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Showing posts from October, 2011

Ryan Howard Tailgates with Eagles Fans

Ladies and gentlemen, pictured above is Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard enjoying some tailgate festivities prior to Sunday's Eagles/Cowboys game outside Lincoln Financial Field. Howard, who recently underwent surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon, was spotted partying, with crutches in tow. This week the Phillies announced that Howard had progressed to partial weight bearing status. The three-time All-Star has begun a rehabilitation program in Philadelphia. ________________________________________ Picture courtesy of friend of Mrs. Ballz, Deanna. You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE

Mackanin, Svuem to Interview For Boston Job

The Boston Red Sox are set to interview Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum for their vacant managerial position this week, according to WEEI radio in Boston. Mackanin and Sveum will be the first two candidates interviewed by Boston to replace Terry Francona, whose contract was not renewed after a tremendous collapse, as the season drew to a close, that led to the Red Sox missing the playoffs. The 60-year-old Mackanin previously managed the Pirates and Reds in an interim capacity and managed several minor league clubs. Mackanin played in the big leagues with the Rangers, Expos, Phillies and Twins. Mackanin has served as the Phillies' bench coach, under manager Charlie Manuel, for the past two seasons. Svuem, 48, previously coached for the Red Sox from 2004-2005. A former big leaguer, Svuem played for the Phillies, Brewers, Pirates, Yankees, Athletics, Mariners and White Sox. Since 2006 during his tenure with the Brew

Phils Prospect Lisalberto Bonilla Footage

Dominican born right-hander Lisalberto Bonilla took great strides in the Phillies developmental system during the 2011 season. As hurlers like Justin De Fratus , Julio Rodriguez , Jesse Biddle and Trevor May excelled on the mound and proved worthy of their high prospect rankings within the organization, they were joined by a fast rising star with great control and a solid repertoire. Bonilla sports a fastball that regularly reaches the mid-90's as well as a great change up and an always-improving slider. Signed by the Phillies in 2008, Bonilla made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Phillies the following year, posting a 6-2 record with a 1.41 ERA and a .189 batting average against in 11 games, all starts. In 2010, Bonilla split his season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short season Williamsport Crosscutters. In 16 combined games, Bonilla went 3-4 with a 3.99 ERA. The 6-feet-1-inch 170-pound Bonilla began the 2011 season in extended

Galvis Returns & Other Caribbean League Notes

Phillies shortstop prospect Freddy Galvis returned to action on with the Aguilas del Zulia on Wednesday, going 0-for-3 with a walk. The 21-year-old had missed nine days of action with a right wrist ailment that required fluid to be drained from a cyst. Overall in 5 games in the Venezuelan Winter League, the switch-hitting Galvis, has gone 3-for-14 (.214 avg) with no extra base hits. Combined at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley during the 2011 regular season, Galvis posted a .278 batting average with 8 HR and 43 RBI. The Venezuela native, who is strong in the field, stands a good chance of reaching the big leagues next season. Infielder Carlos Rivero , who was claimed by the Phillies last off-season from Cleveland, hasn't had much success in the early going. The 23-year-old has gone just 1-for-16 through 5 games with the Leones del Caracas in Venezuela. His lone hit was a homerun. Another Venezuela born player, Rivero had a strong season (.270/.326/.440) combin

Phillies Brass Already Focused on 2012

On Monday, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was a guest on WIP's Mike & Ike program and discussed his mindset soon after his club took an early bow from the MLB playoff picture and other subjects. Asked if he took time off to get away after the Phillies were ousted from the opening round of the playoffs by St. Louis, Amaro Jr. spoke of staying focused on his organization going forward. "I don't take too long," Amaro Jr. stated. "We've talked with our scouts. We've had a couple of conference calls and meetings- several of them. And we've been doing a couple of different things, but, certainly, lining up for 2012 and beyond has been most of the theme for most of our meetings." The third-year GM also pointed out that he has already had discussions regarding some off-season swaps. "We'll be ready to strike if there's a deal to be made, either by signing somebody or trading for somebody...I've already had several d

