Archive for May, 2011

Red-Hot Claws Sweep Phillies Honors

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

claypoolmurphyfullThe BlueClaws, who have won five in a row and 11 of 12, have swept the Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors, with Jim Murphy (Player) and Garett Claypool (Pitcher) having won.

Here is the weekly report from the great Larry Shenk.

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHP Garrett Claypool, Lakewood.  Made 1 start last week, a no decision in which he allowed 1 run on 2 hits in 7 innings.  He walked 1 and struck out a season-high 11 (7 looking).  For the season, he is 1-2 for 12 games (8 starts) with a 2.30 ERA, which ranks second in the South Atlantic League to teammate Dave Buchanan (1.97). Opponents are batting .188. The 22-year-old was selected in the 11th round a year ago out of UCLA and signed by Shane Bowers.

Noted on Claypool: His Monday start in which he threw seven shutout innings, didn’t even count for last week (it will for this week). He’s allowed 2 ER in his last 26 innings pitched.

**Player: 1B Jim Murphy, Lakewood. Batted .364 in 6 games with 5 runs scored, 8 hits, 3 doubles, 3 homers and 9 RBI.  He homered in three straight games starting Thursday night and ended the week riding a 7-game hitting streak.  For the season, he is hitting .264 with 13 homers (matching Reading’s Cody Overbeck for the most in the organization) and 36 RBI, which are tops in the organization.  His 13 homers also lead the SAL.  The 25-year-old was selected in the 17th round in 2006 out of Washington State University and signed by Dave Ryles.

Rest below the fold:

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Daily News: 5 Minutes With Cameron Rupp

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Ed Barkowitz of the Daily News sits down with BlueClaws catcher Cameron Rupp, an interview which you can read here:

Most famous people in his phone: Colt McCoy and Brett Hull. McCoy is a fellow Longhorn alum. Rupp met Hull, who won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999, through a mutual friend. “I haven’t talked to him in a few years. He’s up there [in prominence], even though it’s hockey and not many people pay attention to hockey anymore.” Give him a break, Flyers fans. He’s from Texas.

Read it.

On a Roll

Monday, May 30th, 2011

As the BlueClaws starter Garett Claypool takes the mound today, he tries to follow his three predecessors in the rotation, Mario Hollands, David Buchanan and Jesse Biddle, who have all gone seven innings without allowing an earned run in this rotation. In fact, the BlueClaws starter has thrown at least seven innings in all five games so far on this homestand.

Claypool is 2nd in the league in ERA to Buchanan but leads in WHIP and opponents batting average.

Here is the story in today’s APP on last night’s game which included an 0-4 from Shane Victorino.

“He (Biddle) did very well,” Victorino said of Biddle, the Phillies’ top pick in the 2010 draft, who pitched a career-high seven innings in the BlueClaws’ 4-1 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds in front of 7,430 on Sunday at FirstEnergy Park.

Lakewood (26-23) has won four games in a row and 10 of its last 11.

“He mixed his curveballs in good,” Victorino said. “When he threw the ball down in the zone he was very good.”

Granite Hitting in the Granite State

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

That play on words may or may not (likely not) work, but our buddy Jay at PhoulBallz.com noted on Twitter today that one former BlueClaw is killing the ball up in the Granite State for New Hampshire.

Over his current 8-game hitting streak, d’Arnaud is 16-29 with two home runs and five doubles to raise his average from .254 – .340. He’s only played 29 games (missed 4/25 – 5/8) but is flying now in his first year at Double-A.

Anthony Gose, d’Arnaud’s teammate on the 2009 BlueClaws, is also playing well, hitting .270 and has stolen 20 bases in 25 attempts.

Both are among the top prospects in the system per Baseball America and both came in separate trades. d’Arnaud was a part of the Roy Halladay deal in December of 2009. Gose, on the other hand, was sent to the Astros in the Roy Oswalt deal, where he lasted for about 20 seconds. He was immediately flipped to the Blue Jays for first baseman Brett Wallace.

