Tuesday, July 31, 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, Strasburg has posted a 4-2 record with a 3.10 ERA. Strasburg has a 2-3 record with a 3.51 ERA in his last 6 starts.

Wednesday, 7:05 PM. Vance Worley (5-6, 3.88 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (6-6, 3.52 ERA).
Worley has a 2-2 record with a 4.74 ERA in 4 career outings against the Nats. Worley has a 1-2 record with a 6.43 ERA in his last 5 starts. In 2 career starts against the Phillies, Jackson has a 0-2 record with a 6.00 ERA. Jackson has a 3-3 record with a 3.35 ERA in 8 home starts this season. Carlos Ruiz is 5-for-6 (.833 avg) with 2 doubles in his career against Jackson.

Thursday, 7:05 PM. Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.31 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (5-4, 3.24 ERA).
In 22 career starts against the Nats, Hamels has a 12-4 record with a 2.48 ERA and a .216 batting average against. Hamels has a 6-2 record with a 3.52 ERA in 10 road starts this season. Jesus Flores is 2-for-16 (.125 avg) in his career against Hamels. Detwiler has a 1-3 record with a 4.45 ERA in 6 career outings against the Phillies. In 11 home games this season, Detwiler has a 4-1 record with a 2.83 ERA. Jimmy Rollins is 6-for-15 (.400 avg) with 3 doubles in his career against Detwiler.


In 45 road games, Carlos Ruiz has posted a .367 batting average with 8 HR and 31 RBI. Ruiz has a .343 average with 5 HR and 13 RBI in 32 career games at Nationals Park.

Chase Utley is batting .208 in 20 July games. Utley has posted a .191 average in 13 road games this season.

Jimmy Rollins has posted a .222 average in 15 games since the All-Star break. In 52 road games this season, Rollins is batting .217 with 3 homers and 15 RBI.

Nationals closer Tyler Clippard has a 2-1 record with 1 save, 3 blown saves and a 4.26 ERA in 23 career appearances against the Phillies. Opponents are batting .168 against Clippard this year.

Adam LaRoche is a career .294 hitter with 12 HR and 38 RBI in 77 games against the Phillies. LaRoche is batting .212 in 43 home games this year.

Bryce Harper is batting .182 in 17 games since the All-Star break.

Phillies July runs scored- 83 (26th in MLB)
Nationals July runs scored- 132 (1st in MLB)

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Monday, July 30, 2012

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 interview with this prospect that has taken big strides this year.



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Saturday, July 28, 2012

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.

Friday, July 27, 2012

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 a 3.38 ERA in 9 road starts this season. In 13 career games at Turner Field, Hamels has a 5-3 record with a 4.06 ERA. Sheets is 2-4 with a 4.88 ERA in 8 career starts against the Phillies. Ty Wigginton is 12-for-36 (.333 avg) with 2 doubles and 2 HR in his career against Sheets. In 9 career starts at Turner Field, Sheets is 6-3 with a 3.92 ERA.

Saturday, 7:10 PM. Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.70 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (5-7, 5.49 ERA).
In 13 career games against the Braves, Blanton has a 2-5 record with a 4.87 ERA. Blanton is 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in his last 5 starts. Brian McCann is 10-for-24 (.417 avg) with 3 HR against Blanton in his career. The lefty Minor is 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA in 8 starts at home this season. Opponents are batting .256 against Minor this season.

Sunday, 1:35 PM. Roy Halladay (4-5, 4.32 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (9-4, 3.71 ERA).
Halladay is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 4 career starts at Turner Field. Halladay has a 3-2 record with a 4.36 ERA in 7 road starts this season. Chipper Jones is 8-for-16 (.500 avg) with 3 doubles and 2 HR in his career against Halladay. In 23 career starts against the Phillies, Hudson has an 8-8 record with a 3.54 ERA. Ryan Howard is 19-for-55 (.345 avg) with 3 doubles and 6 homers in his career against Hudson.


In 134 career games against the Braves, Chase Utley is a .280 hitter with 19 HR and 67 RBI. Utley is batting .222 in 10 road games this season.

Carlos Ruiz has posted a .373 batting average in 42 road games this year. Ruiz is a .277 hitter in 38 career games at Turner Field.

In 19 July games, Hunter Pence is batting .189 with 1 HR. Pence is batting .293 in 49 road games this season.

Chipper Jones is a .334 hitter with 47 HR and 146 RBI in 235 games against the Phillies. Jones is batting .318 in 31 home games this year.

Martin Prado has a .305 average with 9 HR and 34 RBI in 73 games against the Phillies. Prado is batting .204 in 13 games since the All-Star break.

In 16 career games against the Phillies, Craig Kimbrel has a 0-0 record with 7 saves, 2 blown saves and a 1.26 ERA.

Phillies team ERA in July- 4.63 (23rd in MLB)
Braves team ERA in July- 3.88 (17th in MLB)

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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.



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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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. The switch-hitting outfielder prefers to remain low key and avoid that type of focus, but James admitted the recent spike in interest was at least a bit enjoyable.

"It was fun for a while," James stated. "I tried not to pay too much attention to it. I mean, it's cool to have that, but I'm a pretty humble guy and I don't really talk about myself that much. So, with that, I just let everybody else do the talking and just kind of sit back and watch it."

The catch along with the subsequent attention in the media and on the internet was seemingly the highlight of James’ 2012 campaign, however, as the 23-year-old Florida native has had a sometimes-rocky year. Any critics concerned with James’ offensive production this season, which has seen him post a .251 batting average with 12 doubles, five triples, six HR, 28 RBI and a stolen base total of six- a hefty drop off from the 30+ bags he has swiped in each of the past two seasons- should consider that the 6-foot-4-inch 180-pounder has been playing with an ailing left knee for much of the season.

Over the past three years, including this one, James’ OPS has resided within an eight-point range (.686 in 2010 at Class A Lakewood, .690 in 2011 at Class A Advanced Clearwater, .682 in 2012 with Reading through action on Monday). It is worth noting that despite seemingly stagnant numbers, the Phillies organization, including James’ skipper, is pleased with the youngster’s progress and is aware that a physical hindrance has impacted his statistics.

"Jiwan's done a great job,” said R-Phils manager Dusty Wathan. “He's playing through- he’s got a banged up knee. As far as, something he slides on and keeps flaring up on him, it's just one of those things that he's gonna have to wait till the off-season to fully rest it.”

Wathan also praised James for putting in extra time around the ballpark to work on his game. According to the 38-year-old baseball veteran, James sets an example that other players can learn from.

“I've got to give him a lot of credit for all the work he does in the cage, early work, his defense, he leads. And the (attention he got) for the catch the other day is well deserved for all the work he puts in," Wathan noted recently.

The son of former Royals manager John Wathan, Dusty described the levels of pride and desire that James has, adding that the Williston High School product isn’t the type of guy that likes to sit out, so the coaching staff has had to take it upon themselves to ensure that James rests his problematic joint regularly.

“He's a guy that never wants to come out of the lineup and I have to force him to come out of the lineup and I think, this year, at this point, it's been a little of an easier job for me, because he's in so much pain,” Wathan said of James.

James, however, isn’t the type to cite health concerns or other reasons when describing his 2012 campaign. The Phillies' 10th ranked prospect, according to PhilliesNation.com’s preseason rankings, centers his owns progress solely in his own hands, expressing a desire to improve but never offering an excuse.

"It's been a lot of ups and downs. It's just about making adjustments from point A to point B. Right now I just gotta be a little bit faster at trying to make those adjustments and basically just keep doing what I'm doing. It's been a roller coaster ride- up, down, up, down. I just gotta figure out how to make my adjustments quicker. "

So, as James continues to deal with his nagging knee and as he attempts to adapt to the increasingly difficult levels of professional baseball, Phillies fans should still be excited about this impact player.
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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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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.



