Bryce Harper to Have Thumb Surgery

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

This should come as no surprise but now it’s official, Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper will require surgery to repair his broken thumb.  CSN's NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury reports it's a "stabilzation" proceudre and Harper is likey to return after the six week recovery period. 

 

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For Mark Appel, A Move to the Bullpen Has Reignited His Career

Mark AppelPhoto: Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Mark Appel’s name was beginning to find its way onto a list that no ballplayer wants their name attached to, “Biggest MLB Draft busts of all-time.” 

And why shouldn’t it. The 1st overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft is approaching 31-years old, owns a 5.01 MiLB ERA, retired for three-years and hasn’t stepped foot on a Major League mound. 

Appel could’ve called it a career, took his millions and went home to California. Instead he did what many pro athletes don’t do, he put his pride aside and changed. 

A starter for the majority of his baseball life, Appel made adjustments to his grip, his approach, and most importantly his role. He moved from the rotation to the bullpen and the results have been eye opening.

Appel is 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA, 24 Ks, and a 0.93 WHIP in 28.0 innings pitched since moving to the ‘pen. He’s also five-for-five in save opportunities for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley. 

His velocity, yeah that’s back too. Appel’s fastball sits in the 96-98 MPH range according to scouts who have watched him with the IronPigs. His off-speed stuff has been just as electric. 

Appel’s early season surprise has been enough to (finally) get the call to the Big Leagues.  He will be available from the bullpen for the Phillies on Saturday in San Diego. 

Now the questions becomes, what can Appel become for the Phillies?

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Farm Report: Mark Appel Promoted to the Big Leagues

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Nine years after being drafted 1st overall by the Houston Astros, Mark Appel will finally be making it to the Big Leagues. 

Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki is reporting Appel will join the Phillies in San Diego. He will be replacing Connor Brogdon who will be place on the COVID-IL.  

What a wild, weird journey it has been for the former top prospect in baseball.

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Report: Cole Hamels Looking to Make a Comeback

Cole_Hamels_pre-gamePhoto: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

New York Post baseball scribe Jon Heyman dropped an interesting nugget, former Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels is targeting next season to make a comeback.  The 2008 World Series MVP hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since September 16, 2020, with Atlanta.  “Hollywood” turns 39-years old in December and seems to be enjoying his vacation in Ocean City, NJ.

 

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Farm Report: Phillies Prospect K’s 13 in Latest Outing

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Jersey Shore BlueClaws pitcher Griff McGarry, the No. 8 prospect in the Phillies system according to MLB Pipeline, turned in a performance for the ages on Wednesday night. The 23-year old struck out 13  Brooklyn Cyclones in South Atlantic League action. 

McGarry, the Phillies 5th round (145 overall) pick in the 2021 MLB First Year Player Draft out of the University of Virginia, gave up 1 R/ER, on 4-hits, and 2 BBs in 5.1 innings pitched.  Jersey Shore dropped the Cyclones 5-2 giving McGarry his second win on the season and improving the BlueClaws record to 25-40. 

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Farm Report: Reading's Jhailyn Ortiz Takes Max Scherzer Yard

Phillies Farm
By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Tuesday night was a massive night in Binghamton, NY.  Fans turned out in droves to watch three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer get taken yard by 23-year old prospect.  

Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jhailyn Ortiz took an 0-1 Scherzer pitch and deposited it over the leftfield wall of Mirabito Stadium.   The solo home run would end Scherzer’s night in Binghamton, the R-Phils tagged the rehabbing Mets starter for three runs in 3.1 innings of work. The fourth inning roundtripper would propel the Fightins to a 7-6 win over the Binghamton Mets Rumble Ponies in a pivotal Eastern League game.

 

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Bryce Harper Leads NL DH All Star Voting

Bryce Harper
By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Major League Baseball unveiled the results of the “first phase” of All Star voting and a familiar name is near the top of the National League ballot box. 


