Phillies

MLB Notes: Red Sox starter David Price likely to start season on DL

MLB Notes: Red Sox starter David Price likely to start season on DL

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox left-hander David Price is likely to start the season on the disabled list because of his sore pitching elbow.

Starting the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contract, Price has not yet appeared in an exhibition game.

"I think at this point, yeah, it would be hard to see him ready to go at the start of the season," manager John Farrell said before Tuesday's game against Toronto. "We really won't have any kind of idea until he gets on the mound the first time and right now, I don't know when that's going to be."

Boston had hoped for a formidable rotation headed by Price, Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, acquired in December from the Chicago White Sox.

Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner with Tampa Bay, was 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA last year. He felt discomfort in his left elbow following a two-inning simulated game on Feb. 28 (see full story).

Astros: Bagwell aiding Gurriel's transition to 1B
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Yuli Gurriel has a special guest instructor this week to help him get more familiar with playing first base: newly elected Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell.

"It's an honor to work with him," Gurriel said. "It's a player that I've watched growing up even as a little kid in Cuba."

A former third baseman, Bagwell himself made the transition across the diamond. He has offered positioning suggestions, footwork tips and recommendations regarding mental approach.

"He's doing well," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said of Gurriel. "He's learning and adapting. We don't talk a lot about defensive timing, but the timing at first base has been a little bit better. He looks a little bit more comfortable."

So far the tutelage covered defensive play. Gurriel expects to have time to ask questions of Bagwell, who hit .297 with 449 homers 1,529 RBIs during 15 major league seasons, all with Houston.

"We haven't talked hitting yet but I plan on asking a few questions here and there," Gurriel said with a smile, speaking through a translator (see full story).

Angels: Shoemaker pitching without fear since surgery
SURPRISE, Arizona -- Matt Shoemaker would have better reason than most to be nervous on the mound, yet he pitched without fear on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Angels right-hander retired the first 11 Kansas City hitters he faced before a double by Lorenzo Cain with two outs in the fourth inning. The Royals won 8-4.

In his final start last season, Sept. 4 in Seattle, a 105 mph line drive by Kyle Seager struck Shoemaker just above the right ear.

He was able to walk off the field, but he required emergency surgery after tests revealed a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain.

Shoemaker said he has felt "pretty normal" when balls are hit up the middle in spring training.

"Anytime, whether you've been hit before or not, I feel like when a ball comes back toward you, you flinch," Shoemaker said. "It's just a natural reaction to put your glove up to try to catch it. So definitely I don't think any different than normal" (see full story).

Phillies add 4 pitching prospects to 40-man roster

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AP Images

Phillies add 4 pitching prospects to 40-man roster

The Phillies added four promising pitching prospects to their 40-man roster on Monday. In a corresponding move, they subtracted a notable name.

Right-handers Franklyn Kilome, Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Taveras and lefty Ranger Suarez were all added to the roster, protecting them from being selected by another club in next month's Rule 5 draft.

The Phillies also added an infielder, Engelb Vielma, to the roster. He was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

To make room for these additions, the team needed to clear three spots on its roster, which had been at 38. Left-handed pitcher Elniery Garcia cleared waivers and was sent outright to the minor leagues while right-handers Alberto Tirado and Mark Appel were designated for assignment. The Phillies will try to trade Tirado and Appel before placing them on waivers. If they clear waivers, they could stay in the system.

The Phillies cut Appel loose after he'd struggled with injury and ineffectiveness during two seasons in the organization. The 26-year-old right-hander from Stanford University had twice been a first-round draft pick, by Pittsburgh in 2012 and by Houston — No. 1 overall — in 2013. The Phillies acquired him from the Astros as part of the package for Ken Giles in December 2015, but he never lived up to his huge potential.

"A lot of the tools that Mark showed as an amateur that led to him being the No. 1 overall pick are still there," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. "He has simply struggled with performance. It's certainly not for lack of effort on his part. We think the world of the kid and wish him well. It was a tough decision."

Tirado, 22, was acquired from Toronto in July 2015 as part of the return for Ben Revere. He arrived with a fastball that could reach triple digits on the radar gun and that promise earned him a spot on the 40-man a year ago. Tirado suffered a shoulder injury early last season and struggled in the minors.

