Many things will have to go right for the Phillies to make a playoff run during the the second half of the season, but there’s some reason for optimism tonight.
Roy Halladay made a rehab start for High-A Clearwater this evening and allowed one unearned run over three innings. It was his first game action since being placed on the disabled list in late May with a right latissimus dorsi strain.
According to official Twitter account of the Clearwater Threshers, Halladay gave up just three hits while striking out four and walking none. The 35-year-old right-hander worked out of trouble in his final inning by stranding runners at second and third. He threw 43 out of 61 pitches for strikes on the night and topped out at 91 mph on his fastball.
The Phillies will likely see how he feels tomorrow before making an announcement on how they’ll proceed, but the hope is that he’ll be ready to return next Tuesday against the Dodgers. Halladay had a 3.98 ERA and 56/14 K/BB ratio over 72 1/3 innings prior to being placed on the disabled list.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.