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Archive for August, 2013

Reading’s Murphy Increases Versatility with Time in Outfield

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, August 29, 2013 01:30 PM Comments: 4

Jim Murphy, Image- Jay Floyd

With the Phillies’ decision to try Double-A third base prospect Maikel Franco at first base recently a bit of a dilemma with how to use slugger Jim Murphy arose.  The 27-year-old Eastern League All-Star has held down first base at several levels of the minors since he was drafted by the Phillies out of Washington State University in 2008.

Murphy, who is among the league leaders in home runs (22) and RBI (81) was without a spot in the Reading Fightin Phillies’ lineup against National League affiliated opponents down the stretch, as teams do not use a designated hitter in those match ups.

Some luck came Murphy’s way this week when a lineup spot abruptly vacated by outfielder Kelly Dugan, who was a late scratch on Tuesday, left an opening for Murphy.  The righty batter has never given up on his dreams of climbing all the way up the developmental ladder, despite seemingly being provided with limited opportunities at times.

“The Phillies want Franco to get some games in at first and (manager Dusty Wathan) wanted me to stay in the lineup for National League games, so I worked out there for a few days,” Murphy stated.  “Don’t know what the future will hold for me in the outfield but it would add value to myself to have a secondary position. It was fun to be out there.” Continue reading Reading’s Murphy Increases Versatility with Time in Outfield

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Gameday: Phillies (61-72) at Mets (59-72)

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, August 29, 2013 11:50 AM Comments: 31

new-york-mets-alternate-logo-2-primary_display_imagePhiladelphia Phillies (61-72) vs New York Mets (59-72)

Ethan Martin (2-2, 6.33) vs. Carlos Torres (2-2, 2.96)

TIME: 1:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: 73, overcast
Media: Twitter and Facebook
Game notes:

Here’s how the Mets week has been going. Their star young pitcher Matt Harvey went down with a pretty serious injury. That put in motion some trade talks and they traded Marlon Byrd–on Marlon Byrd t-shirt night. They’ve lost six of their last seven. In short, even when the Phillies stink, the Mets are there to make us feel better.

Today will feature a matchup of two relatively inexperienced pitchers in Ethan Martin and Carlos Torres. Between them, they have just fourteen starts. Torres has mostly been a relief pitcher for the Mets this year, but is making a spot start today for the injured Harvey. In his last start, he gave up eight runs in three innings against the Nationals.

Ethan Martin will be on the mound for the Phillies, and the young righty has struggled thus far. He’s given up 15 runs in 21.1 innings this year, with a WHIP at 1.78. He did not make it out of the first inning in his last start against the Diamondbacks.

Darin Ruf is someone to keep an eye on today, he’s been hot lately–hitting .310 in his last 16 games.

Lineup: Young 3B, Frandsen 1B, Utley 2B, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Ruf RF, Mayberry CF, McDonald SS, Martin P

donnybrook stoutYour Gameday Beer: Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers

What better place to brew a beer for a ballgame than Cooperstown, N.Y.? This dark, malty, quadrupel is based on the heavy ales of the Trappist monks of Belgium. Hints of cherry and chocolate accompany a beer that not only tastes good, but will make you feel sophisticated drinking it.. -By Michael

Go Phillies!

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Gameday: Phillies (60-72) vs Mets (59-71)

Posted by Brian Michael, Wed, August 28, 2013 06:30 PM Comments: 65

Philadelphia Phillies (60-72) vs New York Mets (59-71)
Mets logo

Cole Hamels (5-13 3.62 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00 ERA)

TIME: 7:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: 76, isolated storms
Media: Twitter and Facebook
Game notes: August 28

The battle for third place is heating up!

Tonight Cole Hamels faces a depleted Mets lineup and will have an excellent chance to secure his sixth win of the season.  David Wright is hurt, Marlon Byrd and John Buck were traded, and the team ranks 29th in MLB in batting average.  Still, this lineup tagged the Phillies for five runs last night, and we all know the Phils aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts themselves.

The boys in red will be facing the once highly touted Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Dice-K is looking for his first win in just over a year and and is 0-5 with a 13.06 ERA in six starts since then.  In his most recent outing (also his first ML start of the season) he allowed 5 runs in 5 innings to Detroit. Last time he faced the Phillies, he came 4 outs away from a throwing a no-hitter.

Pete Orr gets the start in left field and is one of 10 current Phillies who have seen time in Lehigh Valley this year. Since the All-Star break, the Phillies are 12-24 – good for the worst winning percentage in the National League.

Lineup: Bernadina CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Young 1B, Asche 3B, Mayberry RF, Orr LF, Hamels P

downloadGameday Beer: Rolling Rock

Rolling Rock is a 4.6% abv pale lager first brewed in 1939 by the Latrobe Brewing Company in Western PA.  The brand was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 2006, which transferred brewing operations to New Jersey.  It is a clean, crisp and easy-drinking beer, occasionally enjoyed in pony sizes.  Drink one of these during the game with some hard pretzels.

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Impressive Dugan Among Seven Headed to AFL

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, August 27, 2013 09:08 PM Comments: 8

Kelly Dugan, shown here at Reading. Photo by Jay Floyd

Outfielder Kelly Dugan is one of seven Phillies selected to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Joining Dugan are outfielder Aaron Altherr, catcher Cameron Rupp, RHP Kenny Giles, Mike Nesseth, and Kyle Simon and LHP Austin Wright.

Dugan has been the most improved of the group in 2013. Dugan, who turns 23 in September, was the Phillies first selection in the 2009 draft, taken in the second round. After battling injuries for much of 2009, 2010, and 2011, Dugan posted a .300/.387/.470 line in Lakewood last season with a then-career high 12 HR. Dugan torched Clearwater in 2013 in 56 games, hitting 10 HR with a .318/.401/.539 line before being promoted to Double-A Reading where Dugan has hit .262/.300/.487 with 10 more homers in 205 PA.

Altherr, 22, has long been considered among the best athletes in the Phillies system since being drafted in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. Altherr has responded well to his first taste of High-A Clearwater, hitting .276/.337/.464 with a career-high 12 HR and an impressive 21 steals in 25 attempts.
Continue reading Impressive Dugan Among Seven Headed to AFL

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Gameday: Phillies (60-71) vs Mets (58-71)

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, August 27, 2013 06:00 PM Comments: 27

Philadelphia Phillies (49-48) vs New York Mets (41-51) new-york-mets-alternate-logo-2-primary_display_image

Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.51 ERA) vs Jon Niese (5-6, 4.03 ERA)

TIME: 7:10, Citi Field

TV: PHL 17

Weather: 95, cloudy with chance of storms

Media: Twitter and Facebook

The Phillies will look to continue their recent success and take an early series win on Tuesday when they take on the Mets in the second game of their three game series. The Phillies are now 7-3 in their last ten and are one game ahead of the Mets in the standings.

Kyle Kendrick will get the start, coming off an outing against the Rockies in which he allowed four runs in five innings, receiving a no decision. Kendrick has struggled mightily since his torrid start, posting a 2-4 record and 7.46 ERA since the All-Star Break. He has faced the Mets three times this year, but just once since April. In that start on July 19, he allowed six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

He will opposed by Mets lefty Jon Niese, who has pitched very well since  his return from a partially torn rotator cuff. In 19 innings since his return, he has racked up 23 strikeouts and posted a 2.84 ERA. Niese had one start against the Phillies this year, and was the tough luck loser after allowing just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings of work. In his career he is 5-5 with a 3.45 ERA against Philadelphia.

John Mayberry Jr. has by the far the most success against Niese, with a .290 average, three homers and seven RBI in 31 at bats. Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young have also homered off the lefty in their careers.

Lineup: Bernadina CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Kratz C, Young 3B, Ruf LF, Frandsen 1B, Mayberry RF, Kendrick P

Gameday Beer: Otter Creek Copper Aledownload

This medium bodied beer is a very versatile and refreshing brew that goes well with all types of ballpark food, especially stuff off the grill. It’s got a sweet, toasty, crisp taste that is perfect for either a chilly night or hot summer day watching the game. With a day game today fire up the grill and kick back with one of these and you’ll be set.

