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Phillies Use Power From Domonic Brown, Tommy Joseph To Down Yankees

Asche

Spring Training games hardly mean anything since there are so many players in and out who will not make a major league roster and the pitchers are often throwing one particular pitch over and over again just to refine it, but it's nice to see a win from the Phillies.   Despite a wet field that led to the Phillies deciding to scratch Chase Utley from the starting lineup, the Phillies defeated the New York Yankees 4-3 as the skies cleared in Clearwater.   There were several positive notes from today's game.

Kyle Kendrick started today's game and went two innings, giving up three hits and one earned run.   The pitching that followed was also decent.  Aaron Cook followed with two scoreless innings, followed by a scoreless fifth inning from Chad Durbin, making his spring debut.   Zach Miner gave up two runs in his two innings of work, but earned the win.   Roster longshot Cesar Jiminez pitched a scoreless eighth and Jeremy Horst pitched the ninth inning for the save.

Offensively, Kevin Frandsen got the Phillies on the board with an RBI double in the sixth inning.   The Phillies saw the continued presence of Domonic Brown who belted a solo home run in the seventh inning.  But the Phililes would keep scoring in the seventh.  After Cody Asche followed wtih a double, catcher Tommy Joseph homered onto the tiki bar in left field to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead, which would prove to be the deciding runs.

A little bit of nice glovework today from the Phillies as well.  Third baseman Cody Asche made a nice diving stop to turn a double play in the fifth inning.   You can watch that play here on MLB.com.

The Phillies return to action tomorrow against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers.


Phillies Notes and Roster Projections, 2/26

Lots has happened since my last writing, but we're still a far way from declaring a Phillies roster. Cliff Lee was excellent in his first start yesterday, as Hamels and Halladay were in their's, all good signs for the Phillies. Chase Utley was scratched today though, however the game is in rain delay, so that makes sense. Dom Brown's hitting bombs, and that's a good sign. Here's High Cheese's breakdown yesterday.  Here's today's. Oh, and in case you missed it, Michael Schwimer got traded, and was surprised.

I'm pleased with the early going, to the extent you can be. These games don't count and the starters don't always play. The pitchers look healthy though, Utley and Howard are playing, Howard's playing well, and Dom Brown looks ready. I'm not overly concerned about the overall results yet though.

Without further delay, here's my updated roster projection-

  • Rotation: Hamels, Halladay, Lee, Kendrick, Lannan
  • Line-Up: Rollins-SS, Revere-CF, Utley-2B, Howard-1B, M. Young-3B, Brown-RF, Ruf-LF, Kratz-C
  • Bullpen: Papelbon, Adams, Durbin, Bastardo, Aumont, Horst, Stutes
  • Bench: Frandsen, Nix, Mayberry, Galvis, Quintero
  • DL: D. Young
  • Restricted: Ruiz
  • Last 5 off: De Fratus, Valdes, Diekman, Inciarte, Betancourt
I'm giving Stutes the benefit of the doubt, for now, on his bad outing. It's his first one, and a lot of the other contenders have struggled. Inciarte's been impressive, though I think his best chance to stay is to be offered back and then traded for. He's raw, but talented.
Now, my Lehigh Valley roster predictions, which changed a bit by the trade of Schwimer.
  • Rotation: Cloyd, Pettibone, Cook, Lopez, Martin
  • Line-Up: Gillies-CF, Hernandez-2B, Betancourt-SS, J. Mitchell-RF, Mather-LF, Overbeck-1B, Fields-3B, Valle-C
  • Bullpen: De Fratus, Diekman, Valdes, Rosenberg, Savery, Robles, Miner
  • Bench: Orr, Martinez, Blanco, Lerud, D. Mitchell
A crack at Reading's rotation at least- Morgan, Biddle, Rodriguez, Colvin, Wright. As for the Pigs, this will change, as it would be a dream for all of these guys to accept assignments. For the most part though, this does give you a look at some of the guys who will be here. The closest battlers off this team so far, in my mind, are Morgan, Cody Asche, and maybe Leandro Castro makes a run here. I'm also impressed with Justin Friend's numbers at the least.
Lots will change as the games roll on, but this is a good place to start from, for now.

Kyle Kendrick Hopes To Get First Start of Spring Against Yankees

Kendrick

Note: Today's game may be subject to suspension due to inclimate weather.

The Phillies have lost two and tied in one of the Grapefruit League games they have played in so far. Despite their 10-1 loss yesterday, Cliff Lee was strong as he threw 2 innings of ball while yielding no hits, allowing just one walk while striking out two.

Today, the Phillies will take on the New York Yankees for the first time this spring. Kyle Kendrick (2012: 11-12, 3.90 ERA) will get the start today as he opposes Jose Ramirez (2012: 7-6, 3.19 ERA), who played in A+ ball last year.

It will be interesting to see how Kendrick has improved over the offseason and how he will form into this season. Jose Ramirez has been an interesting arm for the Yankees to watch in their farm system. This will be his first start of the spring.

