Good morning! Is spring training over yet?
WEEKEND RECAP: The Phillies went 1-2-1 over the weekend with a win against the Braves, losses against the Twins and Blue Jays, and a tie against the Tigers.
Things to know: J.P. Crawford had three hits against Detroit and socked his first spring home run. Scott Kingery played second and third base and collected a few hits, too. Vince Velasquez only went 2.2 innings in his start against Toronto. Zach Eflin pitched well in two innings, while the other two weren’t great, against Atlanta. Aaron Nola was fine in five innings against Minnesota. Mark Leiter Jr. had his first poor spring outing against the Jays, while Hoby Milner shined.
25-MAN PREDICTION: Here’s my first 25-man roster prediction of the spring:
- C – Jorge Alfaro / Cameron Rupp
- IF – Carlos Santana / Cesar Hernandez / Maikel Franco / J.P. Crawford / Jesmuel Valentin
- OF – Rhys Hoskins / Odubel Herrera / Nick Williams / Aaron Altherr / Pedro Florimon
- SP – Aaron Nola / Jake Arrieta / Vince Velasquez / Nick Pivetta / Ben Lively
- RP – Hector Neris / Luis Garcia / Edubray Ramos / Adam Morgan / Pat Neshek / Tommy Hunter / Hoby Milner / Mark Leiter Jr.
Looks similar to what I would’ve said before spring training, wiht the only change being Arrieta coming in and Jerad Eickhoff going out. I could see Roman Quinn in the outfield over Florimon, and I think Jake Thompson can threaten for a spot in the bullpen, but neither player has yet completely swayed me.
Meanwhile there’s Scott Kingery. I think he’s starting the year in triple-A, though there’s still possibility the Phillies don’t do that, planning instead to get him a couple starts a week between second, third, shortstop and the outfield. It can be done, but I’d be surprised.
RUPP RUMOR: Matt Gelb reports at the Athletic that the Phils are shopping Cameron Rupp, and that his roster spot is in jeopardy. To me, if he’s on the 40-man come opening day, he’ll be in the majors, but clearly it looks as if the Phils are ready to move on at catcher.
ARRIETA’S READINESS: Also in that article Gelb says there’s no decision yet on when or against whom Arrieta will pitch next. He did throw a 31-pitch simulated game on Saturday, which drew quite a crowd to the Carpenter Complex.
Chances are he’ll pitch a minor league game this week, maybe getting into Grapefruit League action just before the team travels to Atlanta.
TODAY’S GAME: The Phillies stay downstate for a tussle with the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Game is at 1 p.m. The lineup:
- Hernandez – 2B
- Santana – 1B
- Williams – RF
- Hoskins – LF
- Altherr – CF
- Quinn – SS
- Franco – 3B
- Hutchison – P
- Knapp – C
That’s Drew Hutchison on the mound today.