Posts Tagged ‘Launching Pad’

Roberts Cut By Arizona, Phillies Should Inquire

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 24, 2012 08:25 PM Comments: 7

As I wrote over the weekend, third base is an exceptionally thin position. The Phillies are finding that out, again, as Placido Polanco deals with a balky back that has him in the MRI tube. It’s becoming abundantly clear that they’ll have to go in a new, and hopefully younger, direction next season. Ryan Roberts could be the move.

Roberts, 31, won’t be mistaken for Mike Schmidt at the hot corner, and he’s not all that young. However, at five years younger than Polanco, and with a little pop in his bat, it would represent an upgrade.

The Diamondbacks designated Roberts for assignment on Tuesday and will now look to trade him. Early reports have the Rays making a play for his services; but the Phillies should be next in line.

Continue reading Roberts Cut By Arizona, Phillies Should Inquire


Hamels Wins Sixth In A Row

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Fri, May 18, 2012 10:37 PM Comments: 32

Cole Hamels strikes out nine and wins his sixth straight game.

The Phillies aren’t the greatest during inter league play.  Heck, the National League has always been looked at as the inferior league.  The Red Sox came into town in sort of the same boat as the Phillies.  They are a team with a lot of talent that has seen injuries plague the early start of this season.

Anyways, we have Cole Hamels.  Hamels won his sixth game in a row.  This is the first time in his career he has done that.  The Phillies put him out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and although the Red Sox battled back, Jonathan Papelbon saved his 12th game in as many chances for a 6-4 Phillies win.

Ace in the bucket - There is no need to tell Cole what he is pitching for this season.  Hamels is a free agent when this season is over and he is showing the Phillies front office why they should keep him around.  The lefty struck out nine batters in seven innings.  He gave up three earned runs, which included two solo home runs.

Continue reading Hamels Wins Sixth In A Row


Injuries Continue to Mount as Phillies Lose 7-1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, May 19, 2011 11:12 PM Comments: 14

—Citizens Bank Park

Kyle Kendrick didn't have much time to prepare for what happened on Thursday night (PHOTO: Philly.com, Yong Kim)

At 6:55 p.m., the Phillies were doomed. Not only was bad weather looming, but Joe Blanton had just been pulled from his start only minutes before first pitch due to a sore right elbow – the same one he’d been struggling with for weeks. Pile that garbage on top of the foul-smelling Phillies offense, and you’re in for a long evening. After two hours, 55 minutes of hell, the Phils ended their squeeze-week series with the Rockies, losing 7-1.

By the time the rain ended (roughly 8:15 pm), two pitching changes had been made, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez left the game with an injury, enough diamond dry was used to fill a sandbox, and Cliff Lee pinch-hit for the first time in his career, struck out, and completed it with a standing ovation from the soaked, yet sold-out crowd.

Just your typical Thursday evening at the ballpark. Oh, and Jason Giambi used Citizens Bank Park as his own personal launching pad, connecting for three home runs for the first time in his career.

Following the ugly loss, Ruben Amaro made the announcement that both Blanton and Shane Victorino were likely on their way to the DL on Friday. When it rains it pours.

Victorino’s hamstring issue seemed to be healing the last few days, however, an MRI showed between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain. And before you get excited, Amaro said Domonic Brown is unlikely to be called up from Lehigh Valley to take Victorino’s spot. No roster moves will be made until tomorrow.

Continue reading Injuries Continue to Mount as Phillies Lose 7-1


Kennedy Shuts Down Lowly Phils Offense

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, April 26, 2011 12:04 AM Comments: 58

You know something is up when a West Coast game is over before midnight. Normally a launching pad, Chase Field was the site of a one-sided affair; one in which the Phillies once again gave zero output offensively. Cliff Lee was good, yet the Phillies lineup made Ian Kennedy look great in the Diamonbacks 4-0 win.

Lee again was not razor sharp, giving up two home runs on the night. His final line will show dominance in the strikeout category as he fanned 12 batters. His four runs on five hits and one walk paled in comparison to the show Kennedy put on.

Ian Kennedy – yes, Ian Kennedy – struck out 10 Phillies and tossed the first complete game shutout of his career. When you say the offense is struggling, you’d be making a gross understatement. This Phillies O is a dinghy with a giant hole in it. They can’t scoop the water out fast enough.

Kennedy looked like Greg Maddux for nine innings, allowing three hits and no walks. Only one batter, Placido Polanco, made it to second base.

For Arizona, the home runs came from Chris Young in the third and Gerrado Parra in the fifth. Xavier Nady also knocked in a run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Lee really only made those two mistakes on the night. They were miscues, however, that would prove costly.

Really, there are few words, if any, to describe this abominable showing from a lineup that was once the most feared in all of baseball. Working counts was not on the menu as the Phillies forced Kennedy into throwing just 114 pitches.

Before the game, Charlie Manuel got heated as he spoke about Jose Contreras, and his alleged misuse of the closer.  He may need to channel that energy into a team meeting. Their leader will need to provide a spark somewhere, somehow. If not, this could be 2010 all over again.

The best news of the night was the scoreless inning thrown by Mike Stutes, who was brought up to replace the injured Contreras. He looked excellent in his major league debut, striking out one.


Tomorrow: Roy Oswalt vs. Daniel Hudson


Arizona Fall League a Hot Spot for Future Talent

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, October 29, 2010 07:48 AM Comments: 2

This is the latest post from our minor league writer, Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com

The Arizona Fall League is a place for aspiring Major Leaguers to go to work on their baseball skills in the Autumn months. As the weather begins to cool elsewhere, the diamond stays hot and for many of baseball’s most promising young talents in Arizona.

Rosters in the AFL are a mixture of different organizations’ prospects, with each Major League club sending 7 players that combine to fill up the 35-man rosters of the league’s six teams.

With many of the sport’s top prospects playing in the league annually, the AFL has become a virtual launching pad to the big leagues. Several players from last year’s AFL rosters made their MLB debuts in 2010. The likes of Ike Reese, Mike Leake, Domonic Brown, Starlin Castro, Stephen Strasburg and Buster Posey all made their names known in their respective organization’s cities and around MLB this year.

Certainly not all of this year’s AFL players are gearing up to be playing on their sport’s biggest stage within the next 6-11 months, but it’s a lock that some of them are.
This year, the Phillies’ players are merged with individuals from the Mets, Angels, Pirates and Cubs to complete the Mesa Solar Sox roster.

Mark Parent, a man who has quickly become well liked throughout the Philadelphia organization is the Solar Sox hitting coach. Parent, who in his first season managing affiliated ball, led the Phillies Class A team the Lakewood BlueClaws to a second consecutive South Atlantic League championship in 2010. The former big leaguer has some people close to the organization thinking he is on the fast track upward in the Phils’ system as a coach. Early in the season, Phillies brass mentioned the coaching assignments in the AFL to Parent, who stuck by something he stated when he was hired for the Lakewood job. Upon joining the Phillies organization, Parent told general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he would do whatever the Phillies asked, and Parent excitedly took the AFL assignment.

“It’s cool. It’s certainly a job I haven’t had. The more jobs you have, and building a resume of some sort, it’s a good thing,” Parent said in an exclusive interview recently.

So, not only is the AFL a place for players to sharpen and develop their skills, it also works as a platform for coaching personnel to do the same.

Catcher Tim Kennelly, first baseman Matt Rizzotti and outfielder John Mayberry Jr. are the offensive Philadelphia properties that Parent is working with closely out in Mesa.

Also on the team are pitchers BJ Rosenberg, Tyson Brummett, Justin De Fratus and Chris Kissock.

Mayberry Jr. saw some action at the Major League level in each of the past two season with the Phillies, but which of the other six Fightins hopefuls would be likely to make a splash with the big club sooner than later? With Matt Rizzotti’s .500 OBP through 7 AFL games, his .343 avg. and .985 OPS in 125 minor league games during the 2010 regular season and a roadblock at his position named Ryan Howard making Rizzotti resemble a delicious trading chip, the best candidate to make his debut in red pin stripes next year is righty reliever Justin De Fratus.

De Fratus, who turned 23-years-old last week, posted a 3-0 record, 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA with 71 strike outs and 16 walks in 65 innings combined at High-A Cleawater and Double A Reading in 2010. De Fratus, who sports a fastball that registers around the 93 MPH mark, was assigned the honor of having best control in the Phillies’ system last off-season by Baseball America. De Fratus, a California native, was an 11th round draft selection in 2007 and is primed to be the hurler that makes big moves in 2011.

Check back for updates and exclusive interviews from the Arizona Fall League in the coming weeks.