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Phillies Shuffle Rotation To Put Aces Up Against Nationals

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Photo: Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani

The Phillies will have three nights off this week, with tonight's rainout - Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Even though the Phillies skipped fifth starter Roberto Hernandez in the rotation, the Phillies will make one more adjustment.   Kyle Kendrick, originally tabbed to start tonight's game against the Mets, will start on Monday instead.

The move means that when the Phillies take on the Nationals this weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the Nationals will face the Phillies' top three starters.   Cliff Lee will pitch the series opener on Friday, as he was scheduled to.  Then, A.J. Burnett follows in game two.  Cole Hamels will pitch the Sunday matinee to close out the series.


Prospect Profile: Cameron Perkins

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Photo: MiLB.com

It is time for another edition of Phillies Prospect Profile. After two straight weeks of pitching prospects, today we look at a corner infielder and outfielder in the Phillies system that is turning heads with the Reading Fightin' Phils. Cameron Perkins, ranked as the Phillies #12 prospect by Baseball America, is currently in his third professional season.

Drafted out of Purdue in the sixth round of the 2012 draft, Perkins, 23, was a first team-all conference third baseman in college. He helped purdue win their first Big Ten title since 1907. Although he was drafted as a third baseman, Perkins has seen time at first base and both corner outfield positions. The dilemma is the 6-5 right-hander has plenty of guys in front of him. At first base, you have Howard, Ruf, Franco. Third base? Asche and Franco. The oufield is currently locked by Dom Brown, Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd and then you have prospects like Aaron Altherr, Zach Collier, Carlos Tocci and Kelly Dugan. You can add Darin Ruf in there as well.

In an article by CSNPhilly's John Finger, Perkins mentioned that he only worries about what he can control, despite having plenty of prospects in front of him.

“I’m really a low-maintenance kind of guy,” Perkins said about his approach to the game. “I don’t pay much attention to things I can’t control. There are good players everywhere you go. You just have to go out there and control what you can control."

“I feel like I can play anywhere,” Perkins said. “Usually I’m a corner infielder and outfielder. I played third in college and I just recently moved to outfield and I’ve been mixing in at first because we have so many outfielders who are hitting so well. Whatever can help me get in the lineup, I’ll do it.”

That being said, with Perkins' hot bat, he could see himself rising above some of those guys sooner than later. After being drafted in 2012, Perkins spent five games in the GCL before suiting up for the Phillies short-season affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters. Perkins played first base, third and right field with the Cutters, but impressed at the plate as well. In 67 games for Williamsport, the Phils prospect hit .304 with 23 doubles and 38 RBI. He struck out 41 times, walked 14 and stole five bags. 

After an impressive showing at short-season, Perkins skipped Low 'A' Lakewood and spent the 2013 with the Advanced 'A' Clearwater Threshers. Unfortunately, a pitch broke Perkins left wrist, making him miss most of June and an appearance in the Florida State League All-Star Game. He came back with plenty of energy though, finishing third in the FSL in batting at .295. Perkins smacked 30 doubles, six homers and drove in 53 runs. He struck out just 57 times in 387 at bats.

Compared to the likes of Hunter Pence because of his swing and build, Perkins is still polishing his game. He hits plenty of doubles, which will likely change into homers if he gains more muscle weight as he advances through the system. 

This season, Perkins is playing for the Phillies Double-A affiliate in Reading, where his bat continues to stay hot. Through 22 games, he has hit an eye-opening .369/.418/.571 at the plate. He has nine doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. In 17 games played in the outfield, Perkins has a flawless fielding percentage. 

If his successes continue, there is no doubt the 23-year old Phillies prospect could see Triple-A action by the end of the year. That is out of our control though. For now? Cameron Perkins will focus on what he can control with the Reading Fightin' Phils. 

