Talking Hitting With Andy Tracy

August 25th, 2014

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Andy Tracy is the Phillies Minor League hitting coordinator and is responsible for all of the hitters in the Phillies minor league system. He spent the weekend with the BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park and we sat down with him to talk about some of the hitters you’ve seen with the BlueClaws this year, a few that have played with the BlueClaws in the past, and a few that will play with the BlueClaws in the future.


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Meet Aaron Brown, Off to Sharp Start With BlueClaws

August 17th, 2014

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Aaron Brown joined the BlueClaws on Thursday from Williamsport, and has seven hits over his first three games with Lakewood. We sat down with Brown, the Phillies third round pick this year from Pepperdine.

The outfielder has played two games in right field and one game in center with Lakewood. He played centerfield with Williamsport and at Pepperdine, where he was also an accomplished pitcher, going 13-1 with a sub-2 ERA this season.

We talked with Brown about the draft process, if he preferred pitching or hitting, and much more.

(The interview was done on Friday after his first game with the BlueClaws.)

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Meet BlueClaws IF Drew Stankiewicz

August 8th, 2014

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It’s not often that a 21 year old rookie has been around professional clubhouses for 10+ years, but that’s the case with BlueClaws infielder Drew Stankiewicz.

We sat down with Drew, whose father Andy played seven years in the big leagues including several seasons with the Yankees. Andy later managed in the Yankees system and is now the head coach at Grand Canyon University

Drew Stantkiewicz began his season with Williamsport before joining the BlueClaws for a week at the end of June. He then went back to Williamsport, where he hit .390 in July and re-joined Lakewood on July 30th, meeting the team in Delmarva.

Listen to the interview below. Stankiewicz talks about getting drafted (11th round this year out of Arizona State), his time as a kid in clubhouses with his father, some of the big leaguers that took him under their wing, and more.

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Strong Pitching Match-up In Series Finale

August 5th, 2014

The BlueClaws and Asheville Tourists finish their three-game series tonight at FirstEnergy Park with a very good pitching match-up lined up. Lakewood LHP Yoel Mecias, a top 25 prospect in their system per Baseball America that has allowed two runs in 15 innings with Lakewood this year, opposes Asheville LHP Kyle Freeland, the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft from Evansville.

Game Notes / Listen Live

Last Game…Jose Mayorga broke a 5-5 tie with an 8th inning RBI single as the BlueClaws topped Asheville 6-5 on Monday night at FirstEnergy Park…Aaron Baker threw three scoreless innings of relief, and pitched around the tying run at second base with nobody out in the 9th inning to preserve the win…Malquin Canelo had a two-run double for the BlueClaws.

Hello Tourists…The BlueClaws welcome in Asheville for a three-game series, their lone meetings in Lakewood this year…The two teams split four games in Asheville April 30 – May 3…Asheville came to Lakewood in 2012 and prior to that, their last visit was in 2007.

Yo, Yoel…Yoel Mecias starts for Lakewood today making his 4th start with the BlueClaws after making four appearances with the GCL Phillies, beginning his rehab following Tommy John Surgery from July, 2013…Mecias began last year with Lakewood and had a 2.53 ERA in 42.2 innings beginning May 1st before his injury, which was in his first start following an apperance in the SAL All-Star Game.

About Asheville’s Starter…Kyle Freeland (Evansvaille) was the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft, taken one after the Phillies drafted Aaron Nola (LSU)…The Phillies drafted Freeland in the 35th round out of high school (2011) but Freeland elected to go to Evansville.

Ted Willians…Willians Astudillo has three straight multi-hit games and has 30 2+ hit games on the season, most on the team…When he stuck out twice on Wednesday, it was the first time he struck out twice in a game all year…He has struck out 17 times in 355 at bats and once every 22.3 plate appearances, the best ratio in the league.

