Spring Training: Catchers provide offense but Phillies fall to Blue Jays in Grapefruit League opener 5-3

Photo by Chris O'Meara / AP

Photo by Chris O’Meara / AP

 

Two days after an 8-3 win against the University of Tampa, the Philadelphia Phillies dropped their 2016 Grapefruit League debut the the Toronto Blue Jays by the score of 5-3.

Severino Gonzalez started for the Phillies and gave up two runs in two innings of work. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Gonzalez “is expected to open the season in the Minor Leagues.”

2B Cesar Hernandez and C Carlos Ruiz were the only Phillies regulars who recorded hits in the game, each notching a single. Ruiz’s hit plated two runs for the Phillies in the bottom of the second.

Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco, Ryan Howard, and Aaron Altherr, all expected to be 2016 starters, were plugged into the middle of the order Tuesday afternoon and went a combined 0-11.

30-year-old backup catcher J.P Arencibia, a new addition to the 2016 squad, scored the final Phillies run on a solo homer in the fourth inning. If Arencibia can come close to repeating the numbers he put up in his short stint with the Rays last season (.310/.315/.606 with six HR in 71 plate appearances), he could challenge Ruiz for playing time as the season progresses.

Next up for the Phillies is a rematch with the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon. David Buchanan, Vincent Velazquez, and Brett Oberholtzer are all scheduled to take the mound for Philadelphia. First pitch is set for 1:07 p.m.

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