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Monday, July 23, 2012

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. Halladay is 1-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 5 home starts this season. Ryan Braun is 5-for-10 (.500 avg) with a HR in his career against Halladay.

Tuesday, 7:05 PM. Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.57 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.72 ERA).
In his last 4 starts, Greinke is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA. In 12 road starts this year, Greinke has a 5-3 record with a 4.41 ERA. Placido Polanco is 14-for-40 (.350 avg) with a double and a HR in his career against Greinke. In 6 home starts this season, Lee has a 0-4 record with a 4.01 ERA. Lee is 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA in 3 career starts against the Brewers.

Wednesday, 1:05 PM. Marco Estrada (0-4, 4.10 ERA) vs. Vance Worley (5-6, 3.82 ERA).
In 6 career relief appearances against the Phillies, Estrada has a 5.68 ERA. Estrada is 0-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 7 road outings this season. In 8 home starts this year, Worley has a 2-3 record with a 4.69 ERA. In his last 4 starts, Worley has a 1-2 record with a 6.75 ERA.


Brewers closer John Axford has a 3-4 record with 6 saves, 5 blown saves and a 6.86 ERA in 21 outings since the end of May.

In 32 career regular season games against the Phillies, Rickie Weeks has a .235 batting average with a homer and 7 RBI. Weeks is batting .197 in 44 road games this season.

In 29 career regular season games against the Phillies, Ryan Braun has a .358 batting average with 8 HR and 19 RBI.

Hunter Pence is 5-for-36 (.139 avg) in 9 games since the All-Star break. Pence is batting .247 in 47 home games this year.

Jimmy Rollins is batting .227 in 16 July games. In 65 career regular season games against Milwaukee, Rollins has a .241 average with 5 HR and 19 RBI.

Jonathan Papelbon has a 5.40 ERA in 15 games since June 1st.

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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 below to listen to the full interview.


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Friday, July 20, 2012

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 we're trying to be a little bit too aggressive. We're going after things instead of letting the game come to us. I think the last couple of days has been better."


Recently, two Reading relievers underwent surgery. Righty starter David Buchanan had season ending surgery to repair a tendon in the middle finger in his pitching hand. In addition, right-handed releiver Lisalverto Bonilla had surgery to repair the thumb in his pitching hand, which he injured horsing around at the team hotel in Kansas City, while he was there for the MLB All-Star Futures Games.

Wathan said the following about Bonilla's situation:

"I wasn't there. I don't really know exactly what happened. There's a lot of speculation, but without being there, I'd hate to do that. He had surgery on it. I believe he had a pin put in it. He's down in Florida right now, rehabbing, and I haven't heard anything as far as a time table for a return."


More quotes from the team-

Mario Hollands on his best Double-A outing to date...7 2/3 innings, 1 run against Trenton on Thursday night:

"The Thunder were really aggressive and I was able to keep my pitch count down, because they were making early contact and my defense was doing really well. And their pitcher (Shaeffer Hall) was doing the same thing I was doing with the early contact. The game went by really fast and unfortunately, we weren't able to squeek out a run."

Hollands on his reaction when he and an opposing pitcher are matching each other, zero-for-zero:

"It kind of gets me going, 'cause I don't want to be the first one to surrender a run or break, I guess. But, it's nice because you always like a fast-paced game. It helps keep a good tempo."


Third base prospect Cody Asche spoke about playing on the road, in Trenton, where the crowd seemed to favor the R-Phils more than the home Thunder on Thursday:

"That was pretty cool. I think, out here, I think there were more autograph seekers than we even get at home. It was pretty cool to see that. The Phillie following is huge. Everywhere we go, there's Phillie fans everywhere, but I guess we're just right across the river from Philly, so it was pretty cool to hear the cheers for us at an away park."

