Archive for May, 2012

Weekly Minor League Review

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Below, find the Phillies weekly minor league review, courtesy of the great Larry Shenk. Read Larry’s blog here.

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHP Tyson

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Brummett, Lehigh Valley. Relieved 3 times, 1-0, 0.00, 5.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts. In his last 10 games, 1-0, 1 save, 2.70 ERA. Began the season at Reading and promoted to LV May 6. Combined AA and AAA: 19 games, 2.01 ERA, 31.1 innings, 4 walks, 38 strikeouts. The 27-year-old was selected in the 7th round out of UCLA in 2007 and signed by Tim Kissner.

**Player: CF Tyson Gillies, Reading. Hit .500 in 6 games (11-22) with organization-high 3 triples. Drove in 5 runs and scored 6 times. Ended the week on a 7-game hitting streak that included multi-hit games in his first 5 games. Average improved from .247 to .280. Collided with RF Jiwan James on Saturday and left after the 4th inning. The 23-year-old was acquired from Mariners in 12/6/09 trade for Cliff Lee.


What Really Happens on the Bus:

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

This week I’m on my first road trip this week with the BlueClaws. This opportunity ranks high on the checklist of getting real experience in the broadcasting industry. More than that, traveling with a professional baseball team is an opportunity that

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few people ever get in their lifetime– and one that many sports fans could only dream of ever doing.

Newspaper beat writers gain access to teams in the clubhouse every day, and they get to gain a certain connection to the players they cover every game over the course of a season. National network broadcasters travel the country on the dime of CBS, ESPN and Fox as they cover the week’s biggest games, but they don’t build a rapport with the coaches and players whose games they cover only a handful of times each year.

However, radio broadcasters in minor league baseball travel with the team. We work with the team on a daily basis and get to see the behind-the-scenes as these players whose incredible baseball talents have landed some of them six-figure signing bonuses get to act like the 19-to-24-year olds that they all are off the field.

Yes, these players all have batting averages and ERAs attached to their names and these coaches have spent time in the major leagues, but they’re all still traveling the country together on a bus grinding out a 140-game schedule—and having a blast while they’re doing it.

As we board the bus at 11:30 p.m. Sunday following that night’s 7:05 p.m. game against Hagerstown, everyone settles-in for the nine-hour bus ride through the night to Charleston, WV. The players and coaches are all in sweatpants and t-shirts locating their pillows and blankets, and getting as comfortable as possible for the long ride ahead.

For those of you who will never get the chance to ride the bus on a road trip with a minor league baseball team, here’s a sample of some of the “Highly Classified” conversations that takes place on a bus full of professional baseball players:

  • A coach on the team telling the players how his “Boise” noise-cancelling headphones will cost less than a dollar a day by the time next season is over, only for the players more than twenty years his junior to break out into laughter and tell him that they think he means “Bose”. As they’re laughing, he asks the group, “You know what the great thing about these are?” and he puts them over his ears and turns back towards the front of the bus.
  • Before taking off from Lakewood the coaches ask around the bus to find out how old a reliever is who isn’t on the bus yet. He has only been with the team a week and this is his first road trip, but they need to know his age to determine when he picks his seat on the sleeper bus. A fellow reliever pipes-in, “He’s 24, but he looks like he’s 18 so put him at the bottom of the list.” One of the coaches looks at the 22-year old who said that and fires back, “Well you look 16 so I guess he still gets to pick his seat before you.”
  • A position player whips out his iPhone that is playing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”. He turns to anyone who will listen and asks, “How can you say this isn’t a good song?” He is then challenged by a reliever to make that is walk-up song when they start their next homestand… he said he’ll think about it.
  • A reliever sees that I’m reading Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m expecting some ribbing for having a Young Adult novel in-tow for a baseball road trip. Instead, he says, “Come on, bro. You’re only on the second one?” We discuss the first book at length and talk about how he finished all three books in a week and how much he used his new Kindle Fire during spring training.

Expecting mandated silence for the players after Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Suns? Expecting hours of secretive strategy conversation among the coaches hammering out a gameplan for the next three games against the West Virginia Power? Sorry to disappoint you.

