Tommy Joseph has quietly started to turn it on in May. Entering Tuesday's game, the first baseman was hitting .333 with a .417 on-base percentage this month.
In April, he batted .179 with an OBP of .222.
Joseph on Tuesday night continued to see the ball well, going 1 for 2 with a solo homer in the first inning — back-to-back with Michael Saunders — and reaching base three more times via walk.
"At some point guys make adjustments," Pete Mackanin said after a 10-9 loss to the Mariners (see Instant Replay). "And he's been making adjustments and he looks much better at the plate right now. He hit the home run, it was a nice-looking line drive. He's being more selective and not swinging at pitches out of the zone and looking for pitches he can handle."
Joseph seems to have made the necessary adjustments, which stem from hitting coach Matt Stairs, who before the season had stressed the importance of plate discipline.
"I've been working with Stairs quite a bit," Joseph said. "We've been talking about making little adjustments and trying to stay within myself … trying to simplify things a little bit."
After the lackluster April, it was only natural to wonder if the Phillies would consider bringing up first base prospect Rhys Hoskins, who has been tearing up Triple A pitching. Hoskins is hitting .330 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 31 games for Lehigh Valley.
But job security is the last thing on Joseph's mind.
"No, no I mean Rhys is a good player," Joseph said. "I know that. Everybody in this organization knows that, but that's not up to me to worry about — job security or anything like that."
Joseph still has only three homers in his first 27 games of 2017. As a rookie last season, he put up seven over his first 27 games and finished the year with 21.
A good sign for Joseph this month has been working more counts. That should lead to more drivable pitches, as shown in his first at-bat on Tuesday.
There was a plethora of news unrelated to the return of Carlos Ruiz on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.
Aaron Nola will make a rehab assignment Wednesday, Jeanmar Gomez landed on the 10-day DL and the Phillies made a trade with the visiting Mariners.
Nola's rehab assignment Nola, who is recovering from a lower back strain, will pitch for Triple A Lehigh Valley, which hosts Rochester.
"Up to 60 pitches," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said pregame Tuesday. "He'll come back on Thursday to get evaluated and then he'll most likely have another rehab start I would think. I'm not 100 percent on that but most likely because he'll go up to 60 pitches [in his first rehab start]. If he can get up to 80 pitches [in his next rehab start], then he's fine. Then he'll probably come back then."
Nola has been on the DL since April 24 and has not pitched since April 20. Last week, Nola had an MRI on his lower back, which came up clean, and he showed improvement in his recent bullpen session while on the team's road trip in Chicago.
Gomez to the DL The story behind Gomez's injury is interesting as the reliever was diagnosed with an elbow impingement, which is caused by repetitive over-extensions of the elbow.
"He's got, I guess you can call it an impingement in his elbow," Mackanin said. "I don't know, they are going to check it out."
Mackanin was posed the question: "When did he get impinged?"
His response: "He said he felt it when he threw in Chicago the second inning. And I kind of laughed and said, 'Well that's the best velocity you've had the whole year. He said, 'Yeah, it felt OK because it was warm that day.' ... He started feeling it afterward. So he's been unable to pitch or doesn't want to, or he's concerned, so we're DLing him and getting him looked at."
Utility man Ty Kelly has been recalled to replace Gomez. Kelly went 2 for 3 with a homer, two runs and a walk in one game back at Triple A before being called up. This now gives the Phillies a full bench.
Trade with the enemy The Phillies acquired RHP Casey Fien from the Mariners for cash. Mackanin was unable to comment much because he has yet to come up with a plan for the new relief pitcher.
"I don't know, I was told we got him today," Mackanin said. "So where he fits in [is yet to be seen]. I guess some of the scouts liked him."
Fien will likely be sent to Triple A.
Fien, 33, has pitched in six innings for the Mariners this season and has a 15.00 ERA. In 299 career games, he has a 4.29 ERA.
Top-15 sports rants since Allen Iverson's practice speech
Top-15 sports rants since Allen Iverson's practice speech
Today marks the 15th anniversary of an unforgettable moment in Allen Iverson’s career. No, it was not him stepping over Tyronn Lue – Iverson probably wishes that’s what we are talking about.
