Pitcher Friend takes long trip to triple A
1Reliever Justin Friend was promoted from double-A Reading to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, but you have to wonder if he is awake yet to realize it. Friend and his Fightin Phils teammates took a seven-hour bus ride from Portland, Maine, and arrived
1. Reliever Justin Friend was promoted from double-A Reading to triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, but you have to wonder if he is awake yet to realize it. Friend and his Fightin Phils teammates took a seven-hour bus ride from Portland, Maine, and arrived in Reading around 6 a.m. Thursday. Upon arrival, Friend was told about the promotion and that he had to report to Coca-Cola Park in Allentown for a 10:35 a.m. game. When the IronPigs finished their game with Louisville, Friend and his new teammates got on a bus for a seven-hour ride to Durham, N.C.
2. Double-A Reading had lost nine of its last 10 entering the weekend, and that might not have been the most depressing aspect of the Fightin Phils' plight. More discouraging is when you look at outfielders Tyson Gillies, Anthony Hewitt, and Zach Collier, all once considered top prospects who have become long shots to even reach the big leagues. The three combined went into Saturday hitting .181 (50 for 277) with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
3. Art Charles, the first baseman for low-A Lakewood, returned to the BlueClaws lineup after missing seven games with a sprained right wrist. He singled and drove in a run in his first game back. He's hitting .272 overall and .333 in his last 10 games.
4. Shane Watson, the Phillies' first-round pick last year, is considered Lakewood's best pitching prospect. But keep an eye on 20-year-old Miguel Nunez, a hard-throwing righthander from the Dominican Republic. He went into his Saturday night start 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six appearances.
5. Single-A Clearwater went into Saturday with two pitchers among the top four in Florida State League ERA. Gabriel Arias, a 23-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic, was first with a 1.25 ERA, and Perci Garner, a 24-year-old righthander taken in the second round in 2010, was fourth with a 2.36 ERA.
- Bob Brookover