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Mike Wisniewski
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Get ready for some late nights. The Phillies hit the road on their first West Coast road trip of the season. First stop: Colorado, for a three-game series against the Rockies (8-9). Chase Utley's hot bat, against three right-handed starters, at Coors Field -- what a combination that could prove to be for the Phillies (7-8) in the next three games. Utley, who leads the league in hitting, OBP and slugging -- and is 17 for 34 in his last... Continue reading
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A lousy bullpen on Monday and lousy bats on Wednesday resulted in a pair of gut-wrenching losses to the NL East-rival Braves. So can A.J. Burnett give a gutsy performance Thursday pitching with a hernia to avoid a demoralizing series sweep to Atlanta? Burnett (0-1, 3.94 ERA) left his last start against the Marlins with discomfort and was diagnosed with a hernia soon thereafter. No matter, he's going to try to pitch through it. Unfortunately for him, his history against... Continue reading
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After getting swept by the red-hot Brewers (who have now won eight straight) in their home-opneing series, the Phillies have a chance to sweep the Marlins on Sunday. Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 3.75), who served up two homers to Ryan Braun last Tuesday, will face a lineup he's much more comfortable with in the Marlins -- Kendrick is 8-0 with a 1.69 ERA in the past three years against Miami. Chase Utley will look to keep his hot bat going. The... Continue reading
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Kyle Kendrick takes the ball for the Phillies as they open at home against Kyle Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers. Looks like the Phillies made the right move postponing the home opener by one day to Tuesday, as the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-60s under sunny skies. Chase Utley, however, is under the weather and won't be in the lineup. In fact, he's not even at the park — the second baseman is under quarantine as he battles... Continue reading
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Well-pitched, low-scoring games like their 2-0 win over the Cubs on Saturday are the kind we should expect from the Phillies this year. Seven shutout innings, six strikeouts and no walks — that's more of what we expected from Cliff Lee. A 1-2-3 ninth inning en route to a stress-free save — that's more of what we want from Jonathan Papelbon. Lee (2-0) rebounded from an eight-run clunker on opening day by shutting out the Cubs for seven frames. Although... Continue reading
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Jimmy Rollins is back in the lineup and Cliff Lee makes his second start of the season against Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon. After playing short a man the past two games, the Phillies get J-Roll back at shortstop from unofficial paternity leave on Saturday afternoon. Rollins, who has a homer and five RBIs in his first two games, will bat second against Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija. Carlos Ruiz, who's batted in the two-hole for consecutive games,... Continue reading
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Roberto Hernandez will make his Phillies debut Friday afternoon against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, where temperatures will dip into the 30s. Hernandez had a very solid spring until his final start against the Blue Jays, when he allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The start prior, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning and dominated the Yankees by keeping his ball down and inducing ground-ball outs. Hernandez will want to do just that... Continue reading
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The $16 million man makes his Phillies debut tonight against young Rangers lefty Martin Perez. The signing of A.J. Burnett this winter was one of Ruben Amaro's shrewder moves of the past few offseasons. Sure it came with a high price tag, but just one year guaranteed for a pitcher who's made 61 starts with a 3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 3.02 K/BB ratio in the last two years? Sign me up. Tonight, the 37-year-old will be unveiled. Burnett is... Continue reading
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Just like they drew it up: Cliff Lee got the win, Jonathan Papelbon closed out a close game with a perfect ninth and the Phillies topped the Rangers on Opening Day. Looks like Jimmy Rollins was right after all, at least for one day. The Phillies went into the season opener having gone three straight spring games without scoring a run, but who cares now? They racked up 17 hits and six walks in a 14-10 win over Texas —... Continue reading
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Thanks for pointing out that atrocious typo, awh. It's been fixed.