Tocci Them All…It took Carlos Tocci 862 at bats to hit his first professional home run (7/16 at Hickory) and then just 62 more to hit his second, which he hit on Sunday vs Asheville…Tocci is hitting .282 (40-142) since June 29th (was hitting .231 prior) when he moved into the lead-off spot (he has led off all but one game since then – Sunday vs Asheville)…He will turn 19 on August 23rd.

Go Green…Zach Green had three hits in the loss to Ashveille on Sunday, his 16th multi-hit game since re-joining the BlueClaws on 6/11…After going 11-59 with Lakewood in April, he is 54-181 (.298) since returning with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs in 46 games…He was a 3rd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, where he was a teammate of BlueClaws reliever Dan Child.

Going, Going, Gone…Carlos Tocci (2nd) homered on Sunday vs Asheville while Samuel Hiciano (9th) and Mitch Walding (4th) each homered for the BlueClaws on Friday night at Delmarva…The BlueClaws now have 26 home runs in the second half, led by Dylan Cozens’ six and four each from Zach Green and Andrew Knapp…The BlueClaws have hit 61 home runs (12 more than last year) this season (22 at home/39 on the road, 38 solo shots).

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 3 st, 2-0, 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R/ER, 5 BB, 11 K…2013 (LAK) – 4-3, 3.79 ERA, 57 IP, 53 H, 25 BB, 70 K
News & Notes: Makes his 4th start with Lakewood this year after going 0-1, 4.76 in four rehab starts with the GCL Phillies…Has thrown five innings in all three starts with Lakewood, and has allowed just two earned runs combined…Last time out, gave up one run in five innings against Kannapolis on Tuesday…Phillies #24 prospect per Baseball America entering season…Went 4-3, 3.79 with Lakewood last year and pitched in SAL All-Star Game before getting hurt and having Tommy John Surgery.
Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (5, 6/23 vs GCL Yan)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)
Last Three Appearances: 7/29 vs KAN (W): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K…7/24 vs GRE: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K…7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K

Asheville – Kyle Freeland

About: 21 year old, 6-3, 170 pound LHP from Denver, Colorado
How Acquired: 1st round pick (8th overall), 2014 draft from Evansville
Stats: 2014 (Grand Junction) – 5 st, 1-0, 1.56 ERA, 17.1 IP, 16 H, 2 BB, 15 K
News & Notes: Makes his first start with Asheville after going 1-0, 1.56 in 17.1 innings with Grand Junction in the Pioneer League…Threw a season-long five innings last time out on Thursday, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out five against Idaho Falls…8th overall pick in this year’s draft…Led Cape Cod League in strikeouts, with 2.25 ERA, in 2013…Drafted by Phillies in 35th round out of high school in 2011 but did not sign.

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Imhof Takes Hill As Claws Open Homestand

August 3rd, 2014

Matt Imhof, the Phillies 2nd rd pick this year from Cal-Poly, takes the mound today as the BlueClaws open a three-game series with Asheville at 5:05.

Game Notes / Listen Live

Last GameThe BlueClaws and Delmarva got rained out on Saturday at Perdue Stadium…The game will be made up on Friday at FirstEnergy Park (time as of now TBD).

Hello Tourists…The BlueClaws welcome in Asheville for a three-game series, their lone meetings in Lakewood this year…The two teams split four games in Asheville April 30 – May 3…Asheville came to Lakewood in 2012 and prior to that, their last visit was in 2007.

Going For Three…The BlueClaws are looking for their 6th three-game winning streak of the season today against Asheville…Their season long win streak is five (4/26 – 5/1)…They have two three-game winning streaks in the second half, most recently through July 17th against Hickory and Kannapolis.

Going, Going, Gone…Samuel Hiciano (9th) and Mitch Walding (4th) each homered for the BlueClaws on Friday night at Delmarva…The BlueClaws now have 25 home runs in the second half, led by Dylan Cozens’ six and four each from Zach Green and Andrew Knapp…The BlueClaws have hit 60 home runs (11 more than last year) this season (21 at home/39 on the road, 37 solo shots).

