Archive for September, 2012

Three For the First Time

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Last night, BlueClaws staff members, along with staff members from Reading and Lehigh Valley, were at all Citizens Bank Par

viagra 100mg

k for the Phillies game, and we got to see BlueClaws history – for the first time, three former BlueClaws homered in the same game.

  • Darin Ruf hit his first professional home run in the 2nd inning
  • Carlos Ruiz hit his 16th home run of the season in the 3rd inning
  • Domonic Brown hit his 5th home run of the season in the 6th inning

Perhaps the biggest upset is that this happened without Ryan Howard being one of the home run hitters.

Ruf, naturally, got the silent treatment, and a pretty good version of it too, as Matt Gelb details:

For five minutes during a 6-3 Phillies win, Ruf hung his arms over a dugout bench while his teammates rewarded him with cold shoulders. He had smashed a full-count fastball into the stands for his first major-league hit. Finally, when Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the second inning, Ruf was mobbed in the dugout.

“That,” Charlie Manuel said, “was a long one. Some guys took two innings before they talked to him.”

“That,” Ryan Howard said, “has to be some sort of record.”

“That,” Ruf said, “was very loving of them.”

Congrats to Darin, who on September 14th became the 9th former BlueClaw to make their big league debut this year, and 48th of all-time. Here is the list.

Baseball America GCL Top 20

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Baseball America released their Gulf Coast League Top 20 prospects list yesterday, a list that included one Phillies p

buy propecia online

layer, and potential future BlueClaw – OF Carlos Tocci, who ranked 6th.

Tocci was 16 for most of the summer and didn’t turn 17 until August 23rd, but more than held his own, hitting .278 in 97 at bats and added nine stolen bases in 38 games.

Most likely, we would think he goes to Williamsport in 2013 and then would be with the BlueClaws as an 18-year old in 2014, but remember – Domingo Santana opened the 2010 season with Lakewood as a 17-year old in 2010, so you never know (that said, the BlueClaws 2013 outfield could be crowded entering the year, as it’s been the last couple of seasons). Either way, Tocci’s future is bright and we’ll see him in Lakewood at some point in the next few years.

Update: For comparison’s sake, the players ranked ahead of Tocci -

  • 1. Twins OF Byron Buxton – 2nd overall pick, 2012
  • 2. Astros SS Carlos Correa – 1st overall pick, 2012
  • 3. Blue Jays OF DJ Davis – 17th overall pick, 2012
  • 4. Astros OF Rio Ruiz – 4th round pick, 2012
  • 5. Pirates C Wyatt Mathieson – 2nd round pick, 2012

 

End Of Year Podcasts with Morandini, Lancaster

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Last weekend we recorded two season wrap-up podcasts with BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini and pitching coach Les Lancaster, talking about some of the players and performances we saw with the BlueClaws in 2012.

These are the final Gold Coast Cadillac Manager’s Reports of 2012. Gold Coast Cadillac is the #1 Cadillac dealer in the country. Visit them on Route 35 in Oakhurst or online by clicking here.

First, some snippets from the interviews.

Morandini

On Maikel Franco – “Shorter to the ball. Starting to use all fields a bit more. He realizes he doesn’t have to swing for a home run every time and he’s done a great job laying off the curveball in the dirt to put himself in more hitters counts.”

On Kelly Dugan – “Once Duffy left, he didn’t lose anything…I think the thing that he’s gotten better at is hitting left-handed pitching, which is something he had to work on. If he can continue to hit lefties he’s going to be a force offensively. He hits the ball the other way as good as anybody and drives it that way, and once he gets better at recognizing off-speed stuff, he’s going to be a force offensively.”

What are you looking for, outside the numbers, do you look for – “How they’ve progressed. We told them at the All-Star Break, that it doesn’t matter what you did in April. It’s what you do in July and August that’s going to determine what you’re going to do this year. A lot of guys have been very consistent. How they’ve improved, is there anything else they need to learn in this league or are they ready for that next challenge?”

That’s just two snippets, but here are comments on Aaron Altherr, Tim Carver, Josh Ludy, Willie Carmona, Kyrell Hudson, and much more.

Les Lancaster

Noted that many of the bullpen guys from the start of the season have been moved up (including Ryan Duke, Mike Nesseth, Colton Murray, Kenny Giles)

Most important thing a player learns over a 140-game season – “They definitely have to stay strong through starts and relief appearances, the weight program, conditioning program. But they have to make adjustments on their own without having someone come out and tell them, and they’ve done that, within one or two pitches, plus trust their fastball and pitch inside.”

On Colin Kleven – “Believing in himself more and pitching more inside. We taught him a new slider grip during spring training and it’s been a big out pitch for him against righties and lefties. We finally found a change-up grip he’s had success with and he’s a better pitcher for it.”

On Ethan Stwart – “Pitching inside. He still shies away a little bit but he’s getting better. He’s always had a plus-curveball and the change-up is coming along a bit too.”

On Hoby Milner – “When he first got here, most of the time in college he was a reliever so it took a little bit to get the starting routine down, and he stopped trying to strike out everyone and make the perfect pitch, he just took off.”

On Kenny Giles – “I had him last year for the first time. The velocity and arm speed were there. He was wild, just rearing back and throwing, wherever it went it went. We slowed his delivery down, and smoothed it a bit and he can still get it with good angle without losing velocity. Middle part of the way, once he went back into the reliever role, we changed his grip on his slider and the slider became 86-89 and nobody could sit on.”

Again, there are comments in the interview on several more players than what we just covered here.

Listen to the interviews in the player or clicking here (Morandini, Lancaster).

Mickey Morandini:

Les Lancaster:

Franco Goes Out With a Bang

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Maikel Franco finished the season 15-27 with mutiple hits in each of his last six(!) games, and for his work, earned the final South Atlantic League Player of the Week Award of the 2012 season.

Hoby Milner won Pitcher of the Week for the week

order viagra online

of July 30th, the only other BlueClaws player to be so honored this season.

Franco, who hit just .207 in the first half, had a magnificent second half, hitting .346 with a league-high 57 RBIs (he had 27 in the first half) and solidified his status as one of the top Phillies prospects, and perhaps the top position-player prospect.

He’ll head to Clearwater for Instructional League in a few weeks and likely be their Opening Day third baseman this year. We wouldn’t be surprised at all if he sneaks into some of the top 100 prospect lists at the end of the year – especially if you consider that his 14 home runs would have been 20 or 25 had he played in a more friendly park (for context, there were 60 home runs hit at FirstEnergy Park this year compared to 128 in Greensboro, 130 in Asheville, the most in the league).

Congratulations to Kelly Dugan, who went 3-3 on Monday to finish right at .300 (he finished the season 11-24 to get there from .291 after the game on August 28th).

Dugan, a 2nd round pick in 2009, hit .350 (78-223) from July 1st through the end of the season to raise his average 54 points from .246.

Colin Kleven gave up two runs in 6.1 innings on Sunday to lower his ERA to 3.99 at the finish of the season. He ended up allowing just five earned runs in his final 31.2 innings to finish his season. (Kleven also had a lot of fun at the Labor Day game, doing everything from taking tickets, to running in the pork roll, egg and cheese race – he won as cheese – to coming on the radio to helping with musical chairs between innings).

We taped interviews with Mickey Morandini and Les Lancaster about these players and many more that we’ll post soon as kind of a season wrap-up, so look out for those.