Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Drabek to make start Wednesday

Nothing like throwing the kid to the wolves; the Phillies will start Kyle Drabek against the Yankees in Tampa on Wednesday.

Park wins rotation spot, Happ goes to 'pen

Chan Ho Park has won the final spot in the rotation, for now, with J.A. Happ staying with the team for now to compete for 1 of 2 left handed bullpen spots. The Phillies also announced the release of Geoff Jenkins, and the hot topic this afternoon is Philadelphia's interest in Gary Sheffield, who was released in a surprise move by Detroit. The Tigers owe Sheffield his guarantee of $14 million, so the Phillies would only have to pay him an additional $400,000. Sheffield, who is 1 home run shy of the 500 mark, could be that right handed bat the Phillies are looking for to come off the bench, if he is willing to accept that role.

More minor league cuts made Monday, Edgar Garcia (in the photo with Segovia below) was the only notably HomeSider who did not survive.

The Diamondbacks reaasigned Chris Roberson to minor league camp.

JJ gets walkoff

In Bradenton on Monday, the Pirates rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, the winning run scoring on a single by Jason Jaramillo. It was a big hit for JJ, who is hitting just .194 this spring in big league camp and may be heading back to AAA (Indianapolis), and had to be quite a thrill for the 2005 BlueClaw.

In Port St. Lucie last night, Alfredo Simon continues to make his case for a spot in the Orioles rotation. The big right hander threw 6 very effective innings for Baltimore, yielding only 1 run on 4 hits (a home run by Dan Murphy) and 1 walk, and striking out 3, including the last 2 he faced (Wright and Delgado). Simon left the game with the score tied at 1-1.

Ryan Howard was 2 for 3, including his 9th home run of the spring, and Carlos Ruiz also homered and drove in 3 runs as the Phillies pounded the Astros, 13-3. Michael Bourn was 1 for 4 for Houston, and appears more comfortable at the plate in the last week.

I cannot wait for the minor league season to start, to find where our boys outside the Phillies system have been assigned and to pick up on their coverage. If anyone has any news (or pictures) that they want to share, I welcome all!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Zack Segovia

I just heard from Zack, he is in camp with the Nationals, as healthy as he has been in 5 years, and getting his velocity back. (Zack on the left, Edgar Garcia on the right) Undecided whether he will be at AA Harrisburg or AAA Syracuse, but he is working exclusively out of the bullpen and enjoying it.

His daughter, Bella, is 15 months old now and his wife, Deanna is due in September. Needless to say, he is hoping for a boy!!

Hamels making progress

Cole Hamels threw 64 pitches in a minor league game in Clearwater Monday afternoon, giving up 3 runs on 10 hits and a walk and picking up 5 strike outs in 4 innings of work against the AAA Yankees. At this point it looks like Cole will pitch the final preseason game Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia against the Rays, and then make his regular season debut in Colorado on Friday, the 10th.

The Phillies have optioned Carlos Carrasco back to minor league camp, along with John Mayberry, adding 2 more to the already overcrowded Lehigh Valley roster. The IronPigs are now 9 players over the roster limit, not including Mike Koplove, Jason Ellison and Pablo Ozuna who have been told they will not open the season in Philadelphia, but are going north to play in the on deck series. There will be some serious cuts coming at the end of the week as the minor league rosters have to be finalized by Friday.

Some of Saturdays minor league highlights included Matt Rizzotti going 4 for 4, Freddy Galvis getting 3 hits and 3 RBI, 3 more hits by Arlon Quiroz and 2 hits each for Quintin Berry, T.J.Warren, P.J. Antoniato and Derrick Mitchell.

Tyson Brummett (3.2 IP, 2 earned runs, 5 Ks), Carlos Monasterios (4 IP, 2 earned runs, 4 Ks), and Tyler Cloyd (4 IP, 3 hits, 5 Ks) all had good starts while Zack Sterner, Chris Kissock, Ryan Bergh, Jared Simon, and Eryk McConnell were all effective in relief, giving up no runs between the 5 of them!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

some cuts

Among some of the cuts announced today were HomeSiders Reymond Cruz, Yoel Hernandez, Yen Feng Lin, Andrew Cruse, and John Urick.

Floyd sharp against LA

Gavin Floyd pitched 6 shut out innings against the Dodgers Saturday afternoon, leading the White Sox to a 6-1 win. Gavin allowed 7 hits and 2 walks in his stint, and was aided by 2 double plays, 2 would be base stealers being gunned down and 7 strike outs. Gavin will be ready to go in either game 2 or 3 of the season (it is yet to decided which) against the Royals in Chicago.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the Pirates bopped the Pillies 10-4. Ryan Howard hit a tremendous home run over the batting eye in dead center field, and Carlos Ruiz belted a double and a 3-run bomb to left. Jason Jaramillo had an RBI single for the Pirates and threw out 3 base runners during the game.

J.A Happ got some work in a minor league game, and although he gave up 5 runs in less than 6 innings, at one point he retired 13 of 14 and pitched better than the numbers would indicate.

Big time cuts to be announced today, we await word from Florida.......

Saturday, March 28, 2009

TV alert

If you are in the comcast viewing area, today's Phillies game against the Pirates is on CSN, starting at 1:00. If you are not, the game is on MLB.TV.

While you are at it, if you have MLB.TV, the White Sox-Dodgers game is one of their games today at 4:00, Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox.

Mets-Marlins will be on Channel 11 at 1:00, and Cubs-Rockies will be on MLBN at 5:00.

Plenty to choose from today, HomeSiders!

Alfredo Simon

Alfredo Cabrera Simon has forced his way into the scrum that is vying for a spot in the Orioles rotation. He is one of 8 candidates for 3 open spots in the rotation, and with 6 scoreless innings so far this spring, his odds look better and better. His next start will be Monday, at 7:00 against the Mets on SNY.

Phillies rally comes up short

In a game where no HomeSiders played for Philadelphia, the Astros beat the Phillies, 6-5 Friday in Kissimmee. Michael Bourn did play for Houston, going 0 for 4. The Royals beat the Dodgers, 4-1 at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. Robinson Tejeda pitched the ninth inning for KC, allowing 1 run on a hit and 2 walks, but struck out the side in the process. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 1 in Pittsburgh's 4-1 loss to Toronto.

Minor league highlights include Jeremy Slayden 2 for 3, a double and a home run, Javon Moran 3 walks in 3 at bats, Gus Milner 2 singles, a double, a stolen base and 3 runs scored, Tuffy Gosewisch 2 singles and 3 RBI, Matt Rizzotti 2 singles and a home run, Freddy Galvis a single and a double, with 2 RBI and a run scored, and a home run for Travis D'Arnaud.

Phillies deal Paulino

The Phillies traded Ronny Paulino late Friday night to the Giants in exchange for left handed reliever Jack Taschner. While the Phils did this to get another lefty in the bullpen while J.C. Romero serves his 50 game suspension, it also has an effect on the catching situation throughout the system. This means Chris Coste will stay with the Phillies as Carlos Ruiz' back up and Lou Marson will undoubted by the everyday catcher in Lehigh Valley. It may also aid J.A. Happ in his efforts to make the starting rotation, because Philadelphia will not need his left-handed arm in the bullpen. Happ and Chan-Ho Park have been competing for that spot, but Park has shown his effectiveness also out of the 'pen last year in LA, and the addition of Taschner alleviates the need for Happ there.

Paulino, who came over from the Pirates in the December trade for Jason Jaramillo, was then moved to the Marlins for pitcher Hector Correa. So Paulino has belonged to 4 different organizations in less than 100 days!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

IronPigs on SNY

SNY, the TV home of the Mets, announced that they will televise 5 Buffalo Bison's games this year. The first one is Thursday, May 28 against the IronPigs. A chance for HomeSiders in this area to see Lehigh Valley on TV. It is a 1:00 PM start on a Thursday, but if I know SNY, they will replay it a few times. A chance to see Carrasco, or Kendrick pitch, along with Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Jeremy Slayden, and maybe a few other of our boys. So, set your DVRs.

my eyes in Clearwater

Joel Naughton says hello during minor league game. This and the following couple of pictures courtesy of HomeSider Kathy Palamara.

classic Cole

Cole Hamels in his signature wind up, pitching in the Carpenter complex last Tuesday.

The Reading outfield?

Michael Taylor, Quintin Berry and Dominic Brown in Clearwater earlier this week. While I believe Berry with start the year in Reading, it remains to be seen about Taylor and Brown. I do think at some point in 2009, these 3 will play together in "Baseball Town".

Thursday's HomeSiders

The Yankees beat the Phillies 10-2 on Thursday. Carlos Carrasco was the starter for the Phillies, and got 5 innings of work in. Carlos was charged with 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk, including home runs by Hideki Matsui and Cody Ransom. He struck out 4 and looked better than the last few outings. The Phillies scored on home runs by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard (his 7th) off Joba Chamberlain in the first inning.

On the minor league side, the Phillies went 1-2-1 against the Yankee farm teams. My surprise of the spring, Arlon Quiroz, homered again in the low A game. I believe that is 5 so far. Matt Rizzotti went 2 for 2, including a home run and 3 RBI in the 5-5 tie in the high A game. D'Arby Myers continues to hit, smacking a double as does Tim Kennelly, who tripled in the 4-3 win in the AA game.

Wednesday's Highlights

In Jupiter, Florida, the Astros topped the Cardinals, 4-3. Michael Bourn had a single and 2 walks, and was caught stealing for only the second time this spring.

Out of minor league camp, these points of interest:

The Yankees take 3 of the 4 minor league contests from the Phillies. The AAA game went to NY, 2-1, with Mike Spidale driving in Lou Marson with the lone run for our side.

The AA game produced the only victory for the Phillies, a 5-0 in which 5 HomeSiders combined for the shutout. In order, Vance Worley, Joe Bisenius, Andrew Cruise, Will Savage and Francisco Butto allowed just 4 baserunners. Tim Kennelly scored 2 runs for the Phils.

In Tampa, the high A game went to the Yankees, 15-6. Freddy Galvis had 2 hits and 2 RBI, Luis Arzeno hit a pinch home run, Mike Durant was 1 for 4 (but it was a double off Andy Pettitte), and Matt Rizzotti and D'arby Myers each doubled and scored. Each side made 4 errors in that one. The low A game also went to NY, 14-4, so the Yankees scored a total of 29 runs on 39 hits in the two games. Needless to say, none of our pitchers had a good day, so I will give them a group pass and not mention any of them. With about 10 days to go in camp, some of them are probably in trouble.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

catch up tomorrow

Sorry, HomeSiders, I got caught working two jobs today, and am just walking in the house now.

Don't give up on me, we will catch up tomorrow!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Outman roughed up

In Surprise, Arizona, Josh Outman was banged around by the Kansas City Royals, as KC topped Oakland, 8-3. Josh, who had given up just 3 earned runs in 5 previous outings, was lit up to the tune of 8 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in just 3.1 innings of work. Included in the 8 hits was the first home run allowed by Outman this spring, a grand slam from Mike Avilas, who played for Puerto Rico in the WBC. This game, coming so close to end of spring training, severely hurts Josh's chance of making the A's rotation.

minor league games

The Phillies 4 minor league teams each won on Tuesday, with 3 of the 4 scoring at least 12 runs!!

The AAA team won in Bradenton over the Pirates, 16-8, collecting 20 hits. Javon Moran had 2 singles and a triple, 3 RBI and 2 stolen bases, Brad Harman belted a double and a home run and Lou Marson was 2 for 3, scoring 2 runs. I have to mention outfielder Kevin Mahar, who had 4 hits, including a triple and a home run, 4 RBI and scored 5 times! Drew Carpenter pitched the first 4.2 innings, giving up no runs, striking out 6.

Also in Bradenton, the AA team won 18-6, amassing 21 hits! Dominic Brown belted 2 doubles, drove in 2 and scored 2, Gus Milner had 3 hits an scored 3 runs, John Urick had 2 hits and scored 3 runs, and Travis D'Arnaud was 3 for 3, including a home run and 4 RBI.

Back in Clearwater, Phillies starter Joe Blanton threw 7 strong innings in the high A game, and the Phils won, 3-1. Derrick Mitchell and D'arby Myers each drove in a run.

In the low A game, where Cole Hamels pitched (see post below), Arlon Quiroz continues to be scalding hot, picking up 2 more hits and driving in 3. Alberto Cambero tripled in a run, and possible 2009 BlueClaw Anthony Gose had a triple in his only at bat. The Philadelphia squad won the game, 12-0.

Jason Donald was optioned back to minor league camp. He will open the season at Lehigh Valley.

One other minor league note, another HomeSider was among the 11 cuts the other day, add Alan Robbins to Pfinsgraff, Melendez and Demmink.

Cole on the way back

After a scare last week, Cole Hamels made a start in a minor league game on Tuesday, going 3.2 innings, and throwing 48 pitches, 35 for strikes, and said he felt good afterward. The plan is to stretch him out to 70 pitches Sunday in Florida, then 90 against Tampa in "on deck series" in Philadelphia. That would put him on schedule (barring any setbacks) for April 10 in Colorado for his first regular season start.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ichiro wins it for Japan

Ichiro Suzuki drove in 2 runs with a base hit in the top of the 10th inning Monday night, leading Japan to a 5-3 win over Korea and a repeat of the WBC championship. The Koreans showed a lot of fight, scoring runs in the 8th and 9th to tie it and send it into extra innings, but had nothing left after that. 21-year old Yu Darvisch retired Korea in the 10th inning to wrap it up for Japan.

Phils top Yanks; Bourn breaks out

The Phillies topped the Yankees, 8-3 on Monday. J.A. Happ (pictured here, courtesy of HomeSiders Bob & Kathy Palamara) was strong for 5 innings, allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3.
Over in Kissimmee, the Astros beat the Marlins 10-8. Michael Bourn broke out big time, going 3 for 4 (2 singles and a double). Bourn knocked in 3 runs, scored twice and stole another base. Hopefully, he has turned the corner on a slow starting spring.
On Tuesday morning, the Blue Jays reassigned Randy Ruiz to minor league camp. It looks like Randy will start another season in AAA.
A couple of notes from the minor league games; Tuffy Gosewisch had a triple for the 2nd consecutive day as the AA Phillies topped Pittsburgh, 4-2, and in the low A game, Arlon Quiroz belted his 4th home run in 5 games as "Lakewood" won, also 4-2. Jesus Sanchez, who started last season as a catcher for Lakewood, pitched 2 innings, allowing just 1 run and striking out 3.

Monday, March 23, 2009

USA eliminated

Japan defeated the United States, 9-4 last night as Roy Oswalt just could not find it and the Japanese team was all over him. Oswalt gave up 6 runs, without getting out of the 4th inning, and Team USA could not make it up.

Japan will take on Korea in the championship game tonight. The 2 teams have split 4 games so far in this World Baseball Classic. Japan won the WBC in 2006, while Korea won the Olympic gold medal last year.

Sunday's action

The Red Sox shut out the Phillies, 3-0. Ryan Howard had a single and a walk, Jason Donald walked in his only at bat and Carlos Ruiz had double in 2 at bats. The Twins beat the Blue Jays 11-6. Randy Ruiz was 1 for 3 for Toronto. The Astros edged the Nationals, 1-0. Michael Bourn scored the only run, and stole his 7th base of the spring.

In a game that featured 15 home runs (15 home runs!! E-gads) the Angels outscored the Royals 18-12. As you can tell, there was no good news for the pitchers. Robinson Tejeda pitched 2 innings, and took his fair share of the abuse, 4 runs, 4 hits (2 homers), 2 walks, 2 Ks. Arizona beat San Diego 12-7. Chris Roberson was 0 for 1 for the Diamondbacks.

