Archive for December, 2010

A Little Snow

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

You may have noticed.

BlueClaws Year In Review

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

This is always one of our favorite blog posts of the year, the annual year in review. Here is last year’s, and this year’s is below.

Truffle Shuffle Award…De Renne moved into the starting lineup on July 29th since BlueClaws SS Jonathan Villar was traded earlier in the day (to Houston as part of the Roy Oswalt deal). All DeRenne did was cap a 6-0 comeback with the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th inning. Why the Truffle Shuffle Award? It was Goonies Night.

Jeanmar Gomez Award…Gomez pitched a perfect game for Akron last year and won a MiLBY from MiLB.com. This year, we’ll give the award to Trevor May, who threw seven shutout innings on two hits with 14 strikeouts (tying a franchise record set by Jason Knapp and Robinson Tejeda) on July 26th at Delmarva.

Usain Bolt Award…for being quick out of the box. We could go with a couple of the speedsters but we’ll go with Jonathan Singleton, who hit his first home run as a BlueClaw in just his 2nd at bat, at Greenville on May 13th. He was called up earlier in the day when Matt Rizzotti was sent from Clearwater to Reading and Darin Ruf from Lakewood to Clearwater.

Out with a Bang Award…to Darin Ruf, who, on May 12th, the day before Singleton’s arrival, went 5-5 with three runs and two RBIs in his BlueClaws finale.

FirstEnergy Award…As you know, FirstEnergy is a power company, so we’ll give out our FirstEnergy Award to Sebastian Valle, who not only led the BlueClaws in home runs, with 16, but hit a championship clinching home run on September 18th against Greenville at FirstEnergy Park. You can watch here.

Famous Chicken Award…to BlueClaws pitcher Brody Colvin, who met the Famous Chicken on September 1st at FirstEnergy Park for the first time in about 15 years, when a younger Colvin turned down the chance to be one of the Chicken’s Chicklets.

Jim Joyce Award…to former BlueClaw Jason Donald, who benefited from a bad call from umpire Joyce in breaking up Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game in June.

Better Late Than Never Award…to Keoni Ruth, who joined the BlueClaws in July and hit .333 in the playoffs. He’s a friend (from Hawaii) of fellow 2010 BlueClaw Keoni DeRenne.

Billy Martin Award…to Mark Parent, who was ejected from four games in a 12-game period in June. The record is unknown, but he said “Bet on me.”

Brawl Response Award…to Josh Zeid. Zeid faced two hitters in the SAL Division Series, walking two and hitting one. In the SAL Championship Series, he was the first man in after the game two brawl between Lakewood and Greenville. All he did between that game and later game four, was face 20 batters and get 22 outs, while striking out 12.

Go Green Award…to groundskeeper Ryan Radcliffe, who gets to oversee a brand new playing surface, installed from mid-November to mid-December.

Javier Sotamayor Award…Who’s that? He’s the best high-jumper of all-time. We give the award to Jiwan James for this.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24th, 2010

We hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season. On the way out, be sure to read this awesome post from our buddy Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com. He interviews some Phillies minor leaguers and asks them about their favorite Christmas memories, gifts, etc. Great stuff, for example.

Favorite Christmas Gift From Childhood
Justin De Fratus
…”I usually got the same thing every Christmas. I only asked for one thing…..A Rawlings Pro Preferred Glove. I couldn’t stand using the same glove 2 years in a row so all I wanted was a new glove each year. I also remember being pretty excited about getting my first electric guitar too. I love to play the guitar and make music.”

Unrelated to the BlueClaws, but here is a cool story about a family who received their father’s 1955 Memphis Chickewas, Southern Association Baseball Championship ring.

Swift had lost the ring somewhere before dying of kidney disease in 1966. That somewhere turned out to be a ball field in High Point, where he moved with his family from a tobacco farm in Elkin after retiring from baseball.

Eggleton, whose hobby was collecting lost objects with the help of a metal detector, had uncovered the ring under a few inches of dirt. Not knowing whom it belonged to, he took it with him when he and his wife, Gail, moved to California in 1988.

Have a great holiday everyone!

