For the first time since Game 6 of the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies have returned to baseball action.
The Phillies opened their Grapefruit season with a split-squad scrimmage in games against the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. The Phillies would beat the Yankees at home at Baycare Ballpark in Clearwater but fall to the Tigers in Lakeland, FL, on the road.
Some notable starters played in the two ballgames, but it was the youngsters who shined this afternoon.
Phillies On the Road
The Phillies started Michael Plassmeyer this afternoon in their game versus the Tigers. Plassmeyer had a cup of coffee with the Phillies last season but has the chance to be an important depth piece in AAA this season.
Plassmeyer would pitch two full innings. His final line was 2 Innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, and no runs allowed. One of his two strikeouts came against future first-ballot Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. While Michael Plassmeyer doesn’t have a very high velocity, throwing most of his fastballs below 90 mph, he did show good command in his first start of the Spring.
One of the veterans that played against the Tigers today was Nick Castellanos. The former All-Star is looking to bounce back after a weak 2022 season by his standards, but today wasn’t necessarily the best new beginning. Casty went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts in his first action of the season.
Other notable players in this game included Kody Clemens, who the Phillies got from the Tigers in the Gregory Soto trade, who went 1-2 with a single.
Scott Kingery went 0-1 with a walk. He worked a 10-pitch count before getting his base on balls early in this one.
Ultimately, the Phillies dropped this game 4-2, but the better game is yet to come.
Home Sweet Home
Where were you when Weston Wilson became the greatest player in Phillies history?
If you had never heard of the 28-year-old outfielder, it’s okay, I haven’t either. However, Weston made his presence known in this game. The rookie hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Phillies the lead.
Weston Wilson also doubled in the bottom of the 5th, driving in two more runs. He made the most of his opportunity today.
Outfielder Brandon Marsh also had a great start to his Spring. Marsh lead off the game with a single to left and would follow that up with another single to left in the second inning. He would walk in his third plate appearance to wrap up a really productive day.
Veterans Josh Harrison and Jake Cave were impressive in their 2023 debuts as well. Both were productive at the plate and in the field.
Cave went 2-3 with a double in this one and also scored twice. A good way to show Rob Thomson he belongs on this team.
Josh Harrison ripped a double to right and showed a little bit of flare. He high-stepped into the second base like Deion Sanders, which got a great reaction from the broadcasters and fans. Josh also made a really nice leaping grab at second base to cap off a good afternoon at the ballpark.
Youngster Carlos De La Cruz would finish things off today with a bang. De La Cruz would rip a ball to deep right-center, giving the Phillies a 7-4 lead.
That would be the final score in this game, and the Phillies would defeat the Yankees in their first Spring game at home.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire