Phillies Spring Training Questions, Answers, and Other Notes
The Phillies got pounded by the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday with Aaron Nola on the mound. The final score was 14-5 as the youthful Blue Jays lineup produced 21 hits, seven of which came against Nola. Along with the seven hits, the Blue Jays plated six suns in just under three innings against the Phillies projected Opening Day starter.
Valdimir Guerrero Jr. doubled twice for the Blue Jays and the Phillies’ bullpen hopefuls, Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson, were also roughed up on the mound, letting up a combined nine hits, seven runs (four earned), and only striking out one. It was a bad day all around for the Phillies, who only mustered three total hits on the day.
Aaron Nola has been tinkering with his cutter this Spring, a pitch he hopes to add to his arsenal that already consists of a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, breaking ball, and changeup. Although Joe Girardi has yet to make an official roster announcements, it’s safe to say that he is not concerned with one bad outing from Aaron Nola, and he will be on the mound April 1st for Opening Day. If I had to take a guess, the entire starting rotation seems to be pretty much finalized at this point for the Phillies.
- Aaron Nola
- Zack Wheeler
- Zach Eflin
- Matt Moore
- Chase Anderson
What will the Phillies do with Spencer Howard?
Chase Anderson, who Spencer Howard is attempting to catch in the race for the fifth and final rotation spot, pitched well again earlier this week, a day after projected number four starter Matt Moore pitched well on Sunday. Anderson threw three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks, while striking out four. The Phillies still have to figure out whether or not they will keep Howard in the bullpen or possibly as a tandem with Anderson in the fifth and final rotation spot, or if they will send him to Triple-A to pitch on a regular rotation.
Girardi stated that Howard could be back on the mound as soon as this Thursday.
Will we see JT Realmuto this Spring?
JT Realmuto suffered a broken right thumb last month. He is currently rehabbing and taking batting practice while throwing up to 120 feet. Realmuto is scheduled to have an x-ray on Thursday. Girardi stated yesterday that there is still no timetable for return but things are trending in the right direction. He’s hopeful that JT will be ready for Opening Day and get a few at-bats in Clearwater before heading back to Philadelphia.
Does Didi Gregorius have a concussion?
Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius was checked for a concussion yesterday after being hit on the back of the helmet from a pitch by Toronto’s Tanner Roark in the second inning of the game. Girardi said that Gregorius was only grazed by the pitch and Didi was able to pass the immediate evaluation in the batter’s box following the incident.
We are expected to get an update on Didi Gregorius today, but it doesn’t seem serious.
How is the centerfield position battle going?
The Phillies are still working through a centerfield position battle. Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, and seemingly the frontrunner for the job, Odubel Herrera, were all in the lineup yesterday. None of them failed to standout yet again. Kingery went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He is now slashing .120/.185/.280 in Spring Training. Roman Quinn went 1-for-3 and is slashing .300/.364/.400 in Spring Training. Odubel Herrera went 0-for-3 and is slashing .261/.261/.522 in Spring Training. We need to see more of Mickey Moniak. Entering yesterday’s game, Mickey Moniak was slashing .400/.400/1.067 this Spring with six hits, five extra base hits, two home runs, two RBI, and three runs scored. Moniak had three at-bats yesterday and went 0-3 with a walk, two strikeouts, and a run scored.
The dark horse candidate for centerfield entered Spring Training much bigger and stronger than year’s past. With injuries to Adam Haseley, the Phillies have a few unanswered questions in the outfield. I would love to see Moniak emerge out of Spring on the Opening Day roster, although he’s still considered a long shot and might be better suited playing every day in Triple-A.
The Phillies have optioned CJ Chatham to the minors.
Zack Wheeler will be on the mound today against the Detroit Tigers.
Bryce Harper will slide back into the DH spot in the lineup today after making his Spring debut in left field on Tuesday with no reported issues on his back.
Phillies Lineup Today vs Tigers at 1:05pm. The game will be televised on NBCSP+.
- Quinn 7
- Kingery 8
- Harper DH
- Bohm 5
- Herrera 9
- Williams 6
- Hall 3
- Torreyes 4
- Mathis 2
- Wheeler RHP
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY