Archive for the 'Past BlueClaws' Category

Giles Recalls Lakewood, Readies for Season

Friday, January 23rd, 2015



Ken Giles’ rapid ascent through the Phillies system and into the Rookie of the Year race came as a surprise to many, but not to those that saw him and his 100 mph fastballs with the BlueClaws in 2012. Giles came back to Lakewood on Wednesday for the annual Phillies Winter Banquet and recalled his time with the BlueClaws three years ago.

“The fan experience stands out. It’s one of those things you couldn’t really describe in words,” he said. “It’s so special to me that this is where I started to be a professional baseball player. I soaked in every moment of it, I enjoyed myself, and I never had a point where I was stressing out about anything.”

Giles went 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA with the BlueClaws in 2012, making six starts among his 29 appearances and striking out 86 hitters in 67 innings pitched. He only threw 25 innings with Clearwater in 2013, but returned from injury to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, something that Giles considers a turning point in his career.

“That was the biggest point in my career, because I had to learn the different side of baseball and how to come back stronger, better, and smarter,” he said. “That helped me going into the AFL and I brought that into the next spring training too. All my pitching mechanics clicked when I came back from the injury.”

Giles was called in to Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage’s office after a game in June, like had happened several times before.

“You’re going to Cincinnati,” Brundage told him.

Giles didn’t realize the Phillies were in Cincinnati and asked if he’d been traded. He hadn’t. He’d been called up, and after debuting on June 12th, became the  61st player to go From The Shore, To The Show (the total list is now 67).

With the Phillies, Giles went 3-1 with a 1.18 ERA and struck out 64 hitters in 45.2 innings pitched and he’s ready for bigger things in 2015 in a bullpen with Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon (if he doesn’t get traded).

“We’re going to be a hard bullpen to face. People are going to say ‘O man we have to face this bullpen,’ kind of like the Royals.  The starter didn’t go long, but they only needed him to go six, because they have the 7-8-9 guy. They have to score runs early.”

Who’s the toughest guy he’s faced? “Definitely Giancarlo Stanton (of the Marlins). He’s just got great bat ability, can hit hard throwers, and if you make a mistake, he’s going to make you pay.”

What did he learn with his first few months with the Phillies? “Be yourself. That’s not trying to showboat or anything, but being yourself. That’s all I did when I got brought up. I’m not going to change who I am, and I’ll be myself around the clubhouse. Once I cross those white lines, I have to be who I am.”

Now, he’s a reliever the National League will have to contend with for many years to come.

Interview: Quinn Shining In Arizona Fall League

Friday, November 7th, 2014


Roman Quinn’s 2014 season started on the disabled list but it’s ending in the All-Star game of the prestigious Arizona Fall League, as the 2013 BlueClaw continues to thrive against some of the top prospects in baseball.

“I think I’ve stacked up pretty well,” he said on Thursday from Arizona. “I’m working on getting better every day. It’s great being out here and I’m learning a lot from the older guys. They’re giving me some great advice.”

Through games of November 6th, Quinn was leading the league in stolen bases (13 in 15 attempts), tied for the lead in runs scored (18) and tied for the league lead in walks (15). Because of his ability to walk, 15 in 92 plate appearances (16.3%), his on-base percentage is .370 and it’s given him ample opportunity to utilize his best tool, his speed. That this improved walk rate (he was just under 9% with Clearwater this year, has come against some of the best pitching prospects in the game, is all the more impressive. Quinn, who was a right-handed hitter growing up, began switch-hitting in 2012 while with Williamsport in the NY-Penn League and attributes his improved patience and plate discipline to the increased amount of reps he’s accumulated from the left side.

“It’s definitely something I wanted to work on. I figure it all came together from the reps I got and seeing more pitches and getting more at bats from the left side,” he said. “That [plate discipline and pitch selection] was the last part to come around from the left side.”


