Archive for July, 2009
Welcome to beautiful (and hot) Greenville, South Carolina. Lakewood is 3-1 on this road trip, and here are the game notes for tonight’s game against the Drive (Red Sox). A few quick hitters…
Travis d’Arnaud‘s 15-game hitting streak ended last night. It was the longest of the year for the BlueClaws and he went 25-66 over the stretch.
Harold Garcia is hitting a cool .393 over his last 14 games.
BJ Rosenberg still hasn’t allowed an earned run since May 31st and he’s retired the last 14 batters that he’s faced.
Welcome back to McCormick Field in Asheville for the finale of this four-game series. The BlueClaws have won the first three and are 20-games over .500 for the first time this year…Game notes…Audio (at 6:50)
LWD: RHP Heitor Correa (7-3, 3.65)
ASH: RHP Juan Nicasio (4-1, 1.71)
They’re Hitting…Lakewood has 38 hits in the series and is batting .339 here in Asheville. We’ll have Greg Legg on the pre-game show tonight.
Gose Closing In…Anthony Gose is up to 56 stolen bases, three behind Chris Roberson for the team record, set in 2003
5:39: It rained and the tarp was on the field…but it’s coming off now. We’ll be fine.
6:40: Weather turned out just perfect…Correa won last time out for his 7th of the year, tied for 2nd on the team w/ Rosenberg and Sanchez. Rest below the fold…
Baseball is like chess at 90 miles per hour
Life is like a game of chess, changing with every move
Chess Night is coming to FirstEnergy Park, Monday August 3rd…We’ll welcome Women’s Grand Master Jennifer Shahade to the ballpark, and she and her father will each be playing 25 players at a time in a simultaneous exhibition.
We’ll also have chess sets in right field for everyone to use and everyone who gets a chess package gets automatically entered into a drawing to win various prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to www.YourChessSet.com.
Per this ESPN.com report, from Jayson Stark, the Phillies “are adamantly opposed to giving up both Happ and Drabek. There are indications they would like to substitute pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco for one of those two, preferably in place of the highly regarded Drabek.”
Stark goes on to quote a talent evaluator from another club who says the following:
“Happ is OK [as a prospect], and Drabek is a good prospect, but neither of those guys is ever going to be what Halladay is. They’re prospects, and Halladay is Halladay; he’s the best. If Happ and Drabek are not both in the deal, it’s not going to happen.”
So clearly there are issues here. Personally, if the Phillies can get Halladay without giving up Drabek, then Ruben Amaro should immediately be given the Executive of the Year Award (for which by the way he is already near the top of the list for his signing of Raul Ibanez).
Meanwhile, according to this FoxSports.com report, the Angels are getting into the Halladay mix.
Legitimate negotiations are underway for the Phillies to acquire Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, and the price appears to be three former BlueClaws. Toronto has asked for JA Happ (2005), Kyle Drabek (2007), and Dominic Brown (2008), with Michael Taylor (2008) a possibility.
JA Happ…7-1 with the Phillies this year. The 26-year old left-hander is coming into his prime, and with lefties tending to develop later, he’s a guy with a bright future entering his prime who has proven he can pitch in the big leagues.
Kyle Drabek…Future star. Ranked among the top 25 prospects in the sport recently by Baseball America. Mid-90s fastball who is 10-1 this year between Clearwater and Reading while striking out about 8 per 9 innings. Doesn’t turn 22 until December.
Dominic Brown…Back after a broken finger but Baseball America rates him among the top 20 prospects in baseball. Potential 5-tool player is hitting .300 with Clearwater this year and will turn 22 on September 3rd.
Michael Taylor...Just reached Lehigh Valley last week, where he already has two home runs. Turns 24 in December and could be ready for bigs next year. Hit .361 w/ BlueClaws last year and was hitting .333 w/ 15 homers before being called up from Reading. Blocked at present in Phillies OF, and since he’s closer than Brown, seems more likely to be moved.
How Do You Structure the Deal?
Personally we would trade Drabek, Happ, and Taylor, or three of these, for Halladay. He’s that good. But we understand if the Phillies are reluctant to trade two of the pitchers or two of the outfielders.
Jon Heyman of SI reports here that it would take one of Happ/Drabek plus one of Brown/Taylor to get the deal done, plus some lesser prospects. Stay tuned.
Talk about a few good days…D’Arby Myers had three more hits last night (single, double, triple) and is 8-12 in the first three-games of this series in Asheville. D’Arby is 10-16 with six runs scored in his last four games and since June 1st is hitting a cool .345, raising his average from .209 to .274.
The light seems to have clicked on for Myers, and with Zach Collier now in Williamsport, there will be a lot more playing time available for Myers in the outfield. If he keeps hitting, he’ll certainly keep playing.
