A beautiful day here in Pittsburgh. Cloudless sky, low humidity, low 80's. Several Phillies fans on my flight this morning to Pittsburgh, which could be why a fellow beat writer was unable to find a direct flight. The only thing more depressing than going to Pittsburgh is having to connect through another city while doing so. Actually, I kid -- this is an underrated town, or, as one member of the Phils put it this afternoon, a "sleeper" city. The ballpark is beautiful, located right along the river (I'm too lazy to look up which one of the three), and in the midst of some restaurants and bars. The hotel is within walking distance. The weather is nice. All that is missing is the people. But hey, you don't have to wait long at the concession stands.
Lots to get to today:
1) Hot outfield prospect Michael Taylor might have seen his season come to a premature end when he was placed on the disabled list yesterday. Taylor's injury is a strained oblique, which is a pretty finnicky ailment, so it is unclear if he will return this year. Lehigh Valley finishes its season on Sept. 7. The Phillies are hopeful that he'll be back in time to squeeze in some more at-bats, but right now there is no reliable prognosis on his recovery. The injury comes at a bad time -- Taylor was really heating up after getting off to a slow start at Triple-A. He was hitting .350 with two home runs and eight RBI in his last 10 games and is hitting .282 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 30 games since his promotion.
2) I'm told Brett Myers is scheduled to pitch for Double-A Reading tomorrow, but the Phillies have not yet said anything official about the appearance.
3) Top outfield prospect Domonic Brown will participate in the Arizona Fall League. Taylor is not on an AFL roster, but he is expected to play somewhere, perhaps in Mexico. Other Phillies in the AFL: LHP Mike Zagurski, RHP Scott Mathieson, RHP Mike Cisco, INF Troy Hanzawa, OF Steve Susdorf, C Tuffy Gosewisch and RHP Michael Schwimer. All will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Play begins Oct. 13
4) Matt Stairs gets the start tonight in right field, while Jayson Werth gets the day off.
5) It seems like it is Chase Utley's turn to get hot. The second baseman is hitting .429 with two home runs in his last six games, and just missed crushing a couple of balls yesterday against the Mets. I wouldn't be surprised to see him be the one who catches fire for the last month-and-a-half, a la Ryan Howard a year ago.