Crushing Cozens…Dylan Cozens is 39-114 (.342) since July 1st (hit safely in 22 of 30) with 13 multi-hit games and five home runs…He hit 5 HRs in July to lead the BlueClaws including two in the 7/15 win at Hickory…Cozens leads the BlueClaws and all Phillies minor leaguers with 14 home runs…Cozens and JaCoby Jones of WV are the only Sally Leaugers with at least 14 HRs and 14 SBs.

Stankiewicz Back With Claws…Drew Stankiewicz re-joined the BlueClaws on Wednesday from Williamsport after hitting .390 in July with the Crosscutters…He spent a week with Lakewood between June 23rd and 30th and went 4-23…He was drafted in the 11th round this year out of Arizona State…His father Andy had a seven-year big league career and is now the head coach at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Hey Willians…Willians Astudillo has back to back multi-hit games and has 29 2+ hit games on the season, most on the team…When he stuck out twice on Wednesday, it was the first time he struck out twice in a game all year…He has struck out 17 times in 351 at bats and once every 21.9 plate appearances, the best ratio in the league.

Lakewood – Matt Imhof

About: 20 year old, 6-5, 220 pound LHP from Hayward, California
How Acquired: 2nd round pick (47th overall) from Cal Poly, 2014 draft
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 2 st, 0-1, 8 IP, 9 H, 4 R/3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K…2014 (WPT) – 3 st, 1-0, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 11 K
News & Notes: Makes his 3rd start with Lakewood and first against Asheville…Gave up one run on four hits in five innings against Kannapolis in the first game of a Sunday double-header at FirstEnergy Park…Gave up three runs/two earned in three innings against Kannapolis on 7/19 in his BlueClaws debut…Phillies 2nd rd pick (47th overall) in this year’s draft was 6th in the nation in strikeouts/nine innings at Cal-Poly this year…Gave up one run in 12 innings with Williamsport before joining the BlueClaws.
Season Highs…IP (5, 2x last 7/27 vs KAN)…Rs (3, 7/19 at KAN)…ERs (2, 7/19 at KAN)…Ks (5, 7/7 at MV)…BBs (2, 7/2 at JAM)
Last Three Appearances: 7/27 vs KAN (L): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K…7/19 at KAN: 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R/2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K…7/13 vs TRI (W): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

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Mecias, Claws Wrap Up Homestand

July 29th, 2014

Yoel Mecias and the BlueClaws wrap up a homestand this morning at 11:05 am against Kannapolis. Lakewood is 3-4 on the homestand after winning three of the first four games.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws have dropped three straight games, losing the double-header to Kannapolis on Sunday and 5-3 on Monday night…They are back to 10 games out of first place, which is their largest deficit of the second half…A loss today would drop them to 26 games under.500 on the season, which would be their low-water mark on the year.

An Intimidating Foe…The BlueClaws welcome in Kannapolis for a five-game, four-day series …Lakewood won the opener Saturday but Kannapolis has won the last three games includinga  double-header sweep on Sunday…Kannapolis leads the season series 7-2, taking two of three last weekend in Kannapolis and two straight in Lakewood in May.

A Link From the Past…Before the BlueClaws debuted in 2001, the Phillies SAL affiliate was in Kannapolis as the Piedmont Boll Weevils…Lakewood manager Greg Legg led the 2000 Boll Weevils to a 90-47 record and the post-season.

What’s Next…After today, the BlueClaws open a four-game series in Delmarva on Wednesday night…Lakewood is 6-13 against Delmarva this year and 5-6 at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 22-58 with 11 doubles and a triple in his last 16 games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 26-73 (.356) with 14 doubles, a triple and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 33-98 (.337) in July (hit safely in 19 of 26) with 10 multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on 7/15 at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela

How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010

Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 2 st, 1-0, 10 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K…2013 (LAK) – 13 g/11 st, 4-3, 3.79 ERA, 57 IP, 53 H, 25 BB, 70 K

News & Notes: Makes his 3rd start with Lakewood this year and first against Kannapolis…Gave up one run on two hits in five innings against Greenville on Wednesday and two hits over five scoreless innings at Hickory on 7/15, earning the win…After having Tommy John Surgery last July, he made four rehab appearances with the GCL Phillies, going 0-1, 4.76 in four starts…Was with Lakewood last year, going 4-3, 3.79 and making the SAL All-Star team…Is the #24 prospect in system per Baseball America.

Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (5, 6/23 vs GCL Yan)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)

Last Three Appearances: 7/24 vs GRE: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K…7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…7/9 at GCL Yan: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K

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Tocci, BruceClaws Take Field Tonight

July 26th, 2014

Carlos Tocci has led off every game for Lakewood since June 29th and in those games he is hitting .324 with 10 mutli-hit games, including another one last night. He leads the BruceClaws on the field tonight against Kannapolis at 7:05 (tonight is Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night).

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

BruceClaws…The BlueClaws become the BruceClaws tonight for Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night, wearing special BruceClaws jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit BlueClaws Charities…They are 4-2 as the BruceClaws and lost to Greenville last year 4-3.

An Intimidating Foe…The BlueClaws welcome in Kannapolis for a five-game, four-day series that incldues a double-header on Sunday…Kannapolis leads the season series 4-1, taking two of three last weekend in Kannapolis and two straight in Lakewood in May.

A Link From the Past…Before the BlueClaws debuted in 2001, the Phillies SAL affiliate was in Kannapolis as the Piedmont Boll Weevils…Lakewood manager Greg Legg led the 2000 Boll Weevils to a 90-47 record and the post-season.

Leading-Off…Carlos Tocci has hit safely in five straight games (9-20)…He is 33-102 (.324) since June 29th with 10 multi-hit games since moving into the lead-off spot in the order – he’s led off every game since then afer Samuel Hiciano led off seven of the first nine times in the second half…Tocci hit his first professional home run on 7/16 in Hickory, which came in his 862nd professional at bat – he debuted with the GCL Phillies in 2012 and has spent the last two years with the BlueClaws.

An Offensive Month…The BlueClaws are hitting .269 in July having scored 97 runs in 22 games (4.4 runs per game)…They hit .248 over the first three months of the season and scored 3.9 runs per game…Dylan Cozens (.333) and Carlos Tocci (.326) are hitting over .300 for the BlueClaws this month.

Pullin Along…Andrew Pullin has hit safely in four straight games and eight of his last nine (13-38) and is 60-187 (.321) since June 1st after hitting .232 in April and May…The left-handed hitting second baseman has struck out a total of 50 times in 289 at bats since the start of May after striking out 25 times in 79 April at bats.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 28-84 (.333) in July (hit safely in 16 of 22) with eight multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on 7/15 at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lakewood – Ranfi Casimiro

About: 22 year old, 6-8, 200 pound RHP from Santiago, Dominican Republic
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 19 st, 2-9, 5.80 ERA, 90 IP, 98 H, 50 BB, 59 K…2013 (GCL) – 2-6, 5.21 ERA, 48.1 IP, 66 H, 15 BB, 30 K
News & Notes: Makes his 20th start of the year and 3rd against Kannapolis (7 ER in 9.2 IP)…Faced Kannapolis last time out last Friday, allowing four runs in five innings…In his last five starts, Casimiro has allowed 23 ER in 24 innings pitched on 32 hits with 17 walks and 15 strikeouts…He had a 2.80 ERA in his previous eight starts after an 8.39 ERA in his first six starts of the year…One two members of Lakewood’s rotation (Tyler Viza) that has been in rotation all year…Spent last two season in Gulf Coast League before joining Lakewood.
Season Highs…IP (7, 7/2 vs HAG)…Rs (9, 4/18 at HAG)…ERs (6, 7/7 at HAG)…Ks (8, 2x last 6/9 vs HAG)…BBs (7, 6/27 at WV)
Last Three Appearances: 7/18 at KAN: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K…7/12 vs DEL (L): 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K…7/7 at HAG (L): 3 IP, 10 H, 6 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K

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Rios On Hill in Rubber Game Against Greenville

July 25th, 2014

Yacksel Rios takes the mound for the BlueClaws tonight in the rubber game against Greenville as the BlueClaws look for a series win over the Drive.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

Rubber Game…The BlueClaws and Greenville meet in the rubber game of three tonight at FirstEnergy Park with each team having won one of the first two games in the series…The BlueClaws are 2-0 in rubber games in the second half, beating Hickory on 7/17 and Hagerstown on 7/3.