Needless to say, conversations died down shortly after midnight and no one was in much of a talking mood when the bus rolled into the Holiday Inn Suites in Charleston at 8:30 a.m. Monday. After a quick stop at the continental breakfast, everyone headed off to their rooms to get as much sleep as possible before the bus took them to Appalachian Power Park at 3:00 p.m. (BlueClaws lost, 4-3)


The BlueClaws and Power battle in the second game of their three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m. The BlueClaws will send Ervis Manzanillo (0-3, 6.00) to the mound against Robby Rowland (2-1, 3.60) in Game 2 of a seven-game road trip. Manzanillo has not pitched for the BlueClaws since May 11th when he tossed four innings at Greensboro and allowed five runs.

Listen to all the action on WOBM 1160-AM and WOBM 1310-AM or online beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the BlueClaws Beat pre-game show.


ClawCast: BlueClaws OF Kyrell Hudson

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Before Saturday’s game, Adam Giardino had a chance to sit down with BlueClaws OF Kyrell Hudson for this new ClawCast.

Hudson made a sparkling diving catch in right-center on Friday night that Gauntlett Eldemire joked should have been on SportsCenter this morning. They talked about that, his approach at the plate, going through the recruiting process (Hudson could have been a D-1 football player), and much more.

Click here to listen or use the player below:

Singleton Smoking in Texas

Saturday, May 26th, 2012 has an article on 2010 BlueClaws 1B Jonathan Singleton, who had two home runs and drove in five last night while playing for Corpus Christi in the Texas League (AA Astros).

He’s hitting .321-8-33 in the first 44 games of the year. Singleton, as you remember, was traded to the Astros last year as one of four players in the deal that brought Hunter Pence to the Phillies.

One of three Phillies prospects sent to Houston last July in the trade for outfielder Hunter Pence, Singleton ranks third in the Texas League in average and second with a .424 on-base percentage.

Last year, his first as an Astro, Singleton batted .333 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 35 games at Class A Advanced Lancaster. What did he try to improve heading into his first trek through Double-A?

“Just to go out and prove what I could do,” he said.

“They really haven’t told me much [about another callup]. Things will happen.”

Read the whole article here.

MiLB Video With Aaron Altherr

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Matt Stucko of was here the other day and filmed some videos with a few BlueClaws players. Here is the one with Aaron Altherr:

The BlueClaws play Hagerstown tonight at 7:05 with RHP Colin Kleven on the mound. Here are today’s game notes.

Kleven gave up just one ER in 12 IP last week over two starts and the British Columbia native was the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week for last week.

ClawCast: Gorm Heimueller

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

We sat down with Phillies minor league pitching coordinator Gorm Heimueller before the double-header on Thursday.

Heimueller, who has been in this role for 11 years, talked about a number of different Phillies prospects including those in Lakewood, Reading’s Trevor May, Clearwater’s Jesse Biddle, and Lehigh Valley’s Tyler Cloyd, plus the rule of the catcher in the development of young pitchers.

Click here to listen or use the player below:

Sorry for no quotes for now but we do encourage you to listen to the interview. You’ll enjoy it. Gorm was very insightful as always.

#44: Quintin Berry

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A big congratulations to 2007 BlueClaws OF Quintin Berry, who made his major league debut last night with the Tigers. Berry was a Phillies draft pick in 2006 (5th round) and hit .312 with 55 steals as a BlueClaw in 2007.

He made it as high as Reading with Philadelphia and spent time in the organizations of San Diego and Cincinnati before joining the Tigers.

This year, he hit .270 with 19 steals as a Toledo Mudhen before his promotion.

Here is a story from about Berry.

CLEVELAND — Quintin Berry’s first major-league hit went for a standup double.

That’s the story he gets to tell his seven-month-old son when he’s old enough to ask.

How he got it? That part he’ll likely leave out.

“I keep telling people that I’m not going to let me kid know how I got that double,” Berry said. “I’m going to keep that to myself.”

Truth be told, it came on a bunt.

