Good morning! And welcome to the Michael Saunders Era.
THE RIGHT FIT: But, look, for at least one year, the power-hitting outfielder works perfectly with the Phillies’ plans. Last season we had Peter Bourjos and Jimmy Paredes out there for considerable lengths of time. This year a decidedly better pair in Saunders and Howie Kendrick. Next year (or 2019) it’ll be even better. There is a plan here, and it’s working, at least on paper.
Our Kirsten Swanson has more about how Saunders fits onto the roster. That post is going up shortly.
PETE DRAGS ON: Manager Pete Mackanin spoke Monday with reporters at the annual Willamsport Crosscuters Hot Stove Banquet, part of the Phils’ #BackInTown promotion.
The highlights, via Mitch Rupert of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette:
- Cesar Hernandez is the perfect leadoff hitter for the club.
- Aaron Nola appears to be 100 percent healthy.
- Ryan Howard is a class act.
- The Saunders signing may push Roman Quinn back to triple-A so he can start.
Rupert also spoke with Steve Noworyta, director of minor league operations, who revealed Mickey Moniak will start 2017 in class-A Lakewood, pitcher Alberto Tirado will be a starter going forward, and 19-year-old infielder Arquimedes Gamboa will also start 2017 in Lakewood despite slow going with his bat and missing a chunk of 2016.