Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

One of the more unexpected storylines of this Phillies sad season is the fact that Roy Halladay returned from shoulder surgery in late August after many thought the procedure wound end his career in Philadelphia. But Doc made impressive recovery time and has started twice since returning. The results have been mixed.

With the question of whether Halladay would ever pitch again for the Phillies answered, the next question turns to whether he'll ever be a consistently effective pitcher again and whether or not he could play a role in the Phillies future.

CSN's Corey Seidman broke down Roy's two post-surgery starts, one impressive, one not so much:

Halladay (3-4, 7.94) overcame early struggles in his first start back from shoulder surgery on Aug. 25 vs. Arizona, but was taken deep twice last Friday on a hot afternoon at Wrigley Field. He allowed five runs in five innings that day.

Since returning, Halladay’s sinker has averaged 87.9 mph and his cutter 86.5. Certainly not encouraging signs, but he and the Phillies continue to state that they are more concerned with his command and movement and that the velocity will be the last thing to return.

We all know Halladay's struggles with heat at Wrigley Field, so perhaps that game could prove to be an outlier, but the velocity is hard to ignore and will certainly be a storyline worth following the remainder of the season.

Phils skipper Ryne Sandberg said before the game tonight that Halladay is still building that arm strength back up. From beat writer Matt Gelb's sulia:

"He's able to use all of his pitches," Sandberg said. "I would say, he's still building his arm strength and I think that's where the velocity would and should come back. But I think that he's one outing at a time trying to build on his last outing. The fact he is pitching; it's hard to say if he's a little bit ahead of schedule pitching the way he is considering everything."

So in a final month where we'll be watching guys like Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, and Freddy Galvis to see if they will lead to a bright future in Philadelphia, it'll also be worth tuning in every fifth day Roy Halladay starts to see if he has any future on the baseball mount at all.

And whether that mound will be in South Philadelphia.

You know baseball fans are pulling for him to return to some sort of Roy Halladay form.

7:05 from CBP tonight. Roy Halladay takes the hill vs. Jordan Zimmermann (15-8, 3.33).

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

With Roman Quinn's season over with an oblique strain, Freddy Galvis moves up to second in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday night against the Braves.

Quinn's showing in the majors this month was a microcosm of his pro career to this point — he showed his speed with four steals and several infield hits, posted a .373 OBP in 69 plate appearances, but suffered another injury. Health has always been his roadblock.

With Quinn out, Cody Asche gets a start in left field against Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who he's homered off of. The presence of Quinn and Aaron Altherr has limited Asche's playing time — he's started only three games since coming back from Triple A on Sept. 10.

Asche bats seventh, a spot ahead of Aaron Altherr, who is 7 for 52 (.135) in his last 18 games and has four extra-base hits in his last 133 plate appearances.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Cody Asche, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Matt Kemp, who sat last night, returns to the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Dansby Swanson, SS
7. Mallex Smith, RF
8. Daniel Castro, 2B
9. Mike Foltynewicz, P