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Archive for October, 2012

PN Interview: Cody Asche, Fall League Edition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 16, 2012 11:55 AM Comments: 5

The Arizona Fall League is in full swing and Phils third base prospect Cody Asche (pronounced ASH-ee) is leading the way for the Peoria Javelinas.

Last year’s 4th round draft selection out of the University of Nebraska posted a .324 batting average with 12 homers and 72 RBI through 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double A Reading in his first full season as a pro this year.

Thus far in five games, playing for the Javelinas, Asche is sporting a .375 average with four doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.

This week, Cody answered some questions, sharing his thoughts on the AFL, the Phillies’ new hitting coach Steve Henderson and plenty more.  Read ahead to check out that full interview.

- What are your early thoughts on playing in the Arizona Fall League and the competition there?

It is a great experience. You get to play against organizations and players that you haven’t seen before. The competition is great.  Everyone playing is here for a reason.

- Many players from last year’s Arizona Fall League made their MLB debuts this year.  Clearly that ultimate goal must always be in the back of your mind, but does an experience like this make you feel legitimately closer to the big show?

Not really, no. I do know the track record of players in the AFL, but they weren’t called up because they played in this league. No matter what you do, you will have to go prove yourself everyday, no matter what league you are in. You have to go out and earn your call-up.
Continue reading PN Interview: Cody Asche, Fall League Edition

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Phillies Player Review: Michael Schwimer

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, October 16, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 6

Michael Schwimer started the year down in Triple-A Lehigh Valley after not making the team in Spring Training. He was expected to provide the Phils big league club with some relief help when they needed it–and they certainly needed it when Mike Stutes went on the DL early in the year.

However, his stay in the bigs didn’t last too long, as he was sent down just a few weeks later to make room for Cliff Lee, who was set to return to action after spending some time on the DL.

When Jose Contreras went down with an elbow injury in early June, the Phils yet again recalled Schwimer, and this time he stayed up until mid August.

But then things got weird. He was sent down on August 23, but did not report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He claimed that he was injured, and should have been put on the 15-day DL, rather than being sent down. He reluctantly reported almost a week later, and, although he was presumed to be called up in September, he never was. His last game of the 2012 season was on August 19 in a game in Milwaukee.

Even though Schwimer wasn’t with the Phillies for the entire year, he still pitched the 3rd-most innings (34.1) out of the Phils bullpen. He had a 4.46 ERA, and was overall in the middle of the pack among Phils relievers. He wasn’t the best at anything, but he wasn’t the worst, either.

Jon’s Grade: C … Overall, I think Schwimer did a decent job, given the circumstances. He wasn’t even on the team on Opening Day, and made multiple trips between Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley during the season.

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Phillies Hire Joyner as New Assistant Hitting Coach

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 15, 2012 04:29 PM Comments: 3

During his end-of-season press conference, Ruben Amaro alluded to the Phillies adding another element to their bench following the firing of several coaches. Today, they made the move to hire former major league first baseman Wally Joyner as an assistant hitting coach to Steve Henderson. Here are the details from the Phillies:

Former All-Star first baseman Wally Joyner has been hired by the Phillies as the assistant hitting coach to Steve Henderson, Manager Charlie Manuel and Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. jointly announced today.

This will be Joyner’s second stint on a major league coaching staff.  He previously served as the San Diego Padres hitting coach during parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, as well as a roving minor league instructor for the club for five years (2003-07).  During the last four years, Joyner has worked as the lead hitting instructor for MLB International’s Elite-level development programs in Italy and Brazil.  He spent this past year at MLB’s European Hitting Camp in the Netherlands working with hitters selected by the MLB Scouting Bureau.  Joyner was also named the hitting coach for the China Senior National Team in the World Baseball Classic.

Joyner, 50, played 16 seasons in the major leagues with the California/Anaheim Angels (1986-91; 2001), Kansas City Royals (1992-95), Padres (1996-99) and Atlanta Braves (2000).  He finished his career with a .289 batting average, 409 doubles, 204 home runs and 1,106 RBI in 2,033 games.  In his rookie year of 1986, Joyner was elected as the starting first baseman for the American League All-Star team and finished second in AL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Joyner, along with Henderson, will take over for Greg Gross who didn’t do very much during his tenure here. The move to a former all-star and a guy with a lengthy major league career is a great one (not to mention a guy that looked like a teenager throughout his playing days). During the course of his 16 seasons in the majors, Joyner was able to go from a power hitter to a lighter-hitting corner infielder without incident. He’ll need to impart that wisdom on some guys within the Phillies organization. He’ll also be joining some pretty good company in Ryne Sanberg and Charlie Manuel as guys who love to teach and talk hitting. Joyner’s presence should hopefully add a new wrinkle to what was a stale regime. It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll pay dividends, but all-in-all, on the surface, it appears to be a fine move.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Phillies Fans

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, October 15, 2012 04:20 PM Comments: 0

It’s autumn and even though the Phils aren’t still playing, there’s lots of baseball fun to be had with Halloween just around the corner. Last October, we collected fan photos of Phillies jack o’lanterns, costumes and other spooky Halloween stuff. Check them out below and upload your own.

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Phillies Player Review: Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, October 14, 2012 01:52 PM Comments: 14

The outfield situation was messy in 2012. (AP)

The two outfielders spent the first half of the season with the Phillies, then both were sent packing to the west coast in separate pre-deadline deals. For that, we put Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence together as they were key cogs in an underachieving first half; not only personally, but for the entire team.

After a solid 2011 season, Victorino seemed primed for a big contract following the 2012 season as he hit free agency. The issue was that he let the contract talk follow him wherever he went. Victorino, as we’ve come to learn, moves and talks a mile a minute. There’s a lot going on in his head already, and the thoughts of millions of dollars were too much to overcome – he said so himself.

