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Showing posts from August, 2012

Series Preview: Phillies at Braves, August 31-September 2

A pair of division rivals face off this weekend as the Phillies (62-69) travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves (74-57) in a 3-game series beginning Friday night at Turner Field. In the opener, the Phils will send ace right-hander Roy Halladay, who is 0-1 with an 8.74 ERA in 2 starts against the Braves this year, to the mound. Atlanta will counter with 2009 1st round draft selection Mike Minor, who has won just once in his past 5 home starts. Read ahead for more details on the pitching match ups and loads of key statistics from this series. Friday, 7:35 PM. Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71 ERA). Halladay has posted a 4-1 record with a 2.75 ERA over his last 5 starts. On the road this season, Halladay is 3-4 with a 4.31 ERA in 9 starts. In 5 career starts at Turner Field, Halladay is 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA and a .259 batting average against. Chipper Jones is 10-for-19 (.526 avg) with 3 doubles and 3 HR in his career against Halladay. Minor, a lefty, has a 1-2 re

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 16

We're back with another brand new edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast. On episode 16, Tug and I discuss the unreal seasons of Darin Ruf and Tyler Cloyd along with recent big league promotions for Cloyd, Phillippe Aumont and Steven Lerud . Also, we review the Reading Eagle's recent prospect ranking survey, September call-up possibilities, playoff chances for the Phils' minor league clubs and we play The Twitter Game. Check out the media player below to hear the full show, or download it by clicking HERE . You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes .

Dugan Enjoying Success, Focused on Future

Injuries and setbacks have prevented former Phillies top draft choice Kelly Dugan from becoming a highly regarded prospect for the organization in recent years. Dealing with hamstring problems, a severe ankle sprain and a troublesome staph infection has held the 6-foot-3-inch 195-pounder down, somewhat, in his pro career. Moving forward, though, Dugan is focused on taking strides and making an impact at as many levels of baseball as he possibly can. The 21-year-old has posted remarkable numbers over the second half of this season for Class A Lakewood. Sporting a .324 average with six home runs and 37 RBI in 64 games since the South Atlantic League All-Star break, entering action on Wednesday, has helped the young outfielder and occasional first baseman to finally show why he was regarded so highly three years ago, when the Phillies selected him in the second round of the MLB amateur draft. Avoiding injury setbacks is key for all players, but Dugan's level of confidence has spi

Phillies Nation TV: Talking Cloyd, Ruf, Hernandez & More

On the latest episode of Phillies Nation TV, Corey Seidman serves as host and welcome PN writers Eric Seidman, Ian Riccaboni and me, Jay Floyd, to discuss all the latest happenings in the Phillies organization and around baseball. The program kicks off with discussion about the Phillies' wild card chances and in segment two, Corey and I chat about three young players that have had bust-out 2012 seasons in Darin Ruf , Tyler Cloyd , Cesar Hernandez . Later, the guys also field viewer questions, talk about the big Red Sox-Dodgers trade and plenty more. Check out the media player below to see the full episode.

Cloyd Gets the Call, Honored Along with Ruf

It took an illness to the team's ace, but Triple-A right-hander Tyler Cloyd has finally gotten the call to the big leagues. With the news that lefty Cole Hamels (14-6, 2.99 ERA) will miss his scheduled start on Wednesday against the Mets, due to a gastrointestinal issue, the Phillies have purchased the contract of Cloyd, the Triple-A Lehigh Valley standout who was named the International League's Most Valuable Pitcher on Tuesday. Cloyd, the Phillies 18th round draft selection in 2008, had posted a combined 15-1 record with a 2.26 ERA in 26 combined starts at Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley. The 25-year-old Cloyd was named as an IL All-Star this season as well. Hamels is expected to make his next start during the Phillies' upcoming weekend series in Atlanta. To read my feature on Cloyd from earlier this season, click this link . To hear excerpts from my interview with Tyler Cloyd, click this link . Additionally, Cloyd was recognized, along with Reading slugger Darin

