With NBC Sports Philadelphia not broadcasting many Phillies games this Spring, what better way to keep up with the Phillies than a good old-fashioned column?
The Phillies started out on Friday and I’ll catch you up with what happened through the following Saturday. This will be the longest report. Let’s look at some players and storylines.
Haseley had a quick injury scare on Tuesday during a diving catch attempt.
On Tuesday, the young catcher turned a ripe 21 years of age. That’s not the only thing he can celebrate as he’s also impressing in spring training. He’s even gotten manager Joe Girardi’s attention.
“I’m not comparing here, but Carlos Ruiz was not a great hitter when he first came up,” Girardi said. “He’s got talent and you hope he figures out the bat part of it because if he does, you have something really special.” (quote from NBC Sports Philadelphia)
He’s shown a steady ability behind the plate with a strong arm. Plus, he’s already gathered a few hits at the plate.
Alec Bohm has been finding his stroke early. No other Phillie has more hits than him this spring. He’s recording multi-hit games against the Tigers and Pirates.
The Phillies’ top position prospect has a .538 batting average so far.
On Thursday, the Phillies routed the Red Sox with 12 runs on 20 hits. No one had a better day than Phillies farmhand Simon Muzziotti. The 21-year-old outfielder went 3/3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. He has one of the better hit tools in the Phillies’ farm system and will most likely be destined for AA Reading.
The 30-year-old minor leaguer is still looking to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. Castillo is perfect this spring so far, batting 1.000 in 5 AB with 2 doubles.
He’s hit .303 in 252 career AAA games.
Forsythe has brought more power to camp than anyone else. The veteran utility man has a double and 2 homers this spring. He’ll be hoping to crack the Phillies’ bench in 2020.
Harper had his 1-year anniversary with the Phillies on February 28th. He messed around and just missed a grand slam by about 4 feet.
Yes, that’s the best video of it. More on that later.
Manager Joe Girardi revealed that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready for opening day. He will be ready later in April.
I wrote about it in-depth here.
The Phillies are being extra cautious with their top prospect. He has yet to appear in spring training. It is obvious that the Phillies will have an innings limit on him this year after not reaching 100 IP a year ago.
Aaron Nola has pitched very well so far in camp. In his first outing against the Pirates, he went 2 scoreless innings. He got touched up slightly by the Braves in his second appearance but struck out 6 in the process.
Everybody loves Eflin, apparently.
“I think Zach Eflin’s going to be terrific,” said new pitching coach Bryan Price on Kevin Frandsen’s podcast ‘Pine Tar for Breakfast‘.
Eflin was almost perfect in his 2 innings against the Twins, only allowing a walk. Eflin is slated for the Phillies’ 4 spot in the rotation but many are expecting big things from the 25-year-old.
Vinny Velo was….efficient(???) in his 2 innings against the Orioles.
“I threw 26 pitches in two innings – which is a shocker,” he said comically, reported Jim Salisbury.
Vince seems to have added a changeup this offseason and is pitching more down in the zone. We’ll see if that gives him a shot at the 5th rotation spot.
What do the Phillies and John Cena have in common?
You can’t see either of them. For some odd reason, NBC Sports Philadelphia is only broadcasting 10 games this spring.
Fans are not happy.
Fans were also not excited about the Phanatic’s new design this week.
The Phanatic even showed up on this week’s edition of Saturday Night Live.
Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports