Phillies' reported interest in Dee Gordon makes no sense

Phillies' reported interest in Dee Gordon makes no sense

The Phillies are in Miami this week, and if recent reports are any indication, some Marlins could soon be in Philly.

Dee Gordon is the latest Marlin connected to the Phillies.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Phillies and Blue Jays have "sincere interest" in Gordon.

Huh???

Gordon would be an extremely odd fit here. The Phillies already have two young second basemen they like in Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery. Positions aside, adding another speedy player who lacks power and doesn't walk much is not a great path to upgrading to your offense.

Here's my interpretation of this report: It seems to have come from the Marlins since the news about Gordon is accompanied by 10 teams' interest in reliever David Phelps. Seems like a team trying to drum up interest in its own guys.

The Phillies are interested in Christian Yelich and have reportedly kicked around the idea of assuming Giancarlo Stanton's contract as part of a trade with the Marlins (see story). If Gordon's name came up in one of those conversations, then technically he'd be a player the Phillies have shown interest in.

The Marlins are also probably trying to get out from under Gordon's contract. It's not enormous, but $37 million over the next three seasons for a decent player on a team that constantly reloads and fails to draw fans to the ballpark is a lot. Miami could accomplish that goal by attaching Gordon to a Yelich trade, though it would detract from the prospect package it receives in return.

Yelich talks 'heating up'
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported separately that the Phils' interest in Yelich is "heating up."

"A few weeks back we wrote about the resources the Phillies have to be active in trades or free agency," Cafardo wrote Sunday. "We mentioned the possibility of them taking on Giancarlo Stanton’s contract while also having interest in Christian Yelich. Well, the Yelich part is heating up. There are conflicting stories on whether the Marlins have the OK to trade away major talent as the franchise is being sold, but it looks like the Phillies will pursue this."

Yelich is a good player on a great contract who does a solid job of controlling the strike zone. But he's not exactly a game-changer. He's a .292 lifetime hitter, and last season he hit 21 homers and 38 doubles while slugging .483. But during the rest of his career, he's slugged just .407.

Really, the best thing about Yelich is his contract. He's owed $44.5 million from 2018-21 and has a 2022 club option worth $15 million. But a team with as little proven talent and as much open payroll space as the Phillies should be more concerned with adding the best players possible rather than seeking the most bang for their buck.

Phillies recall Jake Thompson from Triple A, option Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley

Phillies recall Jake Thompson from Triple A, option Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley

After Monday night's rain-soaked blowout loss, the Phillies' bullpen seems to be a bit depleted.

With that in mind, the Phillies have recalled pitcher Jake Thompson from Triple A and optioned reliever Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley.

After a lengthy rain delay cut short Vince Velasquez's start, the Phils' bullpen was charged with six innings of work in the 13-4 loss. Pinto, responsible for five of the runs, tossed 1 1/3 innings as play resumed in the fourth inning. 

He may not be down for long, though, as the Phils have an off day Thursday to recover.

Thompson seems like a peculiar choice to call up. He's struggled mightily this year in Lehigh Valley. The 23-year-old who came over in the Cole Hamels trade, is 4-11 with a 5.36 ERA. He's given up 107 hits in 94 innings pitched, as well as 36 walks on the year — one less than he gave up in 129 2/3 innings in 2016.

However, Thompson is already on the 40-man roster and has not pitched since going seven strong innings of two-run ball on July 20. 

Tonight's lineup: Phillies showcasing Howie Kendrick in cleanup spot

Tonight's lineup: Phillies showcasing Howie Kendrick in cleanup spot

With less than a week to go before the trade deadline, the Phillies are putting Howie Kendrick in prime position to show off his skillset to a contender.

After sitting out last night's 14-3 loss, Kendrick returns to the lineup, batting cleanup and playing left field. In four games since returning from a hamstring injury, Kendrick has picked up where he left off, hitting .364 with two RBIs. Overall, Kendrick has appeared in just 37 games for the Phillies in 2017, but has been exceptional when healthy. 

Although he may not hit for power, his .350 batting average and ability to play multiple positions in the infield and outfield should be enough to interest teams. 

Cesar Hernandez will again lead off vs. the Astros. Much like Kendrick, Hernandez has had a strong return from the DL, hitting .321 with six RBIs in seven games since the All-Star break. He's also worked five walks compared to just three strikeouts. It's no surprise Hernandez's return has coincided with the Phillies' recent hot offensive stretch (see Game Notes)

Since the All-Star break, the Phillies have the seventh-most runs scored in all of baseball. Monday's loss ended a stretch of seven straight games of five or more runs scored for the Phillies — their longest single-season stretch since 2005.

Nick Williams will hit in the three-hole for the second straight game. Williams has sparked the Phils' stagnant offense since his arrival to the big leagues. In 20 MLB games, Williams is slashing .315/.350/.966 with four homers and 18 RBIs. 

Here is the Phillies lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Howie Kendrick, LF
5. Odubel Herrera, CF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Tommy Joseph, 1B
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Nick Pivetta, P

And for the Astros:
1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Josh Reddick, RF
3. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
4. Evan Gattis, C
5. Marwin Gonzalez, SS
6. Derek Fisher, CF
7. Alex Bregman, 3B
8. Norichika Aoki, LF
9. Charlie Morton, P