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Phillies promote Bogusevic from triple-A Lehigh Valley

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Fri, September 04, 2015 11:43 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies have promoted outfielder Brian Bogusevic from triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley, according to Philly.com’s Ryan Lawrence.

To make room on the roster for the 31-year-old, left-hander Elvis Araujo has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Bogusevic enjoyed a solid 2015 season for the IronPigs. In 458 at-bats, he posted a slash line of .295/.360/.426 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs.

Bogusevic hasn’t played in the majors since 2013, when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs. Previously, he spent the 2010-2012 seasons with the Houston Astros, and spent the 2014 season in the Miami Marlins’ minor league system. Over 299 major league games, Bogusevic has a batting average of .236 with a .682 OPS to go along with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs.

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Franco likely not returning in 2015; Brown’s time in Philly over?

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, September 03, 2015 12:22 PM Comments: 30

maikel-franco-acbfe5b074b8992cAfter interim manager Pete Mackanin stated that there was a “real good chance” that Maikel Franco would return to the Phillies’ starting lineup before the end of the 2015 season, it now looks like there’s a real good chance that he won’t.

Before Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets, the rookie took swings for the first time since suffering the injury, and felt discomfort in his healing wrist, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Franco’s recovery process had been running smoothly before Wednesday. Over the last week, he had been fielding ground balls with no discomfort.

With this setback, however, the Phillies will likely hit the brakes on Franco’s return to the lineup in 2015, and shift their eyes to 2016. With just a month left in the season, Mackanin agrees that Franco’s promising rookie season will disappointingly come to a close.

“There’s going to come a point that he gets to where we’ll probably end up shutting him down,” Mackanin said Wednesday. “That doesn’t mean we will, but if another week goes by to where we get into the middle of September and he’s going to need rehab at-bats, I don’t see the point of playing him for the final week or 10 days of the season. I thought he might be back earlier than it seems he will be.”

If Franco does not return, he could get a chance to shake off any rust in the Dominican winter league before returning to the Phillies for spring training next February.

The 22-year-old has been out since taking a Jeremy Hellickson fastball to the wrist in Arizona on Aug. 11. The initial belief was that Franco’s injury wouldn’t warrant a stint on the disabled list, but further tests revealed a slight fracture which resulted in Franco being placed on the 15-day DL. Before going down with the injury, Franco was putting together an impressive rookie campaign. His .828 OPS and .490 slugging percentage led all qualifying major league rookies at the time of his injury. If his 2015 is over, Franco will finish with a .277 batting average to go along with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.

Brown’s Phillies career over?:

domonic-brown-getty2Domonic Brown did not travel with the Phillies to Boston for this weekend’s series against the Red Sox. Instead, he was sent to Philadelphia to be evaluated for a concussion after taking a hard fall in Wednesday night’s 9-4 loss to the Mets.

According to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, the potential concussion could spell the end for Brown’s career in Philadelphia.

“Major League Baseball has strict concussion protocols and Brown has history there,” Salisbury wrote in an article for CSNPhilly.com. “He missed 11 games with a concussion in the second half of the 2013 season. With just a month of the season left and his playing time already dwindling, Brown might have played his last game for the team that selected him in the 20th round of the 2006 draft.”

Brown suffered the injury while running for a Ruben Tejada fly ball to shallow right field. He missed the ball, and his momentum caused him to flip over the short wall down the right field-line. The play resulted in an inside-the-park home run for Tejada.

The 28-year-old has seen his playing time diminish in recent weeks due to his poor performance and the crowded state of the Phillies’ outfield. Since Aug. 1, Brown is hitting just .177 with a .600 OPS in 62 at-bats. Brown is arbitration eligible this off season, and the Phillies may elect to just cut ties with their former top prospect based off his lack of production. If Brown is forced to miss time due to a concussion, he wouldn’t have the time to prove that he can be a contributor beyond 2015 with just a month left in the season.

Brown has severely underachieved since a breakout 2013 season where he made his first All-Star team and finished with 27 home runs. Since returning to the club in early June, Brown has endured another down season, posting a slash line of just .228/.284/.349 in 189 at-bats.

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Phillies Nation episode 21: Matt Breen, reviewing trade returns

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, September 03, 2015 10:38 AM Comments: 0

On the latest edition of Phillies Nation, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen joins the panel to discuss the big league debut of Alec Asher, the production of Jerad Eickhoff as well as Aaron Nola‘s efforts for the big club.  Minor league insider Jay Floyd and Rudy Mezzy team up to review the Phils’ acquisitions from recent trades including righty pitcher Nick Pivetta.  Rachel and Corey also chat about what is to come for Ryan Howard, Cameron Rupp and others.

Watch this week’s episode in the media player below and look for new episodes to premiere each Tuesday at 6PM on The Comcast Network (no new show Labor Day week).

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Crawford, Knapp among Phils prospects headed to AFL

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, September 02, 2015 07:00 AM Comments: 5

jp craw 3On Tuesday Arizona Fall League rosters were announced.  The list of talented youngsters that will represent the Phillies in the prominent off-season league is headlined by top prospect J.P. Crawford.

The 20-year-old shortstop was the Phils’ first round draft selection in 2013.  In just his second full pro season this year, he reached the Double-A Eastern League where he was honored as a mid-season All-Star.  Through 101 games combined for Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading, Crawford tallied a .294 average with six homers, 41 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

Joining Crawford will be his Reading teammate catcher Andrew Knapp..  The 23-year-old has been hot of late as he sported a .404 average with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 25 August games for the playoff bound Fightins.

Also headed to the AFL to take the field as part of the Glendale Desert Dogs will be lefty pitcher Tom Windle, right-handed hurlers Yacksel Rios, Nick Pivetta and Edubray Ramos as well as outfielder Dylan Cozens.

The AFL opens play on Tuesday, October 13th.

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Top-10 September callups of the last 20 years

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, September 01, 2015 01:00 PM Comments: 10

120312-darin-ruf-600Sept. 1 is one of my favorite days on the baseball calendar, as teams begin calling up new faces to help pad the major league roster. Historically teams may use the September callup season to give fans a taste of a top prospect ready to become an everyday player. Most of the time, though, it’s more conservative than this, as teams are usually hoping to add depth, or even protect a player from the dreaded Rule V draft.

The Phils are no different. While many of the Phils’ September callups have been for depth (especially between 2007 and ’11), a special few have been hotly anticipated. I went back 20 years to 1995 to determine the top-10 September callups of the last 20 years, focusing mostly on younger players getting their first taste (or close to it) in the majors.

So this isn’t a scientific ranking. More a combination of hype and production. Enjoy.

10. Cesar Hernandez – 2013
We were told Cesar Hernandez had outstanding infield defensive ability upon his first cup of coffee in midseason 2013. But it was in September that we saw his true range, as he started almost exclusively in centerfield. He did okay, displaying average-at-best ability in center while singling pitchers to death to a line of .289/.344/.331. He remains with the club today, starting at second base after the Chase Utley trade. His future remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

9. Vance Worley – 2010
Vance Worley made his major league debut in a July blowout against Colorado, but he had an extended stay in September, helping the Phillies give some rest to a pitching staff that cruised through a dominant 2010 campaign. Worley had a solid first start against the Marlins, then started once more, against Atlanta, twirling five shutout innings. Worley would become a great fifth starter in an awesome 2011 pitching staff, before being dealt to Minnesota for Ben Revere. He’s been a league-average pitcher, most recently throwing out of the Pittsburgh bullpen before being optioned to AAA.

8. Carlos Ruiz – 2006
While Carlos Ruiz had a cup of coffee in May (and July) of 2006 because of injury, he was brought up to the Phillies for good in September. Starting a few games, Chooch had his finest offensive run of the season, collecting eight hits, including two home runs. Ruiz would stay with the Phils in 2007 and beyond, turning into one of the franchise’s most revered catchers.

7. Gene Schall – 1996
Back in 1996 we had two major callups: Calvin Maduro and Gene Schall. Maduro, 21, pitched decently well, but his contribution was small. Schall – a 26-year-old Abington kid who went to La Salle High and Villanova – had a little more room to grow in 1996, getting 41 plate appearances in his September stay. He did well, too, hitting two homers, three doubles and a triple en route to a line of .306/.390/.611. I mean, that’s seriously good. Sadly, though, Schall was traded for Mike Robertson (yes, THE Mike Robertson) and never made it to the majors again. He had a solid AAA career, however, retiring in 2002 with 125 career homers at the top minor-league level.

