Archive for the 'Past BlueClaws' Category

AC Cruises “Cruising to the Majors”

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Rhys Hoskins, a 2015 BlueClaw, had a 19-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday night for Double-A Reading.

This is our first Atlantic City Cruises Cruising To the Majors Phillies Farm Report of the year, and several of the affiliates and former BlueClaws players are off to excellent starts to the season. Let’s take a look.

AAA Lehigh Valley
The IronPigs do not have a ton of former BlueClaws – a lot of their players have come from recent Phillies trades, but they have a few. Andrew Knapp is hitting .238 but has already hit 3 HRs and is second on the team with 12 RBIs. Pitcher Severino Gonzalez, who has pitched for both Reading and Lehigh Valley this year, has thrown 8.1 scoreless innings with the IronPigs.

AA Reading
The Fightin’ Phils are off to a great start, at 16-10 as we type this on Thursday morning. Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins each have five home runs to lead the team. Hoskins had a 19-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday night. Angelo Mora is off to a good start, at .289 with 2 HRs and 15 RBIs while playing second, third, shortstop, and the outfield. Roman Quinn already has stolen 10 bases. Among the pitchers, Miguel Nunez was recently promoted to Reading from Clearwater. Excluding an eight-run game on April 15th against Harrisburg, Ricardo Pinto has allowed just five earned runs over his other four starts covering 25 innings pitched.

A+ Clearwater
The Threshers are 17-9 as we type this, carried by an outstanding pitching staff that has a 2.51 ERA through their first 26 games. Tyler Viza has been arguabley the best pitcher in the system; he’s 4-0, 1.14 in 23 innings over his first four starts. Ranfi Casimiro is 3-1, 2.70 while Elniery Garcia is 2-1, 1.82. All three were with the BlueClaws last year. Matt Hockenberry has allowed two runs in 12.1 innings while Jesen Therrien has allowed three in 11.2 innings with 18 strikeouts. Offensively, Kyle Martin is off to a great start, hitting .294 with 5 HRs and 21 RBIs though 26 games. Mitch Walding is off to a .275 start with six home runs while Scott Kingery is hitting .260 with eight stolen bases.

Former BlueClaws Off to Great Starts With Clearwater

Sunday, April 24th, 2016
GarciaBLOG Photo

The Clearwater Threshers roster should look pretty familiar to BlueClaws fans. All but two players on it played for the BlueClaws (P Victor Arano came to the Phillies to complete the Roberto Hernandez deal two years ago and P Thomas Eshelman came to the Phillies in the Ken Giles trade in December, going straight to Clearwater from the NY-Penn League).

What should also look familiar to BlueClaws fans? Strong pitching from guys that thrived with Lakewood last year. In fact, the Threshers staff has an ERA of 1.89 (!) over 17 games and has already thrown four shutouts. Let’s take a look.

  • LHP Elniery Garcia has given up one run in 19 innings with 17 strikeouts and four walks. He had a 3.23 ERA with the BlueClaws last year, including a 2.64 ERA in the second half.
  • RHP Ranfi Casimiro has given up three earned runs in 16 innings with 20 strikeouts and four walks. He had a 3.35 ERA with Lakewood last year and a 3.10 ERA in the second half.
  • RHP Tyler Viza has allowed two earned runs in 17.2 innings with 17 strikeouts and two walks. Viza had a 3.3.38 ERA with Lakewood last year 3.14 in the second half.

Out of the bullpen, Jairo Munoz has allowed one run in seven innings, Jesen Therrien has allowed one earned run in 9.1 innings with 15 strikeouts, Matt Hockenberry has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings with five strikeouts, and Alexis Rivero has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings with 11 strikeouts.

Pitching coach Aaron Fultz, who worked with these players last year in Lakewood, has done a great job helping them develop, and the early returns in 2016 are very strong.

Here is the Clearwater stats page.

President’s Day and the BlueClaws

Monday, February 15th, 2016


Can you name the only former BlueClaw to share a name with a President?

(Answer below the fold)


BlueClaws in Caribbean Series Final

Monday, February 8th, 2016

CaribbeanSeriesThe BlueClaws had an impact in the just-completed Caribbean Series final which took place last night.

Sebastian Valle (2009) and Chris Roberson (2003) both played with the winning squad from Mexico, and it was Valle who tied the game with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Off what pitcher did Valle get the game-tying single? His 2009 BlueClaws teammate Jesus Sanchez.

You can read more about the final here.

Roberson played with Mexico in this event as he has played with Monterrey in the Mexican league for the last six years. He went 2-2 in the game.

Pettibone Signs With Cubs

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Best of luck to 2010 BlueClaws pitcher Jonathan Pettibone who has signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. The contract includes an invite to spring training, which gets underway in just a few weeks.

His last significant big league time was in 2013 when he went 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA but he’s missed time with shoulder injuries the last two seasons, including all of 2015.

With the BlueClaws, Pettibone went 8-6 with a 3.49 ERA and was the winning pitcher in the clinching game in both playoff rounds – the South Atlantic League Division Series against Hickory (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 9 K) and the South Atlantic League Championship Series against Greenville (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 5 K).

We wish Jon the best of luck with the Cubs.

Crawford Among Five BlueClaws to Get Phillies Spring Training Invites

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016


The Phillies announced earlier today a list of players from within their organization and not on their 40-man roster that will receive invites to big league spring training, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater on February 17th.

Of the players above, five played for the BlueClaws (left to right in above photo):

  • SS JP Crawford – The Phillies top prospect was their first round pick in 2013. He played with the BlueClaws in 2013 and the first half of 2014 before a mid-season promotion to Clearwater. He split 2015 between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
  • C Andrew Knapp – A 2nd round pick in 2013, Knapp played with the BlueClaws in 2014, hitting .290 in 75 games. In 2015, he was Eastern League MVP, hitting .360 with 11 home runs with Reading.
  • C Gabriel Lino – Lino came to the Phillies from the Orioles in 2012 and played part of 2012, 2013, and 2014 with the BlueClaws. He split 2015 between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
  • C Logan Moore – Drafted in 2011, Moore played 30 games with the BlueClaws in 2012.
  • 1B Brock Stassi – Drafted in 2011, Stassi hit 3 home runs with the BlueClaws in 2012, including an inside-the-park home run on July 3rd.

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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.

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.