Minor League hot and cold list: Franco, Nola, Crawford, Leibrandt, Tocci

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, May 12, 2015 02:30 PM Comments: 1

It’s your weekly rundown of top performers from the Phillies’ developmental ranks with some not-so-good performers mixed in as well.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs (9-23 record, last in International League North Division- worst record in the league)…


M Franco

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd

3B Maikel Franco has continued to shine on offense, as the 22-year-old has gone 12-for-25 (.480 avg) with three homers and eight RBI in his last six games. Overall, the Dominican native has notched a .341 average with four home runs and 18 RBI in 30 games this season.

RHP Phillippe Aumont sports a 1-1 record and a 1.93 ERA in three starts since joining the Pigs’ rotation. In seven appearances this year, the 26-year-old has a 1.73 ERA and a .188 batting average against.


Catcher Tommy Joseph is 2-for-32 (.063 avg) in his last 10 games. Overall, in 20 games this season, the 23-year-old sports a .123 average with four doubles and six RBI.

Double-A Reading Fightins (16-13, 3rd place in Eastern League Eastern Division)…


1B Art Charles was named Eastern League Player of the Week on Monday and has gone 14-for-23 (.609 avg) over a six game stretch. In 20 games this season, the 24-year-old is batting .378 with five home runs and 18 RBI.  Read my recent feature on Charles by clicking here.

RHP Aaron Nola is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last three starts. Overall, in six games this season, the 21-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a .210 batting average against. Continue reading Minor League hot and cold list: Franco, Nola, Crawford, Leibrandt, Tocci


Asche to Lehigh Valley; Franco Up Soon?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, May 12, 2015 08:05 AM Comments: 17

On Monday night, the Phillies sent Cody Asche to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. With the Iron Pigs, the second baseman-turned-third baseman will learn another position: left field. The Phillies are doing so to allow Maikel Franco the freedom to play third base every day once he’s in the big leagues.

Asche, 24, is hitting .245 this year with 2 home runs and only 4 RBI. His defense has not been strong at the hot corner, so the move makes sense.

Franco, 22, launched another home run with the Iron Pigs on Monday night. He’s hitting .341 with 4 homers and 18 RBI this season. His glaring weakness is his inability to draw walks – he’s gotten just 5 free passes all season, while striking out 24 times.


Gameday 33: Pirates vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Mon, May 11, 2015 06:14 PM Comments: 7

Pittsburgh Pirates (15-16) at Philadelphia Phillies (11-21)  

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Jerome Williams, RHP (2-2, 5.18)
PIT: Gerrit Cole, RHP (4-1, 2.27)

Time: 7:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 80 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

After a loss to the Mets yesterday afternoon 7-4, the Phillies look to rebound against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Phillies offense will face Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Pirates as Jerome Williams looks to improve to 3 wins.  The Phillies have not been able to win two games in a series for the past 4 matchups.  Chase Utley and Odubel Herrera find their way back into the lineup tonight, as Grady Sizemore gets the start in right field.

On a minor league note, Aaron Nola went 8 innings in Reading with 4 hits and 1 earned run yesterday.

First game of the series starts at 7:05 EST.


Revere LF, Galvis SS, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Sizemore RF, Herrera CF, Asche 3B, Ruiz C, Williams RHP


Reading’s Charles standing out as team’s offensive force

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, May 11, 2015 10:00 AM Comments: 14

A Charles

Art Charles, image- Jay Floyd

Across all levels of organized baseball, it would likely be impossible to find a hotter player than Reading first baseman Art Charles right now.

The lefty hitting slugger wrapped up a six-game stretch on Sunday during which he went 14-for-23 (.609 avg) with five doubles, five home runs and nine RBI.

Currently, the 24-yeear-old Charles leads the Double-A Eastern League in average (.400) and slugging percentage (.800), while also ranking second (tie) in on-base percentage (.442).

Charles has gained more at bats lately with his recent success, as he had been splitting time in the lineup with teammate Brock Stassi, who has a league-leading 23 RBI.  Time on the bench wasn’t discouraging, though, as it made the California native value the chances he was getting more.

