admin / June 23, 2018

Party-crashing Phillies aren’t going anywhere

There was a DJ in the Washington Nationals pregame clubhouse.

Not clubhouse DJ Gio Gonzalez, but like, a real DJ. With a turntable and speakers and lights and everything. Because that’s how Davey Martinez rolls.

At this point, I think in a lot of ways, we’ve proven ourselves, said first-year manager Gabe Kapler, whose club lost 7 of 8 to start the month but has since rebounded with three straight series wins against the Rockies, Brewers and Cardinals. We’re a pretty good ball club. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the league and done a pretty good job. At some point, it stops being that we’re trying to prove ourselves, and we’re just competing with really good teams, and I think that’s where we are.

They’re there far sooner than anyone thought they’d be. With a rookie skipper and a roster loaded with young talent — their average Opening Day age was 26.9, lowest in MLB — the Phillies came into the season trending in the right direction but weren’t expected to be serious contenders.

The 27-year-old Miller pitched a combined 19 1/3 innings in his rehab starts, two with Double-A Jackson and two with Single-A Visalia. He gave up 10 runs and 20 hits while striking out 28 and walking six.

A 15-game winner in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals and an All-Star in 2015 with the Atlanta Braves, Miller was injured in his fourth start last season. He has a 5-14 record and 5.78 ERA in 24 starts since the Diamondbacks acquired him from the Braves in a trade before the 2016 season.

I definitely have something to prove over here, Miller said.

Miller will take the rotation spot of rookie right-hander Matt Koch, who was optioned to Triple-A Reno. Koch was 5-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 13 games, including 12 stats.

Right-handed reliever Jake Barrett was recalled from Reno. He had one strikeout and gave up one hit in Thursday’s win.

Cubs: Yu Darvish could begin a rehab assignment next week. He threw 50 pitches in a simulated game without problem on Wednesday. Darvish has been sidelined since May 23 because of tendinitis in his right triceps.

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