Monday, November 25, 2013

Off-season League Updates: Notes on Hernandez, Galvis, Bastardo & More

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we'll have a weekly rundown of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for the latest on many familiar names, some top prospects and plenty more.

Venezuelan Winter League- 

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez- The 23-year-old is 6-for-29 (.207 avg) in his last eight games.  Overall in 31 games for Margarita, Hernandez, who has also been playing center field, has posted a .254 average with two home runs, 15 RBI and two steals.  Hernandez batted .289 with five doubles and 10 RBI in 34 games with the Phillies and was honored as a Triple-A All-Star this past season.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis- The 23-year-old is batting .295 with eight doubles, one triple and two homers along with 12 RBI in 27 games.  The switch-hitting Galvis is batting .295 from both sides of the plate for Zulia.  Galvis sported a .234 average with six home runs and 19 RBI in 70 big league games this year.

RHP Severino Gonzalez- The 21-year-old, who was honored as the Phils' Paul Owens Award winner this year, has posted a 0-1 record along with an 8.10 ERA in four appearances for La Guaira.  In 6 2/3 innings in the Venezuelan League, Gonzalez has struck out five batters and walked seven.  In the regular season, Gonzalez posted a 7-5 record with a 2.00 ERA and a 10.33 K/9 mark in 25 games at three levels.

LHP Cesar Jimenez- The 29-year-old has tallied a 0-1 record and a 5.68 ERA in six appearances for Lara. Jimenez has struck out six and walked two in 6 1/3 innings.  In 19 big league games this year, Jimenez posted a 1-1 record along with a 3.71 ERA and a .226 batting average against.


Mexican Winter League...

LHP Manuel Chavez- The 19-year-old has a 0-2 record with a 3.60 ERA and a .308 batting average against in 16 relief appearances for Mexicali.  In 10 innings Chavez has struck out 10 batters and walked four.  This year with the Phils' Venezuelan Summer League team Chavez tallied a 9-0 record with a 2.18 ERA in 14 starts.

Catcher Sebastian Valle- The righty batting 23-year-old went 11-for-20 over a six game stretch last week.  Overall in 25 games Valle has a .266 average with five doubles, a home run and three RBI.  Valle sported a .203 batting average with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 98 games with Double-A Reading this year.


Dominican Winter League...

LHP Antonio Bastardo- The 28-year-old has a 1.35 ERA in seven outings for the Gigantes.  Through 6 2/3 innings, Bastardo has struck out 12 batters while walking two.  In 48 big league games this year, before missing time due to a banned substance suspension, Bastardo had a 3-2 record with two saves and a 2.32 ERA.

3B Maikel Franco-  The 21-year-old has been spending considerable time at first base for the Gigantes.  In his last four games, Franco is 0-for-14.  Overall, in 27 games the righty batting Franco has tallied a .255 average with six doubles and nine RBI.  Franco had an excellent 2013, mashing 31 homers and driving in 103 runs in 134 games with Clearwater and Reading during the regular season.

Catcher Tommy Joseph- The 22-year-old righty hitter has a .238 average with two doubles and two RBI through seven games for the Estrellas.  Joseph missed considerable time with concussion related issues this year and batted .179 in 36 minor league games.

OF Leandro Castro- The 24-year-old sports a .237 average with five doubles and six RBI in 20 games for the Estrellas.  In 117 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, the righty batting Castro tallied a .256 average with eight home runs and 55 RBI.

RHP Luis Garcia- The 26-year-old has a 1-0 record with a 4.05 ERA and a .227 batting average against through seven games for the Estrellas.  In 24 games at three levels of the minors this year, Garcia posted a 3.73 ERA and a .237 batting average against. 

RHP Hector Neris- The 24-year-old sports a 1-0 record along with a 1.35 ERA while striking out three and walking five in 6 2/3 innings pitched for the Toros.  Neris posted a 6-4 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .241 batting average against in 46 games this year for Double-A Reading. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Umpires

A 2013 Sally League Umpire, Image Tug Haines
As many fans view a game unfold on a professional baseball diamond, the most savvy watchers may feel as though they know everything there is to know about the team personnel on the field .  The year and round they were drafted.  What their educational background is.  The route they've taken to get where they are and the other teams they've played for.  But with that assumption by avid fans that they know everything about everyone on the field, how much do they really know about the other individuals that help execute the athletic competition by officiating each contest?  What do they know about the umpires?

During the 2013 regular season I sat down with some pro umpires to learn more about their lives and what their paths to the major leagues are like.  Read ahead for a list of seven things that you very likely did not know about umpires.


