The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the first inning against Phils’ starter Roberto Hernandez as, with two men out, and with nobody on base, Jose Bautista hits a solo home run to left field, his first home run of spring training, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. The Phils would tie the game up at one-all in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits an RBI single off of J.A. Happ, knocking in lead-off man Ben Revere, who had started the Phils’ Grapefruit League season with a single, then moved up to second base on Happ’s wild pitch, while sending Jimmy Rollins, who had just walked, over to third base. The Phils then took a 2-1 lead as Marlon Byrd followed with an RBI single, knocking in Rollins, while moving Howard up to second base. The Blue Jays would tie the game up at two-all in the top of the second inning as, with a man on second, and with nobody out, Colby Rasmus hits an RBI double, scoring Brett Lawrie, who had started the inning off with a double. The Blue Jays would take the lead in the top of the third inning, as with two men on, and with one man out, Adam Lind hits an RBI single off of Phillippe Aumont, knocking in Melky Cabrera, who had started the inning off with a walk, then moved up to second base on Bautista’s walk, giving the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead, while moving Bautista, who had just walked, up to second base. One batter later, after Aumont’s wild pitch had moved both runners up a base, Lawrie hits into an RBI groundout, 1-3, bringing home Bautista, giving the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead, while moving Lind up to third base. The Phils would cut the Blue Jays’ lead down to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning as, with one man on, and with one man out, Ronny Cedeno hits an RBI double off of Kyle Drabek, scoring Tony Gwynn, Jr., who had just walked. That would end up being the final score, as it started to rain in Clearwater before the Phils could bat in their half of the seventh inning, and after a while, the game was called.
Roberto Hernandez pitched two innings for the Phils, giving up two runs on four hits. Phillippe Aumont (0-1, 18.00) took the lost as he pitched an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch. Jeff Manship, Antonio Bastardo and Kevin Munson combined for four scoreless innings, giving up three hits (one hit each) and a walk (Munson), while striking out five (Manship (3), Bastardo (1), Munson (1)). J.A. Happ pitched an inning for the Blue Jays, giving up two runs on four hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Todd Redmond (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw two scoreless innings, striking out a batter. Kyle Drabek pitched one and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on a hit and three walks, striking out a batter. Neil Wagner pitched an inning, giving up a walk, while striking out three batters. Chad Jenkins recorded his first save of the spring as he pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only batter whom he would face.
The Phils would end the game with five hits, a single by Ben Revere, an RBI single by Ryan Howard, an RBI single by Marlon Byrd, a single by Dom Brown and an RBI double by Ronny Cedeno. The Phils also had five walks in the game (Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu (2), Tony Gwynn, Jr., Darin Ruf). The defense would commit an error (throwing error by third baseman Maikel Franco) and a doubleplay (6-4-3) in the game.
The Phils’ next Grapefruit League game will be tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida at 1:05 pm EST. The Phils’ starter is suppose to be Cliff Lee (14-8, 2.87 (2013)), while the Blue Jays’ starter is suppose to be R.A. Dickey (14-13, 4.21 (2013)). Hopefully the final outcome will be difference tomorrow.
On Monday, the Phils and Comcast officially announced that Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs will join the broadcast team, starting with spring training games. Jamie Moyers will be in the booth, broadcasting games for Comcast, MLB.TV and WPHL-17 for 109 games, while Stairs will broadcast 108 games, with their first broadcast being today’s opening Grapefruit League game between the Phils and the Blue Jays. A day later, the Phils confirmed that Hall of Famer, Mike Schmidt, will also be in the broadcast booth, broadcasting Sunday home games.
Meanwhile, the people whom Moyers and Stairs have replaced, Garry Matthews and Chris Wheeler, are still with the Phils, planning to act as goodwill ambassadors for the organization during the season, while Matthews is presently involved with the players in Clearwater acting as a guest instructor.
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.
As the Phils’ 2013 season wounded down, with the club wounding up in fourth place in the five-team NL East with a 73-89, .451 record, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, the Phils first post-season move was to make interim manager, Hall of Famer Ryan Sandberg, the team’s 52nd manager, by signing him to a three-year contract on September 22, 2013. The Phils’ next move was to announce on September 30 that Rich Dubee was not returning as the team’s pitching coach, ending a nine season relationship with the Phils, as the team started to look for a new pitching coach. On that same day, they announced that they were promoting from the team’s Minor League system, Paul Fournier, as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Doug Lien, who had held that position for the previous six seasons, as the club hopes to improve the team’s overall health.
The Phils next move was to make a shake-up in their 40 men roster as they outrighted infielders Michael Martinez and Pete Orr, right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and lefthander Mauricio Robles on October 3, while, on that same day, the Indians picked up right-hander Tyler Cloyd off of the waiver-wire, while the Astros picked up leftie Raul Valdes, opening up six spots on the roster.
Two days later, on October 5, the Phils announced that they would not be renewing the contract of bullpen catcher, Mick Billmeyer, who had been with the club since 2004, first as the catching instructor, then as the bullpen coach in 2009, before becoming the bullpen catcher in 2012. The next Phils move came from out of the blue as, on October 8, former Phils’ player and one time Phils’ manager, and fan favorite, Larry Bowa, rejoined the team as the new bench coach, while another ex-Phil, Pete Mackanin, would join the team as the new third base coach. The Phils also announced that Steve Henderson would remain as the team’s hitting coach while Wally Joyner would leave as the team’s assistant hitting coach, later being hired by the Detroit Tigers as their new hitting coach, while John Mizerock would later become the new assistant hitting coach and Jesus Tiamo would become the new catcher coach, as Juan Samuel would stay on as the team’s first base coach, while Rod Nichols would remain the bullpen coach.
The next move occurred on October 17 as John Lannan decided to become a free agent after he had been outrighted by the club, after refusing assignment.
Then on November 5, the Phils announced that they were hiring Scott Freedman to help the ballclub better understand the use of analytics in the evaluation of players. Seven days later, on November 12, the Phils announced their first free agent signing, as they signed right fielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Byrd, who is a right-handed batter, and an ex-Phil, has played in the majors from 2002, having played for the Phils (2002-05), the Nats (2005-06), the Rangers (2007-09), the Cubs (2010-12), the Red Sox (2012), the Mets (2013) and the Pirates (2013), appearing in 1250 games, hitting .280 (1222 for 4367), knocking in 533 RBIs as he scored 600 times. Among his 1222 hits were 252 doubles, 32 triples and 106 HRs, while he has also walked 307 times. The Phils plan to use him in the line-up behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, the later of whom the team hopes will bounce back from several injuries plagued seasons and regain his form as the team’s RBI and home runs leader. The Phils next announced on November 15 that they have given four players minor league contracts with invites to spring training: right-hander Shawn Camp, left-hander Cesar Jimenez and outfielders Clete Thomas and Leandro Castro.
The Phils then announced on November 18 that they have resigned present catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $26 million dollars with a team option of $4.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2017. The next day, the team announced that they have signed a minor league contract, with a spring training invitation, to infielder Reid Brignac, who would be competing for a utility infielder position with Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis. On November 20, the Phils announced that they were adding four minor league prospects to their 40-man roster to keep them from being picked up by other teams in December’s 5-Rule draft: outfielders Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.
The following day, November 22, the Phils signed Bob McClure as their new pitching coach, replacing Dubee. On that same day, they announced that they have signed infielder Andres Blanco to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training.
