Archive for April, 2010

ClawCast: Darin Ruf

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Before Sunday’s game we sat down with BlueClaws 1B Darin Ruf for a ClawCast and pre-game radio interview. You can listen here.

Ruf touched on a few topics, including:

  • His current hot streak, on which he has nine hits in his last four games: “It’s just one of those things…I was 0-11 before that…But baseball is a funny game like that.”
  • A leadership role within the locker room: “The other day, Hewitt came up to me what my approach was at the plate, and he’s a really good hitter in his own right. But we’re all talking to everyone, and that’s the important thing. Everyone is trying to learn.”
  • How close was he to playing football in college, rather than baseball at Creighton: “It was tough at the time because I had to commit to Creighton in the fall, football season in Nebraska. I was getting a little interest from some smaller schools but obviously for the better I made the decision to go to Creighton and it couldn’t have worked out any better.”

The Kentucky Derby is Coming to…FirstEnergy Park?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

That’s right folks. The BlueClaws will reenact the 136th Kentucky Derby at our May 4th game. It will be between innings, and we’ll have silks on the “riders” plus pre-race festivities in the paddock (Kids Zone).

This will be awesome. You will not want to miss it. More information here.

It will also be the first time the BlueClaws have ever reenacted a sporting event.

Because of this, you will want to keep up with the latest Kentucky Derby news and notes, and you can do so here. Note today that Eskenderya, the horse who would have been a substantial favorite in the race, has been withdrawn.

Finally, at that game, Tuesday May 4th, the first 2,000 kids 17 & under receive a Horse Webkinz thanks to Monmouth Park. Hope to see you there.

Cosart Update

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Jarred Cosart left last night’s game in the 3rd inning with a blister on his right middle finger. He’ll be examined over the next few days in regards to his next scheduled start, which is Thursday in Kannapolis. He was frustrated, as expected, and took the loss, his first of the season.

Update: Cosart has been placed on the disabled list (7-day DL), so he will miss his next start. No word on who will make that start on Thursday at Kannapolis.

Game 17: BlueClaws (9-7) at Greensboro (5-11)

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Greetings from NewBridge Bank Park here in Greensboro for the first of an eight-game road trip and four-game series here with the Grasshoppers (Marlins). There is some rain in the forecast and it was drizzling before, but it just stopped.

LAK: RHP Jarred Cosart (3-0, 2.65)
GBO: RHP Bryan Evans (0-1, 9.72)

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:45)

New Pitcher: Bryan Evans starts for Greensboro today. A 14th round pick in 2008 (UC-Davis), he starts today for Chad James, a 2009 first round pick who was placed on the disabled list earlier today. Evans was 3-7, 3.97 here last year (39 games, four starts) and this year has given up nine runs in 8.1 innings out of the pen.

Walk This Way…Domingo Santana’s home run to end Friday’s game was Lakewood’s second walk-off hit of the week. Jonathan Villar had an infield single in the 11th inning on Tuesday to score Adam Buschini and seal a BlueClaws win.
Against Greensboro…After losing a 3-2 decision on Opening Night in Lakewood (April 16th), the BlueClaws won the next three games against the Grasshoppers, outscoring Greensboro 22-1 over those games and at one point throwing 25 consecutive shutout innings to end the series.

First and Worst…The BlueClaws lead the league in hitting at .288 this year and are second in runs scored (98 runs; Lexington has scored 99)…Greensboro is last (of 14) in hitting at .206. They have scored 53 runs, more than just two teams (Rome 46 and West Virginia 47).

Limiting Losing Streaks…This year’s BlueClaws team is now 3-0 following a two-game losing streak, their latest win 9-8 in 14-innings on Friday night…The 2009 BlueClaws were 10-0 after two-game losing streaks before their first three-game losing streak July 28-31…They went the longest without a three-game losing streak in all of Minor League Baseball (120 full-seaosn teams) by six weeks (Durham, AAA, Rays).

On Cosart…Cosart, 19, makes his fourth start of the season after pitching last year with the GCL Phillies…Cosart is tied with three others for the league lead with three wins and is tied with teammate Nick Hernandez with 24 strikeouts to lead the SAL (Hernandez has made four starts to Cosart’s three)…Drafted in 2008, he signed with the Phillies over a commitment to Missouri…He is the 8th ranked prospect in the system according to Baseball America.

In-game updates below the fold.

