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Showing posts from March, 2010

De Fratus- One of the Big Boys

In 2009, Justin De Fratus was an all-star with the A-Level Lakewood BlueClaws. He performed well all season long in varied roles and helped Lakewood win the championship of the South Atlantic League. Since then, the 11th round pick in the 2007 draft has earned recognition by being named the Phillies prospect with the best control, by Baseball America, this off-season. Today, he got to run with the big dogs. For some time, coaches in the Phillies system have felt that Justin has what it takes to climb the ladder to pitch in the Majors. Last April, I spoke with Bob Milacki, who was then the pitching coach for Lakewood. Milacki listed De Fratus on a short list of Phillies A-Level pitchers who had what it takes to pitch at higher levels. Milcakci also reaffirmed his confidence in Justin in late July when I spoke with him about the same topic. Phils coaches this spring have liked Justin's abilities enough to have him dress with the big club on three previous occasions. His fourth oppor

Lidge Receives Cortisone Shot

Phillies closer Brad Lidge experienced a set back this week, as he began experiencing soreness in his elbow. Lidge, who had multiple off-season surgeries (elbow & knee procedures) was dealing with inflammation of his elbow and was prescribed a cortisone shot to alleviate the problem. According to team physician Michael Ciccotti, the current issue is not related to the area that was surgically repair since last season. Dealing with tendinitis, Lidge had surgery on the inner part of his right elbow. The current soreness is on the outer part of the elbow and is reportedly typical for Lidge during spring training. Lidge's velocity in recent appearances has not topped 90 MPH, which could be attributed to the pesky soreness that he is dealing with. Ciccotti stated that Lidge has shown no returning issues where the off-season surgeries were performed and that no MRI will be needed to examine the elbow, because there is no structural damage. Ciccotti also told reporters that the est

Lakewood Fan to Raise Championship Banner

Have you ever wanted to play a role in the history of the Phillies organization? Now may be the time. The Lakewood BlueClaws have placed an opportunity to raise the team's 2009 South Atlantic League Championship banner up for auction. Bidding is open until April 9th and all money raised will be donated to BlueClaws Charities. The non-profit foundation of the Lakewood BlueClaws raised over $150,000 for area organizations in 2009. When the Phillies won their World Series title in 2008 and raised their championship banner on Opening Day 2009, it was team manager Charlie Manuel who physically pulled the strings. But as the BlueClaws raise their championship banner, it will be one area BlueClaws fan who gets the honor of leading the coronation of the SAL Champs. "This is going to be a tremendous opportunity for someone," said BlueClaws Assistant General Manager Brandon Marano, who raised the 2006 Championship Banner on Opening Day in 2007. "From personal experience, it&

Moyer News is No Surprise

In "this is as surprising as Ricky Martin's sexuality" news...everyone's favorite 47-year-old surgically repaired pitcher Jamie Moyer was officially declared the Phillies' 5th starter by manager Charlie Manuel on Tuesday. Kyle Kendrick will fill a role in the bullpen. The confirmation came after weeks of most phans, reporters and folks surrounding the team knowing this decision was coming. Pitching coach Rich Dubee spoke to the media about the decision. "We think it’s the right way to go," Dubee said. "Jamie proved that he’s healthy. That was the biggest question coming into spring training, how he’d come back from the surgeries. He’s throwing the ball well. He’s functioning well. And again, this guy has a tremendous track record of being a winning pitcher." There's no denying Moyer's track record for winning, as he is Major League Baseball's active leader in wins with 258. Dubee also put a positive spin on things for Kendrick, l

Werth News Taking Philly By Storm

Monday's talk was all about Jayson Werth. Tuesday's talk is all about the same guy. Yesterday, it was news that Werth had a semi-secret lunch with Yankees legend Reggie Jackson on Friday and then rumors were spreading that this was possibly some early recruiting by the World Champions from New York of Werth, who becomes a free agent after the 2010 season. Today, just as Twitter nearly exploded when Werth debuted his glorious beard this spring, it's about to implode now that Werth has removed the facial growth. Paul Hagen's article on Monday (found here on Philly.com), connected the dots and pointed out the connections that Jackson has to Werth's family. Hagen explained that Jackson was a teammate of Werth's stepfather, Dennis, from 1979 through 1981 on the Yankees. Also, Werth's mother, Kim, is the sister of Dick Schofield, who played with Jackson from 1983 to 1986 on the Angels. The New York Post, who originally reported the lunch meeting, stated that t

Minor Leaguers Released, 3 Lakewood Champs Among Those Cut

The Phillies announced several minor league cuts on Monday. Among the released players are 2009 Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Jeremy Hamilton, '09 BlueClaws pitchers Freddy Ballestas & Ryan Bergh, former Phillies pitcher Joe Bisenius and veteran Major Leaguer Brad Wilkerson Hamilton, a fifth round pick in the 2008 amateur draft, hit .255 in 88 games with Lakewood last season. His .701 OPS for the season was not quite impressive for a first baseman and was never good enough to earn much playing time over starting first baseman Jim Murphy, who was taken 12 rounds after Hamilton in the same draft, and his .860 OPS in 2009. Ballestas, a Venezuela native, was signed as an amateur free agent in 2004. Last year for the SAL champion BlueClaws he appeared in 18 games (4 starts), posting a 4.98 ERA and striking out 46 batters in 47 innings pitched. Ryan Bergh in a pre-season bullpen session with coach Bob Milacki Bergh spent some time closing games for Lakewood in 2009. Bergh pos

Linkin' Blogs 3/29

A lazy day brings you a lazy post. Here are some links to exciting stuff around the baseball bloggerhood today. David Murphy's High Cheese lays out the upcoming pitching rotation for the Phillies and who starts which games, from today through April 18th. It includes Cole Hamels going in the home opener for the Phils. Click here to check that out. I took part in another pre-season round table questionnaire. This time it is with a site known as Red Pin Stripes are Cooler . Subject matter includes whether or not the Phillies will re-sign Howard & Werth, which current Phillie will be a Hall of Famer and what our favorite tail gating foods are. Check that out by clicking here . Mark Zuckerman has all the information on President Obama throwing out the first pitch at next week's opening day game against the Phillies in Washington DC. Check out the Nats Insider by clicking here . Matt Gelb of The Phillies Zone compares John Mayberry Jr. to Jayson Werth and wonders if Maybe

Sunday School: History Lesson 56

Andy Seminick was a catcher with the Phillies in the 1940's and 1950's. With his contract purchased in September 1943 from Knoxville in the minors, Seminick made his major league debut with the Phils that month and his very first major league hit was a homer. Seminick spent much of the next two seasons in the minors, but by 1946, Seminick had locked down the job of starting catcher for the Phillies. While he could hit for a bit of power, Seminick's defense was what held him back from becoming a top tier catcher in the National League as he led the league in errors in 1946, 1948 and 1949. However, in 1949, Seminick had his first of back to back 24 HR/68 RBI seasons and became an all-star. Those two seasons coincided with the Phillies' rise in the standings. A rough and tough backstop, Seminick would never shy away from a confrontation at home plate and would not let injuries hold him out of action. In the closing games of the 1950 season, Seminick was involved in a co

Moyer is the Man

In many folks' opinion, Jamie Moyer pretty much locked up his claim to the Phillies' fifth starter spot on Friday night, when he pitched 6 2/3 shut out innings against the Yankees. Moyer struck out 6 batters and allowed just one hit against a Yankees lineup that included Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Moyer has, of course, been battling for the spot in the starting rotation with Kyle Kendrick, who has taken to shadowing new Phils ace Roy Halladay all spring. The impact of Halladay's presence can be seen in Kendrick's pre-season performances, as he has a 1.37 ERA through 5 spring games. Moyer's spring hasn't been much worse. Including his three "B" game starts and 2 Grapefruit League games, Moyer has a 2.61 ERA this spring. The coaching staff hasn't officially named Moyer to the rotation, but it could already be decided behind the scenes. Moyer has had the advantage throughout spring, based on his experience and his $8.5 million 20

Vote in The Phield's Sweet 16

The Philadelphia baseball blog tournament known as The Phield enters it's elite phase today as the final 16 sites begin to battle it out for supremacy in the regional blogosphere. This very site, PhoulBallz.com, meets its toughest challenge yet, as it faces the #2 seed Phuture Phillies, which is a solid site that features loads of content on the minor leagues. As I like to do each round, I would like to provide all readers a handful of reasons to get behind PhoulBallz.com. As such, I've inquired with some of moderate celebrity types to provide their endorsements of this site. Here is how that went down... Seth Jabour (pictured), of the indie rock band Les Savy Fav , (which you might be familiar with from your favorite MLB video game's soundtrack) stated: Phoul Ballz is the grandest, most rootin-tootin blog to ever grace the monitor on my grandma's computer! Chris, the leader of the lovely Phils blog known as Long Drive , was aggressive with his preference in The P

