The Evster Searches the Internets for the Best Chris Wheeler

The Evster Searches the Internets for the Best Chris Wheeler

Chris Wheeler is obviously not the best broadcaster in the biz (that’d be the “Boom Goes the Dynamite Guy”), but he’s also not the worst (that’d be Tim McCarver). He’s just Chris Wheeler. Just plain ole, normal, not that interesting, perfectly fine, whatever, he’s a white dude, Chris Wheeler.

And it’s not like we expect the Phillies to hire the greatest commentators in the country, but we do at least expect them to employ the greatest Chris Wheeler. So I figured why not do some internet sleuthing to see how the Phillies’ Chris Wheeler stacked up against other Chris Wheelers.

This is Chris Wheeler. A young professional from Seattle who may or may not use product in his hair. It’s hard to tell. He seems like a nice enough guy, has a well-kept beard, some stylish glasses, but what is a Senior Technical Program Manager? That’s a job? He made up that job, didn’t he? Or is that just a fancy title for a computer geek? This guy is definitely a computer geek. A computer geek with over 500 connections on LinkedIn. Who the hell uses LinkedIn??? Ugh, what a dufus. Edge: Phillies Chris Wheeler.

This is ChrisTOPHER Wheeler, PhD, aka Mr. Fancy Pants Look at Me I Like to Spell Out My Whole Name Doctor Guy. A brilliant scientist who specializes in cancer research -- and is probably a wonderful, caring person -- but get over yourself dude with your white coat you think you’re better than me? You think you’re better than me, don’t you? Whatever, no one reads the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, buddy, whereas I know for a fact that literally DOZENS of people read my How To Make Your Own Jersey post. Edge: Phillies Chris Wheeler.

Ohhhhh, baby! Now this, this is a Chris Wheeler. I found this Chris Wheeler on Facebook, and he's obviously a mega cool dude. Forget about his saggy nips and beet-red sunburnt chest, look at this guy’s girlfriend! Good for you, Chris Wheeler! Good for you! I don’t know how you snagged that bathing beaut, but I’m proud of you, buddy! And I see you trying to slide in there and smell her hair! Veteran move, Wheels! Veteran move! Edge: This guy!

Okay.

Okay okay okay okay. Forget about the hair. Just forget about the hair. This Chris Wheeler, or “Wheeler” as his friends call him (found that out on his website, CHRIS WHEELER DOT ORG), gives motivational speeches to Christian youths by “bringing the bible to life.” According to his bio on CHRISWHEELER DOT ORG NOT COM BUT ORG, Wheeler connects with youngsters through his “various sound effects and beat-box skills.” Wow. Deep breath, Evster, deep breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Okay. You know what, Chris Wheeler? You know what? Nice job. Edge: Phillies Chris Wheeler.


Here we go. This Chris Wheeler looks dope. A brotha, a filmmaker, a strong Charles Barkley-esque mustache circa 1987, I think I could get on board with Chris Wheeler Films. Check out the passion in Chris Wheeler’s eyes -- looking off into the distance, visualizing his next shot, taking in the crisp, salty ocean air, with a nice clean Hanes crew neck T-shirt underneath that polo jawn. There’s only one problem:

DUDE MAKES WEDDING VIDEOS.

[vimeo w=400&h=300]

You don’t even have to watch that video. I’m not even sure why I embedded it. IT’S SO BORING. There’s only one part worth checkin’ out: at the :45 second mark, the groom tries to take off the bride’s garter, and it’s sort of hot for like three seconds, but then Wheeler (in classic Wheeler fashion!) cuts to a shot of the bride and groom staring off into the distance. Ughhhghhh. Edge: Phillies Chris Wheeler


I’m sure Chris Wheeler’s trip to Europe was very exciting for him. Probably saw some sights, ate some scones, he might’ve even met some hairy women. But I have never, ever, EVER, in my entire life, seen a man with the ability to look so identical in every one of his vacation photos. I guess in the middle photo he’s sort of trying to smile, but I just can’t get behind a dude who wears his sunglasses on the top of his head. I’m sorry, Chris Wheeler, I’m just a horrible person. And you might be the clammiest Chris Wheeler on the planet. Edge: Phillies Chris Wheeler.

