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Ken Giles Injured in Loss to Jays

Sean O’Sullivan started for the Phillies today while the rotation problems continue to swirl with the release of Kevin Slowey. O’Sullivan, after getting sent to minor league camp, started against the Blue Jays. O’Sullivan continued his spring struggle. In four innings of work, he allowed five hits, two homers, and walked four and only struck out two. So far this spring, O’Sullivan has a 7.59 ERA. O’Sullivan might get a look in the rotation while the team waits on Chad Billingsley.

Luis Garcia got two innings of work today, surrendering his first runs of the spring. Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver tossed an inning, giving up a run, but improved from his last outing when he walked four batters in two thirds of an inning.

Ken Giles replaced Oliver, but only lasted two batters before the trainers removed him mid-at bat. After the game, it was revealed that Giles had lower back tightness. Giles spoke and believes he will be fine for Opening Days.  P.J. Walters replaced Giles mid-batter and gave up two runs including another charged to Giles.

Offensively, the Phillies improved after struggling the last few games. The Phils had eight hits in the game from Revere, Galvis, Ruf, Sizemore, Herrera, and Blanco. Andres Blanco gave the Phillies their first two runs in the second, singling in Howard and Sizemore. They got another run in the fourth after Hernandez worked a bases load walk. They got two more in the fifth. Sizemore singled in Galvis and Herrera would later hit a sacrifice fly to score Howard. The offense finished off with Herrera’s first spring home run.

The Blue Jays jumped on O’Sullivan early. Edwin Encarnacion homered to give the Jays a two-run lead in the first. Reyes added on in the second with a sacrifice double play to score Pillar. The power came back out in the fifth with homers by Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson. That would give the Jays the lead they kept through to a 10-6 win.

Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up the five runs on six hits, walking six while striking out two. The Jays came up with ten hits.

 Up Next: Tomorrow at 1:05pm, the Phillies will return to Bright House Field to face the Braves. Cole Hamels will face off against Julio Teheran.

Andrew Shipotofsky is a staff writer with Philliedelphia.

Coping mechanism? Phillies will debut hard liquor, wine at games this season


Let the "Phillies drive me to drink" jokes begin.  The Phillies unveiled their new food items to media last night at Citizens Bank Park and some of the new items may surprise you.  The alcoholic content will be rising in 2015 along with the loss total.

Michael Klein of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports: a first this season, the Phillies and Aramark will sell cocktails and wine in the general concession areas at Citizens Bank Park. If you think that the idea of a "Phillies bar" is coming from somewhere out of left field - well, you're correct. It will be located behind Section 142, expanding an existing beer bar. Wine and cocktails cannot be brought out to seats. The cocktail list has not been finalized.

The Phillies will also unveil wine made by Chaddsford Winery with the Phillies name on it.

Other food items being introduced to Citizens Bank Park include Jake's Wayback Burgers, which should be a big improvement over the typical frozen Aramark hamburger patties, expanded gluten-free offerings, Turkey Hill creamery, and a South Philly dog.

Phillies head to Dunedin to face Blue Jays last Spring road game


The equipment is getting packed up as the Phillies prepare to head back north to Philadelphia for this weekend's "On Deck" series.  The Phillies will make their last Spring Training road trip of the year as the team heads to nearby Dunedin to take on the Toronto Blue Jays.  Given the team's close proximity, the two teams frequently meet during Spring Training action.

Sean O'Sullivan gets the start for the Phillies.  O'Sullivan was sent to minor league camp earlier this Spring.  Despite being cut, O'Sullivan could find himself in the Phillies plans once again, as the Phillies continue to have to cut other options.  Cliff Lee got hurt.  Chad Billingsley is not ready for Opening Day.  Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was sent to minor league camp.  Kevin Slowey was released this morning.  The options are fewer and fewer.

The Phillies will face Aaron Sanchez once again, whom the team faced on Tuesday.  Though Cole Hamels pitched five days ago as well, he does not get the start today.  Hamels will likely get one more appearance before heading north to start on Monday the 6th, Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox.

The Phillies lineup will feature Darin Ruf at first base.  The Phillies seemingly have given up on using Ruf in the outfield.  Despite being the only right-handed bat in the outfield mix, the Phillies seem content in keeping Ruf from getting an opportunity.  Ryan Howard will serve as the team's designated hitter in the likely last designated hitter game this Spring.

