Archive for the 'Past BlueClaws' Category

#52: Villar Debuts With Astros

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

One of the most fun parts of this job is updating this page – the Shore to the Show page – on BlueClaws.com. We got to do it again yesterday, as 2010 BlueClaws SS Jonathan Villar made his big league debut with Houston.

Villar becomes the 52nd BlueClaw to go From the Shore, to the Show, and third this year, joining 2010 BlueClaws teammates Jonathan Pettibone, who debuted with the Phillies in April, and Jarred Cosart, who debuted with the Astros just last week.

While Pettibone was the winning pitcher in two of the five BlueClaws playoff wins that year, including the clincher in both rounds of the post-season, neither Cosart nor Villar were playoff participants. Cosart was injured, and Villar was traded, sent to the Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade just two days before the July 31st deadline.

Villar hit .278 with 31 stolen bases with Triple-A Oklahoma City before his promotion to Houston. In 100 games with the 2010 BlueClaws, he hit .271 with 38 stolen bases in 100 games and countless highlight-reel defensive plays. He spent 2011 between Hi-A (where he went after the trade) and Double-A, and all of last year in Double-A Corpus Christi before joining OKC this year.

I remember the day Villar’s trade went down – he was sent to Houston with Anthony Gose (flipped to Toronto minutes later) and JA Happ for Oswalt. Villar was in the Lakewood lineup that day, until about 3 pm, when Chuck LaMar, then the Phillies Assistant GM of Player Development, called manager Mark Parent. They took him out and put in Keoni DeRenne, who got the game-winning hit in a walk-off win. Here’s an old post from that day.

Congrats to Villar.

There are several other former BlueClaws in the Astros system right now.

  • Josh Zeid is in Triple-A with Oklahoma City, where he is 4-1 with 12 saves and a 3.38 ERA. He could certainly be called up at some point, especially as a September call-up. Zeid, of course, was traded to Houston in 2011 as part of the Hunter Pence trade with Cosart and…
  • Jonathan Singleton is hitting .210 with three home runs with Oklahoma City in 34 games there. He missed the first 50 games before playing a couple of weeks in Low-A and Double-A.
  • Domingo Santana was the player to be named later in that trade, going to Houston in August of 2011. This year, with Double-A Corpus Christi, is hitting .233 with 14 home runs. Santana is still two weeks (August 5) shy of his 21st birthday.

Who’s the next BlueClaw to make his big league debut? We shall see.

#51: Cosart to Debut Tonight (UPDATED – Wins Debut)

Friday, July 12th, 2013

CosartShoretoShow

Updated – Congrats to 2010 BlueClaw Jarred Cosart, who was sparkling in his big league debut last night, throwing eight scoreless innings with the Astros in beating David Price.

“It’s crazy that just happened,” said Cosart, who struck out two and walked three on 96 pitches (55 strikes). “I just talked to MLB Network and that’s just like — I was 7 years old and you see guys like Harold Reynolds talking on TV. It’s the best moment of my life right now. I can’t imagine it any other way.”

“My heart was going a million miles an hour,” Cosart said. “I was just hoping I could get the ball down. My curveball and my changeup were huge for me tonight.

“The name of the game is getting balls down, changing speeds — and I was able to do to that in the first and establish it early.”

Here is a recap from MLB.com.

——–

The BlueClaws will add to their Shore to the Show page tonight when Jarred Cosart becomes the 51st for BlueClaw to appear in a Major League game. He’ll start tonight for the Astros in Tampa Bay.

He’ll be the second player to debut this year, following Jonathan Pettibone, his 2010 BlueClaws teammate.

Cosart was a 38th round pick of the Phillies in 2008 and spent 2010 with Lakewood, going 7-3 with a 3.79 ERA before an injury prematurely ended his season on June 26th.

He spent the beginning of 2011 with Clearwater before being traded to Houston in the Hunter Pence trade (with Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana, all former BlueClaws).