Hello, Greenville…The BlueClaws welcome in the Greenville Drive for a three-game series this week at FirstEnergy Park…These are the only meetings between the teams this year…Lakewood beat Greenville in both the 2009 and 2010 SAL Championship Series.

An Offensive Month…The BlueClaws are hitting .267 in July having scored 92 runs in 21 games (4.4 runs per game)…They hit .248 over the first three months of the season and scored 3.9 runs per game…Dylan Cozens (.350), Carlos Tocci (.318) and Mitch Walding (.309) are hitting over .300 for the BlueClaws this month.

Pullin Along…Andrew Pullin is 59-183 (.322) since June 1st after hitting .232 in April and May…The left-handed hitting second baseman has struck out a total of 49 times in 285 at bats since the start of May after striking out 25 times in 79 April at bats.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 28-80 (.350) in July (hit safely in 16 of 21) with eight multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on 7/15 at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Tocci Them All…Carlos Tocci is 31-98 (.316) since June 29th with nine multi-hit games…He hit his first professional home run on 7/16 in Hickory, which came in his 862nd professional at bat – he debuted with the GCL Phillies in 2012 and has spent the last two years with the BlueClaws.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 17-41 with 10 doubles in his last 12 games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 21-56 (.375) with 13 doubles and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

Lakewood – Yacksel Rios

About: 21 year old, 6-3, 185 pound RHP from Caguas, Puerto Rico
How Acquired: 12th round pick, 2011 draft
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 27 g, 7 st, 3-0, 3.45 ERA, 73 IP, 62 H, 27 BB, 53 K…2013 (WPT) – 5-3, 3.59 ERA, 52.2 IP, 52 H, 19 BB, 39 K
News & Notes: Makes his 28th appearance and 8th start of the year…Gave up three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings last time out at Hickory last Thursday and two back gave up three runs in five innings against Delmarva on 7/12…In his first two starts of July, threw eight innings of one-hit, one-run ball on 7/1 vs HAG and seven innings of two run ball at DEL on 7/6…Began season in BlueClaws bullpen and moved into the starting rotation on 6/13…Spent last year with Williamsport, going 5-3, 3.59 ERA and two years in the GCL (11-12).
Season Highs…IP (7.1, 5/14 vs JUP)…Rs (7, 2x last 6/30 at WV)…ERs (7, 6/30 at WV)…Ks (8, 6/7 at DEL)…BBs (3, 6/25 at GBO)
Last Three Appearances…7/16 at HIC (L): 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R/5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K…7/10 vs DEL (W): 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R/2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K…7/5 at DEL (L): 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K

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Morning Baseball to Start Homestand

July 23rd, 2014

The BlueClaws and Greenville Drive meet at FirstEnergy Park this morning as the BlueClaws return home after playing 21 of their previous 28 games on the road. LHP Yoel Mecias takes the mound for Lakewood, making his second start of the season.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 11:05)

Welcome Greenville…The BlueClaws welcome in Greenville to start a 7-game homestand and a three-game series…These are the only three meetings of the season between the two teams…Lakewood beat Greenville in both the 2009 and 2010 SAL Championship Series.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 15-37 with nine doubles in his last 10 games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 19-50 with 12 doubles and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

At Stake Today…The BlueClaws are 24 games under .500 on the season, tying their low-water mark of the season…A loss today would drop them to 25 games under .500 for the first time in 2014…Last year, they were 29 games under .500 through August 16th before finishing at 56-80.

