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Grapefruiting

Minor League Exhibition Updates

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 22, 2011 05:45 AM Comments: 0

With loads of updates coming out of Clearwater on the big league Phillies, it’s about time we took a glance at some of the organization’s prospects and their performances in developmental level Grapefruit League action thus far.

24-year-old Josh Zeid, who helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win their second consecutive South Atlantic League title in 2010, then went on to shine the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Mesa Solar Sox. Thus far in 2 spring starts, the 10th round pick from the 2009 amateur draft, has tossed 5 shutout innings for the Double A Reading Phillies club. Zeid has allowed 4 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 7 batters.

With Lakewood last year, Zeid sported an 8-4 record and a 2.93 ERA for Lakewood. He fanned 111 batters over 107.1 IP as both a reliever and a starter. In the AFL, Zeid started 4 games, going 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average.

Justin Friend, who was selected in the minor league phase of last December’s Rule 5 draft out of the Athletics’ system, has thrown 4 scoreless innings in 2 appearances with the Phils’ Double A club. A 13th round pick in the 2007 draft, the right-handed Friend went 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 36 games with Double A Midland last season. Friend is 24 years old.

Jesse Biddle has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings in 2 appearance thus far with the Class A Lakewood team. Biddle, a lefty hurler and native Philadelphian, was last year’s top draft pick and posted a 4-1 record with a 3.92 ERA in 12 games combined with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and short season Williamsport in 2010.

Jarred Cosart threw 3 shut out innings and allowed just 1 hit in his lone spring appearance for the High A level Clearwater team thus far. Cosart, the Phillies’ 20-year-old top pitching prospect who sports a high-90′s fastball, posted a 7-3 record and a 3.79 ERA before having his 2010 season shortened due to an elbow injury.

Joe Savery has had a strong start at the plate. The former top draft pick out of Rice University has converted to an everyday player, after pitching in the Phillies’ system for four years. In his first three spring games, Savery, now a designated hitter and first baseman, had 5 hits and has continued to be successful as the exhibition season has rolled on. Continue reading Minor League Exhibition Updates

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Phils, Lee Drop One Against Jays

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 17, 2011 03:40 PM Comments: 12

In Clearwater Thursday, the Phillies dropped a match up with the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-6. The Phillies busted out to an early lead, as Jimmy Rollins singled to lead off the bottom of the first and Shane Victorino followed with a tremendous homerun into the tiki bar area at Brighthouse Field.

Cliff Lee started for the Phillies and looked fairly untouchable early, as he shut down the first eight Blue Jays batters he faced in succession, and stranded a lone runner on base in the 3rd inning. In the 4th inning, however, the Jays’ bats seemed to come alive following a throwing error by third baseman Josh Barfield. Five hits and a sacrifice fly later, the Jays had a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest, as Toronto defeated Philadelphia by a score of 7-6 on Thursday.

Jo-Jo Reyes would earn the win (1-1), while Cliff Lee took the loss (1-2). Lee singled in his only at bat.

The Phillies donned green caps and jerseys, as they do each year on St. Patrick’s Day. More notes on this game lie ahead.

-More pitching: Antonio Bastardo and Mike Zagurski each threw a scoreless inning for the Phils, while Kyle Kendrick spread 7 hits over 3 innings, with 1 strike out, while allowing 2 runs (1 earned) in the contest. Zagurski struck out the side in the 9th.

-Rule 5 guy Michael Martinez slammed his second homerun of the spring and brought his Grapefruit League batting average up to .325 with a 2-for-4 performance on the day.

-Catcher Erik Kratz mashed a pinch homerun in the 8th inning. Kratz, a Telford PA native, is batting .167 with the Phillies this spring.

-Wilson Valdez went 1-for-3 in the game and is now batting .444 on the spring. His 16 hits lead the Phillies in Grapefruit action. Continue reading Phils, Lee Drop One Against Jays

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Borup’s Blog: First Week of Minors Camp

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, March 14, 2011 02:12 PM Comments: 0

The following is an exclusive guest post by Phillies pitching prospect Jake Borup. From time to time, Jake, who was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Phillies out of Arizona State University, will join us to share his thoughts on his life as minor leaguer. To check out Jake’s previous diary entry, click here.


Just wanted to share some thoughts about MY first spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies.

My wife Kyrstin and I packed up the car in Phoenix, and made the journey across the country. We left on a Thursday morn and got to Clearwater on Saturday afternoon. When we got here, it looked like a complete transformation from when I was last here in October for instructional ball. EVERYTHING is Phillies. Phillies this, Phillies that. Wherever I go, I see something Phillies. It is pretty special to be a part of an organization with such an awesome fan base and wide appeal. Just the vibe in the Clearwater area got me excited to start working out. What I didn’t know is that I would be getting my fair share of working out soon enough.

The first official week of Spring Training has been crazy to say the least. I didn’t really know what to expect other than we would be doing a lot of shagging for the hitters during batting practice. Honestly, we haven’t even done much of that so far either. It’s been a lot of early mornings, a lot of stretching, a lot of conditioning, a lot of meetings, a lot of ham sandwiches on Rye (oxy moron??), and some baseball mixed in. The first few days, we spent a lot of time dealing with health issues to get everyone cleared to be on the field and start practicing. Finally on Monday, we got things rollin…Jimmy Rollin.

A typical day is breakfast at 7, early work at 8, orientation at 9, from 9:30-12 we stretch, play catch or long toss, pitchers fielding practice and other defensive drills, shag for hitters and condition. Conditioning typically lasts 20-30 minutes. Then we eat lunch around Noon thirty. Lunch usually consists of sandwiches or wraps and every once in a while they’ll break it down for us and get us a nice meal with salads, chicken, rice, and beans. After lunch, which goes by entirely too quick, we will have some sort of bullpen or intrasquad games. This week, intrasquad games will be replaced with actual games. VERY NICE!! (Borat voice). All in all, my first official week in Spring Training with the Phillies has led me to a lot of good routines and ibuprofen. It’s fun being at the field with the other players. We are all starting to get a sense of camaraderie. It’s competitive, but in a good way.

One of the highlights of the week was when we had the chance to hear from the front office on the 1st official day Continue reading Borup’s Blog: First Week of Minors Camp

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Halladay and Friends Blank Yankees

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 10, 2011 04:37 PM Comments: 0

In Clearwater Thursday afternoon, the expected pitchers’ duel was just as advertised through the first 5 1/2 innings of the contest. However, in the end it was the Phillies persistent offense that took control and pounded the Yankees’ bullpen to lock down the team’s eighth victory of Grapefruit League play.

Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay appeared to be in mid-season form and as though he could have kept going after he baffled New York hitters through 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and walking none, while striking out 2 batters.

Halladay has yet to allow an earned run in 3 Grapefruit League starts this year. In 11 innings this spring, Halladay has struck out 7 and walked 3, while allowing 7 hits. His 6 innings on Thursday marked the longest start by a Phillies hurler to date this spring.

Yankees ace and former American League Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia held the defending NL East division champions scoreless through 5 innings.

The Phillies took control in the bottom of the 6th inning as Josh Barfield led off with a triple and was brought home on a Shane Victorino sacrifice fly. Placido Polanco then plated Jimmy Rollins with a double. And before Yankees hurler Robert Fish could retire the side, John Mayberry Jr. slammed his third homer of the spring season to put the Phillies up, 4-0. Continue reading Halladay and Friends Blank Yankees

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Minor Grapefruit Production

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, March 09, 2011 07:30 AM Comments: 1

Spring training officially began for Phillies minor leaguers last Friday, but several prospects have been in camp with the big club since last month and have seen game action along side established red pinstripe rocking stars.

While their minor league peers won’t begin their own exhibition games until next Monday, prospects such as Justin De Fratus, Mike Stutes, Vance Worley and Scott Mathieson have been tackling relief innings with the Phillies on the parent club’s preseason schedule. Also, position players like Matt Rizzotti, Josh Barfield, and Michael Martinez have gotten some time to show off their offensive and defensive abilities.

De Fratus, is a righty hurler that has been on the rise in the Phillies organization since he was drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft. Recently ranked as the Phillies’ number 5 prospect, De Fratus has had a bit of a tough spring, getting hit around somewhat in his outings. In 3 games, De Fratus has a 0-1 record, with 7 hits and 4 earned runs allowed in 4 innings (9.00 ERA).

Stutes, an 11th round draft pick in 2008 out of Oregon State, is drawing plenty of interest this spring. The right-hander, Stutes, moved to the bullpen in 2010 after starting in his first two pro seasons. This spring, Stutes has been lights-out when he has taken the hill. In 3 Grapefruit League appearances, Stutes has struck out 8 and walked none in 5 innings, while allowing just one earned run on a solo homer.

Worley, an Eastern League all-star each of the past two seasons, made his Major League debut with the Phillies in July last year. Continue reading Minor Grapefruit Production

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Moose Tracks: Inside Camp

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, March 05, 2011 02:15 PM Comments: 0

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair spoke with PhoulBallz.com’s & PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd once again, to provide an inside glance at spring training in Clearwater.

Mattair was the Phillies’ second round draft pick in 2007 out of Southridge High School in Washington state. He later helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League championship in 2009. After a rough spring training in 2010, Mattair, who was an all-state basketball player during his high school days, retired from baseball to chase his dream of playing Division I college hoops.

After trying his hand with Boise State University, Mattair has returned to Clearwater to continue his baseball journey.

Read ahead to check out what Moose had to say on various subjects, live and direct from Clearwater.

On his first official day of minor league camp since he left the Phillies organization last year to dabble in college basketball.

The first full official day (of minor league camp) was full of meetings. Base running, infield, hydration, we had a bunch of meetings. We didn’t go on the field. We have our physicals on Saturday, and then we’ll get out on the field and get after it.

It was great to see all the guys. It’s something that I really missed. I’m really enjoying it.

On the percentage of minor leaguers who arrived early, compared to the player who arrived just this week, when prospects were required to report…

More of the Latin guys…they just showed up (this week). It’s more of the foreign guys that couldn’t get into the states till now. And everyone else showed up at least 3 to 4 days early.

But, now that we can get into the complex earlier than spring training, it’s becoming more common for fellows to come down early and at least get climatized before we start getting into these first ten days, which is our conditioning phase. Continue reading Moose Tracks: Inside Camp

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Phils Hurlers Combine For Grapefruit One-Hitter

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 03, 2011 05:06 PM Comments: 12

Down in Ft. Myers, FL on Thursday, led by their pitchers, the Phillies won their third Grapefruit League contest of the spring.  2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels started the game, then gave way to some hungry young relievers that are trying to make a solid impression on the Phillies’ brass this spring. 

Four pitchers combined to hold the Boston Red Sox to just one hit over 9 innings to help the Phillies claim a 2-0 victory.

Read ahead for some key notes on today’s Phils’ victory and some exclusive quotes from right-hander Scott Mathieson.

-Cole Hamels allowed a lone hit in his four innings of work.  Hamels also walked one batter and struck out three.

-In relief, Scott Mathieson and Mike Stutes each threw a pair of innings.  Mathieson walked one batter, while striking out two.  Stutes allowed no runners and struck out two batters as well.

-Lefty Juan Perez worked out of a bases loaded jam in the 9th inning, following a walk and two errors, to earn the save.

-Jeff Larish started at third base and drove in both Phillies’ runs with a double in the second inning that plated John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Francisco.

-Francisco collected two safeties in the game and is now batting .375 this spring.

-Wilson Valdez saw some action in center field, once Shane Victorino‘s day was done. 

-Domonic Brown went 0-for-3 and walked once.  He is now 0-for-15 in Grapefruit League action and is 4-for-63 (.063 avg) in MLB regular season, MLB postseason, Dominican Winter League and Spring Training action dating back to August 24, 2010.

Many baseball experts expect that the Phillies will be led by their pitching staff all throughout the upcoming season.  According to Scott Mathieson, on Thursday, Philadelphia gave the Red Sox a taste of what National League opponents will have to deal with in 2011. 

“Today, pitching was the name of the game.  Cole looked really good and Stutes was ‘lights out’, like he’s been all spring,” Mathieson said.

Mathieson, who has been working on the addition of a split-finger fastball to his pitching repertoire, was pleased with his own performance and feels that his efforts will continue to improve as he sees more action in Florida.

“I felt great out there today,” Mathieson stated.  “(My) second inning I felt outstanding and was able to use my split a bit better.  I feel like each outing this spring has gotten better and better.”

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

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Local Prospect McGuire Recovering From Vascular Surgery

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, March 03, 2011 11:40 AM Comments: 0

Mike McGuire’s dream of pitching with the team he grew up rooting for was delayed recently, when a blood clot was discovered in his non-throwing arm. Surgery was required to repair the issue and McGuire has been kept out of spring training until he recovers.

The right-handed hurler, whose contract was purchased by the Phillies from the Sussex Skyhawks out of the independent Can-Am League last July, experienced discoloration, with the skin turning purple and blue throughout his left arm, during a routine workout in early February.

Phillies team doctor Michael Ciccotti examined McGuire and made the call to direct him toward a vascular surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The procedure, that McGuire endured, involved the removal of the first rib on his left side, which actually pinched a vein and resulted in the clot.

The 24-year-old McGuire first noticed a problem in January during a gym session. After raising his heart rate, he noticed multiple blue spots on his left arm. Once McGuire cooled down, though, the pigmentation returned to normal and he disregarded it until the discoloration became too significant to ignore, some weeks later.

Recovery for McGuire began with a 10-day hospital stay, and rest is what physicians have prescribed McGuire at this stage.

“I’ll be taking Spring Training off and I’ll head down (to Clearwater) in April (for extended Spring Training),” said McGuire in an exclusive interview. “I’m only 2 weeks out of surgery right now, so I’m just doing limited activities, like riding a bike and using some weights…just things to keep my legs in shape. But I’m just trying to stay away from strenuous activity with the upper body.” Continue reading Local Prospect McGuire Recovering From Vascular Surgery

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Phillies Fans’ Guide to Clearwater

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, March 01, 2011 07:30 AM Comments: 5

March is here, and you know what that means – Spring Training! With a few games already behind them, the Phillies have started their quest for the 2011 World Series. Fortunately for fans, that journey always begins in sunny Clearwater, Florida. The Phillies have been coming to the area just off the Gulf of Mexico since 1915 and it has provided fans a warm haven from the final weeks of winter.

Phillies Nation has gone to Spring Training the past 6 years and after all the games, player sightings, sunburns, and parties, we’ve put together our Phillies Fans’ Guide to Clearwater.

To those fans who have not yet been on a Spring Training trip, I have one word for you – GO! It’s the most fun you’ll ever have…or the most relaxing time you’ve ever had….or both! In the meantime, read below for a taste of what you’ve been missing. The Guide is definitely a work in progress, so I’ve you’ve been to Spring Training, please offer your suggestions in the comments area.

Continue reading Phillies Fans’ Guide to Clearwater

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Phils Down Jays For Second Grapefruit Win

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, February 28, 2011 04:25 PM Comments: 16

On Monday afternoon, in Dunedin, FL, the Phillies won their second Grapefruit League game, as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 6-3.  Read ahead for key notes from the match up.

-Roy Halladay made the start against his former team, earning the win with 2 shut out innings of work. Halladay allowed 2 hits, walked 1 and struck out 1.

-Ben Francisco continued to make a firm case to be the Phillies’ everyday right fielder to start the season. Through 3 spring games, “Benny Fresh” is batting .571. He collected his fourth RBI in two days with an RBI single off of Jays hurler Carlos Villanueva in the 4th inning.

-JC Ramirez, who was named the Phillies’ #15 prospect recently by PhoulBallz.com and PhilliesNation, looked tremendous, throwing 2 shut out innings against the Blue Jays starting lineup. Ramirez struck out 4 and walked 1, while allowing a hit and reached 95 MPH with his fastball on the stadium radar gun.

-Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco each drove in 2 runs in the victory for Philadelphia.

-Domonic Brown played the entire game in right field, going 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in the contest. Brown is now 0-for-9 in Grapefruit League action.

-Former Phillies prospects Anthony Gose and Travis d’Arnaud each went 0-for-1, striking out. Gose drove home a run with a sacrifice fly in the 9th inning against Scott Mathieson. Gose was dealt to Houston in the Roy Oswalt trade last July, before being flipped to Toronto in a separate deal. d’Arnaud was part of the trade that brought Roy Halladay to Philadelphia in 2009.

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

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