Matt Rizzotti seems to have been able to do just about anything since his promotion to Reading on May 13. Now, the New York native, who has had eight hits over his last 11 at-bats (3 games), has finally qualified for the league lead in batting average.
During his two plus months here in Baseballtown, Rizzotti has racked up numerous awards (Eastern League Player of the Week, Eastern League Player of the Month for June, Eastern
League All-Star, and Philadelphia Phillies Minor League Player of the
Month), and has become a staple in the Reading lineup each and everyday.
While it seems as if his numbers have been there since his first week in an R-Phils uniform, Rizzotti, 24, has not been among the league leaders due to not having enough plate appearances to qualify — until now.
On Sunday, the R-Phils and Akron Aeros game was suspended due to rain, so Rizzotti’s plate appearances didn’t count — yet. On Monday, much of the same, as the 265 pound slugger was in the middle of a great game (4-4), before a light malfunction suspended the contest after six innings.
On Tuesday, however, Rizzotti and the Reading Phillies were able to play baseball. The club completed their suspended game, and “Rizz” finished with a perfect 5-5 performance. In game two (Tuesday’s originally scheduled contest), he would need just four plate appearances to have his name amongst the Eastern League leaders.
In his first at-bat, he singled — in his second, he walked. Now, with just two plate appearances away from taking over the lead, Rizzotti would strikeout in the sixth, walk in the eighth, and although the R-Phils dropped Tuesday’s game 6-2, the Manhattan College product got the plate appearances he needed to qualify.
As of Wednesday, July 28 — Rizzotti is hitting .364 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in 68 games with the Reading Phillies. His .443 on-base percentage, .653 slugging percentage, and 1.096 OPS are also tops in the Eastern League.
Going forward, with just 40 games left in the 2010 season, Matt Rizzotti is on his way to shattering a Reading record. If the season were to end today, Rizzotti would be the new Reading Phillies All-Time leader in batting average, passing current leader Randy Ruiz, who hit a remarkable .349 in 2005.
What if he never played in Clearwater (A+), and started the 2010 season in Reading? Take away his 109 at-bats and 31 games with the Threshers, and who knows?
Oh, and in case you were wondering — “Rizz” hit .358 with one home run and 10 RBIs for Clearwater. Overall, he is a combined .362 with 17 home runs and 58 RBIs over 99 games between Cleawater and Reading — talk about impressive.
It has been one of those seasons for Rizzotti — a season you could only dream about. Day in and day out, he has not only been an impressive player to watch on the field, but one you cheer for.
Whether it has been his walk-off home run, his game-changing hits, his great personality, or the intensity in which he plays with, Matt Rizzotti has been a great guy to have around Baseballtown this season.
The 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game will be played tomorrow (Wednesday, July 14) in Harrisburg, PA, and the Reading Phillies will be well represented.
When the original rosters were announced, four R-Phils were selected to the team (MIchael Schwimer, Vance Worley, Tagg Bozied, and Matt Rizzotti). As things change, and players are promoted, or injured, the rosters began to change — by the day.
Not too much later, R-Phils SS Freddy Galvis was added to the roster, running the total of R-Phils players to five. Then, Michael Schwimer, who was enjoying an impressive 2010 in Baseballtown, was promoted to Lehigh Valley. Wth Schwimer off the roster, starter Drew Naylor was added to take his place.
Yesterday, Kevin Mahar was added to the roster for Brandon Laird, who was unable to participate. Now, seven R-Phils in all were selected, and six will go to represent their club. An impressive number of All-Stars!
Let’s take a look at your 2010 R-Phils All-Stars…
Vance Worley —
Worley, 22, makes the Eastern League All-Star team for the
second-straight season. The Sacramento, CA native is 8-4 with a 3.44
ERA over 18 starts this season. In the month of June, Worley went 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA (five starts). Originally selected by Philadelphia
in the third round of the 2008 draft, Worley is the reigning Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, after tossing a complete game, three-hit shutout on July 11..
Tagg Bozied —
Bozied, 30, is in his first season in the Philadelphia organization,
and has excelled at the plate this season for Reading. A native of
Sioux, Falls, SD, Bozied is currently hitting .293 with 13 home runs
and a team-high 55 RBIs. He, as well as Matt Rizzotti, will participate in the HR Derby.
