IronPigs: Keeping Up With The Jones

LHP Damon Jones Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The IronPigs closed things out in Rochester today with a walk-off loss as the pen twice squandered leads. Jones has a nice debut as his runs were surrendered by his reliever. Listi had a three run jack in the first. The five-game series (with doubleheader) went to the ‘Pigs, 3-2.

More About Jones

Jones has been a fast-mover in the Phillies system this season.  The big (6’5″) lefty out of Washington State was not in my personal ‘Top 50′ to begin the season.  He put up 10-7, 3.41 in 23 games in Lakewood last season striking out 123 while walking 50.  He averaged under five innings per appearance.  He began in Clearwater this season with little fanfare as a 24-year old.  Then he went to work putting up 1.54 ERA in 11 starts with 88 strikeouts and 24 walks, now averaging 5.1 innings per appearance.

In late June he made his AA home debut in Baseballtown.  I was impressed with his stuff–the fastball is mid-90s and he’s got a good breaking pitch.  He’s working hard on his change-up this season.  His command was a little erratic, which led to some inefficiency.  Still, he was able to get through his first three AA starts with six innings each before his final start was cut short at four innings.  He arrived in AAA having posted 1-0, 0.82 in AA over 4 starts with 31K/9BB.

Given the Phillies’ struggles lately, Philadelphia fans want him in Citizens Bank Park as soon as yesterday.  Personally, I feel like his has to work on his command and his change-up first.  However, given the needs of the system–the IronPigs needed a starter, and there are some guys who need to be in Reading now such as the newly healthy Connor Seabold–the new farm director has challenged Jones here.  With the move to the MLB baseball in AAA, it does make sense to get pitchers to the top level of the minors so that they can get that adjustment out of the way.

Damon Jones. Photo by Steve Kiebach

Promotions and Assignments

We got word several days ago that Jones had been “assigned” to Lehigh Valley.  I was skeptical about if the move was legitimate.  You know, when you’re juggling, some of the balls are always in the air, and it felt like the farm coordinator was simply making some roster space in Reading (Moniak was coming off the IL) because Jones wasn’t scheduled to pitch during the R-Phils home series with Trenton.  There was no “promotion” notice from the media departments with Reading or the IronPigs at the time the roster move was filed with MiLB.  They did this shenanigans with reliever Jakob Hernandez a week or two ago–he had pitched a bunch of innings in Reading, so they “assigned” him to Lehigh Valley, and before he ever reported, he was re-assigned to Reading.  I always joke that these guys are sitting in the parking lot at Sheetz on 222 awaiting further instructions in some kind of eastern Pennsylvania baseball limbo.  In reality, I usually look for a media notice that a player has been issued a uniform number before I really expect to see them play for the new team.  In this case, it would have been helpful if I had contacted my spies in Reading to see if Jones was physically in Baseballtown or possibly en route to Rochester to join the IronPigs.  I’ll do better next time.

Logan Morrison on Red Barons weekend in Moosic. Photo: Cheryl Pursell


Roster Moves Old and New

Since the IronPigs set out on their longest road trip of the season, which including the All Star break will keep them away from Coca Cola Park from July 8th until July 23rd, the following transactions have been listed from the teams media department:

Tyler Viza was reinstated off the Temporary Inactive List on 7/6
Alexis Rivero was activated off the Injured List on 7/7
John Curtiss was released by Philadelphia on 7/7
Austin Davis was added to Lehigh Valley from Philadelphia and placed on Temporary Inactive List on 7/11
Nick Matera was promoted to Lehigh Valley from Lakewood on 7/11
Rob Brantly was promoted to Philadelphia from Lehigh Valley on 7/12
Josh Martin was released by Philadelphia on 7/12
Austin Davis was activated off the Temporary Inactive List on 7/12
Adam Haseley was promoted to Philadlephia from Lehigh Valley on 7/13
Deivy Grullon was activated off the Injured List on 7/13
Alexis Rivero placed on the Injured List with a right forearm strain on 7/14
Damon Jones promoted to Lehigh Valley from Reading on 7/14

Two new moves should be forthcoming, as RHP Edubray Ramos was called to Philadelphia in advance of today’s game to replace the perennially injured Tommy Hunter.  The Phillies also signed veteran 1B Logan Morrison, who had been on a minor league deal with the Yankees (SWB) and had caused plenty of damage to our ‘Pigs this season.  He’s been assigned to AAA, but we know how that goes–we’ll await a possible promotion as he’s expected to take over LHB bench duties from Jay Bruce, who’s now considered the full-time left fielder in Philadelphia as long as his Achilles hold up.  I’m not certain if we’ll see him play for the IronPigs–or if we do, if he’ll still be on the team when they return later in July.  But, the removal of talent from Scranton (Miller had been traded to the Phillies a few weeks ago) is always a welcome sight around here if we have any chance to make a late run.

Brantly has since been DFA’d by Philadelphia, we’ll have to see if he returns to Lehigh Valley should he clear waivers.


Logan Morrison. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Sweet Georgia Down

It was getaway day in Rochester today as the team heads to the deep south to face the Gwinnett Stripers.  Here’s how the rotation should set up for the four-game series:

Monday: Jose Tavares

Tuesday:  Enyel De Los Santos

Wednesday:  Ramon Rosso

Thursday:  Cole Irvin

Gwinnett is a game and a half back of Durham in the IL South, and a good challenge for our current squad.

Damon Jones photo: Steve Kiebach, Horn and Bell Blog
Damon Jones Photo: Steve Kiebach

See you at the park, eventually,


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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