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Archive for February, 2012

Clearwater Notes: Hyatt Will Start Spring Opener, Dobbs Fires Shot

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, February 25, 2012 06:25 PM Comments: 16

Hyatt will look to build on impressive 2011 opening the 2012 Spring slate against Florida State. Photo by: Jacqueline Dormer, Republican Herald

Austin Hyatt TABBED TO START SPRING OPENER

Austin Hyatt will be handed the ball for the Phillies spring opener on February 29 against Florida State according to our pal David Hale at Delaware Online. Hyatt ranked 15th in Phillies Nation’s Prospect Nation and is a non-roster invitee to Phils’ big league camp. Hyatt was an Eastern League All-Star in 2011 for the R-Phils and had a tremendous second half. Hyatt may be on the short list for emergency starter duties for 2012 and should pitch primarily in Lehigh Valley.

The throwing schedule for February 29, also thanks to Hale, is as follows:

LHP Jacob Diekman
LHP Jeremy Horst
RHP Michael Schwimer
LHP Joe Savery
RHP JC Ramirez
RHP BJ Rosenberg
RHP Phillippe Aumont

Diekman was added to the 40-man roster over the off-season and figures to compete for a lefty role out of the ‘pen with Horst, Savery, and Dontrelle Willis. Diekman’s impressive repertoire may force Amaro to make a very difficult decision. It is likely that Schwimer, Aumont, David Herndon, and Justin DeFratus are competing for the last bullpen spot out of camp. Continue reading Clearwater Notes: Hyatt Will Start Spring Opener, Dobbs Fires Shot

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2012 Phillies Nation Road Trips

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, February 25, 2012 04:46 PM Comments: 1

Phillies Spring Training Trip

Details for four of our 2012 road trips have been announced – Clearwater, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and Baltimore! Like last year, we will be teaming up with our friends at Phils Fever (aka Green Legion) for several awesome adventures. Check out the details:

Spring Training
Friday, March 16 to Monday, March 19

This is easily the most fun you’ll have on a road trip. In a single weekend you have – Phillies Spring Training, St. Patrick’s Day, Opening Rounds of March Madness, and Spring Break! All this within the famously sunny surroundings of Clearwater, Florida. If you are a serious Phillies fan, you need to at least consider coming on the trip.

Read more about the variety of packages starting at just $340 (not including transportation to Clearwater)

Pittsburgh
Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8

Time to kick-start the Phillies season and this year, we start in Pittsburgh! Opening Day is unfortunately on a Thursday, so rather than dealing with all the vacation days and missed classes, we decided to offer a package for two nights, either Friday & Saturday or Saturday & Sunday, and you can go to either one or two games, or even a Flyers-Penguins game before the Saturday night Phillies game!

Read more about Opening Weekend in Pittsburgh.

Washington, DC
Saturday, May 5

As you may have heard, the Washington Nationals are trying to keep Phillies fans from taking over Nationals Park yet again. Since baseball returned to DC in 2005, Phillies Nation has been delivering Phillies fans to our nation’s capital – and we’ll do that again this May. Let’s show our old friends Jayson Werth and Brad Lidge what they’re missing!

Read more about our “Take Back Nationals Park” trip in Washington, DC.

Baltimore
Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10

The opportunity to see one of baseball’s finest ballparks, the original throwback at Camden Yards, does not come around often. This year we have plenty of chances to see the Phillies play the neighboring Orioles in an interleague matchup. You can come down just for 1 game or stay the entire weekend. Plus there are bus pick-ups at three different locations around Philly.

Read more about the Phillies fan invasion of Baltimore in June.

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Play Fantasy Baseball with Phillies Nation!

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, February 25, 2012 10:33 AM Comments: 3

With the 2012 season just around the corner, it’s time to start another Phillies Nation fantasy baseball season, where it’s free to enter and winners of each division win a Phillies Nation Prize Pack at the end of the season!

If you are interested in playing this year, sign up below and we’ll email you an invitation to join one of our leagues. Invites will be sent out in March, but you can certainly start thinking of funny team names now.

