Aquaman Rebirth Review

June 14, 2016


On May 25th, DC Comics kicked off a new era, restarting nearly all of their main superhero comics at #1, with the exception of Batman Detective Comics and Superman Action Comics which will revert to their pre New 52 numbering.

DC Universe Rebirth gave new readers a look into what happened over the past 10 years of the New 52 and segued regular readers back into a comic book world they can enjoy. I am not too keen on reviewing things, but I have really enjoyed reading the Rebirth editions thus far, so I figured why not.

My next review will be of Aquaman Rebirth. I’ve read volume one of Aquaman in the New 52, so I am a pretty new reader when it comes to Arthur Curry.

From what I understand, Aquaman Rebirth is also a very good jumping on point for new readers interested in following him. The majority of the issue is narrated by a third party, which is revealed at the end of the issue. The writing does a nice job of keeping the reading curious as to who is narrating.

As the book moves along, it continues to explain the battle that Aquaman faces on a regular basis. He isn’t highly regarded by people on land, being consistently mocked and misunderstood on a daily basis. People still poke fun at how he talks to fish, even though he doesn’t. Rather, he telepathically communicates with marine life.

Aquaman isn’t that well liked by many under the seas, well because the Earth is primarily water and not everyone believes that Aquaman is the rightful king to all that real estate, leading to plenty of battle scenes with the underwater terrorist group known as Deluge. Members of the group do not accept Arthur as the underwater king and thus, battle ensues.

It is also revealed that Aquaman/Arthur Curry’s love of his life, Mera, is the head of the Spindrift Station, an Atlantean embassy to the surface world. Mera isn’t a huge fan of the idea of creating peace between land and sea, but she is in charge of the station because of her love for Aquaman/Arthur.

All in all, the goal of this book is to establish that Aquaman is trying to create and maintain a stable relationship between those who exist in the seas and those who live on land.

In the end, the third-party narrator is revealed as Black Manta, the arch nemesis of Aquaman. It leaves a nice cliffhanger as to what exactly he has planned for Arthur, so I am excited to continue following the storyline moving forward.

Final Thoughts: Although a lot of the story seems very familiar to the Aquaman in volume 1 of the New 52, this issues provides a great starting point for the Spindrift Station, the need to have peace between land and sea while also re-introducing Aquaman’s main villain as we kick-off a new era of DC Comics.



Flash Rebirth Review

June 14, 2016


On May 25th, DC Comics kicked off a new era, restarting nearly all of their main superhero comics at #1, with the exception of Batman Detective Comics and Superman Action Comics which will revert to their pre New 52 numbering.

DC Universe Rebirth gave new readers a look into what happened over the past 10 years of the New 52 and segued regular readers back into a comic book world they can enjoy. I am not too keen on reviewing things, but I have really enjoyed reading the Rebirth editions thus far, so I figured why not.

Let’s start off with Flash Rebirth, since it was largely the biggest facet of the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot back at the end of May.

I only started reading comics at the beginning of 2015, so Wally West being a fan-favorite Flash character was new to me, but after reading DC Universe Rebirth, I can understand why he was such a likable character. Excuse me in advance for jumping around.

Flash Rebirth begins at a crime scene very similar to that of Nora Allen. A mother is killed, the father is the main suspect and there’s a child left in limbo that has to live with this crippling memory throughout their life.

While at the crime scene, which takes place prior to Wally reaching out to him, Barry gets some weird visions from the Speed Force that include Professor Zoom, the man who killed his mother Nora. After departing the crime scene and spending some time in his lab, Wally West appears in front of Barry surrounded by lightning, saying his goodbyes as he loses hope that anyone will remember him from his days as the Flash and Kid Flash.

Just as Wally is about to disappear forever into the speed force, Barry remembers him, thus bringing him back into this new world. For those who are unaware, Wally West (the red-haired one), became the Flash after Barry Allen died saving Earth during Crisis on Infinite Earths. After Barry returned as the Flash and the Flashpoint happened, Wally was stuck in the speed force for 10 years, but has finally returned.

Anyways, the remainder of the issue has a nice reunion of Barry and Wally, who met prior to the New 52 began. No one remembers Wally, so he is hesitant to let anyone know that he’s back, including his Aunt Iris or Linda, his wife, who failed to remember him during DC Universe Rebirth. Wally eventually leaves the picture, signaling that he plans to track down the Teen Titan group that he was once a part of prior to being sucked into the speed force.

This issue does a great job of re-introducing both Barry and Wally for new readers while also establishing a new base for continuing reading.

