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Showing posts from July, 2011

Philly's New Crush Loves You Back

Hunter Pence started off on the right foot Saturday, his first day with his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies. His day began early, with a lot of packing preceding his travel plans, but Pence made time to conduct a phone interview with 97.5 The Fanatic prior to boarding a flight. During his time on the air, Pence expressed excitement to join the club that agreed to trade four prospects to Houston for him on the previous night. He also described the roster he was joining as "once of the best teams ever assembled". As good as the previous quote is, the sound bites offered up by the two-time All-star got even better after Pence helped the Phillies lock down a 7-4 win over the Pirates with a run scoring single. Pence offered up the following quotes while speaking with the media... "It’s surreal. I'm absolutely ecstatic to be here. To see that kind of support for my first game, I can't explain it, it's awesome." " It’s fun to look at the squad

Phils Acquire Pence, Send Prospects to Houston

The deal took a while, but it's finally done. Hunter Pence is coming to Philadelphia, after the Phillies and Astros agreed to a trade on Friday night. The swap brings the 28-year-old right fielder to the Phillies in exchange for top prospect Jonathan Singleton, MLB Futures Game hurler Jarred Cosart, right-handed pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named later. Reports also state that the Astros will send $1 million to the Phillies. Pence, originally drafted by Houston in the 2nd round of the 2004 amateur draft, is a .290 career hitter, playing is his fifth big league season. In 100 games for the Astros this year, Pence posted a .308 batting average with 11 HR and 62 RBI. The 6-foot-4-inch 220-pounder is a two-time National League All-star. Singleton and Cosart were ranked as the Phillies' top two prospects by both the Reading Eagle and PhilliesNation over the past year. Singleton, a first baseman who has dabbled in the outfield this season, ripped up Class A South At

Series Preview: Pirates at Phillies, 7/29-7/31

This weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates (54-49) travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies (65-39) in a three-game series that pits the Keystone State rivals against one another and begins on Friday evening at Citizens Bank Park. The Pirates won 2 of 3 games when these team met in Pittsburgh in June. Last season, the Phillies dropped 4 of 6 meetings with the Buccos. With both teams battling for a playoff spot in the National League, this series is primed to be an interesting one. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups as well as loads more statistics from this series. Friday, 7:05PM. Charlie Morton (8-5, 3.69 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (12-5, 2.44 ERA). In 8 starts on the road this season Morton has posted a 5-1 record with a 3.00 ERA. Morton has a 1-2 record with a 7.11 ERA in 4 career starts against the Phillies. In his previous 5 starts, Morton has a 1-2 record with a 5.40 ERA. Halladay is 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his last 5 home starts. In 4 career starts against the

Bonilla Opening Eyes with Lakewood

With better known names like Jesse Biddle, Garett Claypool and David Buchanan getting most of the recognition on the Class A Lakewood pitching staff, Lisalberto Bonilla has been staying off the radar, despite soaring high for much of the season. Despite being a guy that many have yet to hear of, the 21-year-old righty hurler continues to develop and mow down South Atlantic League hitters. Since his promotion to the BlueClaws from extended spring training on May 3rd, Bonilla has posted a 2-3 record with 4 saves, a 2.06 ERA and a .205 batting average against while striking out 73 batters in 70 innings pitched. After beginning his time with Lakewood in the bullpen, Bonilla joined the starting rotation in mid-June. By his fifth start, Bonilla was officially a prospect to watch. In his July 6th outing against the Hagerstown Suns, Bonilla threw 9 scoreless innings, while striking out 12 and allowing no walks. Not only did the effort impress the fans in attendance and those listening to

Giants Land Beltran, Phils Miss Out

The National League pennant chase just got a little more interesting. By now you've heard that the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants executed a trade to land one of the biggest names on the trade market, six-time All-star Carlos Beltran . In recent days, the Phillies had been among the few teams rumored to be in the mix to make a trade for Beltran, but in the end, the team that was the National League runner up last year lost out to the team that knocked them from the post-season. Reports say the deal will be made official on Thursday, as Beltran has a full no-trade clause that he must waive. The deal is expected to send righty pitching prospect Zack Wheeler to New York. Giants manager Bruce Bochy was clear, on Wednesday, stating that the trade was done to improve the club's own offense and was not in an effort to prevent chief NL rival Philadelphia from acquiring Beltran. Beltran, who was batting .289 with 15 HR and 66 RBI this season with the Mets, wi