Arizona Fall League Update

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Things are winding down in the Arizona Fall League. Let’s check in on the former BlueClaws currently playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Position Players

Logan Moore (2012) – Moore played two games over the last week and went 1-4 in each one and is 5-30 so far in the AFL.

Roman Quinn (2013) – Since our last update, Quinn has played four “regular season” games and had a hit in each one while adding a combined six walks and three stolen bases while scoring seven runs. He’s up to .260 so far with a home run, 15 walks against just 11 strikeouts, and 13 stolen bases.

We noted “regular season” above because Quinn also played in Saturday’s “Fall Stars Game,” in which he went 2-2 and drove in two runs.


Colton Murray (2012) – Since our last update, Murray has thrown three perfect innings, including two in his last appearance yesterday. He’s allowed five earned runs in 11.2 innings so far with 11 Ks and 1 BB, a very good fall for Murray.

Ethan Stewart (2012) – Stewart threw a 1-2-3 inning on Monday, his only appearance since our last update. He’s given up four earned runs in 6.1 innings so far while striking out 10.

Lisalverto Bonilla (2011) – Bonilla has not pitched since our last update. He’s made three starts down there and has allowed seven earned runs in 11.2 innings while striking out 11.

You can follow the Arizona Fall League in more detail by clicking here.

The season continues through November 13th.

Arizona Fall League Update

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014



With one week gone by, let’s check in on the former BlueClaws currently playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Position Players

Logan Moore (2012) – Moore has one hit, a single, in 10 ABs so far, but has drawn two walks.

Roman Quinn (2013) – The primary lead-off hitter and center-fielder for Scottsdale, Quinn is 5-25 to start the Fall League, though he had his first two-hit game on Tuesday, going 2-6 with a double and two RBIs. The speedster has added four stolen bases in his first six games.


Colton Murray (2012) – Murray, who had an excellent year between Clearwater and Reading this summer, has allowed two runs in 4.1 innings so far. Both runs were given up in his AFL debut and he responded with two perfect innings, striking out three, on Friday and struck out the lone hitter to face him on Monday.

Ethan Stewart (2012) – Converted to the bullpen during the summer, Stewart earned a spot in Arizona with a stellar second-half of the season. So far in the AFL he has made two appearances. He gave up one earned run in 1.1 innings last Wednesday and threw two scoreless innings on Saturday. He’s struck out six in his 3.1 innings though he has walked five.

Lisalverto Bonilla (2011) – Bonilla, the lone player on this list who is not with the Phillies (he’s with Texas), gave up three runs in three innings as a starter on Saturday night, including a two-run home run to Yankees farmhand Kyle Higashioka.

You can follow the Arizona Fall League in more detail by clicking here.


2015 Alumni Review: Pitchers

Monday, September 29th, 2014


With the MLB season concluding yesterday, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of your favorite former BlueClaws and how they performed in the big leagues this year. We’ll get to the position players later.

There are 2,430 games played in each Major League season (30 teams play 162 games each, then divide by two since, obviously, each game features two teams). 114 of those games, or 4.7%, were won by former BlueClaws.

The leader? A guy that was probably 20-1 at the beginning of the season: Alfredo Simon of the Reds. Simon was with the BlueClaws in 2003 (with Cole Hamels). This year with Cincinnati, he went 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA.

Three other former BlueClaws won at least 10 games this year: Jarred Cosart (who won 13 between the Astros and Marlins), JA Happ (who won 11 with Toronto), and Kyle Kendrick (who won 10 with the Phillies).

Cole Hamels (9), Carlos Carrasco (8 with the Indians), and Vance Worley (8 with the Pirates) were next on the list.

Worley, with the BlueClaws in 2008, is the only former BlueClaws pitcher headed to the post-season.

