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Archive for May, 2012

Dugan becoming Lakewood’s offensive star

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 31, 2012 11:00 AM Comments: 0

Lakewood BlueClaws first baseman Kelly Dugan has been somewhat forgotten by many people that follow prospects throughout the minor leagues.

A flurry of physical setbacks have prevented the Phillies’ top selection from the 2009 MLB amateur draft (2nd round, 75th pick overall) from progressing through the system with any type of commanding push.

This year, however, Kelly, the son of film director Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy), hopes to make enough of a splash in the Class A South Atlantic League to rekindle some of the excitement that surrounded him when he was originally selected by the Phils.

The level of instant popularity that came Dugan’s way upon joining the Phillies organization could have been credited to an image taken on draft day from the set of his father’s film, Grown Ups, which starred Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade. With the closely knit star power involved and the collection of widely-known actors all sporting Phillies caps, fans and media alike were ready to see this Hollywood endorsed ballplayer make an impact in the pros.

Unfortunately for the 21-year-old Dugan, injuries have hindered his progress.

In 2010, Dugan dealt with a staph infection after being hit with a batted ball during batting practice, which resulted in him missing a large chunk of the season. The history of disabled list stints left Dugan in disbelief, like last month when he turned his left ankle badly while stepping on first base and fielding a throw on a close play. The damage to the ankle was only a sprain, despite awful looking bruises and substantial swelling. Dugan was grateful for only needing to miss about two weeks of action with his latest ailment.

“When you get injured, you can’t really move up,” Dugan told me recently. “You need to take at bats at each level and you have to show that you can produce at the level before they’re going to move you up, so you just end up repeating. It was frustrating, but it just makes me grateful that I can go out and play right now.” Continue reading Dugan becoming Lakewood’s offensive star

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Writer’s Roundtable: Grading Ruben Amaro Jr.

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, May 31, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 80

Amaro gets his guys. But at what cost? (Photo: SI.com)

Right now is a critical time in the Ruben Amaro Jr. era in Philadelphia. His team is underachieving and in last place, the injuries are piling up and the best player on the Phillies’ roster will be absent for the next 6-to-8 weeks.

When grading his time here as the Phillies GM, we made sure we didn’t fall into the trap of factoring in things that weren’t under his control and looked at the complete picture. So here’s how we at Phillies Nation grade Amaro:

Corey Seidman: I’d give Amaro a B-.

He’s done a lot, but he’s had a ton of resources that every GM would give a kidney to have. He’s put himself in a position where there just aren’t too many fixes to make. You have to hope Howard, Utley and Halladay all get through their current conditions and age relatively well. Its tough.

Amaro took risks and was aggressive. He built a team that had enormous success from 2007-11. I’ll let the others break down each move, but Amaro’s done mostly well with trades and not too well with contracts.

Pat Gallen: I won’t put a letter grade on Ruben Amaro’s tenure a GM of the Phillies, but I will say this – it has been a ride. He acquires the best pitcher in baseball (Roy Halladay) and gets his “white whale” but deals Cliff Lee in the process.

He gets Hunter Pence from Houston, but gives up a ton of minor league talent in the process.

Amaro also gave odd contracts to Joe Blanton, Ryan Howard, and Jonathan Papelbon. (Yes, I know Papelbon has been lights out, but that’s still a ton of money for a 3-out guy, no matter how you look at it).

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: Grading Ruben Amaro Jr.

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Rollins, Ruiz Power Phillies Past Mets

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, May 30, 2012 10:39 PM Comments: 18

The Phillies finished up their series at Shea Citi Field with a 10-6 victory over the Mets to take two of three from their division rivals. They also finish up their seven-game road trip with a 5-2 record.

Choooooch! (AP)

CLIFF CAN’T WIN

-Cliff Lee is STILL winless. Not sure how that’s possible, but it’s still the case as Lee was pulled after six innings. The Phillies started scoring, of course, in the seventh. Lee fanned seven and walked two, while giving up three runs on seven hits.

-Taking bets on when Cliff will win his first game…

-Other than Raul Valdes, who struggled in the ninth and had to be pulled with two outs, the bullpen did a fine job. Antonio Bastardo struck out one in one inning, getting the victory, while Jose Contreras fanned two in his inning of work. Jonathan Papelbon had to come on to finish it off after warming up a couple of times in the bullpen.

Continue reading Rollins, Ruiz Power Phillies Past Mets

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Gameday: Phillies (26-25) vs. Mets (28-22)

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, May 30, 2012 06:30 PM Comments: 38

Philadelphia Phillies (26-25) vs. New York Mets (28-22)

Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82) vs. Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92)

Time: 7:10, Citi Field
TV: MyPHL 17
Weather: Chance of Thunderstorms, 66
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Win the series.

The Phillies look to win their second consecutive series, and their 6th of 8, as Cliff Lee takes the mound looking for his first win of 2012. Lee has pitched well, 2.82 ERA, but a W has eluded him. The Mets counter with Dillon Gee who is 2-1 with a 7.50 ERA against the Phillies for his career.

Chooch is day-to-day and Brian Schneider will start in his place. Mike Fontenot will get the start at second base.

For our friends with iPhones, you can follow tonight’s game and win $75 on StubHub by predicting what’s going to happen for each Phillies at-bat. Download the new app from our friends at Bleacher League.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Wiginton 1B, Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Fontenot 2B Schneider C, Lee P.