1- Umpires in the minors are not just some local guys.

There seems to be a misconception about the manner in which umpires are employed.  The officials on the field throughout the developmental levels are employed by the league.

"(Fans) assume you're just a local guy and you work that city, that state or that ballpark, but as soon as you leave one city, you've got an eight-hour drive overnight to the next city," said Clayton Hamm, who spent the 2013 season officiating games in the Class A South Atlantic Leaugue.

Because of the rotation of assignments and not having a favorable schedule which would allow them to be "home" half the time, like players are, umpires spend the entire season on the road.

"I think people would just be surprised with the overall travel.  Whereas teams travel on buses which someone else drives and they're allowed to sleep on those bus rides.  With us, it's just you and one other guy.  You've got to get to the next destination with a rental vehicle," Hamm stated.


2- Schooling to become a professional umpire lasts just five weeks. 

There are three schools (previously just two) that a prospective umpire can attend.  Once the winter course is complete, a collection of top graduates are targeted to attend an evaluation with representatives from the others schools.  In the end, less than 20% of the graduating students will be offered jobs.  While that doesn't seem like a great amount of openings, turnover in the minor leagues is
common at various levels, which keeps the doors open for quality officials that wish to continue climbing the ladder toward the upper levels. 

"It seems like there's quite a bit (of turnover)", said Jake Wilburn, a 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star umpire.  "Whether it be injuries or guys having family stuff or releases, whatever it is.  So, it seems like there's a pretty good opportunity to keep moving up."

Umpires, just like players, will begin their pro careers at the lowest levels of the minor leagues.


3- Ascension to the big leagues for umps is much longer than it typically takes a player to reach the top level.

It will commonly take an umpire seven to 10 years to reach the majors.  That is a span of time that seems to double the stretch that it can take many players to reach the same level.


4- Umpires have a dress code.

There are different requirements that vary by league.  Some leagues may require just a collared shirt and slacks, others may require a blazer. 

The dress code rules apply for umpires when arriving to and departing from the ball park.


5- Umpires earn more than a lot of minor league players.

With a monthly salary that ranges from a couple thousand dollars to about $3,500, depending on tenure and classification, umps can take home more income than the players they are making calls for.

"When you first start out- they take care of you as far as hotel and per diem on the road, Wilburn stated.  "Then you can go from a couple thousand a month when you first start out to- honestly, I don't exactly know what the big leagues would be, but you're taken care of in the big leagues for sure, so that's the goal."

Big league umpires earn a minimum of six figures.

Per diems increase as umpires move up to higher levels.

Umpires are paid during the season only.  So, during the autumn and winter months, seasonal employment must be sought in order to supplement their income.  Substitute teaching is among the top job choices for umpires during the off-season.


6- Schooling includes specifics on what interactions from players and coaches to ignore and what requires a response. 

This area of the training is something that is very important to prospective umpires, as they have a great interest in the integrity of the game and they realize that the execution of such directives can help them display the type of professionalism that can help them stand out in their field.

"In school they do try to draw up different kinds of possibilities that will happen on the field and just try to see how you would react from them.  Every situation's different, so you try to learn from every situation and try to become better at it.  There's just situations that you're told what you can't say.  You're told just certain ways that you don't want to come across.  And there's certain things if you hear, there's a certain way to react and we're just trained to learn what to ignore, learn what we have to respond to- verbally or just visually," said 2013 Sally League umpire Brian Peterson.


7- Umpires find out that they've been nominated as an All-Star via an e-mail from the league president.

While players would be notified of the hoopla that is an All-Star nod with a great deal of respect and consideration, usually with a call into the manager's office and being told face-to-face of the distinction by his coaches and/or an organizational representative, umpires will learn of their honor quite matter-of-factly.  The recognition, which, of course, involves working any All-Star related game events, comes in place of scheduled time off, but is still considered an honor by the officials.  The e-mail itself is sent to all umpires in their league.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

PhoulBallz Podcast Episode 47: Phils' Off-season Signings & Silly Promos

Tug and Jay are back with the 47th edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast.  On this episode the guys talk about the Phillies' additions to their 40-man roster as well as the signings of free agents Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz.  They also take some time to cut some silly radio bumpers for BaseballPodcasts.net and share some thoughts about some of the other programs the site offers.

Use the media player below to stream the full episode, or simply download it by clicking HERE.

