Phillies have options to replace Brown

Right fielder sidelined with left Achilles inflammation

Phillies have options to replace Brown

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have been trying for years to replace Jayson Werth in right field.

They have started Hunter Pence, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry Jr., Domonic Brown, Delmon Young, Ben Francisco and 11 others in right field since Werth signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals in Dec. 2010. But with the Phillies announcing Tuesday that Brown will open the 2015 season on the 15-day disabled list with left Achilles inflammation -- his DL stint can be backdated to March 27, which means he could be activated as early as April 11 -- that list could grow to 18 by Opening Day.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils release Slowey, expect Billingsley in rotation

Phils release Slowey, expect Billingsley in rotation

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies are pretty optimistic Chad Billingsley not only will join their rotation before the end of April, but that he will be effective once he is.

It explains why they released Kevin Slowey on Tuesday, and non-roster invitee Sean O'Sullivan's front runner status to be the No. 5 starter, which the Phillies will not need until April 12. Billingsley is recovering from a pair of right elbow surgeries, but he pitched in a Minor League Spring Training game Thursday.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Galvis notches first spring homer as Phillies struggle vs. Bucs

Shortstop hits two-run shot as Pirates launch six of their own home runs

Galvis notches first spring homer as Phillies struggle vs. Bucs

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Starling Marte, Tony Sanchez, Pedro Florimon and Pedro Alvarez hit two-run homers, Josh Harrison added a solo job and Alvarez capped the homers with a grand slam Monday as the Pirates downed the Phillies, 18-4, in the Bucs' final Grapefruit League home game, which was marred by a benches-clearing fracas.

A punches-free altercation was sparked by Sean Rodriguez's displeasure at being quick-pitched by Phillies right-hander Kevin Slowey in the fourth inning. Coaches Juan Samuel of the Phillies and Rick Sofield of the Pirates were ejected during the disturbance. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle drew a later thumb from plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing balls and strikes.

More

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Eflin's start part of Phils' focus on future

Righty allows two homers in outing vs. Bucs, hopes to learn from it

Prospect Eflin's start part of Phils' focus on future

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Phillies have highlighted three of their better pitching prospects in the past week with Aaron Nola, Severino Gonzalez and Zach Eflin each getting a start.

Eflin started Monday's 18-4 loss to the Pirates at McKechnie Field, allowing three hits, four runs (one earned), one walk and two home runs with two strikeouts in three innings. The Phillies acquired Eflin in December in the Jimmy Rollins trade.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandberg calls loss to Pirates 'unacceptable'

Phillies fall 18-4 to Bucs as regular season approaches

Sandberg calls loss to Pirates 'unacceptable'

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Ryne Sandberg's emotions are difficult to read, but he seemed relatively upset Monday afternoon at McKechnie Field.

The Phillies lost to the Pirates in ugly fashion, 18-4. But the last week is cause for greater concern. The Phillies are 0-5-1 since a victory Tuesday against the Braves. They have been outscored 50-11 in that stretch.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Benches clear, two ejected in Phils-Bucs game

Benches clear, two ejected in Phils-Bucs game

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates left fielder Sean Rodriguez challenged Kevin Slowey to a fight Monday at McKechine Field.

It never got that far.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies looking outside for rotation help

Pitchers likely to come from minor trade or waivers

Phillies looking outside for rotation help

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Phillies have made their starting pitching schedule top secret this spring, but they announced Sean O'Sullivan will pitch Tuesday against the Blue Jays.

It is noteworthy because O'Sullivan is the favorite to be the team's No. 5 starter, which they will need April 12. The Phillies reassigned O'Sullivan to Minor League camp earlier this month, but he has been getting stretched out.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amaro weighs in on Opening Day roster decisions

Balancing Spring Training performance with regular season numbers important in final stages

Amaro weighs in on Opening Day roster decisions

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies have about four or five decisions to make before they finalize the Opening Day roster.

