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Spring Update – Game 4

The spring-training-logo1.jpgPhllies minor leaguers were back in action on Friday, as they faced the Tigers minor leaguers for a second-straight day. The Double-A Phillies team beat the Double-A Tigers team 4-0.

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

Austin Hyatt
Hyatt, who ended the 2010 campaign as a member of the R-Phils, started for the Double-A squad on Friday, and was sharp. He tossed three scoreless innings, and allowed just one hit, one run, while fanning four batters. He threw 44 total pitches.

Hyatt, a Georgia native, posted a 1-0 mark with a 4.91 ERA over four games last season for the R-Phils. He began the season with Clearwater and was solid over 23 games (21 starts). Hyatt, 24, posted an 11-5 mark with a 3.04 ERA. Originally drafted in he 15th round of the 2009 draft, Hyatt should be in for a big 2011 season.

Joe Savery
The Texas native continued his assault on Double-A pitching on Friday — ripping two more hits. Savery, 25, is now hitting .500 (6-12) this spring, as he continues to try his hand at an everyday hitting role. Savery started at DH on Friday, and finished the contest 2-4 with a run scored.

Fidel Hernandez
Hernandez had a nice day at the dish on Friday. Hernandez, who spent the majority of the 2010 season with Clearwater, went 2-5 with a run and a stolen base for the Double-A squad on Friday.

The Venezuelan native spent four games last season with the R-Phils and hit .467 (7-15). hernandez, a middle-infielder, has spent most of his Minor League career with Clearwater. The 25-year-old has played for the Threshers for four-straight seasons (2007-2010). It will be interesting to see where Hernandez begins 2011.

Stephen Susdorf, Darin Ruf, & Travis Mattair each had an RBI for the Phils Double-A team on Friday. Justin Friend, Jonathan Velasquez, and Eric Pettis each tossed two scoreless innings.

Other News & Notes from Phillies Minor League camp:

Michael Schwimer
Schwimer tossed two scoreless innings for the Triple-A Phils on Friday. Schwimer, 25, posted a 5-3 mark with 11 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 32 games for the R-Phils last season. He threw 32 total pitches on Friday and fanned three batters.

Matt Rizzotti
“Rizz” went 1-3 with a run scored in the Triple-A team’s 5-3 loss to the Tigers Triple-A team on Friday.

John Suomi
Suomi ripped two hits on Friday for the Triple-A Phils. He finished 2-3 with an RBI. A native of Ontario, CA, Suomi, 30, is back for his fourth season in the Phillies organization (2007-2008, 2010).

Leandro Castro and Cameron Rupp each had two hits for the Single-A Phillies on Friday.

Game 3…

The Phillies minor leaguers were at it again on Thursday, spring_169x169.pngas they faced minor league players from the Tigers organization. The Double-A squad dropped their second-straight contest — falling by a score of 4-3. Let’s take a look at the highlights!

Ryan Edell
Edell, a native of Boston, MA, tossed three scoreless innings for the Double-A team in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers Double-A club on Thursday. The 27-year-old left-handed pitcher split the 2010 season with Akron and Midland — both Double-A teams.

Signed by the Phillies as a Minor League free agent on 12/20/10, Edell has already appeared in one Major League Spring Training game this season for the Philies. Edell allowed just one hit over 1.2 innings pitched for the Phillies, and also fanned three batters. Over two spring appearances (one Major League, one Minor League), Edell has tossed 4.2 IP without allowing a run.

Joe Savery
A former pitcher, Savery has been trying his luck at hitting full-time this season, and the former Rice University product has excelled at the dish so far. On Thursday, he went 1-2 with a double and two walks — upping his average to .500 (4-8) on the season.

Alan Schoenberger
The 22-year-old Australian native appeared in his first Double-A game on Thursday, and went 1-1 with a double, walk, and two RBIs. Schoenberger spent the entire 2010 campaign in Lakewood, and hit .253 with five home runs and 35 RBIs. 

Triple-A News & Notes
Chris Frey
went 2-4 in the Triple-A game on Thursday. The Triple-A Phillies lost to the Triple-A Tigers however, by a score of 9-2. Reliever Matt Anderson allowed four runs on two hits over just one inning of work.

