Archive for July, 2009

A Look at What the Phillies Gave Up

Posted by Ben Seal, Thu, July 30, 2009 11:46 AM Comments: 97

The rumors began flying weeks ago. If the Phillies were going to pick up a frontline starter at the trade deadline it would ravage the farm system, picking off all the top prospects in one fell swoop and leaving the club’s future uncertain. While it did take a quartet of minor leaguers to bring Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco into the fold yesterday, it wasn’t exactly the four players that had the Delaware Valley split on whether a trade was necessary. Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek will still be wearing red pinstripes in the near future. Top position prospect Dominic Brown can still look forward to a career in the Phillies outfield, as can the man with the monster stats, Michael Taylor. And J.A. Happ, the potential NL Rookie of the Year, still has a comfortable spot in the rotation – at least for now.

So what did the Phillies give up to acquire the reigning AL Cy Young winner? According to Baseball America, they sent their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 10th-ranked prospects to the Midwest. The package they gave up is considerable, primarily because three of those players – Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and Jason Donald – were playing at triple-A Lehigh Valley, just a call-up away from joining the big club. But the actual impact on the Phils minor league system is not as big as it might seem. Here’s a look at what Philly is losing with each of these prospects.

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – At age 22, it is still far too early to say whether Carrasco is a disappointment, but it is fair to say that his progression through the ranks was not smooth. He boasted the best fastball and changeup in the system, two pitches that made Cole Hamels a World Series MVP. There was plenty to like about the stuff Carrasco brought onto the mound for each of his starts. But with that fantastic arm came a lack of composure, the one characteristic that almost always defines quality major league pitchers. He was infamous in the minors for letting one bad pitch snowball into a disastrous inning, allowing his great ability to get lost in the fray. Though he made three trips to the Futures Game before this year, Carrasco’s performance with the Iron Pigs was inconsistent. He left Lehigh Valley with a 6-9 record and a 5.18 ERA.

There is plenty of reason to believe that Carrasco will settle down, mature as a pitcher and harness his skills. If he can, he could very well be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter with a slightly higher ceiling. But after 5 years of ups and downs in the Phillies organization, he became expendable when a consistent ace came calling.

Lou Marson, C – There will always be high demand around baseball for a catcher that can hit the ball, and Marson was just that. Last season he hit .314 in a full season at double-A Reading and in his first taste of triple-A this year he was hitting .294 in 63 games. Marson even showed glimmers of his offensive prowess in brief call-ups to Philadelphia, hitting .286 in 21 AB. Defensively he was more than capable, earning praise from scouts and coaches alike for his ability behind the plate. It was very likely that he would be competing with Carlos Ruiz to be the starting catcher for the Phillies on Opening Day 2010. But while Marson was a prized prospect, rated No. 3 by Baseball America, projecting his talent to the major league level was not easy. In 1609 career AB in the minors he hit just 26 home runs and slugged just .388. He also did not have much doubles power, which often translates into home run power once a player reaches his physical peak.

It looked like Marson would be a light-hitting major league catcher with a decent average and little to no pop. He could have competed with Ruiz, but not necessarily stolen the job away from the Phils’ current catcher. The Phillies need not worry about losing their top catching prospect, as Travis d’Arnaud is rising through the system. At age 20 in single-A Lakewood he has already slugged 12 homers and 56 RBI with a .419 slugging percentage. Many scouts had him rated as the best catcher in the system even with Marson still involved. By the time d’Arnaud is ready, the Phillies might be glad they don’t have Marson blocking his path to the bigs.

Jason Donald, SS – For many reasons, Donald was the easiest of these four prospects to let slip away. There was no need for his services at shortstop in the immediate future, with mainstay Jimmy Rollins still dazzling with his glove even when his bat goes silent. Donald was a bit old for a prospect at 24, meaning he has likely gone through almost all of his development already. He is a smooth fielder at short, but had no experience shifting over to third base where the Phillies could have used him. This season has been a difficult one for Donald, after missing time due to injury and struggling with just a .236 average. Scouts have raved about his overall game, saying that he profiles as a starter for several years in the majors with good offensive potential.