BlueClaws team photographer Dave Schofield was up in New Hampshire a few weeks ago and talked to those two for a piece that we’ll have here pretty soon. Keep an eye.

On a side note, the weather for this weekend is awesome and will continue to be awesome according to the weather people, so we hope to see you out at the ballpark.

Victorino Day One: Preview

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Shane Victorino will lead off and play centerfield for the BlueClaws tonight at FirstEnergy Park against Greensboro.

The BlueClaws, who got seven shutout innings last night from Mario Hollands and won 3-0, have won two straight and eight of their last nine.

Here are today’s game notes.

Victorino is rehabbing a right hamstring strain and is making his second rehab appearance with the BlueClaws (August 20, 2007).

Back Over…The BlueClaws are back over .500 for the first time since starting the season 1-0…They can reach two-games over .500 for the first time this year with a win tonight…With a win, the BlueClaws would also take three out of four from Greensboro, after the teams split two four-game series earlier this season.

Don’t Look Now…The BlueClaws have won two straight and eight of their last nine games to pull within 4.5 games of first place with 22 games to play (Lakewood has had one game cancelled and will play 69 in the first half)…The BlueClaws have been as many as 10 games out of first (behind Hagerstown – through games of May 17th)…Last year, Lakewood was 5.5 out with 21 to play and won their second straight first-half title.

Zach Attack
…Zach Collier, who had the first four hit game of his career on Thursday, is hitting .382 (26-68) over his last 16 games, with seven multi-hit games, and 10-19 over his last five games…In the current 16 game stretch, Collier has raised his average from .143 to .274.

You’ll be able to listen to the game here, with the first pitch from David Buchanan, who leads the league in ERA, coming at 7:05.

Edit: Should add the last time Buchanan faced Greensboro, he threw seven shutout, one-hit innings in Greensboro on May 12th.

Friday and the Over

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The BlueClaws look to get back over .500 today with a win over Greensboro on another gorgeous night at the Jersey Shore.

Here are today’s game notes, with a few snippets.

Zach Attack…Zach Collier, who had the first four hit game of his career on Thursday, is hitting .391 (25-64) over his last 15 games, with seven multi-hit games, and 9-15 over his last four games…In the current 15 game stretch, Collier has raised his average from .143 to .275…Collier, a supplemental first round pick in 2008, opened 2009 with Lakewood and finished it with Williamsport…He missed all of 2010 with hand and wrist injuries.

Run Run BlueClaws…The BlueClaws, who have 19 stolen bases in their last eight games, have stolen 70 bases in 86 attempts this year (.814, best percentage in the league)…They are tied for 2nd in the league in steals and have been caught the 2nd fewest times of any team in the league…Anthony Hewitt has 15 steals (10 last year), Zach Collier has 12 (13 in 82 games with the BlueClaws in 2009), as does Aaron Altherr (12 last year).

Top of the Table…BlueClaws RHPs David Buchanan (2.21) and Garett Claypool (2.30) are 1-2 in the South Atlantic League in ERA…The BlueClaws pitching staff as a whole has an ERA of 3.53, which is just .22 points behind first-place Savannah for the league lead…Claypool also leads the league in batting average against (.190) and WHIP (0.94)

Shane Victorino Here This Weekend, More

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino will rehab with the BlueClaws this weekend at FirstEnergy Park, Saturday and Sunday, before taking Monday off and heading to Reading Tuesday through Thursday. He is eligible to be activated on Friday from the disabled list (right hamstring strain). From the official release.

Victorino, who has not played since May 18th (and was placed on the disabled list on May 20th), was batting .284 with six home runs and 19 RBIs before getting hurt.

This is the second time Victorino will rehab with the BlueClaws. He went 1-5 on August 20th, 2007.

Overall, the BlueClaws are 16-10 when a Phillies player rehabs at FirstEnergy Park, including 1-0 this year. On May 3rd, Phillies LHP JC Romero threw a shutout inning in a BlueClaws 4-3 win over Savannah.

Lakewood beat Greensboro tonight by a score of 7-6 (box).