You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catcher Rupp Ready For More Challenges After Long 2013

Cameron Rupp, image- Jay Floyd
It has been more than seven weeks since the Phillies began their off-season, but for one player that wrapped up the 2013 season with the club that missed the postseason for the second consecutive year, it's barely been seven days.  Catcher Cameron Rupp made his major league debut with the Phils in September, but unlike most of his teammates his baseball activity for the year hadn't ended when the MLB schedule was completed.

The 25-year-old reported to big league spring training with the Phillies in February.  His promotion to the majors in September resulted in his season lasting roughly a month longer than the minor league schedule does.  By the completion of the Phils' regular season, Rupp had already endured his lengthiest baseball year to date by more than eight weeks.  Despite that, Rupp wanted more time on the field.

The University of Texas product had been a 3rd round draft choice in 2010 and played more than 100 games in a pro season just once since then, when he was behind the dish for 104 contests for Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2012. 

While Rupp's in-game work load wasn't increased heavily during the early portion of his 2013 season with Double-A Reading, as he shared playing time there with Mexican backstop Sebastian Valle, Rupp stayed busy, working with pitchers in their side sessions and striving to improve all aspects of his game, behind the dish and in the batter's box.  Much like it is for catchers at all developmental levels of baseball, a day off from the lineup isn't often an actual day free of baseball activities or complete rest for his knees.

Rupp, honored to be included in the collection of players assigned to represent the Phillies in the Arizona Fall League, extended his 2013 baseball calendar by another five weeks by playing for the Peoria Javelinas.  In 14 games there, Rupp posted a .278 average with four doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI.

The time in the AFL was happily welcomed by Rupp, who wants every opportunity to excel that he can get.

"I enjoyed the fall league a lot," Rupp said.  "I was able to get some extra at bats as well as more time behind the plate."

The Arizona Fall League is annually packed with loads of top prospects that often find themselves in the majors soon after.  Rupp recognizes this and felt that the chance to play among this level of talent was advantageous to him.

"It was a great experience to face a lot of future MLB talent in the pitchers as well as the position players," Rupp explained.  "I felt like I was able to get better for sure. Especially behind the plate, catching guys, really, you've never caught, you learn to trust yourself in situations like that."

Rupp was joined by other promising Phillies talents on the Peoria roster.  Pitchers Ken Giles, Mike Nesseth, Austin Wright and Kyle Simon as well as outfielders Cameron Perkins and Aaron Altherr joined Rupp for some extended baseball action.

The six-foot-two 230-pounder entered 2013 with a .258 batting average, 19 homers and 212 RBI in 258 minor league games over three years.  This past season, combined at Reading and Lehigh Valley, Rupp sported a familiar .258 average with 14 home runs and 45 RBI in 94 games.  Additionally, Rupp batted .308 with a double and two RBI in four games with the big club.

When the 2013 regular season wrapped up the Phillies had a question mark penciled in behind the plate for next year.  This week, though, the team signed 35-year-old catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year contract.  What was a potentially promising situation for a younger guy who is trying to fill a vacancy on the big league roster quickly became a less appealing situation with the starting job now virtually locked in by the long-time Phils backstop who became a free agent following the season.

Asked if the news that Ruiz was re-signed and the fact that one less roster spot is available were disappointing in any way, Rupp's answer was brief.

"Nope.  Just looking forward to working with him again."

Rupp has worked closely with Ruiz in spring training and while the former All-Star has made rehab appearances in the minors.  The youngster now hopes to lock down the job as the veteran's back up when pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Clearwater, FL on February 12th.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Off-season League Updates: Murphy Released by VZ Club, Fall League Wraps Up

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we'll have a weekly rundowns of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for the latest on many familiar names, some top prospects and plenty more.

Venezuelan Winter League- 

In news that I first mentioned on Twitter over the weekend, minor league slugger Jim Murphy was released by the Aragua Tigres last Thursday.  Through 20 games, the first baseman batted .274 with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI.  The release came as a surprise to the 28-year-old, who was planning to play through the full season, into late December, but will now be home in time for Thanksgiving Day. Murphy remains signed with the Phillies.

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez- The 23-year-old switch hitter has gone 5-for-32 (.156 avg) in his last eight games.  Overall in 26 games for Margarita, Hernandez, who has also been playing center field, has posted a .242 average with two home runs and 13 RBI.  Hernandez batted .289 with five doubles and 10 RBI in 34 games with the Phillies and was honored as a Triple-A All-Star this past season.