He’s Back…Yoel Mecias, a 2013 SAL All-Star that had Tommy John Surgery after getting hurt last year, makes his 2nd start with the BlueClaws this year…He threw five scoreless innings on Tuesday at Hickory in his season debut…Mecias, 20, is ranked 24th in the system per Baseball America.

An Offensive Month…The BlueClaws are hitting .269 in July having scored 82 runs in 19 games (4.3 runs per game)…They hit .248 over the first three months of the season and scored 3.9 runs per game…Dylan Cozens (.361), Carlos Tocci (.308) and Mitch Walding (.306) are hitting over .300 for the BlueClaws this month.

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 1st, 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…2014 (GCL) – 4 st, 0-1, 4.76 ERA, 17 IP, 19 H, 8 BB, 10 K
News & Notes: Makes 2nd start with Lakewood after throwing five scoreless innings in his 2014 BlueClaws debut on Tuesday at Hickory, striking out seven…He made four rehab appearances this year with the GCL Phillies…Mecias had Tommy John Surgery last year, getting hurt on 6/23 with Lakewood…Went 4-3, 3.79 with the BlueClaws last year and pitched in the SAL All-Star Game…Ranked #24 in the system per Baseball America entering this season.
Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (7, 7/15 at HIC)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)
Last Three Appearances: 7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…7/9 at GCL Yan: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K…7/3 vs GCL Br: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K

 

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Legg Recalls Boll Weevils

July 22nd, 2014

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With the BlueClaws taking on Kannapolis this week, we thought it was a good time to talk to BlueClaws manager Greg Legg about the year he managed in Kannapolis – 2000, the season before the BlueClaws came into existence.

Legg managed the Piedmont Boll Weevils, who played in Kannapolis in the same stadium used by the Intimidators today (they became the Intimidators in 2001, their first year with the White Sox).

The 2000 Boll Weevils were a great team – they won 90 of their 137 games, six more wins than the BlueClaws have ever accumulated in a season. Led by Marlon Byrd, Brett Myers and Ryan Madson, the team made the playoffs and lost in the first round of the post-season, two games to one to Delmarva (Erik Bedard beat them 1-0 in the series-deciding game).

Click here to view the team stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and listen to the interview below.

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Mecias Takes Hill, Claws Wrap Up Series in Kannapolis

July 21st, 2014

The BlueClaws send LHP Yoel Mecias to the mound today in Kannapolis as they finish a four-game series with the Intimidators. After Lakewood took the first one, Kannapolis has won the last two.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 11:45)

With a Win…A win today would give the BlueClaws a winning road trip – they are 3-3 on the current trip with today being the final game…Lakewood two winning trips this year – April 29 – May 5 at Lexington/Asheville (5-2) and June 5-8 at Delmarva (3-1).

Welcome to Kannapolis…The BlueClaws and Intimidators meet in a four-game series this weekend…Kannapolis won a fog-shortened series 2-0 in May at FirstEnergy Park…On May 9th, the BlueClaws led 2-0 in the 4th inning when the game was called due to fog – since it was the final meeting of the half between the two teams, the game was not resumed and the stats did not count.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 15-37 with nine doubles in his last 10 games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 19-50 with 12 doubles and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

At Stake Today…The BlueClaws are 24 games under .500 on the season, tying their low-water mark of the season…A loss today would drop them to 25 games under .500 for the first time in 2014…Last year, they were 29 games under .500 through August 16th before finishing at 56-80.

He’s Back…Yoel Mecias, a 2013 SAL All-Star that had Tommy John Surgery after getting hurt last year, makes his 2nd start with the BlueClaws this year…He threw five scoreless innings on Tuesday at Hickory in his season debut…Mecias, 20, is ranked 24th in the system per Baseball America.

An Offensive Month…The BlueClaws are hitting .269 in July having scored 82 runs in 19 games (4.3 runs per game)…They hit .248 over the first three months of the season and scored 3.9 runs per game…Dylan Cozens (.361), Carlos Tocci (.308) and Mitch Walding (.306) are hitting over .300 for the BlueClaws this month.

