All posts by gregg

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley split their doubleheader last night in Scranton and have won five of their last seven games.  Sitting at 60-73 and in 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, the ‘Pigs are 14 games back of divison leading Scranton and have been eliminated from playoff contention.  After a final game in Scranton tonight, the ‘Pigs travel to Syracuse for three games and Pawtucket for three before a final four game home stand over Labor Day weekend to end the season. This will be the last “in season” Lehigh Valley weekly report.  Look for a report reviewing the season between September 8th and 10th.

News and Notes: INF Chase D’Arnaud has hit safely in his last 9 games (.368) and is batting .306 over his last 46 games.  He has been an offensive catalyst for Lehigh Valley in the second half of the season and leads the team with 38 multi hit games.

–Over the last 22 games, OF Brian Bogusevic is hitting .368 with 6HR and 18RBI to go along with 5SB.  Absent one down period, Bogusevic has been consistently outstanding this season.

–1B Tommy Joseph has a modest 4 game hitting streak after early struggles coming off the DL.

–Over his last 3 starts, Severino Gonzalez has a 2.81ERA. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

The ‘Pigs lost last night and are struggling having gone 3-7 over their last 10 games and now sit at 55-70, and in 5th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 15 games behind division leading Scranton.  With two and a half weeks left in their season, Lehigh Valley play in Scranton tonight, visit Pawtucket over the weekend, before returning to Coca Cola Park in Allentown for a three game series against Buffalo early next week.

–Sean O’Sullivan had an excellent outing on Tuesday against Scranton, going 8.1 innings without allowing an earned run, striking out 9.

–INF Taylor Pastornicky has reached base safely in all eight games since joining the IronPigs

–Tyler Henson remains unbelievable with men on base and two out, hitting .423 on the year and knocking in 24.

–Pigs catchers continue to lead the league in caught stealing % at 37%.

–Brian Bogusevic has hit in 14 of his last 15 games, hitting .381 with 5 homers over that span. Bogusevic is the 1st Lehigh Valley player to have four separate 10 game hitting streaks in one season.  His average on the year sits at .297. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Aaron Altherr Promoted to Philadelphia

Another piece of what may be the Phillies future was added to the roster today with the promotion of 24 year old OF Aaron Altherr from Lehigh Valley. Altherr was a 9th round pick in the 2009 draft.  It is the second trip to Philadelphia for Altherr, who was called up for a weekend last season as a stopgap resulting from injury.  While he is being added because of Maikel Franco being placed on the DL with a broken wrist, this is likely to be a stint that will result in significant playing time through the end of the season for Altherr as the Phils gauge his ability to play consistent major league baseball.

In 111 games between Reading and Lehigh Valley this year, Altherr is hitting .293/.367/.487 spanning 487 plate appearances.  He has an impressive 14HR 67RBI to go with 16SB.  Altherr can play all over the OF and is a plus defender, however played predominately in RF and CF this year in the minors.

Still only 24, with 2500+ minor league AB’s, ALtherr crushed left handed pitching in AAA, hitting at a .353 rate.  On of the primary criticisms of ALtherr in the passed was his free swinging, which is much improved this year with a solid 10%BB/17%K rate.

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley is currently on a three game tailspin, including getting trounced 11-2 last night by Syracuse.  Over their last 10 games, the ‘Pigs are 5-5 and now sit at 53-66 on the year, good for 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 11 games behind division leading Scranton. Lehigh Valley returns home for a weekend series against Pawtucket, before hitting the road again next week for three in Scranton and three in Pawtucket.  25 games remain in the season.

–Jesse Biddle got hit around last night, lasting just 3.2 innings and gave up 7 runs on 9 hits.Biddle’s ERA in AAA in now approaching 6.

–Since his promotion to AAA, OF Aaron Altherr leads the IL in RBI and is 2nd in Runs.

–OF Brian Bogusevic has hit in his last 10 games, hitting .405 during that time span.

–Newly acquired P Alec Asher is 2-1 with a 2.90ERA in his last 5 starts,4 of those being “quality” starts.

–Over the last two months, SP Jared Eickhoff is 7-1 with a 2.70ERA in his last 11 starts.  In his first week in the Phils organization, Eickhoff was named IL Pitcher of the Week, after allowing just one earned run in 14 innings, spanning two starts.

–INF Chase D’Arnaud is hitting .371 over his last 15 games.

–Since getting sent down from Philadelphia, Sean O’Sullivan has been consistently poor, with an ERA over 6 in his three outings.

–RP Colton Murray has been outstanding as of late, going 6-1 with a 1.35ERA since June 23rd, walking just 4 and striking out 21 in 26.2 innings of work.

‘Pigs League Leaders, Hitting: Chase D’Arnaud is 2nd in runs(68), 8th in triples (5) and 9th in SB (24); Brian Bogusevic is 7th in hits (116) and 8th in average (.294); Tyler Henson is 6th in doubles(26); Jordan Danks in 9th in doubles(3); Chris McGuinness is 3rd in walks(55)

Pitching:Cesar Jiminez in 6th in games (41); Seth Rosin is 7th in games (40); Adam Loewen is 9th in saves(10)

Transactions: Comings: David Buchanan (Philadelphia); INF Taylor Pastornicky (Texas Rangers); Dalier Hinojosa (Philadelphia); OF Jordan Danks (Philadelphia)

Goings: P Cesar Jiminez (Philadelphia); INF Devin Lohman (Reading); P Adam Loewen (Philadelphia)

Probables: FRI: Asher; SAT(1): Eickhoff; (2): TBD


Organizational Leaders–Pitching

Need 30IP to qualify; Stats from different organizations not included

Wins: Ricrado Pinto, 11; Aaron Nola 10; Jesse Biddle 9; Ben Lively 8; Colton Murray, 8; Anthony Vasquez 8;Brandon Leibrandt, 7; David Whitehead, 7; Ranfi Casimiro, 7

ERA: Jesen Therrien, 1.03; Joey DeNato, 1.49; Edubray Ramos, 1.51; Ryan O’Sullivan, 1.63; Will Morris, 1.91; Mitch Guellar, 1.93; Reinier Roibal, 1.93; Adam Loewen, 2.01; Yacksel Rios, 2.59; Stephen Schackleford, 2.68

Games: STephen Shackleford, 41; Adam Loewen, 40; Cesar Jiminez, 40; UlisesJoaquin, 39; Seth Rosin, 39; Edubray Ramos, 38;Joey DeNato, 37

Starts: Ben Lively, 21; Jesse Biddle, 21; Ricardo Pinto, 20;;David Whitehead 21;Zach Eflin, 18; Colin Kleven, 18; Brandon Leibrandt 17; Tyler Viza 17

Saves: Stephen SHackleford, 23; Ulises Joaquin, 14; Matt Hockenberry, 13; Adam Loewen, 10; Robert Tasin, 9; Edubray Ramos, 8; Dustin McGowan 8; Alexis Rivero, 8; Joey DeNato, 7

IP: Ben Lively, 123.1; Mark Leiter, 121.2; Ricardo Pinto, 121.2; David Whitehead, 116.2; Jesse Biddle 112; Tyler Viza 109.1; Ranfi Casimiro, 107.1; Anthony Vasquez, 106.2; Eineiry Garcia, 103; Brandon Leibrandt 101.1

K: Mark Leiter, 102; Ricardo Pinto, 91; Ben Lively, 90; Jesse Biddle; 81; David Whitehead, 78; Tyler Viza, 74; Adam Loewen 73; Colin Kleven, 72; Brandon Leibrandt, 67; Anthony Vasquez 66;

WHIP: Edubray Ramos, 0.82; Jesen Therrien, 0.91; Joey DeNato; 0.95; Calvin Rayburn, 0.97; Yackel Rios, 0.98; Brandon Leibrandt 1.02; Alexis Rivero, 1.02; Jason Zgardowski, 1.04; Matt Hockenberry, 1.05; Mitch Guellar; 1.05.

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

After losing five of six, Lehigh Valley began their season long 10 game road trip in Toledo with 3 straight wins and are now 22-13 over their last 35 games, good for 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 11 games behind division leading Scranton.  After one more in Toledo, the ‘Pigs continue on to Columbus for a weekend series.

News and Notes: Jerad Eickhoff was outstanding in his Lehigh Valley debut on Tuesday allowing just one earned run on six hits in six innings of work.  He walked a lone batter and struck out 7, picking up the win. Over the last 10 starts, Eickhoff is 6-1  with a 3.12ERA.

–SInce his promotion in late June, Aaron Altherr ranks 2nd in the IL in both runs scored and RBI’s and has now hit 7 AAA homers (13 overall this year). He also went 34 games in AAA before being held hitless in back to back games.

Chase D’Arnaud has become quite the offensive catalyst for Lehigh Valley.  Over the last 13 games, he has hit safely in 12 and is hitting .346 (18-52) with 17RS and 10SB.  He has been successful in his last 17 SB attempts

-Tyler Henson has hit in 10 of the last 11 games during which he has hit .426 with 11RS.

–RP Adam Loewen remains lights out having been unscored upon in his last 12 games, spanning 15.1IP. He has earned 7 saves during that time period and struck out 1.

–With his two homer night on Monday, Erik Kratz tied a team record.  It was the 26th time the ‘Pigs have had a player homer twice in one game.

–Newly acquired SP Alec Asher has made quality starts in each of his last 3 starts.

Jared Eickhoff, acquired in the Cole Hames deal is 6-1 with a 3.12ERA in his last 10 starts since June 12th, including his Lehigh Valley debut during which he gave up just a lone earned run in six innings of work.

–In his last 12 games combined between AA and AAA, RP COlton Murray has a 1.46ERA, 0.89WHIP, walked just 4 and struck out 20 in 24.2IP.

–Catcher Gabrial Lino is in quite the skid with the bat, going 1 for his last 24 and is hitting just .127 (7-55) over his last 15 games.  That said, his defense has remained very good.

‘Pigs League Leaders, Hitting:Chase D’Arnaud is 2nd in runs(65), 9th in SB(23), 4th in triples (4); Tyler Henson is 6th in doubles (26) and 9th in SB(23); Chris McGuiness is 2nd in walks (53)

Pitching:Cesar Jiminez is 4th in games(40); Adam Loewen is 8th in saves(10)

Transactions: Comings: P CHris Leroux (Reading); Colton Murray (Reading); OF Kelly Dugan (Reading); P Alec Asher (Texas); P Jerad Eickhoff (Texas)

Goings: P Severino Gonzalez (DL); David Buchanan (Philadelphia); Dailer Hinojosa (Philadelphia); Jordan Danks (Philadelphia); RP Juan Gutierrez (Released)

Probables: Thur: Vasquez; Fri: Biddle; Sat: Asher; Sun: Eickhoff


Around the System–OF

Plenty to talk about in the OF across the system.

Lehigh Valley

Aaron Altherr, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2009; .296/.364/.483 in 375 AB’s between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 12HR 58RBI; 15SB; 9%BB/19%K rates; For LV: .301/.354/.486 in 146AB’s; 6HR 29RBI; 7SB; 7%BB/25%K rates; .417 vs LHP; .264 vs RHP; .282 in July. 94 games in the OF without an error; 7 OF assists;  Altherr has had an excellent year and has become one of the most talked about prospects with a healthy debate on when he should be called up.  The transition to Lehigh Valley has been a smooth one with perhaps a higher K rate that should normalize with time. Fielding continues to be excellent.

Brian Bogusevic, 31, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .285/.346/.389 in 347AB’s: 6HR 38RBI; 19SB; 8%BB/19%K rates; .248 vs LHP; .302 vs RHP; .286 with RISP; .186 in July.  80 games in the OF with 1 error (.994); 4 OF assists; Bogusevic has had a very good year overall but has cooled considerably recently.

Kelly Dugan, 24, Phils 2nd round pick in 2009; .309/.389/.398 in 181AB’s between CLearwater, Reading and LV; 1HR 18RBI; 2SB; 8%BB/21%K rates; .209 vs LHP; .352 vs RHP; .394 with RISP.  41 games in the OF with 2 errors (.978); 1 OF assist; A good batting average but plenty to work on for Dugan if he is going to be a major leaguer, including staying on the field, hitting lefties and hitting for power.

Tyler Henson, 27, Re-signed as a free agent in 2015; .268/.304/.363 in 325AB’s; 1HR 45RBI; 22SB; 5%BB/21%K rates; .265 vs LHP; .269 vs RHP; .286 last 30 days; .333 with RISP; 38 games in the OF without an error; 1 OF assist; 36 games at 2B with 11 errors (.944).  Henson is an extremely valuable player because of his versatility and the fact he is one of the best clutch hitters in the minor leagues.


Destin Hood, 25, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .317/.328/.492 in 63 AB’s with Reading; 2HR 11RBI; 15%BB/20%K rates; 15 games in the OF without an error; 2 OF assists; Hood was signed in July after being released by Washington.  He was initially a 2nd round pick back in 2008 and has some talent, which he has shown in the early going with Reading.  He hit .294 in almost of full year of AAA last year (Syracuse) and is a nice depth guy to have here. Continue reading Around the System–OF

Cleaning House

Next to go is OF Ben Revere who was traded this afternoon to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Pitchers Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero.

Cordero, 23, is a big RHP that split time this year between High A and AA (New Hampshire) in the Blue Jays organization.  In 32 games combined, he was 0-1 with a 2.70ERA; 1.20 WHIP to go along with a 3.6/8.3 walk to strikeout ratio.  Cordero is known as a flame thrower who can consistently hit 100 on the radar gun, but is also someone prone to control issues.  He has been a reliever throughout his tenure in the Jays organization and profiles as a set up guy in years to come.  Cordero’s command has been markedly better this year, than in years past.

ALberto Tirado, just 20, was the Jays #17 prospect entering 2015 according to the Jays Journal.  .  Playing for High A Dunedin this year, Tirado is 4-3 with a 3.23ERA and 1.30 WHIP.  He allows a troubling 5.1 walks per 9 innings while striking out a hitter and inning(9.0/9). Once rated a top 10 prospect, Tirado had a difficult 2014 with both control issues and fatigue eating away his effectiveness. He has thrown better this year, but with continued command issues.

As an aside, I don’t quite get the call up of Jordan Danks to fill Revere’s roster spot.  While Danks has a spot on the 40 man roster, he has done nothing this year to warrant a call up.  He has been sub .250 all year with little to no run production and is among the IL leaders in strikeouts.  While really wanting to see Aaron Altherr, I understand the concept of wanting him to get more AAA AB’s.  Brian Bogusevic is really the guy that should be complaining.  He has been among league leaders in avg, runs, and stolen bases all year and plays very good defense.  In any event, maybe this will help solidify the #1 pick in the draft.


Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

After a four game winning streak, Lehigh Valley has now lost two in a row, but are still trending upward having won 18 of their last 28 games and have the best record in the IL since June 14th.  The roster shake up that will come with bodies needed in Philadelphia and likely coming from both Reading and Texas will make the roster look significantly different for the seasons’s final month than it does today.  On the year, the ‘Pigs are 47-58 and sit in 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 10.5 games behind division leading Scranton. The ‘Pigs are home against Norfolk this weekend before hitting the road early next week in Toledo.

News and Notes: The ‘Pigs lead the league in caught stealing %, having thrown out over 36% of would be base stealers.

–Russ Canzler, who has been on the DL with an oblique strain has begun baseball activities.

Since May 14th, SP Jason Berken ranks 3rd in the league in ERA (2.42).  This time span includes 9 starts and 4 relief appearances.

–RP Adam Loewen has retired 28 of the last 32 batters he has faced and has help the oppposition scoreless in his last 9 appearances, during which he earned 5 saves.  My hope is that Loewen sees the Phillies roster shortly.

–In his last 3 starts, SP Anthony Vasquez is 3-0 with an 0.82ERA, allowing just 2ER in 22IP. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

The End of an Era, Say Goodbye to Hollywood

With the names still trickling in, the Cole Hamels deal is all but final with the Phillies sending Hamels to the Texas Rangers.

The names that currently seem to be confirmed are Hamels and Jake Diekman going to Texas for Catcher Jorge Alfaro, OF Nick Williams, P Alec Asher, P Jerad Eickhoff,  and P Matt Harrison.

A quick look at who is coming: Jorge Alfaro is a 22 year old AA catcher who was hitting .253/.314/.432 with 5HR and 21RBI’s to go along with a 28% caught stealing rate before going down with a significant left ankle injury.  He has been out 6 weeks and could miss the remainder of the season.  Jerad Eickhoff, 25, was the Rangers 15th round pick in the 2011 draft.  He has pitched all season for AAA Round Rock, going 8-4 with a 4.47ERA in 17 starts, spanning 96.2 innings.  His WHIP sits at 1.30 and his BB/K ratio is a solid 3.1/9.0.

OF Nick WIlliams  was the Rangers 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft out of Ball High School in Galvaston, TX. Just 21, Williams has spent this season at AA Frisco, hitting .300/.357/.480 with 13HR 45RBI and 10SB.  He walks at an 8% ate, while striking out in 18% of his plate appearances.  23 year old Alec Asher was the Rangers 4th round pick in the 2012 draft and has made 12 starts for AAA Round Rock this season going 3-6 with a 4.73ERA in 64.2IP.  He sports a solid 2.6/7.5 walk to K ratio to go along with a 1.39WHIP.

29 year old LHP Matt Harrison is part of the deal and is owed in excess of $26M guaranteed over the next two seasons.  He has made a total of 9 major league starts over the last two seasons due to multiple injuries.  Harrison does have an abundance of talent if healthy, having won 18 games for the Rangers in the 2012 season, throwing in excess of 210 innings with an outstanding 3.29ERA.

21 year old RHP Jake Thompson who was originally a 2012 2nd round pick by the Tigers is also part of the deal.  Thompson is 6-6 with a 4.72ERA in 17 starts for AA Frisco this season having thrown 87.2 innings and a 3.1/8.0 walk to strikeout ratio.  Thompson currently has a rather high WHIP of 1.41, but had an excellent 2014 season where he went 10-5 with a 3.12 ERA in 25 starts between High A and AA.

Jake Thompson, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro were the #3,4 and 5 prospects in the Baseball America’s mid season organizational rankings for the Rangers system.  Alec Asher ranks as the #13 prospect in the Rangers system.

Look for more analysis of the trade tomorrow at