The full list:

Name Team Wins
Alfredo Simon CIN 15
Jarred Cosart MIA/HOU 13
JA Happ TOR 11
Kyle Kendrick PHI 10
Cole Hamels PHI 9
Carlos Carrasco CLE 8
Vance Worley PIT 8
David Buchanan PHI 6
Antonio Bastardo PHI 5
Jake Diekman PHI 5
Josh Outman CLE/NYY 4
Lisalverto Bonilla TEX 3
Justin De Fratus PHI 3
Ken Giles PHI 3
Trevor May MIN 3
Gavin Floyd ATL 2
Mario Hollands PHI 2
Brian Schlitter CHC 2
Hector Neris PHI 1
BJ Rosnberg PHI 1
Bobby Korectky TOR 0
Jonathan Pettibone PHI 0
Josh Zeid HOU 0

Former BlueClaws In Clearwater

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Today marked the first day of full-squad workouts in Clearwater at Phillies Spring Training.

Here’s a rundown of the former BlueClaws in big league camp with the Phillies. (* notes a non-roster invitee)

Antonio Bastardo (2007)
Jesse Biddle (2011)*
Justin De Fratus (2009)
Jake Diekman (2009-10)
Ken Giles (2012)*
Cole Hamels (2003)
Mario Hollands (2011-12)*
Kyle Kendrick (2004-06)
Jonathan Pettibone (2010)
BJ Rosenberg (2009)
Michael Stutes (2008)

Lou Marson (2006)*
Carlos Ruiz (2001)
Cameron Rupp (2011)
Sebastian Valle (2009-10)*

Maikel Franco (2011-12)*
Freddy Galvis (2008)
Ryan Howard (2002)

Aaron Altherr (2010-11)
Domonic Brown (2008)
Leandro Castro (2009-10)*
Zach Collier (2009-10)
Kelly Dugan (2011)
Darin Ruf (2010)

In total, of the 58 players in Phillies camp this year, 24 are former BlueClaws.

Five Former BlueClaws Invited to Spring Training

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


From the Phillies release…

The Phillies have invited five additional players to major league spring training as non-roster invitees, the club announced today.

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP – In 27 starts with double-A Reading last season, Biddle went 5-14 with a 3.64 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 138.1 innings.  Despite battling whooping cough for the majority of the 2013 season, the Philadelphia native finished tied for first in the Eastern League in starts (27), tied for second in complete games (2), third in strikeouts and ninth in ERA.  He was also selected as an Eastern League midseason All-Star and earned the win for the U.S. Team in the MLB Futures Game at Citi Field in July.  On April 22 at Harrisburg, the 22-year-old took a perfect game into the 7thinning and struck out a career-high 16 batters.  After the season, he was named the second-best prospect in the Philliesminor league system by Baseball America.  Biddle was originally selected by the Phillies in the first round (27th overall) of the June 2010 draft from Germantown Friends School (Pa.).
  • Maikel Franco, 3B – The 2013 Paul Owens Award winner as the best player in the Phillies minor league system, Franco batted a combined .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season.  He led all of Minor League Baseball with 308 total bases last year while finishing tied for second in extra-base hits (70), fourth in hits (173), tied for seventh in home runs and tied for eighth in RBI.   In 2013, the 21-year-old infielder was selected to the World roster for the MLB Futures Game, as well as the Florida State League midseason All-Star team, and was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for June and Player of the Week twice.  Following the season, he was named the top prospect in the Phillies minor league system by Baseball America.  In 388 career minor league games, Franco has batted .281 with 98 doubles, 50 home runs and 260 RBI.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Azua, Dominican Republic, in January of 2010.
  • Ken Giles, RHP – Limited to just 24 games due to injury last season, Giles, 23, went 2-2 with six saves and a 6.31 ERA with single-A Clearwater.  The Albuquerque, N.M., native also pitched for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, where he was selected as an AFL All-Star after holding opponents scoreless in nine of his 10 relief appearances and striking out 16 in 10.1 innings.  Armed with a fastball which touches 100 mph, Giles has compiled 152 strikeouts in 112.1 career innings (12.18 SO/9.0 IP) over three minor league seasons between the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Lakewood BlueClaws and Clearwater.  Giles was originally selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the June 2011 draft out of Yavapai College in Arizona.
  • Mario Hollands, LHP – In 2013, Hollands went 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games (20 starts) between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading.  He struck out 114 batters while walking just 32 in 132.0 innings.  The 25-year-old was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June after going 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts.  In four minor league seasons with the Phillies organization, Hollands has compiled a 24-22 record and 3.93 ERA in 96 games (67 starts).  The Oakland, Calif., native was originally selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the June 2010 draft out of UC Santa Barbara.
  • Sebastian Valle, C – Valle began 2013 playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic before spending the regular season with double-A Reading, where he hit .203 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 98 games.  Following the season, he also appeared in 46 games with Caneros de los Mochis in the Mexican Winter League where he batted .304 with 11 extra-base hits and 15 RBI.  In parts of seven seasons in the Phillies minor league system, the 23-year-old has a .258 career average with 132 doubles, 61 home runs and 311 RBI in 608 games.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in October of 2006.


