Archive for the '2010 BlueClaws' Category

Thresh-Heirs

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

See what they did there? Paul Hagen wrote this piece in the Philadelphia Daily News that ran yesterday on the five starters for Clearwater (Thresh-ers), all of whom pitched for the BlueClaws last year. Of course, they’re talking about (stats this year):

  • Brody Colvin (0-1, 4.96)
  • Jarred Cosart (5-3, 2.87)
  • Trevor May (3-2, 4.13)
  • Jonathan Pettibone (4-3, 1.98)
  • Julio Rodriguez (5-3, 2.50)

Said Cosart: “You always say you can’t really put a timetable on anything. You don’t know what’s going to happen with injuries and all that. But with all the big contracts and when they expire and when we’re expected to be ready, I guess you could say it looks like it could fall into place perfectly. We have no problem with that. We try not to look at it, but if it happens like that it’s pretty cool. And like we talk about, we’re going to be ready whenever they make that call, whenever they need our help.”

It was widely noted in spring training this year how the big-league rotation convened around a clubhouse table and held court every morning. The Threshers’ starters also have developed a bond. All were drafted out of high school. All were born within a calendar year of each other. Colvin and Cosart room together and all live in the same general vicinity.

Read the whole article, it’s a good one.

It’s hard to believe that Lakewood ran these guys out there last year one after another, though Cosart and May were never in the same rotation, with May coming back from Clearwater in July the week after Cosart made his final appearance of the season in June. However, it’s no wonder why the BlueClaws had a franchise-best, league leading, and MiLB leading team ERA of 3.04 ERA last year.

One BlueClaws Opening Day Starter Pitched Tonight

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

That was Taylor Buchholz, the Opening Day starter from 2001, who came in and threw two scoreless innings for the Mets in a 10-7 Phillies win at the Bank.

The other two? Kyle Kendrick (2006) with the Phillies and Carlos Monasterios (2007) with the Dodgers.

10:31: As @BriSmitty pointed out on Twitter, Monasterios is in fact in the minors to open 2011.

On a side note, the BlueClaws are 0-10 all-time in home openers, which of course tomorrow falls under. They are 4-6 all-time on Opening Day.

2010 BlueClaws pitcher Josh Zeid gets the ball for Reading tomorrow and 2008 BC pitcher Vance Worley starts for Clearwater.

Today in the Asbury Park Press

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Tony Graham interviewed the last two BlueClaws managers, two guys, Dusty Wathan and Mark Parent, who led the BlueClaws to South Atlantic League titles. You can read the article here. A snip:

“It’ll be exciting here (with Clearwater),” said Wathan who is likely to inherit slugger Jonathan Singleton and other key members of Lakewood’s 2010 team, including prize pitching prospects Brody Colvin and Jarrad Cosart.

“They had a lot of success last year, so hopefully they can continue where they left off,” Wathan said. “There’ll be some challenges, definitely, when you move up a league.”

“This (Clearwater) has a chance to be our most prospect-laden club,” Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said. “Most all of last year’s Lakewood club has graduated (to the Threshers), and there’ll be some holdovers from last year’s Clearwater club. So, I think overall it has a chance to be a competitive team.”

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Parent said after the 2010 season he interviewed for the Triple-A job at Lehigh Valley which went to Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer and one-time Phillie Ryne Sandberg.

“There was sort of a good chance I was going to get that,” Parent said. “Then Sandberg became available and they wanted me at Double-A, and I was fine with that.”

Read the whole thing. Click here.

Today in the APP

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Tony Graham has a story in today’s Asbury Park Press on 2010 BlueClaws 1B Jonathan Singleton, who is spending the spring learning to play left field, a position he will play this year for Clearwater. A snippet:

“The line drives right over your head are definitely difficult,” Singleton said. “But with the more experience you have seeing them, the easier they become.”

“Obviously his game is his bat,” LaMar said. “He’s got good power and it’s just a matter of if he keeps hitting we’re going to keep moving him up. He’s got a chance to be a fine young hitter.”

Be sure to read the entire article here.

From the Ring Ceremony

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Below, a picture sent over by BlueClaws team photographer Dave Schofield of the Championship Ring ceremony which took place earlier today in Clearwater. We’ll update with more photos later. Click to enlarge.

ringceremony1

Besides the players, who are obviously in their red jerseys…

  • Kneeling on the bottom left is trainer Mickey Kozack, who will be back with Lakewood this year.
  • Top left is pitching coach Steve Schrenk and hitting coach Greg Legg, both of whom will be back.
  • Manager Mark Parent is in the middle, standing, wearing blue.
  • On the right, SAL president Eric Krupa wears the light blue polo.
  • Steve Noworyta, Phillies Director of Minor Leagues, is next to Krupa, and BlueClaws GM Geoff Brown is next to Noworyta.

Manager Mark Parent gets his ring:

parentring

Nick Hernandez gets his ring:

nickhernandezring

Here’s the ring (this picture was Tweeted by Jiwan James)

jiwanring

Daily News: Singleton’s Bat Headed to Outfield

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

singleton-daily-newsGreat article by Paul Hagen (now on Twitter) in today’s Philadelphia Daily News on Jonathan Singleton and him moving out to the outfield this season.

Singleton was taken totally off guard the day that (Dave) Hollins and (Steve) Henderson showed up and asked him to shag some flies. The idea had been broached in an earlier telephone conversation.

“They called me and we discussed it. But that was the initial move. Then they didn’t really do anything until after that,” Singleton said recently, standing outside the minor league clubhouse at the Carpenter Complex. “They pretty much just said it would be great opportunity to get there faster. And I’m more than OK with that. I love it out there. It’s a lot slower. It gives me a lot more time to relax and kind of release my old at-bats. Focus on defense, stuff like that.”

(snip)

“The thing that jumps out is just strength. He’s got just raw power, raw strength,” Parent said. “His swing is so simple and he gets the head of the bat down through the ball really well. It’s a good swing and it’s a good approach. You see guys coming from A ball to Double A the next year and so on, and start hitting the ball into the gap a little harder each year. And he’s already hitting balls in the gap.”

Obviously with Ryan Howard signed to a $125 million contract, the need for a first baseman is limited. Singleton will play outfield this year and with the way he can hit, teams will usually find a place for a guy like that to play.

Remember too, he didn’t turn 19 until September 18th, the day the BlueClaws clinched the South Atlantic League title.

I was upstairs looking through some stuff on the graphics computer and one of the last “Happy Birthday” messages on there was from that SAL Championship Series Game 4, and his parents wished him a Happy Birthday. Maybe this year that message will be sent to Reading.

The Keith Law Top 100

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

A few BlueClaws in there. Click here to read (Insider content).

3. Domonic Brown (2008)
12. Kyle Drabek (2007)

And then from the 2010 champion BlueClaws

27. Jonathan Singleton
34. Jarred Cosart
76. Brody Colvin
93. Trevor May

It’s too bad that we never got to see Cosart/Colvin/May in one rotation (Cosart was hurt before May arrived). That said, the BlueClaws did post the best ERA of the 120 full-season minor league teams in 2010, a healthy 3.04. Plus they gave up nine runs in seven playoff games. So the pitching was certainly not lacking.

One More Video

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Our buddy Steve Degler from Service Electric Cable interviewed Mark Parent at his introductory presser in Reading yesterday. A lot of footage you see here is from FirstEnergy Park last year when they came to visit.

More Parent Articles & Video

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle has this article today on new Reading manager Mark Parent, who of course spent last year with the BlueClaws. He never played for Reading, or in Reading, coming up in the San Diego system, but Mark spent one day at FirstEnergy Stadium in 1998:

Parent was catching for the big club and was impressed with young left-hander Randy Wolf, who switched sides and pitched in a Philadelphia uniform that day.

“I can remember going over to (Phillies manager) Terry Francona saying, ‘Why is he in Double-A and not with us in Philly?’ ” Parent recalled Wednesday, during an introductory press conference at the Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing. “He should’ve went on the road trip with us, the way we were going.”.

Here’s an article from Jeff Schuler in the Morning Call:

“I’ve been in the new stadium, I see the game, I listen to the rhetoric about players wanting … I mean, Cliff Lee, wanting to come to Philly? Back in the day, guys were trying to get out,” Parent said. “When I was playing, we were talking about getting rid of [Curt] Schilling all the time, instead of trying to add on to him. Not that Mr. Giles [former Phillies President Bill Giles] wasn’t doing a good job, but Mr. Montgomery has seemingly brought a lot of life to the organization.”

Here’s the video, courtesy of the Reading Phillies YouTube page.

Parent’s Intro to Reading

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

2010 BlueClaws manager Mark Parent was introduced today to the folks in Reading, where he will manage in 2010.

This comment will certainly resonate with BlueClaws fans:

“My guys will know I am here for them. I want them to get better, I want them to have all the success in the world. I managed in two other cities, other than Lakewood, I managed in Lancaster, Cal. and Chico in the Golden League, and we won everywhere — so I expect to win.”

