The Red Barons went 5-3 over the past week, pulling themselves to the .500 mark. Ryan Madson (7-3) and Amaury Telemaco (3-6) both had great weeks on the mound. Madson went 2-0, 1.80 going 15 innings in his two starts. Telemaco went 1-0, 0.60, also pitching 15 innings in his two starts. Don't be fooled by Telemaco's record. His season ERA is 3.67 and he has allowed just 56 hits in 76 innings and has walked just 11 while striking out 58. Wayne Gomes recorded two more saves, throwing three shutout innings this week to bring his season total to eight with a 2.64 ERA.
The Phillies two top position players at Scranton both continued their progress. Travis Chapman raised his average to .287, hitting .391 (9-23) over the past eight games. Chase Utley smashed two homeruns to bring his season total to seven and went 12-27 (.444), raising his average to .309. Meanwhile, a couple of former prospects struggled. Jason Knupfer's average has hit .193 and he appears almost completely lost at the plate. Eric Valent had been slowly raising his average after a slow start, but went just 1-26 (.038) this week and saw his season average fall to .196.
Reading Phillies (29-29)
Like the Red Barons, Reading is a .500, but they fell to that mark this week by going 1-4. After pitching well in two of his first three starts, Martire Franco has self-destructed. Two bad starts ballooned his ERA to 5.00 coming into the week and another bad start – 10 hits and 7 earned runs in 3.1 innings – has pushed it to 6.35 on the season. Reliever Ryan Hutchison breezed through his first seven innings at AA, but hit a road block this past week, giving up four earned runs in two innings of work. Bud Smith returned to action and struggled, giving up four earned runs in three innings of work. Needless to say, it was not a good week to be a pitcher in Reading.
Offensively, things were uneventful to say the least at Reading. No major surprises – either good or bad – for the Reading hitters. Juan Richardson did hit another long ball this week to bring his team leading season total to 14.
Clearwater Phillies (35-29)
Ryan Howard went 10-29 (.344) to move his average to .297 and he added two homeruns to bring his team leading total to 13 on the season. Vince Vukovich hit .352 (6-17) this week and pulled his average to .242 at Clearwater.
Gavin Floyd had a solid outing to lower his ERA to 3.16 and up his record to 5-4. Floyd has now struck out 68 in 74 innings of work for Clearwater. Bobby Korecky (2-2, 2.48) had an up and down week. He let one game slip away, but also came on to save two of Clearwater's three wins this week. Elizardo Ramirez went 1-1, 5.79 this week and his season line now stands at 7-5, 4.01 in 13 games (11 starts). Watch for a feature on Ramirez this week on PhillyBaseballNews.com.
Lakewood BlueClaws (19-42)
It continues to be a tough season in Lakewood. The BlueClaws suffered through a winless (0-7) week, watching their record fall lower and lower.
Francisco Butto allowed just two earned runs in eight innings of work in his lone start this week and still took the loss. Butto's record fell to 5-3, and even with the solid outing, his ERA went up. Of course, it's hard to do better than the 1.70 ERA he entered the week with and now, his ERA is only 1.77 for the year. Cole Hamels continues to dominate. Hamels threw another five shutout innings and lowered his 1.31 ERA to 1.05 with Lakewood. The Phillies are still watching Hamels pitch counts and not pushing him too hard. Victor Menocal continues to struggle. His ERA went from 4.96 to 5.75 this week and the Phillies are perplexed. They believe that Menocal has decent stuff, but can't seem to get him straightened out.
Esteban Delos Santos joined the team this week and has been a breath of fresh air. In three games, the young shortstop has hit .364, but has gone 0-2 in stolen base attempts. Terry Jones is a great example of saving a season. Jones was lost through the early part of the season, but continues to slowly move his average up the ladder. The third baseman is now hitting .234, which doesn't sound like much, but considering how he started his season, it's a dramatic improvement.
Hall of Famers
The Phillies Hall of Fame exhibition game is coming up on June 16th against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Since the Phils don't want to expose all of their regulars to a full nine innings, they will bring some minor league players along for the ride. Jake Blalock, Frank Brooks, Kiel Fisher, Cole Hamels, Brian Hitchcox, Bobby Korecky, Trent Pratt and Vince Vukovich will all make the visit to Cooperstown. It's likely that they'll get to see at least some action as the Phillies look to protect some of their regulars.