PBN Notebook: Tejeda Steps Into Rotation

There's plenty of news from around the Phillies organization. With some of the young talent selected in the draft signing, the short-season rosters are starting to take shape. Plus, news on injuries, streaks, slumps and moves throughout the organization.

Philadelphia Phillies

Randy Wolf is back on the disabled list. Early reports are that it's just a return of the elbow tendinitis that forced him onto the DL last season and wound up cutting his season short. The results of an MRI done on Monday (June 13) haven't been released though so there's no definite word on how long Wolf will be out.

With Wolf injured, Amaury Telemaco will rejoin the team and pitch out of the bullpen. Telemaco has had a weird relationship with the Phillies. This winter, he was told he wouldn't be signed. Then, the Phillies scurried around to sign him. He pitched pretty well in camp, but the Phillies optioned him to AAA Scranton to start the season. Before long, he was back in the majors and was then designated for assignment last week when the Phillies added Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez from Detroit. Now, he's back again.

As for Wolf's turn in the rotation, Robinson Tejeda will step in at least for the time being. Tejeda made an emergency start last week against Texas and threw five shutout innings to earn the promotion. While this is an excellent opportunity for Tejeda, you have to believe the Phillies will be looking to acquire another starter if Wolf is out for any length of time and/or Vicente Padilla doesn't return to form soon.

Jimmy Rollins signed a five year, $40 million contract extension. That means that he's in Philadelphia at least through 2010 and there's an option year for 2011 if the Phillies want to give him $8.5 million for that season. If not, they'll have to buyout the year for $2.0 million. Rollins' signing means that most of the lineup is signed long-term. Kenny Lofton can be a free agent after this season, while David Bell and Mike Lieberthal have contracts covering through the 2006 season. Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu are signed through 2007 with option years for 2008. Jim Thome is signed through 2008 with an option on 2009 and Chase Utley isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2008 season.

Of the pitching staff, Jon Lieber is signed through 2007 and Wolf and Cory Lidle have deals covering through the 2006 season. Padilla is eligible for arbitration following this season and free agency after 2006, while Brett Myers can't become a free agent until after the 2008 season. Billy Wagner and Ugueth Urbina are both free agents following this season as is Tim Worrell. Rheal Cormier is signed through next season with an option year in 2007.

For more information on Phillies contracts, visit the Contracts Section of our site.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons

The initial thought was that Ryan Howard would be back with the Phillies for inter-league play. Things change. Even though Howard is tearing up the International League and has a 17 game hitting streak, the Phillies aren't set to call him up for games in Seattle and Oakland where the designated hitter will be used. Instead, Charlie Manuel wants to get some at bats for Jason Michaels, Endy Chavez, Tomas Perez and possibly Ramon Martinez.

Howard's streak has put him in the league leadership in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His homerun total stands at 11, which is a little lower than some might have hoped for, but there is no doubt that the guy can hit, so there's no reason to worry. During his hitting streak, Howard has also had a power surge, hitting seven homeruns in the 17 games.

You might have figured that with an injury in the starting rotation at the major league level, Gavin Floyd would be the first person up. Floyd continues to struggle at Scranton, posting a 2-5, 7.09 mark with the Red Barons through nine starts. There are plenty of theories on why he's struggling; an injury, bad mechanics or that his unsuccessful - and short - stint with the Phillies damaged him mentally. Whatever the reason, the Phillies are hoping that he can get things righted and perhaps help them down the road.

Terry Adams isn't exactly burning up the International League. The deposed Phillies reliever is 0-1, 5.14 in six games with the Red Barons. Seung Lee was promoted to Scranton and struggled in his first start, allowing seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Reading Phillies

Carlos Chantres (2-8) continues to struggle for the R-Phils. His last win was April 27th when he beat New Britain, throwing 7 1/3 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Since then, Chantres has struggled in most of his starts and when he has pitched decent games, he's gotten little run support from the Reading offense. On the season, Chantres now has a 5.76 ERA in 13 starts.

