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Lehigh Valley Report

Decimated by both injury and roster roulette, Lehigh Valley has lost 9 of their last 11 games and are 28-33 since owning the best record in minor league baseball at 41-19.  A disappointing weekend at home against Charlotte, during which they lost 3 of 4 and are now 69-52 and 8 games back of division leading Scranton.  In the race for a wild card spot, the ‘Pigs have fallen 0.5 game behind Rochester.  After a much needed day off tomorrow, Lehigh Valley travels to Norfolk for three games then to CHarlotte for three over next weekend. The ‘Pigs current roster contains just 10 players who were on the opening day roster.

Probables: Tues: Eshelman, Wed: Lively, Thur: Taveras, Fri: Thompson, Sat: Leibrandt

News and Notes: On Sunday, Scott Kingery extended his current hitting streak to 12 games, during which time he is hitting .314. Kingery has hit in 28 of his last 29 games dating back a month.

JP Crawford has now hit in 9 straight games, during which he is hitting .389.  Since July 1st, Crawford has been on base 35 out of 40 games and has hit .400, while hitting 11HR, tied for the IL lead. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report

Lehigh Valley Report

Buffalo took two of three from Lehigh Valley over the weekend, dropping the ‘Pigs record to 65-43 on the season.  The ‘Pigs remain in second place of the Northern Division of the International League, 3.5 games behind division leading Scranton with a month remaining in the season.  Lehigh Valley is 2.5 games ahead of Rochester for the wild card spot.  This week, the ‘Pigs play three in Rochester followed by three if Buffalo.

News and Notes: Scott Kingery had a four hit night on Saturday, tying his career high. Kingery now has a 16 game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .314.  The hitting streak is the longest for any Lehigh Valley player this season. Kingery has also reached base in 23 consecutive games, tied for the Lehigh Valley season high.

On Saturday, Ricardo Pinto extended his scoreless streak to 17IP since moving to the bullpen (major league activity not included).  Pinto has been perfect in stranding inherited runners as well (13) Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report

Lehigh Valley Report

Two straight late inning, come from behind wins for Lehigh Valley, who have now won three straight games to start their seven game road trip through the South.  The ‘Pigs conclude their series with Gwinnett tonight, before heading to Durham for a four game series against the Bulls over the weekend.  Currently sitting at 59-37, the ‘Pigs are 1.5 games behind division leading Scranton and hold a 4.5 game lead over Rochester in the wildcard standings.

News and Notes: Tom Eshelman has made 12 AAA starts and 10 of them have been “quality starts”.  Since April 18th, Eshelman is a combined 10-2 with a 2.27ERA in 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley with a walk rate of just 1.1 per 9 IP.

JP Crawford has now homered in 6 of his last 14 games (48AB) and has more homers than he did in all of 2016.  Crawford has reached base on 15 of his 16 games in July, hitting .286 over that time period.

–After walking just 4 times in his first 50 games, C Jorge Alfaro has walked 12 times in the last 25 games.  That said, his average is down under .250.  Over the last 18 games, Alfaro is hitting just .165.

Dylan Cozens is hitting .295 at Coca Cola Park and .180 on the road.

Rhys Hoskins has hit his first extended rough patch of the season, hitting just .160 (8-50) thus far in July.

2B Scott Kingery is hitting a combined .320 in his last 30 games (AA/AAA).  Kingery is the only player in all of baseball with 20HR and 20SB already this season.

–Over his last 10 starts (AA/AAA), P Brandon Leibrandt is a combined 6-1 with a 1.82ERA.  He has won all of his AAA starts and 6 striaght starts combining AA and AAA.

–With his save on Tuesday night, Pedro Beato has taken over the record for saves in a single season for LV, with his 27th, passing Scott Mathieson.  Beato is unscored upon in his last 9 games, which have included 5SV.

–RP Colton Murray is really struggling having been scored upon in 4 of his last 5 outings (12.70ERA) without recording a strikeout.