This year, he’s 7-4, 3.29 in Triple-A Oklahoma City and will make his big league debut tonight.

From MLB.com:

He charted pitches in the stands in Round Rock, Texas, on Wednesday night and was called on the carpet in the middle of the clubhouse afterward by OKC manager Tony DeFrancesco for wearing flip-flops, even though he wore sneakers. With Cosart’s teammates around him, DeFrancesco told Cosart the real reason he summoned him: He was going to the Majors.

From the Houston Chronicle - Astros GM Jeff Lunhow on Cosart:

Decision to promote Cosart: “He has a full half season in Triple-A and sometimes the results don’t match how we feel about his performance, because we ask him to work on certain things — asking him to work on his changeup, work on his offspeed pitches to complement what we know is a pretty electric fastball. And he’s been doing that and the way we track results is not necessarily hits or runs, it’s more about what the coaches are saying and how we’re evaluating his performance. And he’s done well and he’s done everything we asked him to do. So when this opportunity came up and we needed a starter before the All-Star break, he definitely was at the top of the list.”

Good luck to Jarred!

 

Great Week for Three Former BlueClaws

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

ReadingGuys480270

It’s been a great week for three former BlueClaws, all with Reading – Jim Murphy, Jesse Biddle, and Maikel Franco.

Murphy, Lakewood’s all-time Home Run King with 36 combined in 2009 and 2011, and Biddle were named Eastern League All-Stars, while Biddle and Franco were named to the Futures Game, which takes place on July 14th at Citi Field, two days prior to the MLB All-Star Game.

Murphy, who was also the Eastern League Player of the Week last week when he hit four home runs, leads the league and the Phillies system with 15 this year, to along with a .293 average and 47 RBIs. Murphy was last with Lakewood in 2011, when he tied the BlueClaws single-season home run mark with 22 (Juan Richardson, 2001). He hit 14 with Lakewood in 2009 in helping the team win that year’s South Atlantic League title.

Biddle, the Phillies top prospect and a 2011 BlueClaws teammate of Murphy, has a 3.21 ERA this year, despite a 3-7 record, and has struck out 91 hitters in 81.1 innings pitched. He struck out 16 hitters in one seven-inning outing against Harrisburg in April. The Philadelphia native went 7-8, 2.98 with the BlueClaws in 2011 and was a South Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star that year.

Franco, meanwhile, burst through in the second half last year with the BlueClaws, when he hit .346 with 8 home runs and 57 RBIs. This year, he started the season with Clearwater, hitting .299 with a league-leading 16 home runs, and was promoted to Reading last week. At the time of this writing, he has played seven games with Reading, going 14-29 with three home runs.

Biddle will play for the US team (roster) in the Futures Game and Franco, from the Dominican Republic, will play for the World team (roster).

From a local standpoint, Jackson native and St. Rose product Anthony Ranaudo, will be Biddle’s teammate on the United States squad.

 

Anthony Hewitt Walk-Off HR

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Former BlueClaws OF Anthony Hewitt, now with Reading, hit a three-run walk-off home run last night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

We posted this video on the BlueClaws Facebook page and saw this response.

HewittComment

That’s really cool too.

Anthony Gose Steals Home

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Here is a video of 2009 BlueClaws OF Anthony Gose’s straigh steal of home last night for the Buffalo Bisons, AAA affiliate of the Blue Jays.

Sparkling Night for Two Alums

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

We knew Monday night would be a special one for Jonathan Pettibone, no matter what happened, as the 2010 BlueClaw made his big league debut.

We didn’t know Monday night would be so special for 2011 BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle.

We’ll start with Pettibone, who didn’t earn the win, but gave up just two runs in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts and no walks as the Phillies topped Pittsburgh 3-2.

“The first couple of innings the nerves were going a little bit,” Pettibone said. “Once I settled down, I got in a nice little rhythm there.”

