Phillies

Phillies-Athletics observations: Henderson Alvarez's debut, Rhys Hoskins hitless again in loss

Phillies-Athletics observations: Henderson Alvarez's debut, Rhys Hoskins hitless again in loss

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A local kid did in the Phillies on Sunday.

Joey Wendle, who starred at West Chester University and Avon Grove High School, belted a go-ahead grand slam off Edubray Ramos in the sixth inning to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 victory. 

It was the second career homer for the 27-year-old Wendle, coming one year to the day after he went deep against Yu Darvish in Texas. 

The second baseman’s blast to right in front of family and friends at Citizens Bank Park spoiled a decent return to the big leagues for former All-Star right-hander Henderson Alvarez. 

Maikel Franco went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs for the Phillies, who dropped two of three in the series. 

Chad Pinder and Matt Olson hit back-to-back homers in the fourth against Alvarez, who threw a no-hitter for the Marlins in 2013 and was an All-Star a year later before multiple shoulder surgeries. He hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since May 22, 2015. 

• Alvarez (0-1) went five-plus innings and left with a 3-2 lead after giving up a walk and single to lead off the sixth. He was charged with four runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He certainly pitched well enough to earn another start as he auditions for a 2018 job. 

• Alvarez became the 31st player to pitch for the Phillies this season, a new record besting the 30 hurlers in 2015. 

• Relying on a fastball that topped out at 93 mph, Alvarez looked smooth while retiring the first five batters. He didn’t allow a hit until Marcus Semien’s two-out double in the third. 

• Pinder crushed Alvarez’s hanging curve for his 15th homer to lead off the fourth and Olson followed by homering to right on a 91 mph fastball to tie it at 2. 

• Olson certainly out-Hoskined Rhys Hoskins in the series. The rookie homered in all three games and has 21 in 53 games compared to 18 in 37 games for Hoskins. Olson has four homers in five games, six in eight and 13 in 19. He has hit 10 in September. 

• Hoskins flung his bat in disgust after flying out to right against Sean Manaea (11-10) in the fifth. He was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and fanned six times while going 0 for 11 in the series. 

• Left-hander Hoby Milner replaced Alvarez with two on and nobody out in the sixth and struck out Olson to extend his streak of scoreless appearances to 21 games (see story)

• Ramos (2-8) replaced Milner and struck out Matt Chapman and walked Mark Canha to load the bases before Wendle crushed a first-pitch slider. 

• The A’s showed why they’re the worst defensive team in baseball. Chapman had two errors at third base to boost the A’s MLB-high total to 118. Chapman booted Aaron Altherr’s two-out grounder in the first that led to two unearned runs. 

• J.P. Crawford, who drove in two runs while playing third base Saturday, started at shortstop as Freddy Galvis was out of the starting lineup for the second time in three games. Crawford moved up to second in the order and went 0 for 2 with three walks. 

• Aaron Altherr was back in center field after resting his hamstring Saturday and hit cleanup. Manager Pete Mackanin inserted him between Hoskins and Nick Williams. 

• Alvarez began the game with almost all fastballs — until throwing a 53.6 mph Eephus pitch to Olson in the second that was taken for a ball. 

• The Phillies, before the game, honored A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich. He’s been with the team 50 years, joining the club just 13 years after it left Philadelphia. The only other person to be the franchise longer: Connie Mack. 

• Former Phillies star Chase Utley returns to town Monday night with the major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers to start a four-game series. Utley had three doubles in the past two games and was hitting .234 with eight homers before a Sunday night game at Washington. 

• Pitching matchups for the Dodgers series: Monday: LH Clayton Kershaw (17-3, 2.12 ERA) vs RH Nick Pivetta (5-10, 6.75). Tuesday: RH Yu Darvish (9-12, 4.08) vs. RH Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60). Wednesday: LH Alex Wood (15-3, 2.69) vs. RH Jake Thompson (2-2, 4.46). Thursday: RH Kenta Maeda (12-6, 4.21) vs. RH Mark Leiter Jr. (3-6, 4.93). 

Phillies 1st-rounder Adam Haseley honored after dynamic opening week at AA

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Phillies 1st-rounder Adam Haseley honored after dynamic opening week at AA

Adam Haseley had one heck of a first week in Double A.

The Phillies' first-round pick in 2017 (eighth overall) was promoted to Double A Reading on July 11 and responded by going 5 for 13 (.385) with a double, two homers and two walks in his first four games.

As a result, Haseley was named Eastern League Player of the Week in his very first try.

Haseley has already been promoted four times over the last calendar year. Last summer, he began in the Gulf Coast League, was promoted to Low A Williamsport after three games, then made it to Class A Lakewood by season's end. 

He began this season at High A Clearwater and earned the promotion to Reading after hitting .300 in 354 plate appearances.

All told, Haseley has hit .296/.352/.423 with 27 doubles, seven triples and 10 homers in 616 plate appearances in the minors. 

The 22-year-old University of Virginia product was a more polished prospect than the previous year's No. 1 pick, Mickey Moniak

Moniak, who turned 20 on May 13, has hit .242 with a meager .268 OBP in 75 games at Clearwater this season. The power has been slow to come around, and Moniak has slashed just .247/.290/.350 in 999 plate appearances the last three seasons.

There's still plenty of time for Moniak, but he can't be satisfied with how he's hit to this point, nor can an organization that used the first overall pick in the draft on him. Some baseball people have questioned whether Moniak will grow strong enough to consistently drive the baseball as the quality of pitching he faces increases. 

Rounding out the first-round pick updates, Cornelius Randolph has struggled even more than Moniak. Randolph, drafted 10th overall in 2015, has hit .215 with one home run in 80 games at Double A this season. 

Randolph was drafted for his offense specifically but things haven't clicked yet. He's hit .252/.346/.362 with 17 homers in 1,328 plate appearances since being drafted.

Manny Machado just wants a trade to be made already

Manny Machado just wants a trade to be made already

Manny Machado heard the "We want Manny" chants from Phillies fans when the Orioles came to town the first week of July, and he was asked about it on Monday during his media session several hours before the Home Run Derby. 

“Philly. I did hear that nice ovation when I was there," he told reporters. "That was pretty awesome.”

Machado was asked all of the usual questions. What's your priority in free agency? Where would you want to go ideally? Are you eager for a deal to be done?

"Definitely, 100 percent," he responded to that last one. "Get it over with already and not answer these questions anymore."

The widespread perception is that, wherever he lands this month, Machado will receive multiple humongous offers in free agency. Offers nearing or exceeding $300 million.

Most athletes would say this, but for Machado, it's about more than dolla-dolla bills.

"Money doesn't bring happiness," he said. "What's gonna make me happy? Being happy. As long as everything comes together for my wife and my family."

And not that it needed any reinforcement, but it's abundantly clear that Machado wants to play shortstop. That will likely play a large role in where he signs this winter.

"I'm the player I am today because of [the Orioles]," he said. "They gave me the opportunity to go back to shortstop, where my heart was. I will forever be grateful."