In minor league camp, the AAA Phillies lost to Toronto, 6-2. Joe Bisenius threw 2 scoreless inning, allowing just 2 hits, striking out 4. The AA team lost 8-6. Alex Concepcion started and went 2.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4. Michael Taylor had a double and 2 RBI, Tuffy Gosewisch had a single and a triple, scored a run and drove one in, and Fidel Hernandez had 2 singles, with a run scored and an RBI also.

The high A team took a 10-8 decision, led by Derrick Mitchell, who was 3 for 4, including a triple. Luis Arzeno continues hot, with a single, a double and 2 RBI, and Jay Miller had a double and 2 RBI. The low A team was a 6-3 victor, led by inspired pitching by Justin De Fratus, who gave up just 1 hit in 3 innings of work, striking out 4. I think we will see De Fratus in Lakewood this season. Reliever Ryan Bergh also tossed 2 shut out innings.


Monday morning the Phillies optioned Lou Marson, Brad Harman and Kyle Kendrick back to minor league camp. Looks like Kendrick will start the season in Lehigh Valley, after winning 21 games the last 2 seasons in Philadelphia.

Gavin Floyd

Gavin Floyd and the White Sox have agreed on a new contract, 4 years, $15 million.

That's what 17 wins and a division title will get you in Chicago!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

At least 3 HomeSiders released

I just heard from Florida that many cuts were made today, among them HomeSiders Ben Pfinsgraff, Moises Melendez and Herman Demmink.

The ax will continue to fall in stages this week, and then we will start to hear of some guys signing with other organizations or playing independent ball.

Kyle Drabek

After pitching yesterday, Kyle Drabek relaxes this morning. Maybe some cream cheese on that?

Anyway, Kyle threw 3 shut out innings, striking out 3, and allowing just 1 hit in the high A game. D'Arby Myers had a double and a triple and scored a run, Luis Arzeno had a hit and 2 RBI, and T.J Warren, Travis D'Arnaud and Jay Miller added hits for the Threshers in a 6-6 tie.

Anthony Hewitt and Yonderman Rodriguez each had 2 hits in Lakewood's 4-3 win.

Kendrick sharp despite loss

The Twins edged the Phillies, 2-1, on Saturday. Kyle Kendrick started for the Phillies and pitched well. He gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in the first inning, but 2 of the hits were bouncing balls that turned into hits for the Twins. Kyle pitched 4 more innings, giving up just 2 more hits, but the Phillies did not score until Eric Bruntlett homered in the 9th inning. I thought it was Kendrick's best outing so far this spring, walking 1 and striking out 4. Ryan Howard was 0 for 3, striking out twice.

Carlos Ruiz continues to get extra work by playing in the minor league games, picking up 3 hits and 2 RBI in his 6 at bats as the AAA IronPigs beat Toronto, 4-2. Michael Stutes (3 IP, 2 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks), Pat Overholt (2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk) and Antonio Bastardo (1 IP, 1 walk, SAVE) pitched for the IronPigs.

Sergio Escalona started and threw 3 hitless innings in the AA game, striking out 3 and walking 2. Dan Brauer, Will Savage and Matt German each pitched for Reading in the 5-1 victory. Tim Kennelly homered, and the outfield of Berry, Brown and Taylor each got a hit. Tuffy Gosewisch and Fidel Hernandez also contributed hits.

In Dunedin, Houston beat Toronto, 9-7. Michael Bourn (.170) continues to struggle, 0 for 4 again. In Sarasota, Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 1 in the Pirates 6-5 win over the Reds. The Athletics played split squad games, sending Adrian Cardenas to Peoria with the team that lost to the Mariners, 8-5. Adrian was 0 for 3, with a walk.

In the World Baseball Classic, Korea scored 5 runs in the top of the first inning against Venezuela's Carlos Silva , and never looked back en route to a resounding 10-2 victory that puts them in the final against the winner of tonight's Japan v USA matchup. Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians had a 3-run homer in the first inning rally, and 22-year old Suk-Min Yoon threw 6.1 solid innings for the Koreans, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, using 4 different pitches and essentially keeping the star-studded Venezuelan line up off balance all night. Victor Moreno was one of the more effective pitchers for Venezuela, recording 5 outs, giving up just 1 hit and 2 walks, no runs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ryno homers again

The Phillies played another tie on Friday, this one 2-2 with the Cardinals. Carlos Carrasco was the starter,and he was pretty good for 4.2 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks, the only 2 runs coming on a home run by Rick Ankeil. Ryan Howard had 2 hits hits for Philadelphia, including his 6th home run of the spring. Carlos Ruiz was 1 for 2, and Brad Harman and Jason Donald were 0 for 1 each. Philadelphia will play Minnesota today in Clearwater, Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to pitch, and the game is on CSN.

The Red Sox beat the Pirates, 11-4, Jason Jaramillo had a single in his only at bat. The Blue Jays ripped the Rays, 15-4, Randy Ruiz entered the game as a pinch runner for Kevin Millar, and then got a single and a walk, scoring 2 runs in the rout. The Angels beat the Diamondbacks 6-1, Chris Roberson was 0 for 1 for Arizona.

The first semifinal in the WBC is tonight as Venezuela faces Korea at 9:00 on ESPN.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday's HomeSiders in action

The Phillies beat the Marlins 5-1, on Thursday afternoon. Jason Donald was 1 for 4, with a walk and a run scored and is hitting .320 this spring, playing almost everyday. Ryan Howard was 1 for 3, an RBI double. Ryno is hitting .282, and has driven in 15 runs in Florida.

The Nationals topped the Orioles, 5-4. Alfredo Simon started for Baltimore and was strong for 4 innings, surrendering just 1 hit and 1 walk, while striking out 3. The Mets rocked the Astros 12-1, Michael Bourn was 1 for 3 for Houston, and is batting just .184 so far. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays, 7-4 last night on YES, affording me another chance to see a HomeSider in action. Randy Ruiz came into the game as a pinch-runner for Lyle Overbay. Yes, you read that right, a pinch runner. Randy stayed in the game and went 0 for 2, he is hitting .263 for Toronto.

In Arizona, the A's defeated the Rangers, 8-5. Gio Gonzalez got the start for Oakland, going 2.1 innings. He was roughed up to the tune of 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, including a home run by Marlon Byrd, who has seemed to make Andruw Jones expendable to Texas. This will take one more experienced outfielder out of the way of Greg Golson, who they optioned to AAA Oklahoma City. Josh Outman did pitch for Oakland and threw 4 solid innings, allowing just 3 hits, NO walks, striking out 3 and improving his spring ERA to 2.13.

The Rangers also reassigned Elizardo Ramirez to minor league camp, and the Indians did likewise to Jesus Merchan.

Some minor league notes from Thursday, Arlon Quiroz, who did not homer for Williamsport at all last year, belted 2 more home runs Thursday in the low A game, giving him 3 dingers in 2 games!! Robert Roth started that game and threw 3 shut out innings, giving up no hits and just 1 walk, striking out 3. Roth could be coming to Lakewood this season. Derrick Mitchell homered, and Luis Arzeno and Mike Durant each doubled in the high A game. John Urick hit a 3-run homer and Cody Overbeck, a possible 2009 BlueClaw, had 2 hits in the AA game. Overbeck led the NY-Penn League with 57 RBI last year. Tyson Brummett gave up just 1 earned run in 3 innings, and Chance Chapman gave up 2 runs in his 2 frames of work, both in the AA game. Drew Carpenter was the winning pitcher in the AAA contest, going 4 innings, and giving up just 1 run. Mike Spidale had a 3-run triple as the top farm team beat the Pirates, 8-4.

Semifinals set in WBC

Japan beat Korea 6-2 last night in San Diego, setting up the games for the semifinals this weekend. Venezuela will take on Korea Saturday night, with the USA facing Japan on Sunday night. The winners will meet Monday night in the championship game. I have been surprised at the drama and excitement this tournament has generated, and while the timing of it is not ideal, I would not be surprised to see it grow in popularity. I am not sure when you could play it, maybe mid-November, after the World Series?

