Phillies ICYMI Monday: 03/06/17

28 Days and 6 hours until Phillies opening day in Cincinnati sees the competitions heating up in Florida. As the Minor league camp opens next Sunday and games starting on the 14th, we should get some better idea how the Phillies 25 man roster is shaping up soon.

There was not a whole lot of news from the Phillies this week, and at the risk of jinxing, no injuries to speak of.

Another Oldie But Goody to Work For Phillies?:

On Tuesday it was being widely reported that Roy Halladay, after having been seen at Spectrum Field the previous weekend, would have some job in the organization. No one has confirmed this but it seems likely he will be a roving pitching instructor at both Spectrum Field and the MiLB Carpenter Complex before the end of Spring Training.

Nola News:

Aaron Nola made his spring debut on Thursday, pitching two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, and struck out one on 30 pitches.  His FB hit 94 MPH on the “hot” Toronto Blue Jays radar gun.

He had been shut down on July 28th, 218 days ago, with low grade sprains of his UCL and right elbow flexor pronator tendon.

“It felt like forever,” Nola said Thursday afternoon,  “I didn’t really know how long it was until I counted.”

Afterwards he said he felt fine.

“It’s a relief,” Nola said. “The ball feels like it’s coming out pretty good right now. My body feels in line. I feel strong right now, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing in Spring Training going forward.”

Regarding whether Nola can bounce back from his injuries Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “I don’t foresee any [problems], but you never know. I don’t know if the workload will catch up to him or not, and if it doesn’t, then we have a heck of a good pitcher there. But it’s always going to be an issue. I’m always going to wonder if he comes in one day and says [his arm is] bothering him. But right now, I’m staying positive and hoping he has no issues.”

Non-Roster Invitees IF Part One:

This week we will concentrate on the two 1B prospects and the lone SS.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B:

Hoskins, 23, #13 Phillies prospect per, was overshadowed only by his AA Reading Fightins teammate OF Dylan Cozens, finishing 2nd among all MiLB players with 38 HRs, and 3rd in RBIs with 116. He did outdo Dylan with his Eastern League leading .943 OPS and was named the EL ROY as well as a mid and post season All Star. Rhys co-won the 2016 Paul Owens award with Cozens. He was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

Prediction: While the Phillies like his approach so far this spring (1HR and a 2B in 9 ABs) he is slated to start along with Cozens for the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, though he could put some pressure on presumptive 1B starter Tommy Joseph.

“He had a heck of a year last year,” Mackanin said. “He’s got to go to Triple-A and put together another big year, and then we’ll worry about him.”

Brock Stassi, 1B:

Stassi, 27, a 33rd round pick by the Phillies in 2011, was the main 1B in AAA last season, batting .267, 12 HR, 26 2B, one 3B, 58 RBI, and a .369 OBP in 117 games. The Phillies especially appreciate his defense evidenced by his .999 fielding %, committing just one E in 743 total chances. FWIW, he is the Phillies leading hitter so far in Grapefruit League play, .583 BA, 7H, 2 HRs, 2 2B, 7 RBI’s in 12 ABs through Saturday’s games. On Thursday he attempted to show his versatility playing LF – he has played 36 games in the OF in his MiLB career. “He wasn’t tested, but he’s a sure-handed fielder,” Mackanin said. “I think the only thing he doesn’t have is the range I’d like to see out there. But I’m sure he would do fine out there.”

Prediction: If he keeps up the hitting and he shows that he can play the OF as well as 1B, he has a decent chance to start the season as a bench guy, especially if the Phillies want Hoskins to play every day at 1B in AAA.

J.P. Crawford, SS:

What more can we say about Crawford, 22, ranked as the top prospect in the Phillies minor league system by Baseball America and No. 6 overall in MiLB by, than what those rankings show. He was the Phillies first round (13th overall) pick in the 2013 draft, which makes the prospect watchers eager to see him get his chance to start in the bigs sooner rather than later. He did bat .250, 7 HR, 1 3B, 43 RBI, but his 72 BB, 12 SB, and 63 R are the most intriguing stats in his 123 games split last season between AA and AAA.

Prediction: As much as we all would love to see Crawford get his shot, he has yet to play a full season at AAA, and unless SS Freddy Galvis and or 2B Cesar Hernandez falter, get injured or traded, I believe the Phillies would rather see him get more seasoning playing everyday in AAA.

Next Ups:

If the Phils make any moves to start filling out their MiLB squads we will report on those next week as well as finishing up the IF non-roster invitees.




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