Good news for Phillies: Yanks bench Swisher, Posada

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Jorge Posada’s absence was expected with Jose Molina having caught A.J. Burnett in each of the right-hander’s three previous postseason starts, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the surprising decision Thursday to remove Nick Swisher from the starting lineup for Game 2 of the World Series and replace him with Jerry Hairston Jr. in right field.
The changes subtract two players who combined for 51 homers and 163 RBI in 864 at-bats this year in exchange for two players who combined for 11 homers and 43 RBI in 521 at-bats.
Swisher has struggled mightily in the postseason, coming in at 4-for-35 with a 12/3 K/BB ratio. Still, that hardly outweighs his 869 OPS for the year or his 924 mark after the All-Star break. Girardi pointed to the fact that Hairston is 10-for-27 lifetime against Phillies starter Pedro Martinez, even though most of those at-bats came many years ago. Most of those hits were singles anyway, and not a one of them drove in a run.
The Phillies have to be feeling awfully encouraged with the Yankees apparently already in panic mode.

Former major league pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies in traffic accident

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Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.

The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.

The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: