Archive for April, 2012

Home Runs for Heroes Closing In on $100k, Podcast

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Through the first three years of the Home Runs for Heroes program, $80,000 was donated by OceanFirst Foundation to military-based non-profit organizations in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

Now in its fourth season, the landmark program will eclipse the $100,000 mark this year.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, OceanFirst Foundation, the official non-profit foundation of OceanFirst Bank, donates $1,000 to one of nine military-based non-profits for each BlueClaws home run hit at FirstEnergy Park.

It’s a great program and we love sitting down with OceanFirst President Vito Nardelli to talk about it, as we did in this new podcast.

You can listen to the podcast below or pop it on you iPod (right click this link, save link as, drop it in your iTunes).

One of the elements that Nardelli talks about in the interview is how this program hits home for him, as he served at Fort Dix as a reserve officer for 20 years.

Click here for the updated standings maintained on

Friday Night Notes

Friday, April 27th, 2012

After a tough 4-3 loss last night, the BlueClaws take on Asheville in the series finale tonight at 7:05.

RHP Colin Kleven takes the mound for Lakewood. He gave up three runs, but none earned, the last time he pitched in Lakewood back on April 14th against Hagerstown and tonight tries to slow down an offense that leads the league in runs and has scored nine or more runs in 8 of their last 12 games.

Here are today’s game notes.

One Run Games…The BlueClaws have played three straight one-run games (2-1), and are 2-3 in one-run games this year…Last year, they led the league in one-run games, playing 51 and going 26-25…They also led the league in 2010, playing 46 one-run games and going 27-19.

On an Altherr…Aaron Altherr had three hits in Thursday’s game and is hitting .319 with seven multi-hit games, two more than he had in the first half with the BlueClaws last year, when he hit .211…Altherr’s lone HR this season came in Greenville in the second game of the season on April 6th…He also has eight stolen bases in ten attempts and over the past two seasons, between Lakewood and Williamsport, Altherr is 45-49 on the bases (.918).

Run, Run BlueClaws… The BlueClaws lead the league in stolen bases with 41, in 50 attempts…Only four of the nine BlueClaws caught stealings have been from the opposing catcher, while the other five have been pick-offs by left-handed pitchers.

Running Claws…Lakewood’s Gauntlett Eldemire leads the team in stolen bases with 12, three more than teammate Kyrell Hudson…Eldemire leads Delino Deshields Jr of Lexington by one stolen base for the league lead…Billy Hamilton of the Reds (Bakersfield) leads the minor leagues with 23 stolen bases.

Thursday Night Notes

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

First off, if you’re coming, we’ll be giving out a pair of UFC tickets for their May 5th event in East Rutherford at today’s game, Friday, Saturday, on Facebook, and Twitter, so keep your eyes open.

Asheville topped Lakewood 4-3 in 10 innings last night to even the series at a game apiece.

Click here for today’s game notes.
Click here to listen live (at 6:25).

Today’s  Starting  Pitcher:  LHP  Ethan  Stewart

About:  6-­‐5,  210  pound  lefty  from  Campbell  River,  British  Columbia

How  Acquired:  47th  round  pick,  2010  from  New  Mexico  Junior  College

Stats:  0-­1,  1.10,  16.1  IP,  10  H,  2  R/ER,  7  BB,  16  K

News   &   Notes:  LHP  Ethan  Stewart    (0-­‐1,  1.10)  makes  his  4th  start  of  the  season  on  Thursday  night  vs
Asheville…He  last  pitched  on  4/18  vs  Greensboro,  allowing  three  hits  over  five  shutout  innings  before  the   bullpen  allowed  nine  runs…He’s  allowed  just  two  ER  over  his  first  three  starts,  with  16  Ks  in  16.1  innings   pitched…Stewart  was  the  16th  ranked  prospect  in  the  Gulf  Coast  League  last  year  by  Baseball  America   after  he  went  4-­‐4,  3.62  last  year…He  was  a  47th  round  pick  in  2010  from  New  Mexico  Junior  College  and   hails  from  Campbell  River,  British  Columbia.

Food Suggestion: Buster’s Chips

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

This is all new at the ballpark this year, and we wanted to pass it along…Buster’s Chips. Here’s what you get:

Your own souvenir BlueClaws helmet filled with fried potato chips, shredded barbeque pulled pork, jalapenos, black olives, cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream!

Buster’s Chips are available on the third base concourse for just $12 (if you just want the helmet, it’s available in the Claws Cove).


Wednesday Night Notes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Just a few for you, as the BlueClaws take on Asheville tonight in game two of their four-game series.

Click here for today’s game notes.
Listen Live at 6:25.
Email: send to

RHP Mike Nesseth starts tonight for Lakewood, and Kenny Giles will likely follow him against Asheville, who has scored at least nine runs in seven of their last 10 games.

