Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

De Fratus Reaches Goals, Sets Sights Higher For 2011

Right-handed pitcher Justin De Fratus has been a fast mover up the Phillies prospect rankings over the past couple of years, thanks to a deep determination and a goal-oriented outlook. As a player in his youth, Justin wanted to be the best pitcher he could be, so he worked countless hours under the watchful eye of his father, Terry. The focus was always on throwing strikes, which helped De Fratus stand out and continue pitching beyond high school. While pitching for Ventura College, De Fratus set his sites on becoming a professional pitcher. He signed his first pro contract after being drafted by the Phillies in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft. As he spent the 2008 season with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters, De Fratus set out to reach Class A ball in 2009 and did so by helping the Lakewood BlueClaws lock down their first of two consecutive South Atlantic League championships. In 2010, De Fratus focused on three more potential accomplishments to strive for. Cert

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 81

Jimmy Ring was a righty hurler with the Phillies from 1921-1925 and then again in 1928. Ring debuted in the Majors with the Cincinatti Reds in 1917, where his manager was pitching great Christy Mathewson. In his rookie season, Ring posted a 3-7 record and a 4.40 ERA. After having a look at Ring's disappointing "stuff", Mathewson taught Ring a curveball that helped him improve and continue on in the Majors for 11 more seasons. In 1918, Ring improved his numbers, going 9-5 with a 2.85 ERA. The following season, Ring helped the Reds win the National League pennant, winning 10 games and improved his ERA a considerable amount, rocking a 2.26 mark. In the famed "Black Sox" World Series against Chicago, Ring went 1-1, while allowing just 1 earned run in 14 innings. Following another season with the Reds, Ring was traded to the Phillies in a deal for pitcher Eppa Rixey . Unfortunately for the Phils, Ring would only produce one winning season, while Rixey went on to

Updates on All Four Caribbean Winter Leagues

With many individuals from the Phillies' organization playing in the Caribbean "Winter" leagues, there is still plenty of baseball action to keep tabs on. Below is a run down of all the key players spending time trying to sharpen their skills and gain some extra experience during the North American offseason. Dominican Winter Baseball League- David Herndon , a 2010 rookie that spent the entire season on the Phillies' big league roster, is pitching for the Cibao Gigantes. In 2 relief outings, Herndon has pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He hasn't walked or struck out a batter in his limited game time, to this point. Herndon, 25, was a Rule 5 draft pick by the Phillies last off-season. In 47 games in the Majors this season, Herndon posted a 1-3 record with a 4.30 ERA, while allowing just 2 HR in 52 1/3 innings pitched. Antonio Bastardo , a teammate of Herndon with the Phillies this season, continues to occupy the same bullpen as Herndon. In 5 relief outings wit

5 Things Baseball Fans Should Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you. As you celebrate this national holiday and stuff yourselves full of food, consider these things and thank the baseball gods for them. 5- Ozzie Guillen's bilingual Twitter account . I mean, yeah, he speaks two languages, but judging by the tweet pictured below, as well as plenty others, Ozzie may not really type any languages. 4- The history of the sport. Thanks to the lengthy past of baseball, fans are not stuck looking toward the steroid era's deceitful record breakers to find men who should never be regarded as icons of this great sport. Instead, they can simply reflect back to the very first induction class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame for players to despise . 3- One another. Yeah, fans...you make the whole experience just a little bit better. Whether you dress up like a team-supporting Humpty Dumpty, storm the playing field, dye/paint yourself to match the team's colors, or rattle your own team's most popular player

Phillies Promote Two Minor League Managers

Four of the Phillies' six minor league clubs will officially have new managers in 2011 after the Phillies announced on Monday that they have given promotions to Mark Parent and Chris Truby. Parent, a former Major League catcher who played with the Phillies, among other clubs, will move up to Double A Reading. Parent, 49, managed the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws to a second consecutive South Atlantic League title in 2010 and then spent time as hitting coach with the Arizona Fall League's Mesa Solar Sox. The Autumn assignment could be more than busy work for Parent, who seems to be a likely candidate for the role of hitting coach at the Major League level in the coming years. Speaking in an exclusive interview following Lakewood's title clincher in September, Parent seemed to be considerably focused on acquiring a big league spot. Replying to an inquiry about the potential realignment among the Phillies' minor league management positions, Parent stated, "The higher y

