What They’re Saying: Flyers’ First-Round Pick Gets Bad Grades

What They’re Saying: Flyers’ First-Round Pick Gets Bad Grades

Judging by the responses in our comments section, many Flyers fans were excited by the selection of 6’6” Sam Morin at No. 11 overall in the NHL Draft on Sunday. Yes, he is a bit of project, but the potential sounds like it’s out of this world.

Others, predictably, were more concerned over where Morin was picked, which was much earlier than expected. Most prospect rankings put the 17 year old in the mid-to-late 20s – behind several defensemen the Flyers passed on in that spot – which would make him a late first rounder.

The day-after draft grades reflect those in the latter camp. Morin, a so-called “off-the-board” selection, was seen as a poor value at 11, earning a D grade from CBS Sports’ Chris Peters.

The Flyers really couldn't afford to go with such a high-risk pick here in Morin. He is a giant, he's tough and he fights and there is a lot of potential there, but Morin is very raw. He's got a long way to go before he makes it to the NHL. However, if he reaches his full potential, he could be a top-four guy. That's no guarantee, however. To me, it's too early to take this kind of risk for Philadelphia. If drafting D, I think Nikita Zadorov would've been safer here.

The Flyers also got the “Draft Losers” stamp from Puck Daddy’s Ryan Lambert.

Philadelphia Flyers: Losers. Big-time off the board pick for Samuel Morin, who the Flyers would love to repeatedly remind you doesn't have a lot of offense for where he was picked, doesn't skate well, and wholly lacks in puck skills. Looks like they were enticed by his size (6-foot-6, 200-plus pounds), and little more.

Obviously draft grades are just for fun. Nobody can look at the draft today and know who’s going to pan out and whether teams won or lost. Still, it’s safe to say “reaching” for Morin there raised some eyebrows.

Although not everyone was shocked. Craig Button, hockey analyst for TSN and one-time Calgary Flames general manager, had Morin rated much more closely to where he was taken. In fact, Button correctly predicted the Flyers would select Morin in his mock.

>> NHL Draft Grades [CBS]
>> NHL Draft Winners and Losers [Puck Daddy]

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr bats 5th for Phillies in season debut

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr bats 5th for Phillies in season debut

Aaron Altherr, activated by the Phillies Thursday afternoon, bats fifth and plays right field in his season debut in Atlanta. 

Sometimes one hitter can make a lineup look much different. Altherr's presence in the middle of the Phillies order provides them with three power hitters, something they've seldom had this season. He provides some protection out of the five-hole for Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco, who precede him.

Cesar Hernandez remains in the leadoff spot for the Phillies after going 3 for 4 with a walk Wednesday to raise his batting average to .290. 

Cody Asche may soon lose playing time as the Phils' outfield picture gets more crowded, but for now his lineup spot appears safe. With Peter Bourjos on the DL, Asche gets the start in left field and bats eighth.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Carlos Ruiz, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Cody Asche, LF
9. Aaron Nola, P

Phillies reinstate Aaron Altherr, place Peter Bourjos on 15-day DL

Phillies reinstate Aaron Altherr, place Peter Bourjos on 15-day DL

The player who was projected to be the Phillies' opening day rightfielder and No. 5 hitter is finally ready to play. The Phils on Thursday reinstated outfielder Aaron Altherr from the disabled list after he missed the season's first 103 games with a wrist injury.

Altherr takes the 25-man roster spot of Peter Bourjos, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder sprain.

Altherr, 25, impressed with power late last season, hitting .241/.338/.489 for the Phillies with 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 22 RBIs in 161 plate appearances. 

He tore a tendon sheath in his wrist on a diving catch attempt early in spring training, had surgery and missed about four months in total. The Phils were patient with Altherr during his rehab assignment, giving him the full 20 days before making the decision to add him to the active roster. In 13 games at four different levels during the rehab stint, Altherr went 14 for 41 (.341) with two doubles, a homer and seven walks.

Bourjos injured his shoulder running into the wall at Marlins Park earlier this week. The injury will keep him from being traded ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline, but Bourjos could be moved in August. He hit .410 in June but was slumping before the injury, hitting .148 over his last 14 games.

Marlins reinstate 2B Dee Gordon after 80-game drug ban

Marlins reinstate 2B Dee Gordon after 80-game drug ban

MIAMI — Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon issued an apology on Twitter addressed primarily to his young fans as he returned from an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test.

"I know I let you down, and I'm sorry," Gordon said in a video. "Complacency led me to this, and I'm hurt. I urge you guys to be more responsible than I am about what goes into your body. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

Gordon, who won the NL batting and stolen base titles last year, was reinstated before Thursday's game against St. Louis.

Gordon tested positive for two performance-enhancing substances and was suspended in late April. Gordon acknowledged in April that he unknowingly took the banned substances.

Marlins president David Samson said then that the second baseman had betrayed the team and its fans. On Wednesday, Samson said the Marlins are glad to have Gordon back.

"I believe that America and our fans and our players and us, we're a pretty forgiving society," Samson said. "It's important Dee ask for that forgiveness, and he has, and he'll receive that. He's got to continue to work to get himself back in with his teammates and the fans and my son."

In his video, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Gordon said he learned from his mistake.

"I thought being the smallest guy I would never fail a drug test," he said. "I didn't pay attention at all and I didn't meet the standards. That's my fault and no one else's. But don't give up on me."

To make room on the roster for Gordon, the Marlins designated for assignment infielder Don Kelly, who had two triples in Sunday's victory. Even without Gordon, the Marlins have remained in contention for their first playoff berth since 2003.

Last year Gordon batted .333, stole 58 bases, became an All-Star for the second time and won his first Gold Glove. The season earned him a $50 million, five-year contract in January.