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 1st, 1-0, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…2014 (GCL) – 4 st, 0-1, 4.76 ERA, 17 IP, 19 H, 8 BB, 10 K
News & Notes: Makes 2nd start with Lakewood after throwing five scoreless innings in his 2014 BlueClaws debut on Tuesday at Hickory, striking out seven…He made four rehab appearances this year with the GCL Phillies…Mecias had Tommy John Surgery last year, getting hurt on 6/23 with Lakewood…Went 4-3, 3.79 with the BlueClaws last year and pitched in the SAL All-Star Game…Ranked #24 in the system per Baseball America entering this season.
Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (7, 7/15 at HIC)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)
Last Three Appearances: 7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…7/9 at GCL Yan: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K…7/3 vs GCL Br: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K

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Viza, BlueClaws Look For Winning Trip

July 20th, 2014

A win today in Kannapolis would secure a winning road trip for the BlueClaws, who are 3-2 on their 7-game trip. A loss last night in Kannapolis means the teams have split the first two games in their four-game series.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 4:50)

With a Win…A win today would give the BlueClaws a winning road trip – they are 3-2 on the current trip with two games remaining…Lakewood two winning trips this year – April 29 – May 5 at Lexington/Asheville (5-2) and June 5-8 at Delmarva (3-1).

Welcome to Kannapolis…The BlueClaws and Intimidators meet in a four-game series this weekend…Kannapolis won a fog-shortened series 2-0 in May at FirstEnergy Park…On May 9th, the BlueClaws led 2-0 in the 4th inning when the game was called due to fog – since it was the final meeting of the half between the two teams, the game was not resumed and the stats did not count.

Re-Tooling The Bullpen…The BlueClaws have had a re-tooled bullpen, adding four players (RHP Aaron Baker, RHP Dan Child, LHP Joey DeNato, and and RHP Delvi Francisco) to the bullpen since July 1st (Francisco was here earlier but stats noted here are since return)…These four pitchers two earned runs in 24.1 innings pitched (both by Baker)…Baker got his first save with the BlueClaws on 7/17 and Child on 7/18.

Knapp Back…Andrew Knapp had been 3-25 since 7/12, when his 15-game hitting streak was snapped, before going 4-8 over the last two days…A 2nd round pick last year (Cal), Knapp is hitting .305 (40-131) since June 11th – he started 5-29 with Lakewood.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 24-69 (.349) in July (hit safely in 14 of 18) with six multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on Tuesday at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Zach Attack… Zach Green is 17-54 (.315) over his last 14 games (five doubles and a triple) with five multi-hit games…Since returning to the BlueClaws from extended spring training on June 11th, Green is 41-133 (.308) with 11 multi-hit games and 22 RBIs in 31 games played…Green has hit four home runs this year, all since June 19th…Green led the NY-Penn League in home runs last year with 13.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 14-34 with nine doubles in his last nine games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 18-47 with 12 doubles and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

Lakewood – Tyler Viza

About: 19 year old, 6-3, 170 pound RHP from Phoenix, Arizona
How Acquired: 32nd round pick, 2013 draft from Desert Vista High School
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 18 st, 3-13, 5.17 ERA, 95.2 IP, 125 H, 21 BB, 56 K…2013 (GCL) – 1-0, 1.41 ERA, 32 IP, 21 H, 10 BB, 20 K
News & Notes: Loss today ties Taylor Buchholz (2001) for most in franchise history…Makes his 19th start of the year and first “official” start against Kannapolis – he threw four scoreless innings against Kannapolis in Lakewood on 5/9 before the game was called due to fog (game was not resumed and stats did not count)…Last time out, gave up five runs/four earned in five innings against Delmarva last Sunday, taking the loss…Has lost two straight starts and 11 of his last 12 (1-11, 5.98 ERA since May 14th)…Has thrown seven innings three times, most recently 6/10 vs HAG…Committed to the University of Utah before signing with the Phillies in 2013.
Season Highs…IP (7, 3x last 6/10 vs HAG)…Rs (8, 6/23 at GBO)…ERs (7, 2x last 6/23 at GBO)…Ks (5, 3x last 7/13 vs DEL)…BBs (3, 2x last 7/8 at HAG)
Last Three Appearances: 7/13 vs DEL (L): 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R/4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K…7/8 at HAG (L): 6 IP, 5 H, 5 R/3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K…7/3 vs HAG (W): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K

