March 2011

Sneak Peek: Padded Outfield Walls

Well, it has been an interesting week here around FirstEnergy Stadium.

Things are really starting to look amazing here. We are very close to being done at America’s Classic Ballpark and we can’t wait to share this experience with all of our fans.

On Tuesday, I shared with you some photos of the R-Phils home clubhouse. R-Phils players will arrive into Baseballtown on Sunday night, and, when they get here, they will have a brand-new clubhouse. As you saw in some of the photos, the clubhouse is AWESOME! The players are going to absolutely love it!

On Thursday, the installation process began on the outfield walls. In the offseason, the R-Phils announced that as part of the exciting renovations, the outfield walls would become padded now. Everytime an outfielder crashes into a wall at FirstEnergy Stadium, they will have some padding behind their collision with the wall — making it a bit easier to hit the wall.

The padding is part of the outfield billboards, which went up today as well.

Here is what this process looks like:

I hope you enjoyed another look at the AWESOME renovations here at America’s Classic Ballpark. Please check back in the days to come for more.

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement on the Mitchell & Ness R-Phils Team Store in the coming days. And, on Friday, I will share with you some of the most recent photos of the store. I was inside of it today and all I can say is..WOW!

Spring Update — Game 14

On Monday, Minor League games were rained out, and on Tuesday, the games were also postponed due to rain.

Note: Tuesday the teams played intersquad games instead.

So, on Wednesday, the Phillies Minor League players were back in action, this time facing the Tigers Minor League squad.

Wednesday’s game for the Double-A team was a positive one, as they beat the Tigers Double-A squad 6-5 to improve to 7-5-2 this spring. Josh Zeid started and allowed two runs on three hits over four innings, while Cody Overbeck launched his team-high third home run of the season.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

Josh Zeid
Zeid allowed his first runs of the spring on Wednesday, after not allowing a run in 9.2 innings pitched this spring. Zeid, a native of New Haven, CT, has now tossed 13.2 innings this spring, and has allowed just two runs on seven hits, while fanning a team-high 14 batters. The 24-year-old spent the entire 2010 season in Lakewood and posted an 8-4 mark with a 2.93 ERA in 43 games (12 starts).

Other pitching performances on Wednesday in the Double-A portion:

Tyler Cloyd allowed just one hit over three shutout innings in relief of Zeid… Cloyd fanned two batters and has now fanned eight batters this spring (8.1 IP)… Gerard Vasquez made his Double-A debut and allowed three runs on two hits over 0.2 IP… Jordan Ellis tossed the final 1.1 innings and allowed one hit and no runs… Ellis fanned three batters.

Offensive Leaders on Wednesday:

Torre Langley – catcher
Langley continued his amazing offensive spring on Wednesday. Langley, 23, went 2-2 with an RBI and a stolen base. The Georgia native is now hitting .550 (11-20) this spring. His 11 hits are tied for team-best with Stephen Susdorf and he has 6 RBIS this spring. He appeared in two games last season with Reading and hit .167 (1-6).

Freddy Galvis – shortstop
Galvis went 0-0 with two runs scored, three walks, two stolen bases and an error on Wednesday for the Double-A squad. The slick-fielding shortstop leads the club with six steals this spring and is now hitting .321 with eight runs scored and six RBIs. The Venezuelan native was an Eastern League All-Star last season.

Cody Overbeck – first base/third base
Overbeck hit cleanup and started at first base on Wednesday. The Tennessee native launched his team-high third home run of the season and added three RBIs. This spring, Overbeck is hitting .256 with the three home runs and seven RBIs.

Other Offensive Notables on Wednesday:

Harold Garcia made his first appearance in a Double-A game this spring and went 0-2 with a strikeout… Matt Rizzotti also made his first Double-A game this spring and went 1-2 with a double and two walks… Yesterday, Rizzotti was outrighted to Reading from Philadelphia… Tuffy Gosewich, who spent the majority of the spring in Major League camp, appeared in his first Double-A game this spring…. He went 0-3 with two strikeouts… Fidel Hernandez went 0-2… He’s hitting .360 this spring in 25 Double-A at-bats.

