Phillies

MLB Playoffs: Travis Wood homers, Cubs beat Giants to take 2-0 NLDS lead

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MLB Playoffs: Travis Wood homers, Cubs beat Giants to take 2-0 NLDS lead

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood took over when starter Kyle Hendricks got hurt and became the first relief pitcher since 1924 to hit a postseason home run, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 Saturday night for 2-0 NL Division Series lead.

Ben Zobrist put Chicago ahead in the first with a run-scoring single off former Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, and Hendricks hit a two-run single in a three-run second.

Hendricks left with a 4-2 lead in the fourth when he was hit on the right forearm by Angel Pagan's line drive.

Wood struck out Conor Gillaspie to strand Pagan, then sent a one-out offering from George Kontos halfway up the left-field bleachers in the bottom half. The only other reliever to homer in the postseason was the New York Giants' Rosy Ryan in Game 3 of the 1924 World Series.

Given a curtain call by a screaming crowd of 42,392, Wood joined Rick Sutcliffe (1984) and Kerry Wood (2003) as the only Cubs pitchers to go deep in the postseason. Travis Wood has hit nine regular-season homers in his big league career (see full recap).

Dodgers-Nats rained out in Game 2 of NLDS; will play Sunday
WASHINGTON -- Long after the concourses emptied, the sky cleared up as the tarp still covered the field. Game 2 of the NL Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers still had to wait.

Major League Baseball postponed the Dodgers-Nationals game until Sunday at 1:08 p.m. because it expected the rain that fell throughout the morning and afternoon to continue well into the night.

The teams were scheduled for a 4:08 p.m. first pitch Saturday. But rain that intensified as Hurricane Matthew moved up the coast and a forecast of "100 percent certainty" for precipitation until at least 8 p.m. forced the decision, Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

"We hate to cancel," said Manfred, who arrived Saturday afternoon after a flight from New York. "We hate to make travel worse on the players than it was originally intended to be. But it just doesn't look like we're going to have a situation that would be safe for the players to play."

Rain stopped falling at Nationals Park around 4 p.m., about an hour after the decision was made to postpone the game. Rain was scheduled to resume in the early evening (see full story).

    Phillies lose prospect in Rule 5 draft, gain money to sign more

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    Photo: Clearwater Threshers

    Phillies lose prospect in Rule 5 draft, gain money to sign more

    ORLANDO — Carlos Tocci has long been an intriguing prospect in the Phillies' system. The club's international scouting staff liked the slender outfielder from Venezuela enough to give him a $759,000 signing bonus as a 16-year-old in the summer of 2011.

    The big question with Tocci was whether he'd develop enough offensive pop to go with his outstanding defensive prowess.

    Tocci made strides every year in the Phillies system, but not enough, in the minds of team officials, to move past other prospects and win a spot on the 40-man roster. The Phils left him unprotected last winter and managed to slip him through the annual Rule 5 draft, but they weren't so fortunate this year. Tocci was selected by the Chicago White Sox with the fourth pick in Thursday's draft and quickly spun to the Texas Rangers in a trade.

    The price to select Tocci was $100,000. He must spend the entire 2018 season in the majors (or on the big-league disabled list) or be offered back to the Phillies for $50,000.

    "Obviously, it stinks for us to lose a guy like that, but it's the risk you take when you don't protect someone," Phillies assistant general manager Bryan Minniti said. "I'm happy for him to get the opportunity. Selfishly, we hope to get him back."

    Tocci, 22, hit .307 with a .362 on-base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage in 113 games at Double A Reading in 2017. He hit .189 in 17 games at Triple A.

    Tocci has athleticism and speed. He is a plus defender. His speed and defensive skill could help him stick in the majors as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

    The Phillies added a player in the Rule 5 draft, but only briefly. They selected right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi from Minnesota with the third pick and quickly traded him to Pittsburgh for $500,000 in international signing money. The Phils have just over $1 million remaining in their current pool, which expires June 15.

    Extra international money is valuable. The Phillies recently added four pitchers — Seranthony Dominguez, Ranger Suarez, Jose Taveras and Franklyn Kilome — to their 40-man roster and all were international signings. The team recently used international pool money to sign catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, one of 13 former Atlanta prospects who had been set free after the Braves violated signing rules. Several of those players are still unsigned and other prospects pop up all the time. Remember, the Phillies' top pitching prospect is a kid named Sixto Sanchez. He caught the eye of Phillies scouts three years ago while throwing batting practice to a catcher that the Phillies were watching (see story).

    "Our international department with Sal Agostinelli and those guys, they're weapons for us," Minniti said. "So for us to have the ability to give them more money to spend is a positive. They're seeing workouts every day all over the world. It's good to have the reserves to continue to spend."

    The Phillies have two open spots on their 40-man roster. Those will soon be filled by relievers Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter.

    The Phillies have apparently decided on a first base coach, which would fill the final opening on manager Gabe Kapler's staff. Sources say the hire will come from outside the organization, but no announcement has been made yet.

    Phillies make a pick and a trade in Rule 5 draft

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    Phillies make a pick and a trade in Rule 5 draft

    The Phillies were active in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. With the third pick, they selected right-hander Nick Burdi from the Minnesota Twins and spun him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade that netted them $500,000 in international signing bonus money.

    That $500,000 goes into the Phillies' current pool and must be spent by June 15. 

    The Phillies also lost 22-year-old outfield prospect Carlos Tocci to the Chicago White Sox, who in turn traded him to the Texas Rangers. Tocci must stay in the majors for all of 2018 or be offered back to the Phillies.

    More coming ...