Pharm Boy Report

The Phillies of tomorrow are having mixed success down on the farm. Cole Hamels continues to be the big news, but at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Travis Chapman and Chase Utley are both putting up impressive numbers. Meanwhile, Wayne Gomes is quietly becoming a strikeout pitcher for Scranton. Speaking of mixed success, that's the story for the new guys at AA Reading.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (26-28)

Off-field news dominated the week for the Red Barons. The good news was that manager Marc Bombard was picked to manage the International League All-Stars when they take on the Pacific Coast League All-Stars July 10 in Memphis. It's Bombard's second time at the helm of the team. On the down side, shortstop Juan Sosa was placed on the Temporary Inactive List because of personal problems. The Red Barons didn't release any details on why the move was made.

On the field, Travis Chapman (5/35/.287) and Chase Utley (5/34/.309) both continue to do good things for the Barons. On the mound, Wayne Gomes recorded two more saves to bring his team leading total to six. He also has a 2.93 ERA and has struck out 27 hitters in 27.1 innings of work.

Overall, it was a pretty good week for the Red Barons, who are moving closer to the .500 mark after a slow start to the season.

Reading Phillies (28-25)

Newcomer Brad Guy has continued to struggle at Reading. He is now 0-3, 10.95 in three games, with two of those being starts. Another newcomer, Ian Harvey is starting to click a little, going 1-0, 4.35 with one save in five games as a reliever. Meanwhile, Seung Lee is quietly putting up impressive numbers. The Phillies have been waiting for Lee to emerge and it looks like we're seeing just that. Lee is 5-1, 3.69 in ten starts this season. Ryan Carter got his first win (1-3, 4.65) and the young left-hander seems to be getting back to where the Phillies would like him to be. He is still a prospect, but still definitely needs some work.

Andy Machado's numbers – at least most of them – are off this season. Machado is hitting .219 with one homerun and seven RBI. However, he's swiped 21 bases while being thrown out just five times. Thanks to 36 walks, Machado's OBP is .365, which is respectable.

Clearwater Phillies (32-25)

Things are going well in the Florida sunshine. With the Phillies looking at catching in the upcoming draft, one darkhorse candidate that's already in the organization might be Trent Pratt. The young right-handed hitter is 0/10/.255, but the real story has been his defense. Pratt is getting better and better behind the plate. There's not a lot of offense from Pratt, but the Phillies think he may pull the numbers up at least slightly to make him worth watching. Jim Deschaine is hitting .328 and Clearwater is finding spots to play him. Deschaine has played in the outfield and also filled in at first base and second base.

Ezequiel Astacio, Layne Dawson and Elizardo Ramirez all have six wins for Clearwater. Astacio won his sixth on Saturday, lowering his ERA to 3.44 on the season. After taking over the full-time closer's job, Bobby Korecky has upped his save total to 10, with a 2.33 ERA.

Lakewood BlueClaws (19-35)

Outfielder Mark McRoberts suddenly has 10 homeruns and is hitting .266, but the Phillies are working with McRoberts to be more of a clutch hitter. Even with his nice homerun total, he has only driven in 18 runs this season. The Phillies are also working with McRoberts behind the plate to see if he can develop there. Terry Jones is coming around, upping his average to .234 after an amazingly slow start.

Cole Hamels is amazing. It's going to be hard for the Phillies to take this guy's progress slowly. In four starts, Hamels is 1-0, 1.31 with 32 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. Francisco Butto leads the team in wins with five and shrank his ERA to 1.70.

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