Archive for June, 2010
We had a chance to sit down with BlueClaws pitcher Jarred Cosart, who went 7-2 in the first half, on Friday before his second half debut on Saturday night at Delmarva…
- On being selected for the Futures Game: It’s a great feeling, when you look at all of the past players there, a lot of them are in the big leagues. It’s supposed to be the best of the best, like Domonic Brown. I think I’ve come along way, and it’s an amazing feeling.
- What part of his game does he think needs the most work? I think it’s just consistency, a lot with my off-speed pitches. Fastball command has been there but it’s learning when to throw what. Mark (Parent) thinks sometimes I get too off-speed happy when I’m missing with my fastball. When I get into a jam I can’t let it affect my mental approach.
- After a 70 inning first-half, how does he feel? Physically I feel great. The work in the off-season and getting to Florida early has paid dividends.
- Thoughts on a possible promotion? I’m going to keep pitching. I want to pitch in the playoffs. I know I’m going to be on some kind of inning limit, maybe around 140 [he’s at 70 now], but I want to pitch in the playoff atmosphere and hopefully win a championship with these guys. If I get moved up, great but if not let’s win this thing.
- How close were you to going to Missouri? All my friends said I was going sign, I had all my bags in Edin, OK at the American Legion regionals. I was going straight from Edin to Missouri. I had my roommate, my classes. The coaches were all in Edin with the Phillies.
- You’ve mentioned Josh Beckett and Nolan Ryan, but were there any hitters you looked up to? Not really any hitters. I was always a pitcher. I loved hitting and playing every day, but I think I’ve always been a pitcher at heart.
I know the Phillies are glad that last part is true.
Let’s try this again…Lakewood and Delmarva will resume a game suspended in the third inning yesterday before playing the regularly-scheduled game (a seven-inning game). We’ll roll through it all in this space for you.
LAK: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (2-2, 5.29)
DEL: RHP Patrick Kantekevich (0-1, 1.45)
LAK: RHP Josh Zeid (4-4, 4.18)
DEL: LHP Nathan Moreau (2-2, 2.98)
Today’s Situation…The BlueClaws and Shorebirds will resume a game suspended last night in the top of the 3rd inning (0-0, one out, nobody on, and an 0-1 count on BlueClaws 2B Alan Schoenberger)…The game will be resumed as a nine-inning game and the regularly scheduled game (now a seven-inning game) will follow.
Batting (at) 3rd…BlueClaws UTL Stephen Batts is playing third in game one. He said it’s his first game at third base since his freshman year at East Carolina (2006). He had one chance yesterday and fielded a short-hop backhand, though Jonathan Singleton applied the tag on an errant throw to first base.
Not Boos, But Luuuugo…Ebelin Lugo, who joined the BlueClaws on his 20th birthday (4/23) has not allowed a run since May 26th, a span of 15 innings, and he’s allowed one run in his last 21.2 innings pitched…He earned his first pro save on 6/18 and threw three shutout in the clincher on 6/20.
5:06: 1-0 Lakewood on a SAC fly by Valle, his 28th RBI in his last 22 games.
5:36: Lakewood adds three in the 6th, all started by a leadoff walk to Singleton. Hewitt a SAC fly and 2-run double by Alan Schoenberger. 4-1 for Pettibone, looking for his 3rd win of the year.
5:58: Pettibone looks very sharp, just two runs through 5 innings. 4-2 Lakewood into the bottom of the 8th.
6:09: Castro adds his third hit, an RBI double. Pettibone out after 6 innings, 2 hits and 2 runs. Ellis looking for the save.
6:23: Ellis gets the save and Pettibone his first win in his last five starts. 5-2 final.
7:15: Underway in game two. Zeid works through a leadoff walk in the first.
7:43: Runs will be tough off Moreau, who has already fanned seven through three shutout innings. Zeid probably done after three scoreless as Massingham was loosening.
7:59: Will it be dark enough for the fireworks? 0-0 to the 5th (of 7).
8:09: Two out none on in the fifth against a pitcher they have two hits and 16 Ks against this year…Lafrenz double, Batts single, James double, of course…2-0 Lakewood.
