Threshers vs. Lakeland; 4/18/2014

Early in the game, it looked like another tough night for the Threshers and their fans. The Flying Tigers chased starter Jeb Stefan in the fourth inning as they sprinted to a 7-0 lead. After 5 innings the Tigers were still up 7-2. But the Threshers kept applying pressure until they completed their comeback and tied the game and then took the lead in the 7th inning. The Tigers rallied to tie in eighth inning. The Tigers finally prevailed 9-8 in 13 innings. Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 4/18/2014

Jesse Biddle with the line of the night – 2R, 1ER, 2H, 1HR, 1BB, 11K in 7IP. He threw 64 of 94 pitches for strikes, though Mike Drago said he went 101 pitches. Not sure which is correct, and how many strikes he threw, but it was his best performance of the year, to be sure. Cesar Hernandez went 3-5 with a home run and two runs scored. Without him, and with Maikel Franco on the bench and Cameron Rupp on the shelf, that Lehigh Valley lineup is…well…Tyson Gillies is the interesting guy in that box score, if that tells you anything.

Clearwater battled back from a 7-0 deficit to take the lead in the seventh, only to lose the lead a half inning later and lose the game in the 13th inning. Brian Pointer hasn’t had a hit since he was pulled early on Tuesday, though he did draw a pair of walks Friday. J.P. Crawford, Carlos Tocci and Dylan Cozens wach with three hits for Lakewood. Cozens was a triple short of the cycle, and his home run was his first of the year. Zach Green, Andrew Pullin and Samuel Hiciano each with a hit and a walk in that contest, but all that offense wasn’t enough to take the game, as Ranfi Casimiro got shelled – 9R, 5ER, 7H, 1HR, 4BB and no Ks, as he couldn’t escape the third inning.

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Weekend Spotlight: 4/19 Reading v Harrisburg

The goal is to each weekend profile the most interesting matchup and give you a preview of the Phillies prospects involved and a glimpse at the opposing players. 

In a weekend devoid of premium matchups, Saturday’s matchup in Reading is probably the most interesting.  The Fighins are off to a hot start with an 8-4 record to begin the season.  On Friday night Jesse Biddle will take the mound for Reading.

Pitching Matchup:

Taking the mound for Reading will be RHP Severino Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is coming off what might be his worst start over the with 5IP 6H 3ER 3BB 4Ks against Richmond on the 18th.  There is a lot of mixed opinion on Severino, and still a very limited data set, so every view is worth a lot.  On the mound Severino will bring a 4-5 pitch mix of average pitches and a fastball that will sit 88-91 and touch 92.  He normally will display plus command a good feel for pitching on the mound that helps the arsenal play up. Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 4/17/2014

On a night where Lehigh Valley really could have used some innings from one of its starters, Greg Smith was equal to the task, throwing a seven inning CG shutout. The Pigs were shutout in the nightcap, managing just two hits. Cole Hamels threw a solid six innings in what looks to be his final rehab start. CLR couldn’t capitalize, as Lino Martinez walked four men in 1+ innings, one of whom Chris Burgess could not strand in the ninth, and the bats went (stayed?) cold.

Carlos Tocci put up three hits, two games after putting up four. All seven, and the one in the game in between, have been singles. Just sayin’. Dylan Cozens led the charge on defense, managing two fielding errors in right, thus encouraging four other Blueclaws to follow suit. You can’t teach that kind of leadership.

And finally, Willians Astudillo took three innings behind the plate after Gabriel Lino was pulled for unknown reasons after a Sac Fly RBI in the top of the sixth. I said yesterday in the comments that I’d take an empty average like Astudillo’s from a competent backstop. Seems like he’s got a chance to produce the former. We’ll see if he can deliver on the latter.

