Randolph's move to pro ball impressing Phils

Philadelphia's first-round pick in 2015 hitting well, making smooth transition to outfield

Randolph's move to pro ball impressing Phils

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Gulf Coast League Tigers had runners on first and second in the bottom of the second when second baseman Junnell Ledezma lined a single to left. With two outs, Mario Sanjur was off on contact. But Cornelius Randolph of the GCL Phillies fielded the ball cleanly and threw him out at the plate.

The world little notes nor long remembers the details of Rookie-level games in the Minor Leagues. It's the lowest rung of the professional baseball ladder this side of Venezuela or the Dominican Republic. Still, what happened on that sultry August afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., resonated all the way back to Philadelphia.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Unheralded Astudillo on rise in Phils' system

Unheralded Astudillo on rise in Phils' system

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies believe they have a good number of prospects lower in their Minor League system. Their Florida State League affiliate, the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, is in the running for the league championship despite having touted youngsters like shortstop J.P. Crawford and catcher Andrew Knapp promoted early in the season.

Willians Astudillo's name doesn't appear on any of the lists of most promising youngsters in the system. You will find him, however, at the very top of the list of FSL batting leaders. Astudillo is hitting .324 and is a runaway leader for the title. And that isn't the only stat that makes the 23-year-old stand out.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies Pipeline: 4 Clearwater hitters to watch

Phillies Pipeline: 4 Clearwater hitters to watch

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There are two position players representing the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers on MLBPipeline's Top 30 Phillies Prospects: Centerfielder Carlos Tocci (22) and shortstop Malquin Canelo (23).

But at a point in history when all Major League teams are focused on finding bats, there are several others who, along with catcher Willians Astudillo, have enough offensive tools to merit attention. All are intriguing parts of a team vying to end the year with the Florida State League's best record.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For Phils, no shortage of future talent at short

Starting with No. 1 prospect Crawford, club's pipeline loaded at premium position

For Phils, no shortage of future talent at short

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The people who run the Phillies' farm system faced a logjam. They had three young shortstops who normally would have been slotted into the Gulf Coast League roster. Except that, obviously, none would get enough playing time.

So they came up with a creative solution. Jonathan Arauz and Arquimedes Gamboa stayed with the Rookie-level team in Clearwater. They alternate between second base and short. Daniel Brito went to the Dominican Summer League to continue his development.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies turn to Morgan in series opener at Fenway

Phillies turn to Morgan in series opener at Fenway

After a spectacular August, in which he went 6-0 with a 2.68 ERA, Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly looks to continue his dominance in Friday's series opener against the Phillies, who will counter with left-hander Adam Morgan.

Relying on his high-90s fastball during the first few months of the season, Kelly's ability to mix in his offspeed pitches has been a huge contributor to his success.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brown leaves game with concussion concerns

Phillies OF to be examined in Philadelphia, not expected to play in Boston series

Brown leaves game with concussion concerns

NEW YORK -- Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown crashed and flipped head-over-heels over the short wall in right field in the second inning of Wednesday's 9-4 Phillies loss at Citi Field.

He left the game two innings later because of concerns about a concussion. An athletic trainer drove Brown to Philadelphia, where he will be seen on Thursday by a specialist.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola pitches better than line indicates vs. Mets

Nola pitches better than line indicates vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- The line score shows that Phillies rookie Aaron Nola suffered the worst start of his nine-start career Wednesday night at Citi Field.

He allowed nine hits, six runs and struck out four in just four innings in a 9-4 loss to the Mets.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies come up short against Mets in finale

Phillies come up short against Mets in finale

NEW YORK -- Nine runs, 16 hits, a breezy victory in front of more than 32,000 fans at Citi Field -- this sort of thing has become almost routine for the Mets as they continue chugging toward their first National League East title since 2006.

The Mets moved another day closer to that goal with a 9-4 win Wednesday over the Phillies, maintaining their 6 1/2-game NL East lead. Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park home run, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes added more traditional shots and the Mets cruised from there, despite an uncharacteristic outing from Matt Harvey, who was experiencing dehydration symptoms.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils have concerns about corner outfield spots

Phils have concerns about corner outfield spots

NEW YORK -- Phillies rookie Darnell Sweeney started in left field Wednesday night at Citi Field, the third time he has started at a different position since he joined the organization last month.

