Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Phillies Take Stock On The Day Off

GAME RECAP: No Game Yesterday
Phillies take the day off after a successful weekend series in Miami which improved their season record to 4 games ABOVE .500!

  • Morgan is looking for his first win over the Braves. He is 0-3 lifetime with a 4.00 ERA against them. However, he has pitched well at Turner Field. Though he lost both decisions, the lefty has a 2.77 ERA in two starts there.
  • Wisler lost his only appearance against the Phillies. He went just 4 2/3 innings, yielding seven runs on eight hits.
  • Wisler is looking to turn things around at Turner Field this season. In three starts, he is 0-1 with a 4.42 ERA. Wisler has given up 10 runs (nine earned) on 16 hits over 18 1/3 innings.

After an off-day on Monday, lefty Adam Morgan gets the nod on Tuesday when the Phillies conclude their road trip with a three-game series in Atlanta. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Morgan has allowed three earned runs in each of his previous two outings this season, with no decision in either. Matt Wisler, fresh off his best performance in the Major Leagues, goes for the Braves. The right-hander threw one-hit ball over eight innings on the road against the Mets last Tuesday. Wisler struck out four batters while walking two. He also hit a batter in the Braves' 3-0 win -- his first of the season. 


Joseph Could Be Nearing Majors – There has been a little more interest than normal lately in the happenings at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Specifically, can anybody there help the Phillies' offense? One name to watch closely is Tommy Joseph, who has been crushing the baseball with the IronPigs. Joseph joined the Phillies in July 2012 in the Hunter Pence trade with the Giants. But a series of concussions and injuries derailed the 24-year-old's catching career. Now a first baseman, Joseph is hitting .392 (31-for-79) with seven doubles, six home runs, 17 RBIs and a 1.126 OPS in 23 games. Joseph could be playing his way to his big league debut. "I think this is what our scouts saw when they recommended him in that trade," Phils player-development director Joe Jordan said. "We're seeing the healthy, confident version of him and what he can do. He's making a case." The Phillies outrighted Joseph from the 40-man roster in October, but he remained in the organization because he had not accrued enough time in the Minor Leagues. It could be a lucky break for the Phils, who looked to have nothing to show for from the Pence trade. "There's an opportunity here, if he can swing the bat and play the position," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said prophetically in October. "We don't really have a first baseman at the upper levels." If Joseph reaches the big leagues, it would be a fantastic comeback story considering his history with concussions. Plus, there are few players in the organization more liked or highly regarded, so it seems everybody is rooting for him. "We're pleased more from a personal standpoint than anything, because he's gone through a lot challenges," Jordan said. "He's looked great since Spring Training, and he just hasn't quit hitting." Defensively, Joseph has room to improve at his new position, but if he keeps hitting like this, everybody can afford to be patient. "He's very, very invested in it," Jordan said about Joseph learning first base. "He's a smart guy and I think he understands that he's got to be able to do that. He's not bad out there. I think the offense is coming easier right now, which is good because he's spending a lot of time and effort on the defensive side."

Other Minor Updates – Everybody also wants to know about the progress of Double-A Reading shortstop J.P. Crawford and Lehigh Valley outfielder Nick Williams. They are two of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. Crawford (No. 3 overall, No. 1 among Philadelphia's prospects) is hitting .270 (27-for-100) with four doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and a .781 OPS for Reading. He has walked 24 times and struck out 19. Williams (No. 60 overall, No. 3 among the Phils' Top 30) is hitting .280 (26-for-93) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, 15 RBIs and a .709 OPS at Triple-A. "Nick got off to a rough start," Jordan said. "He got his feet underneath him, but he's getting exactly what he needs: Triple-A experience, Triple-A pitching. That's a challenge J.P. is going to be ready for in the near future. He's doing what we need him to do. There's a lot of good arms in the Eastern League, so he's not suffering at all being there for the time being. He's doing a great job."

Today In Phils History – Today started an interesting sequence of events in 1959 after a game started by Jim Hearn was suspended. Hearn took the loss when the game was completed in July despite the fact that he had since been released and had retired. Definitely a first, at least to my knowledge. Speaking of unique occurrences, it was on this day in 1967 when Hank Aaron hit the only inside the park homerun of his career off of Jim Bunning. Years later, in 1980, another Hall of Fame picture fell victim to the inside the park homerun as Tom Seaver surrendered the only one of his career to Larry Bowa.  

The Phillies are currently 18-14 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. The Phillies finished the spring exceeding most expectations compiling a record of 15-11-3 (18-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). All time, the Phillies are 35-54-0 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record. Let the rebuild begin!

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