Towards the end of the issue Barry goes to visit Batman, who had discovered the Watchmen symbol underneath his father’s letter that was given to him from Barry after the Flashpoint event. The two heroes agree that they shouldn’t let the Justice League in on anything yet until they know more, so it seems like Flash and Batman will be investigating further as to what the Watchmen may have done to create the New 52 time period and erase memories from before then.

The final page shows the crime scene solved as the father admitted to committing the crime, unlike with Barry’s dad, with the shape of a yellow, unidentified speedster to the side of the house. We’ll hopefully find out who this speedster is during the next issue.

Final Thoughts: With Flash being one of my favorites, it was an extremely enjoyable read, setting things up nicely not only for Barry, but also for Wally, who will be featured in Titans Rebirth that drops in stores on June 15. Again, this rebirth one-shot was a nice launching point for readers of any kind.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

March 25, 2016

Since the previews for this movie have come out, fans and critics alike have been finding ways to bring down this movie. Whether it be the choice of Ben Affleck as the new Caped Crusader or Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, most wrote this movie off before it even hit theaters. From time to time, I did, but as a DC Comics fan, I was going to see it with realistic expectations. The hype was strong  for this one and in my opinion, it delivered for what I expected. The plot had flaws and there was a lot of things revealed that didn’t necessarily have to be, but as a whole, the movie was enjoyable. Let’s dive into the different aspects of this one, in no particular order. If you haven’t seen this, I am going to spoil things, so stop reading now…or keep reading and ruin it for yourself. Not my choice!

