Phillies

Best of MLB: Mets end controversial weekend with shutout loss to Marlins

Best of MLB: Mets end controversial weekend with shutout loss to Marlins

NEW YORK -- Shortly after scheduled starter Matt Harvey was suspended by the New York Mets, Giancarlo Stanton hit two more monstrous home runs off fill-in Adam Wilk that led the Miami Marlins to a 7-0 victory Sunday.

Harvey was suspended three days without pay for an undisclosed violation of team rules. General manager Sandy Alderson announced the punishment in a brief statement before the game.

Making his first start of the year while Edinson Volquez recovers from a blister problem, Jose Urena (1-0) and three relievers combined on a one-hitter as the Marlins snapped a three-game losing streak. Rene Rivera led off the sixth inning with a clean single against Urena.

Wilk (0-1) was brought up from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his first major league appearance since 2015. But the journeyman left-hander was no match for Stanton, whose 20 home runs at Citi Field are the most at any visiting ballpark by a player since 2011 .

Stanton hit a three-run homer in the first. In the third, he launched a solo shot measured at 468 feet (see full recap).

Red Sox use 10-run 9th inning to batter Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sandy Leon hit a pair of two-run homers, Chris Sale struck out 10 and the Boston Red Sox romped out of town with a 17-6 victory Sunday over the Minnesota Twins fueled by a season-high five homers and finished with a 10-run ninth.

Sale (3-2) reached double-digit strikeouts for the sixth straight time, stretching his major league-leading 2017 total to 73. In 2015, he tied Pedro Martinez's major league mark by fanning at least 10 for eight starts in a row.

The lanky left-hander briefly lost the lead in a four-run fifth inning while the Twins batted around, but Leon broke the tie in the sixth with a two-out homer off Twins ace Ervin Santana (5-1) (see full recap).

Pham's HR in 14th lifts Cards over Braves
ATLANTA -- Tommy Pham hit two homers, including a two-run drive in the 14th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals recovered after blowing a four-run lead to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.

Pham's long home run in the 14th off Josh Collmenter (0-1) drove in rookie Magneuris Sierra, who reached on second baseman Jace Peterson's fielding error.

Recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Friday, Pham had a career-high four hits and drove in three runs.

Freddie Freeman's 11th homer off Brett Cecil in the eighth tied the game, completing Atlanta's comeback from a 4-0 deficit.

Matt Carpenter had a first-inning homer for St. Louis. He went deep in all three games during the series, giving him seven home runs this season (see full recap).

Seager's HR in 8th propels Mariners past Rangers
SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and the Seattle Mariners rallied late to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 Sunday.

Down 3-0, the Mariners scored three times in the seventh. Seager connected with one out in the eighth off Sam Dyson (0-4) for his second homer of the season.

Marc Rzepczynski (1-0) got one out for the win. Edwin Diaz worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Texas starter Andrew Cashner was pulled after issuing a leadoff walk to Seager in the seventh. Reliever Jose Leclerc got two outs but issued three walks, including a bases-loaded pass to Jean Segura.

Pinch hitter Danny Valencia followed by driving in two runs with a bloop single off Alex Claudio that made it 3-all (see full recap)

Phillies shouldn't trade top prospects for Manny Machado

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Phillies shouldn't trade top prospects for Manny Machado

The Phillies have been connected to Manny Machado for a while and will continue to be with the Orioles superstar entering the final year of his contract.

As Jim Salisbury pointed out Sunday, the Phillies have the depth to try to swing a deal for Machado at some point over the next year. 

Could it happen sooner rather than later?

Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko of MASN reported Monday that the Orioles "covet" Phillies top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and also like Scott Kingery.

The Phillies are very high on both prospects. Sanchez is a potential future ace, and Kingery is a potential opening day infielder for the Phillies in 2018. It would seem highly unlikely the Phils would trade one or both for Machado, even if they knew Machado would re-sign here. Why not just wait it out and try to sign Machado next winter when you wouldn't have to give up Sanchez or Kingery?

