The Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.
On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.
On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.
As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.
The Phils have officially announced their newest member to enter the Phils’ Walk of Fame, and it is former catcher, Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton, a mainstay of their teams of the late ’80s and ’90s.
Darren Daulton, born in Arkansas City, Kansas, on January 3, 1962, was drafted by the Phils in 1980, the year that they won their first World Championship. He made his major league debut on September 25, 1983, before joining the main club to stay in 1985. He played for the Phils fulltime from 1985 to 1997, before being traded to the Florida Marlins on July 21, 1997, becoming a member of the Marlins’ first World Championship team. He retired after the ’97 season.
In about 14 years of service with the Phils, Daulton played in 1109 games, compling a .245 career batting average as a Phil, as he collected 858 hits, of which 189 were doubles, 23 were triples and 134 were home runs, while he had 567 RBIs and scored 489 runs. He also walked 607 times. As a Phils, he won the RBI title in 1992, knocking in 109 RBIs, becoming the fourth catcher in major league history to do so, as he also won a Silver Slugger that season. Daulton then knocked in 105 RBIs in 1993, thus being the only Phils’ catcher to knock in more than 100 runs in two seasons or more. He was a three-time member of the NL All-Star team, doing so in 1992-1993 and 1995, each time as a Phil. This would tie him with Bob Boone for the most All-Star selections by a Phil’s catcher. In 1997, as a member of both the Phils and the Marlins, he was named the NL Comback Player of the Year. He was a member of the 1993 NL Champions Phillies, as one of the team’s leaders, to go along with his being a member of the 1997 World Champions Marlins.
Among the records that he set as a catcher for the Phils, he received the most walks by a catcher during a season by receiving 117 free passes in 1993. He knocked in the most RBIs by a catcher in a season with 109 in 1992, the year that he won the title. Also, in 1993, he hit the most doubles by a Phil’s catcher, 35, made the most putouts by a catcher, 981, and started the most double plays by a catcher, 19. As a Phil, he caught 965 games, to place him fourth on the team’s all-time list. He was also named the starting catcher of the all-Vet team during the year that Veterans Stadium was officially closed, 2003.
Daulton will be inducted into the Walk of Fame on August 6, prior to the Phils-Mets game, at 7:05 pm Eastern.
Has just announced that they have elected Andre Dawson with 77.9 of the votes or 420 of the 539 ballots. Dawson, who spent 21 seasons (1976-1996) in the majors playing mainly both center and right field with the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins, batted .279 while amassing 2774 hits, 438 home runs and 1591 rbis, was an eight time all-star (1981-83, 1987-91), won the gold glove eight times (1980-85, 1987-8), won the silver slugger award four times (1980-81, 1983, 1987), won the National League MVP in 1987 and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall on July 25, along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were both elected last month by the Veterans Committee.
Congratulations on finally getting into the Hall, Andre.