  • Ben Affleck as Batman – When Affleck was tabbed as the new Batman, like most folks, I had doubts…a lot of them. As the movie inched closer to opening though, I became okay with the idea because I wasn’t necessarily blown away by Christian Bale. I loved the Dark Knight Trilogy, but was definitely open to options after finding out Bale was not going to return. Affleck’s performance was great from my viewpoint. He nailed the older, refined version of Batman/Bruce Wayne that was the highlight of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight comics in the 80’s. To be honest, I’d watch a solo Batman film with Affleck as the star. I wouldn’t give him any awards, but I thoroughly enjoyed his depiction of Batman and look forward to seeing him suit up again in future DC flicks.
  • Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor – This character choice was the one I disliked from the beginning, but I was surprised at how I didn’t really mind Eisenberg’s Luthor. He is different than the past Lex characters that include Michael Rosenbaum in Smallville, Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns and Gene Hackman in Superman with Christopher Reeve. His acting came off as a Zuckerburg/Joker mix, but for a younger Lex, I really didn’t mind most if it. How he already had created logos for Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman is beyond me, but that’s a thought for another day. Eisenberg’s best moment came on the roof of Lexcorp, when he and Superman faced off after the abduction of Martha Kent. Again, not in love with Eisenberg as Lex, but I really didn’t have a huge problem with it.
  • Henry Cavill as Superman – I’ll make this one brief, since this is his second stint as Superman. I think, as a Clark Kent/Superman, Cavill is almost too muscular to make the character believable as both. I know that its comics and heros and blah blah blah, but the Clark Kent/nerd side of him really doesn’t do it for me like Reeve or even Brandon Routh and Tom Welling. Cavill is a serviceable Superman, I’ve seen better and worse, but he was better this time than in Man of Steel. I’m intrigued as to how exactly he recovers from the fight with Doomsday.
  • The plot – I could write paragraph upon paragraph arguing with myself about what worked and what didn’t, but once the action started and the film got into the meat of the movie, the plot didn’t bother me. It surely wasn’t great though. Keep in mind, this movie is the base for DC and the Justice League, so it wasn’t going to be perfect. The idea of Bruce Wayne disliking Superman made sense for the most part. After the battle with Zod in Metropolis, what sort of danger did Superman bring to the world? No one really knew and Wayne wasn’t going to wait around and find out. So, they fought. How the fight ended and they became friends/allies? Yawn.
  • Batman vs. Superman – Once the two met and the battle began, I was actually pretty underwhelmed at the fight. Batman used kryptonite in a variety of different ways and the two exchanged blows, but I’ve seen more interesting fights on Arrow. Not impressed. How the two became allies a let down for me. Why couldn’t Superman have just said at the beginning, “Hey Bruce, Lex is holding my mom hostage and told me I could either kill you or she dies. Can you help me save her without me having to kill you?” Instead, the two duked it out and right as Batman was about to stab Superman in the heart, Clark blurted out “He’s gonna kill Martha!”. Coincidentally, Martha was also Bruce Wayne’s moms’ name, so Batman had an epiphany, realized that him and Clark’s mom had the same name and just like that, BEST FRIENDS. Of course, none other than Lois Lane (ugh) came along to tell a nearly-victorious Batman that Martha was Clark’s moms’ name cause this movie seemingly had to involve Lane in everything.
  • Amy Adams as Lois Lane – Since when I started watching Smallville, which is really my Superman memory as a kid, the love triangles always seemed to overwhelm a lot of the episodes. Whether it was Lana or Lois or Chloe, I found myself rolling my eyes on numerous occasions. Amy Adams is a great Lois as a reporter, but I hate how involved she was in everything and how it didn’t really phase her. Also, does Clark have a special frequency in his brain to hear her when she needs him? As Superman, how do you leave a fight with Doomsday to save one person? Eye roller. Whether it was a battle of epic proportion between Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman and Doomsday or just simply being pushed off a building, nothing really seemed to ever phase her and for some reason, that bothered me. I get adding a romance side to movies like this, but the mushy gushy stuff while the battle was going on was just nonsense. Sorry, Lois, but a kiss on the cheek ain’t gonna save your boy now.
  • Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman –  Out of all of the JL characters slated to get their own movies in the coming years, we got a good look at Wonder Woman and it was awesome. Once Bruce Wayne hacked into Lex’s computers and found out who she was, the Doomsday battle brought out Diana Prince in her full uniform, which was a great moment, even though it was in nearly every preview. With one of the coolest mythologies in the Justice League, her solo movie should be great. Her presence really brought the Doomsday fight to a different level.
  • The reveal of the rest of the Justice League – It almost took me a few minutes to realize that the person in Bruce Wayne’s dream or nap or whatever was actually the Flash. I am a huge fan of the Grant Gustin Flash, so I’m not sure what to expect from Ezra Miller, but the first glimpse we got at the Flash seemed to be him reaching out to Wayne from the future. It was a neat moment, but the Flash suit sure looked weird. The other heroes were revealed via computer. Bruce Wayne hacked into Luthor’s encrypted files and found that Lex had a metahuman file that conveniently already had all of the logos of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg. Aquaman’s cameo was rather weak, as his metahuman file just showed a glimpse of him under water and exploding into some ship. Cyborg’s reveal was awesome and involved Silas Stone actually experimenting on his then dead son. Once he found the correct technology, Victor Stone was transformed from just one half of a man to Cyborg. Did all of this need to be crammed into the movie? No. Was it cool to see? Sure.
  • The Doomsday Battle – There are many mysteries as to how Doomsday was created and this version was unlike one I’ve seen before. Lex gained access to the Kryptonian ship seen in Man of Steel and mixed his blood with the remains of General Zod to create Doomsday. When Doomsday broke out of his bubble, I was underwhelmed at what he looked like, but as he consumed more energy, he regained his form that is seen across comic in which he’s featured. The last time I’ve seen Doomsday on a screen was in Smallville season 8. The entire season build up to a fight of about a minute and a half between Clark and the beast and it was disappointing. This didn’t disappoint, in my opinion. As Doomsday gained strength, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman joined forces to defeat him. Prior to Batman and WW, Superman tried forcing Doomsday into space, which was a cool part of the fight, and the President decided to nuke them both to save lives of millions. Doomsday returned to the surface, but Superman remained in space until the sun replenished his abilities. Once all three battled Doomsday and realized only one thing could kill him, Superman took the dagger. Bruce Wayne had created a kryptonite saber he planned to use on Superman, but after they became bff’s, he had no use for it. Superman used all of his strength, grabbed the dagger that was laced with radioactive pieces of his home world and drove it into Doomsday’s stomach. As the beast began to die, he shoved one of his spikes into Superman’s heart, sending him to his death, reminding me fondly of the Death of Superman comic. It was really a fantastic battle with a ton of action. Definitely the highlight of this one.

Final Thoughts: All in all, I really enjoyed the movie. It was a step in the right direction for DC, laid a base for films to come and paid tribute to some comics as well, most notably Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Saga and The Death of Superman. Any comic book fan out there that is a long-time DC follower hopefully enjoyed the movie, even at the two hour and 30 minute duration. Also, I didn’t really feel like writing much more since its nearly midnight.

DC’s next movie, Suicide Squad, comes out in August while we’ll have to wait for Wonder Woman until June 2017. The Justice League movie is set to release in November 2017 with separate Flash (2018), Aquaman (2018), Green Lantern (2020) and Cyborg (2020) movies to follow in the coming years.

