Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ryno gets first jack

Ryan Howard got his first hit of the spring Saturday afternoon, a 2-run homer to left field in the first inning of the Phillies' 12-5 victory over the Rays. He also had an infield hit later. Jason Donald picked up his first hit, too, an RBI single. Lou Marson got into the game (0 for 1), in relief of Ronny Paulino. On the pitching side, Kyle Kendrick got the start, debuting his new change-up and recording 8 outs. Kendrick gave up 1 run on 4 hits, no walks, before giving way to Drew Naylor. Drew finished the 3rd inning, then pitched the 4th and 5th frames, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3 of his 7 outs.

Elsewhere, the Pirates beat the Astros, 6-5. Michael Bourn had a single, a triple, stole a base, scored twice and drove in a run for Houston.

Over in Arizona, Oakland edged Cleveland, 1-0, Adrian Cardenas (0 for 2) starting at second base for the Athletics. Texas defeated Arizona, 6-4, with Greg Golson belting a single and a triple, driving in 3 runs for the Rangers. Chris Roberson homered for the Diamondbacks.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Phillies drop 3rd straight

The Cincinnati Reds clobbered the Phillies Friday, 10-3. Many HomeSiders participated, let start with the Phils. Jason Donald started for the 3rd straight game, 2nd straight at third base, had a walk and scored a run in 3 at bats. Lou Marson started at catcher, and was 0 for 3. Anthony Hewitt, the Phillies #1 pick in last June's draft and probable 2009 BlueClaw, relieved Donald at third and was 0 for 2.

Andrew Carpenter started the game for the Phillies, faced 6 hitters and did not get anyone out, giving up 3 walks, and 3 hits and was charged with 4 runs, before yielding to Antonio Bastardo. Bastardo got 6 outs, allowing just 1 hit, a home run to Joey Votto. Sergio Escalona also had a tough day, pitching 1.1 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and a walk, before being removed. Matt Maloney threw 2 innings for the Reds, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks.

Toronto defeated Detroit, 6-4, Randy Ruiz was 1 for 2 before coming out for a pinch-runner in the 4th inning.

Washington beat Houston, 2-0, Michael Bourn had a walk in 3 at bats and stole a base for the Astros.

Over in Arizona, the Cubs pounded the Texas Rangers 10-4. Greg Golson had a single in 3 at bats and Elizardo Ramirez pitched a 1-2-3 inning for Texas.

Kansas City topped San Francisco 6-1, Robinson Tejeda pitched 2 shut out innings for the Royals, allowing 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1.

Milwaukee beat Oakland, 8-5. Adrian Cardenas had 2 singles in 2 at bats in his debut in the Cactus League for the Athletics.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard fouls off a pitch Thursday afternoon in Clearwater. (photo from

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Philies line up before home opener in Clearwater today.

Thursday's games

A quick rundown of today's results:

First, Jesus Merchan, who was a minor league free agent, is in camp with the Indians. Jesus had a double and scored a run in Arizona's 15-9 win over Cleveland. Chris Roberson was 0 for 2 for Arizona.

Also in the Cactus League, Chicago topped Colorado 4-1. Gavin Floyd pitched the first 2 innings for the White Sox, giving up 1 run on 2 hits (0 walks). Taylor Buchholz pitched a scoreless 6th inning for the Rockies, despite giving up 3 hits.

Greg Golson struck out in his only at bat for Texas, as the Rangers lost to the Royals, 7-2.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the Phillies lost to the Blue Jays, 6-2. Carlos Carrasco started for the Phils, and threw 2 perfect innings to start the game, striking out 3 of the 6 hitters he faced. J.A. Happ came on in the 3rd and 4th, allowing just 1 hit and no runs, but the non-HomeSiders let the game get away. Jason Donald, Jeremy Slayden, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz combined to go 0 for 8, but Randy Ruiz had a double, a walk and scored a run for Toronto. The Phillies travel to Sarasota to face the Reds Friday. Look for Matt Maloney in this one for Cincinnati, and Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona for Philadelphia.

Finally, the Pirates topped the Red Sox, 3-2. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 2 for Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's action

The Pirates defeated the Phillies 8-2. Jason Donald had a walk in 2 at bats, Jeremy Slayden had a single and a double and scored a run, Lou Marson was 0 for 1 and Ryan Howard was 0 for 2. Joe Bisenius was the losing pitcher, giving up 4 earned runs on 2 walks and 2 hits, including a 3-run home run in 1 inning of work.

Michael Bourn had a double and an RBI in 3 at bats in Houston's 6-3 win over Washington.

Greg Golson was 2 for 2, a single and a double and scored a run for Texas in their 12-7 victory over the Royals. Elizardo Ramirez pitched a scoreless frame for the Rangers in that game.

Arizona topped Colorado, 5-3. Chris Roberson had a walk in 2 at bats and stole a base.

Oakland and Milwaukee played 10 innings, deciding nothing in a 3-3 contest. Josh Outman pitched 2 shut out innings, giving up just 1 hit. Gio Gonzalez followed with 2 innings, surrendering a run on 2 hits, the run coming on a Corey Hart home run.