Team USA has added Evan Longoria of the Rays, not the Cub's Derek Lee, to replace Kevin Youkilis for the finals.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happ, Bis shakey

The Phillies played a 7-7 tie with the Blue Jays Wednesday. J.A. Happ started for Philadelphia and pitched 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk. All the runs scored on home runs by Bradley Emaus (with 1 on in the 3rd) and Jason Lane (in the 4th). Happ also struck out 2, and I believe is still the leading candidate for the 5th starter spot. Philadelphia led the game 74 going to the 9th inning and gave the ball to Joe Bisenius. "Bis" had a rough one, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, blowing the save. I am on record saying I think Bis would be better suited as a starter, and I reiterate that here.

Jason Donald and Lou Marson were each 0 for 1 in the game.

In the AAA game, Antonio Bastardo threw 1 inning, striking out 3, giving up 1 hit, and Pat Overholt gave up 2 runs on 1 hit in the 9th, but picked up the save anyway. Mike Spidale was 2 for 2 with an RBI and Carlos Ruiz had 2 hits, including a double and an RBI.

In the AA game, Will Savage returned after missing most of last year, and threw 30 pitches in 2 innings, in a game that featured an outfield of Quintin Berry, Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor.

Carlos Monasterios looked sharp in the Hi A game, throwing 3 shut out innings, striking out 6. Michael Durant homered in that one, and Arlon Quiroz had a home run in the Low A game. I believe Quiroz is coming to Lakewood this year.

In Kissimmee, the Yankees beat the Astros, 4-1. Michael Bourn was 0 for 3 for Houston.

In Phoenix, Gavin Floyd threw 5 innings for the White Sox against the Angels, striking out 6 and walking 1. He gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, including home runs by Chone Figgins and Gary Matthews Jr. The Angels won, 4-1.

In Surprise, Arizona, Robinson Tejeda struggled against the Mariners, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, recording only 4 outs in relief, as Seattle topped the Royals, 9-3.

Japan ousts Cuba

Last night in San Diego, Japan shut out the powerful Cubans for the second time in a week, defeating the Island nation, 5-0, eliminating Cuba, and advancing into the semifinals. Japan will join Korea, Venezuela and the United States in the final 4. Korea and Japan will play a game tonight for the pool championship, deciding the match-ups for the weekend. Venezuela topped the USA 10-6 last night as injuries have begun to catch up with the Americans. The latest casualty had Kevin Youkilis returning to Red Sox camp, leaving Adam Dunn to play first base for Team USA. The Cubs' Derek Lee is a possible addition, but he has been injured this week, and is hitting just .179 so far for the Cubbies. In the game, Victor Moreno pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning for Venezuela.

Venezuela will take on the loser of tonight's Korea v Japan match on Saturday, with the winner of tonight's contest facing the USA on Sunday. The 2 survivors will play for the championship Monday night. All 3 of those games will be at Dodger Stadium in LA, on ESPN.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Phils bop Reds, 8-1

The Phillies beat Cincinnati, 8-1 yesterday. Jason Donald, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz each drove in a run for Philadelphia.

The Astros and Tigers played to a 1-1 11-inning draw, Michael Bourn was 1 for 5, and stole a base for Houston.

The Athletics ripped the Diamondbacks, 11-3, Chris Roberson was 0 for 3 for Arizona.

The Yankees beat the Pirates, 9-2 last night in a game televised on YES, a chance to see Jason Jaramillo, who was 0 for 2 for Pittsburgh.

J.A. Happ is scheduled to pitch today for the Phillies, and it is Gavin Floyd's turn for the White Sox.

USA wins a thriller

Team USA scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning Tuesday night, to overcome Puerto Rico 6-5 and gain a spot in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Mets third baseman David Wright got the game winning hit as the Americans eliminated the Puerto Ricans, joining Venezuela in the semifinal round. The two teams will meet tonight at 7:00 to determine the winner of the pool, and help decide who will play who in Los Angeles next weekend.

Korea topped Japan 4-1, to also qualify for the semis. Japan will play Cuba tonight at 11:00 for the 4th and final berth in LA.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good news for Cole

Cole Hamels underwent a "dynamic ultrasound" and an MRI today and the tests reveal no structural damage to his ailing left elbow, just inflammation which Cole says is common for him at this time of the year. He received an injection of anti-inflammatory and will resume throwing Thursday in Clearwater.

The Phillies will take no chances with their 20-million dollar man, easing him back into preseason games. His opening day start is still very much up in the air.

Vote for Ben

Ben Wagner is one of 6 candidates to fill in for Dodgers broadcasts on games Vince Scully will not do this year. Ben did the BlueClaws broadcasts for 2 years and is one of the best people I have come across in my years around the ballpark. click on the link below, and scroll down to the poll to cast your vote for Ben!!


Yanks pound Phils, 12-0

Kyle Kendrick continues to struggle this spring. Monday, in Tampa, the 24-year old was hit hard by New York, giving up 5 runs (4 earned), on 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2. And that includes getting out of a bases loaded, 1 out jam in the first inning unscathed. While it seems Kyle may lose his spot in the rotation to J.A. Happ or Chan Ho Park, I would be quick to make 2 points. #1- Kyle is a sinker ball pitcher, and tends to do better as his arm gets a little work and tires. The sinker does not sink as much when he is strong. We saw this last year. #2-He is also working on adding the change up to his arsenal, so he deserves some slack here.

On offense, Ryan Howard had a single and walk, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Joel Naughton were each 0 for 1, and Brad Harman was 0 for 4, striking out 3 times. The World Champs are now 6-10 this spring.

In Arizona, the Rockies topped the Diamondbacks, 8-3. Chris Roberson had 2 hits and scored a run, and Bobby Korecky threw a 1-2-3 inning for Arizona.

In the WBC, in Miami, Venezuela shut out Puerto Rico 2-0, securing themselves a spot in the semifinals. Puerto Rico will now take on the USA tonight. The winner tonight gets into the semifinals, the loser goes home. The game is at 7:00 on MLBN.

In San Diego, Cuba eliminated Mexico, 7-4. The Cubans will take on the loser of the Japan v Korea match up tonight. The winner of tonight's game makes it into the semifinals. That contest is at 11:00, also on MLBN.

According to Baseball America, the Phillies re-signed Francisco Butto to minor league deal yesterday. I guess somebody noticed all those saves in the Caribbean Series!!

Kevin Howard

Kevin Howard has moved from the Mariners system to the Padres system, and is in minor league camp at San Diego's spring home in Arizona. It appears he is slated for AAA, which will be the Portland Beavers. Howard hit .278 last year, splitting the year between Las Vegas and Tacoma. In just 20 games for Tacoma, he belted 8 home runs, prompting the Padres to sign him as a free agent this off-season. He spent about 6 weeks with Lakewood in 2007.

After yesterday's game in Tampa, the Phillies have reassigned 12 players to minor league camp, including Andrew Carpenter, Drew Naylor, Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona, and Tuffy Gosewisch. No surprises there.

The Reds have sent Matt Maloney back to minor league camp, assigning him to AAA Louisville. Matt gave up 6 earned runs on 9 hits in 6 innings of work in 3 games for the Reds.

R.J. Swindel

R.J. Swindel, signed by Milwaukee in the off season, was reassigned to minor league camp and is expecting to start the year at AAA Nashville in the PCL. R.J. had a good major league run in camp, appearing in 4 games for the Brewers, pitching 5 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk (1.80 ERA). He also hit a batter but picked up 2 wins, one after a blown save.

I have received word from Florida that Clay Harris has retired.

I am still looking for word on where the Marlins will assign Brett Harker and Ron "Bear" Hill, who were both selected by Florida in the rule 5 draft last December.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hamel's elbow requires trip to doc

Phillie's ace Cole Hamels will be flying to Philadelphia today to have his left elbow examined. While the Phillies are down-playing the seriousness, Cole's prior injury history has me wondering.

Philadelphia did squeak out a 2-1 win of the Cardinals Sunday. Ryan Howard, Jason Donald, Carlos Ruiz and Brad Harman combined to go 0 for 11, with 5 Ks. E-gads!!

Antonio Bastardo pitched 2 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 2, and Joe Bisenius pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and was the winning pitcher.

Greg Golson had a double in his only at bat in Texas' 10-7 win over San Diego. Randy Ruiz was 2 for 2 and scored a run in Toronto's 5-4 win over Cincinnati. Michael Bourn struck out in his only at bat for Houston in the Astros' 3-2 loss t the Braves. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 4, but drove in a run in Pittsburgh's 7-7 deadlock with Tampa Bay. Chris Roberson was 1 for 2, with an RBI and a run scored for Arizona in the Diamondback's 10-7 loss to the Cubs.

In WBC action, the USA stayed alive with a 9-3 pounding of the Netherlands, knocking the Dutch out of the tournament. Venezuela and Puerto Rico game play tonight for a berth in the semifinals. The loser takes on the USA on Tuesday, with the winner advancing and the loser going home.

In the San Diego pool, the Asians took it to the Latinos, with Japan shutting down Cuba 6-0, and Korea stopping Mexico 8-2. Cuba and Mexico meet tonight, with the loser eliminated, while Japan and Korea will meet for the third time in this tournament with a berth in the semis on the line Tuesday.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Team USA on the brink

Carlos Beltran had 3 hits including a home run as Puerto Rico punished USA 11-1 on Saturday, leaving the Americans to play for their lives on Sunday. They will take on the Netherlands, a 3-1 loser to Venezuela Saturday afternoon. In that contest, original BlueClaw Yoel Hernandez faced 3 hitters, retiring 1, allowing 1 hit and the other batter reached on an error. None of those runners scored.

The USA v Netherlands games is at 7:30, sandwiched between the 2 games from San Diego, Cuba v Japan at 4:00, and Korea v Mexico at 11:00. All 3 are on ESPN2.

In Kissimmee Saturday, Carlos Carrasco picked up his second victory of the spring in the Phillies' 5-2 win over the Astros. Carlos, the #1 pitching prospect in the system, threw 3 innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4. Andrew Carpenter came in later and had his best outing of the spring so far, a 4 inning stint in which he allowed just 3 hits, 1 run (on a home run by Mark Saccomanno), NO walks and 4 Ks. Drew, who won 17 games in the Thresher's championship season in 2007, struggled through 2008 and hopes to be back on track for this year. Jason Donald was 1 for 4, stole 2 bases, and scored 2 runs for the Phils, and Lou Marson picked up a walk in 3 plate appearances. Michael Bourn was 0 for 4, with a walk for the Astros.

In Lakeland, the Tigers beat the Blue Jays, 10-4. Randy Ruiz was 0 for 1 in that one.

Finally, MLBN televised the White Sox-Rangers Cactus League game yesterday, so I got a chance to see Greg Golson play for Texas. Golson looks great in the Rangers uniform, and made a couple of above average plays in the outfield, but was 0 for 3 at the plate.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tejeda, Floyd shine

On Friday, in Arizona, both Robinson Tejeda and Gavin Floyd picked up wins. Kansas City topped Texas, 4-1, with Tejeda starting and throwing 4 solid innings, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits, 3 walks, and 7 strike outs. Robinson's spring ERA is now an impressive 1.74. In the meantime, the Sox pounded the Padres, 15-4, with Floyd going 4 innings for Chicago. He allowed 2 runs, one on a homer by Cliff Floyd, on 2 hits and 1 walk, picking up 4 Ks. But the story does not end there, Gavin also had a single, and a walk, and scored both times!!

In Florida, the Pirates beat the Phillies, 6-5. Jason Donald continues to be hot at the plate, with a single and a triple in 5 at bats, scoring a run in the Phillie's 5-run 5th inning. Ryan Howard belted his 5th home run of the spring, a 2-run job. Howard now has 13 RBI this spring. Can we start the season now?!! Carlos Ruiz also had an RBI double in the big inning, and a walk in another at bat.

Michael Bourn had 2 walks and a sac bunt in Houston's 2-2 standoff with Washington and Greg Golson was 0 for 1 in Texas' split squad game loss to the Dodgers.

Brian Schlitter, who has been in camp with the Cubs, has been reassigned to minor league camp. Brian pitched in 2 games for the Cubs, throwing 2 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit and 2 walks. I had overlooked it, but I will put him on my list when the Cubs decide where he will start the season.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Classic match-ups set

The first game match ups for the second round of the WBC were finalized last night with Cuba's 16-4 thumping of Mexico. The second round begins Saturday in Miami with Venezuela facing Netherlands, and USA taking on Puerto Rico. Then, Sunday in San Diego, Cuba will take on Japan in a rematch of the 2006 final, followed by Korea against Mexico. The top 2 teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals next weekend, with the championship game Monday, March 23. I will be all over it!!

In St. Pete on Thursday, the Rays edged the Phillies 3-2. J.A. Happ pitched 3 more good innings, giving up just 1 run on a home run by Gabe Kapler. Happ gave up 4 hits total, walked 1, struck out 1, and picked off a runner. He has thrown 11 innings so far this spring and is, in my opinion, the most effective of the pitchers who are competing for the #5 spot in the Philadelphia rotation. Ryan Howard was 0 for 2, but drove in a run with a sac fly, Jason Donald was 0 for 2, with a walk, and Lou Marson struck out in his only at bat.

Out west in Arizona, the Athletics defeated the Diamondbacks, 6-1. Gio Gonzalez pitched 2 scoreless innings for the A's, facing 7 hitters, striking out 4, and walking 1. Josh Outman also threw 2 scoreless frames, despite giving up 2 hits and 3 walks . I believe they are both still in the running for the available spot in the Oakland rotation. Chris Roberson was 0 for 1 for the D-backs. Greg Golson was 0 for 1 in relief of Josh Hamilton in Texas' 9-1 stomping of Seattle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kendrick clouted

The Atlanta Braves roughed up Kyle Kendrick on Wednesday, scoring 8 runs on 10 hits and a walk in only 3 innings against the young righthander. 2 of the 10 hits were home runs, both by Atlanta's young catching prospect, Clint Sammons. Joe Bisenius pitched a scoreless 9th inning, having been returned from Team USA. On the offensive side, Jason Donald had 2 singles and a double, scored twice and is 8 for 11 in the last 3 games. Ryan Howard was 1 for 3, scored a run and drove in 2, and Carlos Ruiz, who has returned with Panama's elimination from the WBC, had a walk in 3 plate appearances. Lou Marson appeared as a pinch hitter, and drew a walk.

Michael Bourn was 0 for 3 in Houston's 8-2 loss to Cincinnati. Pittsburgh and Toronto played an 11-inning, 2-2 tie. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 3 for the Pirates and Randy Ruiz struck out in his only at bat for the Jays.

In the WBC, Venezuela beat the USA, 5-3 to capture the "pool C" title and Puerto Rico shut out the Netherlands, 5-0 to win "pool D". This sets up Saturday's match-ups in Miami as follows: Netherlands v Venezuela at 1:00 PM, and USA v Puerto Rico at 8:00. Both games will be on MLBN.

Mexico eliminated Australia, 16-1, avenging an earlier loss to the Aussies, and will face Cuba tonight in a game that will decide the match-ups for Sunday's games in San Diego. Brad Harman was 0 for 2, Joel Naughton 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter, and Drew Naylor came in the game and faced 4 hitters, retiring 1 and allowing a walk and 2 hits, all 3 runners scoring. The trio will now return to Clearwater and rejoin minor league camp.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cinderella has wooden shoes!!

