Herndon Out, Blanton In; Carpenter to Start Sunday

Herndon Out, Blanton In; Carpenter to Start Sunday

CITIZENS BANK PARK -- The Phillies were pretty much all business today during their workouts at Citizens Bank Park. There's a good team in front of them in the St. Louis Cardinals but the Phillies feel supremely confident that they're capable of beating them and advancing to the NLCS.

A couple of quick notes: David Herndon has been told that he will not be on the NLDS roster. He admitted to being a bit surprised at the move. Instead, it's likely the Phillies decided to go with Joe Blanton out of the pen instead. Nothing is official just yet, but Charlie said during his presser that they'll likely keep 11 pitchers.

UPDATE: It's now official, the Phillies just tweeted the rosters: NLDS roster pitchers: Bastardo, Blanton, Halladay, Hamels, Kendrick, Lee, Lidge, Madson, Oswalt, Stutes, Worley.

The most interesting news of the day came when Tony LaRussa said he's going to go with Chris Carpenter as the Cardinals starter in game two on Sunday night. Carpenter would be matched up against Cliff Lee and will be pitching on only 3 days rest for the first time in his career, according to Jayson Stark.

Jaime Garcia will start game 3 in St. Louis. As we noted yesterday, his numbers at home are much better than on the road. Additionally, there seems to be some concern about his confidence and pitching at Citizens Bank Park wouldn't seem like a place to help build a young guy up.

Not much else of real interest to report. Ryan Howard says he only expects to need 12-15 tickets or so for the first part of the series in Philadelphia. I guess people don't need to travel as much if they're already in St. Louis.

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 coexist 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 foot 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.