The Philadelphia Phillies are hosting the Boston Red Sox at Spectrum Field Saturday, but the biggest development regarding the team’s 2020 season may have happened earlier in the day.
Reliever Victor Arano completed a live batting practice session Saturday morning, with Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer noting that “he felt good this morning after throwing live batting practice and is optimistic that he’ll be ready for Opening Day.” Breen added that Arano is likely to toss another live batting practice before getting a chance to pitch in live game action.
There are 19 days until the Phillies open the 2020 regular season in Miami. That doesn’t leave Arano a ton of time to ramp up before games start to count.
Whether he’s ready at the outset of the regular season or not, the Phillies need the 25-year-old to make an impact out of the bullpen in 2020. Two seasons ago, Arano posted a 2.73 ERA and 3.36 FIP in 60 appearances. However, he began the 2019 season in Triple-A after a disastrous Spring Training. He only made four appearances once he was recalled to the major league level before needing what proved to be season-ending arthriscopic surgery on his pitching elbow in late May.
Joe Girardi announced this week that Hector Neris will be the Phillies closer, but beyond him and Jose Alvarez, there’s not a ton in the way of certainty in the bullpen. The good news is that Seranthony Dominguez appears to be trending towards being ready for Opening Day. Still, the Phillies have work to do to compete in a National League East where both the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets believe they could have elite bullpens in 2020.
Some Spring Training Phillies Nuggets
- J.T. Realmuto led off again in Saturday afternoon’s Spring Training game with the Red Sox, the third time he’s done so this week. Girardi discussed the possibility of Realmuto leading off to open the season while the Phillies wait on the return of Andrew McCutchen. At this point, it seems likely that Realmuto will bat lead off against his former team on Opening Day.
- The Phillies made some cuts from major league camp Saturday, with MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki noting that JoJo Romero, Adonis Medina, Christopher Sanchez, Kyle Dohy, Damon Jones and Zach Warren are no longer in major league camp. Zolecki says that Romero was optioned to Triple-A, while Medina and Sanchez were sent to Double-A Reading. Dohy, Jones and Warren were sent to minor league camp.
- The Phillies announced Saturday morning that 1980 NLCS MVP Manny Trillo will be inducted onto the Wall of Fame this August.
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