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Showing posts from April, 2012

Dugan to Rehab Ankle in Clearwater

Lakewood first baseman Kelly Dugan (pictured, left) has been sent to the Phillies' spring traning home in Clearwater, FL to rehab his injured ankle. The switch-hitting Dugan has been sidelined since the Class A BlueClaws' game at Hagerstown on April 20th, when he stepped on first base awkwardly, while taking a throw on a ground out, and turned his left ankle. According to Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini, there is no time frame for a return for Dugan, but the injury is not very serious. "It's basically a twisted ankle. Once the swelling goes down and the pain goes away, he'll resume some strengthening (exercises) and he'll start running again," Morandini stated. Morandini added that Dugan spent some time in a protective boot, after suffering the injury, to limit the range of motion and to keep the swelling contained. The 21-year-old Dugan was the Phillies' top draft selection (2nd round) out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA in 20

Red Sox Prospect Barnes Shines, Earns Promotion

On Sunday, the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws got a dose of a pitcher destined for bigger things in the near future.  Following righty hurler Matt Barnes' 5 2/3, 8 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 1 ER performance for the Greenville Drive at FirstEnergy Park, the 21-year-old was reportedly promoted to Class A Advanced Salem. According to Lakewood manager, former big league All-Star Mickey Morandini, his BlueClaws haven't seen anything near the likes of Barnes in the South Atlantic League this season. "He's one of the best pitchers in the league. We knew that- we saw him when we first opened, down there in Greenville, so we knew the stuff he had and we knew it was going to be a tough game for us," Morandini said. "So far he absolutely is (the best pitcher we've faced thus far), hands down.  He obviously has a real above average fastball, he was throwing 95, 96 out there with an excellent change up.  He didn't have his real good breaking ball today, but he didn't

Cloyd Proving Himself Ready for the Next Step

Tyler Cloyd feels no heightened sense of urgency to climb the developmental ladder because of his age. The righty starter, who will turn 25-years-old on May 16th, has all but exceeded everyone’s expectations of his ceiling, clearly proving, with a very solid 2011 campaign and an exceptional first month of this season, that he can compete at the highest levels of the minor leagues. An 18th round draft selection in 2008, Cloyd made his professional debut that year, posting a 7-4 record with a 3.91 ERA in 14 outings combined with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies and short-season Williamsport. Since then, the Nebraska native has had winning records every season, while alternating between starting and relief duties. Cloyd made a considerable impact last year, following up a season in which he sported an unimpressive 5.17 ERA in 37 combined games (5 starts) with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading to serve up a 9-4 record and a 2.77 ERA overall in 2011, splittin

De Fratus Experiences Setback with Elbow

Righty reliever Justin De Fratus, who has been checking in with this site throughout his delayed 2012 campaign regarding his progress, as he recovers from an elbow ailment, has experienced a setback on his road to recovery. De Fratus told PhoulBallz.com's and PhilliesNation.com's Jay Floyd exclusively last weekend that, following a rehab appearance with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers that he would have a similar outing with Clearwater the following Wednesday.  After experiencing more discomfort with his increasingly aggressive work schedule, De Fratus was shut down by the Phillies, as a precautionary measure to avoid additional problems. Described as a strain on the flexor tendon in his throwing elbow, the ailment is expected to heal fully with rest.  The native of Oxnard, CA is expected to sit out for two weeks and will then be reevaluated for a return to an active throwing program. An 11th round draft pick in 2007, De Fratus made his Major League debut las

Series Preview: Cubs at Phillies, April 27-30

The Phillies (9-10) return from a season-long ten-game road trip to begin a four-game series against the Cubs (6-13).  While the five-time defending National League East division champion Phillies have not lived up to expectations thus far this season, the remedy could be a series against a Cubs team that has won just 1 game on the road this season. Thus far in 2012, the Phils have struggled offensively, ranking near the bottom of the list, as a team, in nearly every offensive category.  The Cubs, who rank dead last in the Major Leagues with just 7 homeruns this season, have done just as poorly, if not worse. In the series opener, the Phillies will send their ace Roy Halladay, who got just 1 run of support and took his first loss of the season in his last outing, to the mound.  The Cubs will counter with lefty Paul Maholm, who is considerably hot and cold when facing Philadelphia.  In his career against the Phils, Maholm has made 4 starts in which he has thrown at least 7 i

PhoulBallz Interview: R-Phils Manager Dusty Wathan

Former catcher Dusty Wathan is in his first season as manager of the Double-A Reading Phillies. With a group of young, talented prosects, Wathan has led his club to a 13-6 record thus far, which has the team sitting atop the Eastern League's Eastern division in first place. After his 14-year playing career, Wathan began the next leg of his career, managing, with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in the Phillies organization in 2008. Since then, the son of former Royals manager John Wathan has climbed up the Philadelphia developmental ranks, making stops with Class A Lakewood, Class A Advanced Clearwater and now Reading. As a player, Wathan was signed by Seattle in 1994 and went on to compete in the Florida, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia organizations. With the Royals, Wathan appeared in 3 big league games in 2002. This week, I sat down with Dusty to discuss the collection of well-regarded prospects that make up the R-Phils'