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 80

Only five men in Phillies history have brought home a National League batting title. Francis "Lefty" O'Doul, a converted pitcher, was one of those men, along with Sherry Magee, Chuck Klein, Harry Walker and Richie Ashburn. O'Doul worked out of the bullpen for the Red Sox and Yankees, into the early 1920's before experiencing a setback with an arm injury that landed him back in the minors in 1923. Once it was clear his pitching days were done, O'Doul converted himself into a slugging outfielder and returned to the Majors with the Giants, where he contributed as a back up player. Despite posting a .318 average for the Giants in 1928, he was traded to Philadelphia with cash for outfielder Freddy Leach. The Giants would quickly regret the move. In his first season with the Phillies, O'Doul set the National League single season record for hits in a season, with 254, that still stands today (tied, Bill Terry- 1930). His .398 batting average that year also rema

Phillies' Arizona Fall League Wrap Up

The month long Arizona Fall League has come and gone for individuals from the Phillies organization assigned to play on the Mesa Solar Sox. The six-team league's regular season wrapped up on Thursday, with just two teams advancing to a winner-takes-all championship game on Saturday afternoon. Each roster in the AFL features 7 players from 5 different organizations. Mesa served as the Autumn home to Phillies prospects Justin De Fratus , Matt Rizzotti , Tyson Brummett , Jacob Diekman , Tim Kennelly , Josh Zeid , BJ Rosenberg and Chris Kissock . John Mayberry Jr. was also assigned to spend some time with the Solar Sox, but he injured his calf in his debut on October 12th and spent the subsequent weeks at the Phils' spring training home in Clearwater to receive treatment. With Mayberry & Zeid both leaving early, the Phils avoided overlapping and exceeding the 7 man roster rule. De Fratus, a 23-year-old righty hurler, continued to show why I predicted that he would be a big

Rizzotti Impressive in 2010, Future Questionable

MESA, AZ- Matt Rizzotti , who enjoyed an outstanding season in the minor leagues at three levels of the Phillies organization, brought his hot bat to the Arizona Fall League last month. As a member of the Mesa Solar Sox, the lefty batting first baseman from Floral Park, NY has continued his impressive 2010 into the Autumn. The 6'5" Rizzotti has made himself a prospect to be reckoned with by blazing through the minors throughout the Spring and Summer, posting a .343 batting average and a .985 OPS in 125 games. He was also one of just two Phils minor leaguers who moved up two levels to stay, during the season. The other was pitcher Vance Worley. Among Arizona Fall League batters that include top prospects from several Major League organizations, like Seattle's second overall draft choice from 2009 Dustin Ackley, the Angels' Brandon Wood who has played at the Major League level, the Blue Jays' Eric Thames who was an Eastern League MVP candidate this year and Braves

Halladay Wins 2010 NL Cy Young Award

On Tuesday, Phillies ace Roy Halladay became just the fifth pitcher ever to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues. Halladay, who also won the American League Cy Young Award in 2003, joins Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martines and Randy Johnson as the only players to win the award in both the National and American Leagues. Halladay was acquired by the Phillies last off-season in a trade that sent three prospects (Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis D'Arnaud) to Toronto. In his first season with Philadelphia, Halladay posted a 21-10 record with a 2.44 ERA, while striking out 219 batters and walking just 30 in 250 2/3 innings. Halladay's win total was tied for the Major League lead, while his strike out total was second in the NL and his ERA ranked third in the league. According to the Baseball Writers Association of America, Halladay was the 13th unanimous choice in National League voting, as he received all 32 first-place votes. Voting is done in a format that inclu

Prospect Jake Borup Talks with PhoulBallz.com

Jake Borup is a right-handed pitching prospect that was chosen in the 23rd round by the Phillies in the 2010 amateur draft out of Arizona State University. As a sophomore in 2010, Borup posted an 11-1 record and a 4.08 ERA in 16 games with the Sun Devils. Borup was assigned to Philadelphia's short season rookie league affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters, after signing his first professional contract. In his first 3 months of pro ball, Borup posted great statistics while playing in the NY-Penn League. In 16 appearances (4 starts), he was 2-1 with a 2.68 ERA and held opponents to a .215 batting average. The 6-foot-5-inch hurler's fastball registers around 91 MPH. I talked with Jake over the weekend about his pitch repertoire, his draft experience, what he has learned thus far as a professional pitcher and plenty more. While speaking candidly with Jake, I found him to be considerably engaging. Jake has opinions to share and has agreed to bring his thoughts about the world