Kendrick Continues to Shine, Moyer's Next

Pucker Up...Kendrick blows sweet kisses to Grapefruit League batters as he shuts them down Kyle Kendrick has repeatedly performed above expectations this pre-season, as he makes the Phillies' choice for the 5th man in their starting rotation a tough one. Facing the Houston Astros on Thursday, Kendrick threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits. While some reports state that Kendrick had a rough time with his command early in the game, you can't argue with results. His spring ERA is a sparkling 1.37 through 5 appearances. Jamie Moyer, the Phillies' other option for the 5th starter spot is scheduled to pitch Friday evening against the Yankees. Moyer will face off against the newly named 5th starter for the World Champs, former Trenton Thunder stand out Phil Hughes. In four total spring appearances (including his "B" games), Moyer has a 3.86 ERA for the Phils. Brett Myers started Thursday for the Astros against his former team, the Phillies, but

3/24/10 Notebook

Phans and media alike are fairly excited about the Phillies' Grapefruit League match up on Thursday. The Houston Astros are slated to start Brett Myers, while the Phillies plan to start Kyle Kendrick. That's a comical pitching match up for those who recall the famous prank that Myers once pulled on a young Kendrick during spring training. Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch on Thursday also, but will compete in a minor league game instead of against Houston. There is simple reasoning behind that. The regular season schedule pits the Astros and Phillies against one another during the first week of the season, so rather than give Houston hitters opportunities to see Halladay and get used to his pitches before it counts, they are keeping Roy under wraps. The decision could also be telling as to where the team is leaning with the 5th starter, or their intentions to use the 5th starter in that first week or not, if the Phils aren't shy about the Astros seeing Kendrick. Carlo

Lee Likely to Miss Opening Day

Following a throwing session on Tuesday, Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee is likely to have his abdominal strain result in some time on the shelf. Lee stated that he still feels pain, but that his condition feels better than it did last week. He traveled to Seattle last week to be evaluated by team physicians. Lee, the former Phillie, is expected to throw from flat ground on Thursday. His status be reevaluated on Friday. It's a troubling situation for Lee, as he tries to build on a terrific 2009 season in which he excelled with the Phillies throughout the post season. An abdominal injury is the type of ailment that could effect Lee well after he is active on the Mariners roster. While the lingering effects of the abdominal strain may not be to the extent that Phillies phans saw last year, when Brad Lidge's health issues effected his performance for the entire season, it could certainly be the sort of setback that impacts Lee's April. Being unable to pitch and fine tune oneself

Phoul Ballz for St. Baldrick's

Future PhoulBallz.com correspondent Aaron (AKA- "A-Ballz") recently stepped up to the plate for a great cause. In solidarity with children who have been stricken with cancer, and who typically lose hair during treatment, Aaron participated in a St. Baldrick's head shaving event to support the victims of the illness. More American children die of cancer each year than any other disease. Help Aaron, a left-handed pitcher and outfielder for his little league team in Central NJ, raise money to support cancer research by clicking this link . ------------------------- Be sure follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE . Share on Facebook

Back on The Phield

The second round for the Philadelphia blog tournament known as The Phield kicks off today. Voting starts at 8am and goes through 8pm. The only things that stand between PhoulBallz.com and the Sweet 16 are your votes and the #3 seed Delaware News Journal's Philled In blog. Vote for all your favorite blogs by clicking THIS LINK . Voting is open 8am till 8pm. If you're unfamiliar with PhoulBallz.com and perhaps aren't sure who to vote for in the 3 vs. 6 match up in the Daulerio Region, please accept this list of 10 reasons why you should vote for PhoulBallz.com... #1- Exclusive interviews. Philled In isn't the only one with press access. With over 50 interviews over the past year, PhoulBallz.com has brought readers an inside look at all the best known prospects such as Trevor May , Domonic Brown , Anthony Gose , BJ Rosenberg , Michael Taylor , Mike Stutes , Kyle Drabek and many more. In addition, readers have gotten Q&A's from Major League stars such as Pedr

Herndon Has Good Shot at Roster Spot

In David Herndon's favor is his excellent sinker which has helped him make a solid impression in spring training thus far. Also in Herndon's favor is the fact that he's a Rule 5 pick that must either be on the 25-man Major League roster all season or be offered back to the Angels, the organization he pitched for prior to the Phillies making him a Rule 5 draft pick over the off-season. Additionally in Herndon's favor are delays in the recovery schedules of the injured Brad Lidge and JC Romero. All those factors combined could land Herndon a spot in a big league bullpen. A talented righty reliever, Herndon had not pitched above the Double A level through his 2009 season, but stands a good chance at facing Major League hitters very soon. Herndon, who stands 6-feet 5-inches tall and is 24 years old, has thrown 5 scoreless innings in Grapefruit League play thus far with the Phillies. With Double A level Arkansas in 2009, Herndon had a 5-6 record with 11 saves and a 3.03 ERA