In what has to be viewed as the biggest upset in the history of international baseball, the Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic Tuesday night in San Juan, 2-1 in 11 innings. It was the second time this week that Netherlands upset the DR, who was one of the favorites in this tournament. The Netherlands joins Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela for the second round in Miami. The games there begin Saturday, and the match-ups for the first games will be determined by the outcome of the games today (Netherlands v PR; Venezuela v USA) with the winner of one game playing the loser of the other game. Venezuela eliminated Italy, 10-1 last night to advance. Jack Santora drove in Italy's lone run, also walking twice in the contest. Victor Moreno worked a scoreless 9th inning for Venezuela, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk.

Late last night in Mexico City, Cuba came from behind to top Australia, 5-4. Brad Harman played another good game at shortstop for Australia, and although he was 0 for 2, he did have a walk in the 3-run 6th inning rally which gave Australia a 4-2 lead. Harman and his Aussie mates will take on Mexico tonight, with the final spot in the next round on the line. The loser goes home, the winner joins Cuba, Japan, and Korea in San Diego, with the games beginning there on Sunday.

In addition to those critical games, there are 2 exhibitions in Arizona, with Japan taking on the Giants, and Korea facing off with the Padres, as those WBC teams try to stay loose and ready to go over the weekend.

In Florida Tuesday, the Braves beat Houston, 7-4. Michael Bourn had a single, an RBI and a stolen base for the Astros. The Phillies have started reassigning players to minor league camp, Jeremy Slayden was among them.

News out of Arizona, the Athletics have reassigned Adrian Cardenas to minor league camp. "AC" was 4 for 11 (.364) in 6 games in big league camp. Meanwhile, the Giants beat Texas, 6-4. Elizardo Ramirez was charged with the loss, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits in his inning of work. "Easy" has not allowed an EARNED run this spring. Chris Roberson's tough spring contines, Robey was 0 for 3 in the Diamondback's 6-3 loss to the Dodgers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday's Highlights

It is a quicker recap today due to less HomeSiders in action, but this is what I've got.

The Dodgers beat the Rangers 13-7. Greg Golson was 1 for 3, and a walk, also scoring a run for Texas.

The Padres blasted the Diamondbacks, 16-3. Chris Roberson was 0 for 2 for Arizona.

The Nationals topped the Astros, 6-4. Michael Bourn had a double and a walk, scoring a run for Houston.

The Reds defeated the Phillies, 8-4. Cole Hamels started for the Phils, tossing 2.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits (including a home run by Ryan Hanigan), NO walks, striking out 3. He was relieved by Andrew Carpenter, was went the next 2.1 frames. Drew gave up 1 run on 2 hits (home run by Yonder Alonso), NO walks, 2 Ks. Antonio Bastardo was next, 1 inning 1 run, 1 hit, (home run by Daryle Ward, at least I've heard of him!!), NO walks, 2 Ks. Sergio Escolona pitched the 9th, a 1-2-3 inning with 1 strike out.

Ryan Howard was 2 for 3, including his 4th home run of the spring, and Jason Donald was 3 for 4. "JD", who struggled early on, is now 5 for his last 7 and starting to look at home being in the line up everyday. Lou Marson was 1 for 2, that's his first hit this spring, and Tuffy Gosewisch was 0 for 1.

The Phillies are off today, and face the Braves on Wednesday, Kyle Kendrick will get the ball.

In the World Baseball Classic, in Tokyo, Korea edged Japan, 1-0, to capture first place in that pool. Both teams will advance to San Diego for the next round.

In Mexico City, Mexico rebounded from their defeat Sunday with a resounding 14-3 thrashing of South Africa, eliminating the South Africans from the tournament. Cuba and Australia will meet tonight, with the winner assured of a spot in San Diego and loser getting a date with Mexico Wednesday.

In Toronto, Italy eliminated Canada, 6-2, earning a rematch with Venezuela today. The loser goes home, and the winner joins Team USA in the next round in Miami.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, to defeat the Netherlands, 3-1. The Puerto Ricans have earned a trip to Miami, and the Netherlands have earned a rematch with a revenge-minded Dominican Republic tonight in an elimination game.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The best was in the west

The best news for HomeSiders came in Arizona on Sunday and let's start with one of my personal favorites. Gavin Floyd started and threw 4 shut out innings for the White Sox, allowing NO hits and just 2 walks, striking out 2 in the Sox 9-4 win over the Dodgers. This is the first spring training in Floyd's career where he knows he will be in the rotation and is not competing for a job. There is a nice little video interview with Gavin on the White Sox website.

The Texas Rangers beat Cubs, 7-2, the big blow of the game was a grand slam home run by Greg Golson in his only at bat. Greg raised his spring average to .462, with 7 RBI, and hopefully raised a few eyebrows among the Texas brass!

The Athletics beat the Indians, 8-5 with Adrain Cardenas going 2 for 2 with an RBI. Adrian, who is just 21 years old, is now hitting .364 this spring.

The Mariners outslugged the Diamondbacks, 11-7. The good news is Chris Roberson had an RBI double and a walk, also scoring a run. The bad news is Bobby Korecky gave up 4 earned runs on 3 hits and made a throwing error in his 1 inning of work, both for Arizona.

Sunday in Florida

The Braves defeated the Phillies 7-2 on Sunday. Carlos Carrasco pitched 2 innings in relief, giving up 3 earned runs (5 total) on 6 hits. Jason Donald had a good day, with a single, a double and a walk, scoring one run and driving in the other one for the Phillies. Ryan Howard and Lou Marson were each 0 for 3.

The Pirates beat the Astros, 11-4. Michael Bourn was 1 for 3 and a sacrifice bunt on the afternoon for Houston.

The Reds edged the Blue Jays, 6-5 in 10 innings. Matt Maloney threw 1 inning in relief, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 1 for Cincinnati, and Randy Ruiz pinch hit and struck out for Toronto.

Sunday in WBC

Let's start in Toronto, where the USA took it to Venezuela 15-6. There was not much good news for Venezuela, including our boys. The USA scored 8 runs in the 6th inning and Yoel Hernandez came into the game in the middle of the festivities. He faced 4 hitters, retiring 1, and giving up a walk, a double to Dustin Pedroia and a 2-run homer to Kevin Youkilis, charged with 3 earned runs. Victor Moreno fared a little better, recording the last 5 outs of the game. Victor game up 3 hits and a walk, allowing a couple of inherited runners to score and then gave up a home run to Ryan Braun in the 9th inning, which concluded the scoring. Venezuela will play the winner of tonight's Canada v Italy match on Tuesday. The win pushed the USA into the next round in Miami.

In San Juan, the Dominican Republic rebounded from their embarrassing loss to the Netherlands on Saturday by eliminating Panama with a 9-0 pasting. Carlos Ruiz was 1 for 3, and finished his WBC with a 2 for 5 performance. The stiffness in his neck was a passing pain and he was OK enough to play the whole game. Now he can return to Clearwater and Phillies camp. Avelino Asprilla got into the game as a pinch runner, but did not get an at bat, again. At least I got to see him on TV. The DR will play the loser of today's Puerto Rico v Netherlands game tomorrow.

In Mexico City, Cuba put on impressive power display, belting 6 home runs, defeating Republic of South Africa 8-1. The 2006 WBC runner-up will face Australia next, as the Aussies ripped host Mexico 17-7. Brad Harman played a GREAT game for Australia, going 3 for 5, and was hit by a pitch, scored 4 runs and drove in another one. Oh yeah, he also made 2 great plays in the field. Mexico will face South Africa in an elimination game today, with the Cuba v Australia game on Tuesday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


In Saturday's action in the WBC-

In Tokyo, Korea eliminated China 14-0 early this morning, advancing to the second round along with Japan. China played 3 games, and was shut out twice. Chinese Taiei scored a total of 1 run in their 2 games. Korea and Japan will play once more before they head off to San Diego for the next round.

In San Juan, the Netherlands pulled the biggest upset in the history of the Classic, beating the Dominican Republic, 3-2. This set up a showdown of Netherlands against Puerto Rico, who defeated Panama 7-0. Carlos Ruiz was 1 for 2 and a walk before leaving the game with what appeared to be a stiff neck. I will await the medical report today when Panama take on the Dominican in an elimination game. Avelino Asprilla got into the game at shortstop late, but did not get an at bat.

