Phillies-Dodgers: What you need to know

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Phillies-Dodgers: What you need to know

Phillies (28-27) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (33-21)
7:05 p.m. on CSN

Vance Worley makes his return to the Phillies tonight after missing four starts with an elbow injury. Worley explained last week that the pain in his throwing elbow wont get better or worse as the season goes on.

Worley was 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA prior to hitting the 15-day DL on May 16. He struggled in his last two starts, allowing eight runs in 12 innings to raise his ERA from 1.97.

Worley has faced the Dodgers one time. He gave up six runs on seven hits over four innings against Los Angeles last August in a game the Phillies rallied back from down 6-0 to win 9-8.

The Phillies face Clayton Kershaw; theyve actually beaten the Dodgers the last five times Kershaw has pitched. But as explained here, the Phils have never seen this version of Kershaw.

Pitch count

Expect Worley to be on a pitch count. He threw two bullpen sessions but didnt make a single rehab start. An educated guess would be 80-90 pitches if no stress, or less if hes under duress.

No Matt Kemp

The early-season MVP candidate missed 14 games in May with a hamstring injury, then returned for two games only to suffer a separate hamstring injury. Hes believed to be out for four weeks. The Dodgers have played relatively well in his absence but its just a completely different offense without Kemp.

Crazy stat

Kemp has 28 runs and 30 RBIs despite missing 18 games. Only one Phillie (Hunter Pence) has more runs and two Phillies (Pence, Carlos Ruiz) have more RBIs.

Standings

Losses Saturday and Sunday dropped the Phils to 28-27 on the season, but theyre still only 3 games back in the intriguingly competitive NL East. The Nationals, Mets and Marlins are currently in a three-way tie for first place and the Braves are two back. This is both good and bad for the Roy Halladay-Ryan Howard-Chase Utley-less Phillie no team is running away from the back but there are simply more teams that need to be leapfrogged.

At 33-21, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball. Theyre on pace to go 99-63.

Note of interest

Including two National League Division Series meetings, the Phillies are 20-8 in their last 28 games with the Dodgers and 12-4 in the last 16 meetings at Citizens Bank Park.

Key matchup(s)

Shane Victorino vs. Kershaw: Victorino has hit lefties extremely well again this season, batting .349 with two more homers righthanded than he has lefthanded, in 140 fewer plate appearances.

A nicked up Victorino (hand) needs to get going. He had a nice run from May 19-24, when he was 12 for 23. Since then, though, hes 2 for 23.

Worley vs. Andre Ethier: Ethier has carried the Dodgers with Kemp out. Hes batting .320 on the season with nine home runs and an NL-leading 46 RBIs. Hes second in baseball behind Josh Hamilton.

Sound off

Do you expect the Dodgers to fade at all during Kemps second absence? Can the Phillies win this four-game series?

E-mail Corey Seidman at cseidman@comcastsportsnet.com

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

Phillies tender contracts to 3 players as Cody Asche becomes free agent

The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
 
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club. 
 
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
 
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story)
 
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
 
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
 
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million. 

The Phillies' roster is full at 40.

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Phillies DFA OF Cody Asche, claim LHP David Rollins off waivers

Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.

The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.

Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.

Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers. 

Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.