Hellickson open to possibility of returning

Right-hander exited final start with right knee sprain in fourth inning

Hellickson open to possibility of returning

ATLANTA -- Jeremy Hellickson's first and possibly only season with the Phillies had to be considered a success.

Philadelphia traded a Minor League pitcher to Arizona for him in November, hoping he could stabilize an inexperienced rotation. Hellickson fulfilled the Phillies' wishes, finishing his season on Thursday night in Philadelphia's 5-2 loss to the Braves at Turner Field with a 12-10 record and a 3.71 ERA. He made a career-high 32 starts and matched a career high with 189 innings.

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

Phillies drop finale after four-run eighth

Phillies drop finale after four-run eighth

ATLANTA -- Dansby Swanson homered for the first time at Turner Field and Matt Kemp delivered a go-ahead, RBI double in the eighth inning, as the Braves extended their winning streak against the Phillies to seven games in Thursday night's 5-2 win.

Philadelphia jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third, when Odubel Herrera scored Jeremy Hellickson from second base on a bloop single down the left-field line. But Josh Collmenter allowed only a pair of singles across his next 4 1/3 innings en route to his second consecutive quality start.

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Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Braves on Thursday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Klentak: Starting pitching best success story

Klentak: Starting pitching best success story

ATLANTA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak marks his one-year anniversary with the organization late next month. He likes what he has seen in his first 11.

"If someone had told me last October that this was where the franchise would be this September, I would have signed up for that 100 times out of 100," Klentak said this week at Turner Field.

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

Phillies to honor Howard before Sunday's season finale

First baseman to play his last game for organization

Phillies to honor Howard before Sunday's season finale

ATLANTA -- Ryan Howard's Phillies career is down to three games.

The Phillies plan to honor Howard on Sunday afternoon in the 2016 season finale against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The greatest first baseman in franchise history is in the final season of a five-year, $125 million contract. The organization has a $23 million club option for 2017, but it will exercise a $10 million buyout instead.

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

Asher looks to end his season on high note vs. Mets

Asher looks to end his season on high note vs. Mets

A single series is all that remains between the Mets and their second straight postseason, despite the myriad of postseason possibilities that still exist for them.

All the Mets know is that they can't stop winning now, with the Giants one game back of them for the first National League Wild Card spot and the Cardinals one behind San Francisco in the standings. The Mets will open their final regular-season series against the Phillies and rookie Alec Asher, who beat them last Saturday at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Klentak confident offense headed in right direction

Klentak confident offense headed in right direction

ATLANTA -- A couple of weeks ago, Pete Mackanin said he hoped the Phillies would acquire a couple impact bats in the offseason.

He asked for just one on Tuesday.

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

Phillies implored to keep fighting in team meeting

Phillies implored to keep fighting in team meeting

ATLANTA -- The visitors' clubhouse door opened Wednesday night at Turner Field and Phillies manager Pete Mackanin unexpectedly emerged, still in his uniform.

Mackanin and every big league manager conducts postgame interviews on the road in the manager's office, but Mackanin changed locations to the service level following a 12-2 loss to the Braves because Ryan Howard and A.J. Ellis had called a players-only meeting.

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

Phillies' struggles continue in loss to Braves

Phillies' struggles continue in loss to Braves

ATLANTA -- Dansby Swanson recorded a pair of extra-base hits through the first three innings and Matt Kemp provided Mike Foltynewicz more cushion with a two-run home run that accounted for just a portion of the damage the Braves produced against Adam Morgan in Wednesday night's 12-2 win at Turner Field.

After Swanson tripled during a two-run second inning and doubled during a three-run third inning, Kemp highlighted a four-run fourth with his 34th home run of the season. The abundance of support was more than enough for Foltynewicz, who allowed one run and two hits over five innings. That lone run came with the assistance of two wild pitches thrown in the third inning.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Nola, Eflin making strides in injury recovery

Nola, Eflin making strides in injury recovery

ATLANTA -- Perhaps the biggest reason the Phillies believe they took a step forward this season is their starting pitching.

The rotation jumped from among the worst in baseball last year to the middle of the pack this year, and the Phillies believe they have the quality and quantity of young talent to continue to improve in 2017. Of course, those chances take a sizable hit if Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola cannot pitch. He is arguably the best pitcher of the bunch, but he suffered season-ending sprains and strains of ligaments in his right elbow in August.

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

Howard launches grand slam in first inning

Howard launches grand slam in first inning

ATLANTA -- Ryan Howard is making a few final memories with the Phillies.

He hit the 15th grand slam of his career in the first inning Tuesday night in a 7-6 loss to the Braves at Turner Field, moving him into a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. and Richie Sexson for 13th place on the all-time grand slam list.

