All posts by gregg

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley has finally begin playing somewhat consistent baseball after their awful start, having won 5 of their last 7 games on this road trip, including three straight and now sit at 15-26,  still in last place of the Northern Division of the International League, 8.5 games behind division leading Rochester.  The ‘Pigs return home for four games with Charlotte starting tomorrow and then hit the road once again for a four game set against Gwinnett next week.

News and Notes: SP David Buchanan suffered a significant ankle injury on Sunday and will miss the next 6-8 weeks after being carted off the field in his third start for Lehigh Valley, after being sent down from Philadelphia.  Anthony Vasquez will be taking Buchanan’s place in the rotation.

–Phillippe Aumont has made three consecutive “quality starts” for the first time in his career.  His next start comes Saturday. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Around the System–OF

A look at the performance of the systems outfielders through the first 5 weeks of the season.  Some disappointment, but significant areas to be excited about.  Two moves I would make before the end of the month: Aaron Altherr to Lehigh Valley and Carlos Tocci to Clearwater.

Lehigh Valley

Brian Bogusevic, 31, SIgned as a free agent in 2015; .333/.401/.439 in 132 AB’s; 2HR 13RBI; 4SB; 10%BB/14%K rates; .270 vs LHP; .358 vs. RHP; .367 in May. 29 games in the OF without an error; 3 OF assists; Bogusevic has been the best OF in Lehigh Valley this year, by a wide margin.

Jordan Danks, 28, SIgned as a free agent in 2015; .279/.331/.333 in 111AB’s; 1HR 15RBI; 1SB; 8%BB/20%K rates; .313 vs. LHP, .266 vs. RHP; .314 in last 10 games; 29 games in the OF without an error; 1 assist; Solid numbers thus far.

Cody Asche, 24, Phils 4th round pick in 2011; .269/.346/.269 in 26AB’s; 0HR 2RBI; 5 games in the OF with 1 error; Too early for comment.

Domonic Brown, 27, Phils 20th round pick in 2006; .250/.298/.304 in 112AB’s; 0HR 14RBI; 5SB; 3%bb/14%k rates; .314 vs. LHP; .221 vs. RHP; .279 in last 10 games. 24 games in the OF with 2 errors (.983); 1 OF assist.  Brown in starting to play a bit better, but a .304 SLG%?  Come on.

Reading

Aaron Altherr, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2009; .279/.356/.500 in 104 AB’s; 4HR 20RBI; 4SB; 11%BB/14%K rates; .325 in last 10 games. 25 games in the OF without an error; 3 OF assists; Altherr has been consistent and significantly improved his BB/K rates, an issue that has plagued him in the past.  I would like to see him in Lehigh Valley come June. Continue reading Around the System–OF

Around the System–Corner INF

The “Around the System” series is back as we start with corner infielders.  Once or twice a week we will take a look at the players manning certain positions and rotate those positions throughout the year.

Lehigh Valley

Maikel Franco, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2009; .350/.372/.540 in 137 AB’s; 4HR 23RBI; 4%BB/16%K rates; .372 vs. LHP; .340 vs. RHP; .317 with RISP; .415 in last 10 games.  29 games at 3B with 2 errors (.975); 2.66 R/F.  Cant get much better than this.

Chris McGuinness, 27, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .250/.355/.313 in 80 AB’s; 0HR 7RBI; 14%BB/12%K rates; .273 vs. LHP; .241 vs. RHP; .143 with RISP; .226 in last 10 games. 18 games at 1B with 1 error (.993); 8.44 R/F;  Surprisingly little power thus far but with a high contact rate, things should improve.

Russ Canzler, 29, Re-Signed as a free agent in 2015; .307/.383/.416 in 101 AB’s; 1HR 6RBI; 11%BB/22%K rates; .276 vs. LHP, .319 vs. RHP; .208 with RISP; 15 games at 1B with 2 errors (.984); 3 games at 3B without an error; 2 games in the OF without an error; Canzler continues to be a multi dimensional, AAAA, player who can hit

Reading

Brock Stassi, 25, Phils 33rd round pick in 2011; .319/.390/.473 in 91 AB’s; 3HR 25RBI; 12%BB/12%K rates; .261 vs. LHP; .323 vs. RHP; .378 with RISP. 24 games at 1B without an error; 7.38 R/F.  Stassi has been one of, if not the best clutch hitter in the organization through the first month of the season. Continue reading Around the System–Corner INF

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley have finally begun playing a bit better, having gone 4-4 over their last 8 games, but still sit in last place of the Northern Division of the International League, at a woeful 10-24 already 10 games behind division leading Pawtucket.  The ‘Pigs embark on a 7 game road trip starting Thursday evening in Rochester, continuing against the RedWings over the weekend, before visiting Syracuse early next week.

‘News and Notes: Cody Asche had 5 plate appearances in his first game back at AAA and Columbus couldn’t get him out.  He went 2-2, with 3 walks and a run scored and an uneventful night in LF.

–OF Brian Bogusevic was named International League Batter of the Week on Monday.  While playing a very good CF, Bogusevic has hit safely in 26 of his last 28 games, hitting .357 with 2HR 11RBI, 20RS and 4SB during that time frame.

–Lehigh Valley is 7-8 is games Chase D’Arnaud starts and 3-16 when he doesn’t start.

Phillippe Aumont earned his first “quality start”  since 2010 with a six inning, 0ER performance last Friday.  He followed that up with an eye opening seven inning, 0ER, 0BB outing yesterday. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Tommy Joseph to the DL with a Concussion

After missing significant time during the last two seasons with injuries, one being a serious concussion, Lehigh Valley catcher Tommy Joseph has landed back on the DL with another concussion.  Joseph, who was acquired in 2012 in the Hunter Pence deal was hitting just .123 in 73 AB’s with Lehigh Valley this season after accruing just 78 AB’s last season with Reading.  I would think there is significant concern about his career at this stage.  Catcher Logan Moore has been called up from Reading to take Joseph’s place on the ‘Pigs roster.

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

With their 12-1 win on Tuesday, the ‘Pigs snapped a four game losing streak, and continued on a roll Wednesday with a 5-3 victory and now sit at 8-20 and continue in last place of the Northern Division of the International League, 9.5  games behind division leading Pawtucket.  After a much needed off day on Thursday, Lehigh Valley returns home for three games over the weekend against Gwinnett followed by three more at home against Columbus.

News and Notes: With their 19 hits on Tuesday evening against Louisville, the ‘Pigs set a new franchise high for hits in a game.  Lehigh Valley entered Tuesdays game having hit just 5HR all year, but knocked three homers during Tuesday evening.

Brian Bogusevic continues to swing a hot bat, and has hit in the last 10 consecutive games hitting .425 over that time period (17-40, 10R, 2HR 7RBI).  He has also hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games, hitting .371 over that span (33-89)

Jason Berken threw well enough to pick up one of the rare wins for Lehigh Valley starters on Tuesday, allowing just a lone run in 5IP. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Movin on Up?

We are approaching a month into the minor league season, so I figured I would throw a quick list out there on those who have put the early season stats up to be considered promotion worthy.  That said, it is generally too early to promote based on performance.  Look for that to occur after another 3-4 weeks.  Some names too get the discussion going:

Carlos Tocci, OF, Lakewood-In his third season in Lakewood, he would be one of those most likely to move up quickly this year and he has played like he deserves to.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Lakewood- 23 year old college draftee has begun hitting like he doesn’t belong…which is a good thing!

Matt Hockenberry, RP,Lakewood–At 24, and having finished his college career, Hockenberry is doing what he should at this level. I expect him in Clearwater come June.

Maikel Franco, 3B, Lehigh Valley–Only a matter of time, most likely late May to the Phils.

Jesse Biddle, P, Reading–Biddle has been largely effective and bouncing back well from his disastrous 2014.  I would expect a June call to Lehigh Valley if he stays consistent.

Aaron Nola, P, Reading–Nola could very well end up in Philly come September if he continues pitching in the manner he has.

Brandon Leibrandt, P, Clearwater–Has been outstanding for Clearwater early on, showing both command and the “know how” you want in a young pitcher.

Note: This short list is far from all encompassing as there are several who have been outstanding that have not been included (i.e. Eflin as prime example).  It is my belief that there are many who the Phils will simply want to spend most of the current year at their level for a variety of reasons.

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

After starting 3-4, the ‘Pigs have lost 12 of their last 16 games and are in last place of the Northern Division of the International League, already 8 games behind division leading Buffalo.  Lehigh Valley has been a very difficult team to watch, as the combination of very poor fielding and little control from the pitching staff have led to the teams 6-16 start.  The ‘Pigs hit the road for a three game weekend series in Indianapolis, followed by three games in Louisville next Monday thru Wednesday.

News and Notes: With his 9 strikeouts on Tuesday evening, Paul Clemens set a Lehigh Valley season high.  Unfortunately, he also allowed 5 walks and threw 90 pitches in 4 innings of work.

–The ‘Pigs have gone 121.2 innings without a home run, and have hit only 4 all season, last in the IL. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

An ugly week for Lehigh Valley who lost five in a row before breaking their losing streak with a win on Tuesday evening, followed by yet another loss on Wednesday to Scranton. The ‘Pigs return home to face Buffalo in a four game series over the weekend followed by four against Durham at home next Monday thru Thursday.  Lehigh Valley is currently 4-10 and in 6th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 5.5 games behind division leading Buffalo.

News and Notes: Maikel Franco had his 9 game hitting streak snapped with an 0-5 on Monday night.  He followed that up with a multi hit game in Tuesday.

–INF RUss Canzler has hit in 8 of his last 9 games, hitting .429 over that period, scoring 7 runs.

–Brian Bogusevic already has 3 OF assists, leading the team in that category.

–Severino Gonzalez became the first Lehigh Valley pitcher to record a victory in Game 13, Tuesday night.

–Brian Bogusevic has hit safely in 9 consecutive games.

–OF Domonic Brown has made five rehab appearances with Lehigh Valley and is 3-20.

‘Pigs prospects: Severino Gonzalez has looked fairly strong in his first three AAA starts, two of them being quality starts.  He is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.25 WHIP and has been able to consistently compete moving quickly through the system.  In his last outing on Tuesday, Gonzalez got the win, giving up just a lone run on 6 hits.  He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 3.

Adam Morgan has made two fairly mediocre starts, followed by a nice start Wednesday during which he gave up 3 earned in 7 efficient innings of work, without yielding a walk. Morgan, who missed all of last season following surgery is trying to build himself back up and this last start should give him confidence to continue to grow.  On the year, Morgan is 0-2 with a 4.50ERA and a 1.44WHIP.  That said, he has yielded just 4 walks in 16 innings of work, often a recipe for success.

Next week: Franco, Murray, Joseph

‘Pigs League Leaders: Maikel Franco is 2nd in AB’s(58), 4th in slg (.569)leads the league in hits(20),leads the league in doubles(8), and is 5th in RBI’s (9); Russ Canzler is 8th in hits(16) and 10th in avg. (.356); Brian Bogusevic is 6th in SB(4).  Phillippe Aumont is 8th in ERA (1.50) and is 6th in walks allowed (8); Jason Berken has the 2nd worst ERA (8.74); Severino Gonzalez is 5th in IP (17.2); Adam Loewen has allowed the 3rd most walks (10)

Probables: Thur: Clemens; Fri: Rodriguez; Sat: Billingsley

Transactions: On Wednesday, RP Hector Neris was called up to Philadelphia.

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

The weekly report will be back as a regular Wednesday/Thursday feature throughout the year.  If there is anything additional that you all are looking for beyond what I am reporting, always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!

The first week of the ‘Pigs season has had some good, some bad and some ugly after a 3-4 week which included multiple extra inning affairs, one ending with two position players on the mound.  The week ended on the upswing with consecutive victories over Syracuse, including an 8-5 win in this mornings game.  A week in, Lehigh Valley is in 3rd place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2 games behind division leading Pawtucket.  Lehigh Valley hits the road for the first time this year with their next four games in Buffalo followed by three in Scranton.

News and Notes: OF Jordan Danks has hit safely in his first five games to start the year.

–The average age of the Lehigh Valley opening day roster is just under 27.

–Pitchers Ethan Martin and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez have both started the season on the DL with right shoulder inflammation

–There has been speculation about Phillippe Aumont moving into the role of a starter or long reliever after several years of mediocrity or worse out of the bullpen.

–Its scary that–Only three players on the Lehigh Valley 25 man roster were originally drafted by the Phils (Morgan, Knigge, Murray)

‘Pigs Prospects: Each week we will take a deeper dive into the details of three or four players.  Those players will alternate weekly among those most likely to see time with the big club as true prospects.  For this week:

Maikel Franco–The low light of the week for Franco was his one game benching after his admiration for a ball he hit off the wall on Saturday, a shot he turned into a single with his slow trot for 90 feet down the first base line, presumably thinking he had hit a HR.  That said, Franco has come out of the gate stronger than in years passed and is hitting .296 with 1HR and 7RBI through the first week of the season.  He has been solid at third and noticeably more patient at the plate, walking several times.

Tommy Joseph–A very slow start for Joseph, who is trying to bounce back from a lost year last year.  Through 18 AB’s, Joseph is hitting .167 and albeit with a very small sample size, has struck out in 39% of his plate appearances, without walking.  Joseph has thrown out 2 of the 6 runners attempting to steal on him thus far.

Colton Murray has looked very good with three scoreless outings, spanning 5.1 innings to start the season.  Control has been a bit of an issue as he has yielded walks in each of his three appearances and that will catch up to him in time.  Murray has yielded just 2 hits and struck out 3 while earning his first AAA save in his 3rd appearance.

Next week: Severino Gonzalez and Adam Morgan

Transactions: Sean O’Sullivan was called up to Philadelphia last Sunday.  RP Cesar Jiminez was outrighted to Lehigh Valley in the corresponding roster move.  On Monday, largely because of an overworked bullpen, RP Mike Nesseth was promoted to Lehigh Valley and Phllippe Aumont was (at least on paper) sent to Reading.  Aumont in actuality remained in Allentown and was unavailable to pitch for several days because of an extended four inning outing. Prior to the game on Wednesday, Nesseth was returned to Reading and Aumont was “promoted” back to Lehigh Valley.

‘Pigs League Leaders:  This feature will begin next week after a sufficient statistical sample from around the league is gained.

Probables: Thur: S. Gonzalez; Fri: Morgan; Sat: Clemens; Sun: Rodriguez