Phillies

Phillies make 1st wave of September call-ups

Phillies make 1st wave of September call-ups

Gabe Kapler has an expanded roster at his disposal, and it seems he’s going to make the most of it.

With rosters expanding Saturday, the Phillies recalled Aaron Altherr, Dylan Cozens and Yacksel Rios from Triple AAA Lehigh Valley. The team also activated relievers Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis off the 10-day DL and Pedro Florimon off the 60-day DL.

Jesmuel Valentin was designated for assignment. Mark Leiter Jr., who had been designated for assignment earlier this week, was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays and is headed to Toronto.

Kapler hasn’t been hesitant to use his full bench and bullpen, and he now has a few more resources he can use.

All the players activated have spent time with the Phillies this season. Altherr was demoted in July after a disappointing start to the season. He hit just .171 in 248 plate appearances. He should provide another good defensive replacement and pinch-running option late in games, along with another powerful bat off the bench.

Cozens is 2 for 20 with 14 strikeouts at the major-league level. Like Altherr and recent addition Jose Bautista, he's an option who Kapler can turn to for power.

Florimon, who had been sidelined since May 18 with a broken foot, is a versatile defensive player. 

Rios, Ramos and Davis should give Kapler even more flexibility out of the bullpen.

After Friday night’s 2-1 win in 10 innings over the Cubs, the Phillies trail the Braves for first place in the NL East by two games with 28 games remaining. Seven of the Phillies’ final 11 games are against Atlanta.

This is the first wave of September call-ups for the Phillies. More moves could be coming later in the month once Lehigh Valley's playoff run ends. 

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Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

Gabe Kapler recalls the challenge of his final days in Philadelphia

SAN DIEGO — The beginning wasn’t easy for Gabe Kapler in Philadelphia and neither was the end. He was booed before managing his first game in Citizens Bank Park in 2018. Eighteen months later, he twisted in the wind for 10 days as Phillies ownership pondered whether to bring him back for the 2020 season or let him go.

Eventually, Kapler was fired but he wasn’t out of work long as the San Francisco Giants hired him to manage their club in November.

At the winter meetings Tuesday, Kapler recalled waiting for John Middleton’s verdict over those uncomfortable final 10 days in Philadelphia.

“Those ten days were challenging because I definitely wanted the opportunity to continue to manage the Phillies,” Kapler said. “I wanted to see the work that we put in, and I wanted to see it through the finish line. In my mind, that finish line was still in the future and in the distance, and I think there's going to be a lot of great things accomplished in Philadelphia next year.

“But it was difficult, and sometimes there's a real silver lining to those situations. I think the Philadelphia Phillies got a great manager in Joe Girardi in place, and I think I have an opportunity to manage a club that I'm incredibly excited about, and the people that I'm working with, I'm really excited about as well. So I think, interestingly, even though it was challenging, those 10 days, it worked out pretty well for the Phillies, and I think it worked out really well for the Giants as well.”

Kapler was asked what he said to Middleton upon learning that he would not return to manage the Phillies.

“The last words were 'thank you for the opportunity,' ” he said.

Kapler was asked how he might have been able to save his job in Philadelphia.

“Probably win more baseball games,” he said.

Kapler’s record in Philadelphia was 161-163. He learned a lot in those two seasons.

“I think the thing that stands out to me is I'm excited about getting every possible strategic advantage as a manager and as part of a coaching staff,” Kapler said. “I think that one of the things that I learned is that sometimes those small strategic advantages come at the expense of some confidence from a player.

“So I think I did a better job in 2019 than I did in 2018 of blending those two things, blending the small strategic advantages with the confidence level of the players, and I think I'm going to do a better job having learned some of those lessons in '18, in 2020, without overcorrecting. I think that's an important part as well. Bringing it back to the middle is important, too, after an overcorrection is made.

“So, specifically, it's just striking the right balance between getting small strategic advantages and confidence levels of players.”

Kapler will be back in Philadelphia with the Giants August 7-10 — unless he sneaks into town earlier for one of his favorite steaks at Suraya.

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Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

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USA Today Images/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Phillies fans, you're gonna love Didi Gregorius based on his Twitter personality

MLB free agency is in full swing and the newest addition to the Phillies, Didi Gregorius, has quite the personality on Twitter.

More specifically, he really enjoys tweeting after his team wins ... especially with emojis.

It almost feels like Groundhog Day scrolling through his feed. And by the looks of things, he rarely forgets.

Take a look:

Of course, these are only a few of the many he has tweeted out. If you have the time though, look at the rest — there are definitely some hidden gems.

Will he continue this tradition with his new club? Will we be able to see tweets from him stating that the bullpen was worth four fire emojis? What emojis will he assign for Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins and the rest of the team?

These are the hard-hitting questions we want answered right after the news of a signing breaks — but we'll just have to wait and see once Spring Training comes to a close in a few months.

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