Definitive BlueClaws/Phillies Bowl Guide

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Our second annual BlueClaws/Phillies Bowl Guide. Who should you root for in the college bowl games if your favorite team isn’t playing? How about rooting along with some of these former BlueClaws and their schools (or the schools they committed to play for before signing out of the draft)? Let’s get down to it. (Here is last year’s. This one is better)

12/18 Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois 40, Fresno State 17…2009 BlueClaw Steve Susdorf went to Fresno State as did 2002 BlueClaw Zach Minor.

12/18 New Orleans Bowl: Troy 48, Ohio 21…2010 Phillies 5th rd pick Gauntlett Eldmire, possibly here in 2011, went to Ohio while 2002 BlueClaw Jay Bernard went to Troy.

12/21 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl: Louisville 31, Southern Miss 28…2009 BlueClaws RHP BJ Rosenberg is a proud Louisville Cardinal while 2005-06 BlueClaw Ryan Frith went to Southern Miss.

12/23 Pointsettia Bowl: San Diego State 35, Navy 14…2007 BlueClaw Quintin Berry and 2009 BlueClaw Troy Hanzawa both played at San Diego State

12/27 Indpendence Bowl: Air Force vs Georgia Tech…2008 BlueClaw Karl Bolt went to the Air Force Academy while 2006 BlueClaw Jeremy Slayden played at Georgia Tech

12/28 Insight Bowl: Missouri vs Iowa…Harry Kalas, legendary Phillies broadcaster and 2005 BlueClaw Nathan Johnson both went to Iowa. 2010 BlueClaw Jarred Cosart committed to Missouri but signed with the Phillies.

12/28 Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs NC State…2004 BlueClaw Zac Cline is a Mountaineer.

12/29 Military Bowl: East Carolina vs Maryland…2010 BlueClaw Stephen Batts is a proud ECU Pirate

12/29 Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs Arizona…Three Cowboy: Michael Dabbs (2010), John Urick (2006) and Jason Jaramillo (2005). 2007 BlueClaw Jason Donald went to Arizona while 2009 BlueClaw Anthony Gose committed there but signed with the Phillies. 2006 BlueClaw John Hardy also went to Arizona.

12/29 Texas Bowl: Illinois vs Baylor…On the Baylor side, we have 2001 BlueClaw Anthony Hensley and 2002 BlueClaw Josh Scott. 2010 Phillies 16th round pick Craig Fritsch also went to Baylor.

12/30 Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs Tennessee…2009 BlueClaws RHP Jason Knapp committed to UNC but obviously signed with the Phillies. On the Tennessee side, we have Nick Hernandez from 2010, Kris Bennett from 2002 and potential 2011 BlueClaw Bryan Morgado (a 2010 4th round pick)

12/30 Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs Washington…a few from Nebraska: 2008-10 BlueClaws Jacob Diekman committed here, 2009-10 BlueClaw Luke Wertz played here, 2009 BlueClaw Tyler Cloyd committed here, 2001 BlueClaw Trevor Bullock played here and 2010 Phillies draft pick Mike Nesseth played here too (he could be here in 2011 but did not play this year due to injury). On the Washington side, we have 2003 BlueClaw Andre Marshall.

12/30 Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs Clemson…One former BlueClaw played at Clemson, 2007 IF Herm Demmink.

12/31 Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs Miami…Jeremy Barnes (2010) was the first BlueClaw to play at Notre Dame though Phillies closer Brad Lidge also played here. 2008 BlueClaw Domonic Brown committed to Miami but ended up signing with the Phillies.

12/31 Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs Central Florida: Chris Duffy, a 26th round pick of the Phillies from UCF, could be with Lakewood in 2011 after hitting .272 with the GCL Phillies in 2010.

12/31 Chick-fil-A Bowl: Florida State vs South Carolina: This is a busy one…From South Carolina we have 2002 BlueClaw Michael Floyd, 2007 BlueClaw Andrew Cruse, 2008 BlueClaw Mike Cisco and 2005-06 BlueClaw Aaron Rawl. From Florida State, 2006 BlueClaw Aaron Cheesman and 2003 BlueClaw Robby Read.

1/1 Ticket City Bowl: Northwestern vs Texas Tech…two Wildcats, 2005 LHP JA Happ and 2006 RHP Dan Brauer.

