Archive for July, 2011

Another Former BlueClaw On the Move

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

And it’s Ed Wade at the controls again. This time, it’s 2004 BlueClaw Michael Bourn who is no longer with the Astros and will join the Atlanta Braves.

Bourn has 58 steals in a BlueClaws uniform, third all time to Anthony Gose and Chris Roberson. He was originally traded to the Astros as part of the deal that brought Brad Lidge to Philadelphia, but now heads to a Phillies division rival.

Off Dramatic Win, Claws Finish Series at 2 pm

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Jeff Lanning’s 10th inning double gave the BlueClaws a 5-4 win last night over West Virginia, a come-back win for the BlueClaws who scored one in the 5th and tied the game in the 8th inning.

Today, Mario Hollands makes a spot start as the BlueClaws try to work a split against West Virginia at 2:05. Here are today’s game notes.

With a Win…The BlueClaws are 5-2-2 in series during the second half, with their only two losses at Hagerstown (3 of 4) and at Kannapolis (2 of 3)…Lakewood needs a win in this game to work a split of this four-game series.

Back Within Two…With last night’s win over West Virginia and Augusta’s win over Hickory, the BlueClaws are back within two games of Hickory, which was their deficit at the outset of the current road trip.

Close Calls…The BlueClaws are 22-17 in one-run games this year and are tied for the league lead with Greenville (18-21).

On Hollands (6-6, 4.54)…Hollands, 22, makes his 24th appearance and 13th start of the year…This start is his first since June 6th, when he allowed seven runs in 2.2 innings at Hickory, after which he moved into the bullpen…As a reliever, Hollands is 2-2, 3.43 in 11 appearances…His longest outing this year is seven innings, done twice, the last time on May 27th against Greensboro…His longest relief outing was 4.1 innings of shutout baseball at Hagerstown on June 29th…10th round pick last year from UC-Santa Barbara.

Saturday Game Preview

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

(UPDATED: Today is Saturday, not Sunday)

The first two days of the series in West Virginia have not gone exactly as planned for the BlueClaws: entering on a three-game winning streak, they’ve lost the first two games having been outscored 21-10 in the process.

It’s marked the first time since April of 2010 that the BlueClaws have allowed ten runs in back to back games. The BlueClaws did, however, hit two home runs in last night’s game, one by Cameron Rupp (who has now hit safely in 21 of 24 and is batting .372 in that stretch) and another by Jim Murphy, which leads us to:

One to Go…Jim Murphy homered on Friday and now with 21 home runs on the season, is just one away from tying the single-season franchise record set in 2001 by Juan Richardson…His total is the second highest in franchise history, breaking a tie with Ryan Howard, who hit 19 home runs in the 2002 season…Murphy has now hit 35 home runs as a BlueClaw (also the most in franchise history), including 14 in 2009…He tied for the league lead with Asheville’s Corey Dickerson.

Needing a Win…The BlueClaws need a win to avoid a three-game losing streak…It would be Lakewood’s 6th three-game losing streak of the season and first of the second half…Their last three-game losing streak was June 16-23 (four games, the last three of the first half against West Virginia and the first game of the second half against Delmarva).

Ervis Manzanillo (7-5, 4.79)  on the mound for Lakewood and here are the game notes. First pitch at 7:05.

More Notes

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Just a few more things this morning.

Jarred Cosart, part of the trade, is from League City, Texas, just 26 miles from Houston. This is a homecoming of sorts for Jarred, who will report to AA Corpus Christi. He Tweeted this:

Love Philly but no place like home! Thanks for the love and all the new opportunities that await. Will miss all my boys!

This from Jayson Stark on ESPN.com:

Sources told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the Astros will select the player to be named later from a list of minor leaguers currently playing in Class A. That group does not consist of top prospects, those sources said.

Definitive BlueClaws moments for the three traded players?

  • Cosart: He had a few dynamite starts but really jumped out by throwing six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in his third start of the year. In mid-May, he threw six innings/one run/10 Ks in Greenville and Mark Parent said his stuff that night was good enough to get through a big league game.
  • Singleton: One of two, either his first game, when he smacked a home run in his second at bat at Greenville on May 14th, or June 20th, when he hit a pair of long balls in a BlueClaws win on June 20th, the last day of the first half when they clinched the first half title.
  • Zeid: He had a lot of great moments last year but two stand out. In the SAL Championship Series, he threw four shutout innings right after a bench-clearing brawl to seal game two and then he threw four shutout innings to seal game four, the clincher.

As for the current BlueClaws, no moves yet. LHP Ervis Manzanillo on the mound at 7:05 in West Virginia. We’ll have more later.

Story Roundup

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Here are some stories from the national media, Houston media and Philadelphia media about the trade last night that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies in exchange for Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and a player to be named later.

