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Offseason

Off-season check in: 2B Andrew Pullin

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, December 20, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Andrew Pullin

Andrew Pullin, image- Jay Floyd

Andrew Pullin put himself on the radar last season with a solid year at Class A Lakewood.  The 21-year-old posted a .270 average with nine home runs and 61 RBI in 129 games for the BlueClaws.

A converted outfielder, the Phils’ 5th round draft choice from 2012 focused on learning the ways of the infield, in the past couple seasons, and he has become a steady second baseman, impressing the organization’s coaches and scouts alike.

I caught up with the six-foot 185-pounder this week.  The Washington state native provided details on his fall/winter workout routine, how he’s keeping busy this off-season and more.

-What is your current workout routine like and is it mandated by the Phillies?

Yeah.  I mostly do the Phillies routine but I also like to swim for a workout and I do speed training drills.

-Is there a goal you have in mind with what you are working on?  Anything you’re looking to do like add muscle or stamina this off-season?

I am working on increasing my range of motion, strength and speed. Continue reading Off-season check in: 2B Andrew Pullin

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Off-season check in: RHP Tyler Viza

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, December 16, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 0

Tyler Viza 1

Tyler Viza, image- Jay Floyd

Righty hurler Tyler Viza had a noteworthy season in his first full year in the pro ranks in 2014.  After being the Phillies’ 32nd round draft choice in 2013 and posting a 1-0 record with a 1.41 ERA in 12 games with the rookie level Gulf Coast League team, the Arizona native dealt with considerable struggles this year.  Notching Class A Lakewood’s all-time record for losses, with his 3-17 record, the six-foot-three 170-pounder held tough, sticking in the BlueClaws’ rotation for the full campaign, sporting a 5.29 ERA with 80 strike outs and 24 walks issued in 126 innings pitched over 24 starts.

Not discouraged by the infamous achievement, the 20-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in the upcoming season and has been focused to stay in shape and improve during the fall and winter months.

This week, I spoke with Viza about how he’s maintaining his conditioning, how he feels about last season in retrospect and more.  Read ahead for the full interview.

-Off the top, I’m just wondering what your current workout routine is.  Any gym training, cardio, that sort thing you’re doing to keep in shape?

As of right now my off season routine consists of throwing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each of those are followed by an upper body workout. On the rest of the days, those are my leg and core workout days.

-Is the fitness routine provided by the Phillies, or something you put together yourself?

My workouts consist of lifts that the Phillies provide for us and a little bit of lifts that I did throughout the season that I benefited from.

-What is the most different about this off-season compared to ones in the past?

This off-season is different from last because I am trying to get my body and mind to a place where I can come into spring training ready to go. I feel as though I am in the best shape of my life so far and I am very antsy to get back on the mound this (upcoming) season. Continue reading Off-season check in: RHP Tyler Viza

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The Sad End of an Era

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Mon, December 15, 2014 03:11 PM Comments: 10

Hearing the news of Jimmy Rollins being traded to the Dodgers wasn’t shocking, but it was quite saddening. As the first piece of this core group of players to be dealt, the J-Roll deal signals the end of a very memorable era of Phillies baseball.

When I look back on this core group of players, I’ll instantly think about those five straight NL East championships, the AP Photo/ David J. Phillip potent offense, the incredible starting pitching, the 102-win 2011 season, and of course, the 2008 World Series Championship.

The day after the Rollins deal was an emotional one for any Phillies fan listening to sports radio, as memories were shared about the shortstop’s 14-year Phillies career, and the Phillies’ run as one of the best teams in MLB from 2007-2011.

Goosebumps covered the arms, and possibly some tears filled the eyes of anybody listening, and reflecting back on the good times.

Sure, we’ve watched the core players, and the team deteriorate the past two seasons, and it had been hard to watch, but the success that these players brought to Philadelphia and its fans should be the first thought that comes to mind when looking back on this core group of players.

Looking to the future, hopefully this organization makes the right moves and acquires the right talent when dealing their veterans to make this team fun to watch again, and in the process, create some new, lasting memories along the way.

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PhoulBallz Podcast Episode 73: Matt Imhof Interview

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, December 12, 2014 06:00 PM Comments: 0

On the 73rd edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast Tug and Jay are joined by lefty pitching prospect Matt Imhof, who was the Phillies’ 2nd round draft choice this year. Additionally, the guys talk about the Phils’ rebuild mode kicked off by the team trading former National League MVP Jimmy Rollins and what Rollins’, as well as other core team members’, places in team history should be.   Wondering if Cole Hamels is next to go and the organization’s cranky fan base are also a topics of discussion.

Use the media player below to stream the full episode, or simply download it by clicking HERE.

You can also check out previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

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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: 8

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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2014 Phillies Rule 5 Draft Primer

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, December 10, 2014 07:45 AM Comments: 1

Rule5The MLB Winter Meetings haven’t resulted in much excitement for Phillies fans thus far, but Thursday’s Rule 5 draft could have some bearing on the team’s near future, if the Phils have their way.

Phillies Rule 5 selections in recent years that ended up being returned to their original teams include Ender Inciarte (2012) and Kevin Munson (2013).  Players that remained with the Phils for the entire following season in recent years include Michael Martinez (2010) and David Herndon (2009).

Righty hurler Seth Rosin was taken from the Phillies in last December’s Rule 5 draft and was returned to the organization after officially being property of three different teams in the interim time.

Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft when they are not on their major league organization’s 40 man roster and 1) were signed to a contract at age 19 or older and have been in that organization for four years, OR 2) were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in that organization for five years. Continue reading 2014 Phillies Rule 5 Draft Primer

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Phillies Trade Rumors Roundup – Winter Meetings Edition

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, December 09, 2014 02:07 PM Comments: 23

(AP Photo).

(AP Photo).

Building upon Jay’s Winter Meetings post from earlier, we continue to discuss the latest rumors and see what might happen over these next couple of days.  As we know, the Phillies are finally in full-on rebuilding mode, at least according to Pat Gillick.  Although there’s no urgency to start a fire sale, Gillick claims it would be disappointing if they didn’t make any moves before Spring.

While the Phillies aren’t a directly involved in the Jon Lester sweepstakes, they certainly have a vested interest in where he lands (which may happen as early as today).  The Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Giants are all courting the lefty free agent and whoever fails to land him would be a prime candidate for Cole Hamels, as Corey mentioned over at CSNPhilly.com. The Dodgers and Cubs are the most likely, but Cole may add the Sox to his tradeable teams list if they’re willing to pick up his 2019 option.  Matt Gelb goes a step further and says the Dodgers are the best suitors after polling executives around the league.

As much as fans would hate to see Cole Hamels leave Philadelphia (and I’m sure the feeling is mutual for Cole), the real question remains, what would the Phillies get in return for their ace?  Rumors that Ruben Amaro has been unreasonable with his trade requests have been denied by the man himself.  Still, in his talk at Shibe Vintage Sports last week, Jayson Stark portrayed Ruben as a guy with few dance partners around the league.  Therefore despite holding a key trade chip, the Phillies desperation to rebuild and Ruben’s reputation around the league may lead to less-than-stellar returns, or more likely no deals at all.  At least for Cole, that is.

The Phils continue to shop Ryan Howard and to an extent Jonathan Papelbon, but for reasons well-known to everyone, those will be some tough trades to make.  Marlon Byrd is probably the Phillies second-best piece of trade bait after Hamels and the hot stove will heat up for him once a few other players like Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Yoenis Cespedes settle into their 2015 teams.  Meanwhile, Brett AndersonBrandon Morrow and Josh Johnson lead the list of potential free agent pickups for the Phils. As I mentioned, the Phillies won’t be making the first moves this Winter Meetings, but their tactics will certainly be shaped by those who do.  Follow us on Twitter at PhilliesNation for the latest breaking news as we watch to see how this all plays out.

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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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Off-season league updates: Hernandez heats up

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, December 08, 2014 07:00 AM Comments: 0

Once again, we’re back with another weekly rundown of how Phillies players are performing in fall and winter leagues around the globe. Read ahead for all the latest stats and updates.

Venezuelan Winter League-

CesarHernandez

Cesar Hernandez, image- Jay Floyd

After going 17-for-37 (.459 avg) in his last nine games, infielder Cesar Hernandez is batting .356 with five doubles, 13 RBI and three stolen bases for Lara. 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 .265 with five doubles, four RBI in 19 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 13 appearances (six starts) with Lara, lefty hurler Cesar Jimenez has a 2-4 record with a 3.48 ERA while striking out 29 and walking eight in 31 innings of work. The 30-year-old posted a 1.69 ERA in 16 big league games with the Phillies this year.

After a 0-for-4 day on Sunday, shortstop Freddy Galvis is batting .246 with seven doubles, a triple, a homer and nine 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 4-0 record with a 0.61 ERA in 12 relief outings for Zulia. The 23-year-old left-hander, who was signed as a free agent this off-season, 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. Continue reading Off-season league updates: Hernandez heats up

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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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