Hockey Night in Allentown: 11/21/2014 “Shoot to Thrill”

“I can’t get enough and I can’t get my fill
Shoot to thrill…”

–AC/DC

—–

Kevin Goumas takes the face off. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Kevin Goumas takes the face off.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Back:

A thriller in Allentown on Wednesday night saw the Phantoms defeat the Hershey Bears 3-2 in an overtime with shoot-out.  It was our first experience with the shoot-out in Allentown, and even the officials weren’t sure how many rounds it was going to go (three, it turns out).  Ultimately, Blair Jones, on loan from the Flyers, provided the sparks.  He sent a superb pass across the net in the first period which was easily buried from the back door by Andrew Gordon.  He also scored the winning goal in the shoot-out.  But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give “All My Love” to Rob Zepp.  The Zepper just continues to stone in the goal, allowing his defenders to support the charge and take chances.  Despite super play this season from Laughton (in Philly right now), Gostisbehere (injured right now), and Cousins, it would be “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” if I didn’t list Zepp as our MVP at this early season juncture.

Home (Ice), Sweet Home (Ice):

I’ve heard and read quotes from the Phantoms’ coaches and players ad nauseam about what a beautiful building the PPL Center is, and how great the fans are and all of that.  And it’s not that I don’t believe them or appreciate the sentiment (or the gorgeous building..).  However, at some point it does feel a bit like lip service.  It’s the cliche thing to say:  “We love it here.  The fans are great.  It really gives us a lift.”  OK.  Fine.  Go out and win us some hockey games fellas…

And, they have.  Let’s take a quick look back at the home season thus far:

10/17:  4-3 OT Win

10/24: 4-2 Win (Come from behind)

10/29: 2-1 OT Loss

11/1: 4-2 Loss

11/15: 3-2 Win

11/19: 3-2 OT Win (ShootOut)

So that’s a 4-2 record, with 9 of a possible 12 standings points.  There have been 3 overtime games with 1 loss, 1 win, and 1 shoot-out win.  Of the 6 games, 4 have been decided by 1 point, while the other two have been by 2 points each.

That’s some exciting hockey, my friends (he says foreshadowing to a future post due out next week…).  I’m gonna just keep drinking that Crabby Ale because it’s obviously good luck!

Standings:

Stacking wins together will go a long way towards climbing in the standings.  With another two points Wednesday night, the Phantoms remain in third place in the East Division of the Eastern Conference of the AHL, with 15 points.  They trail Wilkes Barre (21) and Hershey (18), but have still played only 14 games to 16 for Hershey and 18 for WBS.

Team Report:

The lineup appears stable from Wednesday night.  We’ll see if Blair Jones remains on the top line, but he certainly played well enough.  It was confirmed yesterday that Anthony Stolarz will start in goal in one of these two games Friday and Saturday, but we’ll have to wait to find out which one.

I won’t be at the game tonight, but I will try to tweet or re-tweet the lines prior to the start of the game.

Tonight’s Game:

Welcome the Worcester Sharks for one of their two visits to Allentown this season–They’ll be back in February.  The Sharks had been one of the highest-scoring teams in the AHL for a while, but have recently lost three straight games.  They’re in second place in the Atlantic Division with a 8-6-1 record.

Broadcast:  TV2/AM1470/FM89.9(arena only)

PreGame:   6:00PM Gates; 6:20PM Radio PreGame; 6:30PM TV2 PreGame Live from Chickie’s and Pete’s

Promotion:   Orange “Mo-vember” T-Shirts for all.  They will be on the seats.

Tickets:    Seats are going fast today.  Order them up if you need them.  It’s not clear how they’ll handle the shirts for GA folks if it comes to that.  Ticket software still promoting Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve game with “add-on” promotion.

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

Looking Ahead:

Phantoms back in action TOMORROW night at the PPL Center!  It’s our first Home-Ice back-to-back!  Mo-vember weekend continues with face-painting moustaches done by the Phantoms’ Wives and Girlfriends!

