CSN, TCN, NBC to air all 162 Phillies games in 2017

CSN, TCN, NBC to air all 162 Phillies games in 2017

The Phillies' TV schedule, for both spring training and the regular season, was released Monday. Here are some takeaways:

• In spring training, CSN and TCN will combine to air 17 Phillies games — 11 on TCN, six on CSN.

• CSN will air 142 of the Phils' 162 regular-season games, with TCN airing eight others. NBC10 has the other 12.

• It's not a given, but there are two dates the Phillies could appear on ESPN: July 4 against the Pirates and Aug. 27, a Sunday afternoon game against the Cubs.

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Clay Buchholz optimistic he can still pitch in 2017 after surgery

Phillies pitcher Clay Buchholz made his first appearance in the Phillies' clubhouse Wednesday since having surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm last week.  

Many initially believed Buchholz would be out for the remainder of the season -- and he still might be -- but he expressed optimism and believes he can return to the mound in September.

"My goal right now is to let this heal," Buchholz said. "Get it well and if this team keeps playing like they're playing right now, we'll be playing in September, October, so that's my goal."

Buchholz said he wasn't feeling 100 percent up until that game against the New York Mets when manager Pete Mackanin pulled him in the third inning. 

"I told [Matt Klentak] that I was sorry, and the guys in here," Buchholz said. "I was brought here for a reason. I wanted to pitch, I wanted to be good. I guess it's a good thing we have a good farm system here because they've been able to step up and fill in."

Buchholz had a similar issue with the Boston Red Sox in July 2015 and missed the rest of the season. 

In his two starts with the Phillies, Buchholz allowed 10 runs and 19 baserunners over just 7 1/3 innings. 
 
Buchholz, 32, will become a free agent at the end of the season. Given his age and the possibility that he won't return this season, it could significantly affect his value heading into the offseason. He's the second-highest paid player on the Phillies' roster at $13.5 million

But Buchholz wants to build the strength in his forearm and continue to pitch in MLB following this season.

"There's a lot of guys that come back," Buchholz said. "I have a lot of buddies that played this game that have come back from major surgeries and played for eight or nine more years. It's all about once I do get healthy, being prepared and building a strong foundation around my muscles."

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr to make 6th straight start

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr to make 6th straight start

Aaron Altherr's audition continues Wednesday night.

The Phillies put out the same lineup on Wednesday as they were going to use on Tuesday before the game was rained out. 

For Altherr, it's his sixth straight start. Howie Kendrick's oblique injury has provided the 26-year-old outfielder another chance to play regularly, and so far, so good for Altherr. He's 9 for 21 with three doubles, a homer, four RBIs and seven runs scored over his last six games.

Altherr is also the Phillies' best defensive outfielder, so if he continues to hit it will be tough for Pete Mackanin to pull him out of the lineup when Kendrick is ready to return. That's where Kendrick's versatility comes into play — he could play first base or second base on any given night, opening up a spot in the corner outfield for Altherr.

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