There were a couple of unique layers to Pettibone’s debut with the Phillies. 1) Charlie Manuel managed Jay Pettibone, Jon’s father, in the minors with the Twins. 2) Jon Pettibone is the first player born in the 1990s to play for the Phillies.

Did managing the son of a player he managed in the minors make the 69-year-old manager feel old?

“Not really,” Manuel said. “I think old is about how you feel, what you make of yourself.

“If I manage his grandson, I think that would be great. I’d like that. That’d be super.”

Here is the updated Shore to the Show list, with Pettibone at #50.

“The game plan was being aggressive,” Pettibone said. “I didn’t want to pick around the strike zone. I wanted to pitch to my strengths and go after them.”

He’s earned another couple of starts with John Lannan expected to be out for a little bit.

Meanwhile, Jesse Biddle was phenomenal for Reading in a win at Harrisburg.

He retired the first 19 he faced, with 14 strikeouts, losing the perfect game and the no-hit bid in the 7th inning, and picking up strike out #16 in his 105th pitch stranding the bases loaded. The Philly native likes the cooler temperatures.

“I love it out here,” said the Double-A Reading hurler and Pennsylvania native following a game in Harrisburg. “I think in the beginning, it was 53, but in the end it was like 46. For me, I don’t think bats work as much then. But as long as I’m feeling comfortable and controlling everything the way I want, it’s all great for me.”

From MILB.com:

Tonight what I saw was maybe as dominant a start as I’ve seen in my career as a coach,” said Reading pitching coach David Lundquist. “I mean, when you’re talking command-wise and his overall stuff, that’s probably as good as you’re ever going to see at this or any level of the game.”

Biddle differed slightly on the semantics, but still felt that he had thrown the best outing of his Minor League career, now in its fourth year.

“I don’t like to use the word ‘dominant’ so much, but it’s the most in control I’ve felt for sure,” he said. “In control of my emotions, in control of my composure, in control of the baseball, all that stuff. It all starts with my delivery. If I can get that down, I can get the ball going where I want it too.”

Gregg from Phuture Phillies I noticed tweeted that he’d be heading over to Harrisburg for the game. Good choice!

#50: Pettibone to Make Debut Monday

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Before the season, we looked at several players that could become the 50th Shore to the Show player. We focused on two – Mets C Travis d’Arnaud and Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone. It looks like Pettibone will in fact become #50.

d’Arnaud is out with a broken foot, but it would have been Pettibone anyway. He will be activated by the Phillies on Monday and make his debut in place of the injured John Lannan.

“He’s got stuff,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He hasn’t pitched great this year yet, but his stuff has been good. His command hasn’t been great, but he’s been up to 92 to 94, 91 to 94 [m.p.h.]. He’s got good stuff and hopefully he has enough weapons and guile to pitch well for us.”

Pettibone was a 3rd round pick of the Phillies in 2008. After one year in the GCL and one in Williamsport, he debuted with the BlueClaws in 2010, going 8-6, 3.49. Perhaps nobody on the BlueClaws improved more over the year than Pettibone did. he had an ERA of 5.51 in the first half and 2.41 in the second half, improving his K/BB ratio from 1.4 to 2.8.

Here is the full Shore to the Show list of the 10 players who debuted last year.

40 Freddy Galvis 4/5/2012 2008 Philadelphia
41 Lendy Castillo 4/9/2012 2011 Chicago Cubs
42 Adrian Cardenas 5/7/2012 2007 Chicago Cubs
43 Jake Diekman 5/15/2012 2008-10 Philadelphia
44 Quintin Berry 5/23/2012 2007 Detroit
45 BJ Rosenberg 6/9/2012 2009 Philadelphia
46 Anthony Gose 7/17/2012 2009 Toronto
47 Tyler Cloyd 8/29/2012 2009 Philadelphia
48 Darin Ruf 9/14/2012 2010 Philadelphia
49 Tyson Brummett 10/3/2012 2008 Philadelphia

We’ll add to that tomorrow night.