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

Phillies can't hold lead, fall to Braves

Phillies can't hold lead, fall to Braves

ATLANTA -- Long after Julio Teheran's struggles began with Ryan Howard's first-inning grand slam, the Braves battled back from a six-run deficit for a 7-6 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night at a rain-soaked Turner Field.

Tyler Flowers delivered a double during the decisive eighth inning that was capped when Mallex Smith and Emilio Bonifacio recorded consecutive two-out singles off David Hernandez. Flowers also capped Atlanta's four-run sixth inning with three-run homer that traveled a projected 417 feet with a 107 mph exit velocity via Statcast™.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Quinn leaves game with left oblique strain

Quinn leaves game with left oblique strain

ATLANTA -- Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn is immensely talented, but he continues to have problems staying healthy.

He left Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Braves at Turner Field in the top of the sixth inning with a strained left oblique. Quinn spent more than six weeks on the disabled list with the same injury from June through August with Double-A Reading.

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

Mackanin hopes Phils can add veteran bat in offseason

Mackanin hopes Phils can add veteran bat in offseason

ATLANTA -- It is campaign season and Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is stumping hard for the Phillies to add at least one hitter before Spring Training.

He will have the opportunity to make his case Friday, when the Phillies' front office meets with Mackanin and the coaching staff about next season.

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

MacPhail pleased with 'measurable progress'

With developing club, Phillies president is in no rush to reach postseason

MacPhail pleased with 'measurable progress'

NEW YORK -- A little more than seven months ago, Phillies president Andy MacPhail sat at a table in a Bonita Springs, Fla., hotel and said he expected the 2016 season to reveal if the club is on the fast, medium or slow track to postseason contention.

So where are the Phils with six games remaining?

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

Phillies' game vs. Mets on Saturday moved to 1:05 ET

Contest will be nationally televised after being selected by FOX

The Philadelphia Phillies' game vs. the New York Mets on Saturday has been moved to 1:05 p.m. ET. The game, originally scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m., was moved after FOX selected the game to be nationally televised.

The Phillies have been eliminated from postseason contention, but the Mets have a one-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the top National League Wild Card spot entering Monday.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Phillies instructs features future outfield duo

Moniak, Ortiz highlight crop of prospects working out in Clearwater

Phillies instructs features future outfield duo

If you wanted to know what two-thirds of the Phillies' outfield might look like come 2020, you needed to head to the Gulf Coast League this summer. If you missed out, the dynamic duo of Mickey Moniak and Jhailyn Ortiz are continuing to get work together during instructional league play.

Moniak, the Phillies' No. 2 prospect and No. 25 on the overall Top 100 list, came to Phils as the No. 1 pick in the 2016 Draft. Ortiz is ranked at No. 20 on Philadelphia's Top 30 and was also a highly-sought after prospect on the international market, getting a $4 million bonus to sign in July 2015. That means the Phillies invested $10.1 million in Moniak and Ortiz combined. The very early returns do point to it being money well spent.

Phillies Top 30 prospects at instructs
2. Mickey Moniak, OF
5. Cornelius Randolph, OF
8. Franklyn Kilome, RHP
9. Kevin Gowdy, RHP
14. Cole Stobbe, 3B
16. Adonis Medina, RHP
20. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF
24. Jojo Romero, LHP
26. Jose Pujols, OF
27. Edgar Garcia, RHP
28. Alberto Tirado, RHP
30. Deivi Grullon, C
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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.

Thompson 'thrilled' with opportunity, progress

Phils rookie done for season, but hopes to earn rotation spot in Spring Training

Thompson 'thrilled' with opportunity, progress

NEW YORK -- Jake Thompson's spring next year will be a heck of a lot different than this year.

He entered this spring simply hoping to make a good first impression on the Phillies' front office and coaching staff. But after making his 10th and final start of the season Sunday afternoon in a 17-0 loss to the Mets at Citi Field, Thompson, who joined the Phillies in July 2015 in the Cole Hamels trade, hopes to win a job coming out of camp.

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

Phils' offense hushed in finale vs. Mets

Phils' offense hushed in finale vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Considering the jagged state of their starting rotation, the Mets were set up for trouble heading into a four-game series against the Phillies this weekend. It would not have taken much for their burgeoning playoff hopes to dim before their eyes.

For this Mets club, however, little seems insurmountable. The latest example unfolded when Robert Gsellman saved a worn-out bullpen in a 17-0 blowout of the Phillies on Sunday, the Mets consistently took advantage of Philadelphia mistakes and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a late grand slam to secure a series victory at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Herrera remembers Fernandez's humility, passion

Herrera remembers Fernandez's humility, passion

NEW YORK -- Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera last spoke with Jose Fernandez last week in the family lounge after a game at Citizens Bank Park.

Fernandez was one of those players everybody seemed to want to talk to.