Berry squared to bunt the first pitch he saw from Cleveland right-hander Zach McAllister in the sixth inning Wednesday, prompting first baseman Casey Kotchman to charge.

Oviedo Impressive in Claws Debut

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Ramon Oviedo, called up from extended spring training on Monday, had his BlueClaws debut pushed back 24 hours by Mother Nature, but last night gave up a run in six innings to earn the win as the BlueClaws started what is now an eight game homestand with a 3-1 victory over Delmarva last night. In today’s Asbury Park Press:

“He came up, threw strikes, had a real good changeup tonight, good location on his fastball,’’ Morandini said.

“He just made two mistakes really for me all night, the home run and a hanging curveball on 0-2. Other than that I thought he was lights out.’’

11:05 start today with RHP Kenny Giles on the mound.

Lakewood will be bidding for their fourth straight win. It would be the first time they won four straight games all year. Lakewood is 1-1 in morning games last year after going 6-6 in such games last year.

ClawCast: Plymouth Rock Safety Cop

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

At each BlueClaws game this year, the Plymouth Rock Safety Cop roams the parking lot and hands out “Safe Driving” citations to the safest drivers in the parking lot before BlueClaws games. We sat down with THE Plymouth Rock Safety Cop for a new ClawCast in which he talks about his role in the parking lot.

“You get some great reactions when you tell people you pulled them over for driving safe. It takes them a few minutes for it to register that you said safe,” he joked.

Click here to listen or use the player below:

For more on Plymouth Rock Assurance, please click here.

Kleven Named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

BlueClaws pitcher Colin Kleven was named Phillies minor league pitcher of the week for the week of May 14-20, it was announced earlier by the Phillies. Lino Martinez won the previous week’s award, the only two BlueClaws to win Phillies minor league pitcher or player of the weeks so far this year.

Kleven gave up just one earned run over two starts (seven innings, one unearned run at Delmarva on May 14 and five innings, one earned run at Greensboro on May 19) and won two games, his second and third wins of the year.

Below, find the full rundown courtesy of Larry Shenk. Read Larry’s blog here.

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: RHP Colin Kleven, Lakewood.  2-0, 0.75 ERA for 2 starts, 12 innings, 9 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 4 walks, 11 strikeouts. In 4 starts this month, 2-1, 1.96 ERA.  For the season, 3-3, 3.38 ERA, 8 starts.  The 21-year-old was a 33rd round selection in 2009 out of R. E. Mountain High School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, and signed by Tim Kissner.

**Player: INF-OF Carlos Alonso, Clearwater.  Led organization with a .545 average for 6 games, 12 hits, 5 runs scored and 10 RBI. He had multi-hits in each of his last 5 games. Raised his average from .299 to .360. Alonso has started at second base, shortstop, third base and left field.  The 24-year-old was selected in the 32nd round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Delaware and signed by Paul Murphy.

Team reports below:


Claws Back Home, Face Delmarva Tonight

Monday, May 21st, 2012

After a 4-3 road trip, the BlueClaws are back home tonight to start a nine-game in seven-day homestand (three against Delmarva than four in six against Hagerstown with double-headers on Thursday and Saturday).

Click here for tonight’s game notes.
Listen Live at 6:20.

(Because of the rain in the area, you can check the BlueClaws Twitter page for game status updates later today)

Welcome Delmarva…The BlueClaws and Shorebirds meet for the first time in Lakewood this year…The BlueClaws took two of three games at Delmarva May 14-16…Harold Martinez was 5-12 and Kelly Dugan 4-10 in that series.

With a Win…With a win tonight, the BlueClaws would win three straight games for the second time this year…They also took three straight from Hagerstown and Greensboro on April 14-16 at FirstEnergy Park.

Good Trip…The BlueClaws are back home after a 4-3 road trip which saw them take two of three in Delmarva and split four games at Greensboro, winning the last two…It’s the first time this year the BlueClaws won back-to-back games on the road and they won more games on this road trip (4) then they had in their first month of road games (3-13).