Series Preview: Giants at Phillies, 7/26-7/28

The National League West Division leading Giants (59-43) visit Philadelphia for the first time since they knocked the Phillies (64-37) out of the post-season last October, as the two clubs begin a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday evening. The Giants and Phillies split six meetings during the regular season last year, however it was San Francisco that defeated the Phillies, 4 games to 2, in the National League Championship Series. The Giants, of course, went on to defeat the Rangers in the World Series. Former Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will take the hill for the reigning champs. Philadelphia will counter with rookie Vance Worley, who the team has ridden to a 10-2 record in his starts. Read ahead for some notes on the pitching match ups and some other key stats for this series. Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (6-1, 2.02 ERA). In his last 6 starts, Lincecum has a 3-2 record with a 1.66 ERA. Lincecum is 5-4 with a 2.44 ER

Prospect Packages: What the Phillies Can Offer

In recent years, the Phillies have acquired elite talent, adding Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt in separate blockbuster trades. The packages of players sent away to make those deals all included highly ranked prospects. Fans and experts alike presume the Phillies have depleted their system of prospects with the amount top minor league players traded in those deals. That's far from true, as many individuals currently in Philadelphia's developmental system have proven worthy of high recognition. If the Phillies are going to put together similar groups of players to add a key contributor at the big league level again this season, they'll surely need to send away more ascending young talent. In order to understand what type of package the Phillies would be required to deal, it's important to look at what they gave up in those previous trades. Cleveland/Lee trade...July, 2009- RHP Jason Knapp, IF Jason Donald, C Lou Marson, RHP Carlos Carrasco. Knapp was the

Steve Susdorf Speaks with PhoulBallz.com

Outfielder Steve Susdorf has been a solid contributor all season long for the Double A Reading Phillies. In 77 games this year, the lefty hitting Susdorf has posted a .332 batting average with 6 homeruns, 35 RBI and an OPS of .883. Drafted by the Phillies in the 19th round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Fresno State University, Susdorf has performed well at each level, as he's moved up the ranks in the Philadelphia developmental system. In 2008, he batted .295 in 50 games with Williamsport and Lakewood. The following season, he posted a .324 average in 85 games at three different levels. In 2010, the 6-foot-1-inch 195-pounder spent the entire season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, batting .278 with 11 HR and 77 RBI in 128 games. The 25-year-old R-Phils standout took time recently to talk about his success this year, his coaches, time spent with some big league Phillies and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full interview. __________________

Series Preview: Padres at Phillies, 7/22-7/25

The Phillies (61-36) return home to begin a 4-game series with the Padres (44-55) on Friday night at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. Returning from the disabled list and joining the active Phillies roster for the first time this season, following a long rehab process in the minors for his injured shoulder and elbow, Brad Lidge will rejoin the club he helped reach the post-season each of the past 3 seasons. With 99 saves as a member of the Phillies, Lidge ranks fourth all-time in team history, 13 behind Jose Mesa for the top spot. To make room for Lidge, Philadelphia designated Danys Baez (2-4, 6.25 ERA) for assignment. Baez struggled in recent weeks, posting a 14.89 ERA since May 25th. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups as well as plenty more statistical information for this series. Friday, 7:05PM. Cory Luebke (3-3, 2.57 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (11-5, 2.71 ERA). The lefty Luebke is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his last 4 starts. In 16 road outings this year, Luebke

BlueClaws Walk-off: Miguel Alvarez

A ninth inning rally lived up to the expectations of Lakewood's "Cardiac 'Claws" nickname on Thursday night. In what was a close match up from start to finish, the Greenville Drive (Red Sox affiliate) tied the game at 3 runs apiece in the 8th inning and took the lead with a run in the 9th. The defending two-time South Atlantic League champion BlueClaws plated two runs in their final turn at bat to win in walk-off fashion. In the contest, lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle struck out 8 and allowed 2 earned runs in 6 inning to earn a no decision and slugging first baseman Jim Murphy went 2-for-4 with a double, a HR and 2 runs scored. However, it was left fielder Miguel Alvarez (pictured) who made the most memorable impact on the game that featured a rematch of the SAL title series from each of the past two seasons. With the bases loaded, following a single by Edgar Duran to tie the game at 4, Alvarez slapped a single to left field that brought the winning run home

