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Brandon Phillips enters the Senators’ Bobblehead Hall of Fame

This content was originally found in Issue No. 19 of this year’s Senators Program


The Wit and Wisdom of Brandon Phillips

“I’ll take a three-run homer over a walk.”

“You need haters in your life. If you don’t have haters in your life, you’re not doing anything.”

“Yes, I’m flashy. I just feel like it makes me have fun if I put a little flair to it. Do I feel like I’m arrogant? No. Do I feel like I’m confident? Hell yes, I do. I feel like I’m the best all-around second baseman in
baseball. If you don’t think you’re the best, why go out and play this game?”

“What I love is people are starting to recognize defense now. If you just hit home runs, you’re a one-dimensional player. So if you don’t hit a home run, then you didn’t do your job. But if you can play defense and do a decent job swinging the bat? Then you’re one of the best players in the game.”

“It’s about me being confident and believing in myself. You have to believe in yourself to play this game, because this game will kill you.”

“The only thing I can do is go out and play the game the way I do. I do it with flair because baseball is a boring game.”

“If I was to go out there and be selfish, my stats would be totally different than what they are. But my goal is to get a ring on my finger. I’ve got the Silver Slugger, got the All-Stars, got the Gold Gloves. The only thing I’m missing is a ring. I got it in the Minor Leagues, had it in high school. Would I like an MVP? Yeah that would be nice. But what I really want is a ring.”

“If I could say one word to describe me, it’s ‘misunderstood’.”

Accolades and Achievements

  • Over two partial seasons and 127 games in Harrisburg, Phillips hit .312 with 16 home runs, 32 doubles, 71 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases
  • In 2001, Phillips was the first teenager to play for the Senators since Ugueth Urbina had previously done so in 1993
  • Was a three-sport star at Redan High School and originally considered attending the University of Georgia to play both baseball and football
  • Traded with Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Lee Stevens for a two-month rental of Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew in one of the worst trades in baseball history
  • Clubbed 30 home runs for Cincinnati in 2007 breaking the franchise’s single season record by a second baseman set by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan
  • One of only three second baseman in the history of baseball to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season
  • A human highlight reel on defense, Phillips has claimed the National League Gold Glove four times so far in his career
  • Holds the Reds’ club record for most consecutive errorless games with 107
  • One of the most popular MLB players (@DatDudeBP) on Twitter with over 1.1 million followers
  • Comes from a family of athletes as his older brother Jamil played for the Texas Rangers’ organization, his younger sister Porsha played for the San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA, and his younger brother P.J. played in the Los Angeles Angels organization
  • He is an avid bowler with at least three perfect games to his credit

(Harrisburg Senators)

Revisiting the “Trade of the Decade”

With reports swirling that the Montreal Expos would be eliminated through contraction after the 2002 season, Expos’ GM Omar Minaya made a bold decision to push all of his chips to the center of the table
to get Montreal in the playoffs for the first time since 1981. He wanted an ace for his staff and was willing to empty the farm system to do it.

The Expos trailed the Braves by 6.5 games in the National League East and found themselves five games behind the Wild Card-leading Diamondbacks when Minaya dealt away Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady
Sizemore, and Lee Stevens to the Cleveland Indians for Bartolo Colon and minor league pitcher Tim Drew on June 27, 2002.

Colon pitched well for Montreal down the stretch — tallying a 3.31 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 117 innings. But unfortunately the rest of the roster faltered in the second half and the Expos were distantly
behind Atlanta in the Division and the Giants for the Wild Card. One piece of good news was that baseball agreed to not contract any teams through 2006 as part of a new labor deal that it forged with
the players’ union.

By then, the Expos’ best young talent was in Cleveland.

“When we did that deal, Brandon clearly was the marquee player,” Indians’ then GM Mark Shapiro recalled to Ken Rosenthal. “Cliff Lee, we felt, would be a very good major-league pitcher, but we had no idea he’d win a Cy Young. Grady was the upside guy.”

Senators Roster Moves: Victor Robles promoted to Senators; Collier, Simms, and Valdez called up to Syracuse; Schepel and Bacus return to Harrisburg

Phillips Valdez (Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

The Nationals promoted their top-ranked prospect Victor Robles from Potomac to Harrisburg after the outfielder slashed .289/.377/.495 with 25 doubles, seven triples, seven homers, and 16 stolen bases in 77 games with the P-Nats this season. The 20-year-old will become the youngest player to make his Senators’ debut since 18-year-old Bryce Harper did it in 2011 and eighth youngest in their 31-year modern history. (h/t to Andy Linker)

Outfielder Zach Collier along with pitchers John Simms and Phillips Valdez were promoted to Class AAA Syracuse. Collier recently returned from a stint on the disabled list and has batted .278 in 30 games this season with the Senators. Simms has been the Senators’ most consistent starter as the 25-year-old Rice product has pitched to a 5-6 record and 3.54 ERA while being named an Eastern League All-Star.  For Simms, this will be his first opportunity at the Triple-A level. Valdez has been lights out since tweaking his delivery after coming off the disabled list in late May. Since then the lithe Dominican has thrown 28 innings over 15 games and has allowed just three earned runs (0,96 ERA) and opponents are batting .192 against him.