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 95

John Denny was a starting pitcher with the Phillies from 1982-1985. The right-hander was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970. He debuted in the Majors in 1974, appearing in 2 games as a reliever. By the following year, at age 22, he was a regular in the Cards' rotation. In 1976, Denny won the National League ERA crown with a 2.52 mark. In the three seasons that followed, Denny notched just one winning record and posted an ERA under 4.50 only once. That sort of up and down production got Denny dealt out of town. After the 1979 season, the Cardinals traded him, along with outfielder Jerry Mumphrey to Cleveland for veteran slugger Bobby Bonds. As a member of the Indian's starting rotation, Denny, tallied a 24-23 record with a 4.15 ERA in 3 seasons. In the final month of the 1982 season, Denny was sent to Philadelphia for pitcher Jerry Reed and two minor leaguers. Following that swap, Denny went without a win in four September starts with the Phillie

Senators' Tobacco Ban Idea is Weak

This week United States Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called on the Major League Baseball Players Association to ban the use of all tobacco products on the field of play, in the dugout, and in the locker rooms at all MLB venues. As the premiere baseball league in the world is in the midst of its championship series, the politicians saw this as an opportune time to apply pressure with million of viewers, including children, tuning in nightly on television. In a recent press release, the senators stated the following: "During the upcoming negotiations over the bargaining agreement, we write to ask that the Major League Baseball Players Association agree to a prohibition on the use of all tobacco products at games and on camera at all Major League ballparks. This would send a strong message to young baseball fans, who look toward the players as role models, that tobacco use is not essential to the sport of ba

Winter Leagues Already Rolling

While just the other day, PhoulBallz.com took a look at Phillies prospects taking part in the Arizona Fall League , other off-season baseball is underway as well in the form of Caribbean Winter Leagues. Several players with Philadelphia ties are staying in shape and attempting to improve their abilities in these leagues as well. Here's a quick overview of some of those individuals, who all happen to be on the Phillies' 40-man roster. Shortstop Freddy Galvis (pictured), who rose considerably in the Phillies prospect rankings this year when he posted impressive numbers for Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley (.278 combined batting average, a career high 8 homeruns, 43 RBI and 23 stolen bases), has reportedly experienced a wrist injury that has forced him out of action this week. In 4 games with Zulia of the Venezuelan League prior to the ailment, Galvis went 3-for-11 (.273 avg) with 3 runs scored. Another infield prospect, Harold Garcia , who missed much of the 20

Arizona Fall League Updates, 10/18/11

Autumn is here and the Arizona Fall League is in full swing. The Phillies have several players assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions, where they merge with prospects from the Giants, Red Sox, Angels and Nationals organizations to fill out a roster that does battle with other clubs' talents. Below is a list reviewing all of the Phils' players that are seeing action in the annual fall developmental league. Through 8 games, outfielder Tyson Gillies has gone 5-for-21 (.238 avg) with no extra base hits, 7 walks and 1 stolen base. The Vancouver native, who turns 23-year-old at the end of this month, missed a great majority of the 2011 regular season with hamstring and foot injuries after playing just 28 games in 2010 due to his recurring hamstring problem. He is using this time in the Arizona Fall League as an opportunity to make up for some of the time missed since joining the Phillies organization in the 2009-2010 off-season as part of the return from Seattle for Cliff Lee .