Phillies OF/DH Bryce Harper is the current leader for the National League designated hitter slot with just over one million votes. He ranks third overall in the league and fourth overall.  According to MLB's All-Star procedure, Harper's first place tally in phase one will lock him in as the starting NL DH.  This would mark Harper's seventh MLB All Star Game appearence. 

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ECHL: Reading Royals Name James Henry Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations

Reading Royals
By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t the only hockey team that has a new coach! James Henry has been named head coach and director of hockey operations for the ECHL Reading Royals, the team announced on Friday.  

Take that Torts! 

Henry replaces Kirk MacDonald who stepped down earlier in the month to take a coaching role in the USHL. He spent 2021-22 as an assistant with the Royals.  The Royals amassed a 45-17-7-2 record  with a franchise tying 99-points and a Kelly Cup playoff during the 2021-22 season. 

 
 
 
 
 
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The 2022-23 season will mark Henry’s second full season as a professional hockey coach and his first as a head coach. 

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Army-Navy Game Will Be Played Elsewhere Starting in 2023

2018_Army_Navy_Game_(4958565)Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Sarah Villegas, USN/US Navy Mass Communication/Public Domain

 

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

I’m a bit late in the news cycle on this one -so please forgive me- but this needs to be addressed.  

In a joint statement, the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy announced a new five-year “cycle” for the Army-Navy Game.  What does this mean? It means the game will be played in five different cities throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic beginning with the 2022 game in Philadelphia.  The game won’t return “home'' to Philadelphia until December 2027.  

I’m sorry, this is bullshit! 

I get the Army-Navy Game is “America’s Game”, but it is as much “Philadelphia’s Game.”  I have no problem sharing it with Baltimore or New York/New Jersey because there’s been a historic precedent.  But parading this thing all over the Northeast? Come on! 

The game has been played 122-times, 89-times in Philadelphia.  The city hosted the game every year from 1932-1982 with the exception of during WWII when the games were moved back to the respective academies.  The city was chosen because it’s roughly halfway between Annapolis and West Point and its rich military history (hello, American Revolution). 

This all makes sense, right?

Hell, you can even factor in the Continental Army’s base in Valley Forge, the old United States Navy Yard, and the former New York Shipbuilding facility in Camden as more historic reasons for the game being held in Philly. 

Again, I have no problem if the game is “shared” with the New York metropolitan market or even Baltimore-Washington.  Why, because it’s been done before.  New York/New Jersey has hosted the game 21-times and Balt-Wash has hosted 10-times.   Those cities always hosted once every four-to-five years when the game was not played in Philadelphia.  

If it ain't broke, why fix it?

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Trade Alert: James Norwood Traded to Boston for Cash Considerations

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Phillies made a trade! 

Don't get too excited, the Phillies announced that they traded recently demoted pitcher James Norwood to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations.  No offense to Norwood--who is by all accounts a swell guy--but what's he worth, a few bucks and a six-pack of Sam Adams?  

Norwood appeared in 20-games for the Phillies this season and recorded a 8.31 ERA with 24 Ks, 9 BBs, and a 1.094 WHIP in 17.1 IP.  The numbers the 28-year old produced for the Phillies falls inline with his career numbers.  Boston is looking to add some stability to their 'pen in an attempt to make up a 14-game difference between them and the first place Yankees. Apparently, Norwood fits the bill for the Red Sox. 


Farm Report: Reading’s Logan O’Hoppe Added to MLB's Top 100 Prospects List

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The 2022 season is proving to be a breakout year for Reading Fightin’ Phils catcher Logan O’Hoppe and important people are taking notice. 

The #4 prospect in the Phillies system according to MLB, O’Hoppe is leading the R-Phils in batting average (.287), runs scored (41), home runs (14), and RBIs (38).  The 22-year old Long Island native was previously named the one of MLB’s Pipeline Prospects of the Week and now he can add a new award to the ledger, one of the top 100 prospects in baseball. 

 

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