Matt Rizzotti —
Rizzotti has enjoyed an impressive season in Baseballtown since his
promotion from Clearwater (A+) on May 13. The Floral Park, NY native is
hitting .355 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs. This season, Rizzotti has already won such awards as — Eastern League Player of the Month (June), Eastern League Player of
the Week (for the week ending June 29), and Philadelphia
Phillies Minor League Player of the Month (May). Originally selected
by Philadelphia in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, Rizzotti, 24, is
hitting .379 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in the month of June.
Freddy Galvis —
A native of Punto Fijo, Venezuela, Galvis is hitting .221 with two home
runs and 30 RBIs over 89 games with the R-Phils this season. Originally
signed by Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2006,
Galvis has enjoyed a successful season at the plate, on the bases (eight stolen bases), as well as in the field for Reading this season.
He is ranked by Baseball America as the number 13 prospect in the
Philadelphia Phillies organization.
Drew Naylor —
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Naylor has posted an 8-6 mark with a
4.01 ERA over 17 games (16 starts) with the R-Phils this season. His
best game of the season came on May 25 at FirstEnergy Stadium. The 6’4″
Naylor threw a complete-game, three hitter, en-route to an impressive
6-0 victory over Portland. He allowed just one walk and fanned six
batters on the evening.
Kevin Mahar —
A product of Indiana University, Mahar has enjoyed a successful season
with the R-Phils in 2010. In his second-straight campaign in
Baseballtown, the 29-year-old is hitting .270 with eight home runs and
33 RBIs. The 6’5″ slugger has been red-hot in July – hitting .300 with
three home runs and ten RBIs.
Vance Worley is an All-Star in 2010 — the second straight season the 22-year-old will play in the Eastern League’s mid-summer classic. On Friday, July 9, Worley twirled his best game of the season in his last start before the All-Star game.
Worley tossed a complete game three-hit shutout, launched a mammoth
home run, and thered-hot Reading Phillies beat the Harrisburg Senators
2-0 in the opening game of their four-game set from FirstEnergy Stadium
in Reading on Friday evening.
The Sacramento, CA native fanned seven batters and did not allow a walk
over his masterful outing on Friday – leading the R-Phils to their
seventh-straight win of the season. Worley, 22, needed just 88 pitches
to toss his first complete game of the season.
Ranked as the 18th best prospect in the Philadelphia organization by
Baseball America, Worley has now won his last three starts, and has
gone 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA over that period. The Californian righty has
also fanned 18 batters over that three-game span (21 innings pitched).
Equally as impressive on the evening was the fact that Worley ripped a
solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. His last home run
came back on April 17, 2009 against the Senators – his only home run of
2009. His homer was just the second run of the night for Reading — and
it was all they would need.
.375, 9 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 1 GS, 14 RBI, 5R, 4 straight games with a home run — impressive right?
What if I told you those were the numbers for an R-Phils player in just one week’s time — even more impressive right?
Well, those numbers are from the bat of Matt Rizzotti, the 24-year-old slugger, who has taken the Reading Phillies by storm since his promotion from Clearwater (A+) on May 13.
Rizzotti, a product of Manhattan College, is hitting .325 with nine homers and 31 RBIs over 35 games with the R-Phils this season. Eight of his nine home runs have been at FirstEnergy Stadium, and it seems that each one has played a big part in the outcome of the game.
His May was truly great — .377 with 4 homers and 14 RBIs for the R-Phils in just 17 games — which helped earn him Philadelphia Phillies Minor League Player of the Month honors.
His June has a chance to be even better! So far this month, Rizzotti has hit .284 with five homers and 17 RBIs.
Check out these numbers:
Over his last ten games — .306, 4 HR, 16 RBIs
Over his last five games — .421, 4 HR, 13 RBIs
Last night’s pie fest was not the first here in Baseballtown this season, but, it was certainly the longest.
In what was a thrilling 9-8 walk-off victory for the R-Phils last night, the pie returned, and returned, and returned, and well, returned for the first time in awhile.
Freddy Galvis ripped a game-winning triple in the ninth after a mammoth game-tying two-run blast from Matt Rizzotti, and then was mauled by his teammates who celebrated the spectacular win. Galvis was the Railroad House Player of the Game, and it was my chance to talk to him about that great at-bat, or so I thought.
Sergio Escalona, who has been the pie guy this season, was back at it again on Friday — this time with a pie in each hand and he got Galvis good. While the 20-year-old shortstop was trying to dry off, he was hit again, and again, and again — five pies!
It was an unbelievable night in Baseballtown. The fans were in to it from the first pitch on — and when the game was over, the fans were treated to a game they will never forget.
Rolen has enjoyed a very successful season in the Majors in 2010, and has resurrected his career with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Jasper, IN, native is currently hitting .307 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs. His 14 HRs ties him for second in the N.L., and he is just three away from leader Corey Hart (17). He is in the top ten in RBIs, just seven away from leader David Wright (52), and his impressive .307 average is good for ninth in the league (Andre Eithier leads with a remarkable .346).
Rolen, 35, began the 2009 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he hit .320 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs over 88 games. He was dealt by the Jays at the July 31 deadline, along with cash considerations to the Cincinnati Reds for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke, and Zach Stewart. The 1997 NL Rookie of the Year finished the season with the Reds, and hit .270 with three home runs and 24 RBIs over 40 games.
A career .284 hitter with 297 career home runs, Rolen has always been impressive at the plate, but it has always been his defense which has made him standout. A 7-time National League Gold Glove Award winner at 3B, Rolen is third behind Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10) for most Gold Gloves by a 3B.
Originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 1993 draft, Rolen began his Reading Phillies career in 1995, playing in 20 games, and hitting .289 with three homers and 15 RBIs.
A year later, Rolen was back in Baseballtown, and excelled at the dish. He hit .361 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs — earning a promotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), where he continued to rake. He made his Major League debut in the same season for Philadelphia, and just a year later, he was the N.L. Rookie of the Year.
While injuries have played a big part of his career, there’s no denying that Scott Rolen has been one of the game’s greatest third basemen in the history of baseball. Along with his Rookie of the Year and Gold Glove awards, Rolen is also a 5-time All-Star (2010 should be 6), a World Series champion with the Cardinals in 2006, and a Silver Slugger Award winner in 2002. It is great to see that Rolen is healthy and back to form in 2010 — which has indeed been an impressive season for the former R-Phil.
The Month of May had its ups and downs for the Reading Phillies.
In 28 games in May, the club posted a 13-15 mark, and had some incredible wins, combined with some heart-breaking losses.
The month saw the emergence of Vance Worley (3-0, 3.35), Yohan Flande (3-2, 3.72), and Drew Naylor (3-2, 3.68), who all enjoyed success on the hill.
Offensively, Domonic Brown got off to an incredible start to the month, and finished with a .296 BA, 8 HR, 21 RBIs, and 7 SB. Tagg Bozied also was a solid contributor in the everyday lineup. Bozied hit .321 with 4 HR, 17 RBIs.
Let’s take a look at the Reading Phillies May Leaderboard:
BA — Tagg Bozied hit .321 in 81 at-bats. Matt Rizzotti hit an impressive .353 in 51 at-bats. He was promoted from Clearwater on May 14.
HR — Domonic Brown ripped 8 of his 10 home runs in May. Bozied & Rizzotti each had 4.
RBI — Brown led the way with 21. Bozied was second with 17.
2B — Bozied had 8, while Brown was second with 7.
3B — Brown had 2, both came in one game. The last R-Phils player to have 2 in a game was Pat Burrell in 1999.
SB — Quintin Berry stole 12 in May.
SLG % — Brown had an impressive .622 Slugging Percentage, which led the E.L.
Pitching Leaders —
Wins — Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, and Vance Worley all had 3 wins.
ERA — Naylor’s 2.68 in 40.1 IP was impressive.
SV — Michael Schwimer led the way with 3 saves.
SO — Vance Worley had 29.
SHO — Drew Naylor had a complete game, three-hit shutout on May 25 against Portland.
Yes, I know…it’s been awhile since I last blogged. The season, which is in full swing, is a long and grueling season, and while I have gotten used to tweeting hours on end each day, I have somehow forgot to keep my blog going.
Well, today it returns, and it is back and in full force for the foreseeable future. Expect daily updates on all things R-Phils. I’ll take an in-depth look at who’s hot, who’s not here in Reading, as well as a look at some alumni who are enjoying the 2010 season.
Yohan Flande — Flande takes the hill tonight for the R-Phils as they open a four-game series with the Portland Sea Dogs at 6:35 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. Flande, a member of the Philadelphia Phillies 40-man roster, enters tonight’s contest with the third best ERA in the Eastern League (2.39). The Dominican native was truly impressive in the month of April — posting a 0-1 mark with a 1.52 ERA in four games. He’s followed that up by going 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA over four games this month.
B.J. Rosenberg — Rosenberg was placed on the disabled list all the way back on April 12 due to a right lat strain. Four days ago the young right-hander was activated and sent to Clearwater (A+). The Virginia native made his 2010 Clearwater debut on May 20 and tossed a scoreless inning — allowing two hits, one walk, while fanning two batters. Yesterday, he tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and fanned two more batters. He should be back in Reading at some point here in 2010.