Savery Refocused as Reliever in Lehigh Valley

A poor 2010 season on the mound for Joe Savery seemed to secure the switch for the lefty pitcher into an everyday position player. This time last season, the Phillies were preparing to completely alter the career of their former 1st round draft pick. Now, Savery is back where he started and, some say, better off than he ever was. With increased velocity, reaching 94 MPH with his fastball in recent weeks, Savery has revamped a pitching career that was virtually in forced retirement on opening day. After posting a 1-12 record and a 4.66 ERA mainly as a starter for Triple A Lehigh Valley last year, the Phillies changed Savery to a full-time offensive player in the latter stages of the season. Savery proceeded to bat .348 in 36 games as a hitter in 2010. This season, playing first base, outfield and spending time as a designated hitter, Savery, a Rice University product, climbed the developmental ladder, as he had once done as a hurler, beginning in 2007 after the Phillies selected

Lidge Rehab Complete as Lakewood Downs Greenville

Brad Lidge, in what was slated to be his final rehab appearance in the minors before the Phillies activate him to the MLB roster, tossed a 1-2-3 inning for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws against the Greenville Drive (Red Sox affiliate) on Wednesday afternoon. In a scoreless 8th inning, it took Lidge 10 pitches to retire all three batters he faced. He induced a ground out from lead-off batter Wilfred Pichardo, struck out speedster Felix Sanchez with a slider and got Philadelphia area product Sean Coyle to ground out as well. Unfortunately for Lidge, who has been clear about his desire to add some velocity before he makes his big league return, his fastball again peaked at 88 MPH on Wednesday, which is where it has been since early in this rehab process. Following the outing, Lidge expressed his relief regarding being finished with the recovery from his shoulder and elbow strains as well as some excitement about rejoining his teammates in Philadelphia. "It's crazy. It'

CM Punk Conquers Wrestling, Baseball Next?

Professional wrestler CM Punk, whose contract with World Wrestling Entertainment was set to expire this past Sunday, has been threatening for weeks that he would win the WWE Championship in his final match, in his home town of Chicago, and take the title with him when he left the company. Punk has been stirring up great amounts buzz for the sport of pro wrestling in recent weeks, as he has come close to breaking away from the "script" by insulting the boss, Vince McMahon, as well as other WWE big shots on multiple occasions. Recently, Punk declared that he was "the voice of the voiceless", offering recognition to other stars who were either let go by or never given a chance by WWE. On Monday, after escaping the WWE's Money in the Bank event on the previous night with the WWE championship, CM Punk was spotted sporting a Cubs jersey at Wrigley Field with Phillies' 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player Cole Hamels. The Phillies tweeted an image of the two

Matt Rizzotti Answers Questions From the Phillies Nation

Phillies first base prospect Matt Rizzotti is putting together another outstanding season for the Double A Reading Phillies. In 92 games with the R-Phils, Rizzotti has posted a .292 batting average with 18 homeruns, 57 RBI and a .905 OPS. Named as the Phillies' 11th best prospect in PhilliesNation's and PhoulBallz.com's preseason rankings, Rizzotti was an Eastern League All-star for the second straight season. It's not a secret that as a slugging lefty batting first baseman/designated hitter, there isn't much room for for the 25-year-old Rizzotti on the Phillies big league roster. It doesn't discourage him, however, as he stays focused on reaching his ultimate goal...the Major Leagues. Rizzotti, a native of Floral Park, NY, is a genuine, likeable, fun-loving individual that many fans have grown to adore, even from afar. So members of the Phillies Nation submitted questions via e-mail, over Facebook and through Twitter. Check out the media player below t

Series Preview: Phillies at Cubs, 7/18-7/20

With some extra rest since his last start, in last Tuesday's MLB All-star Game, Roy Halladay is all set to begin the second half of his season and go after his 12th win of the season, as the Phillies (59-35) begin a series on the road in Chicago, taking on the Cubs (38-58) at Wrigley Field. Former Phillie right-hander Rodrigo Lopez will take the hill for Chicago in the opener. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key stats for this series. Monday, 8:05PM. Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.45 ERA) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 4.02 ERA). Halladay has a 1-3 record with a 3.24 ERA in 4 career starts against the Cubs. In his last 10 starts, Halladay has posted a 6-0 record with a 2.68 ERA. Aramis Ramirez is 2-for-16 (.125 avg) in his career against Halladay. In 6 career games against the Phillies, Lopez has posted a 1-1 record and a 5.74 ERA. Lopez has a 4.66 ERA in 6 home appearances this season. Ryan Howard is 6-for-11 (.545 avg) with a HR in his career against RoLo. Tuesda

