By Annie Ross
Maybe a trip to Canada will refresh the sinking Phillies.
The Toronto Blue Jays are on a roll after taking the final three games of a four-game series against American League East rivals, theBaltimore Orioles. Toronto has moved to within 2 1/2 games of Baltimore and the Boston Red Sox in the division.
With the DH used in the American League park, Ryan Howard is expected to get some at-bats in that role.
“I’ll probably DH Howie,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Mackanin said on Friday that Tommy Joseph would replace Howard as the Phillies’ regular first baseman. Howard will be relegated to pinch-hitting and spot starts. The DH affords a good opportunity for that.
“I flat-out don’t like it,” Mackanin said. “I don’t like to have to deal with it because of what he’s done for the organization over the years. Once again, this is another year where we’re looking to the future, and Tommy Joseph looks like he’s going to be in the future.”
Jimmy Paredes, who spent seven games with the Blue Jays after being claimed off waivers from the Orioles, will return today with the Phillies. The Blue Jays traded him to the Phillies for cash considerations on June 1.
Paredes, a switch-hitter who plays outfield and infield, was 0-for-4 after starting in right field in yesterday’s Phillies’ 5-4, ninth-inning loss to the Washington Nationals. He was 4-for-15 (.267) with one homer and two RBIs in Toronto. He is 4-for-24 (.167) with one homer and four RBIs for the Phillies.
The Phillies will start right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (3-8, 3.68 ERA), who is coming off a solid start in which he held the Chicago Cubsto one run in seven innings. He has a 2.76 ERA in his past five starts. This will be his first start against Toronto.
Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey (4-6, 4.15 ERA) will be seeking his third straight start. He held the Detroit Tigersto two runs in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday in Toronto’s 7-2 win despite having a poor knuckleball. He is 5-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 12 starts against Philly.