Duo of Pitching Prospects Honored

A pair of honors came the way of the Phillies organization on Tuesday with much talked about prospects Austin Wright and Tyler Cloyd each receiving recognition as top performers in their respective leagues. Wright, a left-handed starter, was named as the Florida State League's pitcher of the year. The 6-foot-3-inch 220-pounder has posted a 10-5 record with a 3.42 ERA while averaging 8.37 strike outs per nine innings in 26 games with the Threshers this season. Regarding the recognition, the 22-year-old Wright, an 8th round draft pick of the Phillies last year, was excited and appreciative, but has his full focus on continuing his progress upward in professional baseball. "This season has been a lot of fun. I've learned a lot, but I know I still have a long way to go," Wright stated. "The Florida State League is loaded with talented pitchers and to be named the pitcher of the year is an incredible honor. I know there are many deserving players and I real

Series Preview: Metropolitans at Phillies, August 28-30

Winners of four straight games the Phillies (61-67) will host the Metropolitans (59-69) for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils have been performing well lately, sweeping three games from the first place Nationals over the weekend, while the Mets have lost seven of their past 10 contests. In the series opener, the Phillies will start righty hurler Vance Worley , who has lost both of his starts against New York this season, to the tune of a 9.00 ERA. The visitors will counter with Chris Young , who has a 1.86 ERA against the Phillies, as a member of the Mets. The Phils have dropped eight of 12 contests against the Mets this season. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more statistical info on this series. Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Chris Young (3-7, 4.33 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (6-9, 4.06 ERA). In 8 career outings against the Phillies, Young is 3-3 with a 3.42 ERA. Young has a 1-5 record with a 5.11 ERA in 8 starts s

Biddle Ranked Top Prospect by Reading Eagle Survey

It's certainly been an unusual summer for local baseball fans. In recent years, the Phillies have displayed divisional dominance, and, while doing so, they swap top rated minor leaguers to beef up the big league roster for the impending postseason drive. This year's struggles, during which the Phillies have only recently dug themselves out of last place, have presented an opportunity for the team to not only hang onto their more highly regarded minor league talents, but to deal away some established major league players and add to the organization's collection of promising youngsters. This month Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted his annual survey of fifteen organizational minor league experts, made up of writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Phillies' developmental system. The prospect that was ranked at the top of the list was lefty hurler Jesse Biddle , who has had a strong season for the Class A Advanced Clearwate

PhoulBallz Interview: Phils Prospect Willie Carmona

Willie Carmona was the Phillies' 11th round draft pick this year. The 5-foot-11-inch 185-pound switch hitter played college ball at Stony Brook University, where he helped the Seawolves reach the College World Series as their third baseman. Following the draft, the 21-year-old began his pro career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and tallied a .348 average with 2 HR and 20 RBI in 25 games before he was promoted to Class A Lakewood. Carmona, manning first base for the BlueClaws, got off to a slow start, batting .141 through his first 17 games, but in three games since then, the New York native is 6-for-11 with 2 HR and 5 RBI. Recently, I spoke with Willie about his draft experience, his positional preference, being a Philadelphia Eagles fan and much more. Check out the media player below to hear that full interview. _________________________________________________ You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE . Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clic

Series Preview: Nationals vs Phillies, August 24-26

In the National League East division standings, a massive gap separates the Phillies (58-67) and the team they host for a three-game set beginning on Friday night, the first place Nationals (77-47). With the Nats ahead of the 3rd place Phillies by 19 1/2 games, heading into the weekend, it was just a year ago that things were nearly the exact opposite and the Phillies led the Nationals by 21 games. Thus far in 2012, the Nationals have won 5 of 9 meetings with the Phillies. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and more key info on this series. Friday, 7:05 PM. Edwin Jackson (7-8, 3.69 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (6-9, 4.20 ERA). In 3 career starts against the Phillies, the righty Jackson has a 0-3 record with a 5.60 ERA. Jackson has a 4-3 record with a 3.94 ERA in 13 road starts this season. Placido Polanco is 0-for-10 in his career against Jackson. In his past 2 starts, Kendrick is 2-0 while throwing 15 shutout innings. In 13 home outings this season, Kendrick is 2-6 with a

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 15

On episode 15 of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I run down the depth of third base prospects in the Phillies system and deliver an exclusive interview with young slugger Maikel Franco . Additionally, we review Brody Colvin 's struggles, share an update on Freddy Galvis and loads more baseball goodness! 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 .