Victorino Set to Return, Lidge Days Away

On Sunday afternoon, Brad Lidge and Shane Victorino competed for the Double A Reading Phillies for the second straight game against the Trenton Thunder at Waterfront Park, as both men rehabbed from injuries. On consecutive days, both men contributed to a Reading victory, as the R-Phils chase Trenton for the Eastern division Wild Card spot in the Eastern League. Victorino, batting lead-off and playing center field on Sunday, took highly touted lefty pitching prospect deep, out of the stadium in the 1st inning, and rounded 3rd base before Reading manager Mark Parent, manning the coach's box, informed Victorino that the umpire had called it foul. Victorino then sarcastically thanked the umpires for letting him practically round the bases before informing him of the call. He then returned to the batters box and worked a walk. Later in the frame, Victorino stole home on the back end of a double steal. The 30-year-old All-star batted again in the 2nd inning, striking out against Ba

Victorino, Lidge Outstanding in Rehab with R-Phils

TRENTON, NJ- A pair of Phillies big leaguers thrilled fans in attendance on Saturday night at Waterfront Park, home of the Trenton Thunder. On rehab assignments with Class Double A Reading, relief pitcher Brad Lidge and Gold Glove Award winning outfielder Shane Victorino contributed to a convincing victory, as the R-Phils won in a rout, 13-2. At the plate, as the team's designated hitter, Victorino, who has been sidelined with a right thumb injury, went 3-for-5 with two singles and a double, while driving in a run. The right-handed Lidge, out with shoulder and elbow ailments, breezed through a 1-2-3 inning on 12 pitches, striking out one batter, inducing a fly out and throwing out the third batter on a come backer to the mound. The 30-year-old Victorino experienced discomfort in his thumb during batting practice and in the game. He was sure it was something that he could and should play through. "The pain's tolerable and that's all that I was worried about,&q

Shane Victorino Rehab Images, 7/16/11

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Series Preview: Phillies at Metropolitans, 7/15-7/17

As the second half of the season begins, the National League East division leading Phillies (57-34) travel north on the turnpike to take on the Metropolitans (46-45) at Citi Field. New York made headlines earlier this week, on the night of the All-star Game, when they dealt closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers for two players to be named later. The Metropolitans are expected to continue to be sellers as the non-waiver trading deadline approaches. Philadelphia is making news of its own, as this series begins, placing All-star third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list with a bulging disc in his back. The move is retroactive to July 5th, so Polanco would be eligible to return from the DL on July 20th. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key stats for this series. Friday, 7:05PM. Vance Worley (4-1, 2.20 ERA) vs. RA Dickey (4-7, 3.61 ERA). In 3 career outings against the Metropolitans, Worley has a 1-1 record with a 4.50 ERA. Worley has a 2-0

Lidge Shaky, T-Mac Honored in Trenton

TRENTON, NJ- Brad Lidge made his second rehab appearance for the Double A Reading Phillies on Thursday night and it didn't go as well as the veteran reliever or the team had hoped. Lidge struggled with his command and turned in a rather poor outing for the club that entered the night in a playoff race, 1 game behind division rival Trenton for the Wild Card spot in the Eastern Division. On the disabled list since spring training with a strained right rotator cuff, Lidge experienced an elbow strain when he was working back from that issue in late May. In his outing against the Yankees affiliate in Trenton, Lidge displayed difficulty with his control as he threw three wild pitches, hit two batters, walked another and gave up a single, all while letting up two earned runs on 28 pitches in 2/3 of an inning. After the disappointing performance, Lidge was composed and focused on some positive aspects, having reached 89 and 90 MPH on scouts' radar guns, according to some reports.

Phillies Prospect Trivia Challenge

The history of baseball is one of the main drawing points to the greatness of a sport that dates back to the 19th century. Baseball trivia helps drive discussion and interest. Fans and players alike all value the past as much as the present, if not more so. Have you ever wondered how your Phillies knowledge might stack up against the players themselves? I know I have. But I also realize that perhaps the fan possesses an advantage over those guys, since they haven't watched the team all their lives. Upon Scott Eyre 's 2008 arrival in Philadelphia, I recall hearing details of how little he knew about the organization, which initially forced me to think that players couldn't possibly know as much about the team as the fans do. But what if there were individuals that grew up as fans of an organization and later ended up playing for that team? Well, lo and behold, the Phillies have two pitchers in their developmental ranks that used to watch games from the stands at Vet