Relievers Dakota Bacus and Kyle Schepel, former Senators, return to Harrisburg to complete the corresponding moves. In 31 appearances with the Senators in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Bacus pitched to a 7-4 record with a 4.13 ERA. Schepel made one appearance with Harrisburg earlier this season pitching 2.2 innings in Richmond.

Senators Roster Moves: Greg Ross reassigned to Senators; Derek Eitel released

Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

Greg Ross returns to Harrisburg after going 3-9 with a 6.40 ERA in 16 appearances for the Syracuse Chiefs. In 2016 and 2017, the Frostburg State product went 7-1 with a combined 1.25 ERA as a Senator.

The corresponding move was the release of Derek Eitel. The 29-year-old right-hander worked out of the rotation and bullpen for Harrisburg in 12 appearances. Eitel was signed as a minor league free agent this past off-season.

Three fireworks nights and the Phillie Phanatic highlight four-game weekend homestand

Thursday, July 20, at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA Mets), gates open at 6:00 p.m.

  • Phillie Phanatic Appearance Presented by CW Central PA! The Phanatic will be around all game to interact with fans and participate in on-field games!
  • Postgame Fireworks presented by Orkin and CW Central PA. Make sure to stick around post-game for a special Thursday edition of postgame fireworks! We’ll have the best fireworks show in Central PA!
  • Thirsty Thursday presented by Coors Light and 105.7 The X. Enjoy $2 Coors Light drafts on the boardwalk!
  • Community Aid Free Parking presented by Community Aid. Bring a full bag of clothes to donate and park for free! Donations will be accepted at City Island as you are parking.

Friday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m. vs. the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA Mets), gates open at 6:00 p.m.

  • Steve Hytner Appearance Presented by CBS21! Steve Hytner, who portrayed Kenny Bania on Seinfeld, will be at FNB Field to sign autographs and meet fans!
  • Steve Hytner VIP Performance! Join us for a post-game VIP Comedy Show with Steve Hytner! Tickets for the VIP Comedy show are $15 and are in addition to your game tickets. The 20-minute stand-up comedy show will be Rated R and guests must be 18 or older.
  • Fireworks and Flatscreens presented by Waste Management, WINK 104 and CBS21. We’re giving away three flatscreen TVs throughout the game! Make sure to register to win at the ballpark. Plus, stick around post-game for the best fireworks in Central PA.
  • Post-game Autographs! Two Senators players will sign autographs in the Senators team store following the game!

Saturday, July 22, at 6:00 p.m. vs. the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA Mets), gates open at 4:30 p.m.

  • Superhero Cape Giveaway presented by First National Bank, CW Central PA, BOB 94.9 and The River 97.3. The first 1,000 fans 12 & under receive their own Senators Superhero cape!
  • Postgame fireworks presented by D&H. Make sure to stick around post-game for a special Saturday edition of postgame fireworks! We’ll have the best fireworks in Central PA
  • Superheroes appearance presented by CW Central PA. A variety of your favorite superheroes are going to be at FNB Field for Superhero Day! Don’t miss your chance to meet & greet them!
  • Superhero Day with Specialty Jersey. Make sure to come dressed as your favorite superhero! We’re saluting the best superheroes there are with a special Senators themed superhero jersey which will be worn by the players and auctioned off during the game!

Sunday, July 23, at 1:30 p.m. vs. the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA Mets), gates open at 12:30 p.m.

  • Fedora Straw Hat Giveaway presented by UPMC Health Plan and CBS21! The first 1,000 fans 13 & older receive a Senators Fedora Straw Hat!
  • Super Splash Sunday! Bring your swimsuit with you to the park because we’re turning parts of FNB Field into splash zones! Keep cool at the park on these warm Sunday games!
  • Signature Sunday! Two Senators players will sign autographs from 12:35 p.m. to 12:55 p.m. on the dugout tops!
  • Rite Aid Family Day presented by Rite Aid, BOB 94.9 and The River 97.3. Show your Rite Aid Plenti card at the box office for $2 off your tickets (excludes Club seats)! You also receive 1/2 price kids zone wristbands when you show your Rite Aid card in the kids zone! Tickets must be purchased at the box office.
  • Battle of the Badges Softball Game! Make sure to stick around postgame for a special Battle of the Badges Softball Game featuring local police and fire departments! In addition, all first responders at the game will be able to hold a large American flag on the field during the national anthem.

Senators Roster Moves: Austin Voth back with Senators, RC Orlan reassigned to Potomac

Will Bentzel / Harrisburg Senators

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

Austin Voth was reassigned from the Syracuse Chiefs and will start tonight for the Senators against the Altoona Curve. The 25-year-old right-hander is 1-7 with a 6.38 ERA in 13 starts for the Chiefs. In 2015, Voth went 6-7 with a 2.92 ERA in 28 appearances spending the whole season with Harrisburg. That year he also lead the Eastern League with 148 strikeouts.