Going, Going…Maikel Franco’s home run on Tuesday was his 3rd of the season and second at FirstEnergy Park…It was his first home run off a pitcher other than Hagerstown’s Alex Kreis…Carlos Perdomo’s home run was his first of the season and first since July 15, 2010 when he was playing for Clearwater…The BlueClaws have now hit four home runs in Lakewood this year to go along with nine hit on the road.

On, Over, and In…Gauntlett Eldemire is tied for fifth in the SAL with 13 walks, two behind Ryan Rieger (Greensboro) and Wynston Sawyer (Delmarva)…He’s also third in the league in runs socred with 19, six back of Hagerstown’s Jason Martinson…Eldemire has 13 hits and has drawn 13 walks (including four multi-walk games) to go along with two HBPs, meaning he has scored on 19 of the 28 occasions that he has reached base…He is 10-12 setealing bases (2nd in the league).

In Bunches…Maikel Franco has more multi-hit games (6) than he does single-hit games (4) thus far this year, and does not have a single-hit game since April 13th…All three of his home runs have come in the last
seven games…Franco is 13-37 after starting the year 5-25.

A Few on Tonight

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Lakewood topped Asheville 10-9 tonight at FirstEnergy Park to kick off a seven-game homestand in style. Just a few quick hitters on tonight’s game:

Maikel Franco hit a first-inning home run into the Coors Light WRAT Trap, over the 28-foot high wall in right-center. He’s the first right-handed hitter that we remember to hit a home run over there, and the only two to do so in the last few seasons were Nick Weglarz of Lake County in 07 and Anthony Gose of Lakewood in 09.

Brian Pointer was Adam Giardino’s Deborah Heart and Lung Center Player of the Game on the post-game show, and deservedly so. He had a go-ahead two-run single in the 6th after a bad-luck ground-rule double cost Lakewood the lead, and then, on an 0-2 pitch, he lined a curveball into right for a base hit to tie the score, setting the stage for Franco’s game-winning triple.

The BlueClaws stole four bases to re-take the Sally League lead. They’re now 35-43 on the year.

Carlos Perdomo’s home run was the first of his season, 5th of his career, and first since 7/15/10 with Clearwater.

Lakewood led this game 4-0, trailed 5-4, re-took the lead, trailed again, and got two in the 8th two get the W, as good a win as any team will have. It was certainly fun to watch.

Tuesday Night Preview

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The BlueClaws haven’t played since Friday in Hagerstown after getting rained out Saturday and Sunday plus Monday’s scheduled day-off. It’s back on the horse tonight as the BlueClaws welcome in Asheville, the league’s top offense, to FirstEnergy Park.

Click here for today’s game notes.
Listen Live here (at 6:20).
Email the Booth: Send an email to

BlueClaws Transaction…Harold Martinez, drafted in the 2nd round by the Phillies last year, was added to the BlueClaws roster, taking the spot of Kelly Dugan, who was placed on the disabled list (sprained ankle)…Martinez has not yet appeared in a 2012 game, beginning the season in extended spring training…He was a 2nd round pick (90th overall) last year out of the University of Miami…Martinez spent last year with Williamsport, hitting .256-2-31 in 67 games…He is now the highest draft pick on the Lakewood roster.

From the U…Martinez is the first University of Miami player drafted by the Phillies since 1999 (C Russ Jacbosen in round 3 and P David Gil, who did not sign, in round 7)…They drafted Pat Burrell #1 overall from Miami in 1998…Martinez is the first University of Miami player to play for the BlueClaws.

Noteworthy…Brian Pointer is tied with 7 other players atop the league home run standings with four. He’s two off his 2011 total from the GCL Phillies.

Quick Scouting Report…Asheville has scored 128 runs so far this year, 30 more than 2nd place Hagerstown…They’re team batting average of .298 is 14 points better than 2nd place Hagerstown…Tyler Massey (14th round in 2008 from Chattanooga, Tennessee) is hitting .360 and Harold Riggins (7th round
in 2011 from NC State) .358 to lead their offense.

Deion Fast

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

That’s what BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini said about Gauntlett Eldemire in this story from Bob Brookover in today’s Inquirer.

“What has impressed me most is that he is really laying off bad pitches,” Lakewood manager Mickey Morandini said. “He’s making pitchers come to him in that leadoff spot and taking advantage of it. When he gets on base, he makes things happen because he can flat-out fly.”

Through Friday’s games, Eldemire was hitting .240, but thanks to 13 walks had a .397 on-base percentage. He also was second in the South Atlantic League with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts.

Morandini said he never played with anybody in the major leagues who was as fast as Eldemire.

“He may be in Deion Sanders’ category when Deion got going,” Morandini said.

Click here to read the full story.

ClawCast: Meet C Logan Moore

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

We sat down for a new ClawCast before today’s double-header in Hagerstown with BlueClaws catcher Logan Moore, a 9th round pick of the Phillies last year out of a junior college in Colorado.

Moore, who played third base growing up, moved to catcher last year and this is his first full season as a catcher.