8:43: Massingham three innings and a run, Lugo the save. 2-1 win and a 2-0 day for the BlueClaws.
The Phillies promoted Double-A Reading OF (and 2008 BlueClaw) Domonic Brown to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday after the 22-year old hit .318 with 15 home runs (including two on Tuesday) and 47 RBIs.
Brown has hit 14 home runs in his last 184 at bats after one in his first 52 and he hit .345 in June as one of the hottest hitters in the Eastern League.
No surprise at all that he was promoted. He went from Clearwater to Reading in the middle of last year, so he’s played 102 games in Double-A and is clearly ready for the next step. He would still have about the chance to play over 65 games there before a possible September call-up with the Phillies, if that’s in the cards. Either way he should be ready for the big leagues by some point in 2011.
Note here, that Brown is batting .321 against left-handed pitchers. Also note the importance of patience, especially when dealing with a raw high school player. Brown hit .214 with the GCL Phillies in 2006 and didn’t eclipse .300 until last year with Clearwater.
He’s been the top-ranked player in the organization for the last two years and will join Jarred Cosart at the Futures Game on July 11th. Good luck to Domonic.
There was one thing that I always thought I could eliminate. And that was, if I worked my tail off I didn’t have to look back if I wasn’t able to make it and second-guess myself. That was one of the things I had control of. And when I hurt my knee early in my career, that was a moment when I had to make a decision whether or not I was going to play major league baseball in Philadelphia or not. The things I felt that I had control of, I tried to accomplish them.
Daulton will sign autographs at the July 3rd BlueClaws game at FirstEnergy Park.
It’s time. The second-half is about to begin, 70 more games and then the 2010 South Atlantic League Post-Season of which the BlueClaws will be a part. From Delmarva, here we go:
LAK: RHP Colby Shreve (4-4, 4.18)
DEL: RHP Luis Noel (2-2, 3.76)
16-5…The BlueClaws were 4.5 games behind Hickory after two losses at Delmarva (5/28 and 5/29)…They went on to win 16 of their last 21 games to win the first-half title…Jiwan James went 29-87 (.333) over that stretch and Sebastian Valle hit eight of his nine home runs.
Not Just a Single(ton) Hitter…BlueClaws first baseman Jonathan Singleton is batting .373 with 9 HRs and 41 RBIs since joining the BlueClaws on May 13th…He leads the league in HRs and RBIs (10 more RBIs than anyone else) since that date and only Rob Lyerly (.375) of Charleston has a higher batting average…Singleton joined Sebastian Valle (6/7) with a two home-run game this year.
See You Later, and Later, and After That Too…The BlueClaws and Delmarva Shorebirds played just four times in the first half, but they’ll make up for it with 19 meetings in the 70-game second half…Delmarva will be in Lakewood for a five-game series from 7/8 – 7/12.
7:37: Rain delay, one out in the 3rd. 0-0.
8:23: Still in a rain delay here…rain is letting up, but there are some puddles to deal with.
8:30: Tarp is going to be taken off the field in a minute.
8:51: Tarp is off but the question is can they dry the dirt around shortstop enough to resume?
9:12: The answer to the last question is no. Suspended game in the top of the third inning. 0-0. Will be completed at 4:35 on Friday, with a seven inning game to follow. Jonathan Pettibone in one game and a bullpen game in the other.
We’ll have a jam-packed Thirsty Thursday when the BlueClaws return home next week: not only with the $1 beer and 50-cent wings and the Surf Taco but Andre Dawson, Baseball Hall of Famer to be, will sign autographs at that July 1st game.
Plus, we’ll have the usual PNC Bank Arts Center ticket giveaway, this time to see Chicago and the Doobie Brothers on July 9th.
Be sure to arrive early if you’re looking for Dawson’s autograph.
Note the picture on the right of the man wearing his Thirsty Thursday Club T-Shirt! Details about getting yours here.
Now, enjoy the movie.
It’s about time to start the second half. After a couple of days of rest, BlueClaws worked out last night at FirstEnergy Park and have arrived in Salisbury, MD to start the first of 70 second-half games, an amazing 19 of which will come against the Shorebirds, who went 31-37 in the second half.
