The Phillies entered spring training with rather low expectations for the upcoming season; in fact, Baseball Prospectus projected the Phillies would go 69–93, which would be the worst record in baseball. Even Phillies' front office personnel conceded that the Phillies were unlikely to be particularly competitive, although eventually, acting team president Pat Gillick suggested the team could hover around .500, depending on whether the team stays healthy, and whether it trades some of its better players such as Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, or Jonathan Papelbon. Nevertheless, manager Ryne Sandberg expressed optimism at the team's chances, noting they might "surprise some people" in what he called a "transition" season rather than a "rebuilding" one. Among those transitions was at shortstop, where Freddy Galvis was expected to replace all-time Phillies' hits leader Jimmy Rollins. Also, the Phillies sought to piece together an outfield. Domonic Brown moved from left field to right field in the offseason, and Ben Revere was the presumptive starter in center field, which left several players vying for playing time as reserves and situational players. However, at one point Revere spent time in left field while Odubel Herrera played center field; Sandberg commented that Revere's arm may be a better fit in left, and that he was using spring training to experiment.
During spring training, the Phillies did not hit many home runs, which prompted Sandberg to note that throughout the season, the Phillies would play small ball to manufacture runs, especially via bunting and hit and run. As part of that strategy, Sandberg announced that both Revere and Herrera would make the opening day roster, with Revere playing left field and Herrera playing center.
Another key storyline for the Phillies was completing their starting rotation. Hamels, Lee, Aaron Harang, and Jerome Williams comprised the presumed first four in the rotation, but there was significant competition for the fifth starter spot. Among the leading candidates was David Buchanan, who looked to improve after a rookie campaign during which he posted a 6–8 record with a 3.75 earned run average (ERA), and struggled with surrendering home runs. Other candidates included Cuban import Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who had failed to live up to expectations after the Phillies signed him as an international free agent due to injuries, among other factors, and Chad Billingsley, who was still recovering from two right elbow surgeries. Late in spring training, after it became clear that Lee was going to miss significant time, the Phillies announced that Hamels, Harang, Williams, and Buchanan were their first four starters, and that there were both internal and external candidates to be the fifth starter. Hamels would start on opening day. On the last day of spring training, the Phillies signed relief pitcher Dustin McGowan who, despite a track record as a reliever, could potentially start if the Phillies needed him to while they awaited the return of Billingsley from the disabled list.
Ultimately, 12 pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders, and four outfielders comprised the Phillies opening day roster.
Starting pitchers: David Buchanan, Aaron Harang, Cole Hamels, Jerome Williams
Relief pitchers: Justin De Fratus, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles, Jeanmar Gómez, Dustin McGowan, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Diekman, Cesar Jimenez
Catchers: Carlos Ruiz, Cameron Rupp
Infielders: Cody Asche, Andrés Blanco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Chase Utley
Outfielders: Jeff Francoeur, Odubel Herrera, Ben Revere, Grady Sizemore
After a "drubbing" on opening day in which the Phillies surrendered five home runs to lose 8–0 – their worst opening day shutout in team history – they rebounded to beat the Boston Red Sox in the series' second game behind a strong start from Aaron Harang that "closely emulated [the opening day starts] of the pitcher who made five consecutive opening-day starts for the Reds" before a loss in the rubber match during which David Buchanan pitched only three innings, allowing six runs, and snapping a streak of 16 starts in which Buchanan allowed three or fewer earned runs. Against the NL East favorite Washington Nationals, the Phillies won two of three, including a 10-inning bout in which Darin Ruf hit a home run, and Cody Asche had three hits.
The Phillies' third series of the year was against the New York Mets; both squads entered the series with a 3–3 record. Despite one game in which Chase Utley homered twice and another in which Odubel Herrera notched three extra-base hits, the Mets swept the Phillies. The team continued a road trip in Washington, and opened a four-game set with the Nationals by losing two, extending their losing streak to six games before beating the Nationals 5–3 thanks to strong offensive efforts from Herrera and Freddy Galvis, and a quality start from Harang. Unable to build momentum, the Phillies lost the series finale to drop their record to 4–9 on the season.
The Phillies entered their next series with the Marlins averaging only 2.46 runs per game, among the worst in the major leagues. However, they did win the first game of the series 7–3 thanks to home runs from Galvis and Ryan Howard, and a two-RBI triple from Ben Revere. The woeful offense manifested itself during the remainder of the series, as the squad mustered only two total runs, losing both games. The homestand continued with a series against the Atlanta Braves. After winning the first game 1–0 thanks to a strong start from Harang and a late-inning error by Freddie Freeman and losing the second game 5–2 with Buchanan's fourth loss of the season, the Phillies took the rubber match when Howard hit his second home run of the series (third of the season).
The team's final series of the month was a four-game set in St. Louis to face the Cardinals. Notwithstanding heating trade rumors including a potential deal to the Cardinals, Hamels picked up his first win of the season, leading the Phillies to a 4–1 victory. The next evening, Panamanian rookie Severino González made his major league debut, but was unsuccessful, relinquishing seven runs in 22⁄3 innings as the Phillies lost 11–5. The Phillies also lost the final two games, and finished the month of April with an 8–15 record, their worst April record since 2002.
The team's .223 batting average was also the worst in the National League; they also ranked last or tied for last in the NL in runs, runs per game, and home runs. The bullpen was markedly better than the starting rotation; the former ranked fourth in the NL in ERA, while the latter ranked 13th. As of the end of the month, Chase Utley had a .114 batting average, the worst in the major leagues. Meanwhile, Harang posted a rotation-leading 2.51 ERA in 321⁄3 innings pitched during the month, and was even mentioned as a potential candidate to be traded to a contending team.
The Phillies began the month by reshuffling their pitching staff, optioning David Buchanan (0–5, 8.76 ERA in April) to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, recalling Elvis Araújo (who conspicuously had similar struggles in the minor leagues), and preparing to add Chad Billingsley to the starting rotation.
Through August 25, 2015
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; BB = Base on balls; SO = Strikeouts; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; H = Hits allowed; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; HR = Home runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
Kenneth Robert Giles (born September 20, 1990) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014, and has also played for the Houston Astros.
Exposed to baseball at an early age, Giles played it when he attended Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although he was drafted to play baseball out of high school, he decided to enroll at Yavapai College, where he played until the Phillies drafted him in the seventh round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. He quickly progressed through the Phillies' minor league system, overcoming two oblique injuries to participate in major league spring training before the 2014 season. Although he began that season in the minors, he received a promotion to the major leagues in June, making his debut on June 12. One of the team's few bright spots, Giles finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He opened the 2015 season the team's primary setup man, but when the Phillies traded their closer, Giles assumed that role. Renowned for his fastball that can reach upwards of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), Giles is a power pitcher who pairs his fastball with a slider to compile high strike-out rates.
This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.