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Odds And Ends

Minors Notes: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, April 21, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 3

MinorsLogo
Kicking off this season’s (usually) weekly rundown of top performers from the minor leagues, we’ll also take a look at some names that aren’t off to a hot start in the developmental ranks.

Class A Lakewood-

Who’s hot…

First baseman/catcher Willians Astudillo is off to a great start, batting .447 with two doubles, a home run and nine RBI in 10 games for the BlueClaws.  The 22-year-old Venezuela native spent the entire 2013 campaign on the disabled list with a left knee injury.

In three starts, right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. has a 2-1 record and a 3.00 ERA while striking out 15 and walking two in 18 innings of work.  Leiter was drafted in the 22nd round last year out of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Who’s not…

Third baseman Zach Green is having a slow start at the plate, batting .186 with two doubles, four RBI and three steals in 15 games.  The 20-year-old righty hitter was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft. Continue reading Minors Notes: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

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Minors Notes & Quotes: Rupp, Dugan Injured, RHP Viza Speaks, More Transactions

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, April 15, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Monday was a busy day for roster moves in the Phillies’ organization.  On top of the news that Mike Adams would return to the Phillies at the expense of Luis Garcia being sent down to Triple-A, there were several notable transactions announced throughout the system.

Cameron Rupp, Image- Jay Floyd

Top catching prospect Cameron Rupp was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique suffered in Sunday’s game.  The 25-year-old was batting .231 with four homers and eight RBI in nine games with the Triple-A IronPigs.  Sebastian Valle was promoted to Lehigh Valley from Double-A Reading to fill the void.

Other backstop moves: Chad Carman promoted to the Reading roster from Class A Advanced Clearwater, Deivi Grullon activated for Clearwater from extended spring training.

Also placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain for Lehigh Valley was infielder Andres Blanco.  The 30-year-old infielder was batting .273 with one RBI in nine contests in the young season.

Reading outfielder Kelly Dugan, who was hit on the left hand with a pitch on Sunday, tweeted on Monday evening that X-rays were negative and he expects to be out of action for a week.  The 23-year-old was hitting .233 with a home run and four RBI through 10 games. Continue reading Minors Notes & Quotes: Rupp, Dugan Injured, RHP Viza Speaks, More Transactions

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BlueClaws Quotables: Manager Greg Legg Talks New Season

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, April 13, 2014 08:00 PM Comments: 4

Lakewood manager Greg Legg, Image- Jay Floyd

Earlier this weekend, I sat down with Class A Lakewood manager Greg Legg, who has been in the Phillies organization for the past 33 years, after being drafted by the club in 1982.  He managed the BlueClaws in their inaugural season in 2001, managed Double-A Reading from 2002 to 2004, was the skipper for Class A Advanced Clearwater from 2005 through 2006 and managed short-season Class A Williamsport in 2007.  He then acted as hitting coach in Lakewood from 2008 through 2013.

The former infielder played in the big leagues for just a handful of games in 1986 and 1987.  He now grooms the Phillies’ stars of the future.

Greg spoke with me about the roles of some of his players including Gabriel Lino, Carlos Tocci, Samuel Hiciano and Willians Astudillo, the BlueClaws’ start to the new season, his own goals for this year plus plenty more. Read ahead for his thoughts.

-The team started the season on the road before having its opening home stand this weekend.  What were your thoughts on how the team opened the season, winning two of six contests?

For what happened on the road, we played pretty good baseball.  We could have won five of the six.  J.P. (Crawford) missed two games.  He could have been the difference in at least one of them.  But, I thought we played pretty good ball on the road trip.

-The BlueClaws have just a small amount of returning names this year.  What can you tell me about how you expect those guys to help the team this year?

