It was a slow day today, but a Friday afternoon tilt helped fend off the snoozes. Phillies-Cubs at Wrigley Field. Whenever they play I like to imagine them competing for a statue that looks like Manny Trillo. Weird, huh?
Anyway, it was yet another frustrating day for Phillies’ fans, as the Cubs win 4-3. Twice the Phillies had a lead and twice the Cubs tied it up, first on a bases-loaded walk to Ted Lilly of all people and the second time via a two-run homer by former Phillie Marlon Byrd. By then the boys in gray and red had nothing left with which to answer, and Aramis Ramirez — who may have actually risen from the dead — hit a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth.
Carlos Marmol closed it down in the ninth, striking out the side. He now has 81 strikeouts on the season. Which is more than Jaime Garcia, Johnny Cueto and Wadry Rodriguez have, and they’re starters. Mercy.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.