Who Will Be #50?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

49 players have gone From The Shore, to the Show in the 12-year history of the BlueClaws (link). #1? Ryan Howard, who made his big league debut on September 1st, 2004. #49? Tyson Brummett, who was called up to make an appearance for the Phillies on October 3rd last year, getting the final two outs of the final regular season game of the season.

The next player to make his big league debut will be the milestone #50, but while in years past there have been a few guys that are on the short-list entering the season (for example, last year Freddy Galvis [Phillies] and Lendy Castillo [Cubs] both made Opening Day rosters and debuts before Tax Day), this year, there are no obvious early-April candidates.

One of the reasons for that, of course, is that 10 former BlueClaws made big league debuts last year, compared to five in 2009, six in 2010, and three in 2011. Those 10 included two Cubs (Castillo and Adrian Cardenas), a Tiger (Quintin Berry), and a Blue Jay (Anthony Gose). #50 could be…a Met.

One player that we know for sure will make his debut this year, and almost certainly before the All-Star break, is Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher on the 2009 BlueClaws championship club. Traded to Toronto for Roy Halladay, and to the Mets for RA Dickey, he’s already been traded for two Cy Young winners before reaching the big leagues. d’Arnaud had a strong camp, hitting over .340 in 35 at bats, and while he will open the year in Triple-A, he’ll be back soon.

“I know people talk about control and ‘Super Two’ and all of that. If John Buck gets hurt tomorrow, Travis d’Arnaud is the frontline catcher,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said.

If he hits like he did last year in Las Vegas (he’s familiar with Vegas, as last year, that was Toronto’s AAA affiliate – now it’s the Mets AAA affiliate), where he hit .333 with 16 HRs in 279 at bats, he’ll be up by Memorial Day.

We know that d’Arnaud will be up in the big leagues. We know when he will be up in the big leagues (early June-ish). What we don’t know is whether or not he will be #50. That depends on the situations of the other people on this list.

Jonathan Pettibone, a BlueClaws RHP in 2010, shot through Reading and up prospect lists last year, and threw very well in Lehigh Valley (2.55 ERA in seven starts) at the end of the season. He’ll start in Lehigh, but figures to be one of the first guys called, along with Tyler Cloyd, if the Phillies need a starter. In fact, the release of Aaron Cook yesterday is a big boost for Pettibone:

“Aaron’s a proven guy, but the decision was made, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the guys that we plan on having in the rotation at Triple-A are guys we think are going to be ready soon,” said Phillies minor league director Joe Jordan.

Pettibone will almost certainly make his debut this year. The question is when.

If I had to guess who would be #50, I would certainly take one of these two players. However, there are a few other candidates that could, in theory, be up this year.

Jesus Sanchez, a BlueClaw in 2009 when he was just learning how to pitch, had a superb year last season with the Brewers, pitching to a 1.6 ERA between AA and AAA with 64 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched. He made five appearances in big league camp before getting sent down, and if he repeats that effort, he’ll be back.

Jarred Cosart, a BlueClaws RHP in 2010, is a big part of the Astros future. He was acquired from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade in 2011 and made it as high as AAA last year, where he had a 2.60 ERA in 27.2 innings. He got sent down a few weeks ago, but he’ll be back, and could debut this year.

“He’s a guy that’s going to be a big part of our future,” Astros Assistant GM David Stearns said of Cosart. “He knows that and we know that.”

When the Phillies acquired Michael Young to play third base, they sent Lisalverto Bonilla, a 2011 BlueClaw, to the Rangers. Bonilla spent most of last year in AA Reading, where he had a 1.64 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 33 innings. He is expected to start the year with AA Frisco.

Trevor May, a BlueClaw in 2009 and 10 was traded to Minnesota (with Twins Opening Day starter Vance Worley) for Ben Revere in December. Last year, he had a 4.87 ERA in Reading with 151 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. A return to Double-A or an assignment in Triple-A awaits May to start 2013.

