Archive for July, 2009

Game 102: BlueClaws (60-41) vs Hickory (51-50)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park…First of a four-game series with Hickory and nine-game homestand…game notes hereAudio here

LWD: RHP Heitor Correa (7-4, 3.70)
HIC: RHP Joe Wieland (2-2, 5.23)

6:38: In a rain delay. Getting set to take the tarp off the field.

6:42: At least squeegee the thing.

7:54: Sorry for the lack of updates…Estimated start time will be 8:30 pm…Our staff is tremendous.

8:46: Underway…A leadoff walk comes around to score on a double by Erik Morrison, who was thrown out at third, despite, in our opinion, being safe. 1-0 Crawdads.


Tonight: Carrasco VS Lehigh Valley

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Carlos Carrasco pitches against his old team tonight, in his first outing since being traded to the Indians. And one other thing, Pedro Martinez is throwing tonight for Lehigh Valley.

”That will be weird, but again, you have to go about your business, take your at-bats and see what happens,” said IronPigs manager Dave Huppert.

Lou Marson and Jason Donald played last night for Columbus, each going 1-3 in a 10-inning Clippers 5-4 win.

“The deal really came as a shock to me,” Donald told the Philadelphia Daily News before the game. “You hear different things, but it’s funny that you never want to believe it until it happens.”

As for Martinez, what happens after tonight? His next scheduled outing would be Wednesday. With the Phils already holding a five-man rotation with the aquisition of Cliff Lee (Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, JA Happ, and Jamie Moyer), and Happ set to throw Wednesday, could another Minor League start be in store for the future Hall-of-Famer? Stay tuned…We’ll probably find out something tonight.

7:01: Pedro Martinez vs Carlos Carrasco, pretty cool… Updates here when available.

7:26: Pedro has allowed his firt run, a solo home run to Michael Brantley to lead off the game…Pedro through 2, just that one hit and run.. Carrasco pitching in the 2nd having allowed one hit to his former team.

7:54: Pedro through 3, just that one hit…Carrasco is through 2.2…two hits, three Ks and 0 runs.

8:14: Michael Taylor hits a 2-run bomb off of Carrasco…Pedro one-hitter through 4…

8:36: Rough inning for Pedro…four runs in and he got hit hard.

Final line on both

Carrasco, C (W, 7-9) 5.1 8 4 4 1 6 1 5.25
Martinez, P (L, 0-1) 5.0 3 5 4 3 4 1 7.20

Buster vs Elvis

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Yes, that Elvis

Chronicling the Deadline…Knapp Style

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Wednesday was a very strange day in BlueClaws history, one in which four players, all BlueClaws at one time or another, were traded in one deal. We were in Greenville, South Carolina, heading back to Lakewood after the game that night. Here’s a brief recap of the festivities from my perspective.

10:30 am: After watching the first of two episodes of my favorite television show, Frasier, word comes down (thru Twitter) that Carlos Carrasco had been scratched from his scheduled start that morning for Lehigh Valley, and neither Lou Marson nor Jason Donald were in the lineup. Obviously that’s a major tip-off that a deal was imminent, and we figured for Cliff Lee since the discussion surrounding Roy Halladay were about a different group of prospects.

11:15 am: Have to check out of the hotel room (15 minutes ago), so it’s down to the lobby and the wireless internet.

11:45 am: Word begins to come out from the various reporters out there that a deal for Lee is awfully close.

12:00 pm: Dave Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted that Donald, recovering from a knee injury, was always scheduled to have today off. Marson had caught the previous night before. But still the Carrasco scratch was a clue that even a non-Sherlock Holmes would have been able to decipher.

1:30: A deal breaks, we first saw it from Yahoo! Sports. Phone starts ringing. Where’s Knapp? He’s at the mall.

About 2:00: Knapp, walking around the mall with BlueClaws relief pitcher Rob Roth, hears first from his agent that a deal went through.

2:45: On the bus to the ballpark with SportsCenter on the tv, Jayson Stark notes that Knapp was the centerpiece of the deal from the Indians perspective, leading to ooohs, aaahs, and nagging from Knapp’s soon-to-be former teammates.

3:00: At the ballpark, Knapp waits to hear something official, while the BlueClaws head out onto the field to begin stretching, or head to the cages to start hitting, without him. Everyone shook his hand and wished him well in case he was gone before they came back inside.

5:30: He’s still here, and pacing back and forth around the locker room while the BlueClaws were taking batting practice. Knapp wasn’t allowed to do anything, from stretching, running, walking briskly, and he could forget picking up a baseball.

6:55: Knapp, in his BlueClaws uni, comes out to watch the game from the dugout.

7:07: First pitch.

7:50: Knapp returns to the locker room, changes out of his BlueClaws uniform for the final time, and heads to Cleveland.

He could join Lake County, and while he might not be back off the DL in time to pitch next week, we’d say there’s more than a decent chance he could pitch for the Captains against the BlueClaws in one of the other two series between the two, one in Lake County and one in Lakewood.

