The Phillies continue their short west coast road trip tonight by kicking off a weekend series with the San Diego Padres. After a four-game sweep of the Marlins at home, the Phils will look to regain the momentum they lost against the Diamondbacks a few days ago when they were shutout 6-0. Fortunately, the fledgling Padres offer sparse fire-power to combat the Phillies. No one for the Padres is batting above .256, and their star first baseman Eric Hosmer is only batting .250. Hosmer has failed to live up to the 8-year, $144 million he signed last offseason, and the Padres are clearly in the midst of a rebuild. At 46-71, they are last in the whole National League and have a catastrophic run differential of -107.
Game one of the series begins Friday night, where San Diego will give the ball to rookie starting pitcher Jacob Nix, who will be making his MLB debut at 22 years old. Nix was a third-round pick in 2015 and is regarded as one of the team’s top pitching prospects. For a team looking toward the future, Nix’s start is potentially a big step forward. Opposing Nix on the mound is Zach Eflin, who is 8-3 on the year with a 3.61 ERA for the Phillies. Games two and three are expected to be started by Nick Pivetta and Aaron Nola.
This series will offer the Phillies a chance to see some new and old faces. Former Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis is now a Padre. Galvis is batting .234 on the year with seven home runs. His Philadelphia heir, J.P Crawford, will rejoin the Phillies tonight after dealing with a broken hand that landed him on the DL in June. Additionally, the Phillies acquired power-hitting first baseman Justin Bour from the Marlins off trade waivers this morning. In return, Miami will receive minor-leaguer McKenzie Mills, a pitcher at the A level in Clearwater. With Carlos Santana at first, Bour will simply fill in for Santana on rest days and add a powerful, lefty bat to the bench. Currently leading the NL East by one game, the Phils continue to add small pieces for their postseason run.