Monthly Archives: April 2009

A Closer Look: Matt German

This is a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while because I find Matt German’s case to be intriguing. For those who don’t know, he’s a 6-foot junkballer tearing up Reading after doing a pretty good job in Clearwater last year. I thought he deserved some press just based on the stats he’s posted thus far.

Continue reading A Closer Look: Matt German

A quick word on Jason Knapp

I’ve kind of been holding back, but I guess its time to just make a simple statement. He’s 18. He pitched in a Northeastern state, thus his workload/exposure was more limited than say, a kid from California. He’s a true 18 year old pitching in a league where the average prospect age is 19-20, with lots of 21-23 year olds. He’s gotten off to an awesome start. He has a big arm. He throws hard. Guys with 95-97 mph fastballs are supposed to be blowing away lousy/raw/unrefined hitters. But he’s made a total of FOUR starts. He’s thrown 24 innings in full season ball. There is absolutely ZERO upside in rushing him this season. The Phillies should continue to monitor his delivery and mechanics, as well as his innings. There’s no need to rush him to A+ this season. Tell me what the downside is in him staying in Lakewood all season, throwing 130-140 innings, striking out 160 and posting an ERA of 2.35, and then promoting him to Clearwater for next year? Here’s a test case in Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner, a first round pick, was considered raw and many felt he needed time to develop because his secondary stuff wasn’t all that refined. He blitzed the SAL last year as an 18 year old (essentially 1 month older than Knapp this season), striking out 164 in 141 IP and posting a 1.46 ERA. The Giants left him in A all season, resisting the urge to rush him, and his secondary stuff improved throughout the year. He’s now their top prospect and one of the best prospects in the game, and his development wasn’t stunted because the Giants let him dominate the level he was at.

Bottom line? There is absolutely zero reason to rush him. Lets let him dominate at Lakewood this season, keep an eye on his arm and his pitches thrown, and then move him to Clearwater next year. He’s not going to make it to Philly before 2011 at the absolute earliest, and at that point he’d be 20. Everyone take a deep breath.

Lakewood BlueClaws Weekly Report (4/21-4/27)

And your current 2009 SAL North Division Leaders…the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Wow, what a week. The BlueClaws won five and only lost one on the backs of tremendous starting pitching performances from promising prospects Jason Knapp, Tyler Cloyd and Jon Velasquez. After swapping games with the Lake County Captains in a rain-shortened two-game series, the ‘Claws swept the Hagerstown Suns in a home series and won the first game of a series at Delmarva.

Continue reading Lakewood BlueClaws Weekly Report (4/21-4/27)

Reading Phillies Weekly Report (04/20 – 04/26)

Hello everyone.  Here is the deal.  My 6 year old computer’s health has sadly taken a turn for the worst.  Lets just call it critical condition.  Anyway, this means that I am not going to be able to publish the Reading Phillies weekly report for this week (I might write something up in a few days time when I get my hands on a working computer).  So, I am very sorry for missing a week, but, like I said, hopefully I will be back up and running shortly.  Feel free to talk about all of the awesome Reading news this week like their 4-2 record, Stutes’ 6 innings of 2 hit ball, the return of the hefty lefty, Mike Zagirthski (yes, that can be taken out of context, but lets not), the continued domination of the buzzsaw, Matt German, Bastardo’s conversion to the starting rotation, and much, much more.  Quite a week, actually, I am sorry I missed the  report.  Thanks for your understanding and go Phils.

Ruiz Removed from ‘Pigs Lineup

After originally being scheduled to hit 7th and DH, Carlos Ruiz was removed from the ‘Pigs lineup.  Ruiz took batting practice and apparantly felt some discomfort in his oblique area, and was removed from the lineup minutes before the game.  He will be re-evauluated in Philly tomorrow.

In other news, Carlos Carrasco complained of both a blister as well as soreness in his elbow after his poor start yesterday.  Carrasco believes he will be able to make his next start.  Andy Tracy was also a late scratch from the lineup Monday night after developing back spasms.  He was replaced at first by Mike Cervenak.

‘Pigs Weekend Game Report

4/24/09– The ‘Pigs opened their homestand in a big way on Friday evening with a 13-3 drubbing of the visiting Red Sox.  After the Sox took an early 2-0 lead off starter Justin Lehr (3-0), a seven run third inning put the game away early for Lehigh Valley.  Mike Cervenak started it all with a long two run homer (2), which was followed later in the inning by a two run double by John Mayberry.  Jason Donald and Paul Hoover added RBI doubles in the inning as well.  Andy Tracy added a solo homer in the fourth (3).  A second RBI Double by John Mayberry scored two in the sixth, making it 11-3, and the ‘Pigs added yet another two runs in the seventh to give them their thirteen run total.  In a game where many broke out offensively, Donald (3-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs, RBI), Mayberry (3-4, 2 doubles, run, 4 RBI’s), and Pablo Ozuna (3-5, run, double) were the most notable.  Lehr put in a workmanlike effort on the hill, getting a quality start, going 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits.  He walked 2 and struck out 2. Continue reading ‘Pigs Weekend Game Report

Another Big Night for Phillies Starters

No, it wasn’t quite the banner day that last Tuesday was, but Saturday night was still an impressive night for 3 of the 4 minor league pitchers who took the bump in the Phillies organization.

Reading: Antonio Bastardo (5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
Clearwater: Yohan Flande (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K)
Lakewood: Tyler Cloyd (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K)

Moved back to the rotation from the bullpen, Bastardo responded with 5 frames of no hit ball before being lifted, presumably for reaching his pitch count.  The 23-year old Flande, meanwhile, ran his scoreless streak to 18 innings after jumping straight to the FSL from the GCL, and Cloyd turned in perhaps his finest outing as a professional in the BlueClaws’ 1-0 win.

Obviously this trio isn’t nearly the caliber of prospect as the Carrasco/Drabek/Knapp group, but they certainly have a future if they continue the path they’re on this year.  Now if only those bats would warm up a bit…

Lehigh Valley Report

Lehigh Valley went 3-3 this week, and are returning home with a record of 5-8, in 5th place in the Northern Division of the International League. Lehigh Valley actually has no one among the league leaders in any hitting category, not an easy feat.  I have a bit more to say looking at the pitching categories.  Justin Lehr is 10th in ERA (1.59) and 10th in WHIP (0.88); Gary Majewski is tied for 3rd in saves (2); Carlos Carrasco is 2nd in the  league in innings (19), is third in strikeouts (20), and is 4th in WHIP (0.79).  In a troubling category, Drew Carpenter is tied for 2nd in homers allowed (4).

Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report