The corresponding move was the reassignment of RC Orlan to Potomac. The southpaw reliever struggled to a 5.09 ERA in 25 appearances with Harrisburg.

Senators Roster Moves: Ballou released; Lisson and McGowin placed on DL; Collier, Estevez, and Lara activated; Gamache promoted

Zach Collier (Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

Outfielder Isaac Ballou was released by the Nationals. Ballou slashed .255/.335/.397 over parts of three seasons in Harrisburg.

Mario Lisson and Kyle McGowin were placed on the disabled list. Lisson has hit .192 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 65 games this year for the Senators. McGowin has struggled in his first season with the Nationals organization. The right-hander is a combined 1-11 with a 7.62 ERA over 14 starts in Syracuse and Harrisburg.

The corresponding roster moves were activating Zach Collier, Wirkin Estevez, and Braulio Lara off the disabled list.

Dan Gamache was also promoted to Harrisburg from Single-A Potomac. Gamache batted .335 in 74 games the last time he was in the Eastern League, with the 2015 Altoona Curve.


Senators Roster Moves: Francisco Rodriguez assigned to Harrisburg; Austen Williams transferred to Potomac

{Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

MLB veteran Francisco Rodriguez has been assigned to the Senators. K-Rod was signed by the Nationals on a minor league deal after being released by the Detroit Tigers on June 23. The 35-year-old reliever has saved 437 games during his 16-year career.

The corresponding roster move was reassigning Williams to Potomac. The right-hander was 1-6 with a 6.85 ERA in 10 starts for the Senators.


Ryan Brinley added to Western Division All-Star team

(Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

The Eastern League has announced that Harrisburg reliever Ryan Brinley has been added to the Western Division All-Star team for the Eastern League All-Star Game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, New Hampshire on July 12.

Brinley, 24, has posted a 4-4 record with a 3.63 ERA and six saves in 27 relief appearances. The right-hander was especially impressive in the month of April, allowing just one run in 9.1 innings (0.96 ERA).


Senators Roster Moves: Austen Williams and Corban Joseph activated off the DL; Taylor Hill and Stephen Perez assigned to Syracuse

Stephen Perez (Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

The following transactions have taken place today affecting the roster of the Harrisburg Senators:

Austen Williams and Corban Joseph were activated off the disabled list prior to the game with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The corresponding moves were sending Taylor Hill and Stephen Perez to Class AAA Syracuse.

Williams, on the DL since June 1, will start the first game of the series against Binghamton on Friday. The 24-year-old right-hander was 1-6 with a 7.01 ERA in nine starts for the Senators before being temporarily shelved.

Joseph last played on June 16 when he injured his throwing hand while fielding a groundball against Richmond. The 28-year-old infielder was batting .310 in 12 games with Harrisburg after getting demoted from Syracuse.

Hill will get the nod for the Chiefs in their Friday contest against the Buffalo Bisons. The starter has struggled this year to a combined 7.47 ERA while allowing 20 home runs in only 14 games.

Perez gets his first taste of Triple-A as a result of the ripple effect caused by Trea Turner’s broken wrist. Perez has played 179 games over parts of the last three seasons in Harrisburg before moving one step closer to the Major Leagues.


Marmolejos, Simms, and Read named to Eastern League All-Star team

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In conjunction with the Eastern League, the Harrisburg Senators are pleased to announce that INF/OF Jose Marmolejos, RHP John Simms and C Raudy Read have been named to the Eastern League Western Division All-Star team for Eastern League All-Star Game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, New Hampshire on July 12.

Marmolejos, 24, is hitting .307 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs. Jose didn’t join the team until May 12, but is tied for the current team lead in home runs and is fourth in runs batted in. He’s also scored thirty runs which is second to Alec Keller. He made an immediate impact on the Senators, going five-for-six, five RBIs and a go-ahead two-out grand slam in the ninth inning to beat Erie on May 22. He’s considered the #26 prospect according to Baseball Americain the Nationals organization.

Simms, 25, is the only starter remaining in the season opening rotation for the Senators. He’s in his fifth professional season and the fourth with the Senators. He has been steady at 3-4 with a 3.44 ERA. Prior to the start Wednesday afternoon against Reading, he was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA over his last three starts. He struck out a season-high eight batters at New Hampshire on June 22. He was the Houston Chronicle’s Pitcher of the Year as a junior in high school in 2009.

Read, 23, is in his first season with the Senators and his seventh in the Nationals organization. He’s hitting .279 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. Raudy (pronounced Rowdy) has played in 58 of the Senators 76 games to date. His 33 RBIs are second on the Senators and his 16 doubles lead the team. He hit a one-out two-run home run on Saturday, June 24 at Portland to give the Senators 6-5 lead. He’s considered the Nationals #22 prospect according to Baseball America.