Phillies on Deck, Vol. 1: Overbeck & Rizzotti

In the coming weeks and months we'll be taking a look at several young talents within the organization that could make an impact on the Phillies' big league roster in 2012. With this first edition, we'll review a couple names that could seize an opportunity due to the Achilles tendon injury that Ryan Howard suffered in the final game of the National League Division Series. It's no secret that three-time All-Star first baseman Ryan Howard is expected to miss the start of next season after undergoing surgery on his ruptured left Achilles tendon this past week. While many fans, media members and baseball analysts expect the Phillies to fill the void, next April, with John Mayberry Jr., who played 18 games at first base in 2011, the team will have other in-house options courtesy of a pair of older prospects. Perhaps the leading option from the minors that could fill in while "The Big Piece" is out of action is 25-year-old Cody Overbeck. The 9th round draft pi

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 94

Arnold "Bake" McBride patrolled the outfield for the Phillies in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Originally a 37th round draft pick by St. Louis in 1970, McBride, a Missouri native, proved to be a late round steal, as he cruised through the minor leagues, making his big league debut in 1973 and later being named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1974 when he batted .309 with 6 homers, 56 RBI and 30 stolen bases. McBride was acquired by Philadelphia in June 1977, when the Cardinals swapped him and pitcher Steve Waterbury for Rick Bosetti, Tom Underwood and Dane Iorg. The Westminster College multi-sport star (McBride played track and basketball in addition to baseball) proved to be a valuable contributor, as he posted a .339 batting average with 11 HR and 27 steals in 85 games going forward that year, to help the Phillies lock down a second consecutive East Division title. In the years to follow, McBride in right field paired with Garry Maddox in center fi

Phils Injury Updates

On Wednesday, Ryan Howard underwent surgery in Baltimore to repair his torn left Achilles tendon that he suffered on the final play in game 5 of the National League Division Series against St. Louis. According to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., the timetable for Howard to recover fully is just about what many people expected. "It’s going to be 5 to 6 months from the surgery until he can play at his accustomed level," Amaro said in a statement released by the Phillies. "A lot depends on how he recovers. The start of the season could be impacted, but I still hope he makes his first at bat of the season." Placido Polanco and Hunter Pence each had surgeries this week as well. Pence's surgery went well and he is recovering in Philadelphia, according to a Twitter update posted by the All-Star outfielder. For Polanco it is no wonder why his offensive production suffered down the stretch this season, as his procedure was for a double sports hernia. Another

Parent Headed to Chicago

According to ESPNChicago , Mark Parent is headed to Chicago to be the new bench coach of the White Sox, beside new manager Robin Ventura, who was named as the replacement for the departed Ozzie Guillen, who parted ways with the team after 8 seasons. Parent, a former big league catcher, had been a manager in the Phillies developmental system for each of the past two seasons. In 2010 he led the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws to their second straight South Atlantic League championship and in 2011, he was at the helm for the playoff bound Double A Reading Phillies. The big league Phillies recently granted the White Sox permission to speak with Parent about their coaching vacancy. Parent played 13 seasons in the Majors, spending time with San Diego, Texas, Baltimore, Detroit and the Chicago Cubs. Another former Phillie, Jeff Manto, is also rumored to a candidate to join the White Sox coaching staff. The new coaches will take over a White Sox team that finished the 2011 season 4 games unde

Instructional League News & Notes, 10/10

Sources have confirmed that Phillies 2011 1st round draft pick Larry Greene Jr. has been shut down for the remainder of the Florida Instructional League. Greene, who suffered a groin injury at the outset of instructs in Clearwater, has been sidelined for the full extent of the month-long exhibition season. Despite feeling considerable improvement in the area, Greene will be kept out of action by the Phillies. Greene, a power hitting outfielder selected out of Berrion County High School in Georgia, is expected to make his official in-game debut as a member of the Phillies organization next spring. In other news, outfield prospect Kyrell Hudson has been hitting the ball extremely well at instructs. The Phillies' 3rd round draft pick from 2009 posted a .171 batting average in 59 games over his first two seasons as a pro, but made great improvements in 2011, hitting .275 in 68 games with the short season Williamsport Crosscutters. The 6-foot-1-inch Hudson is participating in the F