Welcome back to McCormick Field here in Asheville for tonight’s game between the BlueClaws and Tourists. Lakewood has taken the first two games of the series including a 6-4 win last night…Game notes here…Audio here (at 6:50).
LAK: RHP Jesus Sanchez (6-5, 3.79)
ASH: RHP Parker Frazier (7-6, 4.68)
Sanchez’s Renaissance…First, here’s a ClawCast interview we did with Sanchez for today’s pre-game show…The right-hander is 5-1 since June 12th with a 2.01 ERA….He’s stopped walking hitters (12 in 60 innings) after walking 15 in his first 23.
d’Arnaud How to Hit…Hitting streak is up to 14 for Travis d’Arnaud, who went 2-4 last night and is 4-7 in the series. He is 24-61 over the stretch.
Gose Close…With 54 steals, Anthony Gose trails Quintin Berry by one for third on the BlueClaws all-time SB list…He is four back of Michael Bourn and five behind Chris Roberson for the team record, which should fall soon.
4:35: Weather is perfect…80 degrees, clear skies. Can’t beat that. Back later.
7:15: 1-0, d’Arnaud hits in 15 straight with a double off the RF wall, scoring Harold Garcia (1b and 30th sb).
Sat down with Jesus Sanchez for a ClawCast interview earlier this week. We’ll air this on the pre-game show tonight, but here’s the interview for you…Click here.
Sanchez started 1-4 but since June 12th is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA. He’s walked just 12 in his last 60 innings after 15 walks in his first 23 innings this year.
The former catcher said “It’s a little bit easier looking at swings and figuring out what kind of pitches can hurt hitters. It helps a lot.”
How’s the arm? “I’m not getting tired. My arm keeps getting better and better. I thought I would be a little tired having pitched so many innings, but I’m feeling good.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney was the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio this morning (click here)…Some notable snippets below:
- “The Blue Jays are doing their last dilligence scouting other organizations. Tonight they will watch Carlos Carrasco [for Lehigh Valley] and then begin throwing other prospects around with the Phillies.”
- “There have been reports that their #1 pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek, is off the table. That is not the case.”
- “I think it will [get done]…Do not underrate the fact that as soon as the trade dealine passes Halladay’s trade value gets cut in half.”
BlueClaws Blog comments: The Drabek note is very interesting, we had heard differently in regards to Drabek’s availability, though of course it stands to reason that it would be almost impossible to get a deal done without putting him in there…Last point is critical, that Halladay’s value gets cut significantly if he is traded in the offseason. Whoever gets him here has him for two pennant races and two postseasons instead of one.
We’re blowing wings out of the water over the next two months, starting with Wing Fling on August 6th and rolling through Wingstock on October 3rd.
Wing Fling (details here) is a night-long wing-eating festival at the 8/6 BlueClaws game. Vendors will be selling wings for 50-cents, we’ll have a wing-eating contest, and a guest-judged wing competition. Will be fun.
Then Wingstock (audio preview here) on 10/3. Featuring Foreigner and Blue Oyster Cult, it’s a full-day concert and festival featuring free chicken wings (someone named King of the Wing), a hog pit bike show, and a classic car show.
Back on eBay…The BlueClaws are offering you a VIP Press Box Experience at the July 31st game (that would be next Friday). Details here. The skinny follows…you get the following:
- Four tickets in your own private suite in the press box
- Your own press credentials and media notes
- $100 food credit
- The best seat in the house for the post-game fireworks
- You get to meet our friends Kevin Clark, BlueClaws PA Announcer, and Tony Graham of the Asbury Park Press, plus a tour of the production room and radio booth
Bid here and good luck.
LWD: RHP Freddy Ballestas (0-1, 3.93)
ASH: RHP Jonnathan Aristil (1-5, 4.82)
They’re Hitting Now…Lakewood has scored 99 runs in their last 16 games (6.2 per) and had averaged 4.2 per game in the 78 games before.
Pre-game…A ceremony honoring Joe Mikaluk, Asheville manager, who is being inducted into the SAL Hall of Fame. Mikaluk has been with Asheville for nine years.
6:32: Beautiful weather here, if not for the Dylan concert in Lakewood…Rest below the fold.
For the pre-game show last week, BlueClaws Beat, Josh Ellis spoke with the reigning SAL Player of the Week first baseman Jeremy Hamilton. Here are a few quotes and the link to the audio:
“(Being named player of the week) is a big honor, there’s a lot of kids on this team who are deserving, d’Arnaud had a great week too and some of the All-Stars around the league…but I’m just glad that I can help this team and help them score runs.”
“I’ve been squaring up on the ball real well…when I see the pitch that I like, I am just trying to put the barrel on it.”
“I did not have a clue that I had a 32 game on-base streak…I was on-deck at game 27 and a fan yelled “Keep the streak alive” and walking to the plate I was thinking ‘What is he talking about’.”