That potential would never be reached in Philadelphia, where applicants for middle infield positions need not apply. He could very well be up with the Indians in the near future, but fans won’t miss his services. Much like 2B Adrian Cardenas, who was shipped to the Athletics last season for Joe Blanton, two All-Star roadblocks in the Phillies’ infield made Donald expendable.

Jason Knapp, RHP – A fireballer at age 18, Knapp is the type of high-ceiling prospect that the Indians were clamoring for, hoping to hit it big years down the road. They’ll have a good chance, but projecting any pitcher’s effectiveness in three or four years is a difficult process, especially such a young pitcher. A quick breeze through Knapp’s stats with Lakewood this season make it clear why Cleveland fancied him as the best pitching prospect the Phillies could offer, even above Kyle Drabek, according to some reports. In 85.1 innings he struck out 111 batters and allowed just 63 hits. For an inexperienced pitcher with such a power arm, his 39 walks were not high at all. Somehow he left Lakewood with an ERA of 4.01 and a 2-7 record despite such impressive peripheral numbers. He checked in at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds with some more growing to do, so the dominant arm is very real.

Knapp could turn out to be a frontline starter, as his 11.5 K/9 is already elite. Or he could be sidetracked by injury along the way, as he is right now and as Kyle Drabek was in 2007. Either way, he is far from his pro debut and likely won’t be ready until the Phillies current nucleus has already dissipated.

Final Thoughts – The four players going to Cleveland all have the potential to become solid major leaguers. There is always a hefty price tag on Cy Young winners. By holding onto J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, the Phillies managed to keep the homegrown talent for their rotation intact. And with Taylor and Brown – and Anthony Gose – still in the system, the future of the Phils’ outfield looks very bright. They lost plenty of talent in this deal, but they could afford to. The farm system takes a hit, but not one from which it can’t bounce back quickly.


Ben Francisco, the New Bat Off the Bench

Posted by Jason Bintliff, Thu, July 30, 2009 08:00 AM Comments: 35

Ben Francisco - AP Photo/Ron SchwaneDepending on the outcome of the 2009 season, general manager Ruben Amaro could be hailed as the wisest man to ever grace the front offices of the Phillies organization.  At the very least he will be remembered as thief extraordinaire.

The Phillies have landed their ace pitcher days before the MLB trade deadline.  Welcome to Philadelphia Cliff Lee.

Despite the multiple up to the minute rumors surrounding Roy Halladay and despite the tug of war over prospects between Amaro and Blue Jay’s GM / village idiot J.P. Ricciardi, the Phillies came away like the raccoons that terrorize your trash cans at night.

Some may argue that there is no way that this deal is better than if we obtained Halladay, but I beg to differ.

Compared to a Halladay deal, the Phillies essentially traded a bag of balls, two Wilson batting gloves, and an autographed Chase Utley bat to get the top flight pitcher. Ricciardi wanted a king’s ransom.  The Indians only wanted a jester’s day of pay. And so the deal was made with Cleveland and the Phillies gave away mid-level prospects to obtain one of the top pitchers in baseball.

Second on the list of Phillies needs was a right-handed bat off the bench. Last week Pat explained in detail why this was such an urgent matter. In short, the Phillies current bench is not producing. And this is what makes the Lee deal better than a Halladay one.

Welcome to Philadelphia Mr. Ben Francisco.

Francisco has been decent this season batting .250 with 10 bombs and 33 runs batted in and 48 runs scored this season for the Indians. His 13 stolen bases show that he carries a bit of speed on the base paths as well. This is one thing the Phillies have been lacking from their bench; and that is what makes him so versatile as an option for Charlie Manuel in the late innings.

Francisco’s hitting chart suggests that he is a pull hitter and he hits his fair share of fly balls. That bodes well for the right-hander because of Citizen’s Bank Park’s shallow left field dimensions.

