Official: Hunter Pence Traded to Giants In 3-for-1 Deal

Official: Hunter Pence Traded to Giants In 3-for-1 Deal

It's official. Hunter Pence joins Shane Victorino as starting outfielders the Phillies parted ways with prior to Tuesday's 4:00 PM trade deadline. In return for Pence from San Francisco, the Phillies will receive highly regarded 21-year-old catching prospect Tommy Jospeh, outfielder Nate Schierholtz, and 23-year-old pitching prospect Seth Rosin.

The Phillies may not be done yet, as chatter about Ty Wigginton to the Yankees and Joe Blanton to Baltimore is still floating around on Twitter.

Your immediate thoughts on Pence being dealt? The Phillies official release on the trade:

The Phillies have traded right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.  The Phillies also sent cash considerations to the Giants.

Schierholtz, 28, was hitting .257 with five doubles, five triples, five home runs and 17 RBI in 77 games.  A left-handed hitter, Schierholtz has made 37 starts in right field this year.  As a pinch-hitter this year, he had six hits in 28 at-bats (.214), but for his career owns a .296 (37-125) pinch average with two home runs and 16 RBI.  Selected in the second round by the Giants in the 2003 draft, Schierholtz had spent his entire professional career with the organization and is a career .270 hitter with 23 home runs, 119 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 503 major league games.

Joseph, 21, was hitting .260 with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 80 games for double-A Richmond this season.  Last year, he batted .270 with 22 home runs and 95 RBI in 127 games for single-A San Jose.  Joseph was originally selected in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Az.

Rosin, 23, has gone 2-1 with 10 saves and a 4.31 ERA in 34 games (five starts) for single-A San Jose this season. In his 56.1 innings pitched, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound right-hander has 68 strikeouts (10.86 SO/9.0 IP). Rosin was a fourth-round selection of the Giants in the 2010 draft out of the University of Minnesota.

Pence, 29, was acquired by the Phillies on July 29 of last season from the Houston Astros.  In 155 games for the Phillies since his acquisition, he batted .289 with 27 doubles, 28 home runs and 94 RBI.  This season, Pence was hitting .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI in 101 games.  He was leading the Phillies in runs (59), hits (108), home runs, RBI, walks (37) and total bases (178) and was tied for the lead in games.

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

In long-awaited NBA debut, Joel Embiid treats Sixers fans to a show

The crowd erupted as Joel Embiid stepped to the free throw line. They chanted a phrase Embiid has been repeating for the past two years, a fitting welcome to his NBA debut.

“That was great,” Embiid said after the Sixers' 103-97 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday in the season opener (see Instant Replay). “That’s my motto, 'Trust the process.'”

After two years of rehabbing foot injuries, Embiid has his first regular-season game behind him. Embiid scored a team-high 20 points, shooting 6 for 16 from the field, 1 for 3 from long range and 7 for 8 from the line. He also recorded seven rebounds, two blocks, four turnovers and four fouls in over 22 minutes. 

“The beginning I was nervous, but once you make that first shot, it just goes away,” he said. “The fans were so into the game that it was fun. I love having fun.”

Sixers head coach Brett Brown enjoyed watching Embiid on the court as much as the big man liked being on it. Brown has seen the 7-foot-2 center grow and develop during his rehab. Finally, he was able to utilize his versatile skills in a real game setting.

“I can't say this loud enough,” Brown said. “For the city to be rewarded with a player that we all understand has unique gifts, special gifts, for him to go through all the things he has been through and play like he did on opening night, the city deserves it. Most importantly, he deserves it.”

Now that Embiid has been cleared to play, he would like to do so for longer periods of time. He began the preseason at 12 minutes and was increased to 20 in segmented spurts for opening night. Even though he exceeded that limit by over two minutes, Embiid is itching to be cleared to play more extensively. 

“It sucks,” Embiid said. “I feel like I could have played more but you know you’ve got to trust the process, got to trust those guys. If I have my minute restriction at 20 minutes, I guess I’m going to go with that. But obviously I want to play more and more and I think it can help the team better. But they have a plan for me and I’ve got to follow it.”

Embiid has maintained he wants to be a clutch player. Brown looked to him toward the end of the game as the Thunder pulled ahead late in the final quarter. He drained a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 97 apiece with 50.7 to go. 

Later trailing by four with 10 seconds left, the Sixers went to Embiid. While he was whistled for an offensive foul, Brown was glad to have a go-to unlike in years past. 

“You have a target,” Brown said. “We tried to get the ball to him a lot. … By and large, to have somebody like Joel, where the mystery is solved like, 'What do you do?' You get him the ball as much as you can.”

The more the Sixers found Embiid, the more the Thunder had to try to defend him. Thunder head coach Billy Donovan knew what his team was going up against. He watched Embiid as a high schooler and coached against him during his tenure at Florida. 

“He’s gifted and skilled,” Donovan said. “It was probably our guys' first time seeing him … I knew the talent, the gifts. The one thing with him is, he’s got great footwork. He’s hard to guard because he’s herky-jerky. He moves. He’s got a lot of [Hakeem] Olajuwon to him.”

Opening night had been two years in the making. Even though the Sixers didn't win, the significance of the evening didn't disappoint. 

"I thought this moment was going to be special," Embiid said, "and it was just great."

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

Best of NBA: Davis' 50 points not enough in Pelicans' loss to Nuggets

NEW ORLEANS -- Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and the Denver Nuggets survived a dominant performance by Anthony Davis to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.

Davis had 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His production helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes. He simply didn't have enough help.

The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58. Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver and Wilson Chandler added 12 points (see full recap).

Celtics top Nets in Horford's home debut
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowder added 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut on Wednesday night as the Celtics survived a late scare to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-117 in their season opener.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left after the Nets erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston bench. But he missed one with a chance to tie it after Joe Harris intercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.

Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets in coach Kenny Atkinson's debut (see full recap).

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Myles Turner scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds and made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in overtime to start an 8-0 run that allowed the Indiana Pacers to close out a 130-121 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks.

Three-time All-Star Paul George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.

Deron Williams scored 25 points, while J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki each added 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth straight in the series. They still haven't won in Indianapolis since February 2014.

Dallas didn't tie the score or take a lead until the fourth quarter, yet still forced overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3-pointer made it 115-all with 2.3 seconds left.

Turner could have won it with a long buzzer-beating 3, but it bounced off the back of the rim (see full recap).