j.a. happ

As Phillies wait for answer on Manny Machado, keep an eye on J.A. Happ

As Phillies wait for answer on Manny Machado, keep an eye on J.A. Happ

As the Phillies wait for the Baltimore Orioles to make a decision on where they will send Manny Machado, here is another name that is on the team's list of July trade considerations:

J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The left-hander ranks behind Machado and his Baltimore teammate, Zach Britton, on the Phillies' wish list, but there is definite interest, according to a league source.

In fact, the Blue Jays have spent much time scouting the Phillies' minor-league system recently, according to a league source.

Happ, 35, is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 19 starts, he is 10-6 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Happ, of course, was originally Phillies property, selected by the club in the third round of the 2004 draft out of Northwestern University. He debuted with the Phillies in 2007 and earned a World Series ring with the club in 2008. He finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2009 and was traded to Houston as part of the package for Roy Oswalt the next summer.

The Phillies have not had a left-hander make a start for them since late in the 2016 season. Having a lefty in the rotation is not imperative, but there would be value to it in a pennant race — and beyond — if the Phils could land the right one. Landing a lefty starter could open the possibility of using Vince Velasquez as a one-inning bullpen weapon in the postseason.

The Phillies have long been connected to Cole Hamels, another lefty starter who, of course, has significant Phillies roots. However, there has been no evidence to date that the Phils are pursuing Hamels, who has a $20 million contract option for next season that can be bought out for $6 million.

Neither Happ nor Hamels have pitched especially well lately. Happ, however, was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday, a nod to his consistency earlier in the season.

Machado update

As for Machado, the Phillies, according to well-placed sources, are one of two or three teams — the others being the Dodgers and Brewers — awaiting a verdict in the Machado sweepstakes. Some industry sources question whether the Brewers have the prospects to get a deal done. The Dodgers and Phillies do have the prospects. The Phillies would be willing to part with a more significant package if Britton, a lefty closer, is included in the deal. It would not be surprising if there is a resolution to all this later this week.

Machado, a slugging left-side infielder, is eligible to become a free agent at season's end. The Phillies are willing to trade for him now and take their chances that they can sign him later this summer or in the offseason, provided they trade from depth areas of their farm system and don't mortgage their future.

Over the weekend, club president Andy MacPhail said the team's play — first place in the NL East at the All-Star break — had put management in a position where it needed "to try to augment our current group to try to preserve our place in the standings for as long as we can."

More on the Phillies

Phillies doomed by another ineffective outing from high-priced reliever

Phillies doomed by another ineffective outing from high-priced reliever


Though they strung together four straight one-out singles to make the game competitive in the sixth inning Sunday, the Phillies' offense was too quiet for most of their 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

Nick Pivetta, who pitched well in all but one inning, took the loss.

Tommy Hunter, a free-agent disappointment thus far, had another ineffective outing. Relieving Pivetta in the sixth, he went strikeout, walk, single, lineout, single, two-run double before being pulled.

Hunter has a 5.11 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 15 appearances. The last two seasons, he had a 2.82 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 94 appearances.

The Phillies' loss, coupled with the Braves' unexpected win over Chris Sale and the Red Sox, means Atlanta is back in first place, a half-game ahead of the Phils.

But hey, who expected the Phillies to be 29-21 on Memorial Day? 

One bad inning from Pivetta
Pivetta's control was off in this start. In a shaky second inning, he walked two batters in a row, threw a wild pitch and both runs came around on a two-RBI double by Devon Travis.

Besides that second inning, though, Pivetta pitched very well. He retired nine of the final 11 hitters he faced and faced the minimum over that span thanks to a double play and a caught stealing.

Pivetta struck out seven in his five innings but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth because the Phillies needed to score.

In 11 starts this season, Pivetta has a 3.26 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 67 strikeouts and 14 walks in 58 innings.

Solid afternoon for Kingery
Scott Kingery seems to be settling in at shortstop, just in time for J.P. Crawford to possibly return next week. For the second straight day, Kingery made a fantastic diving stop ranging up the middle to nab a Blue Jays hitter.

Kingery also doubled to right field in his second AB. Slowly but surely, his bat is coming around as he gets more comfortable with major-league pitching and starts to better understand the strike zone up here.

Up next
The Phillies are one of the few teams that don't play a day-game on Memorial Day. They actually have the latest start time in the league at 8:10 p.m. against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers had a terrible, injury-plagued start to the season but are beginning to round into form. And thanks to the Diamondbacks' losing eight of the last 10, the Dodgers are just 3½ games out of first place despite being five games under .500.

Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw will be back from the DL just in time for Thursday’s series finale. It’ll be a great pitching matchup against Aaron Nola.

Monday: Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.18) vs. Brock Stewart (0-0, 3.72)

Tuesday: Jake Arrieta (4-2, 2.45) vs. Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.38)

Wednesday: Zach Eflin (1-1, 3.27) vs. Ross Stripling (2-1, 1.74)

Thursday: Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.86)

Nicknames 2008 Phillies will use for Players Weekend


Nicknames 2008 Phillies will use for Players Weekend

Silver Fox?
The 2008 Phillies will go down as one of the most loved teams to ever play in the city of Philadelphia, and while most have moved on, the nicknames we called them back in the day, and some we didn’t, will appear on real Major League Baseball jerseys this season.
During the weekend of August 25-27, the first-ever Players Weekend will allow Major Leaguers to wear nicknames on the back of new-look jerseys for the first time. Here’s what the current Phillies team will look like, which features some interesting nicknames.
Here’s a look at how the still-active members of the 2008 World Series team will suit up.
Chase Utley, embracing his age and look, will be known as Silver Fox.

Cole Hamels, as he was known with the Phillies, will be Hollywood.

Chooch, will be known as Chooch.

Jayson Werth will simply be known as Dub.

Ryan Madson will wear Blest. Perhaps “Bridge to Lidge” was too long.

Joe Blanton will slim down his name, as he has his appearance, to Joe B.

J.A. Happ will go with Happer.