Other Organizational Notes from Wednesday:

Eddie Bonine tossed six shutout innings for the Triple-A squad in a 5-2 loss… B.J. Rosenberg allowed four runs on three hits in just one inning of work… Chris Frey went 3-4 for the Triple-A team… Michael Spidale struck-out in his only at-bat on Wednesday for the Triple-A team… Joe Savery went 0-4 with an RBI and a stolen base for the Single-A Phils… Trevor May started and allowed five runs on three hits over 4.1 innings pitched… He tossed 84 total pitches.

Sneak Peek: New Home Clubhouse

While things have gotten very busy in the Baseballtown PR Office over the last couple of weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to take a minute to show fans a few new and exciting things around the ballpark.

Of course, by now everyone should already know that this offseason was an important one in Reading Phillies history. After the completion of the 2010 season, big things began happening in Baseballtown — $10 million renovations to be exact.

FirstEnergy Stadium — the same stadium which was completed in 1951, began it’s transformation in September. Each day, things began to change. Walls were knocked down, new walls were put up.

All offseason, the R-Phils gave fans stadium tours to keep them in the loop. On Thursday, April 14 — Opening Night, all fans who come out to the game will get their first official look at the finished product. While the R-Phils game is set for 7:05 p.m., VIST Financial Plaza gates will open at 4:00 p.m. to give fans their first look inside America’s Classic Ballpark.

With all that being said, I thought it was time to give fans a sneak peak at some of the new features. Check back to see pictures and more right here in my blog.

First Sneak Peak — R-Phils Home Clubhouse (photos of home clubhouse only)
Reading Phillies players will have a new place to stay this season at FirstEnergy Stadium. Brand-new clubhouses for both the R-Phils and opponents were constructed this offseason. The R-Phils clubhouse has expanded in size by 45%, while the visiting clubhouse has expanded by 80%. Both clubhouses still lead out to the concourse, which means both the R-Phils players and the visiting players will cross the concourse and go to the field — a hallmark of the R-Phils experience.

Here is the overall square footage for the clubhouses:

Home Team:
New Clubhouse: 2636 square ft.
Old Clubhouse: 1816 square ft. 

Visting Team
New Clubhouse: 1792 square ft.
Old Clubhouse: 993 square ft.

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Game 12 Updates…

The Phils Double-A squad faced the Blue Jays Double-A team on Saturday afternoon and lost by a score of 5-1. Starter Ryan Edell allowed four of Toronto’s five runs. Let’s take a look at the game:

Ryan Edell
Edell started for the club but struggled on the hill, as he allowed four runs on six hits over 4.2 IP. Edell began the day with a 0.00 ERA over 7.2 IP, but ended up taking the loss on Saturday after pitching ineffectively for the first-time all spring. The 27-year-old was signed as a Minor League free agent this offseason. He posted an 11-5 mark with a 3.73 ERA between two Double-A teams in 2010 (Midland and Akron).

Other Pitching Performances on Saturday:

Joe Esposito relieved Edell and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings pitched… Esposito has now tossed 3.1 innings this spring and has struck-out four hitters… Ebelin Lugo did not allow a run in one inning of work… Lugo has made two appearances for the Double-A Phils this spring and has not allowed a run (two innings)… Eric Massingham allowed one run on two hits in one inning.

Offensive Stars on Saturday:

Joe Savery
The Texas native continued his offensive inslaught this spring, this time, the new full-time hitter homered for the club’s only run of the game. Savery, a product of Rice University also had two of the team’s five hits. Savery is now hitting .375 with one home run and four RBIs in 27 at-bats for the Double-A Phils this season. While it was his first home run in a Double-A game this spring, Savery has gone yard for the Single-A team this spring.

Derrick Mitchell had two hits on Saturday as well. Mitchell hit in the leadoff spot and played center field… He hit .264 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs for the Clearwater Threshers last season… Michael Dabbs had the only other hit of the afternoon… Jeremy Slayden went 0-4.

