Phillies

Mark Leiter Jr. shelled in brief outing as Phillies' struggles against Mets continue

Mark Leiter Jr. shelled in brief outing as Phillies' struggles against Mets continue

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NEW YORK — The New York Mets came home lugging a four-game losing streak Monday and in the visiting dugout found the perfect remedy for their ills.

The Phillies.

The Mets hung an 11-7 loss on the Phillies in a Labor Day game that was laborious to watch (see observations).

The Mets are 36-16 against the Phillies since the start of the 2015 season.

Don't be fooled by Monday's final score. It wasn't that close. The Mets led 10-0 after four innings. The Phils, sparked by reserve Andres Blanco's three hits off the bench, showed some late life, but not enough to overcome the early wounds.

"It was good to see our guys come back," manager Pete Mackanin said. "We play nine innings and I'm happy to see that."

With a pitching staff that has been decimated by trades and injuries, the Phillies are using four rookies in their five-man rotation these days.

Things did not go well for one of them on Monday. Mark Leiter Jr. was hit hard in taking the loss. He gave up nine hits and nine runs in 3 1/3 innings. His downfall started with a pair of home runs in the third inning, a first-pitch solo shot by Jose Reyes and a two-run blow on a 2-0 pitch by Asdrubal Cabrera. Both homers came on 90-mph fastballs over the heart of the plate. No pitcher can survive there.

"Leiter missed location with his fastball too often," Mackanin said. "He made a lot of mistakes over the plate. It seemed like the balls they hit were right down the middle. He just couldn't locate his pitches like he's capable of doing, like he's done in the past."

Leiter agreed with the manager's assessment.

"I got too much of the plate," he said.

This was a special start for Leiter. He grew up on the Jersey shore and attended games in New York (as well as Philadelphia) as a kid. His uncle, Al, pitched in the World Series for the Mets.

"I would’ve rather it gone a different way," Leiter said after the game. "But it’s close to home. It was cool. I had a lot of people here. I just wish the results went differently."

Leiter threw 63 pitches and 46 of them were strikes. 

"I think there definitely could have been something that I maybe could’ve done a little differently," he said. "Maybe a few more misses off the plate. Try to get them to chase some balls, maybe. It’s kind of funny sometimes. You don’t throw enough strikes, sometimes you might throw too many. It’s something to look back at and maybe use as a learning tool."

The game marked the return of cleanup man and rookie Rhys Hoskins to the lineup. He had missed Sunday's game after taking a fastball off his right wrist on Saturday. Hoskins was not added to the lineup until about 90 minutes before game time, after he received clearance from the team's athletic training staff.

"It felt fine," Hoskins said after the game. "I was surprised how well it responded."

Hoskins did not get a hit, but he worked two walks and saw 35 pitches in five plate appearances as he showed the selectivity for which he is known. The Phillies front office would like more of these types of hitters. One of them is on his way. Shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford will join the club in time for Tuesday night's game (see story).

The Phillies will face a tough challenge in that game. Mets starter Jacob deGrom owns the Phillies. He is 6-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 career starts against the Phils. He is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA (three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings) in three starts against the Phils this season. He has struck out 24 and walked just three.

The Phillies will counter with right-hander Ben Lively, one of four rookies in their current rotation.

He will try to hold down the Mets' lineup that Leiter could not Monday.

"These guys are all young," Mackanin said. "You can't really expect them to pitch like seasoned major league pitchers. They're going to make mistakes. They're going to have good outings and bad outings. Little by little, hopefully, they learn from their mistakes and improve with their command."

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

Source: Phillies agree to $60 million deal with Carlos Santana

The Phillies' busy Friday continued with a pricey free-agent signing.

The Phils have agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with former Cleveland Indian Carlos Santana, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury.

It is by far the most expensive contract the Phillies have given out under the Matt Klentak-Andy MacPhail regime.

They had the money. When the offseason began, the only player the Phillies had signed to a multi-million dollar deal was Odubel Herrera.

Santana, 31, has always been a high-walk power hitter. From 2011 through 2017, he walked between 88 and 113 times each season, all while maintaining relatively low strikeout totals for a man with such power and plate selection.

In 2016, Santana set a career high with 34 home runs. Last season, he hit .259/.363/.455 with 37 doubles, 23 homers and 79 RBIs.

This addition provides the Phillies with much-needed pop to protect Rhys Hoskins and also gives the Phils added versatility. Santana is a switch-hitter who came up as a catcher, but he hasn't caught since 2014. The last three seasons, he has played primarily first base. In his eight seasons, Santana has also started 26 games at third base and seven in right field.

The move likely means Hoskins will play left field, and it could facilitate another Phillies trade of an outfielder such as Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr or Odubel Herrera.

Phillies trade Freddy Galvis for pitching prospect

Phillies trade Freddy Galvis for pitching prospect

Updated 12:25 p.m.

The Phillies have been aggressively shopping Freddy Galvis this offseason and they've found a suitor.

The Phils on Friday traded Galvis to the Padres for pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos.

De Los Santos, 21, was ranked 13th on the Padres’ prospect list by MLB.com.

In the hitter-friendly Texas League (Double A) last season, De Los Santos went 10-6 with a 3.78 ERA, striking out 138 in 150 innings. De Los Santos was originally signed by the Mariners as an amateur free agent in 2014 before being traded to San Diego in November 2015 for reliever Joaquin Benoit (a former Phillie).

The Padres had done extensive homework this offseason on the Phillies' 28-year-old shortstop. Last season, the 71-91 Padres used 33-year-old Erick Aybar at shortstop for the majority of games. San Diego now has a top-notch defender at the game's most important defensive position.

Galvis has been a Gold Glove finalist two years in a row and was probably robbed this season when he committed just seven errors in 637 defensive chances but still lost out to Brandon Crawford.

A free agent at season's end, Galvis has hit .248/.292/.390 the last two seasons with an average of 28 doubles, four triples, 16 homers and 64 RBIs.

The Phillies were known to be looking for pitching in exchange for Galvis, but his trade value wasn't as high as it could've been because of his impending free agency.

J.P. Crawford will step in as the Phillies' everyday shortstop. The soon-to-be-23-year-old Crawford hit .214 with a .356 on-base percentage in 23 games as a rookie in 2017.