PHILLIES SHORT HOPS
Chase Utley was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for prospects Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. The Phillies sent $4 million to L.A. to offset the remaining $6 million on Utley’s contract. Utley waived no-trade protection to join Jimmy Rollins with the Dodgers. Utley’s departure, coupled with the trade of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers on July 31, leaves only two members remaining from the nucleus of the 2008 World Series champions -- Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz. Ben Revere also was traded by the Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline. Cesar Hernandez has taken over at second base minus Utley. Sweeney, an outfielder, produced his first major league hit on Saturday with a pinch-hit homer against Miami’s Justin Nicolino. The last Phillie to hit a pinch-hit homer for his first major league hit? Marlon Anderson on Sept. 8, 1998 against the Mets.
The Phillies are 21-12 in the second half under interim manager Pete Mackanin. Ryne Sandberg resigned on June 26 with a career record of 119-159.
Philadelphia has three rookies in its rotation -- Morgan, Eickhoff and Aaron Nola. Eickhoff tossed six scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins on Friday in his major league debut. He arrived from the Rangers at the non-waiver trade deadline in the deal that sent Hamels to Arlington. Morgan, a University of Alabama product, missed the 2014 season recovering from shoulder surgery. He had been 0-6 with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before a late-June promotion. Along with Severino Gonzalez, four starting pitchers have made their major league debuts with the Phillies this season. That matches the franchise record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Four starting pitchers also had made their major league debuts with the Phillies in the same season in 1996, 1986 and 1902.
Howard moved past Del Ennis (1,224) for second on the franchise’s all-time RBI list on Friday. Mike Schmidt is the all-time Phillies leader with 1,595 RBIs.
Ex-Met Jeff Francoeur is hitting .343 (23-for-67) with six homers and 12 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Maikel Franco landed on the disabled list last Tuesday with a fractured left wrist after getting hit by a pitch on Aug. 11. Rookie outfielder Aaron Altherr was promoted from Lehigh Valley. Altherr was born in Germany. His mother was in the U.S. military and his father played soccer professionally in Germany. He attended high school in Arizona.