Aaron Altherr made his 2016 debut in style Thursday, finishing 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in the Phillies 7-5 win over the Braves.
After missing nearly four months due to a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, Altherr wasted no time making his presence felt Thursday. The 25-year-old singled in his first at-bat, hit a two-run home run later and added another single for good measure. The dual threat had five homers and six steals in 39 games with the Phillies last year, and now healthy, Altherr is an intriguing player in NL-only and deep mixed leagues.
Braves optioned RHP Matt Wisler to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Wisler sealed his own fate with another dismal outing Thursday against the Phillies (5 IP, 7 H, 7 R). The right-hander went 1-4 with a dismal 8.89 ERA in five July outings. With Wisler headed back to the farm, there's a good chance we'll see Aaron Blair back in the rotation sometime next week.
Tommy Joseph hit a solo home run and scored twice in Thursday's win over the Braves.
Joseph followed Maikel Franco's three-run dong in the first inning with a solo shot of his own, as the Phillies got to Braves starter Matt Wisler early and often. The homer was Joseph's 14th in 57 major league games this year. The Phillies didn't need much convincing to cast Ryan Howard aside, and the 25-year-old has proven plenty worthy of taking over at first base. Joseph is hitting .262/.294/.524 overall.
Maikel Franco hit a three-run home run in Thursday's win over the Braves.
Franco destroyed a hanging slider from Braves starter Matt Wisler in the first inning, part of a five-run frame for the Phillies. The third baseman finished 1-for-5 in the game. That's been a bit of a theme for Franco this year, as he's now got 19 homers and 58 RBI to go with a more pedestrian .259/.314/.463 line overall.
Jeanmar Gomez allowed a run on two hits and a walk but limited the damage Thursday, earning his 27th save against the Braves.
Things got dicey when, protecting a three-run lead, Gomez gave up a leadoff single and a walk to start the ninth, but he coaxed a ground ball double play to quell the rally. A run-scoring single brought the tying run to the plate, but Gomez froze Jace Peterson to end the threat and the game. The right-hander is now 27-for-30 in save chances and owns a 2.83 ERA and 1.13 WHIP overall, numbers that could get him dealt to a reliever-needy contender before Monday's trade deadline.
Aaron Nola started strong and held on to earn the win Thursday, allowing three runs on eight hits over five innings against the Braves.
Nola was staked to a seven-run lead and seemed as though he would have no problem holding it, relatively breezing through four scoreless innings, but the Braves hit him early and often in a three-run fifth inning. He managed to stop the bleeding, but it would be the end of the line for Nola, who is still searching for a former dominance. The win improved him to 6-9 with a 4.78 ERA through 20 starts, and he'll try to make it a winning streak when he faces the Giants on Wednesday.
Twins recalled INF Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester.
He's taking the spot of Eduardo Nunez, who was just traded to the Giants for left-handed pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia. Polanco has put up decent numbers at Triple-A, hitting .276 with nine homers, six triples, 39 RBI and five steals in 75 games for Rochester. He spent a little time with the Twins earlier this year, batting .231 with one homer and four RBI over 13 games for the big club.
Matt Wisler was knocked around early in Thursday's loss to the Phillies, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- over five innings of work.
Wisler had barely blinked before the game was virtually over, as the Phillies had scored five runs by the game's eighth batter. He settled down somewhat, tossing three scoreless innings before they tacked on two more runs in the fifth, but the damage was done. Wisler fell to 4-11 with the loss, and his ERA climbed to 5.16. Of particular worry is the number of home runs he's given up -- Wisler has allowed nine in his last four starts and 22 overall. The right-hander will look for a better showing Wednesday against the Pirates.