Phillies' Minor League Notebook

We've got news and notes from up and down the ladder in the Phillies minor league system. News on All-Stars, injuries, players who are hot and even a couple who are not.

Don't look now, but...

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are turning into a pretty good ballclub right before our eyes. With their win over Louisville Monday night (7.7.08), the IronPigs have won three straight, putting them over the .400 winning percentage for the first time in franchise history at 37-55 (.402). It's the first time that the Phillies Triple-A affiliate has been above .400 since Ottawa was 40-60 (.400) last July 23rd. Lehigh Valley has won 11 of their last 18 and can tie a franchise record for consecutive wins when they face Louisville tonight (7.8.08) at Coca-Cola Park.

The dugout's that way, dude...

Les Walrond (3-7, 3.44 with Lehigh Valley) struck out 17 Louisville hitters on Sunday, the highest ever by an IronPigs pitcher and the highest in both Major League Baseball and the minors this season. Just to show that he wasn't even tired, Walrond struck out the final ten hitters that he faced, setting down the side on strikes in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings as he picked up a complete game win over Louisville. Since joining the 'Pigs, Walrond has struck out 73 hitters in 73.1 innings of work in the starting rotation. He has also allowed just 28 walks and just three home runs on the season. While he's not particularly fond of pitching in relief, it will be interesting to see if the Phillies consider the 31 year old Walrond for a spot in the bullpen at some point this season; after all, they're looking for left-handed relief help and if they can't find any via trade, Walrond would be an interesting experiment.

We'll squeeze you in somewhere...

Congratulations to the Clearwater Threshers who set a single-game attendance record of 9,090 last Thursday (7.3.08) against Lakeland. There were over 6,000 advance tickets sold for the game, which turned out to be a great one. Clearwater picked up a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Lakeland 4-3. Officially, the stadium holds 8,700 (7,200 seats and 1,500 on the grass berm in the outfield), but hey, there's always room for 390 more, right?

All-Star Musings

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs put three players on the International League All-Star roster for their match-up against the Pacific Coast League in Louisville on July 16. Lefty Brian Mazone (8-6, 3.28), infielder Mike Cervenak (7-50-.307) and catcher Jason Jaramillo (5-27-.255) were all named to the IL squad for the annual showdown. Cervenak and Jaramillo are making their second appearance in a Triple-A All-Star Game, while Mazone will be making his first. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on July 16.

The Reading Phillies have five players on the Eastern League Southern Division team. Pitcher Carlos Carrasco, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and outfielders Jeremy Slayden and Greg Golson are all on the team. Golson has missed the last three weeks with a sprained left wrist and may not be back in time to play in the July 16 game. Carrasco hasn't pitched leaving a game on June 27th with shoulder stiffness. It was the second time that he was diagnosed with the rather vague stiffness and the Phillies insist that nothing is wrong with their top prospect, so he should be able to pitch in the game, which would be just under three weeks since his latest "stiffness".

Gus Milner, Edgar Garcia and Matt German all saw action in the Florida State League All-Star Game. Milner went 1-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs, playing the entire game in right field. Garcia and German both pitched, with Garcia throwing a perfect inning and German giving up two hits, but no runs in 0.2 innings of work for the West squad, which won the game 9-3.

The Lakewood BlueClaws had four players in the South Atlantic League game and they all produced. Drew Naylor worked a perfect inning for the North and struck out two of the three hitters that he faced in the game. Mike Durant and Michael Taylor were both 2-for-5, with Durant launching a home run and driving in two, while Taylor doubled and drove in a run. Joel Naughton came into the game in the seventh and promptly delivered a single in the North Division's 13-4 rout of the South.

The Future's So Bright...

Congratulations to Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Greg Golson and Lou Marson who will all play in the Futures Game (pending health). With Carrasco on the "World" team and the others on the "USA" squad, we could conceivably see Carrasco facing one of the young players. A Carrasco and Marson match-up would be very interesting, since Marson has the best seat in the house to see what Carrasco throws and it would be fun to see how he would approach him at the plate. Let's hope everybody's healthy.


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