The Phillies played their best and most complete spring training game Tuesday in a win over Atlanta.
PHILLIES WIN: Jerad Eickhoff was very good. He gave up three hits and a walk over five innings while striking out five. This is about the time each spring when we can actually begin to critique things (still a little early though), but there’s nothing wrong with this line.
Joaquin Benoit got into trouble then danced out of it, good to see for a guy who has barely pitched this spring. Luis Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez and Joely Rodriguez cleaned it up.
Meanwhile the offense continued to put in work. And let’s start with Brock Stassi, who not only hit his fifth home run of the spring, but he also slashed a triple (that could’ve been another homer). He has a 1.486 spring OPS. That’s good.
Roman Quinn knocked two hits and walked, and Tyler Goeddel tripled early in the game.
TODAY’S GAME: The Phillies face the Yankees in Tampa, but it’s a night game! First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. Clay Buchholz is pitching.
JOSEPH HURT: The Phillies have avoided major injuries this spring (furiously knocking on wood) but saw a scare Tuesday when Tommy Joseph was struck on the hand by an Aaron Blair pitch. He left the game after the second inning and was replaced by Stassi.
An X-ray on Joseph’s hand showed no bone damage. He was diagnosed with a bruised hand, and he should be okay after a couple days rest.
If anything, it means Stassi probably gets even more playing time over the next few days.
APPEL UPDATE: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com looks at Mark Appel through this point of spring training. He may not make the team, but Appel is impressing team officials. Mostly, he’s showing better command of the strike zone. A good sign for a pitcher who’s close to making the show, but clearly has obstacles to scale.