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Morning News: Knapp’s improvements forcing issue

It seems we’re a long way from opening day when there’s snow falling in record amounts, but we’re just 22 days from first pitch in Atlanta. So while the snow slams us, just keep thinking about baseball.

Here’s the news.

CUT DAY: After Monday’s action the Phillies made “cuts,” though really they’re just options (if the player is on the 40-man roster) and reassignments (if the player is not rostered).

The players on the receiving end were Drew Anderson, Edgar Cabral and JD Hammer. Nothing surprising here.

NO KNAPPING: Andrew Knapp is showing defensive skills this spring. In the team’s 4-3 win Monday over the Twins, Knapp threw out two would-be basestealers and nearly picked off another runner.

Gabe Kapler, who is enjoying the positive results from the catcher, added Knapp’s framing has improved, at least via the eye test.

Knapp was already in competition for one of the two catching jobs on opening day, showing better-than-average patience last season (.368 OBP in 2017 thanks to a 15.2% walk rate). If this defensive improvement is real, or at least seems real after a few weeks of spring training, he could very easily be on the opening day roster.

TODAY’S GAME: All of the likely opening day starters are out there today when the Phillies take on the Red Sox at home. First pitch is at 1 p.m. with Aaron Nola (also an opening day starter) on the bump. The lineup:

  1. Hernanez – 2B
  2. Santana – 1B
  3. Alfaro – C
  4. Hoskins – LF
  5. Altherr – DH
  6. Herrera – CF
  7. Franco – 3B
  8. Williams – RF
  9. Crawford – SS

The game is on NBC Sports Philadelphia+.

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