Things Not Going Too Badly for James van Riemsdyk in Toronto

Things Not Going Too Badly for James van Riemsdyk in Toronto

When the Flyers swapped James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn
in the offseason, the thinking was both underachievers might be better off with
a change of scenery. Schenn has certainly brought a physical component to
Philadelphia’s defense, leading his new team with 34 hits through 10 games –
also good for fourth in the NHL.

Up north in Toronto, it sounds like van Riemsdyk is
acquitting himself nicely as well. On Tuesday, the former second-overall pick
of the ’07 draft had his second two-goal performance in his new uniform to give
him six goals for the season – tied for seventh in the NHL with eight players.

JVR’s tallies helped give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over the
Washington Capitals, although one of the scores was an absolute gift. They all
count the same though, and nobody is lighting the lamp six times in 10 games by
accident.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for van Riemsdyk however.
He has just a lone assist, which makes outsiders wonder how much he’s made his
teammates better around him. Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle also pulled JVR off
the power play at one point because he wasn’t crashing the net, although reports are
he’s had a greater presence there since.

But overall, we are witnessing once again the All-Star potential
van Riemsdyk has always possessed – only this time from a distance. While
Philadelphia continues to rank near the bottom of the league in goals per game,
it’s hard not to think about how much he might be helping the Flyers team right
now.

Of course, Luke Schenn isn’t exactly causing any buyer’s
remorse right now, either. So far, things seem to be working out well on both
ends of this deal.

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Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

Maikel Franco day to day with sore wrist

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, who was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on Friday night, is not in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (see lineup).

Franco was hit by a pitch from the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the first inning of the Phillies’ 4-0 victory then was removed after hitting a single in the third inning (see story).

“He’s still sore,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday. “He’s day to day. Maybe he will be back in the lineup (Sunday).

Franco suffered a fracture of the same wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.

Andres Blanco is taking Franco’s place in the lineup after having two hits Friday night when he replaced the third baseman. Blanco is hitting .264 with three home runs in 73 games this season and is reportedly drawing some interest from contending teams looking to add bench help.

“I could see why he would be a desirable player,” Mackanin said. “We’re not going to give him away, though, if we do trade him. He’s played very well for us.”

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

Source: Brayden Schenn spurns Flyers' 2-year offer, wants $5.5 million

It looks like the Flyers and Brayden Schenn are heading towards arbitration. 

A source tells CSNPhilly.com Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio that the Flyers and Schenn's camp are at odds over the salary of Schenn's next contract.

Schenn turned down a two-year deal worth $4.25 million in the first year and $4.369 million in the second, according to the source, noting that Schenn is looking for a deal that would pay him $5.5 million this upcoming season.

Schenn is coming off a career year, setting career highs in goals (26) and points (59), and is now looking to cash in on his best season. Last season, Schenn earned $2.75 million.

General manager Ron Hextall has repeatedly said he believes a deal will get done, but at the moment nothing looks imminent.

Schenn's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

Today's Lineup: Andres Blanco in, Maikel Franco out after HBP last night

After being hit on the wrist by a pitch in Friday's win (see story), Maikel Franco will not play today. Instead, Andres Blanco will take his place, hitting third in the lineup. Blanco was 2 for 2 replacing Franco in the third inning on Friday, with an RBI and a run scored. 

Blanco has been reliable when called upon this season, hitting .264 with a .317 OBP in mostly a utility role.

Other than that, the lineup remains the same as Friday.

Peter Bourjos will leadoff after going 0 for 5 last night, followed by Odubel Herrara. After an All-Star first half, Herrara has hit .211 in July, but seemed to get back on track with three hits on Friday, while scoring two runs. 

After a brutal stretch of games and an extended All-Star break, Aaron Nola returned to form vs. the Marlins last week, tossing six shutout innings. Nola again looks to prove the doubters wrong again today vs. the Pirates, who he has never faced in his brief career. 

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Peter Bourjos RF
2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Andres Blanco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Cameron Rupp C
6. Cody Asche LF
7. Freddy Galvis SS
8. Cesar Hernandez 2B
9. Aaron Nola P