Cesar Hernandez will get the start at third base as the Phillies get him used to other positions for his upcoming utility role.  Cameron Rupp starts at catcher and Andres Blanco at second base.  Starters Cody Asche, Chase Utley, and Carlos Ruiz have the day off.

Phillies Lineup:

Blue Jays Lineup:

First pitch: 1:07
TV: None
Radio: webcast

Domonic Brown to open season on disabled list; Phillies release starter

The Phillies answered two questions about their Opening Day roster today with the announcement of two roster moves.  First, the Phillies announced that outfielder Domonic Brown would begin the 2015 season on the disabled list.    Then the Phillies gave right-handed starter Kevin Slowey his outright release from the team.

Brown has been bothered by a sore Achilles.  With no tear, all Brown can do is take it easy and hope to not damage the Achilles further.  Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News reports that there is no timetable on Brown's return.   Further, Lawrence reports that Darin Ruf will not get an outfield opportunity in Brown's absence.   Jordan Danks, Grady Sizemore, or Brian Bogusevic will help the Phillies continue their goal to have an entirely left-handed outfield.

Slowey was a candidate for the Phillies fifth starter job as recently as yesterday.  However, Slowey's performance was one he would probably prefer to forget.  In two innings of work, Slowey surrendered six runs, five of them earned.  Slowey was also challenged to a fight by Pirates infielder Sean Rodriguez during the game.  Slowey was not awful up until yesterday, allowing four earned runs in 9 2/3 innings.   But the Phillies decided to cut ties today and released Slowey.

Opening Day is just six days away, and the Phillies have yet to figure out who will be the team's fifth starter.  Sean O'Sullivan has been re-summoned from minor league camp to start today as they try to come up with a solution.  Chad Billinglsey might be ready in the near future.  In that case, the Phillies could give O'Sullivan a start or two until then.


Between the Pipes-03/31/15: No fooling, the Flyers are rebuilding; Voracek in scoring race

New Between the Pipes

Welcome to Between the Pipes, a look at the Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL through linkage.


New beginning for Nick Schultz

Signed as a 7th defenseman, Nick Schultz has had a steady season for the Flyers: [ Panaccio] [ Seravalli] [ Dave Isaac

Scoring title in reach

The Flyers have never had an Art Ross trophy winner. Jake Voracek is trying to become the first: [ Marc Narducci] [ Tim Panaccio]

World Championships up next

Jake Voracek and several other Flyers will be heading to the World Championships in the Czech Republic after the season: [ Meltzer] [ Seravalli]

NHL recaps

A look at last night's action in the NHL: [Puck Daddy- Greg Wyshynski] [Kukla's Korner- Paul Kukla]

A playoff prediction from The Hockey News. Ranger fans will not be happy: [The Hockey News-Matt Larkin]


That's all for today, join us on Saturday for more Between the Pipes.

Around the NHL: NHL awards race


With about ten days left on the 2014-15 regular season, I wanted to take a look at the NHL Awards race. Today we will look at nine individual awards, the Hart, Vezina, Selke, Calder, Norris, Lindsay, Adams, Richard and Ross Trophies. Players will tell you the only trophy they want is the big silver cup but winning an individual award is quite an accomplishment.

Continue reading "Around the NHL: NHL awards race" »

Phillies debut 'a surreal moment' for Zach Eflin

This past week, we've gotten to see a glimpse of the Phillies future in terms of pitching. The trio of Aaron Nola, Severino Gonzalez and Zach Eflin could be anchoring the Phillies rotation in a few years. Yesterday, Eflin got to start on the big league stage for the first time with his new team. He had an okay day, struggling with some control, but settled down nicely after his first inning. Eflin tossed three innings and gave up four runs, one earned, while striking out two and walking one.

Ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Phillies organization by Baseball America, Eflin definitely had some butterflies, but told that it was a good experience to have.

Just a little bit. I had the jitters a little bit. I wasn't nervous, it's not like i could feel anything, it was such a surreal moment and it was good to get my feet wet.

