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Off-season league notes: Astudillo, Herrera staying hot

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, December 22, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 0

Baseball goes year-round.  All over the globe, Phillies players are in action and we’ve got the rundown on how they are performing.  Read ahead for all the details.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Willians Astudillo, image- Jay Floyd

Willians Astudillo, a corner infielder and backstop who has been playing a lot of outfield of late, is batting .314 with a homer and four RBI in nine games for Anzoategui. The 23-year-old was the catalyst for the Class A Lakewood team this year, where he finished second in the South Atlantic League with a .333 average.

Odubel Herrera, who was selected by the Phillies in this month’s Rule 5 draft, leads the Venezuelan Winter League in average with a .373 mark.  He has also mashed five homers, driven in 25 runs and stolen seven bases in 52 games for La Guaira.  The 22-year-old played second base primarily in the regular season at Double-A Frisco, but has been playing center field in the VWL.

Infielder/outfielder Cesar Hernandez is batting .307 with seven doubles, 15 RBI and six stolen bases in 34 games with Lara. In 66 games with the big league Phillies this year, the 24-year-old switch-hitter batted .237 with a homer, four RBI and a steal.

Catcher Gabriel Lino is batting .227 with six doubles and seven RBI for Lara. The 21-year-old righty batter, who was acquired from Baltimore in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, played in 90 combined games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, posting a combined .215 average with five home runs and 34 RBI. Continue reading Off-season league notes: Astudillo, Herrera staying hot

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Phils add two, lose three in Rule 5 draft

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, December 11, 2014 01:30 PM Comments: 6

HerreraIn the major league portion of the yearly Rule 5 draft that took place on Thursday morning at the MLB Winter Meetings, the Phillies selected 2B/SS Odubel Herrera from the Texas Rangers and lefty hurler Andy Oliver from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Each player must remain on the Phillies’ big league roster for the entire 2015 season or would have to be offered back to the team they were selected from.

Last season combined at Class A Advanced and Double-A in the minors, the 22-year-old posted a .315/.383/.388 slash line with 21 steals in 125 games.  He has played 135 of his 574 pro games at the position that is of most concern with the reported trade of Jimmy Rollins, shortstop.  Defensively, it is said that Herrera has some progress to make with the glove, but with 10 games played in the outfield last year, he touts the versatility that enhances his value as a bench player, if the Phils are to keep him on their roster next year.

Currently playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, 5-foot-11 lefty batter sports a league-best .374 batting average with a .986 OPS in 42 games with La Guaira, the same team that Phils pitching prospects Ethan Martin and Mike Nesseth play for.

Oliver, who touts questionable control (7.6 BB/9 in 77 games the past two seasons at Triple-A Indianapolis), fills a void in a collection of lefties competing for a big league spot in spring traning next year after the dealing of Antonio Bastardo.

As a reliever last year, the 27-year-old, who has big league experience with the Tigers, tallied a 3-4 record with 13 saves and a 2.53 ERA and a .157 BAA. Continue reading Phils add two, lose three in Rule 5 draft

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All the latest from the Winter Meetings

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, December 09, 2014 09:58 AM Comments: 4

Links below for all the key goings-on out in San Diego at the MLB Winter Meetings thus far…

-Phillies Nation’s Corey Seidman writes for CSN that the free agent starting pitcher market is of great interest to the Phils and should impact the trade market for lefty Cole Hamels.

-Interim team president Pat Gillick spoke of the rebuilding process and getting the roster younger.  He also discussed general manager Ruben Amaro Jr, saying he has Amaro’s back.

-Amaro reportedly had deals available to make that did not benefit the Phillies enough to make any of them happen.

-The Phils’ GM also stated that lefty Cliff Lee’s elbow is progressing well and that he is expected to be ready for spring training.

-Jayson Stark stated that the Orioles could be a suitor for OF Marlon Byrd (more here).

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Phillies off-season league updates: Altherr, Araujo, Franco, Hernandez, more

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, November 30, 2014 03:55 PM Comments: 7

Baseball never stops and neither does Phillies Nation.  It’s another weekly edition of the Phillies off-season league rundown featuring updates on players from around the globe.  Read ahead for all the info with activity through Saturday.

Venezuelan Winter League-

Aaron Altherr

Aaron Altherr, image- Jay Floyd

Aaron Altherr is done with his time in Venezuela.  The righty batting outfielder hit .286 with four home runs, 27 RBI and a stolen base in 31 games for Zulia. The 23-year-old played in two games with the big league Phillies this year. In 127 minor league games in 2014, the Phillies’ 9th round pick in 2009 posted a .237 average with 14 HR, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

In 31 games with Zulia, shortstop Freddy Galvis is batting .254 with seven doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI. In 43 big league contests this year, the 25-year-old switch-hitter batted .176 with four home runs and 12 RBI.

Elvis Araujo sports a 2-0 record with a 0.66 ERA in 11 relief outings for Zulia. The 23-year-old left-hander posted a 2-1 record with 11 saves, a 3.42 ERA and a 9.00 K/9 mark in 43 combined games with Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron this year.

