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Showing posts from February, 2012

Hyatt Set to Kick Off 2012 for Phils

As exhilarating as finding out you’re starting the first game of the preseason schedule might sound, there was nothing overly dramatic about the way Austin Hyatt learned he’d be the guy who gets the 2012 campaign rolling for the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater, FL. The right-hander found out he would be pitching in Philadelphia's exhibition opener against the Florida State Seminoles via a list posted on the clubhouse wall. It was just another day of work for the 25-year-old Hyatt. Hyatt, an Eastern League All-Star last year, is excited to get a brand new season of Phillies baseball rolling. Expected to throw 2 innings, followed by a lengthy list of other pitchers that includes lefties Jake Diekman , Jeremy Horst , and Joe Savery along with right-handers J.C. Ramirez , Phillippe Aumont and B.J. Rosenberg , Hyatt expressed his high level of enthusiasm for the outing, despite the dull manner in which he discovered he’d be making the start. "It's

PN Round Table: Spring Training Excitement

This week over on PhilliesNation.com , the writing staff, including myself, answered the question, " What are you looking forward to seeing most during Spring Training ?" My focus, of course, is generally on the younger guys and minor leaguers, so I shared my thoughts on which prospect I would be most looking forward to seeing perform in Grapefruit League action. Read ahead for my answer and check out the full roundtable post over on PhilliesNation. Jake Diekman is a pitcher I am really looking forward to seeing against Grapefruit League competition this spring. The 25-year-old lefty reliever took great strides in 2011, changing his arm angle during his long toss warm up program, which helped him add some considerable velocity to his fastball, hitting 95 MPH on a regular basis. With a K/9 rate of 11.49 last year as a member of the Double-A Reading Phillies and a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League in which he held opponents to a .079 batting average in 11 appearances

Lidge and Ibanez: The Enemies

The above images feature Brad Lidge sporting the uniform of division rival Washington, while outfielder Raul Ibanez is seen rocking a different color pin stripes than folks might be used to, the New York Yankees' blue. Both pictures seem a bit odd and force me to wonder which one would bother Phillies fans more. The 35-year-old Lidge is best known for his "perfect" 2008 season, when he led the Phillies to their second ever World Series title by successfully converting all 48 saves chances in the regular and postseason. Ibanez, who will turn 40 years old in June, left the Phillies as a free agent after becoming an All-Star and patrolling leftfield for Philadelphia over the past 3 years. What is fairly stunning is that this pair that earned an estimated combined total of $24 million in 2011, will now earn a measly total of $2.1 million in base salary with their new organizations in the coming season. Such is the professional life of a pair of aging stars as they mo

Prospect Nation 2012: #6 RHP Brody Colvin

Right-handed pitcher Brody Colvin had a rather difficult time with Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2011 after making things looks easy with Class A Lakewood the previous year. After cruising through the South Atlantic League to the tune of a 6-8 record with a 3.39 ERA in 27 starts, Colvin's output took a dive with a 3-8 record and a 4.71 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) against Florida State League competition in 2010. While Colvin's overall stats with Lakewood don't scream for attention, he allowed 0 or 1 runs in 11 different starts in which he did not earn a win during the 2010 season, so it's clear that Colvin's lack of offensive support certainly impacted his win-loss record that year. As a member of the Clearwater Threshers' staff, Colvin was sidelined in the early going and spent time on the disabled list with a back injury. With some lasting effects of his ailment throughout the season, the St. Thomas More High School (LA) product had a difficult time fe

The J-Bone Zone, Vol. 2: Health, Friendships, Valle & Competition

Righty hurler Justin De Fratus , known to his brother Steven and those close to him as "J-Bone", joins us live and direct, once again, from Clearwater, FL to offer his thoughts from inside Phillies spring training. The 24-year-old reliever went 6-3 with 15 saves, a 2.99 ERA and 99 strike outs in 75 1/3 innings in his time with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year before making his Major League debut in September and holding opponents to a .083 batting average in 5 appearances. Heading forward, De Fratus, an 11th round draft choice in 2007, hopes to be an impact contributor in the Phillies bullpen for years to come. In the latest edition of The J-Bone Zone, Justin discusses sharing the big league spring training experience with close friends, the Phillies additions of veterans who might present a roadblock for younger prospects and plenty more. Read on for exclusive insider content direct from Florida. On his ailing elbow that has him sidelined from th