Dave Murphy says The Future Is Now.

Matt Gelb’s story in the Inquirer in which he talks about the impact of Domonic Brown, who might be headed back to the minors to play every day:

“We believe Domonic Brown is going to be an outstanding major-league baseball player,” Amaro said. “He’s kind of learning on the job. He’s done a nice job for us here. This is not a knock on Domonic Brown by any stretch of the imagination. We believe and hope he’s going to be a Phillie for a long time.”

SI.com’s Cliff Corcoran says don’t underestimate the importance of having Pence under team control through 2013.

From the Houston Chronicle, comments from Astros GM Ed Wade.

“We kicked a lot of names around and obviously the two you mention (Domonic Brown and Vance Worley) are highly visible prospects with the Phillies, both of them playing at the big league level right now. We had to look at and determine whether now vs. future made the most sense. I’m not going to acknowledge that either of those guys were available. At the end of the day, what we had to do was make sure that the deal that we made had the most sense from the standpoint of contributions at a significant level for a significant period of time, and we felt the package we put together was the correct one for us.

Funny Chronicle blog post about Ed Wade being a secret agent:

Since Ed Wade, the former general manager of the Phillies, came to Houston as the Astros’ general manager, he has made 423 trades with his former organization. (Look it up.)

So there was little surprise that Hunter Pence was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last night.

The Chronicle is working on a story that Wade might be a secret agent working for the Phillies.

We are not allowed to discuss this openly, and this blog entry will disappear five seconds after you finish reading it.

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo says the Astros did well for themselves.

Three 2010 BlueClaws Help Land Pence

Friday, July 29th, 2011

singcoszeidWe’ll have a bit more tomorrow but here is the full BlueClaws release on the former BlueClaws that helped land Hunter Pence tonight for the Phillies.

Note that in the past two Julys, the Phillies have acquired Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence from Houston for seven players, four of whom were 2010 BlueClaws: Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid today for Pence and Jonathan Villar was in the deal last year for Roy Oswalt.

In acquiring Astros OF Hunter Pence on Friday night, three players who helped the 2010 BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League title were traded to the Houston organization: 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Jarred Cosart and RHP Josh Zeid.

Singleton led the BlueClaws with 14 home runs in 2010 after joining the team on May 13th. This year, he was batting .284 with 9 home runs playing for Clearwater in the Florida State League. Singleton was an 8th round pick of the Phillies in 2009 from Lakewood, California.

Cosart, a 38th round pick in 2008, went 7-3, 3.79 with Lakewood in 2010 and was selected to the Futures Game, though he could not participate due to injury. He was picked again this year and went 9-8, 3.92 with Clearwater.

Zeid, drafted in the 10th round of the 2009 draft from Tulane, went 8-4, 2.93 with Lakewood last year. He threw eight shutout innings for the BlueClaws in the 2010 South Atlantic League Championship Series.

At the trade deadline in 2010, the Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt for a package that included 2010 BlueClaws SS Jonathan Villar, now playing with Double-A Corpus Christi, making four of the seven players traded to Houston for Oswalt and Pence were teammates on the 2010 BlueClaws.

Entering 2010, Singleton was ranked the 2nd best prospect in the system per Baseball America. Cosart was ranked 4th.

BlueClaws or former BlueClaws have been involved in trades in each of the last three years.

  • July 2009: Jason Knapp (2009), Carlos Carrasco (2006), Lou Marson (2006) and Jason Donald (2006) traded to Cleveland for Cliff Lee.
  • December 2009: Kyle Drabek (2007), Michael Taylor (2008), and Travis d’Arnaud traded to Toronto for Roy Halladay.
  • July 2010: Jonathan Villar (2010), JA Happ (2005) and Anthony Gose (2009) traded to Houston for Roy Oswalt.
  • July 2011: Jonathan Singleton (2010), Jarred Cosart (2010), and Josh Zeid (2010) traded to Houston for Hunter Pence.

The BlueClaws return to FirstEnergy Park on August 5th for a four-game series with West Virginia.

- BlueClaws -

Mr. Utility

Friday, July 29th, 2011

That’s what BlueClaws beat writer Tony Graham calls Carlos Alonso – Lakewood 2b, possible 3b, and emergency catcher, in today’s Asbury Park Press (click here to read the full article).

It’s a fitting title for a guy who can play anywhere on the field. Says his manager, Chris Truby:

“He’s a gamer,”’ Truby said. “He plays all over the field and he’ll give you everything he has each and every day. He’s learning a new position at second base and he’s doing a real good job with it.”

Alonso was a 35th round pick last year from the University of Delaware and is a native of Los Gatos, California.

Read the full story, you’ll enjoy.

Friday Night Preview

Friday, July 29th, 2011

bonillablog1The BlueClaws turn to Lisalberto Bonilla tonight in West Virginia after the Power knocked off the BlueClaws last night 10-5, scoring 10 unanswered runs.

