Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, February 10, 2011 07:06 PM Comments: 2
(Originally posted Feb. 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm)
I spoke with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. this week, prior to the Phillies Winter Tour stop in Lakewood. I asked Amaro about several things including his thoughts on how relievers like Scott Mathieson and Justin De Fratus might contribute to the big club in the coming season, about JC Ramirez’s recovery from off-season hip surgery, Charlie Manuel’s contract situation, about new BlueClaws manager Chris Truby and more.
Amaro also answers questions from Trenton newspaper reporter Josh Norris about Jon Singleton’s switch to the outfield from first base and his overall opinion on the state of the Phillies’ minor league system.
Check out the media player below to listen to excerpts of my time with Ruben Amaro Jr.
Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, December 23, 2010 11:48 AM Comments: 0
This September, right-handed pitcher Eric Pettis was tossed into the proverbial fire. The Phillies wasted no time moving their late-round steal, from this year’s amateur draft, into the crucial postseason schedule of the defending South Atlantic League champions, the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.
Pettis began his professional career swiftly after being selected by the Phillies in the 35th round of the 2010 draft with the Williamsport Crosscutters of the short season NY-Penn League out of UC-Irvine. The 6’2″, 200 pound hurler started and pitched in relief en route to posting an 8-0 record and a 1.37 ERA while striking out 67 batters in 59 innings with Williamsport. At such a rate of progression, it may not be too long before Pettis figures into the Sports Betting calculations at the big league level.
By Labor Day this year, Williamsport had just missed the playoffs by the slimmest of margins and the BlueClaws were beginning their run at a second straight league title, so Pettis, who opened many eyes while becoming a NY-Penn League All-star, was added to the Lakewood roster in an effort to fortify the bullpen.
Pettis was excited to join the BlueClaws at a time when their games meant so much, but asserted that it was certainly a difficult situation at times. “It was weird. It’s fun because it’s a big playoff atmosphere, but it’s tough because you’ve got to learn all your new teammates and the different quirks in the clubhouse and all that. It was different, but it was fun because I was jumping right into a playoff atmosphere,” Pettis stated in an exclusive interview.
Lance Carter, the Crosscutters’ pitching coach, is credited, by Pettis, with helping Pettis achieve his tremendous success so early in his pro career, by instilling the proper methods to have a game plan each time he took the mound.
“He did a great job. Talking with me, through every inning, every at bat, to just see what my mind-set was. We worked on mechanical things here and there, but it was more about how you approach each hitter and how you look at each game and prepare yourself.”
Pettis, a California native, made his Class A debut in the BlueClaws’ postseason opener this year, throwing a scoreless 1 1/3 innings against the Hickory Crawdads (Texas affiliate). “First impressions are a big thing. It was crunch time for (the team) and they’re not going to throw me in there if they don’t have confidence in me, so I was just glad to have success in my first outing, so I could continue getting out there,” Pettis said.
The draft bargain, Pettis, threw 4 1/3 innings in the postseason for Lakewood, allowing just 1 earned run in the process. Pettis projects to begin next season at Single A Lakewood, however, he could certainly be on the fast track to higher levels.
Austin Hyatt, who was a 15th round draft choice by the Phillies in 2009, cruised through NY-Penn league competition in his first professional season, then earned a promotion to Lakewood, to help them during their stretch run toward the SAL title. Hyatt was 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA in 18 regular season games with Williamsport and Lakewood last year. He then excelled with the High-A Level Clearwater Threshers in 2010 (11-5 record, 3.04 ERA, .220 opponents’ average) and earned a promotion to Double A Reading by mid-August.
The difference in age, between Hyatt and Pettis, could impact how the organization assigns these players differently by comparison, though, as Hyatt was 24-years-old for most of the 2010 season and age often plays a role in level assignments. Pettis will be 22-years-old until June, so the Phillies will likely feel more comfortable taking a longer look at Pettis in Lakewood, especially with limited room expected on the Threshers’ roster as many young prospects (Trevor May, Brody Colvin, Jarred Cosart, Colby Shreve, Jonathan Pettibone & more) are potentially in line to get their shot on the Clearwater mound in 2011.
Going forward, Pettis’ outlook should be agreeable with whatever the Phillies determine to be the best course of action, as he will surely continue to be a young prospect to watch, headed into the 2011 season.
“I’m just going to go about my business every day, you know. I just want to try to build on this early success and keep getting better and learn as much as I can.”
Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, November 11, 2010 01:04 PM Comments: 1
When someone in the baseball community passes on, the effects are felt throughout. Last night in the Seattle suburb of Bellvue – which sits just across Lake Washington – longtime Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus died of a heart attack. He was 75.
Seattle is over 2,800 miles away from Philadelphia, but feels closer than ever today. That’s because many of us know the feeling of having our voice taken away from us too soon. Harry Kalas died in April 2009 at the age of 73 and still we search for that voice. No one will ever come close to having the impact Harry had on this city and this team, and I’ll go out on a limb and say the same holds true for Neihaus and the Mariners.
Maybe we as fans put athletes and others in the public eye on too high of a pedestal. With the way the media is now constructed, add broadcasters to that list as well. Still, we can’t help feel a connection with someone we listen to – and feel we know so well – 162 times a year. We probably listen more to that voice than we do our boss or our own mother.
Today, the baseball world mourns the death of another in the Kalas-mold. Neihaus was even known to wear ugly sport coats and shoes, just as Harry once was.
If you haven’t heard Neihaus, here’s a clip of the distinct voice heard throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 28, 2010 10:12 AM Comments: 21
Jim Salisbury joined “The Sports Bash with Mike Gill” on our partner radio station 97.3 ESPN in South Jersey yesterday. He talked about what went wrong for the Phillies in the NLCS against the Giants, but also had interesting things to say about the dynamic of the team.
Salisbury talked about Jayson Werth and whether or not he would be back, but he also touched on some other surprising topics. Brad Lidge was one of them, and he believes there’s a chance he’s moved (or at least the attempt will be made). Also, he says that Ruben Amaro will be on the horn to Cliff Lee’s agent.
Take a listen to the entire interview here -it’s a good one.
Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 15, 2010 01:28 PM Comments: 3
Just in case you missed the show last night, I had the privilege of interviewing Scott Franzke, the Phillies play-by-play voice on the radio. We talked about the pitching matchups, the offenses, and Jayson Werth and his slumps.
We also talked about the possibility of him moving on to the Texas Rangers after the season, now that they have an opening. Josh Lewin’s contract with the Rangers was not renewed, so he’s out after the year. With Franzke hailing from Dallas, it’s a possibility. But Scott put the kibosh on that.
Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, June 09, 2010 02:20 PM Comments: 6
On Monday, the Phillies selected Jesse Biddle, a 6-foot-5 righty out of Germantown Friends in Philadelphia with their #1 selection (27th overall). Yesterday, Biddle was a guest of The Sports Bash with Mike Gill on 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey. He talked about being drafted by his hometown team, calling it “storybook ending.”
Biddle says he knew in his mind he always had the talent to be a first round choice, however, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that it actually dawned on him that it may happen. The young pitcher said he knows that the Phillies have a plan for him, and it may take some time for him to get to the big leagues, but he’s hoping it’s within three years.
Honestly, this kid is a very good interview for being a teenager.
Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 13, 2010 04:29 PM Comments: 7
Todd Zolecki was a guest of the Sports Bash with Mike Gill earlier today and they talked about a wide assortment of topics. But one that stood out was, of course, the Jayson Werth scenario. Zo says that it could go up to the $100 million range. Obviously, it’s too early to tell exactly what he’s worth, but this going to be a storyline for the rest of the year, like it or not.
Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, April 27, 2010 05:24 PM Comments: 26
ESPN.com MLB analyst Keith Law joined the Sports Bash with Mike Gill earlier today and bashed the extension the Phillies gave to slugger Ryan Howard. In the interview, Law said Howard was being paid like the second best player in the game, but might not even be the 20th best player in the majors.
Law said that he doesn’t see the logic in giving him that many years in a deal when he is so far away from free agency. He also bashes Howard ability, or lack thereof, to hit left handed pitching saying the decline is well under way.
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