Tagg Bozied (0-3), Harold Garcia (0-4), and Matt Rizzotti (1-3), combined to go 1-10 yesterday. Troy Hazawa had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored.

Single-A News & Notes
Jared Cosart
started and went three shutout innings for the Single-A team on Wednesday. The squad went on to beat the Tigers Single-A club 7-4. Cosart is ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the Phillies organization by Baseball America. Patrick Murray (1B) went 3-4 with a run and RBI.

Spring Game # 2

On Monday, the Phillies Double-A squad beat the Blue Jays Double-A Squad 12-3. On Tuesday, it was a camp day, with no games being played.

Today, (Wednesday), the Phillies minor leaguers returned to the field and faced the Pirates minor leaguers. The Phillies Double-A team dropped their first game of the spring — falling 6-2. J.C Ramirez allowed six runs over three innings.

There were some highlights, however. Check these out: 

spring_169x169.pngDouble-A Highlights

Cody Overbeck
Overbeck launched two home runs and finished the contest 2-4 with those two homers. They were the only two runs of the game for the Double-A team. Overbeck, a native of Tennessee, finished the 2010 season strong — posting a .316 mark with eight home runs and 22 RBIs for the R-Phils in August (27 games). 2011 should be another good year for the third baseman.

Michael Dabbs
Dabbs went 2-2 with a double for the Double-A team on Wednesday. A native of Stillwater, OK, Dabbs posted a .297 batting average over 37 games with Lakewood (A) last season. The 23-year-old is now hitting .429 (3-7) on the season.

Justin De Fratus
De Fratus made his first appearance for the Double-A team on Wednesday. The 23-year-old posted a 1-0 mark with a 2.19 ERA last season for Reading. On Wednesday, he tossed two scoreless innings and fanned three batters.  

Other Highlights:

Tim Kennelly
Kennelly, who spent the 2009 season in Baseballtown, went 2-3 with one home run and two RBIs for the Triple-A team today in a 7-54 win over Triple-A Pittsburgh. A native of Australia, Kennelly, 24, hit .274 with five home runs and 59 RBIs last season for Clearwater (A+).

Matt Rizzotti
Rizzotti ripped two hits and added two RBIs for the Triple-A Phils team on Wednesday. The New York native hit 16 home runs for the R-Phils last season. “Rizz” is a member of the Phillies 40-man roster.

First Day of Spring Games…

Happy first day of spring games for Minor Leaguers!

Last week I found out that this blog has been ranked as one of the Top 50 MLB Pro blogs — can you tell I am still extremely happy about that? That’s my mug on the home page too. Check it out!

Today was an extremely busy day, and while we are exactly one month from Opening Night (April 14),
spring_169x169.pngit’s really starting to feel more like the season is here.

Alex, my Media/PR assistant has really been a big help. We are just about done creating our media guide — then we can move on to the Baseballtown Gazette.

Tuesday will serve as a good day to proof-read the media guide, since the press box will not have power all day! Combine that with the internet being down for the majority of today (Monday), and the pressure of being ready for Opening Day has hit.

Also today, WFMZ ran a story on the $10 Million Renovations during their 5:30 newscast. I think that went extremely well. Great coverage all offseason from WFMZ!

Okay, as for today’s games, check out my full recap here. Now let’s go beyond the recap, with some additional notes from today:

Triple-A squad:

Michael Spidale — Spidale, an Illinois native, who has spent parts of the past four seasons in Baseballtown, went 1-2 with a stolen base and RBI for the Triple-A squad today. Last season he was named the R-Phils MVP after hitting a solid .303 in 131 games.

Matt Rizzotti — Rizzotti, a memberrizzotti-and-bozied.jpg of the Phillies 40-man roster, went 1-3 with a stolen base. The New York native was reassigned to Minor League camp on Friday after hitting .265 with one home run and two RBIs in Major League camp this spring. A sixth round selection of the Phillies in the 2007 draft, Rizzotti, 25, hit a remarkable .361 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs for the R-Phils in 2010.

