The Philadelphia Phillies hosted the New York Yankees Thursday afternoon in Clearwater and there was a ton of positives from the Phillies side.
We got to see our first look at the camp battle for the final rotation spots as both Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez took the mound today. There is currently a question mark on who will fill out the rotation, the camp battle is between Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore, and Chase Anderson.
Moore and Anderson were both signed to one-year deals this offseason and Velasquez, who I now consider a veteran on this staff, will all battle it out this Spring. I expect all three to make the team, with the third option becoming the team’s long man.
The Phillies scored 15 runs on Thursday in the Spring win against the Yanks, and many of the teams starters contributed to their offensive explosion. Here are my takeaways from today’s win.
Matt Moore showcased the qualities you are looking for in a bottom end starter in today’s game.
Moore was throwing all of his pitches with confidence and had a great tempo in his two innings of work. He allowed one hit and one walk in his two scoreless innings of work.
Moore was bailed out by his defense as his second inning of work ended with a throw-out at home plate. Regardless of the near score for the Yankees, Moore had great command and also got Yankees top homerun threat from 2020, Luke Voit, to pop up and he absolutely fooled Clint Frazier with a inside corner fastball for the strikeout.
All in all, a very encouraging spring debut from Moore, as he begins his battle for a spot in the rotation.
At this point in Velasquez’s career, I don’t expect the breakout season and I fully expect more of the same with Vince, but he started off his spring with a dominant performance.
Velasquez’s fastball was sitting 93-95 in his two innings of work and his control of the pitch was phenomenal. He had three K’s in his two innings of work including two strikeouts looking to two of the Yankees starters, Gio Urshela and Clint Frazier.
A very encouraging start to the Spring as the final rotation spots will be the highlight of Spring training action for the Phillies.
Herrera had a great day at the plate, going 2-3 with a full count RBI single to left field and an absolute bomb to right field in the second.
With the off-field issues Odubel has had in the past, it’s going to be a difficult task to make the roster, but he made a case today as his approach looked much improved since last playing in 2019. It will be very interesting to see how this situation plays out, but continuing to hit will always give someone a chance to make the team.
If Haseley and Quinn struggle at the plate this Spring, it’s not crazy to think Herrera can make the opening day roster, as he is already under contract with the team.
For the first time in awhile, I’m feeling confident about Rhys Hoskins approach.
We saw a very aggressive Hoskins on Thursday as he went 1-3 with an RBI single. Rhys started his day with a strikeout, but his two at-bats that followed have me excited. In Rhys’s second at bat he swung at a first pitch fastball and drove it to the left center field wall for a fly-out. The result may not have been what he was looking for but the aggressiveness early in the count is very encouraging.
Rhys in the past has starred at way to many early in the count fastballs and it has ultimately hurt his power production and his average. In Hoskins’ at bat where he drove in the run he also swung at a first pitch fastball and fouled it straight back.
I think Hoskins being aggressive early in the count can result in a power surge. Rhys used the opposite field on his single, an indication that he is seeing the ball well early this Spring.
We are still in the honeymoon phase with Alec Bohm and it is still magical.
Bohm has just hit his entire time being associated with the big league club and that continued Thursday. The hype around Bohm so far this spring is that he changed his hand placement to hopefully add more power to his game, and he showed that off today.
Bohm launched a three-run homer to dead center field, estimated at 433 feet. If Bohm can develop into a star at the plate in 2021 the Phillies could have one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball.
Moniak came off the bench today and hit two solo homers in his first two at bats. He struggled in his brief time in the majors in 2020 and did not look like he was major league ready.
He’s off to a hot start this spring with three extra base hits. I don’t think he has much of a chance to make the opening day roster but if he continues to produce at the plate he may give himself a chance. Both of his homers today were absolute bombs, it has been a very encouraging start to the spring for the former No. 1 overall pick.
Kinztler clean inning, nice strikeout with a down and in changeup
Scott Kingery, a first inning homerun off of a Devi Garcia changeup
Nick Maton, an INF prospect, bases clearing double
It was a very feel good day for the Phillies a lot of positives to take away from the teams starters to the prospects we may see shortly in the future.