Report: Phils Have “Serious Discussions” With Seattle About Byrd

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, July 13, 2014 06:23 PM Comments: 8

According to Seattle Mariners’ beat writer Ryan Davish, Marlon Byrd has indicated he is willing to waive his no trade clause to go to Seattle in a potential deal that has reached the serious discussion stage. According to CSN Philly’s Leslie Gudel, Byrd has not yet committed to doing such.:


Byrd is hitting .263/.315/.479, leading the Phillies in homers with 18 and slugging percentage. Byrd, 36, is signed through 2015 at $8 million per year, has a limited no trade clause that would require his consent to be dealt to Kansas City, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Toronto, and has an attainable trigger for 2016 for an $8 million salary.


BlueClaws Quotables: Pitching Coach Les Lancaster Speaks on Lakewood Staff

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 12, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 3

Prior to Class A Lakewood’s home contest against Delmarva on Friday, I talked with pitching coach Les Lancaster about several hurlers on the BlueClaws’ pitching staff.

Lancaster, who pitched seven season in the majors with the Cubs, Tigers and Cardinals, joined the Phillies as a coach in 2011 after managing in the independent leagues for 11 seasons.

Pitchers discussed by Lancaster were right-hander Yacksel Rios, who sports a 2-0 record with a 3.52 ERA and a .198 batting average against in six starts since joining the ‘Claws’ rotation, 19-year-old Tyler Viza and his progress this season, Temple product Matt Hockenberry, last year’s 24th round pick righy Will Morris, injured starter Drew Anderson, righty closer Ulises Joaquin and the returning 2013 BlueClaws All-Star Yoel Mecias, who is fresh off Tommy John surgery.

Read ahead for Lancaster’s comments on the listed topics.

Yacksel Rios-

Yacksel Rios, Image- Jay Floyd

Yeah, Yacksel, I had him last year in Williamsport.  He was a starter for me.  Started out this year in the ‘pen, of course, and we wanted him to work on his secondary pitches.  Mainly his slider.  So, we decided to put him in the rotation where he’ll have some more opportunities and he’s really done a great job for us.  You know, hitters don’t get too good of swing off of him, he hides the ball well.  Plus fastball with movement, good change up and the slider’s coming along, so, as long as he can contribute and keep throwing those, he has a chance.

Tyler Viza-

Well, he started out the season real good and everything.  He’s a strike thrower, he comes right at you and everything.  He kind of got away from his pitching style…kind of went in a slump, you know, didn’t get late in the game…but now, we’ve got him back on track.  The main thing is pitching inside.  He’s pitching inside more and he throws strikes and we’re developing the slider as well.  And he’s come a long way since midseason. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Pitching Coach Les Lancaster Speaks on Lakewood Staff


Gameday 92: Nationals at Phillies

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, July 11, 2014 06:37 PM Comments: 80

Washington Nationals (49-41)  at Philadelphia Phillies (41-51)

Starting Pitchers:
WAS: Jordan Zimmerman (6-4, 2.79)
PHI: A.J. Burnett (5-8, 3.92)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 88
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today: The Phillies are coming off a four-game sweep against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. They’ll now open a series against the National League East leaders.

Grady Sizemore was called up today from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and will be in tonight’s lineup. The former All Star has been plagued with injuries the last few years.

Lineup: Sizemore CF/ Rollins SS/ Utley 2B/ Howard 1B/ Byrd RF/ Asche 3B/ Brown LF/ Rupp C/ Burnett P.


Report: Byrd Has Four-Team NTC

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 11, 2014 02:00 PM Comments: 5

Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, Marlon Byrd has just four teams on his limited no-trade clause: the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays. Byrd, who turns 37 in August, leads the Phillies in home runs and slugging percentage and has a guaranteed contract through 2015 at $8 million per season. Byrd has an interesting and, perhaps, dangerous option for 2016 that vests for $8 million if he reaches 600 PA in 2015 or 550 PA in 2015 with a total of 1100 PA in 2014 and 2015 combined.

Salisbury reports that Tampa and Toronto were placed on Byrd’s list because of the way AstroTurf can wear down an older player. Byrd told Salisbury “Those really are things that were just put on at the time being,” when asked about Kansas City and Seattle. Seattle currently holds the AL’s second Wild Card position while Kansas City trails Seattle by a game and a half. Kansas City is also just 5.5 games back of AL Central-leading Detroit.

Seattle may be particularly desperate to execute a trade in lieu of Michael Saunders‘ recent injury and their overall underwhelming outfield performance (.246/.291/.351). Salisbury states that he has more than one source that say Seattle has been monitoring Byrd.


Report: Bastardo Hottest Phils Name in Rumors

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, July 11, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 11

According to CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, lefty set-up man Antonio Bastardo is the name he hears the most popping up in trade rumors.

Bastardo, 28, makes $2 million this year and has one more year of team control available. Bastardo is on pace to hit a career-high in innings pitched and appearances while improving his strikeout rate by about one K per inning pitched and lowering his WHIP back under his career average.


Knigge wisely and patiently progressing through the minors

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, July 11, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 1


Tyler Knigge, Image- Jay Floyd

Being one step away from the big leagues is a scenario that applies to many prospects. For Lehigh Valley reliever Tyler Knigge, what’s ahead isn’t as important as where he is right now.

A solid outlook and firm understanding of the business have helped Knigge (pronounced kuh-NIG-ee) patiently develop his abilities in the minors. With a bit more time, he’ll be able to reach the top level of the sport he has played for as long as he can recall.

