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Phillies don’t expect Matt Harrison to contribute “anytime soon, if at all” in 2016

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When the Phillies traded ace Cole Hamels to the Rangers ahead of last season’s trade deadline, lefty starter Matt Harrison was only included to help offset the salary being taken on by the Rangers. Still, there was a chance Harrison could contribute if he could get to a good place with his back injury.

Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. Matt Klentak, the Phillies’ new GM, said that the club doesn’t expect him “to be here anytime soon, if at all, this year,” as Andrew Astleford reports for The News Journal.

Harrison, 30, has made only nine starts over the past three seasons due to continuous back injuries. He underwent spinal fusion surgery in June 2014 and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year.

When healthy, Harrison has pitched well. He made the American League All-Star team in 2012, finishing the year with an 18-11 record, a 3.29 ERA, and a 133/59 K/BB ratio over 213 1/3 innings. Hopefully, Harrison is able to use 2016 to get himself healthy enough to pitch again. Back injuries are no fun at all.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.