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July 2015
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September 2015

Odubel Herrera shines in otherwise dull Phillies season

No one thought much of the Phillies selecting Odubel Herrera from the Texas Rangers during the Rule 5 draft last winter. Although he hit .294 between 2009 and 2014 in the Rangers' minor league system, it's common knowledge that players selected in the Rule 5 draft often don't stick with the team that selects them.

This is due to the fact that the draft selection must stay on his new team's major league roster for an entire season. He cannot be sent down to the minors; instead, he must be offered back to the team from which he was drafted.

After not playing above Double-A in his career, Herrera had an excellent spring for the Phillies, hitting .343 with seven stolen bases and 12 runs scored through 21 games. He not only made the major league roster, but earned a starting spot in the Phillies' outfield.

This is even more incredible when you consider the fact that Herrera spent the majority of his minor league career playing the middle infield positions. He only played 13 of his 559 total minor league games in the outfield, with 11 games in left field and two games in center.

Coming into Monday's game, Herrera had the fourth best average among NL rookies, trailing only Stephen Piscotty of the Cardinals, Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, and Matt Duffy of the Giants. He has arguably been one of the biggest contributors to the continuously struggling Phillies offense this season, with six homers, 34 RBI, 55 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

Herrera's defense has been a bit slower to come around. He currently has five errors, but also five assists. As the season has progressed, his natural talent has blossomed into strong defensive ability, thanks to the help of outfield instructor and first base coach Juan Samuel. Two of Herrera's many catches this season played a role in securing Cole Hamels' no-hitter on July 25. He's obviously still a work in progress, as many young players are, but it's clear that he's catching on to his new position.

In a year that has the Phillies at the bottom of the standings and the remaining core from the 2008 World Champion team dissipating, it's good to see a few bright spots in the young players and rookies. Along with Maikel Franco, Cody Asche, Freddy Galvis and Cameron Rupp, Herrera is making a case for his place in the team's future. If he continues making strides like he has this season, Herrera will be more than a bright spot for the Phils; he'll be a regular in the MLB highlight reels.

Colon masterful against Eickhoff, Phillies in series opener

Final: Mets 3, Phillies 1

WP: Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.42 ERA) LP: Jerad Eickhoff (1-2, 2.84 ERA) SV: Jeurys Familia (36)

New York, NY - In what was a pitcher's duel for most of the evening at Citi Field, New York Mets' veteran right hander Bartolo Colon ultimately prevailed over Philadelphia Phillies' rookie Jerad Eickhoff, who was making his third career start.

Two home runs off the bats of Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the fifth inning was all the Mets needed to secure their 10th consecutive victory against the Phillies, which ties a franchise record set back on June 28, 1972.

The Phillies have now lost 24 of their last 29 games against the Mets. They must win each of their remaining five games against their division rivals to avoid their worst single-season record against them in franchise history.

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Rosehill returns to the Phantoms for 2015-2016


Photo: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms announced they have signed Forward Jay Rosehill to a one-year American Hockey League Contract on Monday Afternoon.


Rosehill, a 30 year old Olds, Alberta native, has more than 4oo games of AHL experience since being drafted 227th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 200e3 NHL Entry Draft. He has spent time with the Phantoms, Norfolk Admirals, Toronto Marlies and Springfield Falcons.


In 2014-15, He appeared in 65 games for Lehigh Valley, he totaled 12 points (5+7) and 219 penalty minutes. Of the teams 91 fights, he accounted for seven. With the signing, the Phantoms now have 18 forwards coming to training camp in late September.

