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Minor Leagues

Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 23, 2014 11:40 AM Comments: 0

It’s time once again for another weekly review of Phillies players’ performances and progress in off-season leagues around the globe.

Dominican Winter League-

MaikelFranco

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

Third baseman Maikel Franco has been in a slump lately, going 3-for-27 (.111 avg) over his last seven games.  One positive out of that is that two of his three hits during that time are home runs.  Overall in 22 games for the Gigantes, the 22-year-old is batting .239 with six homers and 21 RBI.  This year in 133 contests with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the righty hitting Franco posted a .257 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBI.

Right-handed reliever Hector Neris has made 11 scoreless appearances for the Toros while striking out five and walking four in 8 2/3 innings.  The 25-year-old appeared in one game with the Phils this year, earning a win in his big league debut.

Australian Baseball League-

Power hitting outfielder Dylan Cozens has a .205 average with three homers and six RBI in 11 contests with Melbourne.  This year, with Class A Lakewood, the 20-year-old sported a .248 average with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 132 games.  The six-foot-six 235-pounder was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft selection in 2012.

Catcher Chace Numata has tallied a .295 average with three doubles and four RBI in 12 games, also with Melbourne.  Numata missed much of the 2014 season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hamate bone prior to the season.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 14th round draft pick in 2010.

After opening his season 1-for-12, outfielder Brian Pointer has gone 11-for-34 (.324 avg).  Overall, Pointer has a .261 average with a home run and five RBI in 12 games with Perth.  In 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, Pointer posted a .246 average with 15 homers, 53 RBI and 16 steals.  The 22-year-old lefty batter was the Phils’ 28th round pick in 2010.

Third baseman Mitch Walding is batting .220 with three doubles and eight RBI in 11 contests for Canberra.  Walding sported a .237 average with seven home runs and 55 RBI in 108 games for Class A Lakewood this year.  The 22-year-old was the Phillies’ 5th round draft choice in 2011. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Franco slumps, Martin deals with injury

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Phils add three pitching prospects to 40-man roster

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, November 21, 2014 02:20 PM Comments: 2

JesseBiddle5

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

It was announced on Thursday that the Phillies added three young hurlers to the big league 40-man roster.  Lefties Jesse Biddle and Adam Morgan along with righty Nefi Ogando were that trio.

Biddle has been among the Phillies’ top prospects since he was selected with their 27th overall pick in 2010.  This news is a rare positive nugget about the 23-year-old, who had a terribly difficult 2014 after missing a lengthy stretch with a a concussion, sitting out his final start of the regular season with a separate ailment and being shut down with elbow soreness after making two appearance this autumn in off-season ball in Puerto Rico.

Since debuting at the Double-A level to begin last year, Biddle hasn’t looked too sharp, posting a 10-24 record along with a 4.02 ERA in 46 appearances over the last two seasons.  Additionally, his 9.52 K/9 mark is very exciting, but the 5.14 BB/9 average (evidence of control concerns) that goes along with it is far from appealing.

Morgan, the Phillies’ 3rd round draft choice in 2011, missed the 2014 regular season after undergoing shoulder surgery last winter.  The 24-year-old has tallied a 12-22 record along with a 3.25 ERA in 56 minor league games (55 starts).  After making a few appearances at the Florida Instructional League in September, Morgan posted a 1-2 record along with a 6.61 ERA in six games in the Arizona Fall League this off-season.

Ogando, who was acquired from Boston for John McDonald last year, was also among the Phils’ representatives in the AFL and had a 1-0 record with three saves and a 3.07 ERA in 12 outings for Scottsdale.  The 25-year-old posted a 5-1 record with seven saves, a 6.27 ERA and a 9.16 K/9 mark in 48 relief appearances for Double-A Reading this year.

The additions were made to protect the players from next month’s Rule 5 draft.

The Phillies’ 40-man roster stands at 38 players.

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Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, November 19, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On Tuesday, the Phillies released their planned 2015 coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates.

The Triple-A level will maintain the same group with Dave Brundage staying on as manager, Ray Burris and Sal Rende returning as pitching coach and hitting coach respectively along with Mickey Morandini coming back as bench coach.