1/1 Outback Bowl: Florida vs Penn State…Our only Penn St alum is 2003 player Rod Perry, but we’ll throw in Phillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler. No Gators though 2007 BlueClaw Adrian Cardenas committed to play there before signing with the Phillies.

1/1 Capital One Bowl: Alabama vs Michigan State…no Spartans, but on the Bama side we have 2009 pitcher Austin Hyatt and 2010 Phillies 15th round pick Jake Smith.

1/1 Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs TCU…We have one from Wisconsin. From the first ever BlueClaws team in 2001, Chad Sidowsky. Phillies AGM Chuck LaMar went to TCU.

1/1 Fiesta Bowl: UConn vs Oklahoma…2006 BlueClaw Will Savage is an Oklahoma Sooner.

1/3 Orange Bowl: Stanford vs Virginia Tech…2008 BlueClaw Michael Taylor went to Stanford as did Phillies OF John Mayberry, Jr.

1/4 Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs Ohio State…On the Arkansas side, we have 2007 BlueClaw Chris Rhoads and 2001 BlueClaw Matt Riethmayer.

1/7 Cotton Bowl: LSU vs Texas A&M…On the LSU side, we have 2010 BlueClaw Brody Colvin, who committed here but didn’t sign. 2006 BlueClaw Clay Harris played at LSU as well. Our only A&M product was 2003 BlueClaw Ryan Wardinsky (pat yourself on the back if you knew that one).

1/8 Compass Bowl: Pitt vs Kentucky…2004 BlueClaw Nick Evangelista went to Pitt while Joe Blanton, who rehabbed here in 2010, went to Kentucky.

1/9 Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada vs Boston College…One from BC, 2004 BlueClaw Kevin Shepard.

1/10 BCS Championship Game: Oregon vs Auburn…From the Ducks, just 2010 Phillies first round pick Jesse Biddle who committed here before signing with the Phillies. 2006 BlueClaw Sean Gamble went to Auburn as did 2004 BlueClaw Javon Moran.

Cool Note From Clearwater

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News was in Clearwater yesterday as Penn State and Florida get ready for the January 1st Capital One Bowl in Tampa.

Here is Conlin’s column, which you should read. And below is one excerpt that should make Phillies fans happy.

It was Legends Day at the sprawling slice of baseball heaven the Phillies call home during spring training: The Paul Owens Training Facility at the Carpenter Minor League Complex next to Bright House Field.

And, yesterday, playing host to greatness in two sports.

Two living legends were in the house on a glorious late December morning. One legend has lived a lot longer, done a lot more. The other legend remains a work in progress. But what a work. And what progress.

Roy Halladay was well into his killer workout when the gates to the players and officials parking area at the Bright House swung open. Three of Clearwater’s finest on motorcycles led three Penn State team buses onto the grounds. The buses stopped in front of the weight room, where the Cy Young Award winner was working his toned body into a fine lather.

Good stuff.

New for 2011: Thirsty Thursday Club Mug

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Looking for a great last-minute gift for a Thirsty Thursday fan?

We have it…membership in the BlueClaws Thirsty Thursday Club.

Members will receive the mug shown on the right plus seven undated tickets to Thursday home games.

This year, we have seven Thirsty Thursdays (April 7th [Opening Day], April 14th, April 28th, May 26th, June 9th, June 23rd, July 7th, July 21st and August 18th).

The Thirsty Thursday on Opening Day should be a great kickoff.

  • Note: the seven undated tickets can be used for seven different games or you can bring seven people to one game. All the same.

Order form here or call 732-901-7000 opt 3.

World Series Odds Update

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

From NBCSports.com:

First, here are the teams Bodog pegged as improving their World Series chances since November 2:

               OLD      NEW
Phillies       6/1      7/2
Red Sox       10/1      9/2
Tigers        35/1     28/1
Mets          40/1     35/1
Brewers       65/1     40/1
Nationals     80/1     65/1

No surprise. Click the link for more.

Q&A: Matt Forman, Baseball America

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Matt Forman of Baseball America, who was responsible for the Phillies prospect rankings released by BA on Monday, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us on the state of the system and some of your favorite former BlueClaws players.

