Charlie Shuffles Lineup as the DH Is No More and Michael Young Is Bereaved

Charlie Shuffles Lineup as the DH Is No More and Michael Young Is Bereaved

This is where I write about how ridiculous it is that the NL and AL have different rules, and that the DH is stupid, but I'd be totally fine with it if it existed in both leagues, but baseball is archaic and ridiculous, and that it was the pitcher who actually caught that double-play relay the other night, and that the first baseman who did not catch the ball wasn't even on the bag, and that the K-zone on TV is a patently absurd proposition because it exposes umpires even more than they already are WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY PROVING that we have the technology for a robot strike zone.

That's where I write about that.

After playing two games in Boston, the Phillies return home tonight to play out the latter half of their four-game set with the Red Sox.

Because we're switching from the AL to the NL, Delmon Young returns to right field for the Phillies, while John Mayberry and the Red Sox's* David Ortiz have been pushed to the bench.

Michael Young, meanwhile, has been placed on the bereavement list, meaning Freddy Galvis will fill in at third and Kevin Frandsen will play second. Cesar Hernandez (.308/ 2 HRs / 18 RBI in 48 games at Triple A) has been called up from the minors.

On the mound, Kyle Kendrick is looking to shake off his last two starts in which he allowed nine runs over 15 innings and raised his ERA .82 points. We tried to find the bright spots.

Finally, Dom Brown is still batting sixth, because of you-know-like-baseball-is-like-he'll-you-know-show-me-like-when-he's-ready Charlie Manuel.

7:05 first pitch from South Philadelphia. Here's how they'll face John Lackey in order:

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*The English language

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P