Archive for October, 2012

A Quick Note

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Our area has been devastated by the effects of Hurricane Sandy and our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted.

FirstEnergy Park sustained only minor damage and is fine, though the park is currently without phone and internet services (

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we are posting this from northern New Jersey).

Updates here will be relatively infrequent over the next few days but we’ll certainly do our best and the plan is to get another Arizona Fall League update posted here soon.

Again, all of our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy and we hope everyone stays safe.

Arizona Fall League Update

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

It’s time for another Arizona Fall League update. You can, as always, check the previous updates by checking the c

Internet-Based Business

ategory page along the right side, or here.

Zach Collier is playing very well in Arizona, now 10-29. He had three hits on Tuesday and is 6-10 in his last three games. His Tuesday game included three RBIs as well.

Jay Johnson, since allowing four runs in 1/3 of an inning last Wednesday, has thrown two scoreless innings. So far, in 3.2 Arizona innings, he’s allowed five runs on seven hits but struck out eight. Lefties are 2-7 against him, but have struck out in all five of their outs.

Tyler Knigge has thrown twice this week, allowing a run in 2/3 of an inning (two walks) on Saturday and he tossed a scoreless inning on Tuesday. He’s allowed five runs in five innings so far.

Colby Shreve has settled in, throwing three scoreless innings since our last update, the last two being perfect innings. He’s allowed just one run on four hits in 6.2 innings so far.

Among the Phillies players down there, Cody Asche is 11-39 and homered last Thursday (off Rockies prospect, and Fordham alum Cory Riordan)…Tommy Joseph has played just once since our last update, going 0-4 on Friday, and he’s 2-16 so far…Kyle Simon has started three times, most recently on Monday, throwing three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. That makes six innings of one run ball after he gave up seven ER in 1/3 of an inning in his debut.

The former BlueClaws with other organizations:

Jonathan Singleton is 12-47 in Arizona and has cooled off a bit since hitting safely in his first five games (7-19). He did add his second home run on Friday (off Rays prospect Kirby Yates).

Finally, Jarred Cosart had a tough outing in his most recent start on Saturday, allowing seven runs (three earned) in 2/3 of an inning. He gave up four hits and walked three in what was a 16-10 defeat. Cosart has allowed seven ER in eight innings so far.

“Wild Thing” and “Doc” First Two in Celebrity Hitting Challenge

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Former Phillie Mitch Williams and former Met and Yankee “Doc” Gooden are the first two participants announced for the “Celebrity

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Hitting Challenge,” to be hosted by the BlueClaws as part of 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game festivities in June.

The “Celebrity Hitting Challenge” is on June 17th, the night before the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park. This will be the first time in league history that the All-Star Game festivities will be a two-day event.

Read the full story here.

About the Hitting Challenge: We’re going to have targets and other gizmos all over the field and two teams of celebrities (we’ll announce them in doses over the next few months). The celebrities will include athletes, entertainers, and local celebrities as well. Stay tuned for more releases soon (I believe the next one is next week).

Other Notes…Mitch Williams was 3-17 in his career with one home run, hit as a Cub in 1989 against Don Aase of the Mets…Doc Gooden was a career .196 hitter (195-741) with eight career home runs. His home runs were off the following pitchers: Steve Parris, John Smoltz, Randy St Claire, Ed Whitson, Bill Landrum, Charlie Hough, Rick Rhoden, Bryan Hickerson.

All-Star Monday

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

We have two pieces of news for you concerning the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge

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which

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will be coming up in June at FirstEnergy Park.

Caravan Scheduled – The BlueClaws will host, at six partner locations, an All-Star Game Caravan on November 8th and 9th (which are the two days that all public school students in the state have off while their teachers attend the annual Teacher’s Convention in Atlantic City).

Buster will be at all stops and there will be interactive fun and games for fans as well as light refreshments.

Each stop will include ticket giveaways for the All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge. Plus, fans can also book their 2013 BlueClaws ticket package, including value-priced tickets to the All-Star Game and Celebrity Hitting Challenge, at any stop.