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The Pros and Cons of an Early Return for Howard

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, February 24, 2012 03:00 PM Comments: 17

PHOTO: Todd Zolecki

We already know that Ryan Howard is ahead of his projected recovery schedule. Earlier today, Ruben Amaro Jr. said: (via Todd Zolecki)

“I don’t know how realistic it is. We all like to try to be optimistic. But as far as I’m concerned, if he comes back sometime in May, I’m happy. Ryan’s rehab is going well. He’s going to have good days. He’s going to have some not-so-good days. But he’s doing well, and that’s all we can ask. It’s a process we’ll let play out. We’re not in any rush to get him back.”

But imagine this: At some point in Spring Training, Ryan Howard is given the ‘OK’ to play again. He eases his way back into the swing of things and eventually finds himself 100% healthy by Opening Day. What would the Phillies do? What should they do? What would be the pros and cons of such a twist?

Continue reading The Pros and Cons of an Early Return for Howard

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Amaro Talks Lee, Contreras, De Fratus Injuries

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, February 24, 2012 12:37 PM Comments: 7

Ruben Amaro spoke to the media on Friday, the Phillies’ first full-squad practice day, regarding injuries to several players.

Cliff Lee missed a bullpen session yesterday with midsection soreness. “It’s really minimal, I’m not worried about Cliff,” Amaro said, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.

The Phils and Jose Contreras were “very encouraged” by Big Truck’s bullpen session Friday morning. “I think he had a really good demeanor when he walked off the mound,” Amaro said of the 40-year-old righty who made only 17 appearances in 2011 because of elbow problems. “That’s a very, very good step for him.”

Young reliever and Phillies Nation contributor Justin de Fratus will be shut down for at least a week because of right elbow soreness. De Fratus’ elbow reportedly first tightened in January and the team is taking a cautious approach.

In other news…

Michael Schwimer was a guest on CSNPhilly.com’s Lunch Break this morning. He sat down with John Gonzalez to discuss life in the big leagues and rookie hazing.

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Prospect Nation 2012: #7 SS Freddy Galvis

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, February 24, 2012 09:09 AM Comments: 4

Switch-hitting shortstop Freddy Galvis was previously a player who was consider strong with the leather and lacking on offense, until last season. With some significant strides in his hitting game, Galvis improved his status in the Phillies prospect ranks by a considerable margin.

In 2010, The slick fielding prospect had his time in the Venezuelan Winter League cut short by the Phillies, who sent him to the organization’s spring training home in Clearwater, FL to enhance his core. The two-month training session worked, as Galvis added strength which improved his throwing arm and his ability to drive the ball.

Galvis had a terrific campaign during the 2011 regular season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As a member of the R-Phils, Galvis was extremely impressive, batting .273 with a career-high 8 homeruns through 104 games. That output earned him a promotion to the IronPigs, where he batted .298 through 33 games and helped the club reach the Governor’s Cup finals.

The breakthrough season earned Galvis the annual Paul Owens Award, which is given to the top Phillies minor league player and pitcher each year.

Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #7 SS Freddy Galvis

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Clearwater Notes: Charlie talks with Jimmy, Utley Talks Knee

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, February 23, 2012 05:40 PM Comments: 3

Time will tell if Rollins adapts Manuel's suggested approach. Photo: AP

THE SKIP TALKS CANDIDLY WITH JIMMY

The most noteworthy update from Clearwater today came from a great recap of an interview with Charlie Manuel passed along by our friend David Hale at Delaware Online. Manuel relayed an almost half-hour conversation he had with Phils’ shortstop and lead-off man Jimmy Rollins prior to batting practice. According to Hale, Manuel acknowledged Rollins’ tendency to work hitter’s counts but chase a pitcher’s pitch: “Jimmy can get in the count 2-1, 3-1 quite a bit, then he’ll chase a ball up out of the strike zone and hit a fly ball to center field,” Manuel said. “I talked him about that. … If he looks for a fastball and it’s not a strike, then try to lay off it. Learn and practice that way, and also in the game.”