Scott Rolen — Rolen is on a tear during the month of May. After hitting a solid .257 with five homers and 10 RBIs in April, the former R-Phils 3B has hit .318 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in May. Yesterday, against the Cleveland Indians, the Jasper, IN native launched two home runs including a solo shot in the top of the sixth, which tied the game at 3-3.
John Suomi — Suomi, who was promoted to Lehigh Valley after Paul Hoover was recalled by Philadelphia, enjoyed a solid day at the dish on May 20 in Allentown. The 29-year-old backstop launched a three-run homer, and helped lead the IronPigs to an 8-4 victory over Louisville. It will be interesting to see if Suomi sticks around with Lehigh Valley as Hoover was put on waivers yesterday due to Brian Schneider being activated off the disabled list.
April was an up and down month for the R-Phils (8-13).
First, they won five of seven games at home, beating the Portland Sea Dogs three of four, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats two of three. They then took to the road, and well, the road was not kind. They dropped five of six on the road, before coming home to drop four of six at home. They closed out April losing to the Fisher Cats in New Hampshire on April 30.
Let’s take a look back at the Month that was, as we take a look at the hitting and pitching leaders…
Hits – Freddy Galvis led the team with 18.
2B – Tagg Bozied and Domonic Brown were tied with 6
3B – Tyson Gillies and Domonic Brown were tied with 1
HR – Tagg Bozied, Tyson Gillies, and Brandon Pinckney were tied with 2
RBI – Mike Spidale led the club with 14
R – Freddy Galvis led with 11
SB – Kevin Mahar led the team with 2
OBP – Domonic Brown led the way with a .373
AB – Freddy Galvis led with 80
Wins – Mike Stutes – 2
Losses – Mike Cisco and Drew Naylor tied with 3
ERA – Based on innings, Yohan Flande’s 1.52 ERA
SO – Drew Naylor & Vance Worley tied with 16
IP – Yohan Flande – 23.2
SV – Sergio Escalona – 3
G – Sergio Escalona, Michael Schwimer, and Mike Stutes tied with 8
So, the first homestand of 2010 season is already in the books, and the R-Phils showed early on that they could be a tough team here this season.
And, for me, well, it was my first taste of action in Reading — the first game working at FirstEnergy Stadium, and the first of what I hope will be many great nights at this beautiful historic ballpark.
Early on here in Reading, I have already seen a team, which I believe, can compete for a spot in the playoffs — I know, it’s way to early too talk playoffs, but let me explain.
With a mixture of some very good young talent (Domonic Brown, Tyson Gillies, Freddy Galvis, and others), and a mix of some valuable veterans (Michael Spidale, Tagg Bozied, and Kevin Mahar), this Reading team is built to play late into the season.
Early on here, I have been impressed with the speed of Tyson Gillies — he can run it down in the outfield as good as I have seen, he can leg out an infield single, and he can make a triple look easy.
I have been impressed thus far with Yohan Flande, who tossed has two solid games already this season. In his first outing of 2010, Flande, 24, allowed just one hit over six shutout innings — earning a no-decision. In his second outon, on April 16 at Richmond, Flande once again was solid — allowing just two unearned runs through six frames and was the hard-luck loser. The native of the Dominican Republic has shown good command over his first two outings, and has kept his opponents off-balance.
Also impressive are the valuable veterans who help make this team go on a daily basis. Spidale, who entered his fourth season in Reading on Opening Day, lead the entire Eastern League in RBIs through the first seven games of the season with a remarkable 10 RBIs.
Pickney, who was selected in the 12th round of the 2003 draft by Cleveland, launched his first home run of the season in front of the Reading faithful on April 14.
Mahar, who was a solid contributor a year ago in Baseballtown, returned to R-Phils this season, picking up right where he left off. The former Texas Ranger, Mahar has already had three multi-hit games, including his first home run of the season.
Bozied, who spent part of last season with Indianapolis (AAA), has enjoyed a good amount of success early on this season with the R-Phils. One game in particular stands out, as Bozied, 30, was solid on April 11, launching his first homer of the season, and adding a team-high 5 RBIs on the afternoon.
And, early on, I have seen some impressive things from Drew Naylor, a 40-man roster guy, Michael Stutes, who has looked good in save chances — he’s 2 for 2 in save chances this season, and the slick fielding of Freddy Galvis, who looks great at shortstop.