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Jordan Hall
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It’s not time to push the panic button on this 2014 Phillies season. But depending on how the team fares over its next seven games, it soon could be. After the next seven at Citizens Bank Park, the Phils head west for what sure looks like a difficult 10-game road trip. If the Phillies go limping into those 10 games, it will spell trouble — and not just for the trip, but the season. The Phils — especially the bullpen... Continue reading
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Plenty of Phillies tidbits on Thursday before the team finishes its three-game series against the Brewers. Let’s get right into it: Hamels update Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters that Cole Hamels (biceps tendinitis) could need just two more rehab starts before making his 2014 debut. The lefty is scheduled to make minor-league rehab appearances on Saturday and April 17, with an April 22 return date as a possibility. Galvis, Adams update Amaro also said Freddy Galvis (MRSA) could be activated... Continue reading
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The Phillies lost again because of spotty defense and poor late-inning relief. The defeat — 9-4 to the Brewers (6-2) on Wednesday night — is the Phils’ (3-5) third in a row. It’s early, but the Phillies have been glaringly bad in the field and bullpen. It did them in once again Wednesday night. What we liked • The Phils are hitting. They’ve had seven or more hits in every game thus far and are scoring runs at a solid... Continue reading
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Just keep Ryan Braun in the yard. If the Phillies do that, they’ll obviously have a much better chance at beating the Brewers on Wednesday than they did in Tuesday’s home opener. Roberto Hernandez will get the first crack at trying to cool off Braun after Milwaukee's slugger went deep three times in the Brewers' 10-4 win over the Phils on Tuesday. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to continually bust Braun inside. The 30-year-old is playing through a serious... Continue reading
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If the Phillies want to get back to the postseason or even contend in 2014, they can’t do what they’ve already done just one week into the season. And that’s waste strong starting pitching by coughing up leads late. Take away a Jonathan Papelbon implosion and another loss charged to the bullpen, and the Phils are 5-1 instead of 3-3 after a season-opening six-game road trip. In Texas, A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick combined for 13 innings and two earned... Continue reading
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The Phillies sure would be riding plenty of momentum home with a win and three-game sweep over the Cubs on Sunday. A.J. Burnett takes the bump at Wrigley Field, looking to build off his impressive debut and supply the Phils that sweep and momentum heading into the team’s home opener on Tuesday. Burnett went six innings and allowed just one run against the Rangers in his first regular-season start earlier this week. On Sunday, he’ll be in the right ballpark... Continue reading
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Jonathan Papelbon still owns the act — his slow turn and intense stare toward the plate. But he no longer owns the fastball that once sizzled between 95-96 mph and topped out at 97. Now, Papelbon, the richest ninth-inning arm in baseball, throws a heater at 90-92 mph and his blown saves have skyrocketed. But none of this renders Papelbon incapable of reforming back into a guy who can nail down ballgames. The 33-year-old should hear a lot of the... Continue reading
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Much was wasted Wednesday night. And wasted by: Jonathan Papelbon. A sound game from the Phillies went for naught when the enigmatic closer entered the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead and promptly permitted this: Single, strikeout, double, single, single, walk, walk. Ballgame. A colossal collapse by Papelbon handed the Rangers (2-1) a come-from-behind 4-3 win and series victory over the Phils (1-2) in Arlington, Texas. Prior to the ninth, all was well. Two massive cogs to the Phillies’ 2014... Continue reading
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After beating the Rangers in an opening-day score-fest Monday, the Phillies were locked in a low-scoring, bullpen battle with Texas on Tuesday. A.J. Burnett handed the youngsters in relief a 2-1 lead after the sixth inning, but that advantage would not hold. Jake Diekman gave up the game-tying run with two outs in the seventh before Mario Hollands, making his big-league debut, struggled to throw strikes in the ninth and took the loss when B.J. Rosenberg allowed the game-winning run... Continue reading
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Another chapter to the Cole Hamels spring-training saga will be written Wednesday. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told reporters Monday afternoon that his lefty ace is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Hamels' live throwing session last Friday was canceled because of a "fatigued arm." The 30-year-old said he needed to "step back and start over." Well, maybe this is step one in starting over, but it seems like every step will be an unknown. We'll have to wait... Continue reading
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A day after Cole Hamels realized he needed to "step back and start over" in preparation for the 2014 season because of a "fatigued arm," the Phillies' starting pitching got no better on Friday. A.J. Burnett and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez were shelled in Sarasota, Fla., as the Phils were eviscerated by the Orioles, 15-4. The game was not televised locally, but here were the lines for Burnett and Gonzalez. Burnett: 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB,... Continue reading
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Although the game ended with a thud and little offense (again), the Phillies showed a nice sign in Wednesday’s 2-2 tie against the Braves at Bright House Field. Small ball. In the seventh inning, the Phils manufactured a go-ahead run with two singles, a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Now, three of the four players (Cameron Rupp, Reid Brignac, Tony Gwynn Jr.) that played a part in it will likely be left off the opening-day roster, but still, it’s good... Continue reading