Notes: Yankees 3B Kevin Youkilis is a scratch for today's game as precaution after suffering a hip cramp. OF Curtis Granderson, who was hit by a J.A. Happ pitch earlier this week, will not be in today's lineup. It is likely that Granderson will miss several weeks as well.

Here are the lineups that each pitcher will face this afternoon (if the game is played)

 Phillies Lineup:

  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Ben Revere, CF
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Michael Young, DH
  6. Domonic Brown, LF
  7. Laynce Nix, RF
  8. Cody Asche, 3B
  9. Steven Lerud, C
Kyle Kendrick pitches first


Yankees Lineup

  1. Eduardo Nunez, SS
  2. Ichiro Suzuki, RF 
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  5. Travis Hafner DH
  6. Matt Diaz, LF
  7. Melky Mesa, CF
  8. Bobby Wilson, C 
  9. Addison Maruszak, 3B

Jose Ramirez pitches first

TV: The Comcast Network
Radio:  
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Flyers Feverish Rally Falls Short As Leafs Hold On

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 10.03.15 PM

Scott Hartnell scored his first goal of the season in the Flyers' 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

It was hardly the same game as two weeks ago, when the Flyers and Leafs last met, but the result was the same nonetheless.

A feverish rally by the Flyers fell short as a goal mid-way through the third for the Leafs proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 Flyers' loss.

The Leafs struck first in this one late in the first as Phil Kessel beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a low shot to the far post at 17:20.

It took until the 15:02 mark of the second for another goal to be scored. This time is was Nikolai Kulemin who beat Bryzgalov with a similar shot on a breakaway.

The Flyers answered this goal quickly, as Scott Hartnell buried his first goal of the season off a brilliant feed from Jake Voracek to cut the lead to one.

A shorthanded rush by Claude Giroux ended with his shot catching the iron. The Leafs charged back the other way and scored just after the penalty expired as Mikhail Grabovski buried a loose puck after two huge saves by Bryzgalov.

The Flyers got a huge chance midway through the third when former Flyer James van Riemsdyk took two penalties on the same play, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Flyers.

The Flyers wasted no time to start, scoring just 30 seconds into the first minor on a shot by Voracek that deflected off a Leafs' defender in front. But the rest of the power play time wasted away and the Flyers were forced to apply pressure late in the game. 

With Bryzgalov pulled, the Flyers came close to scoring twice but Ben Scrivens stood tall in net and with under 15 seconds to play, Erik Gustafsson failed to keep the puck in the zone as Jay McClement raced the other way and scored on the empty net to ice the game.

For most of the game, two lines barely showed up. It was a horrible game for Mike Knuble, Ruslan Fedotenko and Max Talbot. Defensively, the pairing of Gustafsson and Bruno Gervais was horrendous as well. Quite frankly, it was hard to find one of the six defensemen on the ice in orange who had a decent game. They were slow, ineffective and lazy. That combination doesn't win or get you to the playoffs.

You can hardly fault Bryzgalov, who stopped 18 of 21 shots by the Leafs. But Scrivens was solid once again, stopping 23 of 25 shots.

On the plus side, Voracek continued his hot streak with a goal and an assist, extending his points streak to six games. Voracek's linemates, Giroux and Hartnell also played with good energy, providing most of the Flyers' late scoring chances.

But as for the rest of the team, the over-achieving resurfaced. Passes were not crisp. When they were crisp, they passed one-too-many times. Once again, the offense was all about style, not efficiency.

So in their sixth bid to pull even at .500, the Flyers failed again. They will have to wait until the weekend for their chance to do that again. First things first, the Flyers need to get back in the win column. That chance comes when they host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Flyerdelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.


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Brian Startare hosts shows on weeknights and weekends for the 97.5 the Fanatic. Brian became editor-in-chief of Flyerdelphia in January 2o14.

He had previously been with CBS Sportsradio in Philadelphia since February 2005, where his duties included hosting, reporting and update anchoring.

In addition to his regular talk duties, he hosted pre and postgame shows for the Philadelphia Flyers and Eagles as well as serving as the station’s Eagles training camp reporter.

Startare has worked in television for Comcast CN8 and is also the proud author of Flyer’d Up: Trivia, Facts and Anecdotes for fans of the Orange and Black.

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Startare was born in Philadelphia and now resides in South Jersey with his wife Andrea and their two sons, Chase and Braydon.

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Michael Young All the Wiser With the Phillies; Cliff Lee Thinks the Rangers Jerked Him Around

MichaelYoung

I saw a few interviews with Michael Young today. One with Greg Murphy after he was finished his 5 innings of work and one with Michael Barkann on the Phillies Focus show. I was reminded of Raul Ibanez. The veteran who has played his share of baseball, probably on the downside of his career, but saying and doing all the right things. One hopes when this all plays out, Young will have had a successful season at third base and at the plate.

Jayson Stark wrote a nice piece today where Cliff Lee sings the praises of his brief time as Young's teammate in 2010 in Texas. As a casual observer, it appears Texas jerked him around a lot. Probably because they knew he'd be the loyal ballplayer at the end of the day. Even after demanding a trade when made a full time DH, he was basically a good soldier and carried on.

