Phillies

Phillies place top offseason bullpen addition David Robertson on the injured list

Phillies place top offseason bullpen addition David Robertson on the injured list

One of the standouts in the Phillies’ 14-inning victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday ended up on the injured list Monday.

Reliever David Robertson, who pitched two scoreless innings in the marathon win in Miami, was placed on the IL with soreness in the area of his right elbow/forearm.

The Phillies recalled right-hander Drew Anderson from Triple A to take Robertson’s roster spot.

Robertson, 34, said he’s been treated for soreness in the area off and on since spring training. It intensified after Sunday’s game. He will have an MRI on Tuesday.

“I’ve been trying to gut it out and pitch through it, but I’ve kind of gotten to a point where I don’t think I’m capable of going out there and doing what I need to do to help this team,” he said. “It’s kind of gotten to that point where the irritation has gotten to be a lot. I feel like I’ve strained something in my elbow, probably my flexor tendon, it feels like that.”

Robertson, in the first year of a two-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies, has never previously been on the disabled list with an arm issue. However, he has logged some miles — nine straight seasons with 60 or more appearances — and he has dealt with occasional arm soreness.

“I’ve had a few times where my elbow flared up and was a little sore, but usually it goes away and this one’s just kind of lingered,” he said. “I’m not too worried about it. It’s on my flexor tendon. That’s where it feels like it is. I’ve had this issue before. It’s been years ago since I’ve had it flare up this bad.”

Robertson was asked if it was unwise to have gone two innings on Sunday.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “That’s what I had to do. That’s what I did.”

Manager Gabe Kapler was not alarmed about Robertson’s condition.

“I think the 10 days will be really good for him,” Kapler said. “Let some of the soreness subside. We need him for the long haul. Given the fact that we’re going to be leaning pretty heavily on him for four months, it makes sense to be a little bit cautious. He felt a little bit of soreness in spring training. He was able to fight through it all the way through and we just kind of felt like this was the right time to get him some rest.”

With Robertson out, Kapler will lean on Seranthony Dominguez, Pat Neshek, Hector Neris, Adam Morgan and Victor Arano in late-game situations. Anderson, who had been starting at Triple A, will provide some multi-inning length.

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Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

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Phillies' 2020 World Series odds are pretty surprising

Most of the baseball world agrees that the Phillies are improved with the additions of No. 2 starter Zack Wheeler, shortstop Didi Gregorius, and the new contingent of manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Bryan Price and hitting coach Joe Dillon.

The question is how much improved?

The Phils won 81 games last season, a year after winning 80. Both years, they totally collapsed in September. Both years, a good number of players were simply playing out the string, though the effort level was more questionable in 2018 than in 2019.

Even though the Phillies were quiet this offseason after their two big signings, and even though the NL East is still a beast, they should still exceed 81 wins. If they don't, there's a serious problem. If they don't, the GM probably won't be here to try to rectify things next offseason.

The over/under win totals are out and the Phillies' number is 85.5 at FanDuel and 84.5 at DraftKings.

I'd go over at 84.5. Think about how many injuries the Phillies suffered last season. Think about the talent gap between Wheeler and every Phillies starting pitcher behind Aaron Nola last season. The impact of Girardi, Price and Dillon won't be all that quantifiable, but it is realistic that this revamped coaching staff can conjure a few more wins out of the 2020 Phillies, whether it's in-game decision-making or better instructions given to young players who underperformed last season.

At DraftKings, the Mets' over/under is a game better than the Phillies' at 85.5. The Braves are at 90.5 and the Nationals 88.5. The Marlins are at 64.5, higher than only one team, the Tigers.

Much more surprising are the Phillies' World Series odds. They have the sixth-shortest odds to win it all. Seriously. They're +1800. Here is the Top 10:

Yankees: 3.5/1
Dodgers: 5/1
Astros: 6/1
Braves: 11/1
Nationals: 14/1
Phillies: 18/1
Mets: 20/1
Twins: 20/1
Red Sox: 22/1
Cubs: 22/1

Apparently, the expectation is that the NL Central will be bringing up the rear in 2020. Really, the only NL Central team that improved was the Reds. The Cardinals lost Marcell Ozuna, the Brewers lost Yasmani Grandal and the Cubs didn't spend money on a single major-league free agent.

Four of the top seven teams being NL East teams just shows you how much of a battle these next seven months will be for the Phils.

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Phillies prospects Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm make Baseball America's Top 100 list

Phillies prospects Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm make Baseball America's Top 100 list

Baseball America’s always interesting Top 100 Prospects list landed this week and the Phillies are represented with two players in the top half.

Starting pitcher Spencer Howard ranks 27th on the list and third baseman Alec Bohm 28th. Both players are projected to open the coming season at Triple A and get to the majors at some point in 2020. Both have been invited to major-league spring training camp, which begins in less than three weeks in Clearwater. See the complete list of Phillies’ in-house non-roster invites here.

Howard, a 23-year-old right-hander, was the Phillies’ second-round draft pick in 2017. We profiled him here.

In its story on the Top 100 prospects, Baseball America offered this take on Howard: Triple-digit fastball, swing-and-miss curveball and the ability to work the edges of the strike zone, Howard flashes front-end potential.

Bohm, 23, was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft. He hit .305 with 21 homers, 80 RBIs and a .896 OPS at three levels, including Double A in 2019. We profiled him here.

Baseball America offered this take on Bohm: Even with questions about whether he’ll have to move to first base, Bohm has the feel to hit and plus power to hit in the middle of the Phillies’ order, and soon.

Shortstop Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays was ranked No. 1 on Baseball America’s list for the second year in a row. The Rays placed eight players on the list. Because of a loaded farm system, the Rays were unable to protect left-hander Cristopher Sanchez on their 40-man roster and the Phillies traded for him in November. Read about Sanchez here.

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed seven players on the list and the Minnesota Twins and San Diego Padres had six each.

The Miami Marlins led National League East teams with five players in the Top 100, including former Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, who was traded for J.T. Realmuto a year ago. Sanchez ranks 16th on the list and is projected to arrive in the majors sometime in 2020.

The Atlanta Braves placed four players on the list and the Washington Nationals and New York Mets joined the Phillies with two players.

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