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Showing posts from June, 2012

Ryan Howard Rehab Notes & Quotes

Ryan Howard continued to test his recovering Achilles tendon as he rehabbed for the second time in as many nights with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws on Friday. The 32-year-old slugger has been sidelined following off-season surgery to repair the tendon he ruptured in the final at bat of the Phillies' 2011 postseason. In game action on Friday, facing highly regarded Nationals prospect Alex Meyer , who throws a fastball that ranges from 96-98 MPH, Howard went 1-for-2 with a single and a strike out. Howard played first base for five innings and looked good, moving laterally with no problems and completing the end of three different BlueClaws double plays with ease. The efforts on Friday followed his 2-for-4 effort on Thursday, in which laced two singles, hit a Sac fly and drove in three runs as the Lakewood designated hitter. Following the game on Friday, Howard told the media that he is slated to return to Lakewood for another rehab game on Saturday, in which he will again

Series Preview: Phillies at Marlins, June 29-July 1

F ollowing a 5-5 homestand, the Phillies (36-42) hit the road to begin a 3-game series against the division rival Marlins (35-40) in Miami beginning Friday night. In the series opener, Cliff Lee will take the mound, still seeking his first win of the season. At the same point last year, Lee had already notched 9 victories. The Marlins will counter with right-hander Josh Johnson , who gave up 1 run and just 2 hits over 7 innings in his latest start last Saturday against Toronto. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series. Friday, 7:10 PM. Cliff Lee (0-4, 3.72 ERA) vs. Josh Johnson (4-5, 3.96 ERA). Cliff Lee has posted a 5.19 ERA in his last 4 road starts. In 5 career starts against the Marlins, Lee has a 2-0 record with a 2.31 ERA. Lee has a 3.18 ERA in 8 night starts this season. In 15 career games against the Phillies, Johnson has a 5-4 record with a 3.68 ERA. Johnson is 3-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 9 home starts thi

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 9

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I discuss how it's Tyler Cloyd's time to join the Phillies' rotation, Double-A and Triple-A All-Stars, Cody Asche's & Harold Martinez's ascent upward in the developmental ranks and Jay's time at Fenway Park. We also took listeners questions, played the Twitter Game and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full show, or download it by clicking HERE . Additionally, click HERE to listen to previous episodes of the program. You can also subscribe on iTunes .

Recovering LHP Hernandez Experiences Setback

Left-handed pitching prospect Nick Hernandez has experienced another bump in the long road to recovery, following two years of shoulder troubles. Hernandez confirmed exclusively with PhoulBallz.com that he will require another surgery and be out of action for the remainder of the season. Hernandez, a 12th round draft selection in 2009, became an All-Star in the South Atlantic League with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws in 2010 by posting a 3-1 record with a 1.61 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 8 in 56 innings pitched. Following his exceptional start to his pro career, the 6-foot-5-inch 205-pounder began experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder and was shut down for much of the remainder of the season. He rehabbed that year, making four starts with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, but experienced recurring pain and did not return to action until the Florida Instructional League that fall. Last April, after being diagnosed with another labrum issue, rest and

Six R-Phils to Rep Baseballtown in EL All-Star Game

In a statement released in conjunction with the Eastern League, the Double-A Reading Phillies announced that six of the club's players have been named mid-season All-Stars. Among the Eastern division's representatives will be righty pitchers Justin Friend and Julio Rodriguez , along with shortstop Troy Hanzawa , second baseman Cesar Hernandez , catcher Sebastian Valle and first baseman Darin Ruf . Reading's skipper Dusty Wathan will join his six players as the Eastern All-Stars' manager. The Baseballtown All-Star Classic is set to be played at Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday, July 11 at 7:05 PM. Friend, a reliever that was acquired by the Phillies from the Oakland organization in the 2010 Rule 5 draft, has been tremendous this season. The 26-year-old sports a 2-0 record with a 0.33 ERA and 14 saves as Reading's closer. Rodriguez, an 8th round draft selection in 2008 by the Phils, has continued to develop this year. Following a season

Cloyd, Frandsen Named Triple-A All-Stars

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs will have two player representatives in the Triple-A All-Star game, when righty hurler Tyler Cloyd and infielder Kevin Frandsen head to Coca Cola Field in Buffalo, NY on Wednesday July 11th. The annual exhibition pits the best talents of the International League against the top players from the Pacific Coast League. Cloyd, who was an 18th round draft selection of the Phillies in 2008, has had an exceptional season. The 25-year-old began his 2012 campaign in Double-A with the Reading Phillies and has proven worthy of considerable recognition as he has posted 10-1 overall record with a 2.07 ERA in 15 combined starts at two levels. The Nebraska native will start the game for the IL team. Frandsen, a right-handed hitter that was signed by the Phillies as a minor league free agent prior to the 2011 season, has posted a .290 batting average with 23 doubles, 26 RBI and 28 runs scored in 74 games for the 'Pigs this year. Additionally, IronPigs manager Ryn

