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News and notes: 9/9/21

For anyone wondering, "What's up, PhoulBallz.com?"...

Well, interviewing players with COVID related restrictions is difficult to make happen.  I'm still not permitted on the field, in the locker room or any other place that the Phillies of the future do their things.  I still reach out to players and without knowing me, the players aren't as swift to provide me with the feedback I desire.  

With that said, I don't have the stories to tell, like I once did.  I am hopeful that we'll get back to that, as things return to normal down the line.  

Pitcher Adam Leverett, who has moved between levels with some frequency of late, has promised to set aside some time for me to do an interview.  We just haven't made that happen yet.  

The 22-year-old right-hander was a 15th round draft choice in 2019.  Combined at three levels this year, Leverett sports a 4-5 record, a 3.54 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 9.6 K/9 mark in 20 games primarily as a starter.  He opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore and has since been promoted to Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  

Swift-footed outfielder Corbin Williams was released this week.  A 24th round pick in 2018, the 23-year-old struggled offensively with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore this summer.  In 34 games with the BlueClaws, the righty hitter posted a .171 batting average with a disappointing .469 OPS.  In 2019 Williams was named as a short-season Class A New York-Penn League All-Star as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters.  

Highly touted outfield prospect Johan Rojas is scorching hot after joining the BlueClaws recently.  Through seven contests, the 21-year-old Dominican has notched a .385/.467/.538 slash line.
  
Vito Friscia, image- Jay Floyd
BlueClaws first baseman Vito Friscia has departed from the team in order to join Team Italy in the European Baseball Championship, which is set to take place in Piedmont, Italy beginning on Sunday, September 12th.  The 24-year-old righty batter has tallied a .265 average with seven home runs and 40 RBI through 76 games with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore this season.  He also played one game at the Triple-A level, going 1-for-3 with a double for Lehigh Valley.  The Italian national team will be managed by MLB legend Mike Piazza. 

Jersey Shore has been unable to wear matching caps with their Copa de la Diversion jerseys.  The initiative designed to connect minor league teams with Hispanic and Latino communities via alternate identities and uniforms sees the BlueClaws become the Medusas de Jersey Shore in specially designated dates.  Supply and fulfillment concerns related to cap company New Era have left the 'Claws without enough matching hats for the team and fans.  Thus, the club has been wearing their road cap for recent "Copa" dates. 

Double-A Reading's schedule continues to be on hold as their scheduled opponent, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto affiliate) remain unable to compete due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.  

Outfielder Simon Muzziotti, who recently returned to action after dealing with immigration and related legal concerns, would likely have been assigned to Reading, if they were able to play.  Instead, he's been active with Jersey Shore this week.  In six combined games in the Florida Complex League, the Class A Southeast and Class A Advanced East, the 22-year-old Venezuelan sports a .333 average with a pair of doubles, a triple, three RBI and three walks.  

This year's first round draft pick by the Phillies, Andrew Painter, made his first two professional appearances over the past week.  Both outings were just one inning of work each in the Rookie level Florida Complex League.  He's given up one hit, struck out three and surrendered no runs thus far in the minors.  Painter, an 18-year-old righty, was the 13th overall draft choice this year.  

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