Lee described Young on Monday as "the perfect teammate" and "the heart and soul of the Rangers," and said he thought the team "borderline took him for granted."

Asked if he understood why the Rangers tried for several years to trade Young, Lee replied:

"I think that baffled a lot of people who were around that organization. Like I said, he was the heart and soul of that team for a long time, and I can't understand their thinking on a few of the moves they made with him," Lee said. "He's a really good player. I don't know why you wouldn't just let him do his thing."

Young appears to be another name on a club that gets it right now. Much like Halladay who is passing the torch to Hamels. Maybe they aren't the best at what they do anymore. But their maturity and their worth ethic will play a big role as they try and make another push at October baseball. Both are deserving of wearing a championship ring one of these days. 

 

 

 


Papelbon, Stutes Struggle in 10-1 Loss to Tigers

16474_680486308541_1672508533_n

Cliff Lee looked excellent this afternoon against the Tigers in Clearwater. In two innings, Lee walked one and struck out two. He did not give up a hit. 

Tyler Cloyd followed with two shutout innings of his own, walking one and striking out one. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Ryan Howard brought home Yeniesky Betancourt with a sac fly to center field, putting the Phils on the board.

Jonathan Papelbon came in for the fifth inning and was completely shellacked. Nick Castellanos put the Tigers on the board with a two-run homer to right center. Later, Alex Avila was sent home on a single from Torii Hunter. With two men on, Miguel Cabrera hit a looooong home run, making it a 6-1 ballgame. 

Papelbon's line from this afternoon: 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Ouch. 

Michael Stutes, pitching for the first time in ten months, did not have an easy sixth inning. Stutes walked two, and allowed two earned runs on one hit, a two-run triple from Tyler Collins. 8-1 Tigers.

After a 1-2-3 inning from Phillippe Aumont, Raul Valdes allowed a run to score in the eighth inning after Dixon Machado doubled to send home Curt Casali. 9-1 Detroit. 

Valdes stayed in for the ninth inning, and gave up a solo homer to Kevin Russo which made it a 10-1 ballgame. 

The Phillies' offense did a whole lot of nothing this afternoon, gathering just five hits total. They are now 0-2 with one tie (Feb. 24th's game against the Tigers).

Tomorrow at 1:05, the Yankees will pay visit to the Phillies for the first time this spring. Kyle Kendrick will take the hill for the Phils. 


Michael Schwimer Offers Parting Shot at Phillies; Is Going To AAA For Blue Jays

Michael_Schwimer_
Yes, Schwimer took the loss in this game against the Atlanta Braves

Michael Schwimer was not likely to get a chance for the Phillies in the major leagues this season.  It does not appear that he will be in the Blue Jays' plans either.   According to the Blue Jays' official website, Schwimer was told immediately that it was not likely that he would make the team out of Spring Training:

Assistant general manager Jay Sartori already informed him that with the veteran relievers and other pitchers out of options on the roster he's unlikely to head north. That's just fine with Schwimer, though, who said he will have no problem reporting to Triple-A Buffalo at the start of the year. Once there, it's very possible he will be a candidate for a promotion if the Blue Jays' pitching staff suffers any injuries during the year.

Schwimer appears to be an agitator that the Phillies simply wanted to unload.  The first issue with Schwimer was when he broke roster news on Twitter before the Phillies informed players on their Major League roster that they would be sent to AAA:

Schwimtweet
Then there is the matter of Schwimer's demotion to AAA Lehigh Valley.   Schwimer at first refused to report to AAA, claiming that he was injured.  It sounds like that the Phillies did not care for the fact that Schwimer's demotion would be the reason for the pitcher to claim injury, as he did not claim to be hurt as he scuffled along.   Schwimer was eventually added to Lehigh Valley's roster but the Phillies declined to add him to the roster in September.  

If Schwimer was on the major league disabled list, he could have collected a full major league salary.  If he had just taken the demotion and came back in September, he probably would have collected more money.  At first, Schwimer said that his despute through the player's association was an "open issue", but in today's National Post piece by John Lott, Schwimer all of a sudden is not supposed to comment.

The Phillies got nothing in return for Schwimer.  Let's face it: a 22 year-old class A first baseman was not on the list of things that Phillies hoped to acquire to make their team better.  He is probably just another career minor leaguer whom we never hear of.  The Phillies were probably happy to just find someone to take Schwimer off of their hands.

So of course Schwimer offered a parting shot in Lott's piece.   He's much happier now that he got out of the awful Phillies clubhouse:

“This is different,” he said with a smile on Sunday morning. “My initial impression is that it’s a lot more relaxed than the Phillies’ locker room was. Everybody’s having fun, kind of doing their own thing, happy. The Phillies [clubhouse] was a lot more kind of regimented and plan-oriented."

Lott says that the Blue Jays clubhouse is filled with a "cacophony of noisy conversations and loud music".  Maybe that is just what Schwimer needs.  Good luck to you, sir.