It would make a lot of sense for Baltimore to trade Machado over the next eight months. The O's have next to no chance of re-signing him so getting something in return is the way to go. As Kubatko points out, if Machado is traded, his new team would have a 72-hour window to sign him to an extension.

Another name mentioned in the report is Freddy Galvis, who is also a free agent after 2018. Obviously, Galvis is not netting you Machado, but it's a more reasonable starting point for a player who is effectively on a one-year deal.

Could a package involving two of Galvis, Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez entice the O's? It's not an equivalent to Machado from a talent standpoint, but a player with theoretical upside like Franco might move the needle a bit, especially if Baltimore would also be adding a few other consistent pieces.

The Phillies have a lot of young depth, both in the minors and at the major-league level — players who could be appealing to another team but who probably wouldn't be sorely missed here. One of Andrew Knapp or Cameron Rupp would be expendable. So too, obviously, would be a couple middle infielders. Tom Eshelman has had impressive minor-league results, but will he succeed at the major-league level? Roman Quinn has enough upside to attract other clubs, but enough injury questions to get the Phillies thinking. Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Tommy Joseph ... all of these players could be used as sweeteners in the right trade.

The news will be fast and furious coming out of the winter meetings this week in Orlando, always one of the most exciting times on the baseball calendar.

For Phillies, a reunion with Pat Neshek makes sense

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For Phillies, a reunion with Pat Neshek makes sense

ORLANDO — The Phillies' bullpen showed signs of coming together late last season. Over the final 33 games, the team's relievers put together a 2.54 ERA. Only the Cleveland Indians' bullpen had a better ERA (2.41) over that span.

Despite those improvements, general manager Matt Klentak has arrived at these winter meetings intent on strengthening that unit. Sources say the club would like to add one or two veterans to the bullpen and that team officials have discussed a reunion with free agent Pat Neshek. Sources say the Phils have also expressed interest in free-agent lefty Jake McGee.

The Phils would also like to add a starting pitcher. That could come in a trade, possibly involving Cesar Hernandez or Freddy Galvis.

Bringing back Neshek would make a lot of sense. Klentak has an affinity for the right-hander, and why not? In his first two offseasons as Phillies GM, Klentak added a number of veterans designed to serve as stabilizing forces as the team navigated a rebuild. The Phils got little from pitchers Charlie Morton and Clay Buchholz; both suffered season-ending injuries early in their time with the club. The Phils got mixed results (and no high draft pick) from Jeremy Hellickson in a season and a half with the club. Howie Kendrick contributed nicely but was often hurt. Michael Saunders flopped. Peter Bourjos was somewhere in the middle.

Among Klentak's big-league pickups, Neshek has been the one overwhelming success. Klentak acquired the side-arming reliever in a salary dump deal (the Phils added his $6.5 million salary) from Houston in the fall of 2016 and Neshek delivered a stellar season in 2017. He pitched in 43 games (40⅓ innings) for the Phillies and gave up just five runs while walking five and striking out 45. At the trade deadline, the Phils turned Neshek into three prospects by sending him to Colorado, where he was a teammate of McGee's. In Colorado, Neshek continued to shine. He finished the season with a 1.59 ERA in 71 games. Overall, he pitched 62⅓ innings and gave up just 11 earned runs while walking six and striking out 69.

Why wouldn't the Phillies want a guy like that back to help set up for Hector Neris and complement Luis Garcia, Adam Morgan and Edubray Ramos, all relatively young relievers who showed breakthrough signs in 2017?

Given Neshek's success last season — he was the Phillies' lone All-Star — and his track record, he would probably require a two-year contract. But even at 37, Neshek has shown the durability that would make that a sound investment, especially if there was not a no-trade clause. That way, the Phils could deal Neshek for young talent if they were not in the race. And, of course, they could hang on to him if they were in the race.

Matt Klentak has veteran relievers on his wish list and Pat Neshek makes sense.

Again.