Weekend Recap from Phillies Spring Training
The Phillies have a day off today, before resuming play tomorrow against the Blue Jays. As we all know, rule number one of Spring Training is to not get your hopes up about any specific player performances. However, It’s very hard to ignore just how good the bullpen has been this Spring. Let’s catch up with yesterday’s action and take a look at where we currently stand inside the pen.
Zack Wheeler got the start yesterday for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Yankees. Wheeler threw 49 pitches and gave up a grand slam to Brett Gardner in the second inning. He was able to bounce back and strike out the last two batters he faced in Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks. Following Wheeler, Ivan Nova pitched two innings, and Bryan Mitchell, Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson threw an inning a piece. Kintzler and Watson pitched both threw scoreless frames and Watson struck out two.
Again, it’s just Spring Training and the Phillies are facing teams that don’t travel with many of their MLB regulars to Clearwater. On Friday, the Phillies shut out the Pirates and used what looks to be a good sample size of their Opening Day bullpen roster.
Archie Bradley, Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, and JoJo Romero all mad their spring debuts. As a group, they allowed two hits and two walks, striking out eight over six scoreless innings.
Alvarado, a pitcher who is hoping to bounce back in a big way this year after a rough 2020 season, faced three batters and threw only a total of nine pitches in the game against the Pirates. Two of those pitches broke 100 mph. Those pitchers weren’t fastballs. They were sinkers that hit 100 and 100.3 mph. His other five sinkers didn’t fall below 97.3 mph. The Phillies are hoping that Alvarado will return to 2018 form, where he had a 2.39 ERA in 64 innings, with 80 strikeouts and just one home run allowed.
Today is the Phillies first of two scheduled days off this Spring, the other day being March 18th. Zach Eflin will throw a simulated game today to stay on turn. Vince Velasquez will start on Tuesday and Matt Moore will pitch in relief. Wednesday, Spencer Howard will get the start with Chase Anderson will pitch in relief. The four pitchers are all competing to secure the final four and five spots in the rotation.
2021 Phillies Bullpen Prediction:
- Archie Bradley
- Hector Neris
- Jose Alvarado
- Brandon Kintzler
- Sam Coonrod
- Tony Watson
- Connor Brogdon
- Spencer Howard
- Vinny Velasquez
The games Wednesday (NBCSP+), Thursday (NBCSP+) and Saturday (NBCSP) will be televised.