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Threshers and Hamels; 4/17/14

Cole Hamels made what is thought to be his last rehab start against the Lakeland Flying Tigers last night.  It is believed that he will be joining the Phillies on their upcoming 10 game western swing.  Hamels threw well for 7 innings.  He faced 23 batters and threw 81 pitches, 57 for strikes. Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 4/16/2014

Maikel Franco with his first two hit game of the year, as David Buchanan couldn’t keep men off the base paths. He allowed six hits and walked five over five innings, but managed to only allow three runs. That’s pretty impressive, I guess. Cameron Perkins only had one hit. Wonder if he’s feeling ok. Perci Garner was pulled after four innings and just 67 pitches. He wasn’t pitching poorly, either, though he wasn’t throwing a ton of strikes. Not sure what the story is there. Ken Giles allowed a hit and a walk and struck out two in his inning of work.

Brian Pointer was back in the lineup, while Aaron Altherr had his second triple in as many days, plus his first steal of the year. Miguel Nunez stuck out six in seven innings – he’s got a 16/1 K/BB ratio in 18 innings this year. Stellar. He’s a guy to watch this year, as he’ll need to be protected on the 40-man roster in December to avoid being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft. We’ll see if he earns a spot.

And for Lakewood, Gabriel Lino went deep, and Zach Green had two hits and a walk in support of a quality outing from Tyler Viza – he gave up six hits, walked none, and struck out three in seven shutout innings.

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Hot or Not

Week number two in the books and a look back at the time period of April 10-16…Some quick notes…Cameron Perkins keeps the conversation going strong with continued production…Lakewood prospects really struggling at the plate… The Reading bullpen had a very good week, led by Kenny Giles.  I would give him another half dozen or so appearances and then get him moved up….Anyone beginning to notice Cody Forsythe?…Tyson Gillies doing what he does.

Hot Hitters: Cameron Perkins (.524, 7R, HR, 7RBI, SB); Cesar Hernandez (.474, 5R); Willians Astudillo (.471, HR, 4RBI); Angelo Mora (.385); Albert Cartwright (.353), Aaron Altherr (.313, 4R, SB)

Not Hot Hitters: Andrew Pullin (.056); Anthony Phillips (.077); Dylan Cozens (.130); Justin Parr (.133); Zach Green (.136); Ronny Cedeno(.143); Tyson Gillies (.154); Maikel Franco (.167); Samuel Hiciano (.167); JP Crawford (.174)

Hot Starters: Miguel Nunez (2 starts, 13IP 15H 3ER 0BB 10K); Tyler Viza (2 starts, 12IP 11H 4ER 1BB 8K);  Luis Paulino (5IP 3H 1ER 0BB 3K) Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 4/15/2014

You guys were a stellar Aaron Altherr performance and a “curious early removal of Brian Pointer” away from getting another limerick.

Altherr was 3-5, a home run short of the cycle, and scored twice. Pointer had a hit to lead off the first, and was pulled for a pinch hitter in the third. No word from the club or from @BaseballBetsy, who was in attendance at Tampa, as to what happened there. One more note – Deivi Grullon made his FSL debut and had a single and an RBI in four trips to the plate.

Everyone else was rained out.

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Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

Lehigh Valley has gone 2-4 since last weeks report with their scheduled mired by rain, sleet, postponements, roster changes and doubleheaders.  They are currently 4-7 in the Northern Division of the International league, 3 games behind division leading Buffalo. The ‘Pigs remain in Syracuse for three games in two days Wednesday and Thursday, followed by four games in Scranton.

‘Pigs Prospects–Cameron Rupp had a well documented very quick start, during which he set a Lehigh Valley team record hitting 4 homers in as many games.  His bat settled down after that and he is now hitting .231/.394/.731 after 33 plate appearances before going down with an oblique injury on Sunday.  Rupp continues to be very good defensively and his loss will hurt the IronPigs.  No timetable for how long he will be out but I am sure the Phils will want to be careful with the oblique.

Kyle Simon made a very inauspicious AAA debut lasting just 0.1inning and giving up 4 runs on two hits in addition to three walks.  After a couple mediocre outings, Simon looked very good his last time out going three scoreless innings while striking out 4.  Simon’s overall stats: 4 games, 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA, 1.80WHIP. Continue reading