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Blanton Struggles Again in 6-3 Loss

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, May 29, 2012 10:49 PM Comments: 56

Photo: AP

The New York Mets evened the series with their 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

BAD JOE B

-Remember good Joe Blanton? We miss him. Tonight, it was Bad Joe B, which has been a disturbing trend in May. Blanton gave up six runs on nine hits in just five innings. Over his last three starts, he’s allowed 19 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.

-On May 14, Blanton’s ERA was 2.96.  Now, just over two weeks later, his ERA is 5.05.

-You know things are all wrong when you give up a home run to the opposing pitcher. Mets starter Jeremy Hefner went yard with two outs in the fourth inning. Scott Hairston also homered in the sixth, leading to Blanton’s exit.

-All night, Blanton’s pitchers were up in the zone. Early on in the season, Blanton was keeping the ball down and had good velocity. Now, the velocity means little without the control. And he is not in control right now. The Phillies will absolutely need Blanton to be much, much better in the absence of Roy Halladay.

Continue reading Blanton Struggles Again in 6-3 Loss

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Oswalt to Sign with Texas Rangers

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, May 29, 2012 06:33 PM Comments: 6

Roy O is headed to Arlington. (Photo: AP)

So much for Roy Oswalt fans getting their wish of the righty coming back to Philadelphia. It appears he has made his decision to stay closer to his home in Mississippi.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Oswalt is heading to the reigning American League champion Texas Rangers. Terms of the contract have not been made public, however, some in the industry believe it to be between $5-7 million.

Oswalt, 34, made 23 starts for the Phillies last season and struggled through a back injury. His 3.69 ERA in 2011 was the highest of his career.

Continue reading Oswalt to Sign with Texas Rangers

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Gameday: Phillies (26-24) vs. Mets (27-22)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, May 29, 2012 06:18 PM Comments: 12

Philadelphia Phillies (26-24) vs. New York Mets (27-22)

Joe Blanton (4-4, 4.55) vs. Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.17)

Time: 7:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: Sunny, 88
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Somehow, someway, the Phillies are two games over-.500 after what has been a tumultuous first eight weeks. From here on out, it won’t get any easier.

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Roy Halladay will miss 6-8 weeks with a lat strain in his right shoulder. The ace of aces hasn’t looked right for much of this season, and we now know why. Kyle Kendrick will likely be the guy who takes his spot in the rotation. However, there is also still a hole from the missing Vance Worley.

Continue reading Gameday: Phillies (26-24) vs. Mets (27-22)

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Halladay Out 6-8 Weeks with Lat Strain

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, May 29, 2012 04:34 PM Comments: 40

Doc hits the DL. (AP)

The man, unfortunately, is human.

Roy Halladay is not a robot as we once thought. The Phillies announced that the right-hander will hit the disabled list with a Grade 1/2 strain of his latissimus dorsi; he’ll miss 6-8 weeks. Erik Kratz was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley as the immediate corresponding move.

Who knows what caused the issue, however, at this point surgery is not needed, which is great news. The bad (awful, terrible) news is that the Phillies will miss their workhorse for an extended period. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee will have to pick up the slack, and that Kyle Kendrick we saw in St. Louis will have to become the norm.

Injuries are common for pitchers, but not this one. Halladay has started 31 games or more in each of the last six seasons.

This season, Halladay clearly was not himself, as he basically willed his way to a 4-5 record with a 3.96 ERA. Can the Phillies stay in the hunt and get a healthy Halladay back in early August? We shall see. But for now, this is a crushing blow in what’s turning out to be a rocky season for the Phillies.

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Hamels Gets 8th Win, Wigginton Blasts Mets

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 28, 2012 04:35 PM Comments: 89

Cole Hamels struck out 6 in 8 innings for his 8th win of the year in the Phillies 8-4 win over the Mets.

Ty Wigginton hit a home run and knocked in 6 runs. He walked twice and scored twice. John Mayberry Jr. also homered.

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Gameday: Phillies (25-24) vs. Mets (27-21)

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, May 28, 2012 11:21 AM Comments: 14

Philadelphia Phillies (25-24) vs. New York Mets (27-21)

Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.16) vs. Jon Niese (3-2, 4.29)

Time: 1:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: Sunny, 88
Media: Twitter and Facebook

Happy Memorial Day! Let us take a minute to think about those in our Armed Services and what they’ve done for our country. They allow us to enjoy this amazing game everyday with their attempts to keep us free!

Roy Halladay will have his sore, “cranky” shoulder examined tomorrow. There is no word on if that will occur in New York or Philadelphia.

A good series can reignite this somewhat-dormant series. Looking for a good one from the Phillies – let’s see if they can overcome the series finale loss to the St. Louis and take a few from the Mets. Plus Cole is on the hill!

NOTE: Carlos Ruiz was in the original lineup batting fourth, but was scratched at 11:17 am. Everyone in the order moves up one spot and Brian Schneider jumps in.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Pence RF, Victorino CF, Wiginton 1B, Mayberry LF, Galvis 2B Schneider C, Hamels P.

Hoegaarden

Your Gameday Beer – Modelo

Modelo is refreshing enough that it’s way better than Coors or the like, and it won’t set you back at the register. It’s certainly comparable to Corona, which I find refreshing on a hot, summer day like today. Enjoy your BBQ with family and friends on this awesome day in the Philly area! – Pat Gallen

GO PHILLIES!

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