Righty pitcher Ethan Martin returned from a back injury and pitched twice in the past week for La Guaira, allowing three earned runs while striking out four and walking four in four innings of work. The 25-year-old was acquired from the Dodgers in the 2012 Shane Victorino trade.  Martin appeared in two games with the Phillies this year, allowing two earned runs in four innings.

Also for La Guaira, righty Mike Nesseth has allowed seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old posted a 2-7 record with a save and a 5.60 ERA in 42 combined outings at Double- Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year. The six-foot-five 210-pound Nesseth was the Phils’ 17th round pick in 2010.

In 21 games, infielder Cesar Hernandez is batting .317 with five doubles, 12 RBI and three stolen bases.  Hot of late, Hernandez is batting .379 with eight runs scored in his last seven games.  In 66 games with the Phillies this year, the 24-year-old switch-hitter batted .237 with a homer, four RBI and a stolen base.

Catcher Gabriel Lino is batting .317 with five doubles, four RBI in 16 games for Lara. The 21-year-old, who was acquired from Baltimore in the 2012 Jim Thome trade, played in 90 combined games with Class A Lakewood and Class A Advanced Clearwater this year, posting a combined .215 average with five home runs and 34 RBI.

In nine appearances with Lara, lefty hurler Cesar Jimenez has a 2-4 record with a 3.56 ERA while striking out 29 and walking eight in 30 1/3 innings of work in 12 appearances. The 30-year-old posted a 1.69 ERA in 16 big league games with the Phillies this year. Continue reading Phillies off-season league updates: Altherr, Araujo, Franco, Hernandez, more

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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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Burnett Turns Down Player Option

Posted by Pat Egan, Mon, November 03, 2014 10:29 PM Comments: 11

AJ Burnett declined his player option. Contemplates retirement PHOTO: AP

A.J. Burnett declined his player option. Becomes a free agent  PHOTO: AP

In a move that has the Phillies front office breathing a sigh of relief, pitcher A.J. Burnett has turned down his $12.75 million player option and will become a free agent. This weekend the Phillies turned down their team option which cut Burnett’s player option from $15 million to $12.75 million.

Burnett was brought in last off-season in a move to bolster the pitching rotation after a very successful year with the Pirates but Burnett failed to match the success he had in Pittsburgh. Dealing with a hernia for much of the season Burnett compiled a 8-18 record with a 4.59 ERA. He led MLB in walks (96) and was second in MLB in hit batsmen (16). He will be 38 next season and his agent has stated that he expects Burnett to pitch “for a contender”. Shockingly that does not include the Phillies (in their minds).

Many thought that it was a forgone conclusion that Burnett would pick up his $12.75 million, after all who turns down that amount of money? But for a slightly better than average pitcher (4.04 career ERA), Burnett has done well for himself. His career earnings are $135,771,500. That’s $37 million more than Chris Carpenter. A.J. Burnett has made his money and he is willing to leave $12.75 million on the table in order to not play for the 2015 Phillies. And, honestly, who could really blame him?

According to a tweet from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Burnett’s agent indicated that the veteran desires to compete for a team that’s slated to be a contender next year and not in rebuilding mode, like the Phillies are.

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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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Off-season league updates: Ruf, Perkins, Quinn, Altherr

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 21, 2014 09:00 AM Comments: 1

Here’s another weekly roundup of how various Phillies players are performing in off-season leagues around the globe.

In the Venezuelan Winter League-

CameronPerkins

Cam Perkins, image- Jay Floyd

With La Guaira, OF Cam Perkins has gone 2-for-12 (.167 avg) with an RBI in four contests. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round in 2012 out of Purdue. In 126 combined games at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, Perkins posted a .271/.326/.384 slash line.

In nine games with Zulia, OF Aaron Altherr is 8-for-25 (.320 avg) with two doubles, two HR and six RBI. Altherr served as a big league roster filler at times this year, going 0-for-5 in two games. The 23-year-old was a ninth round pick in 2009.

Also with Zulia, OF Wilmer Oberto is batting .269 with an RBI in nine games. The 21-year-old Venezuelan 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.

Lefty hurler Lino Martinez allowed an earned run in two innings of work in a lone outing for Zulia thus far. The 22-year-old posted a 0-6 record with a 5.32 ERA in 37 appearances with Clearwater this season.

Alexis Rivero, a right-hander, has allowed two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work for Aragua while striking out three and walking three in a trio of appearances. The 19-year-old sported a 2-0 record with one save and a 2.62 ERA in 12 games for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies this year.