Biddle, a 2010 first-round pick of the Phillies, was with the BlueClaws in 2011 and an on the SAL post-season All-Star team. Franco was with the BlueClaws for a few weeks in 2011 and all of 2012. Giles was with Lakewood for most of 2012. Hollands was the Opening Day starter in 2011 and here for part of 2012. Valle was here for half of 2009 and all of the 2010. He hit the game-winning home run in the SAL Championship Series clincher against Greenville in 2010.

Marson Back With Phillies

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

2006 BlueClaws catcher Lou Marson was among four players invited to spring training yesterday by the Phillies, joining OF Tony Gwynn Jr., RHP Sean O’Sullivan, and OF Dave Sappelt.

Marson, of course, was the starting catcher on the BlueClaws team that won the 2006 South Atlantic League title. He was originally drafted the Phillies in the 4th round of the 2004 draft out of high school in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He made his big league debut with the Phillies in 2008 and was traded to the Indians (with Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Donald) for Cliff Lee at the trade deadline in 2009. Marson has been with the Indians since, but this year was limited to just 12 games (between the big league club, AA Akron and AAA Columbus) by injury.

(Yes, that’s Pablo Sandoval tagging Marson out on the right in the 2006 SAL Championship Series against the Giants affiliate, Augusta)

The full Phillies release is below the fold.


Dugan, Altherr Added to 40-Man Roster

Thursday, November 21st, 2013


We would like to congratulate former BlueClaws Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr, who were each added to the Phillies 40-man roster on Wednesday and will get to now participate in big league Spring Training.

Wednesday was the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule-5 Draft, which takes place on Thursday of Winter Meetings week, this year on December 12th in Orlando.

Dugan was with the BlueClaws in 2012 and hit .300 with 12 home runs (including over .350 in the second half of that season). This year, he opened the season with Clearwater, hitting .318 with 10 home runs before a July 4th to Reading. In his first taste of Double-A, he hit .264 with 10 more home runs in 56 games. He was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2009.

Altherr played a season and a half with Lakewood, starting 2011 here and playing with the BlueClaws all of 2012 with Dugan. After hitting .211 in 2011, he hit .252 with 8 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 2012. This year with Clearwater, he had his best season as a pro, hitting .275 with 12 home runs and 23 stolen bases. He was a 9th round pick of the Phillies in 2009.

Both players signed at age 18 or younger, meaning they had five years before they needed to be placed on the 40-man as Rule-5 protected. Players who signed at age 19 or older (college draftees) have four years.

The Phillies also added catcher Tommy Joseph, acquired from the Giants last year as part of the Hunter Pence trade, and LHP Rob Rasmussen, who was acquired from the Dodgers on August 31st in exchange for Michael Young.

Castro Gets Spring Training Invite

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Leandro Castro, with the BlueClaws in both 2009 and 2010, received a non-roster invite to Spring Training today by the Phillies.

He re-signed with the organization after briefly being a minor league free agent.

