Jonathan Pettibone Makes MLB Debut Amid Mild Expectations

Jonathan Pettibone Makes MLB Debut Amid Mild Expectations

Guest post by Matt Hammond

After nabbing International League Pitcher of the Year honors with
a 12-1 mark and 2.35 ERA for the Iron Pigs in Triple-A last year, Tyler Cloyd
got lit up in the six starts following his September callup for the Phillies, for a 2-2
record and 4.91 ERA.

Lot of anticipation. World of let-down. In all, the Cloyd
Experience was kind of a drag.

Tonight, when Jonathan Pettibone makes his Big League debut in
place of the 15-day DL’d John Lannan against A.J. Burnett and the Pirates,
it probably won’t go that way.

Though he might not be Cliff Lee, and probably won't even be Adam
Morgan, Ethan Martin and, someday, Jesse Biddle, the numbers on the 22-year-old
right-handed sinker-and-slider-throwing Pettibone say he probably won’t be
Cloyd, either. 

He’ll probably sooner be, ironically, Aaron Cook.

Unlike Cloyd, who was tagged for eight home runs in six
major-league starts, Pettibone is all about inducing much more harmless ground
balls. His 50.8% ground ball rate in Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year was well
over average for the International League.

Pettibone’s outfield fly ball rate last year was 17.2%, where
Cloyd’s was 30.9%.

Hits are hits, and any kind can score runs, but ground balls
typically lead to fewer extra-base hits, which makes pulling the plug before
it’s too late easier on Charlie Manuel. 

Which is kind of why GM Ruben Amaro signed Cook (his 58.6 GB% in
2012 was second in baseball) this winter: to compete with Rodrigo Lopez to be
the Phillies sixth starter in case of, well, this. It’s also why fans bemoaned
Cook being cut this spring.

If he can’t dazzle, it’s pivotal that Pettibone at the very
least lasts today, seeing as a lengthy run from the bullpen early could impede
the Phillies chances the rest of the series.

Pettibone so far hasn’t been able to duplicate the impressive
4-1 mark and 2.25 ERA he posted after his first promotion to Triple-A last
year. He’s got a shaky 9.64 ERA through two starts with the Iron Pigs this year, after serving six
runs on eight hits in just 5 1/3 innings in his debut, and another four runs in
four innings in his follow up last Tuesday. 

His next scheduled turn was, conveniently, today. Morgan and
Martin both pitched on Saturday, and Biddle isn’t close to being Big League
ready.

Chris Johnson and Tyler Pastornicky each belted a home run for
the Braves in Pettibone’s only Grapefruit League game this spring, and
Pettibone served four runs in two frames on Apr. 28. Earlier, the Dominican
Republic WBC roster blasted him for another four runs in 2 2/3 once they were
through with Cole Hamels on Mar. 5.

Amaro yesterday said Pettibone's been clocking 91-94 m.p.h. this
year, whereas Cloyd topped out at 87 m.p.h. last year. Curiously, the GM said
Pettibone's stuff has been good, in the same breath as saying his command and
results have been poor. Hmm.

So no, there wasn’t the same hype around Pettibone as there was
Cloyd in 2012. 

Seeing how that went, and how this isn’t likely to,
maybe less will prove more.

*

Matt Hammond is the Phillies Insider and Morning Update Anchor for 97.3 ESPN in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter here.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Union midfielder Brian Carroll to retire after 15 MLS seasons

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Union midfielder Brian Carroll to retire after 15 MLS seasons

CHESTER, Pa. — Brian Carroll didn’t play a single minute in his first year in Major League Soccer.

That was in 2003.

Fourteen years later, he’s set to retire as one of the longest-tenured and accomplished players in league history.

Carroll, a mainstay of MLS and the Philadelphia Union, announced his well-deserved retirement Thursday ahead of the Union’s 2017 finale vs. Orlando City SC on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium (4 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia +)

If he plays in Sunday’s game, it will be his first minutes of the season as age and injuries have started to creep up to the 36-year-old defensive midfielder who’s been battling for a time in a crowded position.

But as recently as last season, Carroll was still a key player for the Union, who he spent seven of his 15 MLS seasons with, wearing the captain’s armband at times and being a consummate pro in an ever-changing locker room.

In all for the Union, Carroll has played 13,818 minutes, the most in franchise history, and 165 games, second only to Sebastien Le Toux.

Throughout his MLS career, the savvy midfielder known for his tremendous work rate played a total of 370 games (tied for fourth in league history) and 30,776 minutes (sixth all-time), winning championships with his two previous teams — D.C. United in 2004 and the Columbus Crew in 2008. He also won the Supporters’ Shield four straight years, with D.C. in 2006 and 2007 and with Columbus in 2008 and 2009.

His teams made the playoffs in his first nine years in the league, a streak that culminated with the Union’s first-ever postseason appearance in 2011 — his first season in Philly.

Carroll, a former star player at Wake Forest, also had success at the international level, earning eight caps with the U.S. national team and also playing for a couple of U.S. youth teams.

The father of three now plans to move to Indianapolis with his family and embark on a new career in financial planning.