Celebrity Hitting Challenge Participants – We are all set to announce the first round of participants in the 2013 Celebrity Hitting Challenge which will take place at FirstEnergy Park the night before the All-Star Game (June 17th). The event details will be released soon but you can count on some great celebrities in a unique setting. We’ll have the details here but they’ll first appear on our Facebook page on Thursday.

Helpful Links: All-Star Game page / All-Star Game Tickets / Order Tickets Online.

Arizona Fall League Update

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Our last update finished off the

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first week of play in the Arizona Fall League, so we pick up the action with the games from Monday.

Zach Collier went 1-3 with a triple and a walk on Monday and was 0-1 on Tuesday. Collier, with the BlueClaws in 2009, 2010 and 2011 is now 4-16.

Jay Johnson had a rough outing on Wednesday, allowing four runs (two hits and two walks) in just 1/3 of an inning. He’s allowed five runs in 1.2 innings so far.

Tyler Knigge, like his teammate Johnson, had a rough outing Wednesday, allowing four runs on five hits in one inning after two scoreless outings last week.

Colby Shreve gave up his first run of the fall on Tuesday in one inning of work, and has now thrown 3.2 innings thus far.

Among the Phillies players down there, Cody Asche has played great. He’s 9-25 and has five hits (3-5 and 2-5) in two games so far this week. Tommy Joseph is 2-12 and went 1-3 on Tuesday. After Kyle Simon gave up seven runs in 1/3 of an inning last week, he bounced back nicely in a longer outing on Wednesday, allowing one run in three innings.

The former BlueClaws with other organizations:

Jonathan Singleton was the league’s Co-Player of the Week in the first week.

“I try not to make things too complicated at the plate,” said Singleton, who grew up in Long Beach, Calif. “I try to stay through the middle part of the field when I swing. I have been seeing the ball pretty well. The game is starting to slow down, and when it does, you know you are doing things right.”

This week, he’s 1-7 but is 8-27 with two home runs so far and has certainly impressed.

Finally, Jarred Cosart made his second start of the fall on Monday, allowing two runs on five hits in four innings.

BlueClaws Fan Goes to Norway

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

BlueClaws fan Ralph Baker was recently in Norway and shares the picture you see below. That’s Ralph, wearing some BlueClaws gear, at Hammerfest in Norway, the world’s northernmost city which has a pretty unique town bio (canadian pharmacy cialis uk

pedia.org/wiki/Hammerfest” target=”_blank”>Wiki if you’re curious).

Thanks Ralph, for sharing. If you have any cool pictures like this one, please send them to radio at BlueClaws dot com.

Fall League Review

Monday, October 15th, 2012

We continue updating the former BlueClaws down in the Arizona Fall League.

Zach Collier had two hits on

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Opening Day and is 1-8 over his last two games…3-12 so far.

Jay Johnson gave up a run in 1/3 of an inning in his debut but struck out the side in a scoreless inning on Saturday.

Tyler Knigge, after a 1-2-3 inning in his debut, got four outs, three via the strikeout, on Saturday night and is off to a very nice start.

Colby Shreve threw a scoreless inning in his debut and then added a 5-out scoreless outing on Friday.

Among the Phillies players down there, Cody Asche is 4-15 with two doubles and an RBI. Tommy Joseph is 1-9.

The former BlueClaws with other organizations:

Jonathan Singleton is off to a great start. He homered in his second game and added another home run on Saturday.

Finally, Jarred Cosart started the first game of the League and gave up two runs in 3.1 innings, striking out two and walking none on Tuesday (10/9) and would expect we see him again perhaps today.

First Fall League Review

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

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h=”252″ height=”252″ />Here’s a quick look-back at the first two days of play down in the Arizona Fall League, which features several former BlueClaws.

Zach Collier played Opening Day for Peoria, going 2-4, and did not play in their second game. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Jay Johnson pitched yesterday and gave up a run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning.