Reliever Colby Shreve, who ended a Thunder threat in the 8th inning with 1/3 scoreless inning on Thursday, on the Philadelphia fans in Trenton:

"I definitely noticed it. I noticed a lot of people that I've seen in Lakewood. I guess Lakewood's not that far away, so that was cool that they came out to support us and to see some of the guys that they've seen the last couple of years. I didn't really realize it (till I pitched) and was headed into the dugout, because down in the bullpen you can't really see it. They were definitely out in force last night."

Reliever Ryan Duke on the heavy Phillies crowd in Trenton:

"It was different because we were down in the bullpen and we ended up turning a double play (early in the game) and the crowd went really loud, or whatever, so that was cool. And then walking outside after the game, I saw some familiar faces from Lakewood trying to gets autographs on my Lakewood cards from this year. So, it was totally awesome to see a bunch of people out here rooting for us."

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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 ERA.

Sunday, 1:35 PM. Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79 ERA).
In 9 road starts this season, Zito has a 4-3 record witha 4.47 ERA. Zito has a 5.00 ERA in 3 career regular season starts at Citizens Bank Park. In 8 career regular season starts against the Giants, Blanton has a 2-4 record with a 5.00 ERA. Blanton has a 4-3 record with a 4.76 ERA in 9 home starts this year. In his past 5 starts, Blanton has a 2-2 record with a 3.95 ERA.


Giants reliever Santiago Casilla has 5 blown saves in his last 8 appearances. The right-hander has a 5.28 ERA in 18 appearances on the road this season.

In 6 games since the All-Star Break, Buster Posey is batting .545 with a home run and 10 RBI. Posey is batting .280 in 44 road games this year.

Melky Cabrera's .357 batting average is second best in Major League Baseball. Cabrera is a .226 hitter in 10 career games at Citizens Bank Park.

Juan Pierre is batting .225 in 39 home games this season. In 111 career games against San Francisco, Pierre has a .310 batting average.

In 41 home games this season, Jimmy Rollins has a .305 batting average with 8 doubles, 3 triples and 6 HR.

Jonathan Papelbon has a 2-2 record with 7 saves, 1 blown save and a 5.09 ERA in 17 home games this season. In 3 career appearances against the Giants, Papelbon is 3-for-3 in save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA.

Giants team batting average in July- .266 (5th in National League)
Phillies team batting average in July- .232 (14th in National League)

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

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, the transgression was more on the organizational level.

"It's (a violation of) team policy as in Philadelphia Phillies team policy," Wathan stated.

As far as the offense that led to Gillies temporarily parting ways with his team, another source close to the R-Phils has confirmed that Gillies recently had a confrontation with the club's bus driver which escalated to an unreasonable level. The incident was described as non-physical and uncalled for.

Asked if the assumption that the suspension will be a rather lengthy one is an accurate assessment, Wathan openly admitted he had no indication as to how long Gillies will be away from his team.

"I don't know. I have not been told how long it will be. I just know that that's what happened and he's been suspended. I guess that's up to (Phillies director of player development) Joe (Jordan) and the front office to determine how long it will be."
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Image- Joe Wombough

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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.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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 him and I don't know if I've ever got him out, to be honest. But I'm glad he's hitting for us and not someone else."

The 21-year-old Milner was also battery mates with Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers catcher Cameron Rupp in college as well, throwing all 32 of his freshman innings to the Phillies' number 24 prospect, according to PhilliesNation’s 2012 rankings, before he was drafted by the organization that the duo now calls home.

Generously listed at 5-feet-10-inches tall and weighing 210 pounds, Ludy (pictured, left) was the Phillies’ 8th round pick in last month's amateur draft. According to the Portland, Indiana native, it’s been an easy transition going from opponents to teammates, with Milner, in such a quick matter of time.

"The last three years, we've been Big 12 Conference rivals and once we got here, Hoby's a great guy, he's easy to get along with. We're in that group that's just coming from college right now, so we're in the same boat and everything and we've been able to work together pretty well. I got to catch him (in a recent) outing and we've had a pretty good chemistry going on," Ludy expressed.

