultimately the southpaw declined the deal. The Phillies are likely to trade one of Hamels former teammates this month as well as Chase Utley cleared revocable waivers this month. Utley does have a full no-trade clause with his 10-and-5 rights and can block any trade to any team for the remainder of his season. Utley has said he would waive his no-trade clause in order to gain more playing time for himself and has also voiced a preference to play for a team on the West Coast. The two teams who have shown the most interest in Utley’s services are the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim although no deals are said to be close or imminent at this time. In the end Philadelphia sent Utley and around $4 million to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two prospects.
8-19-15: The Phillies have begun to struggle again recently, as they have lost their last four games to fall to 27 games below .500 on the season. On Tuesday, the Phillies began a quick, two-game homestand against the Toronto Blue Jays. After falling, 8-5, in that contest, Pete Mackanin’s squad looks for a split before heading to Miami.
8-14-15: The Philadelphia Phillies started this week out the same way they have started out many weeks lately, by trying to take that next step towards rebuilding the franchise from the inside out. That begins with ridding themselves of some of these expensive veteran contracts including the contract of veteran second baseman Chase Utley. Utley returned this week from the disabled list after battling an ankle injury and was almost immediately placed on August revocable waivers. The rest of the league, 29 teams, had a chance to claim Utley on waivers and either work out a trade with Philadelphia or get stuck with his contract and no team took the chance as the second baseman cleared waivers this week. Utley had 10-and-5 rights so he can essentially block any trade to any team this season but the Phillies can now trade him to any team for the remainder of the season as long as they have his permission. The night after Utley cleared waivers the Phillies had multiple teams in the stands scouting Utley including the New York Yankees. Utley is just the beginning of the roster shakeup for the Phillies this month as the team will also look to unload the contracts of Aaron Harang, Carlos Ruiz, Jeff Francoeur and of course the struggling first baseman Ryan Howard.
8-7-15: The Philadelphia Phillies began the next chapter of their team’s history after unloading a bit of their team at the July 31st trading deadline. The team sent Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers and Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals while Ben Revere went to the Toronto Blue Jays for an impressive prospects haul but the team may not be done there. The team is now hoping to use August’s revocable waivers trading deadline to unload the contracts of veteran players Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Utley has been garnering more attention than Howard at this point due to the fact that the veteran second baseman may become a free agent after the 2015 season. Utley has a vesting option for the 2016 season written into his contract that would trigger if he reached 500 plate appearances this season. With Utley missing a significant portion of the 2015 season with an ankle injury it seems less and less likely that Utley will reach that plateau, especially since he is now essentially a part-time player in Philadelphia these days.
8-7-15: On Tuesday, the fans at Citizens Bank Park gave Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins a standing ovation in his return to Philadelphia. The Phillies won that day, 6-2, to get their 2015 home record back to .500. Maikel Franco launched a grand slam, his 12th home run of the season, in Tuesday’s win, but Philadelphia dropped the last two games of the three-game series against the Dodgers.
8-3-15: The Phillies finally pulled the trigger on trading Cole Hamels, as they sent him along with Jake Diekman and cash to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Matt Harrison and five other players. Philadelphia also traded Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals and Ben Revere to Toronto Blue Jays last week. The Phillies, who have not lost a series since the All-Star break, fell on Sunday after taking the first three games of their series against the Atlanta Braves.
7-31-15: The Philadelphia Phillies came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time sellers in the market. The Phillies had one of the best pieces to sell in Cole Hamels and they did just that when they traded their left-handed ace to the Texas Rangers for a prospects package. Hamels and relief pitcher Jake Diekman came to Texas along with $9.5 million in cash while the Rangers sent LHP Matt Harrison, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Jorge Alfaro and Nick Williams. The team was not done selling there though as the team also sent their closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals in what ended up being a very complicated transaction. Papelbon went to Washington and immediately demanded to be the closer there while Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta went back to Philadelphia in the trade. Papelbon will also see his deal for the 2016 season picked up by Washington for $2 million less than what he was originally slated to make. $3 million of the $11 million that Papelbon is set to make in 2016 will be deferred to the 2017 season when Papelbon is expected to hit free agency. It will be interesting to see who picks up Papelbon in 2017 as he continues his quest to pass Mariano Rivera on the all-time saves list in Major League Baseball.
7-27-15: The Phillies have been looking great since the All-Star break, as they have lost just one game in that span. Since the 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia put together another four-game winning streak. After Cole Hamels’ no-hitter on Saturday, the Phillies won, 11-5, on Sunday behind home runs from Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard. In addition, the Phillies went 8-for-13 with runners in scoring position that day.
7-24-15: The Philadelphia Phillies have received a pair of bad starts from Cole Hamels at possibly the worst time in the season with about a week to go before the July 31st trading deadline. Some around the league are worried about whether being on the trading block for over a calendar year now may be getting to the left-hander mentally. The summer heat and the fact that Hamels is playing on arguably the worst team in Major League Baseball may also be affecting the left-hander leaving many to hope that a change of scenery will do wonders for Hamels if traded. Another player Philadelphia is likely looking to trade at this year’s trading deadline is closer Jonathan Papelbon although the reported interest in him has been less than overwhelming. The Toronto Blue Jays seems to be the team most interested in Papelbon’s services but Toronto is seemingly attached to every single pitcher on the market both in the bullpen and in the starting rotation. The team could also move second baseman Chase Utley if he is healthy enough before the deadline although he and Ryan Howard would have to be attached to an attractive piece like Hamels to likely make the move work for both sides.