He previously started at second base and center field, but seeing Sweeney in left for the first time and Domonic Brown leave the game with concussion concerns made one wonder about the Phillies' corner outfielders next season and beyond.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco still feeling pain in his left wrist

Franco still feeling pain in his left wrist

NEW YORK -- It sounded Monday like Phillies rookie Maikel Franco could be back at third base within the week.

Then Franco, who broke his left wrist last month, took about 20 swings on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies not in rush to discuss Amaro Jr.'s future

Phillies not in rush to discuss Amaro Jr.'s future

NEW YORK -- The Phillies have turned one of the weakest Minor League systems in baseball into arguably one of the best in a little less than nine months.

They traded Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere, Marlon Byrd, Jake Diekman and Antonio Bastardo for a combined 14 prospects, including three that rank among the top 64 in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. They have three other prospects in the Top 100, which is why MLBPipeline says the Phillies have the No. 7 system in baseball.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ruf helps Phillies end 10-game skid vs. Mets

Ruf helps Phillies end 10-game skid vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Still their most conspicuous weakness despite several trades to address it, the Mets' bullpen unraveled Tuesday in a 14-8 loss to the Phillies at Citi Field. They retained a 6.5-game NL East lead thanks to the Nationals' subsequent loss to the Cardinals.

Bobby Parnell, Eric O'Flaherty and Carlos Torres combined to allow eight runs in the sixth inning of the Mets' first loss in their last 11 meetings with the Phillies. Darin Ruf's two-run single accounted for a chunk of the damage, as well as a large part of his six-RBI game. But the Mets helped things along with two defensive errors, four bases on balls and multiple questionable personnel decisions.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ruf taking advantage of chances he gets

Ruf taking advantage of chances he gets

PHILADELPHIA -- Darin Ruf is no longer one of the kids on the Phillies' roster.

He is 29, but for various reasons he has started only 145 games over the past four seasons. He joined the Phillies late in 2012, following a monstrous season with Double-A Reading. He has searched for a place to play ever since, playing a little left field, a little at first base and even some right field whenever the opportunity presented itself.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mackanin happy Phillies can knock off Mets

Mackanin happy Phillies can knock off Mets

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin quipped Tuesday afternoon that he used a green marker to fill out the lineup card because, well, he needed to do something to change the Phillies' luck this season against the Mets.

Maybe green is good.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies Minor League review, Aug. 24-30

Players of the Week

Player - 1B/3B Damek Tomscha, Lakewood...Tomscha, 24, batted .381 (8-for-21) with three home runs, seven RBI, two doubles, three walks and a team-high nine runs scored, earning him Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors. His three home runs were more than the rest of the team hit combined during the week. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound infielder hit safely in all but one of his seven games, recording multiple hits and multiple RBI three times each. His three RBI and three runs scored on August 30 both tied season highs. Tomscha was selected by the Phillies in the 17th round of the 2014 draft out of Auburn University and was signed by Mike Stauffer.

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Top prospect Crawford headed to Arizona Fall League

Top prospect Crawford headed to Arizona Fall League

NEW YORK -- One of the best prospects to come through the Phillies' system in over a decade will be joining six other Phillies' Minor Leaguers in the Arizona Fall League.

Double-A Reading shortstop J.P. Crawford will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs. Crawford is the No. 5 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline. He is the No. 1 prospect in the organization.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

One shaky inning hurts Eickhoff, Phillies

One shaky inning hurts Eickhoff, Phillies

NEW YORK -- Suddenly the Mets' hottest pitcher, Bartolo Colon delivered eight shutout innings Monday in a 3-1 Mets win over the Phillies at Citi Field, running his streak of scoreless innings to 16 and -- for good measure -- rapping out his career-high seventh hit.

