Here are your morning news bits …
A GAME!: The Phillies are playing baseball today.
Let me say that again: THE PHILLIES ARE PLAYING BASEBALL TODAY.
It’s the annual pre-Grapefruit tuneup, in which the Phils this year play the University of Tampa. But look: a starting lineup!
- Andrew Knapp, C
- J.P. Crawford, SS
- Tommy Joseph, 1B
- Nick Williams, LF
- Scott Kingery, 2B
- Adam Rosales, 3B
- Dylan Cozens, RF
- Logan Moore, DH
- Danny Ortiz, CF
Jerad Eickhoff gets the start and is likely to not pitch for very long. Meanwhile, don’t look into that starting lineup at all. There’s nothing to draw from it. I mean, maybe you can squint and think Gabe Kapler will stop at nothing to have a high-OBP guy atop the lineup, but honestly, that’s not something to run with. It’s nine guys. That’s it.
First pitch is at 1 p.m. You can watch the game here.
BULLPEN FLEXIBILITY: Gabe Kapler said Wednesday he’s eyeing a bullpen where matchups are favored over set roles, at least early on. He sees a relief corps where most guys are on equal footing, and matchup possibilties are communicated to pitchers on a day-by-day and series-by-series basis. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a true “closer” in the sense, but it means there’s an openness to the ‘pen.
It makes sense because baseball has trended this way lately, but it’s also funny because despite being a bad team over the last two seasons, the Phillies have one of the more stable “closer” situations in Hector Neris.
Still, it seems as if the relievers are all on the same page here with Kapler, and that’s really what’s most important.
NICK KEEPS DROPPING BOMBS: Nick Williams is still hitting big home runs. Apparently Wednesday he nearly struck Gabe Kapler’s car again (he did it on Tuesday), and he also came close to hitting Cesar Hernandez’s car.
This has been #CarTalk.
ARRIETA UPDATE: Nope, nothing yet.