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Watson: Shoulder Injury Occurred While Playing Racquetball

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, December 06, 2013 02:26 PM Comments: 1

ShaneWatson2

Watson with Lakewood in 2013, image- Jay Floyd

In an interview I conducted on the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast this Thursday, Phillies righty pitching prospect Shane Watson admitted that his recurring shoulder injury was a result of reckless play in a sport away from the baseball diamond.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with me and the show’s co-host and producer Tug Haines, the Phillies top draft pick from 2012 admitted that the issue, which has kept him out of action since July, initially popped up in 2012 when he was playing racquetball.

“Well, um, well it first started was me, when I was first  drafted…me being young and, uh, young a dumb, if you will, a whole year and a half ago,” Watson stated. “I was actually playing, like, tennis or racquetball or something and I, uh, like, ran into the wall and I injured my shoulder that way and they said it’s inflamed from that.”

Haines then jokingly reminded Watson that action on the court is not a contact sport. As a group, we shared a laugh, but the revelation that the 20-year-old hurler suffered damage to his throwing shoulder because of sports activity off the baseball field is certainly noteworthy. It would seem the Phillies are aware of this, if the organization’s physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti has knowledge of this mishap.  Ciccotti officially diagnosed Watson with an enlarged capsule during a visit to Philadelphia this week. Continue reading Watson: Shoulder Injury Occurred While Playing Racquetball

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Prospect Watson Has Shoulder Setback

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, December 04, 2013 10:18 PM Comments: 0

Watson with Lakewood in 2013, image- Jay Floyd

Righty pitching prospect Shane Watson is dealing with another setback related to his throwing shoulder. The Phillies’ first round draft choice from 2012 visited team physician Michael Ciccotti in Philadelphia this week and was diagnosed with an enlarged capsule. Watson is back in Florida and is slated to rehab the injury through early next week at which time he will be reevaluated. If the shoulder hasn’t improved at that time, surgery will be in order to correct the issue.

Watson and Dr. Ciccotti are optimistic about a return to the mound, whether surgery is needed or not.

The 20-year-old missed considerable time during the 2013 regular season with inflammation in the joint then rehabbed the ailment at the Phillies’ spring training headquarters in Clearwater, FL through the closing months of the season and throughout the fall instructional league season.

After a rough start to the 2013 regular season, in which he posted a 6.35 ERA in his first 12 starts with Class A Lakewood, the California native sported a 0.86 ERA in his final four outings prior to being sidelined in July. Overall in 16 starts, Watson posted a 4-6 record, a 6.62 K/9 mark and a .230 batting average against.

Watson will be a guest on the PhoulBallz Podcast on Thursday to further address the concerns with his health.

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Injury Updates on Watson, Walding

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 15, 2013 07:00 AM Comments: 2

Shane Watson, photo- Jay Floyd

A pair of injured Class A prospects have used time at the Fall Instructional League to rehab their ailments and grow close to a return to the field. Phillies top 2012 draft choice (40th overall) Shane Watson has been sidelined since July with shoulder inflammation while third baseman Mitch Walding, the team’s fifth round pick in 2011, missed time with a broken rib dating back to the latter portion of August. Neither player will see game action at instructs, but each of them is nearly ready to get back to full baseball activities.

Watson, a righty hurler, has been progressing through a rehab program that included arm slot correction therapy and throwing on flat ground. The 20-year-old is slated to throw his first bullpen session in many weeks this Saturday at the Phils’ training facility in Clearwater, FL. Instructs will wrap up next week and Watson will continue to follow a strict throwing program through the off-season, after he returns home to California.

In 16 starts for the Lakewood BlueClaws this year, Watson sported a 4-6 record along with a 4.75 ERA and a 6.63 K/9 mark.

The lefty batting Walding was initially thought to have a back strain this summer, but further cracked a misdiagnosed fractured rib while going about his normal routine one day in the clubhouse. After spending the past month in Florida rehabbing the injury, the 21-year-old is now throwing and fielding. Walding expects to start hitting in about a week. He’ll get a break of about two weeks, then will be among a group of Phillies minor leaguers to get some time at the Phillies’ winter baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. Continue reading Injury Updates on Watson, Walding

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Watson, Cooper to Make Up For Missed Time in Florida Instructional League

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, September 17, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Shane Watson, Image- Jay Floyd

The Florida Instructional League will provide an opportunity for a pair of Lakewood hurlers that were sidelined with injuries this summer to make up for some missed time. Shane Watson and Zach Cooper will be among the Phillies prospects spending time in Clearwater at “instructs” over the next several weeks.  The pair will be able to put themselves on display for organizational coaches and brass while they take strides to excel and bounce back from injuries that forced them to miss time this year.