Ten Reasons Baseball is Better Than Football

As the 2012 baseball season begins to wind down, a brand new football season is about to begin. With the local team out of contention, many sports fans' focus will soon move away from the diamond and on to the gridiron. With that in mind, I'm here to run down a list of ten reasons why baseball is still better than football. 1- Heritage. Baseball has a long history, deeper and more rich than any other sport. The lore of baseball dates back for well more than a century. While football fans generally have memories that focus on their fantasy team highs and lows, baseball fanatics' lives are laden with memories of things like Steve Carlton leading the National League in wins for a last place team in 1972 or Jackie Robinson's groundbreaking rookie season of 1947 or perhaps the historical postseason prowess of certain franchises. Click to read more . 2- Players on the field are more identifiable. Helmets on football players prohibit viewers of televised games, and th

Asche Shines as Reading's Other Star

In the midst of a playoff race, talented first-year pro Cody Asche is shining in the shadow of a dominating figure. If not for the scorching hot bat of first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf , the focus of fans and media members might be fully centered on the Phillies' 4th round draft selection from last summer. Asche, who typically bats second in the Double-A Reading Phillies' lineup, credits his placement, batting in front of the man that folks have begun to call "Babe Ruf", with providing him chances to see beneficial offerings from opposing hurlers. "I think I have been getting good pitches to hit, with Ruf doing what he's doing behind me. I've kind of taken the approach that all I need to do is get on base for him and really tried to simplify things at the plate," Asche said. Ruf, Reading's big-time slugger, has been tremendous in recent weeks. In 21 August games, the 26-year-old Creighton University product has posted a .333 batting aver

BlueClaws Notes: Morandini Speaks

This week I spoke with Class A Lakewood BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini regarding several matters related to his club. Firstly, according to Morandini, six BlueClaws are headed to Fall Instructional League in Florida. "Instructs" last about four weeks, from mid-September to mid-October. The Lakewood players assigned there are pitchers Hoby Milner and Zach Cooper , catchers Josh Ludy and Gabriel Lino as well as third baseman/first baseman Willie Carmona and third baseman Maikel Franco . Morandini also spoke on the following topics... 21-year-old newcomer and Dominican native Felix Santos , a righty hurler, who has a 0.60 ERA through seven relief appearances with the BlueClaws: "He's come in here and he's done a great job for us. Live fastball, breaking ball's been above average, he's getting outs. He's come in there and made a statement and pitched well and I think he's turning some heads here." The very solid offensi

Aumont Promoted as Horst is Deactivated

Following the Phillies' 12-5 romp over the visiting Reds on Monday night, the team announced that lefty reliever Jeremy Horst was placed on paternity leave and that right-hander Phillippe Aumont would be called up to the Phils, in order to fill his void. The 23-year-old Quebec, Canada native was acquired from Seattle in the December, 2009 Cliff Lee trade, along with RHP J.C. Ramirez and OF Tyson Gillies . Aumont was originally an 11th round pick of the Mariners in the 2007 draft. Aumont, ranked as the Phillies' #4 prospect by PhilliesNation.com prior to the 2012 season, had posted a 3-1 record with a 4.26 ERA and 14 saves in 41 relief outings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Until this week, Aumont had been quite hot, posting a 2.08 ERA with a 1-0 record and five saves in 15 outings since the International League All-Star break. However, in his most recent outing, he surrendered four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning during a loss to Toledo on Sunday.