Jim Murphy’s home run was his 11th of the year (he hit 14 with the BlueClaws in 2009) and 25th as a BlueClaw overall. He drove in 5 runs, his second highest total of the season (6).

Zach Collier went 4-4 and is 25-64 over his last 15 games.

How about Jonathan Pettibone? He’s picked up right where he left off last year, when he had an ERA just north of 2 in the second half. This year, he’s at 1.75 after throwing seven shutout innings tonight for Clearwater.

Thresh-Heirs

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

See what they did there? Paul Hagen wrote this piece in the Philadelphia Daily News that ran yesterday on the five starters for Clearwater (Thresh-ers), all of whom pitched for the BlueClaws last year. Of course, they’re talking about (stats this year):

  • Brody Colvin (0-1, 4.96)
  • Jarred Cosart (5-3, 2.87)
  • Trevor May (3-2, 4.13)
  • Jonathan Pettibone (4-3, 1.98)
  • Julio Rodriguez (5-3, 2.50)

Said Cosart: “You always say you can’t really put a timetable on anything. You don’t know what’s going to happen with injuries and all that. But with all the big contracts and when they expire and when we’re expected to be ready, I guess you could say it looks like it could fall into place perfectly. We have no problem with that. We try not to look at it, but if it happens like that it’s pretty cool. And like we talk about, we’re going to be ready whenever they make that call, whenever they need our help.”

It was widely noted in spring training this year how the big-league rotation convened around a clubhouse table and held court every morning. The Threshers’ starters also have developed a bond. All were drafted out of high school. All were born within a calendar year of each other. Colvin and Cosart room together and all live in the same general vicinity.

Read the whole article, it’s a good one.

It’s hard to believe that Lakewood ran these guys out there last year one after another, though Cosart and May were never in the same rotation, with May coming back from Clearwater in July the week after Cosart made his final appearance of the season in June. However, it’s no wonder why the BlueClaws had a franchise-best, league leading, and MiLB leading team ERA of 3.04 ERA last year.

Droid / iPhone

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

appsfullThe BlueClaws have launched a new app for the Android phone to join the previously-existing app for the iPhone that launched last year, with the help of Critical Technologies Group.

The apps include schedules, promos, race standings, Facebook, Twitter, Blog links, and much more.

Click here to download the Droid App.

Click here to download the iPhone App.

Enjoy!

This Week’s Catch of the Day Cover

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Here’s the Catch of the Day cover for the current homestand which runs until Tuesday. The accompanying article is of course, on Jesse Biddle and Steve Schrenk, and this cover is modeled after the movie poster to The Karate Kid. Enjoy. (click to enlarge)

biddlecatch

Minor League Review: Santana Phillies POW

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

santanablog1BlueClaws OF Domingo Santana was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday. He went 10-25 last week and hit his 5th home run of the season on Sunday at West Virginia. Here’s the full rundown from Larry Shenk:

**Pitcher: RHR Michael Schwimer, Lehigh Valley.  2 appearances, 1-0, 0.00, 1 save; 5.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts.  First save of the season came on Tuesday when IronPigs moved into first place.  Last 10 outings, 1-0, 1.84 ERA, opponents batting .137.  For the season, 2-0, 1.90 ERA, 33 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.  The 25-year-old, 6-foot-8 right-hander was the Phillies 14th-round selection in 2008 out of the University of Virginia and signed by Paul Murphy.

**Player: RF Domingo Santana, Lakewood.  In 6 games, .400 with an organization-high 10 hits.  Ended the week 6-10 in last 2 games, 2 doubles, a triple, 5th home run and 4 RBI. Hitting .350 in his last 10 games.  The 18-year-old was signed by Sal Agostinelli and Bernardo Perez as an amateur free agent out of Santo Domingo, DR, 3/23/09.