Well, there you have it, folks. Phillies Chris Wheeler seems to be better than 5 out of 6 Chris Wheelers. We definitely coulda done worse.

Then again, we definitely coulda done better.

Simply the best.

The Evster writes the blog TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. He also sometimes writes about sports for us. You can follow him on Twitter @TVMWW, or you could go get yourself a sandwich. That’d probably be the better thing to do. You gotta be starving.

Phillies Prospect Notebook: Franklyn Kilome, Jose Taveras anchoring Clearwater's strong rotation

Phillies Prospect Notebook: Franklyn Kilome, Jose Taveras anchoring Clearwater's strong rotation

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Prospect Franklyn Kilome is the second-highest rated pitcher in the Phillies' organization, and the right-hander lived up to the billing Sunday, as the Clearwater Threshers, the Phillies' Class A Advanced affiliate, closed a three-game series at St. Lucie.

The right-hander twirled seven sparkling innings, shutting down the Mets’ hot bats, as the Threshers blanked St. Lucie 1-0 behind an unearned run at First Data Field to salvage the final game of the series.

Kilome, 21, allowed five hits, struck out six and didn’t issue a walk in winning for the first time since April 27. Only one St. Lucie player managed to reach second base against the 6-foot-6, 175-pound pitcher.

The Dominican pitcher is ranked No. 7 overall by Baseball America among Phillies' prospects. Only 18-year-old Lakewood hurler Sixto Sanchez (fifth overall) is rated above him in the organization.

“He’s got a chance to be a workhorse. Good body, very good arm, but still learning how to pitch a little bit,” pitching coach Aaron Fultz said of Kilome, who improved to 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA.

“He’s up to 97 (mph) with a good curveball and slider. He’s learning a changeup. He’s learning the game, but he’s got a huge upside.”

Jose Taveras (4-2, 2.26) has been another reliable arm on Clearwater’s staff. He led the South Atlantic League in strikeouts last season and has 54 in 55 2/3 innings this year.

Taveras also handled St. Lucie on Saturday, but he was left with a no-decision after the bullpen gave up three runs in a 4-3 loss in 10 innings. The 23-year-old worked six strong innings and yielded just a run on four hits.  

“Taveras is just a very good competitor," Fultz said. "His fastball is average, pretty decent breaking ball and his changeup is good, but the thing that makes him good is he’s just a competitor. He studies the game and the hitters and is very advanced with that.”

Added Threshers manager Shawn Williams: “There are times when he may not have his usual command, and he’ll change an arm angle, which shows he’s got a good feel for what he’s doing. He’ll crossfire, has deception … he’s got something where they don’t pick up his fastball and are always late.”

A third Dominican right-hander, Seranthony Dominguez (3-0, 2.02), has been a big part of the rotation as well and has won three times in six starts but is currently sidelined with shoulder soreness. An MRI returned a clean report.

“The first three or four weeks we were ridiculously good," Fultz said. "We’ve had a few bumps in the road since then, but we’re getting the job done.”

Zach, not Francis Ford
Zach Coppola has a famous Hollywood last name, but the Clearwater corner outfielder has spent 2017 making a name for himself with his defense, at the plate and on the bases.

Coppola, 23, was 5 for 12 with two runs scored in the St. Lucie series, including Sunday’s lone run. He made a pair of outstanding run-saving catches in the outfield over the weekend and raised his average to .346, second to Chris Paul (.351) of Fort Myers.

“Zach has been doing a great job as a leadoff hitter,” Williams said of the Iowa native. “He gets big hits, bunts, but the thing for me is he does something every night to help you win, whether it’s a bunt hit or a great diving play in left-center. He’ll throw a guy out or get a great dirtball read and score the winning run.

“He’s a very good baseball player who does all the little things.”

Good contributors
The Threshers (28-23) have sat atop the FSL’s North Division for most of the first half, but a series loss at St. Lucie over the weekend left them trailing Dunedin by one game after both clubs won Sunday.

