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Showing posts from July, 2012

Series Preview: Phillies at Nationals, July 31-August 2

On the last day of the non-waiver trading deadline, the Phillies (45-57) are all set to take whatever players might remain on the roster and begin a three-game series against the Nationals (61-40). With rumors of last minute deals running rampant, the only thing players like Hunter Pence , Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre can do is wait to learn which uniform they'll be wearing in the coming days. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical notes from this series. Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.95 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.76 ERA). In his career against the Nationals, Lee has posted a 3-2 record with a 2.89 ERA and a .257 batting average against. Lee has a 1-2 record with a 3.54 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Danny Espinosa is 7-for-10 (.700 avg) with a double and 3 HR in his career against Lee. Strasburg has no decisions and a 3.48 ERA in 2 career starts against the Philles. In 9 home starts this year, Strasbur

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Tyler Knigge

Right-handed relief pitching prospect Tyler Knigge is slowly adapting to the Double-A level after being promoted recently from Class A Advanced Clearwater. Following more than three months in the Florida State League, during which he became an All-Star while sporting a 4-1 record with nine saves and a 0.60 ERA, the 23-year-old Knigge has hit a rough stretch as a member of the Reading Phillies. In eight games since his promotion, the Lewis-Clark State College product has tallied a save and a 6.48 ERA. Knigge was the Phillies' 12th round selection in the 2010 amateur draft. Last year, in his first full season as a pro, the 6-foot-3-inch 225-pounder posted a 4-3 record with four saves and a 3.32 ERA in 43 outings. Recently, I spoke with Tyler, just prior to his difficult period, about the differences in his approach this season, his time with the big league Phillies during spring training, playing in Reading and plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear the full inte

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 12

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I discuss the progression of righty hurler Jonathan Pettibone , Cody Asche 's potential, Tyson Gillies ' troubles and some injury updates. Also, we talk about Cole Hamels ' extension, John Mayberry Jr.'s unique place in my media career, Bryce Harper and tons more. Check out the media player below to hear 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: Phillies at Braves, July 27-29

With their newly extended lefty ace in tow, the Phillies (45-54) hit the road and visit the Braves (54-44) to begin a three-game set on Friday night at Turner Field in Atlanta. This week, the Phils signed their three-time All-Star and former World Series Most Valuable Player Cole Hamels to a six-year $144 million pact. Hamels was the team's 1st round draft selection back in 2002 and he'll start the series opener. The Phillies will begin the road trip without third baseman Placido Polanco , who was placed on the disabled list with back inflammation, retroactive to July 23rd. International League hit leader Kevin Frandsen was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill Polanco's void on the big league roster. Read ahead for information on the pitching match ups and plenty more details for this series. Friday, 7:35 PM. Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.23 ERA) vs. Ben Sheets (2-0, 0.00 ERA). In his last 5 starts, Hamels is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA. Hamels has a 6-1 record with

LHP Hoby Milner Interview Excerpts

Left-hander hurler Hoby Milner was selected by the Phillies in the 7th round of this year's amateur draft out of the University of Texas. In his time thus far in the pros, the 21-year-old Milner has posted a 2-2 record with a 4.55 ERA in seven combined games with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters and the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Recently, I authored a feature detailing how Milner and former Big 12 Conference rival Josh Ludy (8th round draft choice this year) have begun to bond as battery mates with the BlueClaws. Check out that piece by clicking here . In addition, I spoke with Milner about his pitch repertoire, signing with the Phillies, which players he looked up to while growing up and plenty more. Listen to the interview by using the media player below. _________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

OF Prospect James is Humble & Focused

In the Reading Phillies' home game against Bowie (Baltimore affiliate) on Saturday, June 14th, outfielder Jiwan James put forth an effort that resulted in one of the plays of the year. In the 3rd inning, James approached the outfield wall and leaped to rob the Baysox' Jonathan Schoop of a home run. In the process, James' mitt landed behind the wall, while the ball was next seen in James' bare hand, after he fell to the ground on his back. James drew national attention with the remarkable catch ( seen here ) that displayed great athleticism, determination and luck. Despite a nagging injury that has hindered his progress at the Double-A level this year, James has proven to be a tough player that can make an impact on any given day. Originally drafted in the 22nd round of the 2007 draft as a pitcher, James, who was converted to an everyday player in 2009 after dealing with an arm injury, isn't normally a very big fan of the sort of attention that his catch garnered

Report: Hamels to Sign Six-Year Deal with Phils

FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal reported late Tuesday night that the Phillies and lefty hurler Cole Hamels were close to finalizing a contract good for six-years and more $137.5 million. Hamels, a three-time All-Star and 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player, was originally selected by the Phils in the first round (17th overall) in the 2002 amateur draft. Rosenthal points out that the proposed contract would make Hamels the second highest paid starting pitcher ever, trailing just CC Sabathia 's 7-year/$161 million contract signed with the Yankees in 2008. Expect more details of this signing to be unveiled on Wednesday. **Update, 11:15 AM** Everything appears to be final with Hamels deal, as reports now have his contract at 6-years, $144 million and with a vesting option that could bring the deal to 7-years and over $160 million. Check out PhilliesNation.com for up to the minute details on everything Phils related.