Lakewood got two-run doubles by Cameron Rupp and Edgar Duran in a four-run second inning but after that, the highlight of the night was, as we Tweeted:

A kid, maybe 8, in front of us in WV just given $20 by his dad, I’m pretty sure to put away his vuvuzela. #annoying

Here are tonight’s game notes.

Bonilla took the lost in his last outing on Saturday against Augusta but won his two prior and four back, on July 6th, threw nine shutout innings in an unfortunate no-decision against Hagerstown (Lakewood would win 1-0 in 10 innings).

First as a BlueClaw…Steve Singleton hit his first BlueClaws home run on Thursday at West Virginia…He had previously hit six earlier this year, three with New Britain and three with Rochester in the Twins organization…Singleton, released by the Twins in mid-July, signed with the Phillies and was signed by the Phillies…He is 6-15 after a 1-12 start with Lakewood…Singleton has hit fifth and played third in all of his games with the BlueClaws.

Rupp on a Roll…BlueClaws C Cameron Rupp has hit safely in 20 of his last 23 games (30-80, .375)…Rupp, drafted in the 3rd round last year from the University of Texas, had an eight-game hitting streak and nine-game hitting streak among his current 23 game stretch…His average has gone from .217 to .269 over the current stretch…He peaked on Monday at .270, his highest batting average since he was 1-3 on Opening Day.

Thirsty Saturday

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

thirstysaturdaycarIn 2009, we had Thirsty Friday during a playoff game. This year, we have Thirsty Saturday in August. That would be August 6th. Thirsty Thursday on a Saturday.

Thirsty Thursday rules mean $1 beer and soda plus 50-cent wings in the Coors Light WRAT Trap. Here are details of Irish Heritage Night, also that night which includes pipes and drums, green jerseys, and Irish music.

Click here to order your tickets online.

Minor League Review

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Here is the weekly Minor League review as sent over by the great Larry Shenk.

–Note, not included in last week’s report was Travis Mattair’s two home run game for Clearwater on Tuesday night, a game that also included Julio Rodriguez win his minor-league leading 13th game of the season.

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHS Austin Hyatt, Reading.  Was 2-0 for 2 starts, 2 runs, 8 hits in 13 innings.  Walked 4 and struck out 16.  Victory was his third in a row and improved his record to 9-5 for 20 starts.  ERA is 4.02 for 112.1 innings with 125 strikeouts.  In 3-plus minor league seasons, he is 24-10.  The 25-year-old was selected in the 15th round in 2009 out of the University of Alabama and signed by Mike Stauffer.

**Player: CF Jiwan James, Clearwater.  Batted .400 in 7 games with an organization-high 12 hits, 6 runs scored and 5 doubles. Had doubles in each of his last 4 games. Drove in 5 and stole 2 bases (20 for the season). Hitting .339 post-All-Star Game, boosting his average from .261 to a season-high .287. The 22-year-old was selected as a pitcher in the 22nd round in 2007 and signed by Chip Lawrence.  He was 0-4, 7.71 ERA at the Gulf Coast League in 2007, didn’t play at all in 2008 (right biceps injury) and converted to an outfielder at Williamsport in 2009.

(more…)

Meet BlueClaws OF Bill Rice

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Bill Rice grew up in Sewell, NJ, about 75 miles from Lakewood, and led Washington Township High School to the 2006 state championship. Growing up a Phillies fan, he ended up signing as a non-drafted free agent with the Phillies last year.

Ironically, he signed out of a tryout camp held at, of all places FirstEnergy Park, becoming the second player, Mark Kirk in 2006 being the other, to sign out of a tryout camp in Lakewood and eventually play for the BlueClaws.

Our Dave Angstadt recently sat down with Rice (read the full story here), who said “I want people to say, ‘man that kid looks like he wants to be on the baseball field’”.

He joined the BlueClaws from the GCL on July 15th when the team was in Greenville.

“I was excited that my dad wouldn’t have to listen to my mom yell at him for going all the way to Florida to watch me play,” says Rice. In addition to more frequent game visits from his family and friends, he also noticed an increasingly Phillie-friendly atmosphere. “Phillies games are always on (in the locker room) and everyone’s always rooting for them”, he said.

Bunch of Stuff

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

We did a very lousy job of blogging what was an entertaining series between the BlueClaws and Augusta GreenJackets over the weekend. Lakewood ended up taking three of four, winning the last three, and BlueClaws pitchers gave up just five runs in those last three games.

Here are a few that we missed.

Colby Shreve has not allowed an ER in July (14 IP) and has given up just seven in his last 37 innings pitched. Tony Graham has the story:

“”I love it,” said Shreve who said his new role had to do with declining velocity as he moved deeper into games as a starter.
“”In the bullpen it’s just  kind of just airing it out for a couple of innings,” he said. “”You really  don’t  have to have that sixth or seventh inning in the back of your mind.
“”I’ve had a lot more success out of the bullpen because I’m aggressive in the zone and throwing everything a lot harder.”
“He’s really kind of grown into that role in the bullpen,” Truby said.
“”His stuff comes out much better than when he was a starter. He knows he can let go a little bit.
“”He’s added a cutter,” Truby said. “‘He’s really got four pitches to get guys out with  now and he throws them all for strikes.”

Here’s Tony on David Buchanan, who threw eight shutout innings to lead the BlueClaws to a Monday night win.

Buchanan recently  endured a rough stretch before recovering his form and has now allowed two earned runs in his last 20.2 innings during which he has struck out 20 and walked five.
“”That’s one of the things I got caught up in, trying to impress everybody and worry about  what everybody else was thinking,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan doesn’t seem to mind that his name has not been mentioned in the media this week as Sunday’s trading deadline approaches.
“”This is a great organization to play for,” Buchanan said. “”I would definitely be in no hurry to leave this place.
“”I’m having a blast. We’ve got great coaches, trainers, and a lot of great players to be around, too.
“”Again, that’s (trades) another thing I can’t control. All I can do is go out there and compete.”

And another TG Special, this one on new BlueClaws 2B Carlos Alonso.

Truby describes Alonso as a high energy guy.

“”He plays all over the field and he’ll give you everything he has each and every single day,” Truby said.

“”He’s learning a new position at second base and he’s doing a real, good job with it.”

The native of Los Gatos Calif. who was second-team all-Colonial Athletic Association for Delaware as a senior after spending his first two years at Santa Barbara City Calif. College.

At one point in 2010 he was leading Division I in batting average at .466 before finishing with a .389 average, 20 doubles, and 62 runs scored.

Much more coming.

Greetings From West Virginia

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

gamewinnerfullThe BlueClaws have arrived in Charleston, WV for a four-game series with the Power and the start of an eight-game road trip that will also take them to Delmarva.

Having won three straight games, the BlueClaws are just two games out behind first place Hickory and 16 of their next 20 games are against West Virginia and Delmarva, who are each 12-20 in the second half.

Here’s how the pitching match-ups line up this weekend:

Thursday: RHP Claypool (3-6, 3.28) vs RHP Waldron (6-6, 4.75)
Friday: RHP Bonilla (2-3, 2.06) vs LHP Cain (5-7, 3.13)
Saturday: LHP Manzanillo (7-5, 4.79) vs LHP Fuesser (2-4, 3.00)
Sunday: RHP Buchanan (11-5, 3.38) vs RHP Von Rosenberg (4-7, 6.65)

Here are today’s game notes.

With a Win…With a win tonight, the BlueClaws would win four games in a row for fourth time this year (first in the second half)…Their season long win streak is six, from May 18 – 23 against Delmarva and West Virginia…They would also get to five games over .500 for the first time in the second half and three games over .500 overall for the first time since they were 28-25 after a 4- 3 loss at Greensboro on June 2nd.

Close Calls…The BlueClaws are 21-17 in one-run games this year and have played the second most one-run games of any team in the South Atlantic League to Greenville, who has played 39 (18-21)…Of Lakewood’s 18 wins in the second half, 12 have been decided by three runs or less.

Strong Pitching…BlueClaws pitchers have a 3.09 ERA in July (14-10) after they pitched to a 4.48 ERA in June…Included is Colby Shreve who has not allowed an earned run in 14 innings and Lendy Castillo who has allowed just two in 11 innings…The BlueClaws have the league’s third best July ERA (Savannah leads at 2.84)…Lakewood’s second-best month was May when their team ERA was 3.16.

Brody Colvin, Tyler Greene

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Brody Colvin caused a stir last night when he was removed from his start with Clearwater after three innings. Nobody knew if he had been traded or injured. As it turned out, he left the game with a tight groin, though he could still make his next start.

It’s that time of the year with the trade rumors buzzing around. People were Tweeting to all the Phillies writers and speculating as to the possible trades.

If this happened on May 22nd instead of July, no big deal. But it was certainly weird. Do a Twitter search of “Brody Colvin” and scroll back last night.

Colvin was pitching very well, having fanned four in three shutout innings. Hopefully he is good to go for his next start.

The Phillies signed, according to Baseball America, their 11th round pick, SS Tyler Greene. He had committed to Georgia but will now head to the Gulf Coast League.

This is what scouting director Marti Wolever said about him when he was drafted last month:

“Tyler Greene probably has as much ability tools-wise as anybody [the Phillies drafted],” Wolever said. “He just had a real difficult year with the bat, but he has a lot of ability.”