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Archive for March, 2011

Moose Tracks: Big Leaguer For a Day

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 29, 2011 03:30 PM Comments: 2

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair spoke with PhoulBallz.com’s & PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd once again, to provide an inside glance at spring training in Clearwater.

Mattair was the Phillies’ second round draft pick in 2007 out of Southridge High School in Washington state. He later helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League championship in 2009. After a rough spring training in 2010, Mattair, who was an all-state basketball player during his high school days, retired from baseball to chase his dream of playing Division I college hoops.

After a year off from baseball and spending last summer with the Boise State University men’s basketball, Mattair is back in Clearwater ready to start another season in the Phils’ organization. He played in the Phillies’ Major League spring training game this past Saturday against the Blue Jays and has described the event here for you readers.

To tell the truth, a while ago when my dad was making plans for his trip to come see me play in spring training, all I could think of was maybe his visit will coincide with a split squad day or maybe I could get called to play for the big league club for a day while he’s here. It would mean so much to me, if my dad was here to see it. And sure enough, this past Friday with my dad in town, I looked at the list for Saturday’s travel and game assignments, and the Phillies’ list had my name on it.

I went to my dad and told him and he was just so excited for me to get to go over there and I was just so excited to be going, but of course it meant more because my dad was going to see it. Of course, I didn’t know if I was going to get to play or not. But the Phillies got my dad a really good seat and everything fell into place.

During the game, the coach came to me and told me I was going in to play third if we went 1-2-3 in the seventh inning, and we did, so I got to go in on defense. It was a little more nerve racking to be out there in front of big league fans on that stage, especially for me, since I haven’t been in front of any crowd playing baseball in well over a year. Continue reading Moose Tracks: Big Leaguer For a Day

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Opening Day Eve Party at McFadden’s

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, March 29, 2011 02:11 PM Comments: 0

With just three days to Opening Day – why not start the festivities early with us at a HUGE Phillies kick-off party at McFadden’s Ballpark this Thursday, March 31st. The party starts at 8pm with dollar beers for the first two hours. Mr. Greengenes will be providing the music and local celebrities will be tending bar. Also, King Bee Memorabilia will be running an auction to help raise money for the Harry Kalas statue project which is almost complete. We hope to see you there!
Continue reading Opening Day Eve Party at McFadden’s

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2011 Staff Awards Predictions

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 29, 2011 11:47 AM Comments: 17

Many PN staff members are picking Roy Halladay to win the Cy Young again.

Here are the Phillies Nation staff awards predictions for the 2011 season. Please feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments section below. Obviously, there are no wrong answers.

The hot name for Cy Young is, of course, Roy Halladay. In the AL, Jon Lester is grabbing some attention. Adrian Gonzalez is a favorite for AL MVP now that he’s part of that ridiculous lineup in Boston. Ron Roenicke and Fredi Gonzalez are battling it out for Manager of the Year in the NL.

There are several different rookies garnering votes from the PN staff, as well as for Hitter to Watch in both leagues and Pitcher to Watch in each circuit.

Continue reading 2011 Staff Awards Predictions

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Vote for Phillies Nation and Win

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, March 29, 2011 07:34 AM Comments: 21

Beer stein and HK tote bagThank you for your support of Phillies Nation in The Phield! With your help we’ve advanced to the Phinal Four and have our toughest match up yet. Please take a moment right now to vote for us as the best Phillies blog!

Vote for Phillies Nation !!!!

Plus you have a chance to win cool prizes – a Phillies Nation beer stein AND an HK tote bag. Just be sure to vote, then leave a comment and we’ll enter you to win.

Thanks again for your support.

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Phillies Release Several Minor Leaguers

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, March 28, 2011 10:16 PM Comments: 3

A source confirmed on Monday night that the Phillies released at least ten minor league players from their contracts earlier in the day.

According to a source within the Phillies organization, the following players were notified of their release on Monday in Clearwater: Justin Beal, Bradley Blanks, Matt McConnell, Adam Buschini, Drew Rundle, Heitor Correa, Matt Hutchison, Marco Davaillo, Mike Bolsenbroek and Eric Massingham.

Beal, 24, posted a 2-3 record with a 2.88 ERA in 20 games with Class A Lakewood and went 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 4 games with short-season Williamsport in 2010. The right-hander was a 28th round draft pick in 2009 out of Missouri Southern State.

Blanks, 26, was signed as a minor league free agent last July and posted a 4-1 record with a 2.73 ERA in 16 games as a reliever for the Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010.

McConnell was a 36th round draft selection in 2009. In 46 combined games last year at Williamsport and Lakewood, the 24-year-old shortstop batted .248 with 5 doubles and 12 RBI.

Correa, a native of Brazil, was a member of the 2009 Lakewood team that won the South Atlantic League title. In 27 games for High A level Clearwater last season, the 21-year-old righty Correa went 8-14 with a 6.62 ERA and a .315 batting average against.

Bushini, a 4th round draft pick in 2009, was teammates with Massingham at Cal Poly. The 23-year-old infielder batted .219 with 2 homeruns in 83 games with Lakewood in 2010.

Rundle was signed as a minor league free agent last August. Originally a 14th round pick in 2006 by the Cubs, the lefty hitting outfielder played in 17 combined games with Clearwater and Williamsport last season.

Hutchison, 23, a right-handed reliever, appeared in 15 combined games last year for the Gulf Coast League Phillies and the Clearwater Thresher. The 22-year-old was a 25th round draft pick last year and went 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA at two levels.

Davaillo, a 20-year-old catcher and utility player had played two season for the Phillies’ Venezuelan Summer League team. In 89 games in 2009 and 2010, Davaillo batted .317 with 7 homeruns and an .838 OPS.

