Phillies

Tonight's lineup: Freddy Galvis sits for 1st time this year as J.P. Crawford starts at shortstop

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CSN

Tonight's lineup: Freddy Galvis sits for 1st time this year as J.P. Crawford starts at shortstop

All good things must come to an end, and today that means Freddy Galvis' ironman streak has come to an end. For the first time this season, Galvis is not in the lineup and will not reach his personal goal of playing in all 162 games. 

But get excited, because, with Galvis out, we'll get our first look at J.P. Crawford at shortstop, his natural position and most likely landing spot in the future with the big-league club.

Through his first three MLB games, Crawford is 1 for 11 (.091) with three strikeouts but has played sound ball in the field.

He'll have a tough time tonight, as Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Nats. Scherzer is 13-5 with a 2.19 ERA — second to only Clayton Kershaw (2.15) in all of MLB — with 232 strikeouts to 43 walks. 

Current Phillies are hitting just .224 off the righty, with just two home runs in 192 combined games played vs. Scherzer. 

Odubel Herrera is the only Phillies' starter to have any semblance of success vs. Scherzer, with a career .323 batting average, including a double, triple and five walks. 

Maikel Franco, who has sat the last three games in favor of Crawford, cracks the lineup, but is hitting just .056 (1 for 18) in his career vs. Scherzer.  

Here is the Phillies lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
4. Nick Williams, RF
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Hyun Soo Kim, LF
7. Jorge Alfaro, C
8. J.P. Crawford, SS
9. Jake Thompson, P

And the Nationals lineup:
 

1. Trea Turner, SS
2. Howie Kendrick, LF
3. Daniel Murphy, 2B
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
5. Anthony Rendon, 3B
6. Matt Wieters, C
7. Michael Taylor, CF
8. Alejandro De Aza, RF
9. Max Scherzer, P

Morphine found in Roy Halladay's system before fatal plane crash

Morphine found in Roy Halladay's system before fatal plane crash

Roy Halladay had morphine in his system when the plane he was piloting crashed and he tragically died in November, according to Halladay's autopsy report, released Friday.

Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, and amphetamines were also found in Halladay's system.

As TMZ points out via the Food and Drug Administration, the amount of Zolpidem found in Halladay's system (72 ng/ml) is more than enough to impair a driver and increase the risk of an accident.

Halladay had a blood alcohol content of 0.01, according to the autopsy report. 

The official cause of Halladay's death was blunt force trauma, with drowning a contributing factor.

The crash took place on Nov. 7 in the Gulf of Mexico, with more details emerging in a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board two weeks later.

Nick Williams talks up Phillies to a free-agent Cy Young winner

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Nick Williams talks up Phillies to a free-agent Cy Young winner

It's not clear whether the Phillies will add a starting pitcher before opening day, but surely they would like to.

General manager Matt Klentak “is busting his ass every single day looking for every possible opportunity to upgrade our team from every perspective,” manager Gabe Kapler said on Tuesday. “That includes looking at every option possible for the rotation.”

Klentak has kept a close eye on the trade market, but has found the prices (i.e., the young talent that must be surrendered) for top, controllable starters to be prohibitive.

He has kept a close eye on the free-agent market, but the length of contracts that top pitchers are looking for has given him pause.

For months, the Phillies have distanced themselves from speculation that has connected them to elite level free-agent pitchers Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.

But with spring training less than a month away and both pitchers still unsigned, the Phillies would at least have to consider both pitchers if their asking prices experience a January thaw.

Six or seven years? No way.

Three years? Hmmm. Let's talk.

The Phillies are hosting a number of their young players this week. Rhys Hoskins, Jerad Eickhoff, Mark Leiter and Nick Williams were all in town on Tuesday.

Williams has set his sights on making the National League All-Star team in 2018.

“That's what I'm shooting for,” he said at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday. “I think I had a pretty good year last year. I'm shooting for more now. I don't think being an All-Star is shooting too high.”

Williams, 24, hit .288 with 12 homers, 55 RBIs and an .811 OPS in 83 games, mostly in right field, with the big club as a rookie last season.

To give himself the best chance of surpassing those numbers — and achieving his goal of making the All-Star team — Williams has spent the offseason in Austin, Texas, working with personal trainer Jeremy Hills, a former University of Texas football player.

Williams is working hard on agility, which will help him in the outfield and on the base paths.

And guess who one of his daily workout partners is?

Free-agent pitcher Jake Arrieta.

Back in Austin, between reps and protein shakes, Williams has occasionally talked up Philadelphia as a potential landing spot to Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner who will turn 32 in March.

“He loves it here,” Williams said of Arrieta, who, as a free agent and a Scott Boras client, is astute enough not to rule out any team, particularly one as deep-pocketed as the Phillies. “He has told me he likes working with young guys. I'm like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I'm not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I'm not really in his position.”

Williams smiled.

“I hope to be one day,” he said.

Williams marveled at Arrieta's work ethic in the gym.

And he expressed gratitude for the kindness and generosity Arrieta has showed him.

“He's bought a lot of my protein shakes,” Williams said.

Time will tell if the Phillies add a starting pitcher to the group that already consists of Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin and other youngsters. The hunch is they will, though it's unclear what the magnitude of that talent will be. Klentak's search for an arm likely won't stop with the addition of one pitcher and it will likely continue through July. And beyond. The quest to build a championship-caliber staff never stops.

“The pursuit is very real,” Kapler said of Klentak's search for pitching. “I have a lot of trust that we'll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we're better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”