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Posts Tagged ‘Minor Leagues’

Aumont’s Struggles Continue at Lehigh Valley

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, June 03, 2013 01:10 PM Comments: 1

Phillippe Aumont, Photo- Jay Floyd

The Phillies saw enough of their dismal middle relief and began making adjustments to that portion of their roster back on May 22nd, sending imposing right-hander Phillippe Aumont down to the minor leagues after a shaky stretch to open the season.  Since the demotion, Aumont has continued to have control issues and has looked troubled through five contests.

Selected in the 1st round by Seattle in the 2007 draft, Aumont was later traded to the Phillies, along with Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez, in the December, 2009 deal for Cliff Lee.  This year, Aumont opened the season on the same roster as Lee, with the Phillies, but while Lee steadily performs like an All-Star, the 6-foot-7, 260-pounder lacked command and the team took notice.

Following his two outings on May 18th against Cincinnati and May 20th against Miami, in which he allowed three earned runs in one total inning, Aumont’s ERA spiked from 2.25 to 4.15 and he lost his spot on the Phils’ big league roster.

On the bright side, the 24-year-old Aumont didn’t walk anyone in those two outings, or the one before them, after issuing 10 free passes in his first 12 innings this season.  However, with more pitches in the strike zone came greater damage from the opposition, as he surrendered five hits to eight batters faced.

“It was a walk an inning and, you know, and that frustrated me a little bit, so I started working on it…and I started throwing more strikes and strikes came along, but then hits came along too,” Aumont explained.  “I wasn’t executing the fastball inside, the curve ball below the zone.  Everything was in the strike zone.  And that’s where I got hurt and they saw that.  They told me I was making progress, but I just didn’t have what it takes, right now, for me to be up there.” Continue reading Aumont’s Struggles Continue at Lehigh Valley

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To Chooch or Not to Chooch

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, May 22, 2013 09:10 AM Comments: 21

Ruiz set career-highs in 2012 in eight offensive categories. Did Adderall aid that?

Ruiz set career-highs in 2012 in eight offensive categories. Did Adderall aid that?

Once the season ends, or perhaps even at the July 31 trade deadline, the Phillies will be forced to deal with harsh realities. Several players who were integral parts of the teams’ run to the 2008 World Series could be on the move. It’s not out of the question to think the 2014 Phillies could be without Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Carlos Ruiz.

Let’s focus on Ruiz. He’s was slowly working his way back to normalcy after a rough start following a 25-game suspension to begin the year. Then, he blew a tire going first-to-third in a game against the Reds last weekend and is now on the DL for 3-to-4 weeks.

The use of Adderall, for which he was suspended, tells me one thing; that he’s slowing down.  And inevitably, when a catcher slows down, it usually isn’t pretty. Ruiz was looking for an advantage and felt he could get one with the use of this banned substance. Without that aid, what does the future hold for Chooch?

For one, he’ll be 35 when next season rolls around. His .325 average last season appears to be an aberration, but we’ll know more about that after the year is complete. With 16 games and 51 at-bats under his belt this year, Ruiz is hitting .235. One thing Chooch has been known for is his ability to get on base and not strike out. His .361 career OBP is fantastic and would be sorely missed in a lineup that struggles with that idea. Even if his bat slows a bit, he still has shown to have a solid grasp of the strike zone.

Continue reading To Chooch or Not to Chooch

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The Phils and Zambrano? Ugh.

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sun, May 12, 2013 09:16 AM Comments: 17

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2010/1119/ny_g_zambrano_rothschild1x_400.jpg

Zambrano? I’d rather take my chances with Cloyd, Biddle, Morgan, Martin, Pettibone, Garner, Cochran, Miner…

The Phils don’t have a great deal of promising talent in the minor leagues right now and they are particularly thin in the outfield. It goes almost without saying that they lack a single high-profile prospect, despite Jesse Biddle single-handedly crusading against that notion. But with Biddle, comes Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, Shane Watson, and, suddenly, Perci Garner as the studs of the Phillies minor league system. What they lack in top-shelf quality, they certainly make up for in quantity, with many talented arms.

When news came out yesterday before the Phillies match-up against the Diamondbacks that Ruben Amaro Jr. was doing his due diligence in checking in with Carlos Zambrano, of the independent Long Island Ducks, I experienced a wave of emotions. First, I started with a “Well, isn’t that something?” That progressed into “Does this mean John Lannan or Roy Halladay are more injured than originally thought?”, followed directly by “Wait a minute, they don’t even need a starter: Tyler Cloyd was just sent down for Justin De Fratus because they have a pair of days off coming up and only need four starters.”

And then I remembered when he got ejected for pitching too close to Chipper Jones in 2011. His reaction? He cleaned out his locker and told team personnel he was retiring, going AWOL.

Continue reading The Phils and Zambrano? Ugh.

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Minor League Notebook: Morandini Quotes Galore

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, May 05, 2013 10:50 PM Comments: 0

It’s our weekly rundown of notes from the minor leagues.  For the most part, I’ll serve up some quotes from Class A Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini, as I spoke with him on Sunday.