In the field, Francisco has been near flawless for the Indians this season, committing only one error in 189 total chances. This gives Manuel another option for a defensive replacement instead of going with Brunlett. More importantly, his fielding skills in the outfield gives Manuel a viable replacement for Raul Ibanez, should his groin injury return this year. If anything, having Francisco as an option will allow for Ibanez to take a day off occasionally when the Phillies are facing a left-handed pitcher.

Will Ben Francisco represent the difference in the Phillies winning a title in 2009? The short answer is no, probably not.

What Francisco does represent is the fact that the Phillies general manager is as crafty as the 46-year old veteran who toes the rubber every fifth day. It shows that Amaro wasn’t so narrow-minded to think that a starting pitcher was the cure all for his team’s needs. Most importantly helps Amaro step out of the shadows of the general manager who handed him the reigns.

Ruben Amaro made a deadline deal in his first year as GM for the Phillies. Boy, was it a good one.


Diamondbacks Shutout Phils

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, July 30, 2009 01:00 AM Comments: 14

The day wasn’t completely perfect. The Phillies acquired Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians, but dropped their series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks, losing 4-0.

Dan Haren is supposed to be the one throwing shutouts for the D’backs. Instead, it was Cy Young– err, Yusmeiro Petit. Petit entered the game with an earned run average over seven, but limited the Phillies to four hits and one walk in six shutout innings. He struck out eight batters.

J.A Happ was tacked with his second straight loss, but it was due to a lack of run support. Happ made one mistake; it was to Justin Upton and it landed in the left field bleachers. Happ pitched six innings giving up two runs on three hits and two walks.

Scott Eyre and Tyler Walker each gave up a run out of the bullpen, but it did not matter since the Phillies’ bats were sound asleep. The Phillies left nine men on base, and were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.  Wednesday marked the third time the Phillies have been shutout this season, and the first time since May 6.

Shane Victorino made a fantastic diving catch, but appeared to suffer some sort of injury on the play. He later left the game with a knee contusion.

On a positive note, the Phillies won the series, two games to one. That and Cliff Lee’s jersey will be hanging in the Phillies clubhouse tomorrow.


Gameday: Phillies (58-40) At Diamondbacks (43-58)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, July 29, 2009 09:16 PM Comments: 227

Philadelphia Phillies (58-40) at Arizona Diamondbacks (43-58)

J.A Happ (7-1, 2.97) vs. Yusmeiro Petit (0-5, 7.68 ERA)

Time: 9:40 p.m at Chase Field
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 108
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

It’s been a busy day for the Phillies and they haven’t even played a game yet.  They’ll attempt to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight.

J.A Happ survived the trade rumors–for now.  He is coming off his first loss of the season after allowing five earned runs against the Cardinals.  Happ has had a solid season and looks to build a new win streak tonight against a Diamondbacks’ lineup that has scored only one run off a Phillies starter.

The Phillies have a good chance to score runs off Yusmeiro Petit, who has very bad numbers. In addition, if the Diamondbacks defense continues to play poorly, the Phillies could be looking at double-digits in the runs column.

Sawtooth AleYour Gameday Beer – Sawtooth Ale
Reader Chris recommends tonight’s beer, Sawtooth Ale from the Left Hand Brewing Company in Colorado. It comes in honor of the Phillies new look rotation – chock full of lefties. This medium-bodied amber ale is well balanced with nutty, caramel flavors. It’s also a bitter, so if you’re bummer about not getting Halladay this beer is for you. Left Hand recommends pairing it with grilled salmon. – By Brian



Rest easy, Nation: Lee becomes a Phillie

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, July 29, 2009 05:09 PM Comments: 54

All signs pointed toward Roy Halladay. For days and weeks, it was Roy this, and Roy that. Many a restless night was spent pondering the possibilities.  What will it take to get Doc?  Happ or Drabek?  Brown or Taylor?  Will Ruben let J.P. Ricciardi have his way?  Forget about all of that, because the Philadelphia Phillies bagged another former Cy Young Award winner instead.