In Toronto, the USA got past Canada, 6-5 in a thriller!! USA will face Venezuela tonight, after Venezuela's 7-0 win over Italy yesterday. Jack Santora got an at bat in relief for the Italian team ( 0 for 1) and Yoel Hernandez warmed up in the bullpen, but did not get into the game for Venezuela. It is still a thrill to see the guys on TV!!!

The Mexico City pool swings into action today, with Cuba facing Republic of South Africa at 2:00 and host Mexico facing Australia at 9:00. Both games on MLBN.

This is in addition to DR v Panama in the elimination game in San Juan(4:30, ESPN), and the US v Venezuela in Toronto(8:00, ESPN).

Saturday-Grapefruit League

In Clearwater, the Phillies topped Detroit, 8-2. J.A. Happ had a fine outing! Happ threw 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, no walks, and struck out 7 of the 9 men he retired. He has logged the most innings so far of any Phillies pitcher, 8, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 8 Ks. He appears to have a leg up on Kyle Kendrick, at this point, for the 5th starter spot. There is, however, a lot of spring training remaining.

On offense, Ryan Howard hit a 3-run homer, and appears to be rounding into shape in an effort to get off to a stronger start this year. Ryan is 4 for 15 (.267), with 3 of the 4 hits being home runs. Jason Donald was 1 for 3 and scored a run, Lou Marson was 0 for 3, but did score a run and drive one in, before being relieved by Tuffy Gosewisch, who did not get to bat.

Joe Blanton will get the start for Philadelphia against Atlanta Sunday, with Carlos Carrasco due to be the first one in from the bullpen.

In Dunedin, the Jays beat the Reds, 7-2. Randy Ruiz struck out in his only 2 at bats for Toronto, but is still hitting .375 this spring.

In Fort Myers, the Pirates smacked the Twins, 10-1. Jason Jaramillo was 1 for 3 for Pittsburgh and is hitting .300 so far for his new team.

In Kissimmee, the Cards beat the Astros, 5-1. Michael Bourn did not play, but the good news for Michael is his primary competitors for the center field job are Jason Michaels, who is hitting .143 and Reggie Abercrombie, who broke a toe in his foot and will be sidelined about a week.

Saturday-Cactus League

In Arizona, the Athletics spotted Gio Gonzalez to a 4-0 lead after 2 innings, but Gio could not get through the 3rd. Gonzalez gave up 3 runs, on 6 hits, no walks, striking out 1 and leaving the game with a 4-3 lead in the A's 15-6 win. Gonzalez and Josh Outman are the 2 main combatants for the #5 spot in Oakland's rotation.

The Rangers edged the White Sox 2-1. Elizardo Ramirez pitched a scoreless frame for Texas, and Greg Golson got into the game, but did not get an at bat. Ramirez has pitched 4 times so far, accumulating 4.1 innings, giving up only 1 hit, no walks, and 3 strike outs in his audition to make the team. Golson is 5 for 12 (that's .417), including 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Greg is probably headed for AAA Oklahoma in the PCL. On the White Sox side, Gavin Floyd will start Sunday's game. He has not pitched since Feb. 26, apparently nursing some minor injury or some soreness.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Night games Friday

The Phillies dropped a 4-3 decision to the Blue Jays last night in Dunedin, Sergio Escalona gave up the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning, allowing a walk and a hit, while picking up a strike out.

The Phils will take on the Tigers Saturday, with J.A. Happ among the pitchers on the schedule to work.

Atlanta 2-hit Houston last night, creaming the Astros, 13-0. Michael Bourn was 0 for 3.

In the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo, China eliminated Chinese Taipei, 4-1 to stay alive, and then Japan blasted Korea 14-2. The victory automatically moves the defending champs into the next round in San Diego while Korea will take on China in an elimination game. The winner of that game will also advance, but will take on Japan before leaving Tokyo.

Games begin in 2 more pools today with, including the USA against Canada in Toronto. Check my previous posts for all of today's games, or go to http://worldbaseballclassic.com to see the entire schedule for the tournament.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Preseason HomeSiders-Friday

Not a lot of HomeSiders in action Friday, here is what I have gathered:

Oakland bombed Seattle 12-1. Josh Outman threw 2.2 innings in relief, allowing 1 run on 5 hits,no walks, and 3 strike outs for the Athletics.

The Diamondbacks defeated Team Mexico, 4-2, in Mexico's final tune-up before they begin play in the WBC. Chris Roberson was 0 for 2 for Arizona.

The White Sox pummeled Australia, and our boys on the Aussie team had a forgettable day. Brad Harman: 0 for 3, 2 Ks; Joel Naughton, 0 for 4, 3 Ks; and Drew Naylor gave up a home run and walked 2, without recording an out.

There are 3 Grapefruit League games tonight: Houston v Atlanta, Detroit v NY Yankees, and Toronto v Philadelphia, as well as the elimination game in the WBC in Tokyo.

WBC-Korea shuts out Chinese Taipei

Team Korea was all over Chinese Taipei from the very beginning this morning, scoring 6 runs in the first inning, including 4 on a grand slam by Jin Young Lee, en route to a 9-0 victory. Chinese Taipei (formerly Taiwan) will face China at 10:30 tonight with the loser done for the tournament. The game will be on ESPN2. The winners bracket game between Japan and Korea, who met 3 times in the 2006 classic, will be at 5:00 AM tomorrow morning. Korea won 2 of the 3 meetings last time, but Japan won the big one, in the semifinal before going on to top Cuba to win the inaugural tournament.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

WBC kicks off

The 2009 World Baseball Classic is underway in the Asian pool. The entire tournament will be televised on MLBN, ESPN, and ESPN2. Defending champion Japan opened play with a 4-0 victory over China today in Tokyo. The next game in Korea vs Chinese Taipei. If you set your alarm, the game will be played at 4:30 AM Eastern time televised on ESPN2. (I believe there will be a replay Friday afternoon on the same network.) Then at 10:30 PM(which is actually Saturday afternoon in Tokyo), the loser of the second game will play China in the first elimination game of the tournament.

The USA opens play in Toronto on Saturday against Canada at 2:00 on ESPN, followed Saturday night by Venezuela vs Italy at 8:00 on MLBN. Also Saturday in San Juan, the Netherlands will face Dominican Republic at 11:00 AM(ESPN2), then Puerto Rico will take on Panama at 5:00(ESPN). On Sunday in Mexico City, Republic of South Africa will take on Cuba at 2:00(MLBN), then Mexico and Australia will tangle at 8:00(MLBN).

Thursday's Highlights

The Milwaukee Brewers defeated Team Australia 10-5 on Thursday. Brad Harman was 2 for 4, a single and a home run, scoring 2 runs for the Aussies.

Oakland split their squad on Thursday , with half of the Athletics beating the Giants, 4-2. Adrian Cardenas struck out in his only at bat. "A.C." is 2 for 9 so far this spring, and appears to be slated for AAA Sacramento. The other half of the A's topped South Africa's WBC team, 6-1.

The Braves doubled up Venezuela, 8-4. Victor Moreno was the losing pitcher, suffering through a very tough inning. Victor walked 4 hitters, gave up 1 hit, and all 5 scored. Ouch!!

The Reds scored 5 in the 10th inning to defeat the Pirates, 10-6, the last 4 runs coming on a walk off grand slam by Darnell McDonald. McDonald played in 4 games for the Twins in 2007, and 17 games for the Orioles in 2004. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 2 for the Pirates, and is hitting .286 so far this spring.

The Houston Astros rallied for 6 runs in the 5th inning to defeat Team Panama, 7-5. Michael Bourn was 1 for 4 and stole another base, his 4th by my count. Avelino Asprilla relieved Ruben Tejada at shortstop and was 0 for 1. It appears Avelino will be the utility man for Panama.