See you at the arena (tomorrow, anyway)

@Kram209

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Hockey Night in Allentown: 11/19/2014: “Back in the High Life”

“But when you’re born to run
It’s so hard to just slow down
So don’t be surprised to see me
Back in that bright part of town

I’ll be back in the high life again”

–Steve Winwood

——–

Oliver Lauridsen Looks On Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Oliver Lauridsen Looks On
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Back:

The Phantoms are coming off a much-needed win on Saturday night, when they defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-2.  It was a hard-fought contest, and although there was only one official fight, tempers boiled over after horns blew several times–including at the end of the game.  And, speaking of the end of the game:  The Marlies had a 5-on-3 for the last minute or so, and pulled the goalie to have 6-on-3.  It was the first time I’d ever seen that.  The Phantoms triangle–chiefly Hagg, Manning, and Powe I believe–were diving in front of pucks like it was the Stanley Cup finals.  Rob Zepp with another good game in the goal, and the good guys came away with the two points for the much-needed win.

Here’s a video review of the past game, if you can get it to load–look for the Hagg block near the end:  perhaps a game-saving play, it happened right in front of us:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=674779&site=flyers

Standings:

The Phantoms are back to third place in the AHL East Division of the Eastern Conference with a 6-6-1 record and 13 points.  They trail first-place Wilkes-Barre by six points, but having played four fewer games.  A couple times now, I’ve heard players from the team state that they expect to be a winning team and a playoff team.  I’m happy to hear them talk like that so early in the season.  Certainly, there’s a ton of hockey left to play, but that’s a nice goal to set for the new franchise. (I certainly don’t remember any IronPigs players talking about the International League playoffs in May…)

Hershey comes in 8-6-1 and in second place having played two more games.  The Phantoms are 1-1 on the season versus the Bears having won an overtime contest at the PeoPLe Center and got shutout by the Bears at the Giant Center.

Team:

Could tonight be the night we get to see “Stoly the Goalie” in the net, at home, for the first time?  I’d think so.

Gostisbehere‘s surgery went well, according to all reports.  It was ACL only, as no other ligaments were damaged.  The senior Hextall related that Ghost should be back on the ice in 3 to 3 1/2 months.  That seems a little optimistic to me, and remember just because he’s on the ice doesn’t mean he’s playing in hockey games.  However, if this team remains competitive, there’s at least the possibility that we have him in games for the stretch run and the playoffs.  Above all, good luck to Shayne in his recovery and rehabilitation.

Mark Alt was back in practice on Monday.  He’ll still need doctor’s clearance for full contact and hockey games, but it sounds like he’s at least progressing.  Brett Hextall has been close for some time, I’ve heard.  Perhaps tonight will be the night we get him back on the ice.

Scott Laughton was recalled last night, to the Flyers.  The former first-round pick has appeared with the Flyers before, at the start of the strike-shortened 2012-2013 season.  In return, the Flyers have loaned center Blair Jones to the Phantoms.  Jones had not been getting much playing time in Philly, and had already cleared waivers.

It will be interesting to see how the lines shake out with Laughton going up and with Jones–maybe rusty, but–needing playing time.  Follow along on Twitter for lines and pairings closer to game time.

Ten-Point Must System

I had the Mathers fight at 10-10 Saturday night.  I still don’t think we’ve lost a fight, but I’m not sure we won that one, either.

Tonight’s Game:

Broadcast:   1470AM, IHeartRadio.com, TV-2, 89.9FM (in the arena)

Tickets:      Decent seats are still available at press time.  As an aside, a pop-up will allow you to purchase tickets to a designated future game (next Wednesday) at a “discounted rate.”  As far as I can tell, the rate was the normal advance rate, saving the “day of game” premium.

Parking:  No problems to report.  Follow @AtownParking on Twitter for excellent updates and advice.  They’ll respond quickly, too, if you’ve a question or problem.  Some continued confusion over the “Linden Street Garage:”  If you look at the map below, they are referring to the arena garage as “Linden Street.”  Meanwhile, the parking authority has a garage in the Sixth Street block labeled as “Linden Street.”  This becomes important if you are purchasing advanced parking pass.  We’ll investigate.

Pre-Game:  Pregame on the radio at 6:20PM with Bob Rotruck.  The TV-2 folks host a pregame from Chickie’s and Pete’s at 6:30PM.  DiPro and I should be enjoying a pre-game “Crabby Ale” at Chickie’s early on, then move to the Miller Lite Loft to hang with Jorge until game time.