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2010 Jersey Auctions

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Put this up on the site yesterday, but in case you missed it, our 2010 jersey auctions.

First, on Mother’s Day, May 9th, the BlueClaws will wear special pink jerseys which will be auctioned off live after the game.

With the World Cup this summer, the BlueClaws will auction off jerseys modeled after the United States World Cup Soccer jerseys. This auction takes place on June 17th, Soccer Night.

The BruceClaws return on July 10th. The BlueClaws are transformed for one evening, Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night, and will wear BruceClaws jerseys.

On July 29th, the BlueClaws will wear Goonies jerseys as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the hit 1985 movie. Jeff Cohen, who played “Chunk,” will be in attendance to sign autographs, throw out a ceremonial first pitch, and judge a “Truffle Shuffle” contest.

Proceeds for these four auctions will benefit BlueClaws Charities.

Finally, the BlueClaws will auction off jerseys for the American Cancer Society and their “Strides Against Breast Cancer” after the game on August 15th.

A Quick Look Back

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Let’s take a quick look back at an absolutely wild game and series last night in Lakewood. First off, the game took 4 hours and 32 minutes and went 14 innings.

  • The two starting pitchers, Nick Hernandez of Lakewood and Dan Rosenbaum of Hagerstown, had combined to allow three earned runs in their three starts each. So naturally it was 4-4 after an inning and a half.
  • Three of the eight meetings between these two teams have gone to extra innings (Lakewood has won two of those three and the season series is now 4-4).
  • Hagerstown scored two in the ninth to tie the game after they scored five to win 11-7 in the 9th on Thursday night.
  • The teams combined for seven errors and 30 hits.
  • Hagerstown took the lead in the 12th when Chad Poe balked in the go-ahead run (who had advanced to third after a wild pitch on an intentional walk).
  • Lakewood left 20 (!) runners on base in the game, including at least one in all but two innings. They went 3-22 with runners in scoring position.
  • Domingo Santana was 0-4 with two walks and a HBP before his home run.
  • One more, the sprinklers went off a few times in the 11th inning.

Wow. That was certainly a fun series. Next up, Greensboro. The bus arrived at about 9:30. First pitch tonight at 7.

Game 16: BlueClaws (8-7) vs Hagerstown (8-7)

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park, getaway day and a great pitching matchup.

Listen Live (6:50)

LAK: LHP Nick Hernandez (2-0)
HAG: LHP Dan Rosenbaum (1-0)

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Cosart Mentioned in Prospect Article

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

BlueClaws pitcher Jarred Cosart, who throws tomorrow night in Greensboro, is mentioned in this Baseball America article.

Cosart is another high school righthander who spent an extra year in Rookie ball before being unleashed on low Class A hitters this year. Cosart’s mid-90s fastball alone would be enough to dominate most hitters at that level, but mix in his curveball that has plus potential and it’s not a fair fight. Cosart outpitched Greensboro’s Chad James, the Marlins’ 2009 first-round pick, on Monday and has won each of this three starts in a Lakewood uniform, giving up just five runs on 11 hits in 17 innings. He also leads the Sally League in strikeouts with 24 and has issued a mere three walks.

Remember This?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

On the day after Rutgers had two first round picks in the NFL Draft, we let you know that former Rutgers kicker Jeremy Ito will be in Lakewood to sign autographs on Rutgers Alumni Night, May 20th.

Game 15: BlueClaws (8-6) vs Hagerstown (7-7)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park, where tonight’s game will start in a short delay because of some weather.

LAK: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (1-0)
HAG: RHP Paul Demny (1-1)

Listen Live (at 6:20)

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Minor League Review

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

From the desk of Larry Shenk…

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: LHP Nick Hernandez, Lakewood.  1-0 for 2 starts; 15 total innings, 9 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 16 strikeouts; win came on Sunday, 8 innings, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts; no decision came on Tuesday, a game in which he picked off two runners at first and one at second.  21-year was selected in the 12th round a year ago out of the University of Tennessee.

**Player: OF John Mayberry, Lehigh Valley.  Hit .524 in 6 games and led the organization with 8 runs scored, 11 hits and 4 doubles; added 1 double, 1 triple and 5 RBI . . .   Carried an 8-hitting streak through Sunday . . . Hitting .359 for the season . . . Homer on Thursday was the 100th of his pro career, 96 in the minors . . . 26-year-old came to the Phillies in a trade with the Rangers, 11/20/08, for Greg Golson.