One other note about the day…Marson, Donald, and Carrasco, all former BlueClaws in the deal, were with Lehigh Valley playing Columbus. All they had to do was switch dugouts.

Kids Eat Free Update

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Since the gates opened at FirstEnergy Park and the curtain dropped on the biggest promotion in Minor League Baseball history a total of 50,750 kids have eaten for free this season at a Lakewood BlueClaws game! How does that look by the numbers?

50,750 – 7″ hot dogs laid end to end stretches a total of 5.61 miles and almost to the beach!

50,750 – 12 oz sodas is 609,000 ounces of soda! Imagine this… If this amount of soda was allowed to drip one drop per second…It would take nearly three years to run dry!

50,750 – Bags of potato chips…There are approx. 21 chips per bag, so get this….1,065,750 free chips!

Come to the ballpark and bring the kids…Help this number rise!

Sanchez and Hanzawa…Players of the Week

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

This got lost in the shuffle the other day, so apologies for the delay, but last week Troy Hanzawa and Jesus Sanchez were named Phillies Minor League Players of the Week…From the Phillies:

Players of the Week

            **Pitcher:  RHP Jesus Sanchez, Lakewood BlueClaws.  Pitched 7 innings in his lone start of the week during an 8-1 win on Friday.  He allowed 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk and struck out 8.  Victory was his fourth in a row.  July record: 4-1, 2.01.  For the season, he is 7-5 with a 3.51 ERA for 19 starts; leads the staff with 97.1 innings.  The 21-year-old came to the Phillies in the 2006  Bobby Abreu deal.  Originally a catcher, he was converted to a pitcher, one relief appearance with the Gulf Coast League Phillies on August 26 last year.

            **Player:  SS Troy Hanzawa, Lakewood BlueClaws.  Hit .500 (10-20) in 5 games, 1 double, 1 home run and 5 RBI.  He ended the week riding an 8-game hitting streak that boosted his average to .284.  For July: .363.  The 23-year-old native Hawaiian was selected in the 16th round a year ago out of San Diego State U.

Phillies Get Cliff Lee, BlueClaws Lose Knapp

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Here it is, after weeks of speculation, a deal has occured between the Phillies and the Cleveland Indians:

Phillies Get:
2008 Cy Young Award Winner – Cliff Lee
Right-handed bat – Ben Francisco

Indians Get (All former BlueClaws):
RHP – Jason Knapp (Was a current BlueClaw)
RHP – Carlos Carrasco
INF – Jason Donald
Catcher – Lou Marson

Pending medicals.

So the Phillies get (one of) their guys, Cliff Lee. He won the Cy Young last year and this season is still impressing. Lee is 7-9, with a 3.14 ERA.

The Phillies lose a few top prospects but NONE of their three top prospects. Not involved in this deal are Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown, wow.

Carrasco has had an up and down season with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, once the top prospect in the Phillies organization, Carrasco has not performed as well as hoped and, to me, it was a big indication how the Phillies kept skipping him and using other people in the majors. Kendrick, Bastardo, Escalona and Carpenter were all jumped over Carrasco and maybe a move to Cleveland will help.

Donald had a few very nice years but also, similar to Carrasco, hit a snag in his progress this year. Eyed by the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays last year, Donald is recovering from an injury and could be a decent player at the next level. However, his prospect status is much lower this year than it was last year.

Marson is recently coming off an injury as well, but has reacted well. A very good catching prospect, the Phillies let him go because of the guys they have behind him in the organization (d’Arnaud)…In my opinion, Marson has a better shot than Carrasco and Donald to shine at the next level. He saw action last season and this with the Phillies and may be a nice back-stop for a number of years.

Knapp is the centerpiece of this deal in my opinion. A young, tall, strong right hander who has shown great command of his fastball (94-96) and decent breaking stuff already at a young age. The Phillies used a 2nd round pick to take Knapp and despite shoulder fatigue this year, Knapp should be just fine and ready to play in a few weeks. He has a great frame to work with and good stuff already…In four years time, Knapp could be a top starter for the Indians.

Impact on the BlueClaws…
Obviously losing Knapp will hurt, especially since he would have been ready to go in time for the playoffs. Could the BlueClaws get a top starter from the Williamsport Crosscutters (Matthew Way) or just work with Ballestas in the rotation? Also, will d’Arnaud see any movement on the loss of Marson? We shall see…The BlueClaws have been playing great of late and have not had Knapp in the rotation, so maybe gaining someone like Way out of this could be a positive.