Since his promotion to the Triple-A level last month, the 25-year-old righty hurler has been one of the IronPigs’ most reliable contributors, sporting a 1-1 record with a 3.66 ERA while striking out 17 and walking only one in 19 2/3 innings.

As the set up man with Double-A Reading earlier this season, Knigge notched a 3-0 record with three saves and a 2.12 ERA in 17 contests, to earn a promotion.

A deeper trust in his offerings has been the difference this season for the six-foot-four 215-pounder. Knigge, who was a 12th round draft choice of the Phillies in 2010 out of Lewis & Clark State College, throws a fastball that most often clocks in the mid-90′s and mixes in his slider as well as a change up to keep the opposition guessing.

Knigge was a Florida State League All-Star in 2012, when he dominated, holding opponents to a .168 batting average while tallying a 0.60 ERA as well as a 9.07 K/9 mark in 34 appearance. When he moved up to the Double-A Eastern League, things didn’t come as easily.

“When I was in Clearwater, you know, I’ve always had a pretty good fastball and in Clearwater, they had a hard time handling it,” Knigge stated. “Then, every level you move up they’ll start turning on 95-96.  I think last year the balancing factor was that I have to learn to pitch instead of just throw. I learned that the hard way in 2013, giving up a few bombs here and there.” Continue reading Knigge wisely and patiently progressing through the minors


Phillies Call Up Grady Sizemore

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, July 10, 2014 08:47 PM Comments: 25

The Phillies have called up center fielder Grady Sizemore following their four-game sweep of the Brewers. To make room on the roster, David Buchanan was sent down to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Buchanan will keep his normal pitching schedule, even with being sent down.

Sizemore hit .216/.288/.324 for the Red Sox in 2014 before being designated for assignment. Prior to being called up, he was hitting .289/.360/.378 for the IronPigs.

Sizemore has a history of injuries, but used to be one of the better center fielders in MLB, and had the potential to be an all-time great. Sadly, injuries derailed his career. Included in his MLB resume is three All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger award. He had a 30/30 season in 2008.

The Phillies outfield is in desperate need of help (especially with a banged up Ben Revere), and Sizemore could potentially be an answer–or he could provide depth should the Phillies explore trading Marlon Byrd.

Cliff Lee was transferred to the 60-day DL, but he’ll likely be ready to start just after the all star break.


Seven-Run Eighth Powers Buchanan, Phils to Sweep

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, July 10, 2014 05:21 PM Comments: 11

If you had the Phillies coming into Milwaukee and sweeping the team with the NL’s best record in their own yard after losing nine of their last ten, raise your hand?

After being held hitless until the top of the seventh by Matt Garza, the Phillies exploded for seven runs in the eighth and rewarded a fine effort by rookie David Buchanan and led the Phillies to a 9-1 win and a series sweep against the team with the NL’s best record in their own ballpark.


Buchanan Stymies Brewers

Buchanan earned his fifth win of the season, pulling his record to an even 5-5. Buchanan’s ERA dropped to 4.40 after going seven innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits, striking out five. Buchanan surrendered a sixth inning homer to Carlos Gonzalez which had the feeling of a game-winner in a game strapped for offense. But…

The Offense Comes Out Swinging, Both Barrels Loaded With Two Outs in the Eighth

It looked like one of those all-too-common days where a Phillies pitcher would toss a winnable game only to have the offense not reward them but Cameron Rupp started an offensive onslaught that almost didn’t stop in the eighth inning. Rupp hit a one-out double and was followed by a pinch-hit walk by Cesar Hernandez. Rupp and Hernandez would each move up a base on a Tony Gwynn Jr. ground out.

With two outs, Jimmy Rollins singled home Rupp and Hernandez. Rollins would steal second before a Chase Utley walk. Ryan Howard would follow with a reviewed and up-held ground rule double, scoring Rollins, putting the Phillies up 3-1. Marlon Byrd would be intentionally walked before Cody Asche hit a ground-rule double of his own to make the score 5-1. Domonic Brown would join the party with a two-run single of his own to make it 7-1.

In the ninth, the Big Piece smashed a two-run homer, ending a 20-game homer-less drought, putting the Phillies ahead 9-1. Anotonio Bastardo struck out one in a perfect eighth and Jake Diekman struck out a pair in a perfect ninth to preserve the win.

Well, what now? The Phillies, left for dead, end a difficult road trip 5-5 on a four-game winning streak. With their playoff results improving 12-times over after yesterday’s results, going from 0.1% to 1.2%, each win pulls on your heart strings and makes you think this team has some kind of chance to play, at the very least, fun baseball for the rest of the summer, no?


Gameday 91: Phillies at Brewers

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, July 10, 2014 01:31 PM Comments: 58

Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: David Buchanan (4-5, 4.82)
MIL: Matt Garza (6-5, 3.78)

Time: 2:10, Miller Park
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Weather: Clear, 71
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Today: It’s an afternoon start today as the Brewers and Phillies wrap up the series.


Phillies Nation TV – Episode 15 – Trade Rumors Begin

Posted by Brian Michael, Thu, July 10, 2014 01:03 PM Comments: 0

This week Pat and Corey break down how the recent trade between the A’s and Cubs will affect the Phillies come the trade deadline. They also paint the landscape in the AL and NL for prospective Phillies talent. Jayson Stark returns to discuss the dramatic downfall of Roy Halladay and the playoff-caliber team. Matt Stairs and Tommy Greene are back with pro tips for aspiring major leaguers.

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