Phillies, Howard Crumble in NLDS

It happened again. Much like 2010, Ryan Howard failed in the final at bat of the postseason, in Philadelphia, and a visiting club danced on the Citizens Bank Park field. As awful as that scenario is for Phillies fans, the scene was worse this time around as Howard fell to the ground after he dribbled a grounder to second base and exited the batters box. Howard, who is set to start a 5-year/$125 million contract extension in 2012, clutched his lower left leg and was helped off the field by trainers and coaches. The injury, suspected to be a torn achilles tendon, could result in Howard missing the entire 2012 season. Howard will have an MRI on Saturday for official diagnosis on the extent of the issue. The Phillies again came up short in a crucial playoff game, allowing the Cardinals, who bursted into the playoffs with a late season surge, to continue their surprising ascent with a 1-0 victory. From the start in the deciding game 5 of the opening round playoff series, the Cardinals t

NLDS Game 5 Preview

In the deciding game 5 of the National League Division Series, the Cardinals and the Phillies will send their ace to the mound in hopes of advancing in the playoffs. Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay were 1st round draft picks by the Toronto Blue Jays that went on to become Cy Young Award winners and the hurler that their teams count at crunch time. Pressure will be on each man to help carry his team to the National League Championship Series, where their squad will face the winner of the Diamondbacks/Brewers series. The Phillies, who entered 2011 as the favorite to represent the National League in the World Series, set a franchise record with 102 wins in the regular season. They could see their dreams crushed much earlier than was anticipated. St. Louis has been the hot club down the stretch, having won 11 of their final 15 regular season games to clinch a playoff berth. Friday, 8:37 PM. Chris Carpenter (0-0, 12.00 ERA in 2011 postseason) vs. Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.37 ERA in

Revisionism on Blast

The following is a guest post by the host of 97.3 ESPN 's Weekend Sports Guide, Tyrone Johnson. A member of the local media for several years, Tyrone is still a fan at heart. The Weekend Sports Guide airs on Atlantic City's 97.3 each Saturday from 12-3pm. Tune in this Saturday, 10/8, around 2:30 as Tyrone and PhoulBallz.com's Jay Floyd chat about the Phillies postseason. I am frustrated with my fellow fans. All season long, all I heard was the Phillies were going to win the World Series because they have “4 Aces”. As we get ready for Game 5 of the National League Division Series, all I see and hear is Philadelphia fans complaining about...the lineup! The Cardinals have scored 6 runs, 5 runs, 2 runs and 5 runs, respectively in games 1 through 4, so far in this series. If you told me that before the series began I would have said the Phillies lose in 4 games. This team is not built like the World Championship club from 2008. The current club is built to score a bit

Mario Hollands Interview Excerpts

Lefty pitching prospect Mario Hollands took great strides in 2011 with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. After beginning the year as the club's opening day starting pitcher, Hollands went through some difficult times and was moved to the bullpen, where he flourished. In 15 starts in the South Atlantic League, the California native posted a 4-4 record with a 4.64 ERA and a .306 batting average against. In 13 relief appearances, Hollands performed considerably better, going 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a .205 batting average against. Recently, I spoke with the 23-year-old, Hollands, about many subjects, including his draft process, advancements he has made with his pitch repertoire and spending his summer at the Jersey shore. To hear excerpts from the interview, check out the media player below. Also, to read my recent feature on Mario Hollands, click this link . ________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also

This Happened...You Can Breathe Now

Ben Francisco , who had notched just 1 hit in 20 career postseason plate appearances prior to his pinch hit at bat in game 3 of the National League Division Series, mashed a line drive homerun in the top of the 7th inning to help the Phillies take a 2 games to 1 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series. The 3-run blast by the man known as " Benny Phresh " provided the Phillies with all the offense they would need, as they downed the Cardinals 3-2. Left-handed hurler Cole Hamels earned the win, as he threw 6 scoreless inning and struck out 8 Cardinals in the process. For Hamels, it was it was his 7th career postseason victory. Veteran reliever Ryan Madson , who has appeared in more postseason games (32) than any other pitcher in Phillies history, allowed a run in 1 2/3 innings but preserved the win and notched a save. The Phillies and Cardinals will face off in game 4 on Wednesday evening at St. Louis' Busch Stadium. _______________________________