A deal was struck with the Cleveland Indians that will send lefty Cliff Lee, along with outfielder Ben Francisco, to Philadelphia in exchange for four minor leaguers.  Those four players are 18-year old class-A pitcher Jason Knapp, 22-year old Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, and infielder Jason Donald.

That bounty is FAR less than what the Toronto Blue Jays coveted for their star arm, and it’s sending shockwaves through the major leagues.

FILE -- This is a June 29, 2009 file photo showing Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Cliff Lee joking from the dugout during a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, in Cleveland. Looking for a top starter to bolster their so-so rotation, the Philadelphia Phillies are pursuing reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)After failed attempts to nail down a deal for Halladay, the Phillies grew tired of the Jays exorbitant demands and made a counter move.  By virtually stealing Lee, the Phillies now become the front-runner once again in the National League.  The price they paid was miniscule compared to what Toronto wanted, and for the time being, Ruben Amaro resembles the GM-version of Einstein.

This trade conjures up an array of emotions for Phillies fans.  On one hand, many are enthralled with the job Amaro has done in receiving a number one starter for relatively decent prospects.  It’s also a move that may put even more distance on an already impressive NL East lead. On the other, Halladay was wanted so desperately that some will still be left wondering what life could have been like with arguably the best pitcher in the game.

Obtaining Lee guarantees the Phillies nothing.  Certainly, on paper, they look mightier than their counterparts, but while Lee does make it a two-horse team at the top, there are still questions surrounding him.  Many wondered if last season was a fluke.  He won 22 games after spending much of the 2007 season in the minor leagues.  Don’t forget, he was scuffling for quite a while before he found his present form.

Lee, also, has not been as dominant as last season.  In 223.1 innings in ’08, Lee allowed just 214 hits and only 63 earned runs.  In 152 innings this year, he has given up 165 hits, and already, 53 earned runs.  Some have given the excuse that he played on a terrible Indians team.  And while that does hold true for the most part, Lee has not been nearly as sharp as a year ago.

With Roy Halladay, there are no questions to be answered.  He is THE premier arm in baseball, and that notion has become widely recognized by many in the game.  There are no worrisome traits in Halladay; he has had no minor league stints, and presents a far better track record.

But beyond the sliver of doubt comes great joy to a city that has been lucky enough to find boatloads of it recently.  Lee helps this team in a myriad of ways.

Instantly, he will stabilize a rotation that has been, at times, suspect.  Over the past few weeks, the staff has stood up and righted itself.  However, you can never have too many quality pitchers.  Cole Hamels had struggled to find his groove for the better part of the season, although he is slowly rounding back to his former MVP-self.  Jamie Moyer is up and down, and the fifth starter was a mystery, and still is at this point.

Lee is now your ace.  By taking the mounting pressure off of Hamels, it can only help the young stud become even more comfortable.  It slides the rest of the rotation into a more relaxed role as well. Everyone now knows they have one of the best to lean on every fifth day.

The acquisition of Lee also brings a collective sigh of relief from the bullpen.  Overworked in the early going, the relievers have done an admirable job treading water throughout the ’09 campaign.  In recent weeks, injuries have plagued the bullpen, so the Lee Factor comes into play here.

Since a putrid start on June 30 in which he allowed seven earned runs in three innings, Lee has posted five straight quality starts.  Sprinkled in those outings were back-to-back complete games.  He has three total CG’s on the season, not to mention five other starts of eight innings.  Lee currently leads the American League in innings pitched, something that has to make Lidge and company smile.

Sure, he is 7-9 on the season, but with the added run support he is bound to receive, plus the benefit of playing for a championship contender, look for those numbers to level out.  Some other stats that are eye opening regarding the tall left-hander: Lee averages less than two walks per nine innings, a sign that he will not give in to the hitters.  He has given up just 10 home runs on the season, a positive reinforcement when playing in Citizens Bank Park.  When facing left handed hitters, Lee has allowed only seven extra-base hits this year, with just one being of the long-ball variety.