On December 4, the Phils made a trade with the Blue Jays, receiving right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and minor league pitcher Rasmussen. Lincoln, who has pitched for the Pirates and the Blue Jays (2010-13) has appeared in 97 games, 22 of which was as a starter, for a record of 9-11 with a 4.66 ERA. With one career save in two attempts, he has pitched in 220 games, giving up 228 hits, 123 runs, 114 of which were earned, as he struck out 167 batters while walking only 77. The Phils will likely use him in the bullpen. After the trade, the ballclub would sign catcher Wil Nieves to a one-year deal on December 5, as the team’s back-up catcher. Nieves, who has played for the Padres (2002), the Yankees (2005-2007), the Nats (2008-10), the Brewers (2011), the Diamondbacks (2012), the Rockies (2012-13) and the Diamondbacks again (2013), has appeared in 385 games, hitting .242 (249 for 1029), with 46 doubles, 2 triples and 8 home runs, as he knocked in 103 RBIs while scoring 78 times. He has also walked 59 times. On that same day, the Phils signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation.
Then, on December 9, Roy Halladay announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 16-year career with the Blue Jays and the Phils, as he didn’t think he would be able to pitch after his most recent arm injury. Halladay, who said that he had signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays to end his career as a Jay, and had paid a full page ad in the Philly newspaper thanking the Phils fans for their support during his time as a Phils (2010-13), had appeared in 416 career games, 390 as a starter, with a career record of 203-105, with a 3.38 ERA and a career save, had completed 67 games, 20 for shutouts, as he pitched in 2749.1 total innings, striking out 2117 batters as he walked only 592, as he gave up 2646 hits and 1135 runs, only 1034 of which were earned. He also threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the post-season, both of which occurred during his first season as a Phil (2010). Thanks for being a member of the Phils, Roy, and being a class act, and wish you luck getting into the Hall.
On December 12, through the Rule 5-draft, the Phils would acquire right-hander Kevin Munson from the Diamondbacks’ Reno club, while they would lose right-hander Seth Rosin to the Mets, who would then trade him to the Dodgers for cash in the major league portion of the draft, and shortstop Jonathan Roof to the Red Sox in the Triple-A part of it, both from their Reading affiliate.
Next, on December 18, the Phils signed a one-year deal with right-hander Roberto Hernandez for $4.5 million dollars, plus performance and award bonuses. Hernandez, who has previous pitched for the Indians (2006-12) and the Blue Jays (2013), has appeared in 216 games, 177 as a starter, with a 59-82 record, with a 4.67 ERA. He will be part of the Phils’ starting rotation, along with Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Jonathan Pettibone.
In January, the Phils made a new TV-deal with Comcast for 25-year, which included broadcasters Chris Wheeler and Gary Matthews not returning to the broadcast booth. On the 14, the Phils had four players file for salary arbitration: outfielders Ben Revere and John Mayberry, Jr. and pitchers Antonio Bastardo and Kendrick. The next day, January 15, the Phils announce that former manger Charlie Manuel would be returning to the team as a consultant to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. On the 17, the Phils announced that two of the four arbitration eligible players have signed one-year deals: Mayberry, who had agreed to a 1.587 million dollar deal, while Kendrick had agreed to one worth 7.675 million. The Phils then signed two minor league deals on the 21, one to veteran right-hander Chad Gaudin, and one to former Phil and veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu, with both being given spring training invites. On that same day, the Phils and Bastardo agreed to a one-year contract worth $2 million dollars. Three days later, on the 24, Ben Revere signed a one-year deal with the Phils for $ 1.95 million dollar.
With that, the last bit of news is that the Phils might be replacing Wheeler and Matthews with former Phils Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer, both of whom have impressed the Phils in their separate interviews to join the broadcast team, and that finally, yesterday, the equipment truck has started heading south for the spring training facilities in Clearwater, Florida from Citizens Bank Park in Philly. It is now six more days before catchers and pitchers are suppose to appear in Clearwater.