Well, (Carlos) Tocci was so young last year, he almost had to come back here this year and he should patrol center field for us pretty good and get the job done out there.  And we’re hoping he’s a little stronger, he’s a bit heavier- six or seven pounds heavier- so far, he’s swung the bat really good.  He hasn’t gotten much results for it, but he’s driven some balls better than last season.  I look for him to have a pretty good year.  Larry Greene got out of the gate slow last year, joined us (late) and didn’t have the year that he wanted and he’s back here repeating and, hopefully, this year he’ll have a nice season for us. Continue reading BlueClaws Quotables: Manager Greg Legg Talks New Season

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Citizens Bank Park Adding to Award-Winning Menu

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Mon, March 24, 2014 05:00 PM Comments: 0

Cardinals Phillies BaseballCitizens Bank Park, which took home the “Best Ballpark Eats” award at the 2007 The Food Network Awards, has added to it to its already delectable menu for the upcoming 2014 season.

According to a report from Philly.com, Aramark, whom the Phillies use for catering, has upgraded its 11 kitchens and in doing so is also able to upgrade menus throughout the park.

Many of the changes can be seen-and tasted-at the famous Phillies restaurant Harry the K’s, located behind the first level of seats in left field.

In addition to the already served lamb gyros, roast beef sandwiches and nachos, Harry the K’s will be adding mouth-watering dishes such as poutine (a Canadian favorite of french fries, cheese, bacon and gravy), Prince Edward Island muscles served in a sauce with shallots, ale and bacon, and the “over easy” burger-a 5.5 angus beef burger with a fried egg, pepper jelly and oven-dried tomato.

And of course, who can forget about dessert.

Harry the K’s will also be implementing a sundae bar, with soft-serve ice cream and an array of toppings. On Sundays after the fourth inning, the ice cream and root beer floats will be only $5.

Harry the K’s is not the only place in the ballpark with a new and improved menu, however.

Continue reading Citizens Bank Park Adding to Award-Winning Menu

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Stairs gives insight into new job,’08 NLCS homer, Olympic hockey and, of course, the Wing Bowl

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Fri, February 21, 2014 08:45 PM Comments: 6

Earlier today, my co-hosts and I had the honor of talking with new Phillies color commentator Matt Stairs on our radio show. The former Phillie, legendary for his home run off Jonathan Broxton in the 2008 NLCS, opened up about his new broadcasting position, his opinions of the 2014 team and his classic homer, throwing in some other odds and ends along the way.

 (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Excerpts from the interview can be read below, with the questions to him in bold and his answers in quotes. (By the way, there is no question he is going to be the humor-man in the booth)

Before we get into things, the Canada-U.S.A. game just ended and I know you are a big hockey fan. Did you catch the game at all?

“You know what actually I missed the [women’s] game yesterday for the gold, and I missed it again today because I’m on my way down to Clearwater for baseball spring training and I decided to drive down. I’ll park somewhere on Sunday to watch the finals.”

Do you like Canada against Sweden? Sweden has been pretty good so far.

“So has U.S.A. U.S.A. was an awful tough team and I followed on Twitter as much as I could. It should be a good battle. It definitely was a big win for Canada, it gave us some confidence going against the powerhouse United States team.”

You mentioned you are on the way to Clearwater, where you and Jamie Moyer will start as two new broadcasters this year. Are you excited to finally get things going?

“I’m very excited. It should be a blast. It’s going to be different at first for both Jamie and I because we have never really done this before. It’s probably going to take a couple of innings to get used to it but we are both guys that have been around the game for a long time and know the game well. Jamie is more of a straight level guy that is straight to the point, I’m the type of guy that is going to be the comic relief in the booth and have fun with it, and be straight as well. I’m going to tell the people what is going on and that’s what it should be. That’s what the listeners deserve to hear.”

Continue reading Stairs gives insight into new job,’08 NLCS homer, Olympic hockey and, of course, the Wing Bowl

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Minor League Notebook: Five invited to big league camp, Coaching changes

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, January 09, 2014 11:11 AM Comments: 0

JesseBiddle5

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd

Five Phillies minor leaguers will be invited to big league spring training, according to reports on Wednesday.    Lefty hurlers Jesse Biddle and Mario Hollands, third baseman Maikel Franco, right-hander Kenny Giles as well as catcher Sebastian Valle will all get some time with the big league club.

Biddle was the Phillies’ top prospect going into last season.  With Double-A Reading in 2013, the 22-year-old posted a 5-14 record with a 3.64 ERA along with a .210 batting average against and a 10.02 K/9 mark. Biddle was the Phillies’ first round draft choice (27th overall) in 2010.