For those who were asking, Welinson Baez has been released, the pitching experiment apparently over.

Gio, Josh begin competition

The Oakland Athletics will open their preseason on Wednesday against Milwaukee, and Josh Outman (pictured) will get the ball for Oakland. He will be relived by Gio Gonzalez, as the two are the top 2 candidates for the #5 spot in the A's rotation. Outman, who won 14 for the BlueClaws in their championship season, was part of the Joe Blanton trade last year and the change of venue has been a break for the lefty, as he pitched in 6 games (4 starts) late last season, posting a 1-2, 4.56 in 25.2 innings of work.
Also, Jason Donald is in the Phillies starting line-up today , I guess Chase Utley is not quite ready to go. Joe Bisenius is also scheduled to pitch in that game.
Chris Roberson, who was a minor league free agent after spending 2008 in the Orioles system, has been invited to spring training as a non-roster player with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Matt Maloney, who won more games (16) than any pitcher in BlueClaws history, will make his first appearance for the Reds in Sarasota Friday against the Phillies.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WBC sets rosters

The biggest surprise to me is Carlos Carrasco being left off the Venezuelan roster, however Francisco Butto and Victor Moreno will both ride their success in the Caribbean Series to showcase themselves in the WBC. Carrasco, the #1 prospect in the system, will stay in Phillies camp where he will get a long look from the coaching staff before (I think) returning to Lehigh Valley to start the season.

Drew Naylor, Joel Naughton and Brad Harman will represent Australia, while Carlos Ruiz and Avelino Asprilla will take the field for Panama.

Jack Santora will be on the roster for Italy.

I believe that is all for our boys. The games begin on March 5.

Monday, February 23, 2009

WBC rosters

The final rosters for the 2009 World Baseball Classic will be announced at 6:00 Tuesday. You can tune to MLB Network to see which former 'Claws will be representing their countries, or you can come back here for my review.

While I am on the subject, this MLB Network is fantastic. Now if we can get them to cover the minor leagues a little bit, it would make my life even easier!!

this week's assignments

The Phillies begin preseason games on Wednesday, with pitching assignments as follows;

Wednesday - Joe Bisenius among the 6 scheduled
Thursday- Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ
Friday- Antoinio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona
Saturday-Kyle Kendrick and Drew Naylor

This is according to delawareonline writer Scott Lauber

Saturday's game is on CSN, for those of you who are on comcast. It is also scheduled for MLB Network. Blackouts apply so we may not get it here, but if you are reading this outside the Philadelphia area, it may be your first chance to see the World Champs this spring.

Gavin Floyd will get his first work for the White Sox against Colorado Thursday.

World Champion former 'Claws

Former BlueClaws Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Kyle Kendrick at ease in Clearwater this week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Twins waive Korecky

Former BlueClaw Bobby Korecky was waived by the Minnesota Twins yesterday and claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bobby graduated from Michigan in 2002 an spent the last part of that summer with Lakewood. He was traded to the Twins in December of 2003 and has spent the last 5 seasons with the Twins, including a few call-ups to the big show. He had 35 saves for Rochester (AAA) in 2008, before being called up and picking up 2 wins in September.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sports Illustrated

Check out the latest SI, Homesiders. Our main man "Cool" Cole Hamels is on the cover and is the lead story!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pitchers and catchers report

It is that time of the year again, and the Phillies pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training in Clearwater. J A Happ prepares to compete for a spot in the rotation on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


With the Caribbean Series now in the rear view mirror, we can turn our attention to spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. Pitchers and catchers are reporting this week, and the provisional rosters are set for the WBC.

11 former BlueClaws will attempt to make the national squads for the following teams:

Australia-Scott Mitchinson, Drew Naylor, Joel Naughton, Brad Harman

Canada- RJ Swindle (Scott Mathieson has decided not to compete)

Italy- Jack Santora, Mike Spidale

Panama- Carlos Ruiz, Avelino Asprilla

Venezuela- Carlos Carrasco, Victor Moreno (with Johan Santana declining to participate at the Mets' request, maybe Francisco Butto should get a look after his stellar performance in the Caribbean Series)

Team USA is dominated by MLB players, but no former 'Claws are on the list.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ryno signs 3-year deal

The Phillies opened up their wallets this morning, locking up Ryan Howard for $54 million in a 3-year deal. Ryan was seeking $18 million in his arbitration hearing, but the Phillies decided to avoid the process, giving him an average of $18 million for 2009, 2010,and 2011. There will be room to work out an extension somewhere over the course of the contract, but by doing what they did, the world champions avoid having to go to arbitration with their big slugger and do not have to worry about losing him to free agency for another 3 years.

Caribbean Series-Day 6

For the first time in the six day event, no former BlueClaws played in the 2 games Saturday. Puerto Rico defeated Venezuela 9-1, keeping the Series champions from going undefeated, with former Phillies farmhand Jorge Padilla hitting a 3-run homer. Padilla, who was the MVP of the Puerto Rican winter league this year, had a terrible Series, hitting just .143 in the 6 games.