“It’s been a little tough, but I get my playing time,” Charles said last week at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium.  “I enjoy the time I get.  I’ve been doing well.  I’ve been putting the ball in play and I’ve been productive.  It’s all about taking advantage of your opportunities when you get them, so I mean I’ve been going out there every day with a positive mindset and ready get my chance and when I play, I’m taking advantage of it.” Continue reading Reading’s Charles standing out as team’s offensive force


Gameday 32: Mets vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Sun, May 10, 2015 12:28 PM Comments: 17

New York Mets (19-11) at Philadelphia Phillies (11-20)  

phillies                         other

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Chad Billingsley, RHP (0-1, 9.00)
NYM: Bartolo Colon, RHP (5-1, 2.90)

Time: 1:35 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 73 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

After going up 2-1 in the 6th inning, the Phillies took a tough loss on a two-run home run dished out by Juan Legaras in the top of the 7th inning, making the score 3-2 and turning in a victory for the Mets.

Chad Billingsley will look to help the Phillies steal the series away from the division leading Mets, getting his second start of the season, and his second in two years.  During his last outing he pitched five innings, gave up eight hits and five earned runs, while striking out two batters and walking one.

The Mets have won eight of the last nine series’ played against the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.

First pitch is at 1:35 EST.


Revere LF, Galvis SS, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ruf LF, Sizemore RF,  Asche 3B, Rupp C, Billingsley RHP


PN Interview: BlueClaws OF Cord Sandberg

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, May 09, 2015 08:30 AM Comments: 0

Cord Sandberg, image- Jay Floyd

Lakewood outfielder Cord Sandberg is off to a quiet start this season in the Class A Sally League.  The 20-year-old, through 24 games, is batting .235 with three doubles, eight RBI with a stolen base.

Praised by coaches for his toolsy skill set, his leadership qualities and his professionalism, the Phillies have high hopes for the 2013 third round draft selection.

Recently, I spoke with Cord about his game, his manager, his roommate and more.  Read ahead for that full interview with the lefty batting Florida native, who is not related to Phils manager Ryne Sandberg.

-I’ve heard some great feedback on you with the coaches citing you as a leader for the team.  When you’ve the coaches really believing in you and maybe teammates looking to you, even at 20 years old, as a leader, what does that mean to you?

That definitely means a lot.  As far as other players looking up to me, I mean playing quarterback in high school, there are leadership qualities that kind of comes with playing that position.  You know, baseball..I’m in the outfield, I just try to- I’m not really a vocal guy.  I’m not really a big pump-up guy.  I try to play the game the right way and I try to lead by example and hopefully, that shows with my effort on the field.

-If you were going to scout your own game, what would you tell me?

I’m an outfield guy and I think my arm is strong enough to make the throws I have to.  It’s not unbelievable by any means, but I feel it’s good enough to get the job done out there.  From a hitting standpoint, I’m not- in little league I was a power guy, but you know as I’ve developed, I’ve kind of grown to being a gap-to-gap guy and I can be a power guy, but I’m not really focused on home runs and things like that.  I’m just trying to hit the ball hard and go gap-to-gap.  Continue reading PN Interview: BlueClaws OF Cord Sandberg


Gameday 30: Mets vs. Phillies

Posted by Matthew Gephart, Fri, May 08, 2015 05:51 PM Comments: 22

New York Mets (18-10) at Philadelphia Phillies (10-19)  

phillies                         other

Starting Pitchers:
PHI: Cole Hamels, LHP (1-3, 4.14)
NYM: Matt Harvey, RHP (5-0, 2.14)

Time: 7:05 EST, Citizens Bank Park
Weather: Clear, 82 degrees
Media: Twitter and Facebook

A Note for Tonight:

The Phillies will face a hot Matt Harvey, who has started the season undefeated with a 5-0 record, but has never won 6 games in a row for his career.  Cole Hamels will pitch opposite Harvey, who has had arguably his worst start to a season in his career, looking for only his second win in six starts.  The experimental outfield will get its second chance tonight, bringing in the offensive bat of Darin Ruf who will bat 5th in tonight’s lineup.  The Phillies have only won 4 of their last 19 meetings with the Mets, which includes losing five consecutive series.


Revere RF, Galvis SS, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ruf LF, Herrera CF, Asche 3B, Ruiz C, Hamels LHP


Fightins Quotables: Altherr, Quinn, Martinez speak

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, May 08, 2015 08:00 AM Comments: 6

This week I spoke with several members of the Double-A Reading Fightins roster.  Outfielder Aaron Altherr, who spent a handful of days with the big league club last year, rising prospect Roman Quinn and 2011 second round pick Harold Martinez all took time to share their thoughts on various subjects.  Read ahead for those exclusive quotes.

A Altherr

Aaron Altherr, image- Jay Floyd

Aaron Altherr:

-The 24-year-old spoke about what drives him in the game…

I gotta get back up there this season and hopefully I can stay up there.  It drives each and every one of us.  That’s the ultimate goal is to get up to the big leagues and produce up there.

-Commenting on which players with the big club stood out as leaving an impression on him…

I always looked at Utley, the way he goes about his business.  And even a younger guy like Domonic Brown, you know, he’d always come up to me and talk to me and show me the ropes.  Guys like that really help you get comfortable up there and know that you can do it and it’s not that much different.  You just relax and play the game.

-Sharing thoughts on how he feels this year compared to last season, when he posted a .236 average with 14 homers and 57 RBI in 120 games at the same level…

I’m a lot more comfortable this year ’cause I know what my swing’s doing this year.  Last year, I was trying to find my swing the whole year and I couldn’t find it.  Just did a lot of work in the off-season and I feel like I’ve gotten it back and feel a lot more comfortable up there.  Continue reading Fightins Quotables: Altherr, Quinn, Martinez speak


Quinn showing signs of being Phils lead-off man of the future

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, May 07, 2015 03:15 PM Comments: 3

R Quinn

Roman Quinn, image- Jay Floyd

If you haven’t yet given much attention to speedy Reading center fielder Roman Quinn, it’s time that you started. The Phillies’ second round draft pick in 2011 is making a name for himself as the catalyst for the Double-A Fightin Phils.

Described as a prototypical lead-off guy, Quinn has begun drawing comparisons to the likes of the legendary Rickey Henderson, a player that the 21-year-old isn’t quite old enough to recall seeing in action.

“I have seen Kenny Lofton and Juan Pierre and Dee Gordon right now. So, I’ll watch their swings and how they put down bunts and it’s game changing for me. An inspiration,” Quinn said with a smile while sitting in the home dugout at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium this week.

With a long road ahead to reach the stature of those players, though, Quinn is doing all the right things to develop his game and help his team the way those speedsters have been known to.

“He just changes the whole game,” Reading manager Dusty Wathan stated. “Whether it’s the opportunity to steal a base or just to get more fastballs for the guys behind him, the defense totally changes when he’s on base and when he’s at the plate. They have to change the way they defend because he’s a threat to bunt and steal.” Continue reading Quinn showing signs of being Phils lead-off man of the future


Can 2015 Be The Worst Phillies Season Of All Time?

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, May 07, 2015 11:15 AM Comments: 28

The Phillies, as we all know, have been really bad this year. They’re 10-19, and only the 9-19 Brewers have a worse record in all of baseball. They are the only team in MLB that scores less than 3 runs per game, and it’s not close. The Phils score 2.83 runs per game, while the next highest is 3.14 per game by the Giants. The league average is 4.22. 

They allow 4.83 runs per game, which is 7th-highest in MLB. The differential is a full two runs per game, which is worst in baseball. Using Pythagorean Win-Loss ratio–an estimator on win/loss ratios based on run differential–their record should be somewhere around 8-21, which is the worst in the league. 

But how do these numbers stack up against some of the worst teams in Phillies history? Well, their 2.83 runs per game is good for 2nd worst in Phillies history. 4.83 runs against per game isn’t nearly as bad, as it stands at 48th-highest (133 total seasons). 

Their pythW-L% is .273, which is 3rd-worst in franchise history. Only 1942 and 1883 were worse. Extrapolate that over 162 games and it’s just over 44 wins. That’s not a good predictor, so don’t think the Phils will finish under 50 wins–at least not yet. But it’s a good indicator of how bad they’ve been. 

Still, the franchise has never had lower than 63 wins in any 162 game season. Their actual W-L% (.345) would be just under 56 wins out of 162. That’s seven lower than the 63 they had in 1969. 

So, to answer my initial question–yes. The 2015 Phillies certainly could be the worst Phillies team of all time, certainly in recent years. In 1883, the franchise’s first year, the Philadelphia Quakers finished 17-81-1. Both the lowest W-L% (.173) and pythW-L% (.215). That’s the benchmark. 

We could be witnessing history, just not the kind of history that the 2011 regular season brought us. 

UPDATE: Added link explaining Pythagorean Win-Loss and other general edits. 

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