Bullpen microcosm for Phillies' season

Mackanin seeking consistency from relievers, position players

Bullpen microcosm for Phillies' season

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies boasted baseball's best bullpen over the past month when they welcomed the Astros to town Monday. But there were still questions in search of answers, those only attainable through more reps and more playing time.

That much was clear to Phillies manager Pete Mackain before Monday's 13-4 loss at Citizens Bank Park. It was even more evident after.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils can't corral Astros after lengthy delay

Phils can't corral Astros after lengthy delay

PHILADELPHIA -- A nearly two-hour rain delay did little to slow down the Astros' road rage.

Sparked by red-hot Jose Altuve's two-out, two-run single, the Astros erupted for five runs with two outs in the fourth inning -- moments after a 1-hour, 52-minute rain delay ended -- and ran away from the Phillies, 13-4, on Monday night at soggy Citizens Bank Park to improve to 36-12 on the road this season and 8-0 against the National League.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter..

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moniak leads 6 Phils on Top 100 Prospects list

For first time, top 11 on list are all hitters; top eight are international signees

Moniak leads 6 Phils on Top 100 Prospects list

A year ago at this time, Alex Bregman of the Astros had ascended to the top spot on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. He had just been called up to the big leagues, and he graduated off the list before the season was over.

Fast forward to the official re-rank of the Top 100 in 2017. This time, it's a familiar face in the top spot: Yoan Moncada. But much like Bregman in '16, the fact that Moncada is holding on to the No. 1 slot in the Top 100 is overshadowed a bit by having been called up to the White Sox for the first time. One has to think he's going to follow a Bregman-esque path and play his way off of this list before the year is over.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies fan makes excellent one-handed catch

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Phillies fan makes excellent one-handed catch

Phillies fans have seen enough of Carlos Beltran over the years to know to be alert whenever he's up to bat. Sure enough, in the third inning of Monday night's game at Citizens Bank Park, the veteran Astros outfielder fouled a pitch back behind the plate.

The only problem was that there did not seem to be any fans wearing gloves near the area where Beltran hit it. It didn't matter.

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Ruppapalooza to benefit Pa. SPCA chapter

Phillies catcher and dog lover hosting event Thursday at Morgan's Pier

Ruppapalooza to benefit Pa. SPCA chapter

PHILADELPHIA -- Ten years ago as a sophomore in college, Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp adopted a dog from the Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (SPCA). On Thursday, he's hosting the first Ruppapalooza to benefit the Pennsylvania chapter of the SPCA.

Ruppapaloza will be held at Morgan's Pier on Thursday from 6-9 p.m. ET. Former Phillies will serve as bartenders in addition to participating in games and more aimed to raise money for Pennsylvania SPCA.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pivetta aims to keep AL-best Astros in check

Pivetta aims to keep AL-best Astros in check

Just as Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez took the mound against his former organization in Monday's series opener, so too will Astros starter Charlie Morton on Tuesday when he opposes rookie righty Nick Pivetta at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies took a flyer on Morton for the 2016 season, an adventure that ended four starts later, with Morton helped off the field in Milwaukee with a torn hamstring suffered while running down the first-base line trying to beat out a double play.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez spins a gem for Lakewood

Sanchez spins a gem for Lakewood

In many ways, Monday belonged to Ronald Acuna.

Acuna made the largest jump of any player in MLB Pipeline's freshly revamped Top 100 Prospects list, going from No. 86 all the way up to No. 8, as well as from No. 7 to No. 1 on the Braves' new Top 30 list.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4-run inning latest indication of surging bats

4-run inning latest indication of surging bats

PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe all the Phillies needed was a break. A break from the losing. The dormant offense. The malaise of the first half.

Since returning from the All-Star break, the Phillies' offense has awoken to the tune of nearly six runs a game, two better than its first-half average, capped by a 6-3 series-clinching victory over the first-place -- but struggling -- Brewers on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams backs Eickhoff with HR for series win

Williams backs Eickhoff with HR for series win

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies may have the fewest wins in the Major Leagues, but they scored two big ones this weekend against the sagging Brewers.

Nick Williams hit a two-run opposite-field homer and drove in three, and Howie Kendrick bounced a go-ahead single up the middle amid a four-run Phillies fifth in a 6-3 win on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have won back-to-back series for the first time since the third week of April.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Phillies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fan with cystic fibrosis gets VIP experience

UMPS CARE Charities, Casey Cares Foundation give boy, family a special day at Citizens Bank Park

Fan with cystic fibrosis gets VIP experience

PHILADELPHIA -- From the day he was born, Jake Duffy has dealt with challenges. But you wouldn't know it, especially not Sunday, when the 7-year-old and his family stepped foot on the lush Citizens Bank Park grass.