7-22-15: Right-handed pitching prospect Aaron Nola looked strong in his Major League Baseball debut on Tuesday, as he threw six innings of one-run ball. Unfortunately, the Phillies offense could not scratch across a run, as they lost, 1-0, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Philadelphia’s loss on Tuesday ended the Phillies’ four-game winning streak, which included a sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins.
7-17-15: The Philadelphia Phillies have a bit of a problem child on their hands with their closer Jonathan Papelbon as he began the week and the All-Star break by essentially demanding that the Phillies trade him. Papelbon stated that he wants to pitch for a contender this season and while the team presumably already knows this Papelbon hopes the rant will force the hand of the team. Papelbon, 34, comes with limited no-trade protection and a vesting option for the 2016 season that looks likely to trigger barring an injury so Papelbon can be a bit picky with what team Philadelphia sends him to. Another week has gone by without the Phillies trading away their ace Cole Hamels which has led to more speculation on what team will acquire the ace left-hander. One team that was thought to be interested in Hamels services was the Houston Astros but Houston has since cooled off on their pursuit since Hamels refused to waive his no trade clause to go there. Instead teams like the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and others are being linked to Hamels week after week while Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies GM, continues to field calls. The Phillies may wait until the Johnny Cueto and David Price markets work themselves out to maximize their return for the LHP.
7-13-15: The Phillies collected nine hits on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, but had only one extra-base hit. Cody Asche had a single and a double, but was caught stealing early in the game. Ryan Howard had two singles and knocked in both of the Phillies runs, but Philadelphia’s offense was not enough, as the team lost, 4-2.
7-8-15: On Sunday, Cole Hamels threw seven shutout innings, and the Phillies scored four times in the 10th inning to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 4-0. The win stopped Philadelphia’s six-game losing streak. After Monday’s 10-7 loss at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies bounced back to win, 7-2, behind Chad Billingsley’s six innings of two-run ball on Tuesday.
6-30-15: The Marlins had a very frustrating week, as they lost Giancarlo Stanton for four to six weeks due to a fractured hamate bone, and the team continued to lose on the field. On Saturday, Miami stopped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the Marlins lost on Sunday to fall back to 15 games below .500 on the season.
6-17-15: With Tuesday’s loss, the Phillies fell to the 22-44 on the season. After being swept by both the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia dropped both of its games in Baltimore. Although the Phillies scored for the first time in three games on Tuesday, they gave up eight home runs to the Orioles.
6-5-15: The Philadelphia Phillies are relieved that Cole Hamels has rebounded from his early season troubles as we inch closer and closer to the July 31st trading deadline. Hamels came into the week posting a league high 74.1 IP to go with a 2.91 ERA and a 9.2 K/9 ratio. To help facilitate a trade the Phillies announced that the team would be willing to cover more of the remaining $88.5 million owed to Hamels on his current contract. As important as this year’s trading deadline will be to the rebuilding team it is just as important, if not more, for the team to do well in this year’s MLB First Player’s Draft. The team admittedly waited entirely too long to begin the rebuilding process and will simply draft for talent and not for need on June 8th when MLB Network showcases the draft. The Phillies own the #10 and #48 picks in the first two rounds and have announced that the team would likely stay away from “project-type” players like Brady Aiken and Mike Matuella who have recently undergone Tommy John surgery before the draft.
6-1-15: On Monday, the Phillies released outfielder Grady Sizemore, who was designated for
assignment on Friday and cleared waivers. Unfortunately, Philadelphia’s play on the field
was not strong this past week, as the team owns the longest current losing streak in Major
League Baseball. The Phillies have lost seven consecutive games, as they continue their nine-game homestand on Tuesday.
5-30-15: The Philadelphia Phillies are enjoying an upswing from their veteran players at just the right time as GM Ruben Amaro Jr. prepares to presumably sell off as many pieces as he can this July. Players like Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Ben Revere and Cole Hamels to name a few are the likeliest of players to be traded as the team finally decides to rebuild their aging and struggling squad. While the team is admitting to a rebuild finally that does not mean they will begin to rush their prospects, namely their pitching prospects of Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin, and sacrifice their future for a few starts now. The Phillies originally had discussions and plans to send Revere to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before the team decided to acquire Kirk Nieuwenhuis from the New York Mets in a much smaller deal in terms of cost. Revere has two years left of team control while Nieuwenhuis is a free agent after the season allowing the team to be patient while looking for a potential trade partner.
5-25-15: On Monday, the Phillies dropped to 7-18 on the road and 19-28 overall in 2015, as they fell to the New York Mets, 6-3. Philadelphia’s fourth loss in five games came after another disappointing offensive effort. In those four losses, the team has scored one run twice and three runs twice.
5-18-15: On Sunday, Sean O’Sullivan threw six shutout innings with four strikeouts, as he got his first Major League Baseball win since 2011. Top prospect Maikel Franco, who was called up on Friday, scored two runs, drove in two runs, homered and tripled in the 6-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
5-12-15: In Monday’s game against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth inning down two runs. Odubel Herrera led off the inning with his first career Major League Baseball home run, and Carlos Ruiz singled with one out, but Philadelphia could not get another baserunner, as the team fell, 4-3, dropping its third game in a row.