One important decision has been made. Rule 5 Draft pick Odubel Herrera not only has made the team, but he will also be the Opening Day center fielder.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils' Gonzalez deal might not pan out

General manager Amaro thinks risks are sometimes necessary

Phils' Gonzalez deal might not pan out

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Phillies thought so highly of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez in the summer of 2013 that they offered him a six-year, $48 million contract.

They fully expected him to jump into the 2014 rotation behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies' offense seeking big improvement in '15

Team scored fourth-fewest runs in non-strike shortened season since 1972

Phillies' offense seeking big improvement in '15

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. offered a blunt assessment about his offense a couple weeks ago.

"We're not going to score a lot of runs," Amaro said.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels named Phillies' Opening Day starter

Harang to follow left-hander in rotation

Hamels named Phillies' Opening Day starter

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg smirked Thursday when asked about his Opening Day starter.

"It's a secret," he said.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New to broadcast, Davis says '15 Phillies need balance

Former catcher discusses new job, impression of team

New to broadcast, Davis says '15 Phillies need balance

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Comcast SportsNet finally found a replacement for Jamie Moyer when it announced in February that Ben Davis will join Tom McCarthy, Matt Stairs and Mike Schmidt in the Phillies' broadcast booth this season.

Davis knows the Phillies and baseball. He grew up in the area, attending Malvern Prep. The Padres selected him with the second overall pick in the 1995 First-Year Player Draft before he played in the big leagues seven seasons. He spent the past four years working on Comcast's Phillies pregame and postgame shows.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Herrera to start in center field, Revere in left on Opening Day

Herrera to start in center field, Revere in left on Opening Day

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg telegraphed his thought process March 21, when he first played Ben Revere in left field and Odubel Herrera in center field.

He confirmed Sunday that he plans to use Revere and Herrera in those spots on Opening Day.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Utley homers twice in tie with Tigers

Canzler also goes deep; Harang strikes out five over 5 1/3 innings

Utley homers twice in tie with Tigers

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Tigers finally jumped on Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang on Sunday at Bright House.

Harang threw three hitless innings before Tigers right fielder Tyler Collins hit a solo home run and Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run home run in a 4-4 tie with the Phillies.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Revere breaks promise with leaping catch to rob Davis

Left fielder steals home run in Sunday's Grapefruit League game

Revere breaks promise with leaping catch to rob Davis

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis asked Phillies left fielder Ben Revere for a favor before Sunday afternoon's Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field.

"Take it easy," he said. "I need some hits."

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Asche close to returning with an eye on Opening Day

Third baseman recovering from back tightness; Brown's return uncertain

Asche close to returning with an eye on Opening Day

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies are down two starters this week because of injuries, but at least one of them is close to a return.

Phillies third baseman Cody Asche went 2-for-4 with a double in a Minor League game Sunday afternoon at Carpenter Complex. The Phillies scratched him from Thursday's lineup because of tightness in the middle of his back.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez optioned to Triple-A after tough spring

Right-hander struggled with 7.53 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances

Gonzalez optioned to Triple-A after tough spring

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- So far Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has not come close to the hype.

The Phillies announced Sunday they had optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which was not a surprise. Gonzalez entered Spring Training with a chance to make the Phillies rotation and his chances improved dramatically with Cliff Lee almost certainly lost for the season with an injured left elbow.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams shakes off struggles, eyes final spring tuneup

Right-hander slated to be Phillies' No. 3 starter

Williams shakes off struggles, eyes final spring tuneup

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Well-traveled veteran right-hander Jerome Williams, projected to be the Phillies' No. 3 starter, shrugged off Saturday's tough outing in which he gave up six runs (four earned) on nine hits in four innings of a somewhat sloppy 7-1 loss to the Twins.

Williams insisted after the game, "I think I'll be fine. Everything is fine.

More

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandberg concerned about lack of offense

Phillies hitting .231 as a team during Spring Training

Sandberg concerned about lack of offense

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Phillies settled for one run on five hits Saturday, as they fell to the Twins, 7-1. And with Opening Day now a little more than a week away, manager Ryne Sandberg is admittedly concerned.

