The Phillies come to town tonight for a three game series. They are four games under .500 and eight games out of first. The Tigers need to sweep the series so that Philadelphia's management internalizes that they are going nowhere this year and still has time to make deals before the trade deadline.
Domonic Brown was a top prospect in 2010 but did not produce over parts of three seasons. The Phillies' patience has been rewarded with 24 home runs this year. No, I do not think he will be available at the deadline regardless of this weekend's results.
Chase Utley has battled injuries the last few years, but he has a career triple slash line of .287 / .374 / .501 with 212 home runs. For perspective, Lou Whitaker had 244 home runs in a 19 year career. Utley played a big role in the Phillies finishing in first place each year from 2007 through 2011.
Philadelphia released Chad Durbin earlier this year. Durbin's 2007 season with Detroit was entirely unremarkable, and he looked like a quadruple A pitcher. Yet he pitched in 14 seasons across three decades. And he is not even left-handed.
Robert Fick says he twice used PEDs to recover from injuries. I was present for his grand slam off the roof as the last hit ever at Tiger Stadium. It was a fantastic moment in Tigers' history, and this does not taint it.
Omar Infante is having a Derek Jeter-like recovery from an ankle injury, coming out of the game last night and saying it hurts to even walk. I console myself by checking second baseman Devon Travis' numbers in Lakeland each night. Even if they only have a few hits, you can be sure that he had at least one. How did he fall to the 13th round of the draft?
The Mud Hens lost in 20 innings last night. Avisail Garcia went 0 for 9, but is still hitting .385. Nick Castellanos went 0 for 8 to drop his average to .274. Avisail Garcia recently turned 22 and plays better defense, while Castellanos is 21. Both have power. If you could only keep one player, are you sure it would be Castellanos?