5-5-15: The Phillies bounced back from their five-game losing streak with wins on Sunday and Monday. Philadelphia salvaged the final game of its three-game series in Miami behind four one-hit innings from the Phillies’ bullpen. Then, Aaron Harang threw six innings of one-run ball en route to Philadelphia’s 5-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
4-29-15: On Tuesday, the Phillies activated outfielder Domonic Brown from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Philadelphia also purchased the contract of right-hander Severino Gonzalez from Triple-A to pitch at Busch Stadium, but he did not fare too well in Tuesday’s 11-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He gave up seven runs in 2.2 innings in his debut in the majors.
4-20-15: The Phillies ended their six-game losing streak on Saturday, as they defeated the Washington Nationals, 5-3, after scoring in the seventh and ninth innings. However, on Sunday, Philadelphia could not salvage a split in the series, as the team fell to 4-9. The Phillies continued to struggle to score runs, as they still have yet put up more than five runs in a game this season.
4-7-15: In Monday’s Opening Day game at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia offense could only muster three hits in the team’s 8-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Carlos Ruiz went 1-for-2 with two walks. Cole Hamels threw five innings and gave up four runs. In other pitching news, the Phillies signed right-hander Dustin McGowan to a one-year deal on Saturday.
4-2-15: On Thursday, the Phillies acquired minor league infielder Devin Lohman from the Cincinnati Reds. On Sunday, Chase Utley hit his first two home runs of 2015 spring
training. Also that day, Philadelphia named Cole Hamels their Opening Day starter. The
Phillies will start their season on April 6 when they host the Boston Red Sox.
3-25-15: Although the Phillies’ big-name starting pitchers have not had such good news recently,
25-year-old David Buchanan has had a fantastic spring training, as he has yet to walk a
batter. The right-hander who made 20 starts for the Phillies last season threw five scoreless innings on Monday against the Minnesota Twins, and Philadelphia won that contest, 3-0.
3-3-15: Cliff Lee, who dealt with bronchitis during the winter, is throwing every third day as spring training is getting into gear in Clearwater, Florida. Lee was happy with his performance, as he threw batting practice on Wednesday, the first time he threw to hitters since hurting his left elbow on July 31, 2014.
2-17-15: There was not much news on the trade front for the Phillies, as they continue to shop their pitchers. Regarding the team’s current roster, longtime minor leaguer Cesar Jimenez cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He will attend spring training with the Phillies as a non-roster invitee.
2-11-15: The Phillies are still in the process of trading away their frontline pitchers. Cliff Lee, who
has dealt with elbow trouble recently, as well as Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon are
all being shopped. There are reportedly five or six teams in the Hamels sweepstakes. The Brewers seem to be the most interested team in the closer.
10-1-14: It was failure of a season once again for the Phillies. Ruben Amaro Jr’s strategy of handing out multi-year deals to players 35 and older didn’t work out. Philadelphia signed Marlon Byrd, A.J. Burnett and Carlos Ruiz in the offseason, and landed in last place in the NL East. Wow, who would have thought that? Their front office failed to make any trades at the deadline when it was clear that the team was going nowhere. The Phillies are doomed for years to come with their overpriced, aging roster, and their incompetent general manager.
9-30-14: The Philadelphia Phillies wanted to trade closer Jonathan Papelbon before his crotch grabbing incident last week and will likely find it harder to find a trade partner now after the controversy. Papelbon has a no trade clause, a vesting option for the 2016 season, and a $13 million AAV to try and contend with if a potential trade was made. Papelbon was suspended for seven games and did not appeal so the suspension would not carry over into the 2015 season which helps the Phillies cause in any potential trade. If Philadelphia was able to shed the contract of Papelbon the team could make a real run at outfielder Yasmani Tomas this winter. The team held a private workout with Tomas this week as the team looks to potentially sign the latest Cuban defector. Ruben Amaro Jr. also traveled to Japan to scout the latest starting pitcher to come over from the Japanese League in Kenta Maeda. Another International free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will get an opportunity to start next spring training after spending the 2014 season in the Phillies bullpen. The Phillies will have many starting pitching holes to fill next season and the team hopes that Gonzalez can fill one of those holes for the team. Philadelphia finished the 2014 season with a 73-89 record and will not be in the 2014 postseason.
9-25-14: Series losses on the road to the Padres and A’s made for another poor showing from the Phils last week. Right-hander Jerome Williams did make history last week when he picked up the win in his start against the A's. He became the first pitcher ever to beat one opponent while pitching for three different teams in the same season. I guess it’s a small prize for a team that will almost certainly be different next season.
9-23-14: The Philadelphia Phillies may be considered to be the early favorites to land the latest Cuban defecting outfielder Yasmani Tomas. The Phillies missed out on outfielder Rusney Castillo and may be more inclined to reach the reported $100 million price tag than other teams around the league. This move could especially be made if the Phillies find a suitor for Ryan Howard, preferably an American League team that could DH him, and his $60 million in remaining salary. Speaking of salary if AJ Burnett decided to come back for the 2015 season with the Phillies his salary would now be $12.75 million after making his 32nd start of the season. Burnett has toyed with the idea of retirement for the last few winters so there is no guarantee that he would return to pitch in 2015. If Burnett looks to the positives while making his decision he can look to another healthy, albeit less productive, season in 2014 with the Phillies. The determining factor for Burnett will be his health as he already has announced he will need a hernia surgery this offseason and is now facing a little bit of dead arm.