Can’t wait for Spring Training to officially start. 🙂
The Padres took the lead in the bottom of the second as, with two men on, and with nobody out, Alexi Amarista hits an RBI ground out, 4-3, knocking in Kyle Blanks, who had started the inning off with a single, then went to third base on Yasmani Grandi’s double, giving the Padres a 1-0 lead, while sending Grandi, who had just doubled, over to third base. The Padres then made it a 2-0 lead one batter later as Pedro Ciriaco hits an RBI single, scoring Grandi. The Phils took the lead in the top of the third as, with two men on, and with two men out, Dom Brown hits a three-run home run, his twentieth home run of the season, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who had started the inning off with a walk, then went to third base on Michael Young’s single, and M. Young, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the top of the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Rollins and Chase Utley, with Rollins stopping at third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, moving Utley up to second base, and with one man out, Brown walks, forcing in Rollins, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, while moving both Utley and Howard up a base, leaving the bases loaded. The Phils then took a 5-2 lead as, with John Mayberry, Jr. batting, Utley would score on pitcher Brad Brach’s wild pitch, while Howard would move up to third base, and Brown went to second base. The Phils then increased their lead as Mayberry hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, giving the Phils a 6-2 lead. That would end up being the final score as Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless ninth, first striking out Chris Denorfia on a called third strike, then Logan Forsythe, swinging, after allowing two runners to get into scoring position with one man out, to end the game.
Kyle Kendrick (7-4, 3.46) got the win as he pitched eighth strong innings, giving up two runs on seven scattered hits and a hit batter, while striking out six. Antonio Bastardo threw a scoreless inning, as he gave up two hits, while striking out two. Jason Marquis (9-3, 3.99) took the lost as he pitched four and one-third innings, giving up six runs on six hits and five walks, while striking out four. Brad Branch pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk and a wild pitch. Tyson Ross, Dale Thayer and Tommy Layne combined for four scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Thayer) and a walk (Layne) between them, while striking out three Phils (Ross (1), Layne (2)).
The Phils had seven hits in the game, with Michael Young leading the team with two hits, both singles. Jimmy Rollins (Single), Chase Utley (Single), Dom Brown (Home Run, 4 RBIs), John Mayberry, Jr. (Single) and Carlos Ruiz (Single) had the other five Phils’ hits. The final Phil run came in on a wild pitch. The Phils also had seven walks (Rollins, Utley (2), Howard, Brown, Ben Revere (2)), a sacrifice fly (Mayberry) and two stolen bases (Rollins (8), Utley (6)) in the ballgame.
The Phils (37-41, 3rd East) will conclude their series with the Padres (39-39, 3rd West) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Petco Park and is to start at 10:10 pm EDT (7:10 PDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (2-11, 4.50) who is coming off a lost against the Mets on June 21, as he went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 4-3 lost. He will be trying once again win his third start of the season. The Padres will counter with Robbie Erlin (1-0 , 4.15), who is coming off a win against the Blue Jays on June 1, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, while striking out four, in the Padres’ 4-3 win. He will be trying to give the Pardes the series’ win. The Phils will be trying to win the series from the Padres.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the third as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Edwin Encarnacion hits an RBI single, knocking in Jose Bautista, who had earlier doubled, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead, before moving up to second base on the late throw to the plate. The Blue Jays then made it a 2-0 lead one batter later as Adam Lind hits an RBI single, scoring Encarnacion. The Phils would get a run back in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with nobody out, Ben Revere, who had started the inning off with a single, then stole second base, would score on second baseman Eugenio Velez’s fielding error of Jimmy Rollins’ grounder, making it a 2-1 Blue Jays’ lead, while Rollins would be safe at first. The Phils then took the lead one batter later as Chase Utley hits a two-run home run, his fifth home run of the spring, scoring Rollins, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. The Phils added to their lead in the eighth as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Humberto Quintero hits an RBI single, knocking in Michael Martinez, who had just doubled, giving the Phils a 4-2 lead, before moving up to second base on the throw to the plate. Two batters later, after John Mayberry, Jr. had walked, the Phils made it a 7-2 lead as Laynce Nix hits a 3-run home run, his second home run of the spring, knocking in Quintero and Mayberry. That would end up being the final score as Jonathan Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 ninth.