Tagg Bozied — Bozied, who was also assigned to Minor League camp on Friday, shined for the Triple-A squad today. The South Dakota native launched a home run and finished Monday afternoon 2-4. Bozied hit 27 home runs and an Eastern League-best .315 last season as a member of the R-Phils.

Double-A squad:

Francisco Diaz — Diaz, who will celebrate his 21st birthday one week from today (March 21), went 2-3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI for the Double-A Phils. Last season, the Venezualan native hit .307 in 29 games for the GCL Phillies.

Eric Pettis — Pettis tossed a scoreless inning in Monday’s opener. Last season, as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters (A-), Pettis posted an impressive line. He went 8-0 with seven saves and a 1.37 ERA over 20 games.

Single-A squad:

Jeremy Barnes — Barnes homered and drove-in two runs today for the Single-A club, who beat the Toronto Blue Jays Single-A squad 6-2. An 11th round selection in the 2009 draft by Philadelphia, Barnes, 23, finished Monday’s contest a perfect 2-2 at the dish. Last season he posted a .292 batting average for Lakewood (A-) over 109 games.

Jim Murphy — Murphy, who spent the entire 2010 campaign in Clearwater (A+) with the Threshers, went 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored today. Murphy has appeared in two games for the Major League club this spring, but has yet to register a hit (0-5 with a run scored). In 397 at-bats for Clearwater last season, the Washington native hit .239 with 6 homers.

Roster Cuts and a Thank-You

As I began to sit downbaseball_thankyou_navy.jpg and write a new entry today, I found out some interesting news.

I just noticed that this blog was named as one of the Top 50 MLB Pro blogs. And, my photo is one of the ones featured on the home page. I am ecstatic! It’s really nice to know that there are people out there who enjoy the things I write here. Thanks to all the readers, I appreciate everything!

Before I start to take a look at the first round of Phillies cuts, I wanted to share with you one more interesting tidbit.

Yesterday, before leaving the office for the weekend, I had a chance to take a look at the $10 million renovations to FirstEnergy Stadium with my fellow employees. Each day, I am more impressed. And, when fans get into the ballpark on Thursday, April 14, they are going to be impressed as well. Things are really moving along nicely. I can’t wait for Opening Night!

Among the 16 cuts on Friday were non roster invitees Brian Bass, Eddie Bonine, Andrew Carpenter, Matt Feierabend, Michael Schwimer, Joel Naughton, Matt Miller, Tagg Bozied, and Robb Quinlan. Quinlan asked for his release and it was granted.

Seven 40-man roster players were also sent to Minor League camp on Friday. Those players were Justin De Fratus, Drew Naylor, J.C. Ramirez, Matt Rizzotti, Carlos Rivero, Harold Garcia, and Cesar Hernandez.

J.C. Ramirez – Ramirez, a native of Managua, ramirez_j.c._7-10-10_full_2.jpgNicaragua, posted a 3-4 mark with a 5.45 ERA for the R-Phils in 2010. Acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, along with Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies, Ramirez will look to get back on track in 2011. He won his Reading debut and posted a 1-1 mark with a 3.81 ERA at home for the R-Phils. There’s a good possibility we will see J.C. in Reading this season.

Drew Naylor – Naylor posted a 12-10 mark naylor_drew_8-8-10_full.jpgwith a 4.63 ERA for the R-Phils in 2010. The Aussie native finished second in the Eastern League with three complete games, and was solid at home — posting 8 of his 12 wins at America’s Classic Ballpark. Naylor appeared in one game this spring for the Phils, and allowed just one hit and one walk over 1.1 innings pitched. He also fanned three batters.

Two more days until Phillies Minor Leaguers begin play. Check back here each day, as well as for all the latest spring news. There will be news and notes, as well as podcasts and more!  

Fat Tuesday, Spring Training, & More

fat_tuesday.gifHappy Fat Tuesday from Reading, PA!

Spring Training for Major League players is now in full-swing, and in less than one week (March 14), Philadelphia Phillies Minor Leaguers will get their turn, as games begin for the Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A players.

Full Spring Training Schedule

Make sure to come back here all next week for the latest news out of Clearwater. Also, check out for all the latest news and notes as well. There will be recaps, photos, and more each day!

