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Morning News: Pivetta shows both sides in loss

It’s morning news time.

PHILS LOSE TO YANKEES: On Wednesday we saw the good Vince Velasquez and the in-progress Vince Velasquez. Yesterday we saw the same from Nick Pivetta in a 6-4 loss to the Yankees.

Pivetta’s fastball was clocked around 96 mph, which is great, as he pumped it up in the zone early. But his breaking pitches broke a lot, and he had trouble commanding the movement, leading to three walks and an early hook. Throw away the game situation for a second, and you can understand why the Phillies are so excited about Pivetta. His fastball is a plus pitch that he can throw up in the zone, something pitching coaches are trying to preach as hitters look for balls down in the zone to launch. His slider is potentially plus-plus. His curve is the real in-progress pitch, but it has serious 12-6 action and can be a whiff pitch. Then there’s a possible cutter in there, though it might just be the changeup (which is not a good pitch).

The point is Pivetta may be an outstanding pitcher. He’s still searching to command the pitches, but hey, that’s the point of spring training.

Zach Eflin pitched later in the game, giving up two runs while striking out three. The main thing with Eflin is getting the innings, staying healthy and working through his motions.

Then there’s Seranthony Dominguez, who faced one hitter and struck him out swinging. Lots of good stuff there.

Finally, Francisco Rodriguez walked three in two-thirds of work. He was topping out in the mid-to-high-80s. The longshot doesn’t look long for camp at this point.

TODAY’S GAME: The Phillies travel to Port Charlotte to visit the Rays at 1 p.m. Here’s the lineup:

  1. Kingery – 2B
  2. Herrera – CF
  3. Hoskins – DH
  4. Williams – LF
  5. Franco – 3B
  6. Florimon – SS
  7. Quinn – RF
  8. Rupp – C
  9. Flaherty – 1B

Half surprised the Phils are bringing a bunch of regulars to Port Charlotte. Also, it’s #NolaDay.

HERRERA’S INJURY: Herrera is in center field today, notable because he hasn’t been there all spring. Why? Gabe Kapler said Herrera has been dealing with a sore shoulder, but now he seems to be past it and ready to head out there.

PROSPECTING: John Sickles of Minor League Ball published his Phillies organizational discussion a few days ago, which means another top prospect list is coming. Check out the discussion his readers are having about the Phils system.

Meanwhile, MLB Pipeline ranked the Phils its fifth-ranked system overall. They use some absurd point system, but then that’s just basis for an opinionated ranking. Who knows. Anyway, there’s a little insight there.

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