DL'd outfielder Raul Ibanez is progressing well. This is promising news, but it would have been good to have him available to DH in the interleague road games next week.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) won their sixth game in a row Friday, 8-6, over the Norfolk Tides. The FeHogs have won eight of ten, moving a mere 2.5 games out of 4th Place in the International League's North Division. Some have credited the LV pitching for the streak, while others have drawn a correlation between the FeHogs' streak, and the beginning of the Bunts and Balks entries on this blog. (It should be noted that Norfolk has won 2 of their last 10, and Durham (LV's previous opponent) has 1 victory in their last 10.)
Chad Tracy had a pair of homers for LV, and Gustavo Chacin had a "quality start."
(Note: "Fe" is the symbol for the chemical element Iron, and "Hogs" is a synonym for "Pigs." Brilliant, no?)
Lou Marson was activated from LV's Disabled List, and went 2 for 5. Marson started behind the plate, and batted fifth. His reinstatement makes him eligible to be traded for Pawtucket's Clay Buchholz, who would take Antonio Bastardo's spot in the parent club's rotation. (Bastardo would replace Jack Taschner, who would be optioned to LV. It's all figured out, Ruben and Theo just have to complete the paperwork.)
The Reading Phillies (AA) snapped a three-game losing streak, beating the Harrisburg Senators, 4-0. Top prospect Kyle Drabek was invincible, pitching eight scoreless innings. The Senators had scored nineteen runs in their previous two games, and have now scored nineteen runs in their previous three games. Drabek permitted a mere five hits, struck out five, and did not walk a batter. He retired the last sixteen batters he faced. (Don't even THINK about it, Ruben!)
Brad Lidge will start for the R-Phils on Saturday night, at 6:05pm. The right-handed Lidge was acquired by the P-Phils in the Eric Bruntlett Deal, in which Geoff Geary and Michael Bourn were sent to the Houston Astros. Lidge's portion of the game will be broadcast on the internets, conveniently before the P-Phils start their game against the B-Orioles.)
The Clearwater Threshers (A) are spending their All-Star break ten games out of first place, and will be sending five players to Saturday night's All-Star Game.
If the Florida State League North squad wins the All-Star game, the P-Phils are guaranteed homefield advantage in the National League playoffs. (OK, that part might not be true. Yet.)