Roy Halladay received a no-decision as he pitched four and a third innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out six. Hector Neris pitched two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men whom he would face. Cesar Jimenez (1-0, 0.00) got the win as he threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the side. Phillippe Aumont and Mike Adams both collected their second holds of the spring as they combine for two 1-2-3 innings, both striking out a batter. Jonathan Papelbon threw a 1-2-3 inning. Brandon Morrow (0-3, 6.14) took the lost as he pitched seven innings, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, while striking out three. Sergio Santos pitched an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk.
The Phils had nine hits in the game, with Ben Revere leading the ballclub with two hits, both singles. Chase Utley (Home Run, 2 RBIs), Ryan Howard (Single), Humberto Quintero (Single, RBI), Dom Brown (Single), Laynce Nix (Home Run, 3 RBI), Erik Kratz (Single) and Michael Martinez (Double), had the other seven Phils’ hits. The final Phil run came in on an error. The Phils also had a walk (John Mayberry, Jr.) and a stolen base (Revere (10)), in the game.
The Phils end their grapefruit league season with a 16-15-1 record. They will now play a pair of games at Citizens Bank Park, Friday and Saturday, against the Blue Jays.
The Phils took the lead in the first as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Michael Young hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Ben Revere, who started the game off with a single, moved up to second base on Justin Verlander’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt, then stopped at third base on Kevin Frandsen’s ground out, three-unassisted, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Phils increased their lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Ender Inciarte hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who had started the inning off with a single, then moved up to second base on John Mayberry, Jr’s walk, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Mayberry, who had earlier walked, on to third base, before moving up to second base on the right fielder’s wide throw to the plate. The Tigers got on the board in the sixth as, with a runner on third, and with one man out, Austin Jackson hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Alex Avila, who had started the inning off with a single, moved up to second base on Zach Minor’s wild pitch, then went to third base on Omar Infante’s ground out, 4-3, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead. The Phils got the run back in the seventh as, with runners on second and third, and with one man out, Young hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Inciarte, who had started the inning off with a single, stole second base, then stopped at third base on Revere’s single, giving the Phils a 3-1 lead, while sending Revere, who had earlier singled, then stole second base, over to third base. The Phils then made it a 4-1 lead as, with runners on the corners, as Lynce Nix walked, and now with two men out, Revere would score on Bruce Rondon’s balk, while Nix moved up to second base. That would end up being the final score as Chris Nichols ended the game by getting pinch-hitter Corey Jones to ground out, three-unassisted, for the game’s final out.
Cole Hamels (3-0, 0.95) got the win as he threw three scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out three. Chad Durbin recorded his second hold of the spring as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Zach Miner recorded his first hold of the spring as he threw two innings, giving up a run on two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch, while striking out a batter. Antonio Bastardo received his fourth hold of the spring as he threw a scoreless inning, striking out two. Brandon Erbe recorded his first hold of the spring as he went one and two-thirds innings, striking out a batter. Chris Nichols pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man whom he would face. Justin Verlander (1-3, 4.01) took the lost as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out five. Jess Todd pitched a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Bruce Rondon pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, two walks and a balk, while striking out a batter. Darin Downs pitched one and a third innings, striking out three batters. Luis Marte pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one.
The Phils had eight hits in the game, with Ben Revere (Singles) and Ender Inciarte (Singles, RBI) both leading the team with two hits each. Michael Young (Double, 2 RBIs), Carlos Ruiz (Single), John Mayberry, Jr. (Double) and Troy Hanzawa (Single), had the other four Phils’ hits. The final Phil run came in on a balk. The Phils also had three walks (Laynce Nix, Ruiz and Mayberry), a hit batter (Kevin Frandsen) and three stolen bases (Revere 2 (9) and Inciarte (2)) in the game.
The Phils (15-15) will play their final spring training game at Clearwater against the Blue Jays (14-16) tomorrow. Game time is 1:05 pm EDT. The Phils will be trying to end their Grapefruit League season on a high note.