Domonic Brown Will Only Need to Wait Four Batters Before Homering Off a First-Time Starter Tonight

Domonic Brown Will Only Need to Wait Four Batters Before Homering Off a First-Time Starter Tonight

"Move Domonic Brown up in the batting order!" you demanded, and your comments did not fall on deaf ears--Ryan Howard heard your cries, and will be heroically sitting out with a "sore knee" in order to give our young masher a chance to do his damange one spot higher in the lineup tonight, and we here at the Level are very excited. It's just like our man Kulp said: "Stop! No! Don’t do it! Right now you don’t want Dom Brown thinking about anything other than what he’s been doing already...Don’t make a single change that might mess with the hot streak he’s riding." Oh. Well, tough noogies, Kulp, he's batting fifth.

Domonic Mordecai will get his chance to tee off in one of the first two innings off Red Sox starter Franklin Morales, who despite pitching in 175 games across seven seasons for the Rockies and Red Sox in his career, has never started a big-league game before. Morales will be taking the place of injured All-Star Clay Buchholz, and hopefully the Phils can find ways to take advantage of his lack of experience, like convincing him that the home team gets four outs in the first three innings of the game! Classic reliever-turned-starter prank.

In the meantime, also take a minute to say hello to Philly second baseman Cesar Hernandez, making his first-ever start for the Phillies tonight after an extremely successful start to the season for the IronPigs, posting a .305/.328/.428 stat line with 15 steals in 19 attempts. Only 23 years old, Hernandez is already being pegged as a potential long-term successor to Chase Utley, though it may be a good game to see him play at least one game for the Phillies (maybe even five) before we deem the best Phillie since Mike Schmidt expendable in his name. I know, formalities.

7:05 first pitch from CBP. Jonathan Pettibone on the mound for the Phils, with the chance to go 4-0 for the year and get the Phils back up to .500 for the first time in a month-and-a-half in the process. Do it for Shane, Jonny.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.