Watson, who has been sidelined since early July with shoulder inflammation, saw a specialist on Monday and was cleared to begin a throwing program.  The 20-year-old was the Phillies’ top selection (40th overall) in last year’s amateur draft out of Lakewood High School in California.

In 15 starts this season for the Class A BlueClaws, the six-foot-four 200-pounder posted a 4-6 record with a 4.75 ERA and a .230 batting average against.

The hard throwing righty is quite excited for his impending return to the mound but has a fair grasp of the slow type of progress he’ll need to make before actually facing live competition.

“I’ll probably start throwing (on) the 18th and then I should, hopefully, get an inning or two in the instructs.  But, if I don’t, it’s no big deal.  I’ll go home for a little bit and then come back out there to get stronger early for spring training,” Watson said on the most recent edition of the PhoulBallz Podcast. Continue reading Watson, Cooper to Make Up For Missed Time in Florida Instructional League

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BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini, Charles & Tromp Reflect on 2013

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, September 03, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 2

As the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws wrapped up their regular season with a rain out on Monday, I spoke with manager Mickey Morandini about several of his players’ progress this year.  Additionally, first baseman Art Charles and outfielder Jiandido Tromp shared some thoughts on their 2013 season and what the off-season might hold.  Read ahead for quotes from all three men.

Mickey Morandini:

Off the top, Morandini shared a list of BlueClaws that will be participating in the Florida Instructional League- RHP Zach Cooper, RHP Delvi Francisco, RHP Kevin Walter, RHP Shane Watson, SS J.P. Crawford, 1B Art Charles, OF Larry Greene Jr. and OF Carlos Tocci.

Morandini spoke about which of those players would benefit most from more time on the field with the Phillies’ coaches and minor league staff…

Larry needs to go down there and continue to work on his swing.  Tocci really needs to go down there and get stronger.  I don’t think he needs a lot more games.  He’s pretty tired right now.  And Walter needs to go down there and work on his mechanics a little bit.  He throws across his body a little too much and that impacts some of his off-speed pitches, so he’s gonna work on that.  Mainly, I think Larry needs to go down and iron out the issues with his swing right now.

On the topic of RHP Severino Gonzalez (7-5 record, 2.00 ERA, 119 K’s, 22 walks in 103 2/3 innings combined at three levels), who became a bit of a breakout prospect in the Phils’ system this season…

Yeah, he’s made a name for himself.  There’s no question about it.  You know, he started out in extended spring and he did a couple of appearances in the Florida State League and really took off.  A very smart pitcher, throws four pitches for strikes, a very confident pitcher that’s not afraid to pitch inside.  He’s had a tremendous year, there’s no question about it.

On if Severino could be on the verge of being the type of prospect that fans and media will really buzz about next year… Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini, Charles & Tromp Reflect on 2013

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Halladay Puts Stamp of Approval on Phils Managerial Switch

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, August 21, 2013 07:00 AM Comments: 16

Roy Halladay, image- Jay Floyd

Roy Halladay completed a moderately fair rehab effort with the Phillies’ Class A club on Tuesday night and did so with no ill effects.  However, the biggest story out of Lakewood, NJ may have been that the ace right-hander seemed to declare that the recent switch at the managerial position for the big league team was long overdue.

Immediately following an assertion of adoration for fired Phils skipper Charlie Manuel, the 36-year-old hurler told a crowd of reporters that there were issues that had been neglected and he knows that the man who replaced Manuel after nine seasons, Ryne Sandberg, has already begun repairing the problems.

“I’ve exchanged texts with (Charlie).  Obviously, I loved him.  He was great,” Halladay stated.  “But, from what I’ve seen, you know, Ryne came in and made some changes and addressed some issues that I think were being overlooked, so from that standpoint, as much as I miss Charlie, I think that Ryne’s going to do a good job.  I think he’s gonna bring more of the Phillie baseball style that we’ve had the last couple years.  You know, we haven’t really had that whole team effort and the whole team hustle that we had in prior years.”

The implication is clearly that Manuel had grown complacent in his position of supervision over the roster. Aside from a lack of hustle, which has long been a concern with certain players on the Phillies, what specifically were the other matters at hand? Continue reading Halladay Puts Stamp of Approval on Phils Managerial Switch

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Lakewood’s Watson Shut Down for Rest of Season

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 11, 2013 07:01 PM Comments: 0

Shane Watson, Image- Jay Floyd

Last year’s top Phillies draft pick Shane Watson has been sidelined with shoulder issues since early July. Following an MRI this past week, the Phils have shut down the righty hurler, who turns 20-years-old on Tuesday.

Initially, the time off was prescribed for the Class A Lakewood hurler without an MRI when the he was experiencing shoulder fatigue, following his July 4th start against Greensboro. Now, after having a complete exam and being diagnosed with shoulder inflammation, the six-foot-four 200-pounder will continue to rehab at the Phillies’ spring training facility in Clearwater, FL until the fall instructional league begins in September.  Plans are for Watson to take part in “instructs” as an active pitcher, to make up for some innings he’ll have missed this season.