Bolsenbroek, who stands 6-feet-8-inches tall and is originally from the Netherlands, is a righty reliever originally drafted by the Phils in the 42nd round of the 2008 draft. In 18 games with the Lakewood BlueClaws last season, Bolsenbroek had a 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.

The 24-year-old Massingham was a 25th round pick in the 2009 draft. The right-handed pitcher posted a 5-2 record with a 3.43 ERA in 34 games as a member of the 2010 Lakewood SAL title team.

**UPDATE 3/29** Also confirmed are two more players that were released on Monday…23-year-old hurler Marshall Schuler, who was a 37th round draft pick last year, and 22-year-old Drew Erwin who pitched in 6 games with the GCL Phillies in 2010.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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Week in Review: 3/21 – 3/27

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, March 27, 2011 08:20 PM Comments: 10

This is the last Sunday of the Grapefruit League.  It is the last Sunday of Spring Training.  With three games left this Spring, and two of them being played at Citizens Bank Park, we as fans can’t help but to look towards the start of the season.

Continue reading Week in Review: 3/21 – 3/27

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Halladay’s Final Tune Up Speaks For Itself

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, March 27, 2011 06:57 PM Comments: 6

Three innings?  No problem.  Three more?  Sure, why not.

Roy Halladay only had to go three innings to show himself and everyone else that he is ready for Opening Day.  This Spring, Halladay has gone off.  I absolutely hate the phrase ‘mid-season form’ and I don’t even think it’s fair to describe the way Halladay is pitching that way. He is just ready.

Continue reading Halladay’s Final Tune Up Speaks For Itself

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Mathieson Focused Despite Being Sent Down

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 27, 2011 07:00 AM Comments: 10

CLEARWATER, FL- Somehow, despite the recent news that Brad Lidge is set to begin the season on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury, the Phillies didn’t see fit to keep fire-balling righty hurler Scott Mathieson around.

Mathieson, who has had a long road back to the big leagues following three elbow procedures (two of which were Tommy John surgeries), appeared in 7 games with the Phillies in spring training this year, posting a 2.00 ERA with 9 strike outs and 6 walks over 9 innings.

The Vancouver, British Columbia native made his Major League debut with the Phils in 2006 as a starter, going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA, but had his career sidetracked due to arm trouble.

This spring, Mathieson was back where he wanted to be and felt that he was primed to return to a regular gig in the big leagues. However, on Saturday, the Phillies sent Mathieson back down to minor league camp.

Mathieson’s goal throughout his recovery has been to get back into the Phillies’ red pinstripes on a permanent basis and while he is displeased with the assignment to rock Lehigh Valley IronPig duds instead, his focus isn’t harmed one bit.

“I wasn’t too happy about it,” Mathieson said in an exclusive interview. “It’s definitely disappointing. I was out to make the team. I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do and it’s quite frustrating. Continue reading Mathieson Focused Despite Being Sent Down

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2011 Phillies Offensive Preview, Part 5: Second Base

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, March 26, 2011 05:00 PM Comments: 17

In the week before Opening Day, we’re looking at each of the five offensive positions that are not known quantities.

Part 1: Intro and First Base
Part 2: Right Field
Part 3: Left Field
Part 4: Shortstop
Part 5: Second Base

Second Base: Chase Utley, Opening Day Age: 32
2010: 511 PA, .275/.387/.445, 38 XBH
2011 (Bill James-projected): 625 PA, .288/.387/.497, 26 HR, 99 R

First of all, that Bill James projection is almost certainly going to be wrong, because it was made before all this knee injury nonsense became public. Second, I think it’s time we stepped back and stood in awe of what a truly great player Chase Utley is. I’d argue, in fact, that he’s the fourth-best position player in the history of the Phillies, behind Mike Schmidt, Ed Delahanty, and Sliding Billy Hamilton. Of course, Hamilton and Delahanty were both 19th-century players in a game that bears only a passing resemblance to modern baseball, so depending on how you feel about Richie Ashburn and Dick Allen, a case could be made that Utley is second only to Schmidt. Continue reading 2011 Phillies Offensive Preview, Part 5: Second Base

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2011 Offensive Preview, Part 4: Shortstop

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, March 26, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 25

In the week before Opening Day, we’re looking at each of the five offensive positions that are not known quantities.

Part 1: Intro and First Base
Part 2: Right Field
Part 3: Left Field
Part 4: Shortstop
Part 5: Second Base (Saturday afternoon)

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Opening Day Age: 32
2010: 394 PA, .243/.320/.374, 17 SB, 1 CS
2011 (Bill James-projected): 605 PA, .266/.329/.424, 15 HR, 25 SB

Why should you believe that a 32-year-old shortstop, coming off his two worst offensive seasons ever, in the decline phase of his career, is due for a monster season? Three things: luck, health, and plate discipline. First, J-Roll has a career BABIP of .290, and while BABIP is less based in luck for hitters than it is for pitchers, there’s still a luck element involved. In 2009, his BABIP was .251, and in 2010 it was .246. Granted, in 2010, his line drive rate was down, but so was his HR/FB rate, and, to touch on the second point, he was either out of the lineup hurt or in the lineup hurt for most of the season. Despite this, Rollins posted, for the first time in his career, a season where he walked more than he struck out, accompanied by his highest-ever walk rate and lowest-ever strikeout rate. On all three of these externalities, Rollins is due to regress to the mean, which, I think, makes the Bill James projections look conservative.

Or he’s just getting old and will be an offensive zero for the rest of his career, and I’m in denial because I’m a huge J-Roll fan. But let’s hope for option No. 1.

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