9-18-14: The nightmare season that was 2014 is only two weeks away from ending for the Phillies. There needs to be major changes this offseason if the Phils are to have any hope of returning to contention. Cody Asche has picked things up at the plate this month, but Maikel Franco maybe gunning for Asche's job next season. Third base is just one of many decisions the Phillies have to make. They have dropped two straight to the Padres as they’re in midst of a 10-game road trip.
9-16-14: The Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg may have ruffled some feathers this week when he mentioned that a move to first base would likely help Chase Utley and elongate his career. Sandberg came short of speaking ill of Ryan Howard or suggesting that the team should trade Howard this winter but many players on the team and writers that cover the team are seemingly taking that from the quote. The Phillies have discussed moving Howard to an American League team this winter so he can be a full time DH although the team would have to be willing to eat much of his remaining $60 million left on his contract. Utley is still under contract for the 2015 season in Philadelphia but one of his teammates, Kyle Kendrick, is not and may have pitched his final game in Philadelphia in a Phillies uniform this week. Kendrick has expressed a definite interest in returning to the team this offseason but it is unclear whether the interest is mutual from the team or whether the club has the finances to make such a signing happen.
9-12-14: Series wins against the Braves and Nationals on the road last week have the Phillies playing well. This week they’ve split the first two games of their series against the Pirates. Philadelphia appears to have embraced the role of spoiler to wrap up what has been a disappointing season.
Ben Revere is hitting .349 since the All-Star break, bringing his average to .310 on the year. He’s third in the NL batting race trailing Josh Harrison and Justin Morneau.
9-9-14: The Philadelphia Phillies started the week by releasing veteran starting pitcher Jason Marquis from his minor league deal just in time for roster expansions in September. Philadelphia also transferred Cliff Lee to the 60 day DL as his season is over with a left elbow injury which made room for outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. on the 40 man roster. Gwynn Jr. had already been outrighted and released by Philadelphia earlier this season before ultimately signing a new minor league deal with the Phillies. The Phillies also called up one of their top prospects in Maikel Franco this week after the third baseman slashed .257/.298/.427 with 16 home runs in Triple-A this season. The Phillies may have some new faces in their minor league system next season along with Franco as it was announced that ace Cole Hamels was likely to be traded in the offseason. Hamels represents the only way that the Phillies could have a chance of competing and rebuilding any time soon as the 30 year old is signed for the foreseeable future to big money.
9-4-14: The Phillies kicked off last week by sweeping the Washington Nationals, which helped push
their record to 14-13 for the month, their first winning month of the season. Top prospect Maikel
Franco was called up from Triple-A Tueaday and made his MLB debut the same day against the
Braves. He went 0-3 in his debut with a sac fly RBI. Franco finished the year strong in Triple-A
Lehigh Valley and could be auditioning for the everyday third base job next season. The 22-year-
old will have to beat out incumbent Cody Asche.
9-2-14: The Philadelphia Phillies completed their trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers this week for starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez by receiving prospect Victor Arano to Philadelphia. Arano was ranked as the Dodgers 14th best prospect according to MLB.com at 19 years old. This trade was completed just as the Phillies were announcing that owner, president, and CEO David Montgomery was taking a leave of absence as he attempted to fight cancer and continue his treatments. Montgomery has been in charge of the Phillies since the 1997 season and will hand over controls temporarily to long time executive Pat Gillick. The Phillies may be seeing the last of AJ Burnett this season although the right hander has softened his retirement stance slightly this week stating that the decision would come down this offseason much like it did late last offseason.
8-27-14: The Phillies have won five out of their last six games including series wins over the Mariners and Cardinals last week. Philadelphia has also taken the first two games of their series versus Washington this week. Starter Jerome Williams was impressive in a pair of starts last week, winning back-to-back games for the first time since last September. After their series with Washington, they could potentially get out of the NL East cellar with a series against the New York Mets.
8-26-14: The Philadelphia Phillies may be seeing the last of AJ Burnett as the right hander continues to hint towards retirement after the 2014 season. If Burnett retires and Kyle Kendrick and Jerome Williams leave via free agency as expected the Phillies will have three rotation spots to fill along with having questions about Cliff Lee and his injured left throwing elbow. Philadelphia may also be seeing the last of Ryan Howard as well as manager Ryne Sandberg has shown a willingness to play Darin Ruf more and more this season. The Phillies have also been in discussion with Cuban defecting outfielder Rusney Castillo and may be the early favorites to sign Yasmani Thomas this winter. Thomas is expected to be eligible to sign with any team this winter and will bring his amazing raw power to the states.
8-20-14: The Phillies are 3-7 in their last ten games played and have dropped three straight series since they swept the Houston Astros at home. The Phils dropped their series opener to the Mariners Tuesday night by a score of 5-2. Right now, all Phillies fans want their squad is the season to end. With the way some of the players are playing right now, they may think the same.
8-19-14: The Philadelphia Phillies find themselves in a bit of a catch 22 situation with the final month and a half of the season underway with closer Jonathan Papelbon and young stud Ken Giles. Papelbon has a vesting option for the 2016 season that the Phillies may want to avoid by moving Papelbon to the 8th inning and giving the 9th inning to Giles. While Papelbon’s vesting option vests for finishing games the catch 22 comes in with Giles and his arbitration salary. The more saves that Giles compiles the more he will want on his next contract so it’s either pay a closer big money now or pay big money for their closer later. Speaking of next season the Phillies may want to bring Grady Sizemore back to play center field next year as he has hit .305/.347/.432 in his first 101 plate appearances for Philadelphia. This may force the Phillies to trade one of Marlon Byrd, Domonic Brown, or Ben Revere this winter to make room for Sizemore.
8-13-14: The Phillies finally traded someone last week, moving starter Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers for a pair of players to be named or cash. That's nowhere near the full-scale rebuild that is needed, but I guess it’s a start. The Phillies are a franchise with no direction moving forward, and it will be interesting to see if GM Ruben Amaro finally gets the ax this winter. Philadelphia has dropped two straight including a 7-2 defeat to the Angels Tuesday.
8-12-14: The Philadelphia Phillies started August off by basically placing every veteran player they had on revocable waivers including Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Ruiz, AJ Burnett, Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo, Jonathan Papelbon, and Cole Hamels. Hamels and Byrd were claimed on waivers and Papelbon cleared waivers allowing the team to trade their closer to any team for the rest of the season. Hamels and Papelbon have limited no trade clauses but Papelbon has stated he would be more than willing to waive his trade protection to play for a contender this season and next. Hamels was claimed by the Chicago Cubs but was pulled back since the Cubs acquired Jacob Turner from the Miami Marlins and a deal could not be struck.
8-6-14: Ryan Howard singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 15th inning to lift the Phillies to a 2-1 victory over Houston Tuesday night. The interleague matchup between teams with two of the four worst records in MLB lasted a dreadful 5 hours, 5 minutes. Hector Neris tossed a perfect inning to earn the win in his major league debut. Philadelphia has the third worst record in the NL.
8-5-14: The Philadelphia Phillies have been shopping outfielder Marlon Byrd hot and heavy for a couple weeks now but talks hit a snag with both the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals late in the week. The Phillies also made ace starting pitcher Cole Hamels available at the trading deadline and asked for the stars in negotiations. One such negotiation had Philadelphia asking for the top three prospects in the Dodgers farm system for the 30 year old southpaw. The Phillies will likely try and trade starting pitcher Cliff Lee now that the August waiver trade period is upon us. Lee has a few more starts to prove that his left elbow is healthy and that he can still be effective in the majors. The Phillies had plenty of pieces to move including Lee, Hamels, AJ Burnett, Byrd, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, and others and failed to make a single trade before the July 31st trading deadline came to an end. Lee ended the week by being placed on the disabled list once again after leaving a start against the Washington Nationals with elbow pain and discomfort.
7-30-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are considering releasing Ryan Howard after this season and eating a ton of salary in the process. The former All Star is owed the remainder of his $25 million salary for 2014 and is owed nearly $60 million in future salaries that Philadelphia would have to eat to release their first baseman. The Phillies would obviously rather trade the left hander but have not received any bidders as of the time of this writing. The Phillies Antonio Bastardo has garnered a ton of interest lately from teams looking for bullpen help and has had scouts from the Royals, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Pirates, and Blue Jays in attendance to watch him pitch lately. The Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins 2015 option has vested due to his number of plate appearances this season so his 2015 salary is guaranteed.
7-28-14: The Phillies sure look to be sellers during this trade deadline, as they are on pace for their third consecutive year out of the postseason. Philadelphia is trying to trade Ryan Howard, as the team continues to bench him. Cliff Lee could also be dealt, but that trade might occur after July 31 because he reportedly will clear waivers. The bright spot this past week was Cole Hamels’ 10-strikeout performance in Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
7-24-14: Ruben Amaro and the Phillies front office are stuck in the year 2009 when Philadelphia was the best team in baseball. It’s the year 2014 and Phillies are one of the worst teams in the majors this season. They fell to the Giants 9-6 in 14 innings Tuesday night, but the story regarding the Phillies is will they shakeup their roster at the deadline? The obvious answer is they should trade away players like Jimmy Rollins, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Chase Utley so they can build for the future. The reality is they won’t because of Ruben Amaro’s smugness in the front office. The Phillies and their fans are doomed for years to come.
7-21-14: The Philadelphia Phillies will
get back Cliff Lee on Monday and will have roughly two or three starts to showcase him and his healthy left elbow before possibly trading him before the July trading deadline. If the Phillies don’t unload Lee in July they may still trade him in a waiver wire deal in August. The Phillies could also hold onto Lee and trade him this winter as they have him under team control for the 2015 season as well. The Phillies are not looking to trade Cole Hamels this trading deadline though and prefer to hold onto their 30 year old left hander. One Phillies pitcher that is said to be available though is AJ Burnett who owns a limited no trade clause. The Baltimore Orioles are said to be the most interested in Burnett and AJ may be interested in Baltimore as well as his family resides in nearby Maryland.
7-19-14: The Phillies have unfortunately not won a game since their five-game winning streak ended on July 12. On Friday, Philadelphia fell to the Atlanta Braves, 6-4. Chase Utley, who played well in the All-Star Game, hit his 25th double of the season in Friday’s game, but that was his only hit. In addition, A.J. Burnett gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings in that game.
7-17-14: It's still unclear what direction the Phillies are headed as a franchise. A nice little run in June pulled them to 34-38, but they are just 8-15 since. A four-game sweep of the reeling Milwaukee Brewers helped the Phils snap a 1-9 stretch. At some point, this roster needs to be blown up, and it may take a new front office to do it. If the Phillies do decide to sell, closer Jonathan Papelbon should be the first to go. Outfielder Marlon Byrd and pitchers Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee should be shopped too.
