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Showing posts from March, 2011

A Grand Time

It's a landmark occasion here on PhoulBallz.com, as everyone prepares to ring in a brand new baseball season. This site began as a semi-weekly blog affiliated with a Fox Sports Radio station in Trenton, NJ in May 2008. As that year went on and the Phillies drew closer to their second ever world championship, this site matured. Content came more frequently and by the following year PhoulBallz was affiliated with a different division of Millennium Radio, regular radio segments came, as did media credentials and the site grew more and delivered loads of minor league content in addition to MLB news . These days, PhoulBallz.com continues to serve as a platform for its author, Jay Floyd, to keep its readers as close to the game as possible by offering exclusive, inside content that readers can't get anywhere else. On this occasion, thanks must go out to many folks who have helped the growth of the site. I would like to offer my appreciation toward those who have helped to turn

Experts Predict the 2011 MLB Season

With another Major League Baseball season ready to get underway, I inquired with several baseball aficionados this week, to investigate how the 2011 season will pan out in many aspects. The individuals I spoke with were all baseball experts in their own right...Tyrone Johnson, who hosts 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide , Michelle O'Malley of the blog known as Chicks Dig The Long Ball , Bill Baer of CrashburnAlley.com , local sports reporter Kevin McGuire , Dick AKA "The Man With the Golden Arm" of 1BlueJaysWay.com , Peter AKA "Whole Camels" from TheGoodPhight , Pat Gallen of 97.3 ESPN and PhilliesNation , Mike Frohwirth from Philliedelphia.com and author of the new baseball themed mystery novel Game 7: Dead Ball Allen Schatz. I provided my own answers to the inquiries as well. In the graphic below, you will see each contributor's predictions for Phillies wins, how many games Chase Utley will play this season, playoff teams, World Series results as w

Moose Tracks: Big Leaguer For a Day

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair spoke with PhoulBallz.com's & PhilliesNation's Jay Floyd once again, to provide an inside glance at spring training in Clearwater. Mattair was the Phillies' second round draft pick in 2007 out of Southridge High School in Washington state. He later helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League championship in 2009. After a rough spring training in 2010, Mattair, who was an all-state basketball player during his high school days, retired from baseball to chase his dream of playing Division I college hoops . After a year off from baseball and spending last summer with the Boise State University men's basketball, Mattair is back in Clearwater ready to start another season in the Phils' organization. He played in the Phillies' Major League spring training game this past Saturday against the Blue Jays and has described the event here for you readers. Photo by Joe Wombough To tell the tru

Phillies Release Several Minor Leaguers

A source confirmed on Monday night that the Phillies released at least ten minor league players from their contracts earlier in the day. According to a source within the Phillies organization, the following players were notified of their release on Monday in Clearwater: Justin Beal , Bradley Blanks, Matt McConnell, Adam Buschini, Drew Rundle, Heitor Correa, Matt Hutchison, Marco Davaillo, Mike Bolsenbroek and Eric Massingham. Beal, 24, posted a 2-3 record with a 2.88 ERA in 20 games with Class A Lakewood and went 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 4 games with short-season Williamsport in 2010. The right-hander was a 28th round draft pick in 2009 out of Missouri Southern State. Blanks, 26, was signed as a minor league free agent last July and posted a 4-1 record with a 2.73 ERA in 16 games as a reliever for the Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010. McConnell was a 36th round draft selection in 2009. In 46 combined games last year at Williamsport and Lakewood, the 24-year-old shortstop batted

Mathieson Still Focused Despite Being Sent Down

CLEARWATER, FL- Somehow, despite the recent news that Brad Lidge is set to begin the season on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury, the Phillies didn't see fit to keep fire-balling righty hurler Scott Mathieson around. Mathieson, who has had a long road back to the big leagues following three elbow procedures (two of which were Tommy John surgeries), appeared in 7 games with the Phillies in spring training this year, posting a 2.00 ERA with 9 strike outs and 6 walks over 9 innings. The Vancouver, British Columbia native made his Major League debut with the Phils in 2006 as a starter, going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA, but had his career sidetracked due to arm trouble. This spring, Mathieson was back where he wanted to be and felt that he was primed to return to a regular gig in the big leagues. However, on Saturday, the Phillies sent Mathieson back down to minor league camp. Mathieson's goal throughout his recovery has been to get back into the Phillies' red pinstri

