Rosenthal: On the Phillies' Mentality at the Trade Deadline (plus: the Mike Adams Watch Begins)

Rosenthal: On the Phillies' Mentality at the Trade Deadline (plus: the Mike Adams Watch Begins)

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal touches a few bases with respect to what the Phillies might do at the upcoming MLB trade deadline in his column today. Although rival clubs say the Phils are putting it out there that they can only add about $2 million in salary, the rest of the league has come to know that what we've seen from Ruben Amaro Jr in recent acquisition periods is likely to continue in some way later this month. No, they won't be adding another ace (at least, I doubt it). But they will do something.

Rosenthal quotes a rival GM as follows:

"They look at their model — if they don’t keep their foot on the pedal, it might go away," one GM says. "They've got a full house every night. They don't want the spigot to get turned off. There is always that question — do you have the discipline to say, 'This is our team?' "

Although the Phils are in first place and no one likes to see the prospect cupboard rendered barren, most if not all fans are looking for Rube to make a move to shore up either or both of their bullpen and right-handed bat needs. Rosenthal says they'd prefer to add players that aren't just half-season rentals, and the most intriguing current lead comes in the reliever area, where some possible Ryan Madson insurance could be available in San Diego's Mike Adams.

They've been linked heavily to a few San Diego Padres relievers, and Rosenthal points at a greater interest in the 32-year-old righty Adams than Heath Bell (the arbitration-eligible Adams gives them a year of insurance if Madson leaves for a lucrative "top reliever on the market" deal in the upcoming off-season). While Adams isn't the name Heath Bell is, his gaudy 0.71 WHIP and 41 K's in 42 innings pitched are pretty attractive. In his last three seasons, Adams hasn't had an opposing batting average over .200.

Nearly all of Adams' numbers are better than those of Bell this season, and his price tag is lower.

As such, the Padres may place a high value on Adams; he can be their closer should they move Heath Bell, and in any case, he's not just a middle of the road reliever. This is the time of year where solid bullpen arms have a whole lot of value as contenders like the Phillies don't want to lose the wins of their aces on the arms of fill-in relievers called up earlier in the week due to injuries to other relievers. That'll be especially true when the post-season rolls around and performances late in close games mean the difference between the success and failure of an entire season's payroll investment.   

Rosenthal's got a few more choice bits over at Fox Sports worth a click this AM. I particularly liked the part about the sons of Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols playing in the same little league tournament last week. 

We'll be back shortly with a look at today's rubber match between the Phillies and Mets that they'd better goddamn win.

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-US Presswire

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavs set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.

Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs. But they displayed their superiority over the final two games to wrap up the series.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver all helped spread out Boston's defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this postseason. ... Improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015. ... The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for points in a quarter.

Celtics: Injured point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warmups. Thomas sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2. ... Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. ... Were whistled for 16 fouls in the first half.