7-15-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are planning on trading Cliff Lee but got some bad news as his latest rehab start was delayed by rain pushing Lee’s possible return date until after the All Star Break. Lee is likely to be activated on July 19th and has roughly three starts to prove he is healthy before the Phillies can unload the veteran left hander. The Phillies may also attempt to trade starting pitcher AJ Burnett but Burnett has expressed an interest in staying in Philadelphia. Burnett has a limited no trade clause and has not thought about how he would handle the situation if the Phillies were to approach him about a trade. Another Phillies player that may be traded soon is outfielder Marlon Byrd who is garnering a ton of interest. Byrd also has a very limited no trade clause and has expressed an interest in waiving his clause to go to a contender in 2014.
7-14-14: The Phillies might soon be out of last place in the National League East. After sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers and taking the first game of their series with the Washington Nationals, the Phillies have the longest active winning streak in Major League Baseball. Philadelphia had an impressive victory on Thursday as they scored nine unanswered runs to win, 9-1, after being no-hit in the first six innings.
7-10-14: The Phillies found their offense and Kyle Kendrick benefited from some ultra-rare run support. Having been held to five runs or fewer for 13 consecutive games, Philadelphia broke out for six runs in the first two innings Tuesday night en route to a 9-7 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Phils sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs in the second after the Brewers scored five times in the first. Domonic Brown homered and had a two-run single. The Phillies still remain in last place in the NL East, 10 games back of Washington and Atlanta.
7-7-14: With their loss on Friday, the Phillies fell back to a season-worst 12 games below .500. Their offense has been struggling this season, and therefore, the team will most likely miss the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. On the bright side, Ben Revere extended his season-best hitting streak to nine games on Friday, and Cliff Lee is expected to begin his minor league rehab assignment on Sunday.
7-3-14: The Phillies overcame a 4-2 deficit in the eighth inning Tuesday night with back-to-back two-out homers by Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche off Marlins pitcher Kevin Gregg. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough as the Phils fell to Miami in the 11th inning 5-4. With the loss, the Phillies have now lost their fifth game in a row and dropped to a season-worst 9½ games out of the NL East lead. The Phillies are going nowhere and would be wise to explore trade options with some of their players.
7-2-14: The Philadelphia Phillies shared with Jimmy Rollins his passing of Mike Schmidt for the team’s all-time hits list record last week and this week they watched as Chase Utley knocked his 1,500th hit of his career. The Phillies continue to struggle though despite the milestones and the time to trade John Mayberry Jr. may have passed as he continues to struggle. The Phillies roster turnover has already started with Sean O’Sullivan being designated for assignment and Ronny Cedeno being DFA’d and then traded the infielder to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a young catcher. The Phillies may want to sell but will run into issues with ten and five rights and no trade protection from Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley most notably.
6-30-14: The highlight of the last few days for the struggling Phillies was Chase Utley’s walkoff home run on Thursday night. The Phillies had dropped to seven games below .500 on Wednesday, so it was important to get that victory. In the 14th inning, Utley launched a two-run home run to get Philadelphia the win. However, the Phillies lost to the Braves, 4-2, on Friday. The Phillies also placed Carlos Ruiz on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
6-26-14: Marlon Byrd’s two-run homer and David Buchanan five effective innings help the Phillies snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday night as they beat the Miami Marlins 7-4. Buchanan, who improved to 4-3 on the year, allowed two runs and six hits. The rookie righty struck out Marcell Ozuna with two runners on and two outs in the fifth inning to preserve a 4-2 lead. The Phillies signed OF Grady Sizemore to a minor league contract Tuesday. The three-time All-Star was released by the Red Sox on June 18. He’s expected to join the Phillies after playing in Triple-A.
6-24-14: The Philadelphia Phillies got some encouraging news on Cliff Lee as he threw a 30 pitch bullpen session that he came through healthy this week. Lee said he does not feel 100% and still feels something in the left elbow but feels no pain or discomfort, an improvement over last week. If the Phillies want to shed Lee’s big 2014 and monstrous 2015 salary they need him to be healthy and on the mound sooner rather than later. The Phillies would also like to shed the salary of Jimmy Rollins but that looks unlikely as Rollins expressed an interest in staying in Philadelphia. Rollins has full trade protection due to his 10 and five rights and seems unlikely to waive them to make a trade. The same goes for Chase Utley who would be an attractive piece at the trading deadline but seems unlikely to spend the second half of 2014 anywhere else than Citizens Bank Park.
6-18-14: Ryan Howard hit a home run, and Kyle Kendrick won consecutive starts for the first time in 11 months as the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 5-2 on Tuesday night. The Phillies, who are winners of two straight and six out of their last eight, got a good start from Kendrick , who had gone 2-11 in his previous 20 starts since last Aug. 11. Ryan Howard hit his 13th homer of the season in the first inning and also hit a home run early in a 6-1, 13-inning victory Monday. Howard has had success in Atlanta over his career. In 71 career games at Turner Field, Howard is hitting .277 with 20 home runs and 69 RBI. The Phils are five games back of NL East leading Washington.
6-17-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are hearing conflicting reports on whether Jimmy Rollins would be willing to waive his 10-and-5 rights and accept a trade this summer. One side of the story states that Rollins would accept a trade to a contender only after passing Mike Schmidt for the team’s franchise hit record while another side of the story states that Rollins and his wife are Philadelphia natives and seem unwilling to relocate. Rollins does have an $11 million vesting option for the 2015 season for at bats and will easily reach that mark if he stays healthy which may help or hurt his trade value, although as much as he has struggled this season it is likely the latter. The Phillies look more and more likely to be sellers though and Jonathan Papelbon may be the first chip to fall in Philadelphia.