High praise is certainly in order for Ruben Amaro and his team of scouts and front-office employees.  They made a strong push to make this ballclub as strong as possible, and while the number one guy on the board remains, there is very little to complain about after this trade.  By keeping J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, and/or Michael Taylor, their youthful core is still intact.

So, as you lay your head down tonight, while watching the Phillies battle the Diamondbacks, of course, it should be a little easier to rest comfortably.  No, it’s not our boy Roy, but it’s still a monumental addition.  Sleep well, my friends.  Cliff Lee is a Phillie.


Done Deal: Phillies Acquire Lee

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, July 29, 2009 01:58 PM Comments: 184

Fox Sports reports that the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a deal that sends Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Phillies for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson. Both team still have to examine medical records before the deal is official.

Francisco is the right-handed bat that the Phillies have been looking for. Francisco is batting .250 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs. Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He is the reigning American League Cy Young winner.

OPINION: This is a great deal for the Phillies. They keep Kyle Drabek, J.A Happ, Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown, their top prospects. Knapp has a lot of potential, but Marson and Donald were being blocked anyway, and Carlos Carrasco has been falling off the radar. Not only do they get a former Cy Young winner, but a bat off the bench.


Breaking News from Lehigh Valley

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, July 29, 2009 11:13 AM Comments: 51

Scheduled starter Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson have all been scratched from the lineup for this morning’s game between the Iron Pigs and Columbus. This almost certainly means that a trade is very much in the works. Stay tuned for more details as they come in.

UPDATE (1:24 PM): Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phillies appear to be “on the verge” of acquiring Cliff Lee from the Indians for Carrasco, Jason Knapp and at least two of Donald, Marson and Michael Taylor.


Phillies Trade Thread: July 29

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, July 29, 2009 09:05 AM Comments: 59

With just two days until the MLB trade deadline, the Phillies are involved with the usual suspects, and now a few bullpen arms.

Roy Halladay:

-The Phillies talks with the Blue Jays became rather contentious on Monday and nothing seemed to change as of last night.  Toronto is fielding offers from other teams, but no trade has been agreed upon.  With the Phillies, J.P. Ricciardi and company continue to ask for J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, and Dominic Brown.

-While the Phillies have not yet caved on the demands, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com believes that the Phils and Jays both need each other to get a deal done.  He thinks all of the pieces are in there for a trade to be made.

-The Blue Jays are also still busy scouting several Phillies farmhands, even though the talks between the teams came to an impasse. Jason Donald was watched last night as he played in his first game back from arthroscopic knee surgery.

-Yahoo sports reported earlier yesterday that the Boston Red Sox had put together a package of Clay Buchholz, along with prospects Michael Bowden and Ryan Westmoreland.  The Red Sox refuted putting Westmoreland into a deal.  Jon Heyman said last night that this package would not get it done.

-The Rangers may also be in on Doc, though they have balked at the high price.  With Vicente Padilla down with Swine Flu, and Kevin Millwood ailing as well, the Rangers could use a fresh arm.

-Back to the Phillies.  There have been talks that Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel are all for bringing in Halladay, even if it means part of the future being involved.  Ruben Amaro has been said to be opposed to this, along with people in the scouting department.  They believe the future is too bright to mortgage.

-At a time when the talks have slowed, Don McKie of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes the sides are closer than ever.  Go figure.

Cliff Lee:

-Buster Olney reported yesterday that the Phillies again were looking very hard at Cliff Lee.  The Indians want major league ready talent by 2010, and while Kyle Drabek is certainly the hot name here, the Phils are trying to push lesser-known talent Jason Kanpp on the Indians. Olney says that Cleveland is evaluating Knapp, even though he has been shut down due to shoulder fatigue.

-Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer of Cleveland also believes the Phils have turned their attention to Lee.  Hoynes also says the Los Angeles Dodgers are fading out of the running for Lee and moving toward bullpen help, most notably George Sherrill of the Orioles.

-Scott Lauber tweeted late last night that the Indians like Drabek in any deal involved Lee.