Today is not your ordinary Tuesday. Nope, it’s Fat Tuesday. And, while that doesn’t mean much to me anymore, it’s still a day to celebrate. And, there’s so much to celebrate!

1.) March 14 – Games for the Minor Leaguers begin

2.) More Announcements regarding the 2011 R-Phils season.

3.) Major Press Conference coming up in the near future — more on that later.

4.) Media Day and R-Phils face Lehigh Valley in 222 Showcase on April 5

5.) R-Phils open the season in Portland on April 7

6.) R-Phils Home Opener on Thursday, April 14 at America’s Classic Ballpark.

As you can see, there are many reasons to celebrate! Enjoy Fat Tuesday!  

March 1st — Feels Like Spring

spring-training-logo1.jpgWelcome back to the “Philling You In” blog — it’s March 1st, and we are getting closer to the 2011 season by the minute.

Spring is in the air, and I am back working in the R-Phils press box. After a long offseason in the temporary trailers, it’s back to the press box. And, while I really enjoyed my stay in the trailers, it’s nice to get back to my office.

I’m glad that I was able to work closely with everyone on this staff. It was great getting to know everyone better while working in the trailers. I’ll never forget the last few months! Special thanks to my roommate Todd Hunsicker — the piano tuning guy!

Also new this week, my intern, Alex, started yesterday, and so far, things are going along nicely. I’m looking forward to a great 2011 season. Things are really starting to fall into place.

There’s nothing like baseball season. It’s what I live for. And, in just a few days, Phillies minor leaguers will begin to play baseball, and, I’ll write something about each game.

Make sure to check back here for daily updates on players who you may see in Baseballtown this season. I’ll get daily reports from Clearwater, and I’ll share it with everyone right here, as well as on

Stay tuned for stats, game recaps, photos, and more each day. Ah yes, baseball will be back before you know it.

Who needs football anyway? A lockout is fine with me!

Golden Steagle…

Promotions are a big part of Minor League Baseball — especially here in Reading.
steagle_award.jpgEach year, we strive to bring our fans the best of the best. And, it’s always nice when you get noticed.

The 2010 season was a special one in Reading, and on Monday morning, the R-Phils receieved the Golden Steagle award in the mail from The R-Phils won Honorable Mention in the category of Best Contest or On-Field Promotion for their Veggie Race.

From the press release:

Cleveland, OH – For the tenth consecutive year industry website has announced its Best of Awards for 2010. Six categories were decided by a panel of industry experts and awarded for excellence and creativity in the field of game operations and presentation.

The Veggie Race at FirstEnergy Stadium has become quite the show. Each game, R-Phils interns and staff members compete against each other in full veggie suits. The competitive contest consists of Carrot, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Lettuce, and each of those veggies race to the finish line. At the end of each race, “Eat More Vegetables” is usually shouted by R-Phils GM Scott Hunsicker.

The Veggie Race is a great way for the R-Phils to promote healthy food options. Vegetables are an important part of anyone’s diet, and the R-Phils Veggie Race brings that out in the open.

On two occassions in 2010, the R-Phils receieved national media attention. The first, which took place on Friday, April 23, centered around the appearance of Wrestling Royalty, Jerry “The King” Lawler. Lawler, who met fans and signed autographs throughout the evening, made an on-field appearance during the Veggie Race.

During the Veggie Race cauliflower clothes-lined.jpgthat day, things were going well for Cauliflower — but something happened. “The King”, who was hiding, ran out to the field and clothes-lined poor Cauliflower. The moment, which was caught by R-Phils team photographer Ralph Trout, served as one of the best photos in all of Minor League Baseball.

Ben Hill, MiLB writer and blogger, talked about it here:

The second of the national media attention occurred during an R-Phils game on Saturday, July 3. The veggie racers were racing around the field, and broccoli, who got off to a big lead, made his way into the seating area. Once he made his way into the stands, Broccoli took the microphone and made an announcement.

broccoli-proposal.gifBroccoli, who is played by R-Phils Client Relationship Manager Jon Muldowney, got down on his broccoli knee and proposed to his girlfriend Michelle. The scene, was one for the ages. ESPN, CNN, USA Today, and many others, picked up on the proposal, and before you knew it, the video was everywhere.