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Reading Eagle Survey: Franco Ranked Top Phillies Prospect

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 27, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 39

Recently, Mike Drago of The Reading Eagle conducted a survey of about ten experts, made up of writers and other media members, designed to rank the top prospects in the Philadelphia developmental system.

The participating individuals, who are all close to the Phillies minor league system, were asked to rank their personal top 15, which were tabulated to determine the paper’s published list of top prospects. Those that offered their insight for the ratings this time around included Bob Brookover, Tony Graham, Mitch Rupert, Jeff Schuler, Mike Drago himself and yours truly, PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd.

The collection of experts found that fast rising third base prospect Maikel Franco, who represented the Phillies organization in the MLB All-Star Futures Game this year, is the club’s top minor leaguer.  Franco, who recently began playing first base is primed to make an impact with the big club in the near future and has become the Phils’ most highly touted offensive prospect since Ryan Howard was trying to break into the big leagues.

Last year’s results ranked lefty hurler Jesse Biddle at the top.  The Philadelphia native fell in this year’s rankings while others rose and some fell completely off of the list.

Here’s a review of The Reading Eagle’s Phillies prospect rankings…

1- Maikel Franco, 3B, Double-A Reading…the 21-year-old slugger notched his 30th homer and 100th RBI of the season on Monday night.  Franco, who began the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, is one of the biggest breakout prospects in all of minor league baseball this season and plans to continue his outstanding year in the Dominican Winter League.  In 127 games this season combined at the two levels, the youngster sports an impressive .313/.352/.566 line.
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Lee and Asche Lead Phils Over Mets

Posted by Alex Lee, Mon, August 26, 2013 10:07 PM Comments: 16

Cliff Lee got his 11th win of 2013 on Monday night in New York. (AP Photo)

Cliff Lee got his 11th win of 2013 on Monday night in New York. (AP Photo)

The Phillies beat the Mets, 2-1, at Citifield on Monday night behind a stellar outing from Cliff Lee and a two-run triple by Cody Asche.  Lee was brilliant against a depleted New York lineup that was without third baseman David Wright, earning his 11th win of the season.  He was economical with his pitches (at least until the eighth) and fielded his position well, recording five outs himself on ground balls back to the pitcher.

The Phils’ bats struggled against rookie phenom Zack Wheeler, but Asche’s first career triple provided all the offense Lee would need.  After a Michael Young single and a Darin Ruf walk, Asche launched a 1-0 high fastball into the gap in right field.  It rolled all the way to the fence and Asche ended up on third base.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 22nd save on the year.  It was only the third save opportunity for Papelbon since the All-Star break.  The Phils have now won seven of nine.

VINTAGE CLIFF LEE

- Lee had his best start since May on Monday night, tossing eight innings and allowing only one earned run on five hits.  He faced three batters in six of his first seven innings and retired 10 consecutive hitters heading into the eighth inning.  Lee threw 121 pitches on the night, 84 of which went for strikes.  He struck out seven Mets.  It was Lee’s first win in his last nine starts. Continue reading Lee and Asche Lead Phils Over Mets

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Gameday: Phillies (59-71) vs. Mets (58-70)

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, August 26, 2013 06:15 PM Comments: 13

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0807/play_e_mrmet_400.jpgPhiladelphia Phillies (59-71) vs. New York Mets (58-70)

Cliff Lee (10-6, 3.16 ERA) v. Zack Wheeler (6-2, 3.49 ERA)

Time: 7:10, Citi Field
TV: CSN
Weather: High-70s, chance of rain
Media: Twitter and Facebook
Tickets: Philadelphia Phillies tickets

Just hours of receiving the news that ace Matt Harvey has a torn UCL, the Mets will tangle with our Phils in a battle of the “Virtually-Tied-For-Third-Place” teams. The Phillies send ace Cliff Lee to the mound, who has not been on the winning side of a decision since July 5. Lee looks to gain a measure of revenge on the Mets who sent an injured Lee packing after putting up five earned in six innings pitched on July 21.