Team USA defeated the Phillies 9-6. Ryan Howard belted a 3-run homer, Jason Donald added a solo shot, and Lou Marson went 2 for 4. Kyle Kendrick started and took the loss, pitching 2.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits(including a 3-run homer by Chipper Jones), before giving way to Antonio Bastardo, who did not fare much better. Bastardo gave up 5 runs in 2.1 innings, including 3 home runs. Ryan Braun and Brian McCann went back-to back on him in the 4th, and then Adam Dunn hit a 2-run bomb in the 5th. Joe Bisenius pitched an inning against the Phils, giving up 1 run on 3 hits.

Taylor Buchholz

The Colorado Rockies announced today that Taylor Buchholz will be out for at least a month due to a strained ligament in his pitching elbow. Buchholz was the starter in the first ever BlueClaws game.

Wednesday's action

Because of the WBC teams adding to the mix, there were a lot of games Wednesday, so lets get to them.

First, to Florida, where the Phillies beat Canada, 9-2. SI cover boy Cole Hamels made his spring debut for Philadelphia, throwing 2 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk, no runs. Ryan Howard was 2 for 2 with an RBI, and Jeremy Slayden belted a 3-run home run in his only at bat. Slayden looks to be a lock for Lehigh Valley, if not the 5th outfielder on the big club. Personally, I think he should go to AAA, and get 4 at bats a day. Then, if the injury bug hits the Phils, he could be the first call-up. Jason Donald continues to struggle, going 0 for 3 again, and Lou Marson got a walk in his only plate appearance. Andrew Carpenter had another tough outing, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 2 innings of work.

Pittsburgh beat Minnesota, 2-1, Jason Jaramillo received a walk in his only at bat for the Pirates.

Carlos Ruiz had a single, scored a run, and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to help Panama top Detroit, 9-3.

Toronto defeated Team USA, 6-5, by scoring 3 in the bottom of the 9th inning. Randy Ruiz had a pinch hit single in the 8th inning for the Blue Jays.

Venezuela and Houston played to a 4-4 draw. Yoel Hernandez pitched a scoreless inning for Venezuela, and Michael Bourn entered the game in the 7th inning as a pinch runner, promptly stole second base and scored what was at the time to go ahead run. Bourn has stolen 5 bases now this spring.

The Reds beat the Netherlands, 4-3. Matt Maloney pitched 3 innings in relief, giving up 2 runs (on a home run to Yurendell de Caster, a third baseman in the National's system) on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3.

Over in Arizona, the A's topped the White Sox, 7-2. Adrian Cardenas was 0 for 3 for Oakland.

Team Mexico pounded the Diamondbacks, 19-4. Chris Roberson had a single and a walk and scored a run for Arizona.

In a game seen on MLB Network, Team Australia outscored the Seattle Mariners, 11-9. Brad Harman was 0 for 3, but he did have 2 walks, playing the whole game at shortstop. He made a great running catch of a wind blown pop up in the second inning. Joel Naughton came into the game late and picked up a single in 2 at bats, and Drew Naylor recorded 4 outs. Naylor gave up 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks, but was the winning pitcher!!

One more note, Joe Bisenius has been added to the Team USA roster!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

found another one

I just noticed original BlueClaw Yoel Hernandez is pitching for Venezuela against the Astros this afternoon. He was overlooked in my previous posts, and should be added to the list of HomeSiders participating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WBC teams swing into action

Tuesday in Florida, 8 WBC teams squared off against major league teams as they prepare for the opening of the classic next week.

In Lakeland, the Tigers defeated Venezuela, 7-5. Victor Moreno pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning for Venezuela.

In Dunedin, Canada beat the Blue Jays, 6-4. Randy Ruiz was 1 for 2, a double. He also had a walk and scored a run for the Jays.

In Kissimmee, the Braves pounded Panama, 11-2. Carlos Ruiz had a single in 2 at bats, and Avelino Asprilla, a member of the 2006 championship team in Lakewood, was 0 for 1, playing third base. He played second base exclusively for the BlueClaws.

In the other games involving WBC teams, Dominican Republic defeated the Marlins, 10-1, the Nationals outslugged Italy, 9-6, the Pirates edged the Netherlands, 5-4, Minnesota topped Puerto Rico, 3-2 and Team USA defeated the Yankees, 6-5.

In St Pete, the Rays were all over the Astros, 12-2. Michael Bourn had a single and a walk in 3 plate appearances and stole 2 bases. Actually, he stole 1 base, second, twice!!

Out in Arizona, the Giants edged the D-Backs, 6-5. Chris Roberson was 1 for 5, an RBI single. Cleveland and Kansas City played a 9-9, 10 inning game. Considering the amount of runs scored, Robinson Tejeda didn't do too badly, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 strike outs. The Cubs beat the Athletics, 6-4. Gio Gonzalez pitched 2 scoreless innings for Oakland, retiring all 6 hitters he faced, striking out 3 of them. Adrian Cardenas pinch hit for him with 2 on in the 9th inning and grounded out.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Grapefruit action

The Phillies and Jays met up in Dunedin this afternoon, Philadelphia coming out on top 12-7. J.A.Happ was the starter, throwing 3 innings, giving up a 2-run home run in the first to Adam Lind. Happ went on the pitch a scoreless 2nd and 3rd, allowing a total of just 3 hits and 1 walk, before yielding to Carlos Carrasco. Carlos also threw 3 innings, surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits (including 2 dingers), 1 walk, striking out 3, and picking up the win.

Ryan Howard had his 2nd home run of the spring, to go with 2 walks, Jeremy Slayden also went deep, one of his 2 hits. "Slay" scored twice and drove in 2. Jason Donald played shortstop for the departed Rollins, going 1 for 4 and a walk, and scored a run.

The two teams also played a split squad game. I know that Lou Marson, Tuffy Gosewich and Anthony Hewitt played in that one, but I have been having a hard time getting the report (and result) from that game.

The Pirates beat the Reds, 2-1. Jason Jaramillo got the start for the Pirates, going 1 for 2, scoring a run and throwing out 2 would-be base stealers! The Yankees and the Astros played to a 5-5 draw, Michael Bourn had a walk in 5 plate appearances, and scored a run for Houston.

Cactus League

Today in Arizona, the Diamondbacks pounded the Cubs, 9-1. Chris Roberson played the whole game for Arizona, going 1 for 4, an RBI double, and a walk, and scored a run.

Texas edged Cleveland, 8-7, Greg Golson (.417 so far this spring) was 0 for 1 in relief of Andruw Jones for the Rangers.

C.J. Henry

2006 and 2007 BlueClaw C.J. Henry has gone back to school, click on the link below and you will see that Carl is now attending Memphis University, on the basketball team. He is not listed on the baseball roster.

Memphis Tigers Official Athletic Site

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday recap

The Phillies made it 2 in a row on Sunday, coming from behind to beat the Braves, 7-3. Jeremy Slayden had a double and scored a run, Ryan Howard walked and scored, Jason Donald, who has played in every game so far this spring, walked twice, Carlos Ruiz had a 2 RBI single, and Lou Marson got into his 3rd game of the spring. Joe Bisenius, who had a rough outing earlier this week, pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning.

Toronto topped Tampa, 6-3, with Randy Ruiz going 1 for 1, a single with a run scored. Ruiz is 3 for 6, with a walk so far for the Blue Jays. The Mets blasted the Astros 13-1. Michael Bourn, Ruiz' teammate in Lakewood in 2004, had a walk in 3 at bats for Houston.

Out west, Arizona defeated Oakland, 9-7. Josh Outman made his second appearance this spring, working 2 innings for the Athletics. Outman gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2.

Any players participating in the World Baseball Classic will report to their respective camps tomorrow. This will probably allow more minor leaguers to get into major league preseason games, so I will be carefully checking every day.

The Major league season begins 5 weeks from tonight when the Phillies host the Braves, the minor league season kicks off 4 days later. Lakewood, Clearwater, Reading and Lehigh Valley all open the 2009 season at home.