Ruben Amaro Gets Indignant Over... Prospect Rankings?

Ruben Amaro Gets Indignant Over... Prospect Rankings?

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is under a great deal of pressure these days, with the trade deadline looming and an aging squad that seems neither capable of winning consistently nor freefalling from the playoff race altogether. In addition to his stressful work environment, Amaro is also constantly under fire from fans and in the media, as if his job isn’t hard enough right now.

None of which is to get people to sympathize with the man, but you can maybe understand why somebody might buckle under the weight and “snap” so to speak, at least go on the defensive. And with reporters constantly pressing Amaro on the Phils’ next move – some of whom would no doubt turn around and say something critical of the job that he’s doing – there are plenty of easy targets for the GM’s wrath.

Amaro did take some folks to task over the weekend, but it wasn’t our pal Jim Salisbury or any of his Philly brethren. Rather it was the relatively anonymous group of folks who rate minor-league systems, rankings which have been generally unfavorable toward the Fightins’ farm system of late. Not to fear though – Amaro says they’re all full of it in his mini-rant.

Amaro will be protective of his minor-league prospects when considering trades. The Phils’ system is thin on blue-chippers, but it does have some coveted players. Amaro used the subject of the minor-league system as a springboard to rip those who rate minor-league systems.

“We have some guys that may be available,” Amaro said. “Clubs have asked about some guys that you don’t see on the top 25, top 50 lists of everyone who knows everything about baseball. I said that sarcastically, by the way, because I don’t think people know (crap) about it. You can print that if you’d like.

“There’s just a lot of those lists that come out that make me laugh. I don’t see anyone working for any major-league clubs that do that with those lists. It’s interesting.”

We’re sort of at a loss for words on this one. While I’m not quite certain how the Phillies stack up against the rest of Major League Baseball in this category, I’ve often felt their system isn’t quite as depleted as it’s made out to be. Then again I’m not sure prospect rankings are really being treated like scripture, either. Seems very out of left field to get heated over it.

>> Buy? Sell? Ruben Amaro still on the fence [CSN]

Ben Simmons wants to play this season but says 'no timetable on getting healthy'

Ben Simmons wants to play this season but says 'no timetable on getting healthy'

Ben Simmons wants to play this season.

He expressed his interest to get back on the court while speaking to the media for the first time since undergoing surgery on a right acute Jones fracture. Dressed in a suit, he addressed his injury before the tip-off of opening night Wednesday.

There had been rumblings that Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, wanted to keep him out this season. Both Simmons and Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil debunked that thought (see story).

“I’d love to play, definitely,” Simmons said of the 2016-17 season. “As soon as I can get out there, I’d love to play."

Simmons did not give an anticipated return date. He is expected to miss three months with the injury, which involved one screw in the injured bone. Neither the team nor the rookie are in a rush. 

“There’s no timetable on getting healthy,” he said. “I’m working every day to get back and as soon as they tell me I can play is when I’ll be out there.”

Simmons has been rehabbing at the Sixers' training complex in Camden, New Jersey. He is able to work on upper-body training and massage to help the blood flow. He is focused on maintaining his strength, and noted his playing weight did not factor into the injury as some speculated. Simmons also has been watching game film and would like to improve his shot during the recovery period. 

“It’s a blessing and a curse,” he said. “Obviously it’s not the best start of my career as an NBA player, but I’m looking at it as a positive.”

New to the league, Simmons reached out for insight from other players. The first person he spoke to was Kevin Durant, who suffered the same injury. 

“He just said get advice from everybody and I’ll be good,” Simmons said. “It’s good to just reach out to people like that who have gone through it.”

Simmons watched the Sixers' home opener from the locker room, observing with a mix of patience and desire to suit up. 

“It was tough just knowing what happened,” he said. “But I’ll have my first game eventually and my time will come.”

Report: Kings called Flyers about 'bad goalie' Steve Mason

Report: Kings called Flyers about 'bad goalie' Steve Mason

Dealing with injuries in their crease, the Los Angeles Kings called the Flyers to check in on the availability of bad goalie Steve Mason, according to's Elliotte Friedman.

Kings starter and otherwise really good goalie Jonathan Quick is out up to three months with a groin injury, while backup Jeff Zatkoff is currently on injured reserve with a groin injury too.

Before eventually brining in former Predators and Coyotes goaltender Anders Lindbach, Los Angeles called around the league to see if any teams might be able to help them find a replacement for Quick. Mason was one of the potential candidates, Friedman said, but Mason's $4.1 million cap hit couldn't fit into their cap situation. Plus, the Flyers don't have any cap flexibility, either.

Mason is 4-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in six games this season.