Tyler Knigge threw a 1-2-3 inning yesterday with a strikeout.

Colby Shreve threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit.

Among the Phillies players down there, Cody Asche is 2-7 with two doubles and an RBI in two games. Tommy Joseph is 1-3.

The former BlueClaws with other organizations:

Jonathan Singleton homered yesterday and is 3-9 with a home run and three RBIs in two games.

Finally, Jarred Cosart started the first game of the League and gave up two runs in 3.1 innings, striking out two and walking none.

Posted in Arizona Fall League, Past BlueClaws | No Comments »

Former BlueClaws Set for Fall League

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Six former BlueClaws, plus a former manager, will take the field beginning Tuesday in Arizona as part of

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the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Let’s take a look.

Spending his first year as an Arizona Fall League manager is 2009 BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan. Wathan led the BlueClaws to the 2009 Sally League title and this year managed Reading to the post-season. He manages the seven Phillies prospects, four former BlueClaws among them, on Peoria.

LHP Jay Johnson was with the BlueClaws in 2011, when he had a 2.94 ERA and 49 Ks in 49 IP. A side-arming Canadian left-hander, Johnson was drafted out of Texas Tech by both the Blue Jays and the Orioles but never signed with either team due to an arm issue. The Phillies signed him in March of 2011 after seeing him throw in Arizona. He passed their physical and joined the BlueClaws a month into the season. This year, he spent the majority of the season with Reading, going 2-1, 5.02. He also made three appearances with Clearwater and two rehabbing with the GCL Phillies.

RHP Tyler Knigge, like Johnson and Shreve, also spent time with Reading this year, though Knigge started the season with Clearwater. With the Threshers, he was nearly unhittable, allowing just three runs in 45 innings. With the R-Phils, he gave up eight ER in 24.2 IP. Knigge went 4-3, 3.32 in 2011 with the BlueClaws after being picked in the 12th round in 2010 from Lewis & Clark State.

RHP Colby Shreve is no stranger to BlueClaws fans, having spent parts of three seasons with Lakewood. Drafted in the 6th round in 2008, Shreve had arm surgery and did not make his pro debut until 2010. He spent 2010 and 2011 with Lakewood, moving from the rotation to the bullpen in April of last year. This year, he surprisingly started with Lakewood, but after six games moved to Clearwater, and after 13 games went to Reading. With the R-Phils, he made 28 appearances and went 3-1, 4.40.

Wathan managed OF Zach Collier when he was a BlueClaw in 2009. After an injury cost him 2010, Collier was back with Lakewood in 2011 when he hit .255 with 35 stolen bases. This year with Clearwater, Collier, a supplemental first round pick in 2008, hit .269 with six home runs and 11 stolen bases.

There are three other Phillies prospects in the AFL, all on Peoria. C Tommy Joseph hit 11 HRs this year in the Eastern League and came over from the Giants in the Hunter Pence trade. 3B Cody Asche hit .324 this year between Clearwater and Reading. He was a 4th round pick last year from Nebraska who skipped Lakewood. The final player is RHP Kyle Simon, who came over from the Orioles with Gabriel Lino for Jim Thome on July 1st. Simon, who was drafted by Phillies farm director Joe Jordan when Jordan ran the Orioles draft last year, was originally a 4th round pick from Arizona, pitched for both Clearwater and Reading.

The other two former BlueClaws, both with the Astros, play for Mesa, and were sent to Houston together in the original Hunter Pence trade in July of 2011.

RHP Jarred Cosart went 7-3, 3.79 in 14 starts with the BlueClaws in 2010. This year, he went 5-5, 3.52 with Double-A Corpus Christi and made six appearances at the end of the year for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He turned 22 in May.

Finally, 1B Jonathan Singleton, who turned 21 in September, rounds out the list. Singleton hit 14 home runs and .290 with the BlueClaws in 2010, leading the BlueClaws offense in the championship season of 2010. This year, Singleton hit .284 with 21 home runs with Corpus Christi and played in the MLB Futures Game in July. He’s considered a top 30 prospect in all of baseball.