Infielder Edgar Duran- The switch hitting 22-year-old, who is 3-for-9 (.333 avg) with a triple and two RBI in three games, has been rehabbing an undisclosed injury. Duran hasn't played in a game since October 12th.  In 117 games with Reading this year, Duran posted a .225 average with four homers and 33 RBI.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis- The 23-year-old is batting .359 in his last 10 games for Zulia.  Galvis has posted a .305 average with seven doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBI in 21 overall games.    Galvis sported a .234 average with six home runs and 19 RBI in 70 big league games this year.

Outfielder Wilmer Oberto- The lefty hitting 20-year-old has no hits in four at bats through four games for Zulia.  Oberto posted a .316 average with six home runs and 45 RBI in 51 games in the rookie level Gulf Coast League this year.

RHP Severino Gonzalez- The 21-year-old, who was honored as the Phils' Paul Owens Award winner this year, has posted a 0-1 record along with a 9.00 ERA in three appearances for La Guaira.  In six innings in the Venezuelan League, Gonzalez has struck out three batters and walked five.  In the regular season, Gonzalez posted a 7-5 record with a 2.00 ERA and a 10.33 K/9 mark in 25 games at three levels.

LHP Cesar Jimenez- The 29-year-old has tallied a 0-1 record and a 6.23 ERA in four appearances for Lara. In 19 big league games this year, Jimenez posted a 1-1 record along with a 3.71 ERA and a .226 batting average against.

Catcher Gabriel Lino- The 20-year-old is hitless in two at bats in three games played for Lara.  The righty batting Lino posted a .254 average with four home runs and 32 RBI in 56 games with Class A short-season Williamsport and Class A Lakewood in 2013.


Arizona Fall League (seven Phils prospects played together on the Peoria Javelinas)...

RHP Kenny Giles- The Phils' 7th round pick from 2011 had a solid AFL season, allowing runs in just one of his ten outings.  Aside from his disastrous appearance in which he allowed six earned runs without retiring a batter on October 19th, the righty threw 10 1/3 scoreless frames while striking out 16 and walking five.  Giles posted a 6.31 ERA in 24 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.

Catcher Cameron Rupp- In 14 games, Rupp batted .278 with four doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI.  The 25-year-old made his big league debut with the Phils in 2013, sporting a .308 average in four games.  Rupp, who batted .258 in 94 minor league games this year at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, was the Phils' 3rd round draft pick in 2010. 

RHP Mike Nesseth- The 25-year-old has a 0-2 record along with a 9.20 ERA while striking out nine and walking eight in 14 2/3 innings for Peoria.  In 48 games at three levels of the minors this year, Nesseth tallied a 1-5 record along with nine saves and a 2.50 ERA.

OF Aaron Altherr- The 22-year-old righty hitter posted a .200 average with three doubles, three RBI and two steals in 12 games.  Altherr was the Phillies' 9th round draft selection in 2009.  The six-foot-five 195-pounder batted .275 with 12 homers, 69 RBI and 23 steals in 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2013.

OF Cameron Perkins- The 23-year-old sported a .216 batting average with four doubles, two triples and three RBI in 18 games.  Perkins was the Phils' 6th round pick in 2012 out of Purdue.  In 103 games with Clearwater this year, the righty batting youngster posted a .295 average with six home runs and 53 RBI.

RHP Kyle Simon- The 23-year-old had one save and a 3.14 ERA in nine games in the AFL.  In 14 1/3 innings, Simon struck out 11 batters and walked six.  Simon posted a 2-6 record with a 4.45 ERA and 11 saves in 45 appearances for Double-A Reading this year.

LHP Austin Wright-  The 24-year-old posted a 5.91 ERA in 10 appearances.  In 10 2/3 innings Wright struck out 11 batters and walked six.  Wright, who was the Phils' 8th round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi in 2011, posted a 6-5 record with a 5.92 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) with Double-A Reading this year.


Mexican Winter League...

LHP Manuel Chavez- The 19-year-old has a 0-2 record with a 3.60 ERA and a .308 batting average against in 16 relief appearances for Mexicali.  In 10 innings Chavez has struck out 10 batters and walked four.  This year with the Phils' Venezuelan Summer League team Chavez tallied a 9-0 record with a 2.18 ERA in 14 starts.

Catcher Sebastian Valle- The righty batting 23-year-old went 5-for-8 in his last three games for Los Mochis to boost his Mexican League season average to .239.  Overall in 19 games Valle has a home run and one RBI.  Valle sported a .203 batting average with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 98 games with Double-A Reading this year.  


Dominican Winter League...

