Phillies Open Series with Marlins in South Florida

Phillies Open Series with Marlins in South Florida

The Phils open their penultimate series before the All Star break on the road tonight in Florida. Vance Worley, fresh off his impressive performance against the Red Sox, takes the mound for the Phils.

Right hander Ricky Nolasco gets the start for the Marlins. Nolasco went the distance in his most recent start, surrendering just five hits en route to picking up the win against Oakland.

Shane Victorino, who leads the Final Vote race for the final spot on the National League All Star team, is out of the lineup with a swollen right thumb. He suffered the injury yesterday against the Blue Jays when he fell awkwardly after making a catch in center. Michael Martinez will take his place tonight.

Charlie Manuel's lineup looks like this:

Rollins SS, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Ibanez LF, Brown RF, Schneider C, Martinez CF, Worley P.

Gametime is 6:10  

Photo Credit: Howard Smith, US Presswire

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders

The Phillies on Thursday officially announced the signing of outfielder Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a club option for 2018. 

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Saunders will make $9 million this season with the Phillies and the club option for 2018 will be worth $11 million with escalators potentially pushing it to $14 million.

Saunders, 30, is the left-handed hitting outfield bat the Phils were seeking. He hit 24 home runs for the Blue Jays last season in his walk year, making the AL All-Star team before slumping in the second half.

Saunders hit .298/.372/.551 with 16 homers in 82 games for the Blue Jays before the All-Star break, then hit .178/.282/.357 with eight homers in 58 games after.

He had a good year against same-handed pitching, hitting .275 with a .927 OPS and eight homers against lefties. 

He'll likely start in right field for the Phillies, with Odubel Herrera in center and Howie Kendrick in left (see Phils' projected lineup).

Saunders can also play first base, which could allow the Phillies to sit Tommy Joseph against a tough right-hander and fill in the outfield.

It was important to Phillies GM Matt Klentak that the player he signed to fill the spot in the outfield was not going to block young outfielders like Roman Quinn, Nick Williams and others.

On a one-year deal, Saunders came relatively cheap to the Phils, lingering in free agency as other hitters found contracts. In the middle of last summer, Saunders seemed poised for a multi-year contract like the four-year, $52 million deal Josh Reddick signed with the Astros. His second half cost him some money.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Saunders, the Phillies designated right-hander Severino Gonzalez for assignment.

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

He’s done it again.
 
Eleven days ago, Sixers social media went wild over a video that showed Joel Embiid walking out to the ring as a WWE character in WWE 2K17. Well, YouTube user Hillman811 is back with an even better version of the video complete with Sam Hinkie and fans chanting.
 
The first video sparked questions to Embiid about his favorite WWE wrestler, and he even did his own Triple H introduction at the Wells Fargo Center after The Game threw him an All-Star vote (see story).
 
Watch the video below and let your mind run wild with what this would look like if it actually happened.