Wathan to Manage Six BlueClaws in SAL All-Star Game
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Six Lakewood BlueClaws players and one coach will join manager Dusty Wathan in for the 2009 South Atlantic League All-Star game on June 23rd in Charleston, West Virginia.
Pitchers Tyler Cloyd, Justin De Fratus and BJ Rosenberg join centerfielder Anthony Gose, second baseman Harold Garcia, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud on the team, with BlueClaws coach Tim Gradoville also being selected as a coach. BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan, along with the six players and Gradoville, was selected by the league's managers, coaches, and broadcasters to manage the Northern Division team.
The first-place BlueClaws, who as of Monday have a 2.5 game lead over the Delmarva Shorebirds, have the most players selected of any team in the league.
"As we speak, we're in first place," said Wathan. "We have a chance to win the division. You win ballgames with your players, and I think it's justified that we do have the most players."
Gose, 18, a 2nd round pick of the Phillies last year, leads all of Minor League Baseball with 37 stolen bases. He is also fifth in the South Atlantic League with 35 runs scored, and is the lone member of the BlueClaws All-Star group that will start the game.
"Anthony completely changes a game at any time he reaches first," said Wathan. "He has helped the middle of our lineup simply be being on base, and is most deserving of the chance to start the game."
d'Arnaud was a supplemental first-round pick of the Phillies in 2007, and leads the BlueClaws with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. His brother, Chase, will start at shortstop for West Virginia.
"Travis has been outstanding defensively," said Wathan. "He's driven in a lot of runs and handled our pitching staff tremendously."
Garcia has been the BlueClaws leadoff hitter and is second on the team and seventh in the league with 16 stolen bases. The 22-year old has added four home runs and is third on the team with 22 RBIs.
"Garcia has been a rock at the top of the lineup," said Wathan. "He gets himself on base and his defense has improved dramatically since last year. He's done everything that a guy needs to do to make an all-star team."
Cloyd, Lakewood's opening day starter and an 18th round pick last year (Nebraska-Omaha), leads the team, and is third in the league in wins (6) and has just a 2.93 ERA. The right-hander has walked just 10 batters in 70.2 innings while striking out 65.
"Cloyd has been our best pitcher and one of the best in the league," said Wathan. "He's certainly deserving of the trip. He throws a lot of strikes and gives us a chance to win every time he starts."
De Fratus, an 11th round pick in 2007, had never pitched in the bullpen before this year, but has easily made the transition. In 19 games, he is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA, having struck out 41 and walked just three over 39.1 innings pitched.
"It's really special for Justin since this is his first time ever in the bullpen," said Wathan. "He's taken to it so well, and does a great job for us in a really important role. Those guys don't get enough credit so I'm glad he's been recognized."
Rosenberg, a 13th round pick of the Phillies last year (University of Louisville), is 4-2 with a 1.99 ERA and seven saves this season. He's struck out 30 and walked just seven over 22.2 innings pitched.
"BJ's been great for us this year," said Wathan. "He's been at the end of the bullpen and closes the door when we get him the lead."
Wathan, who will manage the Northern Division All- Stars, was pleased to be selected.
"Just for me personally, it's a great honor to be chosen by the other managers. When you're voted on something by your peers, it makes it more special."
The Lakewood BlueClaws have led the South Atlantic League in average or overall attendance in each of their eight seasons. After going over the 3-million fan mark in 2007, the BlueClaws are closing in on becoming the fastest New Jersey and SAL team to reach 4-million fans.
Kids Eat Free at every 2009 BlueClaws home game thanks to NJ 101.5 and ShopRite.
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