Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Minor League Update

I was at the ballpark last night for the Phillies 4-2 win over the Nats and am planning on leaving for today's BPS at the park in a bit...hopefully the hot streak will continue...I'm sure it will since I'm such good luck and all...on to the minors...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 0-2, BB, K
  • Danny Sandoval: 0-3
  • Brennan King: 0-2
  • Chris Roberson: 0-4, K
  • Carlos Ruiz: 0-3, BB

  • Seung Lee (L, 4-4): 6 IP 7 H 8 ER 2 BB 2 K

  • Matt Kata (Reds): 2-5, HR, 2B, 3RBI, R

Scranton only got three hits on the night – two for Ryan Fleming, one for Bobby Scales - so there really isn't all that much to add...Eude Brito got promoted to Philly and will join the Phillies rotation for the time being...more on Brito in the coming days...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-4, R, BB, K
  • Tim Moss: 0-3, BB, K, E (9)
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL
  • Angel Chavez: 0-3, BB
  • Zack Segovia: 1-1, HBP

  • Jorge Padilla (Mets): 1-3, 2B, RBI
  • Zack Segovia (W, 3-1): 5 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
How do you spell Segovia's first name? I've seen it Zach almost everywhere, but I've stuck with Zack for the time being because that is what he listed at on his player page at All I know is however you want to spell his name, the guy can pitch...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 1-4, RBI, R
  • Brad Harman: 0-4, RBI
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-4, K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-3

  • Andrew Baldwin (L, 1-5): 6.1 IP 3 H 4 ER 3 BB 5 K
  • Nick Evangelista: 0.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K
Evangelista still hasn't been scored on in five innings out of the bullpen since returning from injury...he is old enough to warrant a promotion to Reading any day now...

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 2-5, R
  • Welinson Baez: 0-4, BB, 3 K
  • Lou Marson: 1-4, RBI, BB, K, E (6)
  • Jeremy Slayden: 0-1, K
  • Clay Harris: 0-2, R, 3 BB, K
  • Sean Gamble: 1-4, RBI, R, K
  • Justin Blaine: 1.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 0 K
  • Pat Overholt: 1.2 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 2 K
I say it almost everytime he gets a hit, but is this 2-hit game by Golson the springboard to a hot streak that ends with his promotion to Clearwater? We can only hope...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Extended Weekend Minor League Update

Ryan Franklin really is as bad as so many Phillies fans had feared. He has now given up six homeruns in 24.2 innings pitched. Who could have possibly seen this coming?

Let's see if we can sum up how bad a move this would be without going on for pages and pages:

  1. Franklin doesn't strike anybody out - only 100+ strikeouts in six major league seasons, 427 K's in 811.2 innings, only 93 K's in 190.2 innings in 2005, and a 4.39 K/9 number
  2. Franklin is as extreme a flyball pitcher as there is - his GO/AO career ratio is 0.76...that is 1148 flyball outs in his career vs. 812 groundball outs
  3. Franklin the flyball pitcher also gives up homeruns at an alarming rate - 34 in 2003, 33 in 2004, and 28 in 2005
  4. Franklin is a has-been (or maybe a never-was) - he will be 33 in March and is coming off back to back seasons with ERA's of 4.90 and 5.10 (good for ERA+ of 88 and 85)
  5. Frankin is a cheater - on August 2nd, 2005, Franklin became the 8th major leaguer to test positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games

How appealing is a pitcher on the downside of a mediocre career who would just so happen to be a terrible fit in the Phillies home ballpark? Would it sweeten the deal if he is coming off a career worst season in 2005? Maybe that awful '05 should also include a suspension for steroid use. Now I'm no GM, but this guy sounds like a real winner to me. I can't believe Seattle non-tendered this guy in the first place. I just can't see why nobody has signed him up yet - Pat Gillick better get on the phone with Franklin's agent quick before we lose out on him. Our search for a number one starter could soon be over!

All I can do now is sit and wait until Franklin and Abe Nunez are banished from Philly forever...plenty of minor league stuff to get to (games from Thursday to Monday featured), so on to the minors...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 5-19, 3 2B, 2 RBI, R, 7 K
  • Danny Sandoval: 3-18, RBI, BB, 4 K, 2 E (6)
  • Brennan King: 2-18, HR, RBI, 2 R, 5 K, E (5)
  • Angel Chavez: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Chris Roberson: 2-3, BB, SB, CS

  • Seung Lee (L, 4-3): 4 IP 8 H 7 ER 3 BB 2 K
  • Travis Minix (S, 2): 4.2 IP 6 H 3 R 2 ER 3 BB 2 K
  • Ryan Cameron: 2.1 IP 6 H 6 ER 5 BB 2 K
  • Brian Sanches: 1.2 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 2 K
  • Eude Brito (W, 5-2): 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 K

  • Brandon Duckworth - Pirates - (W, 7-2): 7 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 5 K
  • Matt Kata - Reds - : 3-9, 3 2B, 3 R, BB, 2 K
  • Joe Mays - Reds - (W, 1-1): 6 IP 8 H 5 ER 1 BB 4 K
  • Ryan Wagner - Reds -: 0.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K (6.26 ERA)

Two former Phillies in action against the Red Barons this weekend: 2.52 ERA for former Phillie Brandon Duckworth in AAA on the year and a .247/.303/.432 line for Matt Kata in the Reds organization...luckily Brian Sanches' rocky weekend was overlooked by the Phillies as he finally got the call to join the big club now that Jon Lieber has hit the DL...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 6-20, 2B, RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, HBP, 2 SB (17), 4 K
  • Tim Moss: 3-16, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K, CS, PO
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL
  • Mike Lieberthal: 1-6, 2 RBI
  • Angel Chavez: 1-11, R, HBP, 5 K, CS
  • Zack Segovia (W, 2-1): 6 IP 6 H 5 ER 1 BB 3 K
  • Scott Mathieson (W, 4-2): 5.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K (hit 98 on the gun)
  • Daniel Haigwood: 6.1 IP 1 H 1 ER 5 BB 8 K
  • Gio Gonzalez (W, 2-4): 7.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 10 K
Very nice weekend for Michael Bourn as he continues to reestablish himself as one of the very best hitting prospects in the Phillies system...great outing by Gio Gonzalez, I wonder if the Phillies would give him a thought if injuries continue to strike the big league staff (almost definitely not, but you never know)...Scott Mathieson was involved in one of the most unusual games of the season, a portion of the gamecast is below:

Eliezer Alfonzo hit by pitch.
Defensive Substitution: Carlos Leon replaces shortstop Jesus Merchan, batting 2nd.
Defensive switch from right field to 3rd for Matt Padgett.
Defensive switch from 1st to right field for Jim Rushford.
Defensive Substitution: Brandon Gemoll replaces first baseman Unknown, batting 6th.
Defensive switch from 3rd to 2nd for Joey Hammond.
Defensive Substitution: Trey Johnston replaces catcher Jeff Winchester, batting 8th.
Pitcher Change: Steve Langone replaces Scott Mathieson, batting 9th.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter RD Spiehs replaces Tyler Von Schell.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Brian Munhall replaces Eliezer Alfonzo.
Reading Phillies shortstop Jesus Merchan ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Reading Phillies second baseman Tim Moss ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Reading Phillies catcher Jeff Winchester ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Reading Phillies pitcher Scott Mathieson ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Connecticut Defenders catcher Eliezer Alfonzo ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Connecticut Defenders first baseman Tyler Von Schell ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Connecticut Defenders Nate Schierholtz ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Connecticut Defenders third baseman Brian Buscher ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.
Connecticut Defenders shortstop Jake Wald ejected by HP umpire HP Umpire.

So Merchan, Moss, Winchester, and Mathieson all got tossed in this one...on a brighter note, it has been reported that Mathieson hit 98 MPH with a fastball in this game...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 3-14, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, 3 K, E (5)
  • Brad Harman: 0-8, BB, 4 K, E (18)
  • Bryan Hansen: 2-11, 2B, R, BB, 3 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-7, BB, K

  • Kyle Kendrick (L, 0-2): 7 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K
  • Jeremy Griffith: 6.1 IP 10 H 4 ER 1 BB 4 K
  • Julio De La Cruz (L, 2-3): 3.2 IP 3 H 6 ER 6 BB 3 K

  • Ricky Romero (Blue Jays): 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 3 BB 5 K

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 7-24, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R, 6 K, CS, OF assist
  • Welinson Baez: 4-18, 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 7 K, SB, 2 E (16), PO
  • Lou Marson: 4-16, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K, E (5), PB
  • Jeremy Slayden: 4-13, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB, 3 K, SB
  • Clay Harris: 6-21, HR, 2 2B, RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K
  • Sean Gamble: 4-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K, SB, OF assist
  • Maximino De La Cruz: 7 IP 12 H 7 ER 5 BB 9 K
  • Justin Blaine (W, 1-0): 4 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 2 K
  • Andy Barb (L, 2-2): 2 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 4 K
  • Brett Harker (2 S, 6): 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
  • Scott Mitchinson (W, 3-2): 7.2 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 8 K
  • Pat Overholt: 1.2 IP 4 H 3 R 2 ER 2 BB 3 K
  • Matt Maloney (W, 5-4): 6.1 IP 8 H 3 R 1 ER 0 BB 7 K
  • Carlos Carrasco: 7 IP 7 H 3 ER 0 BB 6 K
  • Josh Outman: 3 IP 4 H 7 ER 6 BB 0 K
Tons of information to process here...nice weekends for Golson, Slayden, Blaine, Mitchinson, Maloney, and Carrasco...less than nice weekends for De La Cruz, Barb, and Outman...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Last Night in the Minors

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 2-3, 2B, R
  • Danny Sandoval: N/A
  • Brennan King: 0-4, K
  • Angel Chavez: 2-4, 2B, K

  • Ryan Cameron: 1 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
  • Clay Condrey: 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
  • Brian Sanches (S, 7): 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
Condrey's last outing for the Red Barons for the time being was a success...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 2-7, R, BB, 3 K, OF assist
  • Tim Moss: 0-7, 3 K, E (8)
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL
Reading played 15 innings last night...trying to keep up with the big club, I suppose...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 0-4, 2 K
  • Brad Harman: 1-4, R, K
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-4, R
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-4, 2 K, PB

  • Andrew Baldwin: 5.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 4 K

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 2-6, 2 K
  • Welinson Baez: 2-6, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: N/A
  • Jeremy Slayden: 4-6, 3B, 2B, 4 RBI
  • Clay Harris: 2-5, RBI, R, BB, 2 K
  • Sean Gamble: 1-6, R
  • Josh Outman: 7 IP 2 H 3 ER 4 BB 11 K
  • Andy Barb: 0.1 IP 1 H 3 ER 3 BB 1 K
  • Pat Overholt (W, 3-0): 2.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K
The Lakewood lineup came out on fire last night...

25-Man Roster Question

I've put off the unpleasant task of writing about Cole Hamels' injury (he's now on the 15-day DL for those who don't yet know) because I can't help but feel partly responsible for it. 100% true story - unbelievably or not, I actually saw Cole Hamels on the NJ Transit train from Trenton to New York Penn Station on Tuesday morning (I think it was the 9:11 A.M. train). What are the odds of that?

In other non-Cole Hamels related news, I hope Phils Fan doesn't mind me using his/her question as the inspiration to this post. It was an important enough question to promote it from the Comments section to the the big time, so here goes...

Phils Fan said...

Coste is up now but what happens when Rowand comes back from the DL? Do they just send Roberson back down and keep Coste or is there any chance of a solution to a second infielder in either free agency or via trade. I guess there's always the possibility of keeping 3 outfielders and sending Coste back down. Personally I would feel much better if they had another legitamate infielding option on the team. Who know's, maybe Coste is that guy but I just wanted to get your thoughts.

Excellent question and one that I can only guess at. I think Coste may very well be here to stay with Roberson the odd man out when Rowand comes back on Saturday. My problem with that scenario (and the one you astutely brought up as well) is the lack of a second player capable of playing the middle infield spots - if Nunez is the only option at second and short, the Phils will be even more hamstrung than usual in the late innings. So ultimately, I'm not sure what the Phils will wind up doing - I'd probably send down Roberson, activate Rowand, demote Clay Condrey, and call up Danny Sandoval to serve as the utility guy.

If I was really running the show (WARNING: completely unrealistic version of events coming ahead) I would cut Ryan Franklin, Sal Fasano, and Abraham Nunez and demote Chris Roberson (when Rowand comes back). Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste would serve as the catching duo until Lieberthal comes back, but would both stay on the 25-man roster even after Lieby is healthy. Here's the overall set of moves I'd make (after Rowand and Lieberthal come back):

OUT: Franklin, Fasano, Nunez, Roberson

IN: Lieberthal, Rowand, Danny Sandoval, Ryan Cameron

I'd still have the problem of only having one middle IF (Sandoval), so this setup is definitely far from ideal...but it's all I've got for now...there is surely a better way, anybody out there with any better ideas?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Last Two Nights in the Minors

I'm still processing the events of last night's Mets-Phils game at Shea, a game I was lucky enough to witness in person (hey, it may have been an extremely frustrating loss, but it was still a good game...). On to the minors (from Monday/Tuesday)...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Danny Sandoval: 0-4, 2 K
  • Brennan King: 2-4, K, E (4)
  • Josh Kroeger: 1-3, SB
  • Angel Chavez: 0-1

  • Clay Condrey: 1 IP 1 ER 0 H 0 BB 0 K
Season stats of the four relievers lighting it up for the Red Barons:

Clay Condrey: 1.14 ERA 23.2 IP 10 H 3 ER 0 HR
Brian Sanches: 1.42 ERA 19 IP 7 H 1 HR
Travis Minix: 2.00 ERA 18 IP 16 H 0 HR
Ryan Cameron: 0.98 ERA 18.1 IP 11 H 1 HR


Condrey: 11 K 6 BB - WHIP: 0.68
Sanches: 20 K 3 BB - WHIP: 0.53
Minix: 10 K 3 BB - WHIP: 1.06
Cameron: 23 K 7 BB - WHIP: 0.98

GO/AO ratios (unofficial):

Condrey: 1.61
Sanches: 0.64
Minix: 0.83
Cameron: 1.29

Condrey's numbers are at least as good as any other reliever throwing for the Barons...and he was currently on the 40-man roster...add those two things together and it is easy to see why he got the promotion to Philly...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-7, BB, 4 K
  • Tim Moss: 0-6, K
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL

  • Daniel Haigwood (L, 1-3): 4 IP 8 H 6 ER 1 BB 6 K
  • Gio Gonzalez (L, 1-4): 6 IP 4 H 5 R 1 ER 4 BB 5 K
Jaramillo was put on the DL today after the Phillies medical staff deemed him unfit to play...apparently Jaramillo suffered a deep bone bruise on his right hand about three weeks ago (he hasn't started a game at catcher since May 7), but only got checked up on by the Phils medical team on Monday...well played Phillies, way to protect your investment...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 1-7, R, BB, HBP, K
  • Brad Harman: 2-6, 2B, R, 2 BB, K, CS
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-6, HR, 4 RBI, R, BB, 2 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-6, BB, 2 K

  • Blake Dewitt (Dodgers): 0-4, RBI, K
  • Travis Denker (Dodgers): 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, K

  • Jeremy Griffith (L, 3-4): 3 IP 6 H 6 ER 4 BB 4 K
  • Julio De La Cruz: 7.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 BB 11 K
  • Nick Evangelista (W, 2-0): 1.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

Harman has been hot at the plate as of late, but I'm very curious about his defensive progress - I see his large number of errors on the year, but they aren't always an effective way to judge a player's defensive abilities...if Harman gets promoted to Reading this year (something that would surprise me considering his youth), I'll be able to go see him play some D up close and personal...Julio De La Cruz put together his best outing of the season...Evangelista's season line so far (3 appearances): 4.1 IP 3 H 1 BB 8 K (5 GO/0 AO)

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 3-6, 2B, K, OF assist
  • Welinson Baez: 1-6, BB, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: 2-8, 2B, RBI, 4 K, PB
  • Jeremy Slayden: 1-8, RBI, OF assist
  • Clay Harris: 1-7, BB, K
  • Sean Gamble: 1-5, K
  • Matt Maloney (L, 4-4): 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 4 BB 9 K
  • Justin Blaine: 2 IP 5 H 2 R 1 ER 1 BB 0 K
  • Carlos Carrasco (L, 3-3): 5 IP 3 H 3 R 2 ER 5 BB 7 K
  • Brett Harker: 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
Is Greg Golson getting hot? Is it possible? Here's hoping...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekend Minor League Update...and Goodbye Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez has retired. Long live Chris Coste. The circumstances surrounding Gonzalez' retirement were as strange as any I can remember. Here's hoping Coste did a whole season's worth of slumping the first 7 weeks of the season in Scranton (.177/.236/.272) so that he'll be ready to hit when called upon during his stint in Philly (not as crazy a theory as one would think). I must admit I am excited to have a legitimate third catcher option on the roster...that's a silver lining out of this wash of a roster move.

By the way, it couldn't have been just me who was wondering what was up with Alex Gonzalez' eyes. I would bet anything that he wore eyeliner or some kind of smoky eye makeup in the dugout...maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm not. On to the minors...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 4-8, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R, K, OF assist
  • Danny Sandoval: 1-11, RBI, K
  • Brennan King: 2-12, 2B, 2 R, K
  • Angel Chavez: 1-4, 2B, RBI, K
  • Chris Coste: 3-7, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, K - PHILLIES
Congratulations go out to Chris Coste...I had no idea he was a native of North Dakota before seeing that article, he joins a couple of pretty good ballplayers as ND natives in the bigs...
  • Jason Bartlett (Twins): 1-4, 2B, K
  • Jason Kubel (Twins): 1-3, BB, K
  • Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox): 2-8, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Hee-Seop Choi (Red Sox): 1-7, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Craig Hansen - Red Sox - (L, 0-1): 3.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 4 K
  • David Wells - Red Sox - (W, 1-1): 5 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 3 K
Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel should both be Minnesota Twins right now and not in AAA...Craig Hansen is making the rather unusual conversion from college closer (St. John's) to pro baseball seems like a no risk move on the part of the Red Sox, yet another reason why I respect the Boston front office...David Wells is an IDIOT (even his home fans in Boston can't stand him either)...
  • Brian Sanches (S, 6): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
  • Travis Minix (S, 1): 3 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
  • Eude Brito (L, 4-2): 4 IP 4 H 5 ER 4 BB 2 K
  • Ryan Cameron: 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K
I'm not leaping off the Brito bandwagon after his bad start, but some fans may have gotten a bit carried away with his hot start to the 2006 season - he has only struck out 27 batters in 49.1 innings pitched and has been incredibly reliant on the flyball to get his outs (by my count he has a .85 GO/AO ratio on the season). There are things to like about his minor league numbers (mainly his low hit rate), but he is a 27-year old guy still in AAA - who knows what kind of developmental path he'll take from here on out...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 4-16, 3B, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Tim Moss: 4-14, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 4 K, E
  • Jason Jaramillo: 1-2, 2B, RBI, R, K, E

  • Gio Gonzalez: 5 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 7 K
  • Zack Segovia (L, 1-1): 6 IP 2 H 2 ER 0 BB 3 K
  • Scott Mathieson: 7.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 5 BB 8 K
Excellent weekend for Reading prospects...Bourn was getting on base, Moss flashed a bit of power, and Gio Gonzalez (more on him in a bit) and Scott Mathieson put together excellent starts. Perhaps most impressive of all was Zack Segovia's second straight superb start since joining the go back to my pet project once again, Segovia's (unofficial) GO/AO number for 2006 is an encouraging out for Segovia...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 1-11, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Brad Harman: 3-10, HR, 3 RBI, R, 3 BB, 2 K
  • Bryan Hansen: 2-10, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 3-11, R, BB, K

  • Blake Dewitt (Dodgers): 2-12, 3 K, E
  • Travis Denker (Dodgers): 1-12, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 K
  • Scott Elbert - Dodgers - (W, 2-4): 7 IP 3 H 2 ER 2 BB 7 K
Dewitt and Denker are two of the better Dodgers infield prospects (a spot they are loaded at in the low minors)...I'm a big fan of Dewitt personally...Scott Elbert is a top pitching prospect for L.A - he was recently featured in a Prospect Smackdown feature at John Sickels' His opponent in the Smackdown? Some young lefty named Gio Gonzalez...check it out
  • Andrew Baldwin: 6 IP 8 H 4 R 3 ER 0 BB 6 K
  • Nick Evangelista (W, 1-0): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
  • Kyle Kendrick: 5.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 5 K
  • J.A. Happ (L, 2-5): 6.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K

Happ’s ERA is 2.45, but his record is 2-5...perfect example of why we shouldn't rely on W-L records, huh?…Evangelista's first two appearances of the year have been good ones, his comeback story is a great one...

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 4-13, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K, SB
  • Welinson Baez: 4-10, 3B, 2 2B, RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, E
  • Lou Marson: 2-9, 2B, 2 R, 2 K, E
  • Jeremy Slayden: 3-6, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP, K
  • Clay Harris: 6-11, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R, BB, 2 K
Great weekend for the BlueClaw bats...Golson's 4-hit weekend has got to be a relief to the Phillies was just one weekend though...
  • Josh Outman (L, 1-4): 4.1 IP 6 H 4 R 3 ER 3 BB 4 K
  • Maximino De La Cruz (W, 3-1): 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K
  • Pat Overholt: 2 IP 1 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K
  • Scott Mitchinson (W, 2-2): 6 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 8 K
  • Brett Harker: 1 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K
  • Andy Barb: 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K

The Phillies low A minor league relief arms are very encouraging...Barb lowers his ERA to a miniscule 0.69 on the year...Brett Harker has a ridiculous 2.82 GO/AO ratio this season (again, that number is my own and therefore very unofficial)...keep on eye on him

Friday, May 19, 2006

Last Night in the Minors

Phillies-Red Sox...Jon Lieber-Matt Clement...I'll be down at the park, hopefully things turn out better than the last Phils-Sox game I attended...on to the minors...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 2-4, RBI
  • Danny Sandoval: 1-5, RBI, 2 R, 2 K, E
  • Brennan King: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, R
  • Angel Chavez: 0-4, K
  • Chris Coste: 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K

  • Travis Minix: 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-3, 2 BB
  • Tim Moss: 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, E
  • Jason Jaramillo: 1-2, 2B, RBI, R, K, E

  • Gio Gonzalez: 5 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 7 K
All four of the legit prospects on display last night came through in a big way...Moss has been hot lately, Bourn is acting more like a true leadoff man everyday, Jaramillo came back from injury with a run scoring double, and Gio Gonzalez tossed 5 very impressive innings.

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 2-3, RBI, 2 R, K, 2 HBP
  • Brad Harman: 1-4, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Bryan Hansen: 3-6, 2 RBI, 3 R
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 4-5, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R

  • Julio De La Cruz (W, 2-2): 6.2 IP 6 H 4 R 1 ER 2 BB 10 K
How about that Tuffy Gosewisch?

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 0-4, K
  • Welinson Baez: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 BB, SB
  • Jeremy Slayden: 0-3, R, BB, K
  • Clay Harris: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R
  • Sean Gamble: N/A
  • Carlos Carrasco (W, 3-2): 7.2 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K
  • Andy Barb (S, 6): 0.2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
Carlos Carrasco is quickly becoming a young pitcher worth getting excited about...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Last Night in the Minors

Getting swept by the Brewers was inevitable...did anybody really believe this team could head into the sold out weekend series against the Red Sox and upcoming 3-game set versus the first place Mets at Shea with any kind of momentum? On to the minor leagues...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Danny Sandoval: 0-4, E (3)
  • Brennan King: 1-3, 2B, R, SB, HBP, K
  • Angel Chavez: 1-3, BB
  • Chris Coste: 1-4, R

  • Ryan Cameron (L, 2-1): 2.1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K
Sandoval, King, Chavez, Coste...who gets the call when the Phillies finally decide to end the Alex Gonzalez era? Here are the season stats of the four candidates (only with the Red Barons and only as of May 17th):

Sandoval: .265/.308/.337 - .645 OPS
King: .273/.339/.436 - .775 OPS
Chavez: .239/.280/.375 - .655 OPS
Coste: .163/.223/.215 - .438 OPS

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-3, R
  • Tim Moss: 1-3, 2B, RBI, K
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL

  • Daniel Haigwood (L, 1-2): 3.1 IP 11 H 6 ER 1 BB 2 K
Ugly performance for Haigwood...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 1-4, 2 K
  • Brad Harman: 1-3, BB, K, 3 E (17)
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-4
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-1

  • Jeremy Griffith (L, 3-3): 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K
17 errors for Harman!

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 2-5, 2B, RBI, R, 2 K
  • Welinson Baez: 0-4, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: N/A
  • Jeremy Slayden: N/A
  • Clay Harris: 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Sean Gamble: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K, E
  • Matt Maloney (W, 4-3): 6 IP 2 H 1 ER 5 BB 7 K
  • Brett Harker: 1.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 0 BB 1 K
  • Patrick Overholt (S, 2): 1.2 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 3 K
Not a pretty night for the BlueClaw bullpen, but the lineup provided enough support to get Maloney a win...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Last Night in the Minors

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 0-4, R, 2 K
  • Danny Sandoval: 1-3, RBI, 2 BB, K
  • Brennan King: 0-3, BB, R
  • Angel Chavez: 0-5, K
  • Chris Coste: 0-5, K

  • Eude Brito: 5.2 IP 7 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 K
  • Travis Minix: 0.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
  • Clay Condrey (W, 2-0): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K
  • Brian Sanches (S, 5): 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

Brito did not have one of his better nights, but the strong Red Barons bullpen held things together until the Scranton lineup could come through with the offense needed to get the win...great night for Sanches

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-5, R, K
  • Tim Moss: 2-3, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Jason Jaramillo: DL

  • Scott Mathieson (W, 3-2): 7 IP 5 H 3 ER 0 BB 7 K
Mathieson with a beautiful outing, one that will surely be on the mind of other GM's around baseball come July...job well done, "Trade Bait"

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 0-4, RBI, E
  • Brad Harman: 0-4, RBI
  • Bryan Hansen: 0-3, BB, 2 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 0-2, BB, PB

  • J.A. Happ (L, 2-4): 5 IP 3 H 4 R 0 ER 2 BB 8 K
  • Nick Evangelista: 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K

Nick Evangelista's 2006 debut was well worth the wait...the 24-year old Reading native should only been in Clearwater for a couple of weeks before he gets a chance to pitch out of the bullpen for his hometown R-Phillies...

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 0-5, RBI, K
  • Welinson Baez: 0-3, R, BB, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: 0-3, R, BB
  • Jeremy Slayden: 0-4, K
  • Clay Harris: 0-3, BB
  • Sean Gamble: N/A
  • Scott Mitchinson (L, 1-2): 3 IP 4 H 5 ER 2 BB 2 K
  • Justin Blaine: 1.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 0 K
  • Andy Barb: 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
What in the world are the Phillies going to do with Greg Golson? The 20-year old centerfielder is now hitting .136/.197/.200 for the season - that's a .397 OPS through 140 at bats. Can the Phillies afford to keep Golson in Lakewood while he hopefully figures out what is wrong with his game? Or do they send him back down to extended spring training and give him time to correct his flaws in Florida? Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I’m honestly not stealing from today’s Inquirer…even though it certainly seems like that's the case...oh well. I was sitting around last night thinking about the last four days (with no Phillies to watch I’m reduced to actually thinking…scary I know) and it dawned on me how amazing the past four days have been. Thursday night’s game was the rain-shortened win over the Mets that featured a pretty nice catch (not sure if anybody has heard about this grab yet…) by Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand (not to brag, but I was there – years from now, I’ll be able to say I was honestly one of the 100,000 or so Phillies fans that will claim to have seen “The Catch” live… for the record, in reality the paid attendance was 28,224)…Friday night was the debut of one of those minor leaguers we’re always hearing about, Cole Hamels…Jon Lieber’s bid for a perfect game on Saturday evening was made all the more nerve racking due to the Phillies radio broadcast on 1210 AM being full of static until we put a couple of miles behind us after leaving Baltimore (more on the road trip later)…and Ryan Howard’s dramatic two homerun performance on Mother’s Day capped off the most memorable long weekend of Phillies baseball in years.

The memorable weekend of baseball was by no means limited to exciting play on the field either. Plenty happened between my last real post (it’s been so long I don’t even remember when that even was) and now, we’ll go to bullets (parceled out in mini-posts over the next few days so I won’t feel guilty about not updating) to sum it up…

*** Roster Shakeup – Where to begin? In the last few days we’ve seen…Chris Booker lost on waivers, Cole Hamels promoted, Julio Santana activated from the DL, Geoff Geary sent down to Scranton-WB, Santana put back on the DL, Geary sent back up to Philadelphia (he actually never left town, but who’s keeping track?), Aaron Rowand to the DL with a busted up face, and Chris Roberson promoted to the big leagues. That’s a lot of player movement, no? We aren’t even done yet.

*** Minor League Movement – This site has become a decidedly friendly place for minor league news, so it gives me great pleasure to do my part to keep Phils fans up to date on the often ignored news from down on the farm. Promotions in the past week within the Phillies organization that have not directly impacted the big club include Kyle Kendrick’s call up from Lakewood to Clearwater and Zack Segovia’s elevation from Clearwater to Reading. Both young righthanders started for their new teams over the past few days – check the minor league reports on how they did (or read the cliff notes version here: Segovia was good, Kendrick was not).

*** 2006 Phillies VSL Roster - I fancy myself to be something of a minor league aficionado, but I will fully admit when there is something out there I know very little about (hardly an unusual scenario). The Phillies 2006 Venezuelan Summer League Team’s season has just begun – check out their roster here and the thread on the subject here (Squire knows what he is talking about, he’s one of the names you can trust when it comes to Phillies minor league reports).

*** Kansas City @ Baltimore – To show the lengths I go to give the best news updates I can on all things Phillies, I spent my Saturday traveling to Baltimore to take in an Orioles-Royals just to see former Phillie Chris Booker make his 2006 major league debut (there may have been other, significantly less insane reasons for my trip but those are boring and unimportant). Booker looked “good” – fastball was sitting consistently at 92 MPH (hitting 94 on the gun twice), curveball was in the mid-80s, and he even mixed in an 80 MPH splitter on occasion. All of those pitches sound “good” in theory (one of the reasons I was a big fan of his breaking camp with the Phillies), but it the real world it looked like batting practice for the O’s. Booker was rocked for 6 earned runs in just one inning of work; he walked three batters and gave up three homeruns while throwing 43 total pitches to get three outs (23 strikes/20 balls). I know next to nothing about Booker personally, but I couldn’t help but feel terrible for him professionally. The guy waited ten years in the minor leagues to get a chance in the bigs until finally getting a huge break by getting claimed by the pitching needy Royals. Finally, Booker was in a position to earn consistent innings out of the bullpen for a team that could afford to take a chance on a player with 608 strikeouts in 515.1 IP (coming into this year). After his performance on Saturday, the Royals put Booker back on the disabled list in an thinly veiled attempt to stash him away from the Nationals (Rule 5 conditions are still in effect) while they deliberate on his future. Good luck to Booker and the Royals – I hope everybody wins in this situation.

*** Phillies Third Base Quandary - In the 2004 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, the Phillies had 4 third basemen listed in their organizational top 30: Juan Richardson (9), Terry Jones (10), Kiel Fisher (12), and Welinson Baez (29). Travis Chapman was also in the organization and was thought reasonably high of after putting up a .861 OPS in AA in 2002 and a .771 OPS in AAA in 2003. Baez is still in the minor league system (you’d know that if you keep up with the minor league reports here), but now we can finally say the other four third basemen are officially no longer members of the Phillies organization (Jones was the most recent to leave the organization – he retired earlier this week). Here is what Baseball America had to say about the Phillies class “third basemen of the future” back in 2004…

Richardson: “When healthy, Richardson ranks behind only [Ryan] Howard for pure power in the organization. He probably won’t ever hit for much average, but he could produce 30-35 homers annually…The best all-around third baseman in the system, Richardson could take over in Philadelphia by 2005 if he stays healthy.”

Jones: “Phillies officials say Jones can be an above-average major league hitter capable of hitting .280 with 20-25 homers annually.”

Fisher: “He projects average to plus power and makes adjustments well enough to hit for a solid average…There’s no doubt his bat would play at a more power-driven position.”

I touched on the Phillies unlucky run on minor league third basemen about two months ago after Kiel Fisher was released…

The Kiel Fisher era is over; long live the Jonathan Johnson era. There were high hopes back when the Phils drafted Fisher and, unfortunately, it looks like he'll never get the chance to live up to them. Fisher’s chronic injuries, questionable dedication to rehabbing said injuries, commitment to the game itself, and other undisclosed off the field issues all seem to have played a part in his release. Just goes to show you how cyclical these minor league matters can be – Fisher, Terry Jones, and Juan Richardson were all pegged as third basemen of the future types at one point during their respective times with the organization. Welinson Baez and Mike Costanzo now represent the future at third. Will they follow the paths of Fisher and Richardson (the jury is still out on Jones to a degree)? Or will they be Phils minor league success stories like Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard? Only time will tell…

And, yes, I do realize the irony of the Phillies releasing a former “third basemen of the future” the day after going off about the very bright future crop of third basemen in the majors and high minors. At least Baez and Costanzo give us hope at third…can’t ask for much more than that really.

Costanzo is currently hitting .250/.319/.389 with 4 homeruns, 12 walks, and 46 strikeouts in 144 at bats for High-A Clearwater. Baez is hitting .213/.228/.311 with 1 homer, 3 walks, and 46 strikeouts in 122 at bats for Low-A Lakewood. It’s early, but that’s not all that promising a start for either player. By the way, according to the 2004 BA Prospect Handbook, Baez reminded some Phillies of Juan Richardson “from a physical and mental standpoint.” It was a compliment at the time, but it is perhaps an unintended spooky premonition by the organization now that we can look back with the benefit of hindsight.

This post has gotten long enough...there isn't room to post updates on Bobby Abreu to the Yankees, Mike Lieberthal's bum knee, and the Cincinnati Reds non-stop chatter about Cole Hamels' debut.

Last Night in the Minors

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Josh Kroeger: 1-6, 4 K, E
  • Danny Sandoval: 3-7, K
  • Brennan King: 3-6, 2 RBI, K
  • Angel Chavez: N/A
  • Chris Coste: 2-6, K

  • Ryan Cameron (BS, 1): 0.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K

  • Adam Stern (Red Sox): 1-5, 2B, 2 R, K
  • Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox): 1-4, 2 R, BB, CS
  • Hee-Seop Choi (Red Sox): 3-6, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI, K

The Red Barons lost both games of the doubleheader to Pawtucket (that's the Red Sox affiliate if you haven't caught on by now)...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 0-3, R, 2 BB, K
  • Tim Moss: 2-4
  • Jason Jaramillo: N/A
Is it true? Is Tim Moss really beginning to hit? Is there nothing else to say about this team? I guess there isn't anything more to add on a night when only one legit starting pitching prospect (Kyle Kendrick) took the hill for the Phillies organization...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 2-5, K
  • Brad Harman: 2-4, R, K
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-4, R, 2 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 1-4, 2B, RBI, R

  • Kyle Kendrick (L, 0-1): 4.2 IP 8 H 8 ER 3 BB 5 K

Kendrick’s debut after a promotion was not quite as successful as Zack Segovia’s first start at AA, but you've gotta start somewhere…even though Kendrick didn't toss a gem, it's very nice to see Costanzo and Harman putting together multi-hit games...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend Minor League Update

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Chris Roberson: PHILLIES
  • Josh Kroeger: 2-6, 2B, 2 K
  • Danny Sandoval: 0-6, 2 K
  • Brennan King: 0-5, R, BB, K
  • Angel Chavez: 2-5, 2 2B, R, K
  • Chris Coste: 1-6, 2B, K

  • Travis Minix: 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
No Hamels, no Ruiz, no Roberson...this has become one boring AAA team...

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 4-11, R, HBP, 4 K, CS
  • Tim Moss: 2-9, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Jason Jaramillo: N/A

  • Gio Gonzalez (L, 1-3): 6.2 IP 4 H 6 R 5 ER 2 BB 9 K
  • Daniel Haigwood: 6 IP 1 H 0 ER 4 BB 10 K
  • Zack Segovia (W, 1-0): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K

No ground outs versus eleven fly outs for Gonzalez this weekend...Haigwood with one of his best outings on the year...Segovia plenty impressive in his AA debut...Bourn with his first caught stealing of the year...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 0-7, R, BB, 5 K
  • Brad Harman: 4-8, 2 2B, R, 3 K
  • Bryan Hansen: 0-6, RBI, 2 BB, K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, 3 K

  • Andrew Baldwin (L, 1-4): 4 IP 11 H 5 ER 0 BB 1 K
  • Julio De La Cruz (W, 1-2): 7 IP 1 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K
Costanzo has been down, Harman has been up...Hansen has struggled since his demotion from AA, not a good sign...

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 0-10, 3 R, BB, 2 K, SB
  • Welinson Baez: 2-12, RBI, BB, 6 K, 2 E
  • Lou Marson: 1-14, R, 4 K, E
  • Jeremy Slayden: 2-8, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Clay Harris: 3-7, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB, 2 K
  • Sean Gamble: 3-7, 3 R, BB, 2 K
  • Josh Outman: 6 IP 7 H 3 R 2 ER 3 BB 5 K
  • Carlos Carrasco (W, 2-2): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 9 K
  • Maximino De La Cruz (W, 2-1): 6.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 1 K
  • Andy Barb: 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K
  • Justin Blaine: 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K
  • Brett Harker (S, 4): 1.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K
My plans to go see Lakewood play down in South Philly have gone up in smoke because the weather just won't Scott Mitchinson for me tonight...maybe it's a blessing in disguise as I'll be spared the sight of this disappointing BlueClaw that Hamels and Segovia are no longer members of Phillies A-ball affiliates, Carlos Carrasco may finally begin to get the recognition he deserves - some consider Carrasco to be the most promising long-term arm in the system outside of Hamels and Gonzalez...I won't go out on a limb like that quite yet, but I will say he is a top 3 righthanded pitcher in the system (with Zack Segovia and Kyle Kendrick right there with him)...