If you want to see Cameron Perkins in action along with other Phillies prospects in Reading that include Jesse Biddle, Severino Gonzalez, Ken Giles, Kelly Dugan and more, visit the Fightin Phils online. Reading returns home for a six-game homestand starting this Friday, May 1st against the Harrisburg Senators.

Brandon Apter is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock


On Wayne Simmonds and the issue of race in hockey

Wayne Simmonds 2014 Playoffs
Photo by Amy Irvin/38 Photography

Wayne Simmonds was acquired by the Philadelphia Flyers as part of the infamous Mike Richards trade back in the summer of 2011. At the time, the big fish for the Flyers was forward Brayden Schenn. Schenn was considered one of the top prospects in hockey. Some people went as far as to call him a “younger Mike Richards”.

 

Wayne Simmonds was there to sweeten the pot for the Flyers. He was a big, physical player that would work hard along the boards and fight guys when necessary. The kind of player that Philadelphia loves. No one thought that, a few years later, he would lead the team in goals. His highest point total with the Los Angeles Kings was 40. He simply wasn't used in that much of an offensive role.

 

Continue reading "On Wayne Simmonds and the issue of race in hockey" »


Game 7 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers

ImageImage courtesy of Amy Irvin

Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers, Game 7, 7:00 pm, NBCSN/CSN-Philly/MSG/TSN2/RDS

In a back-and-forth series, it comes down to tonight for the Philadelphia Flyers, as they visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for Game 7. The Rangers have won all the odd-numbered games so far in the series while the Flyers have won all the even-numbered games. In the final game of the series, can the Orange and Black win their second game in as many days at a place they have only won once since February of 2011?

Continue reading "Game 7 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers" »


Tonight's Phillies-Mets Game Postponed Due to Inclement Weather

Rainpout(Photo: Matt Rappa/Philliedelphia.com)

The Phillies and Mets have canceled their scheduled game two of a three game series tonight due to inclement weather. Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52 ERA) and Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50 ERA) were supposed to go tonight in the second game, but it won't happen. 

With the rain and wind showing no signs of stop today, the game has been re-scheduled for June 2nd  at 7:05 PM.

If you had tickets for tonight's game, your tickets will be redeemed on that date for that game only. 

Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.

 


Free Agent Profile: LeBron to Philly?? Not as Crazy as it Sounds

Lebron to sixers

As the NBA Playoffs near the end of an exciting first round, the Sixers are looking forward to a summer that will define this team for many years to come. Free Agency will definitely play a tremendous role in this year’s offseason plans for the team. They have over 30 million dollars to spend, which means they have multiple options. Should they try and lure a star to Philly or bring in a few quality role players and hope they mesh well with some rookies? That answer is in the hands of GM Sam Hinkie. So far Hinkie has impressed people around the league with his decision making but this summer will serve as a major test to his abilities. The Sixers future rides on Hinkie’s decisions in the coming months. Who could Hinkie land in Free Agency that would boost this team to the Playoffs?

Let’s start off the Free Agent Profiles with Miami Heat forward, LeBron James. Yes, “The King.” Now you’re probably thinking I’m crazy but don’t click the red X in the top-right corner of this page just yet. I’m not here to get anyone’s hopes up because the odds are obviously not in our favor but it’s not as crazy as it may sound. Could “The King” actually wind up in Philly next year? The two-time NBA Champion has a player option for the 2014-2015 season and could opt out to test the Free Agency Market. Where would he decide to take his time and talents this time around? That’s the big question.

First, if for some reason he does decide to opt out of his contact, what teams will make a run for LeBron? If he were to use the same criteria he did when making his decision in 2010, the Sixers have to be on his list. He has shown he has no problem interviewing with teams coming off bad seasons, because four of the five teams he met with in 2010 were coming off losing seasons, including the Nets who had 12 wins the previous year. So just because the Sixers were terrible this year wouldn’t hurt any chances at James.