Obviously with nerves going haywire, command isn't going to be on point. Eflin didn't seem to have much control of the strike zone in the first, but settled down nicely in the second, inducing two groundouts after a walk, one being a double play to get two quick outs.

In the first inning, I was a little jittery and in the second inning, I calmed down. It was good to get through the first inning and get the three outs. I felt a lot more comfortable in the second inning, I felt within myself and I was throwing more strikes and just tried to carry that over.

The first batter Eflin faced was the Pirates Josh Harrison, who took the Phillies prospect out of the yard on a 1-1 pitch. Giving up a homer is never really a good thing, but Eflin again enjoyed the moment and the learning experience that it brought. He retired seven of the next nine batters he faced.

I was a little upset with myself, but at the same time I thought it was pretty cool. Ya know, the first Major League hitter I face was Josh Harrison and just goes oppo off me and like I said, it's just a surreal moment.

Eflin is likely to start his season with a stacked pitching rotation in Reading that will include the likes of Aaron Nola, Severino Gonzalez and fellow trade acquisition Tom Windle. So far, Eflin is really enjoying his new team after moving cross country from the Padres organization.

It's going great. Lovin' it, lovin' it, absolutely lovin' it...lovin' the Phillies. It's a lot different organization, but it's my type of organization...nice and classy.

Last season, Eflin pitched for the Advanced 'A' Padres affiliate in Lake Elsinore, CA. In 24 starts, the right-hander went 10-7 with a 3.80 ERA. 

With the Phillies in rebuild mode, Ruben Amaro is giving these young arms a chance to get experience at the big league level, because the future is really what counts now rather than what happens this year. 

"This year is more about our future than our present," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "This is about finding out, frankly, and this sounds strange, but I'm more interested in the development of the guys in Triple-A and Double-A and A ball than I am necessarily the guys on the [Major League] field." []

The Phillies head to Dunedin this afternoon for a 1:05 game against the Blue Jays.


Kevin Correia? Paul Maholm? Spring cuts could be Phillies soon

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The 2015 season begins on Monday and the Phillies do not know who is going to pitch the fifth day yet.  After Miguel Alfred Gonzalez was reassigned to minor league camp, the Phillies saw Kevin Slowey get shelled and they put their tail between their legs and have Sean O'Sullivan, previously reassigned, making a start today.  In other words, they have no idea who will start fifth in the rotation.  However, there may be some options emerging.

Jayson Stark, longtime Philadelphia Inquirer writer and now-baseball columnist for ESPN, hears the Phillies will find someone from somewhere else:

Some free agent options are emerging, thanks to other teams cutting them.

Left-handed starter Paul Maholm is well-known to Phillies spans, having made many starts against them for the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates over the years.  Maholm was released by the Cincinnati Reds after failing to land a spot there.  Maholm did not have a poor Spring; there is simply no room on the Reds for him.

Kevin Correia got his unconditional release from the Seattle Mariners after failing to make that team's deep starting rotation.  Correia was also on my list of arms I thought the Phillies might target this offseason.   He also fits the bill of veteran, cheap stopgap.  Correia pitched a good amount of innings each of the last two seasons, something the young Phillies can really use.

Season over? Send in the kids

With Boston's 2-1 overtime win over Carolina on Sunday, the Flyers were formally eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Though, as just about anyone with common sense would attest to, the Flyers were eliminated following the weekend of March 7-8, when they fell to the Bruins and New Jersey Devils in lifeless fashion.

Idle springtimes are not a concept entirely too familiar to fans of the Orange and Black, as this is just the 10th time in their 48-season history that they'll be watching the playoffs from the cliché golf course.

So with six games to go -- six games in which the team is playing for nothing other than pride -- why not bring up some younger players from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and give them some experience in The Show?

Continue reading "Season over? Send in the kids" »

Former Phillies outfielder Raul Ibañez joins Fox Sports as baseball analyst

A popular former Phillies player will be taking on a prominent role in the 2015 season.  Unlike the last 19 seasons, it will not be on the baseball field.   Raul Ibañez, who has not formally retired but has not latched on to another team, will be joining Fox Sports as an analyst.

Bill Shaikin of the Tampa Bay Times reports:

Ibañez also reportedly withdrew from consideration from hitting coach positions with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.