Trade in the works? Phillies appear to be showcasing Ryan Hanigan to Tigers

Trade in the works? Phillies appear to be showcasing Ryan Hanigan to Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Are the Phillies looking to make a little spring-training trade?

One has to wonder after looking at their lineup the last few days.

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan, who is in camp on a minor-league contract, started behind the plate on Sunday and again on Tuesday. (The Phillies were off Monday.) Both games were against the Detroit Tigers, who are looking to add catching depth.

Hanigan batted ninth in Sunday's game against the Tigers and had two hits and a walk (more on game here).

On Tuesday, in what may have been a showcase, Hanigan batted second in the lineup. He responded with a base hit against Justin Verlander in the first inning and later drove home a run with a sacrifice fly.

Hanigan, 36, has played 10 seasons in the majors with Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Boston. The Phillies signed him about three weeks before spring training began.

The Phillies have catching depth. Cameron Rupp is the starter, and there are several candidates in competition for the backup job. Prospect Andrew Knapp is getting a look for the role. The club signed 29-year-old Bryan Holaday, who has played in the majors with Detroit, Texas and Boston, in December to compete for the position as well. He belted a two-run homer in Tuesday's game. Logan Moore and Hanigan are also in the mix for the backup job.

Could Hanigan soon be in the mix for another club?

Stay tuned. It sure looks as if the Phils have been showcasing him to the Tigers.

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

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USA Today Images

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

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CSN

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