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The "Mystery Man" becomes somewhat less of a mystery on Saturday. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is set to make his highly anticipated debut in red pinstripes today against the Yankees (1:05 p.m., MLB Network), as the 27-year-old native of Cuba is scheduled to throw two innings in relief. All eyes will be glued to Gonzalez — especially those of Phillies officials. The righty comes with plenty of hype but fluctuating expectations. Hence, the "Mystery Man" label. From Clearwater, CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury... Continue reading
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Is Ryan Howard out of his mind? That’s probably what many across the Delaware Valley were thinking on Saturday when Howard optimistically said he’s capable of playing 162 games and hitting 58 home runs again. Howard, the guy who is 34 years old, who has played 151 games the last two seasons, and has hit 58 home runs over the previous three seasons, thinks he’s capable of playing 162 and hitting 58 in one season? Unrealistic? Maybe. Confident? Definitely. And... Continue reading
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To no surprise, Ben Revere and the Phillies avoided arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.95 million deal. Revere became the fourth and final arbitration-eligible Phillie to ink a one-year deal, joining Kyle Kendrick, John Mayberry Jr. and Antonio Bastardo. Revere made $515,000 in 2013 and asked for a 2014 salary of $2.425 million, while the team offered $1.4 million. So Revere’s midpoint was just over $1.9 million. Turns out, both parties landed right around that. And with... Continue reading
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For fans, Ryan Howard's non-existence the past two seasons has been irking for a few reasons. One, the 34-year-old is being paid $125 million over five seasons. Not only has he not performed, but he's also handcuffed the Phillies financially. And two, the Phils have declined right along with their injury-riddled slugger. They're no longer running the NL East. In fact, they haven't even contended since they last won the division in 2011. But lost in the mess is the... Continue reading
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Beerleaguer’s favorite Phillie has avoided arbitration. On Friday, the Phils announced that they have agreed to a one-year, $1.587 million deal, which includes award bonuses, with John Mayberry Jr. Last season, Mayberry, who hit .227 to go along with a .286 OBP, made $517,000. That’s quite a raise. Like we previously wrote, the Phillies have a track record of avoiding arbitration. With Mayberry and Kyle Kendrick signed, Ben Revere and Antonio Bastardo are left. Don’t be surprised to see them... Continue reading
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No thank you, arbitration. Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies avoided just that on Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $7.675 million deal that includes award bonuses. Kendrick’s 2013 was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the righty gave the Phils a serious shot in the arm, going 8-6 with a 3.68 ERA and 13 quality starts. In the second half, Kendrick was a serious liability, going 2-7 with a 6.91 ERA. As a result, it made Kendrick... Continue reading
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There are plenty of cons to signing Marlon Byrd. By now, you’ve probably heard them all. But you cannot deny the vast upgrade Byrd offers defensively. That alone should win the Phillies some games, and the proof is in the pudding. Last season, the Phils were as stable in right field with the glove as a baby giraffe taking its first steps. OK, not that unstable, but legitimately poor. Phillies rightfielders were worth negative-19 runs saved in 2013, 28th in... Continue reading
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At the start of spring training last season, Chase Utley said: "Age is a number — it depends on how you treat your body and how you take care of it." That is up for great debate this offseason as the aging Phillies grow even older. After finishing 2013 with the organization’s fewest wins (73) since 2000, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is now leaning on these mid-30 Phils for another run. As many pleaded for added youth, Amaro went out... Continue reading
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Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said re-signing Carlos Ruiz this offseason is "a priority." But it won’t be easy because teams are interested in Ruiz and all that he brings to the table. According to a report by the Denver Post, the Rockies are one of those teams. The report says, per multiple major-league sources, Colorado is pursuing the free-agent Ruiz. Why would the Rockies want Ruiz when their own catcher, Wilin Rosario, hit .292 with 21 home runs and... Continue reading
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As the 2013 World Series continues, let’s take a look back at one of the most memorable moments in Philadelphia sports history. On this day (sort of), Oct. 27, Game 5 of the 2008 World Series was started but then postponed … remember that torrential rain which soaked Citizens Bank Park and delayed Philly’s first championship celebration since 1983? But I guess the wait made it that much sweeter. Anyway, as you all know, the Phillies eventually finished off Game... Continue reading
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Who would have ever thought that it would actually be weird watching a postseason without the Phillies? But after five straight playoff berths from 2007-11, this second consecutive postseason without the Phils kind of feels that way. It also makes you keep an eye out for ex-Phillies enjoying the playoffs in another uniform. Let’s take a look at the former Phils in this year's postseason and see how they did/are doing. And we’ll start with the guy the Phillies are... Continue reading
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Do you want Larry Bowa back in Phillies pinstripes? You may get your wish. A baseball source tells CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury that Bowa is nearing an agreement to become the Phillies’ new bench coach. This would be Bowa’s fourth go-around with the organization. He played 12 seasons for the Phillies, coached them from 1989-96 before managing the club from 2001-04. Bowa was traded with Ryne Sandberg in 1982 to the Chicago Cubs, where the two served as double-play partners and... Continue reading
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Cliff Lee finished his 2013 with a doozy. And somehow a loss. Lee struck out 13, allowed one run on three hits in eight splendid innings, but took the defeat in the Phillies' 1-0 loss to the Braves on Friday night in Atlanta. Lee struck out 54 batters and walked one in the final month of the season, becoming the first pitcher in history to strike out 50 or more and walk one or less in a calendar month. Afterward,... Continue reading
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