Kendrick & LaGrossa- Second Phils/Survivor Marriage

On Saturday, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick married 3-time Survivor contestant and former Flyers employee Stephenie LaGrossa. The couple exchanged vows in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Their special day featured many personalized aspects, including cocktail hour snacks modeled in the fashion of mini Philly cheesesteaks, as well as the couple's two dogs, Bebe and Champ, serving as flower girl and ring bearer during the ceremony. The pets wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively. Kendrick is now the second Phillies pitcher to marry a former contestant of the CBS reality competition program, as lefty Cole Hamels wedded Heidi Strobel, who appeared on the sixth season of Survivor, in 2007. _________________________________________________________________ Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter, for updates, stats and info, by clicking HERE . Photos- People.com

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 79

Curt Davis was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1934-1936. Davis was picked up by the Phillies in the 1933 Rule 5 draft, from the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals, after stringing together 5 consecutive 20-win seasons. Davis would prove to be be quite a bargain for Phillies owner Gerry Nugent. In 1934, as a 30-year-old rookie, Davis started 31 games with the Phillies and won 19 games while posting a 2.95 ERA. He lost 17 games that season, however, but as his ERA, which was third best in the National League, would indicate, he deserved a far better fate. In 10 of those losses, the Phillies, who went 56-93 that season, scored just 1 run or less. Davis, a Missouri native, got off to a slow start in 1935, winning just 1 of his first 6 starts. He rebounded quickly to win 7 of his next 8 starts, which included back-to-back shutouts of the Reds and Braves in July. He would finish the season with a 16-14 record, a 3.66 ERA and 19 complete games. Davis kicked off his 1936 seaso

Phils' Wall of Famer Samuel Added to Coaching Staff

In a press release today, the Philadelphia Phillies announced their 2011 Major League coaching staff, which includes former Phillie Juan Samuel, who joins the club as the third base coach and outfield instructor. Previous Phillies third base coach Sam Perlozzo will be moving over to coach first base. A spot on the Phils' coaching staff was vacated when Davey Lopes recently announced he would not be returning next year , due to a contract dispute. Lopes had been the Phillies first base coach for the past four seasons. The 49-year-old Samuel had spent the previous four season coaching third base with the Baltimore Orioles, which included a stint as their interim manager following the dismissal of Dave Trembley in June. Samuel has also coached with the Tigers and managed at the Double A level in the Metropolitans' system. Samuel was the Phillies Wall of Fame inductee in 2008. A 3-time all-star during his playing career, Samuel batted .263, hit 100 HR and stole 249 bases in his

Victorino Wins Third Straight NL Gold Glove Award

On Wednesday, centerfielder Shane Victorino became the sixth Phillies player to win at least three Gold Glove Awards. Victorino joins Mike Schmidt (10), Garry Maddox (8), Manny Trillo (3), Scott Rolen (3) and Jimmy Rollins (3). It is the third straight Gold Glove for Victorino, who turns 30 years old on November 30th. In a press release by the Phillies, Victorino stated, "It’s an honor to be recognized by the managers and coaches as one of the top defensive players in the league along with all the other deserving candidates. I take a lot of pride in my defense and this award means a lot to me." Former Phillies Scott Rolen and Mike Bourn won Gold Gloves at their respective positions also. The Gold Glove Award is distributed following each season, to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding efforts at each position. Below is a list of Gold Glove winners in Phillies history... 1963- Bobby Wine, SS 1964- Bobby Shantz, P Ruben Am

Cody Overbeck Speaks with PhoulBallz.com

Over the off-season, I will post excerpts of some never-before-heard prospect interviews. The first of which is Phillies prospect Cody Overbeck, a 24-year-old third baseman who was an 8th round selection in the 2008 amateur draft out of the University of Mississippi. That year, in 75 games with the short season Williamsport CrossCutters, Overbeck posted a .272 average with 12 homers and 57 RBI. He skipped over Class A Lakewood and began the 2009 season at High A level Clearwater. After struggling a bit in 2009, hitting .230 in 96 games, he bounced back in 2010 with a .302 batting average and a .932 OPS in 56 games to become a Florida State League all-star. The all-star nod earned Overbeck a promotion to Double A Reading, where he batted .255, slugged 13 homers (24 combined at two levels during the season) and drove in 41 runs in 78 games. Overbeck got off to a slow start at Reading, posting just a .149 average in his first 16 games, but he went on to bat .276 over the final two

Sandberg Headed Back to Phillies Organization?