D’Arby Myers, a BlueClaws OF in 2009, is a longshot but earns a mention after getting into five spring training games with the A’s this spring. He hit .305 last year between Clearwater and Reading and will likely play in AA with Oakland.

Here’s a blast from the past: 2007 BlueClaw Darren Byrd, who was a teammate of Sanchez in AA with Milwaukee last year, pitching to a 2.59 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 73 innings. He was traded to the Athletics last week and will open in the minors.

Thanks to BlueCalws SuperFan John Staniscia for his help with this list. Read his blog here – the best way to track former BlueClaws.

NCAA Tournament, BlueClaws-Style

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Who are some of your favorite former BlueClaws rooting for (and picking) in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament?

#1 overall seed Louisville is represented by 2009 BlueClaws RHP BJ Rosenberg. They could square off in the Sweet 16 with Oklahoma State, the alma mater of John Urick (2006), Michael Dabbs (2010) and Jason Jaramillo (2005).

The bottom of the Midwest region includes Creighton, the alma mater of Darin Ruf (2010). Incidentally, Ruf is, I believe, the only BlueClaw alum to go to a Jesuit school (relevant with the election of the new Pope, a Jesuit).

Nick Evangelista (2004) went to Pittsburgh and they are in action today against Wichita State.That half of the bracket includes a 5/12 matchup between Wisconsin, alma mater of Chad Sidowski (2001) and Ole Miss, alma mater of Cooper Osteen (2006), Matt Maloney (2006), and Austin Wright (2011).

Jeremy Barnes went to Notre Dame, who takes on Iowa State in a West Region opener tomorrow.

Top seed Kansas will be supported by Gus Milner (2007), Mike Zagurski (2006), and Colton Murray (2012). Matt Payton (2010) went to Western Kentucky, their opponent. Jordan Ellis (2009) went to Villanova, a possible second round opponent for Kansas.

Also in the South Region, UCLA is the alma mater of Tyson Brummett (2008) and Garret Claypool (2010). A possible second round opponent for UCLA is Florida, alma mater of Matt Campbell (2012).

Troy Hanzawa (2009) and Quintin Berry (2007) went to San Diego State, who takes on Oklahoma, alma mater of Will Savage (2006) and Ryan Duke (2011-12).

Indiana, alma mater of BlueClaws manager Mickey Morandini, is the #1 seed in the South.

Enjoy hoops!

UCF Interview With Chris Duffy – Note the Shirt

Friday, March 1st, 2013

2012 BlueClaws 1B Chris Duffy went to the University of Central Florida and was interviewed at their facility for their website.

Note the shirt. BlueClaws hitting coach Greg Legg gives out these shirts to players after big performances. Duffy is making good use of it.

Anyway, watch the interview.

Baseball’s Hardest Throwing DJ

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Could it be former BlueClaws RHP Trevor May? Here’s a story on May from the St Paul Pioneer Press that ran today.

“I was just playing my stuff in the weight room,” Mazr (May) said. “It got turned off in about four minutes.”

Four minutes into a one-hour mix means it didn’t take long for the audience to cry “uncle.” Undaunted, Mazr glanced around the Twins’ clubhouse.

“I’m taking it slow,” he said. “I’m approaching the Australian guys first because they love house music there. Then I’ll go from there and try to convert the others.”

May spent most of 2009 and half of 2010 with the BlueClaws, helping them win back-to-back South Atlantic League titles (he gave up 1 earned run in four playoff starts over two seasons). In December, he was sent, along with Vance Worley, to Minnesota for Ben Revere.

Click here to read the rest of the story on May.

Quick Weekend Round-up

Monday, February 25th, 2013

A couple of quick notes from Spring Training action over the weekend, besides the obvious – it’s good to see actual spring training baseball!

