Good morning! Here is what’s happening:
PHILLIES TIE A BUNCH: On Wednesday and Thursday the Phillies tied opponents. Wednesday it was the Rays, 5-5, and Thursday it was the Blue Jays, 8-8.
Does that matter? Nah. But some of the performances were notable, including Roman Quinn going 1-for-3 with a walk, steal and two runs scored Wednesday, and Vince Velasquez turning in a good two innings in his first start this spring. And on Thursday, we saw Brock Stassi add to his spring damage with a 3-for-5 game, Odubel Herrera sneak in another two hits, and Aaron Nola turn in a comforting two innings in his first spring start.
Then there’s Aaron Altherr, whose 2-for-4 day Wednesday moved him to .400 on the spring with a 1.455 OPS. While it’s early (a caveat we’ll use until about March 22), it’s good to see Altherr striking the ball well. Hopefully that translates to regular season play.
TODAY’S GAME: The Phillies are home for a date with the Twins. Game time is 1:05 p.m. Jeremy Hellickson is on the hill (against former “Baby Ace” Trevor May). Mark Appel is scheduled to throw. The lineup: Hernandez/Kendrick/Herrera/Franco/Saunders/Rupp/Hoskins/Galvis/Goeddel.
START THE RUMORS: Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is way out in front of Bryce Harper rumors.
(Harper won’t be a free agent until after 2018.)
If not the Nats, the Yankees and Phillies do appear to be the most logical landing spots, and you hear them a lot in connection with Harper, as both teams are in rebuilds now (the Yankees’ is more of a modified rebuild) and have deep pockets, though one deeper than the other.
He gives them 5:1 odds.
So yeah. Now it begins.