6-10-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are set to entertain the comeback attempt of Jason Marquis’ career after signing him to a minor league deal this month. Marquis is eleven months removed from a Tommy John surgery and is still rehabbing the injury and will do is the Philadelphia minor league system. Marquis recently worked out for the Cincinnati Reds and was clocked in the 88-90MPH range which is encouraging for being less than a year removed from the surgery. The Phillies took Aaron Nola with their first pick in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft on Thursday out of LSU. The Phillies may look to trade off their veteran pieces at the trading deadline but may be stuck with AJ Burnett for the rest of the season as he has wet the bed recently for Philadelphia. In his last six starts Burnett has a 7.25 ERA after posting a 2.06 ERA in his starts before making him unwanted and untouchable in trades right now.
6-3-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are falling fast out of the National League East division and they find their biggest trade chip in Cliff Lee still on the disabled list with no timetable for his return. The Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said it could be a month, a month and a half, or it could be three weeks before Lee gets back on the mound. With just two months to go before the trading deadline the Phillies need Lee back as soon as possible if they hope to net something valuable in return for him this July. The Phillies also have Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and AJ Burnett among others to trade if they decide to do so but have decided that when the team tries to rebuild they will keep Chase Utley around to help ease the transition.
5-28-14: The Philadelphia Phillies placed ace starting pitcher Cliff Lee on the 15 day disabled list recently with a minor flexor tendon sprain at the worst possible time. The Phillies are falling out of contention in the National League East division and Lee looks to be their biggest trade piece to bring back high end prospects in a deal. Lee has no structural damage but the Phillies may still be without Lee’s services for at least three weeks with the injury. The Phillies held “Bat Day’ at Citizens Bank Park as a matchup of two former teammates in Josh Beckett, currently on the Dodgers and former Florida Marlins player, and AJ Burnett, current Phillie and former Marlin, resulted in the Phillies getting no hit. I guess they handed out all the bats they had to the fans and did not keep any for the players on that day.
5-21-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are already falling out of contention in the National League East division and all eyes are quickly turning to veteran left hander Cliff Lee. If the Phillies continue to fall out of contention than it is a foregone conclusion that Lee and his $25 million remaining will be available on the trade block. The New York Yankees are obviously going to be interested with their recent rash of injuries to their starting rotation but the Boston Red Sox have also long coveted the southpaw. Boston would have more prospects and higher graded farm hands than New York or many potential suitors and may be the early favorites for Lee’s services. Lee is guaranteed a contract for 2015 and has a vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 200 IP in 2014 or can combine for at least 400 IP in 2014 and 2015. Currently Philadelphia sits in last place in the NL East and has put up a 3-7 record in their last 10 games.
5-15-14: The Philadelphia Phillies
struggles have been well documented, specifically in the bullpen, but the bench took a hit as well when the Phillies outrighted former Yankee Jayson Nix off the 40 man roster. Nix has elected free agency and will look to latch on with another team on a Major League deal. Nix has hit .154/.214/.231 in 18 games for Philadelphia this season as a part time player. The Phillies need to make moves now as they find themselves under .500 at the midway point in May and at the bottom of the National League Central division with a ton of ground to make up.
5-7-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are struggling across the board this season with an inconsistent bullpen that lacks a power arm and a bottom of the order that has been basically non-existent in the batter's box. The one thing Phillies fans have to look forward to is the rehab and potential return of prospects Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez who has been clocked at 95 MPH on the radar in recent throwing sessions for the team. Even though Gonzalez was hurt while in the starting rotation and many have speculated whether Gonzalez may be better suited for a bullpen role or not Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has said the plan is to keep Gonzalez in the rotation for now. The Phillies need help in the rotation as they find themselves at the bottom of the National League East division through the first month of the season and may be in "sell" mode this July 31st trading deadline.
4-28-14: The Philadelphia Phillies have been the tale of two stories in the 2014 season after just a month. The Phillies have seen Chase Utley and AJ Burnett specifically come out of the gates healthy and productive only to see their bullpen flirt with a 6.00 ERA and blow a ton of leads. This comes after Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro said he would focus on the bullpen this offseason and neglected to spend on a single pitcher for the pen. The Phillies now must rely on a group of right-handed pitchers with question marks including Mike Adams, Jeff Manship, and Shawn Camp. The Phillies are under .500 and still somehow in the discussion in the National League East division race. Voting has opened up for the 2014 MLB All Star Game for this July so remember to vote your favorite Philadelphia Phillies into the game.
4-21-14: The Philadelphia Phillies were in some controversy last week when they're starting shortstop Jimmy Rollins it a walkoff homerun and had some choice words for heckling fan even though he was in his own ballpark. The Phillies are currently in last place of the National League East division and controversy began even as early as the spring-training when veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins questioned the decision of new manager ruyne Sandberg of not playing him in consecutive games. This week the Phillies will take the show on the road as they visit the Dodgers.
4-14-14: The Philadelphia Phillies closed this past week out nicely, earning a three game series sweep over the Miami Marlins to get to 6-6. Philadelphia wasn’t so lucky against the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the week, however, as they has their first game postponed due to weather and went on to get rocked for 25 total runs in three straight losses. The Phillies haven’t been quite elite on offense this year, but at least are getting insane production out of Chase Utley, who is batting a remarkable .500 with three home runs and 10 RBI’s.