Other Highlights From Around Spring Training on Saturday:

Matt Rizzotti went 1-3 with a run and two walks for the Triple-A Phils… They lost to the Jays 8-1… Michael Spidale hit in the leadoff spot in the lineup and went 1-4… Matt Anderson tossed a scoreless inning of work… Brody Colvin allowed three runs on five hits over four innings for Single-A team on Saturday… Colvin tossed 69 pitches and walked a spring-high 6 batters… Scott Mathieson, who was optioned to Minor League camp, also threw in the game… Mathieson, a former R-Phils pitcher, allowed just one walk over two hitless innings… He fanned four batters… Jonathan Singleton went 1-3 in that game… Mike Zagurski, who was also optioned to Minor League camp, tossed 1.2 scoreless frames in other Single-A game… He struck-out three and tossed 21 total pitches.

Note: Sunday is a “Camp Day” and there are no games.

Game 11 Update…

On Friday, the Phillies Double-A faced-off against the Blue Jays Double-A team and the game ended in a 7-7 tie. With that, the club is now 6-3-2 this spring. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Friday afternoon.

Mike Cisco
Cisco, a native of South Carolina, started and tossed four solid innings for the Double-A Phils. The 23-year-old allowed just one run on three hits. This spring Cisco has allowed just one run over seven innings pitched. He’s fanned three batters over that span.

Last season, Cisco made 16 starts for the R-Phils and posted a 4-11 mark with a 4.73 ERA. Over his career, he’s 16-19 with a 3.55 ERA (three Minor League seasons). He was originally drafted by the Phillies in the 36th round of the 2008 draft.

Other pitching performances from Friday for the Double-A Phillies:

Jordan Whattcott threw two no-hit innings. He fanned one batter and did not allow a walk or run… Heitor Correa struggled on the hill as he allowed four runs in just in just one inning of work… Jacob Diekman allowed two runs over two innings… Before Friday’s game, Diekman had gone four shutout innings for the Double-A Phils this spring.

Offensively for the Double-A Phils on Friday:

Fidel Hernandez
Hernandez led the way offensively for the Double-A Phils, who belted out 11 hits on Friday. Hernandez, 25, went 2-2 with a double, a run, two RBIs, and a stolen base. The Venezuelan middle infielder is now hitting .450 (9-20) this spring with the Double-A squad with two doubles and a triple. He has also swiped two bags and has scored six runs.

Cody Overbeck
Overbeck ripped two hits for the Double-A Phils on Friday and also had an RBI. Overbeck, a native of Tennesee, leads the club with two home runs this spring. He played third base on Friday, but has also played some first this spring as well. The 24-year-old combined to hit 24 home runs last season (13 with Reading and 11 with Clearwater).

Other Offensive Leaders on Friday for Double-A Phils:

Freddy Galvis upped his spring Double-A average to .360 with another hit on Friday… He finished 1-4 on the afternoon… Galvis leads the club with three stolen bases… Darin Ruf, Stephen Susdorf, and Derrick Mitchell each had an RBI… Ruf has five RBIs this spring.

Other Spring Games on Friday:

Phillippe Aumont tossed two scoreless innings for the Triple-A Phils on Friday… Aumont has allowed two runs on four hits over four innings this spring for the Double-A squad…. Michael Spidale went 1-4 with an RBI for the Triple-A squad… Jonathan Singleton 0-4 with an error in left field for the Single-A Phils on Friday.

Spring Game #9

The Double-A Phils won for the fifth time this spring, as they beat the
spring_169x169.pngNew York Yankees Double-A club 13-2 on Wednesday in Clearwater, FL.

Highlights from the 13-2 romping of the Yankees:

Austin Hyatt
Hyatt started and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits over four innings pitched for the Double-A Phils. Hyatt, a native of Georgia, allowed two walks and fanned four batters on Wednesday, while tossing 63 total pitches. The young righty has now fanned eight batters over seven innings this spring. He finished the 2010 campaign as a member of the R-Phils and posted a 1-0 mark with a 4.91 ERA.

The rest of the pitchers on Wednesday combined to allow just one run over five scoreless innings. Edgar Garcia allowed the one hit in two shutout innings of work. He fanned two batters and tossed 29 total pitches. Joe Esposito tossed two no-hit innings and fanned one batter. B.J. Rosenberg fanned one batter over a scoreless inning. He has not allowed an earned run in four innings this spring.