Dusty Nerris

Dusty Wathan, image- Jay Floyd

Reading skipper Dusty Wathan will return for his fourth year with the team. Pitching coach Dave Lundquist will also be back at the Double-A level, while hitting coach Frank Cacciatore, who previously worked with the Reading team from 2008-2013 and with Clearwater in 2014, will make his return to Reading.

Class A Advanced Clearwater will have a new manager, as Greg Legg has been promoted after holding the same position with Class A Lakewood last season. 2014 Reading hitting coach Rob Ducey will work with the Threshers next year, while Steve Schrenk, who previously coached in Clearwater in 2007-2008, will be back as pitching coach after working in the Gulf Coast League last year.

Lakewood’s skipper will be Shawn Williams, who has one season as a pro manager under his belt after being hired for that gig with short-season A level Williamsport last season. Williams is the son of former big league skipper Jimy Williams. Former Phillies hurler Aaron Fultz will return to Lakewood as pitching coach after previously holding that position in 2013 and working in Williamsport last season. Nelson Prada, who managed Clearwater last season, will fill the spot of hitting coach with the BlueClaws next year. Continue reading Phillies announce 2015 developmental coaching staffs

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Phillies Arizona Fall League Rundown

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, November 18, 2014 05:30 PM Comments: 0

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up play last week, with the team that Phillies’ players were assigned to, the Scottsdale Scorpions, finishing with a league-worst 12-20 record. The team was also made up of representatives from the Yankees, Pirates, Mets and Giants.

Seven Phillies players took part and spent time battling against other organizations’ best young prospects. Below is a rundown of each of those Phils competitors’ AFL efforts with details on what to expect from each individual going forward.

Centerfielder Roman Quinn posted a .250 batting average with two triples, two home runs, nine RBI and a league leading 14 stolen bases in 24 games. His .720 OPS was just a bit higher than the .713 mark he posted in 88 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater this year. The 21-year-old was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft choice in 2011. He underwent surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon last off-season but returned to action this year without any negative impact to his highly regarded speed. Expect Quinn to continue to rise through the developmental ranks at a steady pace. Already proving that he can compete with AFL competition, which includes loads of Double-A level (and beyond) talent, the five-foot-ten 170-pounder should see action with Reading next season.

AdamMorgan

Adam Morgan with Reading in 2012, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Adam Morgan posted a 1-2 record along with a 6.61 ERA in six games (five starts). In 16 1/3 innings with the Scorpions, the 24-year-old struck out 11 and walked three. Morgan spent the 2014 regular season recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent last winter. He was rising quickly through the minors before he was sidelined, posting a 4.04 ERA in 16 starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2013 just two years after being the Phils’ 3rd round draft pick. The six-foot-one 195-pounder should return to the IronPigs’ rotation to start next season.

Righty reliever Nefi Ogando had a 1-0 record with three saves and a 3.07 ERA in 12 AFL appearances. Ogando, who was acquired from Boston in a trade for John McDonald last year, struck out 15 and walked four in 14 2/3 innings with the Scorpions. The 25-year-old put together a 5-1 record with seven saves, a 6.27 ERA and a 9.16 K/9 mark in 48 games with Reading this year. Ogando has the potential to see some big league time next year, as his fastball can reach triple-digits and misses plenty of bats. His coaches like the flashes of dominance he was able to show in the Eastern League last year. Continue reading Phillies Arizona Fall League Rundown

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Phils sign free agent Araujo thanks to Amaro’s sibling sponsor

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, November 17, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 13

Late last week the Phillies signed minor league free agent Elvis Araujo to a big league contract and it was partly a relationship in the team’s front office that helped get the deal rolling.

Araujo, a six-foot-six 215 pound lefty has previously pitched in the Cleveland organization, tallying a 22-14 record with 11 saves and a 3.87 ERA in 102 games (57 starts) in his five-year professional career.

Last year, the 23-year-old, who regularly reaches the upper 90′s with his fastball, split his season between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron, posting a 3.42 ERA and a 9.0 K/9 mark in his first season working exclusively as a reliever.

Pitching for Zulia in the Venezuela Winter League, where his teammates include 2014 Phillies contributors Freddy Galvis and Aaron Altherr, Araujo has a 2-0 record with 11 strike outs, three walks and no runs allowed in 8 1/3 innings over seven appearances.

Another Phillies tie with the Zulia club is the team’s assistance general manager Luis Amaro, the brother of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.  According to Luis, who played in the Phils’ developmental ranks, he advised his sibling to keep an eye on the talented young pitcher.

“I told my brother Ruben some names to look out for and one of them was Araujo,” Amaro stated via e-mail.  “The Phillies did their due diligence in sending scouts to evaluate him.” Continue reading Phils sign free agent Araujo thanks to Amaro’s sibling sponsor

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Phillies sign OF Francoeur, more to minor league deals

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, November 13, 2014 02:24 PM Comments: 12

It was announced on Thursday that the Phillies and outfielder Jeff Francoeur have agreed to terms on a minor league contract. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training.

Last season for Triple-A El Paso in the Padres organization, Francoeur tallied a .289 batting average with 15 homers and 69 RBI in 115 games. In 10 big league games with San Diego in 2014, the six-foot-four 220-pounder went 2-for-24 (.083 avg). Francoeur, who has also played with Atlanta, Kansas City, Texas, San Francisco and the Mets, possesses a .262/.305/.417 slash line in parts of 10 seasons in the majors.

Francoeur grabbed headlines early last season after he was the target of a lengthy prank by his El Paso teammates, who convinced the 30-year-old that a member of the roster, hurler Jorge Reyes, was deaf.

In 2005, as a member of the Braves, Francoeur finished third in National League rookie of the year voting behind Phils first baseman Ryan Howard and Houston outfielder Willy Taveras.

Additionally, the Phils will bring back infielders Andres Blanco and Russ Canzler. The 30-year-old Blanco split time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the Phils last year, posting a .277 average with a home run and three RBI in 25 games with the big league club. Canzler, 28, spent time last season with Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley, sporting a combined .275 average with 13 homers and 58 RBI in 112 games.

Backstop John Hester, outfielder Xavier Paul as well as utility man Chase d’Arnaud, brother of former Phillies first round draft choice Travis d’Arnaud, were also inked by the Phillies.

With the addition of a veteran outfielder like Francoeur, along with the previously announced acquisitions of outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Darin Mastroianni, fans may wonder what the Phils intend to do with names like former top pick Zach Collier and longtime on-the-verge-of-a-breakout prospect Leandro Castro. Both youngsters have failed to prove themselves worthy of a big league call up in recent years, showing inconsistency at the plate while other outfield prospects like Cameron Perkins and Kelly Dugan have displayed more promise.

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Biddle headed home from PR with elbow soreness

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, November 11, 2014 03:25 PM Comments: 1

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced to reporters on Tuesday that top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle had experienced elbow soreness and would be headed to Philadelphia for evaluation.

The six-foot-five 220-pound lefty allowed seven earned runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in his most recent outing for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican/Roberto Clemente League on Saturday.  In his only other outing in the fall/winter league, Biddle was charged with two earned runs in three innings of work on October 31st.

Biddle, a Philadelphia native, missed considerable time during the regular season this year, as he was sidelined with a concussion while pitching for Double-A Reading.  This year Biddle sported a 5-10 record along with a 4.58 ERA and an 8.75 K/9 mark in 19 minor league starts (16 with Reading).  He struck out seven and walked four in 5 1/2 total innings.

The concern surrounding Biddle’s progress shouldn’t be too high, while the injuries have piled up.  Recent projections did not have had Biddle as a big league contributor next year and, at age 23, there is still plenty of time to get the youngster healthy and back in form.

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Off-season league updates: Biddle falters; Martin, Hernandez, Cozens debut

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 09, 2014 02:35 PM Comments: 3

This week’s rundown includes details on some Phillies players making their off-season league debuts including Ethan Martin, Cesar Hernandez as well as outfield prospect Dylan Cozens along with updates on key names such as Jesse Biddle, Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr.  Read ahead for all your fall/winter league updates from around the globe.

Puerto Rico/Roberto Clemente League

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle had an alarming outing with Mayaguez on Saturday, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings while striking out four and walking two. The 23-year-old sports a 15.19 ERA in two outings in Puerto Rico. Biddle, the Phils’ top draft pick in 2010, posted a 5-10 record with a 4.58 ERA in 19 starts in the minors this year.

Also with Mayaguez, Jesmuel Valentin, who was acquired from the Dodgers by the Phils in the Roberto Hernandez trade this year, is 2-for-7 with an RBI in five games. The 20-year-old infielder posted a .273/.341/.412 slash line in 120 minor league games this year.

Emmanuel Marrero is 0-for-1 in two games for Santurce.  The 21-year-old switch-hitting infielder posted a .214/.272/.279 slash like in 60 games with short-season Class A Williamsport this year.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Righty hurler Ethan Martin made his VWL debut this week, throwing two scoreless frames while allowing one hit and striking out one for La Guaira. The 25-year-old allowed two earned runs in four innings with the big league club and sported a 3.93 ERA in 32 games in the minors this year. Martin was acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade in 2012.

Outfielder Cam Perkins, through eight games with La Guaira, posted a .292 average with a triple and an RBI.  Perkins last played on October 29th and was slated to be on the restricted list for a minimum of 14 days as he reportedly returned to the United States for some time.  In 126 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A this year, the 6th round draft pick from 2012 posted a .271 average with five homers and 51 RBI while swiping eight bags.

Outfielder Aaron Altherr is batting .270 with three home runs, 21 RBI and a steal in 22 games played with Zulia. The 23-year-old righty batter played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, Altherr, the Phillies’ 9th round pick in 2009, posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases. Continue reading Off-season league updates: Biddle falters; Martin, Hernandez, Cozens debut

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Phillies off-season league notes: Biddle debuts, Quinn shines

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 02, 2014 11:50 AM Comments: 15

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we’ll be bringing you weekly roundups of how various Phillies players are performing in off-season leagues around the globe. This edition includes details on top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle‘s Puerto Rico debut, OF Roman Quinn, who shined in the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game on Saturday as well as plenty more. Read ahead for all the details.

Puerto Rico/Roberto Clemente League-

JesseBiddle5

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

Lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle allowed two earned runs, striking out three and walking two in three innings of work in a start for Mayaguez in his season debut on Friday. The 23-year-old was the Phils’ top draft choice in 2010. Biddle posted a 5-10 record with a 4.58 ERA in 19 starts in the minors this year.

Also with Mayaguez, Jesmuel Valentin, who was acquired from the Dodgers by the Phils in the Roberto Hernandez trade this year, is hitless with a walk in two at bats in two games. The 20-year-old infielder posted a .273/.341/.412 slash line in 120 minor league games this year.

Venezuelan Winter League-

With Zulia, outfielder Aaron Altherr is batting .250 with three home runs, 12 RBI  and an .865 OPS through 17 contests. The 23-year-old righty hitter played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, Altherr, who was the Phillies’ 9th round pick in 2009, posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 steals.

Freddy Galvis is batting .263 with a home run and three RBI through nine games also with Zulia. In 43 big league games this year, the switch-hitting infielder, who turns 26 years old this month, batted .176 with four home runs and 12 RBI.

First baseman/outfielder Wilmer Oberto is batting .219 with an RBI while being caught stealing twice in two attempts. Oberto, who turns 22 years old on Sunday, split time this season between Class A full season Lakewood and short-season A level Williamsport, posting a .226/.301/.355 slash line in 75 total games. Continue reading Phillies off-season league notes: Biddle debuts, Quinn shines

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Rosenberg outrighted off Phillies’ 40-man roster

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, October 27, 2014 05:00 PM Comments: 0

BJ Rosenberg-MiLB

BJ Rosenberg, image- MiLB.com

The Phillies continued to trim their 40-man roster on Monday, announcing that B.J. Rosenberg cleared waivers and had been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Rosenberg, who was a 13th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2008, appeared in 13 big league games this past season, sporting a 6.75 ERA with the Phils.  Overall, in 57 big league contests during his career, the 29-year-old has a 4-2 record with one save and a 5.72 ERA.

In 20 minor league games this year, Rosenberg posted a 2-1 record with a save and a 5.73 ERA.

Rosenberg can elect to become a free agent as a result of the move.

Following the recent move involving Andres Blanco, the team’s roster now stands at 38 players.

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