The Over/Under on How Many Starts Vick Makes in 2013 Will Surprise You

The Over/Under on How Many Starts Vick Makes in 2013 Will Surprise You

Some people believe Michael Vick is a very good to great NFL quarterback, some think he’s an overrated, inconsistent, and flawed player. Wherever you happen to fall on that spectrum, there’s one aspect to Vick’s game almost everyone can agree on: he’s injury prone.

Vick is the Eagles’ starting quarterback for now, but even if he continues to play at a high level, folks in the Delaware Valley seem resigned to the fact that he will get injured at some point. It can be a little misleading to say because there are some variables, but it’s also a fact Vick has appeared in 16 games only once during his 10-year career.

We’ve tended to think about it in terms of why it’s good to have Nick Foles around and when the 24 year old will get his opportunity to play, but naturally Vegas has a different spin. What’s the over/under on the number of games Vick will start this year? The line from Bovada.lv might be a bit startling.

Michael Vick - Total games started in the 2013 Regular Season   

Over/Under                               13½

Vick only needs to miss three starts this season to fall under that mark. To put that in perspective, he’s missed at least that many all three years he’s been the starter in Philadelphia.

In 2010, Vick missed two games with a rib injury, then was held out of a meaningless final game with a deep thigh bruise. In 2011, he missed three games due to the ribs again. Last season he wasn’t cleared to return from a concussion until five contests had gone by, then Andy Reid stuck decided to stick with Foles.

The possibility that Foles could take over and play well enough not to get bounced out of the lineup upon Vick’s recovery has to play into this line as well.

Of course, while Vick has been particularly injury prone during his time with the Eagles, he would have reached the over most of his years in Atlanta. Only once out of five years as the Falcons’ starter did he miss more than one game in a single season, indicating the angle has been played up a bit.

That said, Vick’s style at times can be reckless, and he often takes unnecessary hits from holding on to the ball too long, so it’s no wonder everyone expects him to get hurt. I think when you add the point that Foles has looked good too and might have a chance to seize the job if he can get in there for a game or two, you almost have to go with the under here.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

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