Tommy Viola “Phils You In” at his blog with more from the presser.

Singleton Among Top 1B Prospects

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

This is from MLB.com’s great prospect writer Jonathan Mayo. He ranks the Top 10 prospects by position and Jonathan Singleton, with the BlueClaws in 2010, comes in 4th among 1st baseman.

4. Jonathan Singleton, Phillies: When he was drafted out of high school in 2009, Singleton was thought of as a project — more tools than anything. The Phillies had liked his bat, and it turned out to be very productive right out of the gate — as Singleton was named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding Major League Prospect this past year. It looks like he will be able to hit for both average and plenty of power, especially as he matures. He could make a move to an outfield corner, so he won’t be blocked by Ryan Howard down the line.

Note the following: Of the 10 first baseman on the list, only #6 Christian Yelich of the Marlins finished the season in Lo-A. Yelich was drafted in the first round by Florida this year. Everyone else was older and at a higher level.

Also note, Singleton may be playing some LF this year with Clearwater (the Phillies are set at the 1B position, you may have heard). So we’ll look for him on another list next year.

Darin Ruf Checks In

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

darin-rufOn his last game as a BlueClaw, May 12th, Darin Ruf went 5-5 in Greenville and was promoted to Clearwater  right after the game. He finished the season with the Threshers and we spoke to Ruf for a few minutes earlier as he gets ready for the 2011 season.

5-5 isn’t that bad of a way to go out?
That was an awesome way to go out. To go 5-5, you’re already pumped up, and then to get called in the manager’s office and promoted that night, it was probably the most special day of my career so far.

How as Clearwater different for you than Lakewood was?
It was a little bit different, but not a whole lot. It was more the culture and atmosphere I guess. The trips aren’t as far, so you’re a little more rested for each game. The crowds aren’t as big. You really have to find your inner drive, and you can’t get carried by the atmosphere like you can in Lakewood. It was certainly a little bit of a jump talent-wise, but the atmosphere and the culture was a bit different too.

What did you learn as a player?
It showed me I needed to focus on as a hitter, but I also know that you can’t strictly focus on your weaknesses. Sometimes if you do that, you forget about playing to your strengths. Ultimately, you have to hit the ball when it’s in the zone. If you’re too busy focusing on some weakness that you have, you won’t hit that well.

For me, I did go into a slump and KJ (hitting coach Kevin Jordan) pointed out exactly what I was doing wrong. I was too focused on the inside pitch and ignored the outer half and driving the ball to right-center, which is my strength.

Goals for 2011?
I would love to play in Clearwater again, but hopefully I get a shot in Double-A this year. That would be my ultimate goal, but of course I know nothing is going to be handed to me. I’ll have to prove in the spring that I belong there, and if I do get the chance, I want to be ready to take advantage of it.

What have you been doing in the off-season?
I got a little part time job doing some customer service that keeps me busy, and I get the baseball stuff in during the morning or after work. Taking some swings, things of that nature. It’s worked out perfect for me.

It’s cold in Nebraska, so all of your work has to be inside, correct?
Yes, but we do get to face some live pitching, at a place called UBA. It’s been up for a few years, it’s real nice, huge indoor baseball facility. We have some guys from Omaha like Pat Venditte, who throws with both arms, he throws live every other day.

Does he switch it up on you mid-AB in a live BP session?
He does, definitely (laughing). It’s all good, it’s fun, just getting some work in.

Ruf, a 20th round pick in 2009 out of Creighton, hit .330-4-17 in 32 games with the BlueClaws. He was sent to Clearwater (.277-5-50 in 97 games) on the day Jonathan Singleton was promoted to Lakewood and Matt Rizzotti was sent from Clearwater to Reading.

BlueClaws Year In Review

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

This is always one of our favorite blog posts of the year, the annual year in review. Here is last year’s, and this year’s is below.

Truffle Shuffle Award…De Renne moved into the starting lineup on July 29th since BlueClaws SS Jonathan Villar was traded earlier in the day (to Houston as part of the Roy Oswalt deal). All DeRenne did was cap a 6-0 comeback with the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 9th inning. Why the Truffle Shuffle Award? It was Goonies Night.