6. Gavin Floyd – 2004
Rewind to 2004. Citizens Bank Park is glistening and new. Jim Thome is rocking homers into the seats. And the Phils have two surefire stars ready to reach Philly in Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd. At just 21, Floyd was a big deal upon his arrival in Philadelphia in September 2004. He lived up to the hype, tossing a decent seven innings in a win over the Mets in his major league debut. He would move to the bullpen during his time in Philly, but return as a starter in 2005 and ‘06, all to pretty bad results. (Maybe Floyd was best known as the pitcher on the mound when Aaron Rowand slammed his face into the fence to catch a would-be Xavier Nady grand slam.) Floyd would find some success in Chicago, traded in the wonderful Freddy Garcia deal. Memories.

5. Darin Ruf – 2012
And it was on Sept. 14, 2012, that 26-year-old super prospect Darin Ruf got his first action in a Phillies uniform. After tearing up the minors with his power, Ruf started slow, but on Sept. 25 hit his first major league homer in a win against Washington. He’d hit two in one game a week later, ending his 2012 callup campaign with three bombs, 10 RBI, and a good line of .333/.351/.727. Ruf has been a mainstay on the Phils bench since then, playing respectably, but especially good against left-handed pitching (.291/.378/.518).

4. Marlon Anderson – 1998
Sept. 8, 1998. The Phillies are blasting the Mets, 12-3, in the seventh inning. Manager Terry Francona motions to 24-year-old Marlon Anderson. It’ll be his first career plate appearance, right there in front of a crowd of maybe 10,000 at Veterans Stadium. Against Mel Rojas, Anderson works a 2-2 count, then knocks it deep to right. It clears the fence. Marlon Anderson’s first career appearance is a home run. He’d finish 1998 with solid numbers, and would win the starting second base job for 1999. That year began with a sterling 3-for-4 day in Atlanta. That was pretty much his peak as a Phillie.

3. Ryan Howard – 2004
With the Phillies under .500 on Sept. 1, 2004, they opted to call up top prospect Ryan Howard, who was blocked as an everyday player by all-world slugger Jim Thome. Howard would mostly pinch hit through September, garnering just a few starts toward the end of the season. He homered twice, doubled five times and finished with a good line of .282/.333/.564. This, coupled with his solid 2005 season – during a Thome injury – allowed the Phils to deal Thome to Chicago and start Howard for good.

2. Bobby Estalella – 1997
Imagine a hyped catching prospect reaching the major leagues at age 21 as a September callup. Imagine him swatting two home runs late in the season, finishing with a 6-for-11 performance in three games at Shea Stadium. Then imagine, a year later, he’s called up and starts in Montreal. Second inning, against future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez … home run. Then, down two, sixth inning, against Martinez … home run. Finally, in the ninth, he leads off … a third home run. That was Bobby Estalella, 1997.

What you can’t imagine is the excitement on a 12-year-old’s face when this veritable child socks three homers in a game. “He’s the future!” I thought. Estalella never again matched the magic he sparked that evening at Olympic Stadium.

Yes, Howard had a more impressive September statistically, but when you hit two homers off a future Hall of Famer, you earn the spot.

1. Jimmy Rollins – 2000
Highly rated shortstop prospect James Calvin Rollins joined the Phillies in mid-September 2000, immediately making his presence felt with a triple, stolen base and two runs. He would only notch one more extra-base hit that year, but he accrued 17 hits in 53 at bats, good for a .321 AVG.

The 21-year-old became an instant fan favorite, proving the hype, and would quickly be penciled in as starting shortstop. Thirteen years later, would break the franchise record for career hits.

Rollins is the best measure of a September callup. He was given a chance to play everyday, made the best of it, and set the table for an outstanding rookie season. For that, he’s the best Phillies callup of the last 20 years.

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Kratz, Hinojosa, Murray Activated in Roster Expansion

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Tue, September 01, 2015 11:29 AM Comments: 0

The Phillies rosters have expanded and it may not be what you were expecting. Among the call ups is our old friend, Erik Kratz, who has been hitting strongly in Triple-A.  Kratz has played 26 games for Lehigh Valley, batting .312 with 24 hits, which includes 8 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs and 15 RBIs.

Also called up is another familiar face, Dalier Hinojosa, who pitched 3 games for the Phillies earlier in the year, pitching 5.0 scoreless innings before being sent back to the minors.  Hinojosa has not had as much success in the minors this year, in 13.0 innings for LHV he has put up a 5.54 ERA with 14 hits and 8 earned runs.