It is the anniversary of the practice speech.
We have all seen the practice video a million times, so instead of showing that clip, let’s look back at some of the best sports rants in the last 15 years.
April 2017: After being thrown behind by Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale for a slide that clipped the knee of Dustin Pedroia two weeks prior, Manny Machado went on a post-game rant about how he’s lost respect for the Red Sox organization.
Brain Kenny vs. Floyd Mayweather: “A man of many things, but a master of none”
2009: Undefeated as a professional, Floyd Mayweather never seemed flustered in the ring by his opponents. But outside the ring, ESPN’s Brian Kenny was able to get in Floyd’s head and fluster the champ.
Herm Edwards: “Play to win the game.”
October 2002: Former Jets coach Herm Edwards has a rant probably as well-known as Iverson’s. It is not necessarily what he said — “You play to win the game” — rather how he said it that makes this rant so famous.
At least Edwards can make light of it in this Coors Light add:
Richard Sherman to Skip Bayless: “You’re not the best 22 of anything”
March 2013: Most people probably would love to be in Richard Sherman’s shoes and tell Skip Bayless that they are better at life than he is.
Mike Gundy: “I’m a man! I’m 40!”
September 2007: Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy did have some reasoning behind this rant. A newspaper criticized of one of his players and “kicked him when he was down.” But all of the substance goes down the drain when he utters, “I’m a man, I’m 40!”
Dennis Green: “Let them off the hook”
October 2006: Cardinals coach Dennis Green imploded after the Cardinals' fifth-straight loss, 24-23, to the Bears. This was a game that the Cardinals opened with a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but as Green would later say, they let the Bears off the hook.
Green also pokes fun at himself in a Coors Light commercial:
Cats and Dogs?
September 2011: This may be one of the more bizarre rants in recent sports history. Coastal Carolina’s football coach David Bennett simply wants his players to play more like dogs instead of cats. But it’s hard to tell what he’s trying to convey as Bennett bounces around a story full of meows.
Why are you laughing, Derek?
November 2010: Arizona Cardinals QB Derek Anderson was caught laughing on the sidelines during an embarrassing Monday Night Football loss. But this was no joke to Anderson, who says “nothing is funny.”
Someone get this man a rebound
March 2008: Michigan women’s basketball coach Kevin Borseth had one of the more physical rants we’ll see. That poor podium took not one, but two blows at the hand of Borseth because he is tired of getting out-rebounded.
I love my Quarterback
January 2008: We go from the most physical rant we’ve seen to one of the more emotion (or dramatized). Terrell Owens starts to weep in a post-game presser about how the media criticizes QB Tony Romo.
So are we talking about basketball here?
February 2009: UConn coach Jim Calhoun is asked a question pertaining to his $1.6 million contract during the harsh economic times in 2009. His response to this ignorant reporter is perfect.
November 2015: This postgame interview with the Rockets’ James Harden is going as smooth as one can go … until the final seconds when the reporter asks Harden if he has found a rhythm now.
November 2006: Giants defensive end Michael Strahan goes off on the media for falsely reporting on his team. Seemingly ironic considering Strahan is part of the media now.
Charlie Manuel to Howard Eskin: “I’ll knock you out”
2013: Charlie Manuel, who had already challenged Howard Eskin to a fight in 2007, decided it was time to extend the offer again.
Meltdown at the Palestra
February 2003: Then-Brown coach (and former Penn head coach) Glen Miller went on a tirade about the referees after a 73-66 loss to Penn at the Palestra. Unfortunately, we do not have a video for this one but had camera phones existed at the time, it might be considered one of the better rants in sports history. Miller was quoted saying, “We got jammed up our asses by three officials."
"It's a matter of playing five against eight the whole freakin' game. That's why there's such an imbalance in this goddamn league because you can't go to Penn and Princeton and get a fair shake. Our guys outplayed them the whole freakin' game."
Since 1989, Princeton and Penn dominated the Ivy League. Princeton won (or shared) the title eight times and Penn six times – there was a three-way tie between Princeton, Penn and Yale in 2002 (see full story).
Instead of showing you the video of AI’s practice speech, we are going to give you Frank Caliendo giving that same speech in Morgan Freeman’s voice.