Promotion:  None.  But there is a hockey game!  That’s enough, right?

What to look for:

After several straight games yielding over 40 shots, the Phantoms’ D has solidified allowing just 23 last Friday and 30 to the Marlies. Look for the Phantoms to continue to try to limit scoring chances (obviously..).  And penalties.  It still feels like a combination of a tough team being targeted by officials and a sloppy team getting penalized a bit too much.  Add in the feisty Bears, and we could see some fisticuffs tonight–along with the corresponding power plays.  The coaching staff is making silly penalties a talking point this week, so perhaps more disciplined tonight.  We’ll see.

Watch for C Blair Jones to get all the playing time he can handle–but we’ll wait and see if he gets the top-line spot.  We’ll watch to see if the Phantoms can generate quality shots and goals without their best goal scorer, Laughton.  Look for Manning to continue to take shots coming forward from the defensive zone, as he seems to be the chief defender to get involved in the offense at this point.  Look for updates on the injured players:  Hextall and Alt, and perhaps Goumas, who took a puck to the grill late in Saturday night’s game.

Looking Ahead:

Friday will kick off “Mo-vember” weekend with a T-Shirt night versus the Worcester Sharks.  The weekend will continue with the first back-to-back home dates of the season on Saturday.  Phantoms’ wives and girlfriends will be helping out with face-painting (ostensibly for the kiddos, but hey, I’ve been called a “face painter” before so…–might be the only way for me to acquire a decent mustache, you know?) as the awareness weekend continues.  St. Johns will be in town for that game.

Arena Stuff:

Noticed this new, improved, concourse map.  Click to see it bigger, I think.  It’s much better than the one I had to draw on before…. ;)

better arena map

See you at the arena,

@Kram209

 

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“The Band Stays Together” IronPigs Coaching Staff to Remain Same

The Phillies announced their “Minor League Development Staff” assignments today.  For the IronPigs, there’s not so much to announce:  The staff will remain the same, with our four coaches:

Dave Brundage, Manager

The discussion, Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The discussion,
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Sal Rende, Hitting Coach

 Photo by Cheryl Pursell

Photo by Cheryl Pursell

Mickey Morandini, Bench Coach/Infield

MORANDINI TSHIRT

Ray Burris, Pitching

Ray Burris, in a lighter moment. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Ray Burris, in a lighter moment.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Now, if we can just get the early over/under for the opening day Anthem…

See you at the park,

@Kram209

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I Remember My First Hockey Game Too…

… Probably because it was just last night.

The view from our seats.  Photo: Dan

The view from our seats. Photo: Dan

That’s right. My very first hockey game. There is a vague memory of being in Hershey in the early 80′s for a car show and accidentally stumbling upon a game, but this one I consider my first.

First off, thanks to Kram, DiPro (with family and friends) who invited me along. I could reveal to you DiPro’s parking lot secret.. but I won’t. See Kram’s post about parking for our official stance in that realm.

It was just as cool inside the arena as Kram had warned me about. I had a Steelhawk’s hooded sweatshirt (when exactly did hooded sweatshirts become hoodies anyway?) and I was plenty warm. I treated myself to a $4 bottle of Fanta (love orange soda… but that’s another story from a long time ago in a land far far away) and headed off to my seat. The seat itself reminded me of a movie theater. Heavily cushioned but awkwardly folding. I narrowly missed spilling my Fanta on Kram the 3rd trying to seat myself. I haven’t been keeping up with my Richard Simmon’s exercise videos lately so it was a bit of a squeeze for me but, hey.. that one’s on me. I stayed in seat for the first period and soon found myself wandering. Saw some old friends, ran into some familiar local sports employees and by strategic navigation ended up buying a new hat. Very happy to see the Phantoms carry the 47 brand caps which seem to be the only style that fit my 7 3/4 oddly shaped head.