Here is the video, if you haven’t seen it already, on YouTube:

Also, just so we don’t forget about Lettuce, here is an interview — enjoy!

The R-Phils will continue to do big things in 2011. Promotions and On-Field events, will once again be taken to the next level. You never know what you will find at a Reading Phillies game. But, one thing is for certain — you will be amused each and every game!

Man’s Best Friend & Baseball…

The R-Phils are stepping things up a notch in many ways this season.

Here’s another example.

Last week, we released the Top “20” Promotions for the upcoming season, and number 5 on the list was the R-Phils three “Dog Days at the Park”.

Fans who love baseball, and who love dogs, will be able to combine their love for each on all three of these days. On April 15 — the second game of the season, fans can bring their pooch to the park and it will only cost them an extra $5 for a Dog Ticket.

Dogs who come out to the game will be welcomed in all areas of the ballpark, which is a first for the 2011 season. The R-Phils will also make it a “Dog Friendly Day’. Expect to hear some great “dog” songs playing throughout the stadium. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear Atomic Dog by George Clinton?

Here is what was in the original press release…

“Dog Days at the Park”April 15, June 7, and August 10
Friday, April 15 is the first Dog Day at the Park, courtesy of the 830 AM WEEU, and 69 News Berks Edition, and all dogs in attendance will have the run of the park. While the R-Phils have had Dog Days in the past, this year’s Dog Days at the Park will be like no other. 2011 will mark the first time ever that all dogs will be welcome in all areas of FirstEnergy Stadium (dogs will need a special dog night ticket, but dogs are not limited to any one area of the ballpark).

The night will also serve as the first of two “Crazy About Reading” Night’s at the Ballpark, thanks to Renaissance Academy Charter School, with a free ticket for participants and an R-Phils player reading session from 6:00-6:30 p.m. Friday is also the first 4 for $49 Family Night of the 2011 season presented by Capital BlueCross. R-Phils fans can get four box seats, four hot dogs, and four sodas, for only $49. Also, Family Night features pre-game play catch on the field, free player autographs, and balloon art.

On Tuesday, June 7, the R-Phils will hold their second “Dog Day at the Park” of the season, courtesy of 830 AM WEEU and 69 News Berks Edition. The R-Phils will host the Trenton Thunder for a 7:05 p.m. contest, and all dogs will be welcome in all areas of America’s Classic Ballpark. The first 2000 adults will receive an R-Phils Flashlight, thanks to Willow Creek Veterinary.

Every Tuesday is also a special Genesis HealthCare Assisted Living R-Phils Senior Club game, and all R-Phils Senior Club members will receive $3 off their ticket, as well as enjoy a Poolside Chat with Baseballtown Historian Charlie Adams at 5:00 p.m., at the Reading Eagle Pool Picnic Area.

The third and final Dog Day at the Park” will be held on Wednesday August 10. Also on that day, the R-Phils will give out a “Mad Dog” Ryan Madson Dog

Love & Baseball…

Today is Valentine’s Day, and there’s is only one way to roses.jpgcelebrate — with baseball, chocolates, and roses!

In the midst of the $10 million renovations project, the R-Phils spread some love around Berks County today, and fans of all ages were excited!

Over the last few weeks, the R-Phils gave fans the chance to purchase something for their loved one, and, gave them the option to have either Screwball, or the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor deliver it.

Beginning at 8 a.m. this morning, the R-Phils loaded up their van and headed to residences, work places, and schools to make it a special Valentine’s Day. In all, the R-Phils headed out to 40 different places, and made 40 fans happier than ever before.

Most fans who recieved a gift today were extremely surprised. Each of them ranked it as the best Valentine’s Day gift they have ever received.

Spreading love around Berks County today was a lot of fun. I interviewd the first batch of people this morning, and you can find a video on our website

Today was a great way to get fans thinking about baseball season. With baseball getting started in Florida and Arizona today, the 2011 season is close. The weather warmed up today, and things are really starting to fall into place.

Baseball, as well as love, is in the air.