Good morning! Late start, but a packed day yesterday.
PHILLIES WIN: Yes, the Phillies defeated the University of Tampa 6-0 Thursday in the opening spring exhibition. And boy was it fun.
Dylan Cozens smacked a two-run home run over the batter’s eye in center field. Jorge Alfaro drilled one off the wall in right-center, and nearly had a second gapper if not for a diving catch. He also gunned out a runner.
Roman Quinn homered and added a second run thanks to his speed. Scott Kingery made some fine plays at second base.
The pitchers worked quick and got relatively easy outs. Michael Mariot struck out three in the most impressive performance of the day.
In all, a perfect start for kids who look tempting. Cozens? Sheesh. If he can pop a bunch in Lehigh Valley, he’ll put plenty of pressure on a lot of people.
TODAY’S GAME: Meanwhile the Phils will take on the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. today in the Grapefruit League opener. The lineup: Hernandez / Quinn / Nava / Joseph / Coghlan / Goeddel / Knapp / Crawford / Gomez. Alec Asher will start on the mound; other pitchers will include Nick Pivetta and Elniery Garcia.
INSTA-REACTION: David Murphy at Philly.com is gushing about the kids. I mean, yeah, it’s one game, but how can you not be excited? Crawford, Cozens, Alfaro, Quinn and Nick Williams are all extremely close to being big leaguers. Add Kingery, a host of young arms and a few wild cards and, yeah, its warranted. This group feels different than any group of Phils prospects I’ve ever seen (more on that Sunday).
TIRADO PROFILE: Matt Gelb profiles prospect Alberto Tirado, who nearly quit baseball last year. The pitcher is in camp this year and, while he’s likely to throw for single-A Clearwater this year, has decent potential.
ROSE KNOWS: Finally Pete Rose is on the Phillies Wall of Fame ballot for 2017. He’s there with Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christenson, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber and Rick Wise.
Rose is probably going in this year. I’ll take this to the grave – he was a very average Phillie during his five-year tenure here. But he’s symbolic, that final puzzle piece who ensured the Phils would win the World Series (even though the 1979 Phils underachieved despite a good season by Rose …). Philadelphians loved Rose’s toughness, his bulldog temperament, etc.
Look, I love watching old clips of Rose doing that jump-up-and-slap-both-hands-of-someone-in-the-dugout thing. I love watching him run out a routine grounder and pound first base like it’s a dead cow. Is that Wall of Fame worthy?
I guess in Philadelphia it is. I’m fine with that.
Just return the favor and vote in Rolen one day, please.