Ludy, a righty hitting 22-year-old, was First Team All-Big 12 this year, as he batted .362 with 15 doubles, 16 HR and 71 RBI in 63 games for the Bears.

In addition to jumping into the professional ranks with a former on-field enemy, Ludy is also now teammates with another pitcher he has some history with. Lakewood lefty Blake Mascarello (Purdue) pitched to Ludy on a regional summer league team, during the youngsters’ high school years.

Along with Mascarello, an undrafted free agent signee, Milner and Ludy are among four 2012 Phils draft picks currently making up the BlueClaws roster. Tim Carver (19th round) and Zach Cooper (15th round) are also a couple of new additions in Lakewood.

In six pro games, two of which came with short-season Williamsport, prior to joining Lakewood, Milner has a 2-2 record with a 4.18 ERA. Through 13 games, splitting time between catcher and designated hitter, Ludy has tallied a .304 batting average with 5 doubles, a triple and 7 RBI.

It’s not far fetched to consider that dominance over a pitcher could provide a backstop with the type of insight that might assist that hurler with improving his own efforts versus other offensive opposition. Milner sees evidence of his former nemesis’ assistance already.

"He knows what pitches are easy to hit off me and I guess it worked out that the first time he caught me was my last start and that's been my best start so far, so maybe he's figuring it out for me," Milner stated after Ludy helped his new cohort toss 5 1/3 scoreless frames against the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers affiliate) on July 12th.

It’s certainly a long road from college to the majors, but the quickly bonded Milner and Ludy are already looking forward to potentially climbing the developmental ladder together, as they ascend toward every minor leaguer’s dream.

"That’s the ultimate goal", Ludy said. "You want to move up and we're trying to do the best we can, every day, to get better, so we can do that."
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Milner image- Dave Schofield

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Monday, July 16, 2012

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 with a 5.12 ERA. Blanton is 3-5 with a5.23 ERA in 9 road games this season. Eovaldi is 0-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 3 home games this year. The 22-year-old Eovaldi was the Dodgers' 11th round draft pick in 2008.

Tuesday, 10:10 PM. Roy Halladay (4-5, 3.98 ERA) vs. To Be Announced. Halladay, sidelined since May 27th with a right lat strain, will be activated from the disabled list. Halladay is 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA in his last 8 starts. In his career against the Dodgers, Halladay is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA. Juan Rivera is 0-for-14 in his career against Halladay. An injury to starter Chad Billingsley forced Chris Capuano into action on Sunday and moved Nathan Eovaldi forward one day as well. It is unclear who Los Angeles will use in the starting pitching role on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 3:10 PM. Cliff Lee (1-6, 3.92 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.84 ERA). In 4 career regular season starts against the Dodgers, Lee has a 2-1 record with a 0.90 ERA. Lee has a 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 9 road starts this year. Jerry Hairston Jr. is 3-for-22 (.136 avg) in his career against Lee. In 11 home starts this season, Kershaw has a 5-3 record with a 2.49 ERA. Hunter Pence is 1-for-15 (.067 avg) in his career against Kershaw. Batters are hitting .222 against Kershaw this season.


Carlos Ruiz has posted a .389 batting average in 39 road games this season. In 30 career regular season games against the Dodgers, Ruiz is a .289 hitter with a homer and 13 RBI. Ruiz's .353 batting average is tied for 2nd best in the NL.

In 19 day games this year, Shane Victorino has a .189 batting average. In 9 July games, Victorino is batting .167.

Antonio Bastardo has a 2-1 record with a 3.29 ERA with a .180 batting average against in 16 road games this year.

In 50 career games against the Phillies, Jerry Hairston Jr. is a .201 hitter. Hairston is batting .300 overall in 60 games this season.

In 39 home games this season, Andre Ethier is batting .347 with 6 HR and 29 RBI. Ethier is batting .200 in 20 day games this year.

James Loney, in 39 career regular season games against the Phillies, has a .350 average with 4 HR and 28 RBI.