Prospect Nation 2012: #7 SS Freddy Galvis

Switch-hitting shortstop Freddy Galvis was previously a player who was consider strong with the leather and lacking on offense, until last season. With some significant strides in his hitting game, Galvis improved his status in the Phillies prospect ranks by a considerable margin. In 2010, The slick fielding prospect had his time in the Venezuelan Winter League cut short by the Phillies, who sent him to the organization's spring training home in Clearwater, FL to enhance his core. The two-month training session worked, as Galvis added strength which improved his throwing arm and his ability to drive the ball. Galvis had a terrific campaign during the 2011 regular season with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As a member of the R-Phils, Galvis was extremely impressive, batting .273 with a career-high 8 homeruns through 104 games. That output earned him a promotion to the IronPigs, where he batted .298 through 33 games and helped the club reach the Governor’s Cup fi

Prospect Nation 2012: #8 RHP Julio Rodriguez

Right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez has quietly become one of the Phillies ' most promising prospects in recent years. Without the hype and buzz that has surrounded other well-regarded youngsters within the Philadelphia organization, the Puerto Rican born hurler has proven himself worthy of being held in considerable regard by the Phils , their fans and talent evaluators alike. Drafted in the 8 th round of the 2008 amateur draft as a 17-year-old, Rodriguez made his professional debut that same year, throwing in 7 games with the Gulf Coast League Phillies . However, the 6-foot-4-inch 200- pounder struggled, as he sported a 12.19 ERA and a .383 batting average against. The following season, back in the GCL , Rodriguez added some strength and made some serious improvements in the GCL , posting a 1-2 record with a 3.08 ERA and a .197 batting average against in 11 games (8 starts). In 2010, as a 19-year-old, Rodriguez began the season in extended spring training, but joined th

Victorino Has Network TV Guest Spot

This week Phillies All-Star outfielder made his acting debut on the CBS television network's Hawaii Five-O program. The part was small, but that didn't make things any easier for the man known as "The Flyin' Hawaiian". Victorino told Hawaii News Now that filming the show was more stressful than playing in the World Series. ...It's something that I'm not used to doing. Obviously, playing in the game, playing in the World Series, I played the game of baseball everyday as a kid. And I just saw it as another game. I didn't think, 'Okay, I'm playing in the biggest stage of my career or my life', but I just looked at it as playing another game. So, that definitely kept my nerves down, but I'm definitely a lot more nervous now. Trust me. Check out video of Victorino's appearance below. ____________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz

De Fratus Diaries: Welcome to the J-Bone Zone

Ladies and gentlemen, join us in welcoming Phillies pitching prospect Justin De Fratus, who will be taking time this preseason to offer rare and unique glances inside spring training. De Fratus, an 11th round draft pick from 2007, has been one of Philadelphia's fastest rising relief pitchers over the past couple of seasons. After posting a combined 6-3 record with 15 saves and a 2.99 ERA at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year, De Fratus earned a promotion to the majors and appeared in 5 games for the Phillies. This year, as the 24-year-old De Fratus battles for an opening day roster spot, he'll share all sorts of thoughts and inside looks at camp in Clearwater, FL exclusively with you, Phillies Nation. Read ahead for your first dose of The J-Bone Zone. I left for Florida from my off-season home in California back in late January. I drove cross-country with my buddy Jameson and I've just been down here since then, soaking in the baseball. I got to work

Prospect Nation 2012: #9 RHP Jonathan Pettibone

Right-handed pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, a third round selection in the 2008 amateur draft, was among the excellent starting rotation with Class A Advanced Clearwater that became known as "The Baby Aces" last season. As he has taken strides to improve his skills, Pettibone has begun to earn an increased amount of recognition in the Philadelphia developmental ranks. The 6-foot-5-inch 200-pound Pettibone made his pro debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2008, recording an inning of work. The following season, the Esperanza High School (California) product joined the starting rotation for the Williamsport Crosscutters of the short-season New York-Penn League. In 9 games, Pettibone went 2-4 with a lackluster 5.35 ERA and a .261 batting average against. He was then sidelined with an injury and missed time in the latter portion of the season. In 2010, Pettibone improved his velocity and effectiveness by working closely with pitching coach Steve Schrenk to adjust his m

Phillies Set to Televise 17 Spring Home Games

Welcome to the 2012 baseball season, everyone. Today marks the date for pitchers and catchers in Phillies big league camp to report to the organization's spring home in Clearwater, FL. With new additions like Jonathan Papelbon joining the likes of fast Philadelphia legends Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the excitement level for the upcoming season is quite massive. Before too long, the full squad will report and the club will begin their Grapefruit League preseason schedule. This year, all 16 Phillies games set to be played at their home park in Florida, Bright House Field, will be televised in the Philadelphia region along with one of the two On-Deck Series games to be played at Citizens Bank Park. The spring television schedule is listed below... Saturday, March 3......1 PM......vs. Yankees.....Comcast SportsNet Monday, March 5......1 PM......vs. Yankees....The Comcast Network Wednesday, March 7......1 PM.....vs. Astros......TCN Thursday, March 8......1 PM......vs. Pirates