Phillies Nation TV: Talking Brown, Gillies & Sandberg

It's a brand new edition of Phillies Nation TV featuring yours truly talking about the Phils' developmental system. Topics include Domonic Brown 's current health concerns, Tyson Gillies ' suspension and Ryne Sandberg's future as a manager. Hosted by Phillies Nation's Pat Gallen and Corey Seidman, this episode features the guys talking about ace hurler Cole Hamels and discussing which Phils players should go in a game of "Deal or No Deal". In addition, Natalie Egenolf and Ian Riccaboni are in the mix as well. Check out the media player below to see the latest show in its entirety. ______________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

Series Preview: Brewers at Phillies, July 23-25

The Phillies (42--54) continue their homestand on Monday when they host the Milwaukee Brewers (44-50) for a three-game series. Of late, the Phillies have struggled at home, as they have not won back-to-back games at Citizens Bank Park since June 26th. Additionally, the Phillies are a league worst 18-29 at home this year. In 7 meetings with the Brewers last year, the Phils were victorious on 4 occasions, but dropped 2 of 3 in Philadelphia. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more statistical info on this series. Monday, 7:05 PM. Randy Wolf (3-6, 5.60 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (4-5, 3.96 ERA). Wolf has a 1-2 record with a 6.86 ERA in 8 road outings this season. In 29 career starts at Citizens Bank Park, Wolf has an 11-7 record with a 4.09 ERA. Wolf's win in his last outing, when he allowed 2 earned runs in 6 2/3 innings against St. Louis, was his only victory since April. In 4 career starts against the Brewers, Halladay is 2-2 with a 4.88 ERA. Hall

PhoulBallz Interview: Cody Asche

Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche is having a noteworthy campaign is his first full pro season. A 4th round draft pick in 2011 out of the University of Nebraska, Asche has certainly become a fast rising player in the Phils' system. The lefty hitting Asche made his pro debut last year as a member of the short-season Williamsport Crosscutter, posting a .192 average with 2 HR and 19 RBI in 68 games while manning second base. This year, the 6-foot-1-inch 180-pounder skipped a level and began the season at Class-A Advanced Clearwater, where he batted .349 with 13 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 25 RBI en route to being named a Florida State League All-Star. In addition, Asche's excellent efforts earned him a promotion to Double-A Reading, where his offensive output (.200 avg, 3 HR, 14 RBI in 27 games) has taken a bit of a dip. Recently, I spoke with Cody about his progress, his coaches, playing in front of Phillies fans and more. Check out the media player b

R-Phils Notes & Quotes, 7/20/12

With Thursday's 1-0 loss at Trenton, Reading has been shut out for three consecutive games. It is the first such streak since April, 2005. In addition, the R-Phils are just 3-12 in July, after ending June 1.5 games up in first place in the Double-A Eastern League's Eastern division. On the club's offensive struggles of late, manager Dusty Wathan (pictured) had the following to say: "I think (the struggles) would have been (of great concern) if we hadn't seen some adjustments made. I think (Thursday's) ball game, we did a nice job with our bats all the way from top to bottom, for the most part. We gave ourselves some chances to score some runs. It was just one of those things in baseball where you can't get the big hit. I think if you had talked to me a week ago, I would have been a little bit frustrated with the way our approach is at the plate. But, I think we've made some nice adjustments and I think it'll come, with patience. I think

Series Preview: Giants at Phillies, July 20-22

The National League West division leading Giants (51-41) head to Philadelphia this weekend to take on the Phillies (41-52) in a 3-game series. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other statistical info on this series. Friday, 7:05 PM. Tim Lincecum (3-10, 5.93 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (5-5, 3.47 ERA). In 10 road starts this season, Lincecum has a 1-6 record with a 9.00 ERA. Hunter Pence is 5-for-29 (.172 avg) in his career against Lincecum. In 2 career regular season starts against the Giants, Worley has a 2-0 record and a 2.25 ERA. Worley has a 2-2 record with 4.07 ERA in 7 home starts this season. Saturday, 4:05 PM. Matt Cain (10-3, 2.56 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.07 ERA). In 8 career regular season starts, Cain has posted a 1-4 record with a 3.42 ERA. Cain has a 1-1 record with a 3.37 ERA in his last 4 starts. Hamels has a 5-3 record with a 2.76 ERA and a .228 BAA in 9 home starts this season. In his last 4 starts, Hamels is 1-1 with a 2.48 ER