–Since May 25th, RP Yacksel Rios is a combined 0-0 with a 1.17ERA and a SV in 9G between Reading and Lehigh Valley

–After an outstanding start to the season, RP Pat Venditte has an ERA over 6 in his last 21 appearances.

Probables: Wed: Eflin, Thur: Thompson, Fri: Leibrandt; Sat: Eshelman

‘Pigs leaders: Hitting, Dylan Cozens is 5th in AB(340),10th in SLG(.479), is 4th in RBI(59), leads the league homers (22), strikeouts (125) and is 7th in runs(55)Rhys Hoskins leads the league in runs (63),RBI(68), SLG(.550), is 5th in BB(48),  7th in OBP(.376)is 3rd in HR(20),  7th in hits (92); JP Crawford is 7th in triples (4) and is 2nd in BB(52); Nick Williams is 7th in HR (15) and 5th in SLG (.511); ; Jorge Alfaro is 9th in strikeouts(96); Pitching: Pat Venditte is 7th in wins(8), 7th in games (35); Jake Thompson leads the league in losses (11); Tom Eshelman is 3rd in ERA (2.14) and leads the league in WHIP (0.95); Pedro Beato leads the league in games(41), saves(27); Mark Appel is 2nd in walks (53)

Transactions: Comings: Harold Martinez (from Reading); P Mark Leiter (from Philadelphia), OF Herlis Rodriguez (from Reading), P Zach Eflin (activated from the DL), P Ben Lively (from Philadelphia), P Yacksel Rios (from Reading); Goings: P Mark Peterson (Released), P Mark Appel (Placed on DL), INF Jorge Flores (to Reading), OF Nick Williams (promoted to Philadelphia)

Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lower Levels

A look around the lower levels with plenty to talk about in Clearwater and Lakewood; Too early for any commentary on Williamsport or GCL performances.


Edgar Garcia, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 19G (8 starts); 2-3 with a 4.03ERA; 51.1IP 55H 17BB 56K; .271 opp avg; 1.40WHIP; 3.0BB/9.8K per 9; .310 vs LHH, .244 vs RHH, .298 opp avg last 30 days; Garcia moved into the Clearwater rotation relatively recently and the results have been ok, his stuff is a bit better than ok.

Franklyn Kilome, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 14 starts; 4-3 with a 2.61ERA; 69IP 65H 26BB 62K; .257 opp avg; 1.32WHIP; 3.4BB/8.1K per 9; .255 vs LHH, .259 vs RHH, .253 opp avg last 30 days; Very Good results for Kilome but not overwhelming; Has been consistent all season; Needs to improve his walk rate a bit.

JoJo Romero, 20, Phils 4th round pick in 2016; 14 starts between CLearwater and Lakewood; 5-2 with a 1.95ERA; 83IP 64H 23BB 89K; 2.5BB/9.7K per 9; .161 vs LHH, .254 vs RHH; .179 opp avg with RISP; Romero has been extremely impressive this year throwing consistently well for Lakewood before his promotion last week to Clearwater.  He projects as a #3 or 4 major league starter at this rate.

Ranger Suarez, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2011; 14 starts, all for Lakewood; 6-2 with a 1.59ERA; 85IP 52H 24BB 90K; .177 opp avg; 0.89WHIP; 2.5BB/9.5K per 9; .080 vs LHH, .218 vs RHH; .109 with RISP; 1.05 ERA since June 1; Suarez received his well deserved promotion this week and has yet to make a start for Clearwater; The numbers simply cant get much better.

Jose Taveras, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 14 starts, 5-4 with a 2.45ERA; 88IP 74H 22BB 77K; .227 opp avg; 1.09WHIP; 2.3BB/7.9K per 9; .193 vs LHH, .251 vs RHH, .244 opp avg last 30 days; Taveras has been excellent all season; I would love to see him get a half dozen starts for Reading before the year is out.

Jacob Waguespack, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 21 games, 7 starts; 5-3 with a 2.53ERA; 53.1IP 47H 19BB 57K; 3.2BB/9.6K per 9; .258 vs LHH, .223 vs RHH; .239 opp avg last 30 days; As a starter: 4-1 with a 1.97ERA; .231 opp avg; 1.06WHIP; Waguespack’s transition into the rotation has been largely successful.  Still needs to be stretched out a bit.