Saturday – Three former BlueClaws played for Houston against the Phillies at Bright House Field. Jarred Cosart threw two perfect innings, including a strikeout of Ryan Howard, while Josh Zeid threw a scoreless inning and Jonathan Villar went 0-2…Cole Hamels threw two scoreless innings for the Phillies.

Sunday – Travis d’Arnaud worked with future battery-mate Matt Harvey yesterday. The rundown from the NY Daily News:

The catcher admitted he did not have the same comfort going into Sunday’s game, his first since a knee injury in June. He was so “amped” up about getting back in a game he listened to classical music beforehand to try and calm himself down.

“Not playing for nine months, I was ready to play all year long and all offseason,” d’Arnaud said. “So I was excited.”

Be sure to read Phillies Insider from Larry Shenk. He has some great spring training insight at his blog on the MLBlogs network.

Cosart Could Face Former Teammates

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

2010 BlueClaw Jarred Cosart could face some former Phillies teammates when he pitches for the Astros on Saturday in their Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies.

David Murphy has more on Philly.com.

Several of his teammates from that season, including one-time roommate Jonathan Pettibone, are in camp with the Phillies. Other 2011 Threshers who will be on hand for Saturday’s game include Tyler Cloyd (13 games in 2011), Justin Friend (26 appearances), Darin Ruf (133 games, .308/.388/.506 w/ 17 HRs), Cesar Hernandez (119 G, .268/.306/.333), Sebastian Valle (91 G, .284/.312/.394) and Joe Savery (54 G, 228 PA, .307/.368/.410).

Josh Zeid, Cosart’s 2010 BlueClaws teammate, who was also traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence trade (with Jonathan Villar) is also slated to pitch for Houston on Saturday.

From MLB.com:

“It’s exciting,” Cosart said. “I’m going to have to try to keep my emotions down. It’s going to be a good experience and a good time to see a lot of old guys, old friends. I hopefully get to talk to them a little bit. Being back in that environment I was familiar with for three years, it’s going to be great.”

(snip)

“I had a really good relationship with everybody over there, and I want to go back and show them what I’ve learned the last couple of years and how far I’ve come,” he said.

Should be fun.

BlueClaws Connections in Baseball America Top 100

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Baseball America today released their annual Top 100 Prospects list and there are several connections to the BlueClaw. Year listed is their year with the BlueClaws.

23. Travis d’Arnaud, C, 2009 – Now with the Mets, they expect d’Arnaud to make his big league debut at some point in 2013. Could he be the 50th player to go From The Shore to the Show? He’s on the list of possibles, certainly. BA gives him a 60 bat tool and a 60 power tool on the 20-80 scouting scale. He hit .333 with 16 HRs in 67 games with AAA Las Vegas before an injury. He was traded to the Mets as part of a package for RA Dickey in the winter.

27. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, 2010 – The Astros 1B prospect, who was acquired in 2011 as part of the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies, hit .284 with 21 home runs with AA Corpus Christi last year. BA gives him a 65 bat with 60 power and an ETA of 2014.

89. Jesse Biddle, LHP, 2011 – Biddle has put together back-to-back dynamite campaigns in his first two full seasons, including 10-6, 3.22 year in 2012 with Clearwater in which he struck out 151 hitters in 142.2 innings. He’s just 21, and BA gives him steady ratings across the board, ranging from 50-60 in fastball, curveball, command, change-up, and control. He’ll get tested this year moving to AA Reading and a hitter-friendly FirstEnergy Stadium.

100. Roman Quinn, SS, 2013 – Quinn is one of just a few players on this list who have not yet played in a full-season league. BA gives him an 80 speed (best possible), and he is one of just a few players to receive an 80 in any category (more on this later). Last year was his first as a switch-hitter and a shortstop, and Quinn hit .281 and led the NYPL with 30 stolen bases. He’ll likely be Lakewood’s shortstop and leadoff hitter in 2013.

Links: Full List, Scouting Reports, Helpful Tidbits.