Blanton Sharp in Phils Win, Lidge News is Bad News

In Clearwater on Friday, the Phillies continued a hot spring and beat the Braves 3-1 to continue leading National League teams in the Grapefruit League in wins with 18. Joe Blanton shined in the contest, throwing scoreless inning in which he allowed just 5 hits, no walks and struck out 4 batters. In addition to dominating on the mound, Blanton added a single at the plate for the defending NL East division champions. The Phillies took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when, with Luis Castillo on base, Jimmy Rollins mashed a pitch from former Phils hurler Rodrigo Lopez deep to right and out of Brighthouse Field. Ryan Howard added a run in the 3rd inning, when he drove a towering fly ball off the top of the left-center field wall for a triple, plating Rollins. Placido Polanco played three innings for the Phils at third base and went 0-for-2. Polanco had missed time over the past week with left elbow soreness. Additionally, the Phillies announced Friday that, for the third

Oswalt Leaves Start After Being Hit By Line Drive

Could the Phillies be stricken with bad luck? While Chase Utley and Domonic Brown are sidelined with fairly serious injuries that are keeping them out of action, at length, as well as some less significant ailments preventing other Phillies players like Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge from playing in Grapefruit League action this week, the current stretch of bad karma continues to add names to the list of players that are missing time for the favorites in the National League East. Trailing 2-0 to the Rays in Port Charlotte, on Wednesday afternoon, Roy Oswalt served up a pitched to Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez, who returned the ball with authority right toward the pitchers mound. Oswalt had minimal time to react, but was able to turn away just a bit in his follow-through. The ball hit Oswalt behind his right ear and he was immediately removed from the contest. The right-hander left the field under his own power and was taken to a local hospital where he underwent x-r

Vote For PhoulBallz in the 2011 "Phield" Tournament

March Madness is upon us once again. But, I don't mean the college hoops variety, baseball fans. The madness I am referring to is the wild bracket that pits all the best Philadelphia baseball blogs against one another in a winner-takes-all bragging rights fest. **Now in the third round, PhoulBallz has advanced to the Sweet 16 of this tournament. Click HERE to vote!** This site, PhoulBallz.com, brings the public closer to the Phillies on a daily basis, as it covers the organization from the bottom to the top. Please allow me to share with you, a list of reasons that PhoulBallz deserves your vote in the The Phield's 2011 Tournament. 1- In the past year, this site has brought its readers TWO exclusive interviews with the Phillies' general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr. No other site has done that. Those interviews can be heard HERE and HERE . 2- Speaking of interviews...PhoulBallz has media access, thanks to its affiliation with Millennium Radio Group's Shore Sports Netwo

Minor League Exhibition Updates

With loads of updates coming out of Clearwater on the big league Phillies, it's about time we took a glance at some of the organization's prospects and their performances in developmental level Grapefruit League action thus far. 24-year-old Josh Zeid , who helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win their second consecutive South Atlantic League title in 2010, then went on to shine the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Mesa Solar Sox has rolled his success into the new year. Thus far in 2 spring starts, the 10th round pick from the 2009 amateur draft, has tossed 5 shutout innings for the Double A Reading Phillies club. Zeid has allowed 4 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 7 batters. With Lakewood last year, Zeid sported an 8-4 record and a 2.93 ERA for Lakewood. He fanned 111 batters over 107.1 IP as both a reliever and a starter. In the AFL, Zeid started 4 games, going 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average. Justin Friend , who was se

Phillies and Castillo Agree to Deal

With the uncertainty of Chase Utley's ailing knee, the Phillies have added another potential substitute to the mix. Already stocked with new faces ready to fill a void if Utley is unable to open the season on the active roster, Philadelphia has added veteran second baseman Luis Castillo. The 35-year-old Castillo was released by the New York Metropolitans on Friday. Castillo has been an All-star three times, has won the Gold Glove Award three times and has twice led the National League in stolen bases. Castillo, a switch-hitter, is a career .290 hitter in 15 Major League seasons. Utley has been sidelined throughout the entirety of spring training with chondromalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee. While Utley has seen some improvement recently and has continued to participate in batting practice, he has still been unable to take on full baseball activities. Other players in camp witht he Phillies this spring that are competing for a roster spot include Rule 5 pick Micha