4-7-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are off to an okay start at 3-3 in 2014, but will have to pick up the pace considerably if they hope to do much damage in the highly competitive NL East, where they currently reside as the fourth best team. The Phillies got it all started with a bang on opening day, winning an insane 14-10 rockstar outing over the Texas Rangers, then proceeding to lose the next two close games. They then went up 2-0 in a series with the Chicago Cubs, but missed out on a sweep when the Cubbies stole the third game, 8-3. Chase Utley has been channeling a younger version of himself with a ridiculous .458 batting average and two homers through the first week, but Philly will need more consistency from the unit around him in order to push up the ladder in a strong division.
4-1-14: Baseball fans wanted offense on opening day, and boy, did they get it. The Philadelphia Phillies entered the 2014 MLB season red hot, smacking in 17 hits en route to 14 runs in an exciting 14-10 win over the Texas Rangers on opening day. Philly went up 6-0 before surviving a comeback bid by the Rangers, while starting pitcher Cliff Lee earned the victory despite giving up 11 hits and eight runs in just five innings.
3-27-14: The Philadelphia Phillies are giving Bobby Abreu gave a full look this spring and extended an opt out date from mid week until the day before the Phillies open the 2014 season, obviously with Abreu's permission. The Phillies ultimately decided that the former Los Angeles Dodger and New York Yankee would not make the club and was cut loose from spring camp. The Phillies already let 27 year old once promising arm Michael Stutes go after outrighting him off the 40 man roster and now completely cutting ties. The Phillies were busy clearing roster spots as well this week when they outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen to AAA and then released him as they inch closer to finalizing a 25 and 40 man roster before Opening Day. Forbes also this week released that the Phillies are right on the cusp of being valued at $1 billion as the company has Philadelphia valued at a whopping $975 million, none of which will help them win a National League East division title in 2014.
3-20-14: The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the worst records in all of the Grapefruit League and in spring camp this year and tempers are flaring. Jonathan Papelbon threw at reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen as multiple batters were hit in a recent spring game with the Pittsburgh Pirates showing obvious frustration for the Phillies. Philadelphia also had to return Rule 5 draft pick Kevin Munson, 25 year old right handed starting pitcher and third pick overall in the draft, to the Arizona Diamondbacks recently after they could not find a 25 man roster spot to give him. With speculation swirling that Jimmy Rollins could be headed out of Philadelphia and headed to one of the New York teams this could make for a very interesting season for the Phillies. The only problem with that plan is Rollins is a 10 and 5 guy meaning he has 10 years of Major League service, five with the same team, and has full no trade protection and seems unwilling to waive his right and accept a trade unless the Phillies are out of contention come June or July. The Phillies have the worst record in the Grapefruit League this season
3-13-14: The Philadelphia Phillies have the worst record in all of the Grapefruit League and in all of Major League Baseball. The team is talented with the likes of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, and new shiny toy AJ Burnett but they have not been able to put two and two together just yet. The Phillies added Marlon Byrd this offseason and have been showcasing him in the outfield this spring. With rumors of the Phillies being interested in the Yankees Ichiro Suzuki the whole 3,000 hit parade may be selling tickets very soon, something worth staying tuned for.
3-5-14: The news out of Philadelphia regarding starting pitcher Cole Hamels is good he said to throw a live batting practice next week. The Phillies also brought in veteran right-hander AJ Burnett on a one year deal worth $15 million. The deal includes an option for the following season or a one million-dollar buyout Burnett also has a limited no trade clause. After the retirement of Roy Halladay this bolsters their starting rotation.
3-4-14: The Phillies will be facing the Yankees' Tanaka for the second time this Thursday in Clearwater, Florida. Tanaka held the Phillies to scoreless inning in his pitching debut on Saturday. Tanaka struck out Domonic Brown in the sixth inning, who later claimed “He didn't get all that money for no reason."
1-24-14: Since winning the World Series in 2008 the Philadelphia Phillies have not been able to recapture the same kind of success they once had. Since the season ended for them the Phillies have made some quite moves such as signing Bobby Abreu and Ronny Cedeno.
1-7-14: With the retirement of Roy Halladay the Philadelphia Phillies two headed pitching monster of Halliday and Cliff Lee never won a title. The Phillies still have much of the nucleus that won the World Series in 2008 in tact. It will be interesting to see come midseason if they are independent race because if they are not look for them to be extreme sellers to some of their large heavy contracts.
12-9-13: The Philadelphia Phillies recently learned that they're starting pitcher Roy Halliday will retire from the game of baseball. The Phillies had a very good run between 2007 and 2009 but of late they have struggled and been out of contention after the All-Star break in the last couple of seasons. They still possessed household names on the roster but that old nucleus to carry them to back-to-back World Series has not performed up to their usual standard. They have also had to deal with injuries to Ryan Howard their biggest slugger. Howard should be healthy coming into the 2014 season and the Phillies will still have cole hamels and Cliff Lee at the top of the rotation. The National League East was supposed to be one of the most talented and competitive divisions last year but due to the Phillies underperforming and finishing in fourth place with only 73 wins the bottom half of the division was extremely weak. Look for the Phillies and their veteran nucleus to give it one last try before perhaps having to break up the unit.