Jeanmar Gomez Award…Gomez pitched a perfect game for Akron last year and won a MiLBY from MiLB.com. This year, we’ll give the award to Trevor May, who threw seven shutout innings on two hits with 14 strikeouts (tying a franchise record set by Jason Knapp and Robinson Tejeda) on July 26th at Delmarva.

Usain Bolt Award…for being quick out of the box. We could go with a couple of the speedsters but we’ll go with Jonathan Singleton, who hit his first home run as a BlueClaw in just his 2nd at bat, at Greenville on May 13th. He was called up earlier in the day when Matt Rizzotti was sent from Clearwater to Reading and Darin Ruf from Lakewood to Clearwater.

Out with a Bang Award…to Darin Ruf, who, on May 12th, the day before Singleton’s arrival, went 5-5 with three runs and two RBIs in his BlueClaws finale.

FirstEnergy Award…As you know, FirstEnergy is a power company, so we’ll give out our FirstEnergy Award to Sebastian Valle, who not only led the BlueClaws in home runs, with 16, but hit a championship clinching home run on September 18th against Greenville at FirstEnergy Park. You can watch here.

Famous Chicken Award…to BlueClaws pitcher Brody Colvin, who met the Famous Chicken on September 1st at FirstEnergy Park for the first time in about 15 years, when a younger Colvin turned down the chance to be one of the Chicken’s Chicklets.

Jim Joyce Award…to former BlueClaw Jason Donald, who benefited from a bad call from umpire Joyce in breaking up Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game in June.

Better Late Than Never Award…to Keoni Ruth, who joined the BlueClaws in July and hit .333 in the playoffs. He’s a friend (from Hawaii) of fellow 2010 BlueClaw Keoni DeRenne.

Billy Martin Award…to Mark Parent, who was ejected from four games in a 12-game period in June. The record is unknown, but he said “Bet on me.”

Brawl Response Award…to Josh Zeid. Zeid faced two hitters in the SAL Division Series, walking two and hitting one. In the SAL Championship Series, he was the first man in after the game two brawl between Lakewood and Greenville. All he did between that game and later game four, was face 20 batters and get 22 outs, while striking out 12.

Go Green Award…to groundskeeper Ryan Radcliffe, who gets to oversee a brand new playing surface, installed from mid-November to mid-December.

Javier Sotamayor Award…Who’s that? He’s the best high-jumper of all-time. We give the award to Jiwan James for this.

Q&A: Matt Forman, Baseball America

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Matt Forman of Baseball America, who was responsible for the Phillies prospect rankings released by BA on Monday, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us on the state of the system and some of your favorite former BlueClaws players.

1. We know Domonic Brown was safely #1…how bunched up was the next group?
Much like last year, Brown easily maintained the top ranking, but the next group was pretty bunched up. Jonathan Singleton, Brody Colvin and Jarred Cosart are great prospects in their own right, and since Brown should lose his prospect eligibility next season, I’d expect those three to compete for the top spot in the 2012 Prospect Handbook. You could really argue Singleton, Colvin and Cosart in any order, and most scouts wouldn’t have a problem with it. You’re talking about one of the minors’ best hitters and two right-handed power arms with electric stuff, so it’s hard to go wrong. Beyond No.’s 2-4, Trevor May and Sebastian Valle were clear-cut options for the next two spots, but things started to get a little more interesting after that.

2. What have you heard regarding Jonathan Singleton and left field?
The early reports on Singleton in left field have been positive, and I think it’s the right move to break it in slowly. The Phillies introduced the idea to him around June, and he started taking fly balls and hard grounders there before games. Then, they gave him lots of repetitions during fall instructs, and they told him he’s going to report to Clearwater for Spring Training as an outfielder. There are a few things to keep in mind here… Singleton is a better athlete than most people give him credit for. The Ryan Howard comparisons are inevitable for BlueClaws and Phillies fans, but he’s a few inches shorter and 40 pounds lighter. And Singleton’s in a different stage of his career than where Howard was when the Phillies considered moving him to left field; Howard was 25 or 26 years old, whereas Singleton played most of last season as an 18-year-old. The tools are all there for Singleton to do well—He is light on his feet and has a solid-average arm with good carry. But I like to think his desire to play left field will be what makes it work. Reports previously indicated that he wasn’t great defensively at first base, so he spent time at extended spring before last year, and he ended up impressing South Atlantic League managers enough to be voted the best defensive first baseman in the circuit. When I talked to scouts who saw Singleton this fall, they said he looked like he could play the outfield, it would just take some time. One scout even suggested he could play right field in a pinch.

Much more below…

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