Rumors are flying today that Hall of Fame player Ryne Sandberg could become the next manager of the Phillies Triple A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. After being passed over for the Chicago Cubs managerial position, Sandberg is parting ways with the organization. Sandberg, who managed the last four seasons in the Cubs' minor league system, finished runner-up to Mike Quade, who was hired on Oct. 19. Quade took over, in an interim role, for Lou Piniella, who retired during the 2010 season. Sandberg won the manager of the year award while leading the Triple A Iowa Cubs of the Pacific Coast League to record of 82-62, which was tied for best in the league. According to reports, Sandberg has been in contact with multiple organizations regarding coaching positions at the Major League level and managerial positions in the minors. The Lehigh managerial slot is not he only vacant position that the Phillies have right now, as the recent departure of Davey Lopes has left a vacancy i

Moyer Injured in Dominican Winter League

While pitching in the Dominican Winter League for the Escogido Leones on Saturday, Jamie Moyer was removed from the game after 2 1/3 innings with an elbow injury. Moyer, whose contract with the Phillies expired at the end of the 2010 season, had been sidelined with an elbow injury since mid-season. Moyer was hoping to use his time in the Winter League to get in shape and showcase himself, in order to draw offers from clubs for another year in the Majors in 2011. Moyer, who will turn 48 years old in less than two weeks, has already pitched 24 years in the Major Leagues. With the Phillies in 2010, Moyer posted a 9-9 record with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts. In 3 Dominican Winter League games, Moyer held opponents to a .190 batting average and posted a 1.69 ERA. Moises Alou, who is the general manager for the Leones team, told reporters that he felt Moyer's pitching days were likely over, due to the severity of the injury. Such a diagnosis is obviously premature and not fully reliable

AFL Rising Stars Game Tonight

What is being called The Futures Game of the Fall will be played in Surprise, Arizona on Saturday night. The annual Arizona Fall League showcase known as The Rising Stars Game will be televised nationally on MLB Network at 9pm EST, when the best prospects from all organizations meet in a contest that pits the East and West divisions against each other. As I've stated before , the Arizona Fall League is a stepping stone for many players on their ways upward in the professional baseball ranks. The players on the rosters for this big game, slated to be played at Surprise Stadium, are among the highest regarded prospects in the league. Many of the players will be receiving their very first chance to play on such a big stage, with the eyes of the baseball world upon them. "The entire year has been an incredible experience and this is only making it better," said righty hurler Justin De Fratus. "I'm excited for it and can't wait to meet the other players."

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f

Arizona Fall League Rundown

Mesa, Arizona is the autumn home to seven Phillies minor leaguers as well as players from the Angels, Mets, Pirates and Cubs. Seven players from each of those organizations make up the 35-man roster of the Solar Sox, who sit in 2nd place in the Arizona Fall League's East Division. As recently as Friday, the Sox were tied for first in the division with Scottsdale as both teams sported a 9-6 record, but a head-to-head battle between the 2 teams for the top spot in the division went to the Scorpions in a 9-1 rout on Friday. Following a 15-1 mashing of the Peoria Saguaros on Monday, Mesa has a 10-8 record and sits 1 game behind Scottsdale. In the game, 24-year-old first base prospect Matt Rizzotti went 3-for-5, with a double, a walk and 2 RBI to bring his batting average up to .412 in 9 AFL games. Rizzotti, an Eastern League all-star in 2010, is also averaging more than a walk per game in Fall action and has posted a stunning .545 on-base percentage. Some familiar pitchers also shi

The List of the Departed Continues to Grow

Another key piece to the Phillies' run of four straight National League East titles will be moving onward. According to CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury , Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes will not be returning for the 2011 season. Lopes and the Phillies are far apart in a dispute over compensation, according to Lopes. "We just had a difference of opinion on what I felt my worth was. That's all," Lopes told Salisbury. "It was a really tough decision because I loved my time in Philadelphia, I loved working for [manager] Charlie Manuel, and I have the utmost respect for everyone in that organization." Lopes, widely considered a base stealing guru, helped the Phillies excel on the base paths during his four-year tenure coaching first base with the team. In each season with Lopes guiding their runners, the Phillies led the National League in stolen base percentage. Lopes led the NL in stolen bases twice during his playing days in Los Angeles, in 1975 and