Phillies Preview: 2024 Grapefruit League Kick-Off in Dunedin

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Phillies Spring Training 2024
Spring Training 2024 baseball. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies

First pitch for the 2024 Philadelphia Phillies’ season is officially hours away. At 1:07 PM, super-utility “Whiz Whit” Merrifield will see the first pitch of live Spring Training baseball for the Phillies from Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher Chad Dallas at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., just up the road from the Phillies’ home base of Clearwater.

While the Phillies’ TV crew will not be joining them in Dunedin, the Blue Jays are broadcasting the Spring Training opener on their local RSN, Sportsnet, and MLB Network is picking up the game nationally as well. That is right, you can watch your first bit of Phillies Spring Training action today!

Phillies Lineup

As mentioned, Whit Merrifield will be leading off for the Phillies and starting at second base. Following Merrifield will be the only expected Opening Day starter in Johan Rojas, who will look to solidify his slot as starting center fielder this Spring after a hardworking offseason.

The remainder of the Phillies’ lineup is as you would expect early on in Spring Training, a combination of players who will be on the Big League roster come Opening Day and a handful of players who will be fighting to prove that they deserve the final remaining roster spot or two. Of note, new signing David Dahl will make his Phillies’ debut in right field while the ever-present Scott Kingery will fill the final outfield slot in left.

On the mound will be left-hander Kolby Allard for the Phillies. The former first-round draft pick makes his Phillies debut after pitching 12.1 innings for the Atlanta Braves in 2023, allowing nine earned runs across 16 hits while striking out 13 batters. Behind Allard is scheduled Dylan Covey, Nick Nelson, Andrew Bellatti, Jose Ruiz, and Michael Mercado.

The Blue Jays’ lineup features a few of their regular names in Santiago Espinal and Bo Bichette, with a lot of familiar names supporting them such as Justin Turner, Daulton Varsho, and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa.

A Couple Notes of Interest

Brandon Marsh is recovering well from his recent knee procedure and is currently running at about 60% speed. Additionally, Alec Bohm is working through some neck spasms, and will be kept out of action over the weekend. Meanwhile, catcher Rafael Marchan is being sidelined as he works through a back injury.

None of these injuries sound serious at all and, given that Spring Training is only just beginning, there really is no rush for Marsh, Bohm, or Marchan to appear on-field before they are at 100% health.

Looking ahead a few days, manager Rob Thomson did announce that Aaron Nola will be set to make his first start of the Spring on Sunday at home against the New York Yankees with David Buchanan and Cristopher Sanchez expected to make their first starts on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Photo Courtesy of the Phillies