Williams said his first season skippering the club has been highlighted by a full-team effort.

“It’s been a little bit of everything,” Williams said. “Early on our pitching was very, very good. Cole (Irvin) was really dealing (see more on Irvin). Dominguez, everybody was. We were getting the big hits, and our defense has been very consistent. Overall, we’ve just played good baseball.”

One standout playing good ball has been 5-foot-5 middle infielder Grenny Cumana, who went 7 for 10 in the series and made a spectacular catch-and-throw on the grass behind the bag while playing second base to rob St. Lucie’s Vinny Siena of an infield hit Sunday.

Tenacious P
Fultz said one immeasurable he likes in his pitchers is a bulldog-like tenacity that has them wanting the ball in key moments, regardless of previous outcomes.

“I don’t have to have the guy who’s always going to succeed in the big situation, but I always want the guy that wants to be out there in that situation. To me, that’s the selling point,” he said. “It’s not always being successful; it’s always wanting to be in that situation, which is a big plus.”

Fultz said his favorite battler was Jamie Brewington, a teammate of his in the San Francisco farm system, who appeared in 40 games over two MLB seasons.

“He went right after hitters, and it was fun to watch,” Fultz said.

Andrew Knapp's long homer a bright spot for skidding Phillies as rookie pushes Cameron Rupp

Andrew Knapp's long homer a bright spot for skidding Phillies as rookie pushes Cameron Rupp

Hidden in the Phillies' sub-par Sunday was one bright spot: Andrew Knapp.

The young backup catcher blasted a long home run into the Phillies' bullpen that gave them an early lead they would soon relinquish in an 8-4 loss to the Reds. The long ball comes on the heels of Knapp's first back-to-back starts earlier in the week.

"The more playing time you get, the better you feel," he said. "That's just the way it goes. I'm just trying to take my opportunities and take advantage of them. Unfortunately, we didn't win today, but the more at-bats I get, the better I feel."

The 25-year-old rookie was handed a prime opportunity in the second inning with two men on and one out. Starter Scott Feldman put him behind 0-2 with consecutive fastballs and tried to put him away upstairs. Knapp stayed poised and laid off both pitches, waiting for a mistake.

And the mistake came with a belt-high curveball that Knapp barreled 434 feet for a three-run homer.

"I wasn't really looking for it," he said. "I knew he liked to throw it with two strikes. It was kind of in the back of my head. But I was just looking for something out over the dish. He was pounding me in, but I was going to make him beat me away. I thankfully got that one out in front a bit."

Knapp is now 53 at-bats into his MLB career and has an impressive .264/.371/.509 batting line with three home runs and seven RBIs. He's played well enough to push starting catcher Cameron Rupp for more playing time and earn himself some extra starts beyond day games after night games.

"I feel good," Knapp said. "I'm learning a lot. Each at-bat in itself is its own thing and you can't really have much rollover. At the same time, the more I get in there, the better I feel and the more experience I get. So I feel good so far."

Rupp has been solid at the plate, although he dealt with some issues defensively last week. As Knapp got consecutive starts, Rupp sat out both Tuesday and Wednesday against the Rockies. He rebounded with a three-walk game Thursday afternoon.

With Knapp swinging the bat well, manager Pete Mackanin hopes it will only push Rupp to level his game up.

"Competition is great for pitchers and for position players and I think it's good," Mackanin said. "Knapp hit that home run today. He's been swinging the bat pretty well, catching pretty well and that's only, in my opinion, going to make Rupp better."

On Friday, Mackanin said he would give Knapp more playing time, looking to possibly split starts between Rupp and Knapp at four and three starts, respectively, per week. That's how it worked out during this past homestand.

The manager was unsure what the upward limit on Knapp's starts could be, but he was pleased about his catching situation despite the team's overall issues.

"Cam hasn't been swinging the bat that well lately, but they're both going to get playing time," Mackanin said. "Cam will get the brunt of the playing time. For me, it's a great situation. Now we have two guys that we think a lot of."