1. We know Domonic Brown was safely #1…how bunched up was the next group?
Much like last year, Brown easily maintained the top ranking, but the next group was pretty bunched up. Jonathan Singleton, Brody Colvin and Jarred Cosart are great prospects in their own right, and since Brown should lose his prospect eligibility next season, I’d expect those three to compete for the top spot in the 2012 Prospect Handbook. You could really argue Singleton, Colvin and Cosart in any order, and most scouts wouldn’t have a problem with it. You’re talking about one of the minors’ best hitters and two right-handed power arms with electric stuff, so it’s hard to go wrong. Beyond No.’s 2-4, Trevor May and Sebastian Valle were clear-cut options for the next two spots, but things started to get a little more interesting after that.

2. What have you heard regarding Jonathan Singleton and left field?
The early reports on Singleton in left field have been positive, and I think it’s the right move to break it in slowly. The Phillies introduced the idea to him around June, and he started taking fly balls and hard grounders there before games. Then, they gave him lots of repetitions during fall instructs, and they told him he’s going to report to Clearwater for Spring Training as an outfielder. There are a few things to keep in mind here… Singleton is a better athlete than most people give him credit for. The Ryan Howard comparisons are inevitable for BlueClaws and Phillies fans, but he’s a few inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter. And Singleton’s in a different stage of his career than where Howard was when the Phillies considered moving him to left field; Howard was 25 or 26 years old, whereas Singleton played most of last season as an 18-year-old. The tools are all there for Singleton to do well—He is light on his feet and has a solid-average arm with good carry. But I like to think his desire to play left field will be what makes it work. Reports previously indicated that he wasn’t great defensively at first base, so he spent time at extended spring before last year, and he ended up impressing South Atlantic League managers enough to be voted the best defensive first baseman in the circuit. When I talked to scouts who saw Singleton this fall, they said he looked like he could play the outfield, it would just take some time. One scout even suggested he could play right field in a pinch.

Much more below…

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Cliff Lee Roundup

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

As you may have heard, the Phillies have re-acquired some lefty. And some stories…

  • Darren Rovell, CNBC: What Did Cliff Lee Leave on the Table? Only three golfers have earned more than that in their career (Tiger Woods, Vijah Singh, Phil Mickelson)
  • Jayson Stark, ESPN.com: Cliff Lee Pulls a Stunner. It was also one year ago that the Phillies first tried to trade Joe Blanton to carve out the payroll space to keep Lee around and determined that wasn’t possible — so they traded Lee instead.And now, here we are, 52 weeks down the trail, and guess how the Phillies are about to find the dollars to fit that very same Cliff Lee into their 2011 payroll? How else? By trading away that very same Joe Blanton. Of course.
  • Michael Rosenberg, SI.com: He took the best deal, not the most money.
    He took the sure thing. He knows he loves Philadelphia. He loves the organization, the fans, the atmosphere. And the Phillies have the best chance of any team in baseball to win the World Series in the next three years, because they are as good as anybody and play in the weaker league.
  • Paul Hagen, Philadelphia Daily News: Who knew it could happen?
    No one knows for sure yet, but Amaro apparently hoarded some spare change on the off chance Lee decided to become one of the rare free agents in memory to accept well below what he could have gotten elsewhere simply to play with the team he preferred.

There are plenty of other stories out there but these four I thought were very good.

Ten Questions With Kyle Drabek

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

The good folks at MiLB.com have a quick interview up with 2007 BlueClaws pitcher Kyle Drabek that is definitely worth a read.

MiLB.com: What areas do you want to improve to take your game to the next level?

Drabek: I want to be able to be consistent with my windup. To be able to stay consistent so I don’t tip pitches and things like that. It’s mechanical. I just need to work on that and tune up all my pitches, because if I want to make the club, I have to fight for my spot. That’s what I’m going to go into Spring Training and try to do.

MiLB.com: What was the first big-ticket item you purchased after signing your professional baseball contract with the Phillies?

Drabek: Nothing really. I haven’t bought anything big and I don’t have any plans at this moment. Maybe a few years in the bigs and then we can start talking about houses. My dream car would be a Bentley, though. That is something to look forward to in the future.

