June 17, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - Aaron Nola drove to Allentown on Monday afternoon, officially beginning the next stage of his baseball career. The Phillies' top pitching prospect dominated at the double-A level. The Phillies promoted him Sunday to triple A. It was time for a new test. "I'm ready to get things started," Nola said before Lehigh Valley's game Monday night. "I'm ready to learn more of the game. I feel like I'm going to learn more over here. There's a lot of older guys. I'm going to keep my ears open and my eyes open.
June 10, 2015
CINCINNATI - Needing a starting pitcher who could better preserve the bullpen and not wanting to push the development of their prospects, the Phillies went outside the organization to fill their rotation. Kevin Correia joined them Monday at Great American Ball Park after signing a major-league contract for the remainder of the season. A 34-year-old righthander with 12 years of big-league experience, Correia will start Friday in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
June 10, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - David Buchanan lasted no longer than the season's first month, and severely sprained his right ankle shortly after joining Triple A Lehigh Valley. Chad Billingsley joined the major league rotation a month ago, but his stay lasted all of three starts because of shoulder discomfort. He isn't likely to return before July. Severino Gonzalez has been tearing up mileage on the Northeast Extension, shuttling to and from the big leagues and the minor leagues. Cliff Lee hasn't been heard from since March, and is a longshot ever to throw another major league pitch.
June 7, 2015
Justin De Fratus remembers Marlon Byrd pulling him aside last April after De Fratus was demoted to the minors. The veteran outfielder told De Fratus to be mad. This was his time to be angry, Byrd told him. "But when you get there tomorrow, it's time to work," Byrd told De Fratus. De Fratus passed along that advice on Thursday night to Jake Diekman after the lefthanded reliever was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley. Diekman is one of De Fratus' best friends. He said he has no doubt that Diekman will respond to being sent down.
June 4, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - The lineup card posted outside triple-A Lehigh Valley's clubhouse on Tuesday night had "Brown" scribbled into the No. 3 spot. Domonic Brown - the Phillies' former top prospect - was set to play right field. Another day brought another minor-league game for Brown. The outfielder said he has accepted that he could spend the rest of the season with the IronPigs. A promotion to the Phillies would be a "positive," he said, but it does not sound as if he expects one. "I'm not in here just looking to be in Philly every day," Brown said before the game was rained out. "Nah, I'm coming in here to play.
May 19, 2015 |
The Phillies' pitching depth took a pair of hits Sunday. Chad Billingsley was placed on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder and David Buchanan was carted off the field after hurting his right leg while fielding a ground ball for triple-A Lehigh Valley. Billingsley will miss his scheduled start Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. A likely candidate to start for him is righthander Severino Gonzalez, who is slated to pitch Wednesday in triple A. Friday was Billingsley's third and best start of the season.
May 14, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - Cody Asche waited two innings Tuesday night before seeing his first action in the field at triple-A Lehigh Valley. The third baseman turned leftfielder charged a shallow fly ball, called off the shortstop, and made the catch. Asche's outfield project was underway. Asche said the 6-5 win over Columbus was his first game in left field since a Florida Instructional League game in 2011. He was optioned to triple A on Monday after another Phillies loss. Asche had just three hits in his last 29 at-bats with the Phils.
May 13, 2015 |
Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco entered Monday hitting .336 with an International League-leading 12 doubles. The Phillies closest prospect is "getting closer and closer" to a major-league promotion, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We want to bring him when we're sure that it's time for him to come," Amaro said. "He got his feet wet a little last year. I think that was good [for him] to get an understanding of what it's like to be in the big leagues and have a little precursor.
May 1, 2015 |
ALLENTOWN - Ruben Amaro Jr. drove to Allentown on Tuesday. The Phillies general manager had news to deliver. Domonic Brown, who was an all-star just two seasons ago, would be staying in the minor leagues. The rightfielder and the general manager met over lunch near Coca-Cola Park, the home of triple-A Lehigh Valley. "I was a little bit frustrated because I know that I'm a big-league player and I want to be in the big leagues," Brown said before Lehigh Valley's game on Wednesday night.
April 30, 2015 |
ST. LOUIS - Ryne Sandberg telegraphed the roster move before it happened, so it wasn't as shocking as it may have been otherwise when the Phillies announced yesterday afternoon that Domonic Brown had been reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple A Lehigh Valley. Brown is less than two years removed from being a National League All-Star. He is making $2.5 million this season. But as Sandberg suggested on Monday, the Phillies would like to see Brown get his bat going in the minor leagues before deeming it ready for the team's major league lineup.