Either way, the Phillies got stronger… Hamels, Lee, Happ (Pedro?), Blanton looks pretty good right now. Look out National League. Chat with Indians Beat Writer Paul Hoynes

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Love the internet…Listening to a chat with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who is discussing the Indians and Cliff Lee. Some notes…

  • Talks cooled as of last night as Indians wanted Kyle Drabek
  • Cleveland wanted Carrasco last year in a discussion for CC Sabathia (Phils obviously wouldn’t budge)
  • No sense of urgency on Indians side to trade Lee; sense of urgency from Blue Jays to trade Halladay

Carrasco Scratched From Today’s Start at Lehigh Valley (UPDATED)

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

He was supposed to start today’s 11:05 am game for the IronPigs today but Carlos Carrasco has been scratched from that start. Lou Marson isn’t in the lineup (day game after a night game?) and no Jason Donald either. Jake Woods is the new Lehigh Valley starter (lineups here).

Cliff Lee maybe?

11:44: Jayson Stark at writes here that one potential package includes two current BlueClaws… 

One potential package is believed to include Carrasco, a top position-player prospect yet to be determined and two hard-throwing Class A pitchers, Jason Knapp and Trevor May.

12:09: David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets the following: Jason Donald was scheduled to have today in order to ease him back from a knee injury.

12:57: From Ken Rosenthal at

The Phillies are in discussions with the Indians to obtain left-hander Cliff Lee and possibly another player for Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson, according to a major-league source.

1:34: Next update from Yahoo! Sports

In return, the Indians would receive right-handed pitching prospects Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp and at least two players from a group that includes catcher Lou Marson, shortstop Jason Donald and outfielder Michael Taylor, according to sources.

BJ Rosenberg: Under One

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

We’ve noted before that BlueClaws pitcher BJ Rosenberg hasn’t allowed an earned run since May 31st, now a 23.1 inning scoreless stretch. But let’s take it to the next level.

With his last outing (a one-inning save on Monday), Rosenberg, who’s given up five earned runs this year, crossed the 45 inning mark. This means his ERA for the season is now below one (0.98). What was his ERA last year? 1.00 (4 ER in 36 IP).

Therefore, BJ Rosenberg has allowed, in 82 professional innings, has allowed nine earned runs, for a career ERA of 0.99. Yikes.

Where would the BlueClaws be without him? Don’t know. But we know where they wouldn’t be, and that’s on the way to the playoffs.

SI’s Verducci to Phils: Get Halladay

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci pens an excellent column (read here) saying the Phillies should go get Roy Halladay.

The Phillies instantly become World Series favorites if they trade for Halladay, not just this year, but also next year, too. “They have a chance to extend this run out to four or five years,” a scout said. “Their core is still young and athletic.” They can do it by losing only one piece from their 25-man roster, Happ, who might be a No. 4 starter in the postseason, a slot that is not even guaranteed a start. It is why the Phillies remain the best fit for Halladay.

We agree. JA Happ, Dominic Brown, and Kyle Drabek might seem like a high price to pay on paper (arguably the Phils top two prospects plus a 26-year old lefty who is 7-1 in the big leagues), but you don’t often have a chance to land a star pitcher for two postseasons. 

This is a deal that stamps the Phils as the team to beat for two more years in the National League. It is very rare that a team can make such a move. It’s why the Phillies can afford to take the risk.

4-Million Fan Countdown…Prizes Released

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

We’re breaking some news here today by announcing the prizes for our 4-millionth fan, scheduled to reach the green gates sometime this month. The winner will receive the following:

  • Two full season tickets (with Upstairs Club and VIP Parking passes) to the 2010 BlueClaws
  • Autographed team bat
  • A BlueClaws “4-million” jersey
  • $50 gift certificate to the ClawsCove
  • On-field batting practice with the real BlueClaws

Right now, we’re 98,953 away, with 18 home games remaining. It will fall this year. The question is when. Stay tuned…

Game 100: BlueClaws (60-39) at Greenville (52-46)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Welcome back to Greenville…Game three of the four-game series between the BlueClaws and Drive, after Lakewood has taken the first two (5-2, 3-1). Game notesAudio (at 11:00)

LWD: RHP Freddy Ballestas (1-1, 4.13)
GRE: RHP Brock Huntzinger (5-8, 4.66)

New Closer…After picking up the save in the first two games of this series, Lakewood almost certainly will not have BJ Rosenberg today. If Lakewood has a close lead late, look for Ryan Bergh or Jared Simon at the back.

The Like the Lights…The lights on the poles, not the sun…Lakewood is just 9-10 in day games this year, but 51-29 at night.

The Other Flyin Hawaiian…Troy Hanzawa is 14-34 and 29-83…He is hitting .312 since May 1st after hitting just .194 in April.

9:32: Going to be warm but it’s a beautiful day once again here in Greenville…This is Ballestas’ third start since moving into the rotation for Jason Knapp…Rest below.


Nine Innings for Nature Sunday

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If you’re wondering what Nine Innings for Nature is, we’re here to tell you…Basically, it’s a full-day event that promotes various green initiatives put into play by area companies. Here is a list of companies that will be at the ballpark on Sunday for the fun, which begins at 2 pm (first pitch at 5:05).

Here’s a news story on the event, which by the way includes free ice cream for the kids. Finally, here is a video from the first one we did, last year. See you Sunday.