Phillies team batting average in July- .240 (12th in the National League)

Dodgers team batting average in July- .237 (14th in the National League)
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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-year-old Serrano is a native of Columbia.

Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies-

Carlos Tocci, a 16-year-old Venezuelan OF has tallied a .333 batting average with a double, 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases through his first 11 games with the GCL club. The 6-foot-2-inch 160-pound righty hitter was signed by the Phillies last August on his birthday.

Dylan Cozens, taken by the Phillies 77th overall in this year's draft, is having a great July. The 18-year-old outfielder is batting .395 with 6 doubles, a HR and 6 RBI in 11 games this month.

Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters-

Last season's 1st round draft pick Larry Greene Jr. hit his first professional home run on Sunday in the Crosscutters' 8-3 win over Vermont. The 19-year-old lefty hitting outfielder is batting .301 through 26 games this season.

Chris Serritella, this year's 4th round draft pick, is off to a great start to his pro career. The 22-year-old Southern Illinois product is batting .320 with 13 doubles, 4 HR and 19 RBI in 27 games. Serritella plays first base and serves as the Cutters' designated hitter.

Class A Lakewood BlueClaws-

Carlos Perdomo has had multiple hits in six of his past seven games. Over that stretch, the 22-year-old middle infielder has gone 14-for-30 (.467 avg). Perdomo, a right-handed hitting Venezuelan, is batting .242 overall in 53 games this season.

First baseman Chris Duffy had a team record 19-game hit streak end on July 4th and since then, the 28th round draft pick from 2010 has gone 15-for-36 (.417 avg) with two grand slams and 14 RBI. The 24-year-old Duffy posted a .205 average with 2 homers and 9 RBI in 20 games earlier this season with Clearwater.

Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers-

LHP Adam Morgan earned no wins in his two most recent starts, but tallied 17 strike outs in 14 innings pitched, while allowing just 2 earned runs and 3 walks over that stretch. Through 17 appearances this season, the 22-year-old has a 3-8 record with a 3.23 ERA and a 9.58 K/9 mark. Morgan was the Phillies’ 3rd round draft choice out of the University of Alabama in 2011.

Infielder Albert Cartwright is 19-for-51 (.373 avg) in 12 games this month. The 24-year-old righty hitter has posted a .264 average with 4 homers and 27 RBI in 69 games this season. Cartwright was acquired from Houston for LHP Sergio Escalona in 2011.

Double-A Reading Phillies-

All-Star first baseman Darin Ruf has posted a .353/.425/.618 line in his last 10 games. Ruf, who will turn 26 years old later this month, was the Phillies' 20th round draft choice in 2009.

The R-Phils' new closer, RHP Tyler Knigge, has made two scoreless appearances since earning a promotion from Clearwater. The 23-year-old Idaho native now has a combined 0.58 ERA in 36 games at two levels this season. Knigge was the Phils' 12th round draft pick in 2010.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs-

After struggling throughout June, when he posted a .198/.263/.385 line, Cody Overbeck is picking it up in July. In 9 games this month, the 26-year-old first baseman is sporting a .290/.389/.516 line. Overbeck was the Phils' 9th round draft choice out of the University of Mississippi in 2008.

Outfielder Domonic Brown, who is expected to return to the IronPigs on Monday, rehabbed his sprained knee last week with the GCL Phillies, going 11-for-19 (.579 avg) with 7 doubles and 4 RBI in 5 contests.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

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 Venezuelan Summer League.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

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 an RBI in the GCL Phillies' 8-6 loss to the Braves. The 24-year-old is 10-for-16 (.625 batting average) with seven doubles and four RBI in four contests this week with the GCL club.

It's unclear when Brown, who played in 47 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs this season, prior to missing time with a knee sprain, might come back north, but it will likely occur in the coming days, barring any setbacks for the 6-foot-5-inch 205-pounder.