Zack Wheeler gets the call for the Mets. Wheeler was chased early in his only start against the Phillies, going 4 2/3 IP, not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 Mets win.

Lineup: Bernadina CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Ruiz C, Young 1B, Ruf LF, Asche 3B, Mayberry RF, Lee P

Orval Trappist AleYour Gameday Beer – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

A beer so nice, we’ll use it twice. Ryan chose this beer for the start of the Arizona series and it kept the Phillies good vibes going. I’ll copy what he said in hopes the Phillies continue their winning ways under new manager Ryne Sandberg.

The Phils welcome a visitor from the American Southwest this weekend. When it comes to southwestern brews, California’s Sierra Nevada produces some of the best. This pale ale selection is highly-rated, with a prominent bitterness that doesn’t overpower the malty taste. There is a citrus undertone that finishes off this smooth and delicious sip. -By RD

Go Phillies!

  • 13 Comments
 

Exploring the DFA’ed Pat Neshek

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, August 26, 2013 05:30 PM Comments: 5

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site569/2012/1004/20121004__Neshek,%20Pat-bw_300.jpgPat Neshek was designated for assignment today by the Oakland A’s. Neshek, 32, was having a pretty pedestrian year for the A’s, posting a 3.58 ERA with 6.7 K/9 IP. As noted by MLB Trade Rumors, Neshek’s peripheral and advanced stats, namely FIP (4.57, defined here), xFIP (4.66, defined here), and SIERA (4.18, defined here) indicate that his 2013 performance in 37 2/3 innings has been based mostly in luck, but Neshek is worth putting a waiver claim in for.

Neshek, known for his side-armed delivery, has been absolutely dominant against right-handed hitters through his career, with a triple-slash-against line of .183/.256/.319, earning a strikeout against three out of every ten right-handed hitters he has faced. Neshek has also been successful against lefties, creating a career .203/.284/.361 line-against against all handed hitters, with a 1.134 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 IP. Continue reading Exploring the DFA’ed Pat Neshek

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Why Rush Halladay Back?

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, August 26, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 27

http://l.yimg.com/iu/api/res/1.2/fj1BfdqEzacpjwJbVIlmnw--/YXBwaWQ9eXZpZGVvO2NoPTg2MDtjcj0xO2N3PTY1NztkeD0yO2R5PTE7Zmk9dWxjcm9wO2g9ODU7cT0xMDA7dz02NQ--/http://l.yimg.com/j/assets/i/us/sp/v/mlb/players_l/20130405/6134.1.jpgWith the ink barely drying on the tale of Roy Halladay‘s successful comeback start against the Diamondbacks, I’m here to suggest something pretty outrageous. The serendipitous aligning of the stars that allowed Halladay to pitch on Sunday was long ago a plan written in ink, Whited Out, and then put back down in Sharpie.

The detour came last Tuesday night, when Doc threw only 52 of 90 pitches for strikes and didn’t figure into the decision for the Lakewood Blue Claws. He didn’t have the gas, or the control, of a Major League pitcher that night. But Saturday’s 18 inning marathon against the Diamonbacks forced the Phils to use Sunday’s probable starter Tyler Cloyd and left a situation Doc had wanted for weeks, if not months.

Halladay told our Jay Floyd and other media members Tuesday that his goal was to pitch with the Phillies on Sunday. There are a number of reasons he would want to do that including the obvious fact that Halladay is pitching for a contract for 2014. The not so obvious reason Halladay has come back? Because a comeback yesterday allows Halladay to get in two starts before the waiver-trade deadline on September 1 to audition for a contender.I’m not suggesting a conspiracy allowed Doc to throw yesterday but rather that Halladay got a much needed quality start to keep open the small-but-real possibility that the Phillies could deal him to a contender to chase a ring in 2013.

Continue reading Why Rush Halladay Back?

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