Friday, May 12, 2006


Best catch I've ever seen live in in person...heck it might even be the best catch I can remember seeing in my lifetime period...though that Jim Edmonds full extension over the shoulder dive while still in those awful Anaheim Angels periwinkle pinstriped uniforms has to be right up there as well (along with the dozens of others that I can't remember at the moment...)

For a game that only lasted four and half innings there was plenty of action - Rowand's catch, Gavin Floyd's response after the catch (he turned in a solid performance even though he is still all over the place with his control...which is a big problem, but a "complete game shutout" is a complete game shutout, right?), David Bell's diving stop to save a run on Steve Trachsel's bullet to left, Shane Victorino coming off the bench to hit a triple and a double (a beautiful, 100% hustle double too), and...last but not least, Chase Utley's "clutch" game winning solo homer in the first.

On a personal note, last night's game was the second I've been to in person this season (who knew actually going to games would cut in to my time writing about them...not that I'm complaining or anything, it's just my excuse for a total lack of decent posts). My first game was Tuesday night's series opening win over the Mets and last night was the second. I'm not saying that I'm the reason for the series win over New York, I'm merely pointing out the recent pattern - win when I'm there, lose when I'm not, win when I'm there. To keep this hot streak going, I will eagerly be expecting my full set of season tickets from the Phillies anyday the cash needed to compensate for the money I'll lose out on by quitting my job. If the Phils were really generous, they'd make arrangements for me to go to road games as well...I'd be okay if they were willing to start tomorrow night. I've always wanted to visit Cincinnati...fine, that's a lie (nobody has ever said they've always wanted to visit Cincinnati) but I still wouldn't mind catching a ballgame in Ohio tomorrow night...I hear some top young prospect is throwing for the Phils, anybody know who this kid is?

Last 2 Nights in the Minors

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Chris Roberson: 1-4, 2 K, E
  • Josh Kroeger: 0-4, K
  • Danny Sandoval: 0-3, BB, K
  • Brennan King: 0-2, 2 BB
  • Angel Chavez: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, K
  • Chris Coste: 1-3

  • Eude Brito (W, 4-1): 8 IP 2 H 1 R 0 ER 3 BB 3 K
  • Ryan Cameron (S, 3): 1 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
Is Brito inching his way towards a big league promotion...?

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 1-4, RBI, BB, K
  • Tim Moss: N/A
  • Jason Jaramillo: N/A
  • Bryan Hansen: N/A

  • Scott Mathieson (L, 2-2): 7 IP 6 H 4 ER 2 BB 9 K
Mathieson puts together a typical Mathieson-style performance...great peripherals, but so so overall results...for some reason I see him more as future trade bait and not necessarily a piece of the Phillies long-term puzzle...but that's based on very little (just a random thought of mine mostly) - so basically, don't believe everything you read on the internet...

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 1-4, RBI, R, 2 K
  • Brad Harman: 0-7, R, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 1-4, 2B
  • Bryan Hansen: 3-5, 2 2B, RBI, R

  • J.A. Happ (W, 2-3): 8 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K
  • Derek Griffith (W, 3-2): 7 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 5 K
Hansen was dropped to Clearwater from least he responded with a big first game for the Threshers...J.A. Happ's performance on Wednesday was serious - 8 shutout innings with 10 K's and no walks is something to think about...he'll see Reading at some point this year, but when?

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 0-7, 4 K
  • Welinson Baez: 2-8, RBI, 5 K, 2 E (11)
  • Lou Marson: 1-4, RBI, 2 K
  • Jeremy Slayden: 1-7, 2 K
  • Clay Harris: 0-6, 2 BB, K E
  • Sean Gamble: N/A

  • Kyle Kendrick (L, 2-3): 7 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K
  • Matt Maloney (L, 3-3): 6 IP 7 H 3 R 2 ER 4 BB 6 K
Kendrick and Maloney are both ready (or very close) to earning a promotion to Clearwater...Kendrick will probably get the call first, but I'd be plenty surprised if either fellow was still a BlueClaw come the midway point of the season...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cole Hamels' Debut Set for Friday

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Minor League Weekend

No real updates other than the generic minor league stats of the weekend. A Phillies Baseball correspondent was in Scranton this weekend, so there is at least some hope that pictures and a brief recap about Cole Hamels' third start at the AAA level are in the cards...though there are no guarantees (digital cameras can be fickle, you know). I'm following the lead of Balls, Sticks, & Stuff and not saying anything about the Phillies recent hot streak...I hear they are doing pretty well though. Because I'm in the linking mood, definitely make sure to check out Beerleaguer's take on Billy Wagner's return to Philly - tomorrow night will be the first game I attend in person this season (pretty impressive since I'll have only been back in Philly 20 some hours)...anyway, those two links are perfect examples of the work consistently put out there by the two best Phillies blogs on the web.

One last thing...maybe I've been totally out of it lately, but where the heck did this come from? Is all this talking out a closer thing? On to the minors...

AAA Scranton-WB

  • Chris Roberson: 4-12, 4 K, OF assist
  • Josh Kroeger: 2-11, 2B, 2 K
  • Danny Sandoval:1-7, 2B, R, BB, 2 K
  • Brennan King: 1-10, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB, 5 K
  • Angel Chavez: 1-10, BB, 2 K
  • Chris Coste: 0-8, 3 K

  • Eude Brito (W, 3-1): 6 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K
  • Chris Booker: 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K
  • Brian Sanches (S, 4) and (W, 2-1): 2 IP 2 H 1 R 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
  • Travis Minix: 1 IP 2 H 1 R 0 ER 0 BB 2 K
  • Clay Condrey: 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K
  • Cole Hamels: 7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 10 K

AA Reading

  • Michael Bourn: 2-13, 2B, RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 SB, K, E, OF assist
  • Tim Moss: 1-12, 7 K, 3 E
  • Jason Jaramillo: 1-6, K, passed ball
  • Bryan Hansen: 1-5

  • Scott Mathieson: 6 IP 6 H 5 R 3 ER 2 BB 6 K
  • Daniel Haigwood: 6 IP 7 H 3 R 2 ER 1 BB 4 K
  • Gio Gonzalez (L, 1-2): 5 IP 4 H 3 R 2 ER 4 BB 4 K