Pointer Leading the Way For Lakewood

A surprising name has emerged as the star performer in the lineup for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in the early going this season. With a few better known individuals sporting the ‘Claws’ white and blue this season, it’s outfielder Brian Pointer that has stood out and helped the team stay competitive in many games. Highly rated third baseman Maikel Franco , along with speedsters Gauntlett Eldemire and Aaron Altherr , as well as former top draft choice Kelly Dugan have all been outshined this year by a guy that was a virtual unknown to many. Drafted in the 28th round by the Phillies out of Galena High School in 2010, Pointer quickly signed his first pro contract and was active with the Gulf Coast League Phillies by season’s end that year. Combined in 2010 and 2011 with the GCL club, Pointer put forth some solid output, with a .278 batting average to go along with 6 HR and 25 RBI in 52 games, but it wasn’t enough to garner great attention. The new season has proven to be a bit of

Offense Down

With their losing ways, the Phillies (7-10) have quickly begun to draw negative attention, related to their lackluster offense.  As the club struggles to find a remedy (the team has used 13 different lineups, from the 1 through 8 spots, in 17 games), analysts and fans alike have begun to pick apart the club's weak efforts at the plate.  To understand just how poorly the team has performed, take a look at some noteworthy stats and rankings... The Phillies rank 29th out of 30 Major League Baseball teams in runs scored. The Phillies rank 15th out of 16 National League teams in OPS. The Phillies are 29th out of 30 MLB team in extra-base hits. There are only 2 teams in MLB with fewer homeruns than the Phillies. There is only 1 team in MLB with fewer triples than the Phillies. There are just two teams in MLB with fewer doubles than the Phillies. Carlos Ruiz's .760 OPS leads the team.  That's good enough to rank 38th in the National League. Shane Victorino's 3

Series Preview: Phillies at Diamondbacks, April 23-25

The Phillies (7-9) continue their road trip and stop in Arizona for a 3-game series against the Diamondbacks (8-8).  In a match up of pitchers that are filling in for injured teammates, the Phillies will send right-hander Kyle Kendrick to the mound, while the D-Backs will counter with lefty Wade Miley. Each hurler will be making his first start of the year as the pair fills in for Cliff Lee and Daniel Hudson respectively. Lee was placed on the disabled list on Saturday with an oblique strain, while Hudson was placed on the DL with a shoulder impingement following his last start.  The Phillies were 3-3 against Arizona last year and lost 2 of 3 games at Arizona's Chase Field in 2011. Monday, 9:40 PM.  Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12 ERA).   In 5 career games against the D-Backs, Kendrick has no decisions and a 4.56 ERA.  Miguel Montero is 4-for-6 with a double and a HR in his career against Kendrick.  In 3 career games at Chase Field, Kendrick has a

The J-Bone Zone, Vol. 8: Rehab Outings, Struggling Offense & More

Right-handed reliever Justin De Fratus has recovered from the elbow ailment that kept him out of action throughout all of spring training and has begun facing batters in minor league rehab appearances.  The Phillies' 11th round draft pick from 2007 has been checking in, on a regular basis, and providing exclusive updates directly to the fans about his road back to action at the upper levels, throughout the past several weeks, right here on PhoulBallz.com. De Fratus, 24, 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. This week, De Fratus, who has been on the disabled list for the Phillies since the season began, is back in action, appearing with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers as he works his elbow into shape in somewhat of a delayed spring training.  Thi

Weekly Developmental Roundup

With plenty of stuff going on throughout the Phillies' developmental ranks, I plan to deliver a weekly glance at various things of importance related to the organization's farm clubs. Welcome to the first edition of our weekly minor league roundup. -Right from the top we take it to Allentown, where the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs sport a 7-0 record at home and are holding down second place in the International League's North division, 1/2 game behind the Pawtucket Red Sox. 36-year-old starting pitcher Scott Elarton has been a shining star for the 'Pigs, as he has posted a 1-0 record with a 0.56 ERA while holding opponents to a .217 batting average over his first 3 starts this season.   Domonic Brown has put together 4 multi-hit games is his last 7 played. Overall, the highly rated prospect has posted a .264 batting average with 4 doubles a triple and 8 RBI in 14 games. First baseman Cody Overbeck has been the offensive star for Lehigh Valley, leadin

