After being activated earlier in the day, Shane Victorino will get the start in center and bat fifth tonight as Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.82) and the Phillies take on Matt Garza (4-7, 3.97) and the Cubs. As you can see from the above photo, taken by the Inquirer's Matt Gelb, Shane is ready to go do some yard work tonight in the Wrigley outfield.
Victorino was curious as to how much a riding lawn mower would cost to purchase, because he's currently paying the hefty price of $75 a week to get his cut. Longtime Phillies beat writer Jim Salisbury then offered to undercut that and mow Shane's lawn for the low, low price of $60 a week -- a flat out bargain. Sully does, after all, know a thing or two about horticulture.
Charlie Manuel said before the game that he's been encouraged by John Mayberry Jr.'s play as of late and he thought about giving him the start tonight, but with right-handed Garza's big hook, he really likes getting lefties in the lineup.
The full lineup: Jimmy Rollins, Michael Martinez, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Domonic Brown, Carlos Ruiz, and Clifton Phifer Lee.
Oswalt Feels Great
Roy Oswalt threw almost 50 pitches off a mound today at Wrigley and said he feels the best his body has felt since spring training and was very encouraged by his bullpen session. He will throw another bullpen session on Friday, looking to up his pitches to ~60-65, and the next step after that would likely be a rehab start.
An early August return sounds about right if everything continues smoothly.
Random Coolness: was trying out a new iPhone app prior to this evening's game. Check out this 360 degree view of Wrigley from right above the Phillies dugout.
Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?
Well take a look at this.
How about now?
Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.
"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."
Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley.
Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.
"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy.
"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.
To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.
The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it.
The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.
Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents.
After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015.
Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.