Freddy Galvis
The 21-year-old defensive whiz continues to shine with the lumber and did so again on Wednesday. Leading-off, Galvis went 3-6 with three runs, a double, a triple, and two RBIs. This spring, Galvis is hitting .381 (8-21) with two doubles, and is the team-leader with three triples, five RBIs (tied), and three stolen bases.

A member of the Phillies 40-man roster, Galvis began Spring Training with the Major League club and hit .182 (4-22) with a home run and three RBIs. Last season, he led all Eastern League shortstops with a .982 fielding percentage.

Stephen Susdorf
Susdorf went 1-2 with a walk on Wednesday and is now hitting .367 on the season. He leads the club with 11 hits this spring, and also has a team-high five doubles.

Korby Mintken

Mintken had a solid day at the dish for the Double-A squad on Wednesday. Mintken, a native of Nebraska, went 2-5 with two runs, a walk, and an RBI. He started at second base on Wednesday, but has also played shortstop for the Double-A club this spring. The 25-year-old split 2010 with Clearwater and Lakewood.

Sebastian Boucher
Boucher, a native of Hull, Quebec, Canada, went 1-3 with three RBIs on Wednesday for the Double-A squad. In 29 at-bats this spring, Boucher, 29, is hitting a solid .292 with six runs, five RBIs, and five walks.

Torre Langley
The 23-year-old backstop continues to rake for the Double-A Phils this spring. Langley went 1-2 with two RBIs on Wednesday and is now hitting a team-high .471 on the season. The Georgia native hit .297 in 16 games for Lakewood last season. He appeared in two games for the R-Phils, and 20 for Clearwater in 2010 as well.

Other Offensive Notables from Wednesday:

Travis Mattair went 2-5 with a home run — his first of the spring… Aaron Altherr went 2-5 with two runs. He is now 2-7 this spring with the Double-A squad… Michael Dabbs went 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs on Wednesday… Cody Overbeck was 2-5 with an RBI… Darin Ruf went 2-3 with two runs and an RBI.

The Triple-A Phils beat the Triple-A Yankees 1-0 on Wednesday

Sebastian Valle
went 1-1 with a solo homer for the Triple-A squad… Nate Bump tossed four shutout innings… Mike Stutes fanned five batters over two scoreless innings… 2010 R-Phils MVP Michael Spidale went 1-3 with a strikeout… Harold Garcia was 0-3.

Offensive Leaders After 8 Spring Games

The Phils Double-A team is now 4-3-1 on the spring season after a 5-5 tie on Tuesday. On Monday, I looked at the pitching leaders and now, its the hitters turn.

spring_169x169.pngPhillies Double-A Offensive Highlights:

Freddy Galvis
Galvis, 21, is a slick-fielding shortstop, who led all EL shortstops last season with a .982 fielding percentage. So far this spring, the Venezuelan is hitting .333 with two runs, two triples, three RBIs, and three stolen bases. A member of the Phillies 40-man roster, Galvis is 5-15 this spring for the Double-A Phils. His three stolen bases and two triples are a team-high.

Cody Overbeck
Overbeck hit 13 home runs and 41 RBIs for the R-Phils last season after posting All-Star numbers with Clearwater (A+) earlier in the season. The Tennessee native enjoyed a solid August — posting an impressive .316 average with eight home runs and 22 RBIs. This spring, Overbeck leads the Double-A team with two home runs.

Joe Savery
Savery began the spring as a member of the Double-A Phils, but has recently been playing for the Single-A squad. In 16 at-bats for the Double-A squad, the Texas native hit .375 with two doubles, a run, and three RBIs.

On Tuesday, Savery went 0-4 with an RBI for the Single-A Phils, a day after hitting a home run for the club. He played first base on Monday and DH on Tuesday.

Stephen Susdorf
Susdorf has excelled at the dish this spring for the Double-A Phils. The soon-to-be 25-year-old (turns 25 on Monday, March 28) has posted team-highs in at-bats (28), average (.357), hits (10), doubles (5), and RBIs (4). On Tuesday, he went 3-3 with three doubles, a run, and an RBI. 

