The Phils start the series tonight with a night game. The game will be played at Progressive Field and will begin at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Halladay (2-2, 5.08) who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on April 24, as he went six innings, giving up a run on a hit and two walks, while striking out eight, in the Phils’ 5-3 lost. Halladay will be looking for his fourth straight quality start and his third straight win, after having been crushed for 13 runs in his first two starts of 2013. The Indians will send to the mound Zach McAllister (1-3, 3.52), who is coming off a lost against the White Sox on April 24, as he went five and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits and five walks, while striking out four, in the Indians’ 3-2 lost. He will be trying to cool off the presently red-hot Phils’ offense. The Phils will be out to increase their present winning streak to four games, while trying to win the opener in their second series against an American League team.
The Phils, two days after the return of Carlos Ruiz, who on Sunday went one for four (.250) with a double, actually reaching base twice as he was safe at first on a fielding error, have just activated Delmon Young, who have just finished his rehabbing assignment with the Iron Pigs, after having hit .367 (11 for 30) with two doubles and two RBIs in seven starts with both Class A Clearwater and the Iron Pigs. The Phils, to make room on their roster for D. Young, have designated for assignment outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who, in 13 games, have batted just .077 (1 for 13), with a walk and two runs scored.
Earlier today, the Phils have traded outfielder Ben Francisco to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league reliever Frank Gailey.
Francisco, who was part of the deal with the Indians that originally brought Cliff Lee to the Phils in late July 2009, appeared in 225 games for the Phils from 2009-2011, mainly as their fourth outfielder, although for the first couple of months of 2011 he was the team’s starting right fielder, until he was put back on the bench before the Phils eventually traded with the Astros for Hunter Pence. In those games, he batted .259, having 136 hits including 32 doubles,1 triple and 17 home runs, while knocking in 75 RBIs. He also appeared in 17 post-season games, including the 2009 World Series, where he had an overall batting average of .105, with 2 hits in 19 at-bats, which includes his dramatic three-run home run in the third game of the 2011 National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which gave the Phils a temporary 2-1 series lead, before finally falling to the eventual World Series champs in five games.
Gailey, a native Philadelphian, had pitched a combine 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 45 appearances for Class-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays’ farm system. In his minor league career, overall, Gailey is 23-15 with a 2.45 ERA in 175 appearances.
Wish you luck with the Blue Jays, Ben, and thanks for what you did while you was here. Welcome to the organization, Frank. Hope you’ll be able to work your way to the main club.
This post-season, for the first time since 2005, the Phils decided not to make a pick in the Rule 5 draft, as the organization this year did not see anyone in the minor league farm systems that were left unprotected by the other 29 major league teams that they thought would make an immediate impact on the main club.
While they did not make any pick ups, the Phils lost four players in their minor league system, with three of them being taken in the minor league portion of the draft. The four are right-handed pitcher Lenny Castillo, who was picked up by the Cubs from the Phils’ Class A Lakewood team, where, in 2011, he went 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA. Castillo, who was selected in the Major League portion of the draft, will now have to remain on the Cubs’ roster for the 2012 season, unless the Cubs offer him back to the Phils if he doesn’t make it through spring training. In the Minor League phase, the Phils lost left-hander Andrew Loomis to the Orioles, shortstop Travis Mattair to the Reds and catcher Francisco Diaz to the Pirates.
With the Phils not picking up a player through the draft, it means that they will not have to reserve a spot on the regular season 25 man roster for 2012, and I, personally, am glad, since it means that all of the positions can only be filled by those who had either been on the team in the previous season, picked up by the team via free agency or trades during the present off-season or are already in the Phils’ minor league system.
Okay guys, lets see if we can now nail down Jimmy Rollins to a contract.
Yesterday, MLB.com announced who they consider to be Major League Baseball’s top 50 prospects. Among the fifty were two players in the Phillies’ farm system: Dom Brown, who came in at number 4 and Jonathan Singleton, who came in at 30.
Dom Brown, who is expected to join the team during spring training, to serve as part of a platoon in right field with Ben Francisco, to replace the just departed Jayson Werth, spent part of 2010 playing the outfield for both Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He batted .327, with an on-base percentage of .391 and a .589 slugging percentage, in 389 at-bats, as he hit 22 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 20 HRs and 68 RBIs for the two farm teams, before joining the major league ballclub during the summer after Shane Victorino got hurt. With limited playing time, as he stay with the ballclub through the playoffs, he batted .210 with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs and 13 RBIs in 62 at-bats, showing at the same time both his potential and his rawness. The Phils sent him to the Dominican Winter League to give him the at-bats he did not get while riding the bench during the last two months of the regular season, but he was sent home after struggling at the plate. So, he will be out to prove himself during spring training, to prove that he deserves to be with the big league ballclub.
Jonathan Singleton, who landed at number 30, spent the year playing for Class-A Lakewood, playing first base, as he went .290/.393/.479, hitting 25 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 14 HRs and 77 RBIs. As he shows potential, Singleton is being converted into an outfielder, as the Phils last season signed Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125-million contracts, which will start in 2012, meaning that he likely will not be able to join the ballclub playing that position. If he is able to show that he can play the outfield, Singleton should have a much better chance getting into the big league, hopefully as a Phil.
Ex-Phil Morandini to manage Class A affiliate
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Looks like the team has gotten their man again. Welcome back to the red pinstripes, Mick. Hope you’ll do well running the team in Williamsport.
PHILADELPHIA — Mickey Morandini is back with the Phillies.
He told The Northwest Indiana Times on Thursday he will be the Class A Williamsport manager next season. Morandini had talked during Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., about coaching professionally in the near future.
Morandini — fans still can hear Harry Kalas drawing out the second baseman’s name during broadcasts — had been the baseball coach at Valparaiso High School in Indiana.
“I’m gonna miss it. I had fun. I really enjoyed working with the kids,” Morandini told the newspaper. “But this is an opportunity to do some good things at the professional level, and it’s something I couldn’t pass up. I’m excited about it. I know the owner and GM very well. It’s a great family-owned organization that’s always taken care of its past players. Its Minor League system is very well-run. I’m excited to be a part of it again.”
Morandini said the Phillies had contacted him about coaching every year since he retired from playing in 2000. “I love to manage,” Morandini said. “I love all the little things that go into teaching kids. Hopefully, I can work my way up through the system kind of like ‘Ryno’ [Ryne Sandberg] and get back to the big leagues some day.”
Morandini played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including nine seasons (1990-97 and 2000) with Philadelphia. He made the National League All-Star team in 1995, and hit .268 in his career with the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays.
Samuel? Check! Sandberg? Check! Morandini? Check! Three fan favorites back in the fold. Here’s to wishing them well in their new positions in the organization, and hoping that the Phils’ management (I’m looking at you, junior) will be doing something this late fall/winter that will help the main ball club.