What else do Stars all seem to want these days? Money and major markets are keys to become an attractive destination. The Sixers have one of the highest cap-space in the league with just over 30 million dollars available to potentially lure James to Philly, so money isn’t a problem. Major market, Philadelphia is top-five in the country so that won’t be a problem.

Still reading? Anyone starting to feel like this isn’t so crazy?

Next, the Sixers have one of the brightest futures in the NBA. With the possibilities they have coming up in this June’s draft, they have the opportunity to become a real legit threat in the Eastern Conference real quick. Michael Carter-Williams looks like he is going to develop into an All-Star caliber point guard. Nerlens Noel we have yet to see, but we know that he was a dominant defensive blocking specialist in college who needs some work to grow into a premier center in the association but he shows promise. Put those two pieces together with two potentially top-10 picks in June, this team can do some damage in the East next year even without a star. But the young talent and the bright future can become a big incentive for LeBron. If he wants a team that will be in the playoffs throughout the remainder of his career Philly isn’t a bad choice.

Finally, if you look around the league for other teams that could go after LeBron, there’s not many. If he were to leave Miami, then the Cavaliers and the Lakers become the other options besides Philadelphia in my opinion. With the Lakers though, I can’t see anyway Kobe leaves which would immediately cut them from the list. With the Cavaliers, does he really want to go back to Cleveland, his hometown city that he betrayed a few years ago? And he doesn’t get along with their GM so that could cause some issues. There have been mild talks of some other teams like Dallas and Sacramento but I don’t see them as being legit threats to land James. What some people don’t know is there is virtually no shot of New York or Chicago being in the mix simple because they wouldn’t have enough money available unless they did a complete roster overhaul which is very unlikely. So that leaves our own Philadelphia Sixers as a team that could make a run at James.   

The bottom line is the Sixers have way too much money and way too many assets for LeBron to not at least interview with them. Hinkie has shown that he has a plan for this team and that his plan is already in progress. If he manages to get “The King” in an interview, who knows what could happen. Like I said earlier, the odds aren’t in our favor and it’s hard to imagine LeBron leaving Miami but if he does then LeBron James taking his time and talents to South Broad St sounds incredibly awesome.

 -Follow @WillRock2424 on Twitter

   


Hamels Struggles, Byrd Homers in Phillies Loss

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After a strong 6-4 road trip out West, the Phillies (13-13) returned home to welcome the second place New York Mets (15-11) into town for a short two-game set. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned as Cole Hamels battled control problems and the Phillies bats were silent. The Mets took this one, 6-1.

The Game: Things would remain scoreless into the third inning. Ruben Tejada led off the inning with a double to left. After Hamels retired the next two hitters, he fell behind Daniel Murphy. Murphy was waiting for the changeup and ripped it into right for a single to bring home Tejada. 1-0 Mets

The Mets would add to that lead in the fourth. Hamels got David Wright to fly out to lead the inning off, then the Phillies lefty gave free passes to both Chris Young and Curtis Granderson. Hamels looked to be struggling with his pitch grip again against Josh Satin, falling behind 3-0. Cole battled back to make it a full count but his next fastball caught too much of the plate as Satin smacked an RBI single to center field to extend New York's lead to 2-0. Cole got Travis d'Arnaud swinging for the second but walked Ruben Tejada to lead the bases. Up next was the pitcher, Jonathan Niese and Hamels walked him, allowing the Mets to add another run, 3-0. The Mets sent eight men to the plate and Cole Hamels pitch count was at 75 going into the bottom of the fourth.

Did we mention the Phillies were hitless? That didn't last much longer. In the bottom of the fourth, Marlon Byrd launched a solo shot against his former team to give the Phillies their first hit and run of the game, cutting the lead to two at 3-1. 

The Mets got that run back and more in the fifth though. Daniel Murphy singled to lead off the inning. Murphy stole second base and later scored on a Chris Young RBI double to right center. 4-1 Mets. With Hamels spot up third the next half inning, Sandberg opted to stick with the lefty even after Cole loaded the bases. He wouldn't last much longer as Ruben Tejada hit an RBI single back up the middle to score two more, giving the Mets a 6-1 lead. Roberto Hernandez was called upon to replace Hamels and got the final out.

