Tag Archives: Reading Fightin Phils

Dugan hoping to be an x-factor in 2015

Once general wrangling this off-season ends over who should be in the top few spots on Phillies prospects lists, there will be plenty of interesting discussion about some of the guys who may show up in the middle of the pack on a top-20 or top-30 list.

One such interesting case will be Kelly Dugan, who, when healthy, put together a nice season in 2014. It’s easy to feel bad for Dugan, who, at 24, was hoping to put together a full campaign. In the end, Dugan appeared in just 76 games and had only 253 at-bats. It was a stark contrast from his 2013, when he had 429 at-bats.

Dugan’s 2013 was marked by a standout period in Clearwater (.318/.401/.539) and a decent enough stint in Reading (.264/.299/.472). Of course, at 22, Hi-A ball should not have been too troubling for Dugan, so the promotion to Reading was a bit of a test to see if he was ready.

The numbers were strong in 2014 for Dugan, as he hit .296/.383/.435. The trouble? Staying on the field. An oblique injury sidelined him for about two months, and a broken foot caused him to miss the tail end of the season.

That said, there was a point where Dugan finally looked like the alpha dog that he should look like on a AA team. It’s likely that Dugan will never be an All-Star or punch a ticket to Cooperstown, but there is a realistic opportunity for Dugan with the Phillies.

There will be a chance for Dugan to impress, simply due to the current makeup of the team’s outfield. Domonic Brown is coming off a rough season. Ben Revere is likely cemented in center field, but anything could happen with him. Marlon Byrd could be the talk of the trade deadline again if the Phillies are out of the race next year.

That could open a door for Dugan. If he’s healthy and plays well to begin 2015 in the Minors, he’ll be on the Phillies’ radar. Ideally, Dugan is a fourth outfielder on a good team. There is plenty of use out there for the Nate Schierholtzes and Gerardo Parras of the world. That type of guy is valuable.

Dugan has hit both lefties and righties well in the Minors, a trait that not a lot of younger guys like him have developed. He has a career minor league OPS of .833 against lefties (as a lefty, there was a short time he tried switch-hitting), and an .854 OPS against righties.

He took advantage of Reading playing as a hitter’s park, and that would probably continue if he starts there again next year. If he is told to start at Lehigh Valley, it would be a case of the Phillies showing some faith in a player despite prior injury.

Maybe that’s just the news Dugan would like to hear next spring in Clearwater.

Phillies in between rock and hard place with Gonzalez

When the Phillies signed right-handed Cuban fireballer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez last August, there were hopes that he would slot in to a 2014 starting rotation featuring Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, giving the Phillies a formidable threesome that would allow them to compete. To say the least, that didn’t happen. A lot of other things didn’t happen for the 2014 Phillies, as they have plummeted to the bottom of the National League standings.

Now, the focus must be on 2015, and the focus on next year begins with looking at what is happening in the minors throughout the rest of 2014. Continue reading Phillies in between rock and hard place with Gonzalez

Reading Report: At the Break

Going into the 2014 season, there was hope, promise, and some sort of optimism that we could see some great performances and talented players in Reading.

Though the All-Star Game is far past the midway point of the Eastern League season, I figured it was as good a time as any to recap the first “half” of the season (if we can really call it that), and take a look back while looking ahead to the team’s final 49 games.

While the outstanding performances have been few and far between, some great things did happen this year. But, for the most part, the story of the 2014 Reading club has been written over the past month: it’s a flawed team that doesn’t have a ton of talent, and they have scuffled to a 38-55 record. Continue reading Reading Report: At the Break

Reading Report: 6/23-6/29 (In Haiku Form!)

Listen, things haven’t been so great lately for your Reading Fightins. They have lost 12 games in a row (maybe the only thing that stopped them from racking it up to 13 this week was a rain out), Jesse Biddle was shut down after another disastrous performance, and the offense continues to struggle, save for a few names.

I can only offer a haiku at this point, in hopes to change the team’s luck a bit.

Biddle has been shelved
They’ve lost twelve games in a row
At least Fox can hit

That is all for the week.

Reading Report: 5/12-5/18

Last Sunday saw the week for the Fightins end with Severino Gonzalez’s strange game and a 15-0 loss in Trenton. This week was a bit better, with a 4-3 Reading win against Bowie, giving the club a 5-1 week.

It was an interesting week for Hoby Milner, who went seven innings last Monday in New Hampshire, allowing five hits and two runs, to go along with three walks and a couple strikeouts. Continue reading Reading Report: 5/12-5/18

A look at the Giles-less Reading bullpen

Ken Giles struck out 29 of the 57 batters he faced in the Eastern League in 2014. There was no question that his promotion was warranted, and no question that the Lehigh Valley bullpen was prepared for the right-hander’s talented arm to join them.

It did, naturally, leave a bit of a hole in the relief corps in Reading. It’s been a week since Giles’ promotion to the Pigs, and the Reading bullpen has had a few games to sort out what life is like without the hard-throwing Giles. (The pen also lost Kyle Simon, who was promoted to Lehigh Valley along with Giles.) So, what’s left in the bullpen for the Fightins? Will we see other promotions sometime soon? Should we expect to see any of them with the big club this year? Continue reading A look at the Giles-less Reading bullpen

Is it too early for the return of Cesar Hernandez?

After the week that was the Great Blue Jay Massacre of 2014, we were bound to see some roster shuffling with the big club. It began with the outrighting of Shawn Camp and the promotion of Luis Garcia, which certainly did not pay any dividends for the team Thursday night.

It continued with the demotion of Freddy Galvis following the Phils’ 12-6 loss, a shock to none considering his hard-to-believe 2-for-42 start to the season. The Phillies will make a corresponding roster move prior to Friday’s game against the Mets, and the team now has a question that needs answering: Is it time for Cesar Hernandez to return? Continue reading Is it too early for the return of Cesar Hernandez?