Making new friends is nothing new for Duffy, whether he's in the hospital due to complications of cystic fibrosis or standing among Major League umpires and mascots, as he did before the Phillies played the Brewers.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies Minor League review for July 17-23

Players of the Week
Player - OF Carlos Tocci, Reading … The 21-year-old Tocci batted .429 (12-28) with four doubles, 12 RBI, a walk, a stolen base and five runs scored in seven games. His 12 RBI were tied for second-most among all Minor League players last week. Tocci collected multiple hits in four games last week, bringing his season average to .317. He ranks third in the Eastern League in both batting average and hits (110). He was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on Aug. 23, 2011.

Pitcher - LHP Nick Fanti, Lakewood … Fanti, 20, went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA (2 ER, 13 IP) in two starts with a 0.85 WHIP (3 BB, 8 H) and 12 strikeouts. On July 17, he tossed the sixth no-hitter in BlueClaws history, and became the first Lakewood player to throw a 9.0-inning no-hitter since Gavin Floyd in 2002. Fanti faced 28 batters, retiring his final 22, as he allowed just one to reach safely in the game (a walk in the second). He also recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts. The southpaw, who also threw 8.2 no-hit innings earlier in the season, is 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA. He ranks second in the South Atlantic League in WHIP (0.94) and opponents' average (.202) while ranking third in ERA. Fanti was selected by the Phillies in the 31st round of the 2015 Draft.

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Tocci drives in five for Reading

Tocci drives in five for Reading

Max Schrock took full advantage of Double-A Midland's doubleheader, collecting a total of five hits and six RBIs in the two wins over Corpus Christi on Sunday.

The Athletics No. 18 prospect got off to a fast start in the first game, a 12-2 Midland win, as he doubled in the first, singled in the third and fifth and capped his perfect day with a two-run homer in the sixth.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Klentak expects 'a lot of activity' pre-Deadline

Neshek, Hellickson among veterans expected to be traded by Phillies

Klentak expects 'a lot of activity' pre-Deadline

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak is expected to trade Pat Neshek before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but will there be others?

"There's a lot of activity still to come between now and the Deadline," Klentak said before Saturday night's game against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. "Once we got through the All-Star break, there's been a lot of phone calls, some of them more serious than others.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Deadline looming, Hellickson struggles

Phillies right-hander allows six runs over five innings in loss to Brewers

With Deadline looming, Hellickson struggles

PHILADELPHIA -- The clock is ticking for Jeremy Hellickson and the Phillies. The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, a date that for months has loomed in the distance, is now just single-digit days away.

The chances for Hellickson to prove his worth are numbered. Friday was his second-to-last start before Deadline day arrives, and he did not make the most of it. Hellickson tossed up a clunker in Saturday's 9-8 loss to the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park, allowing six runs in five innings.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Neshek defies normal usage in Phillies' 'pen

Veteran reliever is expected to be traded before non-waiver Deadline

Neshek defies normal usage in Phillies' 'pen

PHILADELPHIA -- When a player has a standout season, even an established 11-year veteran like Pat Neshek, it's often more important to discern why he's been successful instead of simply appreciating his success.

Neshek is a herky-jerky, side-arming right-handed reliever. As he begins his windup he drops his chest down parallel with the ground, swings his arm directly behind him toward center field before unfurling his contorted body, raising his chest, and whipping his fully extended arm sideways across his body. Unconventional, to say the least.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils erase 7-run deficit but come up short

Phils erase 7-run deficit but come up short

PHILADELPHIA -- It didn't fall easily, but the Brewers' longest losing streak of the season did finally fall.

The Phillies trailed by seven runs in the seventh inning but stormed all the way back for a tie, before Domingo Santana's run-scoring single in the ninth gave the Brewers a 9-8 win on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. The nail-biting result snapped Philadelphia's three-game winning streak and Milwaukee's six-game skid, just in time to deny the Cubs a share of first place in the National League Central.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola strikes out 8 in stretch of 9 hitters

Nola strikes out 8 in stretch of 9 hitters

PHILADELPHIA -- Two years to the day removed from his Major League debut, Aaron Nola did something in Friday night's 6-1 win over the Brewers that he'd never done in his Major League career. In one trip through the Brewers batting order, he faced nine hitters and struck out eight of them.

He was so locked in, so focused, he didn't even realize what he'd done.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Galvis, Phils hand Crew 6th straight loss

Galvis, Phils hand Crew 6th straight loss

PHILADELPHIA -- Make it a six-pack of losses for the Brewers, who are mired in their longest skid of the season after a 6-1 loss to Aaron Nola and the Phillies on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.