Series Preview: Reds at Phillies, Aug 20-23

The Phillies (56-65) return home to host the National League Central division leading Reds (74-48) in a four-game series beginning on Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park. Cincinnati is hot of late, winning 8 of their past 10 contests and 12 of their past 16 games on the road. The Phils are also getting it done lately, especially at home, where the team has been victorious in 9 of their last 13 games. The Reds lost three of four games in Philadelphia last season and were swept by the Phils in a four game series in Cincinnati late in 2011. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and plenty more statistical information on this series. Monday, 7:05 PM. Mike Leake (5-7, 4.29 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (6-7, 3.80 ERA). The right-handed Leake has a 3-3 record with a 3.13 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Leake, the Reds' 1st round draft choice from 2009, has a 1-1 record with a 5.16 ERA over his past 4 starts. Brian Schneider is 4-for-9 (.444 avg) with a HR in his career

Weekly Minor League Review, 8/19/12

I'm back with another semi-weekly minor league review, where we take a look at the various developmental levels of the Phillies' organization and some noteworthy players from each club. This time, it's a glance at some top performers of late, as well as those that aren't doing so well. Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs… Who’s hot: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (pictured, right) has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in three starts this month for the IronPigs. Overall, combined with his time at Double-A Reading this season, Pettibone has tallied a 12-7 record with a 3.10 ERA and 100 strike outs in 142 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old was the Phillies' 3rd round draft selection in 2008. Who’s not: IF Cesar Hernandez is 5-for-31 (.161 avg) in his past eight games. In 16 games since his promotion to Lehigh Valley, the 22-year-old Hernandez has posted a .231 batting average. Right-handed starting pitcher Scott Elarton has gone 0-3 with a 6.98 ERA in four starts thi

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 14

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Jay and Tug welcome Eric Floyd on the third mic. The guys discuss Darin Ruf 's torrid August output, Jimmy Rollins ' hustle concerns, an update on Brian Gump 's indy pitching career and their favorite ballpark giveaways. Also, it's Tug and Eric going head-to-head in the Twitter Game. 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 .

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ethan Martin

Ethan Martin , the 23-year-old righty hurler that was acquired along with Josh Lindblom and a player to be named later just prior to the non-waiver trading deadline from the Los Angeles Dodgers, is adapting quickly to his new home, Reading, PA. In three starts since joining the Phillies organization, Martin has posted a 3-0 record with a 2.08 ERA while striking out 13 and walking five in 17 1/3 innings. Originally selected by Los Angeles in the 1st round (15th overall) in the 2008 amateur draft out of Stephens County High School in Georgia, Martin had not posted great numbers as a pro prior to this season. In his first three years in the minors, Martin sported a 24-29 record with a 5.42 ERA. However, this year, with Double-A Chattanooga, Martin tallied an 8-6 record with a 3.56 ERA en route to becoming a Southern League All-Star. Prior to the 2012 season, Martin, who stands 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs around 195 pounds, was rated as the Dodgers' number 17 prospect by Ba

Series Preview: Phillies at Brewers, August 16-19

The Phillies (54-63) continue their road trip on Thursday when they head to Milwaukee to begin a four-game series against the Brewers (52-64). Both teams have struggled this year and find themselves placed distantly back in the standings as the season begins to approach its final month. The Brewers have dropped five of their past six contests, while the Phillies have been victorious in four of their past six games. In the series opener, the Phillies will send lefty Cliff Lee , who surrendered 6 earned runs in 7 innings of work against Milwaukee in a start on July 24th, to the mound. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada , who hasn't recorded a big league win since August 23rd, 2011. Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and other key statistical info from this series. Thursday, 8:10 PM. Cliff Lee (2-7, 3.85 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.36 ERA). In 4 career starts against the Brewers, Lee has a 0-1 record with a 5.54 ERA. Lee has a 3.21

Serritella and Quinn Shine as NY-Penn League All-Stars

The Williamsport Crosscutters' two representatives in the short-season New York-Penn All-Star festivities made a serious impact on Tuesday evening. Chris Serritella (pictured), who was selected in the 4th round of this year's amateur draft, started the night by winning the HR Derby, downing Mahoning Valley's Joe Sever in the finals. Serritella, a 22-year-old first baseman, has posted a .293 batting average with 20 doubles, five home runs and 33 RBI in 52 games thus far this season. Additionally, the Southern Illinois University product went 1-for-2 with a single in the actual All-Star Game. Serritella started the game as the National League affiliate team's designated hitter. Crosscutters teammate, shortstop Roman Quinn , entered the game in the bottom of the 6th and proceeded to go 2-for-2 with an inside-the-park homer and an RBI single. The round tripper was the first of Quinn's young pro career. The 19-year-old Quinn was the Phillies' second roun