Castro first came to the BlueClaws in the first half of 2009, but played sparingly as a 19-year old, and finished that season with Williamsport. In 2010, he was an everyday player on the BlueClaws SAL Championship team, hitting .257 with 10 home runs and 22 stolen bases.

He hit 10 more home runs with Clearwater in 2011 and Reading in 2012. This year, Castro hit .256 with 8 home runs and 20 stolen bases with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He can play all three outfield positions.

RHP Shawn Camp, LHP Cesar Jimenez, and OF Clete Thomas also received non-roster invites.

The next big day for prospects is coming up when teams need to protect players from the Rule-5 draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. Players who signed at age 18 or younger with four or fewer years experience are exempt (ie high school draftees taken in 2010 or later) or players who signed at age 19 or younger with three or fewer years of experience are exempt (ie college draftees taken in 2011 or later).

Winding Down in Arizona

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

We owe you an Arizona Fall League update so let’s take a look at the former BlueClaws down in Arizona as the fall season winds down.

Ken Giles – Giles has been one of the better relievers in the Fall League this year, and has thrown 4.1 scoreless innings on one hit with five strikeouts since our last update. He’s allowed six runs in 9.1 innings so far, though all six of those runs came in one inning in which he allowed four hits and three walks without recording an out. He’s probably ticketed for Reading to open 2014.

Mike Nesseth – Nesseth has struggled since our last update, having allowed 10 earned runs on 13 hits in 5.2 innings since our last update. Overall, he’s allowed 14 runs in 12.2 innings in Arizona so far.

Austin Wright – Wright has allowed two earned runs in 3.2 innings since our last update, walking three and giving up a run in his last outing on Monday. The lefty has allowed seven runs in 9.2 innings so far.

Cameron Rupp – Rupp has added two more multi-hit games in his five November starts and is 15-50 with a home run so far. His home run came on October 29th against Mets prospect Cody Satterwhite.

Aaron Altherr – Altherr had a three-hit game on November 6th in which he picked up three of his eight hits this fall. The 22 year old is from Buckeye, Arizona, which is just 38 miles from Peoria. He’s 8-40 this fall.

Lendy Castillo – Castillo, representing the Cubs, has thrown three scoreless innings since our last update. He’s allowed five runs/two earned in 9.1 innings so far in Arizona, though he’s walked nine. He’s probably headed for the Cubs Double-A affiliate in the Southern League next year.

Trevor May – May has been coming out of the bullpen since making one start earlier in the season. In November, he’s thrown seven innings and allowed one earned run with seven strikeouts. He’s allowed five earned runs in 13 innings so far this fall.

Travis Mattair – Moose has been getting extended playing time so far and is 14-62 (.226) so far in Arizona. He’s added in a pair of home runs though he’s 3-17 in November.

Weekly Arizona Fall League Update

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Let’s take another look at the former BlueClaws currently in the Arizona Fall League, but first, congrats to 2012 BlueClaws RHP Ken Giles, who will play in the Fall Stars Game, the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game, on Saturday night. Here are the rosters.

Ken Giles – Giles bounced back from a rough outing last week (six runs, no outs recorded) by throwing two scoreless innings on Thursday, adding in two strikeouts. He’s struck out eight in five innings so far, only allowing the runs in the one outing on the 19th.

Mike Nesseth – Nesseth threw three scoreless innings last week and has allowed four earned runs (three in his first appearance) over seven innings so far this fall.

Austin Wright – Wright last pitched on Friday, allowing four hits and two runs (including a home run to top Cubs prospect Jorge Soler). He’s allowed five earned runs in six innings so far this fall.

Cameron Rupp – Rupp has had a good fall. He’s 9-30 so far and added two hits and two RBIs last Tuesday since we last checked in.

Aaron Altherr – Altherr has played just three games so far and has not played since the 16th. He’s 3-11 with two RBIs.

Lendy Castillo – Castillo, now with the Cubs, threw scoreless innings on Thursday and Saturday, though he did combine to walk three in those two outings. He’s allowed one earned run/four total over six innings so far this fall.