Was the anticipation worth it? Disappointing ending sours Sting vs. Triple-H matchup

March 31, 2015

When I was a kid, for whatever reason I seemed to lean more towards WCW than WWE. Once Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall changed organizations, it seemed like a no brainer. The creation of the NWO changed wrestling as we know it, but one man who always hung loyal to WCW was Sting. He was their soldier, their franchise, their icon. Not once did fans have to wonder about him making the jump to WWE.

About 14 years after the fall of WCW, word finally got out that Sting had reached an agreement with WWE and it all just seemed surreal to me. When my dad brought me backstage during WCW shows back in the 1990’s, meeting Sting was one of my favorite moments. I remember today how nice he was and his down to earth personality. I’ve been lucky enough to remain in touch with him over the years as well.

Fans were calling for Undertaker vs. Sting, but both of them were cornerstone good guys for each organization, so in my mind it didn’t make much sense. Would it have been awesome? Sure. Would it have made sense? Not really.

Before I give you my thoughts on this whole ride of Sting in the WWE, let’s take a quick look at the timeline of events from his WWE debut to now.

Sting made his first impact at Survivor Series, interrupting Triple-H’s plan to move The Authority into higher power in the WWE. After taking care of Dolph Ziggler with a pedigree, Hunter dragged Seth Rollins on top of Ziggler for the pin and brought out Scott Armstrong for the final pinfall. Before the two-count, a mysterious music came over the sound system as the video boards showed flashing black and white lights of trees, crows and the face of the Vigilante, Sting. In front of a capacity crowd, Sting and HHH had quite a staredown before Hunter tried to attack him. Sting countered with a blow to the chest and a Scorpion Death Drop. Following that, he dragged Dolph Ziggler on top of Rollins for the pin, stripping The Authority of their power in the WWE. The whole staredown between Sting and Triple-H was awesome and right then you knew what the Wrestlemania match was going to be.

In January, Sting continued to wreak havoc on The Authority as he did the NWO in WCW. As Seth Rollins was getting ready to put a Curb Stomp on John Cena, a picture of Sting appeared on the video screen from backstage, distracting the members of the match. Sting then appeared on the entry way, giving time for John Cena to grab Rollins from behind for the surprise pin. That distraction got Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan back and continued to piss of Triple-H, the head of Team Authority.

Finally, at the end of January, Triple-H challenged Sting to a match, to which The Vigilante accepted. The two met face-to-face at Fastlane in February as Hunter attacked Sting with his microphone. Before he was able to use his sledgehammer, Sting countered with his trademark bat, which made HHH drop the hammer. Sting pushed Hunter into the turnbuckle corner before pointing his bat to the Wreslemania sign.

A liitle less than two weeks before Wrestlemania, Sting made a surprise appearance on Raw. Just as Randy Orton was about to get outnumbered and attacked by The Authority, the lights went dark. Once they came back on, there was Sting in the middle of the ring with Orton. The two manhandled the Authority and Sting finally spoke for the first time, saying that his goal was to take Triple-H down.

Triple-H and Sting finally met at Wresltemania on March 29th and the match was phenomenal. The two stars put on a heck of a show and it included appearances by DX and the NWO. Sting controlled the momentum for the first few minutes of the match, before Triple-H got the edge. It seemed as if Sting may have had Triple-H beat with the Scorpion Death Lock a number of times, but a rope break and interference’s kept him from sealing the deal. In the end, the combination of a Shawn Michaels superkick and a sledgehammer to the face was too much for Sting. Triple-H pinned the WCW soldier after an exhausting match between the two superstars. After a few minutes of regrouping, Triple-H and Sting both shook hands and that was that.

The following night on Raw, Sting made a brief appearance on an exclusive WWE Network interview after the show. It was a rather short bit, with Sting saying that he doesn’t know what the future holds, but will definitely listen to anything the WWE has to throw at him. Fans chanted Under Taker when he was asked what the future holds, but all in all? Yawn.

Having been a Sting fan for a lot of my wrestling life, I really loved the build up of this match. Sting was terrorizing Triple-H and The Authority just like he did with the NWO in WCW but obviously on a smaller scale over a smaller time frame. It was a perfect angle. Sure, the NWO coming out to save Sting didn’t make a ton of sense, but it was awesome. It was the Monday Night Wars in one match.

