Starting Rotation Battle and Rhys Hoskins’ Spring Training Debut
Rhys Hoskins made his Spring Training debut yesterday as the Phillies destroyed the New York Yankees 15-0 in Grapefruit League play. Hoskins went 1-for-3 with an RBI. In one of the at-bats, Hoskins drove a ball to the warning track in deep left center. This was great to see from Hoskins, who had season ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left elbow last October. He was medically cleared to play last month and is on track to be ready for Opening Day.
Hoskins was slotted in the DH position yesterday and has spent the majority of Spring Training in the Carpenter Complex taking batting practice. Playing defense in a Grapefruit League game is the next logical step and Girardi believes that Hoskins will be ready to do so next week.
Last year, Hoskins batted .245 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. He had an .887 OPS and a 137 OPS+ before ending the season on the injury list. In the 2020 season, the Phillies were 8-2 when Hoskins hit a home run, and 11-4 when Hoskins had at least one RBI. The team was also 6-14 when Hoskins did not play, showing his importance to this Phillies team. In Phillies wins, Hoskins went .262/.398/.607/1.005. In Phillies losses, he sat at .224/.366/.373/.739. The importance of Rhys Hoskins being healthy and contributing for the Phillies’ should not go unrecognized.
Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez both pitch well in Spring Training debuts
Yesterday, we got the first taste of the competition for the Phillies’ starting rotation. Matt Moore got the start yesterday for the Phillies and pitched very well. His fastball topped out at 92.5 mph and he pitched two innings, allowing one hit, walking one batter, and striking out two. In relief, we saw Vincent Velasquez, who also pitched well. Vinny threw two scoreless innings, striking out three while not allowing a hit or walking a batter. Today, we will see the other contenders, with Chase Anderson getting the start for the Phillies against the Pirates. Spencer Howard is expected to pitch in relief.
Given the way that everything is currently set up, it’s likely that Moore and Anderson will earn the fourth and fifth spot in the rotation while both Vincent Velasquez and Spencer Howard start the year in the bullpen as “long-relievers” for the Phillies. That of course, is assuming that Anderson and Moore continue to pitch well.
Realmuto Update Incoming
Joe Girardi spoke with the media yesterday and gave us an update on JT Realmuto’s thumb. Realmuto had his fractured right thumb examined on Thursday, but Girardi and the Phillies were still awaiting the results of that update. Assuming that it’s healed over the preview two weeks, Realmuto could have the cast removed as early as this weekend so he can begin rehab to be ready for Opening Day.
Adam Haseley hit the second pitch of the Phillies’ Grapefruit League season for an opposite-field homerun. He is currently 2-for-7 with one home run, one RBI, two walks, and two strikeouts. Scott Kingery hit a solo home run yesterday and is 2-for-9 with one home run, one RBI, and three strikeouts. Roman Quinn is 1-for-5 with one walk and four strikeouts.
New competitors Odubel Herrera and Mickey Moniak both had great games yesterday for the Phillies. Former number one overall pick Mickey Moniak homered twice in the Phillies’ 15-0 victory against the New York Yankees yesterday. The second home run was hit out of the ballpark. Moniak entered the game in the fifth inning and homered twice. He now has three hits in six spring at-bats. Odubel Herrera is 3-for-6 with one home run, one RBI, one stolen base and one strikeout this Spring. He has also flashed his glove in the outfield and has been tremendous on the base paths.
Bryce Harper will make his Spring Training debut today at 1:05pm vs the Pittsburgh Pirates. He will serve as the designated hitter, with Chase Anderson on the mound. Didi Gregroius and Jean Segura are also in the starting lineup.