LHP Antonio Bastardo- The 28-year-old took the loss on Sunday for the Gigantes, allowing two earned runs in the 10th inning against the Aguilas.  Bastardo had previously notched four scoreless appearances and now sports a 1.93 ERA.  In 48 big league games this year, before missing time due to a banned substance suspension, Bastardo had a 3-2 record with two saves and a 2.32 ERA.

3B Maikel Franco-  The 21-year-old has been spending considerable time at first base for the Gigantes.  In 22 games, Franco has a .300 average with six doubles and eight RBI.  The righty batting Franco had a bust-out 2013, mashing 31 homers and driving in 103 runs in 134 games with Clearwater and Reading this year.

Catcher Tommy Joseph- The 22-year-old righty hitter has a .231 average with a double and an RBI in five games with the Estrellas.  Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade last year, missed considerable time with concussion related issues this year and batted .179 in 36 minor league games.

OF Leandro Castro- The 24-year-old is 0-for-9 in six games this month.  Castro is batting .245 with four doubles and six RBI in 17 games with the Estrellas.  In 117 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, the righty batting Castro tallied a .256 average with eight home runs and 55 RBI.

RHP Luis Garcia- The 26-year-old has a 1-0 record with a 2.45 ERA through four games for the Estrellas.  In 24 games at three levels of the minors this year, Garcia posted a 3.73 ERA and a .237 batting average against. 

RHP Hector Neris- The 24-year-old sports a 1-0 record along with a 1.50 ERA while striking out three and walking four in six innings pitched for the Toros.  Neris had a 6-4 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .241 batting average against in 46 games this year for Reading.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Phillies extend four spring invites

SpringTraining2014The Phillies have begun planning for spring as news dropped today that they've requested the presence of four non-roster invitees, two of which are new additions, at camp in February.

Outfielder Leandro Castro and lefty hurler Cesar Jimenez are two talents who spent this past season in the organization that will be with the big league club when spring training begins next year. Additionally, newly signed veterans Shawn Camp, a righty pitcher, and outfielder Clete Thomas will be included in the Phillies' early plans in Clearwater as well.

Castro, a right-handed hitter who was signed as an amateur free agent in 2007, has steadily been criticized for his focus and cockiness during his time in the Phillies' organization. This year in the regular season, the 24-year-old posted a .256 batting average with eight homers and 55 RBI in 117 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Jimenez, 29, has a 2-3 record with a 4.96 ERA and a 6.47 K/9 mark in 62 big league games. The Venezuela native was originally signed by the Phillies last December as a minor league free agent and appeared in 19 games with the team in 2013.

Camp, who will be 38 years old soon, was originally a 16th round draft choice of the Padres in 2007. In 538 big league contests, the Virginia native has a 29-33 record with 12 saves and a 4.40 ERA. A year removed from leading the National League in appearances with 80 in 2012, Camp sported a 7.04 ERA in 26 games with the Cubs last season.

Thomas, 30, was a sixth round draft choice of the Tigers in 2005. In 249 career games in the majors with Detroit and Minnesota, Thomas sports a .233 average with a .664 OPS.

Phillies pitchers and catchers are set to report on February 12th while the first full squad workout is slated for February 18th.


This post was also featured on PhilliesNation.com.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off-season League Updates: Franco Back at First Base, Bastardo Returns to Action

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we'll have a weekly review of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for he latest on many familiar names, some top prospects and plenty more.

Dominican Winter League...

3B Maikel Franco-  The trial of Franco at first base continued as the slugger played his fourth straight game there on Monday.  Franco played eight games at first in the closing weeks of the 2013 regular season with Double-A Reading.  The 21-year-old sports a .328 average with four doubles and seven RBI in 17 games with the Gigantes.  The righty batting Franco had a bust-out 2013, slamming 31 homers and droving in 103 runs in 134 games with Clearwater and Reading this year.

LHP Antonio Bastardo- In two appearances, the 28-year-old has pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four and walking one without surrendering a hit.  In 48 big league games this year, before missing time due to a banned substance suspension, Bastardo had a 3-2 record with two saves and a 2.32 ERA.

Catcher Tommy Joseph- The 22-year-old righty hitter made his season debut with the Estrellas over the weekend, going 1-for-3 with and RBI and a run scored.  Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade last year, missed considerable time with concussion related issues this year and batted .179 in 36 minor league games.

OF Leandro Castro- The 24-year-old is batting .245 with four doubles and six RBI in 16 games with the Estrellas.  In 117 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, the righty batting Castro tallied a .256 average with eight home runs and 55 RBI.