Logan talks about that, his transition to professional baseball, how close he was to going to the University of Tennessee, and much more.

Moore’s father, Brad, was with the Phillies briefly in the 1980s and coached Moore growing up through high school before he went to junior college.

He’s a left-handed hitter (as you can see), and says he’s always been a left-handed hitter. “I couldn’t do it right-handed,” he joked. “Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve hit left-handed…I’m sure it helped me out a lot heading into the draft.”

You can listen to the podcast below or pop it on you iPod (right click this link, save link as, drop it in your iTunes).

ClawCast: Meet Kenny Giles

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Before Saturday’s game in Hagerstown (maybe, it’s raining pretty hard as I type this at 3:38), we sat down with BlueClaws RHP Kenny Giles for a quick interview. Giles, a native of Albuquerque, was a 7th round pick of the Phillies last year and signed at the deadline, choosing the Phillies over the University of Arizona.

He talks here about his start to the season, his favorite pitcher to watch, youth sports in Albuquerque, and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or pop it on you iPod (right click this link, save link as, drop it in your iTunes).

Birthday Weekend

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

In an oddity of the calendar, three BlueClaws coaches celebrate a birthday within two days of each other, plus a few players have birthdays around the same period.

Happy Birthday to hitting coach Greg Legg and pitching coach Les Lancaster, who share a birthday (today). Tomorrow is manager Mickey Morandini’s birthday as well as reliever Colton Murray.

Colin Kleven celebrated his birthday last Sunday (4/15), Mike Nesseth’s birthday was on Thursday (4/19), Colton Murray’s birthday is tomorrow, and Carlos Perdomo celebrates on Wednesday.


Saturday Night Preview

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Lakewood and Hagerstown meet tonight at Municipal Stadium in game three of a four game series. LHP Ervis Manzanillo takes the mound for the BlueClaws, who are trying to snap a four-game losing streak.

Today’s game notes here.
Listen Live here
(at 6:50).
Email the booth: send an email to

On Point…BlueClaws OF Brian Pointer hit his fourth home run of the season on Friday at Hagerstown…Entering Saturday, he is tied for the league lead with five others…Pointer has now hit 10 career home runs, including the six he hit last year with the Gulf Coast Phillies…The BlueClaws as a team have hit 11 home runs, nine on the road and two at FirstEnergy Park.

From Hub City…This is the third of 12 games between Lakewood and Hagerstown at Municipal Stadium this year…Lakewood went 3-10 here last year, including losses in the final four games of the season…They are 3-12 here in 2011-12 and have lost 14 of their last 18 dating to 2010…The BlueClaws took three of four from Hagerstown at FirstEnergy Park last week and are 3-3 against the Suns this year.

Hot Hitting Aaron…Aaron Altherr is 18-57 (.316) to start the season with six multi-hit games…He had five multi-hit games in the entire first half last year with Lakewood when he hit .211…Altherr, ranked 15th in the system per Baseball America, was a 9th round pick in 2009 from Buckeye, Arizona.

On ManzanilloLHP Ervis Manzanillo (0-1, 6.55) makes the start for Lakewood in game three of the series Saturday night…Manzanillo gave up three ER (four total) in 5.1 innings in Lakewood against Greensboro on Monday night…He walked seven over his first two starts, covering 5.2 innings pitched…Manzanillo, who turns 21 in August, spent last year with the BlueClaws and went 8-7, 5.02 with 71 walks in 118.1 innings pitched…He spent the previous year with the GCL Phillies and Williamsport and one season with the Venezuelan Summer League Phillies.

ClawCast: Sitting Down With Aaron Altherr

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Before Friday’s game at Hagerstown, we sat down with BlueClaws outfielder Aaron Altherr, who is off to a 16-52 start to 2012. He talks about how he worked to improve in the offseason, what he expects for himself this year, the battle to lead the BlueClaws in stolen bases, and much more.

Aaron was a 9th round pick in 2009 from Buckeye, Arizona.

You can listen to the podcast below or pop it on you iPod (right click this link, save link as, drop it in your iTunes).

Thanks for listening.

Friday Preview

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Lino Martinez takes the mound for the BlueClaws tonight at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown as the BlueClaws try to rebound from an 11-9, 10-inning loss last night.

Martinez, a 20-year old from Venezuela, gave up three runs over six innings against these same Suns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Park.

Click here for today’s game notes. Listen Live link (at 6:50).

Email: Email the booth at – leave your first name and hometown.

Go Deep…Maikel Franco has hit two home runs this year, both off Alex Kreis of Hagerstown…He hit one with Lakewood and two with Williamsport last year…Kelly Dugan also homered for Lakewood on Thursday, his second of the season and first since the season opener April 5 at Greenville.

In Bunches…The BlueClaws scored six runs in the first inning of Thursday’s game at Hagerstown and so far this year have two five run innings, four six run innings, and a seven run inning, totaling 41 runs scored in those seven innings…In the team’s other 125 innings at the plate this year, they have scored a total of 33 runs.