Watson is not discouraged by the manner in which his season ended, despite having hoped for another crack at South Atlantic League competition this year.

“I’m not disappointed. I’m really excited to come back stronger than when I left,” Watson said on Sunday. Continue reading Lakewood’s Watson Shut Down for Rest of Season

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Franco Excited to Represent Phils in Futures Game

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, July 14, 2013 01:00 PM Comments: 0

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

You likely won’t find a happier minor leaguer than Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco. The Dominican born 20-year-old is having a tremendous season, has started to become a house hold name and will represent the Phils in Sunday’s MLB All-Star Futures Game.  With all that in mind, Franco’s ready to put forth his best efforts on a big stage but is still in amazement, at times, of his own output.

Signed by the Phillies in 2010 at the age of 17, Franco has steadily been climbing the developmental ladder ever since, making an impact last season with Class A Lakewood where he started off at somewhat of a slow pace.  The youngster batted .207 with six homers, 27 RBI and a .607 OPS before he turned things up after the South Atlantic League All-Star break. In the second half of 2012, Franco really showed what he can do, as he posted a .346 average with eight home runs, 57 RBI, and a .925 OPS.

Franco, who had never before played in cold weather, cites an adjustment period last year to playing in the northeast in April and May, where the weather is far different from the Dominican Republic and Florida where he had spent those months each year until his appointment to man the hot corner for the BlueClaws last season.

This season, though, Franco has already surpassed last year’s home run total, mashing 21 big flies thus far at two levels in 2013.

“That’s amazing.  I’m so happy.  Unbelievable.  But I’ve been consistent here.  I had 14 home runs and now I’ve got (more than) 20 already, I’m so excited and so happy,” Franco said with a proud expression.”  Continue reading Franco Excited to Represent Phils in Futures Game

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Howard to DL, Ruf Recalled

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 06, 2013 06:50 PM Comments: 1

Not long before Saturday evening’s contest against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies announced that ailing first baseman Ryan Howard would be placed on the disabled list, as he has been battling left knee issues for several weeks.

The lefty hitting slugger was scratched from Saturday night’s lineup following batting practice that afternoon.  In 80 games this year, Howard has a .266 batting average along with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. 

To occupy the void on the roster, the Phillies announced the return of first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, who made his major league debut with the Phils last September, hitting .333 with three home runs and 10 RBI in a dozen game with the big club.

This season, the Creighton University product who turns 27-years-old later this month, has posted a .266 average with seven homers and 46 RBI in 82 games with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.  Continue reading Howard to DL, Ruf Recalled

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BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini on Mecias, Quinn, Tocci, Gonzalez & more

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, June 29, 2013 08:15 AM Comments: 16

I spoke with Class A Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini on Friday about several of his players including 20-year-old shortstop Roman Quinn (2nd round pick, 2011), who was placed on the disabled list this week, 21-year-old OF Brian Pointer (28th round pick, 2010) who is hitting at a .325/.400/.500 clip in his last 10 games, and 20-year-old RHP Severino Gonzalez, who joined the BlueClaws’ starting rotation this week after posting excellent stats (1-1 record, 1.65 ERA, 33 K, 3 BB in 27 1/3 IP) with Class A Advanced Clearwater, plus plenty more.

Yoel Mecias, image- Jay Floyd

Most importantly, Morandini confirmed that Lakewood’s lone lefty hurler, Yoel Mecias, who represented the ‘Claws in last week’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game, is facing Tommy John surgery.  Mecias struck out eight batters over 3 2/3 innings in his most recent outing against West Virginia last Saturday, but left the contest after experiencing elbow pain.  An MRI conducted on Thursday revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament and reconstructive surgery is required for the 19-year-old Venezuelan.

In 13 games with Lakewood this season, Mecias posted a 4-3 record, a 3.79 ERA along with an 11.05 K/9 mark.  No date has been set for his surgery as of yet.

Read ahead for more from Morandini…

- Roman Quinn really put things together and had picked up his offense here as of late. This week, he’s struck with a pitch in his left wrist and suffers a fracture, which results in a lengthy stretch of down time.  What are your thoughts on this situation for Roman?

It was a little disappointing.  He was making some strides, you know, getting his at bats in, making some strides with his throwing and his defense.  You know, I don’t think four-to-six weeks is going to set him back too much overall, but, for us it’s disappointing, you lose our lead-off guy, you know, your speed guy, you lose your shortstop, so we’re gonna need someone to step up and fill his shoes.  It’s just a hairline fracture, so it’s going to heal and he’ll be fine, so that’s good. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Morandini on Mecias, Quinn, Tocci, Gonzalez & more

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