Righty reliever Tyler Knigge, who was promoted from Clearwater to Double-A Reading this week, threw a scoreless inning in his Eastern League debut on Thursday. The 23-year-old posted a 4-1 record with 9 saves and a 0.60 ERA in 34 appearances with the Threshers prior to joining the R-Phils.

Of the opportunity to climb the developmental ladder, Knigge, an Idaho native, said, "Holy smokes! I am at a loss for words. I'm very excited for this. With all that being said, I will keep it very simple. I'm going to go in and keep my head down, work hard every day and continue my journey to the big leagues. It's what I dreamed about as a child and I will do whatever it takes to get there."

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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 career against Lee. The lefty Friedrich has a 1-3 record with a 9.62 ERA and a .389 batting average against in 5 home starts this season. Friedrich was the Rockies' 1st round draft pick in 2008. In his last 6 starts, Friedrich has a 0-5 record with a 7.58 ERA.

Saturday, 8:10 PM. Vance Worley (4-5, 3.54 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 6.05 ERA). In 7 road starts this season, Worley is 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA. Worley is 1-3 with a 4.05 ERA in his last 7 starts. Opponents are batting .267 against Worley this season. Guthrie is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 2 career games against the Phillies. In 7 home outings this year, the right-handed Guthrie has a 1-4 record with a 9.44 ERA. Guthrie was a 1st round draft choice of the Indians in 2002. Placido Polanco is 1-for-12 (.083 avg) in his career against Guthrie.

Sunday, 3:10 PM. Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.20 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-3, 3.06 ERA). In 4 career regular season starts against the Rockies, Hamels has a 2-1 record with a 4.21 ERA. Hamels is 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA in his last 4 starts. Marco Scutaro is 3-for-18 (.083 avg) in his career against Hamels. Pomeranz, a lefty, was the Indians' 1st round draft selection in 2010. In 4 home starts this year, Pomeranz is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Aside from his initial start this season, when Pomeranz allowed 5 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against Arizona, the 23-year-old has posted a 2.03 ERA in 2012.


In 36 road games this season, Carlos Ruiz has tallied a .378 batting average with 7 HR and 25 RBI. Ruiz is a .320 hitter in 9 career regular season game at Coors Field.

Hunter Pence is batting .310 in 42 road games this season. In 32 career games against the Rockies, Pence has a .298 average with 2 HR and 15 RBI.

In 44 regular season games against Colorado, Chase Utley has a .347 batting average with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 12 HR and 57 RBI. The Phillies are just 1-9 with Utley in the lineup, since the 33-year-old returned from a knee ailment last month.

Michael Cuddyer, in 7 career games against the Phillies, is 3-for-28 (.107 avg) with 1 HR. Cuddyer is batting .283 in 43 home games this season.

In 87 career regular season games against the Phils, Todd Helton has posted a .360 batting average with 17 homers and 62 RBI. Helton, a left-handed batter, is batting .195 against lefty pitchers this season.

Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt is 1-2 with 5 saves, 3 blown saves and a 5.06 ERA in 16 home games this season.

Carlos Gonzalez's OPS is .388 points higher at home than it is on the road this season.

Phillies team ERA- 4.23 (12th in the National League)
Rockies team ERA- 5.26 (16th, last in the National League)

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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.

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Additionally, click HERE to listen to previous episodes of the program. You can also subscribe on iTunes.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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 innings pitched this season, Cosart has struck out 64 and walked 33.

Domingo Santana, OF, included as player to be named later in Pence trade- Batting .307 with 16 doubles, 5 triples, 12 homers and 62 RBI in 62 games for Class A Advanced Lancaster. The 19-year-old has walked 30 times this year, nearly matching his full season total of 32 from 2011.

Jonathan Villar, SS, traded to Houston in the 2010 Roy Oswalt deal- In 84 games with Corpus Christi, the 21-year-old Villar has tallied a .264 batting average with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR and 48 RBI. Additionally, the switch-hitting Villar has stolen 39 bases in 47 chances (83% success rate) this year.