Spoke with Sebastian Valle a little bit earlier today for a story in an upcoming issue of the Catch of the Day.
He stressed that his power surge (he has hit eight home runs since May 29th after hitting one before) has come from nothing more than simplifying things.
“I just want to hit the ball up the middle,” he said. “I’ve been working hard but I don’t try to him home runs. It’s just natural.”
Valle leads the league in HRs and RBIs (26) since May 29th and has driven in 26 runs in just 75 at bats in that period.
He also noted that 2009 was very beneficial for him. Then just 18, he spent the first-half of the year with the BlueClaws, DH-ing and catching sparingly. At the break, much like Domingo Santana this year, he went to Williamsport, where he hit .307 with seven home runs.
“Last year was difficult not playing every day,” he said. “But at Williamsport I got my rhythm and it was definitely helpful for this year.”
This Philadelphia Inquirer article notes Valle’s improvement defensively.
Parent, 38, a catcher in the big leagues for 13 years, has the task of trying to develop some of the brightest pitchers in the Phillies’ minor-league system in Lakewood. He needs Valle.
“I went through this, too,” Parent said. “Every catcher has to learn that when you play the position, the number-one thing is you have to get that pitcher through the game and win the ball game.”
Catching is relatively new for Valle, who first caught at an international tournament in 2006 when his team needed a late-replacement.
After a May 12th start in Greenville, the first of 28 games in 28 days for the BlueClaws, Brody Colvin had an 8.40 ERA and had failed to get out of the second inning for the second time in his first seven starts.
It was then when he called his older brother, Pete, for a little bit of advice.
“He said ‘Hey man you have to step it up, these guys are counting on you. It really hit home for me that I want to perform for those guys,'” recalled the younger brother. “After that, I’ve been really bearing down since then.”
And bear down he has. Since then, Colvin has a 1.83 ERA over seven starts, with 44 Ks and just 10 BBs in 44.1 innings.
He capped it off with a five inning, two earned run performance on Sunday picking up the win in the BlueClaws first-half clincher.
“My approach was the same as usual and I wanted to keep it as normal as possible,” he said.
For Colvin, not only did he want to win it for the BlueClaws, he also wanted to make up for a start in the first round of the Louisiana State Baseball Tournament pitching for St. Thomas More last year.
“The playoff game we badly and I didnt’ pitch well.” Now he’ll get another playoff start.
“Tonight was a great night, we had a lot of fun.”
Current BlueClaws pitcher Jarred Cosart and 2008 BlueClaws OF Domonic Brown will represent the United States in MLB’s annual Futures Game, this year held July 11th in Anaheim, site of the MLB All-Star game two days later. Congrats to both, it’s a very prestigious honor to be selected.
Cosart, who just turned 20 on May 25th, was a 38th round pick from League City, Texas in 2008. He went 7-2, 3.44 for the BlueClaws in the first half and entered the year as the 8th ranked prospect in the system per Baseball America. He went 4-1, 3.12 over his final seven starts, helping the BlueClaws win the first-half championship.
He was profiled in the Philadelphia Daily News today (click here).
Brown hit .291 with nine home runs with the BlueClaws in 2008 after being drafted in the 20th round of the 2006 draft. This year, he is batting .317-13-43 with Double-A Reading and has been the top ranked prospect in the system for the last two seasons.
Like Cosart, who had committed to Missouri to play both the outfield and pitch, Brown had committed to Miami, where he could have been a running back on the football team. Those collegiate commitments were the reason for each player slipping, much to the delight of the Phillies.
Below, find the list of players who have played for both the BlueClaws and in the Futures Game (year in Futures Game).
- 2003-04: Gavin Floyd
- 2003: Ryan Howard
- 2005: Scott Mathieson
- 2006-08: Carlos Carrasco
- 2007: Adrian Cardenas
- 2008: Jason Donald
- 2008: Greg Golson
- 2008: Lou Marson
- 2009: Kyle Drabek
Cosart joins Carlos Carrasco and Adrian Cardenas as players who have made the Futures Game while still in Lo-A, which is very rare.
There are seven players on the US roster (Cosart, Shelby Miller [P, St. Louis] and Mike Trout [OF, Angels]) and World Roster (Chun-Hsiu Chen [C, Cleveland], Hak-Ju Lee [IF, Cubs], Francisco Peguero [OF, Giants] and Eury Perez [OF, Nationals]) who are in Lo-A and have been selected.
Another good article today in the Philadelphia Daily News by Tyler Dunne, this time on Jarred Cosart. Read here:
Cosart’s challenge now is “getting a pitching IQ,” BlueClaws manager Mark Parent said.
Cosart pours himself into every pitch. Parent is Cosart’s chill pill. He has the task of recalibrating Cosart. Too often, Lakewood’s ace loses focus when batters connect on his fastball. Take his start last week against the Lexington Legends, for example. A pair of batters cranked hits off Cosart’s fastball, and he began flirting with changeups. He strayed away from who he was.
“Listen,” Parent said he told Cosart. “You’re not a [Jamie] Moyer, you’re not a [BlueClaws pitcher Matthew] Way. You’re a Cosart. You have a fastball. Don’t get beat on your other stuff. You can show them that stuff, but don’t get beat.”
Each pitch, Cosart waded further into uncharted waters. Eventually, he eclipsed the 100-pitch mark. With one out, in a tie game, Cosart had runners on first and third. Parent asked Cosart whether he could continue. He did and fought his way out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.
Afterward, Parent told Cosart he grew up that night. Unlike past games, emotions didn’t push him over the deep end.
Read the article here, with a snip below.
Amongst the Phillies brass in attendance for the Lexington series was Benny Looper, the team’s assistant general manager of player personnel. Flanked far left in the bleachers, Looper studied Singleton during batting practice. To him, Singleton has improved drastically this season. After hitting .290 with two homers and 12 RBI in 31 games in the Gulf Coast Rookie League, Singleton has matured in a hurry, Looper said.
The game-winning check swing might as well have been a grand slam.
“For a young kid, that’s outstanding,” Looper said, “particularly in a situation like that. The game’s on the line and you want to be the hero. I thought that it was outstanding on his part to be that patient.”
Don’t expect a quantum leap to the Phillies any time soon. The next step to high Class A Clearwater might have to wait. Again, he’s 18. There’s no need to force-feed him into action. An NL scout predicted Singleton would be ready for the Phillies in 3 or 4 years.
“The guy has a real good swing,” the scout said. “It’s real simple and he repeats it well. He has good bat speed and can drive the ball to all fields . . . With a guy like him having so much success at a young age, you’d like to challenge him, but you also don’t want to hurt his confidence.”
Also, since he joined the BlueClaws on May 13th, Singleton leads the South Atlantic League in HRs (9), RBIs (41), on-base (.460), slugging (.579) and is two points behind JD Martinez of Lexington in batting average (.375-.373).
Tony Graham recaps yesterday’s game and the first-half title (click here).
A major reason for the hot stretch has been Jonathan Singleton.
The Phillies’ eighth-round pick in 2009 has hit nine home runs in just 37 games since joining Lakewood May 13. Since then, Lakewood is 24-12.
He unloaded a line drive, three-run shot Sunday that capped a four-run first inning and quickly wiped away a 1-0 deficit. The blast onto the right-field walkway followed an RBI single by Leandro Castro (3-for-4).
“It made things a little easier,” said Singleton after Lakewood had failed to clinch the title Saturday night when it lost to the Intimidators. “We still needed to score more runs (Sunday) and eventually we did, but that definitely made it easier.”
The left-handed Singleton took care of the insurance runs as well. His towering home run in the fifth gave Lakewood a 6-2 lead.
Prior to Sunday, Singleton had been battling his first adversity of the season with two hits in his last 18 at-bats.
“It was a learning experience,” said Singleton who lifted his batting average to .373. “Those games actually led to today. I thought about how they were pitching to me and what they were doing and transferred it into today.”
Just back from the clubhouse. We have some interviews for you and photos too. Check back later tonight. But the BlueClaws are going back to the post-season! Hickory is 30 minutes from the start of their game against Greenville, and they know that it is for naught. O well.