1 reply
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In his first visit back to Texas since leaving as a free agent, Cliff Lee will face a formidable Rangers lineup, while Tanner Scheppers makes his first career start against the Phillies. It's Opening Day — just Game 1 to be followed by 161 more. It usually carries with it a more important weight simply because it's the first one, but for the Phillies — this year — it should. It should because there's no wiggle room on this team... Continue reading
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The Phillies informed Bobby Abreu on Wednesday that he wouldn't make the opening day roster, and Thursday the club granted him his unconditional release so he could pursue other options. In the end, Abreu's defense in the outfield proved to be too much of a liability for the Phils. The 40-year-old outfielder misplayed a couple balls in his final spring game with the club on Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to the Tigers, in which he played a full nine... Continue reading
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The Phillies released infielder Ronny Cedeno on Monday, and Kevin Frandsen opted for free agency. Bobby Abreu, who's been bothered by a sore shoulder, agreed with the club to move his opt-out date back four days. Tuesday marked the deadline on whether the Phillies would have to place Cedeno on their 25-man roster or grant him a $100,000 bonus to play at Triple A. Ultimately, after his lousy spring, they chose door No. 3 and let him go. The 31-year-old... Continue reading
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The Phillies' opening-day bench is coming together after the club outrighted infielder Kevin Frandsen off the 40-man roster on Sunday. Frandsen was reassigned to Lehigh Valley, a demotion he has three days to accept or decline. If he refuses and elects to become a free agent, he'll lose the $900,000 the Phillies guaranteed him when they signed him over the winter. Frandsen, who hit .280/.333/.389 over the past two seasons with the Phils, really strugged at the plate this spring.... Continue reading
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Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg annouced Monday something we all knew already: Cliff Lee will get the ball on opening day. It'll be just the second opening day start of Lee's career — his last came in 2009 with the Indians, following his Cy Young season, also at the Rangers. The Phillies open the season in Texas on March 31 at 2:05 p.m. Even if Cole Hamels, last year's opening day starter, weren't injured, the nod probably should have gone to... Continue reading
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The Phillies' offense scrounged up just six hits in a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Cliff Lee looked good, though. Marlon Byrd homered and picked up another hit, but the rest of the lineup looked pretty dismal Tuesday as the Phils fell to 1-6 in the Grapefruit League. Byrd's 2-for-3 night raised his average to .385, and in the small sample size of spring training, he's one of only three players thus far with 10 or more at-bats whose... Continue reading
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The Phillies' late offseason acquisition will make his spring training debut Sunday against his former team. Wouldn't it be nice to see A.J. Burnett pitch well? The spring hasn't been kind to the Phils' other starters early on. Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez all had rocky first games, Cole Hamels has yet to throw a pitch and Ethan Martin probably threw a few too many and will be shut down for three weeks. You likely... Continue reading
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According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Phillies on Tuesday agreed to a minor-league deal with Bobby Abreu, who turns 40 in March. Typically, a team brings back its departed, aged stars to sign a one-day deal in order to retire as a member of the club. The Phillies will be giving Abreu a minor-league contract and a chance to make the big-league roster out of spring training. If he does make the club, he'll earn $800K, according to... Continue reading
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The Phillies add much-needed rotation depth with the addition of Chad Gaudin, who will compete for a roster spot this spring. Gaudin, who turns 31 in March, started 12 games for the Giants last season and appeared in 30 overall, going 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.247 WHIP and 2.2 K/BB. The Phillies are desparately in need of starting depth because after their projected starting five and Jonathan Pettibone as their sixth starter, the next guy in line to get... Continue reading
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The Phillies need hitting, but they're not going to get it from Vernon Wells, who owns the third-worst on-base percentage in baseball over the past three years. There's still an interest in signing Wells, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Wells, whose best days are long behind him, batted .226/.267/.387 with the Angels and Yankees from 2011-13. His OBP is better than only Yuniesky Betancourt's (.257) and J.P. Arencibia's (.260) over that span. The 35-year-old Wells is on... Continue reading
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Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated earlier this week the Phillies are still looking to add pitching depth. No doubt the Phillies need arms. After Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, the rotation and bullpen are littered with questions marks from Miguel Gonzalez, Jonathan Pettibone and Roberto Hernandez to Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Adams and Brad Lincoln. Even steady Kyle Kendrick was a tale of two pitchers last year and in the end averaged out to be, well, Kyle Kendrick. Two pitchers the Phillies... Continue reading
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Plate discipline? Check. Gets on base? Check. Ability to steal bases? Check. Oh, and he'll bust it to first on every play, too. Yep, that guy would be Chase Utley. He should lead off for the Phillies next season. Think about it, and it makes perfect sense. Utley's got the ability to get on base. His .373 career on-base percentage is right on par with some of baseball's best leadoff men — Dexter Fowler (.365), Ichiro (.361), Nori Aoki (.355)... Continue reading
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In a surprise move, Gary Matthews and Chris Wheeler are out as color commentators for the Phillies. Rob Maaddi of the AP first broke the story, and the team acknowledged the move. Wheeler had been a Phillies broadcaster for 37 years, most of it with Harry Kalas; Sarge had been in the booth for the past seven seasons. Tom McCarthy will reportedly continue in his role as play-by-play man. Both men will remain with the organization in other roles, per... Continue reading
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Long-time leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins batted in the top third of the Phillies' lineup in every game he started last year. Citing not only his decline, but strategic purposes as well, it's time to consider moving him down. Next season's projected batting order features five left-handed hitters out of eight regulars — six if you include switch-hitting Rollins against righties. Ryne Sandberg is in the unenviable position of trying to wring as much production out of that dried-up lineup as... Continue reading
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He's made three All-Star teams and won the World Series MVP, but there's a lot that Cole Hamels hasn't done and must do in order to live up to his contract. Happy birthday to Cole Hamels, who turns 30 today. He'll be one of possibly 13 players to make the Phillies' 25-man roster next season at 30 years old or older. The Phillies' best homegrown starter since Robin Roberts, Hamels has put up impressive numbers in basically every category but... Continue reading
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