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Imhof to Make ‘Claws Debut Tonight in Kannapolis

July 19th, 2014

Matt Imhof, the Phillies 2nd round pick this year from Cal Poly, will make his BlueClaws debut tonight in Kannapolis as Lakewood goes for their 3rd straight win. The BlueClaws have won three of the first four games on their current road trip after taking two of three in Hickory.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

With a Win…A win today would give the BlueClaws their 3rd straight win – it would be their 5th such win streak of the year first since 6/29 – 7/1 vs WV and HAG…It would also be the second time they won three straight on the road this year (swept a three game series 4/29 – 5/1 at Lexington).

Might As Well Be Home Runs…The BlueClaws scored the go-ahead run on a Hickory error on Thursday and a wild pitch in Kannapolis on Friday, holding on to win both games by one run – the third time this year they have won back-to-back games by one run apiece.

Welcome to Kannapolis…The BlueClaws and Intimidators meet in a four-game series this weekend…Kannapolis won a fog-shortened series 2-0 in May at FirstEnergy Park…On May 9th, the BlueClaws led 2-0 in the 4th inning when the game was called due to fog – since it was the final meeting of the half between the two teams, the game was not resumed and the stats did not count.

Strong From the Pen…The BlueClaws are 3-1 on the current road trip and have had success from their bullpen – in four games, the bullepn has allowed one ER in 16.1 innings pitched (Will Morris on Wednesday at Hickory), on four hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks…Joe DeNato threw 3.1 perfect innings on Thursday…Dan Child has thrown three scoreless innings…Aaron Baker threw 1.1 scoreless for his 1st save on Thursday.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 24-65 (.369) in July (hit safely in 14 of 17) with six multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on Tuesday at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lakewood – Matt Imhof

About: 20 year old, 6-5, 220 pound LHP from Hayward, California
How Acquired: 2nd round pick, 2014 draft from Cal-Poly
Stats: 2014 (WPT) – 3 st, 1-0, 0.75 ERA, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 11 K…2014 (GCL) – 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Season Notes: Joined BlueClaws on 7/16 from Williamsport, where he allowed one run in 12 innings with 11 strikeouts…Threw three scoreless innings in professional debut with Gulf Coast League Phillies before joining Williamsport.
Career Notes: 47th overall pick in 2014 draft who went 10-4, 2.45 with Cal-Poly this year…Struck out 124 hitters with Cal-Poly this year, 6th most in Division 1, and was 7th with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings this year.
Season Highs…IP (5, 7/13 vs TRI)…Rs (1, 2x)…ERs (1, 2x)…Ks (5, 7/7 at MV)…BBs (2, 7/2 at JAM)
Last Three Appearances: 7/13 vs TRI (W): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K…7/7 at MV: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K…7/2 at JAM: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K

 

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Meet Joe DeNato, BlueClaws LHP Drafted This Year From Indiana

July 17th, 2014

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The BlueClaws current roster has three current-year draftees – 2nd rd pick Matt Imhof, 9th rd pick Matt Hockenberry, and now 19th rd pick Joe DeNato.

DeNato was drafted by the Phillies in the 19th round of the 2014 draft from Indiana and was the first player the Phillies drafted out of IU since 1999. He’s also the first Hoosier to ever play for Lakewood, though a notable IU grad managed the BlueClaws the last two years – Mickey Morandini.

A San Diego native, DeNato gave up four runs in 11.1 innings with 15 strikeouts with Williamsport and tossed two scoreless innings in his BlueClaws debut.

We sat down with DeNato before Thursday’s game in Hickory.

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