As for Pence, no one really knows what’s happening there. So much kinetic energy was not always a good thing with Pence. When he came here from Houston, it was his all-out hustle that was so endearing to the fans. That quickly got old as the dude struggled big time with runners in scoring position during the first half of the year and couldn’t slow himself down at the plate no matter the circumstance.

Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence

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An Outsiders Review of Citizens Bank Park

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, October 13, 2012 02:12 PM Comments: 6

StadiumJourney.com does a fantastic job of rating the areans around the country and have asked that we post their review of Citizens Bank Park. As you can imagine, and as any Phillies fan know that has been there time and again, it’s a favorable write-up.

It’s not quite on the level of Camden Yards, but CBP is often talked about positively throughout baseball.

Here is some of the review from Kurt Smith of Stadium Journey. Click below it for more:

Phun with the Phillies

Official Review by Kurt Smith, Stadium Journey Guest Correspondent

When Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004, the long awaited transformation of Philadelphia sports venues was complete. For the first time since 1971, Philly had a baseball-only facility again. Philly was among the last of the cities to get a new ballpark, but Citizens Bank Park was well worth the wait.

Best of all, the Phillies managed to become a pretty good team, winning five straight division titles and a World Series championship in 2008. There’s nothing like a winning team to bring unparalleled excitement to a ballpark in a sports-crazed town like Philadelphia.

Food & Beverage    4

Citizens Bank Park has a fantastic range of food options, but you have to be selective.

Continue reading An Outsiders Review of Citizens Bank Park

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Phillies Player Review: Ryan Howard

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, October 13, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 37

2012 may have been Ryan Howard's rock bottom.

I’d like to preface this post by saying I’m a Ryan Howard supporter. He’s often the center of debate in this region, and I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt in most instances. That needed to be said. Because what you’re about to read is going to be a harsh evaluation for one of the Phillies’ highest paid players.

Without question, 2012 was Ryan Howard‘s most trying in the big leagues. From the beginning of Spring Training, when Howard suffered a setback during the healing of his torn Achilles tendon, it seemed the stars were aligned against the man Charlie Manuel has become fond of calling The Big Piece.

He was absent for the first half of the season. When he finally did make his debut on July 6, his team was 9 games under .500 and 13 games back in the division, settling into the cellar nicely, five games behind the fourth place Marlins.

At that time, Howard was seen as a beacon of hope. His presence would surely stabilize a lineup that had been wrought with inconsistency, and his power and run production would help the team to turn things around. The Phils were getting their best run producer back for a second half push. Continue reading Phillies Player Review: Ryan Howard

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Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation: A Night in Paris

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, October 12, 2012 03:30 PM Comments: 0

The Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation has partnered with Prevent Child Abuse PA to host A Night in Paris at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Monday, November 12, 2012, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Join us for a romantic evening reminiscent of old Paris! A Night in Paris will be an evening of culinary delights and live jazz to raise funds for Prevent Child Abuse PA.

Enjoy dishes from Chef J.C. Nuñez paired with aperitifs and fine wines. Plus, there will be a special performance by two celebrity dancers from ABC’s hit show, Dancing with the Stars. Exciting live and silent auction items will be available for bidding.

The event will be celebrity driven, as Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies will invite his friends from MLB, the NFL, NBA and NHL along with musicians, actors and television personalities to attend. These celebrities will join our key sponsors in an exclusive VIP area that features cigars and wine tastings.

Proceeds from A Night in Paris will benefit Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania with sponsorships ranging from $25,000.00 – $5,000.00 and individual tickets for $300.00 each. (That might seem like a lot, but if you can afford it, this is easily the best chance to actually talk to your favorite Phillies. They are super chill and approachable during charity events and everyone is having a great time.)

For more information on tickets or sponsorships, please send us an email.

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Venezuelan League Underway, GalBeast Back in Action

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, October 12, 2012 12:23 PM Comments: 2

The Venezuelan Winter League got underway on Thursday and Phillies infielder, Freddy Galvis saw organized game action for the first time since June, when he was sidelined with a back injury.  The 22-year-old played shortstop and laced four hits in five at bats, while slugging a homer and driving in two runs en route to helping Zulia lock down a 10-3 victory over Aragua.

As a rookie with the Phillies this year, Galvis, who was signed as an amateur free agent in 2006 at the age of 16, batted .226 with 3 home runs and 24 RBI in 58 games.  Galvis tested positive this year for a banned substance and was suspended for 50 games as a result.  He was able to serve the suspension while on the disabled list and would be eligible for game action at the start of the 2013 regular season.

Other Phillies players participating in the VWL include second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who went 1-for-3 in Margarita’s 7-4 win over La Guaira.  Hernandez, 22, had a breakout season in 2012, becoming an All-Star with the Double-A Reading Phillies before earning a promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  In 133 combined games, Hernandez posted a .291/.323/.404 line. Continue reading Venezuelan League Underway, GalBeast Back in Action

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Why I Love the Phillies – Barry

Posted by Brian Michael, Fri, October 12, 2012 08:51 AM Comments: 2

I guess my story is different to most Phillies fans. As a soccer and cricket loving Englishman, I’d never seen a baseball game until I stumbled across the Phillies when I was in Philadelphia for a convention in 1992. Though the Phillies finished last in the NL East in ’92 they won all three games I saw at the Vet and the whole experience left me wanting more. My wife and I returned in ’93 and the rest is history. As a rookie baseball fan you couldn’t help but be reeled in by that ’93 team and they still remain my favourite Phillies team to this day. A great bunch of characters.

Continue reading Why I Love the Phillies – Barry

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