Prospect Nation 2012: #10 OF Jiwan James

Originally drafted as a pitcher in the 22nd round of the 2007 draft, Jiwan James was converted to an everyday player in 2009. The switch-hitter has since earned recognition as a superb athlete and a rising star within the Phillies developmental ranks. In his first season as an everyday player, James played in 30 games with short-season Class A Williamsport. As a member of the Crosscutters in the NY-Penn League, James batted .264 with a homer and 13 RBI. The following season, James helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws lock down a second straight South Atlantic League title. The 6-foot-4-inch 185-pounder shined atop the batting order for SAL champs, setting a club record 24-game hitting streak in July. In the longest season of his career to that point, James posted a .270 average with 26 doubles, 6 triples, 5 homers and 64 RBI in 133 games played. With the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers in 2011, the Williston High School (Florida) product had another good season. In 130 ga

Prospect Nation 2012: #11 OF Tyson Gillies

Having dealt with a series of significant injuries since joining the Phillies organization in the December 2009 trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, outfielder Tyson Gillies has become somewhat of an afterthought. Having only played in 31 total regular season games since joining the Philadelphia organization, the lefty batting speedster has not been able to prove himself worthy of the high praise that led to his inclusion in that deal and earned him a spot among the players in the 2009 MLB Futures Game. Growing up in British Columbia, Gillies played both hockey and baseball. However, in his teenage years, Gillies felt that it was best to choose one sport to focus on and, as determined by his size at the time, he selected baseball. As he progressed as a player, his love and passion for that great game developed along with his talents and he has never looked back. A 25th round draft selection of the Mariners in the 2006 amateur draft, Gillies began his professional career the

Prospect Nation 2012: #12 Lisalberto Bonilla

Righty hurler Lisalberto Bonilla was one of the fastest rising prospects in the Phillies organization last season. With an All-Star campaign for Class A Lakewood, the 21-year-old built on an already impressive two seasons as a pro, as he showed the world that it's not just Philadelphia's well-regarded "Baby Aces" that should have folks excited about the organization's developing young arms. The 6-foot-1-inch 170-pounder was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in December 2008. Bonilla began his professional career the following year with the Dominican Summer League team, posting a 6-2 record with a remarkable 1.41 ERA and 2 complete game shutouts in 11 starts. In 2010, Bonilla split his time between the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. As a starter in the GCL, Bonilla went 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA with 38 strike outs and 5 walks in 32 1/3 innings. After flying high, once he took a step upward, the youngster came

Prospect Nation 2012: #13 RHP Michael Schwimer

Righty hurler Michael Schwimer had another great minor league season in 2011 and earned a spot on the big league roster. With nothing left to prove in the developmental ranks, Schwimer will get a considerable look in spring training with the Phillies this year. Selected in the 14th round of the 2008 draft, Schwimer signed quickly and made his pro debut with short-season Williamsport, posting a 1.96 ERA in 22 relief outings. A year later, Schwimer skipped Class A Lakewood and began his 2009 season at Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he went 2-1 with 20 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 48 games. He earned a promotion to Reading, of the Double A Eastern League, by season's end. The Virginia native, who will turn 26-years-old next week, began the 2010 season back with Reading where he posted a 5-3 record with 11 saves, a 3.60 ERA and a .225 batting average against in 32 appearances. After a July promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Schwimer continued posting remarkable numbers, going 2-2 w

Wall of Fame Nominees Fail Fans

This past week the Phillies announced twelve nominees for the team's Wall of Fame. Annually, the Phils induct one individual that has made great contributions to the organization. Voting is being hosted at Phillies.com and will last through March 14th, as the field of options for the annual lone honoree is narrowed. Fans are able to vote for three different Phillies alumni and each vote is applied points, based on placement. A first place vote gets 5 points, a second place vote gets 3 points, and a third place vote gets 1 point. Following the deadline, the five individuals with the top point totals will be placed on the official ballot, which will be voted on by the official Wall of Fame Selection Committee, who will determine the man who will join the top names in team history in Ashburn Alley at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. Vice President of Alumni Relations, Larry Shenk, informed me in 2010 that, "The Phillies Wall of Fame Selection Committee is composed of 1

Prospect Nation 2012: #14 OF Larry Greene Jr.