I did check out the upper level bar and general hang out area. My love for the cheap seats with great views was renewed as I looked down on the ice from above. Some first come first serve seats/tables caught my interest. Soon after heading back downstairs I felt a tingle and headed to a concession stand. Bought a $4 hot dog. I hear ya. I thought it too. Hot dogs are $2 at the Pigs. I have to say though, this was twice the size of a normal dog and had a great flavor to it. Wondering what brand they use… perhaps Kram can research for me. I usually sway away from the bigger hot dogs as there is less crispy surface area to mask the nasty inside. Can’t say that about these as they were tasty. Complimented nicely by the “not-yellow” mustard available. Pleasantly surprised. Not sure if it was dejon or some kind of stone ground or maybe they labeled it incorrectly but it was good. One downer was no fresh chopped onions or relish in clear view. I had no plans for kissing anyone and love to load up a hot dog with some vibrant onions. Not a biggie.. but hey, I like my onions oniony.

Oh yeah, there was a hockey game. Pretty exciting there at the end. Toronto had a 6 to 3 advantage with a minute to go when 2 Phantoms hit the penalty box and they pulled the goalie. Thanks to probably the worst attempt at a slapshot ever attempted, the Phantoms held on and won! Woot!

After the game I spent a few minutes searching for DiPro (my ride home) and ended up in Chickie and Pete’s. Nice crowd in there. Not overwhelming. Fun place. Headed home soon after.

Altogether a fun time. Looks like I may visit again soon.

Oink! Screech! Roll On! Woooowooooowoo! (That’s the sound a Phantom makes)

DK

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Hockey Night in Allentown: “It’s Been A Long Time Since We Rock and Rolled”

“It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled,
It’s been a long time since I did the Stroll.
Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back,
Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
It’s been a long time, been a long time,
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time. Yes it has.”

–Led Zeppelin

—–

Rob Zepp Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Rob Zepp
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Back

It’s been a long two weeks since we’ve had live hockey in downtown Allentown.  Two weeks is too long for this hockey fan! Last week, the Phantoms went 1-2 on their three-game tour of New England.  And last night, they dropped another by a 3-1 tally, up in Scranton.  The losses are piling up–it’s been a long time since we’ve won a darn game.  Hopefully some “home cooking” and we can get back to our winning ways.

The game last night was described as “unwatchable” –and that was by the Pens fans!  It was a penalty-filled affair which those in attendance described as unnecessary and intrusive officiating.

Standings

The Phantoms are now 5-6-1, and in fourth place in the East Division, 8 points behind leader Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  However, the Phantoms have played three fewer games; this stretch from now until the end of November should equal things out a bit–or drive us to the cellar.

Team

Reports have Forward Pat Mullane and Defenceman Adam Comrie joining the AHL Phantoms’ ranks.  Each has been with Reading already this season, Mullane appearing in 8 games, and Comrie 4.  Mullane last appeared in the AHL with Rockford in 2013, where he scored 6 goals.  Mullane spent parts of the last two seasons with Worcester, and also with Reading in 2012-2013.  Both are currently listed on the Reading roster and no further announcement has come from the Phantoms.  We’ll monitor the situation.

Gostisbehere had surgery Thursday on his ACL and will be an injury scratch for the foreseeable future.  Alt is still a couple weeks out with his shoulder injury.  Hextall has been skating, but his return to game action is unknown–although I’ve heard he’s close.  Powe has returned from his suspension. Lines from last night in Scranton:

Leier – Laughton – Gordon

Straka – Cousins – Stortini

Rosehill – Powe – Alderson

Goumas – Fyten – Mathers

Manning – Delisle

Hagg – Pettersson

Lauridsen – Flemming

Zepp

 

Tonight’s Game

The Toronto Marlies come to town for their only visit of the 2014-2015.  They are the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently have an identical record to the Phantoms.  They are in last place in the North Division of the Western Conference.

Promotion

Magnet Schedules for all phans at tonight’s game!  I’m not positive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we find them in our cup-holders at our seats when we arrive.

Magnet_Schedule

Tickets

Word early yesterday was that this game could sell out.  Investigation at the time of this blog reveals “Unable to secure seats in this price level” for all choices, even singles. I imagine they may sell “standing room” tickets as the day goes on.  I also noted that the prices are now described as “day of game” on the web site for today, with the adjustment we noted previously.

Program

I believe the current issue of the program runs through 11/19 at least, if you’ve already picked one up.  They are $2 if you haven’t, or if you need the updated roster/numbers.