Eagles get payback on Redskins via Twitter, poke fun at QB situation

The Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Tim Tebow in April. Many were skeptical of the team's decision to bring in the former Heisman Trophy winner, especially the Washington Redskins

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Phillies begin six-game road trip against Colon, Mets

New York, NY - Tonight at Citi Field, the Philadelphia Phillies (52-79) will kick-off a three-game set against the division-leading New York Mets (72-58), a team that they have lost each of their last nine meetings to, and 12 of 13 overall for the regular season.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (52-79)New York Mets (72-58)
RHP Jerad Eickhoff RHP Bartolo Colon
(1-1, 2.25 ERA) (11-11, 4.68 ERA)

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Rosters expand September 1, but do not expect too many right away

Tomorrow is the day that rosters expand in Major League Baseball.  Today is also the waiver trade deadline in baseball, but the Phillies are probably done making moves unless someone surprises them with an offer for either catcher Carlos Ruiz or first baseman Ryan Howard.   The Phillies will likely add some to the Major League roster, but it may have to wait a few days.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are still in season until September 7, when the 'Pigs play a 1:35 Labor Day matchup against Pawtucket.  The Phillies might be able to use a few players on the AAA roster going forward, but they may have to wait until after the seventh.   The reason is that the IronPigs will still need to field a roster.  The playoff-bound AA Reading Fightin' Phils likely cannot spare any extra parts to fill out a AAA roster.

One player that could come up right away is catcher Erik Kratz.   Almost unbelievably, the Phillies have gone through the whole 2015 season so far without needing to call up a third catcher. The very physical position almost always leads to a disabled list stint for either the starter or backup.  Adding a third catcher is a common move in September to at the very least provide some relief to the daily wear and tear of the Phillies backstop staff. 

Gabriel Lino is certainly another option, but the Phillies may have promised Kratz a September call-up when they signed him; the team has made similar promises in the past.   The Phillies may wish not to start Lino's service time clock.  Lino and Logan Moore can remain with Lehigh Valley to finish the season, making Kratz a spare part the team does not need.

The Phillies relief corps is in major need of help.  With the Phillies reportedly looking into a six-man rotation in September to give the young starting pitchers some extra rest, the Phillies would need to add at least one reliever right away.  Dailer Hinojosa is a good candidate to come up immediately.  Hinojosa pitched well in his brief appearances with the Phillies.    The IronPigs are adding Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to their roster from the disabled list, so that frees an arm up for the Phillies.

Nefi Ogando could come later; since he was just optioned he must remain in the minors for 10 days.  Ken Roberts was just claimed by the Phillies.  But Roberts too was also just optioned to AAA; the Phillies might see him later.  Seth Rosin could get another shot at the Major Leagues.  While Rosin was outrighted off of the 40-man roster, the Phillies have two potential 40-man roster spots.  Matt Harrison and Chad Billingsley could be moved to the 60-day disabled list easily.

Another potential immediate stopgap could be outfielder Jordan Danks.  Danks had a few at bats with the Phillies this season.  Picked up off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox prior to the 2015 season, Danks is the only position player on the 40-man roster aside from first baseman Tommy Joseph and the recovering Jorge Alfaro on the 40-man roster left, but neither figure to be September call-ups.  Danks could be a useful piece.

Once Lehigh Valley is finished, Ogando, Roberts, and possibly David Buchanan and Severino Gonzalez could join the Phillies.   But until then, someone has to play for the IronPigs.

Will Michal Neuvirth find stability with the Flyers?

When the Flyers signed Michal Neuvirth to open their free agency period earlier this summer, it provided them a younger option to back Steve Mason up -- after all, Ray Emery had run his course and was largely inconsistent in the second year of his second tenure with the organization. 

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Asher's debut spoiled by Padres

For the eighth time this season, and fifth for a starting pitcher, a new member of the Phillies took the field for his major-league debut.

This was Alec Asher, joining three other rookies in the Phillies rotation, as a first-time starter in the majors.

It wasn't a bad debut for Asher, but his teammates couldn't eliminate an early deficit, allowing the Padres to salvage the series finale with a 9-3 win on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Padres 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 1 9 16 0
Phillies 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 10 0

WP: James Shields (10-6, 3.78 ERA) LP: Alec Asher (0-1, 6.35 ERA)

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