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Hamels to test arm, throw bullpen session Wednesday

Date: Mon, Mar 10, 2014

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...

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After Hamels' setback, Burnett, Gonzalez rocked

Date: Fri, Mar 7, 2014

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,...

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In true Phillies spring fashion, Hamels has setback

Date: Thu, Mar 6, 2014

Cole Hamels' scheduled throwing session Thursday was canceled because of arm fatigue. Hamels was scheduled to throw batting practice, but instead needs to "step back and start over," according to CSNPhilly.com. Hamels wasn't going to be ready for Opening Day, but now it looks doubtful that he'll pitch in April. "April is the last thing I want to think about right now," Hamels told reporters. "I would say, right now, we’re just taking it day by day. Ultimately I just...

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Phillies play some small ball in spring training tie

Date: Wed, Mar 5, 2014

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...

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Cause for concern? Bats dismal in another loss

Date: Tue, Mar 4, 2014

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...

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Roberto Hernandez rebounds in second spring start

Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2014

Roberto Hernandez's spring got off to a rocky start in the opener against the Blue Jays, when he allowed two runs on four hits over two innings, gave up a mammoth homer to Jose Bautista and was nearly taken deep twice more. But he rebounded for the Phillies Monday against his former team. Hernandez struck out three Tampa Bay Rays and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings. Jeff Manship followed with two spotless frames of his own, and...

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Quiet day for Phils, who survive scare with Asche

Date: Sun, Mar 2, 2014

Sunday was a pretty quiet day up and down the Phillies' roster. A.J. Burnett made his debut and allowed one run on one hit over two innings in a 4-1 Phillies loss to the Pirates. The Phils have been outscored 8-1 the last two days, and on Sunday they had only one extra-base hit, a double by Tony Gwynn, Jr. The Phils are 1-4 and hitting .192 so far in Grapefruit League play. Jesse Biddle pitched two innings in relief...

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On deck to debut: A.J. Burnett

Date: Sun, Mar 2, 2014

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...

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Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez makes uneven Phillies debut

Date: Sat, Mar 1, 2014

We didn't learn a whole lot about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in the Phillies' 4-0 loss to the Yankees on Saturday afternoon. The Cuban right-hander finally debuted, but his performance was uneven and his velocity wasn't all the way there. Gonzalez struck out the first two Yankees he faced, but was wild after that, walking four batter over 1.2 innings and needing 51 pitches to record five outs. Gonzalez showed a fastball, curveball and a splitter. His fastball reached as high...

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First glimpse of Gonzalez; Martin injury update

Date: Sat, Mar 1, 2014

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...

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Kendrick debuts, Ruf the DH for Phillies vs. Tigers

Date: Fri, Feb 28, 2014

Darin Ruf is back in the Phillies' lineup a day after homering off the Blue Jays' Esmil Rogers. Ruf will bat ninth and DH against Tigers left-hander Jose Alvarez in the Phils' third spring training game, which will be televised live on TCN at 1:05 p.m. Bobby Abreu sits against the lefty. Abreu had gone 0-for-3 with four walks in the home-and-home series against Toronto. The 2-7 spots in the Phillies' lineup appears to be the batting order Ryne Sandberg...

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Ruf, Mayberry homer, Abreu patient in Phillies' ST loss

Date: Thu, Feb 27, 2014

Darin Ruf had himself a day in his first spring training start. He walked to load the bases in his first plate appearance, homered off Esmil Rogers in the third inning, and narrowly missed another homer on the first pitch of his third PA. The Phillies lost, 7-5, to the Blue Jays in Dunedin. It looked like Ruf had at least extra bases in the fifth, but his booming fly ball was caught by CF Kenny Wilson, the Blue Jays'...

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4-man rotation for Phils until Hamels returns?

Date: Wed, Feb 26, 2014

With Cole Hamels expected to miss at least a few starts in April, it would appear a handful of fifth-starter candidates would spend the spring competing for the opportunity to fill in. But it might better serve the Phillies to go with a four-man staff until Hamels returns. If Hamels misses just two starts, the off-days work in the Phillies' favor. They have a day off after their season-opening three-game series in Texas, which would allow opening day starter Cliff...

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Will A.J. Burnett's groundballs be wasted with Phils?

Date: Mon, Feb 24, 2014

The two most appealing parts of A.J. Burnett's game are his abilities to induce swings-and-misses and groundballs. He's second in the majors with a 57.6% groundball rate since 2012. But will that matter as much with the Phillies as it did with the Pirates? When the Phils first signed Burnett, ESPN's Keith Law opined that it was a waste of a move for a team that likely couldn't contend anyway. I don't agree with that assessment, but I do lend...

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