Parking

I don’t have anything to add to the previous parking posts.  I’ll reiterate that meter spots seem to be more available for Saturday night games.  Feed enough quarters or phone credit to get you through to 6PM, when they stop checking them.

Radio and TV

It’s not just the usual suspects (TV2, 1490AM, IHeartRadio.com, 89.9 (arena)) but also WFMZ-69 is televising a bunch of Saturday games!  And, this is the first one.  It appears that it will be the Service Electric broadcast and crew.  Here are the other FMZ-69 games:

NOVEMBER 22, DECEMBER 13, DECEMBER 27, JANUARY 17, JANUARY 24, MARCH 7 AND MARCH 28.

PreGame

We’ve been enjoying Chickie’s and Pete’s as our official pre-game hang out. However, a bunch of us will be at the BrewWorks tonight.  “MMM, Beeerr….”  And if we get off the losing slide, perhaps more pre-game meals at BrewWorks in the future!  Oh, and Tony Luke’s opens on Monday in the 8th Street block.  They plan to be open for “late night” so now I’ve got another choice for “post game meal.”

Happy Birthday Dan!

It’s a great night for hockey!

News and Notes

Until last night, the Phantoms had recently been allowing over 40 shots a game for a few games.  Zepp and Stolarz have kept them in games, but it’s not a sustainable situation.  Last night the Pens led the Phantoms in shots 23-22, which is a nice improvement.  Now, we’ve got to get the biscuit in the basket.

I’m thinking we might see the rookie Stolarz get the start in net tonight, for the first time at home.  He started in one goal during the “Battle on Hamilton.”

Another thing to watch for tonight is the penalties:  There have been a ton of them.  It’s nice to have a tough team, but I hope we haven’t been “marked.”  The team needs to stay out of the Penalty Kill and generate some goals when we do get on the Power Play.

What’s Next

It’s a home stand, as the Phantoms remain home for a mid-week tilt on Wednesday with the Hershey Bears.  Next Friday the high-flying Worcester Sharks are in town for Mo-vember T-Shirt night!  Stay tuned!  The Phantoms are home next Saturday as well!

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

 

See you at the arena,

@Kram209

 

Bonus Video:

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Real Phantoms Promo Schedule At Long Last

Magnet Schedule to be given out to ALL fans at Saturday's Phantoms game

Magnet Schedule to be given out to ALL fans at Saturday’s Phantoms game

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

Phantoms Mo-vember T-Shirts for all fans Friday November 21 versus the Worcester Sharks!

Phantoms Phanatics Phinally received the news that we’ve been craving yesterday:  The Phantoms’ Official Promo schedule.  I’ll list the actual dates and promos below, but my take on it is that most promos will be for ALL in attendance, other than the ones for the kiddos, which will be capped at 3,000.  Having the giveaways at the seats can result in multiple giveaways for some aggressive folks–and the risk of missing promos for some; however, I’m sure they’ve allowed for some spares at fan services or something.  We’ll see.  There are some opportunities for fans to interact with players, which is nice.  Finally, the “Legends Nights” should allow for some autographs with said players for those who desire.  The Kiddo Giveaways are 14 and under.

November 15      Magnet Schedule Giveaway
November 21      Free Shirt Giveaway / Boy Scout Night
November 22      Face Painting by Phantoms Wives & Girlfriends
November 29      Team Autograph Night / Poster Giveaway
December 6         Legends Night – Bill Barber–Collector’s Edition Poster Giveaway / Teddy Bear Toss
December 13      “Go Birds” Eagles Tailgate with Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Baldinger & Eagles Cheerleaders / Specialty Jersey Night / Post-Game Jersey Auction
December 19       Free Shirt Giveaway
December 27       Post-Game Photographs with Phantoms Players
January 17           Legends Night – Bobby Clarke/Collector’s Edition Poster Giveaway
January 24          Free Shirt Giveaway / Specialty Jersey Night / Post-Game Jersey Auction / Inaugural Season Night
January 30          Youth Jersey Giveaway/ meLVin’s Birthday Bash
February 4           Post-Game Skate with Phantoms Players
February 13         Phantoms Hat Giveaway
February 21         Legends Night – Frank “The Animal” Bialowas/Collector’s Edition Poster Giveaway
February 28        Little League Night
March 6               Free Shirt Giveaway
March 7               Legends Night – John Slaney/Collector’s Edition Poster Giveaway
March 22             Youth Street Hockey Stick Giveaway / Phantoms Charities Night
March 28             Faith Night/Post-Game Concert
March 29             Post-Game Skate with Phantoms Players / Legends Night – Brian Boucher/Collector’s Edition Poster
April 10                Free Shirt Giveaway
April 11                Fan Appreciation Night