Trevor May – May has not pitched since the 19th and has made three appearances so far, allowing four runs in five innings.

Travis Mattair – Moose played four games last week and had three hits in his game on Saturday. He took Braves prospect Aaron Northcraft deep for his second home run and is 7-35 so far.

Weekly Arizona Fall League Update

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

It’s time for our weekly Arizona Fall League update, looking at the eight (started with nine but Kelly Dugan got hurt) former Claws in the prestigious league in Arizona.

Kenny Giles (2012) – We talked about Giles last week, noting what a great start he had. He threw another scoreless inning on Wednesday, but it unravled on Saturday. He faced seven batters, walked three, gave up four hits, and six runs. That will also harpoon his ERA for the entire fall, because he’ll only throw about 10-12 innings in full anyway.

Mike Nesseth (2012) – Since our last update, Nesseth threw just once. He allowed a run on two hits in Friday’s game. Look for him to re-surface in the next few days.

Austin Wright (2011) – After he allowed three runs in his first 2.1 innings, Wright settled in with two scoreless innings in the last week, most recently yesterday.

Cameron Rupp (2011) – Rupp has played very well in Arizona, going 7-20 already. He has two hits in three of his five games and hits in four of the five. He went 2-4 on Friday and 0-4 on Saturday in his two most recent appearances.

Aaron Altherr (2011-12) – Altherr played just once last week, going 1-4 on Wednesday. Look for him to get back in there over the next few days.

Lendy Castillo (2011) – Castillo, since our last update, has thrown two scoreless innings and has now allowed just one earned run over four innings so far (four runs total, but three were unearned).

Travis Mattair (2008-09, 11) – Moose went 1-11 last week including a Golden Sombrero on Friday. He’s 4-21 in Arizona so far.

Trevor May (2009-10) – May last pitched on Saturday, allowing three runs in two innings, walking three. He’s allowed four earned runs in five innings so far in Arizona.

First Week Wrap From Arizona Fall League

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Last week, we looked at the former BlueClaws headed to the Arizona Fall League this year. The AFL is a week underway and let’s take a look at the performances so far.

First off, unfortunately Kelly Dugan has turf toe and was sent back home. He was replaced with Cameron Perkins, who was drafted in 2012 and skipped Lakewood this year, so we went from nine alums to eight in the AFL.

Onto the alums (year with BlueClaws in parentheses).

Kenny Giles (2012) – Giles has been one of the more impressive arms down there thus far, throwing a pair of scoreless innings with five strikeouts. He last pitched on Friday so we could see him as soon as today. Giles is hoping to shake off a season in which he had a 6.31 ERA with Clearwater.

Mike Nesseth (2012) – After allowing three runs in his one inning of work (including a home run to Michael Ohlman of the Orioles) last Wednesday, Nesseth threw two scoreless innings on Monday.

Austin Wright (2011) – Wright has struggled thus far, allowing five earned runs/three earned over 2.1 innings, including a home run on Monday to Twins prospect Byron Buxton, the #2 overall pick in last year’s draft.

Cameron Rupp (2011) – Rupp is one of just a handful of players in the AFL who have actually played in the big leagues (he debuted in September). So far, he’s played three games, and collected five hits in 12 at bats including a double and two RBIs.

Aaron Altherr (2011-12) – Aaron is 2-7 so far with a double, two RBIs, and a caught stealing.

Lendy Castillo (2011) – Castillo, converted to a pitcher in 2010, gave up three unearned runs in his debut in Arizona, then allowed an earned run on Friday in an inning in which he allowed a hit and walked two.

Travis Mattair (2008-09, 11) – Moose is off to a great start, going 3-10 with a home run hit off Omar Duran of the Athletics.

Trevor May (2009-10) – May has allowed a run on four hits in three innings thus far.

Of course, Mattair and May were teammates with the BlueClaws in 2009 and they are teammates now in the AFL, though representing different organizations. Mattair is with the Reds and May is with the Twins.