Bailey Falter, 20, Phils 5th round pick in 2015; 14 starts, 4-5 with a 3.24ERA; 75IP 80H 13BB 63K; .276 opp avg; 1.24WHIP; 1.6BB/7.6K per 9; .315 vs LH, .245 vs RHH, .300 opp avg last 30 days; Falter has thrown well this year with an occasional expected bump along the way. Continue reading Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lower Levels

Around the System–Starting Pitching, Lehigh Valley and Reading

Lehigh Valley

Mark Appel, 25, Acquired from Astros in 2015; 16 starts; 5-4 with a 4.87ERA; 81.1IP 88H 48BB 60K; 9HR allowed; .278 opp avg; 1.67WHIP; 5.3BB/6.6K per 9; .321 vs LHH, .246 vs RHH, .288 opp avg last 30 days; 2.50 ERA in 6 June starts; Appel seems to be showing signs of improvement however, put simply, needs to throw strikes.  Even in June, his walk rate was 5.2 per 9, which indicates he pitched out of many a jam, which ultimately will backfire.

Tom Eshelman, 23 Acquired from Astros in 2015; 16 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-2 with a 2.27ERA; 107IP 91H 14BB 74K; 11HR allowed; 1.2BB/6.2K per 9; .234 opp avg; 0.98WHIP; For Lehigh Valley: 11 starts, 7-2 with a 1.96ERA; .225 opp avg; 0.94WHIP; 1.0BB/6.0K per 9; Eshelman has been outstanding all year, earning a AAA all star berth, in which he will be the starting pitcher.  Far from overpowering, Eshelman has pinpoint command and is a pleasure to work behind as he works very quickly.

Brandon Leibrandt, 24, Phils 6th round pick in 2014; 15 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 7-2 with a 3.23ERA; 83.2IP 85H 28BB 62K; .273 opp avg; 1.35WHIP; 5HR allowed;3.0BB/6.6K per 9;  5-1 with a 2.44ERA in last 10 starts; 2 starts for Lehigh Valley: 1-0 with 2.45ERA.  Leibrandt has had a very good year, throwing well consistently. Spent a good portion of 2016 hurt, so the Phils will be watching his innings moving forward I suspect.

Jake Thompson, 23, Acquired from Texas in 2015; 15 starts, 3-9 with a 5.97ERA; 75.1IP 97H 29BB 62K; 6HR allowed; 3.5BB/7.4K per 9; .321 opp avg; 1.67WHIP; .305 vs LHH; .333 vs RHH; .345 opp avg last 30 days; 2017 has been an unmitigated disaster for Thompson.  While watching several of his AAA rotation partners getting called to Philly and having a modicum of success (or at least not all out failure), Thompson has basically been throwing batting practice all season.  After an outstanding 2016, I’m curious as to whether this is a health issue or the tinkering of his mechanics

Cesar Ramos, 33, Signed as a free agent in 2017; 21 games (9 starts); 4-3 with a 3.86ERA; 58.1IP 55H 18BB 41K; 2.8BB/6.3K per 9; .231 vs LHH, .260 vs RHH, .327 opp avg last 30 days; In his 9 starts, Ramos is 0-3 with a 5.75ERA; As a reliever, Ramos is 4-0 with an 0.81ERA; Ramos has been the sacrificial lamb when the ‘Pigs need a starter which has been fairly often due to injuries and callups.  The numbers speak for themselves…he is most effective in the ‘pen, as a long reliever.

DL: Zach Eflin.


Drew Anderson, 23, Phils 21st round pick in 2012; 16 starts; 5-3 with a 3.56ERA; 83.1IP 67H 27BB 71K; 10HR allowed;.216 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 2.9BB/7.7K per 9; .212 vs LHH; .221 vs RHH, .178 opp avg last 30 days; Anderson is one of those pitchers you watch who you think could be a major league pitcher; He has a mound presence and knows how to pitch with it showing in his results; Previous injury issues will have the Phils closely monitoring innings in the second half of the season.