Looks great–and very generous with the “everyone” aspect.  I’m looking forward to it!

See you at the arena,

@Kram209

 

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IronPigs News: Phillies’ 2015 MiLB Sign-ees with Invites

Official announcement today of Phillies’ MiLB contracts with MLB Spring Training invitations.  Some of these have leaked out in previous days, but today we got the official word on all eight–including some surprises:

SS Andres Blanco:  

I feel like those dudes from Animal House when they walk into that bar and see Otis Day and the Nights:  “He loves us!”  OK, I don’t know whether he does or not, but I know he’s heard the cheers:  “LET’S–GO–BLAN–CO!” (clapclap–clapclapclap)  Good to have him back.  Always good to have a solid shortstop on the roster.

OF Brian Bogusevic:

He spent last season playing 82 games with Miami’s AAA team, and had 47 games with the Cubs in 2013.  .263/.352/.420 with seven HRs in the PCL last year.

1B/DH Russ Canzler:

We had a feeling Russ would be back.  He really added a spark when he came over from Moosic–and by all accounts enjoyed his time with the ‘Pigs and enjoyed staying close to home in Pennsylvania!

SS/3B Chase d’Arnaud:

I’ve seen him play with both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.  He hit .250/.313/.356 with two home runs last season in the International League, having played 118 games.  A quick and dirty extrapolation has him as our 3B, with Franco and Asche both in Philly and Howard in Seattle.  ;-)

RF Jeff Francoeur:

“Frenchy” comes aboard having played 115 games with the Padres’ AAA team last season.  He hit .289/.320/.450 with 15 HR.  The former Brave has kicked around the past few years with the Mets, Royals, Rangers, Giants and Padres.

C John Hester:

The Angels–>IronPigs pipeline remains open as the veteran catcher comes over having played 71 games for the Angel’s AAA team last season.  He has MLB experience with both the Angels and Diamondbacks.  He comes eastward having hit .261/.338/.411 with six home runs last season in the PCL.

OF Darin Mastroianni:

He made it to the Show with both Toronto and Minnesota last season, but hit .277/.354/.379 in the International League last season with Buffalo and Rochester.  He had 20 stolen bases.

OF Xavier Paul

We’ve met him before, too, with Norfolk, Syracuse and Louisville.  He has MLB experience with Arizona, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and the Dodgers.  He split last season between the IL and the PCL hitting .251/.311/.425 with 12 home runs from the left side over 82 AAA games.

A Couple Thoughts:

I’m kidding around with the Asche/Franco stuff above, but it’s probably true:  Both will probably start in Philly.  Franco has been playing really well in the Dominican this winter and certainly didn’t embarrass himself last season in his first action with the big team.  It really sounds like they’re gonna move Howard and eat his contract as long as they can get something/anything in return.  I believe Duran re-signed as well, but he is probably headed back to Reading to start, backing up phenom JP Crawford there.

I am a little surprised with the number of OF signed, given prospects Cam Perkins, Aaron Altherr, and Kelly Dugan on the way.  Altherr has been ripping it up in Venezuela this fall, but I suppose Dugan could start back in Reading given the time he missed due to injury last season.  And, there’s always injuries, opt-outs and PCL-nonperformance cuts.  So, yeah, depth is necessary.

I still don’t have a definitive answer on Leandro Castro.  Most places I look still have him as a Free Agent–and I do remember hearing that his MiLB deal last season was for one year.  One source told me that he has re-signed with the Phillies organization, but you’d think they’d give him the MLB camp invite if that were the case.

Stay tuned, looking for some pitching…

@Kram209

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