Hale provided some great stats including that J-Rol hit .288 with a .920 OPS when he was ahead in the count and had 58 walks v. 59 strikeouts. Many baseball observers note that as players get older, walks increase as part of an older skill set while other skills such as speed and defense decline. If Rollins’ walks do increase, he will be an even more valuable commodity to the Phils and, according to Hale, Charlie feels the same way: “I think he definitely carries that kind of weight on our team when he’s playing good and he’s got it going.”

Jim Salisbury at CSN-Philly stated that in addition to setting the tone at the plate, Manuel is looking for Rollins to jump start the team out of complacency. Salisbury wrote:

According to Manuel, he and Rollins didn’t just talk hitting. They talked about the team maintaining an energy level throughout the season, and not taking winning for granted. Even though the Phils have led the majors in wins the last two seasons, there have been times that Manuel has complained about complacency in the clubhouse.

He wants it to stop.

Continue reading Clearwater Notes: Charlie talks with Jimmy, Utley Talks Knee

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Utley: Knee Feels Significantly Better

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, February 23, 2012 03:45 PM Comments: 1

(PHOTO AP)

Chase Utley began Spring Training in the same fashion as Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Ryan Howard; with a press conference set up to appease the media and shed some light on offseason questions. Utley, coy as ever, did his best to deflect attention and answer questions as straightforward as possible.

In the few words he spoke, Utley gave reason for optimism. “It feels significantly better. Last year, it was pretty uncomfortable, especially the first week. Right now, I think I’m in a good place.”

Utley did say there is a chance the symptoms come back, but they will work on keeping that from happening. This offseason, Utley strengthened his body all around his knee and made sure that the wear and tear of a full season wouldn’t be a hindrance. He took on more of a stretching routine and laid off the heavy weights this offseason, so as not to irritate the knee.

The Phillies all-star second baseman mentioned that he probably won’t take part in many games during spring training, especially initially. But don’t worry, folks, he says he’s getting closer to 100 percent.

LISTEN TO CHASE UTLEY’S PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

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Report: Roy Oswalt to Sit Until Midseason

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, February 23, 2012 01:15 PM Comments: 11

(PHOTO: AP)

Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes announced that Roy Oswalt would be making an announcement at some point on Thursday regarding his future.

Speculation ran rampant from that point that retirement was in the works, that he would join the Phillies on a minor league deal, or he was saving money on his car insurance by switching to Geico. We now know what lay ahead for Oswalt, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Sources tell Crasnick that Oswalt will sit out the beginning of the season (if nothing pops up), then offer up his services to a team around midseason.

This is essentially the same thing Roger Clemens did years ago.

Oswalt has not gotten the type of attention he was hoping to as a free agent. Reports had Oswalt looking for upwards of $8-10 million on a one year deal. And that was after the market evaporated.

It’s clear no team wants to give him what he so desires from a monetary standpoint. Oswalt will take his chances and look to latch on with a contender at mid-year.

Continue reading Report: Roy Oswalt to Sit Until Midseason

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Prospect Nation 2012: #8 RHP Julio Rodriguez

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 23, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 5

Right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez has quietly become one of the Phillies’ most promising prospects in recent years. Without the hype and buzz that has surrounded other well-regarded youngsters within the Philadelphia organization, the Puerto Rican born hurler has proven himself worthy of being held in considerable regard by the Phils, their fans and talent evaluators alike.

Drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 amateur draft as a 17-year-old, Rodriguez made his professional debut that same year, throwing in 7 games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. However, the 6-foot-4-inch 200-pounder struggled, as he sported a 12.19 ERA and a .383 batting average against.

The following season, back in the GCL, Rodriguez added some strength and made some serious improvements in the GCL, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.08 ERA and a .197 batting average against in 11 games (8 starts).

In 2010, as a 19-year-old, Rodriguez began the season in extended spring training, but joined the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in May. He spent time with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters as well that year, and finished with an overall record of 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA and a .175 batting average against in 20 outings (12 starts). Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #8 RHP Julio Rodriguez

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