Franco, who represented the Phillies in the MLB All-Star Futures Game alongside Biddle last summer, was the organization’s breakout star in 2013, crushing 31 homers and driving in 103 runs in 134 games combined at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Franco has spent time playing 1st and 3rd base this off-season in the Dominican Winter League, where he batted .226 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 47 regular season games.

Hollands has been a versatile hurler, pitching effectively in relief and as a starter at several levels of the Phils’ developmental ranks throughout his pro career since he was drafted in the 10th round out of UC Santa Barbara in 2010.  Hollands sported a 7-3 record along with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading last season. Hollands tallied a 2.45 ERA in eight Venezuelan Winter League outings this off-season. Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Five invited to big league camp, Coaching changes

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Landing Spots for Former Phils

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, November 26, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 44

Quite a number of former Phils were involved in transactions this week. Here’s a snapshot of where some of these former Phils went or are going. Most notes courtesy of Matt Eddy at Baseball America.

- RHP Tyler Cloyd was designated for assignment yesterday by the Cleveland Indians. Cloyd, 26, had a 6.56 ERA in 60 1/3 innings pitched for the Phillies in 2013. If Cloyd clears waivers, he would join fellow former Phil Mike Zagurski, signed three days ago to a minor league deal, in Cleveland’s minor league ranks.

- Ender Inciarte, a Phillie for Opening Day 2013 only, was added to the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster. Inciarte, 23 for Opening Day 2014, hit .281/.327/.362 with a career-high five homers and a career-high 84.31% stolen base success (43 steals in 51 attempts) for Double-A Mobile as a 22-year old.

- Outfielder Casper Wells signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. Wells, 29, hit .126/.186/.147 across stops with five teams last season with no homers. Wells hit .042/.115/.083 with the Phillies before sitting out the rest of the year recovering from eye surgery.

- Catcher Ronny Paulino never played with the Phillies in a regular season game but did spend almost the entire 2009 Spring Training with the club. Paulino was traded to San Francisco on March 27, 2009 for reliever Jack Taschner. Paulino, now 32, signed with Detroit.

- Outfielder Domingo Santana, 21, was added to the Houston Astros 40-man roster. Santana was the player to be named later in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies in 2011. Santana hit 25 homers in Double-A Corpus Christi with 12 steals in his age 20 season supporting a .252/.345/.498. Santana did struggle to avoid the strikeout, though, striking out 29% of the time in 2013.

- RHP Juan Sosa, 24, was signed by the Miami Marlins to a minor league deal. Sosa began his journey with the Phillies organization in 2007 as a seventeen year old but stalled out in Double-A Reading in 2013 (5.58 ERA, 1.676 WHIP).

- RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, 23, was added to the Texas Rangers’ 40-man roster after dominating the Texas League (AA) with a 0.30 ERA and a 0.824 WHIP. Bonilla struggled when promoted to Triple-A (7.95 ERA, 1.767 WHIP) in 2013 but the reliever dealt to Texas as part of the trade that brought Michael Young to Philly averaged nearly a strikeout and a half per inning pitched across the two levels last season.

- Catcher Steven Lerud was signed to a minor-league deal by the Atlanta Braves. Lerud, 29, appeared in nine games over the last two seasons for the Phillies and is a career .221/.314/.350 hitter in the Minor Leagues.

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Off-season League Updates: Murphy Released by VZ Club, AFL Wraps Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, November 18, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we’ll have a weekly rundowns of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for he latest on many familiar names, some top prospects and plenty more including notes on the Arizona Fall League which wrapped up its schedule last week.

Venezuelan Winter League- 

Jim Murphy, image- Jay Floyd

In news that I first mentioned on Twitter over the weekend, minor league slugger Jim Murphy was released by the Aragua Tigres last Thursday.  Through 20 games, the first baseman batted .274 with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI.  The release came as a surprise to the 28-year-old, who was planning to play through the full season, into late December, but will now be home in time for Thanksgiving Day.   Murphy remains signed with the Phillies.

Second baseman Cesar Hernandez- The 23-year-old switch hitter has gone 5-for-32 (.156 avg) in his last eight games.  Overall in 26 games for Margarita, Hernandez, who has also been playing center field, has posted a .242 average with two home runs and 13 RBI.  Hernandez batted .289 with five doubles and 10 RBI in 34 games with the Phillies and was honored as a Triple-A All-Star this past season.

Infielder Edgar Duran- The switch hitting 22-year-old, who is 3-for-9 (.333 avg) with a triple and two RBI in three games, has been rehabbing an undisclosed injury. Duran hasn’t played in a game since October 12th.  In 117 games with Reading this year, Duran posted a .225 average with four homers and 33 RBI.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis- The 23-year-old is batting .359 in his last 10 games for Zulia.  Galvis has posted a .305 average with seven doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBI in 21 overall games.    Galvis sported a .234 average with six home runs and 19 RBI in 70 big league games this year. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Murphy Released by VZ Club, AFL Wraps Up

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Off-season League Updates: Franco Back at First Base, Bastardo Returns to Action

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, November 12, 2013 08:00 PM Comments: 2

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we’ll have a weekly review of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for he latest on many familiar names, some top prospects and plenty more.

Dominican Winter League…

Maikel Franco, photo- Jay Floyd

3B Maikel Franco-  The trial of Franco at first base continued as the slugger played his fourth straight game there on Monday.  Franco played eight games at first in the closing weeks of the 2013 regular season with Double-A Reading.  The 21-year-old sports a .328 average with four doubles and seven RBI in 17 games with the Gigantes.  The righty batting Franco had a bust-out 2013, slamming 31 homers and droving in 103 runs in 134 games with Clearwater and Reading this year.

LHP Antonio Bastardo- In two appearances, the 28-year-old has pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four and walking one without surrendering a hit.  In 48 big league games this year, before missing time due to a banned substance suspension, Bastardo had a 3-2 record with two saves and a 2.32 ERA.

Catcher Tommy Joseph- The 22-year-old righty hitter made his season debut with the Estrellas over the weekend, going 1-for-3 with and RBI and a run scored.  Joseph, who was acquired from San Francisco in the Hunter Pence trade last year, missed considerable time with concussion related issues this year and batted .179 in 36 minor league games.

OF Leandro Castro- The 24-year-old is batting .245 with four doubles and six RBI in 16 games with the Estrellas.  In 117 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year, the righty batting Castro tallied a .256 average with eight home runs and 55 RBI. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Franco Back at First Base, Bastardo Returns to Action

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Off-season League Updates: Rupp, Hernandez, Franco, Others Heat Up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, October 28, 2013 12:50 PM Comments: 5

Throughout the autumn and winter months, we’ll have a weekly run down of how Phillies players are performing in the various leagues around the globe.  Read ahead for loads of details on some familiar names, prospects and more.

Arizona Fall League (seven Phils prospects play together on the Peoria Javelinas)… 

Cameron Rupp, Image- Jay Floyd

Catcher Cameron Rupp- Thus far in seven games, Rupp, who made his big league debut with the Phillies in September, is batting .300 with two doubles and four RBI.  Rupp has also been solid on defense, gunning down multiple runners in a game twice in AFL play.  The 25-year-old was the Phils’ 3rd round pick out of Texas in 2010.

RHP Kenny Giles- The 23-year-old, who regularly throws his fastball in the high 90′s, sports a 10.80 ERA through five outings with Peoria.  One disastrous outing (six ER without recording an out) takes away from how Giles has looked in his other appearances (five innings, no runs, two hits allowed, eight strike outs, two walks).  Giles, who missed some time during the 2013 regular season with two oblique strains, was the Phils’ 7th round pick in 2011 and posted a 6.31 ERA in 24 games with Clearwater this year.

OF Aaron Altherr- In three games, the 22-year-old is 3-for-11 (.273 avg) with two RBI and has been unsuccessful in one stolen base attempt.  Altherr was the Phillies’ 9th round draft selection in 2009.  He batted .275 with 12 homers, 69 RBI and 23 steals in 123 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater this year. Continue reading Off-season League Updates: Rupp, Hernandez, Franco, Others Heat Up

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