Gotta Wait Till 5:30 Tomorrow to See If Someone Actually Scores in This Reds-Phillies Game

Gotta Wait Till 5:30 Tomorrow to See If Someone Actually Scores in This Reds-Phillies Game

There have been 51 outs, just six base-runners, and zero runs scored in
tonight's Reds-Phillies game, and it looks like it's gonna stay that way
for a while. The scoreless pitchers' duel in Cincinnati, which began
over an hour late after a rain delay, has now been postponed altogether,
to be rebooted tomorrow at 5:30 PM EST. We'll pick it up in the bottom
of the ninth, with a mystery Phils pitcher (Papelbon? Aumont?) to face
Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, in a baseball coda that should conjure
memories of Geoff Jenkins and Pat Burrell for the Philly faithful.

The
good news for the Phils from this game is that our starting pitching
officially appears to have come around, with Kyle Kendrick (7 IP, 2H,
2BB, 4K) keeping the Reds off-balance all game, looking as good with his
pitch selection and command as he did in his excellent finish to last
season, and now marking the fifth consecutive Phillies starter (one full
turn around the rotation) to go at least six innings while letting up
just two runs or less. The defense was solid, and after threatening a
couple times early, the Reds never really came close to scoring for most
of the game.

The less-than-good news from this one is that the
offense has really sputtered. Chase Utley and Michael Young had the only
two base knocks of the game, and Dom Brown and Ryan Howard both came a
couple feet short of round-trippers, but otherwise there was just
nothing going on for the Phillies' bats, with Cincy starter Homer Bailey
racking up 10 K's in eight innings (each Philly starter struck out at
least once tonight) and not walking a batter. Ben Revere has been
especially deadly in the leadoff spot, worm-killing his way to an 0-4
night, dropping his average to .207 for the season.

Tune back in
at 5:30 tomorrow to see what cracks first between the Phillies' fine
pitching and turgid hitting. It'll be like a double-header, if the first
game could conceivably last just one swing.

Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens honored with Joe Bauman Award

donald-holohan-reading-fightin-phils-dylan-cozens.jpg
Photo courtesy of Donald Holohan

Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens honored with Joe Bauman Award

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Phillies prospect Dylan Cozens stopped by the winter meetings on Monday and left with a little something extra in his wallet.

Cozens was honored with the Joe Bauman Award, given annually to minor league baseball’s home run king. The award came with an $8,000 check -- $200 for each homer he hit in 2016.

“That will make shopping this holiday season a lot easier,” Cozens joked.

Cozens, a left-handed-hitting rightfielder, hit .276 with 40 home runs and 125 RBIs for the Double A Reading Fightin Phils. He was named Eastern League MVP. During his acceptance speech at Monday’s awards luncheon, Cozens thanked his Reading teammate, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, for pushing him to his power heights. Hoskins also had a huge season with the bat. He hit 38 homers and had 116 RBIs on his way to becoming the Eastern League’s Rookie of the Year. Night after night in Reading, Cozens and Hoskins staged a friendly power competition. At the end of the season, they shared the Paul Owens Award, given annually to the Phillies’ minor-league player of the year.
Cozens, 22, recently finished a 25-game hitch in the Dominican winter league. Despite hitting just .165 for the Aguilas club, he had four home runs – all against lefty pitching, which has been a nemesis.

Cozens, a 6-6, 250-pound behemoth, made some off-the-field news in the DR when he was involved in a pregame fight with teammate Boog Powell, a Seattle Mariners prospect. Cozens downplayed the incident.

“Just a little boys-being-boys type thing,” he said. “I feel like it was blown out of proportion like almost everything is these days. But, after it happened we became good friends. It was more the level of respect there and I’d say we’re still friends, so it’s good.”

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said the incident was in the past and would have no long-range ramifications for Cozens.

“There is no concern,” Klentak said. “Dylan is an intense kid and he plays the game really hard. That is a good thing. If you’ve watched that, you can see that in his at-bats and when he runs the bases and is running around in the outfield. That’s just his style of play. That aggressive nature at times can boil over. You hope that it doesn’t boil over into altercations with teammates. But we have no long-term concerns with that at all.”

Cozens was recently added to the 40-man roster and will be in big-league spring training camp. Though he projects to open the 2017 season at Triple A, he’s conceding nothing.

“I’m just going to go out there and try to get better, turn some heads and make people notice and hopefully get called up as soon as possible,” he said. 

Plate discipline and strike-zone management are the areas in which Cozens needs the most improvement. He struck out 186 times and walked 61 times in 134 games in 2016. Phillies officials would like to see the strikeouts come down.
 
“I’m learning how to take my walks more often, having better strike-zone judgment, maybe not chase after as many pitches,” Cozens said. “I want to be aggressive, but if they don’t want to pitch to me, just take a walk. I feel like I did not do a good job of that and it’s something I can improve on next year.”

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Matt Read out approximately a month; Flyers recall Taylor Leier, send down Scott Laughton

Updated: 7 p.m.

Flyers winger Matt Read will miss approximately a month with an upper-body injury suffered in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Predators when he was checked by Filip Forsberg. Sources tell CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio the injury is an oblique muscle pull in Read's upper torso.

The 30-year-old has six goals and four assists for 10 points through 27 games. Five of those goals came in the Flyers' first five games.

To replace Read's roster spot, the Flyers recalled Taylor Leier and sent Scott Laughton to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. That likely means penalty-kill specialist Boyd Gordon (back), who is eligible to come off long-term injury reserve, will be activated.

Leier, 22, has been playing well with the Phantoms, posting six goals and 14 assists in 22 games (see Future Flyers Report). This is Leier's second stint of the season with the Flyers, albeit his first was short — one game on Oct. 25 in which he was a healthy scratch. He made his NHL debut last season and played six games.

Laughton was a healthy scratch the past five games.

If for some reason Gordon is not activated, the Flyers can call up another forward from Lehigh Valley. Jordan Weal is tied for second in the AHL with 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 20 games, while veteran winger Colin McDonald is an experienced, bottom-six option.