Hamels final line wasn't pretty. He went just 4 2/3 innings, gave up six runs on eight hits while striking out three. He also walked five. The Phillies bullpen shut down the Mets offense for the rest of the game.

Notable Offensive Performances:

Marlon Byrd: 1-4, RBI, R

Ryan Howard: 2-4, 2B, 2 K's

Chase Utley: 1-4

Carlos Ruiz: 1-3

Impact: Obviously, we were all hoping to see more out of Cole Hamels tonight. After the third inning, his control got worse and base-runners began to pile up. The Mets haven't been his favorite team to face though. Hamels entered the game with a 4.44 career ERA against them. He has an 8.33 ERA in his last six starts against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park as well. The offense was underwhelming to say the least, though they hit the ball hard..just right at the defense. The Phils couldn't get to Mets starter Jonathan Niese, who had little issues getting through the Phillies lineup.

Bullpen Report: Roberto Hernandez relieved Hamels in the fourth and retired the only better he faced. We got to see some more of Mario Hollands in this one as he retired all six batters he faced. He threw strikes, his fastball had plenty of life to it and that resulted in him fanning two Mets hitters. Jeff Manship threw just four pitches to retire the Mets in the eighth. Shawn Camp pitched a scoreless ninth.

Up Next: The Phillies and Mets conclude their short two-game on Wednesday night at 7:05PM. Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52) will get the call for the Phillies. The Mets will oppose with Barolo Colon (2-3, 4.50).

Brandon Apter is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ApterShock


Phillies Take on the Mets in the Short Two Game Series

The Phillies are finally back home. Tonight the Phillies start a short two game series against the New York Mets after going 6-4 on their west coast trip. Cole Hamels will get the start on the mound for his second start since returning from the DL. Hamels in his first start against the Dodgers last Wednesday went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits and struck out five. There was a lot of controversy after the game because Ryno Sandberg pulled Hamels at 80 some pitches, when Hamels said he had plenty left in the tank. The Phillies would go on to lose that game 5-2.

The Phillies batters will face Jon Niese who is putting together a decent year going 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA in four starts. In his last start, Niese went a season low 5.2 innings taking the loss to Cincinnati Reds.

Game Notes:

  • Carlos Ruiz was named NL Player of Week yesterday after going 11 for 22 with a .593 OPS on the week with seven RBIs. This was Ruiz first time receiving the award.
  • Darin Ruf, Ethan Martin, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez have all been improving in extended spring training and could be making rehab appearances soon.
  • Phillies hope to continue David Wright’s season power outage. Wright only has four extra base hits and no home runs
  • Phillies will face former top prospect Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate.
  • Look for the possibility for former Philly Bobby Abreu to come off the bench for the Mets

Phillies Lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Jimmy Rollins SS
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Marlon Byrd RF
  5. Ryan Howard 1B
  6. Carlos Ruiz C
  7. Domonic Brown LF
  8. Jayson Nix 3B
  9. Cole Hamels P

Mets Lineup:

  1. Eric Young LF
  2. Daniel Murphy 2B
  3. David Wright 3B
  4. Chris Young CF
  5. Curtis Granderson RF
  6. Josh Satin 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud C
  8. Miguel Tejada SS
  9. Jon Niese P

First Pitch: 7:05 PM ET

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA

Weather: 47oF 80% chance of rain. Spotty showers and windy 15 mph winds out of the east

TV: TCN

Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP

 

Additional Notes:

  • The Flyers will be playing in game six against the NY Rangers facing elimination at the Wells Fargo Center at 7pm. Follow Flyerdelphia for Flyers updates.
  • It is possible the Phillies game will have a delayed start with rain in the area. Stay with Philliedelphia for possible updates.

 

Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Ashipotofsky