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

Phils hang on to beat Mets after 10-run lead

Phils hang on to beat Mets after 10-run lead

NEW YORK -- Time and again this season, the Mets have shrugged off injuries to their starting pitchers, playing their most meaningful string of September games without the majority of their Opening Day rotation. But the loss of Noah Syndergaard proved too much even for them to overcome.

While Syndergaard spent his Saturday recuperating from a case of strep throat, spot starter Sean Gilmartin allowed five runs to a Phillies club that has shown plenty of life this weekend. Maikel Franco stayed hot with a three-run homer, while Darin Ruf added his second long ball in as many days in a 10-8 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Franco stays tough on Mets with 3-run homer

Phillies third baseman ignites offense with team-leading 25th

Franco stays tough on Mets with 3-run homer

NEW YORK -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco hopes for more big moments next season.

This season? Well, he will take what he can get. Franco certainly has enjoyed a big weekend at Citi Field, including Saturday night in a 10-8 victory over the Mets. He ripped a three-run homer to left-center in the first inning to give the Phillies a three-run lead against a team fighting for its postseason life with just seven regular-season games to play. It was Franco's third home run in as many games against the Mets, giving him a team-high 25.

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

Ruf pinch-hits, launches first homer of season

Ruf pinch-hits, launches first homer of season

NEW YORK -- It looked and sounded like Darin Ruf took a year's worth of frustrations out on a 96 mph fastball in the sixth inning Friday night at Citi Field.

He crushed a pinch-hit, two-run home run to left-center field against Josh Smoker in a 10-5 loss to the Mets. Ruf's first home run of the season came with just eight games remaining in 2016, which is something nobody would have predicted at the beginning of the year. He opened the season in a platoon at first base with Ryan Howard, but after he hit just .158 in 31 games, the Phillies optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he remained until they recalled him Sept. 2.

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

Phils' homers no match for Mets' muscle

Phils' homers no match for Mets' muscle

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins may grumble at the notion of baseball's expanded rosters in September. But rules are rules, and Collins is doing his best to exploit them, hoping this everyone-plays brand of September baseball will help his club reach October.

Collins used six pitchers and 20 players Friday in a 10-5 win over the Phillies, extending many of them beyond their usual roles to give the Mets a 1 1/2-game National League Wild Card lead over the Cardinals. With eight games to play, New York also moved a game up on the Giants for the best record among NL Wild Card contenders.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Gomez still Phils' closer, but will get break

Gomez still Phils' closer, but will get break

NEW YORK -- Jeanmar Gomez will remain the Phillies' closer through the end of the season, but he will not pitch during the next few save situations.

"He's our closer, but the way I look at it is, he's in a slump like hitters are," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before Friday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field. "For the next couple of chances to close, I'm going to try somebody else, just to give him a break. I said, 'You're still the closer, you stay positive, there's a good chance you'll have another opportunity to close. But the next couple I'll give you a breather.'"

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

Phillies drop thriller on Mets' 11th-inning HR

Phillies drop thriller on Mets' 11th-inning HR

NEW YORK -- Ender Inciarte was safely in Miami with the Braves. No one was going to take this win away from the Mets, who needed it so badly.

They had to work all night and they had to come back three times, but when it was all over Asdrubal Cabrera's three-run home run off Edubray Ramos in the 11th inning gave them a dramatic 9-8 win over the Phillies Thursday night at Citi Field.

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Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Howard homers in return to lineup

Howard homers in return to lineup

NEW YORK -- Ryan Howard is back in the Phillies' lineup.

He started Thursday night's series opener and lifted a solo home run to center field in the fifth inning in the Phillies' 9-8, 11-inning loss to the Mets at Citi Field. Howard had not played since Friday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park because of swelling in his left knee. He had the knee drained Sunday.

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

Goeddel diagnosed with concussion after HBP

Goeddel diagnosed with concussion after HBP

NEW YORK -- It is no surprise that Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel sustained a concussion Wednesday night.

He got hit in the helmet with a 93-mph fastball from White Sox reliever Chris Beck in the sixth inning of an 8-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park. Goeddel laid on his back at home plate for a couple minutes before standing up and walking back to the Phillies' dugout. The Phillies had no official word about his status following Wednesday's game, but manager Pete Mackanin announced the concussion before Thursday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field.

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

Phillies chase Sale after just four innings

Phillies chase Sale after just four innings

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin sat one of the hottest hitters in baseball Wednesday night because he did not want White Sox ace Chris Sale to mess with the hitter's mojo.

It turns out the Phillies did not need Odubel Herrera, who had hit .536 in the previous seven games. They hit Sale hard in a 8-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park, hammering seven hits and six runs against him in just four innings. It was the second-shortest start of the season for Sale, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings May 24 against the Indians.

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Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the White Sox on Wednesday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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