Offseason mode…

Welcome to the offseason!

With the 2011 R-Phils season over, and the Philadelphia Phillies season over, there isn’t much to talk about on the diamond right now. What a tough way to end things in Philadelphia, mamma mia!

Now, it looks as if the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals will have a great battle to the finish. The winner should make for a tough World Series foe.

I’m really not a fan of either team. I certainly don’t like the Brew Crew — especially Nyjer Morgan, and I have never been a LaRussa fan, although he is a fellow Italian. I do like Bob Uecker though. Good luck Mr. Baseball.

On the other side, it looks as if the Rangers are just too tough for the Tigers. Texas has the offense, starting pitching, and one of the most solid bullpens in all of baseball. As I write this, they lead the series 2-0.

How about a Brewers/Rangers World Series? Could you imagine the ratings for that one?

As for me, I have been focused on the upcoming 2012 Baseballtown All-Star Classic, which will hit FirstEnergy Stadium next season! Reading, PA will be a great host, and I am excited to release more and more details as they become available this offseason. Check out my latest feature here. Stay tuned for more great info to come regarding the All-Star Game.

As for now, let’s stay on the diamond, and check in on some of the winter league action. There are former R-Phils are scattered all over the diamond this winter.

Let’s check in on a few…

Tyler Cloyd – 2010-2011
Cloyd enjoyed a breakout season with the R-Phils in 2011. After beginning the season with Clearwater (A+), Cloyd made his 2011 R-Phils debut out of the bullpen on June 3 in Richmond. He tossed a scoreless inning.

Four days later, Cloyd was promoted to the rotation, and went on to become one of the most important starters for the R-Phils. He posted a 6-3 mark with a 2.78 ERA in 18 games (17 starts). At home, he was brilliant, going 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA (12 starts).

Cloyd is now pitching in the Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions. So far, Cloyd has made one appearance, a start with the Scorpions on October 5. The 24-year-old fanned two batters over two perfect innings. Keep an eye on Cloyd — he has a bright future ahead!

Tyson Gillies – 2010 (2011 – disabled list)
After an injury-riddled 2010 season, Gillies, 22, began the 2011 season on Reading’s disabled list. On 6/10, Gillies was activated off the DL and assigned to Clearwater (A+). The Vancouver, BC native appeared in just three games for the Threshers, and posted a .143 batting average (2-13).

Gillies is now back on the field, and is playing in the Arizona Fall League. The 6’2 speedy outfielder has appeared in three games with Scottsdale, and is among the league leaders in batting average (.375). On October 7, Gillies went 2-2 with three runs scored and two walks. The AFL will be an important test for Gillies, who is looking to come back from two-straight injury-plagued seasons.

Josh Zeid – 2011
Zeid began the 2011 season as a starter for the R-Phils. He posted a 2-3 mark with a 6.80 ERA in 11 starts, before an injury led him to the DL. When he returned, he was moved to the bullpen, where he flourished. He posted a 0-0 mark with two saves and an impressive 2.25 ERA over 10 appearances. he struck-out 24 batters over 16 innings and was looking sharp out of the ‘pen.

On July 29, two days before the MLB trade dedline, Zeid was dealt to Houston as part of the trade that brought OF Hunter Pence to Philadelphia. The 23-year-old went on to pitch for Double-A Corpus Christi and appeared in 14 games. Zeid posted a 0-1 record with a 10.13 ERA for the Hooks.

Now, Zeid is playing in the Arizona Fall League and has appeared in two games with the SaltRiver Rafters. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning on October 5, and in his next appearance, he was better. The New Haven, CT native tossed a scoreless inning on October 8 and earned his first win. He is currently 1-0 with a 13.50 ERA in two games.

Tim Kennelly – 2009, 2011
Kennelly was born in Australia, and is back home this winter, playing for Team Australia in the 2011 World Cup. Things have gone well for both Kennelly, and his club, as they have advanced to Round 2.

Kennelly, who hit .215 with three home runs and 21 RBIs for the R-Phils this season, is a versatile player. He appeared at catcher, first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field this season for the R-Phils. In fact, the Aussie native also made his debut on the mound — getting an out at Portland on May 17.

Now, Kennelly is looking to help his hometown team advance to the finals. On October 9, Kennelly played left field and went 2-2 with a run and an RBI in a 9-6 win over Team Germany. In seven games, Kennelly is batting .292 with three runs scored and five RBIs. And, get this. He is not the only Kennelly on the team, as his brother Matthew (Braves farmhand) is also a member of the squad. Perhaps there is a new set of “Bash Brothers” down under? Good day mate…

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