Charlie Manuel: Roy Halladay Is “Coming Along Real Good”

Charlie Manuel: Roy Halladay Is “Coming Along Real Good”

The Phillies are creating a bit of buzz once again with their latest stretch of good baseball, taking two of three from a pair of first-place teams, and the first two so far in a four-game series with the Washington Nationals. We’re still skeptical about a potential playoff run as we’ve seen this team go on stretches like the current one earlier this season, always setting up for a corresponding letdown later.

We can plainly see some of their weaknesses as well, one of which might be in the back end of their starting rotation. Jonathan Pettibone and John Lannan are okay, but don’t go deep into many games – a problem considering the bullpen – and Kyle Kendrick has come back down to earth a bit since getting off to a hot start.

At least they might have some help on the way in the form of Roy Halladay. Charlie Manuel went on 94 WIP with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on Wednesday to discuss a wide scope of topics. Perhaps the most exciting tidbit from the 40-minute interview was the skipper’s update on Doc, who is throwing and, well… we’ll let Cholly take it from here.

"Hallady's coming along real good… I’ve been watching him throw in the outfield with Dubee, and he’s got a good chance he’s going to pitch for us before the season is over I predict."

Coming along real good. Has a chance to pitch before the end of the season. Both of those statements are very encouraging. Granted, even if Halladay does come back, we have no way of knowing which Halladay the Phillies are getting. Is it the two-time Cy Young Award winner, or the guy who surrendered nine runs over 2.1 innings against the lowly Miami Marlins?

As we said at the start of the season however, Doc doesn’t necessarily have to be the dominant eight-time All Star to be effective for the Fightins. If he can come back and pitch even as well as Kendrick has this year, he could provide a huge boost for that staff, almost like acquiring another arm at the trade deadline.

And hey, we can hope for more. I’m not sure how many people envisioned Chase Utley coming back and having the kind of season he has enjoyed in 2013, but he appears to have turned the clock back by about three years. Maybe surgery was the answer for Halladay.

The Phillies still have a lot of work to do before Halladay can come back and pitch in the thick of a playoff race. Frankly it may not matter who comes back, or who gets hot if the bullpen remains an utter mess. That said, even if the Phils aren’t going anywhere, I’d still like to see Doc come back and go out on a high note in case the organization doesn’t have plans to re-sign him.

Admit it, you would hate for your last memory of Roy in red pinstripes to be a nine-run drubbing at the hands of the club he once tossed a perfect game against.

>> Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel Joins Anthony and Glen [94 WIP]

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

NEW YORK -- Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received a majority of votes for the first time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell , on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

"Anxiety was very, very high," Bagwell said. "I wrote it on a ball tonight. It was kind of cool."

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Lee Smith, who had 478 saves, got 34 percent in his final time on the ballot. Jorge Posada, Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez were among the players who got under 5 percent and fell off future ballots.

Brown: 'No chance' Ben Simmons plays vs. Rockets next week

Brown: 'No chance' Ben Simmons plays vs. Rockets next week

Brett Brown squashed any chatter of Ben Simmons playing in the Sixers’ Jan. 27 nationally televised game against the Rockets.

“There is no chance,” Brown said Wednesday before the Sixers took on the Raptors.

On Tuesday the NBA announced the Sixers' matchup with the Rockets was added to the ESPN lineup while the Heat at Bulls game was dropped. 

That night, Simmons posted two photos on Instagram: a picture of him in Sixers warmup gear at the Wells Fargo Center with the staring eyes emoji and later a post of himself working out at the training complex. 

“I am a social media hermit. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Brown said. “But I do know that there is no chance that he will play then.”

Simmons has been sidelined the entire season since suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot during training camp. The team has reiterated there is no timetable for his return.