The third call up is another MLB debut for the Phillies, Colton Murray will get his first look in the bullpen.  Murray was a 13th round pick from 2011 for the Phillies and has impressed this year with a 2.79 ERA over 42 innings with the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.

Chad Billingsley and Matt Harrison have been moved to the 60-day DL to make room for the roster moves.

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BlueClaws Quotables: Coaches talk Grullon, Kingery, Watson, more

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, September 01, 2015 08:05 AM Comments: 0

This past week I spoke with Class A Lakewood manager Shawn Williams and the team’s pitching coach Aaron Fultz.  Below are interview excerpts from both men as we check in on a few familiar names like catching prospect Deivi Grullon, this year’s second round draft choice Scott Kingery as well as 2012 first round pick Shane Watson, plus more.

Williams…

DGrullon

Deivi Grullon, image- Jay Floyd

-Catcher Deivi Grullon has had some ups and downs at the plate this year.  Has he made solid progress and are you pleased with his seeason? 

I am pleased.  I know the numbers aren’t there offensively, but he’s had some tough luck, he’s had some tough outs.  But, for me, more importantly, he’s finishing the season strong.  His RBI’s and power numbers have come here lately.  He’s gotten better, he’s having better at bats, but more importantly for a catcher, that comes first.  He’s done an outstanding job all year.  He’s done an outstanding job.  He’s learning a lot.  For me, he’s grown up a lot.  He’s getting better with the English language, things that are helping him.  He’s got one of the most important characteristics as a catcher- he’s a leader.  He’s one of those guys that everybody goes to, a like-able guy in the clubhouse and he’s been huge for our pitching staff.

 

-A pair of names that fans would be familiar with on this team are early round draft picks from this year Scott Kingery and Kyle Martin.  What have you seen from those guys since they joined the team a couple months ago?

 

Both of them are very good ballplayers and they are baseball players.  

Kingery- very impressive defensively at second, all around player.  But he can really turn a double play, he can run, he looks very hitterish in the box, he puts together good at bats.  For me, he’s had a very good year with us, for the first year in and playing every day.  He shows up ready to play every day.  He’s a gamer and he’s got the tools there too that are impressive.

And Martin, another guy that can swing the bat, good defensively, a very good base runner, very smart, he can steal a base, good instincts.  Both of them are guys that have instincts, which are hard to teach.  They have them and they’ve really helped our club here in the second half. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Coaches talk Grullon, Kingery, Watson, more

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Rupp’s lack of Phils knowledge excusable?

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 31, 2015 03:39 PM Comments: 13

rupp

Cameron Rupp, image- Jay Floyd

Phillies backstop Cameron Rupp is having quite a month.  The righty batting Texan sports a .327 average with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 16 August games.

Informed by reporters following Sunday’s game that he is the first Phils rookie catcher to hit seven home runs in a calendar month since 1922, the 26-year-old responded in a noteworthy manner.

According to reports, Rupp replied, “Ah, that’s pretty cool.  Is that when they were the A’s?”

Say what now?

Clearly, the Phillies were never the Athletics.  That team, used to play in Philadelphia though, before relocating to Kansas City back in the 1950′s.  The Phils have been around dating back to the 1880′s.

Rupp, who is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, can tend to rub some Philadelphia sports fans the wrong way when it comes to his alligience regarding football, but shouldn’t he possess at least basic historical knowledge of the team he plays for?

Personally, I like Rupp.  He’s been a pleasure to cover through the minors and into the big leagues.  But, what amount of fan reaction for a mistake like this is valid and does his hot production of late get him a pass?

Before you share your thoughts below in the comments section, consider one more thing related to Rupp’s Cowboys fandom…on a December, 2013 episode of the PhoulBallz Podcast (football chat begins at 34:00, bet proposal at 43:00), he wagered with me and Reading Fightins photographer Tug Haines that if the Eagles won the NFC East division title that season that he’d wear an Eagles jersey and post a picture of it on his Twitter account.  The Eagles locked down that title and Rupp welched on the bet.  Additionally, he later declined to follow through on paying his debt on an episode of Phillies Nation TV in 2014, never donning the Eagles’ midnight green whatsoever.

