Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Cubs 4

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Instant Replay: Phillies 7, Cubs 4

Updated: 5:22 p.m.

BOX SCORE

The Phillies rallied for three runs late in the game to pull out a 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park Sunday afternoon.

The Phils have won two in a row for the first time since Aug. 28-29.

Aaron Altherr scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh. Altherr had reached third on a triple.

Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez suffered a dislocated left thumb during the game. Afterward, interim manager Pete Mackanin said Hernandez is probably done for the season.

The Phillies are 56-88.

Starting pitching report
Aaron Harang went five innings and allowed three runs. He walked one and struck out five. He left the game with a one-run lead.

Cubs right-hander Dan Haren lasted just three innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs.

Bullpen report
Hector Neris, Dalier Hinojosa, Jerome Williams and Ken Giles all pitched a scoreless inning. Giles survived two hits in the ninth and recorded his 13th save.

Clayton Richard pitched four innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen. He wild-pitched home the Phillies’ tie-breaking run in the seventh.

At the plate
The Phillies out-hit the Cubs, 12-8.

Altherr doubled and tripled. He has 19 hits, 12 for extra bases.

Freddy Galvis’ two-run double in the eighth put the game away.

Ryan Howard knocked in three runs, one in the first inning with a sacrifice fly to center and two in the third with his 22nd homer of the season. Howard has 76 RBIs on the season.

Mackanin let Howard hit against the lefty Richard with a runner on third and the score tied in the bottom of the seventh. Howard struck out. He is hitting .130 (13 for 100) against left-handed pitching.

Chris Coghlan had a big day for the Cubs. He tripled in his first two at-bats and homered in the fifth inning.

In the field
Hernandez, the Phillies’ second baseman, made a costly error that allowed the Cubs to tie the game with two outs in the top of the seventh. Hernandez charged Anthony Rizzo’s bouncer toward first and tried to flip to Howard but lost the handle on the ball. Hernandez’s momentum carried his past first base and he collided with Rizzo, who is built like a tight end. Hernandez went down and pain and left the game.

The Phillies’ outfield defense was very good with rightfielder Brian Bogusevic and centerfielder Odubel Herrera making highlight catches.

Up next
The Phillies host Jonathan Papelbon and the flopping Washington Nationals for three games beginning Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups:

Monday night — RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 3.56) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.32)

Tuesday night — RHP David Buchanan (2-8, 9.11) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 4.30)

Wednesday night — LHP Adam Morgan (5-6, 4.60) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (10-7, 3.88)

Seth Smith would be a logical, low-cost trade target for Phillies

Seth Smith would be a logical, low-cost trade target for Phillies

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Tuesday night he'd still like another veteran bat in addition to Howie Kendrick, though he understands the front office is conscious of not blocking young prospects.

The Phillies need offense and the clearest area to upgrade is an outfield corner. But don't expect to see the Phils go after Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders or anyone of that ilk, because those players will require multi-year guarantees and everyday playing time. If you sign one of them, you're basically telling two of Roman Quinn, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr that they won't be needed much the next three years. 

That would be unwise. The whole point of rebuilding is filling a roster with young, inexpensive talent and then eventually supplementing that core with established players who fit. Look at what the Cubs did. Look at what the Astros are doing now, adding older players like Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Nori Aoki and Josh Reddick to fill in the holes around Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.

For that reason, a player like Seth Smith would be a worthwhile addition for the Phillies.

Smith, 34, makes $7 million in 2017, the final year of his contract with the Mariners. When Mackanin discusses "professional hitters," Smith is the type. He has one of the better batting eyes in baseball, chasing about eight percent fewer pitches outside the strike zone the last three years than the league average.

He's a career .261/.344/.447 hitter who averages 29 doubles, 16 homers, 56 walks and 102 strikeouts per 162 games.

The left-handed Smith can play both outfield corners, and he's always been very effective against right-handed pitching. He has a .272 career batting average with an .827 OPS against righties compared to .202 with a .594 OPS vs. lefties. 