Sunday School: History Lesson 55

Bob Miller was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1949-1958. Signed as an amateur free agent in 1948, Miller made his Major League debut with the Phillies the next season, pitching 3 games in relief, after winning 19 minor league games. He returned with the big club the next season and won 11 games and posted a 3.57 ERA for the 1950 pennant winners. Miller, a Michigan native, got his chance to start following struggles by veterans Russ Meyer and Ken Heintzelman. Miller quickly made the most of his chance by pitching consecutive shutouts of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. By the time Miller allowed a run, in his third start, he had pitched 22 straight scoreless innings. Miller's record soon ran to 8-0. Miller would soon prove to be an accident prone player the likes of which the Phillies have probably not seen since. In late June, 1950 Miller tripped over a step while carrying his luggage to a waiting train and injured his back. After a period of recovery, he did not pitch as effectively

Phillies Preview Questionnaire with CrashburnAlley

Well known Philadelphia Phillies blogger Bill Baer inquired with a dozen or so other Phils bloggers, including myself, about several questions surrounding the upcoming 2010 season for the defending National League champions. Bill's site, CrashburnAlley is always worth checking out, but today's roundtable, that features loads of solid opinions, is can't miss. Here is a direct link to the Phillies preview questionnaire. Ahead, I've listed some of my answers that did not make the cut in Bill's piece, as he tried to distribute equal exposure for all involved. How concerned are you about Cole Hamels going into 2010? I have no great concern about young Colbert for the 2010 season. I've seen and read enough in a few weeks of spring training to know that his off-season conditioning improved his physical state to this point. Half way through spring training he is leaps and bounds beyond where he was half way through even April in 2009. Phillies phans should be con

Westcott's New Phils Book Launches Today

Regular readers of PhoulBallz.com know that this site respects the history of the game of baseball. PhoulBallz posts weekly features on a historical figure from generations past. Information and stories are gathered for those articles from various sources, including a small collection of Phillies books that I've acquired. Added to that collection of blog post source material is the new release from MVP Books, Philadelphia Phillies Past & Present by Rich Westcott. The author is a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, is the incoming president of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association and has previously written several books on the Phillies. Philadelphia Phillies Past & Present features details from the tough days at the start of the franchise that lead all the way to information on the dynasty that phans are watching these days. The book is a big, picture filled coffee table book that could very well be worth the purchase price to phans simply for the way

PhoulBallz in "The Phield" Tournament

Something huge happened around the Phillies blogosphere on Tuesday evening. Timothy Malcolm, a former regular at PhilliesNation, debuted a 65-blog tournament bracket pitting all the best, worst and everything in between Phillies blogs against each other to determine the King of Philly. The tournament and the site that hosts it are known as The Phield. Check out their site by clicking here . My very own blog was ranked as a 6 seed, which I may disagree with, but I will refrain from going all Joe Budden on Tim and anyone else who put their efforts into the bracket and site. I respect them, the tournament and the other bloggers and writers involved. In the first round of the tournament, PhoulBallz.com is pitted up against the 11 seed, a blog called Team to Beat , which should not be confused with a blog, that I must admit was more familiar to me, called We're the Team to Beat , which is competing in another bracket. Of course, I am writing this to rally all PhoulBallz readers to v

3/17/10 Notebook

Here is your tour around Phillies news land... After yesterday's game, BJ Rosenberg was sent down to minor league camp following his scoreless inning against the Tigers. Rosenberg spent time as closer for both the single A level Lakewood BlueClaws and the double A Reading Phillies in 2009. JC Romero threw some batting practice today. Facing live batters, while mixing in his slider is a positive step, but the lefty reliever still is not game ready and appears to be a considerable amount of time behind another rehabbing Phils pitcher, Brad Lidge. There's no doubt, however, that the Phillies and their phans would gladly sacrifice missing Romero for 2-3 weeks, to start the season, if it means he can stay healthy for the remainder of the 2010 campaign. Lidge is scheduled to face minor leaguers on the Phillies' off day tomorrow. Combined, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay have put together the following stats this spring- 6 games, 20 2/3 innings pitched, 3 earned runs, 1.31 ERA, 23

Brown Breaks Out in Phillies Win

Last August, a week after he debuted at the double A level with Reading and smashed a homerun that was reportedly legendary for FirstEnergy Stadium, I asked Domonic Brown if he thought he might remember his first homerun at each level. Brown told me, "Nah. I plan on hitting so many, hopefully (that I won't remember)." I wonder how that staement applies to the performance that Brown, a Phillies outfield prospect, put on with the big club in Tuesday's spring training game against the Detroit Tigers in Clearwater, Florida. In his first at bat, Brown launched a massive solo homer that exited Brighthouse Field, promptly played in traffic on the highway outside the ballpark and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The homer, off of 2-time all star and former AL Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander, was Brown's first of the spring. In his second plate appearance in the 4th inning, Brown smashed another homerun to right field with a runner on base, this time off lefty reliever