What irked me about it was how it all ended. It almost made the buildup not really worth it at all. After almost five months of anticipation, they have Sting lose after taking a sledgehammer to the head in one of the most nonchalant finishes I’ve seen in a while. It was an anticlimactic ending to say the least, even though the rest of the match was perfect. It brings the question up of whether or not Sting really got the respect he deserved at all. Was him winning ever even in the question? If he wasn’t going to win, why end it like that? Why not make it something better? Whether or not this is Sting’s last hurrah remains to be seen, but hopefully it isn’t because I don’t think this is a great way to go out for him at all. His legacy seemed to lose a lot of steam here.

That brings up the question of who would Sting face if this wasn’t his only match? Everyone wants it to be Taker. The Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar last year and came back to beat Bray Wyatt this year, so it seems highly unlikely that they make “The Phenom” lose again, let alone to a guy who’s loyalty was always to another company. Could there be a rematch with Triple-H and Sting? There could, but then why would they have shaken hands after their match? I just don’t see a great angle for him to come back, especially if it would be against one of WWE’s more well known superstars. I would be all for an Undertaker vs. Sting match if it happened, but I wonder who would come out victorious in that one.

So yes, we got to see Sting in a WWE ring over the past five months, but was the ride really worth it? I’m not too sure anymore.

Wroten Returns as Sixers Visit Nets

December 12, 2014


Coming off a win in Detroit, the Sixers (2-19) went into Atlanta on Wednesday looking to keep things rolling against the streaking Hawks. Unfortunately, the Sixers offense wasn’t able to keep up with the dangerous long-range shooting of the Hawks, who prevailed 95-79. Tonight, the Sixers are back in the Northeast for a matchup with the Nets (8-12).

The two teams completed a trade yesterday that sent Andrei Kirilenko and other pieces to Philadelphia in exhange for Brandon Davies. After the deal was completed, the Sixers waived Malcolm Lee and today, they waived the other player aquired in the deal, Jorge Gutierrez, to make room for Ronald Roberts Jr., who had been playing extremely well in Delaware with the Sixers D-League team. Roberts, through eight games this season for the 87ers, averaged 17.5 points, 11.8 rebounds per game while shooting 67.4% from the floor. Roberts, a power forward, will provide depth at the four and five spots with the departure of Brandon Davies to Brooklyn. Roberts played on the Sixers Summer League team but was one of the final players cut from their roster.

On Wednesday night in Atlanta, the Sixers looked sloppy, with Michael Carter-Williams accounting for nine of the team’s 18 turnovers. The Sixers were also dominated on the boards, getting outrebounded 52-39.  Noel finished the game with just five boards and Henry Sims had only four. When your point guard leads your team in rebounds, something is wrong. The defense did look good at times, with Nerlens Noel swatting three shots while KJ and MCW contributed with two blocks a piece. Luc Mbah a Moute had five steals. The Sixers free-throw shooting continued to stumble as they missed nine of their 22 attempts on Wednesday.

The Sixers have some help on the way tonight with the return of Tony Wroten. With Wrtoen and Alexey Shved back in the mix, Michael Carter-Williams will get more time to rest during the game rather than playing 40+ minutes each night. Shved returned on Wednesday night in Atlanta and looked strong. scpromg 13 pointd on 4-for-8 shooting while also hitting five out of six from the line in 16 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Wroten has missed the last six games due to a sprained right knee that he suffered back on November 26th against the Nets. He will come off of the bench tonight, but still leads the Sixers with 17.9 points per game.

Game Notes:

  • The Sixers and Nets played each other on November 26th, with Brooklyn winning 99-91. Deron Williams scored 17 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds in the win.
  • Though the Nets are 8-12 on the year, they are 3-1 against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • Michael Carter-Williams continued his impressive play on Wednesday night in Atlanta, despite scoring just eight points. The reigning Rookie of the Year grabbed ten boards and dished out nine assists. He’s averag8ing 17.7 points, 11.7 assists and 9.2 rebounds over his last six games.
  • Nerlens Noel was barely a year old when Kevin Garnett was going through his first NBA training camp. Garnett is in his 20th season, which is more than the Sixers active roster, which has 17 years of experience.
  • KJ McDaniels (1.8) and Nerlens Noel (1.5) are ranked first and second in the rookie class when it comes to blocks per game.
  • According to, at 6’6″, McDaniels ranks as the most efficient shot blocker at his height in NBA history and is averaging more blocks per 36 minutes (2.1) than all but 12 players, all of whom are power forwards and centers.