Zach Duke:

-John Perrotto of the Pirates Report puts the Phillies in the running for lefty Zach Duke.  Although it would give the Phillies a younger, less refined pitcher for the rotation, it has been said that Charlie Manuel has asked Ruben Amaro to inquire about him. The Pirates appear to be once again, in full trade mode.

Jarrod Washburn:

-The Phillies were among several teams scouting Mariners left hander Jarrod Washburn during his start last night in Seattle.  Also taking a peek, reportedly, were the Yankees, Brewers, and Rangers.  Washburn pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run in the no-decision.  He is 8-6 in 2009 with a 2.64 ERA.  However, his career ERA is a shade above four.


-Stark also reports that the Phillies have looked hard at bullpen help, should their quest for a starter fall short.  He mentions Sherrill, along with Chad Qualls of Arizona, and Matt Capps and John Grabow of Pittsburgh.


Hamels Outpitches Haren

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, July 29, 2009 01:09 AM Comments: 32

It’s amazing Dan Haren has allowed only four unearned runs during the entire season with the defense he is backed with. The Diamondbacks continue to make poor defensive plays and the Phillies took full advantage.

In the first inning, Cole Hamels allowed a solo home run to the second batter of the game, Ryan Roberts. It looked to be a long night for the Phillies, who trailed 1-0 against arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season.

In the third inning, Shane Victorino said aloha to Haren’s fastball up in the zone. The homer tied the game at one, and Victorino was far from finished.

With one out in the fifth, Hamels doubled to start a rally. Jimmy Rollins reached base on Stephen Drew’s error, and Hamels headed to third. The Phillies were in perfect position to take a lead. They did so on Victorino’s ground-rule double.  Victorino finished the night a triple shy of the cycle.

Jimmy Rollins scored on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error. Chase Utley grounded to first, and Rollins was a dead duck at the plate. However, Utley made a terrific move, running in the throwing lane, but without interference. It worked, because Chad Tracy airmailed the throw, and the Phillies took a 3-1 lead.

The Phillies were able to knock out Haren after five innings.

Hamels looked like one of the league’s finest tonight, returning to his old form. He wiggled out of a couple jams, but overall was brilliant. He pitched eight innings, allowing one run on four hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine. It’s been a while since Hamels has been able to tally up the strikeouts, but he did today against the Diamondbacks.

Jayson Werth’s RBI ground out in the seventh gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead, and they needed every bit of it with Brad Lidge coming in for the save. Lidge gave up a two-run home run to Mark Reynolds, but sweat through the save.

The 4-3 win give the Phillies four wins in a row, and the series against the Diamondbacks. Tomorrow, they’ll go for their fourth sweep in July.


Gameday: Phillies (57-40) at Diamondbacks (43-57)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, July 28, 2009 09:04 PM Comments: 82

Philadelphia Phillies (57-40) at Arizona Diamondbacks (43-57)

Cole Hamels (6-5, 4.66 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (10-5, 2.14 ERA)

Time: 9:40 p.m at Chase Field
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 114
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Twitter: Phillies Nation

The Phillies have yet to face anything close to what they’re about to see tonight.  Dan Haren is on his way to winning the National League Cy Young award, and is arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball for the 2009 season.

Haren is 10-5 with a 2.14 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and opponents are batting .194 against him.  He has 141 strikeouts in 143 innings (8.87 K/9).  However, he has allowed 13 home runs and he gave up four earned runs in his last start, which was against the Pirates.  Only twice has he allowed more than three home runs in a game this year. 

It is not going to be a fun night for the Phillies bats, but if they can manage two or three runs, the Phillies have a chance to win if Cole Hamels can pitch the way he is capable of.  He has a 2.13 ERA in two career starts against Arizona.  After the All Star break, Hamels is 17-9 with a 3.05 ERA.

Artois BockYour Gameday Beer- Artois Bock
Tonight we’ll try another bock, this time from Stella Artois. This strong Belgium lager is 6.2% alcohol by volume. The bock has all the components of a good dark beer, sweet flavors of molasses, caramel and toffee. Some might think there is too much sweetness. It goes well with bbq shrimp. – By Brian


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