High A Clearwater

  • Mike Costanzo: 2-11, RBI, BB, HBP, 6 K
  • Brad Harman: 2-10, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Tuffy Gosewisch: 1-3, RBI, K, picked off two runners at first

  • J.A. Happ (L, 1-3): 7 IP 7 H 4 ER 1 BB 6 K
  • Derek Griffith (L, 2-2): 5.2 IP 7 H 3 ER 3 BB 3 K
  • Julio De La Cruz: 4.1 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 3 K

Low A Lakewood

  • Greg Golson: 3-9, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 K, SB, CS
  • Welinson Baez: 2-5, 2B, R, 2 K
  • Lou Marson: 1-8, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, 3 K, picked off runner at first
  • Jeremy Slayden: 3-9, 2B, R, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Clay Harris: 0-11, RBI, R, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Sean Gamble: 3-7, R

  • Kyle Kendrick (W, 3-1): 5.1 IP 4 H 2 ER 5 BB 6 K
  • Matt Maloney (W, 3-2): 6.2 IP, 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K
  • Carlos Carrasco (W, 1-2): 7.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K
  • Andy Barb (2 saves, 5 total): 2.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K
  • Brett Harker (S, 2): 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 2 BB 1 K

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cole Hamels - Part II

Cole Hamels - Part I

So as far as I can tell there are three critical factors above all else that come in to play when debating the merits of a Cole Hamels promotion: 1) how will the promotion impact him physically?, 2) simple question, but is he ready to pitch important innings at the big league level?, and 3) Who gets bumped from the rotation to make room for him?

The question of health, injuries, and durability is beyond me – back issues aside, I see no other major red flags in his injury past that would make me doubt he can remain as healthy pitching in the big leagues as he has been healthy thus far in the minors. Aside from him potentially breaking his left humerus again, which can happen anywhere at anytime…we know by now that this risk has been there since they drafted him and will never go away, so I have little concern about any adverse effects big league pitching (as opposed to minor league pitching) will have on his health. Again, I say that the question of health is really beyond me – believe it or not, I’m no medical expert so take what I say like you would with anything a hack like me rambles on about.

Is Cole Hamels ready to pitch for a contending team in the big leagues?

All signs (and stats) point to a big yes. I happen to think he is ready right now, but would only call him up this instant if the big league club truly needed him. Does the big league club truly need him? Debatable. The pitching was terrible in the early going of the season and Madson and Floyd’s struggles were a big part of it. That being said, I’m inclined to stick with the beleaguered duo for three more starts (giving them each 8 total on the year) before casting either aside. Perhaps a closer look at Hamels’ minor league numbers will provide some insight about his readiness – I’ve separated big league quality guys (highly subjective move on my part) from the rest of the AAA lineups that Hamels has faced. There is also the team OPS rate for the opponents:

First start at AAA: April 27 – Norfolk:
Lastings Milledge (top prospect), Victor Diaz (big league caliber hitter): 1-7, BB, 3 K

Second start at AAA: May 2 – Richmond:
Tony Pena (big league experience, future backup), Brayan Pena (big league experience, future backup): 0-7, 2 K

The lineups of these two teams are pretty terrible. Norfolk currently as a team OPS of .582. Richmond has a team OPS of .631. They rank last and second to last in those categories respectively. On the plus side, of the four players I’ve highlighted as big league quality (either in the past, present, or future), Hamels has more than held his own (they are a combined 1-14, with 5 K, and 1 BB).

How does the current minor league schedule look assuming Hamels sticks around?

May 7 – Syracuse: Jason Phillips (big league caliber), John Hattig (impressive AAAA player), Sergio Santos (once a top prospect aiming for redemption), John-Ford Griffin (similar story as Santos’, but now too old to be a prospect)

Syracuse ranks fourth to last in OPS as a team (.664).

May 12 – Ottawa: Fernando Tatis (former big leaguer), Val Majewski (future backup)

Ottawa ranks third to last in OPS as team (.656).

May 17 – Rochester: Shawn Wooten (former big leaguer), Terry Tiffee (future big league bench guy), Jason Bartlett (should be the Twins everyday shortstop), Jason Tyner (former big leaguer), Jason Kubel (Twins most advanced hitting prospect coming off of injury)

Rochester is sixth (out of 14) in team OPS (.718)

May 23 – Indianapolis: Brad Eldred, Jose Bautista, Rajai Davis (all three guys are useful prospects mishandled over the years in the Pittsburgh system)

May 28 – Louisville: Matt Kata, Alex Sanchez, Terrence Long [EDIT: Long has since been released], Cody Ross (all four [EDIT: three] guys are former big leaguers)

Indianapolis and Louisville rank eighth and ninth in team OPS (.699 for Indy, .695 for Louisville).

What does that all mean?

It means that in Cole Hamels first four AAA starts, he just so happens to face off against the four worst hitting teams in the league. This is surely no coincidence and the Phillies should be commended for handling his promotion to AAA perfectly. His most difficult test figures to be the Rochester game on May 17th – their lineup has five quality hitters with major league experience. After that start, Hamels will have five AAA games under his belt and won’t be scheduled to pitch again until May 23rd. Here’s how the Phillies rotation looks up until that date:

May 5: Floyd
May 6: Madson
May 7: Lieber
May 9: Myers
May 10: Lidle
May 11: Floyd
May 12: Madson
May 13: Lieber
May 14: Myers
May 16: Lidle
May 17: Floyd
May 18: Madson
May 19: Lieber
May 20: Myers
May 21: Lidle
May 23: ?

I think May 23, 2006 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium will be the date of Cole Hamels first major league game. Following this course of action would give the Phillies three more opportunities to see Ryan Madson and Gavin Floyd pitch before making a decision on which young starter could potentially be moved in favor of Hamels. Moving Madson to the bullpen and Hamels to the rotation may be the move that is best for the team in the short-term, but the long-term impact on giving up on Madson as a starter and yo-yoing him back to the bullpen could create severe negative feelings. Moving Floyd to make room for Hamels could have an equally troubling long term effect – Floyd would be sent to Triple-A before even being considered for a big league bullpen spot…can the Phillies really afford to risk screwing with their old top prospect’s head with a demotion just to accommodate the new top youngster? This is a complicated matter (well, complicated for baseball anyway) that will be very interesting to see play out – the next three starts (my own number, could be more or could be less) will be huge in determining the fates of three of the Phillies top young pitchers.

For the record, the fact that I happen to have tickets to the Mets-Phils game at Shea on the 23rd is merely an extremely lucky coincidence...