Utley and Howard Near Return

Second baseman Chase Utley is set to return for the Phillies after competing in a rehab outing with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Tuesday night. In the club's 10-2 win over Rochester, the five-time All-Star slapped a single and slammed a home run while striking out twice in five at bats. Utley has been out of action until recently with chondromalacia in his left knee. Prior to playing for Lehigh Valley, Utley posted a .159 batting average with one homer and five RBI in nine games with Class A Advanced Clearwater. Ultey told media members on Tuesday that he thought his overall progress was not reflected in the statistical totals he tallied in his minor league rehab outings. "I actually swung the bat a little bit better than the numbers showed down in Clearwater," Utley said. The Phillies must make a move to add Utley to the active 25-man roster on Wednesday. The most likely candidate to make room would be utility man Michael Martinez , who is batting .

Clearwater Facilities Flooded by Storm

Tropical Storm Debby swept through Florida this weekend and impacted the home of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Brighthouse Field. In these images tweeted by rehabbing Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus , the flooding left by the heavy rains can be seen. With lingering effects of Debby expected to continue to drop moisture on Florida through Monday, it is unclear exactly how the team's schedule will be affected, as the Threshers are on the road until Thursday. The Gulf Coast League Phillies, who also play in Clearwater, have home games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The GCL team plays most of its games on the neighboring Carpenter Complex field. Reportedly, other ballparks in the region were affected in similar fashion as well. De Fratus, a right-hander, who is recovering from a strain in his throwing elbow, threw from a mound on Thursday and Saturday and is progressing well. The 24-year-old De Fratus is feeling just fine and is happy to be taking his

Series Preview: Pirates at Phillies, June 25-28

While the Phillies (34-40) struggle, trying to get on any sort of roll, they'll host the Pirates (38-33) in a 4-game series beginning Monday night at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. Fresh off being swept in a double header by Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Philllies, who are the reigning five-time National League East division champions, are currently sitting in last place. Meanwhile, the Pirates, who haven't had a winning record since 1992, sit just 1 game back of the Reds for the top spot in the NL Central division. The Phillies swept the Pirates in three games last season at Citizens Bank Park. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other statistical info on this series. Monday, 7:05 PM. Jeff Karstens (0-1, 4.50) vs. Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04 ERA). The right-handed Karstens will be returning from the disabled list, as he has been sidelined since April with a shoulder strain. In 6 career games against the Phillies, Karstens has no decisions and a 3.09 ERA.

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 8

It's another edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast with Jay and Tug. On this week's episode we talk about Double-A pitcher David Buchanan 's injury, the MLB All-Star Futures Game selections, the Williamsport Crosscutters and tales from Lakewood, including the reveal of which BlueClaws player asked pro wrestling legend Bret "the Hitman" Hart the most awkward question ever. We also play the Twitter game and much more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full show, or download it by clicking HERE . Additionally, click HERE to listen to previous episodes of the program. You can also subscribe on iTunes .

Series Preview: Rays at Phillies, June 22-24

After failing to capitalize on a chance to complete a sweep of the lowly Rockies on Thursday night, the Phillies (33-38) will return to interleague competition as the Rays (38-31) visit Philadelphia in a rematch of the 2008 World Series. In the three-game series opener, Phillies Ace Cliff Lee will continue his quest for that elusive first win of the season. Tampa Bay will counter with righty James Shields , who notched the only win for the Rays in in that '08 Fall Classic. The Phillies and Rays have not faced each other since 2009, when the Phils dropped two of three contests at Tampa Bay. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other stats on this series. Friday, 7:05 PM. James Shields (7-4, 3.72 ERA) vs Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.48 ERA). In 7 road starts this season, Sheilds has a 5-2 record with a 3.72 ERA. Shields has a 1-3 record with a 3.99 ERA in his last 6 starts. Placido Polanco is 8-for-17 (.471 avg) with 2 doubles and 2 HR in his career against Shield

