Raul Returns as Halladay Takes On Reds

Raul Returns as Halladay Takes On Reds

Raul Ibanez returns to the field this evening as Charlie Manuel has penciled him in batting sixth and playing left. With John Mayberry playing very well as of late, there was no need to rush Ibanez and his sore groin back. Whether Mayberry's growth has turned him into the better option over Ibanez remains to be seen, but we all know Charlie Manuel is a loyal guy (and we also know how most fans feel). Charlie may be managing what looks like a platoon but will never call it a platoon.

That said, Ibanez is back tonight and will face Reds' starter Bronson Arroyo (8-10, 5.02) who Raul has hit .429 against in (only) seven career at-bats. As we mentioned earlier, Arroyo has struggled mightily against the Phils over his last four starts. Toss in new Phillie Hunter Pence who has seen Arroyo a ton (11-32) and it looks like a good matchup for the Phils.

Oh, and Roy Halladay (15-5, 2.56) is pitching for the Fightins.

Recommended Phillies Reading Today:

John Finger went to Allentown to take a look at the state of Dom Brown. It's mixed and uncertain.

Speaking of Dom, he had a particularly rough night in Allentown last night and was booed quite a bit. [TheFightins]

Then, later this afternoon David Murphy tweeted this, "Manuel said that he will recommend that Dom Brown gets called back up after the minor league season. Sounds like he really wants him here."

So, Dom's future seems up in the air.
Tonight's Lineup: Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Pence, Ibanez, Chooch, Valdez, and Halladay.

7:10 start time from Cincy. Enjoy the Halladay.

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).