In the nightcap the Dominican Republic topped Mexico 4-2. Ronny Paulino, whom the Phillies obtained when they traded Jason Jaramillo to the Pirates during the off season, hit his 2nd home run of the Series for the Dominicans.

The final standing were as follows: Venezuela 5-1, Mexico 3-3, Dominican Republic 2-4, Puerto Rico 2-4. Next years series will be played in Margarito, Venezuela.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Caribbean Series-Day 5

It is all over but the shouting, as Venezuela remained perfect in the Caribbean Series with a 5-3 win over Mexico to clinch the championship. In the finale, Erick Arteaga got the surprise start, and recorded the first 8 outs, allowing just 1 run and Francisco Butto (right, above) saved the game with another 9th inning performance, even if he did give up a run this time, to earn his 4th save in 5 days.
In all, former BlueClaws have thrown 17.2 innings, giving up just 4 earned runs, while striking out 15 hitters, and earning 1 win (by Alfredo Simon, the Dominican's only win so far) and 4 saves. A very successful Series for HomeSiders, with 1 day of games remaining. In the final day of play Saturday, Venezuela will go for the sweep against Puerto Rico at 5:00, while Mexico and the Domincan Republic will wrap it all up at 9:00

Friday, February 6, 2009

Caribbean Series-Day 4

Venezuela continues on a roll, defeating Dominican Republic, 3-2. The victory improves their record at the series to 4-0, and eliminates both Puerto Rico and the Dominican. Mexico's 5-1 win over Puerto Rico in the nightcap keeps the Mexicans alive at 3-1 with the big match up Friday night at 9:00, Venezuela v Mexico. A win by Venezuela clinches the series for them, a win by Mexico ties the 2 teams at 4-1 each with 1 game remaining. If the teams remain tied after Saturday's games, there will be a winner take all playoff on Sunday.

On Thursday afternoon, with Venezuela leading 3-2 going to the 8th inning, they called on Victor Moreno again, and he did not disappoint, retiring the side in the 8th and picking up the first 2 outs in the 9th, before yielding to Francisco Butto again. Butto got the final out, to record his 3rd save in 4 days, and adding 2 more scoreless inning for the HomeSide!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Caribbean Series-Day 3

Another day, another win for Venezuela, and another former BlueClaw gets into the action. Venezuela topped Puerto Rico 5-2 on Wednesday and 2 former 'Claws saw action. Erick Arteaga (2005) made his first appearance for Venezuela, pitching 1 inning, allowing 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 1, and Francisco Butto recorded his 2nd save in 3 days. Butto has recorded 6 outs, 5 on strike outs while walking only 1 in his 2 save appearances.

A total of 4 former BlueClaws have now pitched in the Series, totaling 12 innings, allowing just 2 runs and striking out 12. Not bad, boys!!

The nightcap yesterday featured a 3 home run game by Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez as Mexico outslugged Dominican Republic 12-9 to improve to 2-1.

The Domincan team (1-2) will face Venezuela (3-0) this afternoon at 5:00, while Puerto Rico (0-3) will look for its first win against Mexico at 9:00.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Caribbean Series-Day 2

With the 2009 Caribbean Series being dominated by the pitchers, 2 more former BlueClaws got into the act on Tuesday. In the day game, Alfredo Simon was spectacular for the Dominican Republic. Simon, who pitched for Lakewood in 2003, threw 7 innings, yielding just 1 run on 5 hits, while striking out 7 and notching the victory, 2-1 over Puerto Rico.

Then, in the nightcap, Victor Moreno pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief for Venezuela in their 1-0, 11 inning victory over host Mexico. Moreno worked out of trouble in both innings, stranding 5 base runners as the Mexican team was just unable to get a key hit when it was needed. Venezuela is now 2-0 in the series, Dominican Republic and Mexico are 1-1, and Puerto Rico stands at 0-2.

The three former BlueClaws have logged 10 innings, surrendering only 1 run, striking out 12 while walking only 4. Wednesday match ups are Venezuela v Puerto Rico at 5:00, and Dominican Republic v Mexico at 9:00. Both games are on MLB Network.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Caribbean Series

In the first game of the Caribbean Series Monday afternoon, Venezuela topped the Dominican Republic, 3-2. Brad Knox pitched 6.1 hit-less innings for Venezuela before leaving with 88 pitches thrown. Knox walked 4 hitters, and when Luis Maza drove in the go-ahead run in top of the 9th inning, Venezuela called on it's closer, Francisco Butto.

Butto, who won 10 games and struck out 104 hitters for the BlueClaws in 2003 and spent the last 2 years in the Mexican League, pitched for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League this year, saving 8 games. On Monday, he was dominant, striking out all 3 hitters he faced to clinch the opening game win for Venezuela and give them the advantage in the 6 (or 7) day series.

Venezuela will face host Mexico tonight. Mexico defeated Puerto Rico, 3-2 last night. All games in the series can be seen on MLB Network.