PN Interview: Rhys Hoskins talks transitioning to pros & his knowledge of Phils history

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, April 17, 2015 08:00 AM Comments: 0


Rhys Hoskins, image- Jay Floyd

First baseman Rhys Hoskins was selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of last year’s amateur draft.  After debuting as a pro, the six-foot-four 225-pounder showed some nice pop, slugging nine homers while lacing 15 doubles and driving in 40 runs to go along with his .237 average over 70 games with short-season Class A Williamsport.

Thus far this season, through seven games with Class A Lakewood, the California State University-Sacramento product sports a .261 average with two doubles and two RBI.

Last week I spoke with the 22-year-old about adjusting to the minor leagues straight out of collegiate ball.  Hoskins also scouted himself, offered some thoughts on the BlueClaws’ excitement level for a new season and proudly showed off his (limited) knowledge of Phillies history.

Read ahead for those interview excerpts from Rhys.

-How do you feel college ball prepared you for the minors?

I mean it did.  It just taught me about the game itself.  You know, obviously, the more you play, the better you get.  So, I definitely wasn’t ready to play pro baseball out of high school and just getting to learn the ins and outs, the way you have to think, has really prepared me for right now. 

-You posted some good power numbers, but your average wasn’t gleaming last year.  What was the adjustment period like for you?

It definitely was not easy by any means.  It was about as I expected.  I think the biggest thing to get used to was just playing every day.  And then, obviously, with the traveling- traveling through the night and that sort of thing.  Probably, the biggest transition was, facing the quote-unquote “Friday night guy” in college, you face that guy every single night (in the pros).  And then you get to the bullpen and face a guy that throws harder.  And the next guy throws harder than that.  So, it definitely wasn’t an easy transition. I think, as a competitor, I was just trying to compete and, you know, the season, stat-wise, didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but the power numbers were there and I think that’s why I’m here, so I am satisfied with that.  We’ll see if (I) can get better this year and we’ll see what happens. Continue reading PN Interview: Rhys Hoskins talks transitioning to pros & his knowledge of Phils history


4th Round Pick Oliver Ready to Shine for BlueClaws

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, April 16, 2015 03:40 PM Comments: 0

C-oliver MiLB

Chris Oliver, image- MiLB.com

LAKEWOOD, NJ– Following a weak effort after turning pro, last year’s 4th round pick by the Phillies, right-handed pitcher Chris Oliver, has things back on track and the team has high hopes for him this year with Class A Lakewood.

Fresh out of his outstanding junior season with Arkansas in which he sported a 9-4 record with a 2.51 ERA and a .213 batting average against in 16 starts last year in the highly competitive Souteastern Conference, Oliver had a disappointing campaign in his initial exposure to the professional ranks.

In nine minor league appearances last year, the six-foot-four 170-pounder tallied a 0-2 record with an 8.66 ERA and a .321 batting average against.

The downturn in results did not concern the Phillies.  As Oliver explains, some mechanical alterations to his delivery and a switch from offering a curve ball to throwing a slider, mandated by coaches, were responsible for the dip in production.

“Mechanically, last year they wanted me to drop my arm slot a little bit.  I tried it.  It just didn’t work out for me.  Now, I’m back over the top.  The thing we really focused on this year was getting more rotation with the hips.  It’s a lot more comfortable, a lot smoother,” Oliver stated. Continue reading 4th Round Pick Oliver Ready to Shine for BlueClaws


Phillies Swept by Mets in Final Game of Series Losing 6-1

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Wed, April 15, 2015 10:59 PM Comments: 3

The Phillies came out blazing in the top of the first inning with Odubel Hererra starting the game with a lead off triple.  Cesar Hernandez, getting the start for Freddy Galvis, struck out swinging in the next at bat which left scoring Hererra from third base up to Chase Utley.  Chase hit a ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy, allowing the Phillies to take the lead 1-0, scoring Hererra and giving Phillies fans a promising hope.

Jerome started out strong only giving up one hit and striking out Michael Cuddyer to end the 1st inning.  The 2nd inning got a little shaky when Jerome gave up a run to Juan Lagares, scoring Eric Campbell from second base after he advanced on a wild pitch, leaving it tied 1-1.

The gloom continued into the 3rd inning where Jerome gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Travis d’Arnaud, giving the Mets the lead and making it 2-1.  After the Phillies were unable to get much going in the top of the 4th inning, late in the bottom of the 4th Williams gave up a single to pitcher Jon Niese, scoring Juan Lagares and making the score 3-1.

The Phillies decided to keep Jerome in for the lead off spot in the 5th inning, where he grounded out to third baseman, Eric Campbell. Continue reading Phillies Swept by Mets in Final Game of Series Losing 6-1


Gameday 9: Phillies at Mets

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Wed, April 15, 2015 03:53 PM Comments: 27

Philadelphia Phillies (3-5) at New York Mets (5-3)

phillies                         other

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Jerome Williams, RHP (0-0, 1.50)
NYM: Jon Niese, LHP (0-0, 1.80)

Time: 7:10 EST, Citi Field
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 46 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

Jerome Williams will go for his first decision in a tough mathcup against Jon Niese.  Jerome went six innings in his first start on April 10, giving up five hits and one earned run with six strikeouts.  We all hope he sticks to the Williams of late, and not return to the 4.40 career ERA, Williams.

Chase Utley found the swing of the bat last night, hitting two home runs and going 3-3 in a close one.  He hopes to keep the hot bat going again tonight versus Niese.  Cody Asche and Jeff Francoeur both had success last night, hitting two more home runs on the night to total four for the Phillies.  Francoeur gets the start tonight in right field and Ryan Howard will get a much needed start on the bench, giving Ruf the start at first.  Our lineup looks a little different without Howard, but the choice of putting Francoeur in the cleanup spot seems to be an interesting one we will have to wait and see play out.

The Phillies are looking to avoid the sweep against the Mets.  Today is also celebrating Jackie Robinson Day at CitiField, first pitch is at 7:10 pm.


Herrera CF / Hernandez SS / Utley 2B / Francoeur RF / Ruf 1B / Asche 3B / Rupp C / Revere LF / Williams P


Utley Finds His Swing, But Phillies Still Lose to Mets, 6-5

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Tue, April 14, 2015 10:28 PM Comments: 9

PHOTO: AP/Kathy Willens

PHOTO: AP/Kathy Willens

Chase Utley seems to have found his swing. In Tuesday night’s game against the Mets, he was 3-3 with two home runs–one of which came off Mets starter Matt Harvey–and 3 RBI. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Utley’s night wasn’t enough. The offense would only score one other run–a home run by Cody Asche, also off Harvey. Starter David Buchanan gave up five runs in 5.2 innings, and just looked off all night. He couldn’t find the strike zone, and when he did, he was tagged by the Mets hitters. He gave up nine hits, and 13 total baserunners.

He hit two batters in the second inning, which caused a bit of tension between the two teams, especially since Michael Cuddyer had to leave the game to get x-rays (which later came back negative). Mets fans even booed Buchanan when he came up to bat in the next inning, and chanted some Not-Safe-For-Work words at him. Harvey would later hit Utley on the first pitch of an at-bat, which resulted in a warning from home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez and a death stare from the Phillies second baseman.

After that Utley HBP, Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud was charged with catchers interference on Ryan Howard. Upon replay, it wasn’t even close to interference. d’Arnaud immediately began yelling at the umpire, and Terry Collins actually stepped in between the two to save d’Arnaud from getting ejected. Collins was then ejected. The play loaded the bases, but the Phillies wouldn’t capitalize on the mistake.

The good news is that the Phillies were able to get to Matt Harvey, something they haven’t been able to do in the past. Prior to Tuesday night, Harvey had only given up four earned runs and one home run to the Phillies in 33.1 innings. He had faced 122 batters and only gave up 15 hits.

With four home runs, the Phillies tripled their 2015 total (2).

David Wright left the game in the eighth inning after hurting himself on a slide into second on a steal.


RHP prospect Anderson out with Tommy John surgery, more injury notes

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, April 14, 2015 07:00 PM Comments: 0


Anderson, image- MiLB.com

Phillies director of player development confirmed to PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd on Tuesday that right-handed pitching prospect Drew Anderson will miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery recently.

Selected in the 21st round of the 2012 draft by the Phillies, the six-foot-three 185-pounder sported a 12-9 record with a 2.97 ERA and a 7.39 K/9 mark through 34 pro games before being sidelined with injury last summer for Class A Lakewood.

The Phillies’ hope was for Anderson was for the 21-year-old to rehab through the ailment, but a setback with his throwing elbow resulted in the need for surgery.

“We knew there was a slight tear in the UCL ligament  and we tried to rehab him through it, but it went ahead and blew (out), so it’s time to fix it,” Jordan stated.

In other injury news, top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford, who is currently sidelined with an oblique strain, will return to hitting this coming weekend and could return to action in a couple weeks.

“We’re still hopeful that May 1st is realistic, it may be a few days after that,” Jordan stated of a possible activation date for Crawford.  “I think until he ramps up his activity and really swinging the bat and letting it go, until you see how his body responds, you never know for sure.”

Outfielder Kelly Dugan, who is sidelined with a right foot fracture and sent home to California to heal, is set to return to Clearwater to begin rehabbing his injury. Continue reading RHP prospect Anderson out with Tommy John surgery, more injury notes


Phillies Nation TV, Episode 4: Opening Week, Aaron Nola

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, April 14, 2015 05:21 PM Comments: 0

In our latest Phillies Nation TV (presented by BQ Basement Systems), here’s what you’ll see:

-Pat Gallen & Corey Seidman discuss the Phillies opening week, with the good and the bad.

-Rachel Micali joins with some trending topics and a great fan question about Ryan Howard.

-The guys have their Fantasy Draft picks, presented by Draft Kings. Corey and Pat are helping to make you straight cash if you’re listening!

-Jay Floyd has a one-on-one with top pitching prospect Aaron Nola.


Gameday 8: Mets vs Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Tue, April 14, 2015 03:24 PM Comments: 47

Philadelphia Phillies (3-4) at New York Mets (4-3)

phillies                         other

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: David Buchanan
NYM: Matt Harvey

Time: 7:10 EST, Citi Field
Weather: Cloudy, 50 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

David Buchanan will get the start today and try to stop the losing streak the Phillies are about to devolve into.  David only made it to the 3rd inning on his first outing for the year and will hope to get back to Spring Training form, where he pitched with a 1.29 ERA over six games.  The offense was shut out for the second time of the season yesterday, so here’s to getting the runs going again.  Freddy Galvis will look to continue his positive contributions, hitting 3 for 3 yesterday and batting .400 for the season.

After vowing to ‘turn it around’, Ryan Howard ended up going 1 for 4 with a lucky single that bounced off the bag.  Chase Utley is yet to have a hit in the series and hopes to turn the season around abruptly after batting .091 through the first 7 games.


Herrera CF / Galvis SS / Utley 2B / Howard 1B / Ruiz C / Asche 3B / Sizemore RF / Revere LF / Buchanan P


In A Desperate Attempt The Phillies Turn To Groupon

Posted by Pat Egan, Tue, April 14, 2015 01:39 PM Comments: 8

(Photo Credit to David Gryzbowski's Twitter Account)

(Photo Credit to David Gryzbowski’s Twitter Account)

It seems like just yesterday Citizens Bank Park was the place to be. Tickets to every game could only be obtained on the secondary market and the Phillies were enjoying a boom at the box office like never before. Oh how the times have changed.

The Phillies, desperate for people to attend games, have turned to the deal-of-the-day website Groupon to try and get some customers back. For the low (or maybe high depending on who you talk to) price of $8.50 you can take in a Phillies game on either May 8, May 13th, or May 16th. The Phillies take on the Mets on May 8, Pittsburgh on the 13th, and Arizona on the 16th.

Our own Natalie Egenolf had a great point on her twitter account, pointing out this move is the modern day tickets in the hot dog wrapper.

If you do want to take advantage of this great (?) opportunity you better hurry! The deal ends in a little over 10 hours.


No Power, No Runs, No Support

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Tue, April 14, 2015 12:28 PM Comments: 4

Pitchers who have pitched for the Phillies in recent years have fallen victim to poor run support. That trend has continued through seven games in 2015.

Yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Mets marked the second time the Phillies have been shut out. The first came on opening day when the Phillies lost 8-0 to the Red Sox. The pitching all around was poor that game, as the combination of Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman gave up five home runs, including a grand slam off the bat of Hanley Ramirez. The pitching did not earn the offense’s support, but the Phillies looked helpless at the plate against Clay Buchholz, regardless.

In yesterday’s game, the pitching earned the offense’s support, but the Phillies’ bats were unable to hold up its end of the bargain. It could have been a more humiliating 1-0 loss, but Chase Utley committed an error on a double play ball which led to the second run scoring via sacrifice fly.

There will be a lot games like yesterday’s this season, and as a fanbase, we’ve come to accept that. The Phillies’ pitchers have likely arrived at the same frustrating conclusion. Through seven games, the Phillies rank dead last in run support average at .57. The Yankees lead MLB at 2.00.

There are plenty of reasons why the Phillies have struggled offensively. For one thing, the long ball has been non-existent through seven games, as the Phillies rank 29th in MLB with only two thanks to Jeff Francoeur and Darin Ruf. Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez bested the Phillies in one game last week when he hit three home runs against the Padres.

(Eric Hartline/ USA Today Sports)  Via Philly.com

(Eric Hartline/ USA Today Sports) Via Philly.com

The lack of power is directly related to the struggles of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, who are the only true power threats for the Phillies besides Darin Ruf. Both have struggled mightily early on, with Howard batting .161 with a .292 slugging percentage, and Utley batting .091 with a .091 slugging percentage. Utley’s struggles likely won’t last, as the second baseman’s short, compact swing will help him break the slump. For Howard, breaking the slump will not be so easy, and if he is unable to get on track, there won’t be many Harry Kalas “That ball is outta heres” echoing through Citizens Bank Park this season.

Extra base hits in general have been hard to come by early on for the Phillies. The team ranks 29th in MLB with only 10, which is a result of their difficulty hitting fly balls. Through seven games, the Phillies rank 25th in MLB with 89 fly balls. Ground balls have been easier to come by, as the Phillies rank 9th in MLB with 97 ground balls, albeit most of the ground balls that have resulted in hits have been singles.

The Phillies knew that they would have to be a “small ball” type of team in 2015, but despite this notion, they have failed to execute basic fundamentals in key spots. In yesterday’s game for example, Aaron Harang botched a bunt which failed to move up runners on first and second. The Phillies struggled in the same situation in last Saturday night’s game against the Nationals not once, but twice.

Even when the Phillies have had runners in scoring position, they have been unable to get the key hit. In 47 at-bats with RISP, the Phillies have a .170 batting average, which ranks 28th in MLB.

If the Phillies intend on scoring runs this season, they’ll have to do the little things and execute basic fundamentals on a daily basis. If they don’t, runs will be a rarity, much to the dismay of Phillies pitchers.

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