Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

A double dose of awesome this evening for Phillies fans as not only is Roy Halladay getting the start but beloved phenom Dom Brown has rejoined the big league club. Unfortunately, the lanky left-hander will not get the start this evening as Charlie Manuel said before the game that Brown likely won't start against lefties, at least initially, as the skipper wants to ease him into the lineup. But Manuel also noted that this isn't last season, and Brown won't be mired on the bench like the end of last season. Expect to see Dom get plenty of welcomed time this summer.

Along with Dom Brown, the Phillies will welcome Inter-League play back to Philadelphia tonight as the Texas Rangers are in town for a three game set.

Interleague Play

As for the merits of Inter-League, put me in the camp of "It's great because it allows fans to see guys they may otherwise never see." That said, you can't disregard the major flaws in the system which Jayson Stark does a wonderful job outlining. One of his most poignant examples involves some NL East discrepancies, "The Mets will play 15 interleague games against teams currently .500 or better (plus three against the Angels, who are just a game under .500). The Nationals could play none. How does THAT happen?"

Charlie Manuel has grumbled about similar situations in the past, but it doesn't appear like MLB is set to do anything about it anytime soon. As we all know to well, the Phillies have not been great in their regular season games against the AL (106-129 all-time), although they did finish 2010 with a 10-8 record against the Junior Circuit.

Straight Edge Racer vs. Doc

Kyle Kendrick is not starting for the Phillies tonight, which is nice. Roy Halladay (5-3, 2.21) will take on C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.38) who has a relatively popular Twitter account. Just this afternoon he said this of facing Roy Halladay at the dish, "I'm up against the CYborg."

(see a higher resolution of the above Roy Halladay/Cyborg photo here)

Having spent the early part of his career in the AL, Halladay has plenty of experience against the Rangers -- 20 games to be exact. Roy is 7-7 with a 5.36 ERA against them. Not very Doc-like. Current Rangers Michael Young (.279 BA in 44 PA), Ian Kinsler (.316 BA in 21 PA), and David Murphy (.500 in 8 PA) have solid numbers against him.

The weather lately in South Philly is bizarre. It was raining earlier before it got hot and quasi sunny. It's become even more impossible to predict in recent weeks. Who knows what tonight's forecast entails.

Dom Dom Dom

John Mayberry Jr. will start in center this evening with Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco on either side of him. Wilson Valdez will bat and play second . Your chances of seeing Dom Brown make an appearance tonight are slim, because all Roy Halladay does is complete games.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05.

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineups can be found below:

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

Rockies
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. D.J. LeMehiau 2B
3. Nolan Arenado 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez RF
5. Mark  Reynolds 1B
6. Gerardo Parra LF
7. Alexi Amarista SS
8. Tony Wolters C
9. Jeff Hoffman SP