Projected Lineups:


PG – Michael Carter-Williams

SG – Hollis Thompson

SF – Luc Mbah a Moute

PF – Nerlens Noel

C – Henry Sims

Injuries: Tony Wroten (knee) will play while Joel Embiid (foot) and Jason Richardson (foot) remain out.


PG – Deron Williams

SG – Sergey Karasev

SF – Alan Anderson

PF – Kevin Garnett

C – Mason Plumlee

Injuries: Kevin Garnett (foot) didn’t play on Wednesday. Joe Johnson (flu), Brook Lopez (back) and Mirza Teletovic (hip) also missed Wedneday’s game against Chicago.

PREDICTION: I think the Sixers bounce back from their poor performance against the Hawks, but still end up on the losing end, 97-86.

Phillies to Acquire Zach Eflin and Tom Windle in Rollins Trade

December 11, 2014


Tom Windle was ranked as the #7 prospect in the Dodgers organization this season

Well, the Phillies haven’t announced anything official just yet, but Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers is all but a done deal. It looked like two pitchers were coming back to the Phillies in the deal and it seems like the holdup was the Dodgers trade with the Padres involving Matt Kemp. Sources tell’s Jim Salisbury that the two prospects the Phillies will receive are…

Eflin, who will come to the Phillies after being acquired by the Dodgers in the Matt Kemp deal, spent all of 2014 with the Padres Advanced-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm. In 128 innings of work, the 20-year-old right-hander posted a 10-7 record with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In 2013 in Low-A, he posted a 2.73 ERA over 118.2 innings, stiking out 86 batters while walking 31. Eflin, ranked #10 in the Padres system by, has a fastball in the low 90’s to go along with a changeup, which is likely his best pitch, and a breaking ball that acts as a servicable third pitch.’s scouting report projects him develpoing into a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.

The other player coming to Philadelphia is the #7 ranked prospect in the Dodgers system, LHP Tom Windle. Drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft by LA, Windle spent the entire 2014 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Advaned-A Dodgers affiliate. In 26 games, 25 of them starts, Windle went 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA a year after posting a 2.68 ERA at the Low-A level.’s scouting report on Windle has him developing into a possible top of the rotation arm if he improves his command and changeup. Otherwise, he could end up as an effective closer. He has a nice arsenal of picthes to choose from, including a nasty slider.

Windle’s best pitch is his nasty slider, which reaches the mid 80s. He can drop it in on the hands of left-handers or on the back foot of right-handers. After working at 90 mph to 94 mph with his fastball during his junior season with the Gophers, Windle pitched more at 88 mph to 92 mph in his pro debut. Lengthening his stride during instructional league helped him reclaim that lost velocity.

For one year of Rollins, Ruben Amaro and the Phillies netted themselves a good return in two top-10 prospects. If you’re interested in when the Dodgers come to Citizens Bank Park for the first time next season, mark your calendars! Rollins will make his return in Dodger blue on August 4th, 2015.

Phillies Nab Odubel Herrera, Andy Oliver in Rule 5 Draft

December 11, 2014


In today’s Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected two players within the Major League phase, from the Rangers and the Pirates. If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.

Their first pick came 9th overall as the Phils went with INF/OF Odubel Herrera from the Rangers organization. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Rangers back in July of 2008 and spent a majority of his time with the Frisco Roughriders, the Rangers Double-A affiliate. In 96 games, Herrera hit .321 with a .771 OPS, en route to the Texas League Batting Title. He also spent 29 games this year with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Advanced A affiliate of the Rangers. He hit .297 there with a .412 OBP. ESPN’s Jayson Stark notes Herrera’s offensive skills and how he could be in the Phillies center field plans this year. If so, then where does that leave Ben Revere?

In the second round, the Phillies picked LHP Andy Oliver from the Pirates Triple-A club. This year for Indianapolis, Oliver posted a 2.53 ERA over 64 innings out of the bullpen, saving 13 games in 16 opportunities while holding hitters to a .157 average. According to a staff writer for Baseball America, Oliver hasn’t been consistent enough in the strike zone.

In the Triple-A phase of the draft, the Phillies lose three players. The first was Delvi Francisco, who pitched in Lakewood and Williamsport this season and posted a 7.44 ERA in 52 innings. The Phillies also lost outfielder Peter Lavin to the Dodgers. Lavin, 26, hit .287 this season between Clearwater and Reading. Finally, the Rockies took right-hander Kyle Simon from the Phils. Known as possibly the guy with the best mustache in the minors, Simon was acquired from Baltimore in the Jim Thome trade. This season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, Simon posted a 3.93 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 75.2 innings of work.