BlueClaws Transaction…Lakewood has added RHP Ramon Oviedo to the roster from extended spring training…Oviedo will make the start today and become the 8th BlueClaws pitcher to start a game this year…Lakewood’s roster was at 24 and is now full at 25 after the transaction…Oviedo, from Banao, Dominican Republic, spent last year with the GCL Phillies, going 4-2, 3.86.

Going For Two

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

After a 4-3 win last night over Greensboro, the first Grasshoppers loss at home since the BlueClaws beat them on April 10th, the BlueClaws are trying to earn a split of the four-game series today (4:00) and in the process would lock up their first winning road trip of the season.

Click here for today’s game notes.
Listen live link.

A win would give the BlueClaws their first set of back to back wins on the road this year, but they’ll have to do it against one of the best pitchers in the league, Greensboro’s Adam Conley, who is 4-0, 2.31…Conley, who turns 22 on Thursday, makes his 9th start of the year and 4th against Lakewood…He’s 1-0 against the BlueClaws, having allowed 2 ER in 19 IP with 21 Ks…Six of the 11 ER he’s given up came in a 4/28 loss at West Virginia…Last time, he gave up two runs in five innings on Tuesday against Kannapolis, getting his 4th win (tied for 3rd in league)…Conley was a 2nd round pick last year by the Marlins from Washington State University.

LHP Lino Martinez (2-2, 6.86) makes his 9th start of the year and third against Greensboro…Martinez has allowed three ER in 12 innings against Greensboro this year, and threw seven shutout innings (tied a career long outing) against them on May 10th in Lakewood…Last time out, on Tuesday at Delmarva, Martinez gave up five runs in three innings…He had not allowed more than three ER in 16 straight starts but has done so in three of his last five, including 12 at Hagerstown on April 19th…Last year with Williamsport, Martinez went 6-2, 2.79.

Rizzotti Homers Off Buchanan

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

This was last night in Reading. Matt Rizzotti, a 2008 BlueClaws first baseman, who was traded to the Twins during spring training, was back in Reading yesterday as a member of the New Britain Rock Cats last night. He brought his bat, taking David Buchanan deep in the game.

It was Rizzotti’s fourth game with New Britain after he hit .246 to start the year with Triple-A Rochester.

Also of note was the left fielder retreating on the ball – 2010 BlueClaws 1B Darin Ruf. Ruf played his first game in left field last night for the R-Phils. We know he can hit – BlueClaws fans saw that in 2010 when he hit .330 in the first month of the season before getting promoted (when Jonathan Singleton joined the BlueClaws). Ruf, obviously blocked by Ryan Howard, is getting a chance to see if he can play left field to go along with his great bat (he’s hitting .359 this year for Reading).

Steve Susdorf was promoted to Lehigh Valley today, from Reading where he was hitting .297 with a home run and 15 RBIs. Susdorf, drafted in the 19th round in 2008, is Rule-5 eligible after the season and spent all of last year with Reading, hitting .339.

With Lakewood in 2009, with the team needing an offensive boost, Susdorf came aboard on Memorial Day and in three weeks, hit .333 with 2 HRs and 15 RBIs in 21 games. Lakewood won 16 of those and came from 5 games back to clinch the first half title.

Kleven Tries To End Hoppers Win Streak

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

The BlueClaws turn to RHP Colin Kleven tonight as they try to snap Greensboro’s 15-game home winning streak (they haven’t lost at cozy NewBridge Bank Park since April 10th). First pitch is at 7:00.

Click here for game notes.
Listen live at 6:45.

About Kleven…Kleven is 2-3, 3.48 and comes off his best outing – he gave up just one unearned run at Delmarva on Monday…The seven innings ties a career long outing from a July 16th game last year at State College…He has four quality starts (6 IP, 3 ER), most on the BlueClaws staff, and has thrown six innings in four of his starts, also most on the staff….Kleven was a 33rd round pick in 2009 from Kamloops, British Columbia…He spent last year with Williamsport, going 4-6, 4.84.

Snapped…Maikel Franco’s eight-game hitting streak (10-33) was snapped on Friday night when he was 0-4…Harold Martinez’s five-game hitting streak (9-20) was also snapped on Friday, when he went 0-1 with two walks.