This wager is brought up in fun, as I’ve reminded Cameron about it multiple times.  However, from a guy that’s already given the six-foot-two 258-pounder some slack and laughed off this player dismissing a bet, perhaps I’m less prone to giving Rupp a complete pass from some good old fashioned ball busting.

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Asher Debuts, Rupp Homers But Phils Fall 9-4

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, August 30, 2015 07:00 PM Comments: 1

Baseballs left CBP early and often in righy Alec Asher‘s Major League debut. Asher surrendered four earned via eight hits, including two homers, in a 9-4 loss against the San Diego Padres. Despite the loss, the Phillies won the series two games to one.

Asher retired the first batter he faced, Yangervis Solarte, but would surrender a single to catcher Derek Norris followed by a homer by slugger Matt Kemp to put the Padres up 2-0 in the first. The Phillies offense would fight back with a homer of their own in the second, as Cameron Rupp hit his eighth of the year off of James Shields. The one-run deficit would remain for just a few hitters as Justin Upton took Asher deep in the top of the third to raise the Padres’ lead back to two, at 3-1. Big Game James would get back the run he surrendered to the Phillies, driving in Yonder Alonso with two outs in the sixth, making it 4-1 Padres.

Hector Neris, who replaced Asher with two outs in the sixth following Shields’ RBI single, would fall victim to a Solarte solo shot, giving the Padres a 5-1 lead in the seventh. With the Friars in the driver’s seat and Adam Loewen in the game for the eighth, the Padres scored three more, all attributed to Loewen who left the inning without an out, as Justin De Fratus sat down three Pads while surrendering only one inherited runner.

Things seemed hopeless for the Phils, down 8-1 in the eighth when Odubel Herrera (4-4, 1 R, CS) picked up his fourth single of the day, this time off reliever Odrisamer Despaigne. Herrera was driven home by a Cesar Hernandez (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R) triple. Aaron Altherr (1-4, 1 RBI) drove home Hernandez before a Ryan Howard GIDP ended the inning. With De Fratus in for the ninth, Melvin Upton drove home Clint Barmes to make the game 9-3. The Phillies wouldn’t give up, adding one more, a Cody Asche ground out that followed an Andres Blanco triple, but would fall to San Diego 9-4.

Quick Hits: With his 4-4 day at the plate, Odubel Herrera has moved into fourth in batting average (.295) among NL rookies, trailing only Stephen Piscotty, Enrique Hernandez, and Matt Duffy. Since his pinch-hit homer on June 6 against the Giants, Andres Blanco has hit .322 with 2 triples and 5 homers. In the last 20 Phillies’ games, Blanco is hitting .345 with 5 doubles, a triple, and 3 homers.

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Reading 1B Stassi named Eastern League MVP

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 30, 2015 11:45 AM Comments: 6

B Stassi

Brock Stassi, image- Jay Floyd

Via a press release, the Double-A Eastern League announced on Saturday that Reading Fightins All-Star first baseman Brock Stassi has been honored as the league’s most valuable player for the 2015 season.

The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce that Reading Fightin Phils first baseman Brock Stassi has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Eastern League Most Valuable Player Award. Stassi is batting .312 (138-for-442) with 32 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 88 RBIs, 73 runs scored, three stolen bases, a .484 slugging percentage and a .402 on-base percentage in 124 games while helping lead Reading to first place in the Eastern Division standings. The 26-year old has reached base safely in 108 of the 122 games in which he’s had a plate appearance this season for the Fightin Phils, including reaching base safely in 25 straight games from May 24th-June 22nd. He also has 40 multiple hit games this season, including going 4-for-8 with two RBIs, one walk and one stolen base in an 8-7, 18-inning win over Altoona on June 11th at FirstEnergy Stadium. In addition to his offensive contributions in that game, Stassi was also the winning pitcher, striking out three batters while closing out the game with three no-hit innings of relief.

Stassi, who was selected by the Phillies in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft, is tops in the league in RBI, doubles and OPS (.886).

The EL MVP award was voted on by Eastern League managers and coaches as well as members of the media.

The six-foot-two 190-pound lefty batter spoke with Phillies Nation earlier this season about his turnaround at the plate. Click here to read that interview.

Additionally, the Eastern League also named Reading skipper Dusty Wathan manager of the year.  Wathan is in his fourth season managing Reading and took the club t

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