Here is the Arizona Fall League’s official site. Check there for updates and features and we’ll of course update you here throughout the six weeks.

Posted in Arizona Fall League, Past BlueClaws | No Comments »

Biddle, Morgan In BA’s FSL Top 20

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Two Phillies, including 2011 BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle, made Baseball America’s Florida State League Top 20 prospects lis

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ting.

Biddle, the Phillies first round pick in 2010, ranked 10th while LHP Adam Morgan, the Phillies 3rd round pick in 2011 (University of Alabama), ranked 12th.

Biddle went 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA for Clearwater this year, striking out 151 hitters in 143 innings of work.

“His command of his fastball got better,” said Chris Truby, who managed Biddle in both Lakewood and Clearwater the last two years. “And I thought his breaking ball became more consistent. He’s now throwing it for strikes. It’s not just a swing-and-miss pitch, he buries it.”

He ranked 3rd in the league in ERA and after a slowish start (10 ER in his first 11.1 innings), he pitched to a sparkling 2.74 ERA in his final 23 starts, allowing three ER or less in 20 of those 23 games. He saved perhaps his two best games for the end of the year – throwing seven no-hit innings with two walks and 12 Ks on August 17th and following that up with seven more scoreless innings on two hits with 9 Ks on August 23rd.

Morgan pitched 2011 with Williamsport and skipped Lakewood, pitching to a 3.29 ERA in 20 games with Clearwater (133 Ks/28 BBs in 119 innings). He made his final six starts of the year with Reading, going 4-1, 3.53.

While 2011 BlueClaw Austin Wright, who was drafted that year in the 8th round from Ole Miss, didn’t make the list, I’m sure he was pretty close, after going 11-5, 3.47 with Clearwater this year. He fanned 133 in 147 innings.

Format

Two Phillies, including 2011 BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle, made Baseball America’s Florida State League Top 20 prospects listing.
Biddle, the Phillies first round pick in 2010, ranked 10th while LHP Adam Morgan, the Phillies 3rd round pick in 2011 (University of Alabama), ranked 12th.
Biddle went 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA for Clearwater this year, striking out 151 hitters in 143 innings of work.
“His command of his fastball got better,” said Chris Truby, who managed Biddle in both Lakewood and Clearwater the last two years. “And I thought his breaking ball became more consistent. He’s now throwing it for strikes. It’s not just a swing-and-miss pitch, he buries it.”
He ranked 3rd in the league in ERA and after a slowish start (10 ER in his first 11.1 innings), he pitched to a sparkling 2.74 ERA in his final 23 starts, allowing three ER or less in 20 of those 23 games. He saved perhaps his two best games for the end of the year – throwing seven no-hit innings with two walks and 12 Ks on August 17th and following that up with seven more scoreless innings on two hits with 9 Ks on August 23rd.
Morgan pitched 2011 with Williamsport and skipped Lakewood, pitching to a 3.29 ERA in 20 games with Clearwater (133 Ks/28 BBs in 119 innings). He made his final six starts of the year with Reading, going 4-1, 3.53.
While 2011 BlueClaw Austin Wright, who was drafted that year in the 8th round from Ole Miss, didn’t make the list, I’m sure he was pretty close, after going 11-5, 3.47 with Clearwater this year. He fanned 133 in 147 innings.
Path:

Posted in Around the Farm, Baseball America | No Comments »

Franco Ranks 16th Among SAL Prospects

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Yesterday, we shared Baseball America’s NY-Penn League rankings, with possible

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2013 BlueClaws shortstop Roman Quinn ranking 3rd in that league. Today, they released their South Atlantic League rankings, and BlueClaws third baseman Maikel Franco ranked 16th.

Franco, who played much of the year at 19 years of age (he turned 20 on August 26th), hit .280 with 14 HRs and 84 RBIs, but it was a tale of two halves for Franco. Before the All-Star break, he hit just .207-6-27 (OPS of .607) and in the second half, he hit .346-8-57 (OPS of .925).