The Mets finished August with 20 wins, achieving that for the first time in any month since August 2000. They also set a franchise record with 45 home runs in the month, including a pair on Monday from Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. New York also extended its division lead to 6 1/2 games as Washington was topped by St. Louis, 8-5.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eickhoff making case for 2016 rotation

Eickhoff making case for 2016 rotation

NEW YORK -- The Phillies have a little more than a month to play, and these final weeks will be spent watching and evaluating each player with one question in mind: Does he fit into the organization's future plans, either short-term or long term?

Rookie right-hander Jerad Eickhoff could be an early favorite for the 2016 rotation. Eickhoff made his third big league start on Monday night in a 3-1 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. He pitched a career-high seven innings, allowing four hits, three runs, two walks and striking out four.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Asher enjoyed experience of his first start

Asher enjoyed experience of his first start

PHILADELPHIA -- At the very least, Phillies rookie Alec Asher had a memorable afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Asher is one of five prospects the Phillies acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade in July. He became the second of those prospects to make his big league debut, when he started Sunday's 9-4 loss to the Padres. Asher allowed eight hits, four runs, one walk, two home runs and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies fall to Padres in Asher's MLB debut

Phillies fall to Padres in Asher's MLB debut

PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres avoided a season sweep to the Phillies on Sunday, thanks to a little star power.

Matt Kemp and Justin Upton homered while James Shields allowed just one run in seven innings in a 9-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park. It was the Padres' only victory in six games this season against the Phillies.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies claim reliever Roberts off waivers

Phillies claim reliever Roberts off waivers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies acquired some bullpen depth Sunday when they claimed left-hander Ken Roberts off waivers from the Rockies.

Roberts has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but he could join the Phillies on Tuesday when rosters expand. The Phillies are thin on left-handed relievers. They traded Jake Diekman to Texas in July. They designated Cesar Jimenez for assignment recently, and the Brewers claimed him off waivers. Then last week Elvis Araujo strained his left groin and landed on the disabled list.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sweeney opening eyes in Philadelphia

Sweeney opening eyes in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have their playing time priorities for the remainder of the season, and Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera are priorities at second base and center field, respectively.

Where does that leave Darnell Sweeney?

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morgan helps Phillies move to 5-0 vs. Padres

Morgan helps Phillies move to 5-0 vs. Padres

PHILADELPHIA -- If only the Phillies could play the Padres more frequently.

They beat San Diego on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, 4-3. It is their fifth straight win over the Padres this season and seventh consecutive victory against San Diego in Philadelphia, their longest home winning streak against the Padres since a seven-game streak from July 1976 to May 1977.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Howard finding success facing only righties

Howard finding success facing only righties

PHILADELPHIA -- And then there were two.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said that earlier this month, when the Phillies traded Chase Utley to the Dodgers. It left Howard and Carlos Ruiz as the only two remaining members of the 2008 World Series championship team.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

9 years after surgery, Asher ready for debut

Righty had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow at 14 years old

9 years after surgery, Asher ready for debut

PHILADELPHIA -- This is the moment Alec Asher probably envisioned when he had Tommy John surgery at 14 years old.

Asher, 23, is one of the players the Phillies acquired from Texas last month in the Cole Hamels trade. He will make his big league debut on Sunday afternoon against the Padres at Citizens Bank Park, the second pitcher acquired in the trade to debut this season for the Phillies.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola continues to impress for Phillies

Nola continues to impress for Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies entered Friday night's series opener against the Padres on pace for 99 losses.

But that does not mean they are not worth watching the rest of the season. In fact, they should be quite interesting to follow because four out of every five games (or four out of every six, if they employ a six-man rotation once rosters expand on Tuesday) the Phillies will have a rookie pitcher on the mound.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altherr enjoying his extra-base hit tear

Altherr enjoying his extra-base hit tear

PHILADELPHIA -- One of these days Aaron Altherr is going to hit a blooper, a chopper or a broken-bat bleeder.

One of these days he is going to get that first big league single.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies snap 4-game skid behind Nola

Phillies snap 4-game skid behind Nola

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies rookie Aaron Nola looks like the real deal.

He allowed two hits, one run, two walks and struck out six in seven innings on Friday night in a 7-1 victory over the Padres at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies' first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft improved to 5-1 with a 3.26 ERA in eight big league starts.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.