Happening Elsewhere: Kyle Drabek's Major League Debut

Happening Elsewhere: Kyle Drabek's Major League Debut

A night after Greg Golson poked his head up in a big spot for the Yankees, another old friend of the Fightins made his high-profile debut in Baltimore. Kyle Drabek, the young righty sent to Toronto as the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay deal, took the mound for the first time for the Blue Jays--coincidentally, the same night that Halladay got his 19th win for the Phils. Drabek performed admirably for a first-timer, going six innings and giving up three runs on nine hits (5K, 3BB) in a 3-1 Baltimore victory.

“He did a good job. He kept us in the ball game,” said Toronto manager Cito Gaston. “We just didn’t score runs for him.” (Well, one run--more on that later.)

The eyes of Phils fans will no doubt dart to Drabek lines in box scores for years to come, as we wonder what would have been. Not that Doc has given us any reason for second-guessing--his 19 wins are the highest for a Philly starter in almost 30 years, and his 210 Ks are still a league best--but we had been teased with Drabek's potential for a good few years before he was dealt, and though we certainly don't wish him ill in his major league career, we probably don't want to have given up a future ace, either. A nice, long career of unspectacular quality starts like this will do just nicely, thanks.

In other news from the same game, the Blue Jays scored their one run in the ballgame on outfielder Jose Bautista's 47th home run of the year--bringing him just three away from being the first major leaguer in three years to break the half-century mark. If you called Jose being the one to break the league-wide dry spell before the season, congrats on cashing on your 125,000-1 bet, and can we borrow $60 to get a copy of NHL 11?

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."