Minor League Report - May 20, 2004

Today is a big day in the Phillies organization. Cole Hamels, the Phillies number one pick in the 2002 Draft, makes his 2004 debut after time off to heal an aching shoulder. Gavin Floyd, the other top pitching prospect, threw a gem for Reading on Wednesday night. In Scranton, Josh Hancock packs his bags and the Lakewood BlueClaws definitely had their bats unpacked in a 10-5 win.

AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre: There was nothing wrong with Josh Hancock Wednesday night in his start against Charlotte. Hancock lasted just three innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. It looked like Hancock was destined to pitch a gem. Suddenly, he was out of the game. The reason is that he is in line to make his next start in Philadelphia against the San Diego Padres and Wednesday was a short tune-up for the real thing. Hancock will take the place of ailing Randy Wolf as Wolfie battles a mild case of tendinitis in his left elbow. Hancock is 4-3, 3.60 with Scranton this season.

Greg Kubes took over for Hancock and threw five shutout innings of his own, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out one. Kubes doesn't always get a lot of attention, but he's 3-1, 1.66 this season for Scranton and is a solid arm to have on the staff. Spike Lundberg picked up his first save at Scranton with a perfect ninth inning.

AA Reading Phillies: Gavin Floyd was the biggest news of the night. There are already whispers that he is ready to move up to AAA, but the Phillies will likely be a little more cautious than that. Floyd pitched eight innings of no-hit ball against New Hampshire. He allowed three walks and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 1.76 on the season. Unfortunately, Floyd's pitch count reached 107 and manager Greg Legg didn't send him out for the ninth inning. Instead, Eude Brito took over and allowed an earned run on a triple and single. The Reading offense was held to just five hits and no runs, resulting in a 1-0 loss for the R-Phils. Floyd was simply dazzling throughout the game. The loss snapped the R-Phils five game win streak.

Jim Deschaine isn't necessarily mentioned amont the top prospects in the organization. He's 26 and has played just four games above the AA level, but he hasn't given up on reaching the majors. Deschaine is helping the Reading offense right now. Deschaine has a five-game hitting streak, during which he's hitting .400 (8-20) and he's hit in ten of the last eleven games he's played, going 16-42 (.381). On the season, he's hitting .319 with three homeruns and 14 RBI. Deschaine had two of the Phillies five hits in Wednesday night's game.

A Clearwater Threshers: Expect all eyes to turn to Clearwater tonight. Cole Hamels makes his 2004 debut with the Threshers and it's been long awaited. Hamels battled an inflamed shoulder that bothered him this spring, but he tried to pitch through the discomfort rather than shutting down. The effort made the injury worse and it took Hamels longer to get back to the mound than it might have originally taken. Hamels pitched at Lakewood and Clearwater last season, going a combined 6-3, 1.35 in 18 starts. Hamels was the Phillies first round pick in the 2002 Draft.

Wednesday night, all eyes were on Elizardo Ramirez (5-1, 2.44) as he threw eight shutout innings, giving up seven hits, one walk and striking out six.

The Threshers hit three homeruns in Wednesday night's 5-1 win at Daytona. It was the first time this season that Clearwater hit three homeruns and just the fourth time this season that they've hit more than one in a game. Mike Floyd hit his first, Chris Roberson hit his fifth and Sean Walsh hit his second. Roberson and Walsh went back-to-back in the eighth inning.

A Lakewood BlueClaws: Everybody hits; except Jose Cortez. The BlueClaws catcher must have felt left out as everyong in the Lakewood lineup had at least one hit and six players had at least two hits. Cortez finished the night 0-4 with a walk. Bryan Hansen went 3-5 with a double. Chris Klemm also had three hits, going 3-4 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Klemm now has a four game hitting streak and is 8-16 (.500) during the stretch. He has also driven in at least one run in the last three games.

Lakewood's 10-5 win over Lexington Wednesday night featured a seven-run fifth inning. The big blow was a three-run homerun from Marc Tugwell. Tugwell finished the night 2-4 with a walk, homerun and three RBI. Tugwell now has a six-game hitting streak, hitting .333 (8-24) during the streak and has homered in two of the last three games for Lakewood.

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