19-year-old infielder William Cuicas is 0-for-1 in two games played for Aragua. Cuicas posted a .310 average with an .864 OPS in 42 GCL games this year. Continue reading Off-season league updates: Ruf, Perkins, Quinn, Altherr

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Inside the Phillies Combined No-Hitter

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, September 02, 2014 11:00 AM Comments: 6

Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon combined to no-hit the Braves on Sunday, the first no-hitter since Roy Halladay, and 12th in franchise history. It was the first combined no-no in team history, and featured six innings from Hamels, and one each from Diekman, Giles, and Papelbon. Box scores: Baseball Reference, ESPN, Fangraphs, MLB. Here are some other notes from the historic game:

- Dating back to 1914, there have been 11 combined no-hitters in MLB, most recently being the Mariners with a 1-0 win over the Dodgers in 2012.

- The Phillies threw 147 pitches–108 by Hamels, 15 by Diekman, 15 by Giles, and nine by Papelbon. 147 is good for the 4th-highest total recorded. For comparison, Roy Halladay threw 115 pitches. The most thrown in a no-hitter was 151 by the Astros in 2003. Three former Phillies pitched in that game–Roy Oswalt (1.0 IP), Brad Lidge (2.0 IP), and Billy Wagner (1.0 IP).

- The four pitchers used is one of just five such games.

- Six baserunners were allowed by the Phillies, including four(!) stolen bases–making it the only such game in known history. There have been 32 no-hitters with six or more baserunners allowed, but just one with at least four stolen bases.

- Hamels has given up a hit just under every inning and a third this year (169.1 IP, 143 H), slightly above his career average (1766.0 IP, 1571 H). For comparison, in 2010, Roy Halladay went just over one inning for each hit (250.2 IP, 231 H). Sunday was the second time Hamels left a game without giving up a hit, the other time being in 2010 when he exited after two innings against the Braves.

- The Phillies have had a pitcher throw a hitless outing 194 times this year. Hamels, obviously, had the longest outing at 6 IP, but the 2nd-longest outing is a bit surprising. Jeff Manship (remember him?) threw four no-hit innings against the Mets on May 31. He pitched in innings 10-13 before being relieved by Antonio Bastardo–who then gave up a game winning single to David Wright.

- At 190 minutes, Sunday’s no-hitter was the longest ever recorded. Clayton Kershaw‘s no-no from June is now 3rd-longest.

- For the Braves, they were the first team in 2014 to fail to score a run with at least four stolen bases and six baserunners. The Yankees did it in 2013 and the Red Sox did it in 2012.

- The Phillies faced 33 batters–six over the minimum. There have been 22 no-hitters with at least 33 batters faced, including Tommy Greene‘s no hitter in 1991 against the Expos.

- The seven runs the Phillies scored is most by the team in a no-hitter since 1903 when they put up ten runs against the Cubs. It is the 2nd most runs in a combined no hitter.

- Carlos Ruiz has now been the catcher for three unique no-hitters. The only player with more is Jason Varitek.

- The Phillies join the Giants in having three no hitters in the last five seasons.

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Fightins Quotables: Nola, Lundquist, Altherr, Moore

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, August 30, 2014 11:05 AM Comments: 0

AaronNola-TugHaines

Aaron Nola, image- Tug Haines

Top Phillies draft pick Aaron Nola tossed a gem of an outing in Trenton on Friday night, in what will be the final appearance of his first pro season. Over five innings, the 21-year-old allowed just four hits and surrendered no runs while striking out two and walking none. He notched the win, as the Reading Fightins downed the Thunder by a score of 3-0.

In 12 professional outings, since he was selected 7th overall in this year’s MLB amateur draft, Nola tallied a 4-3 record with a 2.93 ERA while striking out 45 and walking 10 in 55 1/3 innings combined between Double-A Reading and Class A Advanced Clearwater.

After the game, I spoke with Reading pitching coach Dave Lundquist and Nola himself about the outing and more. I also spent time chatting with Nola’s backstop Logan Moore about his season as well as his pitching staff. Additionally, I chatted with outfielder Aaron Altherr about his time with the big league club this year. Read ahead for loads of exclusive quotes…

-Dave Lundquist on Nola’s effort on Friday night…

It was outstanding. You know, five innings, with no runs, 62 total pitches. You know, the thing that was really impressive was, in the fifth, he had (runners on) 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and got a pop up in the infield, a strike out and a ground ball and really showed a good feel for pitching and working himself out of a jam. He did a nice job.

-Asked Lundquist if there’s any temptation to let Nola go beyond his innings limit when his pitch count is low…

No, not right now. Not this year. Not with where he’s at. Total wise, through college and here, no. We just want him to get to that one point and that’s it. His pitch count was really low and he definitely could have continued going and it’s good to know he could have continued going, but at this point in the year, no that’s it.

-Also asked Lundquist for his thoughts about righty reliever Colton Murray, who notched his fifth save of the season for Reading in their win over Trenton on Friday…

Power guy that goes right after people. One thing he’s done is he’s really improved his curve ball as a pitch he can throw in and out of the zone. It’s become a quality swing and miss pitch for him. Very aggressive and he goes right after people. It’s what you look for in a reliever. Continue reading Fightins Quotables: Nola, Lundquist, Altherr, Moore

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