Sunday, November 23, 2014

Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

It's time once again for another weekly review of Phillies players' performances and progress in off-season leagues around the globe.

Dominican Winter League-

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd
Third baseman Maikel Franco has been in a slump lately, going 3-for-27 (.111 avg) over his last seven games. One positive out of that is that two of his three hits during that time are home runs. Overall in 22 games for the Gigantes, the 22-year-old is batting .239 with six homers and 21 RBI. This year in 133 contests with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the righty hitting Franco posted a .257 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBI.

Right-handed reliever Hector Neris has made 11 scoreless appearances for the Toros while striking out five and walking four in 8 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old appeared in one game with the Phils this year, earning a win in his big league debut.

Australian Baseball League-

Power hitting outfielder Dylan Cozens has a .205 average with three homers and six RBI in 11 contests with Melbourne. This year, with Class A Lakewood, the 20-year-old sported a .248 average with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 132 games. The six-foot-six 235-pounder was the Phillies' 2nd round draft selection in 2012.

Catcher Chace Numata has tallied a .295 average with three doubles and four RBI in 12 games, also with Melbourne. Numata missed much of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hamate bone prior to the season. The 22-year-old was the Phillies' 14th round draft pick in 2010.

After opening his season 1-for-12, outfielder Brian Pointer has gone 11-for-34 (.324 avg). Overall, Pointer has a .261 average with a home run and five RBI in 12 games with Perth. In 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, Pointer posted a .246 average with 15 homers, 53 RBI and 16 steals. The 22-year-old lefty batter was the Phils' 28th round pick in 2010.

Third baseman Mitch Walding is batting .220 with three doubles and eight RBI in 11 contests for Canberra. Walding sported a .237 average with seven home runs and 55 RBI in 108 games for Class A Lakewood this year. The 22-year-old was the Phillies' 5th round draft choice in 2011.

Mexican Winter League-

Victor Arano has allowed seven earned runs in 10 1/3 innings (6.10 ERA) while striking out eight and walking one in eight appearances for Obregon. The 19-year-old right-hander was acquired was the player to be named later in the Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers trade this year. With Class A Great Lakes this year, Arano tallied a 4-7 record with three saves and a 4.08 ERA and an 8.69 K/9 mark in 22 games.

Puerto Rico/Roberto Clemente League-

Righty pitcher Yacksel Rios has a 0-1 record after allowing two earned runs in three innings of work for Santurce. The 21-year-old posted a 6-2 record with one save and a 3.69 ERA in 33 games (13 starts) for Lakewood this year. Rios was the Phillies' 12th round draft pick in 2011.

In 12 games for Mayaguez, Jesmuel Valentin is batting .294 with no extra-base hits and two RBI. The 20-year-old infielder posted a .273/.341/.412 slash line in 120 minor league games this year.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Ethan Martin, image- Jay Floyd
Righty pitcher Ethan Martin has not pitched since making his VWL debut for La Guaira with two scoreless innings on November 4th. The 25-year-old righty has been sidelined with a back ailment but is expected to return to action this week after pitching some live batting practice as recently as Wednesday. Martin, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the 2012 Shane Victorino trade, appeared in two games with the Phillies this year, allowing two earned runs in four innings.

For La Guaira, righty Mike Nesseth made his VWL debut this week, tossing a scoreless appearance in his first outing, then allowing four earned runs in 1/3 inning in his second appearance. The 26-year-old posted a 2-7 record with a save and a 5.60 ERA in 42 combined outings at Double- Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year. The six-foot-five 210-pound Nesseth was the Phils' 17th round pick in 2010.

Also, Cam Perkins has remained inactive for La Guaira since returning to the United States for a reported Phillies-ordered reason early this month.

Outfielder Aaron Altherr is batting .286 with four home runs, 27 RBI and a stolen base in 31 games for Zulia. The 23-year-old righty hitter played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, the Phillies' 9th round pick in 2009 posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

In 26 games with Zulia, shortstop Freddy Galvis sports a .257 average with seven doubles, a homer and seven RBI. In 43 big league contests this year, the 25-year-old switch-hitting infielder batted .176 with four home runs and 12 RBI.

Recent free agent acquisition Elvis Araujo sports a 2-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in eight relief outings for Zulia. The 23-year-old left-hander posted a 2-1 record with 11 saves, a 3.42 ERA and a 9.00 K/9 mark in 43 combined games with Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron this year.

Infielder Cesar Hernandez has been playing third base for Lara. In 15 games, the 24-year-old is batting .310 with four doubles, eight RBI and a stolen base. In 66 games with the Phillies this year, the 24-year-old switch-hitter batted .237 with a homer, four RBI and a stolen base.

Catcher Gabriel Lino is batting .308 with four doubles and three RBI in 12 games for Lara. The 21-year-old, who was acquired from Baltimore in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, played in 90 combined games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, posting a combined .215 average with five home runs and 34 RBI.

In nine appearances with Lara, lefty hurler Cesar Jimenez has a 2-4 record with a 3.42 ERA while having struck out 27 and walked six in 26 1/3 innings of work. The 29-year-old posted a 1.69 ERA in 16 big league games with the Phillies this year.

Infielder Andres Blanco is batting .367 with three doubles, six RBI and a stolen base in eight games for Magallanes. The 30-year-old recently re-signed with the Phillies after batting .277 with a homer and three RBI in 25 games with the big league club in 2014.

In three appearances with Aragua, righty Manny Martinez has pitched two scoreless frames. Combined with Class A short-season Williamsport and Class A Lakewood this year, the 22-year-old posted a 1-4 record with a 5.01 ERA while striking out 34 and walking 17 in 32 1/3 innings over 26 contests.
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