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 90

Freddy Leach was a laser-armed, athletic outfielder, for the Phillies from 1923-1928. Leach, a Missouri native, was a key offensive contributor for Philadelphia during some rough times. Leach broke into the Majors in 1923 at age 25 and played in 52 games in a backup role. As a rookie, Leach batted .260 with a homerun and 16 RBI in 108 plate appearances. The lefty batting Leach spent the following two seasons splitting time in the minors and as a reserve player with the big league club, but won a full-time starting position in the Phillies' outfield in 1926, which he would hold down for three seasons. Leach's best offensive season with the Phillies came in 1928. In 145 games that year, Leach posted a .304 batting average with a career high 13 homeruns, 96 RBI and 83 runs scored. During a stretch when the Phillies were stuck in a rut of losing seasons, without much reason for fans to get excited, Leach was a bright spot in the lineup, as he became a .300-plus hitter in four c

More Cuts in Camp

Friday morning, the Phillies trimmed their roster in Major League camp by sending seven men across the complex to minor league camp. Pitchers Mike Stutes, Juan Perez , Vance Worley and Dan Meyer , infielders Freddy Galvis and Jeff Larish as well as outfielder Brandon Moss will all report and be assigned to their respective teams. Stutes, a right-hander, was extremely impressive in Grapefruit League action with the Phillies. Stutes appeared in 5 games (1 start) and allowed just 1 earned run in 9 innings pitched (1.00 ERA), while he struck out 9 batters and walked just 1 batter. Stutes is likely to see some time with the big club this season, as needs arise in the bullpen. Left-handed hurler Juan Perez appeared in 5 games with the Phillies this spring and allowed 1 earned run in 5 1/3 innings, while striking out 5 and walking 4. The 32-year-old Perez was signed as a free agent in November. Righty Vance Worley , an Eastern League All-star each of the past two seasons for the Phill

Premiere 2011 Giveaway: Reading's Chooching Owl

It's not quite St. Patrick's Day yet, so I am assuming that most of you do not yet know what you may have planned for Tuesday night, August 2nd. Well, I am here to tell you what you SHOULD BE doing that. How about attending a Reading Phillies game at First Energy Stadium? Reading will be the place to be in the region that night, as the R-Phils giveaway a Carlos Ruiz "Chooching Owl". The hybrid bird/world champion backstop will don the uniform of the Double A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and be capable of hooting Carlos' nickname, Chooch. Presented by FirstEnergy, the guaranteed highlight of the giveaway schedule will be provided to the first 3,000 adults in attendance that night. You can click here to order your tickets. Ruiz was a member of the Reading Phillies roster in 2003 and 2004, when he combined to post a .278 batting average with 19 homers and 66 RBI in 153 games. Other noteworthy promotions by the Reading Phils this year include April 14th,

Borup's Blog: First Week of Minors Camp

The following is an exclusive guest post by Phillies pitching prospect Jake Borup. From time to time, Jake, who was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Phillies out of Arizona State University, will join us to share his thoughts on his life as minor leaguer. To check out Jake's previous diary entry, click here . Just wanted to share some thoughts about MY first spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies. My wife Kyrstin and I packed up the car in Phoenix, and made the journey across the country. We left on a Thursday morn and got to Clearwater on Saturday afternoon. When we got here, it looked like a complete transformation from when I was last here in October for instructional ball. EVERYTHING is Phillies. Phillies this, Phillies that. Wherever I go, I see something Phillies. It is pretty special to be a part of an organization with such an awesome fan base and wide appeal. Just the vibe in the Clearwater area got me excited to start working out. What

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 89

Walter "Butch" Henline was a catcher with the Phillies from 1921- 1926. Henline, a veteran of the first World War, was a solid hitting backstop throughout his professional career. After breaking into the Major Leagues and playing just one game with the New York Giants in 1921, he was traded, along with Curt Walker and cash for outfielder Irish Meusel. After debuting with the Phillies and posting a .306 batting average in 33 games with the club that year, Henline won the starting catcher's job. The Indiana native, Henline, had his best year with the Phillies in his first full season in the Majors. In 1922, Henline batted .316, slammed 14 homeruns and knocked in 64 runs to go along with his .859 OPS in 125 games. The rookie also led all National League catchers with a .983 fielding percentage. The following season, the right-handed hitting Henline's offensive production held steady. He served up a boost in batting average, hitting a career high .324, which was second

Phils Make Initial Wave of Cuts

In Clearwater Friday, the Phillies began to trim their big league roster, by sending 16 players off to minor league camp. With games scheduled to begin for the minor league clubs on Monday, this will allow the players to get acquainted with the coaches and teammates briefly, over the weekend. The following players were assigned to minor league camp- Brian Bass , RHP Eddie Bonine , RHP Andrew Carpenter , RHP Ryan Feierabend , LHP Michael Schwimer , RHP Joel Naughton , C Tagg Bozied , 1B Robb Quinlan , IF Matt Miller , OF The following players were optioned to minor league camp- Justin De Fratus , RHP Matt Rizzotti , 1B Drew Naylor , RHP JC Ramirez, RHP Harold Garcia , IF Cesar Hernandez , 2B Carlos Rivero , 3B Quinlan, who batted .121 last year with the Angels and posted a .111 average with the Phillies this spring, asked for and was granted his release, rather than report to minor league camp. Rizzotti, who is 25 years old, saw limited game action but slammed a double and a HR in