Tommy Bergjans, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2016; 4 starts, 1-1 with a 6.75ERA; 17.1IP 16H 6BB 14K; 3.1BB/7.3K per 9; .246 opp avg; 1.27WHIP; .200 vs LHH, .300 vs RHH; Bergjans moved into the Reading rotation in June after spending the first two months of the season in Extended Spring Training.  He has pitched better than his ERA indicates but after watching him a couple of times, he probably maxes out as a AA arm.

Cole Irvin, 23, Phils 5th round pick in 2016; 14 starts between CLearwater and Reading; 6-6 with a 2.70ERA; 80IP 85H 17BB 60K; 1.9BB/6.8K per 9; .273 opp avg; 1.28 WHIP; 4HR allowed; Irvin has thrown very well this year, transitioning to Reading recently with two effective starts.  After holding the opposition to a .197 average last year, Irvin has been more hittable this season but shown a good deal of savvy on the mound.

John Richy, 24, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 11 games (6 starts) between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 1-2 with a 6.29ERA; 34.1IP 52H 7BB 22K; .354 opp avg; 1.72 WHIP; 1.8BB/5.8K per 9; Richy was injured to start the season and has been consistently poor since being activated from the DL.

Tyler Viza, 22, Phils 32nd round pick in 2013;14 starts, 6-4 with a 5.45ERA; 71IP 78H 23BB 50K; .275 opp avg; 1.42WHIP; 2.9BB/6.3K per 9; .295 vs LHH, .255 vs RHH, .247 opp avg last 30 days; Viza has had an ERA over 5 each month of the season thus far after a good 2016.  His last start was an excellent start in beginning to turn things around.

DL: Miguel Nunez, Mario Sanchez; Suspended: Eineiry Garcia


Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley

Jorge Alfaro, 24, Acquired from Texas in 2015; .256/.305/.378; 5HR 32RBI; 4%BB/30%K; .284 vs LHP; .240 vs RHP; .181 in June; .232 with RISP; 56 games caught with 1 error (.996); 7 passed balls; 11/35 CS(31%); Alfaro started the season on fire however is hitting just .223 since May 1st.  His defense is improved and still has the gun for an arm but the recent lack of production offensively with the talent around him is troublesome.

Logan Moore, 26, Phils 9th round pick in 2011; .280/.347/.439 in 82AB; 3HR 17RBI; 11%BB/32%K; .133 vs LHP; .313 vs RHP; .296 in June; 23 games caught with 3 errors (.981); 5/17 CS (28%); Moore continues to do his very competent job at what he is asked to do as a backup in AAA.  Good receiver, hitting is improved.


Chace Numata, 24, Phils 14th round pick in 2010; .249/.312/.350 in 197AB; 3HR 18RBI; 8%BB/11%K; .200 vs LHP; .276 vs RHP; .281 in June; 4 errors in 53 games caught (.981); 4 passed balls; 25/50 CS (50%); Continued progression for Numata, who while only 24, seems to have been in the organization forever; Becoming more competent with the bat and has been very good behind the plate this season.

Nick Rickles, 27, Acquired from Washington in 2017; .326/.347/.630 in 46AB since joining Reading; 3HR 8RBI; 4%BB/13%K; .211 vs LHP; .344 vs RHP; 12 games caught with 1 error and 1 passed ball; 8/17 CS(47%); Rickles is a clear upgrade for Reading and has been playing well since his acquisition in May. Continue reading Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley Report

With their 5-4 loss in ten innings last night, the ‘Pigs have lost three straight games and four of their last five games.  Still at 49-28, Lehigh Valley sits in first place of the Northern DIvision of the International League, holding a 2.5 game lead.  The ‘Pigs continue home through next Monday with three more against Pawtucket, followed by four games against Rochester.  The ‘Pigs have not lost more than four in a row all season.

