PBN Notebook: Will Hamels Be Shut Down Again?

There are more complaints from the bench about playing time in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Jim Rushford is getting more playing time in Scranton and making the most of it. In Reading, winning baseball returns as the R-Phils put together a nice little winning stretch. Clearwater may not be close to getting Cole Hamels back and Tim Moss needs some work on his baserunning skills. In Lakewood, J.A. Happ gets the job done without his best stuff.

Philadelphia Phillies 15-19 6 1/2 GB in National League East

When Placido Polanco complained about his playing time - or lack thereof - Charlie Manuel found ways to get him at bats. Polanco played left field for the first time ever and shortstop for the first time since 2002. That last move made Tomas Perez unhappy. Perez, who was Jimmy Rollins backup at the shortstop spot, hasn't gotten much playing time thanks to the presence of Polanco and Jose Offerman. Perez is on a pace to get 138 at bats, which would be his lowest since 2001, when he hit 135 times for the Phillies. Perez and Manuel discussed the situation prior to Tuesday night's game in Milwaukee, but nothing was decided.

Bobby Abreu is heating up right on schedule. Abreu has hits in 7 of his last 8 games and is hitting .444 over the span. Abreu has his average at .298, just under the magic .300 plateau, where he has been in all but one season in Philly. The only time he hit under .300 in a Phillies uniform was when he hit .289 in 2001.

Scranton Red Barons 14-17 3 1/2 GB in the North Division of the International League

The Red Barons are 2-5 since Ryan Howard left for Philadelphia. Don't blame the offense too much though, since Scranton has a team average of .270 since Howard's departure. Jim Rushford, who took over at first base, is hitting .552 (16-for-29) with hits in seven of the eight games since Howard left. Rushford went 3-for-5 with a homerun (his first of the season) and three RBI Tuesday night against Pawtucket.

Scranton's Jim Rushford has done a decent job taking over at first base for Ryan Howard. He even showed some power Tuesday night with his first homerun of the season in Scranton's 13-4 loss against Pawtucket.
Amaury Telemaco has been battling some stiffness in his elbow and the Red Barons skipped his spot in the rotation the last time through. Telemaco has made a couple of appearances out of the bullpen since his last start and may stay in a relief role for manager Gene Lamont.

Shane Victorino hit two more homeruns Tuesday night to bring his season total to eight. He hit 17 last season as a member of the Dodgers' organization.

Reading Phillies 14-18 6 GB in the Eastern League Southern Division.

It's a relatively small sample size, but the R-Phils have won five of their last six games.

A five-run sixth inning pushed Reading to a 9-3 win Tuesday in Trenton. Allen Davis (4-2) pitched well, but tired after six innings and didn't make it through the seventh. Ryan Cameron came on and shut the door on a Trenton rally and then threw another perfect inning. Jeff Wilson pitched the ninth to lock up Reading's win.

Chris Roberson is on a seven game hitting streak, hitting .406 (13-for-31) during the stretch. He also has hits in 12 of his last 14 games, hitting .361 (22-for-61) in those games. Roberson also continues to play well defensively and is hitting out of the number two spot in the order.

Travis Minix has become Reading's closer. Minix, who saved his fourth game of the season on Monday, and has a 2.75 ERA in 13 games this season.

Clearwater Threshers 6-25 18 GB in Florida State League West Division.

Tim Moss is hitting an impressive .330 this season, but numerous baserunning blunders have hurt the Threshers. There is no doubt about Moss' ability, but his execution needs work to say the least.
Tim Moss has impressive numbers, but there's more to the story. There are some concerns about his baserunning; Moss has made numerous mistakes on the bases, including being duped by an opposing third baseman on the old hidden ball trick. Moss also missed second on a key play and was called out. For Moss, the toughest part isn't getting on base, it's staying on base once he's there.

Cole Hamels throwing regimen was cut short. Hamels was experiencing some stiffness and minor pain throwing from flat ground and he was told to stop throwing. It's not out of the question that he will be shut down again and his recovery from hand surgery may take longer than expected. The really bad news is that the new problem isn't with his hand. We'll keep you posted.

Lakewood BlueClaws 9-22 12.5 GB in South Atlantic League Northern Division.

Jason Jaramillo didn't get the promotion to Clearwater that he was hoping for. Jaramillo, who is hitting an even .300 on the season, thought he might move on to Clearwater when Scranton's Carlos Ruiz went down with an injury, causing a shuffle among catchers in the organization. Instead, the Phillies sent catcher Mike Lombardi to Clearwater out of spring training. Since Jaramillo stayed put at Lakewood, Louis Marson didn't get the promotion he was hoping for, which would have moved him out of extended camp and onto the Lakewood roster.

J.A. Happ has been impressive in his stint with Lakewood. Happ (2-1, 1.59) didn't have his best stuff Monday night against Kannapolis, but still made it through five innings, allowing only an unearned run in the process. Happ gave up five hits and walked three hitters in the game, but got his second win of the year.

Sam Orr has Lakewood's longest current hitting streak. Orr has hit safely in six straight, going 7-for-21 (.333) during the stretch. Orr has also hit safely in eight of the last nine, hitting .323 (10-for-31) over the stretch. While Orr has the longest current streak, Sean Gamble may be hotter. He's hit in five straight and is hitting .409 (9-for-22) during the streak and has hits in seven of the last nine games, hitting .361 (13-for-36) over the span.

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