Smith is a fit for the Phillies for several reasons. They need more offense from the corner outfield. Logically, that outfielder should be a left-handed hitter because the Phillies' projected middle of the order has four right-handed bats in Maikel Franco, Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp and Kendrick.

Furthermore, Smith, unlike Saunders, for example, does not require everyday playing time. Smith shouldn't start against lefties. That would provide opportunities to Altherr and Quinn in 2017, while protecting against ineffectiveness from Altherr and another injury to Quinn.

And lastly, Smith is not going to cost anything meaningful via trade. He's a 34-year-old platoon player in the final year of his deal. The Phillies could likely land him for an insignificant prospect, perhaps a pitcher who had a high strikeout rate last season in the low levels of the minor leagues. 

For Seattle, it would be more of a salary dump. The Mariners' 2016 payroll is already $20 million more than it was last year, and per reports, they seem willing to spend to improve their starting rotation.

Smith is not a game-changer, that's not the argument here. He's not J.D. Martinez, a much bigger name and better player. Martinez would also fit the Phillies as a one-year option, and they'd likely be interested in keeping him around longer if they could acquire him. But any trade with the Tigers for Martinez wouldn't be nearly as painless for the Phils as acquiring Smith. 

So perhaps more than other available outfielders, Smith would be an offensive upgrade and a player who fits the Phillies' goal of improving without stunting a top prospect's growth.

Top Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak adds muscle, looks for big season 2017

Top Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak adds muscle, looks for big season 2017

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The difference was striking.
 
When Mickey Moniak arrived in Philadelphia to sign his first professional contract six months ago, he was rail-thin and 170 pounds.
 
On Tuesday night, Moniak made a quick visit to the winter meetings to be honored as Baseball America’s high school player of the year for 2016. 
 
He’d added 20 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame.
 
“It’s all muscle,” Moniak said proudly.
 
The Phillies selected Moniak with the first pick in the June draft and signed him for $6.1 million. Just a few months of professional baseball convinced the 18-year-old centerfielder that he needed to get stronger. He recently capped off his first year of pro ball with a three-week stint at the Phillies’ strength and conditioning camp in Clearwater.
 
“It’s something the Phillies wanted me to do and I knew I definitely needed it, too,” Moniak said. “I really enjoyed my first year. I got a taste of what it was like to play baseball for a job and it was a good time.
 
“There were a lot of positives that came out of the first year. I felt like I jumped in there and really competed. I hit well in July. In August, I started to fatigue and I wasn’t prepared for that, being my first season. But it was a good learning experience. I needed to get stronger.”
 
Moniak hit .284 with a .340 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, four triples, a homer and 28 RBIs in 46 games for the Phillies’ prospect-stacked Gulf Coast League team. That club, loaded with young Latin players and first-year talent from the 2016 draft, went 41-17 and advanced to the finals of the league playoffs before losing to the Cardinals.
 
After the playoffs, many of the players from that club participated in the Florida instructional league. Moniak played sparingly, however, after dealing with some soreness in his right hip. He was checked out by doctors in Philadelphia and there are no more concerns.
 
“It was just tightness,” Moniak said. “Everything is good. I’m 100 percent. They said it was either a growing pain or just tightness. I just have to stretch more.”
 
Moniak is an athletic centerfielder with speed and a good left-side bat. He has been compared favorably to former All-Star Steve Finley.
 
"Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft," Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies head of amateur scouting, said on draft night in June. "He's a true centerfielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star."

Moniak hit .476 with seven homers, 12 triples and four doubles at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California, during his senior season. He impressed a rival scout who saw him play five times during the season.

“The bat is good,” the scout said. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good centerfielder. He can run. The question is how many home runs will he hit? If he ends up getting stronger, he could be a corner bat that’s unbelievable. There’s no negative here. It’s a good pick.”
 
Now, Moniak is stronger. He looked sturdy in a dress shirt and tie at the winter meetings Tuesday night. He is eager to see how it all translates on the field in 2017.
 
“I’m excited for the season,” he said. “I’m just going to go to spring training and compete and hopefully end up in (Single A) Lakewood, stay healthy and hopefully have a winning season and win a championship. That’s the ultimate goal and if personal stats come with that, too, that’s great.”