R-Phils' Gillies Suspended for Violation of Team Rules

Shortly before the Reading Phillies' road contest against the Trenton Thunder on Thursday night, the team announced that often injured outfielder Tyson Gillies had been suspended for violation of team rules. The 23-year-old British Columbia native returned this week after suffering a concussion in a collision with fellow outfielder Jiwan James back in May. In two games after being activated from the disabled list, Gillies went a combined 4-for-7. Overall in 44 games this season for Double-A Reading, Gillies, who was acquired from Seattle in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade, posted a .291 average with seven doubles, six triples, two home runs and 16 RBI in 44 games. Additionally, Gillies, who stands 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs 205 pounds, went 2-for-5 in two rehab outings with the Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws. According to a team source, Gillies' suspension is indefinite. Reading manager Dusty Wathan stated that while the issue is described as a violation of team rules,

Josh Ludy Interview Excerpts

Catcher Josh Ludy was selected by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Baylor University. In his time thus far in the professional ranks, the 22-year-old Ludy has tallied a .304 batting average with 5 doubles, a triple and 7 RBI in 13 games. Recently, I posted a feature about Ludy and former Big 12 Conference rival lefty pitcher Hoby Milner (Phillies 7th round draft selection) transitioning from opponents to teammates with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Check that piece out by clicking here . In addition to speaking about that subject, Josh took some time to offer his thoughts on how college ball prepared him for pro baseball, getting drafted and signing with the Phillies, plus plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear excerpts from my interview with Josh. ___________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE .

College Rivals Bonding as Teammates for Lakewood

Rivals in college, two Phillies draft picks from this year have paired up as battery mates with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. University of Texas product Hoby Milner (pictured, right) and Baylor graduate Josh Ludy regularly faced off, in one of college baseball's top conferences, but now they must rely on one another to advance in the pros. Milner, the son of former Major League catcher Brian Milner, earned honors as a second team All-Big 12 Conference representative this season, when he posted a 7-4 record with three saves and a 2.64 ERA in 34 games for the Longhorns. According to Milner, the transition from facing Ludy to taking signs from him has been a welcome one. "I'm glad he's behind the plate and not at the plate, hitting," Milner said with relief. "I mean, he's a great hitter and he's a good catcher too. He hit a 480-foot home run off of me in the last conference series of the year. The next (time) I faced him, I intentionally walked

Series Preview: Phillies at Dodgers, July 16-18

The Phillies (39-51) continue their road trip when they begin a three-game series against the Dodgers (48-42) on Monday night. Both teams are have a rough go of it in July, as the Phillies won consecutive games for the first time this month on Sunday, when they clinched a series victory against the Rockies, their first since taking two of three games from Pittsburgh nearly three weeks earlier. Meanwhile, the Dodgers, who are in second place in the National League West division, have lost five of their last six games and have average just 2.35 runs per game in their last 17 contests. The Phillies won all three games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles last season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more statistical information on this series. Monday, 10:10 PM. Joe Blanton (7-8, 4.98 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-5, 4.21 ERA). In 5 career regular season starts against the Dodgers, Blanton has a 1-0 record with a 3.52 ERA. Over his last 4 starts, Blanton is 1-2

Weekly Minor League Wrap Up, 7/16/12

It's time for another edition of our semi-weekly minor league round up, where we take a look at some top performers from each team. Venezuelan Summer League Phillies- Shortstop Deiber Olivera has been on fire for the VSL club. Through 42 games this season, the 5-foot-11-inch 155-pounder has posted a .400 batting average (2nd in the league) with 15 doubles, 2 triples and 26 RBI. The 19-year-old righty hitter was signed by the Phillies in May 2011. Left-handed hurler Douglas Parada , who threw a 9-inning no-hitter on Saturday, has a 7-0 record with a 0.69 ERA through 11 starts with the VSL Phils. The 19-year-old has struck out 63 and walked just 7 in 65 2/3 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .158 batting average against. Last year in the same league, Parada posted a 5.40 ERA with 4 strike outs and 4 walks in 5 relief outings. Dominican Summer League Phillies- Righty hurler Jorge Serrano has posted a 1-0 record and a 1.08 ERA over his past three starts. The 18-ye