The Phillies' top draft pick from 2011, Larry Greene Jr., has the type of power that already has many within the organization and around baseball buzzing. After inking his first professional contract close to the signing deadline last year, Greene Jr. has yet to play in his first organized professional contest. The power hitting outfielder from Berrien County High School in Georgia is expected to make his pro debut in just a few short months. Greene Jr., who got a $1 million signing bonus, worked out with the Gulf Coast League Phillies late in the season last year and spent some time at the Florida Instructional League as well. Despite sitting out with a groin injury, the lefty batting slugger was able to take in plenty of batting practice and put himself on display for the brass in attendance to see many of their newly drafted prospects. Already, Greene Jr. has begun to impress and has proven himself worthy of the buzz that led to him becoming the 39th overall selection in la

Mickey Morandini Interview

At last week's Phillies winter banquet stop in Lakewood, NJ, I had the opportunity to talk with former Phils player and new manager of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Mickey Morandini. The 1995 All-Star second baseman answered questions about his transition into managing at the pro level, returning to the Phillies in a full-time capacity and plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear the full interview. _________________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

Prospect Nation 2012: #15 RHP Austin Hyatt

Right-handed pitcher Austin Hyatt has been a bit of an underrated talent since joining the organization in 2009. Often considered old for each level he pitches in, Hyatt has simply excelled in his career and has recorded strong stats at every level. The University of Alabama graduate had another great season in 2011, proving to be the ace of the Double-A Reading Phillies' staff. An Eastern League All-Star, Hyatt posted an overall record of 12-6 with a 3.85 ERA and a .235 batting average against last year in 28 starts. Hyatt tallied tremendous numbers in the second half, to help his team reach the post-season. In 10 starts after the All-Star break, Hyatt posted a 5-1 record with a 2.78 ERA and a .221 batting average against. In 2011, Hyatt was focused on improving the mental side of his game. His ability to read hitters at the higher levels of the minors has certainly benefited the 6-foot-3-inch 205-pounder. Working closely with Reading pitching coach Bob Milacki on anal

Prospect Nation 2012: #16 2B Cesar Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez is a Venezuelan born infielder that was signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies at the age of 16. Since then, Hernandez has proven to be sharp on defense with some outstanding speed on the bases and a productive bat. As the 5-foot-10-inch 160-pounder has shown in recent years, he's deserving of considerable recognition as a rising infielder in the Phillies' system. Hernandez made his professional debut with the Venezuelan Summer League at the age of 17. In two seasons there, he tallied a .296 batting average with 3 HR and 45 RBI in 114 games. The current Phillies 40-man roster member played with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2009, where he batted .267 with 5 doubles and a triple in 41 games. In 2010, as a member of the NY-Penn League's (short-season Class A) Williamsport Crosscutters, Hernandez was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the club by his teammates. He proved clutch with the 'Cutters, posting a .400 average (16-for-40) wi

PhoulBallz Interview: Roman Quinn

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with the Phillies' 2nd round selection from the 2011 draft, shortstop Roman Quinn. The 18-year-old signed late and did not play in any official professional games last year, but did participate in work outs with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and spent time in the Florida Instructional League. Roman is a 5-foot-10-inch tall 170-pound switch-hitting shortstop that is highly praised for his speed and his adaptability. The exciting young talent is primed for a big year, potentially with the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. I asked Roman about various topics including his friendship with 1st round draft pick Larry Greene Jr., his off-season thus far and plenty more. Check out the full interview below. You didn't play an official game after signing with the Phillies in 2011, but you spent time around the GCL club. What was that experience like and how was it beneficial to you? I think it benefited me by seeing how fast the

Prospect Nation 2012: #17 2B Harold Garcia

Harold Garcia was signed as a free agent at the age of 17 back in 2004. The 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pounder got his professional career started with three seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League before heading to the United States to continue his ascent up the developmental ranks. In three seasons playing in the VSL, Garcia’s offensive progression was evident, as he posted batting averages that increased annually- .226, .273, .296. After arriving stateside, Garcia spent the 2008 season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, where he batted .299 with 5 homers and a .907 OPS in 50 games, leading his club to the league championship. In 2009, Garcia continued his winning ways, helping the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws lock down the South Atlantic League championship. As a member of the BlueClaws, Garcia finished third in the SAL with 42 stolen bases. He also batted .291 with 8 homers and 55 RBI with a .765 OPS in 118 games that season. At age 23 in 2010, Garcia really proved himse