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Game 14: BlueClaws (8-5) vs Hagerstown (6-7)

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for tonight’s game. The BlueClaws look for their fifth win in a row…

Listen Live (at 6:20)

LAK: RHP Brody Colvin (0-2, 8.00)
HAG: LHP Jack McGeary (1-0, 3.27)

Four in a Row…Lakewood has won four in a row having allowed just four runs, and only two of those have been earned.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…BlueClaws pitchers out of the pen have allowed just one run in their last 22 innings pitched.

On Colvin…A 7th round pick last year out of Lafayette, Louisiana, he allowed three runs (all in the 3rd inning) on Friday on Opening Night. This is his 3rd start of the year and just his 4th as a Phillie.

5:37: Tarp is on the field but we should be good to go. Supposedly it’s coming off soon.

5:44: Tarp off at 6.

6:27: Nice ovation for the BlueClaws staffers who helped get the tarp off the field.

7:00: Not the best inning for Colvin, he throws 39 pitches and gives up two runs. One walk and he hit a batter as well.

7:35: Final line on Colvin: 1.1 IP, 7 R/7ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 K.

8:04: The BlueClaws just scored three runs on two wild pitches and a balk. Welcome to Lo-A.

8:35: Don’t look now but the BlueClaws scored three in the 4th (RBI single from Buschini, wild pitch and a James SAC fly). Suddenly it’s 9-6 as Villar gets caught stealing.

9:00: Rolling along at 2:20 through 5. Darin Ruf smokes and RBI double. 11-7 Hagerstown. Top 6.

9:25: Some fan just asked another to keep it down.

9:46: Diekman hits a batter and walks three to score a run. 12-7 bottom of 8.

10:30: And that was the final in a cool 3 hours and 31 minutes.

ClawCast: Phillies Minor League Pitching Coordinator Gorm Heimueller

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

We sat down earlier today with Phillies minor league pitching coordinator Gorm Heimueller for a ClawCast. A bunch of topics including the current starting rotation and a little more. Listen here.

  • “I come in and see Pettibone give up one run, Hernandez and Cosart throw shutouts. It’s a young but capable and talented staff.”
  • On Nick Hernandez: “He commands his fastball. We preach that from day one when they sign a contract…He’s got a good change-up and one thing he worked on in instructional league is a slider…The other day he had an umpire that had a real low zone and he took advantage.”
  • On Jarred Cosart: “I think we knew physically the arm that he’s blessed to have. The thing with Jarred was the minor injuries that prevented him from pitching. But he’s in as good a shape as he’s been in since he’s been with us.”
  • On Brody Colvin: “Just like Kyle Kendrick, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco…being able to command a fastball. I sound like a broken record but that’s what it’s about. Here, where the crowds are great, it’s a lot differnet. He’ll have his ups and downs, but to me, being able to experience this when he was pitching in high school last year is important. He’s got the aptitude and desire to make it work for him.”
  • Spring Training from his perspective: “Hectic. At one point we had 87 pitchers. Basically I set up the schedule. We start with bullpens, than batting practice, then the schedule for their five games. It’s a giant crossword puzzle. But it’s fun to see everyone and try to fit them. But this is the best part. Spring training is nice the first few days when you see everyone and the last day when you leave. The rest is a necessary evil.”

There’s more in the interview. Enjoy.

Joe on Joe

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Some comments from Joe Blanton following his outing tonight, two perfect innings. He threw just 13 pitches (11 of which were strikes).

“My stuff felt great tonight. [My] arm felt really good; everything went really well.”

“My mechanics are pretty there. I’m more of, I guess, a command guy, not really a guy who goes out and throw 95-96 (miles an hour). My arm slot felt really good, everything went really well.”

“I don’t know if I expected to throw just two balls. But I pretty much counted on good command. I really didn’t take a lot of time off from throwing. It was only maybe a week or nine days of not throwing.”

“I think the whole time, we were shooting for the three weeks. That was being optimistic, they told me it was mild and I’ve never been hurt before, so that’s what we were shooting for and it looks pretty good.”

Blanton will make probably two more rehab starts (with Reading and/or Lehigh Valley most likely) before being activated in early May.

The BlueClaws, who won the game 4-3 in 11 innings, are now 14-8 when a Phillie rehabs in Lakewood.

(Dave Schofield photo)