RHP Luis Garcia- The 26-year-old has tossed three scoreless frames while striking out two and walking three in three appearances for the Estrellas.  In 24 games at three levels this year, Garcia posted a 3.73 ERA and a .237 batting average against. 

RHP Hector Neris- In six appearances with the Toros, the 24-year-old right-hander has allowed one earned run in six innings (1.50 ERA) while striking out three and walking four.  Neris had a 6-4 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .241 batting average against in 46 games this year for Reading.


Mexican Winter League...

LHP Manuel Chavez- The 19-year-old has a 0-2 record with a 3.72 ERA in 14 relief appearances for Mexicali.  In 9 2/3 innings Chavez has struck out 10 batters and walked four.  This year with the Phils' Venezuelan Summer League team Chavez tallied a 9-0 record with a 2.18 ERA in 14 starts.

Catcher Sebastian Valle- The righty batting 23-year-old is 2-for-19 in his past eight games for Los Mochis.  Overall in 14 games, Valle is batting .162 with a doubles, a home run and one RBI.  Valle sported a .203 batting average with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 98 games with Double-A Reading this year. 


Arizona Fall League (seven Phils prospects play together on the Peoria Javelinas)...

RHP Kenny Giles- The Phils' 7th round pick from 2011 sports a 5.79 ERA and two saves through nine contests with Peoria.  The 23-year-old, threw a scoreless inning in last week's "Fall-Stars" Game out in the AFL as well.  The right-hander missed considerable time during the 2013 regular season with two oblique strains.  Giles posted a 6.31 ERA in 24 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.

Catcher Cameron Rupp- In 13 overall games, Rupp has posted a .300 batting average with four doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI.  The 25-year-old made his big league debut with the Phillies in 2013, sporting a .308 average in four games.  Rupp, who batted .258 in 94 minor league games this year, was the Phils' 3rd round draft pick in 2010. 

OF Aaron Altherr- The 22-year-old righty hitter has a .200 average with three doubles, three RBI and two steals in 11 games.  Altherr, who was born in Germany, was the Phillies' 9th round draft selection in 2009.  The six-foot-five 195-pounder batted .275 with 12 homers, 69 RBI and 23 steals in 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2013.

OF Cameron Perkins- The 23-year-old has gone 1-for-11 in his last four games.  Overall in 16 games, Perkins sports a .227 average with three doubles, two triples and two RBI.  Perkins was the Phils' 6th round pick in 2012 out of Purdue.  In 103 games with Clearwater this year, the righty batting youngster posted a .295 average with six home runs and 53 RBI.

RHP Kyle Simon- Last week, the 23-year-old was scored upon in all three of his outings.  Overall in eight games, Simon has a 2.92 ERA and a .227 batting average against for Peoria.  Simon, who was acquired from the Orioles in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, posted a 2-6 record with a 4.45 ERA and 11 saves in 45 appearances for Double-A Reading this year.

LHP Austin Wright-  The 24-year-old has a 6.52 ERA in nine relief outings.  Right-handed opponents are batting .417 against the youngster while lefty hitters have a .286 mark.  Wright, who was the Phils' 8th round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi in 2011, posted a 6-5 record with a 5.92 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) with Double-A Reading this year.

RHP Mike Nesseth- In his last three appearances, the 25-year-old has allowed 10 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.  Overall, Nesseth has a 9.95 ERA and a .364 batting average against in eight games.  He has struck out eight and walked seven in 12 2/3 innings for Peoria.  In 48 games at three levels of the minors this year, Nesseth tallied a 1-5 record along with nine saves and a 2.50 ERA.


Venezuelan Winter League...

Infielder Cesar Hernandez-  The 23-year-old switch hitter is batting .263 with four doubles, two homers, 13 RBI and two stolen bases in 21 games for Margarita.  Hernandez batted .289 with five doubles and 10 RBI in 34 games with the Phillies and was honored as a Triple-A All-Star this past season.

Infielder Edgar Duran- The switch hitting 22-year-old, who is 3-for-9 (.333 avg) with a triple and two RBI in three games, has been rehabbing an undisclosed injury and is expected to return to action this week for Margarita.  Duran hasn't played in a game since October 12th.  In 117 games with Reading this year, Duran posted a .225 average with four homers and 33 RBI.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis- In 15 games the 23-year-old has posted a .339 average with six doubles, one triple, two homers and nine RBI for Zulia.  The switch-hitting Galvis missed some time in the early going with a bicep strain.  Galvis sported a .234 average with six home runs and 19 RBI in 70 big league games this year.

