Nov 092010
Phillies prospect Matt Rizzotti

Phillies prospect Matt Rizzotti

November 9:

Philadelphia Phillies news and stories from around the web…

Phillies’ prospects you should remember

November 9 Philadelphia Daily News:

“The three biggest names to know as the Arizona Fall League ticks toward conclusion?

Justin DeFratus, Josh Zeid and Matthew Rizzotti.

Two of those names are probably familiar to those with at least a passing knowledge of the Phillies‘ farm system. Rizzotti, a sixth-round pick in 2007, murdered pitching at Double A Reading in 2010, hitting .361 with a .452 on base percentage and 16 home runs before earning a late-season promotion to Triple A. DeFratus, meanwhile, saved 21 games with a 1.94 ERA at Reading and Clearwater.

Zeid, on the other hand, spent the entire 2010 season at low-A Lakewood, where he went 8-4 with a 2.93 ERA. A 23-year-old who was drafted in the 10th round out of Tulane in 2009, he might not have the public profile of his two fellow fall leaguers, but the Phillies are hopeful that he can contribute as a power bullpen arm at some point in the not-too-distant future.

“Right now, his arm strength is his big plus,” said Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar, who recently returned from scouting in Arizona.

Zeid has spent most of his 2 years in the minors as a starter – in four starts for the AFL’s Mesa Solar Sox, he is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA, 12 strikeouts and one walk in 14 innings – and figures to enter 2011 in a similar role. But he could end up making his mark as a reliever. In Lakewood’s clinching win in the South Atlantic League championship, he came out of the bullpen to throw two innings, with his last pitching clocking in at 97 mph. He pitched well as a reliever on Saturday in the AFL’s Rising Stars game, throwing a scoreless fourth inning (no hits, walks or strikeouts) in the East’s 3-2 victory over the West.

DeFratus also appeared in the Rising Stars game. He faced just one batter, but it came with two outs in the eighth inning and the go-ahead run on third base. (He fell behind Devin Mesoraco in the count, allowing a hard-hit foul ball before getting the Reds prospect to fly out to deep centerfield.)

DeFratus, a hard-thrower with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s, is a lock to get an invitation to big-league spring training. And while the Phillies maintain interest in re-signing veteran righthanders Chad Durbin and Jose Contreras, DeFratus could pitch his way into consideration for one of the other open spots.”

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Phillies interview Sandberg for IronPigs managerial slot

November 9 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The man involved in perhaps the most infamous trade in Phillies history could finally be returning to the organization that always regretted losing him.

Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg is among the candidates for the Phillies‘ managerial vacancy at triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Chuck LaMar, the Phillies‘ assistant general manager in charge of player development, said the team has just started the process of interviewing.

“We hope to have it filled in the near future,” LaMar said. “I’m not going to comment beyond that.”

Sandberg, 51, spent last season managing the triple-A Iowa Cubs and was a candidate to replace Lou Piniella after the Chicago Cubs’ manager resigned in August. That job went instead to former Phillies coach Mike Quade, who had replaced Piniella on an interim basis during the season.

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Juan Samuel leaning towards joining Phillies’ coaching staff

November 9

“Amid speculation that former Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel would stay in Baltimore and return to his third-base post, multiple sources confirmed on Monday night that Samuel’s future with the O’s is far from certain.

Samuel was not present at the Orioles mini-organizational meetings in Arizona that took place last week, and the sentiment is Samuel is leaning toward other options, which include joining Charlie Manuel’s staff as Phillies first-base coach. Samuel is one of several candidates being considered for the position vacated by Davey Lopes, and given his ties to the Phillies organization as a player — as well as his experience as an outfield/baserunning instructor – it makes sense. ”

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