Probables: Tues: Ramos; Wed: Eshleman; Thur: Appel; Fri: Thompson; Sat: Leibrandt

News and Notes:  Last night, Rhys Hoskins extended his on base streak to 8 games, during which he has hit .414.  Also on June 19th, Hoskins became the only player in Lehigh Valley history to hit multiple home runs in 3 games.

–Since starting the season hitting .136, Dylan Cozens is hitting .286 since with 13HR and 35RBI.

–Over his last 39 games, Nick WIlliams is hitting .303 with 13HR and 39RBI

–Over their last 26 home games, Lehigh Valley have won 21 of them and have not lost a home series all season (11 series) Continue reading Lehigh Valley Report

Around the System–Corner Infield

A second look at corner infielders.

Lehigh Valley

Hector Gomez, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2017; .252/.282/.490 in 147AB; 7 HR 22 RBI; 4%BB/14%K; .222 vs LHP; .265 vs RHP; .315 last 30 days; 41 games at 3B with 7 errors (.921); Gomez has become the regular 3B with the departure of Taylor Featherston and has done a real nice job since receiving more regular playing time.

Rhys Hoskins, 24, Phils 5th round pick in 2014; .294/.389/.593; 17HR 55RBI; 14%BB/15%K; .272 vs LHP; .305 vs RHP; .265 last 30 days; 68 games at 1B with 2 errors (.996); Hoskins excellent first half has been well documented; He has struggled just a bit of late but has hit for power and average consistently.  Excellent BB/K rate for a power hitter.


Kyle Martin, 24, Phils 4th round pick in 2015; .187/.287/.397; 13HR 35RBI in 214 AB; 1SB; 11%BB/29%K; .160 vs LHP; .203 vs RHP; .191 last 30 days; 58 games at 1B with 4 errors (.992); It has been pretty much a disastrous transition to AA for Martin, albeit while showing some power.

Harold Martinez, 27, Phils 2nd round pick in 2011; .239/.329/.358 in 67AB; 1HR 4RBI; 12%BB/22%K; .276 vs LHP; .211 vs RHP; 11 games at 1B with 2 errors (.976); 3 games at 3B with 1 error; Martinez has spent a good deal of time on the DL thus far this season and has produced little while healthy. Continue reading Around the System–Corner Infield

Lehigh Valley Report

Major league promotions and injuries on their own roster have led to the ‘Pigs struggling as of late, having now lost three straight games and having a losing record in June thus far at 7-8.  With 8 losses, the ‘Pigs have already surpassed their number of losses the entire month of May.  Still, Lehigh Valley remains in first place in the Northern Division of the International League sitting at 43-24, 3.5 games ahead of second place Scranton.  The ‘Pigs continue at home for two more this weekend against Syracuse before hitting the road again next week for seven games against Pawtucket and Rochester.

Probables: Sat: Eshelman; Sun: Leiter; Mon: Appel; Tues: Thompson; Wed: Ramos

News and Notes: The 17 runs allowed on Friday night by Lehigh Valley was a single game record.  Additionally, the 10 runs allowed in the 9th last night (Beato and Therrien) set a franchise record as well.

–On Friday night Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens homered in the same game for the 6th time this season.  The ‘Pigs are on pace for 159HR which would smash the former record of 122.

Tom Eshelman has 3 straight quality starts and 6 in 7 starts to start his AAA career.  Since April 18th, Eshelman is a combined 7-1 with a 1.90ERA in 10 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley, with a WHIP of 0.83.

–A modest 5 game winning streak for Jorge Alfaro who has been really struggling as of late.

–Over the last 20 games, Dylan Cozens is hitting .307 with 3HR 16RBI and 7BB.

Cam Perkins is hitting .349 with a .440 OBP over his last 25 games.

–Since his move to the bullpen, Ricardo Pinto has not yet allowed an ER spanning 5 games and 10.1IP.  He has stranded all 8 inherited runners.

Hector Gomez has made the most of his increased playing time since Taylor Featherston’s departure.  Over the last 26 games, Gomez is hitting .347 with 6HR and 15RBI.

