Some quick news bites as the Phillies ready a three-game home set against the rival Mets:
HELLICKSON OK: Jeremy Hellickson left Sunday’s win prematurely with a cramp in his right forearm. In essence, he felt numb and couldn’t throw. But reportedly he won’t miss his next start, which is expected to be Saturday afternoon in Washington.
TICK TOCK: Pete Mackanin is “considering” removing Jeanmar Gomez from the closer’s role, according to report after Gomez blew Sunday’s 3-0 lead with a two-out Ryan Zimmerman three-run home run. Hector Neris, Joaquin Benoit and Pat Neshek all could step into the spot next, but we’ll see what happens starting this week.
KNAPP’S KNOCK: Andrew Knapp hit a liner for his first major league hit. Jayson Werth couldn’t corral the ball, leading to the hit being scored a double. Ultimately, pretty cool for Knapp, who talked about getting that first hit off Stephen Strasburg.
ON THE FARM: Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins hit their first 2017 home runs … in the same game … Sunday as part of a doubleheader sweep over Pawtucket. Hoskins added two hits (including a double) in the second game, bringing his early season average up to .357. And Jorge Alfaro is hitting .545 on the young season.
Meanwhile, Nick Pivetta tossed six strong innings with eight strikeouts in his start, while Ben Lively also went six, striking out five and surrendering just three hits.
Reading lost an 11-10 shootout against Portland Sunday. Andrew Pullin hit his first home run of the season (he’s now at .400). Scott Kingery is sitting at .300.
In Clearwater, Cornelius Randolph already has three home runs (he’s hitting .176 though).
Then there’s Lakewood. The stacked BlueClaws started 2017 with a road four-game sweep over Kannapolis. Mickey Moniak is hitting .412 with three doubles, three steals and six RBI, while Daniel Brito is contributing at .353 and Arquimedes Gamboa is sitting .333 with a home run.
And Sixto Sanchez struck out eight in his first 4.2 innings of work (he also allowed four runs).