On his BlueClaws team, that sports a 9-20 record, as a whole:

“Even though the record’s not where we want it to be, we’re still seeing a lot of good out there, out of the young kids, so, that’s the main thing here, is getting these kids better and having them progress as best they can.”

On Australian right-hander Josh Warner (1-3 record, 7.50 ERA in six starts), who was demoted to extended spring training on Sunday:

“We just wanted to get Josh down there and get his confidence back.  We’re gonna make a few adjustments with where he’s standing on the rubber and things, so we just wanted him to go down there and work on that.

He’s only 20-years old.  He’s got a good breaking ball, a good change up.  He just got in a situation where he was leaving his fastball out over the plate.  And like I said, we’re gonna make some changes down there on the rubber, try to get a little more deception, especially against right-handers.  We like Josh a lot, he’s had a lot of success, he just went through a rough spell here, so we just thought is was best to get him back down there and work on a few things, then hopefully get him back up here.”  Continue reading Minor League Notebook: Morandini Quotes Galore

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PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, April 28, 2013 09:00 AM Comments: 0

Chace Numata, image- Jay Floyd

One of the more consistent bats in the Class A Lakewood lineup in the early going this season has been that of catcher Chace Numata.  The 20-year-old sported a .280 batting average entering the weekend through 14 games for the BlueClaws.

A 14th round draft pick in 2010 out of Pearl City High School in Hawaii, Numata sported a .224 batting average with two home runs and 30 RBI through 84 professional games entering the 2013 season.  Now, the 6-foot 175-pounder is leading a pitching staff that includes last year’s top Phils draft pick Shane Watson and trying to help solidify an offense that is tied for the least amount of runs scored in the South Atlantic League.

Last week, I spoke with Chace about his transition from playing infield and pitching in high school, the hamate fracture that forced him to miss a great majority of the 2011 season, his progress in the minor leagues and plenty more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- Chace, you seem to be producing pretty steadily on offense this year.  What is your comfort level like at the dish?

It’s not bad.  I feel like, I think a lot, so this entire season I’ve been trying to not think so much and let the game come to me and slow things down.

- On the defensive side, you’re not as consistent.  People would notice passed balls (seven this year) and things like that.  I know you’ve changed positions.  What can you tell me about how you’re adjusting there?

You know, I’m still kind of learning, going from, in high school, just playing shortstop and pitching, to my first year in 2010 playing catcher.  I’m still learning.  There’s still a lot of errors and things, passed balls, and I just feel like, when the coaches come in, my catching coach, he always knows how to fix it.  And I just need to kind of just stay with it. Continue reading PN Interview: Catching Prospect Chace Numata

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The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 5: Asche Bonds with Teammates and Fans

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 19, 2013 07:30 AM Comments: 0

As part of our weekly spring training series, Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche is back once again to check in, directly from spring training in Clearwater, FL.

A 4th round draft selection in 2011 out of the University of Nebraska, Asche has been a fast rising prospect since joining the Phillies organization. Last year, the 22-year-old, in his first full professional season, tallied a .324 batting average with 12 home runs, 72 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Asche followed that up with a .281/.343/.438 line with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, then went 5-for-14 (.357 average) with two doubles in eight big league spring games this year.

In the latest edition of The Cody Chronicles, Asche talks about the change in attendance going from big league camp back to the minors, bonding with people on Twitter, his ties with teammates from his draft class and plenty more.

On the topic of playing in front of minimal crowds with the minors in spring training, compared to the large crowds that the big league team has been drawing this spring…

It’s just not the same the first time going out there (after returning from big league camp).  You kind of just know, that’s part of spring training, being on the minor league side.  You know, you’re out there doing your thing.  It’s really not something you worry about when you’re down there.  Not me anyway.  I never get caught up in that.  I mean, I love playing in front of big crowds and what not, but, the first game I played back over there, I felt my mind wandering a little bit, but I snapped myself out of that real quick.  You can’t sit there and sulk and keep dwelling on what it was like and stuff like that.  You just have to go out there and stick to your work.  That’s the tough part about the minor leagues, you gotta look beyond that kind of stuff and just keep working and find a way to do what you’ve got to do. Continue reading The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 5: Asche Bonds with Teammates and Fans

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The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 4: Asche Valued Time with Schmidt & Phils

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 12, 2013 07:05 AM Comments: 2

Phillies third base prospect Cody Asche is back once again to check in directly from spring training in Clearwater, FL.

A 4th round draft selection in 2011 out of the University of Nebraska, Asche has been a fast rising prospect since joining the Phillies organization. Last year, the 22-year-old, in his first full professional season, tallied a .324 batting average with 12 home runs, 72 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 130 combined games with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Asche followed that up with a .281/.343/.438 line with Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, then went 5-for-14 (.357 average) with two doubles in eight big league spring games this year.

In the latest edition of The Cody Chronicles, Asche speaks about being reassigned to minor league camp, Phils legend Mike Schmidt, what he took from his time with the big league team and plenty more.

Sharing his thoughts on being reassigned to minor league camp recently…

“It’s something that, when you’re in camp, it’s gonna happen. You know, you just look around at who’s there, the rosters, what roles everyone’s going to be playing, and it was bound to happen. I know there’s stuff I’ve gotta work on down in the minor leagues. I’m just grateful that I had the time I did over there, you know. I’m grateful that they gave me the chance to go up there and play. In my mind, I took full advantage of the opportunity and I’m happy with everything that went on over there and just gotta do my work over on the minor league side of things.” Continue reading The Cody Chronicles, Vol. 4: Asche Valued Time with Schmidt & Phils

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Prospect Nation 2013: #8 SS Roman Quinn

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, February 24, 2013 07:15 AM Comments: 2

Roman Quinn, photo- Joe Wombough/PhoulBallz.com

Selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft out of Port St. Joe High School, speedster Roman Quinn was immediately a prospect that many thought would be on a fast track upward in the Phillies system.

The extremely athletic 5-foot-10 170-pounder is praised for his adaptability and has shown considerable improvement during his time in the professional ranks.

Quinn signed fairly late after being drafted and did not play in an official game in 2011.  He did, however, spend time with the Gulf Coast League team late in their season and played with the Florida Instructional League team following the regular season.  He made his official pro debut in 2012 with the short-season A level Williamsport Crosscutters.  There, Quinn tallied a .281 average with nine doubles, a league-leading 11 triples, one home run and 23 RBI while swiping 30 bases in 36 chances.

Phillies executives were very pleased with his progress last year.  According to Joe Jordan, the Phils’ director of player development, “the sky is the limit” for Quinn.  Even his teammates are excited by his skills, as players will often remark about his noteworthy quickness. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2013: #8 SS Roman Quinn

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PN Interview: 2012 Draft Pick Cooper Talks Pro Transition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, February 09, 2013 02:00 PM Comments: 6

From the “Lost Tapes” files, I bring you a never-before-released interview with 2012 Phillies draft pick Zach Cooper.  The righty hurler was in the midst of an excellent campaign during his first season in the pro ranks, after the Phils selected him in the 15th round out of Central Michigan University, when I spoke with him in August.

Cooper, who turned 23-years-old this off-season, is aggressive on the mound, as he attacks the strike zone and goes after opposing batters.

As a senior last year with the Chippewas, the 5-foot-10-inch 185-pound Cooper went 7-5 with a 2.82 ERA and was honored with an all-conference nod.

After debuting as a pro, combined at two levels, with the short-season Williamsport Crosscutters and the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Cooper posted a 2-3 record with six saves and a 1.30 ERA while holding batters to a .183 batting average in 23 appearances.

Read ahead to check out my full interview with Zach, as he talks about transitioning from college ball to the minors, being selected by the Phillies and plenty more.

- Zach you’re off to a hot start to your pro career.  I just wanted to get some thoughts from you on your early success here.

You know, it’s been something that I kind of just turned in from college.  Just tried to get into a groove and I’ve been able to.  And I’ve had some outstanding plays behind me and stuff like that and great games called by the catcher, so it’s kind of been me, but a team thing too. Continue reading PN Interview: 2012 Draft Pick Cooper Talks Pro Transition

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Off-season Q&A: Frandsen Speaks of 2012 Success

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, January 30, 2013 02:30 PM Comments: 11

Infielder Kevin Frandsen proved to be one of the most pleasant surprises for the Phillies in 2012.  In a season that saw the infield struggle with injuries, the team called up the California native to fill a void at third base and he proved to be a worthy addition.  Frandsen, who was an International League All-Star last year for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, joined the Phillies in late July and proceed to notch a .338 average with two homers and 14 RBI in 55 contests.

The 30-year-old Frandsen, who is a .267 career big league hitter, is slated to be the key reserve for a Phils infield that projects to be at full health headed into the 2013 season.

Last week, I spoke with Kevin about his success with the Phillies, his two managers from last season, his unique foundation and more.  Read ahead to check out the full interview.

-Kevin, you had a lot of success last year at the Triple-A level and in the majors.  I just wanted to get some thoughts from you on what you would attribute the great output last year.

Just playing.  I’ve always done well in the minor leagues, ’cause I played every day and I finally got an opportunity to play every day in the big leagues and it’s taken six, seven years up there, you know, fighting and doing stuff to finally get that opportunity and, you know, that’s all it is.  You ask a basketball player how they’re gonna get a chance to shine and it’s to get minutes.  It’s the same thing, just getting innings in there and at bats and, hopefully, things go right and they did.  I felt like- I’ve always asked if I could sink or swim up there and I felt like I swam.  Hopefully, that will continue and I’ll help out the team this year and, obviously, the main goal is to get hardware and winning championships here is the number one goal. Continue reading Off-season Q&A: Frandsen Speaks of 2012 Success

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