His 2nd half ranked 4th in the league in average, 1st in RBIs, and 5th in OPS.

Mickey Morandini on Franco’s improved 2nd half: “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.”

In the scouting report section (subscriber-only), Augusta manager Lipso Nava said that Franco’s game reminded him of Adrian Beltre’s.

It’s worth noting as well that Franco was ranked as the 2nd best 3rd base prospect, though they were all bunched up (Greenville’s Garin Cechhini was 15th on this list while Hagerstown’s Matt Skole, who won the league MVP, was 19th).

The BlueClaws had two on this list last year – Jesse Biddle (6) and Domingo Santana (18), who was traded to Houston in August of 2011.

Posted in 2012 BlueClaws, Around the Farm, Baseball America | No Comments »

Quinn Ranks Third Among NYPL Prospects

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

(Williamsport Crosscutters)

Missed this yesterday, but Williamsport shortstop

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Roman Quinn, who could well be with the BlueClaws in 2013, ranked 3rd among prospects in the New York-Penn League in the annual Baseball America league rankings.

Quinn was a Phillies 2nd round pick in 2010 from Port St Joe, Florida who committed to Florida State before signing. He was drafted as an outfielder and a right-handed batter, but with the Phillies, he’s not only learned how to play shortstop, but also to switch hit.

He hit .281 this year in 267 at bats with a league-leading 11 triples (two more than his nine doubles) and he stole 30 bases, which also led the league, while being caught just six times.

Quinn ended up tied for 16th in the minors in triples this year (including full-season players), and all but two players of the 15 with 12 or more triples did so in fewer at bats. 67 players in the minors this year had at least nine triples (again, includes all leagues, both full and short season) and only Quinn and Gioskar Amaya, a Cubs prospect, had more triples than doubles of that group.

“The kid never hit lefthanded and is facing college pitchers in our league, and it is pretty special what he is doing this year,” said Williamsport first-year manager Andy Tracy (Philadelphia Inquirer, August 13th). “He is a game-changer, and when he gets on base we are a different club.”

He’s odds-on to lead the BlueClaws in stolen bases this year, and might be a guy that can push 50+ stolen bases. Anthony Gose holds the team record of 76 and nobody else has ever gotten to 60 (Chris Roberson is second with 59). We’re looking forward to seeing him as a BlueClaws this year.

Posted in Around the Farm, Baseball America, Williamsport Crosscutters | No Comments »

Video: Howard, Duffy Comeback Win

Monday, October 1st, 2012

(Thanks to Twitter follower @BrogdenJames for tipping us off to this video and thanks to YouTube user JulianBabyRuth, not sure if they are the same, for uploading it)

The BlueClaws played 138 games this year, including 71 at home, but I don’t

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think any was as exciting as the one that they played on June 28th against West Virginia at FirstEnergy Park.

First off, it was the first of what turned into a three-day Ryan Howard rehab assignment, a Thirsty Thursday, and included a jersey auction (old-school Phillies baby-blues which brought over $10,000 to BlueClaws Charities). It was a beautiful night, 90 degrees at first pitch, though the beginning didn’t go quite as planned. The BlueClaws fell behind 6-0 after three innings, but battled back and cut it to 6-4 on a Chris Duffy home run in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The BlueClaws started the bottom of the 9th inning by loading the bases with nobody out. Aaron Altherr then flew out to right field, though not deep enough to score an runs. That set up, of course, Ryan Howard, coming to bat with the bases loaded, down 6-4, bottom of the 9th, one out. Chris Duffy is on deck.

Howard after the game said the following: “My focus was (in the ninth inning) making sure to get one run home and let big Duff take care of the rest.”

What did big Duff say? “Man it’s the craziest thing,” Duffy said. “Just a few years ago I was playing my brother in video games and playing as Ryan Howard. And now this? It’s crazy.”

Posted in 2012 BlueClaws | No Comments »