Outfielder Wilmer Oberto- The lefty hitting 20-year-old has no hits in four at bats through four games for Zulia.  Oberto posted a .316 average with six home runs and 45 RBI in 51 games in the rookie level Gulf Coast League this year.

RHP Severino Gonzalez- The 21-year-old, who was honored as the Phils' Paul Owens Award winner this year, has allowed three earned runs in two innings of work in two appearances for La Guaira.  In the regular season, Gonzalez posted a 7-5 record with a 2.00 ERA and a 10.33 K/9 mark in 25 games at three levels.

1B/DH Jim Murphy- After a hot start, the six-foot-four 240-pound slugger is 4-for-25 (.160 avg) in his last 10 games.  Through 20 games, Murphy is batting .274 with two homers and 10 RBI for Aragua.  Murphy, 28, was a Double-A Eastern League All-Star with Reading in 2013.

Catcher Gabriel Lino- The 20-year-old is hitless in two at bats in three games played for Lara.  Lino was the other player, along with Simon, that was acquired from Baltimore for Jim Thome.  The righty batting Lino posted a .254 average with four home runs and 32 RBI in 56 games with Class A short-season Williamsport and Class A Lakewood in 2013.

LHP Cesar Jimenez- The 29-year-old made his Venezuelan League season debut with Lara last week, throwing 2/3 of an inning, striking out two and walking one without giving up a run. In 19 big league games this year, Jimenez posted a 1-1 record along with a 3.71 ERA and a .226 batting average against.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

PhoulBallz Podcast Episode 46: Jake Borup Dishes on Chuck LaMar

On the 46th edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast former Phillies pitching prospect Jake Borup phones in to chat about his college career, his decision to leave pro ball and shares insider opinions on former Phils director of player development Chuck LaMar.  The guys also talk about Roman Quinn's injury, off-season leagues and enhanced video replay in baseball.

Use the media player below to stream the full episode, or simply download it by clicking HERE.

You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Off-season League Updates: Giles Stands Out, Robles Added to the Mix

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we'll have a weekly run down of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for loads of details on some familiar names, prospects and more.

Arizona Fall League (seven Phils prospects play together on the Peoria Javelinas)...

RHP Kenny Giles- The 23-year-old, was the Phillies' lone representative in the AFL Rising Stars Game over the weekend.  In the annual all-star exhibition Giles threw a scoreless frame, striking out two and walking one while impressing many with his 98-100 MPH fastball and his strong slider.  Overall, Giles has allowed six earned runs while striking out eight and walking seven batters in six innings for Peoria, although all of the runs were surrendered in one very unlucky outing.  The right-hander missed considerable time during the 2013 regular season with two oblique strains.  Giles, a 7th round pick in 2011, posted a 6.31 ERA in 24 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.

Catcher Cameron Rupp- In nine games, Rupp has posted a .324 batting average with two doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBI.  The 25-year-old made his big league debut with the Phillies in 2013, sporting a .308 average in four games.  Rupp was the Phils' 3rd round draft pick in 2010. 

OF Aaron Altherr- The 22-year-old has gone 0-for-11 in three games since bouncing back from a hand ailment that caused him to miss nearly two weeks of action.  Altherr was the Phillies' 9th round draft selection in 2009.  The six-foot-five 195-pounder batted .275 with 12 homers, 69 RBI and 23 steals in 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.

OF Cameron Perkins- In 12 games, the 23-year-old is batting .273 with two doubles, two triples and two RBI.  Perkins was the Phils' 6th round pick in 2012 out of Purdue.  In 103 games with Clearwater this year, the righty batting youngster posted a .295 average with six home runs and 53 RBI.

RHP Kyle Simon- Since allowing a run in his 2013 AFL debut, the 23-year-old has not permitted a run in his following five appearances.  Simon, who was acquired from the Orioles in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, posted a 2-6 record with a 4.45 ERA and 11 saves in 45 appearances for Double-A Reading this year.

LHP Austin Wright- The 24-year-old has allowed five earned runs in seven innings (6.43 ERA) while striking out seven and walking three over six appearances.  Wright, who was the Phils' 8th round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi in 2011, posted a 6-5 record with a 5.92 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) with Double-A Reading this year.

RHP Mike Nesseth- The 25-year-old allowed five earned runs over two innings in his most recent outing last week.  Overall in six appearances for the Javelinas, Nesseth sports a 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA.  In 48 games at three levels this year, Nesseth tallied a 1-5 record along with nine saves and a 2.50 ERA.


