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Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Prospect Report: Jiwan James

CF Jiwan James (Jacqueline Dormer/Republican Herald)

CF Jiwan James (Jacqueline Dormer/Republican Herald)

Position: Centerfield
Age: 23
Prospect Level: Mid-level prospect (9th according to BaseballAmerica.com)
Team:
Reading (Double-A).
2012 Minor League Stats: 111 G, .249 AVG, 14 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 31 RBI, .651 OPS

Season in Review: For one of the top prospects in the Phillies farm system, 2012 didn’t quite measure up to Jiwan James’ past seasons in the minor leagues.

First off, James’ average was the lowest that it has been at any point during his time in the Phillies organization. The Florida native hit a mere .249 in 111 games for the Reading Phillies and only posted a .291 on-base percentage.

The most eye-popping statistic was the drop-off in stolen bases for James. He went from stealing 31 bases with Clearwater in 2011 to only swiping 8 bags in 2012 with Reading. One constant was the fact that James was still being thrown out on almost half of his stolen base attempts. James was caught stealing 16 times in 2011 and 8 times this past season.

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Phillies Acquire OF Ben Revere From Twins; Trade Vance Worley, Trevor May

OF Ben Revere. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OF Ben Revere. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

UPDATE – According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, the Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins.

In the deal, the Phillies will be sending starting pitcher Vance Worley and top pitching prospect Trevor May to the Twins. Revere will now be the Phillies starting centerfielder.

Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies in a 2012 season that was cut short due to elbow problems. On the other hand, May posted a 10-13 mark with a 4.87 ERA in 28 starts.

Zolecki also tweeted the Phillies are looking to acquire a veteran starting pitcher to fill the hole vacated by Worley.

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According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Phillies are talking to the Minnesota Twins about a possible trade involving outfielder Ben Revere.

Heyman also mentions that the Twins are interested in pitching which is something that the Phillies clearly possess. He mentions Vance Worley as a possibility if a deal happens.

The Phillies are in dire need of a centerfielder and Revere would be a nice fit. In 2012, Revere hit .294 with 32 RBIs and had 40 stolen bases in 124 games for the Twins.

Revere covers a lot of ground in centerfield which is something that the Phillies covet. The 24-year old would provide an instant boost to the top of the lineup and would be a welcome addition.

Phillies Make a Pair of Rule 5 Selections

In the 1st round (15th overall) in the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies selected outfielder Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Inciarte was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Diamondbacks in 2008.

The former Diamondbacks prospect hit .293 for the South Bend Silver Hawks (Class A). Inciarte hit one home run and 30 RBIs to go along with 18 stolen bases in 65 games. In 62 games with the Visalia Rawhide (Class A), the Venezuela native hit an even better .319 with one home run and 17 RBIs. He also swiped 28 bases and had a .797 OPS.

Meanwhile in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies selected left-handed pitcher Brendan Lafferty from the Kansas City Royals organization.

Lafferty was originally selected in the 18th round by the Royals in the 2009 Draft.

Lafferty spent the 2012 season with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals  (Class AA) of the Texas League. In 43 games, the lefty went 1-1 with a 4.77 ERA and struck out 71 batters while walking 40.

Phillies in serious talks for Michael Young

IF Michael Young (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

IF Michael Young (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

UPDATE — According Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Phillies are moving closer to a deal for Michael Young.

Heyman indicates that the Texas Rangers would need to pay $10 million of the $16 million that is owed to Young.

It sounds as though Young is heavily considering waiving his no-trade clause. Plus, the Rangers want to unload some older players and free up as much salary as possible in order to re-sign Josh Hamilton or land Zack Greinke.

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According to Comcast Sportsnet’s Jim Salisbury, multiple sources say that the Phillies are in serious negotiations with the Texas Rangers for third baseman Michael Young.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News added that the talks are in an advanced stage and working towards a deal.

Young has spent his entire 12-year career with the Rangers and does have a no-trade clause in his contract. The third baseman is also signed for the 2013 season at a $16 million price tag.

It does sound as though Young could waive his no-trade clause because he knows that the Rangers are trying to get younger. If a deal is reached, it’s expected that the Phillies would want to perform a physical on Young before finalizing a trade.

Texas is likely going to have to eat nearly half of Young’s $16 million salary.

In 2012, Young hit .267 with eight home runs and 67 RBIs with a .682 OPS. This is just a year removed from leading the American League in hitting (.338) with 11 home runs and 106 RBIs.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

Pig Report: Justin De Fratus

RHP Justin De Fratus (Photo by John Russo/Team to Beat)

RHP Justin De Fratus (Photo by John Russo/Team to Beat)

Position: Relief pitcher
Age: 25
Prospect Level: Major league pitcher.
2012 Major League Stats: 13 games , 0-0, 3.38 ERA, 10.2 IP, 8 K.
2012 Minor League Stats: 17 games, 0-1, 2.49 ERA, 21,2 IP, 22 K.

Season in Review: Right-hander Justin De Fratus was supposed to be an important piece in the 2012 Phillies bullpen but a thumb injury sidelined him for much of the season.

DeFratus spent the month of August playing with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 17 games, the California native went 0-1 with a 2.49 ERA.

The right-hander only gave up six earned runs in his 21.2 innings in Lehigh Valley. He also converted three save attempts.

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Phillies acquire reliever Wilton Lopez

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports, the Phillies have acquired reliever Wilton Lopez from the Houston Astros for three unnamed prospects.

Details are still being finalized so it is unclear which prospects will be headed to Houston in the deal. Heyman did report that they’re expected to be near-MLB ready.

Lopez is coming off a good season in which he went 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA. The 29-year old right-hander converted 10 saves and had 54 strikeouts and only 8 walks in 64 games for the Astros.

More details to come.

Prospect Report: Jesse Biddle

Threshers LHP Jesse Biddle (Photo by Bryan Greene/Flickr)

Position: Starting pitcher
Age: 21
Prospect Level: Top prospect (2nd according to BaseballAmerica.com)
Team: 
Clearwater (Single-A+)
2012 Minor League Stats: 26 starts, 10-6, 3.22 ERA, 142.2 IP, 151 K.

Season in Review: Local product and former first round pick Jesse Biddle began his first season at Class A Clearwater with lofty expectations.

Biddle had a very good 2012 season as he had his highest win total in his Phillies career with 10. The Germantown Friends product tossed his first complete game in nearly two years.

The Threshers left-hander tossed seven no-hit innings against Brevard County on Aug. 17. Biddle also struck out 12 batters in that contest.

In 2012, Biddle shaved down his walks total and struck out 27 more batters in only a few more innings than in 2011 with the Lakewood Blue Claws.

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Mayberry’s Three-RBI Night Paces Phils

Phillies 12, Astros 6
WP – Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.06)
LP – Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 4.40)

HOUSTON — A night after blowing a 4-0 lead, the Phillies made sure that they didn’t suffer a similar fate against the Astros this time around.

After the Astros cut the Phillies lead to 5-3 courtesy of a Matt Downs two-run home run, the offense showed up in a big way. The Phillies tacked on four insurance runs on their way to a 12-6 victory on Friday night.

John Mayberry Jr. led the charge as he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a run scored. Each Phillies starter minus Carlos Ruiz, had at least one hit.

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Schierholtz walks the Phillies off

Phillies 3, Rockies 2
WP – Jonathan Papelbon (4-6, 2.61)
LP – Will Harris (1-1, 6.57)

With so much uncertainty surrounding the Phillies in 2013, Nate Schierholtz is one of many players trying to make an impact on the club this season.

Schierholtz did just that tonight as he stroked an RBI single in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies to give his team a 3-2 win.

Having tied the game on a two-run double by Laynce Nix in the seventh inning, the Phillies had a chance to win the game in the ninth inning.

Rockies reliever Will Harris walked Jimmy Rollins to get the inning started. Juan Pierre put down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move Rollins up to second base. Chase Utley was intentionally walked and Rollins and Utley moved up a base on a passed ball.

That set the stage for Schierholtz to work his magic.

Cliff Lee pitched a solid game for the Phillies but didn’t much offensive support as has been the norm this season. Lee tossed 6.1 innings of two-run ball and surrendered 8 hits to go along with 7 strikeouts.

The combination of Josh Lindblom, Jake Diekman, Phillipe Aumont, and Jonathan Papelbon did remarkable job as a bullpen. They didn’t allow a hit in the final three innings.

2B: Mayberry (21, Nix (9).

Boxscore

Lee cruises in Phillies win

Phillies 5, Braves 1
WP – Cliff Lee (4-7, 3.52)
LP – Tim Hudson (13-5, 3.76)

ATLANTA —  Cliff Lee has shown glimpses of the pitcher he once was throughout this season.

Lee pitched his third consecutive gem as he struck out five in a 5-1 Phillies win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon.

The Phillies southpaw tossed seven scoreless innings against his division rivals. He surrendered five hits and only walked one batter. He would have gone out for the 8th but a sore hamstring hindered that.

The Phillies got the scoring started in the first inning when John Mayberry Jr. stroked an RBI single off Tim Hudson to plate Juan Pierre. It was Mayberry’s fourth RBI in the last two games.

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