ON THE PHIELD:
Chase Utley hit a slump last week. He did not play in the first game against the Mets, but got one hit in the second game against New York. During that span he has just that one hit in his last 20 at bats.
The Ryan Howard-Darin Ruf platoon has been lacking in production at the plate. Howard appeared in every game last week, but had only an RBI double for his only hit of the week. He struck out seven times. Ruf also only had one hit, but he only had six at bats last week. While Ruf is only batting .148 with the Phillies he can play first, outfield and even third base where he stayed in the game after pinch-hitting on Saturday.
Roberto Hernandez got his second straight win with a gem against Washington Friday night. He threw eight innings and surrendered only five hits while giving up one unearned run. Since his first start in July Hernandez has brought his ERA from 4.48 down to 3.87 to start August.
ON THE PHARM:
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, bringing him a step closer to the Phillies. It’s possible he could be with Philadelphia by season’s end. Gonzalez has done well in relief roles, striking out 24 in 14.1 innings and recording five saves in six chances.
Aaron Nola, the Phillies top draft pick this year, was promoted to Double-A. With Single-A Clearwater Nola had a 2-3 record with a 3.16 ERA and averaged 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Catching prospect Tommy Joseph is out for the season after requiring wrist surgery. The injury has lingered since May, but surgery is now the only option. Joseph played in 21 games with Double-A Reading this season and hit five home runs while collecting 19 RBIs.
Cliff Lee left Thursday’s game after 2.2 innings with a left flexor pronator strain, the same injury which kept him off the mound for about two months already this season. He was placed on the 15-day DL and will likely sit out the rest of the season. He may miss time in 2015 if surgery is required, but that might depend on his expected visit with Dr. James Andrews.
ON THE WHOLE:
The Phillies are still in the cellar of the National League East. They failed to make any moves before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but it’s expected they will make moves in August via waivers.