More below

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A Quick Recap

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

On the bus back to Lakewood with an up-and-down internet connection so we’ll try to make this pretty quick. Here are a few notes from today’s 6-5 win over West Virginia (box score here):

  • The BlueClaws have now won six games in a for for the first time since July of 2008 and will try for their first seven-game win streak sine earlier in 2008 on Wednesday when Greensboro comes to town. Greensboro and Lakewood have split eight games this year and the Hoppers just took three of four from first place Hagerstown.
  • Anthony Hewitt homered for the second straight day and hit his sixth home run of the year. All six of his homers have come in May and he’s driven in 14 runs in his last 12 games.
  • Aaron Altherr’s 10th inning single to put Lakewood up 6-5 came on an 0-2 pitch, as did his 2nd inning SAC fly.
  • Jay Johnson earned his first professional save by striking out Justin Howard to end the game. Johnson has 14 strikeouts in his last 7.2 innings pitched.
  • Carlos Perdomo had a hit and two walks after coming in for Edgar Duran in the first inning.
  • This was Lakewood’s first series sweep since a three-game sweep in West Virginia June 10-12 last year, the last game of which propelled the BlueClaws into first place with seven games left in the first half. They would finish the half 5-2 to clinch a playoff spot.
  • The six-game win streak puts Lakewood at .500 for the first time since starting the year 4-4.

That’s it. Garett Claypool, reigning Sally League Pitcher of the Week (previous post) starts for Lakewood on Wednesday, and note the start time is 11:05.

Claypool SAL Pitcher of the Week

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

claypoolblog2BlueClaws RHP Garett Claypool was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Sunday, the first BlueClaw to win a Sally League weekly award in 2011.

Claypool, an 11th round pick in 2010 from UCLA, threw six shutout innings on four hits to win his first game of the year on Thursday at Delmarva. Even though it didn’t count for this week, Claypool’s previous start was May 14th where he allowed one run over seven innings, a solo HR to Bryce Harper that was the only run in a 1-0 Lakewood loss.

Claypool is 1-2, 2.48 this year and has allowed just 30 hits and struck out 48 in 40 innings pitched. He’s 3rd in the league in ERA and opponents batting average (.205) and leads the league in WHIP (1.03).

He is next slated to throw on Wednesday in the 11:05 homestand opener against Greensboro.

Two First Rounders Set to Go

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Jesse Biddle and Jameson Taillon were both taken in the first round of last year’s draft, Biddle 27th overall and Taillon 2nd overall, and they’ll meet this morning (11:05) at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston as the BlueClaws look to win their sixth game in a row.

The two pitchers were teammates at the 2009 “Tournament of Stars” showcase at the USA Baseball facility in Cary, North Carolina (with Marlins first rounder and Greensboro OF Christian Yelich) and Biddle and Taillon still text regularly. Today, they’ll face each other.

Here are today’s game notes.

Going for Six…The BlueClaws are looking for their first six-game winning streak since July 16-21 in 2008 (three at Hickory and three at Asheville)…The BlueClaws enter today having won five games in a row for the first time since July of 2010 and have done so immediately following their first five-game losing streak of the year (5/13 – 17 vs Hagerstown and Delmarva).

.500-Take Six…The BlueClaws have not been at .500 since starting the season 4-4, and will get to 22-22 with a win today…Since then, they have had five chances to get back to .500 and gone 0-5 in those games…The last time the BlueClaws were over .500 was Opening Day, when they beat Kannapolis 2-0.

Unleash the Power…All five of Anthony Hewitt’s 2011 home runs have come in May and Hewitt has now driven in 12 runs in his last nine games to give him 22 on the year, second on the team behind Jim Murphy…Hewitt is batting .298 since starting the year 2-28.

Heating Up…Domingo Santana is 10-25 with six hits in the last two days (two doubles, a triple and HR), including his fifth HR of the season on Sunday…Santana’s five HRs have come in 122 at bats, 52 less than it took him to hit five HRs with Williamsport last year and two more than he hit in 165 at bats with Lakewood (.182-3-15 in the first half)…Santana is just 18 and was a 17-year old with the BlueClaws in the first half of 2010, the youngest player in the franchise’s history.