Tackling the trade deadline: Philadelphia Phillies

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Philadelphia Phillies
First-half record: 57-34
Standings: 3 games up on Braves in NL East

Needs

Bullpen: Ryan Madson should return to form after he comes back from a hand injury, but the Phillies can’t rely on either Brad Lidge (shoulder, elbow) and Jose Contreras (elbow).  Adding another late-game reliever should be this team’s priority.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be an experienced closer, not with the way that Madson has stepped up.

Outfield: I think the Phillies can pass on an adding an outfielder.  Rookie Domonic Brown is hitting .371/.436/.400 through 35 at-bats this month, and even when he has struggled at the major league level, he’s never looked overmatched.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring in another part-timer — preferably a backup center fielder who could also serve as a defensive replacement for Raul Ibanez in left — but Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. make for a nice pair of backups as is.

Infield: I’d rather see the Phillies go get themselves a legitimate backup for Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.  Wilson Valdez is a nice defender, but he’d be an awfully weak option as a regular if either Utley or Polanco gets hurt at the wrong time.  Omar Infante would be a great pickup if the Marlins decide they’re out of it.  Jeff Keppinger and Mike Aviles would also work.

Target

Luke Gregerson (RHP Padres): Gregerson makes more sense for the Phillies than Heath Bell: he’s an extreme groundball pitcher and he wouldn’t stretch the team’s budget.  He certainly won’t come cheap, not when he’s under control through 2014, but the Padres figure to be open to moving him if the right offer comes along.  They have plenty of needs, and they’ve never been shy about trading relievers to fill them.

Proposed deal

Gregerson for RHP Brody Colvin

Colvin entered the year as the Phillies’ top pitching prospect, but he’s fallen behind Jarred Cosart while missing some time and amassing a 4.16 ERA and a 43/22 K/BB ratio in 62 2/3 innings for high-A Clearwater.  He’d still be a really nice get for the Padres here, and he could be part of a promising 2013 rotation that’d also potentially include Cory Luebke, Casey Kelly and maybe Simon Castro, with Keyvius Sampson and Joe Ross on the way up.

Hunter Pence appeared as guest on Bill Nye’s new show

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Bill Nye — yeah, “the science guy” — has a new show on Netflix called Bill Nye Saves the World. His show ties science to other areas such as politics, pop culture, and sports. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence was invited to appear as a guest.

Nye talked a bit about Pence and marveled at the dedication players must have to stay competitive in the sport. Nye called Pence “a cool guy” and “charming,” which is not surprising.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.