Full Release on Phillies Top Ten

Monday, December 13th, 2010

toptenfullLAKEWOOD, NJ – Baseball America announced their annual Phillies prospect list on Monday with a heavy BlueClaws flavor. Top ranked Domonic Brown played for Lakewood in 2008 with players ranked second through seventh all playing for the BlueClaws during their 2010 run to the South Atlantic League title.

Brown, who became the 35th former BlueClaw to reach the big leagues in the team’s 10 year history, led the list which featured (in order): 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Brody Colvin, RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Trevor May, C Sebastian Valle, OF Jiwan James, LHP Jesse Biddle, OF Domingo Santana, and OF Aaron Altherr.

Singleton, Colvin, Cosart, May, Valle, and James were with the BlueClaws when they won the South Atlantic League title, while Biddle, Santana and Altherr could be with Lakewood in 2011.

“It’s always exciting to see guys play here in Lakewood who have a great chance to reach the big leagues,” said BlueClaws general manager Geoff Brown. “Our fans have seen some great players over the last few years and it looks like there’s more on the way.”

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Baseball America Phillies Top Ten

Monday, December 13th, 2010

From the good folks at Baseball America (year with BlueClaws):

  1. OF Domonic Brown (2008)
  2. 1B Jonathan Singleton (2010)
  3. RHP Brody Colvin (2010)
  4. RHP Jarred Cosart (2010)
  5. RHP Trevor May (2009-10)
  6. C Sebastian Valle (2009-10)
  7. OF Jiwan James (2010)
  8. LHP Jesse Biddle (2011???)
  9. OF Domingo Santana (2010-11???)
  10. OF Aaron Altherr (2011???)

Much more later.

Quintin Berry to Mets Organization

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

quintin-berryQuintin Berry, who stole 55 bases with the BlueClaws in 2007, the fourth highest total in team history (behind Anthony Gose, 76; Chris Roberson, 59; Michael Bourn, 58), was selected by the Mets today in the Double-A portion of the Rule-5 Draft in Orlando.

It’s Berry’s third organization in the last year. He was put on the Phillies 40-man roster this time a year ago, but was waived in July, being claimed by his hometown San Diego Padres. He played for their Double-A team (San Antonio) for the last two months of 2010, but his just .209.

Minor league Rule 5 Draft eligibility:

Each club can shield 78 players from the draft altogether—40 on the big league roster and 38 at Triple-A. An additional 37 can be placed on the Double-A roster and be protected from the big league and Triple-A phases of the draft.

The Phillies picked three players today.

In the major league portion, they selected utility infielder Michael Martinez from the Nationals. Martinez can play 2nd/3rd/short and all three outfield positions. He hit .272 between Double-A and Triple-A this year.

In the minor league portion, the Phillies nabbed OF Chris Frey from Colorado, who hit .273 in Triple-A in 2010. They also took RHP Justin Friend, who went 3-3, 3.76 with Double-A Midland in the Oakland system.

Remember last year in the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies lost 2007 BlueClaw Carlos Monasterios, who had a solid year with the Dodgers (stats). He went 3-5, 4.58 but had only thrown seven innings above Hi-A before being selected.

Winter Tour Guest List

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

You can read the full release here, but we announced the guest list for the annual Phillies Winter Tour stop in Lakewood coming up on January 26th.

Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr. lead the way.

Manuel, who has managed the Phillies since 2005, has taken them to the playoffs each of the last four seasons and led the 2008 Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980. He previously managed the Indians from 2000 – 2002.

Amaro was named General Manager in November of 2008 after serving as Assistant GM for the previous 10 years. A former Phillies batboy, Amaro played with the Phillies and two other teams over a seven-year Major League career. In just two seasons as General Manager, he has traded for All-Stars Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.

“Being able to bring both the Phillies manager and general manager to Lakewood is very exciting for us,” said BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown. “The two have helped bring tremendous success to the Phillies organization over the last few years and it’s a real treat for our fans to meet them.”

Both Manuel and Amaro will sign autographs and answer fans questions at the sit-down banquet. The event will also include silent auctions and raffle prizes. In the past, the event has included autographed merchandise from Phillies players and former BlueClaws such as Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels.

Registration is $40 per person. To sign up, click here to download a registration form or call Amy DeMichele at 732-901-7000 ext 172.

This is always one of our favorite events and we hope to see as many people at Woodlake Country Club as possible.