Venezuelan Winter League...

Infielder Cesar Hernandez-  The 23-year-old switch hitter is batting .293 with four doubles, two home runs, 12 RBI and a stolen base in 15 games for Margarita.  Hernandez batted .289 with five doubles and 10 RBI in 34 games with the Phillies and was honored as a Triple-A All-Star this past season.

Infielder Edgar Duran- The switch hitting 22-year-old is 3-for-9 (.333 avg) with a triple and two RBI in three games with Margarita thus far.  Duran hasn't played in a game since October 12th.  In 117 games with Reading this year, Duran posted a .225 average with four homers and 33 RBI.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis- In 12 games the 23-year-old has posted a .267 average with three doubles, one homer, four RBI and three steals for Zulia.  The switch-hitting Galvis missed some time in the early going with a bicep strain.  Galvis sported a .234 average with six home runs and 19 RBI in 70 big league games this year.

Outfielder Wilmer Oberto- The lefty hitting 20-year-old has no hits in four at bats for Zulia.  Oberto posted a .316 average with six home runs and 45 RBI in 51 games in the rookie level Gulf Coast League this year.

RHP Severino Gonzalez- The 21-year-old, who was honored as the Phils' Paul Owens Award winner this year, has allowed three earned runs in two innings of work in two appearances for La Guaira.  In the regular season, Gonzalez posted a 7-5 record with a 2.00 ERA and a 10.33 K/9 mark in 25 games at three levels.

RHP Justin Friend- The 27-year-old has had a trio of rough outings in which he has allowed nine total earned runs in one total inning for La Guaira.  Overall in six appearances, the righty has a 12.79 ERA.  Friend posted a 5-4 record with a 3.79 ERA in 46 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year.

LHP Mauricio Robles- In two outings, the 24-year-old has allowed an earned run in 2/3 inning over two appearances for La Guaira.  Robles appeared in three games with the big league Phils in 2013.  Additionally, Robles sported a 1.97 ERA and a .167 batting average against in 51 combined games at Reading and Lehigh Valley this year.

OF Steve Susdorf- Thus far in six games, the 27-year-old is 3-for-19 (.158 avg) with two RBI for Caracas. Susdorf has not played since October 18th.  Susdorf, who was drafted in the 19th round in 2008, played in three big league games with the Phillies this season.

1B/DH Jim Murphy- Through 18 games, the righty batting slugger is batting .298 with two homers and 10 RBI for Aragua.  Murphy, 28, was a Double-A Eastern League All-Star with Reading in 2013.

Catcher Gabriel Lino- The 20-year-old is hitless in two at bats in three games played for Lara.  Lino was the other player, along with Simon, that was acquired from Baltimore for Jim Thome.  The righty batting Lino posted a .254 average with four home runs and 32 RBI in 56 games with Class A short-season Williamsport and Class A Lakewood in 2013.



Dominican Winter League...

3B Maikel Franco- Through 11 games for Cibao, the 21-year-old is batting .333 with three doubles, four RBI and two steals.  The righty batting Franco slammed 31 homers and drove in 103 runs with just one steal in 134 games with Clearwater and Reading this year.

OF Leandro Castro- The 24-year-old is batting .295 with four doubles and six RBI in 11 games with the Estrellas.  In 117 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, Castro sported a .256 average with eight home runs and 55 RBI.

RHP Hector Neris- In four appearances with the Toros, the 24-year-old right-hander has allowed one earned run in 3 2/3 innings while striking out one and walking two.  Neris, 24, had a 6-4 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .241 batting average against in 46 games this year for Reading.

RHP Juan Sosa- The 24-year-old right-hander has appeared in three games for Licey, allowing no runs while striking out three batters in 2 1/3 innings.  In 42 combined games at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading this year, Sosa sported a 5-5 record with three saves and a 4.77 ERA. 


Mexican Winter League...

LHP Manuel Chavez- The 19-year-old has a 0-2 record with a 2.35 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Mexicali.  In 7 2/3 innings Chavez has struck out seven batters and walked three.  This year with the Phils' Venezuelan Summer League team Chavez tallied a 9-0 record with a 2.18 ERA in 14 starts.

Catcher Sebastian Valle- The righty batting 23-year-old is 1-for-12 in his past five games for Los Mochis.  Overall in 11 games, Valle is batting .167 with a home run and one RBI.  Valle sported a .203 batting average with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 98 games with Reading this year.