Sandberg Speaks as Phillies Pitchers and Catchers Arrive
Phillies pitchers and catchers have arrived.
Today is the start of things for the 2015 Phillies, filled with low expectations, rumors and now possible turmoil.
We knew entering spring training there were a number of questions surrounding this team, who would be here and who would be gone. Cole Hamles name has been mentioned the most, he can generate the biggest return, and now he is ready to be moved when the Phillies are willing to move him.
"I just want to win," Hamels told the USA Today. "Thats all. Thats all any competitor wants. And I know it's not going to happen here. This isn't what I expected. It's not what the Phillies expected, either. But it's reality."
Hamels realizes what fans and seen for sometime now, the Phillies need to move on to the next phase but yesterday Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, who met with the media, sounded like he wanted his ace around this season.
"I don't look at rebuild, I look at it's transition, it's where we're at," Sandberg stated.
Part of that transition includes dealing longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins, their top run producer Marlon Byrd and they still have their sights set on others - including the 2008 World Series MVP.
"Along with him and some other players that were involved in trade talks, thats part of the business and I believe they realize that," Sandberg explained. "They are professionals, this is professional sports and you've seen it before, its kind of part of the game. For me right now, he's our ace on the staff as we speak, have him go out there every fifth day and I believe that's a good thing."
If the Cole Hamels situation is awkward enough for you how about the Ryan Howard situation.
You know the one where the big piece was told by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that the team would be better off without him, but Howard still hasn't be moved and Sandberg sounded like he is fine with that.
"Ryan was very positive, he wanted to be part of the process...with the younger players that we might have in camp" Sandberg paused while stating. "He considers himself a Philadelphia Phillie right now."
One guy the Phillies were able to move was Rollins, and it sound like Sandberg was fine with that move, allowing things to open up for some younger players.
"I think it opens up the door for other players to take over that role," Sandberg said about replacing the leadership role Rollins had. "The more leaders you have on the team the better, and some of our players that were one year or two year players might feel more comfortable speaking their mind or taking over a leadership role."
While pitchers and catchers report today, but the end of spring training the Phillies could have a different look when they come north in April, but if the Phillies do keep Hamels and veteran lefty Cliff Lee around, combined with a young and talented bullpen Sandberg thinks his team could surprise.
"We have a chance to surprise some people," Sandberg acknowledged. "I look at how the game starts with starting pitching and the guys that we have right now, and our bullpen and the way that our season went last year a lot of games were tight after six inning last year. The other thing we can do is we can try to improve everyday, you never know in baseball you get the right guys together on the same page, you never know."
Sadly, it doesn't sound like Hamels agrees with Sandberg