Minor League Report - May 17, 2004

Injuries have forced some roster moves throughout the Phillies minor league system. Plus, with injuries, comes the domino effect as players move around to replace other players. Pitchers Spike Lundberg and Layne Dawson get off to good starts in their new homes at Scranton and Reading. Meanwhile, Clearwater and Lakewood got big-time outings from young pitchers looking to leave their mark.

AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons: Spike Lundberg - who was 1-1, 2.84 with 2 saves at Reading - arrived in Scranton to replace Brian Powell, who was promoted to Philadelphia. Lundberg came over from the Cardinals organization and has been a nice surprise for the Phillies. The promotion isn't Lundberg's first opportunity at AAA. As a member of the Rangers organization, Lundberg was originally promoted to AAA Oklahoma in 2001 and also pitched there in each of the next two seasons. Lundberg has already pitched 2 2/3 innings at Scranton, allowing one earned run in the outing.

As reported earlier, Powell's spot in the Scranton rotation went to Shane Bowers, who threw 5 2/3 shutout innings Saturday in Scranton's 4-3 win over Durham. Dan Giese (3-1, 1.74), who was perfect over the final 2 1/3 innings of the game recorded the win.

AA Reading Phillies: The R-Phils pitching staff has gone through some recent changes. First, Matt Squires was placed on the DL with left shoulder inflammation. Squires has struggled a little of late, but had seemed to rebound with 2 2/3 innings of solid work against New Hampshire last weekend. The Phillies also released LHP Mike Spiegel (0-3, 11.37). Spiegel - who was working primarily as a starter - never got on track this season. The 28 year old Spiegel had pitched in the Indians organization since being drafted by Cleveland in the 41st round of the 1995 Draft and was in his first season with the Phillies.

With the loss of Squires and Spiegel, Layne Dawson - who was 1-2, 2.50 in six starts at Clearwater - was promoted to the R-Phils. Dawson was impressive in his first AA start, going six innings, giving up one earned run and striking out six to record the win as Reading pounded Portland 13-2 Saturday. Even though it wasn't the typical save situation, Brian Sanches (0-0, 2.38) was credited with his first save of the year by throwing three shutout innings in relief of Dawson.

Just when it looked like things were stabilizing though, Lundberg got the call to go to Scranton again leaving manager Greg Legg a little short staffed.

A Clearwater Threshers: Saturday was just the kind of outing that the Phillies were looking to Alfredo Simon (1-5, 4.14) to have to help snap him out of a season-long slump. Simon threw a complete game shutout at Ft.Myers, allowing just five hits and not walking a hitter. Simon also struck out four hitters. The complete game also allowed manager Mike Schmidt to rest his overused bullpen.

Schmidt put Ralph Santana in the starting lineup in place of Chris Roberson on Saturday and it paid immediate dividends. Santana went 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI, upping his average to .289 for Clearwater. Roberson has played in 36 of Clearwater's 38 games and has been hot of late, hitting .368 (7-19) in his last four games.

A Lakewood BlueClaws: Maximo Reyes (3-0, 0.00) has now gone 19 innings without allowing an earned run. His own error cost him an unearned run in Saturday's 5-4 win over Charleston, SC, the third unearned run that he's allowed this season. Reyes isn't getting much attention, but he has been absolutely on fire, allowing just nine hits and two walks while striking out 28 hitters this season. Reyes was drafted by the Phillies in the 48th round of the 2001 Draft out of St.Petersburg College. In his two-plus minor league seasons, Reyes is now 6-3, 1.40 with 77 innings pitched. He has also walked 12 hitters and struck out 95 in his professional career. The 22 year old Reyes - who also goes by the name Paco - pitched in the Gulf Coast League and at Batavia last season.

Javon Moran and Carlos Rodriguez both swiped bases in Saturday's game. Moran has now stolen 16 and Rodriguez has 13 to his credit. As a team, Lakewood has stolen 64 bases in 86 attempts (74%). Bryan Hansen is the only everyday player who has yet to steal a base or even attempt one so far this season.

Nick Italiano joined the BlueClaws from extended spring training and is hitting .167 (2-12) since joining the team. Italiano - a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania - played primarily in the Gulf Coast League last season, but spent a short time with Lakewood going 2-9 (.222) in three games as a member of the BlueClaws.

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