Anthony Gose, OF, traded in the Oswalt deal and flipped by Houston to Toronto on the same day- In 87 games for Triple-A Las Vegas this year, Gose has posted a .290 average with 18 doubles, 9 triples, 4 HR and 38 RBI. The 21-year-old Gose has stolen 29 bases in 36 chances (81% success rate) for LV.

Travis d'Arnaud, C, traded to Toronto in the 2009 Roy Halladay trade- Currently sidelined with a torn knee ligament, the 23-year-old tallied a .333 average with 21 doubles, 2 triples, 16 homers and 52 RBI in 67 games for Las Vegas.

Kyle Drabek, RHP, dealt in the Halladay trade- In 13 big league starts this year, the 24-year-old Drabek has a 4-7 record with a 4.67 ERA and 47 strike outs and 47 walks in 71 1/3 innings pitched. Drabek is out for the year after undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery.

Michael Taylor, OF, also included in Halladay deal before being traded again to Oakland- Taylor, 26, has a .302 batting average with 23 doubles, a triple, 6 HR and 41 RBI in 76 games with Triple-A Sacramento this season. Additionally, in 4 big league games with the Athletics this year, Taylor went 3-for-16 (.188 avg).

Carlos Carrasco, RHP, traded to Cleveland for Cliff Lee in 2009- Carrasco, 25, had Tommy John surgery last September and began throwing from a mound last month.

Jason Donald, IF, also included in the Lee trade- The 27-year-old righty hitter has a .250 batting average with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR and 18 RBI in 42 games with Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Donald also played in 18 games with the Indians this season, batting .188 with a double and 4 RBI.

Lou Marson, C, included in the Lee trade- In 33 games with the Indians this year, the 26-year-old is sporting a .297 batting average with 6 doubles, 2 triples and 8 RBI.

Josh Outman, LHP, traded in the 2008 deal with Oakland for Joe Blanton, Outman is now in the Colorado organization following Tommy John Surgery- In 15 big league games (7 starts) this season, Outman has a 0-3 record, a 9.00 ERA and a .310 batting average against.

Adrian Cardenas, IF, also included in the Blanton deal, Cardenas is now in the Cubs system- In 37 games at Triple-A Iowa, Cardenas is batting a .321 average with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR and 23 RBI. During a stint with the big league club earlier this year, Cardenas batted .189 with 5 doubles and 1 RBI in 25 games.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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 league debut last September and posted a 1-0 record and a 2.25 ERA in five appearances. The Oxnard, CA native could be a welcome addition to a struggling Phillies bullpen, if he can get back to full health.

Also with the GCL team, outfielder Dom Brown (pictured, left), who has been dealing with a knee sprain since mid-June, served as the club's designated hitter and went 2-for-3 (single, double) with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.

The 24-year-old had posted a .266 batting average with four homers and 22 RBI in 47 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, prior to experiencing the injury.

Brown was selected by the Phillies in the 20th round of the 2006 amateur draft. In 91 big league contests, the 6-foot-5-inch 205-pounder has posted a .236/.314/.382 line.

Tyson Gillies (pictured, right), the speedy outfielder acquired by the Phillies in the 2009 Cliff Lee trade, has been out of action with a concussion since he collided with teammate Jiwan James while fielding a ball in late May. Making an appearance with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Gillies played center field for five innings and went 0-for-2.

The 23-year-old is expected to play for Lakewood again on Wednesday.

Phillies director of player development, Joe Jordan, wanted Gillies to see game action as soon as possible this week. The Double-A Reading Phillies, where Gillies normally occupies a roster spot, are on their All-Star Break, so Lakewood was an easy choice for the Vancouver native to get some at bats in the meantime.


Additional injury note--
Lakewood outfielder Kyrell Hudson, who suffered damaged tendons in his right hand last week, will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday. Hudson, the Phillies' 3rd round draft choice in 2009, had posted a .224 average with 1 HR, 21 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 64 games this season.

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