2012 Spring Training

Phillies Begin Minor League Roster Trimming

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, March 26, 2012 01:49 PM Comments: 3

For the second consecutive week, you can read breaking news of Phillies’ minor league cuts here on Phillies Nation and PhoulBallz.com first.

Before we get to the cuts, the “Baby Aces” have all been assigned to farm teams for the 2012 season. Brody Colvin will begin the year at Class-A Clearwater, while Trevor May, Jonathan Pettibone, and Julio Rodriguez all go to double-A Reading.

Outfielders Tyson Gillies and Jiwan James join them there, as will Sebastian Valle.

Larry Greene Jr. and Roman Quinn, the top two picks for the Phillies in the ’11 draft, have not been assigned, meaning they could see time at extended Spring Training.

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadephia Inquirer, the team has signed Chin-lung Hu to a contract. He’ll provide some depth at triple-A as an infielder.

Early Sunday morning, the following players were informed that the Phillies no longer required their services: Luis Unda, Ian Durham, Paul Cusick, Chase Johnson, Juary Gomez and Rye Davis.

Unda (pictured, right), a 22-year-old infielder had been signed by the Phillies in 2008 and played as high as Class A Lakewood, where he went 0-for-8 in 3 games played last season. The Venezuelan native was a member of the Phils’ championship Gulf Coast League team in 2010.

Durham, 23, was drafted in the 29th round in 2011. The righty pitcher went 1-0 with a 3.62 ERA and 2 saves in 18 appearances for the Gulf Coast League Phillies last year.

Continue reading Phillies Begin Minor League Roster Trimming


De Fratus Checks In: Elbow is Progressing

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, March 26, 2012 08:22 AM Comments: 0

You know him, you adore him and Justin De Fratus is back in the J-Bone Zone. The right-handed reliever joins PhoulBallz.com once again, from Clearwater, FL to offer his thoughts from inside Phillies spring training.

The 24-year-old reliever went 6-3 with 15 saves, a 2.99 ERA and 99 strike outs in 75 1/3 innings in his time with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year before making his big league debut in September and holding opponents to a .083 batting average in 5 appearances. Heading forward, De Fratus, an 11th round draft choice in 2007, hopes to be an impact contributor in the Phillies bullpen for years to come.

In the latest edition of The J-Bone Zone, Justin talks about his recovery from his elbow ailment, hunger for game action, Twitter and more. Read ahead for another edition of The J-Bone Zone.

On the progression of his elbow, which kept him out of action with soreness for weeks at the outset of spring training…

Everything’s going well. I think the plan is to throw off the mound next week. I think we’re shooting for the middle of the week to make that happen. I looked at the schedule the other day and I’ve forgotten exactly when it is, but I know it was the middle of the week. Everything’s going well. Obviously, we’re not going to start out with a 40 pitch bullpen, but I am just going to keep taking it slowly and allow my arm to get in shape. We’re not rushing anything and we’re just going to listen to my arm and that’ll be the thing that tells us when I’m ready. Continue reading De Fratus Checks In: Elbow is Progressing


Week In Review – Utley Announcement, Madson Goes Down

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, March 25, 2012 07:00 PM Comments: 30

Chase will be looking from the dugout Opening Day.

Chase Utley!!!!  He was not in the clubhouse, surprise surprise, earlier as the team spoke with reporters.  He did, however, hold a mini ‘presser’ and addressed some things. Utley spoke to reporters and said he would not be ready for Opening Day and didn’t have a time table for his return.  He still thinks he can contribute this season and laughed at the rumor he was retiring.


As hard as this spring has been with injuries for the Phillies it seems they finally caught a break.  Ryan Madson looks to miss the entire 2012 season after the Reds announced their new closer has torn his elbow ligament clean off the bone.  The Cincinnati closer is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery soon to repair it.

I have never been one to wish harm on anyone and this is an awful situation for Madson and the Reds but, whew, I am pleased it happened after he left the Phillies.  There was a lot of back and forth with Madson after the season ended.  One morning I woke up reading that he would be the Phillies closer only to then find out Rube signed Jonathan Papelbon.  It’s just crazy how some things work out.  Best of luck to him after the surgery.

Continue reading Week In Review – Utley Announcement, Madson Goes Down


Phils Tie, Lose In Split Squad Games

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sun, March 25, 2012 04:04 PM Comments: 2

The Phillies split up Sunday, playing to a tie in Clearwater against the Orioles and losing in Lakeland to the Tigers. Roy Halladay got the start in Clearwater, and he pitched a solid 6.1 innings, giving up two runs and striking out nine. Antonio Bastardo relieved him in the seventh and made quick work of the Baltimore hitters with two strikeouts. Jose Contreras pitched the eighth, and gave up a run on a two out, RBI double by Trent Mummey and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth.

On the offensive side of things, Freddy Galvis continued his hot streak as he went 3-4 with a run scored. Jim Thome hit a RBI double, and Carlos Ruiz had another multi-hit game, going 2-4.

In Lakeland, the Phils had faced Justin Verlander, although they did get two runs off of him. Shane Victorino, Ty Wigginton, and Tuffy Gosewisch hit doubles, while Cody Overbeck hit a home run. Juan Pierre was able to tally two knocks, while his competition Scott Podsednik wen’t 0-4.

On the mound, Scott Elarton got the start, going four innings while giving up a run on just two hits. David Herndon gave up a run over two innings, and Michael Stutes gave up a run in his only inning. Joe Savery gave up a three run home run in the seventh to Tyler Collins, meaning that every Phillies pitcher in the game gave up at least one run.

The Phils welcome the Red Sox to Bright House Field tomorrow at 1:00 PM in what will be the final week of Spring Training action.


Utley Talks Injury, Won’t Have Surgery

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Sun, March 25, 2012 01:31 PM Comments: 16

“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” Chase Utley told reporters Sunday, after speaking briefly in sunny Clearwater. He said that his knee will not require surgery, and that he will not even look into a surgical procedure unless it gives him 100% recovery, which is unlikely. He will be doing some new rehab workouts to ease himself into his routine. He expects to play this season, but mentioned that it will take time and that he doesn’t want to rush things.

Utley has been battling his knee issues for a while now, and the last two years have really held him back. He missed all of Spring Training last year and the first two and half months of the season.

It was revealed in an MRI last year that he had patellar tendinitis, a condition that affects the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shin. It was also said that he suffered from Chrondromalacia patella, which means that the actual tissue under the kneecap is soft, creating constant, uncomfortable pain.

What he said today was something that we all expected. Once he left camp to see a specialist, we all kind of expected the Phillies to begin the season without their 33 year old second basemen. There were some encouraging things he said, like when he said that the pain he was experiencing was not as bad as last year, and that he would begin some new rehab exercises. This could suggest that he might return to the Phillies sooner than he did last year (46 games), and might be able to play a little better with less pain.

In the absence of Utley, we should expect the Phillies to turn to Freddy Galvis and possibly someone outside of the organization to fill in. With Ryan Howard also on the shelf with no timetable for return, the Phillies offense will surely struggle, so while we don’t want Utley to rush things, we definitely want him back as soon as possible. Get well soon, Chase, the Phillies need you.


Phillies Cut More Farm Hands

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 25, 2012 12:30 PM Comments: 3

Early Sunday morning, the following players were informed that the Phillies no longer required their services: Luis Unda, Ian Durham, Paul Cusick, Chase Johnson, Juary Gomez and Rye Davis.

Unda (pictured, right), a 22-year-old infielder had been signed by the Phillies in 2008 and played as high as Class A Lakewood, where he went 0-for-8 in 3 games played last season. The Venezuelan native was a member of the Phils’ championship Gulf Coast League team in 2010.

Durham, a 23-yar-old righty pitcher, went 1-0 with a 3.62 ERA and 2 saves in 18 appearances for the Gulf Coast League Phillies last year.

Cusick, a 23-year-old right-hander, was drafted by the Phillies last year. In 18 combined appearances (1 start) with the GCL team and Williamsport in 2011, the University of Penn product went 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA.

Johnson (pictured), a righty reliever that was selected in the 21st round of the 2009 draft, had a respectable season with Class A Lakewood in 2011 (4-6 record, 4.31 ERA, .268 batting average against). As the closer for short-season Williamsport in 2010, Johnson was a New York-Penn League All-Star.  Johnson will turn 24 years old next month.

Gomez, a native of Venezuela, had a very good campaign last year for Williamsport, as the team’s closer. In 28 relief appearances, Gomez went 4-1 with 10 saves and a 2.84 ERA. The right-hander was signed by the Phillies back in 2008. Gomes turns 22-years-old in May.

Davis, a Western Kentucky grad, was also signed as a non-drafted free agent last year. In 17 combined relief outings with the GCL team and Lakewood, he posted a 1-1 record with 2 saves and a 2.33 ERA. Davis turned 23 years old over the off-season.

Keep it locked right here for breaking news at all levels of the Philadelphia organization.


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


Photos from Phillies Spring Training

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, March 24, 2012 09:02 PM Comments: 0

Here are the rest of the photos from mine and Pat’s excellent adventure in Clearwater. Check out some of the video footage in the latest episode of Phillies Nation TV.

Among the latest photos are ones from: the awesome St. Patrick’s Day tailgate party hosted by Phils Fever; a minor league game featuring Jim Thome and Phillies catching prospect, Bob Stumpo (also my cousin); a Phillies-Pirates game in Bradenton, FL; and a Phillies-Braves game from Bright House Field.


Spring Training Gameday: Phillies vs. Red Sox

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, March 24, 2012 11:07 AM Comments: 8

Time: 1:05 pm, Ft. Myers, FL
Weather: Sunny, 80
TV: Not on TV
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-Placido Polanco is taking part in a minor league game today, a good sign that he’s close to returning to real action. Polanco has been dealing with a finger sprain.

-Jim Thome will play first base in a real Spring Training game tomorrow against Baltimore.

Phillies Lineup:

1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Juan Pierre, DH
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Laynce Nix, 1B
5. John Mayberry Jr., LF
6. Carlos Ruiz, C
7. Pete Orr, 3B
8. Freddy Galvis, 2B
9. Miguel Abreu, SS

Phillies Pitchers:
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP Chad Qualls



Amaro: “Trading Valdez Was Foolish”

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, March 23, 2012 05:45 PM Comments: 97


Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was on 97.5 The Fanatic with Mike Missanelli this afternoon and mentioned that the Wilson Valdez trade was “foolish”. Of course, looking back at the Michael Martinez injury–which now leaves a hole on the bench that Valdez could have filled quite easily–it’s easy to say that it was foolish to get rid of Valdez. He’d be quite valuable to the Phillies right now.

But that doesn’t mean that trading him was foolish at all. The fact of the matter is there are many, many Wilson Valdez’s out there. Contrary to the belief of many fans, Valdez was below average at the plate. In his time here, he hit at a .254/.300/.351 clip. Ben Francisco, a guy that we all grew to dislike after his underwhelming offensive performance, hit at a .254/.335/.396 clip over the same time period. Sure, Francisco’s expectations were much higher, but facts are facts–Valdez was easily replaceable. The only thing that wasn’t replaceable about Valdez was his constant shenanigans on camera that made us all laugh.

He would have been a better option than Michael Martinez, but Valdez in 2012 will make about double what Martinez made last year. The differences in the two aren’t that great, so the cheaper option in Martinez was the right decision. There’s no reason to feel foolish about that.

In addition, the Phils got a young pitcher in return for Valdez that pitched to a 2.93 ERA in 15+ innings in Cincinnati last year in Jeremy Horst. Chances are that Horst may never even pitch for the Phils at the MLB level, but it never hurts to have a young pitcher that maybe, just maybe, turn out to be a good player in the future over a replaceable bench player.

It’s always easy to see 20/20 in hindsight, and Amaro is mistaking hindsight vision for actual vision. The trade itself, at the time, wasn’t a mistake. He can’t control injuries–at least I don’t think he can–but he can control player movement and moving Valdez was the right call.


Phillies Set Rotation; Worley Fans Seven in Loss

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Fri, March 23, 2012 04:25 PM Comments: 5

According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, the three pitchers that will pitch in Pittsburgh for the Opening Day series will be Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Vance Worley–not Cole Hamels. Hamels will get the nod in the home opener.

As for today’s game, the Phils lost their second straight to a Yankees split squad by a score of 5-3. Vance Worley, who we now know will pitch in the first series of 2012, got the start, but started off slow, as he gave up four straight hits which led to three runs before he even recorded an out. He did settle in, however, as he prevented the Yankees from scoring over the next six innings while striking out seven.

I’m not too worried about Worley’s poor first inning. He’s had games like that before, so it isn’t uncommon for him to have the wheels fall off before he settles in. Also, he showed great poise when he bounced back and pitched great for six innings.

David Herndon, Michael Stutes, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the next three, with Herndon and Stutes giving up a run a piece, and Papelbon blowing away the Yankees hitters in the ninth.

At the plate, the Phillies were able to scatter nine hits, but left fourteen men on base. Erik Kratz and Miguel Abreu were the only Phils to hit for extra bases–Kratz with a monster home run in the eight and Abreu with an RBI double in the seventh.

Collectively, the Phillies offense only struck out three times, but drew just two walks (Jim Thome and Hunter Pence).

The Phils head to Fenway South tomorrow at 1:35 PM for a contest against a Red Sox split squad.

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