NLDS Games 2 & 3 Preview, 10/4-10/5

Tied at 1 game apiece in the best-of-five National League Division Series, the Phillies and Cardinals will battle it out in St. Louis for a chance to go to advance. With lefty Cole Hamels on the mound, set to tie Hall of Famer Steve Carlton for most postseason starts by a pitcher in Phillies history, with 13, the Phillies will face another left-hander, Jaime Garcia in game 3 on Tuesday night. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key notes from these two games. Tuesday, 5:07 PM. Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA) vs Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA). In 17 road games this season, Hamels posted a 7-3, 2.93 ERA with a .219 batting average against. Hamels has a 2-3 record with a 3.27 ERA in 9 career starts against the Cardinals. Albert Pujols is 4-for-23 (.174 avg) with a double and 2 HR in his career against Hamels. The 2008 World Series MVP, Hamels, has a 6-4 record with a 3.33 ERA in 12 career postseason starts. Garcia posted a 3-0 record with a 2.64 ERA in

Instructional League News & Notes, 10/3/11

According to a source in Clearwater, Phillies 2011 top draft pick (supplemental round), Larry Greene Jr. has missed time at the Florida Instructional League with a groin strain. Greene spent time practicing with the Gulf Coast League Phillies before the end of their season, but the slugging outfielder has yet to see any real game action. The 18-year-old Georgia native received a $1 million signing bonus when he signed his first professional contract in August. Sources also confirm that lefty hurler Jesse Biddle , who posted excellent numbers (7-8 record, 2.98 ERA, 25 games) in his first full season as a pro with Class A Lakewood, will make his first instructs appearance on Tuesday, working an inning against the Pirates club. Biddle, 19, injured his right knee in his final start of the 2011 season for the BlueClaws, but has recovered well. Biddle, a Philadelphia native, was the Phillies' 1st round draft choice in 2010. 23-year-old infielder Albert Cartwright , acquired in Jan

Hewitt Already Preparing For 2012

Former top Phillies draft pick Anthony Hewitt took considerable strides this past season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Selected 24th overall by Philadelphia in 2008, Hewitt struggled throughout his first few years in the developmental ranks. The Brooklyn, NY native posted a combined .208 batting average at three different levels of his professional career from 2008-2010. However, Hewitt finally broke through and showed significant improvements in 2011, during his second consecutive season with the BlueClaws. The 22-year-old was named to the South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star team en route to a season that saw him improve his batting average, his power numbers, his speed and his defense. Hewitt's season average of .240 in 2011 was a 32 point jump over his career mark and a 17 point improvement over his previous season high. His 14 homeruns and 55 RBI were both career highs as well. Scouts regularly took notice of Hewitt's range and throwing arm in right fi

NLDS Games 1 & 2 Preview: Cardinals at Phillies

For the very first time, two of the original 16 MLB teams will meet in the postseason, as the wild card entrant St. Louis Cardinals travel to Philadelphia to meet the five-time defending National League East division champion Phillies. The Cardinals squeezed into the playoffs thanks, in part, to some help from the Phillies, as Philadelphia swept the wild card leading Braves in their final regular season series. St. Louis then won two of three games against Houston to knock Atlanta from its perch. In the series opener, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa will send veteran hurler and former Phillie Kyle Lohse to the mound, while the Phillies' Charlie Manuel will go with ace and perennial Cy Young award contender Roy Halladay. Read ahead for detailed info on the pitching match ups for games 1 and 2 as well as other key stats. Saturday, 5:07 PM. Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.39 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (19-6, 2.35 ERA). In 16 road starts this season, Lohse posted an 8-3 record with a 3.13 ERA.