Minor League Notes: James & Parada Take Over

It was the talk of Twitter on Saturday night and clinched top play status on ESPN and Comcast SportsNet...Reading Phillies outfielder Jiwan James climbed the wall at FirstEnergy Park to rob Bowie second baseman Jonathan Schoop of a home run. See the video below. Pretty remarkable, as James loses his mitt over the wall and retrieves the ball with his bare hand! Was it a trap? Ahh, who cares?! That effort was simply outstanding. Susquehanna Bank should hook Jiwan up with an endorsement bonus of some kind for all the exposure their ad is getting thanks to his athleticism. Also on Saturday, lefty pitcher Douglas Parada tossed a complete game no-hitter for the Phillies' Venezuelan Summer League team, striking out 14 batters and walking none in nine innings against the Rays' club. The victory takes the 19-year-old Parada's record to a remarkable 7-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.69 on the season, through 11 starts. At 38-16, the Phillies team holds the top spot in the

De Fratus & Brown Rehab, Knigge Speaks

On Friday, two players that could potentially provide some help to the big league Phillies roster this season were in action with the organization's Gulf Coast League club, rehabbing their injuries. Right-handed reliever Justin De Fratus (elbow strain) and outfielder Domonic Brown (knee sprain) both looked good in their efforts down Florida. De Fratus, who threw a scoreless frame for the GCL Phils on Friday while striking out two and allowing no baserunners, says that everything feels good and that he is slated to pitch again on Monday with the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers. De Fratus last pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday, in his first official game action since April. At this stage, the 24-year-old is taking his progress on an appearance-by-appearance basis, as the Phillies plan to make sure each outing goes well, without any setbacks, before they make decisions on each subsequent appearance. Additionally, Brown went 2-for-5 on Friday with two doubles and a

Series Preview: Phillies at Rockies, July 13-15

The second half of the season kicks off this weekend when the last place Phillies (37-50), who have high hopes of turning their season around, visit Colorado's Coors Field and take on the Rockies (33-52), in a 3-game series. Colorado is also in last place in the National League West division. Champions of the N.L. East division in each of the past five years, the Phillies' record is the worst it has been at the All-Star Break since 1997, when the club possessed a 24-61 record. The Phillies won four of five meetings with the Rockies last season, including all three in Colorado. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more statistical notes from this upcoming series. Friday, 8:40 PM. Cliff Lee (1-5, 3.98 ERA) vs. Christian Friedrich (4-6, 5.98 ERA). In 8 road starts this season, Lee has posted a 1-1 record with a 3.95 ERA. Lee is 1-2 with a 6.07 ERA over his last 4 starts. Michael Cuddyer is 10-for-33 (.303 avg) with 3 doubles and 3 HR in his car

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 11

On this week's brand new edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I talk about the excellent campaign Leandro Castro is having, and we provide injury updates on Kyrell Hudson , Tyson Gillies as well as Lisalverto Bonilla . Also, we have an update on Brian Gump 's conversion to pitching, the Twitter Game returns and I share some exclusive quotes from Tyler Knigge on his well-deserved promotion to Double-A Reading. Check out the media player below to hear 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 .

The Departed: Ex-Phils Prospect Review

In recent seasons, the Phillies have parted ways with a considerable collection of well-regarded prospects in efforts to acquire established big league players. As time passes, those young players get closer to contributing for their new organization at the highest level and some are already doing so. As this year's trade deadline approaches, here’s a glance at how many of those former Phils’ farm hands have performed throughout the pros thus far in 2012. Jonathan Singleton , 1B, traded to Houston in the 2011 Hunter Pence deal- In 82 games with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, the 20-year-old has posted a .271 batting average with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 12 HR and 49 RBI. Jarred Cosart , RHP, also dealt in the Pence trade- In 13 starts for Corpus Christi, the righty hurler is sporting a 4-5 record with a 3.91 ERA and a .273 batting average against. Cosart, 22, made 1 start for Triple-A Oklahoma City in May, allowing 4 earned runs in 6 innings of work. Overall in 79 2/3 inn

Rehabbing De Fratus, Brown & Gillies Make Progress

hile the nation was focused on the big league All-Star Game on Tuesday, some noteworthy rehab activity was going on in the minor for the Phillies. Reliever Justin De Fratus , top prospect Domonic Brown and minor league outfielder Tyson Gillies all saw game action, after some lengthy absences from the diamond. Firstly, with the Gulf Coast League Phillies completed a suspended game from Monday by downing the Blue Jays team 5-4 in the morning hours. Following that, in a shortened seven-inning affair that the Phils won 7-3, right-hander Justin De Fratus (pictured, right) started and threw a scoreless inning, allowing a hit while striking out one batter. De Fratus has been sidelined with a strained flexor tendon in his throwing elbow. The 24-year-old had previously thrown a simulated game on Saturday, which was his first time facing hitters since April 22nd, when he threw for Class A Advanced Clearwater. De Fratus, the Phillies' 11th round draft pick in 2007, made his big