All four of the pitchers that the Phillies protected are products of the team's international scouting department. Taveras, 24, was a standout at three levels in the minors last season and could be in the picture in Philadelphia in 2018. He led the system in strikeouts in 2016 and 2017.

"He knows how to get guys out and often times that comes via the strikeout," Klentak said. "No matter where he pitches, he rises to the occasion and puts up a strong performance."

Kilome, 22, and Dominguez, 22, are both power arms who project to see significant time at Double A in 2018. Suarez, 22, should also get to Double A at some point in 2018. He had a 2.27 ERA in 22 starts at two levels of Single A ball in 2017.

"He may have been the breakout pitcher of the year for the Phillies," Klentak said. "We'd always heard a lot about him and this year he took his performance to another level.

"We're really excited for all four of these guys. All have worked extremely hard and they are all deserving of being added to our roster. Our international scouting operation, Sal Agostinelli and his group, continues to crank out players. They've done a great job. These four pitchers have earned this through their work ethic and performance. By no means is this the ultimate goal for them, but it's one step closer. We believe really strongly in the futures of these four pitchers."

Vielma, 23, is a top defensive shortstop who can also play second and third base. He was waived by Minnesota in September and claimed by the Giants, who let him go in a roster crunch.

"He's an intriguing claim," Klentak said. "He adds depth to our infield."

The Phillies’ roster is at 40. The team will have to clear space if it wants to add a player in next month's Rule 5 draft. Last November, the Phils added 11 players to the 40-man roster and still lost lefty reliever Hoby Milner to Cleveland. Milner failed to make the Indians' opening-day roster, returned to the organization in March and ended up making 37 appearances for the big club after coming up in late June. He was one of 12 rookies to make their big-league debut with the Phillies in 2017.

Notable players who were not protected include outfielders Carlos Tocci and Andrew Pullin and pitcher Brandon Leibrandt.

"One of the byproducts of a strong system is every year there are some tough omissions," Klentak said. "There are always tough calls. But we look at that as a good problem to have."

New details emerge in investigation into Roy Halladay's death

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USA Today Images

New details emerge in investigation into Roy Halladay's death

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Retired star pitcher Roy Halladay sped his small sports plane low over the Gulf of Mexico minutes before his fatal crash two weeks ago, climbing sharply in the final seconds before diving into the water, federal investigators said in a preliminary report released Monday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Noreen Price placed no blame for the Nov. 7 accident near Tampa, simply laying out the facts as gleaned from the plane's data recorder and eyewitnesses. A final report with conclusions could take one to two years.

Price says Halladay, 40, had taken off from a lake near his Tampa-area home about 17 minutes before the crash, taking his ICON A5 to 1,900 feet (580 meters) before dropping to 600 feet (180 meters) as he neared the coastline. He then dropped to 36 feet (11 meters) when he reached the water. While flying at about 105 mph (170 kph), Halladay skimmed the water at 11 feet (3.3 meters), flying in a circle before climbing to 100 feet (30 meters), the plane's data showed.

A witness told investigators the plane climbed to between 300 and 500 feet (95 to 150 meters) when it turned and went into a 45-degree dive. It slammed into the water and flipped.

Halladay's body was found with the plane, which was severely damaged. The plane itself was equipped with a parachute, but it was not deployed.

The former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies star had received the plane from ICON on Oct. 10, and was one of the first to receive the model. In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt "like flying a fighter jet." He had about 700 hours of flight time after getting his license in 2013, the report says. He had 51 hours in ICON A5s, including 14 in the plane that crashed.

Rolled out in 2014, the A5 is an amphibious aircraft meant to be treated like an ATV, a piece of weekend recreational gear with folding wings that can easily be towed on a trailer to a lake where it can take off from the water.

The man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8, a crash the NTSB attributed to pilot error.

Another A5 crashed in April, making a hard landing in the water off Key Largo, Florida, injuring the pilot and his passenger. The pilot told investigators the plane descended faster than he expected.

Halladay, an eight-time All-Star, pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter in 2010. He played for the Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009 and for the Phillies from 2009-13, going 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA.