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LHP DeNato promoted from Lakewood to Lehigh Valley

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, August 29, 2015 01:11 PM Comments: 4

denatoLAKEWOOD, NJ- Left-handed reliever Joey DeNato has had an exceptional season to date with the Lakewood BlueClaws, but couldn’t seem to earn a promotion despite dominating Class A competition.  Until now.

DeNato, a 19th round draft selection by the Phillies last year out of Indiana University, will jump three levels, as he joins the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Saturday.

Honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star, DeNato sports a 2-3 record with 10 saves and a 1.24 ERA through 43 appearances this season.

The move may be overdue, but DeNato has kept a solid frame of mind, fending off discouragement in favor of determination.

“There is some frustration because I think this is the best I’ve ever pitched.  Then again, I don’t let the frustration get to me,” DeNato stated with a look of empowerment during the BlueClaws’ homestand this week.  “If anything, I can kind of use it as a chip on my shoulder and that’s what I’ve kind of been trying to do.  Not trying to let up, not trying to let frustration get to me or anything like that.”

The 23-year-old sports a 1.49 overall ERA and a 9.02 K/9 mark in 66 pro appearances since signing with the Phillies last summer. Continue reading LHP DeNato promoted from Lakewood to Lehigh Valley

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Phillies Nation Episode 20: Amaro’s Future, Trade Evaluations & Knapp Feature

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, August 26, 2015 08:05 AM Comments: 2

This week on Phillies Nation, Kevin Cooney of Calkins Media and the Bucks County Courier Times joins Rachel and Corey to evaluate the Phillies’ recent trades as well as discuss Ruben Amaro‘s future with the Phillies.  Plus, Jay Floyd has a special report on Andrew Knapp, Reading’s hot switch-hitting catcher.

Check out this week’s episode in the media player below and look for new episodes to premiere each Tuesday at 6PM on The Comcast Network.

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PNTV Outtake: Potential 2017 Phillies Lineup

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, August 20, 2015 05:00 PM Comments: 8

On the heels of Chase Utley being traded to the Dodgers, the focus of the Phillies and their fans further focuses on the future.  And not the immediate future.  We’re talking years down the line.

In this Phillies Nation TV outtake, Rudy Mezzy and Jay Floyd discuss the possibilities of how the Phils’ lineup could pan out in 2017 with so much talent in the minors while keeping it real, knowing the team will use some of their depth to allow themselves to bolster the offense and spend salary.  The discussion ranges from names like Aaron Altherr and J.P. Crawford to a perennial MVP candidate.

The segment was filmed for an upcoming episode of PNTV, but will not be used, so here it is, in the media player below, as a web exclusive.

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Loewen’s remarkable path to a third turn in the majors

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, August 07, 2015 03:35 PM Comments: 2

Lefty reliever Adam Loewen is slated to join the Phillies for the first time this weekend, when the team begins its series in San Diego.

Having hit his stride with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in recent months, Loewen has been scored on in only one outing dating back to June 9th, a stretch of 23 appearances.

Overall in the minors this season, the British Columbia native sports a 2-3 record with 10 saves in 11 opportunities and a .195 batting average against in 40 games.

The 31-year-old has had a unique route to what is his third call up to the big leagues, making his MLB debut in 2006 as a starting pitcher with the Orioles, then reappearing at the top level with the Blue Jays as an outfielder in 2011.

Check out the video player below for our PNTV profile from earlier this season on the 2002 first round draft pick’s remarkable path.

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Utley solid at plate with Lehigh Valley, rehab to continue with Reading

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, August 03, 2015 12:00 AM Comments: 7

utleyIn his first game action since June 22nd, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday.

In the 4-0 loss to Norfolk at home in Allentown, Utley acted as the team’s designated hitter.

The 36-year-old has been sidelined in recent weeks with a right ankle injury.

In 65 games at the big league level this season, the veteran has tallied a .179 average with four home runs and 25 RBI.  In his 13-year big league career, Utley, who was the Phils’ first round draft choice in 2000, has a .281 batting average with 232 homers and 911 RBI.

With the IronPigs slated to hit the road this week, the Phillies will keep Utley close to home and have him continue his rehab with Double-A Reading when they make the short road trip to Trenton beginning on Tuesday.  The plan is for Utley to see some action in the field and play with the Fightins for two days.  He will be reevaluated after that.

Outfielder Nick Williams and hurler Jake Thompson, acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels/Jake Diekman trade last week, are expected to be added to the Reading roster in time for the team’s series opener in Trenton.

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OF Dugan promoted to AAA

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, August 01, 2015 12:01 PM Comments: 6

KellyDugan4

Kelly Dugan, image- Jay Floyd

The Phillies have promoted outfielder Kelly Dugan to Triple-A Lehigh Valley from Double-A Reading.

This season with the Fightins, Dugan tallied a .315/.391/.393 slash line in 44 games.

Coaches love Dugan’s offensive development in recent seasons, but the youngster has suffered repeated injury concerns throughout his career, most recently a foot fracture, which was originally diagnosed as a ”stress reaction”, that kept him out of action from spring training until June this year.