Nola delivered his sixth straight quality start -- and second in a row against Milwaukee -- while matching his season high with nine strikeouts. Nola allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, including a stretch from the third inning to the sixth in which he retired nine in a row, eight via strikeouts.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lively featured in prospect duel of the day

Lively featured in prospect duel of the day

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Raudy Read (Nationals' No. 17), Harrisburg vs. Binghamton (1:30 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crawford notches four hits for IronPigs

Crawford notches four hits for IronPigs

The Braves' farm system is loaded with talented young arms, and that was easily apparent on Saturday as Luiz Gohara and Lucas Sims led Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett to wins with dominating performances on the mound.

The duo combined for 20 strikeouts over 13 scoreless frames as Mississippi topped Blioxi, 8-0, and Gwinnett held off Indianapolis, 2-1. Whats more, these impressive outings come just a day after Braves No. 11 prospect Touki Toussaint struck out 11 with Class A Advanced Florida

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick activated, keeps focus on field

Kendrick activated, keeps focus on field

PHILADELPHIA -- Howie Kendrick has a little more than one week to show contenders he is healthy and capable of helping them make the postseason.

The Phillies activated Kendrick, 34, from the 10-day disabled list before Friday night's 6-1 win over the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. He had been sidelined since June 28 with a strained left hamstring. The Phillies could opt to trade Kendrick before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline because he is a free agent after the season and it may make more sense to play the team's younger players -- players that could be part of the team's future -- for the remainder of the season.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kingery, Hoskins power IronPigs to win

Kingery, Hoskins power IronPigs to win

It's not a secret that when Touki Toussaint is right he can miss bats with the best of them.

That was the case on Friday, as the Braves' No. 11 prospect matched his career highs with 11 strikeouts in eight innings as he recorded his second straight double-digit strikeout performance for Class A Advanced Florida.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Neshek headlines Phillies' trade candidates

Neshek headlines Phillies' trade candidates

PHILADELPHIA -- Pat Neshek is the Phillies' only good bet to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The Phillies have a host of players they could move, but sources have told MLB.com that Neshek remains the most likely (and perhaps only player) to be traded in the next 11 days. First, he is 3-2 with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 41 appearances, making him a solid addition to any contender's bullpen. Second, Neshek will be a free agent following the season, meaning the Phils have incentive to move him. Third, players like Jeremy Hellickson, Howie Kendrick, Joaquin Benoit and Daniel Nava are more likely to clear waivers and be moved next month before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rookie raking: Williams finds groove at plate

Outfielder concludes Marlins series 6-for-14 with 6 RBIs

Rookie raking: Williams finds groove at plate

MIAMI -- He had little to say, but a wide smile broke out across Nick Williams' face when he heard his name mentioned alongside Phillies legend Jimmy Rollins.

Twenty days into his big league career, the rookie hit not one but two triples in Philadelphia's 10-3 win over the Marlins on Wednesday at Marlins Park, becoming the first Phillies rookie to hit two three-baggers in a game since Rollins did so on June 24, 2001.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Phillies on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils' offense comes alive with 20 hits in win

Phils' offense comes alive with 20 hits in win

MIAMI -- Solo home runs, they say, don't usually beat you. Nick Pivetta was reminded of that on Wednesday afternoon, as the right-hander surrendered a pair of homers, and little else over 5 1/3 innings and the Phillies' did the rest, rolling to a 10-3 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park.

Giancarlo Stanton belted his 30th of the season, pulling him even with Aaron Judge of the Yankees for the MLB lead. Christian Yelich added a blast in the sixth inning for Miami, but it was Pivetta who kept the damage down, and the Phillies, behind Daniel Nava's four hits and two RBIs, that ended up taking two of three in the series.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Phillies on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late homers by Franco, Williams power Phils

Late homers by Franco, Williams power Phils

MIAMI -- The return of Vince Velasquez provided a boost to Philadelphia on Tuesday night, but it was a homer by Maikel Franco in the eighth inning that pushed the Phillies to a 5-2 win over Miami at Marlins Park.

Franco, who was a triple shy of a cycle, blistered a one-out home run off Dustin McGowan in the eighth that snapped a tie.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Phillies on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Velasquez flashes velocity in return from DL

Velasquez flashes velocity in return from DL

MIAMI -- Back on the same mound he sustained a right elbow flexor strain two months ago, Vince Velasquez made a statement in the Phillies' 5-2 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Velasquez, who was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the start, tossed six strong innings in a no-decision. He let up two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out four with one walk before leaving a tie game.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Galvis Phils' Heart and Hustle Award winner

Galvis Phils' Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hernandez productive in return to lineup

Hernandez productive in return to lineup

MIAMI -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin didn't wait to insert Cesar Hernandez atop the lineup in the club's 6-5 extra-inning loss to the Marlins Monday night, and it paid immediate dividends.

Hernandez, reinstated from the 10-day DL before the game, chopped a slow roller to Marlins first baseman Justin Bour and jetted past him for an infield single in his first at-bat back.

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.