Morning Phil-Up: The Phillies’ Offense Won’t Get Better

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Phillies’ Offense Won’t Get Better – Philly.com

The Phillies offense was predictably wretched on Opening Day, generating no runs on just three hits in front of a sell-out crowd.

The scary thing here is that there’s absolutely no upside to this lineup’s development as the season rolls along.

Ben Revere has already hit his ceiling as a major leaguer, and Odubel Herrera isn’t an answer either. The heart of the order, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Carlos Ruiz have all seen their best days come and go. Veterans Grady Sizemore and Jeff Francoeur are in the twilight of their respective careers. Cody Asche’s ceiling is limited, and Freddy Galvis shouldn’t be starting everyday for any team.

There’s also no talent coming up in the minor leagues. The league knows what Domonic Brown is at this point. Maikel Franco hasn’t shown anything to make me think he might be capable of giving the team a spark. And with the possible exception of J.P. Crawford, there’s no one worth mentioning to keep an eye on to join the majors before the season ends.

Shane Victorino Defends Ryan Howard – CSNPhilly

Ryan Howard has had a rough go in Philadelphia as of late.

Along with his recent struggles to stay healthy, Howard also had to deal with general manager Ruben Amaro coming out over the winter and stating that the Phillies would more or less be better off without him.

Howard’s former teammate Shane Victorino is in town for the week with the Boston Red Sox, and spoke out in defense of the embattled slugger.

Victorino criticized Amaro for putting the struggling Howard in an even more difficult situation, and implied that the franchise should have shown much more respect for a man that played a critical role during the team’s best years.

Victorino is absolutely right. While Howard may be a shell of his former self, it was a pretty classless and puzzling move by Amaro to come out and condemn the first baseman. It’s just another bizarre move in a long series of bizarre moves from an organization that has painfully lost its way.

Dave Spadaro With Smart Take On Bradford-Manziel Rumors – The 700 Level

Eagles’ Insider Dave Spadaro made a comment on Twitter about a recent rumor concerning the Eagles.

The report suggests that the Eagles and Cleveland Browns have been engaged in trade talks that would send Sam Bradford to the Browns in exchange for Johnny Manziel and several draft picks, with the snags in the deal being Bradford refusing to sign an extension with the Browns and the Eagles insisting on the first-round pick.

Spadaro commented that this deal seems like a late April Fools joke. His reasoning is that there are a lot of things in play that don’t make sense for the Eagles. If the Birds made such a move, it would obviously be with their eye on acquiring Marcus Mariota. Mariota’s presence would make Johnny Manziel completely unnecessary.

I agree that this rumor is ridiculous, but only for the reason that I don’t believe there’s actually some kind of significant market for a guy like Sam Bradford.

At this point, nothing would surprise me with the Eagles. If anyone had told me several months ago that the Eagles would ship Nick Foles AND a second-round pick to the Rams for the often-injured Sam Bradford, I would have deemed that to be an April-Fools type of report.

Sixers May Not Get Any Extra First-Rounders This Year – Philly Voice

The Sixers set themselves up to potentially have four first-round picks in this year’s NBA Draft, however they could very well end up with only their own after everything is said and done.

The Lakers’ pick is top-five protected, and they currently have the fourth worst record in the NBA. The Miami Heat pick is top-10 protected, and they currently have the 10th worst record in the league. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s pick is top-18 protected, and they currently have the 18th worst record in the league.

There are still a handful of games to be played, with both the Thunder and Heat in competition for the final playoff seed in their respective conferences.