Seung Lee was leading the Eastern League in ERA when he was promoted to AAA Scranton. As mentioned earlier, he struggled in his first start with the Red Barons. Depending on how you look at Lee, there is either interest or concern. His velocity has been dropping this season, which could mean an injury or other issue with his mechanics. On the other hand, Lee has been a better pitcher and has been able to spot his pitches better and has been mixing his pitches better. The bottom line is that he was effective and officially, there is no word of any injuries. You also have to believe that if the Phillies had any hint of an injury or problem, they wouldn't have promoted Lee to Scranton.

Keith Bucktrot rejoined the R-Phils after pitching with Clearwater coming off the DL. Bucktrot made his first start for Reading Tuesday night with mixed results. Bucktrot gave up single runs in each of the first three innings, but Reading still held a 4-3 lead through three. The best inning of the night for Bucktrot was the fourth, when he seemed to be looking stronger even though he did allow a base hit in the inning. By the fifth, Bucktrot was definitely tiring, but found a way to escape the inning without any further damage. On the night, Bucktrot threw five innings, giving up ten hits, four earned runs, three hits and a walk. He left the game leading 4-3, but the R-Phils bullpen couldn't hold the lead and Reading wound up dropping a 7-5 decision.

Tim Gradoville isn't exactly known for his offense, but he put together an eight game hitting streak. The streak was snapped Tuesday night against New Britain. On the season, Gradoville is hitting .226 with no homeruns and five RBI for Reading.

Clearwater Phillies

While Tim Moss is still thought of as one of the better prospects in the organization, he's got some definite holes in his game. He has 18 stolen bases, but he's had issues on the basepaths. Moss on base sometimes turns into an adventure and it seems that at times, he simply isn't focused. Defensively, Moss has been an adventure as well. He leads the Threshers with 11 errors, well ahead of anyone on the team. The closest number of errors is four and there are four other players at that mark. Offensively, Moss is hitting .268 and is tied with Jake Blalock for the team lead in homeruns with seven. He also ranks second on the club with 29 RBI on the season, which is somewhat remarkable considering that he generally hits leadoff or occasionally will bat second in the order. Moss also leads the club in total bases (105), well ahead of Blalock, who is second on the club with 90.

Things have been rough for Zack Segovia. After losing his first start of the season, he rebounded and threw a strong game against Tampa on April 14th. That was his first and only win of the season, so far. His record has dipped to 1-8 and his ERA has ballooned from 3.48 after his win to 6.83 on the season. Segovia is coming back from Tommy John surgery and may simply need more time to regain his form. It had been hoped that Segovia may be able to move quickly this season, but that's likely not going to happen without a strong second-half turnaround.

Marc Tugwell has been a nice addition to the Clearwater club. He has five homeruns and is hitting .325 in 47 games at Clearwater. Tugwell also leads the club with a .394 on-base percentage. His fifth homerun of the season came Tuesday night as Clearwater beat Ft.Myers 6-3 to win the second game of their double-header and gain a split on the night.

The roster moves continue for Clearwater. Matt Sweeney was sent down to Lakewood, while Adam Shafer and Mike Lombardi were promoted from the BlueClaws. Orlando Guevara was sent to extended camp and Kyle Kendrick was added from extended camp. Carlos Leon was activated and Jorge Padilla has been placed on the temporary inactive list. Got all that?

Lakewood BlueClaws

Ryan Frith, Jason Jaramillo and Sam Orr will represent the BlueClaws in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game. The game will be played June 28th in Augusta, Georgia. The three players have been solid and consistent all season for Lakewood. Frith is hitting .295 with 7 homeruns on the season. Jaramillo is hitting .275 for Lakewood.

The top story is Orr. He leads the club with 45 RBI - 18 ahead of Frith, who is second on the club - and he also leads the club with 11 homeruns. All season long, Orr has been the offensive strong point for Lakewood and he doesn't show any signs of letting up now. Orr was an eighth round pick out of Biola University last season and hit just .228 at Batavia. In 219 at bats last season, Orr struck out 64 times. This season, he whiffed 53 times in 226 at bats, showing some improvement. Plate discipline was the main thing that the Phillies wanted Orr to work on and he is working very hard to make more contact. It's paying off, too. Now that Orr seems comfortable with a wood bat and his plate discipline is getting much better, he should be able to produce strong numbers as he climbs through the system. Will he be in Clearwater before the end of the season? The Phillies generally don't push young players too much, but it may be tough to keep Orr in Lakewood without at least giving him a sniff of life at the next level.

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