In the first part of spring training, Rhys Hoskins came to camp with a brand new stance. His swing didn’t change much but his hands were much lower. It appears now that Hoskins has brought his hands a little higher, but not quite to the level where they were in 2019. This change was on display for fans to see during Sunday night’s exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Hoskins calls it a hybrid. It’s a necessary change to him because he wasn’t thrilled with his swing process.
“Especially for me, there are some hitters who operate a lot on feel,” Hoskins said. “I found myself getting a little bit too mechanical in some of these intrasquad and exhibition games. I talked with Joe Dillon and the rest of the staff and we thought that the work we had done over the past five or six months was really going to help.”
If Hoskins is judging the efficacy of his adjustments on results so far, then things are not looking pretty. Tuesday night’s intrasquad game was a tough night at the plate for the 27-year-old. He went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts, including two while looking against Nick Pivetta. His best bit of contact came when he pulled a hard hit ball to the warning track. According to Joe Girardi after the game, Hoskins wanted extra at-bats.
In the later innings of an intrasquad game, teams typically bat out of order. Some guys go home for the night while others want extra at-bats. Sometimes a guy would hit against his own teammate or go up the plate more than once an inning.
“I think his timing had been really good,” Girardi said in a postgame Zoom meeting. “He just wanted some extra at-bats tonight and he’s probably going to DH tomorrow again. Sometimes hitters say ‘you know what, I didn’t feel good today, I want to keep hitting.'”
Before the game, Hoskins reaffirmed his comfort level at the plate.
“Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m feeling comfortable with it. I feel strong in the box. I feel like I’m seeing the ball pretty well.”
Notes from Tuesday’s Intrasquad Game
- Rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe hit a two-run inside-the-park home run off the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field.
- Nick Pivetta allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Two came off O’Hoppe’s home run while the final two runs came in the fifth, which was rolled over after Pivetta allowed six consecutive batters to reach base. He struck out five and walked one.
- Spencer Howard pitched four innings and allowed only one run on two hits while striking out four.
- Bryce Harper went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
- Phil Gosselin continued to swing a hot bat. He was 4-for-4 with three singles and a double. It seems as though the West Chester native has all but earned a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially considering the Phillies have released infielder Josh Harrison.
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