Rodriguez, Bonilla to Rep Phils in Futures Game

On Thurs day, Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game to be held on Sunday, July 8th in Kansas City. Two righty hurlers from Double-A Reading will represent the the Phillies in the 14th annual event that coincides with yearly All-Star festivities. Puerto Rican born Julio Rodriguez and Dominican Republic native Lisalverto Bonilla , have been named to the World team. Rodriguez, the 6-foot-4-inch 230-pounder is the lesser-known of the Phils' group of Baby Aces. Through 13 starts this season, Rodriguez has a 4-1 record with a 2.81 ERA and a .220 batting average against while averaging 8.67 strike outs per 9 innings. He was ranked as the 8th best prospect in the organization by PhilliesNation.com earlier this year. Bonilla, a 6-foot-1-inch 165-pounder who began the season with Class-A Advanced Clearwater, has tallied some impressive stats as well. Combined at the two levels this season, Bonilla has a 3-2 record with 2 saves, a 1.95 E

PhoulBallz Interview: OF Prospect Kyrell Hudson

Class A Lakewood outfielder Kyrell Hudson hasn't had the type of season that many had expected after he became an All-Star last season with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters. Thus far in 2012, the 21-year-old has posted a .202/.262/.271 line over 56 games. It's not unusual for Hudson to have a rough time at the plate. The Phillies' 2009 third round draft pick posted a .171 batting average in his first two pro seasons, combined with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and with Williamsport in 2009 and 2010. Hudson appeared to come on strong last season, when he sported a .275 batting average 1 HR, 18 RBI and 28 steals in his second campaign with the 'Cutters. Unfortunately for the Oregon native, that strong output hasn't continued. Recently, I spoke with Kyrell about how he copes with offensive struggles, his manager Mickey Morandini, the pressures of being a high draft pick and plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear the full interview.

Nats' Johnson Was Right to Rat on Peralta

It's a rarity that I include opinions here on the site, but the much-talked-about Joel Peralta ejection on Tuesday night has me itching to put my thoughts out there. If you missed it, Tampa Bay Rays reliever Joel Peralta was ejected from Tuesday's contest against his former club, the first-place Washington Nationals, prior to ever throwing a pitch in the game. Nationals manager Davey Johnson asked the umpiring crew to check Peralta's glove for a foreign substance and pine tar was found. Clearly, Johnson knew of the pitcher's tendency to utilize the sticky material, which is acceptable for batters but banned for pitchers. Rays manager Joe Maddon was beyond angry over the situation, using vulgar language to describe what he thought was an uncool maneuver. "It was kind of a p***y move to go out there and do that under those circumstances. I like the word p***y move," Maddon was quoted as saying, following the Rays' 5-4 victory over the Nats. He added tha

Galvis Suspended 50 Games for Banned Substances

News broke on Tuesday afternoon that Phillies rookie infielder Freddy Galvis had been suspended for 50 games after he tested positive for metabolite of Clostebol, which is a performance-enhancing substance. Clostebol is a clear violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately for the 22-year-old, who was already out of action due to a back injury. It is unclear when the positive test result was discovered. Galvis, a native of Venezuela, issued the following statement: "A trace amount of a banned substance -- 80 parts in a trillion -- was detected in my urine sample. I am extremely disappointed in what has transpired. I cannot understand how even this tiny particle of a banned substance got into my body. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance. I have always tried to follow the team's strength and conditioning methods, listen to the trainers, work out hard and eat right. U

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Prospect Colin Kleven

Righty hurler Colin Kleven is having a remarkable season for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. The British Columbia native has been the 'Claws' most reliable starter, posting a 4-5 record with a 3.80 ERA in 13 starts. The 21-year-old has stood out so well that he was named as Lakewood's lone representative in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. Kleven was drafted in the 33rd round by the Phillies in 2010. He struggled upon making his pro debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies that season, as he tallied a 0-5 record and a 7.04 ERA. He improved greatly in 2011, when he sported a 4-6 record and a 4.84 ERA in 14 starts for the short-season A level Williamsport Crosscutters. The 6-foot-6-inch 225-pounder is set to represent the BlueClaws in the SAL All-Star Game, on Tuesday night at Charleston, SC's Riley Park, home of the Yankees affiliate Riverdogs. I spoke with Colin recently about his pitch repertoire, his recent success, getting drafted by the Phillies an

Series Preview: Rockies at Phillies, June 19-21

Beginning on Tuesday night, the Phillies (31-37) and the Rockies (25-40) will begin a three-game series that will enable the remainder of Major League Baseball to continue inter-league play. The odd teams out will be the only teams not facing an opponent from the opposite league. Last season the Phillies won 4 of 5 meetings with the Rockies. Overall, the Phils have also taken 20 of the past 24 meetings with Colorado. For a review of the pitching match ups and other details on this series, read ahead. Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Josh Outman (0-2, 8.44 ERA) Cole Hamels (9-3, 3.34 ERA). Outman, a former Phillies farm hand, has faced the Phils just once, taking a loss when he allowed 3 earned runs in 6 innings. Outman, a lefty, will be starting his 4th game of the season. Hamels has a 6.07 ERA over his last 4 starts. In 3 career regular season starts against Colorado, Hamels has a 1-1 record with a 5.09 ERA. In 7 home starts this season, Hamels has a 4-3 record with a 3.26 ERA. Wednesday,

Pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller talks prospects

In place of our usual weekly minor league review where we glance at statistics of players that are on a roll or ones that are performing in the opposite manner, we'll let an inside man have a go at providing information on some Phillies prospects of importance. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gorman Heimueller, the Phillies' minor league pitching coordinator. Heimueller, who has been the Phils' minor league pitching coordinator since 2002, pitched 14 seasons as a pro, including parts of two with the Athletics. Prior to his current position, Heimueller was a pitching coach at the Double-A and Triple-A level for the Phillies. On Saturday, Heimueller offered his thoughts on several young hurlers in the organization's developmental system. Those quotes lie ahead. On Class A Lakewood RHP Colin Kleven , who is the team's lone South Atlantic League All-Star representative... "His career, the way he's come, from when we drafted him, he

Series Preview: Phillies at Blue Jays, June 15-17

Inter-league play continues with a battle between the National League's and the American League's East division basement dwellers, as the Phillies (31-34) head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays (31-32) in a three-game series beginning Friday night. The Phillies won 2 of 3 meetings with the Blue Jays in a series played at Toronto's Rogers Centre last season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other statistical info on this series. Friday, 7:07 PM. Vance Worley (3-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Drew Hutchison (5-3, 4.66 ERA). Worley is 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 5 road starts this season. Opponents are batting .240 against Worley in 2012. The righty, Hutchison, is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 4 home starts this season. Hutchison was Toronto's 15th round draft pick in 2009. Saturday, 1:07 PM. Cliff Lee (0-3, 3.18 ERA) vs. Ricky Romero (7-1, 4.15 ERA). In 10 career starts against the Blue Jays, Lee has a 2-5 record with a 4.23 ERA. Lee is 0-2 with a 4.54 ERA in

The Strange Timeline of Domonic Brown

With reports of another injury to Domonic Brown , the usual high hopes for the prized Phillies outfield prospect have taken another dip in the waters of woe. In recent years, the toolsy Brown has had many ups and downs as he has tried to rise to the highest level of baseball and stay there. Here's a look at some key moments in his so-far frustrating career. June 6, 2006 - Brown is selected in the 20th round of the MLB amateur draft by the Phillies out of Redan High School in GA. Brown signs his first pro contract one week later. August 6th, 2006 - Brown hits his first professional HR for the Gulf Coast League Phillies. 2007 - Led the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters in hits (84), average (.295), SB (14) and games played (74). 2008 - Led the Class-A full season Lakewood BlueClaws in hits (129), runs (77) and SB (22). 2009 - Named a mid-season All-Star for the Class A Advance Clearwater Threshers. In 66 games there, Brown batted .303 with 11 HR and 44 RBI before earni

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 7

We're back with another brand new edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast. This week, Tug and I talked about the progress of RHP Colby Shreve , Trevor May 's DJ gig the R-Phils game last Saturday, Brian Gump 's progress as a pitcher, the Charlotte Knights (Triple-A White Sox), the short-season Crosscutters' season beginning, R-Phils closer Justin Friend and BlueClaws OF Kyrell Hudson . We also provide updates on the Clearwater Threshers, including exclusive info on LHP Mario Hollands , first baseman Jim Murphy , along with notes on rehabbing Phillies, plus the progress of RHP Justin De Fratus ' elbow. Click HERE to download this episode. You can also listen to the show with the media player below. In addtion, find a backlog of episodes HERE . You can also subscribe on iTunes by clicking HERE .

Shreve showing promise despite rocky AA debut

It wasn’t the debut Colby Shreve wanted to make at the Double-A level. On Thursday, fresh off the excitement of his second promotion of the season, the 24-year-old surrendered three hits and walked three batters, while letting up six runs (five of those earned) in two-thirds of an inning, in relief for the Reading Phillies. The disappointment was far greater than he had felt at any point on the pitcher’s mound, but Shreve knew that he would bounce back and prove himself worthy of competing in the Eastern League and beyond. Following six outings with Class A Lakewood early this season, the right-handed Shreve, sporting a 3.60 ERA and 9.6 strike outs per nine innings, was promoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater. Shreve then sported a 2.25 ERA and an 8.55 K/9 mark in 13 outings for the Threshers while recording two saves. Last week, the Southern Nevada Community College product then took another step upward and didn’t make the kind of splash he hoped for. His initial outing for the R-P