PhoulBallz Interview: LHP Ethan Stewart

Left-handed pitcher Ethan Stewart was drafted considerably late (47th round, 2010) by the Phillies. At three levels in the developmental ranks, the 6-foot-6-inch 210-pounder has performed like a talent that was selected much earlier. Last season in 13 combined starts with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the short season Williamsport Crosscutters, Stewart posted a 5-4 record with a 3.39 ERA while striking out 60 batters and walking 27 in 63 2/3 innings pitched. Thus far in 2012, Stewart, a native of British Columbia, is sporting a 0-1 record with a 1.10 ERA through three starts for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. He has also held opponents to a .172 batting average. Last week I spent some time with Ethan, who spoke about his pitch repertoire, getting drafted, Twitter 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

Series Preview: Phillies at Padres, April 19-22

Last year, the Phillies dominated the Padres, winning 7 of 8 games between the two clubs, including all 4 that were played in San Diego. This year, fresh off a disappointing loss Wednesday night to the Giants, despite 10 scoreless innings from Cliff Lee, the Phillies limp into Petco Park in an unfamiliar position...for the first time in nearly five years, Philadelphia has sole possession of last place in the National League East division. The Padres (3-10) are also holding down last place, in the NL West. Hoping to turn things around, the Phils (5-7) will send 24-year-old right-hander Vance Worley to the mound. Worley sports a 12-5 record and a 2.93 ERA in his big league career. San Diego will counter with 22-year-old righty Joe Wieland, who was acquired, along with pitcher Robbie Erlin, from Texas for Mike Adams last July. Read ahead for more details on the pitching match ups and loads more stats from this series. Thursday, 10:05 PM. Vance Worley (0-1, 3.75 ERA) vs. Joe Wielan

PhoulBallz Interview: SS Prospect Tyler Greene

Drafted in the 11th round last year out of West Boca Raton Community High School, shortstop Tyler Greene wasted no time signing with the Phillies, to begin his pro career. The righty hitting 19-year-old has been praised by those within the system for his athleticism and his quick bat. In his first pro season in 2011, Greene posted a .276 batting average with 6 doubles, 4 RBI and 5 steals in 17 games for the Gulf Coast League Phillies. Through 10 games this season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Greene is sporting a .206 average with 4 doubles, a homer and 4 RBI. Recently, I spoke with Tyler about being drafted last year, about his manager Mickey Morandini, about the other Tyler Greene's and more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full interview. ______________________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

PhoulBallz Interview: Gauntlett Eldemire

In the early going this season, outfielder Gauntlett Eldemire has proven to be a catalyst for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Sporting a remarkable .324/.439/.500 line along with a league leading 8 stolen bases and 11 runs scored through his first 9 professional games, the 23-year-old has helped the team get off to a 3-1 start to their first homestand. A 6th round draft choice in 2010, Eldemire was sidelined each of the seasons since then, following wrist surgeries. In the short time since he's been able to take the field at full health for the Phillies organization, the Ohio native has shown glimpses of the five tools that baseball scouts covet so much. Recently, Gauntlett took some time to answer a few questions and talk about the misdiagnosis that led to extended time on the shelf, his coaches, his draft experience and more. Check out the media player below to hear the full interview. _________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitte

Series Preview: Phillies at Giants, April 16-18

Each team will send its top hurler to the mound in the opener of a 3-games series on Monday night, although just one of the two has pitched like an ace thus far in 2012. Philadelphia's perennial Cy Young Award contender Roy Halladay will take the mound at San Francisco's AT&T Park against the Giants in game 1. Halladay is coming off two great outings against the Pirates and the Marlins to begin the season. The Giants will counter with two-time former National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum , who is fresh off the shortest outing of his career, after allowing 6 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Rockies on April 11th. This will mark the pair's first meeting in the regular season. The Phillies won 4 of 7 meetings with the Giants last season, including 3 of 4 in San Francisco. Read ahead for more details on the pitching match ups and loads more stats for this series. Monday, 10:15 PM. Roy Halladay (2-0, 0.60 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (0-1, 12.91 ERA).

BlueClaws Win with Speed and Power

LAKEWOOD- Speed, speed, speed and a little power is what the 2012 Class A Lakewood BlueClaws are all about. Aggressive base running, including four stolen bases and one massive hit helped the 'Claws lock down a romp of the Nationals affiliate Hagerstown Suns on Saturday. Two stolen bases by lead-off man Gauntlett Eldemire (pictured) along with single swipes by Aaron Altherr and Kyrell Hudson took Lakewood's stolen base total through 10 games to 25. Meanwhile, heavy hitting third baseman Maikel Franco launched a pitch from Suns reliever Alex Kreis out onto the concourse behind the grass berm in left field for a two-run homerun ( video here ) that capped a seven-run 7th inning for the BlueClaws, who downed the Suns 14-4 to the delight of a near sellout crowd of 6,880 fans. The 23-year-old Eldemire, who missed the past two seasons with wrist injuries, leads the South Atlantic League with 8 steals. The Ohio native made his official pro debut at the start of the 2012

