There’s still time for the Phillies to change their mind before playoff rosters are due, but all indications are that they’ll go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that David Herndon and Joe Blanton are likely competing for the final bullpen spot and Domonic Brown will not be on the roster as an extra outfielder, instead heading to an instructional league to stay ready in case the Phillies need him later on.
Herndon has thrown 56 innings with a 3.38 ERA, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio and home run rate are both far less impressive than his ERA and Blanton has looked pretty solid as a reliever since coming off the disabled list.
What’s interesting about the Phillies’ apparent decision to carry an 11th pitcher instead of Brown is that teams rarely use more than eight or nine pitchers in the playoffs, because the rotation shrinks from five to three or four and the setup men and closers take nearly all of the bullpen work. Philadelphia’s excellent starting pitching makes them even less likely to need all those extra arms.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.