Tag Archives: Grapefruit League

First two home runs from Bryce Harper lead Phillies to spring romp

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Bryce Harper homers twice in Grapefruit League victory

It has happened 184 times over his first seven regular seasons in Major League Baseball and another five times in the postseason. There were even a few launched during spring training. But all of those happened in another uniform.

This afternoon for the first time as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Bryce Harper enjoyed the feeling of blasting a home run. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he decided to do it again, crushing a sixth-inning blast as well.
The first came during his first plate appearance of the afternoon at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida with one out and Andrew McCutchen at first base.
As Harper walked to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning, Phillies announcer Ben Davis told his broadcasting partner Gregg Murphy that “he is a tick away” and noted that Harper had “a few really, really good swings yesterday” in one of the more prescient calls of the former catcher’s career as a color analyst.
Harper wasted little time. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Sam Gaviglio tried to groove an 88 mph fastball for strike one, and the Phillies right fielder unloaded, ripping the ball out and over the right field wall.
The home crowd roared and rose to their feet as the ball sailed out. They remained on their feet as Harper rounded the bases for the first time as a member of the ball club that he will call his baseball home for the rest of his career.
After celebrating with a high-five at home plate with McCutchen, Harper trotted back to the home dugout and acknowledged the roaring fans behind home plate with a wave.
Harper’s blast touched off a massive Phillies power display on the day which would result in a 13-6 victory. In addition to Harper’s pair, other Phillies long balls on the day came off the bats of McCutchen, Gift Ngoepe, and one from each of the club’s two catchers, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew Knapp.
In the bottom of the 6th, young left-hander Thomas Pannone backed Harper off the plate with a 1-1 curve ball. Undeterred, Harper stepped right back in and crushed a 91 mph fastball way out over the back fence in right-center field.

It was a week ago tomorrow against these same Toronto Blue Jays that a fastball to the ankle had everyone fearing for Harper’s season. One week from today the Phillies will open that 2019 regular season at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves. I think we can say after today’s performance that Harper will be there and will be ready to go.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as Bryce Harper rips first home runs in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform

Phillies add Rhys Hoskins to spring injuries list

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Rhys Hoskins and Roman Quinn both battling spring injuries

The Philadelphia Phillies are scheduled to begin a highly-anticipated 2019 regular season one week from tomorrow. Including the Wednesday afternoon game in Clearwater against the Detroit Tigers there are just six game dates remaining on the Grapefruit League schedule. Two of those will be split-squad affairs.

Opportunities for the players to experience game conditions prior to Opening Day are dwindling quickly. With that in mind there are a number of Phillies players still battling injury issues which will hinder their ability to participate.
Scott Lauber of Philly.com noted this morning that first baseman Rhys Hoskins is suffering from a sore shoulder. He is being held out of game action at least through Friday, but at this point it is believed that he will be in the lineup against the Atlanta Braves on March 28 at Citizens Bank Park. He still hopes to be able to play in a couple of spring training games before then.
Lauber further noted that the Phillies would move starting third baseman Maikel Franco over to first base on Friday, and that Franco would cover the position if a longer term need were to arise. The Phillies would play Scott Kingery at the hot corner in such a scenario.
Jerad Eickhoff has returned to the mound following off-season carpal tunnel surgery. He should start at Triple-A. (D. Benjamin Miller/WikiCommons)
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported on Tuesday that both Roman Quinn and Tommy Hunter would likely open the season on the Injured List. Quinn suffered an oblique strain back in late February and has appeared in just one game down in Florida. Hunter was shut down at around the same time with a strain in the flexor muscle of his right pitching arm.
Also on the mound, Jerad Eickhoff underwent carpal tunnel syndrome surgery back in October. The right-hander had experienced some recurring symptoms in January which slowed his entry to spring games.

Eickhoff has now made two starts and is on track to open the season as part of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley starting rotation. As long as he remains healthy, he would likely be the first pitcher to be re-called should a need arise in the Phillies rotation.

Bryce Harper returned to the lineup as the Designated Hitter during Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees. This was following the ugly incident in which he took a fastball directly off the ankle last Friday. Thankfully, x-rays were negative. He did not make the trip east to begin this week, but is back in right field on Wednesday and will be ready to go for Opening Day.

The Phillies got Odubel Herrera into a Grapefruit League lineup for the first time over this past weekend. He served as the DH on Saturday and then started in center field on both Sunday and Monday. Herrera had strained a hamstring during a mid-February baserunning drill.
Cesar Hernandez returned to the lineup late last week after being out since late February after suffering a right hip flexor strain while running the bases in an early spring game.
Hoskins is the one injury to really watch for over the next four-to-five days. He is a key piece to the Phillies offensive attack and the club would really like to get him back into the lineup for a couple of games before Opening Day.

Ankle injury to Bryce Harper appears minor; x-rays come back negative

Harper was drilled in ankle during Friday’s game
Fans all across Phillies Nation are breathing a massive sigh of relief this morning. Per numerous reports, all x-rays on Bryce Harper’s right ankle have come back negative.
The 26-year-old superstar is officially being listed as day-to-day. However, Harper will miss Saturday’s game in Clearwater against the Houston Astros. His scheduled participation in Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees also has to be considered questionable at this point.
Harper was injured when he was drilled by a 96 mph fastball from Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton with two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning at Spectrum Field in Clearwater.
Harper would ideally like to get between 40-50 plate appearances during Grapefruit League action in order to be fully ready to open the regular season. However, that is going to now become nearly impossible.
To date, Harper has accumulated just nine plate appearances over parts of four games. Still looking for his first hit in a Phillies uniform, he is 0-5 with three walks and the hit-by-pitch, two runs scored, and a stolen base to this point.
Originally scheduled to play in all three games this weekend, there is now the very real chance that Friday will be the only one in which he participates.
The Phillies are scheduled to cross the state of Florida for a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday against the Cardinals and Astros. That was a trip that Harper was not likely to make prior to this incident. He is still unlikely to travel with the team for those games.
Bottom line, we may not see Harper play again until Wednesday afternoon back in Clearwater against the Detroit Tigers. If that proves true it would mean he will see no more than six more games. Even if he is able to play in all of those and averages three plate appearances in each, he would end spring training with roughly 30 plate appearances in game action.

All X rays on Bryce Harper are negative. He will not play today as precaution. He is day to day.

439 people are talking about this

Per Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler stated “I don’t have concerns about him not being ready for Opening Day.

If we can assume that Harper is indeed okay and will be able to play by the middle of next week, and that he would then see mostly regular game action over the final week of Grapefruit League play, then he should indeed be in the Phillies lineup for Opening Day on March 28th at Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves. How “ready” he will be is debatable.

Phillies expect both Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez back from injury

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Herrera has missed all of 2019 Grapefruit League action to date

For most of the first three weeks of spring training the Philadelphia Phillies have been missing two players who have been starters for the last few rebuilding years. Both players were projected to be in the Opening Day starting lineup once again this season.

It now appears as if both second baseman Cesar Hernandez and center fielder Odubel Herrera will return over the next few days. The club expects that, assuming they are able to stay healthy from here on out, both players will be ready for the first regular season game of the 2019 season on March 28th at Citizens Bank Park.
Hernandez suffered a Grade 1 right hip flexor strain while running the bases on February 27 in a Grapefruit League game against the Minnesota Twins at Clearwater.
Exactly one week earlier, Herrera suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain while going from first to third during a baserunning drill. The setback was particularly frustrating for the 27-year-old. Herrera had arrived in Florida weeks earlier than required in anticipation of a battle with Roman Quinn for the starting center field job.
The position was thrown into even more chaos when Quinn suffered a strained oblique on the same day that Hernandez went down. Quinn’s return will take a bit longer, the Phillies are reportedly going to take it slow with him.
That puts the likelihood of Quinn heading north to Philly at the end of March in serious jeopardy. It also virtually assures that, if healthy, Herrera will be the everyday starter in center field, at least to begin the season.

Both Hernandez and Herrera have a lot to prove this year. Each has been a starter for the team when there were few expectations. But now on what is expected to be a contender, both need to produce. Both players saw their home run and RBI numbers increase last year but saw across-the-board decreases in nearly every other category.
Hernandez is expected to return to second base for Thursday’s game at LECOM Park in Bradenton against the host Pittsburgh Pirates. Herrera is slotted for his first Grapefruit League action as the DH on Saturday when the Phillies host the Houston Astros back in Clearwater.

First round of a dozen spring cuts leaves Phillies with 49 players in big-league camp

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Enyel De Los Santos was among first dozen Phillies reassignments

The Philadelphia Phillies dropped an 8-2 decision on Monday to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. With that game in the books the club has now officially passed the halfway point of its Grapefruit League schedule.

The Phillies record under the Florida sun sits at 9-7 following the defeat. They now have 14 games remaining on their schedule prior to heading back north for the March 28 regular season opener against the division-rival Atlanta Braves.
Following their game on Saturday, March 9, a first round of seven players were reassigned. After today’s game another round of five reassignments was announced. These dozen roster moves are part of the effort to cut down to the 25 players who will be in the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on Opening Day.
Both 22-year-old pitcher Adonis Medina, who is the Phillies #2 prospect now per MLB Pipeline, and 21-year-old shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa, considered their#13 prospect, were optioned to Double-A Reading on Saturday.

Today the Phillies optioned pitchers Enyel De Los SantosAustin Davis and Edgar Garcia to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. De Los Santos is the team’s #6 prospect and made his Major League Baseball debut last season, appearing in seven games and making two starts on the mound. Davis saw action in 32 games with the Phillies last season as a situational left-hander.
Reassigned to the minor league camp over the two days were pitchers Cole IrvinJoJo Romero and Tyler Gilbert, catcher Deivy Grullon, first baseman Austin Listi, infielder Malquin Canelo and outfielder Mickey Moniak. Romero is the Phillies #7 prospect, Moniak #9 and Irvin #16 per MLB Pipeline.
The 20-year-old Moniak was the top overall pick of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. While he has struggled for much of his professional career, he finally began to hit the ball with more authority last summer. Listi was the 2018 Paul Owens Award winner as the top performing position player prospect in the Phillies minor league system.
Given the improvements to the overall Phillies roster, none of these players were expected to make the team out of spring training. The team still has a crowd of 49 players at major league camp, and more cuts can be expected at some point during the coming week.

NOTE: the Phillies further announced that pitcher Ranger Suarez was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Monday’s spring game.