–The troubles of Jake Thompson are continuing and escalating.  Is his last 5 starts, he is 0-4, with a 9.53ERA (22.2IP 37H 24ER).

–After pitching extremely well in Reading, Colton Murray is throwing very well for the ‘Pigs.  He is unscored upon in his last 5 games with 11K’s over 6.1IP.

–Since coming down from Philadelphia, Brock STassi has hit in 7 of his 9 starts and is hitting .333.

Mark Appel has been coming around a bit, going 2-0 with a 2.38ERA in his last 4 starts.

–Mark Leiter has really struggled since coming down to Lehigh Valley and his transition back to the rotation with a 10.56ERA in his 2 starts.

Nick Williams leads Lehigh Valley in OF assists with 5.

‘Pigs league leaders: Hitting: Nick Williams is 10th in AB(235), 7th in SLG (.502), 4th in strikeouts (77), 4th in HR(13); Rhys Hoskins is 2nd in runs (45), 4th in OBP (.387); leads the league in SLG (.589)6th in walks (35), 7th in hits (68), 3rd in doubles (17), tied for the league lead in HR(15) and RBI(51); Dylan Cozens is 5th in triples (3), 10th in SLG (.496), 3rd in strikeouts (80), 3rd in RBI (48). tied for the league lead in HR(15); JP Crawford is 5th in walks (36); Cam Perkins is 3rd in OBP (.390)

Pitching: Pat Vendittee leads the league in wins(6); Jake Thompson leads the league in losses (7) and 3rd worst WHIP (1.72) and has the worst ERA in the league (6.79); Ben Lively is 2nd in ERA (2.40) and is 2nd in WHIP (0.89); Pedro Beato leads the league in games (28) and SV(20); Mark Appel is tied for the league lead in starts (13) and is 2nd in walks (38); Tom Eshelman leads the league in CG(2)

Transactions: Comings, Brock STassi (From Reading); P Colton Murray (from Reading), OF Osmel Aguila (from Reading), INF Angelo Mora (from Reading); Goings: OF Roman Quinn (DL), P Casey Fein (Philadelphia), OF Jiandido Tromp (to Reading), INF Taylor Featherson (traded)

Around the System–Middle Infield

Lehigh Valley

Pedro Florimon, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2017; .286/.379/.405 in 126AB; 3HR 9RBI; 12%BB/24%K; .381 vs LHP; .238 vs RHP; .295 last 30 days; 29 games at 2B with 1 error (.992); 9 games at SS with 1 error (.964); Florimon has done a good job filling in for both Valentin and Crawford when they have been down with injuries.

JP Crawford, 22, Phils 1st round pick in 2015; .194/.313/.252 in 206AB; 2HR 21RBI; 2SB; 15%BB/17%K; .214 vs LHP; .184 vs RHP; .235 last 30 days; 55 games at SS with 10 errors (.953); Crawford’s hitting has ticked up since the last report but still far below expectations.  Already 10 errors this season with a range factor far below years past.

Jorge Flores, 25, SIgned as a free agent in 2017; .255/.293/.333 in 51AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 0HR 6 RBI; 10 games at 2B without an error; 7 games at SS with 1 error (.966); Has seen very limited playing time all season because of how strong Reading/LV are up the middle.  Now with injuries, he has been getting into the lineup.

Jesmuel Valentin in on the DL and out for the year.


Malquin Canelo, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .238/.328/.341 in 164AB; 2HR 15RBI; 7SB; 12%BB/27%K; .297 vs LHP; .200 vs RHP; .167 last 30 days; 47 games at SS with 9 errors (.958).  Canelo has had a very rough month with the stick after a fast start.  Has been decent with the glove.

Scott Kingery, 23, Phils 2nd round pick in 2015; .302/.376/.609 in 248AB; 18HR 37RBI; 16SB; 9%BB/16%K; .297 vs LHP; .306 vs RHP; .331 last 30 days; 52 games at 2B with 3 errors (.988); Not much more needs to be said about Kingery that hasn’t been said already.  He needs to be promoted to AAA. Continue reading Around the System–Middle Infield