Selected by the Phillies in the 19th round of the 2008 draft, Susdorf spent all of 2010 with Clearwater — posting a .278 mark with 11 home runs and 77 RBIs. The California native appeared in 24 games with the R-Phils in 2009.

Other Notables

Michael Spidale,
the R-Phils team MVP last season, appeared in his first Double-A game of the season on Tuesday, and went 1-4 with two strikeouts.

Jeremy Slayden, who is also familiar to R-Phils fans, has appeared in one game this spring for the Double-A club. On Sunday, Slayden went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Spring Update — Game 8

The Phillies Double-A squad faced the Double-A Pirates on Tuesday afternoon and the game ended in tie 5-5. The Phils Double-A squad out-hit the Pirates team 12-9.

spring_169x169.pngLet’s take a look at the highlights:

Freddy Galvis went 1-4 with a triple and an RBI. Galvis hit leadoff and is now batting .333 with two triples and three RBIs this spring. He has hit in all four games he’s played in for the Double-A squad.

Michael Spidale went 1-4 and struck-out twice in his first Double-A game this spring. Spidale was the R-Phils 2010 MVP.

Derrick Loop tossed a scoreless inning. He has not allowed a run in two Double-A appearances this spring.

Jacob Diekman also tossed a scoreless inning on Tuesday. Diekman has now not allowed a run in four innings this spring.

Other Notes:

Stephen Susdorf had the best line of the game, as he went 3-3 with three doubles, a run scored, and an RBI. Torre Langley went 1-1 with a stolen base. Darin Ruf went 0-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Cameron Rupp went 1-3 with an RBI.

Spring Update – Game 7

On Monday afternoon, the Phillies Double-A club beat the Pirates
spring_169x169.pngDouble-A team by a score of 7-2. The Double-A Phils are now 4-3 on the spring season.

Here are some of the highlights:

Ryan Edell
Edell, 27, has been mentioned in this blog a few times as of late, and on Monday, he was impresive on the hill for the Double-A Phils. The Boston native tossed 4.2 no-hit innings — helping to lead the Double-A squad to a 7-2 victory. So far this spring, the lefty has allowed just one hit over 7.2 innings pitched and has fanned five batters in the process.

Last season, he spilit time with two Double-A teams (Akron and Midland). After posting a 1-1 record with a 6.85 ERA for the Aeros, Cleveland decided to release Edell. He signed a Minor League deal with Oakland and quickly made an impact at the Double-A level. In 21 games, he posted a 10-4 mark with a 3.17 ERA (20 starts).

It will be interesting to see where the 27-year-old starts the 2011 season. In six Minor League seasons, Edell has compiled a 36-31 mark with a 3.65 ERA.

Other pitchers from Double-A game on Monday:

Jordan Ellis tossed 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Edell. Ellis has now allowed three runs on five hits over 3.1 IP this spring.

Chance Chapman allowed two runs on four hits in two innings on Monday. Chapman, 27, threw a shutout inning in his last appearance.

Tyson Brummett allowed just one hit and fanned one batter over one inning on Monday. It was Brummett’s first appearance in a spring game for the Double-A squad.

Offensive Highlights for the Double-A Phils on Monday:

Torre Langley
Catcher Torre Langley has been solid at the plate this spring for the Double-A Phils. On Monday, the 23-year-old backstop went 2-4 with a run, a double, and a game-high three RBIs. Last season he appeared in two games with the R-Phils and went 1-6 with a walk.

Cody Overbeck
Overbeck, who impressed fans with his bat last season, went 2-4 with a run and a stolen base on Monday. In 19 at-bats this spring for the Double-A Phils, Overbeck is hitting .263 with a team-high two home runs.

Other Offensive Hightlights:

Freddy Galvis has now had a hit in all three of the Double-A games he has played in this spring. The Venezuelan native is hitting .364 with a triple, two RBIs, and three SBs in three games this spring.

Sebastian Boucher went 2-4 with a run and an RBI for the Double-A squad on Monday. Boucher, who was signed by the Phillies as a Minor League free agent this offseason, is hitting .316 this spring with five runs scored, two RBIs, and a team-high five walks.