Maikel Franco Has Power

He's a highly touted prospect that has raw power. He's a 19-year-old Dominican born that has fans in Lakewood buzzing. He's been described as the Phillies' third baseman of the future. He's Maikel Franco and he mashes taters. In the video clip below, the BlueClaws' cleanup hitter takes right-handed hurler Alex Kreis, off the Nationals' affiliate Hagerstown Suns, deep. The ball is driven beyond the grass berm in left field and onto the concourse behind it. ______________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

The J-Bone Zone, Vol. 7: Progress, Galvis & Rookie Cards

As right-handed reliever Justin De Fratus recovers from an elbow ailment that kept him out of action throughout all of spring training, the California native has been checking in, on a regular basis, and providing exclusive updates directly to the fans right here on PhoulBallz.com. 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, who was ranked 5th on the 2012 PhilliesNation.com prospect rankings , hopes to be an impact contributor in the Phillies bullpen for years to come. For Justin's most recent thoughts on his progression to full health, Phils' rookie infielder Freddy Galvis and more, read ahead and step inside the J-Bone Zone... On his progress and what the next steps will be- Everything's been great.

Series Preview: Metropolitans at Phillies, April 13-15

Entering the weekend with a Major League best 1.99 ERA, the Phillies will continue to rely on that strength as they begin a 3-game series with the division rival New York Mets. Among the most reliable hurlers for the Phils is lefty ace Cliff Lee , who will take the mound in game 1. Lee had a pair of strong outings against New York last season, allowing just 1 run over 14 total innings. The Mets will counter with right-hander R.A. Dickey . The veteran hasn't had much luck at the home park of the Phillies, posting a 0-2 record with a 6.00 ERA in 2 career starts at Citizens Bank Park. New York third baseman David Wright could miss time in the series, as he is dealing with a fracture in his right pinky finger. Wright suffered the injury sliding into a base this week. Read ahead for loads more details on the pitching match ups and plenty more stats for this series. Friday, 7:05 PM. R.A. Dickey (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (0-0, 1.50 ERA). In 6 career starts against the

Burrell to Retire as a Phillie

On Thursday the Phillies announced that Pat Burrell would sign a one-day contract with the organization and ceremonially retire as a Phillie, next month. According to a release from the Phillies: The 35-year-old will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies, thus officially retiring as a member of the organization that selected him as the very first player in the 1998 draft. He’ll be honored during pregame on Saturday, May 19, by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Burrell wore Phillies pinstripes for nine seasons and ranks fourth in club history in home runs (251), eighth in RBI (827) and ninth in extra-base hits (518). His Phillies career concluded with a World Championship in 2008. His last hit as a Phillie was a double that led to the winning run in the decisive Game 5. Since leaving Philadelphia, Burrell, who was the 1st overall draft selection by the Phils in 1998, played with both Tampa Bay and San Francisco. In his 9 seasons with the Phillies, Burrell po

Former Phils Prospect Taylor Heating Up PCL

Michael Taylor has been gone from the Phillies organization since December, 2009, when he was included in a package of players that was sent to Toronto for ace hurler Roy Halladay . Taylor was quickly flipped to Oakland in a separate trade and has had a tough time reaching and staying in the big leagues ever since. The 6-foot-5-inch 255-pound outfielder has been mashing opposing pitching in the early going this season, to the tune of a .452 batting average, through 7 games with Triple-A Sacramento. With 6 doubles, a homerun and a league leading 11 RBI, Taylor has helped lead the River Cats to a 6-1 record. Taylor, a Stanford graduate who spent this past off-season interning at a radio station in San Francisco, was the Phillies 5th round draft choice in 2007. Over the past two seasons in the Pacific Coast League, Taylor has batted .272 with 22 homers and 142 RBI in 220 games. The righty batting Taylor also sported a .200 average with 1 homerun and 1 RBI in 11 games with the At

Farm Hands Feast on Trio of Big Leaguers

While Monday didn't bring much luck for the big league Phillies, as they continued to have difficulty scoring runs and dropped their home opener to the Miami Marlins, a couple of the organization's minor league clubs didn't have much trouble making their marks against a trio of pitchers with some considerable big league ties. The Double-A Reading Phillies handled Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil , who has 66 Major League starts under his belt. Cecil went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and 5 runs (4 earned) while taking the loss for the defending Eastern League champions New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The newly slim starter, who dropped 30 pounds over the off-season, is working on pitching with his "new body" and needs to improve the sharpness of his pitches, according to New Hampshire pitching coach Tom Signore. The veteran baseball man stressed the importance of Cecil getting himself right, in an interview with PhoulBallz.com's Jay Floyd this past weekend. &qu