Phillies

When will Corey Dickerson be ready to start for Phillies? What happens when Jay Bruce returns?

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When will Corey Dickerson be ready to start for Phillies? What happens when Jay Bruce returns?

Corey Dickerson finally made his way to Philadelphia. He was moving fast on Friday afternoon, unpacking his bags and heading to the dugout to meet with reporters before his first batting practice session with his new team.

Dickerson was not in Friday's lineup but could start for the Phillies as soon as Saturday. The minor groin injury he was dealing with is nearly healed.

"It's getting the point where I'm pretty much good to go," Dickerson said. "I just want to be safe and make sure I have no setbacks. I want to be able to play every day and play the way I know how to play, play hard. I don't want to worry about missing a few days, so I'm trying to knock it out right now."

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler plans to start Dickerson nearly every night against a right-handed starting pitcher. It remains to be seen what happens against lefties. Dickerson has significant platoon splits. He is a .290 career hitter with an .865 OPS against righties and a .270 career hitter with a .708 OPS against lefties.

Dickerson will make the Phillies' offense better and he can hit in a variety of spots. He could step into the leadoff spot, where the Phillies have received almost no production since Andrew McCutchen went down. The leadoff spot in the Phillies' order has produced a .194/.272/.320 slash line since McCutchen's injury. That batting average ranks dead-last in the majors, the OBP and slugging percentage second-to-last.

Dickerson could also serve as protection for Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins in the 5-spot or hit sixth behind J.T. Realmuto. He has a versatile offensive package. Dickerson can hit for average, hit for power and run well.

What happens when Bruce returns?

It will be interesting to see how Kapler manages the playing time of his outfielders once Jay Bruce returns. That could be as soon as next week.

Utilityman Brad Miller, another left-handed hitter, is also close to returning. 

When everyone is back, the Phillies will skew left-handed with Dickerson, Bruce, Miller and Adam Haseley. They will almost have to turn to a five-man bench unless someone else is injured. Kapler mentioned last week that the Phils could soon utilize a five-man bench, which they have not done the last two seasons before September.

Even if the Phillies do turn to a five-man bench to make room for Bruce and Miller, it will mean losing at least one of Maikel Franco, Roman Quinn and Sean Rodriguez. Quinn and Rodriguez are out of options and would need to be designated for assignment before being sent to Triple A.

These situations have a way of working themselves out but the Phillies could soon face a roster crunch. It's a good problem to have, and a bench including Bruce, Miller and Franco would be the best the Phillies have had all season.

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'A Tormented Man:' ESPN's 'Imperfect' examines Roy Halladay's battle with addiction

'A Tormented Man:' ESPN's 'Imperfect' examines Roy Halladay's battle with addiction

Every Phillies fan remembers Roy Halladay’s perfect game against the Miami Marlins that took place 10 years ago today.

The image of Doc embracing Carlos Ruiz is crystal clear in all of our minds. It’s how many fans remember Roy.

What’s not as clear — something we’ve all heard rumblings about — is Halladay’s battle with addiction after walking away from the game of baseball.

That battle will be on full display this evening when Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story airs as an E:60 Special on ESPN at 7:00 pm.

The one-hour program dives deep into the battle Halladay fought with addiction by speaking to those closest to him. Roy’s widow Brandy shares honest and hard details about her husband’s dependence on pain medications throughout his life, including during his playing days in Philadelphia.

The special shares that at the end of the 2013 season Halladay checked in to a drug rehabilitation center in Florida to treat his opioid addiction. Brandy speaks about her memories of that experience and the shame that contributed to it not proving successful for her husband. Roy entered rehab for a second time in 2015 that lasted three months, according to a trailer for the series.

Brandy shares that Roy was formally diagnosed with ADD, depression and anxiety.

“Everyone sees him as this very strong, dominant person, but he was terrified. He was terrified that people wouldn’t think he was good enough. He didn’t want to let anybody down. He, for whatever reason, didn’t feel that he had the luxury of making mistakes. He was tormented. He truly was. He was a tormented man,” Brandy said.

In addition to Roy’s son Braden and baseball great Alex Rodriguez, the special features former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee and teammate Kyle Kendrick. The special spans Roy’s early days in baseball through his peaks with the Toronto Blue Jays and Phillies, as well as the tragic plane crash that took his life and how those who loved him attempt to come to terms with the loss.

“For Brandy, reliving her husband's tragic last years has been painful but, by her own admission, necessary as she strives to contextualize her late husband's drug use and struggles with mental health. She wants people to know: There was more to her husband than what haunted him,” the special’s creators wrote.

“Everybody should be able to ask for help and they should not be judged and looked down on for that,” Brandy said.

The one-hour special airs tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. You can watch the trailer for it below.

Scott Boras lays out reasons why MLB players shouldn't give owners a 'bailout'

Scott Boras lays out reasons why MLB players shouldn't give owners a 'bailout'

In an e-mail to his clients obtained by The Associated Press, agent Scott Boras urged his players (which includes Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and other Phillies) to reject MLB's salary reduction proposal, citing debt financing as the reason franchises are facing financial issues during the coronavirus pandemic.

Boras wrote this:

"Remember, games cannot be played without you. Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.

"Owners are asking for more salary cuts to bail them out of the investment decisions they have made. If this was just about baseball, playing games would give the owners enough money to pay the players their full prorated salaries and run the baseball organization. The owners' current problem is a result of the money they borrowed when they purchased their franchises, renovated their stadiums or developed land around their ballparks. This type of financing is allowed and encouraged by MLB because it has resulted in significant franchise valuations.

“Owners now want players to take additional pay cuts to help them pay these loans. They want a bailout. They are not offering players a share of the stadiums, ballpark villages or the club itself, even though salary reductions would help owners pay for these valuable franchise assets. These billionaires want the money for free. No bank would do that. Banks demand loans be repaid with interest. Players should be entitled to the same respect.

"Make no mistake, owners have chosen to take on these loans because, in normal times, it is a smart financial decision. But, these unnecessary choices have now put them in a challenging spot. Players should stand strong because players are not the ones who advised owners to borrow money to purchase their franchises and players are not the ones who have benefited from the recent record revenues and profits.

"... Please share this concept with your teammates and fellow players when MLB request further concessions or deferral of salaries.”

Boras used Cubs ownership, the Ricketts family, to illustrate the point.

"Throughout this process, they will be able to claim that they never had any profits because those profits went to pay off their loans," Boras wrote. "However, the end result is that the Ricketts will own improved assets that significantly increases the value of the Cubs — value that is not shared with the players."

Boras' e-mail followed MLB's proposal to the players' association Tuesday of a sliding scale of prorated pay in 2020 in which the highest-paid players would receive the lowest percentage of their prorated salaries and the lowest-paid players would receive the highest percentage of their prorated salaries. In essence, Harper would receive a lower percentage of his $25.4 million AAV than Hoskins would receive from his $605,000 salary.

The players' association found the proposal insulting and is not interested in the sliding scale of pay. Max Scherzer, who is on the MLBPA's eight-man subcommittee, released this statement Wednesday night.

The Phillies are well stocked with Boras clients: Harper, Hoskins, Jake Arrieta, Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, Vince Velasquez, Cole Irvin, Nick Williams. Boras also, as of this week, represents Rays lefty and former AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, whom Harper backed up recently after Snell commented on the pay dispute in a polarizing way.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Boras, as outlined in this NY Post piece and in this tweet by outspoken Reds right-hander Trevor Bauer.

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