Other Spring Highlights from Monday:

Joe Savery appeared in his first Single-A game of the spring and rewarded his team with an impressive day at the dish. The Rice University standout went 2-3 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. He also was hit-by-a-pitch and stole a base.

Brody Colvin tossed four solid innings for the Single-A team on Monday in their 5-4 win over the Single-A Pirates. Colvin, who is ranked as the third-best prospect in the Phillies organization by Baseball America, allowed five hits and one unearned run. He thew 58 total pitches.

Double-A Pitching Leaders After 6 Games…

After one week of games, it’s time to take a look at some of the leaders. Today we will begin with the pitchers. Come back on Tuesday for the hitters.

spring_169x169.pngJosh Zeid
Zeid, a native of New Haven, CT, has made two starts for the Double-A Phillies and has been sharp on both occassions. Selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the 2009 draft, Zeid, posted an 8-4 mark with a 2.93 ERA for Lakewood last season. He fanned 111 batters over 107.1 IP. He split the season between the Lakewood rotation and bullpen.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old (turns 24 on Thursday) has tossed five shutout innings for the Double-A club this spring. He’s allowed four hits and just one walk, while fanning a team-high seven strikeouts. In his last outing, on Saturday, Zeid tossed three scoreless innings. He threw 51 total pitches.

Ranked as the 23rd-best prospect in the Phillies organization by Baseball America, Zeid is 16-9 with a 2.94 ERA over two pro seasons (2009 in Williamsport).

Justin Friend
Friend, 24, spent the 2010 season with Midland (AA) of the Oakland A’s orginzation. The California native posted a 3-3 mark with a 3.70 ERA over 36 games last season. He was originally selected by the A’s in the 13th round of the 2007 draft.

Through two appearances this spring, Friend has allowed just two hits over four shutout innings. In December, the Phillies selected Friend in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 draft. He has been strictly a reliever over his four Minor League seasons and posted a career-high 11 saves in 2008 with Kane County (A).

Austin Hyatt
Hyatt made his first Double-A start this spring on Friday and was sharp over three innings. The Georgia native allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out four Detroit hitters. Ranked as the 24th-best prospect in the Phillies organization by Baseball America, Hyatt appeared in just four games for the R-Phils in 2010 and went 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA.

A 15th round selection of the Phillies in the 2009 draft, Hyatt excelled on the mound for Clearwater in 2010 — earning Florida State League most valuable pitcher honors, before his promotion to Reading. With the Threshers he posted an 11-5 mark with a 3.04 ERA over 23 games (21 starts).

Phillippe Aumont
Aumont, the 14th-best prospect in the Phils organization, as ranked by Baseball America, has appeared in two games this spring for the Double-A club. Now a reliever, the Canadian native has not allowed a run over his two appearances (two innings), while fanning four batters. He closed-out Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Toronto.

Acquired by the Phillies in the trade with Seattle for Cliff Lee, Aumont, 22, went just 1-6 with a 7.43 ERA for the R-Phils over 11 games. On June 7, however, Aumont was transferred to Clearwater, and remained there the rest of 2010. With the Threshers, he went 2-5 with a 4.48 ERA over 16 games (10 starts).

Other Notable Numbers:

Trevor May, who is ranked fifth in the Phillies organization by Baseball America, has not allowed a run over two innings pitched.

Tyler Cloyd started and tossed three no-hit innings on Sunday. Cloyd, 23, allowed just one walk and fanned five batters, while throwing 42 total pitches. In two appearances this spring, Cloyd has allowed one run on two hits, while fanning six batters (four innings).

Eric Pettis has not allowed a run over three innings of work this spring. Pettis was selected in the 35th round of the 2010 draft. Last season, the Califonia native posted an impressive 8-0 mark with a 1.37 ERA (59 innings).

Jacob Diekman, 24, has not allowed a run over three innings this spring. A 30th round selection of the Phillies in the 2007 draft, Diekman posted an 0-2 mark with a 3.66 ERA for Clearwater, and a 2-0 record with a 1.90 ERA for Lakewood in 2010.

Ryan Edell, who split last season with Akron (AA) and Midland (AA), has tossed three scoreless innings this spring for the Double-A squad. The 27-year-old lefty was signed by Philadelphia as a Minor League free agent during the offseason.