"This is the time of the spring when you want the guys to be finding their strokes," Sandberg said as the Phillies' team batting average droped to .231. "Overall, this is the time of spring when you want to see more fine-tuned at-bats."

More

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams struggles in Grapefruit loss to Twins

Right-hander allows four earned runs on nine hits over four-plus innings

Williams struggles in Grapefruit loss to Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ervin Santana tossed six strong innings and Joe Mauer crushed a two-run homer to help lead the Twins to a 7-1 win over the Phillies on Saturday at Hammond Stadium.

Santana, making his fourth Grapefruit League start, gave up just one run on five hits while striking out two. The lone run he allowed came in the third inning on an RBI single from Odubel Herrera to score Cesar Hernandez, who led off the inning with a double.

More

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brown's injury likely to impact Opening Day roster

Not looking like outfielder will be ready; Sizemore, Phelps among bench candidates

Brown's injury likely to impact Opening Day roster

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It seems more and more likely that Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown will open the season on the disabled list.

He has been sidelined since March 19 because of tendinitis in his left Achilles, and his recovery has been slow.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Nola turns heads with impressive debut

Righty tosses three scoreless frames in first outing with big league club

Prospect Nola turns heads with impressive debut

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Aaron Nola is just 21 years old, and he is scheduled to open the season at Double-A Reading. But in a year that's all about the future, Phillies fans caught a glimpse of what could be on Friday afternoon at Bright House Field.

The Phillies' No. 2 prospect pitched three scoreless innings in the Phils' 10-0 loss to the Yankees.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sandberg not worried about Diekman, Giles

Lefty gives up seven runs Friday; righty surrenders four on Thursday

Sandberg not worried about Diekman, Giles

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If the Phillies expect to be strong anywhere this season, they expect to be strong in the bullpen.

But with Opening Day a little more than a week away, Ken Giles and Jake Diekman are still searching for their best stuff. Giles (6.14 ERA in seven appearances) allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning Thursday against Toronto. Diekman (12.27 ERA) allowed six hits, seven runs and one walk in one-third of an inning on Friday in a 10-0 loss to the Yankees at Bright House Field.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola goes three strong in debut before 'pen falters

No. 2 prospect fans four; Diekman gives up seven runs in fifth

Nola goes three strong in debut before 'pen falters

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew had three hits and two RBIs in Friday's 10-0 rain-shortened victory over the Phillies at Bright House Field. The game was called with one out in the top of the sixth inning.

Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman allowed seven runs on six hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning as the Yankees broke up a scoreless tie in the fifth.Diekman's Grapefruit League ERA rose from 3.86 to 12.27 in his seventh appearance.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eflin next Phils prospect in line for Grapefruit start

Eflin next Phils prospect in line for Grapefruit start

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies are giving one more pitching prospect a look before they head to Philadelphia next Thursday.

They announced Friday that right-hander Zach Eflin will start Monday afternoon against the Pirates in Bradenton. The Phillies acquired Eflin in December in the Jimmy Rollins trade with the Dodgers. MLB.com ranks Eflin as the fifth-best prospect in the organization. The Phillies also received left-hander Tom Windle, who ranks sixth, in that deal.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Myers sees old Phils friends, talks country music

Former pitcher, in town with son's baseball team, working on album

Myers sees old Phils friends, talks country music

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brett Myers brought himself, his son Kolt and his World Series championship ring to Bright House Field on Friday.

Myers helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series, but since his baseball career ended following the 2013 season, he has spent most of his time coaching his son's travel baseball team and, most recently, putting together a country music album.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels looks ready for opener

Ace allows two hits in five scoreless innings vs. Blue Jays

Hamels looks ready for opener

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Cole Hamels looks ready for Opening Day.

He allowed two hits, three walks and struck out four in five scoreless innings in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Auto Exchange Stadium. He allowed his first hit to open the fifth inning. He then allowed a two-out triple to Blue Jays center fielder Dalton Pompey before striking out Jose Reyes on three pitches to end the inning.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.