Phillies Bringing Every Spring Game to Phans

If you haven't noticed, the Phillies are offering their fans a steady stream of access to all Grapefruit League contests this spring. With their product in high demand by fans throughout the region and beyond, the Phillies have committed to bring each spring training game to the public in some fashion. Unlike any Grapefruit League season before, the Phillies are utilizing their ability to relay game coverage in an advertisement-free fashion, live on Phillies.com. In the absence of televised games and terrestrial radio transmissions, the Phillies broadcast team will alternate duties and bring live play by play to internet users everywhere. The 2011 Grapefruit League season marks the the very first time that the club has made every single spring contest available to phans, according to Rob Brooks, the Phillies manager of broadcasting. According to Brooks, the organization fell one date short in 2009, when the Phillies broadcasters covered all but one game on its spring schedule in

Charlie Staying Put Through 2013

The Phillies announced Wednesday that manager Charlie Manuel's contract has been extended through the 2013 season. The new contract squashed the remaining year on Manuel's previous deal and revamps the agreement the Phillies have with Manuel in 2011. The new agreement extends Manuel for two additional seasons, through 2013, and will reportedly pay the native West Virginian between $9.5 and $10 million over the three years. Via a press release from the Phillies today, team general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. stated, "We are pleased to have come to terms with Charlie. He has been an integral part of the success we've had over the past several years. There was little doubt that he was going to continue to be our skipper past his current contract and we look forward to the next three years with the hopes of continued success." With Manuel at the helm from 2005 through 2010, Philadelphia has posted the best overall record among all teams in the National League, at 544-4

Utley's Knee Still a Great Concern

The Phillies announced Tuesday that there is no progress with Chase Utley's injured right knee and that he will remain out of action in Grapefruit League play, as the player and the team wish to avoid surgical remedies at this time. An MRI this week resulted in Utley being diagnosed with mild patellar tendinitis, bone inflamation and chondromalacia, which is commonly known as runner's knee and refers to discomfort under the kneecap. The all-star second baseman, Utley, has been taking batting practice regularly, but has not actively taken part in game action and has been avoiding running and fielding drills in recent weeks. Utley, who claimed in a meeting with the media on Tuesday that he is taking a big picture approach to his injury, expressed his desire to get healthy, but is focused on not doing anything that could effect his health long-term. "My goal is to alleviate this as quickly as possible, but still keep in mind that I have a career ahead of me," Utley s

Minor Grapefruit Production

Spring training officially began for Phillies minor leaguers last Friday, but several prospects have been in camp with the big club since last month and have seen game action along side established red pinstripe rocking stars. While their minor league peers won't begin their own exhibition games until next Monday, prospects such as Justin De Fratus , Mike Stutes , Vance Worley and Scott Mathieson have been tackling relief innings with the Phillies on the parent club's preseason schedule. Also, position players like Matt Rizzotti , Josh Barfield , and Michael Martinez have gotten some time to show off their offensive and defensive abilities. De Fratus, is a righty hurler that has been on the rise in the Phillies organization since he was drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft. Recently ranked as the Phillies' number 5 prospect , De Fratus has had a bit of a tough spring, getting hit around somewhat in his outings. In 3 games, De Fratus has a 0-1 record, wit

Francisco Seems Right

The Phillies have what can only be described as one of the most promising starting pitching rotations in the history of Major League Baseball. Their potential for greatness—not just in the upcoming season but in the foreseeable future—is as large as the price they paid to be in this position, something few teams can say with a straight face. However, even knowing that great pitching can handily defeat great hitting, the Phillies still have a some hole that needs to be addressed before they can reach that illusive label of greatness. Now, to check in on your local internet casinos , sports book or other gambling hub, you’ll notice instantly that the Phils’ odds of winning the World Series far surpass any other team’s odds at this early juncture. But let’s not allow expectation to tell the tale. Potentially, there’s still a hole out in right field due to Jayson Werth’s decision to abandon the club for division rival—not on the same level, but still a rival—Washington, when he signed wi