In 2013, Dugan posted a career high 20 home runs and drove in 59 runs while batting .291 in 112 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading. He looked primed to bust out in 2014, but missed considerable time with an oblique strain. In 76 games with Reading last year, he sported a .296 average with five homers and 34 RBI.

The 24-year-old lefty batter was the Phillies’ top draft pick (2nd round) in 2009.

Continue reading OF Dugan promoted to AAA

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PNTV episode 17: Trade deadline deals, Phils prospects and youth baseball

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, July 31, 2015 01:18 PM Comments: 0

On this week’s edition of Phillies Nation Ian Riccaboni joined hosts Rachel Micali and Corey Seidman to talk about the Phillies dealing ace hurler Cole Hamels and All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon.  Minor league insider Jay Floyd also joins the panel to talk about the organization’s rising prospects like Aaron Altherr, Andrew Knapp and Roman Quinn as well as members of this year’s draft class such as Cornelius Randolph and Kyle Martin.  Also, Timothy Parker joins the show with a profile piece on the local youth baseball RBI program.

Check out this week’s episode in the media player below. Look for new episodes each Tuesday at 6PM on The Comcast Network with replays throughout the week on TCN and Comcast Sportsnet.

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A Look at the Return for Hamels

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, July 30, 2015 09:45 AM Comments: 43

phils logoThe Cole Hamels to Texas trade is a six-for-two (plus money) deal with lefty reliever Jake Diekman joining the Phillies’ former ace on his way to the Rangers in return for big league starting pitcher Matt Harrison as well as the following prospects- pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher and Jake Thompson, outfielder Nick Williams and catcher Jorge Alfaro.

Eickhoff, a 25-year-old righty, tallied a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in two starts at the Triple-A level this year and had a 4.25 ERA and an 8.24 K/9 mark in 18 games at Double-A this season. The six-foot-four 240-pounder was a 15th round draft pick in 2011. Eickhoff throws a mid-90′s fastball as well as a curve ball and a change up. It’s possible his future is out of the bullpen.

Asher, a righty, tallied a 3-6 record with a 4.73 ERA in 12 games at Triple-A after posting a 1-4 record with a 3.98 ERA in eight Double-A games this season. The six-foot-four 230-pounder was a 4th round draft selection in 2012. With a (low-90′s) fastball/slider/change up repertoire, the durable Floridian has a promising future.

The next three prospects were all rated among the Rangers’ top five prospects, starting with Thompson, a six-foot-four 235-pounder, who posted a 6-6 record with a 4.72 ERA while striking out 78 and walking 30 in 87 2/3 innings in 17 starts at the Double-A level this year. The 21-year-old right-hander was a 2nd round draft selection in 2012. He is equipped with a pitching arsenal that features a low-90′s fastball, along with a nice slider and a change up that he’s working to refine. He was part of a trade that brought him from the Tigers to the Rangers for Joakim Soria last summer. Continue reading A Look at the Return for Hamels

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Phillies announce Nola to debut in majors on Tuesday

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, July 17, 2015 11:25 AM Comments: 10

The Phillies announced on Friday that the club’s top draft pick from last year, Aaron Nola, will be called up to make his big league debit on Tuesday, July 21st against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Drafted 7th overall last year out of LSU, Nola has been on the fast track to the big league.  He is the first opening round draft pick to make his major league debut with the Phillies the year after he was drafted since Pat Combs in 1989.

In 18 combined starts with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, the right-hander sported a 10-4 record with a 2.39 ERA and a .241 batting average against.

Nola’s second start for Lehigh Valley on Thursday night wasn’t a gleaming one.  In three innings of work against the Rochester Red Wings, the 22-year-old gave up seven hits and six runs (five earned) in three innings of work en route to the taking the loss.

Twice this year, Phillies Nation’s television program has profiled Nola’s progress in the developmental ranks.  Those features can be viewed in the media players embedded below.

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Crawford impresses for US Team in All-Star Futures Game

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, July 12, 2015 05:46 PM Comments: 0

jp craw

JP Crawford, image- Jay Floyd

In Cincinatti on Sunday afternoon, top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford contributed to the offensive barrage for the United States Team in the MLB All-Star Futures Game, going 1-for-3 with a run-scoring single while scoring a run himself.

The US Team was up 5-1 when Crawford exited the game following the 5th inning.  Led by key hits from Rockies prospect Trevor Story and Mets prospect Brandon Nimmo, the club would double their score and increase their lead to 10-1 over the World Team in the 6th inning.

Crawford also impressed on defense, nabbing a liner on a leaping catch and turning a slick double play in the 5th frame.

This was the 20-year-old lefty batter’s second trip to the Futures Game.  He went 1-for-2 with a stolen base in last year’s contest, just 13 months after he was drafted 16th overall in the 2013 draft.

Another Phillies prospect honored to be on the US roster in this year’s annual exhibition was starting pitcher Aaron Nola, who did not pitch in the game, after throwing six innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday.

In 17 starts combined for Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley this season, the 22-year-old LSU product has tallied a 10-3 record with a 2.03 ERA and a 7.53 K/9. Nola was drafted 7th overall last year by the Phils.

The game was still in progress at the time this post was published.

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